Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Mizuchi ~

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Mizuchi (蛟)
CV: Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)

Mizuchi is one of the 5 Brights and a second year Kaei of the Koukokugumi. He is a son from the ancient and honorable MIZUCHI family and comes off as being very strict and prideful, but he is also sincere and kind in his actions. Everyone teases him for being pure and prim because he has no idea how to treat a lady other than with innocent respect.

(Because Mizuchi’s game was first and he got to have a happy end, he’s going to be the first one to have a bad end in this game, haha).

DAY 21. Mikoto decides to request the help of one of the 5 Brights to save Himeutsugi and the others in the auditorium.

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

Mikoto hears Aoi pleading with Mizuchi not to go and to stop. Mizuchi has his eye closed and is silent before he walks off. Mikoto asks Aoi what just happened. Aoi is startled to see Mikoto. Mikoto passes her a handkerchief, which makes Aoi laugh shakily at how this is the opposite of that time. An embarrassing side of her was shown. Mikoto shakes her head. Aoi explains that Mizuchi spoke of going to save Himeutsugi, even at the expense of being expelled.

Aoi chuckles dryly and says that once Mizuchi has decided on something then he will never bend. He even spoke to his grandfather already. Mikoto is hung up on the fact that Mizuchi is going to save Himeutsugi alone. Aoi repeats what Mizuchi told her, which was that he didn’t need her to come; him alone is more than enough to be expelled and to go into a dangerous place. Aoi whispers that, according to the laws of Koukokugumi, Mizuchi’s will is absolute. She can do nothing but obey.

Mikoto’s eyes widen. Aoi’s smile is derisive as she comments on how strange it is, isn’t it. She is her brother’s partner and yet she doesn’t have the permission to follow him, no matter how she wants to stop him. Mikoto murmurs her name. And then Aoi asks Mikoto if she adores Himeutsugi. Mikoto is startled but answers honestly that she doesn’t think so; she’s not sure herself yet. Aoi thinks that’s cute.

She also tells Mikoto that she’s become more like a minamo since she came to this school; her power has become strong. Her water is clear and pure, to the point where a minamo like Aoi is jealous just looking at it. Mikoto immediately disagrees and says that Aoi is the one with strong and dignified water. It’s amazing! Aoi thanks her but her voice is shaky as she says that there’s no point to that if she’s not able to convey that to the person she wants to know that the most.

Honestly, she wanted to be told to come with him. She wanted to be told that she was needed. Aoi would risk expulsion for Mizuchi… no, her life! Aoi regains her composure and apologizes. Even though they are connected by blood through the same family, even though they’re in the same group, even though she’s his partner… Mizuchi is a distant existence. Mikoto sadly asks if Aoi can’t talk to him? Can she not tell him one more time that she wants to go with him?

Aoi answers instantly that she can’t. She’s realized… her brother’s feelings. She doesn’t want to know any more than this. Mikoto asks her why!? If she just talked to him again…! Aoi smiles bitterly and tells Mikoto that she’ll understand one day; the more one likes someone… the more they become cowardly, weak, and fragile. What she can do is follow after Mizuchi and pursue the same road as him. Expulsion… and death.

Mikoto is shocked to hear that Aoi is going to follow the same road as him… without saying anything! And then Mikoto tells her that she can’t do that. Aoi smiles tiredly and says that this is her decision; Mikoto needs to choose her own path. With these words, Aoi excuses herself and quickly walks away.

Mikoto didn’t know that Aoi adored Mizuchi that much. Love is amazing, but scary. To sacrifice one’s life like that… Mikoto can’t do that. But she wants to save Himeutsugi and these feelings won’t change, so… she wants to do what she can do.

Night falls and Mizuchi opens his door to find Mikoto outside his door. She greets him and then apologizes for her actions, but she thought he’d refuse to let her in. And then she asks him to take her together with him to the auditorium, as a minamo and as his partner. Mizuchi’s eye widens before he asks her to repeat what she just said. Mikoto states firmly that her feelings are the same as his and she wants to save Himeutsugi. Please.

Mizuchi exhales heavily. And then he says flatly that this is something he decided. It has nothing to do with her. She replies that she’s made a decision as well. To go with him to the auditorium. He tells her that he won’t join with another group’s minamo; this is one of the laws of the Koukokugumi. Mikoto tells him that she’s a minamo of the Gekkougumi and they have no laws. He stiffens.

She goes on to say that, in place of laws, the Gekkougumi has various roles. They have lunch making roles, uniform providing roles… and hers was being Himeutsugi’s temporary partner. As a minamo of the Gekkougumi, she had an entire role to herself… and it requires a partner. In her mind, Mikoto thinks on how she still doesn’t understand the meaning of sacrificing one’s life but she wants to do something in order to save Himeutsugi’s life. For him to live.

Mikoto closes her eyes and pleads with Mizuchi. He breathes in deeply before closing his eye and commenting on how, during her first day at Kaen, he broke his own law despite it being an emergency. And now, once again… He tells her bluntly that it is certain she will be expelled if she comes with him; he also can’t guarantee her life. Mikoto tells him that she’s prepared. He breathes in deeply again. And then acknowledges her request and tells her to come.

The two head to the greenhouse and Mikoto is startled to find that they can get in! Mizuchi explains that he takes care of the greenhouse more often than the chairmen and so he has the key to it, though he didn’t think he’d be using it in this kind of situation. Anyway, he tells her that they’ll be spotted if they use a light so he warns her to be careful of her footing. Mikoto nods only to yelp when she trips on the next step.

Mizuchi averts his eye and quietly tells her to hold his hand. She thanks him. He informs her that there’s a barrier around the auditorium and the moment they break that they will plunge into the auditorium immediately. Mikoto nods. He doesn’t know the situation inside and they may have to fight successive utsurohi battles. Mikoto nods. Mizuchi looks pained as he tells her that there is a possibility Hime has become possessed by the utsurohi and fallen into becoming an adabana.

Adabana, who have been possessed by utsurohi, often lose their personality; and so if Hime isn’t the Hime they know then… Mikoto looks away and tells him that she understands. Mizuchi’s voice is quiet as he notes that her hand is cold. She tells him that she’s just nervous. He tells her that she can go back; there’s still time. But Mikoto looks directly at him and shakes her head. She’s going to continue onwards. No matter what happens she won’t run, because she needs to save Himeutsugi. She can’t let her nerves get the better of her.

Mizuchi closes his eye and inhales sharply. Mikoto is startled when she feels his hand clench and points it out to him. Mizuchi immediately rectifies that and loosens his grip. She blinks at him in surprise only for them both to flinch when a shock hits them. It hurts! They both look at their connected hands only to see another spark. Mikoto realizes that this looks like the electrical current that was in the auditorium! Mizuchi yells at her to step back.

Mikoto screams when she sees an utsurohi appear in front of them. Mizuchi notices that the auditorium door, deep within the greenhouse, is already open. Something must have broken the barrier already. Mikoto’s mouth drops open. But then Mizuchi orders her to prepare because they’re going to be attacked. He steps forward to set up his field and does his field call.

They win the fight but then Mikoto is startled to feel water rain down on them from above. Where is it coming from? Mizuchi yells out a warning, but it’s too late and Mikoto screams as she’s shocked by an electrical current. She collapses. WOW SERIOUSLY ELECTRICITY SUCKS SO MUCH WHEN YOU’RE A MINAMO. Mizuchi yells out her name and then grits his teeth when he realizes that they need to retreat for now.

Mikoto is whimpers weakly in pain. Mizuchi tells her to hold on. She tells him that her back hurts. Mizuchi realizes that she’s been electrocuted, but then his eye widens as he sees that electricity is still flowing through her wet clothes. It’s because of that water! Mikoto writhes in pain. Mizuchi murmurs out loud that he can feel a faint taint from the electricity. It looks like she’s starting to dry up too. At this rate, the taint is corroding her body.

She apologizes for being a burden on him. Mizuchi orders her not to talk; she’s wasting her energy. At any rate, he needs to remove the taint from her. He recalls that she said her back was tingling. She nods. Mizuchi purses his lips and then apologizes tightly. Mikoto only has time to blink in confusion before he tears the back of her clothes. WOOOOOW GO GET HER MIZUCHI LOL.

Mikoto yelps out his name, but he snaps at her not to look at him. He’ll close his eye too! He’s removed her clothes, that were tinged with electricity, and now… he has to chase out the taint and electricity in her body as soon as possible. He asks her to endure this for a little bit. Mikoto tries to ask him what he means by chasing it out, but then gasps when she feels his tongue on her back. Mizuchi tells her that he’ll be done soon.

She can feel his tongue moving along her back. Mizuchi’s voice is strained as he reminds her again to bear this a little longer. She whimpers. He notices that her back is inflamed and red. Meanwhile, in her mind, Mikoto is embarrassed having her body seen by Mizuchi. She shakes her head, but he tells her that the taint hasn’t disappeared yet. He then apologizes because she has to experience this humiliation when he was beside her.

Mikoto reassures him that she doesn’t mind but… in her mind, she wonders what to do in this situation! Each time he licks her, her body shivers. Mikoto hurriedly tells him that this is good enough and if he does this any more then…! Mizuchi starts to breathe heavily. Mikoto tells him to release her because she’s scared. He inhales sharply and then lets her go immediately, telling her that he’s covered her with his jacket so she can open her eyes now.

He asks her if she still feels the shocks. She admits that it’s still there a little but it’s been greatly reduced. Mizuchi nods jerkily and his voice is shaky as he informs her that the taint has also… been reduced; she should return to her dormitory quickly, wash in pure water, and then treat her back. Mikoto nods and then thanks him with a smile for helping her. His brows furrow before his lips twist sharply and he walks away.

Mikoto stares at his back in surprise and then her face crumbles. Mizuchi… He did those actions to save her from the taint… It was a situation where he couldn’t avoid doing it and he avoided looking at her for her sake. She was surprised but there was no other way. But she was also scared… being held down in the darkness. Mizuchi also wasn’t as calm as he usually was and it was like…

Suddenly, bushes rustle and Mikoto whirls around. Is someone there!? She calls out and asks who it is, only to startle when she sees that it’s… Himeutsugi!? OH SHIT.

「吉野山 こずゑの花を 見し日より
心は身にも そはずなりにき」 – Mizuchi
(Since the first day
I saw the blossoms on the trees
At Mount Yoshino
My yearning heart has seemed
Separated from my body.) – Saigyou Houshi (#66)

Scene skip! At night, Mizuchi berates himself for the thing he just did. She was scared, trembling and frightened by his hands…! And yet, he couldn’t stop. Unconsciously, he tightened his hold on her. He exhales shakily and thinks out loud on how it was like his heart was separated from his body; unconnected to his will it… to Mikoto… Mizuchi inhales deeply and then admits to himself lowly that, no, he was aware and THAT was why he did it. Is this due to his blood as well? The cursed blood of his family… He has to leave distance between him and Mikoto. If he doesn’t, then he’ll hurt her… and break her.

Scene skip! At night, the Half Moon notes that Mikoto has decided on her moon. He notes 「今度のツキがどうなるか、僕にもわからない。僕はここにいるだけ。君を守るだけ。一回目は決断、二回目は混迷。あの時もそうだった。君は迷っていた。」(Even I don’t know what will happen this next moon. I can only be here; I can only protect you. The first time was determination, the second time is confusion. Just like that time. You are lost). SHIT IS HE REFERRING TO THE ACTUAL GAMES?

Mikoto asks him what he means. And then she addresses him as Half Moon and asks him who, and what, he is. Why can she only hear his voice? What does he mean by his words? The Half Moon tells her softly that the full moon is close. When the moon fills, fate changes greatly. But that’s her trial. What she should believe in… but there is only one answer. He tells her to find it… her half moon.

DAY 22. Mikoto wakes up and realizes that she had another dream about him. She’s seen that part multiple times… but today seems a little different. What does he mean by lost? She does feel strangely stuck though. Suddenly, Momotose knocks on her door and asks for her time. She enters to tell Mikoto that Kintokihana, the chairman, has awoken and they should go to see him together. Mikoto nods and then heads to the chairmen’s room with Momotose, where she excuses herself before entering and finding the 5 Brights lined up.

Kintoki immediately informs them that he’s heard everything from Onosada… though he still can’t believe it. All the utsurohi and adabana seething in the auditorium were purified by Himeutusgi alone, correct? Himeutsugi is silent. Onosada confirms it and that, thanks to Hime, all the students and everyone who were left in the auditorium are safe. They have all testified that Himeutsugi withered the adabana and saved them all from the tainted electricity.

But Kintoki points out that though Himeutsugi removed the barrier by himself and evacuated everyone from the auditorium, there seems to be taint remaining in the greenhouse. Mizuchi speaks up and says that he and Mikoto encountered them there and exterminated them with Hana Awase. It is likely that those weren’t the last utsurohi remaining in the school though. Kintoki then asks about the tainted electricity.

Momotose answers that Mizuchi and Iroha purified the area around the greenhouse and so it’s extinguished. The purification went by quickly because the utsurohi, which were the source of the taint, were exterminated. Kintoki sniffs but notes that everything seems thorough, especially Himeutsugi. Even if he is an excellent Kaei, the possibility of him purifying that amount of taint was low.

Himeutsugi tells him that he is correct and, compared to the other 5 Brights, his abilities as a player is low. That’s why he didn’t do it as a Kaei but… He sighs before admitting that, along with being a player, he also holds the ability of a minamo. HOLY SHIT?? Mikoto gapes at him. Momotose realizes out loud that a skilled minamo can not only use their own water but also gather and use the water of surrounding minamo. Could it be that Himeutsugi…!?

He nods and explains that, in order to purify everything, he took water from the minamo in the auditorium. He can also gather the water held by other players. Mikoto’s eyes widen even further. YOOO THAT’S CHEATING. Hime tells them that he didn’t want to use this power, since it’s like cheating, and that’s why he hid it and never used it. OH… LMAO HE ADMITS IT HIMSELF.

Karakurenai snorts and quotes the idiom “a skilled hawk hides its talons” at Hime. Don’t make him laugh. He can use a minamo’s power? So, he’s not putting on airs about being a princess because he IS one. No wonder, he thought Hime had no balls. YOOO KURENAI!! Kagami snaps at Kurenai to stop, calling him Kaa-kun. Kurenai snarls at her to shut up before grumbling about how Gekkougumi is always filled with disgusting people. He stalks off and leaves the room without another word.

Anyway, Kintoki turns to Mikoto and tells her that, regarding her treatment, he’ll withdraw her expulsion. The emperor, upon learning of their situation, has sent an imperial edict. The awakening of the senki is certain and so he wants them to purge the people hunting her… in other words, he is ordering them to do a Kabatsu. Mikoto repeats the word Kabatsu questioningly.

Onosada is the one who explains that, just like its name, it means they are pruning flowers… in other words, killing people with Hana Awase. Mikoto is shocked. Kintoki goes on to say that, since Kaen received an invasion, the emperor is making his move too. This is a serious matter and so the 5 Brights are to report to Onosada and prepare to do Kabatsu. Iroha acknowledges this.

Kintoki adds that he is appointing Mizuchi to be the senki candidate’s partner. Mikoto is surprised to hear this. Kintoki thinks out loud that, because Mikoto hasn’t decided yet, the emperor might be losing his temper and Mizuchi’s family has served the emperor for generations, so he trusts them. Mizuchi calmly asks about what will happen to the onifuda ceremony.

Mikoto interrupts and points out that Mizuchi has a partner! He can’t just leave Aoi and become her partner– Kintoki tells her flatly that this is an order from the emperor. She flinches. Kintoki adds that they’re not going to adhere to the rules anymore. Moreover, they are no longer going to listen to her opinion; she’s too late. Mikoto is silent. Kintoki declares that Mikoto is going to be assigned to the Koukokugumi from here on, and she must awaken as the senki partner of Mizuchi.

Everyone exits the room and, outside, Aoi is frozen. PLEASE DON’T GO CRAZY ON ME. Mikoto’s eyes widen and she calls out the other girl’s name, but Aoi grits her teeth and walks away. Mikoto watches her back sadly. And then Mizuchi tells her calmly that he’s placing himself in her care from here on. Mikoto nods weakly. He goes on to say that, before they do Kabatsu, they need to collect information on Goto. He is going to go talk to Onosada.

Mikoto tells him that she wants to go too then! She needs to know about Kabatsu. But Mizuchi cuts her off and tells her that she doesn’t have to go. He can do Kabatsu by himself. Mikoto stares at him with large eyes. He points out that he can’t take the senki candidate into dangerous locations and so she can remain alert in the school. UHHH DUDE. He walks off after saying these things and leaves Mikoto thinking about how, by saying that she doesn’t even need to do Kabatsu, there’s no meaning in her being his partner.

Moreover, Mizuchi doesn’t want to be with her. After their previous incident she feels like he’s been avoiding her. It’s because that incident happened, huh. And then Himeutsugi appears and tells her that Mizuchi is faithful and he’ll definitely protect her. He’s saying this as Mizuchi’s best friend, and so she can relax.

Mikoto nods and then opens her mouth to say something to him, but he interrupts and tells her that their relationship as partners has ended. She needs to look at no one else but Mizuchi now. Mikoto’s eyes widen, and then Hime walks off without another word. JFC THESE MEN.

Scene skip! Mizuchi knocks on Himeutsugi’s door and then enters. Hime comments on how unusual it is to see Mizuchi at this time. Mizuchi tells him that he came, because he had something to talk about. It’s about Hime’s power and how he kept silent about it from even Mizuchi. If he had that ability then, as a Kaei, he could have aimed for an even higher position. So, why did he hide it?

Himeutsugi loses the smile on his face and is silent. Finally, he tells Mizuchi that he can’t use a princess’– no, a minamo’s power. That power is theirs. Mizuchi is quiet. Hime asks if that’s all he wanted to talk about. Mizuchi brings up how he’s become the partner to the senki candidate. Because Hime used to be her partner, Mizuchi feels like he needs to say this with his own mouth.

Hime sighs and muses on whether Mizuchi is too honest or if he just can’t hide it. He then smiles and reassures Mizuchi that Mikoto is his now, so he can relax because Hime won’t take her. Mizuchi doesn’t know what to say. Hime continues on and points out excitedly that since Mizuchi and Mikoto are partners, why don’t they actually become lovers too? And even do perverted things?

Mizuchi chokes and asks Himeutsugi what he thinks the senki candidate is! They have to abstain from actions that will cause her to lose her qualifications. Hime tells him lightly that it should be fine to do it. His voice drops though as he adds that it’ll be troubling if Mizuchi doesn’t do it… for Hime’s sake too. Mizuchi blinks in confusion. Himeutsugi then tells him that he’s decided he’ll be their cupid of love. So, he wants to hurry up and see them being couple-y together. Mizuchi says his name in confusion. But then Hime opens the door and excuses himself as he leaves. Mizuchi is left staring at the door.

Scene skip! In Mikoto’s room, Momotose admits to being surprised. Who would have thought that the emperor would ignore the ceremony and order her to partner with Mizuchi. It’s unprecedented! Mikoto is silent and looking at the ground. Momotose asks her what’s wrong. Mikoto points out that Aoi isn’t Mizuchi’s partner anymore. Momotose smiles and reassures Mikoto that Aoi is a proud minamo and understands their obligations.

Momotose is also concerned about Mikoto, and points out that she was attached to Himeutsugi, right? Has she managed to settle her feelings? Mikoto flinches before telling Momotose that Himeutsugi told her to look at no one but Mizuchi now. Momotose loses her smile. She tells Mikoto that Hime never shows his true self and is always leaving distance between him and someone; to say nothing of how his opponent is his close friend. His feelings for Mizuchi are strong too.

Moreover, Himeutsugi has noticed that Mizuchi doesn’t dislike Mikoto. Mikoto is surprised to hear that. Momotose grins and reveals to Mikoto that Mizuchi is veeeeeery hard to understand but the direction his heart is pointing towards is here. Mikoto turns red and yelps at Momotose not to poke her chest. Momotose just giggles and tells her that Mizuchi is a lovely man as well and she should try deepening her relationship with him a little. Mikoto nods, but her face is glum. Can she even deepen her relationship with Mizuchi?

Scene skip! The dormitory leader greets Mikoto outside on the school grounds. Mikoto returns her greeting. The dorm leader notes how, from today, Mikoto has joined the Koukokugumi as Mizuchi’s partner, right? Mikoto nods and tells her that she’s looking forward to working with them all. The dorm leader warns her though that she won’t be easy on Mikoto just because she’s Mizuchi’s partner, that’s what she wanted to say.

The Koukokugumi isn’t as nonchalant as the Gekkougumi! They have laws from one to five. Mikoto notes that they have laws on everything, don’t they. The dorm leader snaps out that they have to maintain order and since she’s part of Koukokugumi now she has to maintain these too. First, Mikoto needs to memorize this textbook. Mikoto’s mouth drops open. Textbook!? It’s more like a dictionary!

But the dorm leader continues on to say that minamo in Koukokugumi finish reading this in one day. If they don’t then they’re made fun of by everyone. She’ll give Mikoto a special test on this, so she needs to have it memorized by tomorrow! Mikoto winces but tells her that she’ll do her best. The dorm leader also tells her to call her the committee leader from now on.

Suddenly, they’re both interrupted by Himeutsugi laughing as he approaches them and noting how it’s started, Koukokugumi’s spartan training. OH GOD HIS LAUGH IS SO NICE HERE. Mikoto’s eyes widen and she greets both him and Mizuchi, who also appears. Hime comments on how everyone is so studious, just like a certain someone. Mizuchi tells him not to say unnecessary things.

Hime just grins and waves his hand. He’s about to go in another direction though, so he’ll leave the rest to Mizuchi. He walks off, leaving Mizuchi with a complicated look on his face. Mikoto inwardly winces at this silence. Mizuchi seems a bit… angry? It’s like he’s glaring at her. And then Mizuchi also excuses himself quietly from her. She blinks in surprise but nods. Mikoto recalls how Momotose said those things to her but she can’t see that from Mizuchi at all. It really seems like he doesn’t like her…

Mikoto startles when her phone rings. It’s a message from Himeutsugi, and he asks her if her date with Mizuchi to go to school went well? They need to talk a lot and get closer! Mikoto realizes that Hime is worried for her. She sends him a message thanking him and saying that she and Mizuchi talked a bit. It’s not a lie, right? Anyway, Himeutsugi is nice to have sent her a message so quickly. But she let herself be spoiled by that kindness. She needs to properly be Mizuchi’s partner! On that note, what should she do about the Kabatsu? They were told to report to Onosada but…

Scene skip! Onosada greets Mikoto, the senki candidate, and asks her what she’s doing here in his lecture room. She inquires if Kabatsu has already started? He squints his eyes and asks if she didn’t hear anything from Mizuchi. And then he grins and realizes that she’s been excluded from the battle again. Mikoto winces. Onosada does note that it’s a problem bringing her, who is inexperienced, to Kabatsu where her life may be in danger. But her awakening is an imperial edict from the emperor. Moreover, the emperor designated Mizuchi to her.

Oh well, they just need to do as much as they can for her wherever practicable. At Mikoto’s confused look, Onosada explains that the emperor doesn’t remember the names of normal Kaei but Mizuchi is close to the emperor, due to being the young master of an ancient and honorable family, and so the emperor remembered. Mizuchi’s family too is greatly pleased at Mizuchi being picked to be her partner because the “full moon” has arrived.

Mikoto repeats the word full moon. Onosada explains that these are people who have moons in both their eyes. Mizuchi’s family greatly prizes people who have this “full moon”. The senki is a symbol of the full moon, and so there’s no greater sign than this. If she comes to them as a bride then their family is secured. Isn’t that nice, she gets to marry into a family of rank. Mikoto gapes at him before exclaiming that she doesn’t have this “full moon” and she… that is… it’s… impossible!!

More importantly, she just wants to know about Kabatsu! Onosada sighs and tells her not to cause a commotion. Now, where was he. Right, they’re going to prune the park in the central district. Mikoto asks if he means the park near Goto-gai. Onosada tells her that area is strong with taint; utsurohi and adabana are often there and there’s no end to them, no matter how many times they cut them down. It’ll take the 5 Brights all night.

Mikoto echoes his words. He warns her not to go, because she’ll just get in there way if she shows up unexpectedly. She should just be quiet here. Also, she can’t go into the auditorium either because it’s been sealed. Even though it’s been purified, it was a place where utsurohi appeared repeatedly. Anyway, she can’t enter it since it’s sealed but he’s warning her just in case. Mikoto nods, though she’s depressed as she realizes that everyone went to Kabatsu, except for her.

Is she a hindrance? Mizuchi said those things to her to keep her safe but… what did she come to this school for? Onosada asks her if she’ll do some practice, since she’s here already. Mikoto agrees. HELL YEAH! CLIMBED TO RANK 6 HERE BUT IT WAS KIND OF PAINFUL.

Scene skip! At night, Mikoto finally finishes her homework. These past few days the dormitory lead– the committee leader has been attacking her with tests, and it’s been intense. But somehow all the laws and the fundamentals of minamo have entered her mind. And then Yoshino knocks on her door before entering, having brought Mikoto’s dinner to her. Mikoto thanks her brightly, only to realize in surprise that the tea is still boiling.

Yoshino blows on it lightly and then invites Mikoto to drink it while it’s still hot. Mikoto smiles awkwardly and tells her that she’ll wait for it to cool… a little. Yoshino notices with awe that Mikoto has finished all her homework! It was a stack that was 5 telephone books thick. She finds Mikoto’s concentration amazing, and it made her heart pound to see Mikoto so still.

Mikoto smiles sheepishly and explains that, since she was young, she becomes like that whenever she gets engrossed in anything. She’s always had an interest in minamo, so she might have been even more engrossed in her reading. Yoshino laughs and agrees that minamo are interesting, huh. She’s the same so she understands. Mikoto admits that she was able to learn this in such a short time thanks to the committee leader and Yoshino though, and how they taught her every day.

Yoshino becomes embarrassed and shakes her head. Even though she’s in Gekkougumi she’s a good-for-nothing… She can only pour tea, fan people with a fan, push pressure points on feet, and things like that. Mikoto thanks her anyway though and she’s really happy to be able to be with Yoshino still, despite being in different groups. Yoshino startles and is happy that she can be of any help. There are times where she worries that she’s overdoing it but it looks like she’s able to do something!

She knows her actions are weird sometimes and so everyone avoids her. People are kind in the Gekkougumi but she can tell that they’re just being formal. But Mikoto is so kind to her and so she’s so happy to be treated normally. But this also makes her feel like she’s going to become even stranger. She’s crazily happy! So, she wants to be of more help to Mikoto! Mikoto listens to her seriously and then smiles softly before telling Yoshino that she is a lot of help. She’s glad she could meet Yoshino in the Gekkougumi.

Yoshino starts to bawl and thinks Mikoto should be happier to have met the dormitory leader! She knows that the dormitory leader went to persuade the older girls of the Koukokugumi. Mikoto is startled to hear this. Yoshino explains that she overheard the older girls in Koukokugumi talk about culturing Mikoto’s body so that she won’t embarrass Mizuchi as his partner, and as a minamo of the Koukokugumi.

Mikoto is still startled to hear that the committee leader went to talk to them. Yoshino goes on to explain that the pecking order of the minamo in the school is harsh, especially the Koukokugumi. They can’t live if they disobey the older girls. So, the dorm leader put her life on the line to accomplish her mission! Suddenly, the committee leader shows up and yells at Yoshino not to give her a bad reputation. Who does she think the Koukokugumi are?!

As the committee leader of the first year Koukokugumi, it’s natural for her to discipline the unbecoming minamo. It’s nothing more than that! Mikoto thanks her anyway. The committee leader snaps out that she’s just doing her job, so she doesn’t need thanks she just needs Mikoto to get full marks on her test. Mikoto is still just getting passing marks and is even farther from catching up to Aoi– she falls quiet.

Mikoto asks her what’s wrong. The committee leader shakes her head. Yoshino knows that Aoi has gone missing though. Mikoto’s eyes widen. The committee leader asks Yoshino how she knows that! Yoshino cringes but answers that while she was submerged under the lake in the courtyard she overheard this! LMAO WHAT WAS SHE DOING THERE. The committee leader starts to ask her about the lake, but gives up and just shakes her head at how troublesome Yoshino is. Mikoto asks the committee leader about Aoi though.

And so the committee leader explains that Aoi disappeared ever since it was decided that Mikoto was going to be Mizuchi’s partner. Mikoto can’t believe this. They’ve been told that she hasn’t returned home… officially, they’re claiming that Aoi has gone on a trip. To the minamo of the Koukokugumi, Aoi is someone they look up to, and so Momotose had the forethought to come up with that to prevent people from panicking and any hostility from being directed to Mikoto.

Only the committee leader, Momotose, and the 5 Brights know about this. Momotose told the committee leader specially because she’s closest to Mikoto. Mikoto closes her eyes tightly and then runs off. The committee leader shouts after her.

Scene skip! In the courtyard, at night, Mikoto can’t believe Aoi has gone missing. It’s her fault. It’s because she became Mizuchi’s partner… Aoi was hurt because of her. It’s her fault that everyone… Suddenly, one of the chairmen appear and asks her what she’s doing here. Mikoto is startled and addresses him as Awahana. He tells her curtly that he’s Kintokihana. She winces and apologizes.

Kintoki explains that Awa hasn’t woken up yet. He used a lot of his power and so he’s been greatly weakened. He purified not only the taint in the school but also the taint that spilled into the outer ranges. All without telling Kintoki. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Kintoki muses on how Awa must have felt responsible for the scandalous events that occurred at the school, because he was manipulated. He should have just purified the areas where the root of the taint was.

But Awa is that kind of person; he looks displeased all the time, but before one knows it he has done the right thing. However, Awa made one large mistake. He has caused Kintoki to worry. Kintoki wishes he could tell Awa to think more about the person who can do nothing but wait. He muses out loud on how 「人のやさしさというのは、特に残酷である。のう、泉姫候補よ。」(That, which people call kindness, can be especially cruel. Right, senki candidate?).

Mikoto clenches her teeth. Kintoki can see that she can’t go along with the concerns of the people around her; he can see right through her thoughts. Mikoto averts her eyes before she tells him that she knows she can’t do anything. She can’t do anything alone and can only be supported by others. But to just receive everyone’s kindness and remain clueless is… she doesn’t want someone to be hurt and to become unhappy because of her.

Kintoki sighs and comments on how she’s bad at letting herself be spoiled. Mikoto apologizes. And then he tells her that if she can’t wait like him then she should give up. She echoes his words in surprise. He tells her to be selfish; to make mistakes but follow her feelings. If she makes trouble then she makes trouble. Mikoto’s mouth drops open. She can’t do that! Kintoki tells her that he forgives Awa, despite Awa making him so worried. Because he loves him.

Mikoto’s eyes widen. He inquires if the people who are kind to her are so intolerant that they won’t forgive her for causing them trouble? Mikoto vehemently shakes her head. Kintoki smiles and tells her that it’s fine then, right? To live as her heart pleases. Mikoto stares at him, speechless. And then Kintoki muses on how the night wind has become cold; he addresses his butterfly, Beni, and suggests that they return home. KINTOKIIIII SOBS. THAT WAS A GREAT SPEECH.

In her mind, Mikoto repeats his words about living as her heart pleases. Then, what does she want to do? Her heart… Suddenly, her phone rings and she answers it. It’s Shou, who apologizes for calling her at this time. She’s surprised and asks him if something happened. He tells her no and that he just wanted to hear her voice– no, he wanted to see if she was well. How is she doing? Mikoto smiles and tells him that she’s doing good.

Shou replies awkwardly that it’s good that she’s good, yep. She giggles and calls him weird. He grumbles about how it’s not weird; he’s just worried about her. He recalls out loud how she bluffs a lot, so he’s making sure she isn’t bearing everything alone and overworking herself. Even if she hates something, she’ll endure it and hide her real self. Shou admits that he had a sense of foreboding, which is why he called her right now.

Mikoto’s smile softens and she compliments his intuition. Shou is surprised to have been right. Mikoto bursts out laughing. He pouts and tells her not to laugh. She’s still giggling though as she thanks him. He calls her name questioningly. She murmurs that she understands now. Her heart. She gave up because she couldn’t do anything. She endured everything using the excuse that everything was her fault. She thought that was what she should do.

But that’s wrong, huh. If it’s her fault then she needs to accept that. She needs to accept it and then act. That’s why… Shou recalls her words about how she’s the one who decides the moon, right? Mikoto says his name in surprise. OH MY GOD SHOU. GREAT SPEECH. He notes that, because she’s strong at enduring things, she’s the type that doesn’t get moved when she decides on something. She is herself, and isn’t that fine?

Mikoto thanks him again. Shou calls her an idiot and says that she’s so honest, she’s making him uncomfortable. Anyway, what did she decide on? Mikoto smiles quietly to herself before telling him that she’s decided on existing as a minamo.

Scene skip! An adabana screams in pain as it’s cut down. Kagami sighs at how there are too many customers and no matter how much they cut down it never ends. Momotose, standing with Iroha and Himeutsugi, notes that the adabana here have increased from previously. She can’t believe this park has become as tainted as Goto-gai. Iroha suggests that they head deeper. Momotose agrees and then wonders where Mizuchi is.

Himeutsugi answers that he’s cutting down enemies at the entrance, alone. Momotose notes that Mizuchi didn’t bring any minamo. Hime says that Mizuchi is being discreet because of the situation with Aoi, and he doesn’t want to make his other minamo experience danger. Moreover… his partner is Mikoto and so he has no intention of bringing anyone who isn’t her along. Mizuchi is that type of person.

Momotose sighs, and then asks Himeutsugi if he is really okay with that? He has no hesitation saying those words? Himeutsugi closes his eyes and smiles. Of course, he is just like Momotose and acting as the cupid of love for those two. He points out that Mizuchi and Mikoto suit each other, don’t they? They’re both strait-laced and serious; their personalities are similar, which is why the distance between them can’t seem to shrink.

Just watching them makes him feel impatient and so he feels like he needs to do something. He’d like to cooperate with Momotose. Momotose’s expression is still worried though as she murmurs that his heart is strong. Himeutsugi just tells her that he’ll do anything for those two to become happy. Momotose’s eyes widen as she says his name. But then Hime winks and says that he’s going to provide support to Mizuchi, who might be crying like a baby.

Meanwhile, Mizuchi cuts down some enemies and notes that their taint is strong. This might take them until morning. Suddenly, Mikoto runs up to him and calls out his name. Mizuchi’s eye widens. Mikoto catches her breath as she tells him that she’s glad to have found him immediately. But Mizuchi asks her angrily why she came because he told her that she didn’t have to come to the Kabatsu.

Mikoto stiffens at his rage. He then orders her to return home; the taint is strong in this zone and he wants her to understand her position more. Mikoto looks away, but then looks back at him with resolve and refuses. She wants to fight together; she asks him to let her fight with him. Mizuchi instantly refuses and starts to tell her to return home, but Mikoto cuts him off and shouts out that she won’t return home! OH SHIT GO MIKOTO.

Mizuchi’s eye widens. Mikoto tells him that she is Mizuchi’s partner, a minamo of the Koukokugumi, before she is a senki candidate. She’s studied properly on how to be a minamo and she can support him. She is Mizuchi’s minamo! Please, she wants to fight together with him as a minamo! She wants to be a minamo! Mizuchi’s eye wavers and he murmurs her name.

Suddenly, an adabana appears behind Mizuchi and shrieks about smelling an unmistakable scent… the scent of a senki candidate! Mizuchi narrows his eye and turns. The adabana screams that it’ll kill them! Mikoto stares at how the shadows are gathering. Mizuchi notes that the adabana numbers have increased and successive fights are inevitable. Mikoto tells him that she’s okay and prepared!

He looks back at her silently… and then demands for support. Mikoto nods strongly. And so Mizuchi sets up his field and does his field call. They fight and defeat one. Mizuchi instantly calls for the next fight to begin. Mikoto acknowledges that. After they finish that fight, Mizuchi tells her that they’re going to exterminate them all. Can she still keep up? Mikoto stutters but answers in the affirmative. He acknowledges that and continues on.

The final adabana disappears with a scream. In her mind, Mikoto notes that and sees that they’ve won. They disappeared without a trace though… cutting flowers, is this what Kabatsu is. The adabana aren’t human but they look like one. Hana Awase is a battle that exchanges lives. In the end, taking a life is scary. But she’s a minamo… minamo exist to support their partners, and she forgot that important part.

She came to this school to become a minamo. No matter what shape that takes, this core doesn’t change. She wants to be a minamo, staying true to her heart. Those are her real feelings. Mizuchi praises her for enduring those successive battles; they managed them all thanks to her support. Mikoto smiles at him weakly. His face softens as he notes that her pallor is bad. Mikoto hurriedly tells him that this is her first time doing Kabatsu so she was just nervous! That’s all!

Mizuchi eyes her doubtfully in silence. She remains quiet too for a beat before telling him firmly that she has a request. She wants him to take her to Kabatsu. His eye widens. She tells him that she knows she’s the senki candidate but, even still, she wants to become his strength during dangerous times. She admits that she’s still inexperienced and her abilities as a minamo is still like this, but she can’t be a minamo who doesn’t do anything despite being his partner.

She is determined to work hard so that she won’t be a bother to him as a minamo, and with her current power. She’ll study! So, please! Mizuchi eyes her quietly and then says that he frightened her. Mikoto blinks. He reminds her that she said that back then. Mizuchi looks away as he says that he did… horrible things to her. Mikoto realizes what he’s talking about and stutters out that, no, she was just surprised, um…

And then she smiles and tells him that it’s fine because they’re partners! LOL HE’S GONNA BLUSH! Mizuchi looks at her with a furrow in his brows. She reassures him that she believes in him so she knows he won’t do that… uh, scary thing? And then Mikoto is surprised to find her vision growing blurry and dark when she relaxes. She gasps and then collapses. Mizuchi shouts out her name in worry.

In the darkness, Himeutsugi’s voice can be heard informing Mizuchi that the adabana in the surrounding area have been cut down. It’s safe now, so Mizuchi can treat her slowly. Mizuchi apologizes to him for making him work. Hime reassures him that it’s fine and then tells him to look at Mikoto properly; she’s drying up so he needs to circulate her water properly. He tells Mizuchi to hold her closer.

Mizuchi’s voice is full of embarrassment as he tries to follow Hime’s suggestion. Like this? Hime laughs and nods. That kind of feeling! He tells Mizuchi to continue holding her just like that. Mikoto slowly realizes that she can hear voices. These voices are… Himeutsugi and Mizuchi? Himeutsugi continues on to tell Mizuchi that he bought some water. Does Mizuchi want some? Mizuchi refuses politely.

Himeutsugi muses on how the two of them look like lovers like this. Mizuchi snaps at him not to tease them. Hime tells him calmly that he’s not teasing them and that the two of them suit each other. Mizuchi exhales loudly. Himeutsugi chuckles as he comments on how he didn’t think she’d forcefully ask to become Mizuchi’s partner. It’s characteristic of her though. Mizuchi snaps at him not to laugh, because she was serious. Moreover…

He did something horrible to her and so he was shaken when she came, because he didn’t think she would. Hime asks if he’s talking about the time she previously dried up? Mizuchi’s eye widens and he asks Hime how he knows. Hime chuckles, apologizes, and says he saw. Mizuchi chokes. Mikoto wonders what to do because if she gets up now then it’s going to be hard to talk.

Mizuchi averts his eye and states that he regrets it. Even though it was an emergency, he frightened her by making a decision based on his feelings. Himeutsugi asks if he ate his medicine. OH SHIT THAT’S HERE TOO?? Mizuchi confirms that he did before they went to the greenhouse. But it had no effect. His voice shakes a little as he says that he doesn’t understand himself and why his emotions couldn’t be suppressed. Why did he do those violent things… He cuts himself off and grits his teeth.

And then Mizuchi admits 「彼女から・・・甘い香りが、した。いままで、嗅いだことのない香り・・・いや、遠い昔に、どこかで知っているような・・・懐かしい香りだ。」(From her… there was a sweet smell. A scent that I’ve never smelt up to now… no, one that I feel like I know from somewhere, a long time ago… a nostalgic smell). Himeutsugi’s voice softens as he admits that he’s the same. He feels it too. Even now, right?

Mizuchi is startled. In her mind, Mikoto is confused. Mizuchi states that he’s not going to say it was because of that smell but she smelt stronger on that day than she does today. Himeutsugi muses on how strange it is, huh. It’s a very pleasant smell and yet it strangely appeals to some deep part in his heart. Like it… excited him. In her mind, Mikoto exclaims in shock! Mizuchi snaps out that Hime’s words are rude to Mikoto.

Himeutsugi lets out a peal of laughter but thinks that it fits. Mizuchi was also aroused by Mikoto, right? Mizuchi doesn’t deign to answer that. And then he spits out roughly that it’s a disgusting emotion, to the point where he wants to erase it. BOYYYY JUST ACCEPT IT PLEASE. There’s still laughter in Hime’s voice as he tells Mizuchi that it’s fine not to erase it. He should just do what his heart wishes. He has that right.

Hime confirms that Mizuchi likes Mikoto, right? Mikoto is shocked to hear this being asked. Mizuchi sighs loudly and then states that Mikoto is diligent and a lady who thinks things over seriously. And although she has cautious and careful eyes, at times she can do drastic and brave things. There’s a smirk in Hime’s voice as he asks if that’s what Mizuchi likes about her?

Mizuchi chokes before claiming that he didn’t say that! Hime is being rude to Mikoto right now. And he doesn’t want Hime to pry into this any further. Himeutsugi’s voice becomes serious as he notes that Mizuchi is serious then, huh. Mizuchi is speechless. And then Hime tells him quietly that he wants the two of them to be happy; that is his wish. Mizuchi admits quietly that he can’t do anything alone.

Hime reassures him that he’ll do something. He wants Mizuchi to believe in him, his close friend. He’ll definitely get the two of them hitched. Once they’re together, Hime wants to throw a huge party! To be honest, he’s already thought about it and has a plan! Mizuchi murmurs Hime’s name. Himeutsugi points out that the sun is rising though and notes that it’s pretty. Mizuchi also becomes speechless. At that moment, Mikoto can feel Mizuchi’s hands, which are holding her, tighten their grip. Her heart has been stabbed by Hime’s words though. But why? She’s really sad.

Scene skip! At night, in her dormitory room, Mikoto notes that everyone is still asleep and so she needs to be quiet. But the committee leader appears to welcome her back. Mikoto startles. She notices that the committee leader’s eyes are faintly red?! The committee leader quietly walks over to her and then slaps her. Mikoto flinches. The committee leader states that she went outside the gates and this is the punishment for breaking a Koukokugumi rule.

She slaps Mikoto again as punishment for making her and Yoshino worried. Mikoto flinches again. The committee leader sighs and tells her that Yoshino regretted telling Mikoto about Aoi so much that she caused a commotion with trying to commit seppuku. She was so violent that they had to wrap her in a bamboo mat and throw her into her room. Mikoto apologizes for making them worry.

The committee leader waves her apology off and says that she slapped Mikoto knowing that. And she’ll follow through this to the end, so Mikoto should prepare herself. At any rate, they should go and see Yoshino, who will return to her normal self after seeing Mikoto. Good gracious, the two of them take up so much time. Mikoto thanks her with a shaky smile. The committee leader waves her hand in a dismissal and orders her to hurry up, they’re going to go now.

「数ならぬ 心のとがに なし果てじ
知らせてこそは 身をも恨みめ」 – Mizuchi
(If this person were to know
this sin of my heart, of falling in love,
despite the inappropriateness of my status,
would they not resent me.) – Saigyou Houshi (#653)

Scene skip! Mizuchi was surprised when Mikoto came back to him… he didn’t think she would. Did she forgive him? No, he can’t let himself get carried away. It won’t erase the fact that he hurt her. He laughs derisively at himself and then addresses Mikoto, noting how strong she is. She came to face him, not being afraid. He is surprised by her courage. If he had her kind of courage then to her, as his partner, he– no, he’ll stop. He wants to be faithful to her and Hime. That is the minimum he can do… to atone. He needs to forget her sweet smell and her warmth. They can still turn back, surely…

DAY 23. Mikoto knocks on Mizuchi’s door and then enters, greeting him with a smile. She’s looking forward to working with him today for the Kabatsu. He returns her words formally. As they walk down the hall, he asks about her health. She reassures him that she’s fine now. Mikoto thanks him for what he did previously, which was treating her for her drying symptoms until the morning. Mizuchi is discomforted.

She continues on to say that she’s read a book on how strong minamo can control their own water so that they don’t dry up; she apologizes for how her training is lacking. He tells her calmly that he doesn’t mind. It’s why he’s here. Partners support each other… that’s what she taught him. Mikoto’s eyes widen before she hurriedly nods and says that she’ll take him up on his offer then and dry up– er, no, that’s not it.

Mizuchi snorts and Mikoto realizes in surprise that he’s smiling faintly. And then Karakurenai appears to smirk and comment on how Mizuchi has a lewd look on his face. He compliments Mizuchi sarcastically for throwing away Aoi, who was in love with him, and changing rooms with the next woman. Nicely done. Mizuchi exhales tightly. Kurenai continues on to say that he doesn’t care if Mizuchi has the authorization of the emperor; he doesn’t want Mizuchi to get ahead of himself. He’s already laid hands on Mikoto.

Mikoto stiffens as Karakurenai turns his sights on her and asks her if she remembers? His kiss. He slipped his tongue into her mouth and wrapped it around hers. And she was enraptured, wasn’t she? She made a face that said she wanted more, hehe. She can’t be satisfied with a virgin bastard partner like this guy, right? He’s willing to be her partner. Mikoto flinches back and Mizuchi grits his teeth, drawing himself up.

But then Himeutsugi appears and apologizes for interrupting. The chairman has called for Karakurenai and it looks to be an emergency. Kurenai snarls at him and then curses the bad timing. He reminds Mikoto that she belongs to him and that he’ll definitely fuck her before he stalks off. Himeutsugi watches him leave before cheekily telling Mizuchi and Mikoto that they need to quickly leave!

Mizuchi realizes that Hime… Himeutsugi says innocently that he lied. Mikoto gapes at him. Hime comments on how Karakurenai doesn’t know when to give up, especially when Mikoto is Mizuchi’s partner. He chides Mizuchi and tells him to properly protect Mikoto so that their senior doesn’t steal her away. But he can’t become emotional, he has to do it very gentlemanly. Mizuchi flinches slightly before muttering that he knows that without having to be told by Hime.

Hime wonders about that and points out that Mizuchi is short-tempered. Just now, he was about to fly into a rage, right? And then he leans in to whisper to Mizuchi that if he feels irritated then he needs to hurry and make a decision… on a kiss. Mizuchi chokes on air and turns red. Mikoto eyes them suspiciously and asks what Hime just said. But Hime teasingly tells her that it’s a secret before excusing himself! He walks away.

Mizuchi takes some deep breaths to regain his composure before telling her quickly that today’s Kabatsu is in Goto-gai. They should hurry. Mikoto blinks at the change in subject but nods and they head out.

Scene skip! Mikoto and Mizuchi head into Goto-gai and Mikoto is shocked to see that the entire area is covered in a black fog. The taint in the atmosphere is even more stagnant than it had been when she went home that one time. Mizuchi comments on how, just like Onosada said, the taint has corroded this area quite a bit. At Mikoto’s confused look, he elaborates that since the incident in the auditorium the taint has spread quickly, not only through the school but into the city.

Onosada believes that it’s due to the electricity. Mikoto asks if he’s talking about the electricity from the auditorium? Mizuchi nods and says that the corrosion would be quicker if it’s traveling through electricity. Mikoto tries to ask how they’re going to clear this area then when electricity suddenly sparks and a streetlight explodes. Mizuchi warns her not to move because utsurohi have appeared.

Mikoto nods and watches on in worry as a large amount of utsurohi appear. These utsurohi are a different color from the ones before… Mizuchi notes that they seem to be a subspecies. The subspecies start to hiss and speak brokenly about the next program being the afternoon news. News… news… news… HaHAHA! Mizuchi was told by Onosada that these subspecies were born from utsurohi, created by hatred in humans, mixed with residual thoughts in the electromagnetic waves.

Mizuchi tells Mikoto to prepare because they can’t purify these utsurohi through normal means. Mikoto nods, but then her eyes widen and she asks if they can even do Hana Awase here because there are still people around. Mizuchi remembers that this is her first time actually fighting outside. He explains to her that right now they’re the only ones who can see these utsurohi; only people with their abilities can see them.

When they do Hana Awase, the player creates a field that will minimize damage to their surrounding area. And they will also temporarily disappear from the view of outsiders. In order to securely create a field, he’ll require her power. He’s relying on her support. Mikoto nods firmly, and so Mizuchi goes ahead to set up his field and do his field call. They defeat their enemy but Mizuchi grits his teeth because their win is different from normal. He asks if Mikoto is alright?

Mikoto nods shakily. Mizuchi warns her that more are coming. Mikoto pants as they defeat this one as well and, for a second, their surroundings clear and it looks like they’ve won. But then another large horde forms. Mizuchi calls her over to him and takes her by the arm before they run. As she’s led into an alley, Mikoto protests that there are still utsurohi remaining. He tells her that continuing to fight would be meaningless.

She looks at him in confusion. He explains that those utsurohi are being created by a guide. Unless they destroy the root then the utsurohi will spawn endlessly. Mikoto looks down, frustrated. Mizuchi closes his eye and tells her that it looks like those utsurohi spawned in reaction to them; if they hide themselves here then the utsurohi will disappear soon enough. He’ll place a field up to repel the utsurohi, but for now they’ll wait here. Mikoto agrees reluctantly.

Suddenly, Aoi’s voice is heard calling out weakly to Mizuchi. B-Brother… Mikoto’s eyes widen as she recognizes the voice and she tries to look for where it’s coming from. Aoi appears faintly and yells out Mizuchi’s name. Mikoto calls out Aoi’s name, but Mizuchi stops her. He’s noticed that Aoi’s appearance is strange and tells Mikoto to look at her body. Mikoto takes a look and is startled to see that Aoi is transparent.

Mizuchi reports that her real body isn’t here and he can’t feel her water. And if she was able to enter this field then that means she isn’t an utsurohi either… most likely, she’s Aoi’s residual thoughts. Mikoto echoes his words in horror. Aoi calls out for Mizuchi again and whimpers that she’s scared. She’s scared she’ll disappear. Mikoto calls out to Aoi and asks her what she means by disappearing. Aoi tries to warn Mizuchi about something but then she shrieks at something not to come towards her. She screams for Mizuchi.

A high-pitched ringing starts to sound and Mikoto feels like her head will split. The sound is sinking into her body. What’s going on?! Her feelings are going out of control. This strange sound is… entering her head… Aoi quietly tells Mizuchi to come here together with her. Mizuchi flinches back and yells at Mikoto to step away from Aoi.

He pushes Mikoto out of the way and then grits his teeth in pain. Mikoto yells out his name in concern. Aoi whispers one more time for Mizuchi to come to her before she disappears. Mizuchi grunts in pain and then collapses. Mikoto screams his name.

In another place, Himeutsugi answers his phone and hears Mikoto’s voice.

Meanwhile, back with Mikoto, she sobs in relief at how Himeutsugi looked at his mail. He apologizes because he couldn’t call her immediately but he understands the general situation from her message. He asks how Mizuchi is doing right now. She answers that he won’t open his eye! He’s collapsed and though he’s breathing he won’t wake up when she calls him. Right now they’re in a back alley and outside there’s a terrible amount of utsurohi, who can’t come in since the field Mizuchi created is still there.

No, she actually doesn’t know that. If the field disappears then the utsurohi will come. If that happens then she might not be able to protect Mizuchi. Mizuchi’s body is slowly growing cold… and it’s her fault. If she was more reliable then this wouldn’t have happened. Himeutsugi tells her that everything will be okay and to calm down. He suggests for her to take deep breaths, slowly. She obeys and he praises her. I… HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT HOW CALM HIME IS.

And then he walks her through everything. First, the field is safe; so long as a player doesn’t take it down then it won’t disappear. So, on that front, the utsurohi won’t come. Regarding Mizuchi, it’s possible that he’s drying up. Mikoto repeats his words in shock. Hime reminds her that Iroha went through that too. It’s not just minamo who collapse when they lose their internal water.

By nature, players are given water by their minamo so it doesn’t occur but… he confirms that Mizuchi was touched by Aoi’s residual thoughts, right? Mikoto answers affirmatively. Hime tells her that there is a possibility his water was sucked out of him at that time. Iroha was able to be treated immediately but if there are utsurohi outside then it’s dangerous to call an ambulance over. Right now, she can’t leave the field.

Himeutsugi then admits to her that, actually, the same type of utsurohi appeared at the school too. Mikoto gasps. He reassures her that the damage is minimal, but he and Iroha and the others can’t move from here. Mikoto tells him desperately that Mizuchi’s body is becoming colder and his heartbeat is weakening. At this rate, he’ll die! Hime breathes in and then reminds her that she’s Mizuchi’s partner. She can save him.

He tells her to follow his words exactly and Mizuchi will return to normal. Mikoto becomes determined and answers that she’ll do her best! There’s a smile in Hime’s voice as he thanks her, and then he tells her to strip Mizuchi. She echoes his words. He explains that treating withering cases like this is best done when both parties are touching with their bare skin. Besides, there might be taint on his clothes and they should do the best that they can.

Mikoto tells him she understands. Hime tells her to strip as well. Mikoto squeaks at that and turns red. Hime tells her that she has to, but if she’s too embarrassed she can leave her underwear on. Mikoto looks down on the ground but obeys him. After some time, Hime asks her if she undressed. Mikoto answers that she has.

Hime tells her to touch Mizuchi then and to pour water into him; he reminds her that Mizuchi has barely any water in him, which is why she has to give him hers. It’s most effective when their skin is touching. In her mind, Mikoto realizes that this is why Mizuchi was holding her during their previous Kabatsu. This time, it’s her turn to save Mizuchi!

After some time, Hime asks her how it’s going. Mikoto tells him that she understands why she’s doing this but it’s… embarrassing. Especially if she’s seen in this state by others. Himeutsugi tells her calmly that no one will see her because there is a field. She shouldn’t be concerned and should continue. Concentrate. Mikoto agrees hesitantly. In her mind though, she feels like her face is on fire from touching a man’s skin. Even more so because it’s Mizuchi…

Mikoto chides herself for not concentrating. She has to give the water inside of her to Mizuchi. Mizuchi is still unresponsive. She notices that his body is really cold, like ice. She’s already giving him water but maybe if she gives him some of her warmth too… In her head, she pleads with Mizuchi to accept her water.

And then Himeutsugi muses out loud on how it’s a shame that he isn’t there, because no doubt it’s a carnal scene. BRO STOP. Mikoto says his name in a scandalized voice. He bursts out laughing before saying it was a joke. And then he talks about how Mizuchi will surely be shocked when he wakes up. With this, the distance between the two of them will become even closer… Mikoto is quiet for a second before she tells him that this isn’t her intention though. He tells her he knows and that they can take it slow.

Mikoto suddenly says his name and then starts to tell him that even if she does this… she trails off. Himeutsugi asks her what she was going to say. Mikoto shakes her head and tells him that it’s nothing. In her mind, she scolds herself for trying to ask something at this time! Her partner is Mizuchi. She needs to do this properly. Suddenly, Mizuchi groans and she calls out his name worriedly.

He continues to groan though and gasps out for someone, or something, to stop. She blinks in confusion. Mizuchi tells something not to come to him… he won’t become… MIZUCHI. Mikoto calls out his name and asks him what’s wrong. Mizuchi pants out an apology to his grandfather because his moon… his moon… ARGH! Mikoto hurriedly tells Himeutsugi that Mizuchi’s condition has become strange. He asks her to describe it.

She tells him that Mizuchi seems to be mumbling incoherently and having a nightmare, and he seems to be in pain. What should she do?! Himeutsugi thinks Mizuchi might be having a seizure. He orders her to look into Mizuchi’s jacket’s right pocket. She does so and finds a medicine bottle. Hime tells her to make Mizuchi take one, quickly! She hesitates and tells him that there’s no water here for him to drink. Hime tells her to use her mouth.

Mikoto repeats his words in shock. Use her mouth!? Himeutsugi impatiently tells her that he meant it; she can’t use her finger because Mizuchi is acting up and might bite her. Making him take the medicine with her mouth is safest. Mikoto continues to hesitate, which makes Hime snap at her to hurry. In her mind, Mikoto tells herself that she has no time to hesitate! She tells herself repeatedly to calm down as she takes out one pill. And then she apologizes to Mizuchi before placing her mouth on his.

She pushes the pill into his mouth with her tongue and feels embarrassed when her tongue brushes against his. In her mind, she pleads with him to hurry and swallow it. Mizuchi gasps and Mikoto is relieved to find that he’s taken it. And then Mizuchi opens his eye to see her. He asks her weakly what she just did… to which Mikoto stutters incoherently. And then Mizuchi shoots up and stutters when he notices her state of undress. Mikoto screams when she realizes it too.

Himeutsugi comments on how it sounds like it went well. Mikoto turns back to the phone and reports excitedly that Mizuchi woke up. Hime tells her that he heard and then laughingly comments on how Mizuchi waking up from a passionate kiss makes him seem like a sleeping beauty. Mikoto asks him not to joke around like that at a time like this. He snickers and then tells her that Kagami is calling for him and so he has to hang up. He’ll leave Mizuchi to her.

Mikoto calls out his name exasperatedly, but he’s already hung up. Meanwhile, Mizuchi snaps at her to hurry and change into her clothes. Mikoto squeaks when she remembers and hurriedly obeys him. Mizuchi tells her that his eye is closed and he, uh, didn’t see anything! Mikoto is extremely embarrassed, but it must have been even more sudden for Mizuchi.

Mikoto finally dresses again and tells Mizuchi that, only to look at him in confusion because he’s standing and facing a wall while breathing deeply. She apologizes again and tells him that it’s okay now. And he should also put on his clothes. Mizuchi asks in a strained voice if she can turn around. She blinks in surprise but quickly tells him that she can. He finishes dressing quickly and then tells her to turn around again.

Mizuchi stares at her silently. She says his name questioningly. He closes his eye and murmurs to himself that there’s no problem. She nods, confused. And then Mizuchi asks if she can tell him how this situation came to be? He’s lacking information. Mikoto hurriedly tells him everything. Mizuchi nods as he realizes that he dried up. Mikoto tells him that Himeutsugi told her how to do emergency treatment through the phone.

He hesitantly asks if what she did after was part of that too. Mikoto realizes he’s talking about the kiss and nods before apologizing for taking his medicine out of his pocket without permission. He asks if she asked about the contents. Mikoto answers that she didn’t because Himeutsugi seemed to know… Mizuchi exhales deeply. She calls out his name. He shakes his head and says that’s good then. He notes that he caused her trouble and thanks her.

She quickly tells him that she’s the one who should be thankful for him defending her. Himeutsugi encouraged her until Mizuchi woke up too, even though he was finding utsurohi himself. Mizuchi doesn’t know what to say to that. THE FIRST RULE OF HANA AWASE. DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER MEN WHEN YOU’RE WITH ONE. And then Mizuchi tells her that he has one more question. When she did what she did to him… did she not think it was dirty?

Mikoto’s eyes widen. She answers slowly that she didn’t. Because she’s Mizuchi’s partner. She supports him as his minamo. Mizuchi asks slowly if this was something Hime also said. Mikoto blinks on confusion. But then Mizuchi apologizes and tells her to forget about it. Mikoto is confused but nods. Mizuchi notes that the utsurohi have disappeared and so he’ll take down the field now.

The field comes down as Mikoto admits to Mizuchi that she’s heard about Aoi, and how she’s gone missing. She didn’t think they’d meet Aoi in that kind of state. Mizuchi sighs. He notes that she wasn’t an utsurohi though. Mikoto realizes that he’s right! That was a residual thought meaning that her real body may be somewhere. Mikoto is glad that Aoi may be safe. Mizuchi exhales heavily and then starts to walk away. Mikoto watches him leave in confusion.

「惑ひきて 悟り得べくも なかりつる
心を知るは 心なりけり」 – Mizuchi
(My dilemma:
that deep realization will
never come
to my mind, the truth of which
my mind realizes all too well.) – Saigyou Houshi (#947)

Scene skip! Mizuchi muses at night to the full moon on how deeply thankful he is for what Mikoto did to save him. But what is this heaviness in his chest? Her actions were because Hime was supporting her. If he hadn’t been there then she would have been in the middle of uneasiness. It is Hime who supported her. HE’S YOUR WINGMAN JUST ACCEPT IT OMG. He asks himself scornfully what he’s fussing about. Does he intend to pursue her?

Mizuchi sighs heavily and says that he understands he mustn’t step into this. But his body won’t listen. Each time he remembers that warmth she shared indescribable feelings surge up inside of him. The more he tries to remain calm the more his body becomes hot; a heat greater than that which he felt when she was on top of him. His voice goes low as he admits that he knows… there is no way to cool this heat anymore.

DAY 24. Mikoto knocks on the door and excuses herself as she enters Onosada’s lecture room. Onosada greets her with Mizuchi standing by his side and says that they were waiting. Everyone is gathered here now though. Onosada then smirks and comments on how they look like a Mr. and Mrs. now, a fitting couple. Mizuchi ignores him and tells Onosada that he heard the investigation into the utsurohi that appeared the other day has been completed.

Onosada teases him at how un-cute Mizuchi is as well, but moves on to call someone to do the report. Me appears and loads up the investigation. Regarding the utsurohi subspecies, they aren’t much different from the other utsurohi. The problem is that they’re mixed with residual thoughts. They sprung forth from the incident with the strong electromagnetic waves. The utsurohi have mixed with the thoughts and will that is derived from Jinja TV. In conclusion, the source of these utsurohi is the place where these electromagnetic waves come from, the TV station.

Mikoto’s mouth drops open. Onosada confirms to Kagami that Jinja TV has a large radio tower, right? Kagami sighs but confirms that they do… of all things, for Goto to use her TV to do evil deeds… she can’t believe it. Iroha comments on how, even if a place isn’t tainted, utsurohi can appear through intermediaries; those intermediaries are anything that can pass electromagnetic waves. Goto-gai has large electronic billboards, doesn’t it?

Mizuchi confirms Iroha’s words. He’s confirmed that station terminals have it as well, and there are minuscule amounts of taint in cellphones too. Momotose points out that even though Goto-gai is a district it is a place where people come and go. They can’t stop this. Mikoto asks if she’s saying there isn’t a place that’s protected from electromagnetic waves? Kagami explains that Jinja TV’s radio tower is just an intermediary. Even if they destroyed that, it won’t be enough so long as there’s something else it can use. So they need to find the person behind this and stop them.

Onosada suspects the mastermind is a Suuto, but regrettably he doesn’t have enough information. For the present, they can’t do anything but Kabatsu to suppress their enemies. Onosada orders Iroha and Mizuchi into Goto-gai. Himeutsugi will be focused on the school. If they find the subspecies then they are to immediately cut them down. WHAT ABOUT KURENAI? LOL LET HIM DO WHATEVER? Iroha acknowledges this.

And then Onosada asks what happened to Karakurenai? It doesn’t seem like he came. Iroha reports that the people in Ouka haven’t been at the school for several days. Onosada complains about Karakurenai cruising with women again. When he returns, the chairman will shoot lightning at him, geez. Everyone leaves Onosada’s room with their orders and, in the hall, Kagami sighs at how her television company has been cursed.

Mikoto hesitantly asks Kagami if Aoi has ever appeared on her show in the past. Kagami shakes her head. Before, she tried to get Aoi on a program called “Miss Kaen” but she refused because her family is very strict. It’s a shame because she’s a beautiful woman who could have appeared on camera. Mikoto is depressed because she thought that might have been a clue to finding Aoi. She freezes when she realizes that she let this slip.

Momotose eyes her sadly and realizes that she knows about Aoi, huh. Mikoto averts her eyes and nods. Momotose tells her not to be discouraged because Aoi is strong, so she will surely return. Iroha and her are also searching so she wants Mikoto to be more at ease. Momotose then excuses herself and leaves.

Scene skip! In the courtyard, Mikoto asks if she can talk to Mizuchi. He is quiet. She tells him that there’s something that bothers her about Aoi’s whereabouts. The residual Aoi they saw wasn’t tainted at all, which is strange when she was in the middle of all those utsurohi. Mizuchi grunts in acknowledgment. Mikoto continues on to say that, moreover, Kagami said Aoi had never appeared on TV. Isn’t it strange that a residual thought of her appeared on the electromagnetic waves then?

Mizuchi exhales. HE HAS LITERALLY BEEN SPEAKING IN “…” THIS ENTIRE TIME. I CAN’T DECIPHER THAT MIZUCHI!! Mikoto asks if they can’t discuss the whole residual Aoi thing with Momotose and the others. They might be able to find her then… Mikoto only catches the tail end of something Mizuchi said. She blinks in confusion. Mizuchi tells her calmly that it isn’t necessary for Mikoto to be worried; this is something Aoi chose herself.

Mikoto asks him what he means by that. He sighs before explaining that it was her pride to be a minamo of one of the 5 Brights. She ran away because that pride was lost, and his family also understands that. Mikoto repeats his words in even more confusion before telling him that he’s mistaken! Aoi wasn’t Mizuchi’s minamo because of those feelings. Mizuchi only thanks her curtly for her consideration to his cousin, and then excuses himself.

She watches him leave sadly. He doesn’t seem to know about Aoi’s feelings. Even though Aoi loves him and is willing to die for him. Even though she feels that way for him… she didn’t tell him. Mikoto feels sad for Aoi. And then Mikoto sees Himeutsugi appear. He tells her with a frown that she’s hurting Mizuchi with that. She looks at him in confusion. He points out that Mikoto is the partner that replaced Aoi, so she can’t say that she wants to bring Aoi back.

Mikoto protests that Aoi is Mizuchi’s official partner and she loves him. Himeutsugi tells her that if this is the case then she mustn’t bring Aoi back unnecessarily. Mizuchi chose Mikoto. Isn’t that enough? Mikoto’s eyes widen. Himeutsugi tells her 「みことちゃん。自分の好きな子が、違う女の子を勧めるなんて男にとってはきついんだ。」(Mikoto-chan. It hurts men when the person they love recommends another woman to them).

She tells him angrily that she’s not recommending Aoi to him! Himeutsugi tells her that’s not how Mizuchi took it, and then calls Mikoto thickheaded. Mikoto flinches. And then she accuses Himeutsugi of hurting HER then! OH. OH SHIT. Himeutsugi is stunned. What? Mikoto realizes what she said in dismay. Himeutsugi’s eyes are wide as he asks if she means… that… Mikoto looks away.

Himeutsugi thinks on that for a second before bursting into laughter. He asks her if she loves him? If that’s the case then she should give up because he doesn’t hold feelings of love for her. Mikoto stiffens. He tells her that he likes her because she’s cute, but it’s not love. He likes her like he likes the rest of the girls. HIS FACE AS HE SAYS THIS. IT’S HIS PAINED SMILE FACE EVEN THOUGH HIS VOICE IS SO COLDLY CALM.

He tells her that he only wondered how far he could play with her but she was too serious. He thought it’d be troubling if she became serious. And she doesn’t want just a physical relationship, right? Mikoto echoes his words. Himeutsugi explains that this is why he passed the baton to Mizuchi; that person is just like her and will treasure her. He’s not a man who plays around with love. Mikoto is silent.

Hime asks her with amusement if she’s surprised? He decided to say this properly because she misunderstood him. After all, she’s thickheaded. At any rate, the fairy tale has ended. Does she understand? Mikoto flinches. Himeutsugi smiles brightly at her and tells her goodbye. Mikoto runs off. By himself, Himeutsugi repeats the word “bye” again. An electric spark flashes.

Scene skip! In her room, Mikoto thinks on how Himeutsugi said that so clearly and so easily. That he didn’t have any feelings of love for her. Was all his kindness just a game? All his concerns for her and his gentleness? No, she was just mistaken. She already thought herself about how she might not be the only one that Himeutsugi is kind and considerate to. Mikoto realizes she said all those things to Mizuchi when she herself is the one person who is most insensitive to other people’s feelings. She’s mortified.

Mikoto clenches her eyes shut. It feels like her heart is stiff and constrained. Like it’s creaking. No, she has Kabatsu with Mizuchi today and she needs to do it properly. Properly. She wonders what to do because she can’t settle her feelings. She tries to decide what to do at this time but decides not to go to the Kasen lecture room.

Scene skip! Mizuchi greets her at the gates of the school and says he looks forward to working with her for today’s Kabatsu. Mikoto nods quietly. Mizuchi asks her if she isn’t feeling well? She hurriedly reassures him that she’s fine and suggests that they go. He eyes her in silence but agrees. They head into Goto-gai and Mizuchi picks out their target. Mikoto notes that it’s the same subspecies as the one yesterday, right? Mizuchi starts the battle by creating his field and doing his field call.

They win the battle and Mizuchi breathes out quietly before telling Mikoto to keep going. She nods. They continue to move through the city until it becomes evening, at which point Mizuchi notes that today’s taint isn’t very strong. It looks like they may finish before night. It’s thanks to her support that they have been defeating their enemies effectively. He’s grate– Mikoto is looking at the ground, depressed. Mizuchi sighs.

And then he calls out her name in concern. She startles and then hurriedly tells him that she’ll concentrate! He eyes her intently, and then decides that she must be tired and so they’ll end it here today. Mikoto protests and says that she can keep going. There’s still taint! He suggests that they take a small break then. Mikoto apologizes. In her mind, she scolds herself for making Mizuchi worry. She’s his partner so she has to be more reliable.

Mizuchi notes that it’s around time for a meal and asks her if there’s anything she wants to eat? Mikoto shakes her head and says that anything he likes is fine with her. He repeats her words in surprise. What he likes? Mikoto nods with a smile and asks what he eats. He averts his eye in thought. He–

They are interrupted by a shopkeeper who calls out to them, calling them a cute couple! Are they hungry? Okay! Leave it to them! They have an amazing feast and it just so happens that they have an open seat too! The shopkeeper tells them, the couple, to come this way. Mikoto yelps and asks them not to push her. Mizuchi calls out her name in worry.

Scene skip! It is night now and Mizuchi gags. Mikoto asks him worriedly if he’s okay. He tells her weakly that he is… but what was that? Everything that came was sweet. Mikoto explains that it was a popular full-course sweets restaurant in Goto-gai. Everything is sweet and it’s popular with the girls… but it must be rough on men, huh. In her mind, she recalls how there wasn’t any males in the restaurant except for Mizuchi too. It must have been difficult for him because he stood out.

Mizuchi states that he was tricked by the soup. He thought something salty had finally arrived. She laughs sympathetically because it was pear soup. He narrows his eye because just remembering it makes him break out into a cold sweat. Mikoto asks him again if he’s okay and she has stomach medicine, if he wants any. He apologizes as he takes one. And then she asks if he doesn’t do well with sweets? He didn’t force himself to stay with her did he?

He looks away, and then states that ladies prefer sweets, right? Mikoto blinks at him. He remarks on how the color in her face seems to have gotten better. And it’s fine so long as her exhaustion was taken away. Mikoto realizes in surprise that he did what he did for her. She smiles and thanks him deeply. He smiles back in silence.

In her mind, Mikoto thinks on how Mizuchi doesn’t smile often so when he does this it makes her heart skip a beat from the surprise attack. At first, she had the impression that he was silent and scary but now she’s fine. He has a lot of knowledge on Kasen so they can talk easily; their way of thinking is also similar. And then Mizuchi asks her if there’s something on him? Mikoto looks away with a blush and quickly tells him that it’s nothing! Oh no! She had been staring at him unconsciously.

At any rate, Mizuchi notes that the taint has been quiet today and they should end the Kabatsu here. Mikoto agrees with a smile. And then Mizuchi’s brows furrow as he notices that the night wind is cold. Mikoto agrees and then sneezes. He looks at her. And then he tells her to put this on if she wants. Mikoto is surprised to see him holding out his jacket for her. She refuses it because then Mizuchi will catch a cold! He tells her that he’s fine. Moreover, she’s his partner and it’s natural for him to protect her.

Mikoto stares at him and then smiles shyly and takes him up on his offer. In her mind, she thinks on how this is right and this is what partners do. Protect and be protected. For some reason, her heart tickles and she feels nice. Himeutsugi had always placed a distance between them. It might have been because they were temporary partners… No, she’s wrong. It wasn’t because they were temporary. It was because he didn’t want her to misunderstand. He was trying to make it so that she didn’t mistake his kindness for love.

Her expression collapses. Ah, so it was her. It was just her who misunderstood. She became conceited. Mikoto is startled to find tears in her eyes. Mizuchi says her name in concern. She shakes her head and apologizes. Why is she… Mikoto sobs. Mizuchi asks her softly if she hurts somewhere. She tells him that she doesn’t hurt anywhere. Her heart is just full and so… He stares at her and then breathes in deeply before tugging her into his arms.

Mikoto is frozen in surprise; she calls out his name. He tells her quietly that she can cry here. She protests because it’d be bad manners and she’s fine now. He exhales heavily and then holds her tighter, noting that she isn’t fine. He won’t release her until she’s calm. Mikoto’s eyes widen before she bursts into tears. Eased by his warmth, she cries like a baby. Mizuchi says nothing during that time and just continues to hold her.

As she cries her heart out she finally realizes something. She had her heart broken. Mizuchi finally says that he’s surprised. She is so calm compared to her age that he thought of her as an adult lady but, like this, she is acting her age now. Mikoto continues to sob and hiccup. Moreover, despite looking reserved she can be quite bold. At times he is surprised. Mikoto stutters out a defense about “that time”.

Mizuchi admits that he was surprised to see her in that state. Mikoto squeaks and asks him not to talk about it! She was concentrating on helping him! He agrees to keep it a secret then. She accuses him of being a little bit of a tease. He chuckles and asks if they both have unexpected parts to them then? But he is surprised to have gone through the same situation that Iroha did. If she didn’t give him such precise treatment then he would have died.

Mikoto shakes her head and says that when she panicked it was Himeutsugi who taught her what to do. Mizuchi tells her that he heard that Aoi took his water. Kasen books don’t mention any examples of a minamo stealing a player’s water, so it’s amazing that Hime knew that. Ah, he recalls that Hime has a minamo’s power and so that might be how he knew that could happen too. Mikoto nods.

And then she apologizes for the whole Aoi thing. Mizuchi must be the one most worried and yet she said things like that. Mizuchi shakes his head and says that he didn’t say enough. He confesses that Aoi spoke a lot about Mikoto. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Aoi told him that she had found a good minamo and, if she was in Koukokugumi, she would like to train her. But Mikoto ended up in Gekkougumi and… Mizuchi sighs deeply.

Mikoto prompts him with his name. Mizuchi tells her that once he heard what Aoi had to say, he thought she should stay with the Gekkougumi. That’s how it should be between a player and a minamo. Mikoto is surprised by his words. She should have stayed with the Gekkougumi? Mizuchi is silent for a beat before admitting quietly that he didn’t have the confidence to be her partner.

They are partners because of the emperor’s imperial edict. That’s what they are officially but the truth is different. Mizuchi’s grandfather wanted to win her over into the family and so proposed that to the emperor. She asks him if he’s talking about his family. Mizuchi explains that the senki candidate is said to have the “full moon” in both eyes and his family, for the sake of wanting the moon, wanted Mikoto to be his partner no matter what. Mizuchi couldn’t say this, especially to Hime.

Mikoto stiffens. Mizuchi believes that he stole the right to be Mikoto’s partner through cowardly means. And, because Hime is deeply considerate, he distanced himself for Mizuchi. Mikoto closes her eyes. Mizuchi notes that her tears must be for Hime, right? Mikoto flinches. He implies that, from the start, the onifuda didn’t lead her to anyone and so there is no problem for her to cry over Hime.

Moreover, Mizuchi’s and her relationship being like this will lead to destruction. She repeats his words in confusion. He tells her that he was taught by his grandfather about how the correct road is the truth, but destruction awaits on the mistaken road. And yet… no, he was the one who accepted it. Even though he knew everything, he didn’t refuse his grandfather’s actions. That is his greatest sin. Mizuchi whispers that he’ll return her to her partner, Hime. That is the just thing for him to do.

Mikoto murmurs his name. In her mind, she thinks about returning to Himeutsugi as his partner… one more time. But is that just? Because Himeutsugi… Mikoto tells Mizuchi that her partner is him. If she returns then she’ll just trouble Himeutsugi; she’s always caused problems for him. She’s thickheaded and so Himeutsugi had to tell her the truth. Even though he’s such a gentle person, he was made to say such harsh things.

She grits her teeth and then tells him that returning to Himeutsugi will just hurt them more. So, she mustn’t return! She looks up at him and tells him desperately that his original partner was Aoi, and she thinks that should be how it is. But… and making this request makes her feel like the lowest kind of person, but… She can’t become Aoi but she will study hard. So, please, she wants to be Mizuchi’s partner. She apologizes for being selfish.

Mizuchi exhales, and then lowers his head to kiss her brow. At her surprised look, he says that he realized they never finished their ceremony. She repeats his words in confusion. Mizuchi explains that, during the ceremony, the senki candidate and her partner exchange a kiss to complete their contract. Mikoto turns red. Mizuchi remarks on how she still wants to be his partner after having heard his story, so with this she is now his official partner.

Mikoto nods her head and then finds herself being pulled in to his chest again. She calls out his name questioningly, but Mizuchi just breathes out. He apologizes but he wants to stay like this a while longer. She lets him. In her mind, she thinks that this is good. She tells Himeutsugi that she will awaken as the senki by being Mizuchi’s partner.

DAY 25. Himeutsugi greets Mizuchi, but is surprised to see him up so early. Mizuchi grunts and then notes that Hime seems to have a morning tennis practice? Hime nods and answers that he has a match with another school coming up soon, but since no one is around at this time he can only hit the ball against the wall. He asks about Mizuchi’s own early-morning practice, since it’s unusual to see him taking a break.

But then he realizes that Mizuchi must have business with him. Mizuchi exhales before admitting to Hime that he is a coward, and so Hime can look down on him. But he’s going to live as his heart pleases, even if that means destruction. Himeutsugi’s smile disappears and he stares at Mizuchi. Mizuchi asks him if that’s fine. Hime plasters on a smile and tells Mizuchi that of course it is because he’s told them before that he wants them to be happy.

And then he asks Mizuchi quietly if he’s kissed her. Mizuchi averts his eye but his cheeks are red. Himeutsugi’s eyes widen and he congratulates Mizuchi. They should celebrate it! Yes, with a party! Mizuchi echoes his words in confusion. Party? Hime reminds him that talked about this before, right? That they’d have one when Mizuchi and Mikoto became a couple. If they talk to Momotose then she’ll prepare clothes for them.

Mizuchi splutters at the word “dress” and asks why they need one! Hime laughs and says that he’s getting excited! He needs to have a large celebration for his best friend starting a new life! Now that they’ve decided he needs to hurry and make preparations. Mizuchi yells at Hime to stop because he won’t participate!

But Hime turns around with a serious look and tells him that he can’t do that. His voice is low as he says that since it’s been decided, he won’t let Mizuchi get in the way of his best plan. UH THAT SOUNDS SINISTER. Mizuchi is puzzled by Hime, but Hime walks off without another word.

Scene skip! Mikoto receives a message from someone on her phone. She opens it only to startle upon seeing that it came from Himeutsugi. In the message, he congratulates her and then says that they’re going to have a party. Right now, they’re preparing. There’s also a dress fitting that he’ll leave to her. Mikoto doesn’t understand what he means. And then she notices that she has another message too. It’s from Mizuchi and the contents are…

「浮かれいづる 心は身にも かなはねば
如何なりとても 如何にかはせむ」 – Mizuchi
(My heart and body is bursting from a love
that rends me helpless. I know not what to do,
nor can I do anything.) – Saigyou Houshi (#912)

Scene skip! At night, Mizuchi inhales deeply and then breathes out. He can’t sleep; no matter how long he dozes he is still awake. When he closes his eye, Mikoto is there. He sees her surprised face when he completed the ceremony. That blush on her cheeks. Her large eyes. There was the moon in her eyes. Just like this moon, her eyes were beautifully clear. His family– no, the full moon that he yearns and longs for is in his hands at last. His voice is firm as he declares that has no regrets. Even if she were to have feelings for Hime… he won’t back down. This is his reality because of his heart, which has feelings for her.

Scene skip! The Half Moon calls out Mikoto’s name twice. She greets him in surprise. It’s been a while and she hasn’t seen him lately. Half Moon tells her that a “root” was stuck on him, which was why he couldn’t move. She repeats his word in confusion. Root? Half Moon continues on to say that he thought he took it out, but he was wrong. It had penetrated deep into his body and had held him back.

He tells her 「君の選んだ運命から、悲鳴が聞こえている。とても悲痛で、暗くよどんでいる。」(Because of the fate you chose, I can hear a scream. It’s very bitter and stumbling in darkness). She asks him who is screaming. Half Moon grunts in pain. It hurts and he’s being swallowed. Mikoto yells at the Half Moon to wait!

DAY 26. And then she springs up from bed. Her dream right now was different from usual. What was that about someone screaming?

Scene skip! In Momotose’s room, she is panicking about what to do because she’s lost. Her angel is terribly lovely and so she can’t decide on this feminine Alice-like dress… or a wee bit adult-like slit dress that’ll enchant Mizuchi. Himeutsugi is amazed at the sheer amount and asks how many clothes there are here. Momotose tells him that she had called all the designers in the world to create dresses and so she doesn’t know how many there are. She starts counting.

Tane reports that, just now, they had 500 completed dresses. JFC. Momotose isn’t impressed at how they’re only at that amount. In that case, she wants another 500. Himeutsugi laughs awkwardly and says that there won’t be an end to choices. Momotose smiles sweetly and says that it’s a good thing; there’s still the engagement announcement, the exchange of engagement gifts, the wedding banquet… and anniversaries for them to wear these things at.

She sighs in pleasure at how nice it is for Mikoto and Mizuchi to have reciprocal feelings. She asks Hime if they’ve kissed yet. She giggles as she remarks on how she had thought Mizuchi was a late bloomer but, contrary to expectations… Hime returns her smile and comments on how, unexpectedly, Mizuchi did it. Momotose nods and then praises Himeutsugi too for being a lovely gentlemen to treasure his dear friend like this.

Himeutsugi smiles brightly but remains silent. Momotose is excited about how if the party can deepen the bond between Mizuchi and Mikoto then the senki’s awakening will also quicken! Hime agrees happily. And then he picks out a dress and comments on how nice it is. Momotose compliments Himeutsugi’s taste, just as she expected. She also likes that one and thinks it’ll go well with this white suit here. IS IT THE ONE YOU SEE AT THE TITLE SCREEN SCREAMS.

Momotose giggles again because it must be unusual to see Mizuchi in white but she’s sure it’ll suit him. Suddenly, Iroha knocks on the door and enters to ask for Momotose’s time. She greets him excitedly and asks if he came to look at the clothes too? He replies without emotion that he didn’t and he has something to talk to her about. Following Aoi, Karakurenai’s whereabouts have also become unknown.

Himeutsugi’s brows furrow and he is startled. Momotose gasps and asks Iroha what he means. Iroha reports that he received a report from these past few days on how none of the minamo in Oukagumi have received any contact from Karakurenai. She asks if it’s not just his usual nightlife? Iroha tells her that, no, Karakurenai didn’t go to Goto-gai. Exactly like Aoi, he disappeared from inside the school. Himeutsugi repeats Iroha’s words in surprise. Inside the school?

Iroha tells him that the surveillance camera they installed before the gates didn’t catch sight of either of the two. And they have to pass through that place in order to leave the school. Himeutsugi asks if this means that both of them are in the school then? Momotose follows up by saying that all the cameras in the school haven’t seen them though, meaning that they are also not at the school. HIME DIDN’T SHOVE THEM ALL UNDER HIS DESK OR ANYTHING… DID HE? LOL. MIZUCHI-HEN FLASHBACKS. Iroha is silent.

Momotose sighs at how even Karakurenai has disappeared after Aoi. It’s terrifying. And even strange utsurohi are appearing, meaning that there is still a “root” in this school. Iroha’s eyes narrow as he tells her that it’s stretching. The “root” that was spread through the school has changed color. At first it was swaying to and fro like a wave, but now it’s covering the school like a high wave. Momotose echoes his words about the root being like a wave, and then asks why he can see them.

He answers that the moon told him. Momotose asks him if he means the “eyes of the moon” that he has? Iroha doesn’t answer. Himeutsugi points out how dangerous this is and how they need to do something about it before the party. He asks Iroha to explain everything to him in more detail and offers to help. Iroha pauses for a beat before nodding and asking Himeutsugi to come to his room later. Himeutsugi acknowledges that. WHAT THE. BOTH THEIR VOICES ARE SO WEIRD HERE. HIME HAS THIS LONG PAUSE.

Scene skip! Himeutsugi comes upon Mizuchi and Mikoto in the courtyard and asks what the two of them are doing. Mikoto greets him with a smile. Mizuchi remains silent. Hime notices that they’re having a boxed lunch. Could this be…!? Mikoto explains that she wanted to apologize for a sweets restaurant they went to a few days ago because Mizuchi, who dislikes sweets, was forced to accompany her.

Mizuchi tells her calmly that he didn’t force himself and it wasn’t that bad, being what it was. Mikoto comments on how he actually likes Japanese-style food, huh. Like grilled fish, little to no oil, and dashi over salt. Right? Mizuchi’s eye widens because he sent her a nonchalant response and yet she was able to draw out so much of his intention from it. Mikoto smiles and tells him that, after she asked him, she realized that it was the same thing she usually has and so it was easy to make.

Himeutsugi hums as he realizes that this is why Mizuchi turned down his invitation to lunch. Let’s see, they have grilled fish, stewed food, boiled greens in soy sauce, Japanese omelette… and what’s this? Mikoto explains that it’s a kurumabu steak and when it’s grilled like this it has the texture of meat; it’s healthy because it doesn’t use oil. Himeutsugi suddenly comes up to them and eats it, praising how delicious it is.

Mizuchi chides Hime for his bad manners. Himeutsugi ignores him though and comments on how good of a cook Mikoto is. It must be nice to be able to eat one’s lover’s home cooked meal. Mizuchi shakes his head and tells him that his manner of speaking is rude to Mikoto. Hime raises his hands peacefully and remarks on how they’re less than lovers, but ones who still kiss and exchange love emails.

Mikoto turns red. Mizuchi tells him not to misinterpret the situation. He asked for Mikoto’s contact address just to thank her and she used that chance to offer to make him a boxed lunch, out of concern. Hime snickers at how heated Mizuchi is getting and he’s jealous. Mikoto smiles awkwardly. Himeutsugi takes a step back and decides to go and get comforted by his lovers of the Gekkougumi. He’ll leave the two alone now.

In her mind, Mikoto notes on how Himeutsugi is the same as always. He came off that way through his messages but he’s also jesting as lightly as usual. She had wondered if the atmosphere was going to get awkward but it was fine. It looks like she might be the only one overthinking things. Mizuchi watches her quietly. Mikoto gives him a strained smile. And then Mizuchi points out that her chopsticks have stopped.

Mikoto quickly apologizes and then yelps when she’s shocked. Mizuchi frowns and immediately asks if she’s okay. She nods slowly but in confusion because, right now, electricity had just touched her finger… Mizuchi tells her that he doesn’t feel any utsurohi but it is possible that there are electric currents still remaining in the courtyard. They should move inside. Mikoto looks up at him and nods in surprise.

There’s an electric shock in the courtyard. In the classroom. At the front of the gates. In the greenhouse. And in the hallway. Hime is silent as he walks down the hall. In a low and calm voice, Hime knocks on a door and introduces himself. JFC HE SOUNDS LIKE AN AXE MURDERER HERE. NO JOKE. IROHAAAAA BE CAREFUL!!

Scene skip! Mikoto receives a message from Mizuchi on her phone. It’s a broken message, which she deciphers is actually telling her that he’ll be relying on her for Kabatsu and he’ll be waiting in Goto-gai for her. Mizuchi doesn’t really hit the letters when he’s using email and he told her that he wasn’t very good with devices, but he tried his very best to write that. OMG IT DOESN’T COME ACROSS IN ENGLISH BUT HE LITERALLY HIT THE FIRST LETTER OF EACH WORD BASICALLY.

She’s happy to see that Mizuchi has gradually come to understand that they are to do Kabatsu together. He looks scary but he really is kind. He is quite detailed in his concern too… like Himeutsugi, he is a kind person. Mizuchi isn’t her type but she feels like they can become close.

Onosada suddenly appears and asks with a smirk if she’s become an adult and is messaging a man? She shrieks in surprise. He snickers and notes that the other person must be Mizuchi, right? It must be nice to be approved of by one’s partner. This is basically the start line for the senki candidate, huh. But he’s surprised that such a strait-laced person like Mizuchi became taken with her; he doesn’t really understand.

Mikoto glances away and tells him that it’s not like that. Onosada asks if she’s going to act like she doesn’t know about Mizuchi’s feelings? She’s not that much of an idiot, right? Mikoto can’t believe he’d accuse her of playing around like that because that’d be disrespectful to Mizuchi. Onosada quotes her with an amused smile because Mizuchi said the same thing, about being disrespectful. Both of them are very similar. Mikoto stays quiet.

Onosada warns her that, for humans, nothing good comes out of hiding one’s true feelings. Mikoto repeats his words in confusion. True feelings? Onosada shrugs and comments on how she wouldn’t know since she’s such a kid. And kids, because of that fact, can be cruel. They are too pure. Mikoto has nothing to say. Onosada goes on to talk about how, at her age, she has a fine body but is bad at managing it. She’s a woman, and her companion is a man. He doesn’t want her to forget that she could have sex.

Mikoto turns bright red at his words. Onosada tells her one final thing; that if she doesn’t end things properly then she’ll get hurt. It’s a warning from an old man. He walks off, leaving her to wonder if he meant settling her feelings properly. But she’s decided on her feelings already… Yes, she’s decided… right?

Scene skip! In Goto-gai, Mikoto’s eyes are wide at the terrible stagnation in the air. It wasn’t this bad before. She then sees Mizuchi and greets him. He nods back and tells her to come closer to him. She approaches him in confusion. He tells her that he’ll catch the taint so that her water doesn’t become tainted. She thanks him, surprised.

Mizuchi notes that the taint is strong but there are few utsurohi. If they target places with feelings of tension, they should be able to finish this faster than normal. Mikoto nods. He starts by setting up the field and doing his field call. They defeat the enemy and then Mizuchi asks Mikoto if she’s okay. She responds affirmatively. And so he engages their next enemy.

They defeat that enemy too and Mikoto sighs. She notices that the stagnation has cleared though and everything seems to be okay now. She turns to smile at Mizuchi and congratulates him on their hard work. He answers formally that it was thanks to her they were able to effectively cut their enemies down. She demurs and says that it’s because he instructed her. He points out that she’s the one who made the decisions in those instances. He is grateful. She thanks him shyly.

He looks at her quietly. And then tells her that he has a place he’d like to take her to… if she doesn’t mind. Mikoto blinks at him in surprise. He nods; it’s a bit far but he wants her to accompany him.

By the time he takes her to the place it is evening. She looks around and realizes that this place is… Mizuchi asks her if she knows this place. She smiles and answers that she does because she used to play here at this playground a lot when she was young. He comments on how unexpected that is because he too came here when he was young. Mikoto is surprised to hear that. He answers that it was ten years ago, and more, though.

Mikoto thinks they might have met each other here then at that time. SQUINTS EYES SLOWLY. Mizuchi agrees but then shakes his head and says that, no, they surely met. Mikoto is stunned to hear that certainty in his voice. He looks up at her quietly. And then he notes that it’s almost time, and guides her over. She realizes that the place he is taking her is–

Mizuchi tells her that the sun is going down soon and he wants her to see the scenery from here. She nods. And then as the sun sets, she looks out at the scenery and comments on how beautiful it is. Mizuchi agrees on what an exceptional sight it is. Due to his family’s rules, he could never stay until this time. He barely had any time to play either. And he always returned home with painful reluctance.

But then, one day, the girl he met here told him that today was the last day and she wanted to see the sunset together. Mikoto’s eyes widen. The young girl told him that this place was her most important place, and so that was the first time he broke the rules of his family to watch the sunset. The young girl told him that she feels calm when she sees the town slowly become dyed in orange and all her feelings go blank. Mikoto is silent.

Mizuchi admits to her that he had completely forgotten all this. But, these past few days, the memories have slowly returned to him, as if a door to his sealed memories has opened. He breathes in and then exhales. The young girl in his memories… resembles her.

He tells her 「時折、君を懐かしく思うことがある。君は・・・自分にとって、とても懐かしい香りがする。」(Sometimes, I have a sense of nostalgia with you. To me… you have a familiar smell). She repeats his words in surprise. Smell? He mentions lightly that his words must be rude to a lady, huh. She shakes her head, but she does have the same feelings as that girl he told her about. Coming here, seeing the sunset, she can feel her emotions become calm. Sad things and painful things have become blank.

Mizuchi stares at her and then states certainly 「君だ。」(It’s you). She tilts her head at him. He tells her that he’s not thinking of the young girl. Right now, he is looking at her, Mikoto. He admits that this might trouble her right now but he can no longer suppress his feelings. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Mizuchi tells her that everything might end if he says this, but he still wants to say it.

Mikoto wonders why Mizuchi has such a serious expression. GIRL PLEASE. Why… is her heart pounding? Her body is trembling. She tries to open her mouth to interrupt but he speaks first 「この蛟・・・君を・・・!」(I, Mizuchi…). They are interrupted though by a ringing noise and Mikoto yelps. W-What is going on!? Someone laughs lightly and tells them that they can’t do this because the party hasn’t started.

But Mikoto recognizes this voice. It’s–!

The person continues on to say that everyone is blessing them. Yes, at this castle… like a prince and princess… that’s his best plan. He spoke about this before, right? Mizuchi? Mikoto yells out Mizuchi’s name when she sees his body becoming transparent. And then she screams when a strange noise starts up. Mizuchi yells out her name in concern. She calls back to him and realizes in horror that he’s disappearing! She begs him to wait and not to go.

Electric shocks are sparking all over the place and then the unknown person calls for Mikoto to come as well. Mikoto stiffens. The person laughs lowly as he tells her that everyone is waiting… at the castle…

Mikoto’s eyes widen when a hole opens up in the air and she sees… Himeutsugi?! She screams and then someone yells at her to come over to them. Mikoto turns because this voice is–! Said person yells at her to grab onto him, quickly! Mikoto obeys.

A device is cranked.

Mikoto wonders where she is. Just a few minutes ago, she heard Iroha’s voice… Himeutsugi was also calling to her… her hand was grabbed… but before then…! She yells out Mizuchi’s name! She calls out his name and asks where he is.

???:みずちくん、こっちだよ。こっち!(Mizuchi-kun, over here. Here!)
???:あぶないから、この手すりにつかまってね。(It’s dangerous so hold onto these handrails.)
???:うん、ありがとう。みことくん。(Un, thank you, Mikoto-kun.)

Mikoto realizes that these voices are… She sees a little girl that looks exactly like how she did in the past! The boy beside her also looks like someone she’s seen somewhere before…

???:なんだよ、今日はクソ優等生もいんのかよ。ちぇっ。(What, today the shitty honors student is here? Che.)
???:くれなゐくん、そう言いながらみずちくんの隣なんだね。(Kurenai-kun, you’re saying that while standing beside Mizuchi-kun.)
???:バカ。おめえの隣にみずちをよこさねーためだ!おめえの隣は俺だけだからな。あっ、うつつ!ちゃっかり反対側に行ってんじゃねえよ!(Idiot. It’s because Mizuchi won’t let me stand beside you! I’m the only one who should be beside you. Ah, Utsutsu! Don’t be cheeky and move to the other side!)

Mikoto notices that all these kids resemble people. And their names…

???:ええと、揃ってないよね。あとは・・・ひめくん!(Umm, we’re not all here, huh. There’s still… Hime-kun!)

Mikoto blinks in surprise. There is a boy building a castle in the sand. And that boy also looks like someone she’s seen…

???:ひめくん、夕焼けがきれいだよ。みんなで見よう。(Hime-kun, the sunset is pretty. Come see it with everyone.)
???:いい。・・・おしろ、つくってるから。(I’m good… I’m making a castle.)
???:それ、砂のお城だね。ひめくん、上手。(That’s a sand castle, right? Hime-kun is talented.)
???:いつも、つくってるから。(It’s because I’m always making them.)
???:おしろには、おうじさまとおひめさまがすんでいるんだ。ほら、ここにおうじさまのへや。(The prince and princess live in the castle. Look, this is the prince’s room.)
???:おい、みこと!そんなヤツほっとけ。早く戻ってこい。(Oi, Mikoto! Leave him alone. Hurry up and come back.)
???:う、うん。ひめくんも一緒に夕焼け見よう?今日はみずちくんもいるから、みんなでそろって見れるよ。(O-Okay. Hime-kun, won’t you come and watch the sunset with everyone? Today Mizuchi-kun is here too so let’s watch it with everyone gathered.)
???:・・・やだ。(… No.)
???:ここは、ぼくたちふたりだけのばしょなのに、きみがみんなをここによんだ。(This place was just yours and mine, but you called everyone here.)
???:あのゆうやけは、ぼくとみことだけのものなのに。もう、みない。(That sunset used to be just yours and mine. I don’t want to look at it anymore.)
???:ひめくん、みことくんを困らせないでくれたまえ。(Hime-kun, please don’t trouble Mikoto-kun.)
???:君はいつも、みことくんを困らせる。(You are always troubling Mikoto-kun.)
???:・・・きみはずるい。(… You’re not fair.)
???:きみは、なんでももってるじゃないか。ぼくのほしいもの、ぜんぶ。(Don’t you have everything? The things that I want, everything.)
???:なのに、みことももってっちゃうの?ぼくには、みことしかいないのに。(And yet, you’re also going to take Mikoto? Even though I have no one but Mikoto.)
???:・・・っ、君にはわからないよ。僕の気持ちなんか。(… you don’t understand either. My feelings.)
???:僕のこと、みんな恵まれているとねたんでくる。本当は違うのに。言っても信じてくれない。それがどんなに苦痛かわかるかい?(Everyone is jealous of me and thinks I’m blessed. But it’s not true. No matter what I say, they don’t believe it though. Do you know what kind of pain that is?)
???:僕をわかってくれるのは、みことくんだけだ。僕だって、みことくんしかいらない。(The only one who understands me is Mikoto-kun. I don’t need anyone but Mikoto-kun.)
???:・・・ふたりとも、どうしちゃったの?変だよ。(… What’s wrong with you two? You’re both being weird.)
???:みこと・・・きて。おしろ、いっしょにつくろう。(Mikoto… come. Let’s make a castle together.)
???:みこと君、夕焼けを見ると約束しただろう。来てくれたまえ。(Mikoto-kun, we promised to watch the sunset, right? Come here.)

Mikoto sees that both boys have grabbed onto the girl’s hands. She yells at them to stop because the girl will…!

A device is cranked.

Mikoto wonders what this noise is. It’s a grating noise and it’s ringing in her head. Mikoto screams.

Someone tells her to wake. Mikoto remains unresponsive. Said person demands for her to wake again. Quickly. Mikoto flinches when she’s hit and then yelps in pain when she’s hit again. She opens her eyes and sees a blurry image of Iroha, who asks if she’s awake. She mumbles his name in shock. Her cheeks are smarting… was she slapped!? He informs her that if she had been any slower in waking up she would have died.

Mikoto’s eyes widen in shock and she thanks him through her swollen cheeks. Someone makes a sarcastic remark about how she’s thanking Iroha though she had been slapped. Mikoto is startled to see Karakurenai standing behind Iroha. Wasn’t he missing!? He sneers and asks if that’s how everyone is treating it on the outside. Makes him sick. She repeats his words in confusion. Outside? What does he mean?

Iroha suggests she look around. She does so and notices that they’re in the school. Except the area around the school is dark with stagnation. Iroha states that he knows this side well; this is the true form of the “color”. She repeats his words about “this side”.

And then Yoshino appears to greet the dormitory leader. The committee leader, as she likes to be called, returns the greeting. Mikoto stares at them in bewilderment. Yoshino goes on about how fortunately beautiful the day is; it’s warm and even the earthworms are showing their faces. The committee leader screams and tells Yoshino not to pick them up. Yoshino explains that earthworms can be food during times of crisis and so she’s gathering them now, enough to fill a bucket.

The committee leader yells at her to stop and says that it’s because Yoshino is like this that the gentle minamo of the Gekkougumi keep themselves at a distance from her. Yoshino cringes and apologizes because she found them cute with their wriggling. It’s really not good? Mikoto interrupts at this point and calls out to them. The committee leader snaps to Yoshino that earthworms are not cute and that being with Yoshino causes her so much worry.

Mikoto realizes in shock that they just passed by her without stopping! She calls out to the committee leader and Yoshino and asks if they can’t see her? She’s even more shocked when she realizes she can’t touch them. Iroha tells her that he said it before about how they were on “this side”. They can’t see them. This place was created Himeutsugi, a world of “color”. Mikoto is stunned to hear that.

Iroha explains that when Himeutsugi absorbs the water from players and minamo he is, at the same time, absorbing their thoughts – no, souls – into him. This place is where those absorbed souls go. HIME HOW DARE YOU TOUCH IROHA. In other words, even though they are in the same place they are actually not in reality; they’re in a parallel world. This place was created by Himeutsugi but Iroha didn’t have that proof, and so he needed Himeutsugi to absorb someone one more time.

Mikoto realizes that Iroha is saying that he allowed himself to be absorbed. Iroha confirms that. Karakurenai sneers and tells Iroha not to lie; he could just say that he was caught by that shitty princess’ magic. Iroha replies without emotion that Karakurenai was the one who was caught, no? Karakurenai snarls at him. Mikoto interrupts the two and tells them to stop. They can’t fight!

She turns back to Iroha and confirms that this place isn’t reality, right? He inclines his head. Mikoto points out that, in this case, their whereabouts have become unknown in reality then. Iroha explains that only their souls are here and their bodies are still in the real world. The one time this happened to him, he was sent to the hospital. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Does this mean that if they find their bodies they can return? Iroha tells her that it’s useless because they can’t return on their own will.

If Himeutsugi, who trapped them here, doesn’t return them then they can’t return to reality. Mikoto asks if they can’t contact Himeutsugi then and talk him into letting them return? Mizuchi might be here too, because he was also sucked into the electrical currents. In fact, Aoi might be here too… Karakurenai eyes her and remarks on how she really is an amazing woman. She catches his sarcastic tone. Kurenai asks if she still doesn’t understand Hime’s true character. She echoes his words fearfully.

Iroha explains to her that if Himeutsugi absorbed Aoi and Karakurenai then he knows about them, yet he didn’t speak of that to anyone. Why? Mikoto stiffens before protesting that he must have a reason, right? Himeutsugi isn’t the type of person to do this just because he can. Iroha exhales slowly before telling her that if she doesn’t understand then she should confirm it with her own eyes. She repeats his words hesitantly. Her own eyes? Iroha orders her to follow him.

Mikoto follows him and notes that if they’re heading to the greenhouse then the door is the other way… Iroha tells her that this isn’t a problem. She gasps when he just slips through the wall. Iroha tells her to just pass through like that as well. Mikoto nods but in her mind she thinks it feels weird because it’s like their ghosts. Are they heading to the auditorium? Iroha confirms it and explains that in the real world it is presently sealed. Himeutsugi is here.

She is surprised by that because if it is sealed then why is Himeutsugi… Karakurenai laughs before telling her not to be taken aback with how pretty of an image she has of the shitty princess in her mind. Mikoto wonders what he means by the image she has of Himeutsugi in her mind. But then she chides herself because now isn’t the time to be lost. They need to go inside! As they all enter, Mikoto can see something. This is…?

Himeutsugi is laughing. Mikoto’s eyes widen. This is!? What?! Himeutsugi hums to himself. He addresses Mikoto’s unconscious body as “princess” and presents a flower to her that he picked from the greenhouse. He’ll place it in her hair. He breathes in shakily because she’s so cute. It really suits her, just like he thought. A delicate flower suits her, who is neat and tidy, the best.

Mikoto’s body doesn’t respond. He goes on to congratulate Mizuchi for catching such a lovely princess like her~. Mizuchi’s body also doesn’t respond. Himeutsugi ignores them and turns to Aoi to tell her that Mizuchi’s suit is obvious, right? Momotose chose it. What? She’s fallen in love with him again? But he belongs to Mikoto. Himeutsugi gives Aoi a flower to hold too so that the two of them can bless Mikoto and Mizuchi. Aoi’s body doesn’t respond.

Himeutsugi looks to the side and asks Karakurenai what he’s being so timid for? He should come over here~. Karakurenai manages to groan. Himeutsugi laughs lightly and tells Mizuchi that Karakurenai is sulking. Hime tilts his head. What? Mizuchi is worried about having to kiss the princess again? Oh, don’t worry, Hime has covered his mouth so he won’t let Mizuchi kiss her any more.

Iroha’s body is unresponsive. Himeutsugi looks over to him and comments on how Iroha saw too much, which is why he’s blindfolded. Sorry! Iroha is silent. Hime loses the smile on his face as he notes that if they investigated him any further then he’d have to be killed.

Mikoto, in her soul form, jolts in surprise. Himeutsugi goes back to humming and giggling. An electric shock sparks as he comments on how he’ll erase everyone who gets in his way. And then he tells Mizuchi and Mikoto’s body that they’re happy, aren’t they? With this, all the people who would get in between them are now blessing them. He is their cupid of love and he told Mizuchi that he would definitely get them together, right? He protected his promise with this.

Himeutsugi asks to be praised by Mizuchi. He worked hard, right? Mizuchi is unresponsive. Hime goes on to say 「僕の気持ちを、全部あの”色”に逃がして・・・真っ白な”姫空木”でがんばったんだからさ。褒めてよ。」(I let all of my feelings out into that “color”… and worked hard to be a pure white “himeutsugi”. Praise me). REMINDER THE HIMEUTSUGI IS WHAT YOU CALL A DEUTZIA GRACILIS FLOWER.

Mizuchi is still unresponsive. But then anger appears on Hime’s face as he asks why Mizuchi is remaining silent when he worked so hard. No response. Himeutsugi’s voice is low 「僕だって、欲しいものを欲しいと言いたいさ。でも、運命に縛られている僕にはできない。君のように、恵まれてはいないんだ。」(I would like to be able to say that I want something when I want it. But I’m bound by fate and I can’t. I’m not blessed like you). No response.

Hime smiles coldly and electricity sparks. Isn’t it nice, to be Mizuchi: who has money, a pedigree, smart, and can even do sports. He is tall and his face is handsome. Most importantly, he has a heart that can love someone faithfully. Mizuchi has everything that he doesn’t. He’s really jealous… really. To the point of hating him. Mikoto, in her soul form, feels her eyes widen. I RECORDED THIS PART FOR EVERYONE.

Himeutsugi growls out that, ah yes, he hates him. He hates him! He yells out angrily that he didn’t want Mizuchi to have Mikoto. Absolutely not him! WHY HIM!? THE ONE HE IS JEALOUS OF THE MOST!? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO CONGRATULATE MIZUCHI!?! H O L Y SHIT I’M CRYING. HE’S SO ANGRY. Himeutsugi pounds on the ground and swears loudly. He starts to cry as he asks why he can’t become a prince. Why do good things happen only to Mizuchi? He greatly hates him! He really hates him for stealing away the girl he loves.

Electricity starts to spark wildly and Himeutsugi groans in pain. It hurts. His body feels like it’s going to break. He screams in pain. Mikoto, in her soul form, worriedly asks him what’s wrong and tries to touch him. She yelps when she’s repelled by the electric currents though.

Karakurenai calls Hime an idiot and comments on how his body can’t hold out. At Mikoto’s look, Iroha explains that Himeutsugi has an advanced ability for a minamo and is heavily using his ability of absorbing other’s waters… but this includes their thoughts. He must have absorbed a lot on the day of the ceremony too, including utsurohi, adabana, and all the students there. This large amount of water is a burden on his body.

Kurenai adds that Hime even absorbed his power, Kurenai of the 5 Brights. He’s thrust power unsuited to him into his body and that’s why his body is screaming. Mikoto asks what they can do because at this rate Himeutsugi will– Iroha tells her that it’s futile and there’s nothing they can do. Mikoto protests.

Himeutsugi writhes in pain but gasps out that he doesn’t want to die. He doesn’t want to die because then he’ll be alone again. It’s cold… being alone… outside… alone. Mikoto turns to look at him in surprise. Himeutsugi then stumbles on a great idea. He’ll have a party and drag everyone along. Then he won’t be alone. Everyone should be given to him… and then everything will disappear. If he releases all the utsurohi in him then everyone in this school will pass along to the afterlife.

He starts to giggle and decides to do that. He addresses Mikoto and confirms that she’ll die together with him, right? That’s fine, right? Mikoto, in her soul form, looks away. Himeutsugi recalls that Mikoto loves him, right? He turned her down but she truly loves him still, right? She yells out his name. Hime continues on though and points out that he did so many things for her and so she can at least die together with him, right?

Mikoto stares at him, stunned. Die with him? She remembers how Aoi spoke about dying for the sake of her loved one. What about her!? Will she die together like this with Himeutsugi? She…

Suddenly, Aoi interrupts and spits out a no. She won’t let Hime kill her brother, Mizuchi! Mikoto is startled to see Aoi. Iroha inhales sharply. Aoi asks what Hime is doing, trying to look cool, because it cost her a lot to return here! Himeutsugi slowly asks Aoi how she came here. She snarls at him not to look down on a minamo of the Koukokugumi– no, a minamo of the 5 Brights! Because, from the start, they use water much more than a man like him! YAASS ROAST HIM GIRL.

Himeutsugi reels back. Iroha is shocked to see that Aoi is absorbing water from Himeutsugi… Aoi, with her own powers as a minamo. Mikoto and Karakurenai are also stunned. But then Karakurenai smirks and realizes that she did it so that her soul could go back to her own body. Heh, what an unexpected woman. A COMPLIMENT FROM KURENAI! HOLY SHIT GO AOI.

Aoi tells Hime to listen up because her feelings are stronger than Hime’s feelings and she’ll show him! She suddenly screams when she’s attacked by electricity and Mikoto yells out her name in concern. But then Aoi gets back up and snaps to Hime that a real minamo can continue to pour water for the sake of their loved one, no, for the sake of protecting their loved one! And what about him!? He’s just doing everything for his own sake!

Himeutsugi flinches. Aoi goes on to say that his water is terribly tainted. And it isn’t the utsurohi; that water is a reflection of his heart! A person like that doesn’t have the capability to be loved by anyone. DAMN GIRL THAT’S HARSH. Himeutsugi starts to scream. Mikoto whips her head to look at him and then yells at Aoi to stop. She doesn’t want this to continue on any more! Himeutsugi is pitiful and she doesn’t want Aoi to say anything more.

Karakurenai calls her an idiot and points out that Aoi has returned to reality and so she can’t hear Mikoto’s voice. But Aoi scoffs and then asks Mikoto what she wants to do? Mikoto freezes. Aoi closes her eyes and says that her brother is here and she wants to pour water into him, and yet… he won’t accept her water. No, he has no intentions of accepting anyone’s water other than Mikoto. Because Mizuchi is Mikoto’s partner, right?

Mikoto’s eyes widen. Aoi admits that she knows her brother’s feelings. Of course she does, because they’ve been together ever since they were little. She knows when her brother is drawn to someone. Moreover, Mikoto saw her make a confession because she didn’t want to see that. But then she warns Mikoto that she won’t forgive her if Mikoto defends Himeutsugi when Mizuchi is her partner. Mikoto stares at Aoi and says her name weakly.

Iroha interrupts though and claims that what Aoi is saying is correct. He tells Mikoto to look at Himeutsugi. He can’t bear all the water he’s taken upon himself and has become tainted. If he releases his powers like that then all the students in Kaen will come over “here”. Karakurenai summarizes Iroha’s words to mean that everyone will become utsurohi– no, they’ll become empty husks. It’s strange how that bastard hasn’t become an adabana. Mikoto stares at them.

And then Aoi, amongst electricity sparks, declares that there’s no more time. She wants Mikoto to decide. Will she go with Himeutsugi? Mikoto stutters out that the person she will follow is…! But in her mind she realizes she is mistaken. Right now there’s something different – something important – that is being broken. What Himeutsugi had been saying might have been his true feelings but she is certain about one thing. As long as that holds true then she can’t follow the present Himeutsugi. Because… deep in his heart…!

A device is cranked.

Mikoto notices the noise. Her head is ringing. She finds herself in a playground and then is shocked to see Mizuchi. He tells her that he was waiting for her; he was sure that she would return to this place. Mikoto blinks in confusion. He remarks on how convenient it is to be a being of thought. He heard all of their exchanges from here. Mikoto notices a sand castle.

Mizuchi averts his eye and sighs. He tells her that Hime told him, soon after they met, that to him, who had no place to go home to, Kaen was a castle. He told Mizuchi that Kaen had minamo of the Gekkougumi who cared for him and his best friend. To Hime, the school was the one place and house that he could return to. And so it must be hurting him more than anything to destroy that place with his own hands. Mizuchi declares that Hime is an irreplaceable friend.

Mikoto agrees brokenly. She believes in the two of them. Mizuchi thanks her. He looks at her in silence for a beat before asking if he could receive her power as a minamo. Mikoto smiles peacefully at him and then nods, because she is Mizuchi’s partner. He nods grimly and declares that they’ll move out with their full power. Mikoto agrees.

A bright light flashes and then Mikoto wakes up in the auditorium, dazed. This place is…? Mizuchi informs her that they appeared to have returned thanks to her power as a minamo. She realizes that he’s speaking the truth because they’re both in the party clothes. Mizuchi notices that Hime and Aoi have disappeared. She looks around and also sees that Iroha and Karakurenai are gone. Where did everyone go?

Suddenly, Himeutsugi starts to cackle and welcomes Mizuchi home. They both turn around. Himeutsugi comments on how the two of them really suit each other. As he thought, Momotose’s selection is quite splendid. It’s so nice he’s going to cry. Mizuchi calls out and asks where Hime is. Himeutsugi chuckles and wonders where he is, indeed. They have to find him and if they don’t find him fast enough then everyone will die.

Mikoto repeats his words in horror. Die!? Hime tells them that the school is buried in utsurohi and it’s a party. It was his backup plan and they should all have fun! Hahaha! Mikoto yelps when electricity snaps at her. Mizuchi says that this place is dangerous and suggests that they move outside. She obeys him and they head to the greenhouse.

In the greenhouse, female and male students are screaming as the utsurohi subspecies appear. Mikoto points out to Mizuchi that everyone is being attacked! Mizuchi declares that they’ll purge them all! Mikoto agrees. They win the battle but Mikoto is panting and electricity is still jumping around.

Mizuchi notes that other students have dried up and collapsed. Most likely, Hime has absorbed their powers. Mikoto thinks so too. Mizuchi admits that he had a hard time believing everything Aoi and the others were saying but it looks like that is the case. Mikoto and him both fall silent. In her mind, she thinks on how Himeutsugi has absorbed everyone. Then these utsurohi too are…?

All the utsurohi here are cold and in pain. Every time they defeat them, Mikoto feels like she can hear a bitter scream. Mizuchi closes his eye and exhales. Mikoto is sure that this is being felt by Mizuchi too. These screams are…

Himeutsugi’s voice appears to tell them that Mizuchi is his best friend. When he came to Kaen, the first person to talk to him was Mizuchi. Stern and stubborn; that was his first impression. He thought that he and Mizuchi had polar opposite ways of thinking and so they definitely wouldn’t get along. Mizuchi narrows his eye. Mikoto calls out Himeutsugi’s name.

Hime continues on though and says that Mizuchi was the only one who saw through to his naked face. And he was the only one to accept him like that. Despite knowing his true self, Mizuchi didn’t change and stayed. Electricity sparks and then something shatters. Mikoto is taken aback by a bright light. Mizuchi remains unfazed and then declares that Hime is calling to them. Mikoto’s eyes widen but Mizuchi guides her to the place.

They encounter more utsurohi in the halls and Mizuchi grits his teeth before engaging them. They defeat them but more appear. Mizuchi notes that they’re slowly welling up and this taint likely won’t disappear until they destroy the root. Mikoto has the unsettling realization that by root he means… Mizuchi closes his eye tightly.

Himeutsugi’s voice appears again as he muses 「いつからだろう。人のために生きていくことに苦痛を感じてきたのは。」(I wonder when it happened. The moment I started to feel pain at living for another person’s sake). It would have been best if he could have remained as everyone’s princess. Then he could have blessed Mizuchi and Mikoto from the bottom of his heart. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Mizuchi is silent as a bright light shines and something shatters again.

They run out into the courtyard but utsurohi are here as well. Mizuchi warns her not to drop her guard. They defeat these enemies.

Himeutsugi’s voice rings out again, bitterly, about how the princess and prince wore white clothes and swore their eternal love, while being blessed by everyone. And then they lived happily ever after. That is the end of the fairy tale, after the torn out pages. Mikoto’s expression is pained. Himeutsugi whispers that he wanted to become a man like Mizuchi; he is a prince from the fairy tales. He is everything that Hime longs for. But he also wanted to be a prince. Electricity sparks and something shatters.

Mikoto and Mizuchi run to the gates of the school where Hime awaits them. Mizuchi gasps in surprise. Mikoto’s eyes widen and she calls out Himeutsugi’s name. He just smirks and declares that this is the grand finale of the party. He chuckles and points out how they match. Both of them are princes.

Mikoto is shocked when she sees Aoi and Momotose come walking out. Himeutsugi grits out that he took everything; the water, the utsurohi… he can’t hold anything back now. He’s losing himself. But before then he wants to pass on… together with Mikoto. He takes out his sword. He chuckles again. The two of them will start a new life. Mikoto can only stare at him, speechless.

And then Mizuchi asks her to stand back. She looks at him, but he addresses Hime and says that he, Hime, doesn’t wish for that. And so he won’t let Hime take Mikoto to the next life. Himeutsugi narrows his eyes and then snarls out that this is why he hates Mizuchi. He tells Mizuchi not to act cool because it pisses him off. Mizuchi replies that he’s returning those words back onto Hime. Hime asks him what he means in a voice trembling with rage.

Mizuchi points out 「お前こそ恰好つけすぎだ。いつも一歩引いているフリをして、まったく引いていない。余裕のフリをして、優越感に浸っているのだろう?」(You also show off too much. You act like you’ll give way, but you haven’t given up at all. You act composed and nonchalant, but you’re actually immersed in a sense of superiority, right?).

Hime snarls at him and grabs Mizuchi by the collar to ask him what he thinks he knows. He has everything, doesn’t he!? What is he dissatisfied about!? Mizuchi snaps back that he is dissatisfied! Things aren’t as splendid for him as Hime thinks they are! Anything that Hime concedes to him leaves him tortured by an inferiority complex. Mizuchi finds himself pitiable.

Himeutsugi angrily asks him why he thinks that, because he did this for Mizuchi. He even encouraged Mizuchi! Mizuchi repeats his words mockingly. Encourage? These utsurohi are unmistakably Hime’s true heart. Why did he hide everything until he was buried in this darkness?! Why didn’t Hime confront him!?

Hime takes a step back, inhaling sharply. Mizuchi is breathing heavily. Hime then states that he’ll tell them the reason if he wins. If they lose though then Mikoto becomes his. Mizuchi grits his teeth. Himeutsugi snarls out that this is the one thing he won’t surrender; he’s going to take her. Now, who’ll win? He laughs crazily.

Mikoto calls out Mizuchi’s name in worry. Mizuchi says tightly that if they lose here then Hime will be lost forever. And Mikoto too. Mikoto stares at him in shock. But then Mizuchi continues on to say that if they win here then he has something to tell Mikoto… the continuation of those words. He won’t lose. He yells out his field creation and does his field call.

IF YOU LOSE (ENDING 01). Mizuchi coughs out blood and collapses to his knees. Mikoto screams out his name and asks him to hold on. He apologizes in a strained voice about having dropped his guard. She panics as she sees all the blood. Quickly, she needs to stop it! She searches for a bandage and then realizes that she can use her dress as a wrapping.

But then Himeutsugi says to her lowly that she can’t do that, princess. If she tears her dress in the middle of the party then she won’t be able to dance. Mikoto gapes at him. He tells her that everyone is looking at her. Aoi and Momotose stare blankly at them. Mikoto stiffens. Himeutsugi giggles and says that everyone has said they’re looking forward to his and Mikoto’s dance. Yes, because today’s party is also the engagement ceremony of the prince and princess.

Mikoto stutters out his name. Himeutsugi whispers that the prince is him… and the princess is her. He starts to laugh crazily and shadows curl around him. She screams when sees the utsurohi gather around him. Himeutsugi croons about how nice it feels. They are flowing into his body and telling him that it is fine to do what he wants. It is fine for him to do the one thing he wants to do the most. He’s free. FREE! FREEEE!

She asks him what’s wrong with him. Mizuchi warns her not to get close. She turns to look at Mizuchi, who tells her that it’s futile now. Himeutsugi’s body is under control of the utsurohi. What Hime had been suppressing at the very end and enduring has completely disappeared. He tells her to look. Mikoto turns back to see Himeutsugi cackle insanely. Mizuchi averts his eye and declares that Hime has been eaten by the darkness… he can’t return.

Mikoto refuses to give up though. There might still be a way to save him. She begs Mizuchi to work together with her. But then Himeutsugi appears behind them and asks Mikoto who she’s talking about being together with. Mikoto and Mizuchi’s eyes widen. Himeutsugi chides Mikoto and reminds her that the prince is over here; the one she should be together with is… him. Mikoto whimpers weakly.

Himeutsugi chuckles and then tells her that she’ll become dirty if she stands over there. That person is a monster. She repeats his words in confusion. Monster? Himeutsugi nods and tells her that Mizuchi is a monster that will eat her. She needs to come to him, because he’ll protect her. Mikoto flinches, which makes Mizuchi call out to her. But then Himeutsugi pauses and turns to kick Mizuchi harshly. Mizuchi chokes.

Mikoto screams for Mizuchi. Himeutsugi’s voice is low as he asks what Mizuchi is doing. Mizuchi is a monster so he can’t touch his princess. He curses Mizuchi as he kicks him repeatedly. Mizuchi coughs out more blood. Mikoto screams at Hime to stop. Mizuchi collapses to the ground. Hime laughs and declares that he’s defeated the monster! Mikoto chokes out Hime’s name.

And then Hime comes back to her to tell her that they are going to get married. From here on, they’ll live happily together in this castle. Everyone has blessed them. Aoi and Momotose continue to remain blank. Himeutsugi tells her that they are going to have their first night now. Mizuchi is breathing weakly.

Hime tells Mikoto to look at Mizuchi; this person is a pitiful servant who loved the princess and was frantic to attain her love, even though her heart belonged to the prince. He then goes on to say that there needs to be a witness for the bridal night of royalty. It’s perfect that they can call this servant to be a witness. I’M FUCKING SCREAMING. Mikoto stiffens. Hime declares that if the servant sees them making love then he’ll give up. They have a lot of time tonight. His voice lowers as he tells her to come to him, princess. He’ll love her… gently. They have a lot… of time. Hahaha! Mikoto screams.

Himeutsugi, who was controlled by the utsurohi, never returned back to normal. From that day, Kaen was covered in utsurohi and electric currents. Everyone in the school… fell into corruption. From then on, Himeutsugi called Kaen their “castle”. In the castle there were empty husks of people strewn around; Himeutsugi called those their “vassals”. He said that this place was the castle where the prince and princess lived happily. In the quiet castle there were only her and Himeutsugi… and that person.

Scene skip! Himeutsugi chuckles. He hasn’t had enough and wants more. Mikoto obeys. Himeutsugi moans in pleasure. Grapes are delicious; they are sweet, and round, and cute… he loves them. Mikoto doesn’t respond. Hime tells her, the princess, to eat some as well. He’ll feed her this time. Mikoto stiffens but eats them. He asks her if they are delicious? The grapes he’s given her.

He cocks his head and asks if they’re that delicious, since she’s licking his fingers. Ah, what a gluttonous woman. He tells her that there is still grape juice on his fingers and so she can lick them to her heart’s content. He laughs and claims that she’s tickling him. She is a tease with her tongue. In that case, he’ll pay her back. Mikoto stiffens. Himeutsugi groans at how delicious her fingers are… sweeter than grapes and he wants to taste them forever.

Mikoto pleads with him to stop. He pauses and then realizes that she’s embarrassed. Ah, she really is a pure princess. No matter how many times he loves her… dirties her… she remains pure white, embarrassed, and makes the cutest of faces. He then turns and asks Mizuchi if he doesn’t agree? Mizuchi grits his teeth. Himeutsugi points out that he’s watched them make love every day and so he would know best, right? Mizuchi is seething in anger.

Himeutsugi tells his princess not to care about being seen by the servant. Let him see it countless of times, their happy days. Mizuchi snarls out Himeutsugi’s name. OH MY GOD THIS IS THE FIRST TIME MIZUCHI HAS CALLED HIM BY HIS FULL NAME. Himeutsugi tilts his head because he doesn’t know that name. He is the prince. And he’ll have to punish the person who says such strange things.

He kicks Mizuchi, who coughs in pain. Mikoto yelps out Mizuchi’s name and then pleads with Himeutsugi to stop. Mizuchi has been chained all this time and barely eats. At this rate, he’ll die! Himeutsugi hums and decides that it can’t be helped if his princess is going to go so far as to say those things. He can even give Mizuchi these grapes. However… Mikoto stiffens. Himeutsugi finishes by saying that he’ll only give the juice that spills onto the princess’ back. Mizuchi chokes.

Himeutsugi tells him that it’s his beloved princess’ back. He’ll let Mizuchi lick it especially. Mizuchi’s breath catches. Hime points out that, at that time, didn’t he jump into the fray with them? Right here. Now, he wants to see Mizuchi, a man of noble character, show his real face. Mikoto tries to ask him what he’s doing but then she startles when she feels Mizuchi do it. She yelps at him to stop.

Mizuchi is panting heavily as he murmurs her name. Mikoto whimpers. Himeutsugi asks calmly if his princess is becoming aroused. She denies it furiously. Mizuchi chants her name. Mikoto moans. Himeutsugi breathes out that her expression is nice and it makes him shiver. He wants to see it more. And then he’ll become more fired up when it is time for him to punish them. Mikoto chokes out his name. But Himeutsugi just chuckles and whispers that he’ll love her gently.

As he said that, Himeutsugi’s eyes, which were watching her, were horribly gentle. It was always like that. After doing terrible things, he would always be gentle. He would hold her and then apologize… And lately, that’s been feeling pleasant. This person isn’t Himeutsugi anymore, and yet… the happy days of the prince and princess may continue on like this… forever. If that’s the case then she thinks that she should abandon herself to it. Because she’s this castle’s… princess after all.

IF YOU WIN (ENDING 02). Himeutsugi coughs out blood. Mikoto screams. Himeutsugi chuckles and comments on how he’s dirtied his suit… he can’t be a prince with this. Electricity sparks. Mikoto calls out his name. Himeutsugi ignores her and muses on how fairy tales are like that though, aren’t they. The monster dies and the prince and princess live happily. Mikoto starts to cry and refuses this. Mizuchi yells out Hime’s name in concern.

Himeutsugi gasps out that he nearly forgot that there’s a promise he needs to keep. Mizuchi asked him why he didn’t confront him? It’s simple… it’s because Mizuchi is his best friend. Hime confesses that he thought he could endure anything for Mizuchi’s sake. But it was impossible. He couldn’t give away the girl he loved. Hime laughs weakly. Mizuchi realizes that Hime’s words right now are the truth, now and forever.

Hime laughs again at how this is the first time they’ve clashed, huh. Mizuchi nods. Hime compliments him for being able to do it. Mizuchi returns the praise. GSFHJKJH CRYING SO HARD. Himeutsugi laughs again and blinks tiredly. And then he apologizes to Mikoto for rejecting her. Mikoto just sobs. Hime remarks on how he hurt her terribly and how he’s the worst, huh. She shakes her head vehemently.

Himeutsugi pants out that he really hates just a physical relationship. He wanted her heart. He tells her 「もう、ここには・・・いられないけど・・・いつか、また会おうね。その時は・・・君と向き合い・・・た・・・い。」(I can’t stay here… any longer but… let’s meet again one day. At that time I’d like to… face… you). He breathes his last and then collapses. Mikoto gasps out his name. And then starts to scream it repeatedly. He doesn’t respond.

And then she hears a noise. Water is overflowing from Himeutsugi’s body?! Iroha appears to explain that the water in Himeutsugi’s body is being released. Mikoto startles at seeing him. Iroha tells her that his water came back and so he returned. Karakurenai also appears and tells them that everyone else who had been absorbed has returned too. It looks like this case is closed.

Mikoto notices that the water is pretty… it is clear and warm. Aoi murmurs that Himeutsugi’s heart was purified. Mikoto calls out Aoi’s name in surprise. Aoi continues on to say that she can’t feel any darkness from this water. It’s like he’s been set free from something. She’s sure that it’s because Hime wanted to convey his feelings to Mizuchi and Mikoto.

Mikoto starts to cry as she realizes that she can feel Himeutsugi’s feelings from the water. Words just keep on coming and coming. These words are… Mikoto sobs out Himeutsugi’s name.

From this day, peace was returned to Kaen. The strange “color” that covered the school disappeared and the utsurohi disappeared as well. The chairmen told her that it was because the “root” that was Himeutsugi died. The “root” that covered the school… she wonders if it wasn’t because Himeutsugi acted as the intermediary of the utsurohi, but because he wanted to protect the school. There is no way that he would want the place he thought of as his own home to be stained by the utsurohi. But she has no way of knowing this.

At the same time, the utsurohi that were seething in the center of Goto-gai also quieted and they didn’t need to Kabatsu anymore. Everyone commented on how, with this, they could awaken the senki peacefully. But… senki? What’s a senki?… Ah, she can hear a voice. Ah, yes, she can hear a voice. Ever since that day. Above the rippling water she can hear that person’s voice in her ears. Every day, not even for a moment does it stop…

Beside her that person is always there whispering to her. Every time she hears those words she feels extremely at peace. Little by little, her feelings become peaceful. It tells her to entrust everything to the waves and to not think about anything. Huh? What was she… doing right now? Haha, it’s strange. She can’t believe she forgot. Right, Himeutsugi?

Scene skip! Mikoto happily calls out Himeutsugi’s name and greets him. Mizuchi greets her calmly. SHIT SHIT SHIT. Aoi sighs quietly. Mikoto remarks on how he’s late today and is he taking a break from his tennis morning practice? Mizuchi answers that he is. Mikoto smiles brightly and declares that they can go to school together then, right? Let’s go! Mizuchi looks at her in pain but agrees. The two of them walk off.

Momotose looks at them and notes sadly that her angel hasn’t returned yet, huh. Aoi confirms this. Momotose closes her eyes and comments on how the doctors said that Mikoto had a temporary memory impairment due to shock. But it’s been half a year since that incident. Aoi says weakly that Mizuchi has been talking about taking Mikoto out, and that there might be a cure somewhere out there. Momotose knows that this must be painful on Aoi too.

Aoi gives a strained smile and answers that she is doing fine… because she can be by Mizuchi’s side. The one thing that is most painful for minamo is… to not be able to be beside one’s partner. For example, even if her feelings can’t reach him she can continue to pour her water into Mizuchi. But for Mikoto… she will have to bear the pain of not having anyone to pour her water into. And that’s why she thinks it might be best for Mikoto to stay like this and not return… for her to be convinced that Mizuchi is Himeutsugi. Momotose gasps at Aoi. Aoi just smiles and says that this is what minamo are, right? Momotose agrees hesitantly.

Scene skip! At the park, Mizuchi tells Mikoto that he bought some water. Mikoto thanks Himeutsugi and then giggles at how kind he is, always. Mizuchi’s expression becomes pained. Mikoto also thanks him for sending her emails. He’s always so detailed, it makes her happy. Mizuchi pauses because he hasn’t written any… Mikoto goes on to tell him that she treasures them and reads them countless of times before bed.

Mizuchi gives a strained smile and says that it is fine so long as she’s pleased. Mikoto nods and then recalls that there was a time when a mistaken message was sent. She shows him the broken message and points out how it looks like a cipher. SHE’S TALKING ABOUT THE MESSAGE MIZUCHI SENT THAT ASKS HER TO DO KABATSU SOBS. It says the sender is Mizuchi but who is that? Mizuchi’s eye widens. And then he smiles painfully and tells her that he’ll do anything for her. She can ask him anything.

Mikoto is surprised and then thinks on it. In that case, she wants to hear him say he loves her. Mizuchi freezes. Mikoto tells him, Himeutsugi, that lately he hasn’t been speaking at all and it makes her sulk. It’s embarrassing for her to be the only one saying she loves him. So, she wants to hear it from Himeutsugi. Mizuchi can’t find his voice. And then he averts his eyes.

「見るも憂し 如何にかすべき 我が心
かかる報いの 罪やありける」 – Mizuchi
(I am in pain just
looking at these scenes;
what does this mean for me?
That this mental torture springs
from heinous things I once pursued?) – Saigyou Houshi (#1841 On Looking at Pictures of Hell)

「なべてなき くろきほむらの 苦しみは
よるのおもひの 報いなるべし」 – Mizuchi
(Black fires had
their origin in dark nights
of raging passion;
stygian flame is surely
like no other.) – Saigyou Houshi (#208 Men Burned in Black Flames re: Hell Pictures)

Mikoto asks what those poems are. Mizuchi tells her that they hold the same meaning as her words. FUCKING SCREAMING HERE. Mikoto’s eyes widen. Really!? He confirms this. Mikoto tells him she’s so happy and then confesses that she also loves him, Himeutsugi. She really loves him. Mizuchi looks away and breathes in deeply. Mikoto asks Himeutsugi if something is the matter?

Mizuchi just murmurs 「心・・・か。自分も、姫と同じものを求める・・・永遠に。それでも自分は心のままに、生きていく。破滅を選んだのは、この蛟なのだから。」(Heart… huh. I am also seeking the same thing that Hime desired… eternally. But I will continue to live by my heart. Because the one who chose destruction was I, Mizuchi). Mikoto calls out Himeutsugi’s name questioningly.

He sighs deeply and then tells Mikoto that he also has words that he’d like to say to her. Mikoto tilts her head. He tells her that, one day, he’ll tell her when they are able to face one another. He’d like her to wait just a while longer. Mikoto is confused but accepts this. He smiles painfully at her and thanks her.

In her mind, Mikoto thinks about Himeutsugi caressed her face with a sad look on his face. Over and over again… She feels like she can remember something when she sees that eye looking at her but she immediately forgets it. But that’s fine. Because Himeutsugi is here. Himeutsugi, who is her partner… Ah, she can hear the voice again. She can hear it from within her heart. Like waves above the water. His words are overflowing. Yes, Himeutsugi, she is by his side. She is his minamo. She will devote her water to him. Because she’s his minamo.

「いかでわれ 清く曇らぬ 身となりて
心の月の 影を磨かん」 – Mizuchi
(What must I do,
to have an untainted and clear body,
so that the light of the moon
of my heart can shine). – Saigyou Houshi (#904)

9 thoughts on “Hana Awase 「姫空木編」 ~ Mizuchi ~

    Rini said:
    August 25, 2016 at 23:44

    I think I started to really, REALLY dislike Himeutsugi. Not just on this route, but on his main one too. I know this is Hime’s game, but I am so thoroughly ticked off of his actions and personality that I don’t even…GAH! I wished he’d disappear already and let Mikoto be happy with the other guys. Lol.

    I don’t like Karakurenai, but he’s starting to look much better in my eyes than “princess.” At least Kurenai’s a straight-to-the-point-no-lies kind of guy ( even though he’s pretty offensive). Hime on the other hand, hides behind a ton of cow dung and most of his half-baked drama and backstory couldn’t even begin to justify all the crappy (and offensive) things he did to Mikoto. The bad ends were the cheap icing on the rotten cake for me.

    Don’t get me wrong: I still love HA for it’s deep and engaging story full of tragedy and angst. But…wow. They really took it to the next level by making the main LI of this game very infuriating to the point that I couldn’t feel any sympathy for him. As cruel as it sounds, he came off as a very petty person, both his child and adult self.

    And Mikoto…oh Mikoto, dear. The curse of the Otome Heroines is too strong. Despite the fact that their loved one is a manwhoring jerkass, they would still be submissive and love them instead of dumping them for someone much better…because story writer and in-game logic. To be honest, I don’t think Hime was really worth all that effort. Iroha and adorbs Mizuchi was the only saving grace of this game.

    Sorry for the rant! But I had high hopes for Hime, but was just really disappointed, not with his craziness (because he definitely delivered), but with his character itself. I already played KU-hen and I don’t believe he got any better, not that I really cared. I didn’t pay much attention to him because of Utsutsu and Iroha<3 But still, thanks for the long detailed reviews!

      Ilinox responded:
      August 26, 2016 at 15:54

      Poor Himeutsugi LOL but I know what you mean. His route dragged a bit with what felt like him repeating his issues and you just end up wanting to shake him by the shoulders going COME ON. I KNOW YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SINNED BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD RUIN EVERYONE ELSE’S LIFE. Look at Iroha and how contained he is!

      Karakurenai’s routes are always such a rollercoaster because he starts off being SO aggressive and sexually harassing that it’s uncomfortable writing about how much Mikoto is like “NO! Let me go! Get away! No!” but then he ends up being like… the sweetest guy ever ;w; ah.

      It’s the Russian roulette of HA! Haha, she’s fated to be with Himeutsugi this route but I can sympathize with him a little. Essentially, he’s been brought up in extreme guilt and on the enemy’s side (hated by Kagami for what he did and so, in extension, her adopted corporate family which has sided with Goto). I’m sure he didn’t feel like he had much choice (not that this excuses or justifies anything).

      Haha, no no, it’s fine! I love hearing people’s thoughts and so criticisms/disappointments with a game are welcome too! You’re welcome and thank you for commenting! I must admit I stalled on playing Hime-hen because it was heavily focused on him but I’m so satisfied with Mizuchi and Iroha’s route in this game. Looking forward to KU-hen because I hear it reveals a ton about Iroha ;w;

    Lehst said:
    August 11, 2016 at 10:41

    kinda skimmed the post to avoid too much info, only just heard of this title thanks to you.
    but now I wanna play it cuz Yura’s artwork… T_T
    but wow, you deserve some credit for these long summaries. really cool

      Ilinox responded:
      August 13, 2016 at 10:28

      !! Please do avoid the spoilers if you’re going to be playing because this game is best when you’re piecing things together yourself and seeing how intricately woven all the elements are |D! It’s one of my favorite games so you’re in good hands if you like this type of story; but also, don’t forget to start with the first of the series which is Mizuchi-hen! We’re on the 2nd game, Himeutsugi-hen, right now.

      Aww, thank you so much <3. I'm never sure what to call these things because they're basically translations of the entire game LMAO you could play the game with these side-by-side if you really wanted.

        Lehst said:
        August 14, 2016 at 10:28

        oooh! I see, thank you for the help. I’m very new to this series. Someday then, I will try and play it. I love going into a story blind (in fact by now I forgot what I read since I can’t understand without context lol) and it’s exciting to hear it has that kind of depth.

        haha yeah, its not exactly a summary… its paraphrasing the script (into another language) lol. a gamer’s assist!

    Misko said:
    July 23, 2016 at 10:47

    Oh man, that was a wild ride. I knew Hime was up to something, but I was not expecting him to be batshit insane! That scene in the auditorium…omg. Quite some impressive voice work there.

    I am so morbidly curious about the rest of the horrible endings now. I have a feeling insane Hime is not finished yet…

      Ilinox responded:
      July 23, 2016 at 17:12

      Oh dear, you’re already done Mizuchi’s route? I need to quicken my own playing speed, haha, but I’m almost done Karakurenai’s route (I think) so look forward to that one being next <3.

      RIGHT?? Hime's chilling descent through this route was so terrifying. Especially the way he spoke to everyone, there was this discordant tone in his voice and when he's like "Iroha… senpai" I ALMOST SCREAMED. The auditorium has to be my favorite part omfg on par with his voice work in the first game when Mizuchi and Iroha confront him in his room and he breaks down.

      |ω・) I am shamefully weak to Hime in those devilish looking clothes in Ending 01 that I kind of hope he has more wardrobe changes in everyone else's horrible endings. With Hime's temperament I feel like he's going to be the antagonist in EVERYONE's route… which gives me mixed feelings because on one hand, yay, Iroha won't go crazy. On the other hand, poor Iroha is already being dragged through the mud in every route.

    AbsoluteMeowster said:
    July 14, 2016 at 18:53

    I knew it was going to be a bad ending, and that it would make my heart hurt, but the FEELZ were too strong. (T-T)

    Mizuchi is so cute and UGH I’m just gonna sob here in the corner with all these painful feelings.

    But thank you so much for taking the time to summarize the game (it feels wrong to say summarize, since it was a lot more detailed than a summary. Um, rewriting the game into English?) for us people who can’t play/understand it! I’m looking forward to your next update~

      Ilinox responded:
      July 15, 2016 at 19:10

      I AM ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY UPSET ABOUT MIZUCHI’S ENDING 02. I forgot how bad the endings were for everyone so when Hime was dying I was thinking “oh, this isn’t so bad for Mizuchi since Mikoto seems prepared to love Mizuchi–” I WAS SO WRONG. ABORT ABORT NOPE. Those poems at the end just absolutely destroyed me, especially because they aren’t accompanied by a soliloquy so you don’t know the exact meaning of them until you look them up, which just makes you hurt more because it shows that Mizuchi has absolutely no intention of letting her know those poems’ true meaning.

      I feel like I made a bad choice choosing to do Mizuchi first… oh god, I feel so sorry for him since his game was first and he got a happy ending because now he’s just gonna get the short end of the stick in all the other upcoming games, ahhhhhHHHH!

      Aw, you’re very welcome and I’m so happy to see people enjoying the Hana Awase ride with me <3! Haha, yeah, I still don't really know what to call my posts. They're not summaries but they're not true translations either since I take liberty in describing their reactions :"D. Thank you for looking forward to the rest!

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