(Hidden character again! I’m trying my best to hide spoilers but I’m pretty sure it’s obvious who is who by now… maybe. At any rate, I’m changing things up a little because there’s a short story which is locked until I do Kazuya’s ending first, so the Monshiro Interlude will have to come after this!)
Please read Monshiro’s route for more details because I’m just going to summarize chapter six quickly and then start from the choice difference.
*** CHAPTER SIX ***
Yamato takes their diminished group, consisting of Beniyuri, Karasuba, himself, and Monshiro, to the greenhouse in an attempt to find somewhere to hide from Hikage and heal. They rest there until Karasuba’s wound heals. Beniyuri starts to feel isolated and hurt at how everyone is still keeping a secret from her. But then they’re approached by Usagi who reveals that Beniyuri has the last fragment and the master of the mansion wants her to come to him.
Everyone makes a plan to deal with Hikage, but this only makes Beniyuri feel more isolated since her plans are shut down and she’s not very involved apart from having the role to talk to him. In the end, she’s the one who decides when they should go though and she:
- Wants to look around
- Wants to go immediately
Beniyuri decides that she wants to look around because, like everyone has said, they don’t know what Hikage is thinking. Everyone agrees and settles down for the night. Monshiro approaches Beniyuri before she sleeps though and hugs her as he explains how he’s always wanted to return her ribbon to her, and he finally does. He wants to help everyone get back to their world, but it’s implied that he’s not going to come with them.
Everyone goes to sleep and then Monshiro sneaks out to confront Hikage and take the kaleidoscope. Hikage reveals that Monshiro, who is actually Kazuya, was never dead and has just been in a coma for the past ten years, causing pain to everyone. Monshiro is shaken and nearly gets shot by Hikage but is rescued by Kagiha. However, Kagiha confronts him and admits that he wants to take Monshiro’s place because he loves Beniyuri, who is Ai, and will do anything to be with her. Monshiro now believes that it would be better on everyone if he didn’t exist and falls into such despair that he plummets down into a place known as hell.
The next morning, Beniyuri and the others wake up and find Monshiro missing. Yamato and Karasuba tell Beniyuri to stay at the greenhouse and leave to find Monshiro. Beniyuri ends up leaving the greenhouse too because time has passed but no one has returned. She ends up finding a giant hole in the entrance hall and meets Kagiha who reveals that Monshiro is down there.
Beniyuri ends up regaining her memories of everyone naturally and tells Kagiha that she’s not willing to sacrifice people for her own happiness. She is determined to go into hell and get Monshiro back, but gives Kagiha her butterfly pin which contains the last fragment so that he can help everyone else get home. Kagiha finds that his beliefs have been shaken.
Anyway, Beniyuri goes down into the hole and runs into Monshiro’s memories, which reveal how he arrived at the mansion around the same time Kagiha did and followed him and Hikage around. He helped Hikage collect the fragments but ultimately couldn’t stand how Hikage used and played with people, so he left and became alone. He’s spent years in this mansion clinging onto the promise to return the ribbon Ai gave him back to her.
Beniyuri finds Monshiro, helps him recover his memories, and makes him realize that everyone loves him and worries about him. He doesn’t need to disappear. Both of them try to find an exit out of the hole now with the help of the ribbon, which is leading the way. They soon find themselves climbing a hill and at the top of it is the surface of a lake and sunlight.
But Monshiro starts to sink into the ground and the ribbon stretches to the breaking point underneath both their weights. Beniyuri won’t let him go but Monshiro wants her to be saved and so he thanks her for all that she’s done for him, kisses her, and then releases her hand.
He gives her a happy smile and sinks slowly into the dark. She screams out his name and stretches out her hand but she can’t reach. Her hand only grasps on emptiness. What should she do? What can she do?!
- Reach out her hand even further
- Call out his name
*** KAZUYA END ***
Beniyuri screams out his name and, even though she knows it’s useless, she stretches out her hand to the point of pain and tries to reach him, who is sinking. Like a child, she keeps chanting at her hand to reach him. But Kazuya just grows farther away and is buried underneath the darkness. Beniyuri screams out in denial; they were about to leave and yet this happened…!
Little by little, the distance between them grows. As she looks at his distant form. As they make eye contact. They are split in half.
Beniyuri continues to cry about reaching him. Even though she came here to get him back… she doesn’t want to leave him behind! EVEN THOUGH I KIND OF WENT THROUGH A SIMILAR SCENE AND I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A HAPPY END… KIND OF… THE ACTRESS DOES SUCH A GOOD JOB HERE I HAVE TEARY EYES. She’s begging to be able to reach him.
The world flickers. In the pitch black space, a light starts to expand. Beniyuri is startled and wonders what is happening. Suddenly, she feels the ribbon in her hand expanding and, at the same time, Kazuya who had been disappearing comes back clearly into view. Is she falling? Or is he rising? The only thing she is sure about is that the distance between them is slowly shrinking.
Kazuya’s eyes widen and he asks her what she’s doing. She can hear his voice. He doesn’t understand why she’s going so far for him. His violet eyes shake with confusion. She tells him that it’s obvious and she’s never going to let him be alone. That’s why she’s begging him to also stretch out his hand to her. Kazuya is shaken by her words but he still hesitantly raises his arm.
Her fingers skim his as he reaches out towards her. In her mind, she begs anything to help her reach him. Their fingers brush against each other countless of times before finally entwining and at the same time that they grip each other’s hand the entire world turns white.
Minato Ai wakes up in the hospital and blinks multiple times. This place is…? The last thing she saw was a whiteness that burned the eyes. Is she still there? No, she realizes immediately that she’s mistaken and this place is… a white hospital. She’s laying on the center of a bed and she can see from a crack in the half-open curtains that the sun is a descending red.
She recognizes the scenery from the window and this looks to be the hospital that Kazuya is in. She’s… returned! As this thought gradually sinks into her brain, she stops breathing. Is she the only one who returned!? What happened to Kazuya?! She quickly gets up and places her feet on the ground. She’s struck by a sudden vertigo, but concentrates slowly on making her way to his hospital room.
Ai opens his door violently and steps into the room, shouting his name. Inside is the same dreary scene and, like her last visit, he is unconscious. She’s relieved that he’s in the place where she thought he’d be, but at the same time she also feels anxious at how he’s as silent as death. She calls out his name and asks him to open his eyes. Ai runs up to the bed and grabs his hand. Please wake. Please.
She raises her voice a little bit more and tightens her grip on his hand. But the tightly shut eyes don’t move at all, and he only continues to breathe shallowly. She whispers his name in dismay and wonders if she was the only one who came back…? Did she end up leaving him… in that darkness? She…
Suddenly, Kazuya groans and she feels a tremble through the fingers she’s holding. In the next instant, he opens his eyes. He’s confused as to where he is. She can only say his name in stupefaction. Their eyes meet and she can see her own reflection in his eyes, which resemble a lake’s surface. He asks why she’s crying. He continues on to ask why this place is so bright and warm. Why…?
Ai answers quietly that they’ve returned. He repeats her words in shock. She quickly points out that he can see the sunset, right? He can feel the wind, right? They aren’t in “that mansion” anymore and they’re in the world that they grew up in. He is speechless. She repeats again that they’ve returned. To the real world. To this bright world. To a place where they’re alive. They’ve returned!
Kazuya, as if he still can’t comprehend those words, continues to blink and his mouth is partially open. It still doesn’t feel real. To her or Kazuya. And that’s why she continues to talk, as if reflecting upon this fact. She welcomes him home. This instant is like a miracle. She feels like the fact that they’re here is an unbelievably wondrous thing. He tells her in a hoarse voice that he’s home.
And then, as if just realizing what those words mean, he repeats them. He’s home… he’s home… He’s home! And then he welcomes her home as well. She nods and returns the greeting. They exchange these words countless more times. These ordinary and common every day greetings. And yet, she’s so happy she wants to cry.
Under the sun, she’s able to exchange these two words. I’m home; welcome home. Holding hands, they share in their happiness and joy. Yes, they’ve returned home…
After that, a nurse who heard their voices returns Ai to her room and a doctor is called. It seems like she lost her consciousness after being in a bus accident but, fortunately, suffered no great injuries. She was soon healthy enough to be discharged.
On the other hand Kazuya, who has been sleeping for ten years, has muscle atrophy and needs time to return his body to its previous state. He soon starts rehabilitation. He practices his walking, stretches, and his pronunciation of words. The training is relentless. But Kazuya works harder than normal and soon he can talk and move without much difficulty. Ai accompanies him to his training every day and cheers him on. It’s become a daily routine for them.
But they also have one more daily routine. And that is, between his rehabilitation, they visit and talk to Takuya and Aki, who still haven’t returned. Both o f them, who also lost conscious in the same bus accident, are still in the interval between life and death.
One day, Ai is talking to Takuya and asks if he’s heard about how Kazuya has been competing with an elementary student who is also in rehabilitation. Kazuya denies it. Ai disagrees and points out that he still needs crutches and so he’s pushing himself too hard. She reminds him that the instructor told him to take everything at his own pace, but he broke that promise. Kazuya pouts and says that he’s not overdoing it. Ai sighs and complains to Takuya about how Kazuya doesn’t listen to her at all. She wants Aki to help scold him too. Kazuya can’t stop his small smile.
After rehabilitation, the two of them head to Takuya and Aki’s room as usual. Right now Takuya and Aki, who always fought, are in the same room. Ai and Kazuya sit in chairs beside them and talk to them while looking at them both.
Ai remarks softly on how Takuya and Aki have calm faces. They’re still in the interspace, right? What are they doing right now? Are their voices reaching them? Kazuya is silent. She tries to state that they’ll come back one day, right? She and Kazuya can wait for them until then, right? Kazuya tells her that everything will be okay and those two will surely return, like how they did. She nods and there’s nothing they can do but believe.
She takes out the ribbon that Kazuya returned to her and grips it tightly on top of her knees. They managed to return thanks to this ribbon. They were saved by her mother and Kazuya’s feelings. And so she believes that if they continued to hope for these two then surely…
Kazuya abruptly thanks her. Her eyes widen at the sudden words and she looks at him in confusion. What is he thanking her for? He’s thanking her for not saying anything about how troublesome he is after returning. For continuing to stretch out her hand to him at that time when he was falling into that dark place. He’s thanking her for not giving up. She says his name, touched.
He smiles brightly and declares that he’s able to be here, thanks to her. He’s able to be by her side. Ai reminds him that he’s the one who told her not to give up no matter what happens and to hold onto hope. He nods. She tells him that this is why she won’t give up and why she’ll continue to believe that these two will return. Kazuya nods and says that he believes that as well.
Kazuya places a hand on top of hers, which is holding the ribbon. Suddenly, Ai recalls that they kissed while holding hands like this. Her cheeks turn red at the memory. Kazuya notices and asks her if something is the matter. She quickly shakes her head. He points out that her face is red. She blurts out that it’s really nothing and so he doesn’t need to stare at her like that!
But he continues to look at her with a strange expression. Why can’t he look at her? He likes her and so he wants to keep looking at her. She repeats his words blankly. He only smiles and tells her that he likes her. In that past, everyone really loved the gentle her. Of course, this included him. Ai hesitantly asks him what that means. He explains that he wants to be together with her forever.
He admits to secretly thinking that she only needs him by her side, and not anyone else. His wish has been granted and he’s beside her but… right now he feels like he has an advantage and so he’ll wait for everyone to return before saying that he loves her. He’ll also hold back from holding her tightly. He’ll restrain himself from doing anything until everyone is home.
In her mind Ai wonders if this can be taken as a confession. As she struggles to understand his meaning, she looks back at him and sees his eyes desiring an answer. She neither averts her eyes nor runs away. She looks directly at his bright eyes and nods. She believes that one day that time will come. Kazuya smiles and then looks away from her to the two sleeping on the bed.
They continue to hold hands as she also moves her eyes onto them. Takuya… Aki… The wind coming in from the window makes their hair sway. Right now, more than anything, she is sending her feelings to them in that far away world.
Kazuya addresses his brother, Takuya, and Aki and tells them to hurry and return home. He’ll always be waiting. No, that’s not it, he’s not just going to wait this time. He’ll continue to call out their names and talk to them and come to see them. He’ll be together with Ai and they’ll do whatever it takes to come and find them. So, he wants them to come home as soon as possible.
Suddenly, Aki and Takuya groan. Kazuya startles in surprise. Fingers start to move without much strength. Kazuya wonders worriedly what is happening and what it means. Ai doesn’t know but right now both of them just moved, right? Could it be… Kazuya parrots her words in confusion. She points out that they might almost be here! Kazuya smiles brilliantly.
And then, on that day, they did not have to wait for their wish but realized that it was already granted.