Shimizu Ao (清水 蒼生)
Midou Rei (御堂 令)
The heroine, who attended the private Eisei Academy, used to be in a serious relationship but, against her will, they broke up.
The one who comforted her, as she carried that scar, was her junior in the same club, Shimizu Ao.
“I won’t ever be in love again” is what the heroine vowed in her heart, but under the efforts of a devoted Ao she gradually began to open up again.
And then, after one year passed, the heroine was invited on a date by Ao.
The heroine was uncertain as to whether or not she was able to respond to Ao’s feelings, but she acknowledged that she was conflicted.
She wanted to respond to Ao with feelings of gratitude for always supporting her.
That this small decision would lead to a dramatic conclusion was unexpected by everyone except for Ao…
Huge thank you to anne for the commission, because we get to see another one of my favorite Dusk boys!! First Weiss and now Ao… oh snap, I should really give Touji some love, huh. By the way, unfortunately, this drama is only available on the Japanese DLsite.
As usual, because this is a Dusk CD, there are some warnings like R18 and minor gore (mostly the SFX).
Note1: Uhh, I thought long and hard about this but I decided to keep the words “senpai” and “kouhai” because every other option sounded too formal or awkward in English when he’s using it as a casual courtesy title.
*** TRACK 1: Date at the Coffee Shop ~ One Sugar Cube ~ ***
Ao: —right… Senpai? The coffee in this shop is fragrant and delicious, isn’t… it… Are you alright? Like I thought, you seem to be spacing out. Is that so? That’s good then… I’m worried you’re pushing yourself too hard in the club. Look, the third years are about to retire soon, right? Before that, you’re trying to pass down your knowledge as much as possible and, senpai, you’re giving it your all.
A: Haha, really? Who was it who said some time ago that their shoulders were so stiff they were going to die and had their shoulders rubbed by me? Those knots at the time weren’t really loosening and it was a hard problem.
A: Ahaha, I’m joking. Rubbing your shoulders doesn’t fall under being a problem. Besides, at that time, I was the one who said I’d rub your shoulders, so you’re not at fault, senpai. Haha, jeez, I said I was joking, didn’t I? If you feel that ashamed then, conversely, I’ll feel apologetic.
A: … Ah, if you insist on being concerned about it no matter what, then could you lend me your ear for a bit? *leans in; kisses* The debt you owe for that time is gone with this. *heroine moves* Oh, haha, senpai, your face is red. Eh? Surprises aren’t allowed? Then you’re saying it’s okay as long as it’s not a surprise? Haha! I’m at that age so it’s natural to think these things, right? Rather, after having my confessions rejected countless of times, I’ve held myself back from those things, to the point where I’d almost like to be praised.
A: Ah… sorry, I teased a little too much there, huh. It’s not in my nature to drag out the past, so please don’t mind that. Mm, I don’t mind it. The fact that I’ve finally gotten a date after school like this right now is much more important.
A: Hehe, I’m happy. You’re conscious of me, enough to be embarrassed at hearing the word “date”, huh. Oh, senpai, if you don’t put sugar into your coffee soon it won’t be able to melt. Yes, I know about that. Originally, to match your ex-boyfriend’s tastes, you didn’t drink anything but black, but in reality, senpai, you have a sweet tooth, right?
A: Even though it’s already been a year since you both separated, senpai, you’re either really sincere or stubborn. Well, I love that part of you too. Hehe, now then, how did I know? If you want to know spoilers then try your best to make me open my mouth.
A: Ah, wait, senpai, if you reach your hand out like that the glass will— *glass tips; liquid spills* Ah, are you alright!? Please use this handkerchief. I hesitate to say this, but I’m glad what spilled was water. The glass… doesn’t look like it broke.
A: You’re welcome. Now, go ahead and please don’t hesitate to wipe yourself with it. If you feel shy about that… how about I wipe it for you? All over and everywhere. *heroine refuses* Haha, playing hard to get, I see. *heroine wipes herself*
A: Did you wipe it all off? In that case, here. *puts sugar into her coffee* One sugar cube is enough, right? Could it be… you wanted two? *heroine shakes head*… I see. Hey, senpai, if you’re holding back then— oh.
Rei: Shimizu Ao, you’re doing this thing again?
A: Haha, and is the diligent student council vice-president also working after school?
R: Because there are humans like you.
A: Putting that aside, you’re being rude, Midou. Treating my date with senpai like this.
R: Don’t dodge the subject. I’m not talking about that matter and you understand, don’t you?
A: Even if that’s the case, you’re being a busybody. Everything is about to go well soon.
R: Are you aware? That it isn’t planned and that it’s your desire. At any rate, any more and this will be dangerous so do try to stop. Even someone like you will have their mind broken.
A: Hahaha, thank you very much for your concern. If anything happens I’ll call.
R: … If anything happens it’ll be too late. Call before you feel yourself at your limit… Miss, you as well. Be honest with your own heart. *walks off*
A: “Miss”… haha. Normally, you wouldn’t say that to a girl the same age as you, right? Hm? Ah, that conversation was nothing really. Lately, I’ve had some problems and consulted him. Then he got more worried than I thought he would.
A: Haha, to have you be worried about me as well, senpai, must make me the world’s luckiest person. Really, I’m okay. If you’re worried, then please heal me with this date, senpai. Haha, well then, where do you want to go today?
A: Oh, if you want to leave it to me then… hm… how about the aquarium? Alright, it’s decided. Then why don’t we go right now? *they walk off*
*** TRACK 2: Date at the Aquarium ~ Entwined Tongues ~ ***
A: I’m glad we made it here in time for the event. There’s interesting decorations during this season, so it’s more beautiful than usual. Ah, look, senpai! It looks like they’re putting food in that giant water tank over there just now—… Senpai? Why are you crying?
A: You don’t have to apologize, but I’d like it if I could hear the reason… Did you decide in the end that you hate this date with me? *heroine shakes head* O-oh, then… why? Eh? You remembered coming here around this same time with your ex-boyfriend? I see… But, senpai, the one with you right now is me. I know it’s forcing you to forget him, but still… I wanted you to look at me.
A: … I said it earlier, but there’s no need for you to apologize, senpai. It was my selfish wish. To speak frankly, I actually knew that you and your ex-boyfriend came here. Ahaha, yes, I made sure the season overlapped on purpose. Because you didn’t look at me no matter what I did, I thought it’d be better if I used a drastic method to overwrite it… But, in the end, it’s no good, huh. A date with someone like me won’t clear your heart.
A: Eh? You’re inviting me to your house after this?… N-no, it’s more than enough of an apology! Rather, senpai, you don’t need to apologize, but if you want to do that then by all means! Please, I’d love to go! Ah, yes!
A: Ahaha, it’s my first time being invited to your house, senpai, so I’m looking forward to it. That reminds me, senpai, you’re living alone right now, right? It’s a little late to say this, but is it really alright for me to come? Eh? How did I know? Ahaha, oh no, senpai, didn’t you mention it before? That after your parents divorced your relationship with your family became awkward, so then your father prepared an apartment for you.
A: To be able to attend that Academy means your family must have quite a bit of money, huh. Ah, I can’t brag about my family, but we have money too. So, it’ll be okay whenever you marry in as my wife, haha, just kidding— *fade out*
[03:08] *scene skip; door opens*
A: Excuse me. *they take off their shoes*
A: Eh? I don’t need any tea. I’m still carrying the water we bought earlier. *leans in* More importantly, I want to be together with you, senpai, even for a second longer. Ahaha, I’m not teasing you. That’s what I really feel. Come on, let’s go to your room, senpai.
A: Huh, what do you mean how? Aah, I just had a feeling that your room was this way. The color of the door seemed like you. Hehe, your likeness comes out in places like these too, huh. *door opens; they go in*
A: Oh! Woah… it feels like your room, senpai. For some reason just being here makes my heart race. Eh? It’s okay for me to sit on your favorite cushion? *quiet* Haha… it’s my first time getting this kind of reception… Huh? Ah, it’s not that I knew this was your favorite but, how do I say this, it just felt like that too. In that case, I’ll take you up on your offer. *sits down*
A: Ah, I know, senpai! If you don’t mind, why don’t we play a game? Didn’t you say, some time ago, that you wanted to play a fighting game?… Oh, by any chance, are you still feeling apologetic and depressed because of that?
A: Haha, you really are sincere…
A: … Hey, senpai… if you’re insisting that much that you want to do something for me then… can I ask for one thing? Um… I’d like to kiss you. A-ah, if it makes you feel bad or you think you’re at your limit then just say so and I’ll stop! I won’t… force you.
A: Ah… really!? *hugs heroine* I’m so happy… I can finally kiss you normally, senpai. I’ll definitely make you feel so good with my kiss, so that you won’t regret this. *kisses ear* And then I’d like to make you so happy that you won’t be able to remember your ex-boyfriend. *kisses*
A: … Senpai, when you’re kissing you can breathe through your nose. Haha, I won’t mind your breathing. Over that, the heat of your mouth… the softness of your tongue… is on my mind. Hehe, like I thought, your face is bright red. That reaction of yours turns me on every day and it’s irresistible. *kisses*
A: Senpai, if you can, I don’t want you to move your tongue away. *kisses* Yes… don’t run away from my tongue. *kisses*
A: Heh… senpai, do you know what sort of face you have right now? It’s a really sexual look. *kisses ear*
A: Mm? This is a kiss too, isn’t it? I didn’t say I’d only kiss you once, so I shouldn’t have broken my promise. Haha, the one being unfair is you, senpai. Because you make such sexual faces, unaware… I’m always having a hard time holding back. *kisses*
A: Haha, yes you have made sexual faces. See, for example, wasn’t there a time when I fed you a hot dog on a stick? Ah, did you forget it already? It was during the school festival and you had your hands full, senpai. Both hands were occupied with work and you couldn’t eat lunch, so as a joke I said “Then why don’t I put my hot dog in your mouth?”.
A: I came back to myself after that moment and thought of how much that was like an old man sexually harassing someone, but… senpai, when you’re busy you don’t see anything around you and you replied with a straight face “Thanks, please do”.
A: After that, when it comes to you, senpai, you didn’t notice me cover the front and back of the hot dog with sauce on purpose and ate it normally. Hah, you said the sauce was hot in a sexy voice and got teary eyes. Jeez, what kind of torture was that, I coughed up blood in my heart at least ten times. Now, whenever I eat hot dogs, I have to hold my head because I remember that and get aroused. Well, after that, the hot dog you left over was eaten by me and it was delicious.
A: Hm? Haha, it’s a waste to leave food behind, isn’t it? It’s not like I was thinking your saliva was delicious.
A: … Hey, senpai, it can’t be that you’re only noticing now you were being sexually harassed? Haha, jeez, that’s why you can’t be left alone. Listen closely, senpai. So that one of these days you won’t be caught by a bad man like me and eaten up, these lips should be given exclusively to me for the time being. *kisses*
A: Senpai… I’d like to kiss you under your clothes… or is that not allowed? Please. If you really say no, then I’ll stop. *heroine nods* Thank you. In that case, I’ll unbutton your clothes, okay?
A: Oh! It’s a front hook, huh. I nearly made a mistake and took off your bra too. Haha, for me to be careless too… that’s no good, huh. *kisses*
A: Your nipples, after I’ve kissed you slowly without any rush, are swollen up like this from the start, huh. For some reason… in a lot of ways, it makes me want to cry. *kisses* It’s delicious and makes me want to lick them forever.
A: Eh? This is also a kiss. I haven’t broken my promise. No, no, it’s a kiss. If not, then the things I think about around the clock would all become lewd. *kisses*
A: Aah… haha… I haven’t tasted your other nipple, and yet it’s standing at attention. This one looks like it wants to be kissed too, so I’ll do it. *kisses*
A: Mm? I can’t? Why can’t I? If it’s not a no, and you’re just saying I can’t then… I’d like to hear the reason as to why I can’t. *kisses*
A: Haha, you’re rubbing your legs together. What’s wrong? Ah, by any chance… are the kisses on your breasts making you feel so good… that it’s having an effect on your lower half? But bear with it still. After I roll your nipples around a little more, I’ll kiss your bottom half too. *kisses*
A: Hehe, it’s my first time… being able to kiss you slowly without any rush like this, senpai… so it’s a somewhat novel. Now that we’re here, I should kiss your breasts again one more time. *kisses*
A: Haha, alright, I got it. I can’t kiss this place, right? Then I’ll go down and kiss there… Aah, senpai, looking at this you’ve been enduring quite a bit, huh. *inhales* The smell of sex is leaking outside your underwear. It’s not a lie. Hmm… it makes me sad to be thought of as a liar, so let me pull your underwear to the side a little. Oops, sorry, but this is to clear away any uncertainty so I have no choice.
A: Ah, like I thought, senpai, you’ve been enduring it. Because, look, even your perineum is wet. If it drips onto the sheets, it’ll be annoying to wash so I’ll wipe it up with my kisses. *giving oral*
A: Senpai, this place here… really is delicious. You haven’t really played with this place yourself, right? It’s really slick… and soft… and it folds easily to my tongue. *giving oral*
A: Haha, it looks like you enjoy my kisses. You’re so wet… I can’t wipe it all up. Hah, your entrance is twitching too and it looks like it hasn’t had enough, so how about I kiss the inside too. *giving oral*
A: Mm? Ah, sorry! It’s because you moved that I accidentally pressed up against your clitoris. But it’s okay, right? *licking* Like this, inside… and your clitoris… You love it when everything’s sopping wet, right? *giving oral*
A: Mmgh… ngh… Hmm? You’re about to come? Haha, you can’t. Bear with it. Because I’m just kissing you. If you come, senpai, then won’t it seem like I’m doing something indecent? *licking* Nope, nope. Don’t come. Senpai, you’re good at holding yourself back, so this is easy, right? *giving oral; heroine orgasms*
A: Mm!… Haha, you came intensely, huh. Even the way you hold back from coming is utterly cute. *kisses* Now then, since you’re in a sexual mood, senpai… I’d like to feel good too. *unbuckles belt*
A: It’s okay, right, senpai? Aren’t you soaking wet? Look, your entrance here is clenching and unclenching. It’s sticking to my tip. Hey, you want me to put this in, right? Inside this wet and hot place… thrusting into your deepest spot… rubbing and circling… I’m sure it’ll feel amazing.
A: … Ah!? Senpai?! Why are you crying!? Does it hurt somewhere?… Your heart… hurts?
A: … I see… In the end, you can’t have sex with anyone other than your ex-boyfriend, huh… What was the source this time? Aah, perhaps I shouldn’t have made you remember your ex-boyfriend strongly at the aquarium? It’s frustrating, but it looks like I can’t win in terms of comparisons.
A: Hm? Oh, it’s nothing. I’m just talking to myself. *kisses* Well then, let’s do this over again.
*** TRACK 3: Date at the Zoo ~ Entwined Legs ~ ***
*glass tips; liquid spills*
A: Are you alright!? Please use this handkerchief. I hesitate to say this, but I’m glad what spilled was water. The glass… doesn’t look like it broke.
A: Huh? What’s wrong, senpai? You’re spacing out like that. You aren’t actually feeling bad, are y— *heroine shakes head* I’m glad then. Wait, maybe that’s too bad. If you weren’t feeling well then, instead, I could have wiped your entire body. Haha, what a shame.
A: … Did you wipe it all off? In that case, here. *puts sugar into her coffee* Two sugar cubes are enough, right? Ah… could it be… you needed three? *heroine shakes head*… I see. Hey, senpai, if you’re holding back then— oh.
R: Shimizu Ao, you’re doing this thing again?
A: Hello, Midou. I don’t need your concern, so leave the conversation for later.
R: … If anything happens, call me.
A: Nothing will, so I won’t.
R: Good grief. It’s no longer anything but a disease now. *walks off*
A: Now then, senpai, where do you want to go today?
A: Uh… the zoo? You’re really okay with that? No, if you’re happy with that, then I don’t mind either. In that case, why don’t we go now. *they walk off*
[02:30]*scene skip; birds chirping*
A: Ah! It’s that hill in the monkey enclosure you said you wanted to see before. Haha, the babies were just born, huh. It’s clinging onto its mother, haha. So cute. It’d be nice if humans could also raise their children to the end without abandoning them.
A: … No, I just so happened to think that. Haha, you happened to think so too, huh. If I recall correctly, your parents divorced, right? And then your relationship with your parents became awkward… and your father, trying to be considerate, let you live alone… or something like that? Then it just makes you all the more resistant to having a lover, huh.
A: Because if you get into a relationship, sooner or later you might marry that person, right? Of course, it’s not likely everyone will do that, but dating during school and then marrying after that is quite common, right? Isn’t it scary… to make a family?
A: … Eh? Really…? You want to get back on your feet one day and make a family? You really wish for that?… Ah, I’m glad. You’ve finally managed to think that. For some reason, I’m a bit… teary-eyed. Ahaha, I’m sorry. It’s because it’s the first time I’ve heard those lines from you in the many thousands of moments we’ve been together. At last… at last, I’ve gotten here.
A: Ah, um, I mean it just felt that long. The days I spend with you, senpai, are fun and pass in the blink of an eye, but whenever I see you in pain it also feels long. It’s somewhat of a strange sensation. *shaky voice* Ah… that’s… a sucker punch, senpai… If you say it’s thanks to me… I’ll really… cry… gugh…
A: Eh? Ah, a handkerchief? Thank you very much. Wait a second, isn’t this mine? Haha, you don’t have to wash it. Rather… *leans in* if you insist on doing that no matter what… until it’s done being washed, I’d like to wait in your room. Haha, yay! Today’s date just got even funner.
A: Oh, senpai! They’re selling soft serve over there. Senpai, you love those, right? Hehe, if it’s about you then I know everything. *to vendor* Excuse me, could I get two soft serves? Yes, put them on the same bill.
A: Eh? It’s fine. At times like these, let men take the credit. Hehe, yes, it’ll make me happy if you let me. *to vendor* Oh, yes, erm… *coins* this is just perfect, right? *cashier noises*
A: Haha, that reminds me, senpai, you failed to make soft serve during the school festival, right? Yes, I remember. No matter how many times you tried, it wouldn’t go well, and you got really into it. Ahaha, in the end, I had to do it. Looking at that vendor, hmm… I think you might have stirred it too much. Senpai, you’re surprisingly clumsy, huh.
A: Haha, your sulking is cute too. *vendor comes over* Ah, yes, thank you. *to heroine* Here you go. Oh, there’s a bench over there so why don’t we sit and eat?
[08:04] *they walk over; they sit and eat*
A: Mm… this is really good, huh! Well, it falls behind the soft serve you made, senpai. Haha, even if it was misshapen the one you made, senpai, is delicious. Ah, that reminds me, after this— woah! If you eat it like that the ice will drip— ah… it fell onto your thighs like I thought it would. As usual, you’re bad at eating this. I’ll wipe it off so could you also hold mine? Senpai, please stay still.
A: Let’s see… everything should be wiped with this… oh… This is bad, senpai. I was only going to casually wipe things off, but if you react so cutely then… I’ll wonder if I should wipe even further up…
A: *leans in* Uh-uh, if you don’t hold them firmly then they’ll drip again. Please lick mine up too. Don’t worry, this place is covered from sight by the trees, so as long as you don’t make loud noises, senpai, we definitely won’t be found out. Heh, senpai, your ears are red again. They look more delicious than the ice cream, so I want to lick these instead. *kisses*
A: Haha, you’ve been trembling since a while ago. Are you scared? Or… do you feel good? Heh, I’m wrong? But this place, your clitoris… I’ve just lightly flicked it with my nail, and yet it swells up right away. *kisses*
A: … That’s a nice voice. Even if you tell me I can’t, it’s not effective at all with such a sweet voice. Look, your underwear is quickly soaking through. If you’re this wet, then it feels like my finger will slip into your underwear… ngh… Haha, sorry, it’s because you were so wet, senpai, that my finger slipped. Senpai, your place here is hot and slippery… aah… if I put myself in here and plunder your depths… I’m sure it’ll feel amazing, won’t it… *fingering*
A: Hey, senpai… I want to feel good together. Can I go to your house, senpai?… No? In the end, you can’t see me as a love interest?… Then I won’t put myself inside, but how about rubbing it between your thighs?
A: … Until you answer, I’ll keep doing this… and play with you. Nngh… Oh, haha, I’m glad. In that case, senpai, why don’t we go right now. *pulls out hand*
A: Woah, that was close! Oh, I’m sorry, your ice cream fell in the end. Did I play around too much? Haha, please don’t pout. I’ll buy a new one, so let’s walk and eat.
A: Oh? Senpai, you don’t need to pick up the cone. I’ll pick it up and throw it away, so please wait here. *picks up; walks off; comes back* Sorry for making you wait. Ah, please use this wet wipe. Haha, yes, I’m a man who’s always completely prepared.
A: *they start walking* Senpai, your legs are unsteady. It’s dangerous, so I need to hold your hand. Ah, that reminds me, you might not want to sit down on the train. *leans in* Because, see, the place my fingers made sopping wet will rub against the seats. *heroine hits him* Ow, haha, isn’t it the truth— *fade out*
[13:56] *scene skip; door opens and closes*
A: Oh, you brought fruits? You don’t have to be so considerate. *heroine comes over and sets it down* You can’t do that, senpai! You’ll hurt yourself holding the knife like that. I’ll peel them later, so don’t force yourself.
A: … *leans in* More importantly, senpai… Uh, eh? An album? Why all of a sudden… Are you nervous? Well, I understand your feelings though… No, I also think we both need to take things slow. If we talk about the time when we were children, we might be able to understand each other deeper. However… I… *leans in* I’ve waited a really long time. *forceful kisses*
A: Senpai, I love you!… I love you, senpai! *kisses*
A: Huh? Ah, it’s no good, because this is the first time you’ve reacted so cutely, that I can’t suppress myself at all. *unbuckles belt* Hey, senpai, face the other way. Won’t you get on your hands and knees? I want to hurry up and be caught between your wet place and masturbate.
A: Aah… close your legs like that. I’ll… put myself… ngh… in this gap…! Hah… this is amazing. It’s like I’m really inside you… haah… it’s slippery and feels good… *kisses; thrusting*
A: Hah… ah… senpai… senpai! I’ve always wanted to be like this… for you to accept me and do naughty things… ah… ngh… I’m sorry! I’m so aroused, I can’t hold on at all…! Aah… senpai, are you feeling good? Aah… hahaha, I’m glad… your nipples and clitoris are really swollen too. I’ll rub them both like this… ah!… Feel even better…! *thrusting; kisses*
A: Your clitoris is rubbing against my tip and it’s unbearable for me too… *kisses; thrusting* Aah… haa…
A: Ngh! Mm? Senpai, haha, are you about to come? Your hips are shaking. It’s so cute… ah… if I put myself in this slippery hole, I’m sure it’ll feel so good it’ll feel like my hips will melt… Aah… hey, senpai… am I really not allowed to put it in? I want to be one with you in the deepest way… *thrusting*
A: Hey, I’m begging you, I want to stretch this twitching place wider and rub against it… I’m sure it’ll feel so good it’ll be electrifying… You might come the moment I put it in… ngh…
A: … Ah… haha, thank you… In that case, I’m putting it in… W-woah!? What’s wrong all of a sudden? Eh, a condom? I’m not carrying one. Why is it no good if I don’t wear one? It’s better bare. What’ll you do if you’re pregnant…? Haha, isn’t it obvious that we’ll get married?
A: Huh? Why do you look so troubled? I don’t understand, haha. Senpai, you also said you loved me just now. So, why isn’t it allowed? Senpai, you’ve said you want children, right?
A: … Eh?… What… did you say just now? Ahaha, I’m sorry, maybe my ears went bad. “I’ll only have children with the person I marry”… That’s strange… because doesn’t that seem to mean that your marriage partner isn’t me?…
A: AGH! HEY! THAT’S STRANGE! ISN’T IT FINE TO MARRY WHEN WE’VE COME THIS FAR?! Let’s be together for a lifetime…! Aah… I see… I see now… Even though you’ve finally ended up wanting to marry one day… you’re thinking that person might not be me… That’s strange… Even though I waited this long… over and over… and over… even though I’ve waited… *picks something up*
A: EVEN THOUGH I!! LOVE YOU!! THIS MUCH!!!… WHY WON’T IT GO RIGHT! *stabs heroine; she collapses* Haa… haa… ahaha… hey… why… *crying; stabbing* why… WHY… WHY!!… EVEN THOUGH WE FINALLY CAME THIS FAR!! EVEN THOUGH OUR FEELINGS ARE UNDERSTOOD!! AH, I WON’T WAIT!! I WON’T WAIT ANYMORE!!! IF I WAIT UNTIL YOUR FEELINGS CHANGE, SENPAI, YOU’LL GRADUATE, WON’T YOU!? AND THEN YOU’LL OBVIOUSLY FORGET ABOUT ME!! I DON’T WANT THAT!! I want to be… together forever… don’t leave me… *crying; stabbing still*
A: … Hey… why won’t you say anything?… Wh— wh… y…
A: …… Huh?… Why… am I… *drops knife* ah… *hyperventilating*… Aah… ahhHH… AHHHHH!! AHHHHHHH!! *hugs heroine; crying* I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I didn’t… I didn’t mean to do this!!… I really… like you, senpai. I love you… I just want to be happy together, so… so!! So!! Something like this… *crying*
A: It wasn’t supposed to be like this… Senpai… I’m begging you, please don’t die… Please don’t die… Ah, I know! The phone! I need to phone!! *trips and falls* Ow!!
A: Midou… MIDOU!! *frantic breathing; sniffling* There it is, there it is!! *presses phone* Hurry up… hurry up and pick up! If you don’t hurry…
R: What’s wrong this late at night?
A: *crying* I… stabbed her!! I didn’t plan on doing this…! But by the time I noticed, I was holding the knife… and… t-there’s so much blood… WHAT DO I DO!? SHE’LL DIE AT THIS RATE! PLEASE!! HURRY AND CALL THE STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT!
R: Calm down, Shimizu.
A: THERE’S NO WAY I CAN BE CALM!!
R: What number is this?
A: What number?… You’re asking me what number…!? Um… um… one… two… th-three… *calming down*… The third… time? Ah… ah… hahaha. I see… in other words, this is… Hahaha… *normal voice* Aah… I failed. Time to do it over again.
*** TRACK 4: Date at Home ~ Entwined Fingers ~ ***
*glass tips; liquid spills*
A: Are you alright? Please use this handkerchief, senpai. You forgot yours, right? Heh, I had a feeling. See, there are times like right now where you’re absentminded. Hm? You’re spacing out again. *quiet* Like I thought, we’re reaching the limit of the number of times…
A: Haha, I was wondering if you felt dizzy because I keep flirting with you. Hey, senpai, are you reacting to my words enough to feel dizzy? Haha, I see, if I ask like this then it won’t be denied, huh.
A: More importantly, senpai, if you don’t hurry and wipe that off it’ll seep through to the bottom. *heroine thanks him* You’re welcome.
A: … Ah, three sugar cubes are enough, right? *heroine pauses*… Could it be… you needed four? I’m sorry, I didn’t think you had that much of a sweet tooth. *heroine shakes head* Oh, I see. If I’m wrong, that’s fine… Hey, senpai, if you’re holding back then— oh.
R: Shimizu Ao, you’re doing this thing again?
A: Midou. This is my last chance, so please save the rest for later.
R: … If anything happens, call me.
A: I understand.
R: I pray for your success. *walks off*
A: Now then, senpai, there’s actually a place I’d like to go. Can I say something selfish? *heroine nods* I’d like to go to your place. And if you let me, I’d like to see pictures of you when you were small… Ah, I know that you live alone, senpai! So, I understand if you’re hesitant… but, as you can see, I absolutely won’t do anything you don’t want to.
A: … Ah! Really!? Thank you so much! Haha, ah, jeez, I should have done this from the start. Aah… I’m so happy I could die. Haha, it’s not an exaggeration. It’s that much of a blessing to me. In that case, why don’t we go right now?
A: *they start walking* Ah, that reminds me, can we stop by a convenience store on the way? Yes, there’s something I’d like to buy. I’ll be done right away, so please wait outside. Hehe, at any rate, until we reach the convenience store can we hold hands? This is still a date, after all. Hehe, yay! I love you, senpai.
*scene skip; door opens and closes*
A: Ah, you brought fruits? You don’t have to be so considerate. *heroine comes over and sets it down* Oh no, senpai, you’ll hurt yourself if you hold the knife that way. I’ll peel these so don’t force yourself. Haha, nope, I won’t return this knife, because I’m going to display some amazing knife work for you. I want to show a good side to the person I love. So… let me?
A: Haha, you say I’m unfair, but you’re the one who’s unfair, senpai. You make such cute expressions and it’s always breaking my self-restraint… *peeling* Ah, this apple just right for eating. It seems hard all around and feels good. Mm? Ah, that’s right, compared to other men my age I might be better.
A: My parents divorced too when I was small; I was taken by my father, but my father was terrible at cooking. I knew he was doing his best, but he’s as clumsy as you, senpai, so his efforts and actual ability didn’t go hand in hand. And then, one day, I thought wouldn’t it be tastier if I cooked it myself? And so I tried it. After that, see, I’m dexterous. So I was able to cook quite easily.
A: Then, one year later, my father remarried but my step-mother was also terrible at cooking. “If I’m going to be made to eat this, then I’ll cook everything, so you two don’t have to force yourselves into the kitchen!” is how I got angry at them. After that, I’ve been on cooking duty forever. My step-mother is mainly on washing duty and also, haha, rubbing my father’s shoulders, I guess. It’s like that, so my relationship with my family didn’t turn bad.
A: Eh? Ah, that’s true, I’ve never talked about that up to now, huh… From the outside, we look like a close family, but… in truth, I’m not fond of that house. Hm, why, you ask… Hmm… after reaching this point, I try not to think about it, but… I think it’s probably because I feel disgust for my father who said he’d love my mother for his entire life, and yet he readily married again.
A: I love my father, so I didn’t want to acknowledge those feelings. However, in reality, I’m disgusted with him as much as I love him. My mother cheated and left the house, so I only had my father. Because of that I thought my father’s words were absolute… My father betrayed my feelings in just a year though.
A: Haha, saying this makes me hate myself. I didn’t want to think I would throw such a childish tantrum. I wanted to be an adult and have the attitude of respecting my father, because he’s only human. So, I’ve never said this even once to him: “The words of loving one person for a lifetime… Is it that shallow?”. I felt like if I asked that I’d be abandoned by even my father.
A: … Hah, I knew that was impossible, but… everything around me pointed at how nothing was everlasting in this world. I was probably trapped by those days like an idiot. In truth, I wasn’t dexterous at all. I was extremely ugly.
A: Or something like that but look, as you can see, I peeled the skin without it breaking once. Haha, it’s an honor to receive your praise. Now then, wait just a moment… Here you go, senpai. Open your mouth. Eh? I peeled it this clean, so don’t you think I should get a reward? Mm, yep, this is a reward to me. So, eat it. My feelings are packed in it, so it should be much sweeter than normal. Here you go, open your mouth.
A: Haha, you’re also cute eating with a red face. *heroine hits him* Oh! Haha, it’s true!… *quiet* You really… are cute… it makes me want to eat you all up. *kisses* Sorry… should I not have kissed your lips still?… Are you really okay with that? You aren’t pushing yourself? *heroine nods* Haha, I won’t believe you even if you nod when you’re biting your lip like that.
A: Well, the night is long, so let’s go slowly. *light kiss* Eh? Aah, come to think of it, whenever I’m flirting with you I end up dropping formalities. Do you not like that? Oh, okay. I’m glad. Then I’ll just speak like this from now on all the time, okay? Ah, that’s right! If you don’t mind, I’d like to hear about the time when you were a kid. Do you have an album? *heroine goes to get it*
A: Oh, hm… Ooh, this is when you were in elementary school? You were much fuller than you are now, huh. *heroine hits him* Ah, haha! I didn’t say you were fat! You were plump and cute. Mm, it’s true, it’s true. Everything about the person I love, their past, present, and probably their future is seen as cute.
A: Eh? Your ex-boyfriend said he hated fat people? And so you were skinnier than you are now? Hmm, for the first time I want to punch your ex-boyfriend. But still, senpai, you loved him even though you were called fat, huh. *heroine nods* I see… everyone has their preferences, so I won’t say any more bad things about him. I’m sure he had his good sides.
A: Mhm, I get it, because he’s a person you loved, senpai. I won’t negate that. And isn’t it good to hold onto those feelings? But, while that may be true, it’s not a reason for you not to fall in love. Rather, for the sake of the ex-boyfriend you loved, senpai, shouldn’t you become happy? Mm, that’s right, if it was me I wouldn’t want the person I loved to continue to suffer because of me. I’d want the person I loved to be happy. That’s why, senpai, for everyone else too, you can’t shut yourself away in a shell. Go into the future with me.
A: Yes, together with me. If I’m alone I’m weak and can’t go forward. But there’s you as support, senpai. Yes, support. Hey, senpai… do you love me?
A: … Tell me. Those words will save me… Please… I beg of you… save me. *heroine responds*…! Ah… senpai! I also… I also love you!! *hugs heroine; kisses*
A: Haa… haa… aah… this isn’t good for me. I’m going to calm myself down a bit, okay? Because, at this rate, I’m going to have to do things over again… Huh? Oh, no, actually… I’m a virgin, so I’m not used to the actions that come after this… Um, this is embarrassing, but it’s true.
A: So, I don’t know what to do to make girls feel good… I’m sorry for not being cool. *heroine shakes head* Ahaha, thanks for comforting me. But, senpai, aren’t you actually disappointed? If you’re pitying me because you think I’m sad— *heroine yanks him* w-woah?! Huh, s-senpai!? Why are you removing my belt— ah… that’s… for you to take the lead, senpai… I’m happy, but this is embarrassing. A-ah, uh…! Wait, senpai! If you use your mouth I’ll— ngh! Aah…
A: Ow!… Uh, I’m okay. Your teeth hit me just a little bit, but it didn’t hurt that much! Mm, really, really! Nngh… ah… *heroine giving oral; quiet* Rather, the feeling of you giving it your all when you’re not used to it is irresistible…
A: Haa… haa… I was saying that your blowjob feels so good it’s irresistible… but, in the end, it’s embarrassing for me alone to feel good. So, uh… won’t you let me taste you where you’re soaking wet? I can’t? If you straddle my face then we can both feel good, and I was thinking we could be distracted from the embarrassment. Ah, but, is this… something that’s not allowed? It’s my first time, so I don’t know, sorry…
A: Eh… really? Haha, I’m glad. That’s a relief. In that case, senpai, take off your underwear and straddle my face. *heroine does so*
A: Ah… this place here is really pretty. Haha, it’s not weird. No, actually, maybe it’s weird… whenever I see you, senpai, I get aroused more than ever and want to taste you everywhere. *he gives oral*
A: Senpai, lick me too. Let’s feel good together. Mngh… yes, like that… *69!!* Ngh… amazing… senpai, this place here… is overflowing and not stopping… Senpai, if I do this… here… and lick it like that it feels good, right? Mm… also, if I do this at the entrance… and trace it with my tongue… you love it, right?
A: Haha, I knew it immediately because you have such cute reactions. But I still don’t know about the inside, so can I put a finger in? *heroine nods* Ahah, thank you, I feel like I’m getting the hang of this quickly with your cooperation. *gives oral*
A: Senpai… you can’t lick anymore? If it’s hard, you can just stroke me with your hand. Agh…! Yes, that feels good… mngh…
A: Aagh! It’s getting all slippery inside too. My finger is being swallowed… If I put in something thicker, I wonder what’ll happen? Mm…? You’re about to come?… Ngh, I’m about to come too. Hey, senpai, I feel awkward about dirtying your mouth so, if possible, can I put myself inside you?
A: … No? Right, in the end you don’t want to do it with a virgin, huh. *heroine shakes head* Ah…! I’m so glad. Then, for now, can you get off? *heroine gets off; he sits up* Erm, where’d I put it… Ah, here it is. Hm? What, you ask? It’s a condom. I bought it at the convenience store on our way back.
A: Haha, it’s because I’m a virgin that I have a lot of fantasies built up, making me think I should prepare for this or that. Are you disillusioned? *heroine shakes head* Haha, I’m glad you don’t hate me. Erm, anyway, it’s embarrassing so can you look over there for a minute?
A: Hm, it’s been a while since I put one on, so… it’s really taking some time… Mm? Ah, I’ve put one on a few times as practice, but like you’d think it doesn’t go that easily in reality. I’m nervous and my hands are shaking… so, senpai, I’d be happy if you could help.
A: Mm, put your hand on mine like that and slowly pull it down… ah… To have you put it on for me… it’s like a dream. I feel like I might come from this sensation alone… Mm, that’s enough. I think it should be okay with this. Next, lie down on the bed and maybe you can tell me where to put it in? Because, see, I’m a virgin, so… if I get flustered and can’t put it in then I might wilt out of nervousness during that time.
A: Hey, please… tell me where you want me to put this in with your hand, senpai. *they prepare* Sorry, I’m so nervous I can’t really see so could you spread it wider? Ah, I see… Senpai, you want me to put it in here, huh. Me too, I want to fill this twitching place fully… I love you, senpai, and this is a fact that won’t change for an eternity. *kisses* Now then… I’m putting it in…! Nngh! Aah…! Senpai, wait…! You’re squeezing me too tightly…
A: I just put myself in and you’re clenching, ahaha… How cute… *kisses*… I’m sorry, I might be bad because I’m a virgin, so I’d like you to forgive me. Ah?! Haha, senpai, you’re a kind person. Such a kind senpai… I love… YOU! *thrusting* Hngh… ah…!
A: Senpai… you love this spot, right? To be able to find your weak spot so quickly… agh… I wonder if our compatibility is really good? Mm… it must be like that, and that’s why everything fits so perfectly. *kisses; thrusting*
A: Hehe, senpai, you have such a wanton look on your face. It turns me on more than any other look… I’ve seen up to now. Hah… ngh… *kisses; thrusting*… I’m so aroused… it makes me want to thrust into you deeper… Hey, can I hold up your legs too? Nngh… agh…
A: Like… this? *position change* Nngh… aah…! *thrusting*
A: Hey, senpai, tell me… this place… this deep spot… if I circle it… does it feel good? If you don’t tell me… ngh… I’ll feel uneasy… Ah! Haha, I see… ngh… I’m a virgin, but I’m clever so… if I do this and… rub against you at this angle then I’ve already remembered… that it’ll turn you into mush… I’m going to rub against here a lot after this and make you feel good, okay? *kissing; thrusting*
A: Hagh…! Nngh…! Mm? Stop? Why? Hahaha, mm, that’s right, it feels so good you’re losing all thought, huh. Haah… me too, I feel so good it’s like I’m going limp. *kisses; thrusting*
A: Nngh! Aah… ah… to say you love me at a timing like this… that’s foul play! Jeez, I won’t be able to hold myself back, right!? Mmngh… *kisses; thrusting*
A: Aah, senpai… I love you… I’ll say it hundreds, thousands of times… I’ll stay by your side for a lifetime…! *kisses; thrusting*… Aah, hey, senpai, come too! Let’s come together…! Aagh… ngh… don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand like this so there’s nothing to be afraid of. So, come on, ngh… come…! *kisses; thrusting; they orgasm*
A: Haa… haa… you’re squeezing and fluttering all around me… ngh… Senpai, did you come too?… Haha, I’m glad. I’ll get better after this, so look forward to it. Mm? You’re sleepy already? Haha, I see, you were looking forward to the date with me so much that you didn’t sleep much at all yesterday. And to forget your handkerchief too… how do I say this, it’s so like you, senpai.
A: … Go ahead and sleep. I’ll be here beside you forever. *kisses* Even if you run, senpai.
*** TRACK 5: Date at the Coffee Shop ~ Four Sugar Cubes ~ ***
A: Hm… oh! You’re up already? I wanted to see your sleeping face a bit more. *kisses* Good morning, senpai. Not that much time passed. More importantly, is your body okay? I was reflecting on how I might have gone a bit too hard. Phew, I’m glad. In that case, sleep some more. It’s still too early to get up.
A: Haha, your heart is beating too fast that you can’t sleep? Well then, until you fall asleep, why don’t I tell you an interesting bedtime story? The whole premise is an imaginary one, okay?… You really understand? The feelings, the reasons… all of it is imaginary. *heroine nods* Mm, in that case, our tale begins with the pages turning in the love adventure of you and me.
A: The time I met you, senpai, was when the cherry blossoms were fluttering around like snow. When I went to the roof after skipping my lessons… there you were, senpai, with a tragic and grim face, looking as if you’d jump down at any second. I thought that even I would have an uneasy conscience if someone died in front of me, so I asked why you were crying.
A: Normally you’re tight-lipped, but I wonder if you were at your limit that day. You told me everything. That, because of family circumstances, there was no choice but to be separated from your boyfriend. That you couldn’t forget about your boyfriend no matter what. And you also said, “I wonder if I won’t be able to love anyone but him in this lifetime”…
A: When I heard that I felt an inexplicable emotion. Mm, my parents’ divorce was probably the source, and I said it before but I thought there wasn’t such a thing as feelings that would remain unchanged for a lifetime. My father, you see, right after he divorced, swore “I won’t love anyone but your mother for this lifetime”. And yet look at how that was just a moment, haha, after one year he had a passionate affair and, in the end, remarried.
A: I thought it was stupid. If it was going to change, then he shouldn’t have said his feelings wouldn’t change for a lifetime. So, when I heard your words, senpai… I ended up wanting to test them. Would your feelings really not change? After that, I grew attached to you, this one person, to an extent that was unusual for me. I cut off all my relationships with the ten or more friends-with-benefits I had and acted only to make you fall for me.
A: But still… that took a colossal amount of time. For me, those were long days… because, I repeated twenty-four hours over more than four times, every single day. Hehe, yes, it’s an interesting setting, right? You see, I actually have superpowers.
A: Hahaha! Yep, this is that type of story. Ah, but it’s not that I’m turning time around. If I had such tremendous powers, my actions would be limited even more as a released ability with high danger. *kisses* I wouldn’t be able to have sex with you freely like this either, senpai. Haha, your ears are red again. Senpai, you really are honest and cute. It makes me want to eat you up entirely. *kisses* Hehe, you really are adorable. You’re the cutest in the world. *kisses*
A: Hm? Aah, the meaning of a “released ability”? It refers to people whose brains operate at a rate higher than ordinary people. You see, normal people can use one hundred percent of their brain, but it’s actually because there’s a limiter. I suppose it could be said it happened in the course of evolution. Us, released abilities, don’t have that limiter. Well, it depends on the person as to how much their limiter is removed though.
A: For now, do you understand up to here? *heroine nods* Mm, then I’ll continue. Assuming that normal people operate their brains at one hundred percent, then it’s clear that released abilities can act at a level many times that. And they’re guided by people above them.
A: Hm? Above? That’s… actually, even I’m not too clear on that. Why do we have these abilities? Why are we left alone? Our monitors won’t tell us anything crucial… Anyway, returning to the topic, my ability is to drag those I touch into a brain simulation. The time limit inside a simulation is twenty-four hours. That being said, the illusion happens in an instant, so the person who was dragged in isn’t aware that it’s an illusion. It’s said that, when they return to reality, it’s a strange feeling like having a dream you can’t remember. So, everyone spaces out a little.
A: It’s hard to imagine? Hmm… senpai, there are times when you also think things like “What if I do that” or “What if I do this”, right? I can do that with the two of us together. For example, hmm… like the two of us sharing a dream that feels really real, I guess? With this power, beyond the 365 days after I met you, senpai, I’ve been repeating each one four times.
A: Gosh, it was difficult. I didn’t expect to repeat things up to this point. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m really popular so I didn’t think I’d be rejected after confessing. At the beginning I was shocked and then I gradually got desperate… by the time I noticed… I actually fell in love with you. But, at the same time, in despair.
A: All these hundreds of times… ah, it’s probably already past a thousand, but I used this and that method to seduce you, and yet you wouldn’t say you loved me. I really understood that you loved your ex-boyfriend from the bottom of your heart. I wanted… to be loved that strongly too.
A: Nevertheless, when it comes to you, senpai, you wouldn’t play along. Because you didn’t yield at all to me, there were also times when I broke my daily limit for simulations. Hm? Ah, when I go past four times in a day, my brain gets taxed quite a lot, apparently. How do I say it… sometimes I can’t tell the border between the imaginary and reality.
A: I was aware of when it was going to get bad… but still, on days where it seemed like everything would go well, even though I knew I had to return to reality… I would get helplessly obsessed with those days. At the end, in the imaginary world, I’d end up raping and killing you when you rejected me… Even though I definitely didn’t want to do that.
A: Mm, I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart that things didn’t end up like that. Because I just want to be happy with you, senpai. *kisses* Haha, it’s an imaginary story, so there’s no need to worry. It’s probably because there was so much burden on my brain that it affected me on a mental level. But it’s okay, I know what to do now to get you to be my lover, senpai, so it should heal.
A: Haha, right? If you think about it normally, it’s a fantastical story. Well, even after I’ve said this much, you’ll forget it all, senpai. *slow, tender kiss*
A: … Ah… now then, next is the true take. *snaps fingers*
[10:12] *scene skip; glass tips; liquid spills*
A: Are you alright? Please use this and wipe your uniform. You forgot your handkerchief, right? Haha, I had a feeling. Because you’re such a serious senpai, I thought you were probably thinking about the date after school with me since the morning so much that you forgot about other things. For you to think about me that much… that makes me happy. Just kidding, I’m sorry if that sounded conceited. *heroine shakes head*
A: Hehe, I’m glad. That makes me feel relieved. I was also really nervous since the morning, because you’re the first girl I’ve gone out with like this, senpai. It’s true! Senpai, you also know that people call me strange, right? That’s why I haven’t had a girlfriend. I’m teased a lot about that by my younger brother.
A: Haha, that’s right, it’s the first time I’ve mentioned that. I have one younger brother. He’s pretty popular, so he might be famous in the Academy. He’s called Hiiragi Mikoto and he looks cute only on the outside. Ah, my parents divorced when I was small, so I have a different surname from my little brother. Haha, why are you apologizing? I’m happy that you have an interest in me, senpai.
A: Mm, it makes me happy. To be honest, up to now, I didn’t like talking about my childhood… but when you’re the other person, senpai, then I want you to know everything. Eh? Pictures of me when I was small? Hm, I’m okay with showing them, but it’s a bit embarrassing… Can I sit beside you and show you them secretly? *heroine nods* In that case… *he moves over*
A: Excuse me. Let’s see… which folder was my childhood pictures in… Ah, here! This was when I went to the beach with my family. But that Mikoto dropped my ice cream, so I was sulking really hard. Haha, right? I had such an ugly look. Every time I see it I get embarrassed. But… you show your bare emotions only in front of people you trust, so… I think family is precious.
A: Right now, my father and step-mother, who I live with, are working overseas… so I’m home alone. It’s actually pretty lonely. And then, about a year ago, the feeling of wanting to hurry and create a warm family became my dream. Haha, if you say it’s a good dream… *whispers* won’t you grant it together with me? If I was going to fulfill this dream… I’d want it to be you, senpai, my first love. I’ll cherish you for a lifetime, so won’t you be my wife?
A: Oh… haha, I was being serious, but let’s leave it as a joke for now. Ah, that’s right, I showed you mine so you have to show me yours too, senpai. Aah, it’s only at your house? Hmm… *whispers* in that case, if you don’t mind, senpai, can I go to your place? I want to know more about you too. For example, I was thinking I’d like to see your childhood album… or something. Oh! Haha, I won’t care if you were chubby or not when you were small. Or is this request too shameless in the end? *heroine shakes head* Ah, I’m glad.
[14:58] *someone walks over*
R: Shimizu Ao, it looks like you pushed yourself too hard today as well.
A: Hello, Midou-senpai. No, the period of pushing myself too hard is over already.
R: … I see. There is nothing better then. If any problems occur after this, please call me.
A: Yes, thank you very much. *Rei walks off*
A: Hm? Ah, I had some troubles so I consulted Midou-senpai, but it’s resolved already. Ah, if you don’t put sugar in soon it really won’t be able to melt. The sugar cubes… Heh, senpai, in truth, don’t you like a veeeery sweet coffee that has about four sugar cubes? Hehe, naturally, if it’s about you, senpai, I know everything. Haha, yes… everything.
*** NOTES ***
Hands up everyone who got more and more suspicious at the words he was saying LOL. I was careful (more so than usual) to make sure the tenses were right, because there’s so many little hints at the beginning where things just sound off and it’s chilling. Also, I’m the fool who thought it’d be time travel but the reality was scarier and cooler.
N-NO HARM NO FOUL THOUGH RIGHT? He was just, uh, simulating the horrible routes but in reality he’s the sweetest person. If you think about it, that’s how we play our games and especially VNs LOL. Just gonna make a save state before a choice and see what happens and then load the save state to choose the “optimal” choice for the “best” end.
Anyway, I love Ao so much and I think he even wins out over Weiss-niisama by just a little bit because I love his heroine. She gave him a long and hard run for his money. If he’s been doing at least four simulations a day, for at least a year, then that’s 1460 simulations (or basically 4 years in simulations).
Also, I’m of the belief that the way a writer handles anything involving loops (simulation or time travel, etc) is a display of their skill and Setsuka (the one, lone person behind Dusk) did so well. Notice how each loop took us through key phrases so that we get the sense of a loop, but that it was also sped up so we don’t get bored with a literal replay of the beginning? And how each loop gives us new information? UGH. I LOVE HER WRITING.