Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Himeutsugi ~

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Himeutsugi (姫空木)
CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke (立花 慎之介)

Himeutsugi is Rank 4 among the 5 Brights and is a second year kaei of the Gekkougumi. Everyone thinks of him to be a kind, deeply considerate, and sympathetic person. In fact, he is frequently called “Hime-sama” which is a play on his name and means “Princess”. But he seems to have a hidden side to him, a side which not many can see or even understand. Perhaps the “Princess” doesn’t want to be a “Princess”.

DAY 21. Mikoto wakes up in her room and realizes that today is the day where she has to decide on a partner for her to do kabatsu with and to awaken as a senki.

(Full view pictures to see them in 850 x 595).

She goes to Himeutsugi’s room and knocks on the door before entering, upon which she notices that he seems to have a sad expression. Himeutsugi apologizes because he can’t seem to find any words for the things that happened to her body, Mizuchi, and the two of them. Mikoto confesses that she’s more worried about Mizuchi than herself. He smiles tiredly and calls her a kind girl.

Then he tells her that after the incident, Iroha condemned Mizuchi and this was the first time Himeutsugi has seen Iroha that angry. For someone they respect to say things to that extent… He admits that he thinks Mizuchi’s feelings for her are too extreme, but even still he can’t seem to comfort her at all. He tells her that Iroha also considers her body to be precious, which is why he did what he did.

Yet… why have the cog-wheels become distorted. He whispers out that people’s hearts are a complex thing. Mikoto thinks that it seems like Himeutsugi is feeling pain about himself. What should she say?

IF YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN MIZUCHI. Mikoto tells him that the cog-wheels may have become distorted, but she thinks they can return to the way they were before; she believes in that. It will return and everything will become fine and she will work hard for that sake.

Himeutsugi gives her a pained smile as he comments on how he seems to have been the one who was comforted. He thanks her and then tells her that Mizuchi is most likely wishing to be by her side. He tells Mikoto to save Mizuchi and she smiles sadly but with determination.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE WITH HIMEUTSUGI. Mikoto asks him slowly if they can’t return the cog-wheels to the way they were before together. He looks at her in confusion and so she asks him to become her partner. He tells her that he’s worried about Mizuchi, but Mikoto replies that right now Mizuchi is blaming himself. If she tells him at that time that she wants him to be her partner then she’ll unnecessarily make things more painful.

THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK GIRL. INSTEAD YOU’RE BUYING A TICKET TO DESPAIR AIRLINES. She admits that she’s been thinking how she can give Mizuchi a peace of mind. In this situation she thinks joining up with Iroha would hurt Mizuchi’s feelings and Karakurenai is a little… but if it’s his close friend Himeutsugi then he should be able to relax. Her eyes widen when she realizes it sounds like she’s saying she’ll be safe so long as it’s Himeutsugi.

He huffs in amusement and compliments her process of elimination. Mikoto averts her eyes and apologizes because that wasn’t her attention, but Himeutsugi tells her that it’s fine and he agrees to join up. She thanks him gratefully and he tells her that she’s welcome before suggesting that they should both drop their reserve now that they’ve decided on this. They should be able to depend on each other more, right?

She smiles brightly at that and agrees to be less reserved and to depend on him more. He continues to smile sadly at her. HIS EXPRESSION HERE IS JUST SO…. GKDAG ;ww; IT’S SO SAD LOOKING. In her mind Mikoto thinks about how Himeutsugi knows all of her feelings and accepts them. When she thinks about it, her proposal was mean but he willingly agreed. What a nice person.

I’M SIDE-EYEING YOU SO HARD HERE MIKOTO. She thoughtlessly told him to spoil her and that might have been a bit bold, but he feels like someone who would forgive anything because he’s always so nice. No matter what she seems to be wrapped up in, he’s there with a warm and comforting atmosphere. In addition, she feels like she can relax now.

Suddenly her stomach growls and she startles in embarrassment. Himeutsugi laughs at how lively she is, but she quickly apologizes and explains that she didn’t eat anything in the morning because her mind was filled with thoughts about this partner problem. Himeutsugi offers her a cookie that he received as a gift to eat. Mikoto declines though because it’s bad manners and she’ll buy something from the school cafeteria.

He brushes aside her protests though and tells her to come closer. Mikoto yelps when she finds his face close to hers and he reminds her softly that she asked to be spoiled. He offers her the cookie again, but Mikoto blurts out that this is a little too embarrassing. But he just grins and asks her to open her mouth. Her eyes widen before she protests that this is a little too child-like…

But then she bites her lip as she finds herself losing to his smiling face, and so she can only open her mouth and let him place the cookie in there. He smiles brightly and praises her for doing it, but Mikoto just glares and accuses him of teasing her too much. Himeutsugi explains that she is as pure as Mizuchi and if he didn’t do this then they wouldn’t be able to become good friends.

Then he points out that only through touch will her power manifest… that is the meaning behind a senki candidate’s partner. So they will have to touch more from now on. Mikoto averts her eyes and agrees reluctantly. In her mind she thinks about how her heart skipped a beat, but he may just be breaking the ice by teasing her. Himeutsugi asks her if she didn’t see him doing this.

And so she admits that she doesn’t feel like this is characteristic of him. Himeutsugi apologizes and tells her with a smile that he thought it’d be alright since she didn’t see him as a man. Mikoto hurriedly denies implying that and then apologizes. He shakes his head and tells her that it’s fine, since it’d be bad to Mizuchi. They’ll only have some light skinship with no heavier meaning.

Mikoto realizes that these acts have no deeper meaning to Himeutsugi. When she looks at him this close, he certainly seems to be androgynous; he’s simply beautiful. He’s filled with a noble grace… as if he were a princess. Besides, even when he does these things her water doesn’t become tainted like with Karakurenai. She’s not scared when Himeutsugi touches her.

It’s a little embarrassing but this be what it means to be Himeutsugi’s partner. In that case, it would be weird if she were on her guard. And so Mikoto smiles and tells him that she understands and she’ll try her best. He asks her what she’ll work hard at and then laughs at how cute she is. She inwardly cringes and wonders if she said something weird. But then Himeutsugi asks her if she’ll also perform a small ceremony with him.

Mikoto asks him what he means by that, but then she yelps when he brushes his lips on her cheek. Himeutsugi explains that when she came to Kaen Mizuchi kissed her like this as well. Since it’s the same place, Mizuchi won’t be angry. But Mikoto blurts out that she’s a little troubled… however, he replies that this is necessary for her to become a senki.

「君に選ばれた以上、僕も全力を尽くすから。ちょっとだけ、我慢して?」(Over being chosen by you, I will serve you with all my power. That’s why, please endure this for a little bit?). Mikoto realizes that even this kiss is for her sake and yet she… She thanks him and realizes out loud that she should be prepared to do at least this much. She’ll properly work hard.

He replies 「ちゃんと、ね。じゃあ、僕にキスを返してくれる?」(Properly, huh. Then, will you kiss me back?). Mikoto yelps out that it’s impossible and going that far is a little… Himeutsugi pouts at that but realizes that it can’t be helped. She inwardly sighs in relief, but then Himeutsugi seizes this chance to lick her lips. He explains that she had a bit of the cookie there.

She blurts out his name in outrage, but he just laughs and tells her that it’s safe because he wasn’t going to do anything else. But he’d like to keep this private from Mizuchi. It’ll be their secret. Mikoto can only stare at him with wide eyes and a blush.

Then he tells her 「みことちゃん・・・僕は、君のためならなんでもしてあげるからね。これからもよろしく。」(Mikoto-chan… If it’s for your sake, I will do anything. I look forward to working with you from now on). She can only accept his words. Anyway, when she leaves his room she’s surprised by how Himeutsugi is a person with strong audacity. Or was she the only one who didn’t know?

It became a kiss on the lips, didn’t it. Mikoto reassures herself that it’s different and that it was just light skinship. It’s okay, because there’s no deeper meaning to it. At any rate, she’s glad to become Himeutsugi’s partner. She’ll work hard starting from tomorrow! Mizuchi will be fine it’s Himeutsugi, right?

At night, Himeutsugi recites a poem 「物思ふと 人に見えじとなまじひに 常に思へり ありそかねつる――」(Having fallen in love with someone, in a way that people do not perceive, I behave as normally as always but, in truth, I am in pain to the point of wishing for death). POEM IN THE MANYOSHU BY 山口女王 VOL.4 #613.

He monologues about how he didn’t think she would come to him, but it was by the process of elimination which seems… appropriate. He whispers to himself that it’ll be alright and he’ll do it properly… because he’s Mizuchi’s close friend.

His last words are 「君にとって、最高のお姫様になってあげる。だから、僕を頼って。僕に甘えて。君のためなら・・・なんでもするから。」(To you, I will become the best princess. That’s why you should rely on me. Depend on me. For you… I will do anything).

In her room, Mikoto thinks about how tomorrow the kabatasu will start but even she herself doesn’t know what will happen. Was her choice right? She shakes her head and decides that she won’t regret whatever results from it. It was a path she chose herself. She’ll work hard to become a senki.

When she falls asleep, she hears the Half Moon calling out her name. She asks if it’s the Half Moon and it notes with happiness that she remembered its name! She tells it that they meet every day, and so she would remember it. It confesses that it’s happy, because it can’t meet her except for here. Once again she asks what it is.

But the Half Moon replies 「・・・教えても、君はきっと僕だってわからない。」(… Even if I tell you, you most likely won’t know that it’s me). She asks it what it means by that, but the Half Moon simply falls silent. Then it tells her that the full moon is close. Then it tells her that when the moon fills up, fate changes greatly. But that is her trial to find what she believes in. However, there is only one answer.

The Half Moon tells her to find her other half of the moon. Mikoto reaches out to try and stop it but she wakes up in her bed. Just who is the person she keeps seeing every night? She can only hear its voice but somehow it seems nostalgic; however she can’t remember. The Half Moon… the name resounds strangely. Then Mikoto remembers that she has to tell Momotose that she decided on a partner. Because she decided on a moon… she and that person…

DAY 22. Momotose comments on how Mikoto seems to have chosen Himeutsugi as a partner and that, as long as it’s him, then she can be at ease. His heart is calm and he is tenderly considerate towards women. She asks Mikoto if she’s told Mizuchi yet, but she hasn’t. Momotose smiles sadly but advises her to do it quickly because even though the two are close friends, he has still been replaced as a partner. There is no way that he doesn’t care about it.

Mikoto nods and promises to talk to him tomorrow before she excuses herself. Back in her room, Mikoto thinks about Himeutsugi and how deeply considerate he is. He adores everyone and seems to understand them. He’s a nice person to be worried about her when she’s in another group. Even though her heart skipped a beat in his room when he kissed her, he told her that there was no deeper meaning behind it.

She resolves herself to tell Mizuchi tomorrow. If her partner is Himeutsugi then he should be at ease. Suddenly, Mikoto notices that she has mail from Himeutsugi. In it he greets her good morning and asks if she slept well. They’ll be doing kabatsu today and he hopes they both work hard. She looks at the time that it was sent and it was sent at 5 in the morning. That’s early! He must have sent that the moment he woke.

Mikoto thinks about how kind he is to be concerned about her. ARE WE SEEING A TREND HERE? LMAO. She’s nervous about kabatsu but she needs to try her best. Anyway, she heads to the school entrance where she meets Himeutsugi and he immediately greets her. Her eyes widen when she sees Mizuchi beside Himeutsugi, but she greets them both with a smile and then asks them what they’re doing.

Himeutsugi smiles and informs her that he told Mizuchi about him becoming her partner. Mikoto is surprised at how quickly he did that, but Himeutsugi points out that it’s something one would normally worry about. He asks Mizuchi if that isn’t so, but Mizuchi exhales quietly before telling Mikoto firmly that he has no qualifications to be her partner and so she’s free to choose anyone.

Mikoto murmurs his name but then Himeutsugi reassures Mizuchi to be at ease, because he’s just taking care of his precious senki candidate for a little while. Once the time comes, he’ll return her. Mizuchi closes his eyes and tells him not to talk about a lady like that. Himeutsugi grins at how stiff he is, but this was simply to pass along information. Once again he tells Mikoto that he hopes the two of them will work hard together.

She thanks him in surprise and then she tells Mizuchi determinedly that she’ll work hard in a way that doesn’t embarrass herself as minamo of the Koukokugumi. That’s why, when everything is over, she wants to return to being Mizuchi’s partner again. She thinks that these words are only for convenience, but in the end she is Mizuchi’s partner and so she doesn’t want any misunderstandings.

Mizuchi only sighs and then tells her stiffly that he has no right to decide that before he walks off. She watches his back with a pained expression, and then Himeutsugi tells her that he’s actually happy. She asks if that is really true because she’s worried about troubling Mizuchi. Himeutsugi laughs at that and comments on how Mizuchi is such a fortunate person to have her feel like this to him.

She blushes at that and tries to deny it, but then Himeutsugi interrupts her and reminds her that right now he’s her partner. Therefore he would like her to rely on him more and to want to depend on him. Then he walks closer to her and asks her if they should continue the ceremony from before. Mikoto’s eyes widen and then she tells him that she’d rather not. She’s surprised at how close his face is as he said that; he’s quite a frank person.

Even though she knows it, the personalities and looks between Mizuchi and Himeutsugi are completely different. Can she depend on Himeutsugi? Then she notices in alarm that while she was thinking he already walked off. Suddenly the class representative appears and greets Mikoto. Mikoto returns the greeting and comments on how early it is, to which the class rep tells her that her club is practicing early.

She complains about how painful it is to have an exercising club this early. Mikoto asks if it’s the volleyball club and the class rep confirms it. It is a difficult but basic training for a first year student to only pick up balls. Every day, she is ordered around by the ladies and it makes her feel broken, but if she gives up here then she’ll hurt the name of the Koukokugumi. She will have to endure this until it becomes regular!

Mikoto is impressed because she’s always remained a person who didn’t join any club. The class rep replies that she understands since Mikoto is a klutz. Mikoto winces at how bluntly she said that. Suddenly, a girl from the Gekkougumi greets Himeutsugi excitedly. Mikoto looks over in confusion and then hears another one comment on how he must be tired from his morning practice.

They hand him today’s bento and request for him to eat it. They explain that today’s main dish is from France and it’s a fresh sauteed foie gras that was transported by air. There’s also a sole braisee garnished with white truffles. The dessert is gateau au chocolat and they wrapped it in a separate box. A minamo from the Gekkougumi voluntarily made it. Himeutsugi smiles kindly and thanks them for always doing this and he’ll enjoy it.

The Gekkougumi members reply that as long as Himeutsugi is pleased then they’ll do anything. He answers that just their feelings alone makes him happy and they’re so cute. They squeal and giggle at that while Mikoto stares at the large basket and wonders if there’s a boxed lunch in there. Moreover, it’s amazing for a bento to have foie gras in it. The class rep tells Mikoto that those girls are Hime’s royal court maids.

A NOTE: IN THIS ENTIRE SCENE THEY’RE ALL CALLING HIM “HIME-SAMA” . Mikoto looks confused at this and so the class rep explains that Himeutsugi is so beautiful that he looks like a princess, right? That’s why the minamo who are close and surround him to serve him are called royal court maids. They help out with meals, cleaning… they’ll do anything around him and so they’re maids.

Mikoto’s eyes are wide as she asks if all of them are. The class rep answers that they are, but to prevent fights they take turns. The Gekkougumi has a different custom from the Koukokugumi… greatly different. One could call it an aristocratic air. She adds that the maids are busy being helpers to Hime because they didn’t use to do it this way. Mikoto wouldn’t know since she just came to Kaen recently, but the class rep is talking about Himeutsugi’s minamo.

Even though she’s middle class she’s quite famous. Mikoto asks what kind of person she is, to which the class rep tells her that she’s better of seeing it with her own eyes. She’ll surely be surprised. Mikoto is confused by that, but then the class rep yelps out that she thought she still had a bit of time but she needs to leave right now because she talked too much! She must hurry to her class!

Mikoto opens her mouth but the class rep is already gone, and so she’s left feeling curious about Himeutsugi’s minamo. Anyway, she heads to class herself and is greeted there by Onosada. He teases her about how she chose Himeutsugi to be her partner and it seems like she can do things. He muses on how in that situation if anyone was alone then there would be no option but Himeutsugi.

Plus, his minamo is absent so there absolutely won’t be any trouble. It was a very intelligent decision. Mikoto is reminded of how the class rep also talked about Himeutsugi’s minamo being absent and so she asks Onosada where she went. He informs her that the minamo went on a trip and won’t come back for half a year. Mikoto is shocked by that, but Onosada continues on to say that she might be back by the time this kabatsu is over.

He thinks she’ll be surprised when she sees the minamo. He chuckles at that while Mikoto notes that he said the exact same thing the class rep said. But she realizes now that because Himeutsugi’s minamo is gone, he is able to accept a partner without trouble. It’s a good thing she ended up picking Himeutsugi. After class, Mikoto is stumbling down the hallway because of the amount of books she’s carrying.

She’s glad that Onosada gave her textbooks on minamo, but this amount is a bit… She can’t see anything in front of her! It’s heavy and her legs are getting tangled. She inwardly yelps when she realizes that she’s going to trip but she barely manages to avert it. She sighs as she realizes that what the class rep said about her being a klutz isn’t necessarily a lie. But then she stumbles and drops all her books.

Someone tells her that she dropped some over here as well. Mikoto apologizes and thanks them for their kindness, only to gasp when she sees that it’s Mizuchi. He asks her where she would like these to be carried. She’s still a bit surprised but she quickly answers that she’s taking them to a classroom. She’s inwardly shocked to see him carrying them for her and so she apologizes for that before offering to carry half of them.

He tells her that he doesn’t mind and asks her to direct him. She obeys while inwardly marveling at how he’s carrying that mountain of textbooks as if it were light. Mizuchi notes that these are textbooks on minamo and so she explains that Onosada lent them to her. If she’s going to do kabatsu then she should read them. He agrees that it is a good thing to take information before actually fighting.

These books are filled with them and Onosada’s choices are good, as expected. She nods quietly and he breathes out silently before finally telling her that she said she would like to return as his partner when kabatsu is over, but he still doesn’t understand the reason for that. She repeats the word “reason” in surprise and then easily answers that it’s because she wants to be his minamo.

Not because the onifuda chose him, but because she wants to herself. Mizuchi is silent at that and then Mikoto opens her mouth to try and say something, but Mizuchi softly interrupts and asks her where to place the books. Mikoto is confused until she notices that they’re already at the classroom. She points him to a desk while still being surprised, but then he excuses himself quickly after he drops them off.

Mikoto thanks him gratefully, to which he only looks at her silently. But then he tells her that he thinks she is someone who studies earnestly. The Koukoku, who study things deeply, welcome her. He leaves after these words and Mikoto is left feeling surprised and very, very happy. It’s nice that she was able to get her feelings across to Mizuchi, even just a little. She promises to him in her mind to work hard.

She will become a senki and return to his side. Until then, she would ask of him to please wait. Mikoto notes that there is still time until she does the kabatsu and maybe she should practice a bit? THESE OPTIONS JUST GIVE YOU CHANCES TO TRAIN, BUT IF YOU’VE GRINDED UP TO RANK 5 IN THAT ONE DAY OF TRAINING YOU’RE PRETTY MUCH SET LMAO. Mikoto meets Himeutsugi at the gates and he apologizes for making her wait before suggesting they head out.

Mikoto smiles and nods which causes him to ask her if something happened because she looks happy. She blushes a bit in surprise and wonders if it was the exchange she had with Mizuchi. She scolds herself for letting it show when they’re about to do kabatsu. And so she tells him that it’s nothing and they should head out. Himeutsugi eyes her curiously but then they head out.

When they get into the city, Mikoto looks around with wide eyes at Goto-gai’s Chuuouku. It looks like a normal business district but for some reason she doesn’t want to go any further. Her body feels heavy as if something has caught her. Himeutsugi frowns and notes that the taint is strong today and then he asks her worriedly if her body is fine. Mikoto replies that she’s fine; a little cold, but fine.

He advises her not to leave his side and to be careful because minamo are weak to the taint. She thanks him and then the two of them start to walk, with her thinking about how kind he is to walk so close beside her that they’re brushing against each other. But people will misunderstand when they see them like this. Suddenly, a girl from another high school squeals out at how beautiful Himeutsugi is.

Another one agrees with how cool he is. They question if he’s a girl and then wonder if he’s a model for some place. Another one notes that he’s with a girl and they pout at all vexing that is. Mikoto winces at how everyone’s looks are stabbing into her, but she has to agree that Himeutsugi’s visual stands out. Everyone else seems to see that as well. He has a feeling of otherworldliness and aristocracy.

His face is neat and arranged and his skin is surprisingly white. His style is also distinguished. Suddenly, Himeutsugi asks her if there is something on his face. She quickly shakes her head and scolds herself for staring at him. He grins though and asks her if she became interested in him. In that case, she’s free to continue looking. Mikoto is taken aback by how used to it he seems, but realizes that it should have been expected.

She can’t help but note how different he is from Mizuchi in this aspect too. Mizuchi wouldn’t make such frivolous talk. She scolds herself for thinking that and reminds herself to do the kabatsu. But then they’re interrupted by the high school girls who ask Himeutsugi if he has some time. One of them tells him that he’s so beautiful she was wondering if they could become friends!

The last one asks what school he goes to with that uniform and also what year? She thinks he’s a third year because he looks like an adult. Himeutsugi smiles and answers that he’s a second year. The first one squeals at that and tells him that this must be fate. I’M SORRY GIRL, BUT FATE IS MUCH MORE CRUEL. One of them asks him if he would like to come with them since they’re going to the karaoke.

But Himeutsugi apologizes because he has business. But the girls whine at that and ask him cutely to come with them. Mikoto is surprised by how assertive they are since they’re tugging at his arm. The last girl points out how Mikoto is plain and tells him that he doesn’t need her. Mikoto is taken aback by that and then another one tells him that they’re much more fun. They continue to tug at his arm.

Himeutsugi tells them that he’s lost because of how cute everyone is, but he’s in the middle of a date with his lover. Mikoto startles at his words and wonders what he’s doing. The first girl asks him if he’s serious because she can’t see it. They don’t act like lovers at all! But Himeutsugi walks closer to Mikoto as he asks them if they can’t see it, even with this. Mikoto’s eyes widen when he kisses her, but the other girls walk off angrily because they understand now.

Mikoto remains silent in shock and so Himeutsugi whispers that her eyes are a bit too wide. She comes to her senses and pushes him away while yelling at him to let her go. When she splutters out a question as to what he was doing, Himeutsugi tells her with a smile that he thought this would be a quick and easy way to get them to understand. When she continues to glare at him, his eyes widen as he asks her if this was her first kiss.

He thought that Mizuchi would have surely done this. Mikoto snaps out that she doesn’t want to say and Himeutsugi is startled when she runs off. In her mind, she calls him cruel to kiss her so suddenly like that; and then to ask her if it was her first! He also lied about them being lovers without apology. She thought he was a more prudent person than that. What a loose-tongued person!

She also blames herself for not properly refusing him and letting that kiss happen. She tries to say something to Mizuchi in her mind, but then she hears someone giggling. Just now, it feels like something is behind her sending chills down her back. She turns around to see a shadow-shaped human screeching about how there’s a sexy sweet smell. She stumbles back when it tries to approach her, cackling about the smell of a senki.

Mikoto wonders if this is an Adabana because this person’s appearance is strange! It comes even closer and squeals out that it’ll take her. It’ll dirty that pretty body of hers! Taint it! It’ll mangle that flesh of hers. Mikoto flinches at the strong taint and finds herself freezing into place. The Adabana shrieks about what a delicious woman she is and how it’ll taste good to eat her body.

She screams in fear at that for someone to save her and then suddenly Himeutsugi appears to grab her while calling out her name. She looks at him with wide eyes as he asks her worriedly if she can stand. Mikoto reassures him that she can stand by herself and then she determinedly asks him to do Hana Awase with her. He breathes in at that, but then he smirks and tells her that he understands. He’d like to ask for her to lend him her power as a minamo.

Himeutsugi glows yellow as he sets up his field and does his field call 「フィールド生成…。贖罪に至る導きを…願わくば、かの者に救いを!」(Field creation… I’ll guide you towards atonement… I pray for your salvation!). Mikoto pants in exhaustion as they finally win. Then her eyes widen when she sees the Adabana wither and disappear. It had been a human just a little while ago too.

She made it wither… even though it was an Adabana it had its own consciousness. To disappear this quickly… what exactly are the Adabana? They look like humans yet they aren’t; a tainted, sad existence. Himeutsugi asks her worriedly if she’s injured or if any place hurts. She shakes her head and quietly tells him that she’s fine. She reassures him that she’s fine and that she doesn’t need his concern.

Then she thanks him politely for coming to save her. Himeutsugi seems taken aback by her formal words and then Mikoto informs him that she’ll report back to Onosada. She starts to walk off but Himeutsugi calls out for her to wait. She winces but stops, and then Himeutsugi tells her that the kiss a while ago wasn’t to tease her. She’s silent before she tells him that it troubles her.

She thinks that Himeutsugi might be used to it, but she doesn’t want to do things like that so easily. Mikoto asks him not to do those things ever again. He asks her if that applies even though she doesn’t see him as a man. She’s taken aback by that, but she can’t deny it. But even then she doesn’t want him to do those things. He tells her that her power only manifests when she, as a senki candidate, touches a kaei.

What will she do if she dislikes things like kissing? She’s too pure. Mikoto flinches at that and then excuses herself abruptly. Himeutsugi’s eyes widen but he can only stare sadly after her. Anyway, she runs to the park and admits to herself that he’s correct and she’s not prepared at all. Even though a senki candidate can’t not come into contact with their partner, she still does the opposite and keeps distance.

Even though he’s relying on her… how cruel is she. Mikoto looks at the ground in conflict because in the end she doesn’t want to kiss a person she doesn’t like; even if there is no deeper meaning behind it. This way of thought may be too pure. SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SCENE ALWAYS ANNOYS ME BECAUSE IT MAKES HIME SOUND LIKE HE’S GUILT-TRIPPING HER. LIKE “HEY AS A SENKI CANDIDATE YOU NEED TO LET ME KISS YOU”.

At night, in her room, Mikoto receives mail from Himeutsugi. It tells her that he’s sorry for today and he would like to apologize. Could they meet? She’s shocked at that because right now it’s 11PM and so she apologizes but tells him that today is too late and they could meet tomorrow. Immediately after she sends her reply, her phone rings again and his next message tells her that it’s short and he’s begging her. He’ll be waiting by the gates.

Mikoto is alarmed by how Himeutsugi said he’d be waiting. What should she do? It’s way past the curfew for the dorms… She messages him back and tells him that the rules of the dorms are serious and she requests to meet him tomorrow instead before she ends it by telling him good night. She wonders if that might have been a bit cold, but it can’t be helped. She decides to sleep and talk to Himeutsugi properly tomorrow.

But after rolling around in bed and being unable to fall asleep Mikoto wonders to herself if he could still be… She shakes her head. It’s already 2AM. She can’t help but wonder though if he’s still there… but she doesn’t think it’s possible. But then why does her chest feel so uncomfortable? In the end, she ends up running to the gates. IS IT JUST ME OR DOES THIS SEEM MAKE IT SEEM LIKE HIME GUILT TRIPS HER AGAIN.

YEAH I’LL BE WAITING HERE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. WHY CAN’T WE TALK TOMORROW HIME!? She doesn’t see him anywhere near the gates and then wonders what she’s doing here. Of course he wouldn’t be here. She decides to return back but then she hears someone whisper her name tiredly. She tries to turn around in surprise, but he embraces her from behind.

This causes her to blurt out his name but he just breathes out quietly before telling her slowly that he waited. She asks him why he waited here all this time. He confesses that he wanted to apologize for hurting her. She’s surprised that he did all this just for that. He tells her that any length of time would have been fine with him. He’s glad that she came. Mikoto is silent at that and notices that his body is cold.He really did wait for an indeterminate amount of time.

For this entire time he was here alone… He confesses that he reflected on the things he said to her and came to the conclusion that he was doing things selfishly. He didn’t think about her position. She tries to protest but he cuts her off to tell her that he’d like her not to reject him. He’ll fix anything of himself that she doesn’t like. All she has to do is say it. Mikoto shakes her head and reassures him that he wasn’t wrong.

She admits that she needs to have more of an awareness of herself as a senki candidate. And she’s also troubled Himeutsugi… but he tells her 「迷惑なんかじゃないよ。言っただろう、僕は、君のためなら何でもしてあげたいんだ。」(It’s not a burden. I said it, didn’t I, that I will do anything for you). Mikoto wonders in her mind why Himeutsugi would go so far for her as to do anything.

He murmurs 「そう、君のためなら、僕は・・・何だってするよ。だって・・・僕はお姫様だから。」(Yes, for you, I…. will do anything. Because… I’m a princess). HIME’S OBSESSIVE NEED TO BE PERFECT AND PLEASE EVERYONE CAUSES HIM SO MUCH SUFFERING… WHY IS HE LIKE THIS? (|||❛︵❛.) IT’S SO EASY TO RELATE TO. Mikoto is startled when he tightens his grip on her.

She opens her mouth to say something but he asks her in a whisper not to reject him. There’s no deeper meaning to this. She falls silent at that before she agrees. She can hear Himeutsugi’s heartbeat because of how he’s embracing her from behind and it’s slightly fast; just like how hers must be. She can feel his hot breath caressing her neck and then she wonders if he’s nervous; even though all the times she’s seen him he seems completely composed.

He’s said that this has no deeper meaning behind it, but in that case… what meaning does it have? Suddenly Himeutsugi breathes out that she has a sweet scent. It’s dizzying, fragrant, and sweet-smelling… a strange scent that attracts him. Mikoto wonders if it’s because she used the bath, but then she recalls the words that the chairmen said before about her seductive water.

The chairman certainly, at that time… Himeutsugi suddenly whispers that this scent makes him not want to think about anything. She yelps in surprise when he licks her, but when she tries to ask what he’s doing he asks her not to move and to remain like this a while longer. She tries to protest and in her mind she’s conflicted at how if she rejects him here then he might be hurt again.

And so she remains silent as his tongue caresses her neck, as if it were looking for something. She blurts out to him that this is embarrassing. But he just drops a kiss to her neck and then asks her again to remain like this a while longer. She opens her mouth but ends up gasping in pain. Her neck hurts like something is stabbing into it and so she breaks free of his hold while yelling out his name in outrage, only to freeze as she realizes what she just did.

But Himeutsugi only gives her a pained smile as he apologizes for being so forceful. She looks back at him with a conflicted expression, but he only hurriedly apologizes again and wishes her good night before leaving. Mikoto watches him with her neck still twinging in pain. Why did Himeutsugi…

At night, Himeutsugi recites a poem 「なかなかに駄もあらましをなにすとか 相見そめけむ遂げざらましくに――。」(When after all we could just have kept our peace! What were we thinking when we started out to love? For we knew how small the chance). A MANYOSHU REPLY POEM TO HIS LADY LOVE BY OTOMO NO YAKAMOCHI VOL.4 #612.

His voice is pained as he admits that he couldn’t stop. He needs to think about her position more. To her, he was just a process of elimination. Once again he is only someone to help her and Mizuchi. Once the kabatsu ends and she awakens as a senki, she’ll return to Mizuchi. He knows that she belongs to him. He inhales sharply and confesses that even when he thinks about other things, it’s as if there is another thing inside of his heart.

Himeutsugi sounds strained as he talks about how her scent is leading him astray. Can he properly play out his role as a princess; just like how he has been up to now…

DAY 23. Mikoto groggily opens her eyes and then Momotose’s face appears as she asks Mikoto to wake up. Mikoto murmurs out that she’s sleep and she wants to sleep in a little more… but then she looks confused and asks Momotose what she’s doing here. Momotose simply smiles and greets her before telling her that it’s time for school and she needs to prepare. Mikoto springs up from her bed at that and gasps at the current time.

She apologizes quickly to Momotose for needing to be woken up and then tells her that she can go on ahead, since they’ll be late. But Momotose grins and tells her that she’s fine with being late together. Mikoto tries to protest but Momotose informs her that she couldn’t pass up the chance to see her muse’s sleeping face. She giggles as she tries to adjust Mikoto’s bed hair too and calls her cute.

Mikoto asks her to step away a bit so that she can get changed. Momotose smiles unapologetically but then gasps and asks Mikoto what happened to her neck. Mikoto is confused at that and takes a look at the mirror only to realize that her neck has a bruise on it. Momotose’s eyebrows come together as she asks slowly if that could possibly be a kiss mark! Mikoto repeats that word in shock and then realizes that the mark is where Himeutsugi kissed her last night.

What should she do!? It stands out… and her collar won’t be able to hide it. Momotose snaps out that it’s cruel to leave a mark on her muse! Who is the culprit!? Could it have been Mizuchi?! Mikoto hurriedly denies it and tells Momotose that she’s misunderstanding. She hurriedly blurts out that she was bitten by a mosquito because she left the window open while she slept yesterday. It must have flew in that way.

Momotose points out suspiciously that it must have been a strong bite because she’s internally bleeding. Mikoto bites her lip in mortification because it was a lame excuse. But Momotose finally smiles softly and tells her that they can affix a bandage to her neck since it stands out and she helps Mikoto. However, she does warn Mikoto that while she doesn’t know what kind of mosquito this was she would like Mikoto to treasure her body.

In this world there are a lot of bad bugs around. Mikoto agrees quickly as she thinks about how she can’t say that the culprit was Himeutsugi. Because he isn’t the type of person who could be seen to do that. She also chides herself and reminds herself to get a grip because she was too careless with it being a kiss mark.

During class, Onosada tells them all to take their seats because the lecture is starting. Mikoto stares at him seriously but he suddenly approaches her and asks what happened to her neck. She splutters at that and then blurts out that a mosquito bit her. He eyes her suspiciously and then smacks her on the head, which makes her yelp.

He grins slyly and tells her to lie better and then teasingly comments on how it looks like the senki candidate can be sexy. Mikoto winces and inwardly thinks about how mean he was to hit her on the head. What would he do if she had been telling the truth?! But it looks like she was found out…

Meanwhile, Momotose slams open the door to Mizuchi’s room and both he and Himeutsugi look shocked. Mizuchi quickly asks Momotose what happened. She replies sweetly that nothing is wrong but she would like him to remember his place. Mizuchi looks at her questioningly, especially when she comments on how even though he’s inexperienced he seems to move fast. CRYING FROM LAUGHING SO MUCH BECAUSE MIZUCHI IS BEING BLAMED.

Mizuchi is still confused but he starts to look flustered as he asks Momotose what she’s talking about. Momotose snaps out that playing dumb is useless though and then lectures him on how easy it is to leave marks on a maiden’s skin. Especially easy! That’s why she would like him to be more careful about the location. She huffs angrily and storms out, leaving Mizuchi to tell Hime that he didn’t understand what Momotose was trying to point out.

Himeutsugi only gives a troubled smile and agrees vaguely. Mizuchi looks at him questioningly but there’s no answer. Anyway, after classes Himeutsugi calls out to Mikoto in the hallway. She freezes when she sees him but he apologizes for not knowing the limits and leaving a mark. He asks her if she would like some confections as an apology. The girls in the Gekkougumi prepared some petit fours and if she would like some…

He gives her a small smile and tells her to pick the ones that she’d like. Mikoto protests loudly and then explains that the girls made them for him and so it would be bad manners to take some. He has a pained look on his face as he comments on how kind she is and then he asks her hesitantly if he could see the bruise. He wants to look at its condition and so he reaches over to peel off the bandage, but she slaps his hand away and refuses.

His eyes widen at that but then he returns to giving her a pained smile as she tells him that the bruise is fine. It’ll heal quickly and he doesn’t need to worry about it. She politely tells him that she looks forward to working with him for today’s kabatsu. Himeutsugi’s breath catches in his throat, but Mikoto walks off before he can say anything. In her mind she thinks about how she inadvertently said something like that.

Himeutsugi is kind. He’s kind, gentle, and he pays attention to another’s needs. But she isn’t able to talk about it well why that incident happened, even if this kiss mark has no deeper meaning. She wonders what she should do, because at this rate the relationship between them will be strained. She needs to return it to the way it was before. Finally, her classes end and Mikoto sighs in relief.

Today was really fearful because, unexpectedly, her bandage stood out. She hopes it’ll disappear by tomorrow. The class representative catches Mikoto’s attention and hands her the copy of the assignment. Mikoto thanks her, but then the class rep notes that Onosada was angry at Mikoto today and was it because of the bandage? Mikoto’s eyes widen but she hurriedly admits to something of that effect.

The class rep wonders out loud why he was so angry because she was just bitten by a mosquito. Mikoto agrees and laughs awkwardly. It doesn’t look like the class rep has found out though, but then the class rep informs her that Onosada called for Mikoto. This makes Mikoto confused but she heads to the Kasen lecture room anyway. However, when she gets there she’s shocked to see Mizuchi there as well.

Onosada greets her by calling her the bad senki which makes Mikoto close her eyes in exasperation. But then Onosada teases her about how relaxed she is while in the middle of kabatsu to be able to make out with Mizuchi. Her eyes widen at that and she asks him what he means. But Onosada continues on and tells her not to play dumb and then he grumbles about how they shouldn’t tell it to everyone.

Mizuchi is Mizuchi, but he should know that he isn’t Mikoto’s partner right now and so he should show some self-control. Mizuchi is silent at this. DLMAFKGAH CRYING FROM LAUGHING _(_△_)ノ彡☆ギャハハ!Onosada sighs at how serious Mizuchi is and it’s as if he was a different person from the library incident. Mizuchi continues to remain silent and stony-faced. Mikoto awkwardly interrupts and tells Onosada that she doesn’t understand what he’s trying to get at…

Which makes Onosada ask her bluntly who else would make a move on her if not Mizuchi. She parrots his words in confusion and then finally realizes that Onosada must be misunderstanding the culprit of the kiss mark to be Mizuchi. She hurriedly tries to inform him that he’s mistaken, but he cuts her off and tells her that he’s gathered some various work appropriate for young people to do.

He dumps a whole bunch of documents on her and Mikoto stares in shock at the large amount. Onosada explains with a smirk that it’s an accumulated bunch of research on Kasen. He wants the two of them to sort them all. In the background, even Mizuchi’s eyes widen at the amount while Mikoto gasps out loud. He tells her that if they immerse themselves in work then their appetite should also be sublime. By the way, he wants them down by the middle of this week.

Mikoto continues to gape at him, but he just grins and points out that she has Mizuchi with her and so it should be over soon. Mizuchi calmly accepts his orders which makes Mikoto look at him with wide eyes, but Mizuchi just informs her that if they are efficient and split up this amount then he thinks 3 hours a day will finish it up soon. He’ll start to order things around. Mikoto can only obey hesitantly.

Onosada praises their reply and then informs them cheerily that this isn’t all of the documents and three times more this amount will be following. Mikoto gasps at that but Onosada calls out over his shoulder, as he leaves, that they can use this room while they work and he’s counting on them! Mikoto yells his name in frustration, which makes him come back to remind her to properly do kabatsu too. This work is after that.

In her mind she weakly calls him a monster. Mizuchi corrects himself to say that they should spend 5 hours a day then, and then he tells her formally that for this week then they will meet here after her kabatsu. Mikoto can only think about how outrageous this all became.

Evening falls and Himeutsugi comments on how today’s kabatsu has ended with this. Mikoto smiles and compliments him for working hard. He smiles brightly at that and then asks her hesitantly if she has time because they can eat dinner together. Mikoto’s eyes widen at that but then she apologizes because she has business, even though he invited her out. He reassures her that it’s fine and he can ask her again later.

She gives him a sad look but excuses herself, leaving him to stare after her with a pained look. Anyway, Mikoto runs all the way back to the Kasen lecture room and apologizes to Mizuchi for being late. He shakes his head and tells her that she was only 5 minutes late and it was a miscalculation within range. He suggests they start and so the two of them start to organize the documents.

After a while, Mikoto inwardly winces at how her hands are going numb. Even though they keep working, the amount of documents doesn’t decrease. It’s endless! Onosada already left for the dorms after telling them that he’s counting on them. Can they really finish this? She takes a peek at Mizuchi who has been completely silent as he works. I LOVE AND HATE THESE THINGS BECAUSE I’M ON HIME’S ROUTE AND OMFG HE JUST GOT REJECTED.

BUT MIZUCHI IS TOO ADORABLE ADGFNANG AND THIS PIANO BGM IS GOING TO HAUNT ME FOR LIFE. IT PLAYS AT THE SADDEST YET ROMANTIC TIMES SO YOU JUST HAVE BAD MEMORIES EVERYWHERE. She notices that Mizuchi, unlike her, didn’t mention one complaint. He hasn’t said anything apart from finishing their objective. Even though it’s her fault that it became like this, she can’t bring herself to say anything… She can’t hold her head up.

Then she realizes that she and Mizuchi haven’t been together for this long ever since the library incident. Her heart is pounding a little. Suddenly Mizuchi tells her sternly that her hands have stopped. She startles at that and then apologizes, but in her mind she scolds herself for failing. She has to work hard properly!

DAY 24. Mikoto glumly thinks about how today she also has kabatsu and detention. There’s still some time before she has to do kabatsu and maybe she should train… But she decides that she doesn’t need to and heads to the meeting place to wait for Himeutsugi. After they finish kabatsu, she returns to the Kasen lecture room to sort documents. They managed to safely finish the kabatsu today and now she has to work hard at detention.

DAY 25. She has to work hard today as well! Mikoto sighs heavily while she’s out with Himeutsugi to do kabatsu and Himeutsugi comments slowly on how lately she’s returned home immediately after they’ve finished kabatsu. Is she doing something? Mikoto blurts out that it’s nothing and then apologizes for spacing out. She’ll concentrate now! He frowns at that and then suggests ending it early today.

But she tells him determinedly that she’s fine. If Himeutsugi wishes to then they can continue. He only gives her a pained smile and falls silent. Mikoto thinks in her head that if he finds out she has to sort documents because of the kiss mark then he’ll worry. At any rate, she finds the late nights sorting documents after kabatsu to be having an effect on her body. She suddenly stumbles which causes Himeutsugi to grab her and call out her name in worry.

Mikoto reassures him tiredly that she just stumbled and she’s fine, but Himeutsugi gives her a fierce look and tells her to come with him. She says his name in surprise when he leads her away and to the park, and then he points out that she can’t do kabatsu with her body like that. They’re finished for today. Mikoto apologizes for causing him trouble, but he tells her not to mind it and then urges her to come closer and lie down.

She’s surprised when he guides her to lie down on his lap and then tries to protest, but he cuts her off and tells her to relax. He’s soaked a handkerchief and now he’d like her to unbutton her uniform’s buttons as well as releasing the hook on her bra and skirt. Mikoto gapes at him when she hears this, which makes him ask her teasingly if she wants him to do it. She weakly tells him she understands though she’s inwardly embarrassed to unhook her bra.

Mikoto apologizes for using his jacket like this but he reassures her that it’s fine, so long as it makes her feel even a little comfortable. She thanks him again and thinks about how he’s petting her head kindly; like a mother would to a child. He looks pained as he comments on how worn out she is and it’s because he did something unreasonable, isn’t it? She protests to that and asks him not to worry himself about it.

But he only looks at her with a sad smile before telling her not to say such lonely things. He wants to worry about her. She murmurs his name and then he points out calmly that she’s been avoiding him all this time, right? She tries to deny it, but then falls silent. Himeutsugi confesses that all that he’s been thinking about is how to apologize to her; the her who is obstinate, stubborn, pure, and the splitting image of Mizuchi’s seriousness.

Mikoto asks him if he’s not speaking ill of her and he grins as he asks her if she noticed. She rolls her eyes at that and tells him that she did. He laughs brightly at how she’s finally angry. He would always prefer this over being avoided. She opens her mouth at that, but then he asks her if they can repair their relationship. She nods and he cheers happily at that which surprises her because he’s always given quiet smiles.

This smile makes him look more like a child and it’s an innocent smile. It’s not like a princess, but she might like this one better. His voice is tinged in amusement as he comments on how she’s a strange girl. When she gives him a confused look, he tells her that his impression of her has changed. It isn’t that she’s been dyed with the colors of Kaen though, it’s more like a pure white feeling.

Mikoto replies that Himeutsugi is the pure white one. He giggles at that and asks her if that’s what she sees. Mikoto admits out loud that he has times where she thinks he’s too frivolous though and his sudden kisses… He smiles as he notes how bluntly she said it. She apologizes quickly at that before she asks him seriously what kind of meaning kisses have to him. He muses out loud on that and then tells her that he hasn’t thought about that up until now.

He tells her that it’s something that is desired and is needed sometimes. It’s also a nice thing as it is able to make everyone happy. Mikoto asks him if he’s ever thought about wanting to do it for himself. He gives her a confused look and so she explains that, to her, a kiss is something done only with the person that one likes. He replies with a smile that he loves everyone; including her of course.

Mikoto shakes her head at that and tries to tell him that’s not what she means. She tries to find her words and then tells him slowly that her way of thinking might be stiff, to which Himeutsugi makes an assenting noise, but her grandfather is the one who taught her that. Aside from that person that one really likes… aside from that person alone… one shouldn’t permit a kiss. That’s why she…

Himeutsugi smiles painfully and notes how she fell asleep at the crucial part. Once again he murmurs quietly that she really is a strange girl. He falls silent before he confesses 「鬼札が最初から僕を選んでくれればよかったのに。そしたら、最初にパートナーだったら・・・僕だけが君を染めてあげられたのに。」(It would have been better if the onifuda chose me from the beginning. The way, if I had been your partner from the start… I would have been the only one to dye you).

His voice becomes slow and lilting as he talks about how the sleeping princess was always waiting… for the only prince in the world that she loved’s kiss to wake her up. He leans forward to kiss her gently and then he returns to petting her head gently as he continues the story.

「・・・僕のキスでは、眠り姫は目覚めませんでした。何故なら・・・僕は、王子様ではなく、お姫様だからです。」(… My kiss.. didn’t wake the sleeping princess up. The reason why is… because I’m not a prince.. I’m a princess).

His voice turns hollow 「・・・そう。君の王子様は、僕じゃない。わかってるんだ。なのに・・・」(… That’s right. Your prince isn’t me. I know that.. yet…). He wonders out loud why he can’t seem to look at her in the same way that he does to other girls.

He becomes to become more impassioned 「君に何かをしてあげたくてしょうがない。君が困っていたら、助けてあげたい・・・放っておけない。」(It can’t be helped how I want to give anything to you. If you’re troubled, I want to help you… I can’t leave you alone). But then he corrects himself because that’s not it and there’s more.

Himeutsugi starts to sound distressed 「まるで、昔・・・一度会ったことがあるくらいの懐かしさを伴った、甘くて苦しいもの。」(As if… it were a sweet and painful thing accompanied by a nostalgia like having met once… a long time ago).

His voice is shaky 「僕は・・・おとぎ話の奇跡を夢見てもいいだろうか。君が蛟ではなく、僕を選ぶ奇跡を。」(Would it be alright for me… to dream about a fairytale miracle? A miracle where you chose me instead of Mizuchi). Mikoto remains silence as she continues to sleep.

The last thing he says is 「・・・そしたら、僕は全てを捨てよう。課せられた全ての宿命を・・・。」(… Then, I would throw everything away. Everything that fate has imposed…). IF YOU DIDN’T START TO CRY HERE AT HIS MONOLOGUE THEN YOU ARE A COLD COLD PERSON. OGHAJAKHALH I JUST.. CAN’T… THIS GAME…

At night, Himeutsugi recites a poem 「つれもなくあるらむ人を片思に 我は思へば苦しくもあるか――。」(To long for someone with a one-sided longing, when for all I know she is quite indifferent– Ah, the torment of it!). ANOTHER POEM BY OTOMO NO YAKAMOCHI VOL.4 #717. THE DESCENT IS STARTING AGJDFKJHAG. He talks out loud about how he accidentally kissed her again.

She didn’t find out but if she did then she would hate him once again, wouldn’t she? He laughs softly at that before musing on how she isn’t tainted at all and is the splitting image of Mizuchi. That must be why the two of them are drawn together like that.

He admits that he’s the complete opposite of the two of them… which is why they avoid him, most likely. It’s instinctual. Yet they still manage to be good friends. After all, she’s his partner and as long as she wishes it… he’ll continue to serve her.

DAY 26. Mikoto is lying around in bed trying to remind herself that she needs to get up. Today she managed to sleep better than she had yesterday though, and it might have been thanks to Himeutsugi. She’s glad that they managed to return with their relationship being unharmed. In addition, she learned that Himeutsugi regards kisses in that kind of way and it’s completely different from her.

She wonders curiously what Mizuchi thinks about kisses. She reassures herself that the library was like another person and that he isn’t really a person like that, right? If so, why did he at that time… She scolds herself for thinking only about these things and reminds herself to get going. Anyway, they finish today’s kabatsu as evening starts and Mikoto notices that they seem to have ended earlier than usual.

Is it because of her improved health? She was also able to support him well. Himeutsugi praises her for her improvement because he also noticed how amazingly easy it was. Mikoto smiles and demurs that it was because he followed and then she thanks him. He notes that her complexion is also good and so it looks like she slept well. He’s glad. Then he tries to invite her out to dinner again, but then he decides to stop himself.

Since he had her yesterday. He falls silent but looks as if he wants to say something. He finally ends up laughing at himself lightly for somehow being greedy about her; he’s beaten. Mikoto looks at him in shock and then hesitantly extends an offer to stay with him for a while longer if he has time. She’ll still be able to make it if they head off now. He gives her a confused look, but she smiles and asks him if he would like to walk with her from here.

Himeutsugi smiles brightly at that and sounds excited as he admits that he’s really happy! Is it a date? Can they hold hands like lovers? Mikoto refuses him and tells him that it’s forbidden to mess around like that. Anyway, she brings him to a playground and tells him that this is the place. He asks her slowly if she still plays on the swings. She denies it quickly and then tells him that they came for this railing.

He gives her a questioning look but Mikoto simply tells him that it’ll be soon. Then she quickly points out over the railing and Himeutsugi gasps as he sees the setting sun. She tells him that she loves the scenery of this high ground where she can view the orange painted town slowly and quietly calm down. It isn’t enough to thank him for the other day, but she hopes that he can feel relaxed here.

Himeutsugi is shocked by this and so she explains that he’s been doing all this kabatsu with her and being attentive to her needs. It must have been difficult for him as well. He gasps in amazement and Mikoto adds that since they have a little time, she thinks they can relax here together. The smile fades a little on his face as he asks her if she’s seen this scenery together with Mizuchi.

Mikoto looks at him in confusion but answers that she hasn’t. He grins at that and then laughs boyishly in happiness. She wonders why he’s so happy. Then he asks her excitedly if she doesn’t want to play a little since they’re already here at the park. She turns around in confusion and then gapes when she sees him playing in the sandbox. He asks excitedly if it doesn’t look good and she looks in silence as he creates a castle.

Himeutsugi points out the gates and the four towers. The walls also have to be made sturdy. Deep inside, there’s a royal palace and the king and queen are here. He’s also created a room for the prince. She’s surprised by how engrossed he is in creating a castle and how well done it is. But what exactly is he… When she tries to ask him hesitantly what he’s doing, he calls her, the princess, over.

She squeals when he gets close and points out that he’s covered in sand. He simply laughs gaily at that which makes Mikoto sigh in exasperation as she asks him what’s gotten into him. He apologizes in between his fits of laughter and she finds it hard to be angry while he laughs with such innocence. She notes how he’s covered with sand and that the usual image of nobility is gone.

What happened? But he looks like he’s having a lot of fun. Himeutsugi finally catches his breath and admits that it’s been a while since he laughed like this and so he thanks her. She shakes her head in puzzlement and then asks him if he’s okay with the sand like that. It’s all over his hair and so she tells him to hold still as she brushes it off. He falls silent at this and then stares intently at her.

Mikoto looks back at him in confusion and then he tells her seriously but quietly 「・・・好き。」(… I like you). Mikoto gapes at that and then flounders for something to say, which makes him breathe out quietly before he pastes a bright grin on his face. He tells her that he was joking and then asks her if she was surprised. Her mouth drops open and then she chides him for teasing her.

In her mind, she admits that she was surprised. For an instant because of his serious look she took it seriously, but it turned out to be just a joke. O RLY?! Himeutsugi looks at her silently but with a small smile. Then he gets back to his feet and tells her that he’s done and she needs to return, doesn’t she? Mikoto is taken aback by the abrupt change but nods. The usual Himeutsugi has returned. What was that just now though…?

At night in her room Mikoto receives mail from Himeutsugi. He tells her that he had fun in the sandbox and they should go together again some time. Next time they need to bring a change of clothes! Mikoto stares at her phone in surprise as she realizes that he’s serious. Today Himeutsugi was really surprising and she feels like she’s seen another side of him. She closes her phone and then flops onto her bed.

Today she also finally finished sorting the documents that Onosada entrusted to her. She’s glad but it was also nice to be able to meet Mizuchi every day. But next week it looks like they won’t be able to meet each other again. That makes her feel kind of lonely.

DAY 27. It’s lunchtime and the class representative suggests that she and Mikoto eat over here in the courtyard. Mikoto agrees happily and comments on how eating outside seems to make things delicious. The class rep points out how the courtyard in Kaen looks like a park as it even comes with tables. Mikoto notices the class rep holding a paper bag and asks what it is, only for the class rep to show her the muffins inside.

Mikoto gasps and then asks if she made it during cooking practice. The class rep confirms it and then tells her that it’s made with powdered green tea, orange, white chocolate, and strawberries. Because of her absolute domination in this she decided to forgo the bento. Mikoto is amazed and admits that she wants to do that as well, which allows the class rep to smugly say that she thought Mikoto would and so she gives Mikoto her share.

She thanks the class rep and spreads the muffins out, but suddenly Himeutsugi and Mizuchi come up to them and Himeutsugi greets them while asking if they’re eating lunch. The class representative shrieks in surprise before stuttering out their names. Mikoto blinks in surprise and then asks if they were going to use this table. Himeutsugi nods and asks them if they can join.

This causes the class rep to become extremely flustered as she directs them to sit down. Mikoto spies how the class rep has become completely stiff. Himeutsugi tells them that he’ll take their kind offer then and sits down, but then Mikoto asks him what the basket he’s carrying is. He explains that it’s the bento the Gekkou girls made and since the amount is a lot, Mizuchi always helps him.

Mikoto is shocked by the amazing extravagance of it and how there’s an amount enough for three people. There’s also a lot of various beautiful and elaborate things inside. Himeutsugi takes a look and comments on how today seems to be a simple meal. He asks Mizuchi if he’s glad that it isn’t French, since Mizuchi dislikes rich food. Mizuchi states that he doesn’t mind and they have no time, so they should start eating.

Himeutsugi agrees in a child-like tone and then asks the girls what their lunch is. Mikoto happily answers that these are muffins created during cooking practice and if they would like some then they can have some. Himeutsugi thanks them and decides to eat some too, but then he catches sight of another wrapping. Mikoto hesitantly answers that it was her bento which she made in the dorm kitchen. She decided to eat muffins today though.

But Himeutsugi asks if he could open it which makes Mikoto splutter as she tries to stop him. His eyes widen at the sight of a seaweed bento with boiled salmon, omelet, chopped burdock roots in soy sauce, and other food boiled in soy sauce. Mikoto blurts out that it’s embarrassing and asks him not to look at it. The class rep explains that Mikoto’s bento is always like this and filled with a lot of vegetables; it’s very commoner-like.

Mikoto shouts out that she can’t make anything other than this! Then she apologizes sheepishly to Himeutsugi for her bento, but he tells her excitedly that he wants to eat this and will she give it to him? She gapes at him before protesting that hers is lame and that his mean is better. Only she’s too late and he’s already started eating. He happily says that this is delicious; the most delicious thing.

She can only stare at him as he continues to compliment how beautifully rolled the omelet is, the tasty stewed food, and the nice accent of the food boiled in soy sauce. He’s engrossed in eating her bento. Mizuchi chides Hime for eating another person’s bento without asking. Himeutsugi looks confused before he hurriedly apologizes as he realizes that he should stop by now.

Mikoto is still staring at him in shock and so the class rep points out that Hime looks extremely happy, though she doesn’t know what kind of charm Mikoto’s bento has. Mikoto admits that she doesn’t either. Then Mizuchi reminds Hime that he can’t finish this basket by himself, but Himeutsugi tells him that it’s fine to leave the rest. Mikoto asks what he means by that and so he explains that the Gekkou minamo make this knowing that there will be leftovers.

First of all, they simply want to make things for him because they’re that kind. Mikoto is shocked by the thought that all these elaborate foods will be left and that it’s fine because the minamo are kind. The class rep notes that there’s also a lobster in there. Himeutsugi invites them to eat some as well. MAN THIS IS LIKE A FIVE COURSE MEAL. The class rep squeaks out that it’s unthinkable to do that!

But Mikoto notes that it isn’t an amount that Mizuchi could finish by himself. Anyway, after some time Himeutsugi sighs at how delicious that was. Mikoto wonders when her bento became empty, but then Himeutsugi tells her lightly that he would like her to make one for him next time; a homemade bento. Mikoto is surprised but tells him that if she has the chance then she well. Meanwhile, Mizuchi is looking off to the side with a troubled look.

Himeutsugi is ecstatic and tells her that it’s a promise, which just makes Mikoto think about how he’s a person who can’t be understood. Then she asks him what he’ll do with the leftover food in his basket. He tells her that it’ll be thrown away of course since it’ll spoil. Mikoto shouts out that they can’t because it’d be a waste! Both Mizuchi and Himeutsugi’s eyes widen at her fierce protest.

She quickly apologizes for her loud exclamation and then explains that throwing something away that the Gekkougumi made is a little… If they’re fine with it then she would like to take it. The class rep gasps out Mikoto’s name, but she continues to say that she’s thinking about making it breakfast. The class rep sighs at how she is thoroughly a commoner. Himeutsugi smiles sadly and tells her that he’d be pleased to.

「捨てるなんてかわいそうだものね。君はやさしいな。」(It’s miserable for discarded things, huh. You’re kind). Mikoto protests in embarrassment to that, and then Mizuchi asks her if she would like him to leave a large amount. She hurriedly reassures him to eat as much as he’d like. Anyway, lunchtime passes like this and then Mikoto wonders if she should practice more Hana Utsushi before going to kabatsu but she decides not to.

Meanwhile, in Mizuchi’s room Himeutsugi is asking him if he won’t eat a muffin because they’re delicious. Mizuchi declines and then scolds Himeutsugi for not having any reservations. Himeutsugi points out that he wanted to eat her bento though and asks Mizuchi if he didn’t really want to as well. Mizuchi tells him sternly not to include him with him and then points out that he’s having too much freedom without Kagami even though the Gekkou minamo are trying.

He would like Himeutsugi to have more self-control. Himeutsugi complains 「はいはい。僕はお姫様だからね。」(Yes yes, because I’m a princess, right?). Mizuchi asks him slowly if something happened. Himeutsugi gives him a pained smile and confesses that he’s a bit tired being everyone’s princess. Mizuchi looks at him questioningly and Himeutsugi explains that everyone in the Gekkougumi would do anything for him.

But in exchange they desire him to be nothing but a princess and they’re unconcerned with what is inside him. His brows furrow as he talks about they want a pretty, kind, and deeply sympathetic princess that treats everyone equally. Everyone desires an ideal out of him that is too much. He’s not that beautiful. He’s a man who is fine with throwing away a bento that they made with their feelings. Mizuchi tells him that he’s putting on too many airs and he should simply say things honestly.

Himeutsugi laughs softly and then confesses that he’s envious of Mizuchi. This makes Mizuchi confused, but then Himeutsugi asks quietly if it would be alright for him to be the real him. Mizuchi tries to ask Hime what happened because he’s acting differently. If something happened then he’ll listen to what Hime has to say. But Himeutsugi only gives him a tight smile and so Mizuchi can only eye him curiously.

In the evening, Mikoto bumps into Onosada in the hallway and he greets her by calling her the delinquent senki. She asks him angrily to stop calling her that. But he ignores her and asks her how the course of events were and if they were superb. She closes her eyes in annoyance and answers that they somehow managed to finish today. Onosada gives her some light praise because if she didn’t finish then he wouldn’t be able to use that room to nap in the afternoon.

They seemed to have worked hard. Mikoto growls in her mind, but then Onosada informs her that his superiors have given him additional documents. As Mikoto’s mouth drops open, he tells her that the documents are in the lecture room already and it’s about 5000 papers; a light amount. She tries to protest but Onosada smirks and tells her that he’ll lend the room to her all night and so she’ll be alone with Mizuchi there. They can be up to no good in there.

Mikoto splutters out that they won’t be doing anything, but Onosada walks off and leaves Mikoto thinking about how 5000 papers will take them until the morning.

DAY 28. It is evening as Mikoto searches for the kabatsu point with Himeutsugi that Onosada pointed out. She’s gotten used to the flow of kabatsu somehow. Although, Adabana aside, she still isn’t used to how they wither up. She also hasn’t felt herself awakening as a senki with the kabatsu up to now. They also haven’t caught the culprit behind the utsurohi incident and it’s been a long time.

She sighs heavily which causes Himeutsugi to ask her if she’s tired since she’s spacing out. She startles before apologizing and reassuring him that it’s nothing. He smiles as he points out that her supporting has become really good and she’s always saving him by giving him what he wants. She shakes her head and demurs that it’s all because she’s following his lead. But then Himeutsugi tells her that they still have time after this and he’d like her to accompany him for dinner.

Mikoto’s eyes widen before she apologizes because she has something to do today. She apologizes again for always being busy this entire week. He looks disappointed for a second before he smiles and asks her slowly what she’s been doing, because he’d like to know if she doesn’t mind telling him. She stalls for time as she thinks about how she can’t tell him the real reason because it’d be difficult, but she can tell him about the organizing.

And so she tells him that Onosada asked for her to organize the documents about Kasen, but it’s such a large amount and the deadline is tomorrow morning. Himeutsugi’s eyes widen at that and he tells her that she should have said that sooner. He chides her for being so distant and tells her that he’ll help. Mikoto splutters at that and ends up blurting out that it’s fine and Onosada told her not to rely on anyone else.

But Himeutsugi grins and tells her that it’ll be fine so long as he’s not seen. It’s sad to leave a girl all alone after kabatsu. Mikoto protests against that and in her mind she thinks it’s difficult to say that Mizuchi will be there. She doesn’t think she should talk about Mizuchi in this situation. Himeutsugi gives her a pained smile and asks if she still won’t rely on him yet. She reassures him that it’s not that and that she’s fine.

He smiles at that and tells her he understands then. But he invites her to call him without reserve on his cellphone when it becomes difficult and if she needs him. He’ll go there immediately. She averts her eyes and thanks him a lot for his consideration, to which he only smiles silently. Inwardly, Mikoto sighs and wonders why she feels guilty. She feels like she’s betraying Himeutsugi’s feelings. Is this really alright?

During the evening, Mikoto meets up with Mizuchi again in the room and he comments on the 5000 additional documents. He wasn’t expecting them. She nods tiredly and asks him what they’ll do since it’s spread all over the room. Mizuchi states formally that if the deadline is tomorrow morning they must do it today. They should proceed to collect the papers. She hurriedly obeys him and so the two of them start working.

After a while Mikoto tells him that she’s collected 100 documents. Mizuchi orders her to put them in this box he has and while she obeys she thinks about how, under Mizuchi’s precise instructions, they’ve managed to collect a large amount. He’s amazing. Suddenly, Mizuchi asks her where the next set of documents are which makes her startle and so when she goes for the next pile she accidentally knocks them over.

She scolds herself in her head for messing them up after they organized it all too. But Mizuchi only sighs before pointing out that if their concentration falls then it’ll influence their effectiveness at work and so he suggests a 15 minute break. She stutters out an agreement and then asks him if his throat isn’t parched, because she can boil some tea if he wishes for some. He quietly accepts her offer.

Mikoto happily does it and then, after some time, she pours him a cup of tea. He acknowledges her with a quiet noise but has his eyes closed which makes her ask him if something is the matter. Mizuchi smiles at this and then tells her that she’s skilled because the taste of the tea leaves is strong. Mikoto is glad for that and then tells him that her grandfather taught her how to prepare tea.

Whenever she went to play at her grandfather’s house, they would brew tea. Mizuchi reveals that he also brews tea for his grandfather and so he often performed the tea ceremony in the tea room. She expresses her amazement and then asks him how he prepares it. He gives her a sheepish smile and admits that he only dabbled in it and so he’s far from attaining a mastery in it.

In her mind she thinks that is still amazing. She thinks it suits him to know how to prepare tea. ME TOO AKGFDG WHAT A CULTURED MAN. Mikoto admits that she doesn’t prepare tea seriously either, but she has an interest in it and so that’s why she asked for other ways to prepare it. Mizuchi is silent before he averts his eyes with a small blush and tells her that he can prepare some for her next time if she would like it.

Mikoto gasps and asks him if it’s really alright. He gives her a genuine smile and muses on how, while they lack the tools in this place and so it’ll be simple, the taste shouldn’t be that different. It can be an apology for how she’s caught up in this current disturbance. She is taken aback before she reassures him that it’s more her fault and then she apologizes. Then she falls silent before she gathers the courage to tell him that she’s been curious about this for a long time.

She doesn’t think he did anything to deserve punishment this time and so why hasn’t he said anything to Onosada. Mizuchi looks at her in silence before admitting that while he doesn’t know the full story, there is no need for him to say anything different. She is a proud member of the Koukoku minamo and so he is protecting that pride. She thanks him gratefully before admitting that this is more than she deserves.

Mikoto thinks that the reason as to why he hasn’t asked her any questions is because of his kindness. He has few words but everything about him is sincere and kind. I JUST LOVE THIS SCENE SO MUCH _(:3」∠)_. She can feel her chest becoming warm and in her mind she thinks that, as she thought, she… Mikoto asks him if she can ask one more thing of him although it’s fine if he doesn’t wish to answer.

She starts to ask him a question but trails off as she wonders in her head what he thinks about kisses. He looks at her questioningly, which makes her scold herself because if she asked the serious Mizuchi such a vulgar question then he’ll hate her! She finally blurts out that it’s nothing and apologizes. She’s so flustered that her face is red, but then Mizuchi tells her seriously that he also has something to ask of her.

He asks her what she thinks about Hime. She’s confused by that and asks him what he means, but Mizuchi falls silent which only surprises her more. But then he abruptly apologizes and tells her that it’s nothing before telling her that they should return back to work since their break is over. He’s looking away with a frown on his face as he says this and so Mikoto wonders what is wrong since it’s unusual for him to stop in mid-sentence.

Did something happen with him and Himeutsugi? Anyway, they continue to work without any other interruptions and soon the day ends.

DAY 29. In the early mornin, Mikoto wakes up groggily and wonders where she is. She quickly recalls that this is the lecture room they were lent to do their work in and then she wonders what time it is, though it looks close to morning. It seems like they finished working and in that relief she fell asleep. She feels something warm covering her and notices that it’s a jacket. Could this be Mizuchi’s jacket?

She bets that it is since it’s large and Mizuchi’s body is large. The scent on it is also the same scent as the one that was on her after she was embraced by him when she dried up during their date. It’s Mizuchi’s scent. She suddenly gets up and wonders where Mizuchi is because he isn’t in the room. The door is also locked. She opens it and sees Mizuchi sleeping soundly against the door.

Mikoto realizes that he must have went outside when she fell asleep inside, even though it’s so cold. She smiles softly and thanks him in her head. She hasn’t seen him without his eyepatch since the library, but she was in such a panic at that time that she doesn’t have a clear memory of him. Now that she’s staring at him like this… he looks kind of cool. I TOTALLY AGREE AGDJGD YOU GUYS SHOULD SEE HIS INTENSE STARE.

She blushes as she chides herself for staring at him like this while he’s sleeping. But then she realizes that when she fell asleep a while ago Mizuchi must have seen her sleeping face too! She suddenly starts to feel flustered and wonders what she should do, and then she startles when he makes a small noise. Is he awake?! He breathes out softly and so she greets him with a quiet good morning.

He mumbles a greeting back and her face turns even redder, but then he falls silent again for a long time until she realizes that he fell asleep again. Was he actually still half-asleep?! Mikoto finds herself at a loss because his sleeping face is foul play and now it’s a complete change from being cool to being… cute. In her mind she apologizes to him but she’d like to look at his face a while longer.

Mizuchi always has a brusque and scary face, but he’s honestly kind and gentle. When she’s together with him she feels her heart pounding… She’s now certain that she… unmistakably… likes him. Mikoto whispers out that she likes him and then her eyes widen when she realizes that she said that out loud; although no one is around. Even though her face is still red she has a shy smile as she confesses to Mizuchi, who is sleeping, that she likes him.

Right now this is the best that she can do. One day, when she finishes everything that she has to do herself then she will say it to him properly. Then she recalls that her PE class is going to start soon and she should wake Mizuchi before that, but she decides to take out her cellphone to check the time. It’s 4:30AM and then she notices in surprise that she seems to have a message.

It was in silent mode and so she didn’t notice, but she wonders who it’s from. It’s from Himeutsugi and it was sent just a few minutes ago, which reminds her that he usually sends his messages early in the morning because he’s an early riser. The contents of the mail is… 「――どうして?」(–Why?). SCREAMING DGAFJGNDGJ THIS WORD WILL HAUNT YOUR NIGHTMARES. THE WAY IT COMES OUT LIKE THIS.

Mikoto stares at this in surprise because this is the only line in the message. What does this mean? And then behind her she hears someone ask her hollowly 「・・・どうして?」(… Why?). She turns her head around and stutters out his name when she sees him standing behind her. His voice is soft and light as he asks her why the two of them are here, because he thought she was alone.

She stutters some more as she tries to find words, but Himeutsugi continues on to say that he was worried about her and so he went to the lecture room immediately after. Mikoto hesitantly asks him if he meant yesterday evening. His voice is quiet as he tells her that he thought to surprise her but when he looked through the window of the room he saw Mizuchi. Her eyes widen at that, but then he tells her that he watched them the entire time.

The two of them were serious and they sorted the documents with the utmost effort. He watched as she dropped the documents, took a break, and followed Mizuchi’s lead. After that, the two of them were close to one another as they drank tea and chatted. He saw how shy she was as she looked at Mizuchi and how cute she was. His voice continues to remain light, though now he has this twisted smile on his face.

In her mind, Mikoto is taken aback by his words and then she hesitantly asks him again if he watched the entire time. He tells her in a cheerful tone that he watched them the entire time. She startles at that and then tells him that he could have came in. But this makes Himeutsugi ask her why he should, because she entered into that room with Mizuchi only. She denies it and tries to tell him that wasn’t her intention.

But he asks her what she meant by that then. He wants to serve her and he wants to become anything for her sake, so why couldn’t he enter? Mikoto tries to say something, but he interrupts and points out that she likes Mizuchi, doesn’t she. She jerks at that and his voice lowers as he tells her that a confession is supposed to be something done to a person who is awake. She can’t believe that he heard what she said a while ago.

Himeutsugi exhales softly and then murmurs to himself 「・・・もうやめていいかな。僕、君のお姫様でいるの、やめたいんだ。」(… I should stop now. I want to stop being your princess). When Mikoto says his name questioningly, he tells her in an empty voice 「ねえ、お姫様なんか、つまらない。僕は、王子様になりたいんだ。」(Hey, being a princess is.. boring. I want to be.. a prince).

He tells her that he wants to be a prince who can kiss his only princess every day. Mikoto starts to become scared as she calls out his name questioningly, but he doesn’t answer and only breathes in. She hesitantly tells him that they have a lot of time and they can talk about this properly if he wants. But suddenly her head starts to spin and she gasps in confusion as everything becomes blurry.

Himeutsugi laughs softly and then asks her if something is wrong. Mikoto gasps out that she can’t seem to move and all her strength is leaving her body. This makes Himeutsugi coo at how poor that is for her to be so tired. In her mind, she disagrees because she isn’t tired… but what is this!? But then he tells her 「僕が、助けてあげる。だって、僕は・・・王子様だから。」(I’ll save you.. because I am… the prince).

She becomes alarmed, especially when he whispers out that he’ll carry her away before Mizuchi awakens. She weakly tries to ask him where he’s taking her, but her consciousness is fading away. The last thing she hears is Himeutsugi’s laughter.

In her dream, she sees the Half Moon and it greets her while noting that it’s been a while. She points out that lately it hasn’t been appearing in her dreams. It admits that it thought it was doing good, but in the end it couldn’t do it. Then it tells her seriously that it can no longer stop it.

She asks what it’s saying, but the Half Moon asks her 「ねえ・・・君のツキはひとつ?君の後ろにふたつのツキが見える。欠けたツキはひとつのはず・・・。」(Hey… do you only have one moon? I can see two moons behind you. But one moon must wane…). Even it doesn’t know what will become of this and the next thing is dependent upon her.

It tells her 「君の選ぶツキが、ここを導きませんように。」(So that your chosen moon does not guide you from this place). She begs it to wait and not to leave, but she suddenly wakes up in an unfamiliar room. What did the Half Moon mean by the things that it said? It said that she had two moons. But her consciousness is starting to disappear again. Her strength is leaving her… and her voice won’t come out…

At night, Himeutsugi recites 「紫のにほへる妹を憎くあらば 人妻故に吾恋ひめやも――。」(Like the purple-root, glowing is my comely love: Felt I some fault in her, would I for another’s wife, subject myself to this yearning?). A POEM FROM THE MANYOSHU COLLECTION BY AN UNKNOWN PERSON VOL.1 #21. THIS IS ABOUT ILLICIT DESIRES AND YEARNING FOR ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE.

He comments lightly on how it couldn’t be helped, to do this, because she didn’t choose him. He thinks Mizuchi is a very nice person to still be friends with him normally even when Mizuchi knows his true face. But there are things that even a close friend won’t be handed over. Himeutsugi whispers out that this is the first time he wants something. It’s the first time he felt this feeling. There is no drawing back anymore. He can’t sacrifice himself for love.

DAY 30. In the chairmen’s room, Awahana summarizes how no one seems to know where the senki candidate’s whereabouts are. He directs his attention to Onosada, who informs everyone that after entrusting her to do work in the Kasen lecture room she hadn’t been seen since. Kintokihana confirms that Mizuchi was the one who was left with her there.

Mizuchi states that she had been in the lecture room because he locked the door himself and then napped in the hallway. Kintoki muses on how, as far as this is concerned, it seems like the senki candidate unlocked the door herself and left the room. He asks what Awa thinks, to which Awa replies that it is a mysterious reality since it would mean that her whereabouts became unknown by choice. He asks if there are no clues.

Momotose looks worried as she answers that Mikoto’s bag, cellphone, and everything has disappeared. She didn’t return to the dorm either. Kintoki muses on how the gatekeeper hasn’t seen a student either and it is as if she was spirited away. Awa asks if no one else has any knowledge and then directs his attention to Himeutsugi and asks what he thinks about his partner.

Himeutsugi tells them worriedly that he can’t believe it; that she would disappear. She worked hard at being a senki candidate and doing kabatsu. She was forward-looking and earnest… she isn’t someone who would drop her responsibilities. There must be a reason… Himeutsugi is interrupted by Karakurenai who slams his fist against the wall and snaps out that they didn’t ask him that.

They were asking him where she could have went. Onosada scolds him for snapping at Himeutsugi, but Karakurenai just slams his fist against the wall again and growls out at Onosada to shut up. He doesn’t want to hear Himeutsugi’s pretty and pretentious statements that are not at all heartfelt. He spits out that this is worthless and then stalks out of the room. BLESS THIS BOY AND HOW HE CAN’T STAY FOR ONE FULL MEETING LMFAO.

Himeutsugi is silent at those words and then Kintoki huffs before commenting on how this is a stormy passage. Iroha suggests searching the Kaen. When Momotose looks at him questioningly, Iroha points out that if the gatekeeper hasn’t seen Mikoto then that means there is a possibility she is in the school. Kintoki agrees and explains that the barrier around Kaen is spread out over the outer wall.

If an outsider trespassed then they would be left on the cameras. The security of Kaen is perfect… really. Awa nods and then orders the 5 Brights to search for the senki candidate within Kaen. As everyone leaves, Himeutsugi has a strained smile on his face in the hallway. Mizuchi apologizes to him deeply about how it became like this because he didn’t accompany her properly.

Himeutsugi shakes his head and reassures him that he’s fine. He’s more worried about Mizuchi and asks him if he isn’t feeling terrible, because he hasn’t slept since it happened. Himeutsugi offers to do the searching because he’d like Mizuchi to rest for the present. Mizuchi responds fiercely that this is his responsibility and then excuses himself. Himeutsugi stares after him with a tight smile, but then Karakurenai appears with a bark of laughter.

Then he sneers at how idiotic they are and asks Himeutsugi if they’re still acting as friends. Himeutsugi calmly notes him being here, which causes Karakurenai to smirk and ask if he’s inconveniencing him. Then he calls Himeutsugi a shitty princess and asks him to lend him an ear. Himeutsugi gives him a confused look, but Karakurenai approaches him and hisses lowly that he’s a great actor.

But what is underneath that pretty skin? Himeutsugi frowns and rhetorically asks him what he thinks it could be. Karakurenai steps away though and shrugs lightly before he complains about how sleepy he is. Himeutsugi stares at Karakurenai’s retreating back with a tight expression. And then Momotose shows up, exasperated at how Karakurenai is picking a quarrel with Himeutsugi like a child.

Himeutsugi reassures her that it’s fine because he thinks Karakurenai is surely unhappy by Mikoto’s disappearance as well. Momotose smiles and calls him kind before offering her help in the search for her muse. Himeutsugi thanks her gratefully, but Momotose shakes her head and then compliments him for working hard alone during Kagami’s absence. Himeutsugi only smiles in silence.

Momotose reassures him that she thinks Kagami will return next term and so she would like Himeutsugi to talk to her if she can do anything to support him until then. He tells her that he’s grateful for her concern, but he loses the gentle smile on his face when Momotose walks away. Himeutsugi finally returns to his room and locks the door before muttering about how everyone’s intuition is keen.

He muses on how he might have been too optimistic about hiding things underneath their noses. He asks Mikoto what she thinks, but she is silent. His voice becomes cheery as he tells her that he’s home and then he asks if she was lonely. There is no response. He sighs out that she’s beautiful and that dress suits her well. As he thought, she is his princess. Himeutsugi laughs at that but there is no response.

But he isn’t deterred at all and tells her that they should have a kiss to welcome him home. He kisses her deeply and then points out that this is the kiss that she was talking about; a kiss that has all of his feelings and is only for that one person that he likes. He’s giving it to her. His voice drops to a whisper as he talks about how this beautiful princess becoming his own like this is like a dream.

Mikoto doesn’t respond. Himeutsugi asks her if she would like to kiss some more. There is no response, but he grins and seems to hear a confirmation because he tells her that he’ll kiss her a lot then! He whispers against her lips that they’re going to entwine their tongues. There is no response. But he continues to kiss her and praises her for doing it well and that it’s okay to be spoiled by him more. There is no response.

He starts to talk 「真っ白なお姫様。穢れのないお姫様・・・僕だけの・・・お姫様。ずっと、離さない。誰にも・・・あげない。」(This pure white princess. This unstained princess… my only.. princess. I won’t ever let you go. I won’t give you… to anyone). I WISH YOU GUYS COULD HEAR HOW CRAZILY UNBALANCED HE SOUNDS. Then he suddenly realizes out loud that she must be hungry and they should eat.

Himeutsugi pulls out food from a basket and tells her that today is Italian; seafood risotto. He tells her that he’ll serve it to her and then asks if she has any likes and dislikes. There is no response. But he just starts to feed her and warns her that it’s a bit hot. He asks her with a bright smile if it’s delicious. There is no response. Himeutsugi is glad she likes it though and tells her that there’s a lot and so she can eat without any reservations. He suddenly gasps as he spills some on her and then laughs at how she’s a girl who needs intensive care.

He hurriedly tells her that it’s fine though and they can change her dress at any time. If she’s dirty then he can just lick her like this. He sucks at her skin a bit before telling her that there’s a mark left on it and this time he’ll make it be seen, because she didn’t show him it before.With this, he’s dyed her. The pure white her has now become his color only. Himeutsugi chuckles in happiness while Mikoto continues to lie there with no response.

Meanwhile, Mizuchi startles when someone comes into his room abruptly. Karakurenai greets him and comments on his depressed looking face, but Mizuchi only narrows his eyes and asks him if he has business. Karakurenai tells Mizuchi not to look at him as if he were a pest, because he learned something that he knows Mizuchi would love to know.

Mizuchi eyes him questioningly and so Karakurenai informs him that he knows the culprit who took the senki candidate. Mizuchi’s eye widens and he gasps before asking Kurenai if he’s being serious, to which Karakurenai informs him that a minamo from Ouka saw Mizuchi’s close friend carrying the senki candidate away from the Kasen lecture room. Mizuchi is struck silent by surprise and so Karakurenai chuckles at how he didn’t seem to know at all.

How interesting it is to have someone acting as a friend. Before Mizuchi noticed it, his woman was stolen from him. Mizuchi averts his eyes and admits that even though they’re talking about this, he finds it hard to believe. What reason would Himeutsugi have to take her away? Karakurenai calls him an idiot and then asks him how he would know.

He should ask the person himself, although Karakurenai thinks that it would be difficult to get the fox to show its tail. He exits the room after saying this, leaving Mizuchi to stare at the door with a wide eye. He’s suddenly taken aback and then starts to say 「・・・!あなたは・・・。」(…! You are…).

But then it’s back to Himeutsugi who is answering his phone in the night. He greets Kagami and then is corrected when she tells him that it’s night. He laughs sheepishly and admits that he didn’t notice. He asks her how she’s doing and then nods a few times before reassuring her that he’s fine. He’s the same as always and she can relax. He nods some more before wishing her good night and ending the call.

Himeutsugi turns to Mikoto’s unresponsive body and explains that he had been talking to Kagami of the minamo. She’s on a small trip right now. He gives her a small smile and tells her not to make such an unhappy face and that it’s alright. Kagami is nothing to him and Mikoto is his only princess. I JUST… HE’S SO DELUSIONAL IT’S SAD. There is no response. Then he tells her to look at how the day is completely dark now.

When he’s with her, he forgets the passing of time. Then he looks up at the sky and sighs at how beautiful the full moon is. There is no response. For once, Himeutsugi also falls silent before he confesses in a whisper 「・・・僕は、君を抱きたい。」(… I want to.. sleep with you). There is no response. GET READY FOR THE MOST FLOWERY TALK ABOUT SEX EVER.

His voice is impassioned 「君をこの月の下で、生まれたままの姿にして・・・。君とひとつになりたい。中に入って、強く抱きしめて・・・。はぁっ・・・。僕でいっぱい満たして・・・。何度も・・・果てるまで君を抱きたい。」(Underneath this moon, naked as the day we were born… I want to become one with you. I want to enter inside you, and embrace you strongly… Haa… I want to be satisfied fully. Over and over… I want to make love to you until I’m exhausted).

He asks her if she knew that he thinks of these things. But it seems like she never saw him as a man, although he always saw her as a woman. There is no response. Then he tells her quietly that the princess who woke up from the prince’s kiss lived happily in a castle. But he doesn’t have a castle. He doesn’t have a castle other than this place and if they go outside then he won’t be able to create a happy end for her.

His voice becomes small as he asks her what he should do. In order to make her happy… Are there any other castles in this place on this world? Suddenly someone knocks on the door and he looks over in confusion. Mizuchi asks Hime if he’s there through the door. There is no response from Mikoto. Himeutsugi’s voice becomes normal as he asks Mizuchi if something is wrong since it’s so late at night.

Mizuchi informs him that he’d like to talk and won’t he open the door? Himeutsugi tells him that he’s in the middle of changing and asks him to wait. Quietly, he opens a cupboard and places Mikoto inside while telling her to endure this for a little while. He shuts her inside and then invites Mizuchi in while greeting him before he points out how unusual this is. Mizuchi tells him that this won’t take any of his time.

Himeutsugi offers to boil some tea and starts to offer him something light to eat only to remember that Mizuchi has a rule not to eat anything after 11PM. Mizuchi cuts straight to the business though and tells him that he wishes to ask about the senki candidate’s whereabouts. Himeutsugi tilts his head, but Mizuchi stares at him grimly and asks him if he really doesn’t know where she went. Himeutsugi maintains his polite smile as he doesn’t answer.

Mizuchi only stares back just as silently. Finally, Himeutsugi nods and tells him that he doesn’t know where she is. Why? Mizuchi’s brows come together as he continues to stare at Himeutsugi, but Himeutsugi only smiles back blankly. Mizuchi closes his eye as he accepts Hime’s words and apologizes for intruding at night. Himeutsugi offers him tea again, but Mizuchi excuses himself with a troubled look.

Himeutsugi watches him go and then he frowns and comments on this miraculous timing. But then he opens the cupboard again and apologizes in a sweet voice to his princess for making her wait. Was it painful? There is no response, but Himeutsugi suddenly gasps. His voice is shaky as he asks her why she’s crying. She shouldn’t have the power left to do so any longer.

Suddenly Mizuchi yells at him to release Mikoto. Himeutsugi leaps to his feet and turns around to see Iroha and a wide-eyed Mizuchi standing there. Iroha informs him that the punishment for harming the senki candidate is deprivation of the title of being one of the 5 Brights as well as an expulsion. Himeutsugi gasps out Iroha’s name and then Iroha explains that after he received information from Karakurenai he went to ask the Gekkougumi minamo.

Since that day it was forbidden to enter his room. This includes cleaning and even the food wasn’t allowed to be carried into his room. Himeutsugi falls silent before he starts to chuckle as he comments on how he forgot to forbid them from speaking. He made a blunder at the most essential part. Mizuchi blurts out that he still doesn’t believe it that Hime could possibly…

Himeutsugi admits that he’s right and he thinks “Himeutsugi” wouldn’t do this. Mizuchi inhales sharply at those words, but Himeutsugi continues on to say cheerily that “Himeutsugi” is everyone’s princess; kind, composed, and a person preferred by others more than himself. But now he wants to place priority on himself. HANDS DOWN BEST VOICE ACTING IN THIS GAME EVER. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS AND THANKS TO LORE YOU CAN!

He wants to be able to say that he likes the things that he likes. What’s wrong with that? There’s a rumbling sound of shadows behinds him as he states strongly that this is why he stopped being a princess. Now he has no shackles and only he is here himself. Mizuchi is taken aback by the sound of utsurohi. Iroha asks Himeutsugi if the culprit behind the utsurohi disturbances was him.

But Himeutsugi is grinning crazily as he says 「さあ、どうでしょう。ただ、ひとつ言えることは・・・僕はお姫様じゃない!王子様だ!!」(Who knows? There is only one thing to say… I am not a princess! I AM A PRINCE!!). He won’t give them Mikoto because she’s become his princess. He tells them to look at her and all the marks on her and the love that he’s given her. This is his proof… Himeutsugi starts to laugh.

Then he whispers out that he’s always endured this. It should be alright to give him one thing, right? He asks them in an unstable voice 「いいと言ってよ、お願いだからさ。ねえ?ねえっ?」(Say that it’s alright, I’m begging you. Ne? Ne?). He whimpers out that he wants to be allowed and then he asks Mizuchi if it’s fine and if Mizuchi will give him the girl that Mizuchi likes.

He starts to frown though as he asks them weakly 「ねえ・・・なんで返事をしてくれないの。ねぇっ!!!!言えよおおお!!!言えっつってんだろおおおおおお!!??」(Hey… why aren’t you answer me. Hey!!! SAY SOMETHING!! SAY SOMETHINGGGG!!). Suddenly Momotose enters the room and asks what is going on only to gasp at the sight of Mikoto. Iroha informs her that they will now Hana Awase.

But Momotose protests that their opponents are Himeutsugi and Mikoto. Iroha tells her without emotion that this is not Himeutsugi. She asks him in shock what he means by that, but then Mizuchi exhales loudly and then asks Iroha for a request; he wishes to be the one to Hana Awase. Iroha narrows his eyes and looks at him, but Mizuchi states again that he wishes to Awase against Hime.

Finally Iroha’s stern expression relaxes as he tells Mizuchi that the conclusion must be a victory. Momotose tells Mizuchi that she’ll be his support and he thanks her softly. And so Mizuchi sets up the field and then they defeat Himeutsugi, which makes Momotose notice that Mikoto has been separated from the field. Iroha states lowly that they will now purge Himeutsugi then.

Himeutsugi’s eyes widen at this but then he flashes them a dark smirk as he disappears and Momotose gasps out that disappeared into the shadows. Iroha orders Momotose to come with him as they give chase and Momotose agrees while telling Mizuchi to take care of the rest here. The two of them run off while Mizuchi calls out Mikoto’s name frantically with worry. He slaps her cheeks to try and wake her but she is unresponsive.

He asks her what is wrong and why won’t she reply?! But there is no answer. His voice is shaky with emotion as he notes that she’s breathing but she seems to have lost her consciousness, yet she still managed to do Hana Awase. What has become of her?! He looks around for something to revive her, like smelling salts, and then he notices something. The next moment, he presses his mouth to hers in order to feed her the liquid.

Mizuchi whispers 「どうか、目を覚まして欲しい・・・!」(Please, I want you to wake up…!). There is no response, but he continues to press his lips against hers. And then finally Mikoto starts to react as she swallows the liquid in her mouth. She weakly whispers out Mizuchi’s name in confusion as her consciousness returns and Mizuchi’s eye widens before he embraces her tightly.

She asks him why she is here and then startles at her clothes because it’s really elegant, but she can only gape at it in confusion. Mizuchi releases a shaky breath which makes her look back at him in confusion, which is only added to when he suddenly kisses her fiercely. In her mind, she’s wondering what the heck is going on. But then she relaxes because it’s Mizuchi. After a while, he draws back with heavy breathing and apologizes because he couldn’t stop himself.

He also didn’t have her permission, especially when she’s in this state. Mikoto quietly shakes her head but Mizuchi can’t stop himself from saying that she and Hime… She looks at him in confusion and Mizuchi swallows tightly before he kisses her again. She calls out his name, but Mizuchi gasps out an apology because he can’t stop. He kisses her again and again while she’s taken aback by his intensity.

His voice is shaky as he whispers out that he doesn’t want to let her go. He confesses that he knows it is unfair in this kind of situation… but he… to her… Mizuchi suddenly clamps his mouth shut before he hisses out Hime’s name. He grits his teeth and then apologizes again before he pulls her into him tightly and tells her to forget this. Mikoto murmurs his name and then wonders what he stopped himself from saying.

At night, Mikoto dreams about the past. The child version of her asks “Hime-kun” what he’s doing. He tells her that he’s talking. Mikoto is confused because there’s no one here. There are only trees in this forest. The unknown boy tells her that there are things here, a lot of them. Mikoto giggles and tells “Hime-kun” that he said something weird again. Then she asks him to come with her and play with everyone.

He refuses to go to their secret base though because there are monsters there. Mikoto is confused and tells him that she hasn’t seen any. The boy tells her that they are there and they’re scary. The monsters will take things… precious things. Mikoto reassures him that it’ll be fine and she doesn’t see any monsters. If there are any then they’ll beat them! She asks him to come with her again because it’s boring without “Hime-kun”.

The boy decides that he’ll only go if they hold hands. She happily agrees and gives him her hand. He tells her to hold on tightly and she nods while squeezing his hand back. The boy suddenly tells her that he likes her. She replies that she also likes “Hime-kun”!

And then the boy says 「ぼく、みことのだいじなもの、とられないよう、まもってあげる・・・みことのためなら、なんでもする。どんなことでも・・・。」(I will protect Mikoto so that your precious things won’t be taken… for Mikoto I will do anything. Anything…). Mikoto wakes up in her dark room and wonders about her dream. Was it a memory from her childhood? But she doesn’t remember it at all. “Hime-kun” couldn’t possibly be…

DAY 31. Awa summarizes that no one seems to know the whereabouts of Himeutsugi. Iroha confirms it and tells them that he also hasn’t seemed to contact Kagami. Kintoki can’t believe that Himeutsugi would try to take the senki candidate and it looks like he is also the culprit for this time’s utsurohi disturbance. Iroha states that they still don’t know, but it is fact that he confined the senki candidate and called upon the utsurohi.

Mikoto can only look at the ground, but then Awa asks her if her body is uninjured. Did she lose her qualifications to becoming a senki candidate? Mikoto tells them quietly that nothing of that sort happened. She explains that she suddenly lost her strength in the hallway and she doesn’t remember anything before the time she woke up. That includes anything that happened during that time.

Kintoki comments on how baffling it is because she was still able to Hana Awase and it was also different from drying up. He asks Awa what the meaning of this is, but Awa admits that he’s never heard of this situation before. What did Himeutsugi do to her… She can only stare at them silently and with a pained expression. She is certain that it felt different from drying up.

All the strength in her body disappeared in one go and she lost consciousness. What happened during that time…? But then Kintoki states that whatever happened, they will be purging him upon finding him. Mikoto’s eyes widen and then she admits that she knows she shouldn’t be saying this but could Himeutsugi have a reason for doing this? Iroha looks at her silently and she quickly admits that she knows this is a naive thought.

But she wants to know if they can wait a bit before purging. Karakurenai slams his hand down on a table as he sneers at her positive way of thinking and then asks her if she’s trying to be a saint. He informs them all that 「理由なんかひとつだ。てめえとヤリたかった、そんだけだろ。」(There’s only one reason. That bastard wanted to fuck you, that’s all). BLESS THIS BOY. HE SAYS THIS IN LIKE EVERY ROUTE.

He tells them that the wolf in sheep’s clothing’s mind broke and he fell in love with Mikoto. And then he snaps at Mikoto not to pretty this thing up. Momotose scolds him and tells him to be more discreet with his words. He huffs and snaps out that he wouldn’t be able to hold back these words even if he died, before he stalks out of the room. Awa points out that Karakurenai has a point though and that even if Himeutsugi is pure he has committed a crime.

Mikoto can only apologize for her rudeness. Iroha informs the chairman that right now they must find the whereabouts of Himeutsugi and Kintoki agrees. He orders Iroha and Mizuchi to search every nook and cranny for Himeutsugi and, upon finding him, purge him. Mizuchi is silent at this and then Kintoki states that once again for the safety of the senki candidate, she is forbidden from leaving this school.

She remains quiet and with a sad expression. After the meeting is concluded, Momotose murmurs in the hallway that she still can’t believe Himeutsugi would do such a thing. Iroha tells her that the result is everything and decides to search Goto-gai, the city, with her. Momotose can only obey him with a pained look. Meanwhile, Mizuchi decides that he and several of the Koukoku minamo will search around Chuuouku. He tells Mikoto to return to her dorm and then walks off.

*** ENDING 1 ***

If Mikoto doesn’t call out to stop Mizuchi then she returns to her room and wonders if she can really leave things as they are and abandon Himeutsugi. Is it really alright to disregard Himeutsugi’s feelings? Isn’t there anything she can do…? At this rate, he’ll be purged by Iroha and the others. At least if she could know where he was… a place that Himeutsugi would go to.

She tells herself to remember a place and recalls a brief image of them standing together and looking at the sunset. Could it be that he went there?! She thinks it’s that place where she saw an unexpected side of Himeutsugi. A determined look appears as she thinks about how she’s forbidden from going outside, but if she doesn’t leave now then she might not make it in time before Iroha and the others.

Mikoto leaves the dorms and manages to sneak out to the playground. She breathes heavily from all her running but still manages to yell out Himeutsugi’s name. She begs him to appear but as she continues to run around and yell his name, there is no sign. Suddenly she notices a sandcastle. It has huge towers and inside is a royal palace. Someone carefully made it and she remembers this castle.

She notices something buried in the middle of it and when she digs it out she finds a cellphone. Whose is it? She feels like she’s seen the design before. Then she suddenly hears someone say that they’ve found their princess. Mikoto looks up in surprise and sees Himeutsugi, who grins happily and tells her that he’s happy she came. She hesitantly nods and reassures herself that this must be the usual Himeutsugi since he has a kind smile.

Mizuchi and the others told her about the incident, but she doesn’t feel like Himeutsugi has been swallowed up by the utsurohi. At any rate, she’s glad that she met him before the others. She tells him that she’s glad he’s unharmed, but he falls silent as he continues to look at her with a kind smile. She falters a bit as she tells him that everyone is looking for him and they were worried when he disappeared from Kaen.

There is still no response. Mikoto then tells him that she has no memories of that time and of what happened to him. She thinks that everyone might have misunderstood something and so she asks him if he won’t return to Kaen with her together? She’ll help talk and they can explain what happened. Himeutsugi finally asks her lightly what she means by explanation.

She repeats his words in confusion, but he presses on and asks if he should explain just how much he loves her. Mikoto gasps at that, but then he tells her sweetly that she came to where he was and the fairytale of the prince and princess can now continue. She repeats the word “continue” and then is alarmed when her vision starts to blur and when the strength in her body starts to leave her again.

Mikoto gasps out his name weakly and he worriedly mutters to himself that he needs to be careful and this time he’ll make sure she retains her awareness. He needs to be able to tell her just what he wants to do to her. Mikoto starts to panic as she realizes that she can’t move her body. Himeutsugi laughs and then tells her softly to come with him to their secret base.

She can only repeat his words in confusion and the last things he hears is 「さあ、お姫様。・・・お手をどうぞ。」(Now, my princess.. Your hand, please). The next time she wakes up, she finds herself underground and so she weakly asks where she is. Himeutsugi appears close to her and formally welcomes her to the prince and princess’ castle. He finally found it, the castle where they can spend an eternity in. No one will come here.

Mikoto gapes at that but Himeutsugi laughs happily and tells her that they’ll be doing a ceremony now, a marriage ceremony. She’s afraid of what he means by that and sees that his eyes are strange. She needs to run away! But Himeutsugi asks her lightly why she’s running away, because she came to him didn’t she? Mikoto tries to protest but he asks her why she is refusing him.

He won’t forgive an non-obedient princess that doesn’t listen to him. She panics when she realizes that he’s grabbed her leg. Himeutsugi asks her if she wants him to be more forceful, but he doesn’t like it when she isn’t aware. He wants to see her face as she feels him. He wants to see her face as it’s stained by his hands. Mikoto starts to hyperventilate as Himeutsugi whispers that she can’t refuse him anymore.

Or more like he won’t let her refuse him. She’s already in his hands now. Her vision starts to blur as he asks her for a kiss and then tells her that it’ll be a kiss of a prince’s vow. He presses his lips to her even though Mikoto tries to struggle and as she tries to yell at him to stop, Himeutsugi starts to laugh crazily.

An unknown amount of time passes. She doesn’t know the place that she was taken to. Himeutsugi would only tell her that it was a secret base and she remained there forever. She can’t seem to find any strength in her body and so she can’t walk. She isn’t able to leave this place. She can’t do anything and can only receive whatever Himeutsugi does as if she were a doll. Suddenly, the door opens and Himeutsugi enters while saying to his princess that he’s home.

Was she a good girl? There is no response. He gasps when he sees that the chair has fallen and so he rights it before nodding happily. He informs her that he bought some fruits because the grapes looked delicious. He lifts some to her and asks her if they aren’t delicious because they’re fresh and juicy. There’s a lot and so she can eat without any reservations. There’s no response.

He frowns when he notices that her shoes have slipped off and so he replaces them on her feet. Then he notices that her skirt is stretching and so he fixes that as well. There is no response from Mikoto. Himeutsugi smiles and asks her why she’s looking at him with such cute eyes. Does she want to be pampered more? He caresses her hair and then asks her softly what she wants to do next. She can say anything she wants.

Her pleasure is his pleasure. There is no response. His voice becomes a whisper 「僕は、君のためならなんでもしてあげる。・・・だから、もう、逃げないでね。」(I will do anything for you… that’s why.. don’t run away anymore). His last words are 「君は僕の永遠のお姫様なんだから・・・。」(Because you are my eternal princess…).

*** ENDING 2 ***

If Mikoto calls out to stop him then she runs after Mizuchi and tells him to wait. She blurts out that Himeutsugi told her that he liked her. Mizuchi’s eye widens, but she continues on to say that Himeutsugi was always joking, teasing her, and trying to be humorous. But she actually noticed it. She noticed that he was acting different than usual, but she still acted as if she didn’t notice anything.

She was scared. She was afraid that once she noticed those feelings then the Himeutsugi that she always knew wouldn’t be Himeutsugi any longer. She ran away from Himeutsugi. DA HELL GIRL? NO WONDER HE WENT CRAZY. She confesses tearily that she wants to face Himeutsugi. Would it be too late? Mizuchi recomposes himself and then tells her that they might not be able to attain her desired result. Would she still be fine with that?

Mikoto is taken aback by the grim look on his face, but then she gives him a determined nod. He exhales quietly before declaring that he understands and from here on he is no longer a person of Kaen. When she looks confused, he tells her that, consequently, there is no need for him to protect the rules of Kaen. Therefore he won’t mind escorting her outside the school. She gasps in shock at his actions, but he tells her firmly that he also wishes to face Hime.

She can’t believe that Mizuchi, who protects the rules more than everyone else, would say such a thing. But she understands and she will no longer act as if she doesn’t. They will search for Himeutsugi together! The two of them head to Goto-gai and search around the business district, but Iroha and the others have searched this place. They head to the train station but there is no sign of Himeutsugi here either.

Mikoto thinks about how she refused all of Himeutsugi’s invitations and so she doesn’t know the places that he would normally go to. She bites her lip as she tries to think about where he is… a place that Himeutsugi loves. Mizuchi quietly tells her that the day is darkening. Mikoto’s eyes widen when she notices how late it’s become. The evening is dyeing the sky red. IT’S NOT REALLY HER FAULT THOUGH SINCE SHE HAD DETENTION… BUT SHE COULD HAVE TOLD HIM.

This reminds her of a time when she watched the sunset with Himeutsugi and she suddenly realizes that this could be where he went! She hurriedly tells Mizuchi that she has a place she wishes to go to and, although he’s surprised by her words, the two of them run to the playground. Mikoto doesn’t think she’s mistaken about that place; the place where she saw a different side of Himeutsugi.

Mikoto is panting when they finally make it to the playground but there’s no one here. Doubt enters her mind and she wonders if she made too much of that moment. She runs around yelling Himeutsugi’s name until she notices a sandcastle. There are large towers and deep inside the gates there is a royal palace. It was carefully made and she remembers this castle. She suddenly notices something buried in the center and digs out a cellphone.

Mizuchi realizes out loud that it’s Himeutsugi’s cellphone. Mikoto’s eyes widen and she starts to say that Himeutsugi must be here then… The two of them are interrupted by someone who quietly asks them 「・・・・なんで?」(…. Why?). Mikoto looks up in surprise and sees Himeutsugi standing there with a pained look on his face. He asks her slowly why she brought Mizuchi along.

Meanwhile Mizuchi calls out Hime’s name in worry. But Himeutsugi states quietly that this place is a place only for them. He angrily asks her why she keeps on betraying him. Mikoto hurriedly tells him that he’s wrong and she tries to pacify him, but he growls out 「お城には、王子様は2人もいらない・・・王子様は、僕だけ。そうだろう?お姫様・・・。」(A castle has no need for 2 princes… I am the only prince. Isn’t that right, princess?…).

OH GOD THE MENACE IN HIS VOICE. Mizuchi gasps in horror as Himeutsugi starts to become consumed by shadows. Himeutsugi laughs loudly as he formally welcomes them to his castle. Mikoto yelps when the sand around him starts to swirl as if it were alive. Mizuchi realizes that Himeutsugi is being manipulated by the shadows and he yells at them to release Himeutsugi.

But Himeutsugi starts to cackle 「ああ・・・気持ちいいなあ。・・・もっと早くこうすればよかった・・・僕は、自由に・・・ふふ、はは・・・っ・・・はは。」(Aah… It feels good… I should have become like this sooner… I am… free… fufu… haha… HAHA!). Mikoto yells out his name and wonders worriedly if he’s lost his sanity. Mizuchi tells her worriedly that the utsurohi are eroding Himeutsugi.

If they don’t hurry up and purify him then he’ll be consumed by the taint! Mikoto cries out that if they fight him then they won’t be able to talk! What should they do!? The choice is taken out of her hands when the sand attacks them. She yelps out Mizuchi’s name and he grits his teeth as he states that Hime can no longer return. It’s come to this point… at the very least he will end him with his own hand!

Mikoto is horrified but there is no other choice but to obey. Mizuchi’s voice is pained as he sets up his field and activates it. The two of them defeat Himeutsugi which causes him to cough out blood as he collapses to his knees. Mikoto yells out his name in worry and runs over to him. She apologizes tearily and reassures him that his injuries will be treated and so he’s saved. He only looks at her and pants in pain though.

As she looks into his eyes she confesses that she took advantage of his kindness. It was because he was kind and because he would forgive anything that she took advantage of his feelings and disregarded him. She sobs out her apologies, but when he catches his breath he only smiles painfully and says 「・・・泣かないで、お姫様。」(… Don’t cry, princess.). When she looks at him in shock, he slowly tells her not to cry for his sake.

He’s a prince. A prince needs to make his princess happy. Mikoto begs him not to talk because his wounds will open but Himeutsugi shakes his head and whispers out 「ううん・・・いい。僕は、宿命から逃げられない・・・助かっても・・・遅いんだ。もう・・・何もかも・・・。」(No… it’s fine. I can’t run away… from fate… it’s too late.. to save me. Nothing can be done… anymore…).

Mikoto asks him desperately what he means about fate, because she doesn’t understand. And even if such a thing existed, it has nothing to do with this situation! Himeutsugi’s breath catches before he laughs quietly at how characteristic this is of her. Even though he did such horrible things… she’s a kind girl.

He whispers 「僕には、君の知らない僕がいるんだよ。知られたくない・・・僕が、ね・・・。」(There exists a me you don’t know in me. I don’t want you to know… about me…). Mikoto tries to protest, but Himeutsugi interrupts her by saying how cute she is. His voice grows weaker and weaker as he confesses that he doesn’t want to die. Mikoto is crying as she tells him that he mustn’t die and that they can live together.

Himeutsugi only laughs at that and then asks 「・・・蛟、いいよね?・・・僕が・・・王子様でも。だって・・・彼女にひと目惚れしたのは・・・僕が先なんだもの・・・。」(… Mizuchi, it’s alright, right?… For me… to be the prince.. because.. I was the one who fell in love with her at first sight… first..).

Mizuchi’s voice is rough with emotion as he answers 「・・ああ、そう・・・だ。お前だ、姫空木。」(… Aa, that’s.. right. You are, Himeutsugi). GDNAGJHG I’M JUST SO TEARY-EYED RIGHT NOW BECAUSE FUCK THIS IS THE FIRST TIME MIZUCHI HAS CALLED HIM BY HIS FULL NAME. HE ALWAYS USED “HIME” INSTEAD. Himeutsugi chuckles and then asks Mizuchi if he was jealous that he was monopolizing such a cute girl.

Mizuchi inhales deeply to stifle his emotions. Then Himeutsugi says 「みことちゃん。次・・・生まれ変わったら・・・君に選ばれるのは、僕だ・・・。」(Mikoto-chan. The next time… if we’re born again… the one who will be chosen… is me).

His words come out slower 「そうだ・・・そしたら、何も縛られず・・・遠慮せず、僕は・・・堂々と君のために・・・・・・君・・・と・・・。」(That’s right… then I won’t have to bind myself… or be reserved… I can.. without reservation for your sake….. for you…). He sucks in a pained breath and Mikoto calls out his name. But then he breathes out softly one last time. Mikoto is shaking in denial as she yells out his name before screaming.

Time passes after that day when Himeutsugi drew his last breath. The utsurohi disturbances at Kaen stopped occurring after that event. Various guesses flew around about whether or not it was Himeutsugi’s actions but the truth is still covered in darkness. The unusual event of her confinement and what Himeutsugi said about fate closed without her understanding it.

Mizuchi took responsibility for taking her outside Kaen and was expelled immediately from Kaen. Since then she hasn’t met with him. She also suggested to be expelled but the chairmen rejected it and in the end, even though she didn’t become a senki, she headed towards graduation. After her graduation ceremony she headed towards that place. That place which she can’t forget…

Mikoto arrives at the playground and thinks about how the 3 years at Kaen passed in a blink of an eye. Even though she didn’t become a senki, her power as a minamo is recognized. She can enter a higher level school or post-secondary one. Ai, Shou, Momotose, and the chairmen are all pleased but… the person who she wants to tell this most to… isn’t here. She notices that the day is descending and that everything has ended.

She says Himeutsugi’s name out loud and then tells him that his minamo are really sad because he’s gone. Everyone grieved and some even left Kaen. The ones that are left still continue to clean his room. They also continue to bring bentos into his room. Karakurenai secretly takes those bentos away… and then the minamo think that Himeutsugi ate it and so they continue to make more for him; and it repeats.

Everyone lived off of his kindness and now that he’s gone, they just pass every day like this. Mikoto tells the empty playground that she hasn’t been involved with Mizuchi after this. Mizuchi protected the promise that he made to Himeutsugi. She still thinks, even up to now, that this is a good thing. To be together with Mizuchi after that… even she can’t do such a thing.

Suddenly she hears footsteps and turns around to see Iroha coming up to her. He informs her that Mizuchi was here, but when Mizuchi saw that she was here he left. Mikoto smiles sadly at that before she tells him that she remembers the words he spoke previously. She asks him rhetorically if she mistook her path and that everything that happened here is her fault.

But Iroha doesn’t answer and only hands something to her. She takes it and realizes that it’s Himeutsugi’s cellphone. He tells her that there is an unsent mail addressed to her and he’s giving this to her with the chairmen’s permission. She can do what she wants with it. Iroha walks off after this and so Mikoto checks the unsent mail.

She gasps and then cries out Himeutsugi’s name. Even now his heart remains. It ties her up even stronger than before. She thinks that this is the same for Mizuchi as well. Someday… until the day they meet.. it will continue to.

The route ends with Himeutsugi’s voice softly reciting 「天地の 底ひの裏に我がごとく、 君に恋ふらむ 人はさねあらじ・・・」(In all the vast reach, to the utmost limits of the sky and the earth, there is surely no other, who yearns for you as I). POEM BY NAKATOMI NO YAKAMORI VOL.15 #3750.

*** SPECIAL SCENE ***

When Mikoto reaches Rank 5, Onosada informs her that a guest has come. An unknown voice calls out 「――みことちゃん。」(–Mikoto-chan). She yelps in surprise and then turns to see Himeutsugi. He chuckles when he realizes that he shocked her. He tells her that she’s quite famous because she’s been advancing through the card battles by winning. Mikoto is a bit flustered and denies it.

He notes how reserved she is and then sighs in pleasure at how interesting she is. He’s really interested. Then he asks her if she would like to try a match against him. Mikoto’s eyes widen but Himeutsugi tells her that he would like to know her better. If he wins he’d like her to wear this. He shows her something and she yelps in shock before asking him what this is. Himeutsugi simply smiles innocently and tells her 「僕、ウサギが好きなんだ。」(I like rabbits).

FREAKIGN OAJGGFHDFH THAT BETTER NOT BE WHAT I THINK IT IS. Mikoto protests that she’ll be troubled with this kind of clothing! He just laughs though and tells her that she better not lose then.

IF MIKOTO WINS. Mikoto yells out in happiness that she won. Himeutsugi accepts his defeat gracefully and comments on how strong she is. Then he tells her that because she won he’ll teach her a new technique as a reward, so that she will continue to win.

IF MIKOTO LOSES. Mikoto winces at how she lost and Himeutsugi is smiling with closed eyes as he reminds her of her promise and tells her to change clothes. She reluctantly takes it and when she finishes changing she tells him that this is embarrassing. He simply grins and tells her that it’s amazingly cute, just like he thought. Then he calls her 「ウサギさん、こっちおいで。」(Bunny-san, come here). WHAT IS GOING ON GJAKGJDKG.

She yelps and refuses to do so in these clothes. He reminds her sternly that she lost and so she has to listen to his words. She pouts and then he murmurs that he wants to show Mizuchi her appearance. She gasps at that, but then Himeutsugi falls silent before he smiles 「・・・うーん。やっぱ、やめた。君の恥ずかしい姿を知っているのは僕だけにしたい。」(… Hmm, actually, I won’t. I want to be the only one to know how you look when embarrassed).

OMGDSGJH IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE A HAPPY SCENE? BECAUSE I’M BAWLING AFTER JUST FINISHING HIS ROUTE. Then he tells her that a bunny is a wolf’s favorite food. His voice lowers as he muses on how if he were a wolf then he would eat her. He hums thoughtfully and then suddenly kisses her cheek. He sucks on her skin and murmurs that she’s delicious. FDGAJLK SCREMAING THIS CG. Mikoto can’t believe he actually nipped her.

She yelps out that it hurts and asks him to stop. But he sucks on her some more before noting with a chuckle that she’s sweet. His voice drops as he asks her if he should strip her from this and eat her all. Mikoto’s eyes widen but Himeutsugi simply laughs and tells her that he’s lying. Was she surprised? She’s still stunned into silence even when he tells her that he’s finished.

Himeutsugi laughs at the look on her face and then tells her, the bunny, to run off now. Mikoto calls him a bully. She’s also shocked that Himeutsugi has this type of preference. It can’t be helped since she lost, but her face feels like it’s on fire.

*** THINGS OF NOTE ***

Himeutsugi talks with the particle 「僕」(Boku) when referring to himself.

He constantly uses a variation of the line “For you, I would do anything”.

His dying words are that if they’re born again then he will be the chosen one. Himeutsugi’s game is the next in line of the trilogy, which has now turned into a tetralogy (there’s a reason I’m calling these games a tetralogy and you’ll know why when Iroha’s route comes up).

Iroha talked about how she needed to choose the right path. In the end, Mikoto realizes that she chose the wrong one. THIS ISN’T THE UNMEI THAT I WANTED.

As a child he seems to be able to see things that other people can’t.. in this case monsters (??).

All of his poems come from the Manyoshu which is the oldest collection of Japanese poetry. It is quite obsolete now, with other forms of Japanese poetry being more popular like the Kokinshu (which, interestingly, is the basis of Utsutsu’s poem). Obsolete, undervalued, and overlooked… _(:3」∠)_…

Also, everyone should check out this amazing Himeutsugi character analysis by Lore at Tealdeer. Moreover, all of the Hime poem translations I have here are from Lore who actually owns that amazon book on waka.

Himeutsugi’s name actually comes from a poem in the Manyoshu by an unknown author Vol.7 #1259. 「佐伯山卯の花持ちし愛しきが手をし取りてば花は散るとも」(Atop Saeki mountain, so long as I am able to take the hand of my beloved, holding the Deutzia (utsugi), it is fine if the flowers scatter).

My own thoughts regarding this route is that it is such an amazing example of tragedy in a character. Himeutsugi is trapped in a cage of his own making. Is he considered a princess because he acts that way? Or does he act that way because he is seen as a princess? I think we can all relate to acting a certain way just to please someone or a group of people and before you know it you find yourself trapped in that role.

Also, the relationship between Himeutsugi and Mikoto is so destructive. She, over the course of the game, learns to depend and trust on other people, but in becoming like this she inadvertently takes advantage of Himeutsugi’s kindness. On the other hand, Himeutsugi is so trapped in his role that even though he doesn’t want Mikoto to see him as a kind princess, he can’t seem to break himself out of it until he finally snaps.

Now I just feel super guilty and sad whenever I see Himeutsugi _(:3」∠)_. I did him second last and so by the time I got to him and understood his feelings in his route; I was guilty of having skipped or ignored him through all the rest of the routes. HE JUST HAS SUCH A SMALL PRESENCE COMPARED TO THE SWAG OF IROHA, AGGRESSIVENESS OF KARAKURENAI, OR THE FOCUS OF MIZUCHI. I’m so sorry Hime! SO SORRY!

14 thoughts on “Hana Awase 「蛟編」 ~ Himeutsugi ~

    rivularia said:
    August 22, 2014 at 05:07

    Reblogged this on おっす!.

    Sena said:
    September 27, 2013 at 00:11

    God. Can’t there like…be a route where they’re all friends and no one goes crazy or dies? I’m asking for too much, aren’t I? This effing game.

    A “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is exactly how I would’ve described Himeutsugi, even before reading this whole thing. You could see glimpses of this in other routes (really good foreshadowing on the part of the creators).

    I guess it’s because I didn’t actually play it (yet), but I feel like so far, I feel the least for Himeutsugi. I sympathize with the whole being exhausted of living up to people’s expectations of him, but dude…he went batshit crazy. I don’t even have to hear his voice to know it’s creepy. Although if I do actually hear it, then I might just get nightmares…His yandere was like a different level. I almost rather be locked in a cage by Toma from Amnesia, and that freaked me out the first time I played it.

    Even so, I feel for him. I don’t necessarily like him, but I can’t hate him. Your comment at the end about overlooking him really struck. I think he was so trapped in his own image that his presence was minimal because he couldn’t be himself. I don’t even know if he knew who that was anymore either. I don’t know whether this is an extreme version of “nice guys finish last” or just the whole “stay true to yourself” business, because since he wasn’t able to, it was truly tragic for him. I guess it’s more the latter and I just answered my own question.

    I felt for him earlier too when he talked to Onosada in Mizuchi’s route about unspoken feelings being another type of love. He was like the epitome of love that wasn’t reciprocated and really couldn’t be. This makes me more interested in this idea of the Senki candidate having this essence (or I guess they called it scent) about her that just attracts the 5 Brights (and the chairmen?) like crazy. I’d be interested to learn more about that. It almost felt like to me that Hime might’ve been more influenced by that than the other guys…but who knows. I might not be giving him enough credit. I think I’ll read Lore’s character analysis for him because I seem to be pulling up short on a satisfying interpretation of him myself.

      Ilinox responded:
      September 29, 2013 at 14:15

      Noooope! Hana Awase exists just to crush our souls it seems because even in the so-called “good route” where you get with Mizuchi you still have to see how that hurts the other men… (|||❛︵❛.).

      Himeutsugi was really the epitome of what a yandere is I would think. He hides the other side of himself so well that when he does snap even we, as the readers, are a bit startled. You really need to get the game so that you can hear his voice since Tachibana did a FANTASTIC job voicing him //shivers. I think I left a few voice clips throughout my post like the one scene where Mizuchi and Iroha discover a drugged Mikoto in Hime’s room. Gods, the voice acting at that part was ridiculously amazing.

      Those are some really interesting points you bring up and it would be amazing if the writers had been thinking about that too. I don’t think his presence in the other routes was intentionally made minimal though ;;; since when you really like a character you’ll focus on them a lot despite them only having small appearances. I just feel so bad that Hime can’t compare to Iroha for me.

      Hmm, all the guys in the game are affected by her scent. I wouldn’t say that Hime was more influenced but that it was his personality that made it like that. For example, Mizuchi and Iroha have the personalities of silently suffering so even though they’re attracted to the scent they’ll hold themselves in check because they’re that kind of people. Himeutsugi and Karakurenai come off as more hedonistic people ;;; so I think that’s why the attraction to Mikoto’s scent manifests itself in that way.

    alyynyan said:
    June 12, 2013 at 05:56

    I thought i’ve made myself clear to read happy things after Lore’s Hime’s post (which i cry blood) but goodness your review is so perfect, neat and so details that i can’t seem to stop reading. It was beautifully written and even though i didn’t play the game (maybe in the future….maybe) i could feel all the despair and i just lost at it where Hime’s dying messages ;__________________;

    Blame me and my bad ends preferences but i liked the second ED more it felt so real, painfully tragic and how the death of Hime affects everyone’s lives. I just goodness crying when Iroha gave Mikoto hime’s cellphone and ;_____________;

    Thank you so much for a wonderful review (as always) !

      Ilinox responded:
      June 12, 2013 at 17:10

      Aww, thank you so much /)ω(\ I fully recommend playing it so you can hear the RIDICULOUSLY HEART-WRENCHING BGM and the crazy voices at all points instead of the segments that Lore recorded |D;;

      Same same! I loved how End 2 made it so that Mikoto is just fully in love with Mizuchi and so Himeutsugi ended up losing to that love because he’ll never possess her like that… and it’s just awfully sad. Everyone’s reactions afterwards and Himeutsugi’s lines as he was dying was chilling too ;;; especially knowing that Hime-hen is coming out next.

      Thank you for commenting! And aren’t you supposed to be studying around this time? ww

    Brooke said:
    June 6, 2013 at 17:13

    Is it bad that I like Ending 1 more? Hime-kun is feels and at leas he didn’t get screwed over like a certain someone’s route. Why did they make this game? Why?

      Ilinox responded:
      June 11, 2013 at 13:17

      I like Ending 2 because of maximum tragedy _(:3」∠)_ it feels like there are a lot of clues being released there pertaining to Himeutsugi-hen too, but I know what you mean about Ending 1 being less of him getting screwed over. Almost everyone does though since this game is Mizuchi’s ;w; m-my Iroha….

      I truly believe that the CEO of Rejet, Iwasaki Daisuke, and Gekka (Hana Awase’s writer) came from the depths of hell. It’s just pure tragedies everywhere… ow.

        Brooke said:
        June 16, 2013 at 04:58

        Mikito’ s yandere is Hime.
        I am yours, so time to kill the creators unless they change every route.

    shiroi said:
    January 3, 2013 at 21:43

    Thank you so much for posting these reviews ; v ;~ They’re always so neat, organized, and gosh i just love your analysis at the end ; A ; I seriously don’t know what I’d do without your reviews and also Lore’s because they clarify everything and fill in all the things I missed fjasdjfjsdf (yay for only 3 years worth of studying japanese in high school!!!)
    Anyways, I never noticed that I never noticed Hime OTL Especially in Kurenai’s route, I’d find myself forgetting Hime was even there except for those 2 or 3 scenes he was in (´A`) But I guess that adds onto his ‘perfect princess’ image, in a way? .-.
    I just really want Hime to get his happy ending where he can legitly be the prince because of ~unmei~ Same with Iroha OTL
    I look forward to your next post~ n___n

      Ilinox responded:
      January 7, 2013 at 11:48

      You’re very welcome and gjadkhgh thank you for your kind words <33! It's my OCD that makes me want to label everything nice and neatly, haha, and our analyses are only because we spend way too much time thinking about this game _(:3」∠)_ *throws self into japanese poetry books*.

      I have no doubts that WoGa purposefully made Hime a smaller presence in this game fkadkjgg especially when you think about his scenes compared to Karakurenai's inflammatory actions like always harassing Mikoto ;;; BUT YES. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY.

    Yukiru said:
    January 3, 2013 at 08:09

    OMG it’s been so long since I’ve been able to read your posts! I admire how you can always write absolutely everything! I’m basically the same as you; the first time I played I was pretty much occupied by Mizuchi and I also always noticed Iroha’s lines because he stands out so much.. so I took in less of Himeutsugi and I FEEL SO BAD FOR HIM T__T SOBS I’m even worse because I started taking it in only thanks to yours and Lore’s posts _(:3」∠)_

      Ilinox responded:
      January 3, 2013 at 13:21

      I love how Hana Awase brought everyone back together and everyone shared in the despair _(:3」∠)_… for a while we were all playing different games. Thank you for your kind words //sobs I feel like I can still get better at cutting out the redundancies that occur like when Mikoto goes え?! or just ・・・? or even 蛟さん!. There has to be a better way to write those!

      It’s amazing how Iroha probably has the least lines out of everyone yet he takes up so much room on the screen ;;; THE ONLY TIME I PAYED ATTENTION TO HIME IS WHEN HE WAS BY HIMSELF _(:3」∠)_. Now we’re cursed so that if we ever replay routes and see him, we’re just struck with this heart-stabbing sadness… I bet I’ll be like that through his game too since it’ll be the only time he can be happy… then there’ll be Karakurenai/Utsutsu’s volume…

    Lorelei said:
    January 2, 2013 at 20:07

    お疲れ様〜! Oh gosh, reading this was reliving the nightmare once again, but… _(:3」∠)_ This is so nicely written and so detailed as always. Great job! I really like your conclusions, especially the part about Hime and Mikoto’s relationship being destructive. *A* I can’t wait to read your posts on the other guys and relive the rest of my pain. _(:3」∠)_ sdlfkjdsljf and thanks for linking to my post! ;w;

      Ilinox responded:
      January 3, 2013 at 13:14

      ありがとう(・`◡´・)ゝ!Typing it made me relive the soul-crushing despair too dgkjgd especially when I started reading your research for his poems.. Ow… I don’t think I looked very closely at any of their poems the first time around so now I’m just being heart-stomped everywhere….

      T-Thank youuu /)_(\ I still prefer your way of writing huge conclusions, haha. I always lose my train of thought somewhere so I feel like my conclusions barely scrape the surface. I’m looking forward to an updated Hime post from you 8DD! My goal is to be your top referrer! lmao //bricked.

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