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Story Synopsis: Edit

《Blaze》— That is a weapon made by materialising your own soul with your enhanced will power. I, Tooru Kokonoe, have that ability which is said to be possessed only by one in every one thousand people, so it was decided that I would enroll in Kouryou academy that gives out《Blaze》, and a school that teaches battle techniques. But for an unknown reason, my《Blaze didn't have a shape of a weapon but a protector, and it takes the form of a《Shield.

Volume 1Edit

PrologueEdit

«Absolute Duo»——.

I never had any time to inquire as to the meaning of those words.

"——Ku!!"

The mark called «Aster» appeared on my chest and emitted a strong heat.

The heat spread throughout my entire body instantly, making it become hard to breathe.

This hellish fire was tearing me apart.

However, this was a ritual.

A power that surpasses mankind——the process of sublimating by taking «Lucifer» into your body.

"Ugh...ah...aaaaaaaaaagggh!"

I shouted in agony, expressing the feeling of having my blood, flesh and bone burned.

Shortly after, my body was surrounded by «Flame».

The hellish fire, which was overflowing from the «Aster», went wild, as if it was trying to burn me, the very person who had released it, to ashes.

But I could not give in.

That's because I would not be able to obtain what I desire unless I overcome this «Flame».

(I... I have a wish I must fulfill!)

That's right. I can't stop until I reach my goal.

For this reason, I must control the «Flame» that burns wildly.

No, I should be able to control this.

That's because this «Flame»——is my «Soul».

"Ooooooooooooooooh!!"

I shouted with all my strength. I then raised my fist up and grabbed my «Flame».

"«Blaze»!"

Responding to the «word that carried strength», the «Flame» encompassed my entire body, burning wildly as if it was trying to incinerate me, then swirled around my arm like a snake, diffusing a bright light.

"Ku...!"

Because it was so bright, I wasn't able to keep my eyes open and——

Eventually the light disappeared. I moved my gaze to my arm, and was shocked by what I saw.

My «Flame» has turned into a «Shield».

"This... is my «Blaze»...?"

"«Irregular». That's how I would put it."

The person who had been watching over me silently since I said that finally spoke.

Devilish, or ominous.

These words came to my mind as I looked at the little girl in a gothic dress.

«Irregular»——there was only one reason for this girl to say that.

Normally, a «Blaze» which was used to define the «Soul» would have been shaped into a weapon.

However, the thing which materialized on my arm, without a doubt, assumed the shape of a shield.

The mass of metal was thick, heavy and hard, giving me the impression that it could definitely not be cracked or pierced.

(How ironic...)

For a person like me who was not able to protect, giving birth to a «Shield», a symbol of protection...

Despite my memories of the past I could not return to——

The girl in the black dress brought an end to my reminiscence.

"Now, go. The path that «Shield» will lead you to... I'm really looking forward to it."

Leaving with her laugh, the girl in the black dress disappeared into the darkness.

The only thing left was silence.

This was the beginning of my story——the story of Tooru Kokonoe.


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Chapter 1: To this 《Shield》———Edit

Part 1Edit

The moment the silver girl showed herself, all sound disappeared from the auditorium. It was similar to the moment when the sea waves drew in.

Likewise, the moment I saw her, I took a breath and became speechless.

You definitely would not forget her once you had seen her —— a girl with such an appearance was standing at the entrance of the Kouryou Academy ceremony hall.

Her silver-blond hair came down to her hips. Her skin, as white as snow, looked pale and her ruby-coloured eyes certainly made it obvious that she was a foreigner after a single glance.

(She’s basically like a bisque doll……)

The reason I felt that about her was not simply because of her appearance, which was giving off the feeling that she was an illusion.

But rather, despite the multiple stares, I could not catch a single expression cross her slightly childish face.

That silver girl, every move of hers was attracting attention — ring.... walked forward as the bell rang.

Step.... step.... in a situation where the sound of her shoes echoed within the quiet atmosphere, while having everyone stare at her, her actions and demeanor made me feel like I was watching a scene from a film. This girl was walking forward with complete disregard for the countless stares, fixed on every move of hers.

She walked past me and when she sat down three rows in front of my position, the chain of silence was finally broken and chatter could be heard, mixed with some sighs of relief.

“Haa…… I guess that’s what you would call a beautiful girl……”

The girl with a pony-tail who is sitting beside me said this with a sigh.

“………… Hey, can you at least reply to me?”

While my shoulder is being poked by her fingers, I faced the girl.

“Were you perhaps talking to me?”

“Is there anyone else?”

While looking around, I saw that the seat diagonally in front of me and the seat behind me were empty. There was a girl reading through the school entrance pamphlet diagonally behind me.

“……Sorry, I didn’t realize it.”

As I apologized, the girl smiled.

“Fufu, looks like you are the type of person who can talk normally.”

“Huh?”

“You had a frown on your face this whole time. So I, who am sitting beside you, wanted to do something about this awkward atmosphere.”

“Ah…… I apologize again. I was concerned about something.”

“And you are telling me that your concerns weren’t a serious issue compared to that beautiful girl from a foreign country?”

“Haha, looks like it.”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 1.jpg

I ended up making a bitter smile to her comment, which she made while putting on a meaningful smile.

“Ahaha, I can understand that feeling despite being a girl. She is such a beautiful girl, so it would be natural for you to have your eyes taken by her. ……But I wonder why she came all the way to a school like this?”

A school like this. — There was a reason why the girl with the ponytail said it like that.

The Kouryou Academy, the school I will be attending from today onward, unlike the average high school, is known for being a special technique training school.

The special techniques we will be learning at this school are — battle techniques.

For the harmonious Japan, it is an extremely special school that teaches techniques which are not needed in our daily lives.

“She must have her own reasons.”

She came all the way from overseas to learn battle techniques, so that silver girl must have her own reasons.

“…… There is also the possibility that she has been living in Japan from the start.”

“Ahaha, there certainly is…… But she sure is a cute and beautiful girl. Oh my, I’m so jealous of her.”

“I agree with you, but I think you are quite the beauty yourself.”

“Am I? Fufu, thank you… wait, what!? W-W-Why did you suddenly say something embarrassing like that?!”

“I just said what came to my mind……”

The girl sitting beside me had her light colored hair tied up, so I had an impression that she was a lively girl. Her face looked both beautiful and cute and she possessed the atmosphere of a girl blossoming into a woman. I understood that she is sociable since she initiated the conversation and judging by her ability to casually discuss difficult topics without making me feel bad, I suspect she might have been popular during her middle school years.

“N-Normally, people won’t say that even if it comes to mind……!”

“Is that so?”

“Of course it is—”

“…… I’m sorry, but can you quiet down a bit?”

The cold voice which came from behind us belonged to the girl who was reading through the pamphlet.

“Ah…… I-I’m very sorry!”

“Sorry for making a ruckus.”

“It’s alright…… If you are going to quiet down, then I won’t say any more.”

Both the pony-tail girl and I faced forward after apologizing.

“Cough. A-Anyway…… don’t say anything like that again so suddenly. Depending on the person, they can get the wrong idea……”

“Y-Yeah, I got it……”

Even though I nodded—

(What does she mean by wrong idea……?)

I made a big '?' mark inside my head.

The pony-tail hair girl put her hand to her chest to calm herself down and she talked to me once again after taking a breath.

“Umm, it has kind of become an awkward situation, but let’s start by introducing ourselves. I am Imari Nagakura, let’s get along.”

“I am Tooru Kokonoe. Let’s get along, Nagakura.”

“Call me Imari, Tooru.”

Imari winked at me with a smile.

After we introduced ourselves, Imari began the conversation anew by bringing up what must have been the most discussed topic within the auditorium.

“Hey, Tooru, what was it like for you when you sublimated with 《Lucifer》?”

“I thought I was going to burn to death.”

“Pu, ahahahaha.”

Imari laughed at my reply—

“…… Cough.”

Because of the cough from the girl behind us, she put her hand onto her mouth immediately and lowered her volume.

“I felt the same, I thought I was going to burn to death.”

Imari nodded while giggling.

“Even though it was explained to us beforehand, I sure was shocked. But with this we are…… no, everyone in this auditorium can no longer be considered a normal human anymore.”

“Yeah…… Though I said that, I still don’t feel like we have changed.”

“You mean as in having become an 《Exceed》……?”

“Yeah……”


《Exceed》——

Refers to those who were given the biological enhancement nanomachine called 《Lucifer》 which was made by the organization called Dawn Institute several years ago.

By injecting it to those who had the 《Adapt》 (one in every one-thousand people), they would be able to attain a body which surpasses the limits of a human, and also due to their enhanced mentality, they would also attain the ability to manifest their 《Soul》 into the weapon called 《Blaze》.

However, this issue was told to us for the first time immediately before receiving 《Lucifer》 today. That is why I replied to Imari in this fashion despite seeing 《Blaze》 with my own eyes. I still did not have the feeling that I had sublimated to become a 《Exceed》.

(Though I will realize it when I move my body……)

I might have realized it sooner if I had tested my body right after I had the 《Lucifer》 given to me, but because of the listless feeling I had due to the burning sensation, I came to the auditorium while having doubts about my 《Soul》 manifesting into a 《Shield》.

……However, I don’t feel like moving around my body in here.

When I was having this discussion with Imari, I heard the sound of the speakers being turned on.

“Ah, looks like the entrance ceremony will begin.”

Soon after, the sound of the microphone test, -- [Ah……test, test] -- echoed through the auditorium.

[Everyone, silence. We will be starting the entrance ceremony shortly. I, Mikuni, will be in charge of the ceremony.]

[Silence] -- A man, in his late 20's, whom I'm assuming is a teacher, said again while standing on the stage and the noise within the auditorium settled down.

[The entrance ceremony for the high school division of Kouryou Academy will now commence. First, the chairman of our academy has a few words for all of you, the new students.]

The next moment the ceremony began; I was shocked.

That was because I saw a familiar person wearing a gothic style dress walking up to the stage.

(—! That’s the girl from before……!?)

Without a doubt, the person on stage was the girl who gave me the 《Lucifer》.

[Welcome to Kouryou Academy, I am the chairman, Sakuya Tsukumo.]

Chairman, this girl who doesn’t have the image of a chairman, and she who has or hasn’t reached the age of ten, started her speech magnificently. Her hair, as black as the abyss, was tied into two parts and her figure, wrapped in a black dress, made me experience the same feelings as I felt during our first encounter, both enigmatic and ominous, like she was concealing something.

(I was already shocked at the giving……)

Even back then, I was thinking why was a girl in a place like this…… then she gave me the 《Lucifer》 and while I was in shock and panicking after having received the 《Blaze》, she disappeared.

(I never expected that she would be the chairman of this academy…… But why did a person in such a position go through the trouble of giving it to me……?)

It’s certain that she wasn’t helping me.

There must be a reason behind it, but I couldn’t think of any.

I'm both shocked and amazed by her appearance, so I was not able to listen to the chairman’s speech.

“Looks like you are shocked about this.”

“Y-Yeah. Of course I would be. She’s that small, yet……”

“There was a photo and a profile about her in the pamphlet. Didn’t you read it?”

“The school fee is free of charge and uses a boarding school system. On top of coming with three meals, I also saw they would be giving out daily expenses.”

“Other than that?”

I looked away silently.

“Read through them properly……”

“……I agree with that woman. Geez, why are you always like that?”

The one who entered our conversation while sighing was the male student who was sleeping in the seat in front of me.

“——! T-Tora!? Why are you here!?”

[You, sitting over there. Please refrain from talking.]

I accidentally said it out loud due to this familiar face, and I had the speaker warn me.

Despite closing my mouth immediately, I could hear laughter around me.

(Ugh, I stood out in a bad way……)

When I looked down with my red face, Imari asked me.

“Is he your friend?”

“Yeah.”

The boy that talked to me just before is my friend, Tora.

Even if the schools we went to were different, I came to know him when the dojos we attended started to affiliate with each other for martial arts. Also since we were the same age, we had sparred many times since middle school. Since he was a small built boy with glasses he may look quiet, the truth was he had a big attitude and he also had a bad mouth. But there was a part of him where he was good to others, and he was someone who you could take a liking to——

(But I never expected to meet him here……)

I didn’t see him in the latter half of middle school due to my own circumstances, and since I didn’t have the chance to know where he would be going, meeting him here was totally unexpected.

“Who are you calling your friend? We just happen to know each other, and only happen to have met quite often.”

“……Isn’t that what you call a friend?”

“Sh-Shut up. To begin with, you are always——.”

Then there was a cough from behind me, and it came from the girl from before.

“~~~~~~! E-Either way at least read the pamphlet, you fool!”

Tora faced forward after shouting with a low tone.

(His self-important way of talking sure hadn’t changed.)

At the same time I felt nostalgic about his way of speech, I also felt a bit relieved that there was someone I knew here.

“……Oh, my bad. Continue from where you were, Imari.”

“Okay. ……Well, chairman Tsukumo originally belonged to the Dawn institute, the organization that built Kouryou Academy, and I heard that she was involved with the research as a genetic scientist.”

“That’s amazing that she is a scientist despite being so small…… Ah, if she is a genetic scientist, then is she involved in 《Lucifer》 in some way?”

“Not sure. I don’t know that much about it……”

“……Hmph, she most likely is. The enhancement with 《Lucifer》 is due to alteration of genetics after all.”

The one who answered instead of Imari who tilted her head in doubt, was Tora who was supposed to have been facing forward.

“Kouryou Academy is a laboratory institute that was solely made for her, and the guinea pigs that were gathered for that experiment are us.”

“Ugh…… You sure do say it in a disturbing way……”

To Tora’s words who decided to join back into our discussion, Imari made a stern face.

(——Guinea pig, huh……)

If Tora’s hypothesis was right, then this special technique training school which was an irregular little garden not only had the abnormal existence of 《Exceed》 and 《Blaze》, but it seemed like the reason for making this place wasn’t normal either.

(Well, as long as I can fulfill my aim, I don’t care what kind of place this is.)

When I thought about it like that, I naturally had myself gripping my hands tightly.

On the other hand, it seemed like the chairman’s speech was about to end for this entrance ceremony.

From the chairman who was acting magnificently which was far off from her age's appearance, she was about to end the ceremony with a voice which gave me chills.

[All of you will be acquiring different kinds of techniques and knowledge within this Kouryou Academy. But please remember that all of these are to make all of you go even higher. That will serve as the school’s policy, which will be absolute……Lastly, I will end this ceremony by sending this prayer to you all.]

The chairman stopped her speech there, and looked around the new students—

and she spoke those words again.

[I pray, that you will reach to become the 《Absolute Duo》 one day.]

“Huh……?”

“What’s wrong, Tooru?”

“No, just now the chairman……”

Since the ceremony had finished, she should be getting off the stage, but the chairman remained at the spot.

As if she was answering my suspicions, the chairman spoke again.

[Now, we will have the new students start the traditional event of our school, the 《Qualification Ceremony》.]

“Traditional event?”

“There’s nothing written about something like that in the pamphlet……”

Looking at the schedules put on the walls, the event which would follow after the chairman’s speech should have been the warm welcome from the student representative of the current students……

[Before beginning the 《Qualification Ceremony》, there is something you must do. Please confirm the person sitting next to you. The person next to you will be your partner for the ceremony you will be partaking in.]

I looked at Imari, and Imari looked at me.

“So what are we going to do with the partner?”

I obviously tilted my head with questions, but I understood the answer for that immediately from the words the chairman would say next.

[From here, we will have you battle with your partner.]

“What……!?”

The moment we were told about that event, I—no, not just me, but there were several gasps from various part of the hall.

[The traditional event, 《Qualification Ceremony》 that is about to start now will be the entrance test to enter the Kouryou Academy. The winner will be permitted to enter the school, while the loser will be asked to leave immediately after having the 《Lucifer》 retrieved back from them.]

Unlike us who were in shock, the chairman said an outrageous thing with a calm face.

After her words, the auditorium was in silence—.

Eventually, when they started to understand the meaning of her words, the new students started to panic.

(An entrance test during the entrance ceremony……!?)

Just like me, Imari wasn’t able to hide her shock about this, and she started to mutter while staring at the chairman with wonder.

“You are joking, right……? Even if this is a special technique training school, you can’t just make us do this on our first day…… B-Besides, what do you mean by entrance test!? Wasn’t it that anyone can enter this school as long they have the 《Adapt》!?”

“I’m curious about that as well, so I want an answer. Besides, if there were such traditional events like that, wouldn’t it be weird that we didn’t hear about this from those who failed the test?”

Tora threw that question to the stage while putting on a rough attitude that made you think that they didn’t have the relationship of a teacher and a student.

But the one who answered that wasn’t the chairman, but the speaker; the man called Mikuni.

[I don’t remember saying that there wasn’t any entrance test, though it is true that I did say you have the right to enroll in the school if you have the 《Adapt》. And there is a simple reason why there wasn’t any leaked information regarding the entrance test. In terms of the things going on within our school, we have ourselves restricted the information about us in many different ways.]

To Mikuni’s shallow smirk, I realized that the things he told us were the truth.

The auditorium got noisy due to the panic and disturbance.

[Since all of you have understood this, I will be moving on to the explanation.]

But the girl in the black dress seemed like she wasn’t concerned about it that much, and started to explain the rules without hesitation.

[You are basically free to do whatever you want in this battle, — in other words there are no restrictions on the use of weapons. Of course we will permit you to use your 《Blaze》. The battle will be decided by forfeiting, or if we determine that you are no longer able to fight. Also, if the result isn’t determined within ten minutes, we will make both students fail——]


“P-Please hold on!”

[What is it?]

Even if she was interrupted from her explanation, the chairman looked towards the girl who said that without changing her expression.

“Isn’t it too much for you to reject us from enrolling just because we lose in a match!!?”

“Y-Yeah, she’s right!!”

Having that girl’s word as a opening, there were many yells from various parts of the hall.

“What will happen to the future of those who lose!?” “Don’t screw around!!” “Are you going to take responsibility for this!?”

However—

[……This is just an entrance test which is present everywhere. To survive by kicking off others, a simple rule obeying the competition to survive, this is just a simple war to enroll. Though the time and details are different.]

The chairman didn’t even flinch at the yells, and she gave an atmosphere where her cold eyes and words made the new students silent.

(Competition to survive, huh……)

To have yourself survive, you have to steal the future of those you face.

Even if it wasn’t actually related to our life, it would still have your path closed if you lose, so there wasn’t any mistake in what the chairman said.

“B-But why is it battling……!? Can’t we just have a normal test……?”

One of the people who couldn’t agree with this, Imari, asked her.

You could say that it was the justification of the majority of those within this hall, and I also agreed with her opinion.

[A day will definitely come when you will have to fight. After you are dispatched to the security maintenance squad of the Dawn organization as an 《Exceed》, there will be a time when you are placed into a battle where you have to risk your life, definitely. ……But a time like that won’t stop just because of your preference. ——You should all know that by now after hearing that much.]

“……So the 《Qualification Ceremony》 is the first decision the academy is giving us, huh.”

[That’s exactly right.]

The chairman smiled at my comment.

[If you don’t agree with the way this academy does things, then you are free to leave this auditorium. Except, in that case, we will obviously come to the decision that you have given up on enrolling into Kouryou Academy.]

The atmosphere within the auditorium froze.

Of course. We were suddenly told about this entrance test out of the blue and then they told us to fight, so there was no way we could nod our heads and say yes.

And if there were no restrictions to this battle in terms of using weapons, not only would you have the fear of being hurt, but you would also have the fear of hurting your opponent. If it went wrong, there was a chance that it wouldn’t just remain being wounded, so there was no way you could decide about this so easily.

However—having us do that while understanding what’s going through our mind was what you would call the whisper of a devil.

[Now, just before you begin, there is one extra piece of information regarding the 《Blaze》 that I will explain in order to make it easier for all of you to fight. 《Blaze》 is a weapon that was created by manifesting your 《Soul》 due to enhanced willpower——and also for that reason it has the trait of being able to damage only the 《Soul》. So it means that you will only wear down the spirit of the opponent you have attacked, and it does not hurt your opponent physically and won't take the life of others, so it’s a special weapon that is used for suppressing.]

I wondered just how much her words had made the new students present here feel relieved and blew away their hesitation.

I could tell just by looking that there a commotion.

One by one, there were those that had made up their minds.

(It sure has become troublesome……)

My decision wasn’t about whether I agree to this test or not, and it also wasn’t about battling, hurting, or being hurt.

It was about the fact that I had to take down Imari if the test was to start.

She was someone that I had only met this morning.

We just talked for less than an hour.

(But I……)

This feeling naturally moved to my hand where I asked the chairman a question.

“……I’m sorry, can I ask you one thing?”

[What is it?]

“Our partners—, is it possible to change the opponent we have to face?”


Even though I asked her while having a faint hope—

[……Are you able to ask for the examiner to rate you on English that you are good at since you are bad at Mathematics during the test? Do you think such a wish could be allowed?]

“That is……”

To the ruthless words that were returned to me, I wasn’t able to continue my words.

There most likely must have been someone in the past who asked the same question.

“Tooru, it’s okay. Your feelings alone are enough for me.”

Imari smiled sadly.

“Ku……!”

(Do I only have the choice to accept such an idiotic test……!?)

Even though I bit down on my teeth hard, I couldn’t come up with a method to evade this.

I even felt like turning back by saying that I couldn’t cope with such crap.

But I couldn’t do that.

I came to this Kouryou Academy craving for an existence that was out of normal bounds.

To obtain the 《Power》 in order to fulfill my desire.

(Damn……!)

Even so, I’m hesitant.

I shouldn’t even be thinking about this.

But, in order to do that I have to defeat Imari.

“Imari……”

I said Imari’s name.

Just that.

I couldn’t say the next word.

I knew that I had to say something.

……But what?

I didn’t know.

I couldn’t think up anything.

While I was lost in finding the right words, and right before I was able to find what to say—

The chairman moved on without any mercy.

[Fight, El Seed(Children chosen by heaven)!! And grasp hold of your own future with your own hands!!]

Her sharp words. At the same time the sound of the bell rang throughout not only the auditorium, but the whole school.

After a pause—

“Uwaaaaaaaah!”

The shout from someone became the actual signal for the start of this.

After finally realizing the situation they were in, several of them ran to the exit while screaming.

There were also those who were standing there because they still hadn’t realized it.

And those who are willing to fight, that had accepted this test shouted out the 《word that carried strength》, and there were blue-white 《Flames》 released from various places.

Sword, spear, bow and many other weapons had appeared within my sight. When they took the weapons in their hands and they swung them towards their opponents.

The sound of the battle and weapons colliding echoed throughout the auditorium.

Under that situation, we were the only ones that were standing silently while looking at each other—.

And the one who finally spoke was Imari.

“I don’t like the sentence 'It can’t be helped' but—there is something I must accomplish. In order to reach that goal, I want to enroll in this academy at all costs. So—.”

Imari looked sharply and straight into my eyes, and then shouted.

“I can’t give up on this path!”

She put her hand to her chest, and 《Aster》 appeared due to the 《word that carried strength》.

The blue-white glowing 《Flame》 was Imari’s 《Soul》 and her 《Will》 to fight.

Imari grabbed it without hesitation.

The 《Flame》 changed into a long, stick-like shape, and then—right after giving out a strong glow, a 《Blade》 that had a beautiful curve was within Imari’s hand.

“Tooru, you bring out your 《Blaze》 too………!”

“……………”

Imari made her decision. But I…….

“…………There is no time. If you have no will to fight, then I will end this!! Iaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!”

At the same time with her making a spirited shout to encourage herself, Imari jumped at me.

(----------Uh! Fast!!)

Thanks to the explosive strength powered up by the 《Lucifer》, the distance of a few meters disappeared in an instant.

“Kuh!”

When I suddenly took a back step to dodge it, the swung down 《Blade》 grazed my clothes and slashed the floor.

The deep slash mark left on the floor was not something that could be thought of coming from a girl’s physical strength.

(This is an 《Exceed》………….! The talk about crossing the boundaries of humans wasn’t exaggerated at all.)

“You have a nice body. Do you perhaps practice something?"

"A little martial arts?”

“Yes. For me it’s Kendo.”

“No wonder it was a nice strike.”

I returned a small smile back to Imari who was taking a sword stance.

“Fufu, thank you. Although it is offensive to say that after dodging. ………….But I won’t miss next time.”

Imari’s eyes turned serious again.

“Tooru, I’ll say this once more. Bring out your 《Blaze》………..!”

“Imari………”

I was still hesitant.

However, I knew there was nothing I could do-------and the only choice I had was to accept this test.

But even if I manifested my tool, how should I fight?

My 《Blaze》 is a 《Shield》----a defensive tool.

Instead of defeating, it was something meant to protect.

That's why in order to defeat Imari, I would need to make a direct attack---------swinging my fist was my only choice, but the chances of hurting her was high if I did so.

(I want to avoid that. Then…………)

“I am okay with this.”

“Eh?”

“I am saying I won’t use my 《Blaze》”

“------------Uh! What do you mean by that, Tooru!?”

“I will manifest it if I need to, but I have no use for it now.”

“D-Don’t be stupid!! I may look like this but I am one of the top rankers in national kendo competitions!!”

“……………I am not stupid. I’m serious about this.”

“---------Uh! Don’t regret this!! Seyaaaaaaaaaa!!”

Imari howled and stepped-in.

The flow did not stop even though I dodged.

Immediately, the 2nd and 3rd slash were released------

But, I safely avoided all of those slashes.

“Kuh…………! Looks like you are good at dodging……!”

I will show her the difference in our ability and make her give up.

That was the fight I chose.

It’s true the <<Lucifer>> turns humans to <<Exceed>>.

However, I am also the same when it comes to having a physical power up by the sublimation.

If that was the case then, my original abilities, skills and experience have increased too.

Imari’s sword skill was quite something.

However, it was something not outside of the zone from matches.

---But, I’m different.

Ever since that day, I had been working every day to get stronger.

The path we walked was different---------and it resulted into this overwhelming difference in ability now.

“W-Why………….!”

The <<Blade>> continued to cut through the air fruitlessly and endlessly.

The difference in ability would not be filled, no matter how much spirit she has.

Immediately, Imari noticed that too and started showing impatience in her eyes.

“I can’t lose! I…………I have a goal………!”

She clenched her teeth and voiced her determination of not giving up before swinging her <<Blade>>.

I dodged that attack by a paper thin margin, and took the chance to grab Imari's wrist when she missed.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 2.jpg

“………You should know this already. Imari, you can’t win against me. Continuing--------is useless.”

“Uh!”

“So please give up. I want you to admit defeat………I don’t want to hurt Imari.”

There was nothing harsher than the sentence I put in my mouth.

I am telling her to admit the overwhelming difference in ability and admit defeat.

And the moment she accepted that, Imari would have to leave Kouryo Academy.

In order not to hurt Imari, I had to hurt Imari’s heart and that hurt my heart too.

Just like Imari, I also have a goal.

I have to accomplish my goal.

But even so, I swung my fist to avoid hurting the girl---------Imari.

That was why I planned to crush Imari’s determination and scatter her heart to end this but-----

“Don’t joke! I won’t admit defeat like this. Definitely……….!”

Imari was enraged.

“Most of all, there is no way I can raise the white flag knowing that I was taken against easily!!”

“Imari……………”

When I called over to her, Imari slackened her expression with a *fuu* and made a smile.

“If you want me to admit defeat, then you have to fight properly, Tooru. That is what manners are.”

I was convinced after I saw that smiling face, and those eyes filled with strong determination.

Just like she claimed, she would never admit defeat of her own volition.

I am really an idiot.

There was no way I could break the heart of an opponent that had such a strong determination and smile.

---Then what should I do?

That was obvious.

There was only one skill that could respond to Imari’s Template:Furigana.

“Sorry about that.”

I gave an apology and let go of Imari’s hands before taking a few steps back to create some distance.

It was not needed to use it, judging by the difference in ability.

But Imari wished for me to go all-out.

And I have to respond to that wish.

That was why I shouted-------the <<word that carried strength>>.

“《Blaze》!!”

<<Flame>> was flowing out from my chest-----

At the same time I grabbed it, it entangled on my arm and flashed.

“That is Tooru’s………..”

I was being called the <<Irregular>> and this 《Blaze》 was the only defensive type in this world------Imari saw the <<Shield>> and could not hide her surprise.

“Just as what you can see. So, sorry, but I am going to use----this guy to win.”

I clenched my fist strongly to show it to Imari.

I pulled that fist back as if to shoot a bow and-----took a stance.

“Come at me at full strength! I will stop Imari’s 《Blaze》 attack-----and win!”

“Looks like you are getting serious now……But! No matter how absolute the difference is, I will not give up!!”

Imari shouted and took her stance.

It looks like she was planning to challenge me to a final match with that high-offensive power thrust technique which looked very hard to dodge.

“This is regretful………… I really wanted to talk more with Tooru. But there is no time for that, as a swordsman I will use this <<Sword>> to------!”

“Tell that to this----<<Shield>>!!”

Responding to my words, Imari made a loud powerful shout.

“SEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!”

Piercing through the air, that tip of the sword approached me.

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!”

I roared and after an instant.

GaKiiiiiiin………..! The <<Shield>> stopped the blade and the <<Blade>> bounced out from Imari’s hands because she was unable to withstand the collision impact.

“That----------was a good attack.”

“Saying that won't make it cool since I was blocked but---------thank you for now.”

Imari made a small smile, and I------

“It’s the end.”

I relaxed my fist.

Just like shooting an arrow, I released the accumulated power.

And just as I claimed-------it became the match’s last attack.



“Are you okay, Imari? It didn’t hit, so I think you won’t get wounded, though……..”

I approached Imari who was still down, and knelt down.

“U,un. I think I’m not hurt…………But, what was that just now……………?”

“It’s an impact wave.”

It’s a technique that can easily break one or two bones if it hit but, the power was not that simple anymore now that I gained the <<Lucifer>>.

That’s why by stopping immediately it would end with-------a wind pressure that was originally only strong enough to stagger someone, but, I would have never thought that its power increased into something that could send someone flying.

But even so she did not get hurt, so I made a relieved sigh.

“Seriously, you have something that amazing…………… Haaa, It’s my complete loss………..”

“I’m sorry…………”

I extended my hand and helped Imari to stand up.

“It’s okay. Even If I can’t become an <<Exceed>>, it’s not like all the paths have been closed off. I just have to find another path. ……………So stop making that face.”

Imari *pan* hit my butt to tell me to put in some spirit.

“Congratulations for enrolling, Tooru.”

“……………Thank you, Imari.”

Although I felt sorry, I made a smile, and Imari did the same but, at that moment--------

*Chirin*.

Inside the auditorium filled with loud noises, the clear sound of bells grazed my ears.

When I looked over to that sound, over there was------

“Ah………………”

That silver girl was standing there.

She was looking towards us------no, towards me.

Her Template:Furigana filled with a certain amount of strong determination were clearly looking at me.

But, that only occurred for an instant.

A guy came from behind and attacked his exam opponent-----the silver girl.

“----------Uh!”

The moment he swung his sword, the guy was convinced of his victory.

---But, that attack cut the air.

That’s because the silver girl that was supposed to be there was not there anymore.

“Wha!? Di-disappeared………?”

It was not strange for the guy to open his eyes wide dumbfounded.

In an instant, the silver girl danced up to the sky.

Primarily, humans were weak at moving their eyes up and down.

She jumped up the moment the attack was about to reach her sights and it was done at very close-distance. If I was in his place then I might have lost her-------that was how fast she was.

“Pretty…………”

Gazing at the silver girl in midair, Imari muttered.

The silver girl, holding those black bladed swords----<<Double>> in each hand looked like she had jet black wings and our hearts were taken away by that scene.

After a while of feeling that time was slowing down-----

The Angel holding those dark colored wings, crossed her swords together before landing to the ground.

*Chirin*, we regained our composure when he heard that sound while looking over the matter.

“She’s amazing……….”

“Aah………….”

The way she carried her body and the sword handling was not something learned in one day, but rather those movements were clearly gained from continuous training.

(Who on earth is that girl…………..)

“Seriously, whether it’s Tooru or that girl, only incredible people gather here. Sheesh……………”

Imari made a wry smile while looking at me.

“Well then, regrets will start to pop out if I stay here like this, so it’s about time I go.”

There was nothing I could do about the pain in my chest when I heard that.

“Let’s work hard together, Tooru. It’s a promise.”

“Aah, I promise.”

Imari nodded to my reply satisfied and was about to leave the auditorium but------she looked back.

“Ah, I have one more last thing I want to ask. Just now you said it didn’t hit right? Which means that it could have hit if you wanted it to, but since that did not happen then this would mean that you were holding back?”

“Uh. Tha-that is……….”

Imari puffed up her cheeks a little.

“I’m ashamed……”

“Well it’s okay. I’ll just make it a debt.”

“Debt?”

“Yes, one debt. That’s why, if there comes a time where we meet again after this-------then let’s see, I’ll have you treat me to a cake.”

“Aah, I get it. ………………Things got annoying for holding back badly.”

“Fufu, you get what you deserve ♪”

I made a nod while making a wry smile at Imari’s lively words while she winked.

“Well then,------Bye-bye, Tooru.”

Imari's words were filled with various feelings and she left the auditorium.

(I will become stronger………….)

While looking at her back, I made a vow again.

However, that was not all.

That vow was something I made when I determined my goals.

<<Power>> is needed in order to achieve my goal.

Seeking <<Power>> is my path, and that is my only choice.

(I just have to find another path, huh………)

Imari said that.

But, those are words only the living can say.

I remembered that day.

That day that made me start to seek for <<Power>>.

Finding another path------

It is impossible for the dead.

There was no other path. I couldn’t afford to find a new path.

“Otoha………”

I muttered my sister’s name.

The name of my deceased sister that I failed to protect.

“Why did you have to die…………”

I want to know why my young sister had to be relieved of her life.

Yes, I am living for someone dead.

Part 2Edit

The silver girl opened her eyes wide when she saw the moment of how a battle of a certain group concluded.

Even though it didn’t hit, she knew that fist strike had tremendous power.

The moment she was learning about that impact technique, her exam opponent who only has physical strength in his mind, came from behind and attacked.

But, that also ended immediately.

She easily avoided her opponent's attack and won easily, and the silver girl looked towards that group-------Tooru’s group again as they were talking there together peacefully.

That kind of group in this auditorium--------didn’t look like opponents who had been fighting just a while ago, but rather they looked like close friends---------since everyone other than Tooru and Imari has left already, the girl was interested in him and that technique just now.

“Well then------Bye-bye, Tooru.”

Soon, after both of them smiled and exchanged their farewells, Imari left the auditorium.

Left there, Tooru brought down his sights to his fist that ended the match, and was thinking of something.

Staring at that back, the silver girl slightly raised her eyebrows and muttered.


“Tooru…….”


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Chapter 2: I am interested in youEdit

Part 1Edit

Kouryou Academy------

In the northern part of Tokyo bay, there exists a reclaimed land that can only be accessed through a hanging monorail.

There are giant walls surrounding it with only one gate matching that size and a giant clock tower which could be seen soaring high to the sky from outside in the center of the vicinity.

The school building and the school dormitory inside was structured into an unfamiliar western style, and it felt a little strange to call it a school. Naturally, the interior design was similar; Me and Tora were heading towards the classroom through the western corridor together and------

“Guh………!”

“What’s wrong?”

I leaked a small groan from the creak of my body; Tora did not let that get past him and looked towards me in doubt.

“I forced myself a little just now.”

The cause was the skill I used on Imari.

That was originally a skill that used muscles, but the reckless use of it with my middle-build body places quite a burden on my body even though it was just one shot. This skill was a double edged sword; on the one hand it holds absolute destructive power, but on the other hand I wouldn't be able to move normally if I used it twice. When I explained this to him...

“I see. So that means you're a novice huh?”

I’m astonished……..

“Don’t you have a kinder way to say it…………”

“None.”

It was an immediate reply.

“Fuun. There is one question I want to ask regarding that technique; why didn’t you ever use that when you were training with me? …………Haa! Don’t tell me you were holding back when I was the opponent!?”

Tora pressed me with questions and I swung my head in panic.

“Don’t just scold me from your misunderstanding. That was something I learned just recently--------which means, it is something I acquired after I couldn’t meet Tora anymore.”

“………I see. It’s true you are not a stingy fool. …………Although you are an idiot.”

Tora made a smile but, that last part was none of his business.

(Well, I’ll just agree for the time being………….)

“Forget about that, it’s been a long time, Tora. I didn’t think I would meet you in a place like this.”

“Fuun, that’s my line.”

The nature regarding <<Lucifer>>----the chance of being an <<Adapt>> was one in over a thousand people, I heard that during the inspection before enrolling to the school.

That is why, I didn’t think I would meet him in Template:Furigana.

However just like I thought in the auditorium, it was somewhat reassuring to know there was someone I knew here.

“Tooru. Just now during the entrance examination---------”

“Oh, it looks like that’s the classroom.”

We finished walking through the long corridor, and reached the first year’s classroom.

“Oh, sorry. What were you trying to tell----”

“You over there?”

“Hn?”

Someone interrupted when I asked what Tora said.

When I looked over, there was a beautiful long haired girl staring straight at me.

(This girl………where have I--------)


In addition to her beautiful and yet cute face, she has an excellent style and felt like an adult although she was the same age as me. However, the characteristic part of her, was her atmosphere. Her figure was surrounded by a dignified air, and it emphasized her own existence.

“------------Uh! If I’m correct, you were sitting behind us during the entrance ceremony……………”

Yes, the girl that was talking to me right now was the girl that warned us to keep quiet in the middle of the entrance ceremony.

“Is there anything?”

When I asked her, the girl made a slightly complicated expression.

“………………No one would have thought there was such a traditional ceremony here. That’s why you should not feel down, and have the intention to head straight forward in this academy. I think that is the only way to look straight at her when the time comes.”

“Errr huh…………….?”

“Well then, I will excuse myself.”

Even though I haven’t understood the meaning of those words yet, she turned back and entered the classroom.

“What was that about…………….?”

“…………Tooru. Your examination opponent-------- if I am correct, she was called Imari. She was saying, if you regret defeating her then work hard for her sake.”

“I see, so that’s what she meant……………….”

Maybe because she was sitting behind us, she probably looked at me and Imari talking together in a friendly manner.

That’s why, she probably took consideration in me, wondering if I was depressed.

“It’s okay, it’s because I already promised Imari. Thanks for the consideration, Tora.”

“Why are you telling me that for? Tell that to that girl.”

“That’s true. ----------By the way Tora, what was it that you wanted to tell me just now?”

“………………I don’t know. Anyways let’s go in. ……………..almost everything I wanted to say has already been said, how can I say that now, you idiot?

“A,aah………….”

I followed after Tora who suddenly turned moody for some reason, and entered the classroom.



When I entered, the desks lined up in the room were not those personal use tables used in elementary and middle school tables, but instead they were ones with a wide width and were meant for 2 people to use.

We picked random empty seats nearby the entrance----------I thought sitting at the side was strange so, I decided to just sit at the back and wait for the Template:Furigana to start.

All the new students had not assembled in the room yet----------it seemed a portion of the students were injured physically during the entrance exam and were in the middle of medical treatment------so, there was still time before things started.

The others did the same thing as us and sat somewhere random, there were some girls talking with others sitting nearby or guys who were sleeping already, everyone was doing everything as they pleased and were waiting for the HR to start.

But, because of a certain person showing up in the classroom, a commotion occurred and------

Next, everyone lost their words.

“What is it?”

Towards the same situation similar to the one during just before the entrance ceremony starting, we looked towards the person standing at the entrance------

“That girl………..”

We immediately understood.

The person that got the class's attention was that silver girl.

“Do you know her?”

“No, it’s not like we know each other but……….”

Now that I think about it, Tora was sleeping when the girl showed herself in the auditorium.

“I saw her movements during the entrance exam, the way she carried her body and her swordsmanship was quite something I think.”

“Hou………. That’s one interesting girl.”

He made a fearless smile and looked like he was going to challenge her to match.

(This guy is still the same hot-blooded fellow………….)

After thinking that, I once again set my eyes back on the silver girl.

Same like what she did at the auditorium, she did not care about the onlookers from her surroundings and was slowly looking around the classroom before--------those ruby eyes stopped at a certain spot.

On me.

(Eh…………..?)

Our eyes met.

(It’s just a coincidence right………..?)

And, the moment I thought that, the silver girl slightly moved her eyebrows-----

“Tooru.”

………No, she said it. That was my name. There was no mistake that is my name.

(Why does she know my name………….?)

That was the first question floating in my mind.

Naturally, I had no memories of knowing any foreigners.

(…………Wait a sec? I think she was looking at us in the middle of the entrance exam…………)

It’s not like I talked to her before, so I completely had no idea why she knew my name.

The silver girl was staring at me and started walking right when I was had many question marks popping in my head.

  • Chirint* together with the sound of the bells, her silver hair was swaying near her hips while being expressionless.

It was the exact reappearance of the auditorium------The only difference was the last part.

“………………”

The silver girl got right besides me and stared at me for a while before--------making a nod with her head and sat on the chair.

On the chair beside me.

Even though there were many empty seats, she purposely chose the one beside me.

What’s more---------

*peek*………..*peek*

She was looking at me with the side peeks for some reason. She probably planned to secretly look at me but, it was completely obvious.

“………………Hey, do you know her?”

“That is my line!!”

“Sorry, this situation was confusing…………..”

One day, a foreigner I have never met or seen before (and naturally even her name is unknown to me) suddenly starts calling my name, sits on the seat beside me, and in addition she is conscious of me by looking at me with side peeks----------I suddenly fell into such a situation and if there is someone that wouldn't get confused of this situation then I want someone to tell me about that person.

Nonetheless, it feels uncomfortable being peeked at like that while unable to comprehend the situation.

“………He,hey, can I have a moment?”

“--------Uh!”

*Chirin*. The moment I made up my mind and talked to her, the silver girl turned away in tremendous speed.

“……………”

It turned to silence just like that. It seems she is planning to pretend she didn’t hear my call.

(There is no choice. I’ll just find a good timing to talk to her later………)

I made a small sigh, and amused myself talking with Tora about some boring stuffs.

Most of the commotion in the classroom also returned back to normal when they saw us------

“……………”

*peek*………..*peek*

After a while, she was looking at me again.

(Seriously what is going on…………..)

While I was getting uncomfortable because of that, the students that had their wounds treated were entering the class one after another.

Soon, after almost all the new students had assembled------

“Hello Hello♪ Good work on the examination--☆ and congratulations on your enrollment to this school--!”

Suddenly, the sound of loud *Kara**Kara laughter appeared and a girl came into the classroom from the opened window.

The room suddenly went silent and the girl stood at the teacher's platform before striking a pose.

“Nice to meet you, I am Tsukimi Rito----♥ I am everyone’s homeroom teacher, so please treat me well for one year--! Cutting the formalities, just call me Usa-sensei okay--☆”

Everyone in the class had no response. Rather, I should say we had no idea how to respond.

“…….Aryaryan, what’s wrong?”

The self-proclaimed homeroom teacher looked around the classroom with a puzzled expression.

She drew a different kind of attention compared to the silver girl and she was too young to think that she was a teacher-------yes, most of us would agree if we were told that she was from our age generation and we would believe her to be our classmate if she wore the school uniform.

Most importantly, her outfit was the most unbelievable part after calling herself a teacher. No matter how I looked at it, she was wearing a maid uniform and with the addition of a rabbit ear hair band.

“Ha!? Are you all maybe fascinated by my cuteness? Iyaaa----, I thought I got used to these things quite well but, if all the new students are affected by it then I would be happy, awkward, and embarrassed as expected♪”

The self-proclaimed homeroom teacher placed her hands on her cheeks and was swinging her head in embarrassment but---------

“No, we were just taken aback…………”

“Oh I see, you all were just taken aback--------Wait, eeeeeehhhh!! You all weren’t fascinated!?”

She heard my mutter and raised a shocked voice.

“No matter how and where you see it, I don’t think you will be that conveniently received though…………”

“It’s because everyone was staring at me quietly♪”

(Is it really okay for this person to be our homeroom teacher……)

There was no mistake, everyone in the class was thinking that at this moment.

“Tsukimi-sensei, please don’t make the new students uneasy.”

The one who spoke out our feelings was a male in his mid-twenties who walked into the classroom normally from the door-----it was a male named Mikuni, who played the role of the facilitator during the entrance ceremony. Looking at his tall height and well-ordered facial features, [Hou………] there were sighs leaking out (luckily the males aren't like that) from left and right.

“Aaree--? Mikuni-sensei, why are you here?”

“I am the supervisor for the new students' teacher. If you are going to play a fool then I’ll have you take another side.”

“It's okaaay. I plan to ride on a boat so leave it to me♪”

“You’ll sink.”

“Well then, let’s reform ourselves and head to self-introduction shall we--☆”

“……………………”

Tsukimi-sensei completely ignored Mikuni-sensei’s come-back, and started talking.

“With that said, hello hello I am Tsukimi Rito-chan. I am a young lady that has just graduated from this Kouryou academy this spring; I think I am very inexperienced but, I plan to do my very best so nice to meet you all♪”

(18 years old huh. No wonder she looks young-------wait, how about her teacher qualifications……………..)

I thought that but, asking for common sense in a school devoid from common sense itself was useless.

"Tsukimi-sensei has excellent grades amongst last year's graduates so she has been specially selected to be a teacher this year. Leaving that character aside, there are no shortcoming in her abilities and skills so be rest assured."

We heard the following from Mikuni-sensei, and there were sighs of relief leaking out from everywhere.

“So“Somehow there was some very hurtful things in there but, everyone don’t mind that and lets progress efficiently okay----…………..Although I said that since today is still the first day, it will be just a quick explanation of this year’s schedule and the self-introduction☆”

“Before that, first off a warning regarding the 《Blaze》.”

“Ah, oh yeah oh yeah♪ Errrr you all must not manifest your 《Blaze》 without permission from the academy okay? I’ll be very angry if you bring it out as you like. That’s all--☆ Well then, let’s begin the self-introductory---♪”


Thanks to Mikuni-sensei, we were safely advancing inside the first day of HR-------

Although there was another problem.

Rather than calling it a problem, I should be calling it curiosity.

That is the--------silver girl.

The girl sitting beside was sending her mysterious gaze to me as usual and this turned into a problem for me.

*Stare*-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

If looks could kill people then I would have been easily killed about 100 times by now.

The students around me were in the middle of concentrating on the teacher's platform while she was the only one looking at me. She was staring quietly at me. Continuously looking.

She most likely thought she has not been noticed yet but, a gaze was something that could be found out by the latter beyond the thoughts of the user.

At any rate, I have no idea why she was this conscious of me.

(Has she mistaken me with someone else……….?)

“------u.”

(But how about the name? Why does she know my name?)

“----------ming you.”

(I don’t get it!)

“You, the one dreaming on the third row from the front! Hey you, from behind the midget boy!”

“Who’s the midget!!”

“Hn?”

Thanks to Tora’s shout, I noticed myself being called.

When I looked over at the teacher's platform, Tsukimi-sensei bulged her cheeks and looked at me.

“HnMou----, you finally noticed? It’s your turn.”

“My what?”

“Your self-introduction.”

“Ah……………”

I could hear giggles coming from here and there in the classroom.

I felt my cheeks getting hotter when I heard that before standing up.

“Kokonoe Tooru, nice to meet you.”

“…………….Kokonoe? Aah, you are that rumored boy!”

“Rumored?”

“There is a rumor in the staffroom. That there is an <<Irregular>> this year in the first year☆”

<<Irregular>>--------even though it was an unknown word to me, I could at least understand that it was something special.

The class started having a commotion, and I became the center of attention again.

Inside the unsettled commotion, it was now the turn of another person for attention this time.

“Well then, next. The silver hair-chan besides you stands out a lot.”

“………Template:Furigana

The silver girl nodded and started her self-introduction.

“Julie=Sigtuna. Everyone, nice to meet you.”

Once again, the classroom was wrapped in commotion. ………However, the implication was different from mine.

Naturally, my treatment was close to a rare animal. As for the silver girl-----------in Julie’s case, unlike her foreigner girl appearance, the fluent Japanese coming from her mouth was shocking.

However, Julie as usual didn’t care about the response from her surroundings and sat down.

And once again she side peeked and was looking over here---------

“--------Uh!”

Our eyes met----------and the moment I thought that, she looked away.

But after some time passed, she started peeking at me using side-wise glances again………….



Soon the student handbook, student cards and dormitory guidebooks were distributed when the self-introductions ended.

“Is it all distributed to the students huh huh? Each individual please read through the school and dorm regulations when you have time later and, if you don’t then I’ll scold you okay♪ Also, the student card is used as a credit card so please be careful not to lose it—"

“Hee, so that’s how you buy stuff…………”

It would seem this was the living expenses.

The credit limit for each month was 10000 yen, and a number of people got excited after hearing that.

“Okay, okay. I understand your feelings but keep quiet---. For the last part, I will explain about the special system of this school and the dormitory room separation before I end today's talk, if you all want to make noise, do it then. First off, I want to talk about the special system though, it’s very important so listen to it properly---♪”

*Pan**Pan* Tsukimi-sensei clapped her hands together, and started talking about the so called special system.

“Our school exists a partner system called <<Duo>>. You all should understand from the word partner though, two people will form one group and receive lessons.”

(…………<<Duo>>? Just recently, I think I heard the same word from somewhere…………)

And in the middle of tracing back my memories, a question [Why is that?] came out from another student, and my train of thoughts stopped when Tsukimi-sensei started answering.

“When you graduate from here, you all know about the talk that you will be attached to the Template:Furigana peace preservation team right. You all will execute the missions normally in Template:Furigana or maybe in a team with more numbers than that.”

“……………Even though it will probably be impossible if we are told to be active in a team immediately after graduation, so 'get used to it in our school', is that what you are implying?”

“That is exactly right. You sure get it Tachibana-san♪”

That girl that talked to me right before I entered the class replied Tsukimi-sensei with a dignified voice.

“Now then now then, it’s regarding about the <<Duo>> but, just like I said just now, both of you will be doing a lot of different types of lessons. So, regarding about that relation, I am sorry about the hurry but you will choose your official partner by the end of this weekend, so from tomorrow onwards good luck finding your partner to attend the classes. Fiiiiiight----☆………..ah, by any chance if you can’t decide then we will pick one for you so it’s okay to rest assured okay---♪”

(Partner system------<<Duo>> huh………. I’ll just team up with Tora.)

“…………So, the real part starts here---. Actually, after the <<Duo>> is teamed up in this school, there is a rule where they will have to know each other deeply and pass time together as much as possible to strengthen their bonds together. Well----what I want to say is…………you will be made to share rooms in the dorm♪”

It’s true, that trust will probably be deepened if they are together for a long time.

Even though there is enough chance personality disagreements will appear, for this school that is devoid of common sense this still made sense.

(Hn, wait a sec………….?)

I had a question floating out towards that explanation.

“Err, I have a question.”

“Yes yes, the <<Irregular>> Kokonoe-kun, what is it?”

……………I wished you would stop calling me that way.

“You said the <<Duo>> will be decided by this weekend but-”

“Fufu, nice question. Sensei is happy you noticed that~♥ Should I give you a nice pat in the head?”

“I refuse.”

“Puu~ that’s regretful. ……………..well then well then, pulling myself together and including the answer for Kokonoe-kun’s question, I will start talking about the room separation for the dormitory~♪”

*Chills*. The instant Tsukimi-sensei showed a smiling face, a chill ran up my spine.

It’s a premonition of something getting problematic.

Is that premonition by any chance-------true?

Tsukimi-sensei pointed her fingers to us, and put something worthless in her mouth.

“Until the weekend, we will have you all live with the current person sitting next to you--♪”

“………Hah?”

“Which means, together with the temporary <<Duo>>. This is the school rule, so denial is useless, and no no's are not permitted okay☆ Neee, Mikuni-sensei♪”

Mikuni-sensei silently nodded and made a sigh to Tsukimi-sensei who was making an “x-sign” with her fingers in front of her chest.

“Tha,that means……..”

“Good for you, Kokonoe-kun♪”

Tsukimi-sensei made a good job sign to me.

At first I didn’t understand her words but, I also guessed it by that one sentence.

Until this weekend, living together with the classmate sitting beside you would mean--------

“Yes♪ Your roommate is that silver haired beauty Julie-chan. Male 37, female 15, that is about the number of new students but, you are the only one living together with another girl. Kyaaa--- Lucky♥ ……………ah, yeah yeah. You will be kicked out of school if you have an illicit sexual relationship so be careful. Putting it in easier words, if you do something that is hesitated to say in the Template:Furigana, and a 3rd roommate is made--------”

“Like hell I’ll do thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!”

Forgetting my respect to my superior, I shouted and stood up-----

Immediately right after, the classmates made an uproar after they got hold of themselves from my shout.

[Are you serious!?] [With that girl huh, that’s nice…………..] [Kyaa---, its living together, living together.]

“Wa,wait a second! No matter if it is the school rule, thinking in common sense isn’t this bad in a lot of ways!”

Inside the uproar filled with words they want to say as they like, I panicked and protested but---------

“…………………..do you think a school having an entrance exam during the school enrollment ceremony, and what’s more conducted a real fight is normal?”

“……………………….”

The reply that came back, made my view in front dizzy.

I placed both my hands on the table, and looked over to my roommate until the weekend------and my eyes met with her ruby eyes again.

But this time she didn’t avert her eyes away----------

She looked towards me and lowered her head a little.

“Nice to meet you.”

“Ni,nice to meet you…………”

This was, the start of the cohabitation with me and the Template:Furigana.



(Someone save me…………………)

The reason why I wished that was simple and clear, it’s because this was a complicated and yet inescapable problem.

Few hours passed from the uproar in the classroom.

After we were told about the dorm rules (Curfew and time for eating), we moved to the dormitory in the area and, was led straight to the cafeteria to quickly finish our dinner; right after that------

Inside the room assigned, I was------standing there and staring with the silver girl, Julie.

Silently.

(Please. Someone save me…………….)

Even though I wished once more, a hero who will break this situation wouldn’t appear.

Would Tora who was assigned to the room next door, unexpectedly come here to play I wonder.

……………however even when I made such a light hope, it dispersed after hearing the slight shouting coming from the other side of the thick wall.

(Looks like he is not getting along with his roommate)

However right now, I have a problematic situation I raised myself instead of the room next door.

*Stare*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

(This is a problem………………..)

No progress will be made if I kept silent even though I was thinking what to do, I then made a sigh and looked at Julie.

(Now that I take a good look at her, she does look like a bisque doll.)

Having a delicate body structure, well-featured face, transparent Template:Furigana, ruby eyes, and the most characteristic part I have to say about her was her Template:Furigana………….

All of it was harmonized together, and it was suitable to be called beautiful.

The word beautiful girl is probably meant to be used for this.

But, that was not all.

A black wing angel--------

Judging by the way how she uses those two small swords and how she magnificently she carries her body, she was not a normal girl.

(Where did she get such a skill----------wait, now is not the time to think about that)

First off I have to do something about this silence but………..

If I were to make a self-analysis, I think my communication skills are quite okay thanks to living in a house with a large number of people coming and going. I had quite some male friends in my elementary and middle school time.

But expected to the girl I just met today.......what’s more a foreigner, adding on I will be sleeping in the same room (important) together with her under the same roof until the weekend (currently Monday), on top of me being unable to read her thoughts (this is more important) because she was expressionless, I was in front of someone who one-sidedly knows about me, and I have no idea what I should be talking with her.

(Otoha was the only one I have a talking experience with a girl my age………………….)

………….I feel that a sister won’t be a reference in the first place.

(Let’s play it safe.........)

“Err, hey………..we are going to be living in the same room until the weekend so, why don’t we sit down for now?”

Template:Furigana

After she nodded to my proposal, the silver girl interpose the low table and made a proper seiza.[1b 1]

(Ooh, she is well mannered…………however, I think I heard foreigners are bad with seizas but, is that not the case?)

“-------?”

“Ah, sorry.”

Julie tilted her small head because I was standing up thinking even though I was the one who said to sit down.

I apologized and hurried to sit down straight on the other side of the table.

“This is quite a nice room.”

The room dormitory was unexpectedly wide, and beautiful. There was a carpet on the center of the floor; it was equipped with a television and kitchen, and maybe because it was meant for 2 people since there was two same types of clothing cases, and a two stories bed was installed.

Oh yeah.

“Errr………..lets introduce ourselves again.”

“Ja—“

“Well then, starting from me who proposed this. I am------”

“Tooru.”

“A,aah…………..”

Before I could name myself, my name was said before me.

I was a little curious about why the accent was a little different but, since she is a foreigner so that can’t be helped.

“Rather than Kokonoe or Tooru, just call me in any way easy for you.”[1b 2]

“I understand. Then I will call you Tooru.”

“You are Julie, is that okay?”

“Ja---.Julie=Sigtuna. Please call me Julie.”

“I, I understand………..”

Same like in the classroom, I was bewildered when she replied back in fluent Japanese.

(It’s better than unable to communicate……….)

“Please take care of me until the weekend, Julie.”

“Ja---”

Self-introduction time over.

“[………………..]”

And once again silence arrived.

(Uh wait, isn’t it bad to end it here!)

“Le,lets talk about each other more okay?”

“Ja---”

“Errr, I am born from Kanagawa prefecture in Fujisawa city. …………wait, do you know where is Fujisawa?”

“Nai, and I don’t know about Kanagawa………….”

Julie swings her head a little troubled.

Because she was able to talk in fluent Japanese, I thought she might be brought up in Japan but, the probability of it being wrong is high since she doesn’t know where Kanagawa is.

“Err, Fujisawa is a city in the southeast coastland from here………….that’s too vague huh. Where is Julie from?”

“It’s a country called Gimle in the northern Europe.”

“An overseas student like I guessed……. But even so, your Japanese is good.”

“Thank you very much. I was properly taught by mama.”

“From your mother………?”

Was she working in a Japanese company or something?

……………..she might unexpectedly be a Japan lover--------of things like ninja or anime--------there is that possibility.

In a more unexpected case, she might be a half.

She doesn’t look like she has Orient blood mixed but, actually could her name Julie written in kanji be Julie or Julie or Julie or Julie[1b 3]--------

“Mama interpreted it from her job.”

It was a normal answer…………….

“And in the school at that side, there was Japanese in the selection of subjects.”

“Hee, then you have been deciding to study abroad in Japan since middle school?”

“Ja--.I found out about this academy, and decided it.”

“I see…………”

Why would you come to this Battle training school-----------was what I wanted to ask but, I might be stepping too far in at the beginning so I restrained myself.

“I see. For an instant, I thought you would be a half.”

“-------?”

“Since Japanese people also have the name Julie, I thought that might be the case.”

“I see. But speaking of names, the name Tooru is also in Gimle.”

“Is that so?”

“Ja---. It is a name named after the strongest thunder god that appears inside the legends told in Northern Europe.”

“Thunder god Thor………”

The reason why the accent was different was because; she confused mine with the name of that god.

However------

(Strong, huh…………..it would be nice if that is the case though………)

Hearing that keyword I remembered that word, and unintentionally clenched my fist.

“Tooru?”

“Ah………! Errr no, it’s great Julie can speak Japanese. Since I can only speak in Japanese.”

“Did you not learn foreign languages in Template:Furigana?”

“Uh………….! Eng-English was required though……….”

There are many people that can’t have a conversation even if they were taught.

And I am in one of those large majorities.

“I’m sorry.”

“…………………….”

She guessed it and apologized, somehow I feel a little miserable……….

“N-no, but I am seriously thankful that my words can get through. If Julie couldn’t speak Japanese then, we’ll be having trouble trying to understand each other by now, I seriously think it’s great.”

“Ja--. You’re welcome.”

Julie nodded.

(Any other topics……….wait, oh yeah!)

“By the way, I saw Julie’s fight during the entrance examination but, the way you bring your body and sword handling is amazing. Did you attend a dojo in Gimle?”

“…………………Nai. That is my own style.”

“Self-taught and that movement………….. That’s amazing…….”

The moment I felt surprise about the hidden sword talent inside her small body-------

I want to have a match with her sooner or later, that’s what I thought.

“Ah, Tooru. I want to change the topic but-------”

“Hn?”

“Is it okay if I take a shower first?”

“Eh? A,aah. I don’t mind.”

“Thank you very much. I still want to talk but, I feel really sleepy from just now because of the time difference………..I am sorry but, after I wash my sweat off it’s about time I am going to rest for today.”

“Time difference looks tough. And what’s more there was that Template:Furigana today. Just take a nice rest after you freshen up.”

And even when I said that, Julie was wobbling her head left and right.

“Nai. It’s not because of the entrance examination, it’s just hot.”

“Eh? Its true today was warm but, it isn’t that hot……….”

The season just recently turned to spring, and it was still cold now that it turned to night time.

Even though the dormitory was warm thanks to the heat equipment, it was still far away to be called hot.

“This heat is the same as summer in my country.”

“I-is that so……. Then, should I leave the air-conditioner off?”

“That will be helpful.”

(If she says the season right now is hot, then what will happen if it turns mid-summer…..?)

Staring at her small back while she was preparing her clothes, that question popped up in me.

“Ah, oh yeah. To avoid a strange trouble, can you do your changing in the dressing room?”

Due to us living together with the opposite sex, I made a plan to block the first point that is most likely to be the first problem.

“Ja--. I understand. Then I’ll be using the shower first.”

Julie took a bow after agreeing to my plan, and entered the dressing room.

The remaining me, was remembering the conversation we had just now that was bothering me.

It was thinking about her in the classroom--------no, since that time I saw Julie in the entrance ceremony.

(She doesn’t smile………)

There was not a lot of it but, she has shown other expressions other than that.

Thanks to that, it was hard to read her emotions and I could not cancel the image of Julie being an exquisite doll.

In reality I knew that was not true judging by her initiative to start a conversation stead of just replying to my questions.

That is why, I thought of it.

That, she will look cuter if she smiles.

“Well then…………I’ll just sort out my luggage I guess.”

Muttering to myself, I decided to start sorting out my luggage that was sent to the dormitory beforehand.

(This luggage would have been sent back if I failed in the entrance exam)

“------Entrance exam, huh…………”

I remembered the girl I defeated and muttered.

(If I meet her someday, then I’ll have to protect my promise……………….)

“Ah…………..”

When I was remembering the things in the entrance exam, I remembered something now of all times.

(Snap. If I brought up the entrance examination talk, I could have asked her why she was staring at me. And things like, how does she knows my name or, the things I was bothered about in the classroom…………..)

I was probably that nervous to forget all that, and didn’t realize it.

(I’ll ask Julie after she finishes her shower.)

Shower.

From that word, I imagined.

…………The scene Julie cleaning herself in the shower.

“-------Uh!!”

Even when I delete my imagination in a hurry, I start to feel conscious about the fact I was living together with a girl after so late.

And what’s more unluckily, the sound of the shower was slightly echoing through the wall and I imagined again whether I liked it or not--------

“Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!”

I quickly took the television remote with my hand.

Even though it is until the weekend, in a way I once again became self-aware about the start of troubling days………..



“Fuwaa…………”

When I was sorting out my luggage while turning on the television 20 minutes after that, Julie’s yawn could be heard from behind. Just like what came out from her mouth, she was sleepy because of the time-lag.

“Julie. I have a question but-------Bufuu!?”

But, when I wanted to clear up the question before sleeping--------I turned around and Julie’s sleepy eyes were there.

However that was not the reason why I spurt out.

Long and slender white legs, thighs, calf consequently entered my view.

Her thin pajamas was sticking to her skin after a bath and in just one glance I could see her delicate body line and chest bulge (it was quite moderate), on top of that, maybe because she was sleepy because the buttons that were messed up made a gap and thanks to that I don’t know where I should place my eyes.

“What is wrong?”

“N-no that’s…………..”

Despite being flustered I tried talking but, my eyes were attracted to her thighs and pajama’s border for some reason.

“-------?”

“The-there is a question I want to ask………….!”

Towards Julie who was looking at me wondering, I used a little strengthened tone to trick myself-----no, I decided to ask her about the things that were bothering me.

“Julie,--------do you know me? You were facing your sights towards us during the middle of the exam and you said my name when you entered the classroom…………………and you were a little curious after that right?”

“………………..”

Her expression did not change. But the moment I questioned her, I felt the atmosphere slightly changed.

“…………………I heard your name during the examination.”

It means she heard me and Imari’s conversation.

“But, why me…………..?”

“…………….. I-----------”

A slight silence slipped in and she showed a little confused state before------Julie opened her mouth.

“I am interested in you.”

“Eh……..!?”

When I looked at Julie in shock, those ruby eyes looked straight at me.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 3.jpg

“Tooru. I am very interested in you.”

Julie put a very devastating sentence in her mouth and slowly came closer.

As for me, I backed away and immediately hit the wall.

And the distance between became so small that if I were to stretch out my hand I can touch-----------no, Julie’s breathe was hitting my chest.

“That is why------please teach me………”

“Ju,Julie…………?”

Due to her just coming out from the bath, her snow white skin was weltered with blood.

To that color that feels warm from the blood passing through, it makes me feel she is human instead of a doll----------------and more importantly, it makes me conscious of her as a girl.

Is this perhaps--------

(Is this that love at first sight thing…………!?)

I think that it wasn't a smart thought but, as long as she said she was interested in me and daringly approaching me like this, there is no way I can not understand that meaning.

(Thi,this cute girl, to me!? Is this a dream!? No what is with this nice smell, shower? Uwah, close, her hair is thin, eh-eh-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? Wha, what should I doooooooooo!?)

The inside of my head was in complete panic. That current me was------

“Please, Tooru.”

*Zui* Julie closed in to my face.

Her wet oddly seductive Template:Furigana, and her captivating tinged red small lips made my heartbeat pound hard--------

When I thought the deep red eyes slightly narrowed, she took a pose as if to pull a bow-----------

“Heh?”

She placed the fist she pulled away, close to my stomach.

“Please teach me this.”

“Th-this is…………”

“It is the technique Tooru used in the exam. I was really interested in it so, if it is okay with Tooru, could you please teach me a lot regarding it………."

(So that is what she meant!!)

At the same time with me shouting my inner thoughts, I thank myself for not saying any misunderstanding words and taking weird actions before making a relieved sigh.

“Tooru?”

“Ah…......e,errr…….sorry, I can’t teach you that. That technique’s burden is not normal so if Julie’s small physique performs that, your body will only break. That’s why…………”

“………………That is a disappointment.”

She lowered her eyebrows, and turned disappointed from what I can see, and I felt more sorry.

“Very disappointing…………”

Julie who muttered that one more time------

“Ju,Julie!?”

She collapsed, and clings onto me.

“Uwaaah!?”

Even after I hurry and stop her clinging onto me, I was surprised by her slenderness; I felt surprised for the second time finding out it was slender yet soft, and last off I felt surprised for the third time at the nice smell coming from her after her bath.

“#$!@#%!#-------!?”

(Wha-wha-what happened, hugging me, nice smell, from the shock!? Eeeeeeeeeeh!?)

“Ju-Ju-Ju-Julie!? Wai, suddenly, no, this is-------wait, eh…………?”

“Kuh--------”

I noticed her peaceful sleep breathing and regained myself.

It looks like Julie reached her limits and fell asleep.

The reason why she narrowed her eyes was because she simply just wanted to sleep.

Staring at that face, I made a large sigh mixed with tiredness and relief in it.

(I’ll let her sleep on the bed for now…………..)

“She’s light…………”

Since nothing is going to happen as expected and I cannot bring myself to wake her up, I carried Julie and got surprised by how light she was.

It looks like I might break her small delicate body if I hold her tightly.

Silky hair, small lips, and slightly drifting scent------looking at her like this, she only looked like a bisque doll, but the body warmth transmitted to me makes me strongly conscious that she is a human.

And, at that moment.

“Hn……..?”

Julie slightly rolled her held body, and brought her body closer, she grabbed my shirt tightly as if she wanted to be spoiled.

…………..but, that was wrong. It’s not like she wanted to be spoiled.

“Papa………”

Together with her soft mumbling, a drop of tears appeared at the edge of her closed eyelids.

Looking at that drop, I noticed my insensitivity after so late.

(As expected she’s lonely…………)

I don’t know what reasons she study abroad for but, there is no way a young girl far from her familiar country, and coming to this far side of the east alone would not feel anxious.

I felt miserable not noticing such an obvious fact, because she was able to speak fluent Japanese and doesn’t show her emotions.

And now that I have found out her true feelings, I could not pretend that I didn’t see that. That’s why I-------I made a vow that I wanted to become Julie’s power to support her before scooping the drop of tear from her eyes.


The sky was spread out.

In that never ending sky, there was the scorching hot sun shining down.

But all of that lost its color and like an old movie, a monochrome was created.

This is a dream. Right now I am seeing a dream.

I have seen this many times, the damn memory I never want to remember.

(Stop it………….don‘t show me this again……..)

But, even when I wanted it to stop it didn’t.

It was the past, just like how many times that happened; I was walking towards the same dojo.

“---------------?”

Mid-way, I stopped my legs.

A stinky smell, a wind that stinks of rusted iron passed by.

Even when I turned to that stink, there was nothing there.

But-------

“----------uh!!”

Immediately a chill came, and I started running in the next moment as if I was repelled.

Running towards the dojo while shouting my sisters name---------and then I saw it.

The only color inside this grey world-------red.

Crimson flames were raging and were drowning the dojo I was familiar with.

Towards the sudden unrealistic scenery, I was standing still dumbfounded------

“Oto,ha……… Otohaa……….!!”

My sister passed by my mind, and the moment I gained back myself, I dashed into the flames.

The inside was something from hell.

Powders of flames were rising and the sound of flames bursting violently hurt my ears.

Thunderous roars sounded, and the burnt down wood blocked the single path.

But even so I headed to the deep, the flames licked my cheeks and the heat burns my lungs.

All 4 sides were dyed in red, and inside the place where it was hard to open my eyes, I called out to Otoha’s name several times-------

Soon I reached it.

In the blazing hell fire, the deepest part of that hell.

Over there----Otoha was there.

Together with that person.

Inside the sea of fire, Otoha was blankly sitting down hard and that person was holding a sword, facing backwards towards me.

The black shadows collapsed in the surroundings--------were once people called my seniors.

The blade drenched by red blood had its color further emphasized by the flames, and inside the nauseating stink of burnt meat and fat, I forgot about the situation and shouted.

“What………..Oi!! What happened!! What on earth is this!!”

“Onii,chan…………”

And then, that person slowly turned over.

That person’s eye at that time, I will never forget about it.

Deep, quiet, dark-------pure black eyes.

Facing that eye straight towards me, that person came closer to me.

“I am asking what happened!? Answer me!!”

“What…….? Oh let’s see-----”

In response to my question, that person replied.

And that word became my goal.

“They are dead, because they were weak.”

That person slowly raised the tip of the blade towards the heaven--------and the moment that was swung down at me.

“Onii-chan………!!”

The blade path, cut into Otoha.

A splash flew out.

Red, a red splash.

After an instant, I understood that meaning------------

I raised a shout painted with rage, resentment, and despair.


“---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------!!”


Almost in the same time with me opening my eyes from the shout I made from the ongoing dream-------

“Tooru!?”

“Eh…………..?”

When I looked over to the unfamiliar tone calling me, the ruby eyes were staring at me.

“Are you okay, Tooru?”

“Ah……..Juli,e…….”

(……………this is Kouryou’s dormitory………)

And I finally understood where I was.

At the same time, Julie was still staring at me with a perplexed state.

“Sorry to scare you, I was half-asleep. Perhaps I woke you up?”

“Nai. I was already awake so do not mind it…………I was a little surprised that’s all.”

“I see, then that’s good….…no well, actually I saw a dream of me being attacked by zombies. I was then cornered and when I let out a sharp shout then it came out in reality………….haha, it’s a nuisance huh?”

Although I thought I sucked at lying even for me, I kept on talking about stuff that I was never asked of.

But even so-----

(Again that dream…………)

Ever since that day, I have seen that nightmare many times--------but was undoubtedly something that has passed.

From that unforgettable and never must be forgotten memories, my back was wet from sweat.

“……………Tooru, what’s wrong?”

Maybe I was making a stiff expression; Julie was looking at me worried.

“No, nothing. ……………and, its morning already. I’ll take a fast shower so, let’s go eat something after that.”

It was a little too frank but, I turned my face away to trick her and headed towards the dressing room without hearing Julie’s reply.

I started taking a shower, and the flowing hot water washed off the cold sweat.

My body started getting warm and it gave me the actual feelings I am alive.

On that, I was the only one alive.

“Otoha……….”

That day, my companions in the dojo died.

My precious sister, Otoha covered for me and………..

“They are dead, because they were weak”

More than 1 year has passed from then, and I couldn’t understand those words.

That’s why; I continuously seek for <<Power>>.

In order to understand those words.

Part 2Edit

In Julie’s memories, the part where Tooru was answering regarding the technique was interrupted.

What she remembers was, a feeling of warmth wrapping around her in her half-asleep half-awake state.

With a pleasant feeling like riding on a moving cradle, it was something very nostalgic.

And that nostalgia was the old memories of her father.

It is about the time when she was young, and during the time when Julie stayed up late and ended up sleeping, her father would carry her and bring her to her bed.

(I have shown you something embarrassing……….)

As long as she has no memories of how she entered the bed last night, there was only one thing that comes to mind.

Her cheeks blushed because she was shy, and Julie once again remembered the warmth from last night-------

And so, she felt loneliness.


“Papa………..”



Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiza
  2. Julie calls him in katakana (トール) while his others call him in his kanji form (透流)
  3. Different forms of Julie's name in Kanji = Starting from the first--百合恵,由利枝,祐理絵,友里江

Template:SimpleNav


Chapter 3: Punch me!!Edit

Part 1Edit

The morning of the 2nd day after enrollment. We went to the cafeteria and--------rather than that, there were many sights gathered on Julie.

(That’s because she stands out……..)

There was attention gathered not only from the 1st years but also the 2nd and 3rd but, naturally Julie was calm and walking in the cafeteria not bothered by them.

I was walking right behind her like a servant but, [Silver hair…………] [Male female living together] a part of these whispering conversations from the surroundings entered my ears.

Inside them, there was one word mixed in that caught my attention.

“<<Irregular>>”

Which means, it looks like I am a topic material too.

(The combination of the foreign beauty and the so called <<Irregular>> would be a rumor whether I like it or not.)

Nonetheless, I can’t do anything even when I worry about it and as long as there are no problems I’ll just remain open.

“Julie. What are you choosing?”

“I’m thinking of having buffet.”

“I wonder what I should pick………”

It looks like there are 3 forms of choices In Kouryou Academy’s cafeteria, the meat main is in set A, fish main is in set B and the pick all you want buffet with 50 different types of Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines. The set meals were combinations of nutritional control thought of and made by the cafeteria’s Obaa-chan[1c 1] but, the free picking buffet looks popular and a big portion of the students were putting on foods of their choices on their plate.

(I’ll go with buffet then)

Julie was already holding a plate on her hands and was looking around at the cuisines; I did the same and started picking my food.

…………primarily meat.

First off I’ll pick 4 of my favorite fried chickens. Following with pork poured with sweet vinegar, stir-fried black pepper beef, and tomato beef-stock stew---------

“…………Why is your choice picking so bad in balance?”

Suddenly a given up voice came calling out to me from my side.

If I remember correctly, she was that girl that sat behind my seat during the entrance ceremony and she was staring at me with those eyes filled with strong determination--------not that, she was looking at the tray I was holding.

“If I am correct………..you are, Tachibana right?”

“That is correct. Good morning, Kokonoe.”

“Aah, good mor-------“

“By the way, I said this just now but, why is your combination so thoughtless of balance? From what I saw just now it was just, meat, meat, meat. Are you planning to eat meat only? No matter how free you are to pick in a buffet, there are limits to everything.”

When I thought my reply greeting was interrupted, Tachibana started lecturing me for some reason.

(No, it’s true that only meat is bad for balance but……………)

But even so, I feel others have no right to be complaining-----and when I was thinking that, my plate was taken away from me.

“Fumu…………..I can’t do anything with the food that was already put on, what’s next is to think as balanced as possible, this and this…………..next would be, having this is good”

(Egg-eggplant was put on………….)

It was rank number 2 in the food I hate.

“Oh yes, celery was over there if I remember.”

……….My firm number 1 was put on.

“Okay, this should be okay.”

After a while, Tachibana made a satisfied smile before giving me back the plate that has various vegetables and fish put on it.

“Tha,thank you……….. I am totally not happy about the celery, rather how should I say this, I don’t really like it though………”

“That’s called hating before eating.”

I am still bad with it after eating though.

“Well then, I will go take my morning breakfast.”

Just like this, Tachibana said what she wanted, did what she wanted and left.

(……………I’ll just ask Julie to save me………..)

While praying for Julie not to hate eggplants and celery, I sat beside her who was already sitting down.

“Hey Julie. I have a favor but………..”

“What is it?”

“Actually, I want you to eat celery and eggplant-------“

And it was at that time when I said until there.

*Gataa* that sound sounded, and there was a girl sitting on the opposite side of the table.

It was Tachibana.

“While we are at it, I will be eating over here.”

I, am dead…………

“Good morning, Julie. Did you sleep properly last night?”

“Good morning.”

Even after Julie replied she slept properly, she then looked towards me with a puzzled expression later.

Most likely, she doesn’t know who that person was.

Since she was looking at me the whole time during the self-introductory, if I say it can’t be helped then, it can’t be helped.

“I am Tachibana Tomoe. I am a new student same as you and Kokonoe-------which means I am your classmate.”

“Is that so. I apologize, Tomoe.”

“Fufu, I don’t really mind. Yesterday was the first day after enrollment, and what’s more there should be a lot of confusion after that examination.”

Tachibana’s cheeks slightly relaxed. I thought it was a little unexpected for her to make such an expression when she has that dignified atmosphere around her.

“By the way Tooru. What was the request you asked for?”

“…………….No, nothing.”

“------?”

Julie tilted her head in wonder, and *Chirin* the sound of a bell appeared.

For Tachibana, she was sending her sights towards a girl receiving a set meal from the cafeteria’s obaa-chan.

“Mu…………sorry, can I call my roommate here?”

“Aah, I don’t mind.”

“Thank you………………Miyabi, over here.”

After Tachibana raised her hands and called out to her, that girl came over.

“Yo,you were over here, Tomoe-chan.”

“Haa………..I told you many times you don’t have to call me by honorifics, Miyabi.”

“Bu,but Tomoe-chan is Tomoe-chan so…………..”

“Seriously, you………………Oh, sorry. She is my roommate Miyabi.”

“Eh? Ah…………..!? Go,good morning, I am Hotaka Miyabi………..”

The girl called Hotaka lowered her head in panic when she noticed us; she had quite a small body and average height contrastive to the adult-like Tachibana, and has young facial features. Her evenly cut hair only has the back part growing, and thanks to that it turned into a single point because the collected parts were brought forward.

However most importantly, the one that attracts the eyes were her bulges of her abundant chest, it was bigger than the quite stylish Tachibana. Towards Hotaka, Julie first named herself then followed by me---------

“Ah……….u,un, nice to meet you…………..”

Hotaka blushed, and lowered her sights before shrinking.

“What’s wrong, Miyabi?”

“I, I, err…………fro,from a girl school so err……….”

Tachibana asked, and Hotaka who was giving glances at me answered.

“I see, you are bad with males. ……….it’s okay, it’s not like Kokonoe will bite.”

Am I being treated like a dog……….

“Rea,really………..?”

Hotaka hesitantly looked at me. It’s troubling I was recognized like that but, if I don’t answer her, she would be cautious of me so I nodded.

“Anyways, just sit down Miyabi.”

“U,un…….”

The moment Hotaka sat on the chair, her large breast shook, and my male eyes looked at it by reflex.

What’s more, it was placed on top of the table after she sat down, there is no choice to be conscious about it whether I like it or not.

“………….What’s wrong, Kokonoe? Your face is a little red, did you catch a cold?”

“Eh? I,is that so? Today might be quite hot. Hahaha……….”

“For me, I am a little chilly………”

“I, I am normal I think……………….”

“…………………..ma,maybe it’s because I am sensitive to heat?”

“I think it is a little hot for me too.”

Over here, a life saving ship came from Julie who was from a cold country. Even if she did not actually meant to do so, it looks like Tachibana agreed and to me it became a help from the heavens.

“Now that the chatting turned random, it’s about time we eat.”

“Aah, that’s……..tru,e………”

In the middle of nodding, I noticed-------the reality of------eggplant and celery, my face turned stiff.

………….in the end, I washed it all off with coffee.

“Hey Julie, Kokonoe. I have something to discuss----“

Soon, we finished having our morning breakfast, and when things calmed down, Tachibana brought out a proposal.

“If it is okay with you two, why don’t we have meals together like this from now on?”

“Aah, I don’t mind.”

“Ja--. Me too.”

“Then please take care of me.”

“Ple,please take care of me………..”

(………..this is a life saver)

While looking at Tachibana and Hotaka making a smile at our replies, I thought that inside.

The reason was simple--------just like the response we saw when we entered the cafeteria, Julie and I together stands out. Even individually as long as we hold reasons to stand out, when it comes to the only male and female living together in the whole school, there might be people appearing because they are curiously suspicious.

That’s why if I show them the image of Julie passing time together with other girls, I think they would most likely give better impressions.

That and now that she has to find a <<Duo>> partner until this weekend, it is better if Julie has more chances to talk with more girls.

“By the way Julie. Err………..I feel sorry to say this in front of Kokonoe but, even if it is until the weekend, are you okay living together?”

“Ja--. It is okay.”

“I see. If you say so then it’s okay………”

After saying that, this time she looked towards me------

“Kokonoe. I am sorry if I ruined your mood. I think this is none of my business but, because you two are a boy and girl at the same age, I was worried if problems would happen……….”

While making a cough, Tachibana’s cheeks slightly blushed probably because she imagined those so called problems.

“No, it’s okay. It’s only natural to think that way.”

“If that is the case…………..however, you can tell me anytime if there are any problems. If there is a need for it, I don’t mind having her living in our room in secret. Right? Miyabi”

“Ah……………U,un. We welcome you, Julie-chan.”

“I am thankful for the consideration………………..but it really is okay, Tooru is a kind person.”

“O-oh I see.”

Julie nodded and continued talking.

“Last night, Tooru gently held me when I fell asleep earlier.”

…………..and explosive remark.

“[[Buu!?]]”

Miso soup spurt out x2………………Hotaka spurt out milk.

[Ju,Julie!?] [Wha,whawha!?] [JuJuJu, Julie-chan!?]

“--------------?”

In front of 3 of us who were trembling violently, *Chirin* the sound of a bell rang and Julie tilted her small head.

“Tachibana, Hotaka! That just now was------“

And when I was about to tell the real meaning of those words just now--------

“Ko,Kokonoe!! Wha-what what the heck have you done!! And what’s more, It is someone who was sle-sleeping you know!? It is unpleasant to sit together with such a shameless man any more than this!! I’ll excuse myself here!!”

Tachibana, who took Julie’s words at that direction, left the cafeteria in rage.

“Ah, Tomoe-chan!? Eh, errr…………..”

Hotaka, who also misunderstood, face turned completely red and faced us and Tachibana’s back alternately----------

“I, I’m sorry!! Wai, wait for me Tomoe-cha~~~~~n!!”

After she took a bow filled with energy, she then chased after Tachibana just like that.

We were left behind and, the situation once again turned to us being the center of attention due to that commotion.

“……….Noisy. What are you all doing?”

“Well a little something……………………”

Towards Tora who appeared here, I was thinking about how things became annoying while making a sigh.


“Fuun, how stupid.”

“Don’t say that…………..”

We waited for Tora to finish his morning breakfast, and we headed to the classroom.

I was asked again about the commotion just now, so when I replied to him this time, he was fed up.

“………………..did I make a mistake in my reply just now?”

Like usual, Julie did not notice the meaning of her explosive remark and tilted her small head.

Tora made a sight saying “go on and tell her”, although I was unwilling to do so but I decided to go ahead.

“From the way you put it just now, it’s like I……………did something per-perverted to Julie.”

“-------?”

“Tha-that’s why I said, the word holding in Japanese has the same meaning of a male and female……………….co-couples doing night activities.”

“…………is that so, this is a problem.”

Luckily it looks like she has that knowledge in her and Julie finally swallowed the circumstances.

Her expression was still the same but, her cheeks were blushing slightly.

“I will go tell Tomoe it is a misunderstanding.”

“A,aah. I’m counting on you………….”

Looking at her state, it looks like she won’t be lending her ears to me, so it’s probably best to leave it to Julie here.

(YareYare…………it would be nice if the misunderstanding would clear out quickly……….)



“Well well, okay then we will be starting the memorable first lesson—♪“

Even in the morning, Tsukimi-sensei was in high-tension and announced the start of the class with both her hands spread out.

Regarding about the matter with Tachibana--------honestly, I have no idea.

It’s true that Julie told her something but………..

According to what Julie said [its okay now] but, is it really okay?

The reason for my doubt was clear and simple.

*Stare*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

Just like yesterday, a sight was directed at me.

But the owner of the sender was Tachibana.

2 days continuously, and what’s more from a different girl--------just listening to this, there might be some envious people out there.

However, as long as I know that those sights aren’t in a sentimental way, being the targeted side I am not happy at all.

(Julie………..if it is okay now, then why is Tachibana giving me a stare……….)

As expected, I am not that much of an optimist to accept these words in this situation.

In the end, instead of leaving it to Julie, I have no choice but to fix the misunderstanding by myself.

“----------with that said, the power up from <<Lucifer>> is something like multiplication so, the more you strengthen your body with training the higher the results will become---☆.Is everything until here okay?”

Speaking of lessons, since this was the first day, it will be regarding the <<Lucifer>>.

Yesterday towards Tsukimi-sensei who I had insecurities with, turned into a figure that can teach quite well.

(Well she was specially chosen from the graduated students.)

Forget about her personality, it seems the talk about no need to worry of her skills and ability was not a lie.

……………..however, today too she was wearing a rabbit ear hairband and maid uniform, clothes that are improper as a teacher.

“So, there are ranks called <<Level>> attached to the <<Lucifer>>. Because everyone just sublimated just recently so you are all <<Template:Furigana>>. We will be commencing the <<The Sublimation Ceremony>> each end of semester to perform the rank up. Your <<Level>> will become your results so, if we see your rank not going up at all in an interval of one year then you will be disposed-------which means expelled so you better train your body and mind daily ☆.”

According to Tsukimi-sensei, in order to sublimate to a higher rank, it would require a very tough body and mental power, and it would seem this semester would be focusing on physical enhancement.


Not long, I stood up from my seat after the bell rang telling the class was over, and walked down straight towards the person who sent that passionate stare.

“Tachibana, can I have a moment?”

Tachibana who was called out opened her eyes wide-------

“So,sorry! I have an appointment so excuse me!!”

“Ah, Tachibana!!”

She left the classroom before I could establish my existence.

(What was that………….)

I tilted my head towards the strange attitude.

In the end, Tachibana did not come back to the classroom until a few moments before the next class started.

And during the next break Tachibana headed somewhere again, and I couldn’t manage to talk to her………………

(Uuun………I don’t have to guess that I am being avoided………what on earth happened, Julie…………)

However, even confirming once again, as expected she only replied [It is okay now. The misunderstanding is clear]……………..



*Pull*.

“?”

I finished having my afternoon meal (Mainly meat different from morning) in the cafeteria, and was in the middle of heading back to the classroom. Suddenly, when I thought my collar was pulled, my body was pulled together with energy ------I should say I was kidnapped.

“------------Tooru?..........where did you go?”

While hearing the sound of a bell rang from far away, I tripped facing backwards and was forcefully moved.

“Uoo, Tot, tot, tot!?”

In panic, I looked over to the one who kidnapped me------

“Ta,Tachibana!? O,oi, what is it suddenly!?”

“Please keep quiet.”

While I was following her, since the hand Tachibana was pulling with would not let go, I was in a messy situation with me only facing backwards and walking in order to avoid falling.

“Over here should be okay………”

Soon, when I thought we came out from the school building, Tachibana finally let go of my hands.

When I looked around the surroundings, the sight of trees and lawn edges entered my eyes.

Looks like I was brought to the back garden.

I didn’t think I would be kidnapped.

“Ah,aah……..I am sorry to so suddenly, what’s more in an odd way to bring you here.”

“No, that is okay, so what is your business?”

“………………….”

When I asked her what is her business with me, Tachibana became silent.

She lowered her sights to her foot before looking back at me. After repeating that several times-------she kneeled down on the floor.

“I am very sorry about the rudeness I committed due to jumping to the wrong conclusion!! Like you can see, I wish you would forgive me!!”

What a perfect kneeling down. This was what an apology inside an apology meant.

(Wait, Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh!?)

First day of enrollment, I was made to live with a foreigner.

Day two of enrollment, a female classmate was kneeling down to me.

If this situation was seen by someone, then my attention level would probably increase further.

……….in a bad way.

Maybe my woman troubles are starting to appear………………….

(Nononono, now is not the time to be thinking that!!)

“Ple,please stand up Tachibana! I fully understand your feelings so it’s okay, you don’t have to kneel down!!”

While confirming the surroundings for people, I urged Tachibana to stand up.

“No, this is my feeling! Even though it was a misunderstanding, this is my feeling displayed to show the punishment I placed on myself to take up such a rude attitude towards you.”

“It’s okay to not show it so please stand up!!”

“I refuse!!”

Not even for an instant, I was refused.

……………I, am being apologized right?

“Eeei, then……….”

“Wha………….!?”

If someone was looking from nearby, Tachibana was making a seiza composition and looking up at me.

I matched the height of my line of sight with Tachibana’s.

“Wh-why are you also in seiza!!”

“When conversing with someone else, talk with our line of sights in the same level, weren’t you taught that?”

“muu……that’s true……………”

Maybe she was taken back; Tachibana became a little bit calmer and nodded.

Looking at third person, there is for some reason a male and female performing a seiza and looking at each other in the back garden.

If someone sees this situation then, what would that person think, I left that thought process away for now.

“For now, I understand what Tachibana wants to say…………….so, if you know it was a misunderstanding then, there is no need to say the things I wanted to say. So with that, let’s end this matter alright.”

“I can’t have that happen.”

“Why……………”

“It’s because I will not be satisfied.”

Is she really apologizing to me, such a question appeared.

“Then what should I do to make you satisfied……….”

“It’s simple. I want to compensate the crime for insulting you.”

Even if you say that, and when I asked her back what should I do------

“Punch me.”

“I don’t have that kind of interest though…………….”

“Wha,what kind of interest!! Are you a pervert!?”

“That’s why I’m saying I don’t have that interest.”

“Ah………..tha-that’s true. Sorry, I just……………”

Getting enraged then depressed, how busy.

I probably guessed by the conversation we had this morning but, Tachibana is fundamentally a serious person.

That seriousness is now working as a minus point though.

“Anyway. I have no intentions to punch Tachibana.”

“No please punch me! As long as I am a daughter born from a martial arts family, if I was embarrassed then I will wipe off that disgrace, and if I embarrassed someone else then I will have to receive punishment fit for it!!”

A daughter from a martial arts family--------------now that she put that in her mouth, it would mean she is the type to be very worried about disgrace or pride.

(Again this turned into something annoying………….)

This problem, she probably has no intentions to end it no matter what until a form of agreement was given to her.

…………….but even so, I will never go “Okay, is that so” accept it and raises my hands against a girl.

(What should I do…………….)

“Okay, Kokonoe. Punch me!!”

“………………. I understand, then close your eyes and grit your teeth. One shot, a hard one is coming”

“--------uh! I, I understand………………okay come!”

For a while I was thinking of a way to end this situation then--------in the end, I decided to follow Tachibana’s words.

Tachibana closed her eyes. While her face was stiff and nervous, there was a type of determination felt coming from it.

If not for this situation, my heart would probably be beating quickly to the development of the girl in front of me closing her eyes.

(Well, here goes………………)

After making a small sigh, towards Tachibana I--------

“----------uh!!”

*Peshi* gave her a light flick on the forehead.

“Alright, it might be a plain method but, with this it’s the end.”

“Wha!? T-to end it at such a level is-------“

“Just now I said one shot, and Tachibana said she understood. This means the promise has been made. Tachibana is from a martial arts family right? Were you planning to scrap the promise away, just because you can’t agree?”

“Uh…………….tha-that’s………….”

“So with this, the matter for this morning is done.”

“Bu-but………….”

Trying to talk back, Tachibana was in an unsatisfied state, and towards her I once again made a sigh.

“Hey. In order to be satisfied you want me to punch you, but then you probably didn’t think of what kind of feelings I would feel after that right?”

“Kokonoe…………?”

“If it is a match then it is a different story but, as long as that isn’t the case then I don’t want to raise my hands against a girl. If I followed what Tachibana said you would feel satisfied but, this time I won’t be the one satisfied. That’s why, just now was the best conciliation for me.”

“Bu-but as a daughter from a martial arts family I------“

“I don’t care. The first thing that comes is the fact Tachibana is a girl.”

“Gir,l…………….”

“Well then, we should be heading back soon. We are going to have physical enhancement training in the afternoon right. We will be late if we don’t hurry.”

I said that and stood up------then presented my hands to Tachibana.

But, Tachibana was somewhat making a blank expression and looking up at me.

“Did your feet become numb or something?”

“Th-there is no way my feet would go numb at this level.”

*Fui* Tachibana turned her face away while taking my hands and standing up.

“Okay, let’s go.”

“Yeah.”

Tachibana who nodded and started walking beside me, opened her mouth around the time when we entered the school building.

“Kokonoe.”

“Hnn?”

“You are………..a weird guy.”

(Which part of me is weird?)

While making a sigh, I told Tachibana what I felt towards the smile she made.

“Ah. I think this side is much better than the one just now.”

“This side?”

“Instead of a scowling face, I thought you look cuter with a smile.”

“Whaaa!!?”

My sister-------Otoha too, she was cute when she smiled.

When I think of that, as expected I think a smile suits a girl better.

When I told Otoha that, she would often show me a bashful state.

But even so-----

“Ar,are you an idiot!? What kind of nerve do you have until you can say that with such a thing without a shy face!! Like I thought, you are a weird guy!!”

When I thought Tachibana’s was shouting and her face was red for some reason, she started to walk faster.

“O-oi. What’s wrong, Tachibana?”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 4.jpg

“Shu,shut up, don’t follow me!”

“No, the direction we are going is the same………….”



Afternoon class--------it was the start of the first physical enhancement training so we finished changing into our gym uniform, and gathered in front of the school gate.

Although it was told to be physical enhancement, since we did not hear about the content, all of my classmates were fifty-fifty expectant and anxious about the stuff we will be made to do.

However------

“Well well well--☆For these few days, it will be physical enhancement so we will be having marathons--♪.”

And, after Tsukimi-sensei announced that, most of the people here made a disgusted face.

Nonetheless, even if it is physical enhancement, it’s true that the simplest and most efficient way was to run.

“Well, let’s make it light for now. So with that said, around the academy ten te~n♪”

“…………ten laps, isn’t that quite a nice distance?”

“fuun, one lap is about four kilometers.”

“I see…………..wait, isn’t that almost a full marathon?”

I became weary from Tora’s reply.

Even though our physical abilities were power-upped, it was not hard to imagine how tough it would be with a distance almost similar to a full marathon.

And what’s more, if the up and down in the outer surroundings of the school is tough then, the severity would be more than that.

“W-we are going to run forty kilometers………?”

Hearing me and Tora’s conversation, the girl with a voluptuous chest bulge beside us--------Hotaka uneasily muttered.

“Are you perhaps bad with long distances?”

“Eh? Ah………u,un…..”

For an instant, Hotaka’s expression turned stiff after looking at my face……………it’s a little shocking.

(She said she was bad with guys because she was from a girl school so, it can’t be helped………)

“It’s because I am bad with running…………… I don’t have any specialties though……….”

After saying that with a feeble voice, Hotaka made a big sigh.

“I don’t know how tough it is but, your basic physical strength should have increased from the <<Lucifer>>, isn’t it okay not to think in your usual standards?”

“I,is that so…..?”

“Aah. Also she said forty kilometers was light so, doesn’t this mean the distance is enough to run even for us right now? Even if you can’t finish the run today, it looks like we will be made to run every day from now on so, I think you will get used to it and finish sooner or later.

“Will I get used to it………….?”

“Aah, you will definitely get used to it. I was also bad at running last time but, I naturally got stamina from running every day.”

More accurately, I was made to run every day though.

I remembered the time I was a kid, and my mouth just relaxed from those missed times.

“I see……. That’s true, I am already power-upped……….I,I’ll work hard.”

Hotaka turned somewhat positive and *Guu* gripped both her hands together tightly at her chest.

At that moment, the shape of her voluminous chest changed shape and I averted my sights unable to look forward-------

The spot I averted to had Julie there; my eyes then look at her exposed white thighs because of the gym uniform and then remembered the matter from last night.

Thanks to that, I once again moved my sights to another direction and it became an awkward situation……….



“haa…….haa, hn, haa……………ha, fuhaa, haa……….”

Slower than my goal by 21 minutes, Julie finished running ten rounds.

“Good work, Julie. Drink this slowly.”

“Thank you………very much………..”

The drink I gave her was the sports drink prepared at the goal.

After she received it, Julie slowly holds it in her mouth following what I said.

“It is…….delicious……”

“Are you okay?”

“Ja----……………., it was tiring……….”

(Her stamina is just like how she looks.)

Even though she can carry her body like that, because she has a petite body, it looks like she doesn’t have stamina.

Nonetheless, she was 2nd place for the girls and it was quite a speed to reach the goal at 8th place in both genders.

(But even so, the blessings from the <<Lucifer>> is amazing.)

The academy surrounding roads has high up and down difference while having strong winds blowing since the earth was filled in on the surface of the sea, and it made running quite tough.

But, even though it was such a course, the time taken was around 2 hours-------thinking there isn’t much difference from the full marathon’s world record, it is obvious our stamina has been enhanced.

Incidentally------

“Horaa Horaa, don’t lie down over there--. Moving will make the accumulated lactic acid break down faster--. With that said, stand up ☆.”

*Pan**Pan clapping her hands together Tsukimi-sensei also ran with us but, she was faster than everyone, and what’s more she ran while adding lap difference to everyone.

“As expected from a graduate student. I heard her <<Level>> is higher than us but, I didn’t think the difference was this large…………”

“Seriously.”

The girls top Tachibana muttered and I agreed.

“………...........”

“Wha,what is it?”

“No,nothing at all…………..!”

She glared at me silently. When I wanted to ask her about it, *fui* she turned her face away.

(Is she still unhappy from what happened just now…………)

Tachibana refused but, her mood was somewhat harmed.

(I didn’t mean to say something weird to her though………)

Maybe because she is a daughter from a martial arts family that she can’t show smiles, there might be that kind of weird rules.

At least, it seems it was the atmosphere of not hating me.



After that, around 30 minutes passed-------and Tsukimi-sensei suddenly announced it was after school.

“U—nn, they aren’t coming back. I got bored of waiting so, todays class is over without Template:Furigana☆. Stand, bow, and sit down. Everyone, be careful not to be late for tomorrow. Bye-bye♪”

The homeroom teacher that looks like an innocent picture was swinging her hands towards us who were dumbfounded while going back to the school building.

“Ho,how irresponsible…..…..”

“Fuun, seriously. It’s true that her abilities has no problems but, her personality is too much of a problem.”

Tora was fed up and nodded back, and looked towards the course we were running just now.

There were 2 people able to be seen from far away but, there was no one else behind them.

And among the people who have not yet come back, Hotaka who said she was bad with long distance was included.

(I wonder if she is okay, that Hotaka……..)

Halfway I chased passed her 3 times but, the last time I saw her, she was walking.

Although I did call out to her but, I think it was quite weird whether it reached her or not.

---in the end, when Hotaka returned it was already dusk and she collapsed from fatigue as soon she reached goal.

Then today’s night time, Hotaka was still downed so her figure was missing in her seat during dinner time-------

During that occasion, there were two classmates who I have not matched their face and names together yet, I have heard they got a report of dropping out, and I was curious if Hotaka was okay.



“Uh…………”

After coming out from the bath, Julie made a seiza and stared at the television.

Heading into shower before me, Julie was in the upper half body pajamas like yesterday night.

Her white and slender legs entered my view and made it troubling for me to choose where to look; it somehow made me feel bad.

“What’s the matter, Tooru?”

“No,no…………more importantly Julie, what are you watching?”

“Whole of Japan’s sakura[1c 2] travels.”

Unable to hide my discomposure, I asked her and it would seem she was watching an introductory channel which introduces famous places with sakuras.

Looking at Julie with the side of my eyes, I turned on the kettles switch.

With the reason to calm my feelings down, I purposely brought my favorite apple tea (however it is powder type) in order to drink it. “Julie, do you want to drink apple tea too? It’s instant though.”

“Ja--. I’ll gladly have it.”

Hearing her reply, and after not even a minute, the sound of the boiling hot water from the kettle could be heard.

Later, I poured in the boiled water, and placed the cup with hot apple tea in it on the table.

“Drink slowly to avoid burning your tongue okay?”

However------

“-------uh!!”

Because Julie was completely focused on the television, it looks like she was absent-minded from my warning and the moment she brought the cup to her mouth, her body twitched.

“Are you okay, Julie?”

“Ja,Ja---………….”

The side of her eyebrows slightly went down, and Julie nodded despondently.

After that, I was making a smile while looking at her *fuu**fuu* cooling the apple tea while putting it in her mouth---------

“Tooru, is something wrong?”

“No, nothing.”

“Is that soo…………Tooru do you want to watch together?”

“Aah, alright.”

Accepting Julie’s invitation, I kneeled down beside her and started watching the television with her.

Completely changed from last night, time was peacefully and slowly flowing.

(This kind of thing isn’t that bad………)

This situation was something completely unimaginable until now-------

It was strange to be beside a foreigner girl watching television, so because it was so weird and pleasant------I felt very dear towards that peacefulness.

“It’s beautiful………….”

The screen stopped moving and when a new famous place was introduced, Julie made an admiring breath.

“Are there no sakuras blooming in Julie’s country?”

“Nai. There is none. That’s why I am happy I get to see it like this.”

Maybe watching it was a better way to put it but, even so Julie was somehow happy and-----had an entranced expression.

(She can make these expressions too……….)

“Speaking of which………….when you meant get to see it like this, that means you have never seen it directly before?..........well it seems they are blooming inside the school area, so want to go there and see tomorrow morning?”

“……….there are sakuras blooming?”

“Aah, although it’s from a far view but, they are blooming. Although you shouldn’t expect the sakuras to be elegantly in rows like in the television…………. So, how about it Julie?”

“Ja----. I will go………..”

Julie nodded and-------------

“I am very looking forward, to…….it.”

After finishing her sentence, her head rode my shoulders as if she was approaching me.

“--------!?”

From her sudden action, I was surprised enough to almost raise my voice in reflex.

Her silky hair patted my cheeks, and the nice smell of the shampoo drifted out.

The part where we were touching was warm from the body warmth coming from her.

From her scent and warmth, my nervousness increased and my heartbeat increased.

(Eh, wait, Julie,eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehh!?)

“Ju,Julie, what is wrong…………wait, A-re?”

Time lag blurriness again.

*Suu**Suu*Julie was making peaceful sleep breathing, looking at her like that; I released my nervousness and a big sigh.

(She wasn’t entranced rather, she just wanted to sleep huh………)

Just like this, the silver girl who caused confusion to my heart for two days continuously, has reached a peaceful sleep.

Part 2Edit

“U……..n………….”

The time when Hotaka Miyabi woke up was just before the date changed.

“Are you awake, Miyabi?”

“Tomoe………….chan……..i………..?”

Miyabi, rather than not knowing when she fainted, she doesn’t even know she fainted.

Tachibana guessed it and stopped her with her hand telling her it was okay not to wake up recklessly.

“It seems it was from extreme fatigue.”

Miyabi gradually remembered the situation how she collapsed.

“I am completely useless………”

“………………That is not true. No matter how much you were power upped by the <<Lucifer>>, that distance was quite severe even for me. Miyabi originally wasn’t used to moving your body right? If that is the case, it’s better for you not to call yourself useless and be negative from the beginning.”

“I see…..”

Tomoe was saying this from her true feelings but, Miyabi could only hear it as mere consolation.

“Rest a little more. I will prepare Onigiri[1c 3] on the table, so eat it if you feel hungry.”

“U,un……thank you, Tomoe-chan……..”

Saying her thanks, Miyabi closed her eyes.

But right now, inside her chest was swarming greatly with anxiety towards the severeness of today's training and how low her ability was in response to it.

(Will I, be able to do it…………)



Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. Old lady, could also be used to call grandmother but in this case it isn’t
  2. Cherry blossoms
  3. Rice ball, usually wrapped with seaweed


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Chapter 4: Again,Apple TeaEdit

Part 1Edit

“Looks like it scattered quite a lot………”

3rd day after enrollment. We followed the promise we made last night and went to see the sakura[1d 1] flowers the first thing in the morning.

But, it seems it was early blooming this year.

Unfortunately, the season for the sakura had passed and, the connecting leaves started to stand out.

“Sorry about the short-lived happiness, Julie.”

“Nai. It doesn’t change the fact it is beautiful.”

Looking up at the peach colored background on the sky, Julie leaked out her impression as if she was mumbling.

Staring at the side of her face, I then once again brought my sights back to the sakura------

I immediately made a good idea.

“I think it is a little too fast from now but, let’s come and see it next year and this time when it is in full bloom………..ah, it’s also possible to go to a famous nearby spot instead of here though”

“Ja--. I also feel it is a little too fast but, I look forward to it.”

Without releasing her sights from the sakura, Julie nodded.

“Let’s come back together and watch again”

“Aah, together------“

(……….Together?)

“What is wrong, Tooru?”

“N,no………”

(That just now, don’t tell me she thinks it was a date invitation?)

It’s true I think Julie is cute but, even so it’s not like I have feelings for her.

Purely, I just wanted to show her the sakuras in full bloom but--------

Those were my feelings and it was different from what the invited Julie was maybe thinking of.

It can’t be helped if I made her think I am a loose man from inviting her to a date when 3 days had not even passed yet.

“I, I only wanted you to show you the sakura when it is at its prettiest and, I don’t mean it in any other way okay?”

“--------?”

In panic, even when I said something with no ulterior moves, Julie tilted her head and the bells rang softly.

Whether it’s the misunderstandings with Tachibana yesterday, Julie is distant in response to those kinds of talks.

“Is there some other meaning?”

“Eh, ah, no……….-----------uh! I, I know! Let’s invite Tora, Tachibana and the rest when we come to see the sakura………! I,its probably more fun when everyone comes…….!”

“Ja---. Is that so, then let’s do that.”

When I talked to her about flower viewing with everyone while dodging the question, luckily it seems Julie had forgotten about the other meaning.

*Hou* the moment I made a breath, a gust of wind passed by.

The sakura petals swirled out, and danced up to the sky.

“It’s beautiful………..”

While staring at the blizzard of sakura petals, Julie softly mumbled.

“Yeah……………..but it’s more beautiful when it is at full bloom.”

“Is that so…………..”

“Now then, it’s about time we go back”

I urged Julie, and she started walking beside me.

“……….Tooru.”

“Hn?”

“Next year……………it’s a promise?”

“Aah, it’s a promise.”

“Ja---“

Julie nodded.

Towards her anticipating figure now that we made a promise in after a year, I just couldn’t hide my nauseated smile.

“-------?”

Today for a one hour limit, we were handed a list and were made to check it.

In the list, all the new students’ picture, name, martial arts or sports experience or none, the manifested <<Blaze>> was all written in it. Inside this, it means we are to find our <<Duo>> teammate.

“Fuun, it would be nice if there is someone that can compete with my glasses in this.”

“When Tora says it, it turns out that way.”

“It’s not a gag!”

“Well, leaving that aside, if it is okay with Tora would you want to team up?”

“Mu………….?”

I had enough of looking at the list so; I brought up an idea to Tora.

“It’s not like we don’t know each other, I think it not a bad deal though…………..”

“Bad? Rather………-------!! Fu,fuun. I don’t mind if you say you really want to.”

Because it was exactly what I predicted, I made a wry smile inside my heart.

“Also, I am tired of living together with this guy.”

Tora pointed towards the guy prostrating himself and sleeping on the table beside him, and murmured.

This guy is called Tatsu, and according to Tora, his body was of a big muscle idiot, his voice was also of a big muscle idiot, and a sport-oriented sweltering muscle idiot. He had a rough personality that doesn’t listen to someone when they would talk, and it seems he was quarreling with Tora who has a sensitive personality from the get go.

(Well then, with this my <<Duo>> is going to be Tora )

The application to school will happen on Saturday so it’s still far away but, I think it won’t be a problem since judging from Tora’s reaction it was practically fixed.

“Julie what are you going to do?”

“I’ll try talking to some people.”

“It’ll be great if you team up with a good partner.”

“Ja---. Thank you very much.”

---after that, an ability measurement was commenced with a 3 to 4 hours’ time limit, in the females Julie and Tachibana had shown amazing results, and were bathe with the attentions from the surroundings.

In the afternoon there was a physical ability enhancement training in succession from yesterday but----

During that occasion, Hotaka once again collapsed the same time she reached the goal.

“Looks like this isn’t fit for Hotaka.”

Someone muttered that and that sentence was deeply left inside my ear.



On the morning of the 4th day of enrollment. I happened to wake up first.

The subdued sunlight coming in from the gap of the curtain made me wake up from my sleep.

(Well, then……….I guess I’ll finish changing my clothes before Julie wakes up)

In order to prevent trouble, I should change in the dressing room.


Following the rule made on the first day, I headed towards the dressing room while yawning, but-----

At that moment, I found out that the rule is completely useless if there is a previous costumer there.

“[……………..]”

It seems the previous customer has the same aim as mine, and it looks like that person just took off the shirt that they were wearing.

I am very sure on how stiff my face became.

In response to that the previous costumer----------Julie, was staring at me with her eyes opened a little in surprise.

Her figure had nothing else other than her lower underwear and the skin-color ratio crossed 90%.

However, thanks to her just stripping off and holding the shirt, I could almost see the important part of her chest and I should be calling this the silver lining of a dark cloud.

No, in the border line of her snow like white skin and shirts, I saw a pink colored------

“Good morning, Tooru.”

A penetrating cold-------but to the person herself it was most likely normal-------her voice with no high or low pitch, pulled me back to reality when my thoughts was in the middle of freezing.

“Go-Go-Good, morning. Juli,e……………….”

“Did you sleep well?”

“A,ahh……………..”

“That is good. By the way, Tooru is going to change too?”

“Yea,yeah. That’s true………..”

For some reason my tone became polite.

“I am sorry but, please wait over there a little while. If this goes on and we change our clothes like this, I will be embarrassed to change in front of Tooru”

“Tha-that’s true………..”

As expected even Julie’s cheeks were blushing, and after I nodded with my stiffened face, I turned to the right and headed to the living room.

(Tha-That was shocking…………..why am I doing something so cliché………..)

If I had confirmed if Julie was sleeping, or maybe thought of calling out to the dressing room just in case, this was exactly what No use crying over spilled milk meant.

“Sorry to have made you wait.”

“-----------!!”

The instant a voice was called out from my back, I thought I bounced up 10 centimeters on the spot.

“Ju,Julie, Sorry! Just now err, I wasn’t trying to peek but………..!!”

“I don’t mind. However, I wish you would be careful from now on.”

“Huh…………?”

It can’t be helped even if I was scolded since this was the first time she revealed her expression this time, I asked back while opening my mouth wide like an idiot towards Julie’s words.

“I said, I don’t mind.”

“I,is it okay to leave it unexplained………….?”

“Ja---. But just like I said just now, please be careful from now on. …………….It’s embarrassing.”

“I, I get it. I’ll be careful.”

“If you understand this then, this matter is over. So Tooru, you can change now.”

After nodding, I entered the dressing room and made a big sigh.

(Fuu, I’m glad it didn’t turn into something annoying……….I have to follow on the promise and be careful from now on)



<<Fist Practice>>----- There was one lesson starting from today, and it was free Kumite[1d 2].

There were many amateurs among the new students, and I was wondering if this was okay to have Kumite in the beginning since they might get hurt but, according to the school policy, teaching the skills had no meaning and only when using it, will it reach the body.

In the practice, the two girls that were standing out in the ability measurement yesterday-----Julie and Tachibana were once again bathing in attention from the surroundings.

Tachibana was showing combination attacks while breathing hard. Toward the movements that seem like dancing, voices of shock and admiration could be heard from everywhere.

In response to that she was getting close and distancing herself, Julie's main focus was a hit and out, she used the effectiveness of her speed to oppose Tachibana.

“Julie’s movements are amazing too but, Tachibana isn’t losing……”

Almost par-------Julie was ahead in the number of moves but, Tachibana handled all of it and switched from defense to offense between the gaps in an instant.

Especially, the one that attracted the eyes was the excellence of the defense receiving Julie’s multitude of strikes.

“Fuun. As expected from the Tachibana style 18 arts.”

“Tachibana style?”

“A famous school with various martial arts and that has ancient martial arts as its core. Although this is the first time I am looking at it.”

“………….You know quite a lot.”

“It was written on yesterday’s list. Why didn’t you read it, you bastard……..”

“For the <<Duo>> I am going to team up with Tora anyway, so I thought it was alright not to purposely check others………”

When I made a wry smile and replied, Tora held his head.

And, the whistle to stop the kumite was blown.

“Okay~Okay~. That is all. After a 3 minutes rest, this time change your opponent okay--♪”

At that announcement, Julie and Tachibana took a bow, exchanged a few words and stopped the kumite.

In the end, it looked like both of them failed to give a decisive blow.

“Well then, who am I going to fight with………….”

Me and Tora said our farewells and I was in midst of looking for my next opponent--------immediately Julie’s figure entered my eyes.

Girls------------most likely her next opponent----------she was talking to her but, somehow it was strange.

The girl swung her head to the side and in the end made a bow before leaving. Again when she talked to another girl, the girl did the same thing and made a bow.

“Julie, can’t you find an opponent?”

“Ja---“

When I called out to Julie who looks like she was having trouble finding the next person to talk to, she somehow replied back powerlessly.

It would seem, after looking at her match with Tachibana, they probably got cold feet.

(This is troubling…………)

Most of the girls have no martial art experience so this is normal.

“…………Julie, want to try it with me?”

“Is it okay?”

“Aah. Looking at that just now, I felt like having a match with you”

“………………….Thank you very much.”

For an instant, she opened her eyes wide a little, and immediately lowered her head.

One half of the reason I invited Julie was because of sympathy, and the other half was just like I said.

Judging from the entrance exam and the battle with Tachibana just now, Julie is faster than me.

Towards that speed, I wanted to try out how I could oppose it.

“Well then, let’s begin.”

“Ja---“

The whistle was blown, and we lightly exchange our fists.

*Chirin* when I thought the sound of the bell which she didn’t take out even for this rang, Julie closed the distance in an instant.

(kuh………..! it’s a speed beyond my assumptions!! Directly Template:Furigana against her is troubling………!)

Looking at it, this was completely different from a match, and it became a one-sided defensive fight.

We are made to stop the moment before we land an attack to avoid injuries but even so, it was done while we are almost serious.

In the end, I only avoided the decisive blows and was overwhelmed from the start to the end.

“Fuu, as expected from you. Have a match with me next time, Julie.”

“Gladly.”

Julie who was making nods, somewhat looked happy.

However------after that I saw Julie having problems looking for an opponent, and then I immediately thought.

(Looking at that rate, is she okay finding a <<Duo>>………..?)

Maybe she was having trouble blending into the surroundings well, I was a little worried.

At night-------after finishing bathing and dinner, all that is left is to sleep.

In this hour ever since the second day, it became a routine to watch television beside each other to leisurely pass time.

Today they were featuring animals, and while watching a baby lion rolling around [Cute………..] Julie muttered and her eyes were somewhat sparkling.

“Julie do you like animals?”

“Ja---. Especially birds-------within them I like the parakeet the most.”

When I asked her while I was preparing the cup filled with apple tea in it, classic answers such as cats and dogs were not replied back.

“Tooru, do you like animals too?”

The question was reversed back to me and she stared at me, this is-------- the gaze of anticipation.

“……..it’s not like I hate them but, it’s not like I like them either”

While hesitating and thinking I might disappoint her, I decided to answer her honestly.

“Is that so. Which means, you don’t have an animal you like most?”

“Aah, that is the case.”

“If that is the case, if by any chance you want to own a pet I would recommend a parakeet. Its wings are beautiful, its voice and gesture is cute, it will get attached to you, it is smart, it is fluffy, it is also springy too”

(What is springy? Is it something like mochi[1d 3]? Even though it has wings?)

“So parakeets are----------“

Like usual, especially her expression had not changed but--------------I was a little overpowered by Julie’s talk about parakeet which was used in an oddly enthusiastic tone, and had no choice but to nod.

“I, I get it. I’ll choose parakeet if I plan to own a pet………….”

“Ja----“

Julie who nodded in my reply, somehow looked happy.

“By the way-------------“

In the middle of it, I asked the thing that had been bothering me during daytime.

“Hey Julie……………err, ah---, have you decided who is going to be your <<Duo>>?”

But even so, since I was hesitant to directly ask her if she could not blend in with the class, it was quite an indirect method.

“…………I requested Tomoe.”

“I see. Then that’s good.”

It looks like my worries were needless anxiety, and was an unneeded bother.

If it is Tachibana, she is good in taking care of others, and she probably is in the same level to compare with each other with so, to Julie, she is probably a good partner.

“Tooru’s is Tora?”

“Aah. Saying this or another, as expected it looks like I don’t have to be hesitant with him thanks to the time we have gone through………….more or less, his personality is difficult though”

While making a wry smile, I placed the cup in front of Julie.

“Thank you very much.”

Julie nodded and drank the apple tea.

I also put the cup on my mouth, like this it turned silent--------but a peaceful time was being passed.

(This time would end soon……………)

Although there are few days more, when I think about this time would end tomorrow night, I somehow had a reluctant feeling.

(The first day was filled with nervousness though)

“------------? Tooru, you look like you are enjoying something, is something wrong?”

“No, nothing. It’s laughing while reminiscing.”

In response to Julie tilting her head in wonder, I replied with a wry smile.



5th day, Friday--------and today again, the afternoon was the customary marathon but…………..

“She’s late…………”

Even though it turned into dusk, I muttered that out because Hotaka has not reached the goal.

(Although she finished faster yesterday……………)

Reaching the goal when the sky was starting to change color.

That was what happened yesterday, and what’s more she collapsed and fainted.

Even though there were noticeable changes in only a few days, I wondered what happened today.

“Is it about Miyabi?”

Having heard my muttering, Tachibana asked me.

“Tachibana too……………well she is your roommate. It’s only natural to be worried”

“Aah.-----------maybe, Miyabi already………….”

I don’t have to ask the end of her sentence to know.

In this few days, almost every day, one or two people will Template:Furigana school.

Even though it was tough trainings ever since early enrollment, seeing the number of classmates decreasing as days passes, make me feel lonely.

Right now, even the girl Tachibana was looking after was also [I can't go on anymore………] complaining, that figure was similar to Hotaka.

When I imagined Hotaka was maybe thinking like that too.

“………………..I am going to check a little.”

After I left only those words, I started running in the track in reverse.

Soon, after going around half a round, I saw Hotaka leaning and sitting down under the tree beside the road.

“Are you okay, Hotaka?”

“Ah……Kokonoe-kun, what’s wrong………..?”

When I called out to Hotaka, she powerlessly raised her face.

“It looks like you weren’t coming back, so I came to check.”

“Ah………..sorry, I twisted my leg………….”

“Looks like walking is also a problem…………..get on.”

“Eh?”

I faced my back to her, and get on one knee.

Hotaka didn’t understand the meaning at first but, the same time she realize it, she swing her head in great panic.

“Tha-tha-that’s bad! Kokonoe-kun just finished running!! Al,also I am heavy too!!”

Hotaka who is usually quiet, as expected would make loud voices when she was in panic.

“It’s okay, just get on. It’s not like you can start walking again after resting a bit.”

“Bu,but my regenerative powers were also enhanced by the <<Lucifer>> too…………”

“It’s true that might be the case but, if you wait and recover until you can move again, it will turn completely dark and it will be dangerous.”

When I reached here, the sun has almost descended and after 30 minutes the shades of night would probably fall.

But even so, Hotaka was still hesitant.

To Hotaka who is bad with the opposite sex, she might need quite some courage to be piggy-backed.

“…………..I don’t really mind going on like this. But, if we are too late, then Tachibana will worry.”

“Ah…………”

I think I was a little under-handed but, it looks like bringing out her roommate's name was effective.

After wavering for a while, Hotaka asked back with her cheeks blushed a little.

“E,err……..then, can I count………….on you?”

“Aah, of course”

I made a firm nod, and was okay carrying Hotaka until--------

“……….big

“Eh, what?”

“No, nothing……..”

It can’t be helped because of the piggy-back posture but, being pressed by 2 bulges, those extra-large sizes were freely appealing.

Hotaka who was not exerting any strength, completely left her body on me-------

(U,uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!?)

From the softness I found out the first time, my reasoning was on the verge of collapsing.

Enough for me to shout out right now, my brain fell into panic.

(Calm down me. It’s not like I wanted to piggy-back her just because I wanted this. That’s why calm down, you have to calm down, if you keep trembling you’ll be found out……!!)

“He,hey, Kokonoe-kun……”

“Wha-wha-what is it!?”

Even though I was trembling and my voice turned shrill and nervous, it would seem I wasn’t noticed by Hotaka.

“I, wonder if I can go on like this…………? Although my stamina was supposed to be enhanced by the <<Lucifer>> I couldn’t run until finish………..from now on, I wonder if I can keep up…………”

“Hotaka.”

It looks like today’s retire resulted in giving Hotaka who was originally bad at running the final blow.

Just like that, her low spirits reflected to her voice tone and even now in the verge of crying Hotaka continued her words.

“If I came to Kouryou,I thought something would change……..but, as expected it was useless……in the end, I was only a <<Adapt>> and I have no talent………”

“It’s okay. That’s because Hotaka passed the exam.”

“……..the person that became my opponent for the exam ran away. My legs were frozen and couldn’t move………”

While replying back I see, I agreed with Hotaka’s passing reason.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 5.jpg

(It’s true that, not everyone won the fight and managed to stay)

If there are people like me and Tachibana who has martial arts experience inside the successful applicants, there are also people who don’t even have sports experience………. And Hotaka was one of the latters.

“Ah………..so,sorry. Towards someone who I just knew recently, even if I tell you something like this, it will only trouble you.”

“When you think it is painful, it’s better to say it out.”

“……………unn, thank you……….”

In a soft voice. Together with those words, Hotaka buried her face into my back.

Just like that, after walking silently for a while--------------not long after, I said something with quite a strong voice.

“Those who want long trees would definitely strengthen its roots.”

“Eh……?”

After a twitch, Hotaka raised her face.

“That was my master’s favorite proverb and he was the one who taught me the basics of martial art. Speaking in martial arts term, it means, if you want to be stronger do not neglect the basics.”

“Kokonoe-kun………….”

While saying that, I thought it was ironic.

That, I myself was advancing in the total opposite of those words…….

Even if I have <<Adapt>>, the moment I started seeking the outer <<Power>> from <<Lucifer>>, I have lost the rights to put these words into my mouth.

But even so, when I thought I wanted to cheer Hotaka up, the first thing that popped out were those words.

“I know of the feeling of being worthless. But, <<Power>> is not something that attaches to body overnight. That’s why, it might be tough now, I think you should continue running and running. Stamina is something that is obtained the more you run. Something like talent doesn’t matter”

“Something like talent………….doesn’t matter…………”

“Work hard-------I am not going to say something that irresponsible. But, isn’t it alright to run a little more before giving up? Even if you don’t have talent, you will definitely change that’s what I think. And most of all------“

“Most of all…………….?”

“I’m going to get lonely if Hotaka goes.”

“Ko,Kokonoe-kun………….”

If this goes on, Hotaka would probably Template:Furigana school soon.

Even though we just became acquaintances, I thought it was lonely.

And that’s why because I thought of that, I could honestly tell my feelings.

If I don’t tell her now, I felt that the chance to talk with Hotaka won’t come………….

“……………. ……………….Kokonoe-kun, you were bad at running right?”

“Aah, I was bad at it.”

“What place did you get today?”

“1st place.”

“You get 1st place everyday………..”

“That’s because I got stamina from running everyday”

“……………… I wonder……….if I could run fast like Kokonoe-kun………?”

“……………………I can’t guarantee you that but, it is certain you will be faster than now if you run everyday”

“A,at times like this I think you should have replied [You will definitely run faster]…………”

“Ah,So,sory……”

“Fufu, it’s okay. I'll forgive you.”

I could hear giggles coming from behind.

“…………..hey, Kokonoe-kun. I will work hard. I’ll try running a bit more……..”

After saying that, Hotaka hugged tighter.

“------!?”

“Thank you, Kokonoe-kun………Kokonoe-kun you are warm……….”

“Re,really?”

“Unn, you’re warm……….”

Being pushed by those soft bulges, my heart was beating hard and wondered if that made my body temperature increase.

Only, at that time, I couldn’t see Hotaka’s face but even so, I somehow felt confident she was smiling.

And at the same time, I got a confidence everything was okay.

After walking for a while, not long after, we found Julie and Tachibana coming to greet us from far away, and Hotaka made big swings with her hands.




“Well then, good work until today.”

“Ja---. Good work.”

There were various cookies and candies on the table.

What will begin is a tea party. It was the official last night before determining the <<Duo>>, so we decided to open a modest farewell party.

“It is delicious.”

“It’s instant though.”

“Nai. Things that are delicious are delicious.”

“If that’s the case then it’s good. Come back to drink anytime you want.”

“………….is it okay?”

“Aah, there are no dormitory rules that say you can’t come------“

“------?”

Towards me who stopped my words halfway, Julie tilted her head.

Even in under normal circumstances, she was already standing out from living with me, if she comes over after deciding her <<Duo>> and separated to another room, I feel an unnecessary misunderstanding will occur.

“Tooru, what is wrong?”

“Aah, eer, I have spare packs so I’ll give them to you.”

“Is it okay?”

“To your roommate-------Tachibana, recommend it to her.”

“Ja----“

After looking at Julie making nods, I somehow feel her happiness being transmitted over.

Even though it was a few days, thanks to passing time with her close by, I could more or less know about the signs of her expression. In the end, somehow or another, Tora asked me to become his <<Duo>>.

This morning, [I,if you have not decided on your partner then I don’t mind teaming up with you] with a big attitude, Tora brought this talk up although it was difficult for him to say it.

So from tomorrow onwards I will be in the same room with Tora, while Julie will be in the same room with Tachibana, which means this pleasant time will end today--------

When I thought about it, I somehow felt a little lonely.

“[……………………………………]”

When I started thinking about that the conversation stopped, and the room turned quiet.

Inside the silence, after a while passed like that---------not long later, the first one to open her mouth was Julie.

“Tooru”

*Kacha* the sound of the cup placed on the saucer sounded and Julie looked straight at me.

“Although it was a short while, thank you very much.”

“Aah, this side too. Julie, you can tell me anytime, if you have any problems.”

“……………..Ja---“

Julie nodded.

“……………………….”

“Tooru?”

“Ah, no…………nothing.”

It might be my imagination.

The moment Julie nodded, she somehow looked lonely----------that definitely was my imagination.



“Well then well then, remember to send the <<Duo>> application to the registry office before today evening 6 o’clock. If you pass that time, unless there is a very good reason, you won’t be changing until graduation so please play nice with your partner. It’s a promise with Usa-sensei okay~☆”

Saturday-------Template:Furigana after the last notification ended, and we reached to after school time, the classmates who decided on their partners, were walking out of the classroom together one after another.

“Should we go too, Tora?”

“Fuun, it’s okay later. It’s a waste of time to purposely lineup.”

“Then let’s go for lunch.”

“Aah, let’s do that.”

We exit the classroom to head to the cafeteria.

(Now that I think about it, what about Julie-------------)

And after I turned back into the classroom, she might have gone to register already, together with Tachibana, they could not be seen.



“Enough already, it’s about time we go now.”

About the time when the sun was sinking, we ended our table tennis we started to help digest the meal we finished and I urged Tora to go register.

“Fuun, that’s true. It’s not funny, to not team up because we didn’t make it on time.”

“……………..that’s because Tora went one more game, one more game, and didn’t stop.”

“There is no way I, can allow more loses than you in mere table tennis.”

“Don’t get serious on that mere table tennis then…………”

Nonetheless, it’s true that if my opponent had more wins than me, then I will also get serious.

“Speaking of which Tooru. Who is your roommate teaming with?”

“Looks like its Tachibana.”

“Fumu. Tachibana huh…………….that’s a <<Duo>> I want to have a match with.”

“Seriously, that’s so Tora-like.”

If they are decided to be partners then, as <<Duo>>------what’s more, there is a practice battle using <<Blaze>>, when I heard that, I could understand clearly about Tora’s feelings.

Speed Julie and defense Tachibana

When I am having a match with that team-up, I wonder how far I will go……….

When there is a goal that has to be accomplished, a different type of genuine joy secretly made my heart pound in excitement.

“Fuun, that is so like you. Your face is smiling.”

“Haha, well yeah.”

Just like that, after chatting and talking about people who might team up as <<Duo>, we reached the registry office.

Luckily, or rather it is normal at a time like this, there were no students registering.

I knocked on the registry office window, and called out to the clerk fiddling with a personal computer inside.

“I’m sorry but, I want to register for the <<Duo>> please.”

“Oka~y. well then, please bring out your student card here.”

“Student card?”

“We will register the <<Duo>>’s name on the student card too.”

I see, I agreed and at that time when I was about to bring out my student card.

“Kokonoe, also Tora too…………..registering now?”

My name was called out by a familiar voice and when I turned to that side, Tachibana was standing over there.

And standing beside her was------

“He,hello, Kokonoe-kun…………”

“Tachibana, and Hotaka too. What are you doing here for?”

“What do you mean by over here. I think it should be the same as you two.”

“W,we came for the <<Duo>> registration……..”

What does this mean? Tachibana is going to be Hotaka’s <<Duo>>…………?

From those unexpected words, my brain was filled with question marks.

(But if I am certain, Julie did………..)

Is it certain?

Is it true?

Remember back, that time Julie said--------

“I requested Tomoe”

“--------------uh!!”

Yeah, she did not say a single word about teaming up with Tachibana.

“Tachibana! How about Julie!? Who did Julie team up with!? Didn’t she request you!?”

“Julie? It’s true that she requested me to be her <<Duo>> but, I refused her by saying I was going to team up with Miyabi.”

She was refused?

That is why Julie planned not to team up with anyone?

A person that would team up as <<Duo>> with Julie?

------No one.

After enrollment, the only time I see Julie intimately speaking with others, was only with Tachibana, Hotaka and no one else.

(Now that I think about it, at that time too----------)

During the <<Fist practice>>, I remembered the image of her having trouble finding an opponent.

“-------!! Sorry! Who are the ones that has not applied as a <<Duo>> yet!?”

“E,h, errrr------------“

While being surprised at my threatening attutide, the clerk said out the names that has not finished registering.

For males, it’s me, Tora, and Tatsu these 3 people. For the girls, its Tachibana, Hotaka and also-----Julie.

“Julie………….is not going to team up as <<Duo>> with anyone………..?”

Rather, if we and Tachibana and Hotaka finished registering, Julie will automatically be teamed up with the only one without a partner, Tatsu.

(What does this mean? Why didn’t she tell me!?)

Maybe………

If I was in Julie’s position-------------I can’t say it.

There is no way I can say something that can make the person in front worried.

Last night, the thing I felt when Julie nodded------------the reason why I think I saw she looked lonely was because of this.

Next, inside the time we passed time together these few days, the various things she shown surfaced up my mind and vanished.

That time when she brought her body closer to want me to teach her that technique.

That time when she said that baby lion looked cute.

That time when she passionately recommended me the parakeet.

Although it was inevitable, that time when her cheeks were blushing when she was peeked at when changing.

That stern expression she shows when having a match with me or Tachibana.

That time when she said the apple tea was delicious.

The figure she said it was beautiful when looking at the blizzard of sakura petals dancing in the wind.

And for last---------

At the night of enrollment, I remembered the tears Julie made.

(I----------------)

Looking at those tears, what did I think?

(I thought I wanted to be Julie’s strength!!)

In the next instant, I dashed off like a bullet.

“Tooru!?”

With my leg strength enhanced, it made Tora’s voice far away in a blink of an eye.

“Julie, Julie…………..!!”

While putting the name of the silver girl in my mouth, while having her figure floating in my mind, I ran to the dormitory as fast as I could.

However----------------Julie was not in the room.

“Where did she go…………?”

Coming out from the room, I looked around the dormitory.

Even when I asked people if they had seen Julie, not even one person saw her.

Going around all the facilities in the dormitory, even after I came back to the classroom, Julie could not be seen at all.

(Don’t tell me she went outside the school? No, going outside in normal days is prohibited.)

Looking for her.

Going around looking and looking for her.

While calling out Julie’s name.

But, while being unable to find the silver girl, time was ruthlessly passing by------------

The blue sky turned to dusk and the clock tower rising in the middle of the school site announced that the time was 5 o’clock.

Feeling impatient from the sound of the echoing bell, the moment I looked towards the clock tower--------

“---------------!!”

I found a moving shadow over there, and gasped.

Without even distincting whether or not it was human, the moment I saw the silver light swaying from the wind, I started running.

I reached to the tower, opened the door leading to the upper floor and advanced up the stairs.

At the end, there was a big and wide hall there.

When I looked up, a giant bell was being hanged from the ceiling.

The evening sun was shining in----------and inside that light, the silver girl was looking high up the sky.

The madder sky glorified her Template:Furigana.

And she looked like an angel wishing to go back to the skies……….

“…………………I’ve been looking for you, Julie.”

“Tooru…………”

*chirin* making the bells ring, Julie turned her head over.

“Is there something wrong?”

“Don’t say is there something wrong…………why…………why didn’t you tell me about not teaming up as a <<Duo>>with Tachibana……?!!”

“…………………..”

Towards my quite harsh tone, Julie closed her eyes as if to reject my reply.

“It’s because, it isn’t something that can be fixed by talking…………”

It’s true that is the case.

If she says so, it might trouble me.

I will team up with Tora as a <<Duo>>, that’s because I told her that.

But, even so---------

“But even so, I wanted you to tell me.”

“…………….why is that?”

“I--------“

I made a vow when I saw those tears.

“That’s because I wanted to become Julie’s strength.”

“Tooru.”

Her Template:Furigana trembled.

“That’s why---------“

I brought out my hands. And directed it to Julie.

“Will you team up with me as <<Duo>>, Julie?”

“Too……….ru………..?”

It seems, Julie did not immediately understand the meaning and tilted her small head, after a while a perplexed expression floated out.

“But, Tora…………….”

“That guy will understand. That’s because we’ve been together for a long time.”

“……………..but I don’t want to cause any troubles to Tooru--------“

“I’ll say it many times!”

I interrupted Julie’s words, and once again put my vow and wish in my mouth.

“I want to become Julie’s strength. Don’t be considerate about causing trouble to me and count on me. No, I want you to count on me!! That’s why Julie------“

“Tooru………….”

“Please become my <<Template:Furigana>>!”

The feelings from my heart I said, echoed throughout the clock tower and sky.

Those feelings------------reached Julie’s heart and echoed.

Julie made one step forward.

She walked out, and weighted her small hands on mine.

“Ja----“

While nodding like usual------

Julie smiled.

The first time I saw her smiling face.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 6.jpg

It was a small smile but, it was very attractive-----

For a brief moment, I was lost in words………….

Part 2Edit

“Okay, the registration is done with this.”

The student cards that were given back from the clerk had both of our names written on it.

From this moment onwards, Tooru and Julie are now official <<Duo>>.

Hearing from the clerk, this was the first time a gender different <<Duo>> was team-upped in Kouryou.

Although many years have passed since the creation of the organization, when they think this is the first, Julie could only feel some kind of fate with Tooru.

“Okay then, once again please take care of me, Julie. …………..also, definitely tell me if you have any problems from now on. That’s because we are officially partners from today onwards.”

“Ja----“

“Good Good.”

“Ah…………….”

Tooru petted on Julie’s nodding head like a dear child.

Julie thought it was ticklish.

At the same time, she remembered her father’s big warm hands.

That warmth still lingered even after Tooru’s hand left.

When Tooru was not looking, Julie touched the part she was patted on------and made a quiet smile.

“Well then, let’s go back. To our room.”

“Ja----. That’s true. And-------“

Julie nodded to Tooru’s words, and said out the suggestion that she was conscious about when she thought the daily life until now will start once again.

“Again, apple tea-----“



Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. cherry blossoms
  2. paired karate kata, belt-work
  3. Sticky rice cakes


Template:SimpleNav


Chapter 5: It's a PromiseEdit

Part 1Edit

After finishing registering for the <<Duo>>, and after reporting this to Tachibana and the rest during dinner time---------

We returned to our room and this happened after a while.

“Tooru. ……………are you going to take a bath?”

“Hn? It’s okay for Julie to go in like usual.”

“……………”

Julie swung her head and continued her words………for some reason with her cheeks blushed.

“Are you not coming in together?”

“Buu----!?”

I spurt out the apple tea.

“Ju-Ju,Juli-Julie--------------!?”

From that sudden explosive remark, while it being natural, I was only shocked.

*Peek*…………*Peek*……………….

On the other side, Julie was alternately lowering her sights down and then to me.

(Ta, taking a bath together!? Which means both of us soaking in the bathtub together, both of us naked--------------no no no that’s bad! At least with swimsuits……………….there’s no way we have that! …………….no no no that isn’t the problem!!)

And after a big chaos, I finally thought it was a good idea to ask the person herself directly.

“He-hey Julie………….if I did not hear this right………………ju-just now, did you ask me if I wasn’t entering the bath together?................”

“…………….Ja---“

*Chirin*, the bells rang, and Julie moved her head vertically.

Her cheeks as expected were pumped with blood and it looks like she understands what she just said out of her mouth.

“Wh-why did you suddenly say something like this………….?”

When I asked her while unable to hide my trembling from her explosive remark, an unexpected question was replied back.

“Because there school rule says, after the <<Duo>> has been teamed up they must know about each other deeply, and pass time together as much as possible to strengthen their bonds………….”

(Now that I think about it, we were told that before!)

“No no no, even if it is school rules, we don’t have to follow it that closely!”

“Is that so?”

“Aah. Gen-generally speaking, going together with a male to a bath, you don’t like it right?”

“………………….”

Towards my question, Julie looked downwards in a degree of embarrassment.

After a while, she looked at me with upturned eyes.

“It is embarrassing but, Tooru is special so……….…”

“--------!?”

I got violently agitated from that one sentence.

The misunderstanding on the first day--------love at first sight, did it turn to reality in this one week interval.

(N-no, I can’t call it love at first sight after one week passed right? What is this called? Falling in love normally? No, it’s true that I told her to be my <<Duo>> but, I don’t mean it that way!!)

And, when I was agitated-----------

“Tooru……….somehow feels like a papa”

I seriously was about to fall over from Julie’s comment.

“Hahaha, I-I see, papa huh………….bu-but give up on the bath. As expected there is a lot of problems………………al-also, that goes for toilet”

“Ja----. I understand.”

With various things, the sudden explosive remark that was reached has finally reached a stage where it could be dropped.

Just like that, Julie entered the bathroom, and when I became alone in the room, I made a big sigh.

(That was surprising…………to think she would take the school rules so literally………….)

In a way, she is very honest but, in another way to put it she could be called a natural airhead.

(………………..if I nodded just now, right now I would be…………….)

Immediately, I swung my head to shake off the delusion in my head.

But-------

The time when I found out this matter was not over yet was, after a while I got out of the baths.

“Well then Tooru. It’s about time to sleep.”

“……………………….”

“Tooru?”

Julie tilted her small head.

But, the one having the bigger question was me.

That’s because Julie is in my futon for some reason.

“Are you not going to sleep?”

“No, I am sleeping but…………”

It was the second night of enrollment that we discussed and decided, I will be using the lower level while Julie uses the top level.

Even so, right now Julie was unmistakably in the lower level bed and crawled inside the futon.

“Hey Julie. I think this might be impossible but, are you planning to sleep together………..?”

“Ja---. That’s because we are <<Duo>>.”

“………………….”

It's true I said no to going into the bath and toilet together but, I never thought it would result to this………….

“I- I’ll ask just in case, let me ask what you think regarding sleeping with me.”

“I was always together with mama at home so, although it is embarrassing but actually I feel lonely when I sleep alone.”

Julie made a downhearted expression before, changing it into a small smile.

“That’s why, even though it is in a <<Duo>> way, I am very happy to be able to sleep together”

“I-I see……….”

Towards that smile, I could only answer powerlessly.

(Judging from the talk just now, it looks like I am being treated as a father-like figure inside Julie and has no ulterior intentions)

Because she said until she was happy so, I felt happy being trusted.

(If Julie is happy then……………wait, nonono, it’s a no, no matter how much I think.)

For an instant, I hurried and correct my fluctuating thoughts.

“As,as expected we can’t. No matter if it is <<Duo>>, we are both man and woman………..”

And, although I told her that, I noticed something.

*Stare*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

Using eyes like a thrown away puppy, she was staring fixedly at me.

“I-it’s only for today…………..”

“Ja-----♪“


(Thi-this is because Julie said she was lonely! Also this is only for today! A-and I told her I would become her strength as a <<Duo>>, Un!)

While repeatedly making excuses to no one else but my heart, we entered the bed which was quite cramped for 2 people to sleep in.

And of course, Julie was beside me.

“Good night, Tooru”

“Go-good night, Julie………”

My voice was shaking from the nervousness.

(For now, I’ll pay attention not to touch her body…………yeah, unn. I’ll just have to keep quiet at the corner. If I do that, nothing will happen!)

Although I was thinking that, if I were asked if this would calm my feelings down then my answer would be the same as of course.

Doki Doki Doki Doki Doki [1e 1], my heart beat was ringing like an alarm bell.

I know. That Julie has no ulterior motives.

And of course, I have no intentions to do anything.

(Nothing! Nothing will happen! She is just sleeping beside me!!)

---But in the next moment, that thought was smashed apart.

*Pitoo*.

“!?”

Julie gripped tightly on the sleeves of my shirt in order to touch her head on my shoulders.

“Julie, Julie!?”

“Tooru…….is it okay if I sleep like this?”

“Eh, wai, that’s, no, something is htting, Uee…….!?”

Inside the darkness, Julie’s voice was calm in contrastive to my panicking voice. No-----

“Just like this, I felt like I went back to the past…………”

As if she was mumbling, she continued her words with a somewhat lonely tone.

“It feels like papa came back…………….”

“……..err, how is your Julie’s father?”

“……………..he passed away few years ago.”

“I see……..sorry………”

“Nai. Do not mind it.”

I don’t know why I am piled up against Julie’s father.

But, my thoughts inside me changed a little.

“Hey, Julie. I am not Julie’s father but………….if it is okay, together like this again………wan-want to sleep like this?”

“Ah…….Tooru……………”

“Bu-but not every day. It's only when Julie thinks she is very lonely okay?”

“Ja---------!”

Even in this darkness, I knew Julie was nodding her head.

From the tone of her voice, I also know she was happy.

“Thank you very much, Tooru.”

In order to display her happiness------

*Gyuu*

Julie hugged my arm.

“!?”

“I am very happy.”

(~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!)

Being pushed by her soft and modest chest, the sweet scent from getting in contact with her, I was suppressing my mouth from shouting out any moment now.

Tonight---------

Julie was still hugging my arm even after she fell asleep, so I was wide-awake from being nervous and couldn’t sleep until it was morning. The week ended and it was Monday morning.



After Template:Furigana, I was in low tension since morning when I immediately thought of English.

However Tsukimi-sensei was contrastive to me and was in high tension.

“Oh Hello ♥ did everyone determine your <<Duo>> safely♪un un~ ☆ Well then well then, now that we have our partners decided today onwards it’s a fresh start, let’s change the seats with the <<Duo>> lined together♪ ……….hn? Oh my oh my? it looks like there are people who have not change with their temporary roommate partners.”

“Our compatibility was good.”

“Wawah! What kind of compatibility? What kind of compatibility!?”

“Personality”

“Chie--………”

What kind of answer was she expecting.

“Then how about the good friend combination seating in front of Kokonoe-kun?”

“Who is a good friend with this muscle idiot!”

Tora’s <<Duo>> was Tatsu. Since I teamed up with Julie, Tora who was left out was in the end, was automatically teamed up with the other unregistered person Tatsu.

(Sorry, Tora……..)

“Hnmou----, hey Tora-kun that’s no way to talk to your Sensei. I’ll scold you~☆”

“I refuse.”

“Seriously that’s no good…………oh well. Well then well then continuing with my talk, since the <<Duo>> have been decided, immediately next week a practice match with the <<Blaze>> permitted----------<<Template:Furigana>> will be commenced♪”

The classroom made a commotion at that announcement.

And of course, from bewilderment and shock.

We heard there were practice matches with the use of <<Blaze>> permitted but, there was no one here who thought it was going to be this fast.

“Un Un. I understand clearly what you all are saying. I thought the same thing during my school days♥ That damn glasses brought that up…………ah, that’s a secret to Mikuni-sensei okay.”

It would seems her homeroom teacher was Mikuni—sensei.

“Okay then, I will explain the <<Template:Furigana>> rules, keep your ears straight and listen— ☆“

After saying that, Tsukimi-sensei put her hand on her head and made a rabbit-like reaction.

Even though the ribbon was originally rabbit-like, is she doing this because she knows adding her hands will show 4 ears?

“First off, in the schedule--in next week’s Saturday-------this means it was on the day before GW[1e 2]. We will be having it before the holidays, so even if someone gets sent to the hospital it’s going to be okay♪”

It was an ill omen sentence.

“The start begins at 5 o’ clock, and ends at 7 o’ clock making it 2 hours, the clock tower’s bell are the signal------. The place is the whole northern block---“

“Northern block, which means, here-----------inside the school is also included?”

When I asked that question, Tsukimi-sensei made a thumb stand up and nodded.

“The answer is yes ♥ Each <<Blaze>> has its each special attributes and, to match with that, fighting head on is okay, and so is working out strategies. Taking account in the terrains and how to make the situation in favor to you and fight is also important♪”

It would seem it has quite real life battle content.

(What’s left is depending on the opponent, huh.)

Judging from the lessons in this one week interval from last week, the one that stands out in skill the best in the new students is Julie.

But, since I won’t be fighting against Julie who is my <<Duo>>, the biggest enemy would be Tachibana, Tora, if it is power then Tatsu, a guy named Kigami who has experience in martial arts, and another guy called Izumi who has sports experience and is the class’s 1st ranker in cooperation ability.

I might as well guess who it is inside them was what I thought but----------

“We~~ll then well then, regarding the battle opponent everyone is looking forward to………….nannannannannan okay-----♪”

Tsukimi-sensei made a smile with her whole face, and made her fingers stand up before saying enjoyably.

Everyone is the enemy ♥“

On that days lunch break.

Me, Julie, Tachibana, Hotaka, Tora and Tatsu headed over to the cafeteria to eat together but-----

When the <<Template:Furigana>> topic came up, Hotaka was holding the cup filled with milk and made a gloomy sigh.

“Haa………..we just decided our <<Duo>> and yet…………..”

“It’s because we just decided it is what I think, Miyabi.”

“I agree with Tachibana. It has a meaning because of this period that is what I think.”

When I agreed with Tachibana’s words, Tora sitting beside me made a nod.

“What do you mean?”

Being asked, Tachibana--------started explaining the almost similar content we were thinking about.

“They probably want us to experience a real format battle as fast as possible. It’s true even though we are taught about how to move and readiness as <<Duo>> in lessons but, all of it is just knowledge. Only when we accumulate experience, knowledge will truly be attached into the body.”

“The get used to it than learn it thing huh.”

“Fuun. Time period and how wide the range is, also even though the rules are from battle royals, uncertain factors are high, preparing it into a more actual battle-like situation.”

“Time period? Now that I think about it, we are doing it quite late. What is that?”

“30 minutes after the start and it will be evening, it’ll become sunset before the end and the view will become very hard to see, Miyabi.”

“Fuun.”

To see through the influence during bad eye sight, is to me a very important aspect.

Since my <<Blaze>> is a <<Shield>>, I have no choice but to block my opponents attack and bring it to a close-range combat, having the time period at night time puts me at a disadvantage.

But, having that type of situation is what I wish for.

Able to grasp the chance of victory during a disadvantageous situation, is what I think gaining strength is.

“I see, there are a lot of reasons…………I understand the reasons but, I think I would be better after getting more used to the <<Blaze>> first…………….”

Until now, and from now until the <<Template:Furigana>>, there were no lessons on using <<Blaze>>.

However, even without lessons, it doesn’t seem to be the case if I say training with the use of <<Blaze>> can be conducted or not.

“Miyabi. This time is different from the entrance examination so losing does not mean the end so; you don’t have to force yourself to go beyond your ability. After school today, we will be able to use <<Blaze>> so just steadily get used to it.”

Just like what Tachibana said, starting from now until the <<Template:Furigana>> as long an application has been sent, after school, with a condition of using it inside the school area, the use of <<Blaze>> is permitted.

Most likely, no most definitely, all of our classmates are starting <<Blaze>> training after school.

The most important thing here is, to be told it is okay to observe without permission other <<Duo>>’s training.

It’s the so-called spy act the school approves.

It’s true that, it was written on the classmate profile that was given when we were finding our <<Duo>> but, since I thought it was sketchy; I didn’t look through it thus not memorizing it.

Even though the weapon is the same, the battle styles are different, and have an infinite variety.

Which means, in the point of view of information battle, then it isn't exaggerated to say the <<Template:Furigana>> has begun at this present point.

“Seriously, this is annoying…….”

“Fuun. Your face doesn’t say that, Tooru.”

“That goes to both of us.”

I felt anticipated to have matches with strong opponents.

I think this is a simple personality but, since this is my personality I can’t help it.

“Ko-Kokonoe-kun and Tora-kun too, you two look so eager…………Is it because there is a reward……..?”

The <<Duo>> that accumulates excellent grades in the <<Template:Furigana>>, in a name of special reward, they will receive the chance to be sublimated without waiting to the end of the semester.

As long as the <<Level up>> is not entirely limited to one time, it is better to receive the <<Sublimation Ceremony>> as much as possible.

However---------

“It’s not because of the reward. Of course, I won’t deny that it is one of the reasons.”

While answering Hotaka, I send my sights towards Tora.

“Fuun. It’s been a year and a half since fighting with you seriously.”

“Aah, yeah. Don’t get eliminated before getting to me okay?”

“That is my line.”

We send each other fearless smiles, and lightly bashed our fist together.

“E-err…………..”

“Fufu, this might be a relationship Miyabi has problem understanding. But, why don’t we work hard too so that we won’t lose to these two, Miyabi.”

“U,un………..but, I might become a burden……………”

“It’s okay. It’s true that currently Miyabi is inferior to these two in terms of ability and skill. If that is the case then all we have to do is to make a plan to bury the ability that you are inferior at. And more importantly, don’t forget you have me as a partner. This is not a one on one but a battle with <<Duo>> okay.”

From the way of speaking, it looks like Tachibana has no intentions of losing.

“-----<<Duo>> huh…………”

“Something wrong, Tooru?”

“No, I just remembered something from the <<Duo>>. I was wondering about the <<Absolute Duo>> the director was talking about last time………….”

When the <<Lucifer>> was being administrated, and during the entrance ceremony, it was a word I heard twice.

“Fumu, that huh. I was bothered about that and took a look back at the pamphlet but, that word was not in it. Judging from the nuance, it makes one think it is related to the <<Duo>>, and as long as the director purposely prayed for us to reach the <<Absolute Duo>> eventually, I think it is something important……………..”

“Fuun. Doesn’t this make it clear that we are being recognized as Template:Furigana to her?”

“A guinea pig…?”

Hearing Tora’s sarcasm, Julie raised her eyebrows.

“Well, I understand being called that is nasty, Julie.”

“Nai. That might not be the case……………..”

“That might not be the case?”

“I prefer hamsters so, I prefer that side more………….”

Hearing that sentence, I was about close to slide off my chair.

…………incidentally Tatsu has been *Gahaha* laughing and talking in his own pace from the beginning to the end, so we left him out.



“Tooru. It’s about time to sleep.”

Julie was sitting small and quietly on my bed.

It was the atmosphere like; if she has a tail then it would be making big swings left and right.

“………………you mean together right?”

“Ja----♪“

Towards her nodding figure, my eyesight was getting dizzy.

“Okay then, good night, Julie.”

“Good night, Tooru.”

My heart was beating violently like last time, but in order to make it unable to be sensed, I calmed myself as much as possible.

The lights were turned off, and entered in the futon lined up.

(Uh! A,again………!!)

Julie naturally grabbed my shirt’s sleeve tightly.

Even after Julie fell asleep, I was the same as last time and couldn’t sleep.

But this time, I was calm.

It might be because this was the second time but, more than that-----------

(Otoha……………)

Julie’s figure making sleep breathing was stacked over by my deceased sister.

When I was young, I used to sleep together with my sister.

“Hn……..”

I gently pat Julie’s head.

Julie is not Otoha.

Even so, I felt a little warmed up from the nostalgia.

But-----

*Tight*.

My arm was clung onto again tonight and as expected, I became conscious about the fact Julie isn’t my sister.

(A-again, the softness is! Being pushed! Uwah, get-getting even tighter, gi-gi-give me a break, Julie--------------!!)

And again tonight, I lacked sleep.



The week ended, and it was after school.

Towards the <<Template:Furigana>>, me and Julie were in the courtyard again today, having a practice match with <<Blaze>>.

There are people making tactics, and training under the consciousness of combinations but, instead of re-tempering a dull sword by worrying about combinations, we focused on how our fitting style is and conducted a practice match to grasp them.

Exchanging fist and blade, the gasping offense and defense continues.

But, not long later, the match’s trend started to be seen.

Julie’s extremely fast continuous attacks were gradually cornering me.

(Kuh, this is bad if this goes on. For now, I’ll make some distance…………..!)

And the moment I took some distance.

“---------!?”

Towards the <<Saber>> approaching my eyes, I opened my eyes wide in surprise.

Throwing the <<Saber>> which is her own <<Soul>>-------I barely managed to protect myself from that surprise attack but…………

“Checkmate”

Immediately right after, the remaining <<Saber>> was thrust towards my throat and the outcome was determined.

“I didn’t think you would throw the <<Saber>>.”

“I have two so; I thought throwing at least one was okay.”

(…………unlike her appearance, her imagination is quite exciting.)

Because it is self-taught, the style is not restricted, which means it might be better not to hear about it.

“Let’s take a little break.”

“Ja------“

After taking a bow to end it, the atmosphere Julie was having during the practice completely disappeared.

Just a moment ago, she was emitting a crushing atmospheric pressure but now, she turned into a calm beautiful girl with few words.

Similar to her ability, she was a completely different person.

That was how much the amount of concentration she put towards the battle.

(It’ll be 4 continuous losses with this one today, huh…………..we were still equal during the <<Fist practice>>………..)

Although I was overwhelmed during the first match but, originally my fighting skills learned are centered on being weaponless and if it is a weaponless fight right now, then we should be equal.

But, when it comes to <<Blaze practice>> my winning percentage falls until 20 percent.

Originally adding in with her extreme speed, her reach extended just by holding on to weapons and naturally her attack power increases too, furthermore since her dual blade is self-taught, it becomes hard to read her swordsmanship and thus making it uncontrollable.



(I have to become stronger or else……….)

“Tooru, can I have a moment?”

“What is it?”

“Changing the use of the <<Shield>> a little and only focus on either offense or defense, how about it"

“What do you mean?”

When question marks are popping out from not understanding her intentions, and told me to thrust my hand out.

I did what she said and she used her right hand to ward off my arm then------

Template:Furigana

At the same time she entered my chest area.

………………..until a distance where, if it was Hotaka or Tachibana they might have bumped into me.

Template:Furigana------and, like this”

After saying that, Julie looked up at me.

“………………………………”

Her face is close.

…………..somehow this distance. Is like she is going to kiss me----------

(Wait, what am i thinking about seriously!?)

“I was too close. At this distance”

Not noticing my agitating, Julie took half a step back.

(You really were too close………….)

“Th-then, what was that……….?”

“In a form of Tooru stepping in after receiving attacks but, this would mean receiving attacks while stepping in. The risk is high but, you can enter this distance one action faster. When you reach this spot, it is time for the Template:Furigana

Template:Furigana?”

“It’s this.”

Julie was making stance like pulling a bow behind.

“……………what is that name?”

“It is the weapon Thor holds that we talked before.”

“I-I see……….”

A name was given before I knew about it.

Leaving that aside for now, my eyes became wide-open from Julie’s advice.

“Under the crossings of a long sword is hell but, taking a step forward will make it paradise huh………..”

“-------?”

Julie tilted her small head, *Chirin* and the bells rang.

“It’s a sword’s essential point said by a certain samurai. It has the same meaning with what Julie said.”

Reading breathing patterns and step into the opponent’s chest area the moment the opponent moves, making it attack and blocking at the same time.

Stepping forward will increase the risk but, getting closer to the fulcrum lowers the power and makes blocking the attack easier.

And after blocking the attack, at that moment just like what Julie said, it’s my opportunity.

“Thanks for the advice. Julie. Sorry but, can I rely on you about the other side.”

“Ja---“

Julie made a nod and made a small smile before taking distance.

On that day------after we teamed up as a <<Duo>>, Julie will show smiles sometimes.

I felt that it was the proof of trust to me and although I didn’t say it out my heart was quite happy.

“Here I go, Tooru………………!”

But, reading breathing patterns can be easily said but, it is not something that can be put into practice in just a day.

“What’s wrong, Tooru?”

“It might be possible if I make it to a situation where reading breathing patterns is easier. Well, it is still hard for the current me……………”

“Let’s work hard.”

Julie grasped both her hands tightly.

“Aah, yeah”

If I am asked if I can master it before the <<Template:Furigana>> it was hard to say.

But even so, it’s true that I made a new goal for now on, although I did not achieve any results but with a fulfilling feeling we decided to end today’s training.



“Ah……………..Ko-kokonoe-kun, Julie-chan. You two just got back?”

“Ja----. Miyabi is going out?”

“U-un…………”

When we just got back to the dormitory, we unexpectedly met up with Hotaka right when we changed places with her while she was heading outside. “Are you still preparing for the <<Template:Furigana>>?”

“Eh? Ah, around those lines……….”

Hoping to make plans, she was following what Tachibana proclaimed; Hotaka and Tachibana would look around the premise after school and would conduct a strategic meeting inside their room.

“I see. The sun is going to sink so, be careful.”

“Fight, Miyabi.”

“Un………Thank you, Kokonoe-kun, Julie-chan.”

After nodding to us, Hotaka jogged outside.

“She sure is working hard, that Hotaka.”

“Let’s work hard too.”

Julie gripped both of her hands tightly together and made a motivated pose.

But since her expression didn’t change much as usual, I accidentally laughed thinking it was a little weird and Julie tilted her small head looking at me doing so.

“-----?”



There are 4 days left to the <<Template:Furigana>>-------------the chime signaling the end of 2nd period rang, and everyone from the classroom leaked out their sighs.

“Haa…………..it’s finally over……………”

Even though they say they center on skill training, study subjects are of course natural.

In the morning, it has been decided to have lessons for 2 hours in the classroom, various contents from normal stuff and abnormal stuffs were cramped into my head.

And the subject of today’s normal content was, English--------------

After the lesson ended, I lied on the table and everyone gathered around my table.

“Fuun, even though it just started, what are you going to do if you are in this state now?”

“If Japanese people can talk Japanese then it’s all okay………….”

“E,errr, isn’t it better to be able to speak in English, Kokonoe-kun…………..?”

“Just like what Miyabi said. It is important to learn languages since we might be dispatched overseas after graduation, we were told that in the first lesson. Haa…………..”

“If not for the sigh at the end and that tired face, it would be a plausible sentence………”

“-------------!! I-I don’t have a choice. I have always been bad in English……!!”

“Ahaha………..actually I am also bad at it………”

“Haa………..this is annoying……..”

“Fuun, every last one of you is pitiful.”

“””……………”””

From the single sentence from Tora who has excellent grades, just like the literature we have nothing to reply.

“………………now that I think about it, Julie has it easy with English. Is it your country’s official language?”

“Nai. It is a language quite close to English but, it is different.”

“Fumu………….so that means Julie can speak in 3 different languages”

Julie swing her head in Tachibana’s question.

“It’s 6 different languages.”

”””Six!!””””

From that large number even Tora was shocked and 4 of our voices piled up together.

“Gimle language, Japanese language, English------and 3 more northern European languages.”

“Tha-that’s amazing……..”

“The language from northern countries is quite similar to Gimle’s. English has been enforced in my school and for Japanese, I have been taught by mama like I said before. Although it is a different story when it comes to writing literature………….”

Looks like for her writing, she has her mother language, English, and more or less Japanese although it was in the best she can do.

Even when Julie showed such a downhearted state, I think being able to talk it itself is amazing enough.

“He-hey Julie-chan. Next time, is it okay if I ask you about things I don’t know about?”

“Ja---.I’ll be happy too if it is within my ability.”

“………….Sorry Julie. Can I count on you………?”

“Count me in as well………..”

“Fuun. I don’t mind teaching you, Tooru.”

“No, judging from Tora’s personality, it will definitely turn Spartan and be annoying so I'll pass on it.”

“……………”

“Oh yeah, Julie. Sorry for it being sudden, but I have something I don’t understand from the lesson just now, can you teach me that?”

“Ja---.Where?”

Julie nodded and opened her own notes.

On it there were beautiful English cursive writing and--------mysterious hieroglyphic written words there.

“What is this?”

“…………Japanese”

After saying that, Julie casts her eyes down embarrassed.



“Uu……………….”

Touching Julie’s slender white legs is somewhat-------no, is quite nerve wrecking.

“Tooru?”

“A-aah………”

Julie tilted her head in wonder but after I nodded saying it’s okay, I touched her soft skin and hands.

(It’s really smooth………..wait, what am I thinking about!!)

If people ask why am I doing this then, this is also a part of a lesson.

Today is 2 days just before the <<Template:Furigana>>, and dull ash colored clouds were covering the sky.

The 4th period, health lessons was conducted in such weather, first-aid--------we were learning how to roll up bandages.

After being explained on several ways to roll bandages, this time it was time for the <<Duo>>’s to put it to practice but--------------

(Ev-even if it is a part of a lesson…………..)

Touching a girl’s bare feet as expected has some resistance.

Thanks to that, my heart beat was in increased state, and Julie made a soft shocked voice.

“Ah……….Tooru, you skipped one step.”

“Eh? Isn’t it like this………Buu!?”

I lifted my face and the moment I move my sights from her legs to face, I spurt out.

Because her skirt was just wound up until it was in the limit zone.

“---------?”

I quickly moved my sights back to her legs, and swing my head to ward off the image I saw.

(Sh-she’s too defenseless, this is just too…………..!!)

This situation was not the only one; she would wear a one-shirt as a housedress when it is hot, she would also bring her face to a super close distance and so forth; Julie is quite defenseless in regards to the opposite gender.

Although it’s not like I don’t feel embarrassment coming from her, since her cheeks blushed when I accidentally peeked at her changing………….

(I completely don’t know her standards……..no, I can agree if I think I am being treated as a father-like figure right?)

And when I was troubled in my head-----

“Tooru?”

Julie tilted her head in wonder.

“Ah, So-sorry. I was trying to remember what I was supposed to do--------Buu!?”

When I was trying to face towards Julie face, I once again spurt out from the same scenery……..

After a while, around the time we finish bandaging each other, Tsukimi-sensei *Pan**Pan* clapped her hand and gave the next instruction.

“Well then------, next off try it on a different person other than your <<Duo>>---♪“

(This is great…………………as expected, I would get tired from being too nervous when I have Template:Furigana as my partner…………)

After I made a sigh of relief from Tsukimi-sensei’s single sentence, Hotaka called out to Julie.

“Ju-Julie-chan. Why don’t we do it together………?”

“Ja---. I am counting on you, Miyabi.”

(I will go with Tora-----)

“Wait, huh? Where’s Tora?”

Tora’s figure sitting in front was missing, and I could not find him even after I looked around the classroom.

“What are you saying Kokonoe. Tora and Tatsu were disputing throughout and were making a commotion so; they were thrown out to the corridor.”

Towards Tachibana explaining that with a fed up face, I could only reply back with a wry smile.

It looks like I was more nervous than I thought.

(I have no choice. I’ll just go with someone else………..)

Although I thought of that, all the guys has already finished grouping up.

That means, the only ones remaining are------

“Looks like everyone else finished teaming up. As people that are remaining, why don’t we team up, Kokonoe.”

“Eh, a-aah………..”

Since I had a girl once again as my partner, I predicted the I would feel nervous in the practical afterwards so made a small sigh--------right after, I found out even the prediction was half-hearted.

“What’s wrong, Kokonoe? Hurry up and bandage me.”

(Ev-even if you tell me that………)

The instruction of the next practical was the method of bandaging when the shoulders is dislocated but, this was much more difficult than what I had imagined.

First off, wrap around the arms then next is one wrap round around the body’s (Chest) --------and this is repeated several times but…………. It means during the time when wrapping around the body, my hands were close to touching the bulges on her chest.

What’s more, Tachibana’s chest was the 2nd biggest inside the class and it was quite nerve wrecking to avoid having my hands touching them, because of that I made a mistake in distributing my strength and accidentally made Tachibana’s breathing become wild.

“Haa, fuu,hn, haaa………..Kokonoe, hnn………it’s a little, tight……….”

Furthermore, I made a mistake in the wrapping and accidentally made the wrapping further emphasizes her huge chest, and together with her disarrayed breathing, her oddly erotic figure is in front of me…………..

“Oya Oya? Kokonoe-kun. To think you would do an abnormal play right off the bat, you won’t be satisfied anymore if it is normal you know---?”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 7.jpg

At that moment, Tsukimi-sensei threw out an unnecessary sentence.

“Abnormal………….?”

“Although it might be your preference but, please give up on tying her up to emphasize her chest in lessons okay, you Ecchi-man [1e 3]♥”

“---------!?”

Making a doubly sure sentence, Tachibana noticed the situation she was in-------

“T-to think you have a liking in humiliating someone using bondage………….A-a guy like you is shameless!!”

“It’s a misunderstanding----------!!”

“You shameless pervert----------------!!”

Even though I quickly deny it, Tachibana didn’t lend her ears and walked out the classroom.

“Ahahahaha☆ it’s better you hurry and chase after her, or else the misunderstanding is going to get worse, Kokonoe-kun♪”

“Whose fault do you think it is!!”

I shouted towards Tsukimi-sensei who was making a smiling face with one of her eyes closed and dashed out the classroom to chase after Tachibana.

“Ooh, Youth youth~ *Whistle**whistle*☆”

I could hear an openly enjoying voice coming from the classroom, and I cursed her inside my mind.

(Aah, damn it! An annoying person is my homeroom teacher………….!!)



It became evening; the weather turned weird and started raining.

Thanks to that, me and Julie ended our match quickly and returned to the dormitory but-------

“Ah………..Tachibana……………”

After dinner, half-way of heading towards the training room because I felt like moving my body a little more.

In the lounge, I saw Tachibana inside the group of students relaxing there, and stopped my legs.

“Mu…………….?--------------uh! Koko-Kokonoe-kun………………..”

After turning back at my muttering, Tachibana’s face instantly blushed and showed an agitated state.

“I-I am very sorry about what happened in the afternoon. That kind of insult in front of everyone------“

“No, it’s okay already. And, let me say this just in case, you don’t have to kneel on the ground.”

Continuing from a few days ago, she also kneels on the ground today, and persuading her to stop requires quite a lot of time but that’s another story.

“More importantly, what is Tachibana doing here-------Shogi[1e 4]?”

In the dormitory lounge, there was a television, table, chairs and sofa placed there, it was a space opened for students to freely relax in. It was a place with magazines, Manga, games prepared on the shelves along the wall, and an embarrassing Manga cafe providing snacks and drinks which can be consumed as much as you want.

In that lounge, Tachibana was holding a book in one hand and a Shogi board was placed on the table.

“Aah, it's Shogi problems.”

“Is it interesting?”

“Fufu, there is no reason for me to do it if it is not interesting right. Kokonoe want to try it too?”

“I’ll give up on that. I am bad at using my head.”

“Fumu. It’s true it feels like that.”

“……………even though you suck in English.”

“Th-the only thing I am bad at is English.”

Certainly, compared to me who has bad grades other than sports, Tachibana is doing quite well other than English.

However, more importantly-------

“Uu…………….”

She crossed her arms together when she looked back at me, her huge nicely shaped breast was riding on it and emphasized.

Thanks to that, I had a flashback on what happened during the afternoon, and the person concerned which was Tachibana, is in an unworried state.

“What’s wrong, Kokonoe?”

“N-no……………more importantly, to like Shogi, you sure are quite refined.”

While feeling my cheeks getting hot, I returned the topic to Shogi to avoid being noticed.

“Fufu, my house is a certain martial arts dojo. I learned it as the next successor but, the pupils around there were only elders. And what those elderly picked during their resting time was Shogi.”

After making a gentle smile, Tachibana closed the book with Shogi problems in it which she was holding.

“Well then, it’s about time I return back to my room. Sorry to stop you.”

“I don’t really mind. Originally, it was me who called out to you in the first place anyway.”

“Okay then, see you tomorrow morning.”

After saying that, Tachibana cleaned up the Shogi board and book and exited out the lounge.

(Well then, I should get going too-----------hn………..?)

When I exited the lounge, just when I used the stairs and went to the lower floor, I saw Hotaka there.

But, her figure disappeared before I could call out to her.

(She was wearing windbreakers right? Which means she is planning to head out?)

Inside that drizzle, I wonder want kind of business she has outside.

While I was somewhat interested, I headed towards the training room.

And like that, the thing regarding Hotaka completely flew out of my mind but----------

Around an hour later, when I was reading a magazine after finishing my training, Hotaka came back to the dormitory.

…………….looks like she didn’t bring an umbrella with her, and she was dripping wet from her head.

“Hotaka. Where did you go that you are so wet?”

As expected I was interested this time and called out to Hotaka.

“Eh? A-ara……… Kokonoe-kun, what are you doing here………?”

“I am in the middle of break…………….so, how about Hotaka?”

“Uu………e-err…………….”

It seemed to be something hard to say, Hotaka was alternately moving her sights from her legs to me--------

After a while, she replied back softly.

“Ru-running…………..”

“I see, running huh”

No wonder she came back after one hour.

“Wait, Running!? At this time and inside this rain, for more than one hour!? Even though you ran during the lessons too!?”

“U-un………..”

“Ah……….by chance, last time-------when me and Julie came back to the dormitory and passed by you at the entrance and you went outside, you were planning to run too………….?”

“U-un………..”

“Why on earth…………..”

“……………………….ac-actually, from last time…………….fwa………..fwaa, Kushunn”

“Ah…………sorry. You are still wet.”

Towards Hotaka who sneezed, I unexpectedly thought she was quite cute.

“So-sorry. Is it okay if I come back after I take a bath?”

“I get it. Then I’ll wait here.”



“Sorry to make you wait, Kokonoe-kun. Sorry to be so late.”

30 minutes passed after that and Hotaka whose cheeks were visibly blushing from a bath, came back to the lounge.

“I was reading magazines so………. It’s, okay………”

I swang my head towards Hotaka who called me and apologized, I then placed the magazine on the table but--------------

“What’s wrong, Kokonoe-kun?”

“N-no…….”

Maybe it’s because she came out of the baths, her rough attire-----------the thin T-shirt was transparent and her pink underwear entered my eyes making me agitated.

Incidentally, I also remembered the piggy-back I gave Hotaka last time-------

*PAN!*

“Hyaa!?...........Wha-what happened to you, Kokonoe-kun?”

“No, I just want to make myself motivated……….”

“Mo-motivated? Aren’t you in the middle of a break?”

“I was putting in some motivation to rest.”

“…………..Is Kokonoe-kun a little weird?”

“Maybe.”

If this goes on, I might be conscious about it, and when I thought there is a chance it might be noticed, being thought of as a little weird is better.

“So, about that running matter from just now--------“

“Ah, unn. Lately, I have been running 20 kilometers everyday………”

“Even when you ran during lessons?”

“U-un……….in order to use my <<Blaze>>, stamina is needed so…………”

(Stamina……?)

Now that I think about it, I wonder what kind of <<Blaze>> Hotaka manifests?

It should be written on the profile list but, since I checked (What’s more roughly) only through the males, I am quite interested to what it is.

(Well, I’ll find out when I have a match with her during the <<Template:Furigana>>.)

“Speaking of which, recently your marathon time has increased. There was this kind behind the scenes huh.”

Lately, Hotaka reaches the goal before the sky color changes.

Since she didn’t have any stamina from the start, I thought results would appear fast but, to think she was putting this much effort in the shadows………

That day---------when I think about that day when Hotaka said some weak words, I was shocked from the bottom of my heart.

“You sure are working hard, Hotaka.”

“U-un………”

While her cheeks were blushed from coming out the baths, Hotaka looked downwards a little and entwined the fingers with both her hands.

“It is thanks to Kokonoe-kun.”

“Me?”

“Un. You said on that day, to try running a bit more……..”

“I feel it isn’t in the level of a bit more though.”

“Fufu. That’s because Kokonoe-kun said he ran a lot and became fast like right now…………so I thought I should run a lot too……….”

“Hotaka………”

“Stamina is something you obtain the more you run……………..something like talent doesn’t matter, right?”

After saying that, Hotaka made a smile.

When we first met, that image of her hesitantly trying to avoid having our eyes meet was like a lie.

But when she let out the next sentence, Hotaka’s smile disappeared and the tone of her voice changed.

“I……..have nothing special. Whether it is studying or sports and I have a lot of things I am bad at………….that’s why if I have even one thing that I am better at than someone else, something that I can boast about, I always thought that would be nice.”

Towards Hotaka who was making a lonely face, I straightened my ears and kept quiet.

“That’s why, I was happy when I was told I had an <<Adapt>>. I was in high spirits when I heard it was a talent that belongs to one in a thousand. But…………..after coming to Kouryou, as expected it isn’t suitable for me, and nothing changed in the end even though I have an <<Adapt>>………..”

After saying it until there, Hotaka slightly swung her head and faced towards my face.

“But Kokonoe-kun, said talent doesn’t matter and I will definitely change so…….I, have those words support me and kept on running everyday.”

“……………somehow this is embarrassing.”

I scratched my head and averted my sights and, Hotaka giggled at me.

“Last time too, I was very happy when you cheered me up.”

“Haha. If you can get cheered up from that then, I will say it anytime you want.”

“Re-really? Then, if by any chance I feel depressed; will you say something that will cheer me up again?”

“No problem. If you would cheer up from that then I’ll say it as much as you want.”

“Ah…….un. It’s, a promise.”

The quiet Hotaka made a small smile that makes me think of a giant flower.

Looking at that smile, I was glad from the bottom of my heart to talk with Hotaka on that day.

After that we continued immersing ourselves in talking, the dormitory advisor then showed up in the lounge to tell us it was time to turn off the lights, and we returned back to our respective rooms.

“Okay then, let’s work hard for the <<Template:Furigana>>.”

“U-un”

When I said my goodbyes in front of the staircase, Hotaka headed a few steps up before looking back.

“E-err, Kokonoe-kun. I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I have a request………..!”

“Request?”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 8.jpg

*Bun**bun* Hotaka nodded oddly violently.

“I-I want you to call me by my name. Mi-Miyabi……..! A-all my friends call me by that……….! Tha-that’s why, that’s why…………”

“I get it. Then it’s okay to call me Tooru.”

“Ah…………u-un”

“Then, see you again tomorrow. Miyabi”

“Good night. To-Tooru,-kun…………..”

Miyabi made a smile and swing her hands before lightly going up the stairs.

Her back somehow looks in a good mood to me.

Part 2Edit

“I’m back.”

“What were you doing at a time like this, Miyabi?”

Tomoe released her sights from the book she was reading and faced towards Miyabi who came back.

“Mu………?”

“What’s wrong?”

“No, I just thought, did something nice happen to you?”

“Eh!? I-I-I think nothing special happened though…………..”

Miyabi’s cheeks were slightly blushing and she showed an agitated state.

But, to take it according to her words, Tomoe at a time like this isn’t that dumb.

(The person itself said like that so, asking more than this is probably called insensitive.)

Tomoe made a small smile so that Miyabi wouldn’t notice and once again returned her sights to her book.

But inside her head, Tomoe was thinking about her roommate that just got back.

At first during enrollment, Miyabi was worried if she could catch up in the training and made a lot of dark expressions.

However, one day her psychological state became positive.

From the long time they spent together, it was natural to say Tomoe was the first one to notice that change.

(However, if I say I am not bothered then I would be lying.)

While looking at Miyabi who was lying on the bed in a good mood, Tomoe thought that.

After a while the lights were turned off, the sound of Tomoe’s well regulated sleep breathing could be heard from the lower bed.

On one side, speaking of Miyabi who was using the upper bed level, she has not fallen asleep yet.

She was supposed to feel sleepy but, each time she remembered about what happened just now, she couldn’t sleep.

(Tooru-kun…………)

Each time she remembers about Tooru, she would naturally smile.

Until now, to Miyabi the opposite gender was her conscious subject of being bad with.

But, Tooru is different.

He didn’t make fun of Miyabi’s dullness. And he would push her back too.

(It would be nice if tomorrow comes faster…………….)

When she thought about that, her heartbeat increased for some reason.

The reason why she started being attracted to Tooru, Miyabi was still not conscious about it yet.



Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. Heart beat sound effect
  2. Golden Week
  3. Pervert man
  4. Japanese chess


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Chapter 6: I Will Be the One---That Take Your Cover!!Edit

Part 1Edit

A night before the <<Template:Furigana>>.

The comfortable time after taking a bath has already turned into a daily thing--------

Like usual, we were drinking apple tea while watching television.

“It looks delicious, Tooru.”

“That’s true. It would be nice if I can eat that even once.”

When I agreed with her at the local gourmet being shown on the screen, Julie made a wondering face and asked.

“Tooru has not eaten it before even though it is a Japanese food?”

“Aah. I never went to Kyushu before.”

I was supposed to go to Kyushu on my middle school trip but, since my mental state towards my daily life changed greatly during that summer, I didn’t go.

If it didn’t change, I would not seek <<Power>> and come to Kouryou then---------

I would probably not be passing time with Julie like this.

(The reason for coming to Kouryou, huh……………)

When I thought about that, the question that arose on the first day after enrollment once again came forth.

The question of, why did Julie enroll into Kouryou.

Leaving her country, and coming to the deepest part of the east while holding anxiety----------what’s more to a very special background school, a battle technique instruction school.

That was not all.

Once that question came across my mind, the feeling of wanting to know got bigger and bigger but---------

(This isn’t something I should be asking out of curiosity…………..)

I controlled myself using the same reason as the last time.

It might have a circumstance she doesn’t want to be asked.

More importantly, I came to Kouryou with a circumstance which I don’t want others to know.

“Tooru. It should be time to go to bed.”

When I was absent minded and thinking, I was urged by Julie.

When I looked over to Julie, she was already sitting on the lower bed before I knew it.

(As expected, this is nerve wrecking………….)

I was still resisting the action of sleeping together with a girl in the same futon.

But, Julie in question did not show any nervousness at all.

I was not treated as a male but rather like a father-like existence so if I say this is natural then it is only natural but…………..

Being trusted sounds nice but, somehow it was a complex feeling.

“Tooru?”

“A,aah. Let’s sleep then………….”

The lights were turned off and we entered the bed.

Inside the darkness wrapped in silence, I thought as an ending I called out to Julie.

“Julie”

“Yes?”

“Let’s do our best tomorrow.”

“Ja---“

“Okay then, good night Julie.”

“Good night, Tooru.”

Julie clung tightly to me.

(~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!)

It has already been something done every time but even so, I was so agitated by this action I couldn’t get used to, and not long after, my consciousness lost to the drowsiness and fell into the darkness.



The night cleared out----------and the curtains of the <<Template:Furigana>> unfolded.



“Tooru, it’s almost time.”

Staring at the clock tower which could be seen from everywhere inside the academy, Julie muttered.

Near evening on the next day, about the time <<Template:Furigana>> was going to start, just beside the outer walls surrounding Kouryou------we were standing-by on the place we drew by lottery.

The other <<Duo>>s were also doing the same by standing-by around different places in the academy, and were impatiently waiting.

Towards the event that is going to happen, when I was wrapped in an uplifting feeling------

*RiinGon-----**RiinGon………..**RiinGon…………..*

The bells of the clock tower announced the start of the <<Template:Furigana>> inside the academy.

“Let’s go, Julie!”

“Ja----!”

“”<<Blaze>>””

Our voices piled up and the <<Flame>> danced.

At the same time when a <<Shield>> appeared on my right arm, and <<Template:Furigana>> appeared on both Julie’s hands, we started running.

But, it’s not like we have no plan.

Advancing straight ahead, and if we encounter other <<Duo>> we crush them head on.

(I never thought Julie would go with my plan---------no plan.)

Towards my plan which only consists of a risky advance, Julie did not hesitate and nodded.

She said, [I will choose a difficult road in order to become stronger……….I also think we should go with that].

To agree with my thoughts, we might really be compatible with each other.

(However-------)

I took a side glance to Julie running beside me.

In order to become stronger-------Julie certainly said that.

(I wonder why Julie wants to become stronger?)

But that question disappeared when we found our battle opponent from far away and we plunged in.



The time was around 6 o’clock, and the view was getting darker upon that time.

On the present time, we crushed 6 groups of <<Duo>>s and were in the middle of searching for the next opponent.

At this point, there were opponents that would receive a frontal match, and some pretending to be defeated and finding a chance to strike.

There were some that grouped together with the difference in power so, there were seriously various tactics taken by each <<Duo>>, it turned into a format close to real battle with the future unpredictable.

At the present time, the hardest opponent was the Kigami & Izumi but, after they were disturbed by Julie’s speed, the match ended with me giving a single strike.

The remaining strong ones are Tachibana & Miyabi, and Tora & Tatsu these two teams.

“If I think there is less than 1 hour then, it is a pain to look for an opponent.”

“There seem to be a lot of <<Duo>>s that have dropped out so, it is something that can’t be helped.”

“Do you think it is a good idea to confirm places we have never been to?”

“The opponents are moving too, so it will be difficult.”

Naturally, there were <<Duo>>s that didn’t move away from their spot.

The teams’ conscious about an advantageous position should be like a spider waiting for its prey to get caught in its net.

“Let’s head to the school building for now.”

“Ja----. There is a route through the auditorium from the front and the opposite side from here but, which one should we go with?”

“From what we can see, there is no one in the front so, let’s go around the opposite side.”

Julie agreed with my plan and right after we started moving to the opposite side of the auditorium-----

“O-ya, Kokonoe-kun and Sigtuna-san. Looks like you are doing well in winning.”

Mikuni-sensei appeared from the auditorium and talked to us.

“Ah, thank you for patrolling, Mikuni-sensei.”

In case the students get hurt during the <<Template:Furigana>>, there were few people including Tsukimi-sensei and Mikuni-sensei patrolling.

“No no, this is also my job……………..and, now it isn’t the time to be talking nor overemphasis, both of you please continue the <<Template:Furigana>>.”

[Yes, please excuse us] [Please excuse us]

I bowed lightly, and jogged towards the other side of the auditorium together with Julie.

………………..we didn’t notice Mikuni-sensei making a light smile towards our back.


This was what happened when we were taking side glances in the passageway connecting the auditorium and school building together.

“----!!”

When I jumped aside from the splitting air sound, a flying something pierced a hole to the ground in front of me.

“You came, Kokonoe, Julie.”

Together with a dignified voice, Tachibana showed herself and retrieved the something she shot at us.

*Jyarii* a rustling sound of metal. The thin iron rings reflected the evening sun and it was a weapon with a drip shaped weight attached on its tip, the <<Template:Furigana>>----------that was Tachibana’s <<Blaze>>.

Normally, the combination of a weight and chain weapon is to restrain the opponents or entangle their weapons, its sub-weapon image is strong. In reality, it pierced a hole into the earth like just now, and it holds a power enough to crack my skull if it hits my head.

“What a dangerous greeting, Tachibana.”

“Fufu, I shot it so you could avoid it so, forgive me for that much. More importantly, I was about to give up when I thought it was impossible to have a match with you two when the time became only an hour.”

“That goes for me too. Looks like my love call got through.”

“Aah, like I love you!? Wha-wha-what are you saying suddenly!? ………….kuh, to think you would use words to confuse my heart, how cowardly!!”

“Huh? Confuse your heart? What do you mean?”

“……………..ah………….”

“Hey, what do you mean, Tachibana?”

“Shu-shu-shut up! Let’s fight with good grace!! Tachibana style 18 arts, Tachibana Tomoe……….here I come!!”

Hyun, that sound appeared and when I thought the metal drip rotated, immediately right after Tachibana’s hands become blurry--------

The metal water drop cut through the air and was heading this way.

[-----------!!][Tooru!]

Even though I dodged it almost at the same timing with Julie’s shout, the metal drip scratched me and plowed down the tree behind me like that.

“It has some power but------it’s okay, it’s just a scratch.”

“Fufu, that was a nice dodge. Several people got hit with only this and ended.”

“We finally met, so I can’t have it end in an instant, right?”

Although I talked so much, I was having cold sweats in my mind.

(If I hadn’t avoided the vital points then it seriously would have been a one-hit kill. The gap is 6 to 7 meters………?)

Although it is a breath distance thanks to the <<Lucifer>> , it was hard to make sure from that happening with only a slight movement of her wrist. On top of that, since the gap is wide, it is clear entering her chest area is going to be a pain.

(This is going to be hard……….also------)

“What happened to Miyabi? Are you planning to fight us without your partner?”

“Fufu, didn’t you make a prediction?”

(As expected a strategy huh…………)

She is probably lurking around somewhere to ambush us.

Coming to the front lines with an irregular weapon like the <<Template:Furigana>>, means Miyabi’s <<Blaze>> is probably not a type meant for head-on combat.

(…………I didn't think Miyabi would fight head-on in the first place anyway.)

“Well then, why don’t we start going-all out now.”

“Aah, let’s go! Julie!”

“Ja----!!”

All 3 of us moved at the same time.

I and Julie dodged the incoming metal drip by separating to the left and right and immediately dashed towards Tachibana.

The important thing here is not getting put between the opponents. Tachibana’s sight was reflecting both of our images while, attacking us to dull our judgments. A blind spot attack from the other side will make the decision to cope faster from the viewable side as long as it has been predicted.

“Fuu, I have already predicted your movements!!”

*Jyarii*-------the rustling sound of the chain. At the same time Tachibana sights were on Julie.

But the metal drip was heading towards me.

At the same time with me stopping my legs to block the metal drop with my <<Shield>>, Tachibana jumped into Julie’s chest area.

Surprised, Julie’s arm was grabbed and thrown up to the air just like that.

Even though Julie landed easily by twisting her body, Tachibana once again took distance.

“As expected from you, Tachibana.”

“Tachibana style 18 arts have various martial arts passed through. Sword skills, jujitsu, arrow skills, and many more-------”

“……….This is troubling”

<<Template:Furigana>> for distance, and jujitsu for close-combat-------just like what Julie said, there is nothing more annoying.

“Okay, I am going to keep going, Kokonoe, Julie!!”

The attacking metal drip pierced the ground one after another. That attack, launches and pull backs were fast, therefore we couldn’t grasp the timing to enter her chest area.

However, the situation is getting poor for her since it is a one sided defense battle. The opponent still has a plan----------as long as Miyabi is still waiting, we can’t let Tachibana get the pace here.

“Julie! <<Template:Furigana>> throw!”

“Ja---!”

A short instruction. But that is all it needs to get through. Julie who moved to the side in an instant, followed my instruction and reached right behind her.

“A blind?”

*Chyarii* that sound appeared, and the <<Template:Furigana>> shook. She was planning to make a counter-attack from looking at me and Julie’s movements.

“Julie!”

To replace the signal, I called Julie’s name------and made a front roll.

“Wha!?”

Having her predictions overcome, Tachibana made a surprised voice.

It was not from my movements. It was because she saw the <<Template:Furigana>> thrown at me and passing through the top of my head.

Although she was attacked off guard, she still evaded the flying sword.

But, Julie who was in mid-air performed a slash attack at that moment. It was something that only belongs to Julie who has two of her most trusted weapons, and it was the attack that made me suffer defeat on the 4th match conducted after school on Monday.

However, I can say it was expected from Tachibana.

*Jigiin*! She somehow blocked the swung down blade with the bundled up chains.

But, that was the limit of being alone.

By the time I got up, I was already in her range.

Together with a strong shout, I made a mid-level punch and pierced towards to Tachibana’s stomach.

However it was too shallow……….! Right before it hit, the hit point was decreased because she slightly twisted her body.

But even so, she was blown away for a few meters but, at the same time with Tachibana standing up--------

“Kuh………..! We are retreating for now, Miyabi!”

After shouting, she jumped into the school building.

She probably decided it was not the situation effective to use the ambush, or is this is a strategy too-----------------------

“Julie, we’re chasing!”

Without even thinking about it for an instant, we chased after Tachibana when we got the chance of winning, and dashed into the school building.

At the end of the corridor that was turning darker, we saw Tachibana kneeling down there.

Although it was shallow, it looks like she got some damaged on her.

“We’ll end this.”

Julie prepared her <<Template:Furigana>>, and filled in the distance.

Looking at that, Tachibana raised her face------and showed a smile.

“Miyabi!!”

As if to respond to that call, a thunderous roar echoed from behind us.

The classroom wall was destroyed and a shadow dashed out to the corridor from inside the enshrouding dust------It’s Miyabi.

“Sorry. If I don’t get hit at least once, you would probably think it is a trap and won’t chase me. Okay, this will end it! Tachibana style-------Style of the big snake!!”

This time it wasn’t the snap throw she used until now but a full strength full throw hitting the walls, the ceiling, and floor, the metal drip was springing around and approaching.

The reason for entering a narrow area like the corridor was also to use this.

And also------Miyabi was charging straight forward behind us.

“Tooru-kun, Julie-chan, be prepared--------!!”

In her hands she was holding a giant lance-------<<Template:Furigana>>. Just like the name it is a lance originally meant to be used by a knight on a horse, and she was charging towards us while holding it with her enhanced arm strength. Even though it is a giant weapon that will make a huge chance completely if it misses but, it is extremely hard to avoid it in this narrow space.

(So this is what she meant……!!)

It took me this long to remember the conversation I had with Miyabi. The words Miyabi said about needing stamina in order to use her <<Blaze>>. If I knew she was planning to use a <<Template:Furigana>>, then I would have agreed with her.

The prediction that it is a much trickier <<Blaze>> for an ambush was an unthinkable wrong conclusion. Using a giant weapon like <<Template:Furigana>> as a ambush is completely out of my predictions but, it could be said to be a proper strategy in the point of attacking us off-guard.

(What should I do…………!?)

The current situation is exactly, a lion in front and a wolf behind.

The moment I thought a quick decision would definitely determine everything----------

“Tooru! I am counting on you!”

As soon as Julie shouted, she charged into the attacking <<Template:Furigana>>.

Not even taking a single glance behind us, and with all her trust towards me--------*Chirin* she left behind the sound of the bell. That’s why I made a vow towards her back, and shouted.

“Julie! I will------protect your back!!”

I turned behind, lowered my hips and prepared my <<shield>> towards the charging Miyabi.

“I-I am coming, Tooru-kun!!”

Will I be blown away or will I block it---------!!

*GyaRiii*!! The <<Template:Furigana>> and <<Shield>> clashed.

“I-I won’t lose!! I………..will show you the results of my effort! To Tooru-kun! That’s why, that’s why I will not loseeeee!!”

A direct battle between strength. The tremendous impact, I was pushed by that power and was about to be blown away.

(Kuh, heavy……..!!)

The results she gained from running, has certainly turned into Miyabi’s flesh and blood.

As proof, that impact was transmitted to me, and even when I stood firm while pushing back, I was moving backwards.

*Mishi**mishi* the <<Shield>> creaked and even when my feet became slightly floating from the pressure--------

(But…………….Like hell I will lose!!)

“SEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!”

*Zun*!! I slammed my floating feet and crushed the floor.

In an instant, there were cracks coming from the floor to the wall, and at the same time I stopped moving backwards.

“Uu………….!”

No matter how much strength she put into it, towards me who was not moving like a mountain, Miyabi distorted her face---------

“Haa……………I can’t put any more strength………..”

Soon, at the same time with the pressure disappearing, Miyabi made a wry smile while falling on her butt.

“The results of your effort, I have seen it. You were strong, Miyabi”

“Ah…………Th-thank you for praising me, Tooru-kun……….e-errrr. I, will continue running even more from now on. And, I will become even stronger then, so……………..”

“Aah. Work hard. I look forward for the next match”

“U-un……………!”

Part 2Edit

Just a few moments after Tooru’s battle concluded--------Tachibana Tomoe was feeling fear at the silver girl heading towards her.

At that figure dodging the <<Template:Furigana>> which was attacking according to the word freely, and closing in the distance.

Yes, Julie did not parry with her <<Template:Furigana>>, and was dodging all of it.

There was cold sweat flowing down Tomoe’s back.

Towards that movement that crosses over common sense, Tomoe found out the real meaning of the other name black wing angel which became a rumor during the entrance examination.

(I knew she was not serious during the <<Fist Practice>> but, to think it was this much!!)

The gap was filled. Now, the only problem was the time when the <<Template:Furigana>>’s black blade would reach her body.

(Julie, you are strong. Maybe even more than the current me…………but------)

“I can’t lose! In the name of Tachibana!!”

Tomoe hardened her resolve and headed out for the final battle.

Launching the <<Template:Furigana>> towards the stomach as a target.

When she aimed at a part which moves little and is hard to defend, it was parried by the swords.

But, that was what Tomoe was aiming at.

She controlled the parried metal drip with her fingers and the moment she aimed at that small body from behind------------

*Gikiin*………….!! The sound of metal clashing echoed and Tomoe’s eyes opened wide in surprise.

Julie parried the metal drip with her left sword, in order to thrust her right sword towards Tomoe.

“It’s checkmate.”

“That last attack…………did you predict it?”

“I felt the spirit of not giving up at any cost. So I thought there will definitely be a plan.”

“Fufu, magnificent, to think you were still calm until the end…………today is my complete defeat.”

In the next moment, the blade made a line flash-------and Tomoe slowly collapsed.

Part 3Edit

“Good work, Julie.”

“Ja----. Tooru too, good work.”

While Tooru was replying back to Julie who was making a small smile with a smile, he was astonished of Julie’s judgments from just now inside his heart.

(In just that instant, she saw through many points of her opponent.)

If it is Julie then none of it would be a problem for her but, it was clear her close-combat style has bad compatibilities with Tachibana’s <<Template:Furigana>> which is mid-ranged.

But, at the same time there was that happiness regarding leaving her back to him.

“Well then. Okay, we will be going so; can I leave the rest to you?”

“U-un”

Tachibana lost consciousness from Julie’s attack and was currently being looked after by Miyabi. She doesn’t look injured but, because of that, towards the <<Blaze>>-------he had no choice but to be shocked at its properties is unable to injure a person once again.

(Judging from the time, one more match is the limit. If possible, I want to have a go with Tora but……………….)

That moment that face was floating in his mind-------his thoughts were interrupted.

“Kuh…………….Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!”

From the upper floor, Tora’s shout echoed.


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Chapter 7: Ai(Love) To JulieEdit

Part 1Edit

“Tooru. That voice was…………..!!”

“Miyabi, stay here! I leave Tachibana to you!”

“U-un! H-how about Tooru-kun………….!?”

“We---------“

“Let’s go, Tooru.”

When Julie faced her sights towards me, she nodded back probably knowing my intentions.

“Aah, let’s go Julie!”

“B-be careful Tooru-kun, Julie-chan!”

With Miyabi’s worried voice coming from behind, towards the direction of the voice-------we climbed up stairs.

(What is this uneasiness……………!)

It’s the same like that day.

Same like that day with the dojo wrapped in flames, an indescribable nasty premonition was swirling in the depths of my heart.

(What did…………..wasn’t this just a normal practice match?)

It’s true that, in case of getting attacked by a <<Blaze>>, an instantaneous pain would be produced.

But in the very end it was for an instant, what’s more it should be slightly painful, and not be something strong enough to cause a shout.

When we reached to the highest floor, there was a shadow standing in the middle of the corridor---------a silhouette of a characteristic rabbit ears was there.

In front of the sights of that shadow, I shouted the name of my friends lying down beside the wall.

“Tora--------!!”

“Kokonoe-kun………..!”

From our shout Tsukimi-sensei who was standing still in front of Tora, turned over to us with a shocked face.

“Tsukimi-sensei! What on earth happened!?”

“I-I don’t know, I just came here too!”

“Tooru. Tora and the rest have bad injuries.”

When I approached closer to Tora after being called by Julie, there was a pool of blood spreading under his feet.

From what we could see, he looks like he was cut by a sharp edged tool, and suffered serious injuries in several parts.

Nearby him, his partner Tatsu also suffered serious injuries just like him. And was unconscious.

“This side also has the same injuries.”

“Looks like it. Anyway, we have to bring them to the first-aid room quickly………!”

“It’s okay--. Now that we are here, we can immediately contact the rescue team.”

“Is that so. Thank you very much, Tsukimi-sensei.”

“Uun, it is my job anyway…….more importantly, these injuries------“

After she started performing first-aid on Tora and Tatsu, Tsukimi-sensei’s expression turned cloudy.

“Is there something wrong?”

“Un. It is just a possibility but………is this something caused from the <<Blaze>>……..”

“<<Blaze>> you say………?”

It’s true that, to hurt Tora and Tatsu who <<Exceed>> s like this, needs the same-------no, needs a power more than that or else it would be difficult. Inspecting like this, the possibility of the opponent is an <<Exceed>> is very high but--------

There was only one thing I couldn’t comprehend.

“Wasn’t <<Blaze>> a weapon that could not injure a person?”

Yes, that was it. My question was exactly what Julie said.

“Tha-that’s----------“

Hesitating to say, Tsukimi-sensei was having worries whether is it alright to tell us--------it was that response.

“Sensei, please tell us. Is this something caused from the <<Blaze>>, didn’t you just say that just now?”

“That’s…………..”

“Tsukimi-sensei!”

“I-I get it, I will tell you but------this is a very important confidential secret regarding the <<Lucifer>> so keep this a secret okay? …………… Actually, the fact that the <<Blaze>> is a weapon that can’t hurt people, is a flat-out lie

“A lie……….!?”

“Are you saying it is a lie?”

“Just like you know, the <<Blaze>> is a weapon manifested from someone’s <<Soul>>. That’s why, it gives mental damage by meddling with that person <<Soul>>--------you understand until here right……………..did you not question this before? That even though the <<Blaze>> can damage walls or the ground, how come it can’t hurt a person

“That’s true……….”

Tachibana’s <<Template:Furigana>> plowed down a tree, and Miyabi’s <<Template:Furigana>> destroyed the walls.

“Then, why is it peoples are the only ones that haven’t been injured yet?”

“………….. That is because; all of you recognize the <<Blaze>> as a weapon that could not injure people.”

“That was the first thing the director………..---------!”

“……………that means, those words were the safety lock placed on us.”

“Un, that is right. It is needed to know the truth in order to open the lock. But, it is impossible to hurt someone with a <<Blaze>> with only that. There is one more, an important thing needed. That is--------“

Making a strict expression that has not been seen until now, Tsukimi-sensei put the <<Blaze>>’s hidden truth in her mouth.

To put in killing intent

“---------!!”

“Hostility, malice………..strong intentions of hurting people will turn it into a lethal weapon. With just one way put into the heart, it is a weapon that could easily take away someone’s life-------and that is the <<Blaze>>…………ah, just like what I said, this is a highly classified information so the special lecture ends here, I am counting on you.”

“I understand.”

(To think the <<Blaze>> had this kind of secret hidden……….no, right now-----)

I moved my sights from sensei to Tora, and looked at his condition.

Although first-aid was done, thinking about the large amount of bleeding, it would be bad if this goes on.

“The rescue team is late……..”

Judging from the time Tsukimi-sensei contacted them, it is not weird for them to be running over here anytime by now ……….

“The rescue team isn’t coming.”

“Ehh?”

When I looked behind, Tsukimi-sensei was looking down on me while making a smile-------

And before I knew it, she was holding the silhouette of a fiendish looking <<Template:Furigana>>.

“That-- is-- why--, I said the rescue group isn’t coming……..!”

“What, do you mean………?”

With her tone changed, I somehow managed to ask her while feeling surprised from the change of her atmosphere.

“I said the special lecture ended right.”

Tsukimi-sensei lifted the sides of her mouth.

That was a joyful smile-----------------but a smile filled with evil intent.

Immediately right after, the cold steel was swung down.

The drawn trail, felt frightfully slow--------

“Tooru!!”

*Gikiin*!! With the sound of metal clashing, the time started flowing back to normal.

“Tora……….!!”

With his consciousness back, Tora threw his <<Template:Furigana>>, and bounced back the <<Template:Furigana>> being swung down towards me.

“Fu,un………..Get away fast, you idiot………..thi,s fella…………is a monster…………”

“What do you mean Monster………?”

For Tora who usually is filled with confidence to say that, Tsukimi-sensei should be quite a strong user.

“Seriously, disturbing me when you just escaped death……………. I should have quickly finished you off instead of playing around.”

“Kill…………….Tsukimi-sensei! Why!? Why are you doing this!!”

“Hnn--, before I answer that question………. I will give you one more special lecture as a service♥”

In an instant, her usual tone returned and she swing the <<Template:Furigana>> up------and cut the <<Template:Furigana>> in half.

“Guh,AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

Immediately, Tora raised a shout and at the same time with his voice interrupted, he powerlessly collapsed to the floor.

That figure made me have a flashback of my sister-----Otoha.

“You bastard, what did you do-------------?!”

I draw back my fist like shooting an arrow, and released a single strike from the anger.

---but, it hit empty space and the wall behind was destroyed.

“Kuhah. That’s one heck of a power from that <<Level>>. ………….. Well, it doesn’t mean anything unless it hits though.”

*Kuku* looking at Tsukimi-sensei making a ridiculing smile, my back muscles became cold.

Monster--------It took an instant for me to understand the reason why Tora said that.

Tsukimi-sensei who was supposed to be standing in front of me, made a distance of more than 10 meters in the slight instant she evaded my attack.

“Special lecture number 2. When the <<Blaze>> is destroyed, that person will be unconscious and won’t wake up for at least a whole day so be careful♪l. Well if that is all we get when having the <<Soul>> be destroyed, it is something that I cannot ask for more☆------Okay then, regarding why I am doing this...”

She cut her words temporarily and replaced back the atmosphere around her.

“It’s work, it's work. It’s a simple job of cleaning promising looking new students.”

“You say, work……….? Don’t say something ridiculous!! Killing people as a job-------“

“Remember this, you brat. Any adults can kill if it is a job. The only difference is the killing method, either directly or indirectly.”

“……………if this is a job that means, this isn’t your arbitrary then.”

Even when Julie asked, Tsukimi made a light smile and swung her head.

“That goes against the duty of confidentially so I can’t answer. …………well then, it’s about time we end our little talk. As special service, I’ll kill you bastards first before these bastards……………however, if either one of you bastards run away then------------“

“Who the hell will run away!!”

I ground my teeth, clenched my fist, and answered.

That scenery---------I never want to see someone die again.

“I won’t let anyone die in front of me anymore!! Never!!”

“……………Same here, Tooru. I won’t let anyone die in front of me…………!”

Julie nodded and stood beside me.

“Kuhah, mere <<Template:Furigana>>s barking like that………..”

*Kukuku* while laughing, Tsukimi-sensei----------no, Tsukimi expanded the killing intent she was releasing.

“Well then let’s start!! Entertain me even if it last for one minute, one second!!”

Signaling with her shout, Tsukimi kicked the ground and charged-------

“Uh!?”

Her figure suddenly disappeared and I doubted my eyes.

“Up!”

“Wha!?”

It was exactly in that moment I raised my sights from hearing Julie’s voice, Tsukimi kicked the ceiling.

My reaction was one moment late from those unexpected movements.

“Tooru!!”

*Gyariiin*! The <<Template:Furigana>> aimed at me, was ward off by Julie this time, protecting me.

She landed on the ground without losing her balance and Tsukimi released a second attack by making a side sweep.

*Gakyaaan*! The sound of metal violently clashing echoed.

This time, even though I used my <<Shield>> to block-------------

“Uaaaaaaaah!!”

She then swung down with all her strength like that and I was blown away.

“Tooru, are you okay…………!?”

“Aah, I am okay………….but, what power………”

The moment when I thought I completely blocked her, I was then pushed back.

The movement she showed before was frighteningly fast, and her power surpasses mine while her speed surpasses Julie’s.

Her abilities that she showed during the physical ability enhancement training were only just a portion of it.

“Kuhaha, I’m glad I’m glad. From not ending just from that.”

While making a fun smile, she made a sharp and heavy attack with a breathtaking speed.

“Kuh……………!!”

Even though I kept on barely protecting myself, it was a one sided defensive battle and the situation will certainly get gradually bad if this keeps up.

---if it is one person.

“I won’t let you. I will be troubled if you forget about me.”

Julie went behind Tsukimi and made a side sweep with her sword--------

But, Tsukimi repelled it with her <<Template:Furigana>> without looking back.

“On top of it being 2 going against 1, I can’t really praise you for attacking from behind, silver head.”

“I don’t think it is unfair if the opponent is in a much higher class.”

“Same thoughts here!”

In no time, I attacked.

Although her carefree smile did not break, as expected even Tsukimi had no choice but to go defensive from the cooperative offence.

“Oooto, this is fun, this is fun.”

2 vs 1. Even though we performed quite a number of hits, we couldn't land something that could be called a final hit.

………….but, the moment when Tsukimi slightly stopped her legs when blocking Julie’s attack.

(Over here!!)

That very instant, I clenched my fist hard and stepped into the most important and also the final chance of winning.

“Hiiiiitttttt!!”

Right now once more, I pulled my fist back like shooting an arrow, and the 2nd time of the strike I can shoot daily------- Template:Furigana-------was released.

My muscle and bone creaked. If this doesn’t hit, then I would probably be powerless.

But----------------it was slightly far away.

Although it is cruel, my fist only scratched Tsukimi’s clothes.

“Kuhahahaha. Y.o.u m.i.s.s! The distance was just a little off!”

Just a few centimeters, but that made a big difference in the distinguishing victory.

I became impatient from the winning chance I saw for an instant and slightly failed in judging the distance.

“Damn, it………….!”

“Well then, it’s my turn next, <<Irregular>>!!”

“I already told you I won’t let you…………..!!”

Towards Tsukimi holding the <<Template:Furigana>> aloft, even though Julie once again forced her way through using combination hits, Tsukimi took back steps to avoid.

However the flow did not stop there.

Although Tsukimi once again went on the defensive from Julie’s specialty charging combination hits, she could not get rid of the carefree smile from her face.

Not long later, the moment the flow was interrupted-----

The corner of the joyful smile Tsukimi was making lifted further up.

“Kukuh, this time for sure, let’s go with my turn then!”

Although it is just one sword, she is not inferior at all to Julie’s combination attacks------no, it was an evil blade storm even faster.

Completely turning defensive, Julie somehow managed to block but, she was retreating little by little.

*Gyariin*! The nasty sound of metal clashing echoed and Julie lost her balance.

A straight attack was done there. Even though it was hard, Julie managed to block but couldn’t kill off Tsukimi’s physical strength and got blown away just like that.

“Julie----------!!”

Raising a shout and not caring about my body, I jumped at Julie to catch her.

But, I was pushed away by the strong blow and after a flashy sound echoed, the classroom door was broken through and we showily charged into the tables scattering all around.

“Uh,kuh…………..!! Julie, are you okay!?”

“Ja----. Thanks to you……..but even so, it was an unbelievable strength. It's expected from someone selected to be a special teacher here.”

It would seem she wasn’t injured, and I made a sigh of relief.

---but, after I immediately re-brace myself, I made a bitter decision and said it.

“Julie, take Tora and the rest with you and run away.”

“Tooru?”

“I will buy some time. That’s why Julie, after you move Tora and Tatsu to a safer place, call Mikuni-sensei for help-----“

The moment I said until there, Julie used her index finger and touched my lips before swinging her head.

“Nai, I refuse. You won’t last 5 minutes with that body.”

“……..You saw through it huh.”

“You said Template:Furigana causes quite a burden in the body. And just now, Tooru said this. I won’t let anyone die in front of me anymore. And I said this. I won’t let anyone die in front of me. so-------“

Julie directed her Template:Furigana towards the nearby entrance.

“I won’t run.”

The sun completely fallen and a bunny ear silhouette entered the dim classroom.

“Well then, it’s about time we end this.”

“……………you can end it if you want but, what are you planning after killing us? Isn’t time the only problem for the academy side to notice?”

“No need to worry, I won’t do something that will expose me. Even if I am exposed, a school is a place where if a problem occurs, they will use their power to cover it up instead of investigation for the cause……….okay, now that my question is cleared, it is my turn to ask questions too.”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 9.jpg

Tsukimi crawled her tongue on the blade and made a light smile.

“Which one of you wants to die first?”

The small light illuminating the dark classroom reflected the blade.

It looked an ominous light but, we were not afraid and replied back almost at the same time.

[Julie I will--------][Tooru I will--------]

“”Protect you!!””

“Kuhah, even though it isn’t long, as expected from a <<Duo>>. Or is it a Hollywood suitable male female relationship has been made?……………….well whatever is okay I guess. There is no difference since both of you are going to die anywayy!!”

Tsukimi swung down making a sword flash, and I blocked it.

Although Julie attacked at that moment, Tsukimi was already not there------------ she kicked the wall, floor, ceiling, using movements transcending humans befitting the name of <<Exceed>> and, she was toying with us.

I and Julie faced our backs together, and we continued protecting each other from the attacking evil blade from all directions but, scratches gradually increased, and we became disadvantageous.

(Damn, she is just toying with us…………!)

My stamina was depleting, and after one step and another, defeat-------- the reality of death is getting closer.

“------------!!”

Julie failed in blocking and fresh blood was scattered out from her Template:Furigana.

In the next instant, her small chin was kicked, and Julie was sent flying to the corner of the room.

“Julie---------!!”

At the same time I shouted, I grabbed a nearby table and swang it.

As expected even Tsukimi couldn't dodge this and was sent flying the opposite side of where Julie was.

“Are you okay, Julie!?”

“--------!! I am, okay…………”

When I ran over, Julie distorted her face in pain.

Coming from the wound running along her thighs, blood was ceaselessly flowing out.

To Julie who has that speed as her asset, it could be said it is the same with her strongest weapon killed off.

However, since the situation was getting even hopeless, it conversely made me serious.

I clenched my fist. For the strongest attack I have.

It was strange enough whether if I can release the 3rd shot which crosses my limits.

But if I can’t release it, we’ll die.

Not only me, but also my friends, and even the girl in my arms.

(I will definitely……………protect them!!)

I have to release it, and precisely end this.

It doesn’t mean anything unless it hits……………Tsukimi said this.

(Then I have to think of a way to hit!)

“Too…………..ru……………..”

In that hopeless situation, Julie called me weakly.

“Sorry. If you didn’t become my <<Duo>> you wouldn’t have to go through this………….”

“Nai, there is no such thing………………I was very happy when Tooru brought his hands out to me. Although it was not long but, whether it was drinking apple tea or, the time we had matches or, the time we watched tv together, it was very enjoyable so……………that’s why, please do not say that.”

“Julie………………….”

Hearing the silver girl's words, even though not even a month passed but, the feelings that I will never forget float out like a rotating lantern-----------------

“-------------!!”

Inside there was a possibility--------------I found out the technique how the Template:Furigana can hit, and I was shaken by a shock as if I was struck by a lightning bolt.

(That’s right, <<Duo>>…………..this is it……!)

Although it could be called a possibility, it might be in the level to be called a miracle.

But, right now I have to believe in this or else there is no other way to survive.

Yes, this is a road that can only be opened by believing.

However, before this could be reached, there is something I have to do no matter what.

(For that…………!)

“uh Seriously…………now my clothes are dirty, damn it.”

In front of my sights, there was a shadow standing up while cursing.

---I knew this but, as expected there was no damage.

Looking at Tsukimi, Julie pressed on her wounds to try to get up but------

“Julie, please rest here quietly. I will fight by myself from here.”

“Tooru…………?”

“I will definitely protect you, Julie.”

“Kuh, Kuahahahaha! Are you retarded. Even though you were suppressed in 2 vs 1, now of all things, you say by yourself? You say protect? Are you seriously saying that?”

“Aah, I am serious. I will defeat you alone and protect Julie!!”

“Tooru, it is impossible to do it alone……..! I will also…..!!”

“…………Julie. I am happy for those feelings but, right now please follow what I say.”

“B-but……….”

I faced my back to Julie who was perplexed from my words and stared at Tsukimi.

“Okay come! Your evil blade, I will stop it!!”

“Kuhah, you will regret the more you bark, <<Irregular>>. Since you said it like that, I will leave you half-dead. And then----------“

The tip of her blade was pointing to me at first, and then it was pointing at Julie next.

“I will kill that silver head in front of you who can’t move! And for last, you will die while grieving on how powerless you are, from your words!!”

At the same time with her roar, Tsukimi attacked.

However, no matter how many times she made sharp blade flashes, I blocked all of it with my <<Shield>>.

(I won’t let you……………! I will never let anyone else become like Otoha!!)

Burdened and tired, my body felt heavy like lead but, the feeling of protecting Julie, the oath made my concentration to its limit and was moving my body.

But that was not all.

In the place I am standing-----------thanks to the place of the corner of the classroom, the sword slash path which was hard to see through until now was limited to the forward direction and made it easier to read.

On top of that, since Tsukimi was keeping her powers in check in order to leave me half-dead, each step in from each attack turned shallow, and became lighter.

“Don’t persevere!!”

*Gakiin*!! The <<Template:Furigana>> violently hit on the <<Shield>> and I came face to face with Tsukimi.

“What’s wrong, didn’t you say you were going to make me regret? At the very least, show me if you can make at least one scratch on this <<Shield>>.”

“You sure piss me off, oi…………. I changed my thoughts. As expected I should start killing you first <<Irregular>>!! I will slice that prided <<Shield>> of yours together with you!!”

Tsukimi’s irritated attitude was exposed and she emptied some distance before preparing her sword above her head.

The expanding pressure shook the atmosphere and *Chiri**Chiri* the blood lust was stabbing my skin.

A full power strike is coming.

Just like her words, in order to slice through this <<Shield>> together with taking my life away. But------

I was waiting for this time, for this time to be able to read your breathing pattern.

Without looking away from her, I whispered to Julie with a soft voice.

“But, it is impossible for me alone from this point onwards……………but, I believe I can do it when it is two people.”

“Tooru………….?”

Hearing my words, Julie made a doubtful face.

“We are twin blades tied together with a bond so, we will definitely……….!!”

“What are you blabbering about over there? Since that is your farewells to this world, how about you make a love confession with a loud voice for last, like I LOVE YOU! Kuhahahahaha!!”

Towards Tsukimi who was giving out a disgusting laugh, I felt thankful for the first time.

“Then, I guess I will engulf myself in your words then.”

“Aaah?”

I took a deep breath------and shouted

Template:Furigana[1g 1] to-------Julie!!”

“To-Tooru……..!?”

“Kua-------ahaahahaha!! This guy seriously confessed!!”

Ignoring Tsukimi, I once again shouted.

“I will------Tou!!”

“-------------!”

Julie gasped-------that was the last instant, and was the start.

“This is thanks for the laugh!! I will slash both of you togetherr!!”

Tsukimi announced that while pointing the sword at me-------and jumped in.

The cold steel was swung down in a slightly further distance than me.

“Diiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”

Even if I block this, Template:Furigana will only cut through the air like last time. But--------

(Now……….!!)

Believing in everything, I pulled my fist back like shooting an arrow.

“Julie--------------!!”

“Whaa!?”

*GIkiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn*!! The violent weapon echoed throughout--------and Tsukimi’s face distorted in shock.

An unsuitable clear *Chirin* sound of a bell was in front of her in this place.

That’s because Julie stepped into Tsukimi’s chest area, and blocked her <<Template:Furigana>>.

“Why……….are you………silver headdddd!!”

A small chance was born from her shock.

And in this moment, this very instant, it is the last chance of winning-----------the opened path of possibility that could be called miracle.

“The one ending-----is you!!”

“Kuhahahahah, too bad! You’re far!!”

“I am not-----far!!”

Suddenly pulling her body, Tsukimi was certainly slightly distant from me.

But that was, if I was aiming for Tsukimi’s body.

“Pierce through----------------!!”

My fist rapidly cut through the air.

The Template:Furigana released beyond my limits-----seized the <<Template:Furigana>>, piercing through it and was smashed.



“Guh…………uu……..”

“Please don’t force yourself, Tooru.”

“A-aah……….. I didn’t plan on forcing myself though…………….”

“It is not good to act tough. Please take care of your body more.”

“I know. Thank you for worrying about me, Julie.”

“Ja---. You are welcome………….okay, I will be going to take a bath now.”

“Aah, take your time.”

Nodding, Julie walked towards the dressing room while dragging her leg--------she turned around half-way.

“No peeking okay, Tooru.”

“Ju-Julie”

“It’s a joke.”

Towards me who was making a bitter face from the bitter memories, Julie made a small smile and disappeared into the dressing room.

(Seriously……..even though it is tough for herself too……..)

While feeling painful looking at her dragging her legs, I vividly remembered the ----------<<Template:Furigana>>.

3 days have passed after that day------entering the world’s GW, and Kouryou academy was not an exception so we entered the long-term holiday. Even though we finally had consecutive holidays, we did not go outside anywhere and passed a majority of time inside the room.

……………rather, we had no choice but to take a rest.

Although the <<Exceed>>‘s regenerative abilities are several times better than an ordinary person, my body was still creaking and I could not move properly.

It means the number of Template:Furigana which was released over my limits was, that much of a burden to my body.

It looks like Julie could finally walk but, luckily her wounds would not leave any after-effects.

Tora and Tatsu managed to escape death, and it looks like they won’t be coming out from the medical treatment building during GW.

(Even so, it’s amazing we managed to win against that annoying opponent………)

Looking back at the fight with Tsukimi, I seriously thought that.

In order to gain victory, it was essential to pile several conditions on each other.

One is to make an attack that will definitely kill me.

Fighting alone, by telling her to stay quiet, she will be conscious about Julie being out of battle potential, and be very conscious of me blocking with my <<Shield>>.

Also, the breathing and Template:Furigana--------telling these two words, to make her notice my aim.

If I know a big swing is coming, reading her breathing will be easy.

Julie who suffered injuries entered her chest area, and somehow managed to block the attack since she was closer to the opponent’s fulcrum making the attack power drop.

Next was to break the <<Template:Furigana>>----------the <<Blaze>> manifested by the soul.

Having her <<Soul>> broken, Tsukimi was restrained by Mikuni-sensei who came running after Miyabi and Tachibana contacted the Academy side, when they came to see us since we weren’t really coming back.

After that, I don’t know what happened to Tsukimi.

(What kind of goal did she have…………?)

It seems the academy side doesn’t plan on telling us about it.

From Mikuni-Sensei who was present during Tsukimi’s restraining, he made sure we won’t tell anyone about this matter and marked the end of this matter. (It was in an unsatisfying way but, it is one matter down just in case………….)

I drank up the lukewarm apple tea and leant close to the wall.

Since it was annoying I could not move my creaking body so, it looks like today will also be another day only watching television---------and it was on that time when I thought that.

“Tooru”

*Hyokooto* Julie brought her face out from the dressing room. And water droplets were still dropping from her hair.

Incidentally I could almost see her small shoulders, thin arms, and also her chest so I averted my sights in panic.

“Wha-what’s wrong?”

“I am very sorry about this but, could you please take the towel for me.”

“Towel…………?”

“Ja----. I forgot to bring it with me. It is in the 2nd drawer from the top of my clothing case, so please.”

“A-aah. I get it……………..”

After nodding, I opened Julie’s clothing case and peeked inside.

(Uuh, I look like a pervert………………)

Even though I was asked to do so, I can’t let anyone see me searching through a girls’ clothing case.

(Towel………….is this it? It is in the place like she said but-------)

It’s true the towel was in the second drawer.

It was beside the oddly folded cloths.

While thinking I should not be looking at it, whether it is something with a lot of frills attached to it or there was a lot of white, I have accidentally found out something that was better off with me not knowing about it.

“So-sorry for the wait………….”

“Sorry to make you force yourself, Tooru.”

After I brought the towel to the dressing room with my creaking body, Julie extended her hands out with her body barely coming out just like just now. Even though the situation was only a situation and it can’t be helped, because her skin color ratio was much higher than usual I had trouble looking for a place to look…………and in that moment I thought that.

“Uuh………….!”

A painful voice was let out.

When extending her hand, she probably put her body weight on her injured leg unconsciously.

She then fell forward from unable to support her body--------and Julie came out in the state when she was born.

“Bu!? Ju-Julie!!”

I suddenly catch her but-----------since I was unable to put any strength into my legs, we fell to the floor just like that.

“Ouchouchouch…………”

My eyes were sparkling since I hit the back of my head.

(Uh………I-isn’t this………….)

After my sights gradually turned back to normal, I understood that the situation has turned into something unbelievable.

The fact of right now, I was hugging a naked girl.

Template:Furigana, Template:Furigana, Template:Furigana---------

All of that perfectly joined together and this girl looked as if she was a delicately manufactured doll.

She was unlike a human; I would believe it if I was told she was an Angel.

“To-Tooru……………”

Her face was closer than ever before.

Julie’s cheeks were slightly red.

That redness---------that embarrassment was the proof that this girl is a human with warmth and not a doll nor an angel.

“Julie……….errr………..”

During this time, I had no idea what I was about to say.

It was because I could not say any further than that.

That’s because------

“Kokonoe. I brought fomentation over. And bandages for Julie too.”

“To-Tooru-kun, Julie-chan, hello…………….”

Turning into something troubling, the girls we became acquainted with entered the room.

[Ko-Kokonoe………….][To-Tooru-kun]

Seeing that the naked girl----------Julie was being hugged closely by me, both of their faces stiffened.

“Ko-koko-Kokonoe! Wha-wha-what kind of shameless thi-thing are you doing?! Making Ju-Ju-Julie naked, what on earth, what are you, what are you doing--------------!?”

“N-no, this is a misunderstanding…………….!!”

“Yo-your shamelessness knows no bounds!! Miyabi! Don’t keep quiet there and say something!!”

Contrastive to Tachibana’s angry shouting, Miyabi softly muttered only one word.

“<<Blaze>>……………….”

The <<Flame>> danced from the <<Word that carried strength>>, and the <<Template:Furigana>> appeared in Miyabi’s hands-------

“Wai, a sec, Miyabi!? Ju-Julie! Explain how this got this way---------“

“Tooru-kun you………………Pervert--------------------------!!”

Like this, a small commotion occurred for last and the curtains of the <<Template:Furigana>> finally closed.

Part 2Edit

“-------that’s all for the <<Template:Furigana>> recording.”

About the time Tsukimi Rito <<Template:Furigana>> was destroyed by Tooru, and collapsing, a male------Mikuni stopped the video.

“Kuhah. Going to the extent of showing the video, even though it was not done cynically, isn’t my result report enough—“

The one using abusive language was Rito who was just shown fighting with Tooru in the video.

“A picture is worth a thousand words, it’s something like that. And more importantly your report was too rough.”

“Yeah Yeah. Sorry bout that.”

Completely calm, towards Rito who was swinging her rabbit ears, Mikuni swang his head with a sigh.

“But even so, to think you seriously went to kill………if anything happens by any chance, what were you planning to do?”

“……………I don’t mind. It was me who told her to leave it to her decision on the spot.”

After the owner of the voice opened her mouth for the first time, Mikuni and Rito directed their sights to her.

Sitting further up, there was a girl wearing a gothic dress around her-------it was Tsukumo Sakuya, Kouryou academy’s director.

“When a seed bud in a harsh environment, it is only then when it will bloom to a beautiful flower, it is what I think.”

Before the <<Template:Furigana>>, Rito made a smile when she was told that things would be left to her and killing might be okay depending on her. During that time, having said every single word Sakuya said without changing any of it, Mikuni lowered his head in apology before, returning back to the previous topic of the video.

“However, this is a surprise. To think a person that could drive a <<Template:Furigana>> away appeared again…………”

It was not surprising for Mikuni to be surprised.

Normally, a person’s ability will be enhanced several times after going up one <<Level>>.

Therefore, if there are 2 ranks different, it would be a hopeless difference in strength even though it is against 2.

That is why, even though there are various factors involved, it was a lucky result for Tooru and Julie who is <<Template:Furigana>> to defeat Rito who is <<Template:Furigana>>.

“………… Seriously, I never thought they would practice something that was just thought out recently. It’s amazing he can make a calm decision in that situation.”

“Oya, it is not like you to praise the opponent who defeated you.”

“There are times that even I would praise.”

While making a sarcastic smile, Rito threw her legs and sat on the sofa.

“Aren’t you in a very good mood? Perhaps you took a liking to him?”

“Kuhah, don’t spout crap--------is what I wanted to say but, I can’t deny that…………well, if you say I am interested in him then you are much more than me, Ojou-sama[1g 2]

Those words,

“Fufu, it is only natural to be interested in him since he is someone who is related to <<Him>>.”

That guy, huh…………….”

Hearing one sentence from Sakuya, Mikuni and Tsukimi raised their eyebrows slightly together.

“………… Well then, my job is done with this but-------what should I do from now on?”

“As you like. Rito, do as you wish………….”

“As I like Nee~……….Kuhah, if that is the case----------I guess I’ll go on like this.”

“I understand.”

“……………… Is that okay? If Tsukimi is left behind, then there is a possibility our connections with her will be discovered by them--------“

“The reason doesn’t matter. They have no skills to confirm this, Mikuni.”

*Kusu**Kusu* Sakuya made a bewitching giggle.

Towards that smile, that decision, Mikuni nodded knowing any further views would not be forgiven.

“Then, as you wish.”


Not long later, there was only one presence left inside the room filled with quietness.

Inside the darkness, the remaining girl was sinking her body deeply into a luxurious chair.

After a long silence, Sakuya slightly lifted the corners of her mouth.

Enlightened everything was starting to move, inside that she felt a certain thing in her seat.

“It is the start of the party…………..”

On how that party’s demise is concluded, she does not know, for Sakuya is not God.

Even if it is her who stands in the Template:Furigana realm for manipulating human genetics.

As long as they are humans, they will not know the future.

Therefore the black dress girl muttered.


“I pray, that our paths would reach the <<Absolute Duo>>.”



Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. A word play. Ai sounds like "I" but also has the meaning of love (愛).
  2. My lady


Template:SimpleNav


EpilogueEdit

The crimson flames were burning everything down.

Again, this dream comes to the front of my mind.

A grey dream.

A nightmare with red as its only color.

Otoha’s death.

Those words from my best friend

“They are dead because they were weak.”

And then------with a shout overflowing with hopelessness, rage and resentment, the memories called a nightmare concluded.

“Tooru!?”

It looks like I woke her up with the shout I released, and Julie took a peek at me in worry.

“Sorry………….. I surprised you, again…………”

“Please do not mind it. ………………more importantly, are you okay Tooru?”

“Aah……….. I just…………had a bad dream………….”

My clothes were wet and sticky with cold sweat and I could only say it was unpleasant.

“…………………sorry, I’ll change my clothes and then I’ll go get a drink in the lounge so, don’t mind me and go back to sleep, Julie. I am really sorry I woke you up.”

I quickly changed my clothes before exiting the room.

“Tooru……………”

Just before I closed the door, I heard Julie’s worried voice but I did not stop.

While thinking I made her even more worried; this unpleasantness---- this squirming dark feeling in the depths of my heart and the face distorted by this feeling, I didn’t want Julie to see any of it.




Blue night----------

After coming out to the balcony from the lounge, I was waiting for a world befitting that representation.

The pale moon was shining up in the sky, and it was peaceful and kind.

But the dark feeling was still swirling inside my heart.

That moment on that summer day --------- has yet left my mind.

“Otoha…………….”

I lost everything.

My precious sister, my precious benefactor, and the people I considered the same as my family.

Ever since, I followed my best friend’s words, to seek <<Power>> and reached to this academy.

(If I had been strong, would I have not lost everything………?)

Time will not go back.

Even if I seek <<Power>> now or gain it, everything I lost will not come back.

I know there is no meaning.

But even so, I have no choice but to seek it.

In order to slam these dark feelings towards my best friend who destroyed everything; my precious daily life.

Even though 2 years passed after that, the rage and hate did not change inside me.

It has been one month since I came to Kouryou academy---------

“Tooru…………”

Suddenly, someone called out to me from behind.

I didn’t need to turn around.

Because there is only one person that would call out to me in that tone.

“………………you didn’t sleep, Julie.”

“You hadn’t come back so…………”

“…………..sorry to make you worry. I was just cooling off……… let's go back and sleep.”

To avoid letting Julie see my face, I walked past her flank and was about to go out to the lounge------

“Tooru…………….!!”

I stopped from hearing her shout.

When I turned around, Julie was looking straight at me.

Filled with a pitiful light, she was staring right at me with her Template:Furigana.

“I heard, what Tooru was saying during your nightmare………..”

This did not surprise me because I thought that might have been the case.

“Otoha………why………………answer me……….. I won’t forgive you……. I will definitely--------kill you”

“…………. Forget it.”

Even though it was futile, I could only say this.

“Is that…………….Tooru’s goal……..?”

“Forget it………!!”

The atmosphere shook from my shout.

But Julie slowly swung her head-------

“Me too-------“

Under the moonlight, she exposed her Template:Furigana.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 1 Non-Colour 10.jpg

“Julie…………….?”

“I am the same as Tooru.”

“Same………as me…………?”

In that instant, a gust of wind passed by and made her Template:Furigana flutter about.

My back muscle twitched.

There is a long straight scar carved into her exposed back.

Bathed in the pale blue light of the moon, these words fell from the silver girl’s mouth-----that confession.

“I am also the same as Tooru-------an <<Avenger>>.”



<End>



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Volume 2Edit

PrologueEdit

“<<Template:Furigana>>…………. Same as me but at the same time isn’t the same. However------”


A peaceful forest covered with a clear cold atmosphere.

A nature untouched by man; and deep inside the forest filled with life, a spring was there.

*Posha* the sound of water dripping was produced; and at the same time, a shadow moved.

A beautiful girl without a single cloth on her stood there.

She has a nice style which can be said with just one look, a bountiful chest and slender limbs.

The water drops along all of that were *Kira*Kira* dazzlingly reflecting the sunlight.

Half of the girl, who has the beauty of the sun, was soaked in water starting from her thighs, and occasionally, she would dive her head into the water and would swim like a fish.

Why is such a person inside an untouched forest like this, playing with the water.

The gold girl was waiting there.

She was adapting to the presence of the forest by playing with the water, and waiting for her prey.

“……………It’s here.”

She grasped the presence of the long-awaited prey, and muttered.

Further up her sights, a group of young deer brimming with life appeared to moisten their throat through the spring deep inside the forest.

Yes, they were the prey, and the gold girl was waiting there to hunt them down.

However, a question regarding the hunt comes to mind.

That’s because, not only is the girl not wearing any clothes, there is not a single gun, bow, or knife on her body.

But-----

The next moment the gold girl mumbled something with her lips------

A <<Template:Furigana>> is being held in her hand as if it was a magic trick.

She quietly directed the gun she is more accustomed to, compared to any other gun towards the group of deer------

She then set the gun nozzle towards the head of a doe.

Those eyes that showing strong determination slightly narrowed down and--------

The gunshot destroyed the silence.

In an instant, the doe with its heart pierced through collapsed, and luckily the other deer which weren’t the target ran away; because of the gunshot the forest was then filled with noise from the birds flapping their wings.

“Fufu, Perfect.”

The girl made a satisfied smile and lowered her gun------in the next moment, this time the <<Template:Furigana>> disappeared as if it was dispersed.

Her hunting ended right here.

She has no thought of bringing back the prey she hunted down.

Finally, after taking a glance at the doe lying down on her side, the girl made a big swipe with her Template:Furigana using her hands and water droplets fell off.

She then wore the clothes she threw at the waterside, and left the spring.

After half an hour the girl left the forest------

Beside the doe lying on its side at the waterside, a small deer is standing there cuddling closer.

It probably did not understand its mother’s death yet, it continuously licked the mother's face many times.

But-------

The moment, the fawn licked the tip of the nose after some time, the doe twitched its ears and immediately blinked its eyes.

After a while, the doe raised its head and after slowly getting up and reconciling with the fawn several times, it will soon depart from the waterside and enter deep into the forest--------and runs towards the group.

On the body of the doe running through the gaps between the trees, there is not even a single wound on it.

Even though it was certain that the gold girl had shot through its heart.

The forest soon regained its silence.

As if no event had occurred at all.



“Welcome back, Ojou-sama.”

The person who greeted the girl who has returned back to the mansion was a female butler wearing a waistcoat and a wing collar shirt.

“I am back, Sara…………..even if I say this, I am going to head out again immediately.”

“Where are you heading to this time?”

The butler asked her master who said she would be heading out again immediately after she had just returned home.

“It’s Japan.”

“…………..Japan?”

Towards the butler pondering about that, the girl made a big swing with her Template:Furigana using her hands.

“I heard of someone being the same kind as me.”

“Same as Ojou-sama, you say?”

“Yes. Now that I have heard about it, I will have to go and meet up with him.”

Making a smile, the gold girl said her own alias.

“Same as me and at the same time isn’t the same…………as an <<Exception>>.”


And thus------the <<Irregular>> and <<Exception>> met.






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Chapter 1: Lilith=BristolEdit

Part 1Edit

When I woke up, it was already morning.

My head felt heavy thanks to not having enough sleep, and I was still sleepy.

However, before I could fall asleep, when I thought back about the confession Julie made--------the event last night that I kept thinking about over and over again. I didn’t feel like going back to sleep.


“I am also the same as Tooru-------an <<Avenger>>.”



Under the moonlight, when I was told that the silver girl who was exposing the scar on her back was wishing for revenge, I just lost my words to say.

In order to be an inhuman existence------an <<Avenger>>, the silver girl crossed the seas to come here.

I thought she would have a suitable reason for that.

But, I would have never thought she was the same as me, someone who had their heart burnt from the flames of revenge.

Inside the time carved by silence, although Julie soon said [Let’s go back] and headed back to the room-------even when I entered my bed after that, I could not fall asleep and in the end, I only fell asleep when the sky was starting to turn white.

When I closed my eyes, Julie’s figure carved with a long scar floated inside my mind.

I have no idea what kind of circumstances had happened for her to be scarred like that. But------

(An, <<Avenger>> huh…………..)

Those sorrowful eyes Julie made when she said those words.

(The same………..as me. Huh…………)

Maybe I should look for a chance to listen to the continuation.

Or, should I wait for her to tell me.

While pondering, I turned around to my back.

When I averted my eyes from the light, and turned to my back.

Up ahead, the thing I grasped was-------

*Munyuu*.

Something soft.

(What is this………..?)

I moved my hand in a dazed manner.

That something I grabbed had a modest bulge enough to fit into my hand and it was something soft covered with a thin layer of cloth.

It was soft, and that something shape would change when I moved my fingers. It had resilience however and it would turn back to its original shape when I separated my fingers.

If I would to say an example, a marshmallow, mochi, or maybe--------and like that, those kinds of thoughts were floating up………..

“Nuuu…………”

That something let out a voice.

“………………..”

Sweat flowed down.

Right now, in order to gain conviction on what that something I was touching was.

When I timidly opened my eyes, over there was------

Possessing transparent-like Template:Furigana, the Template:Furigana girl was sleeping peacefully there while breathing.

……………Just like my conviction, my hand was touching the silver girl’s breast.

(Why are you sleeping beside me!? Wait, more importantly------)

I regained my composure, and the moment I tried to separate my hand in panic-----

“Hyuuun…………!”

Maybe I hit a stimulating part, the silver girl twitched almost at the same time while making a cute shriek and she embraced her own body.

…………Luckily or unluckily, she was pressing my hand harder on her breast.

“U-wah, soft, wait, Uwaaaaaaaaaah!?”

Maybe it was from the stimulation, or maybe it was from my shouting-------

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 1.jpg

“----------Tooru………..?”

Her Template:Furigana pointed towards me, and she said my name.

In an instant, I felt myself getting pale.

“Ju-Julie…………!! Thi-this, errr……….!!”

“By this you mean…………………?”

While asking that question, Julie followed my sights.

And further ahead of course, was my hand being pushed towards her own chest…………..

“Ah………..”

I found out her white cheeks were blushing to a sakura color.

“[……………]”

Julie directed a perplexed expression towards me and I replied back with a stiff face-------

“I-I want to move my hand so, could you relax the strength in your arms?”

“------uh! Ja—…………”

I urged Julie and she relaxed the strength in her arms.

I hurried and pulled my hand away, and mid-way------

My finger pulled on something.

“Hnnkunn…………!”

Once again, Julie embraced her body while dragging my hand along.

Naturally, it caused my hand to fully feel Julie’s softness.

“Julie, wait! My hand, my hand-----------------!!”



“Er-errr, Julie. Sorry about that………….”

Around the time things finally calmed down, we were performing Seiza towards each other on top of the bed.

However, Julie’s sights were at her knees. And her cheeks were slightly blushing in sakura color.

“……………”

The silence hurts.

“I-I did not think you would be sleeping beside me, my hands accidently touched when I was changing my sleeping side………….then when I moved my hands to think what it was then………….”

“…………………Was it something so hard that you have to do that to confirm……..”

I will get scolded, or if I was told about the truth with cold eyes when I was prepared for it, I would get downhearted.

“Uh! N-no, that’s…………….it was the first time I touched a girl’s breast and it was very soft, I completely did not bother about the size of it…………..wait, Nonononono that’s not it…………..”

(Aaaaaah, what am I saying------!?)

“………………….”

Opposite to my panicking, Julie was once again silent.

Maybe just maybe------is this the end for me? Is it that so called social death?

“Ju-Julie…….?”

“……………It wasn’t intentional right?”

Towards that question with upturned eyes, naturally I only swung my head vertically.

“Then it can’t be helped.”

“Errr…………you will forgive me?”

“Ja---. In the first place, the cause was me breaking our promise and crawling into your bed as I pleased.”

After saying that, Julie lowered her head.

“Sorry to break our promise, Tooru.”

“No, I don’t really mind but---------why were you sleeping here?”

The time I fell asleep was at dawn. Julie should have been sleeping on her bed until then.

Which meant, Julie crawled in after when I did that……….

“Because of that talk, I remembered the past…………and felt lonely.”

Julie looked at me apologetically.

“But, Tooru was already resting so, it was painful for me to wake you up…………..”

“……………..Hnn, it can’t be helped if that was the case huh.”

“Thank you very much, Tooru.”

You can sleep with me if you feel lonely. I was the one who said that.

Although I was surprised, it can’t be helped because there was a reason, I thought that.

(Getting lonely from that talk……….which means, perhaps Julie’s father is------)

When I was thinking about the talk last night, it was immediately interrupted by Julie calling out to me.

“By the way Tooru. Although it is in the morning, it is the time when we would usually be sleeping but, should we wake up like this?”

“You’re right. I want to sleep a bit more but, I'm confident in oversleeping if I sleep now.”

“Ja---Me too.”

She smiled and Julie got off the bed.

Just like usual, she was probably going to change her clothes after taking a shower.

“Ah…….Ju-Julie.”

“--------?”

I stopped her when she was about to head towards the dressing room with her change of clothes in her hands.

“Just now………a-about the breast, I am really sorry.”

“………..Nai. I don’t mind it so let’s drop that topic.”

Although Julie made a small swing with her head while saying that, she looked a little bit embarrassed.

The Kouryou academy's cafeteria area was wide enough for any number of students to relax and thanks to that, there wasn’t really a fixed place to have a meal.

But, it had become a normal occurrence for most of the students to have their meals at the same place.

And the partner to pass this time together with had become a normal event---------

“Go-good morning Tooru-kun, Julie-chan. You two are fast today………..”

A familiar voice was called out towards us when we were sitting side by side.

The owner of this voice was a petite girl, and she was someone with a quiet and reserved personality which could be understood by the tone of her voice.

However, the bulge of her chest was contrastive to that, and it drew in a lot of eyes since it was the most voluptuous of anyone in the class.

………As expected, it doesn’t sound like the actual person herself.

“Good morning. We woke up a little bit earlier today." "Good morning, Miyabi."

Hotaka Miyabi. She was a first year like us, our classmate--------it was only normal since there was only one class per year in Kouryou academy but-------this girl took her meals with us almost every day.

“Errrr…….”

“-----?”

After slightly hesitating after directing her sights towards me and Julie respectively, Miyabi sat in front of Julie.

(……………Perhaps, she was pondering about whether or not to sit in front of us?)

Both opposite sides of me and Julie were empty and judging from the current Miyabi, the possibility for that to happen was probably high.

Miyabi was brought up from an all girls school so she was bad with the opposite gender, but it had only been one month from today, after enrolling to the school, I would hear out her worries and after many events, we became close enough that we could call each other by our names.

But even so, I could see she was still nervous, but hesitation over which seat to sit in was something trivial, and I was kind of happy when I thought she might have lowered her guard compared to the past.

“…………Err, Tooru-kun?”

“Hn? What’s wrong?”

While Miyabi was in a troubled state and her cheeks were slightly blushing, she moved her sights from me and the table alternately.

“What do you mean by what’s wrong, that is what I want to ask………….Yo-you were smiling while looking at me from just now but, I was wondering why is that………..?”

It seemed the reason for her troubled expression was me.

I made a wry smile, in order to avoid telling her I was laughing from reminiscing.

“Now that I think back………….you are alone today. What happened to Tachibana?”

In a rare occurrence, there was no sight of Miyabi’s <<Duo>>, Tachibana.

Covered with a dignified atmosphere, she was a girl who holds an adult atmosphere for someone who was the same age as us.

She comes from a martial arts family, she who holds outstanding abilities even in the class, had great results (but bad at English), on top of that she was good at looking out for others so trust would come to her from her surroundings.

“Ah………..Tomoe-chan should be waking everyone up right now.”

“Everyone?”

“Un. There are a lot of people that would oversleep so, she does it so they won’t be late………whenever it is this time of the morning, she would go around everyone’s room and wake them up.”

“Haha, that sounds just like Tachibana.”

I didn’t even need to ask, it was probably done voluntarily.

Only one month has passed after starting a new life away from their parents. Which meant, even though there was a dormitory advisor, it would be up to the female leader Tachibana to regulate the morning which could easily disorder the rhythm of their lifestyle.

I thought it was just like the steady and serious Tachibana.

The sight of her going around the rooms to call out the classmates, was clearly floating in my head.

(However-------)

“If I knew this was going to happen, I should have increased the meat and decreased the vegetables………..”

“Don’t go having an unbalanced diet just because I am not here, Kokonoe.”

“Ta-Tachibana!?”

Right after I murmured that, there was a marginally angry voice coming behind me.

When I turned around in panic, Tachibana was glaring down at me after hearing the conversation just in time.

“Good morning, Tomoe.”

“Jaa. Good morning, Julie.”

Gracefully moving her chopsticks until now, *chirin* after Julie lowered her head producing a bell sound, and Tachibana lowered her eyebrows and made a smile.

Looking at Tachibana’s face loosening up, I took a relieved breath inside my heart.

“Why are you making such a relieved face.”

“N-no, hahahaha………”

I was glared at once again, and I shrunk my body smaller………

“Seriously, a guy like you………….”

While making a sigh towards me, Tachibana sat in front of me.

“I-I can’t help it. For a young male like me, it is only natural to think of eating meat------”

“If you eat vegetables too, then there is nothing I will complain about.”

“Uu…………..”

“In the first place, you only eat meat. Just like I said from before, you should eat more vegetables. Learn from Julie and Miyabi.”

When I looked over to both their trays, since she had a small body the amount Julie took was little, she had Japanese style salad, fried eggs, the main was grilled salmon and the combinations could be said to be a Japanese style breakfast. She also had half a bowl of rice.

It could be said to be quite a low consumption to pass the time until afternoon.

If it was me, my stomach would probably be making flashy growls half-way into second period.

Miyabi had a simple combination of a pot-au-fue and BLT sandwich, her drink was the usual milk.

(……….As expected, is it related to the reason why they are so big?)

I can’t say where but, I secretly sent my sights over there and thought about it.

“Are you listening, Kokonoe?”

“------Uh! A-aah, I am listening and I get it. I will eat vegetables properly…………….!”

“Umu, it’s a promise…………oh yeah, eat this 8 type warm salad. You should be able to eat this right?”

*Don* a plate of salad was placed in front of me.

“Ugeeh………..not that, n-no, won’t Tachibana’s breakfast become less……………”

“Rest assured, I have already taken my share………….muu, while you are at it, how about spinach with kelp dressing on it? And also this cooked seaweed--------”

(Give me a break alreadddyyyyyyyyy!! The meat, the meattttttttttttt!!)

I raised a shout inside my heart from the small plate of vegetables being constantly added up in front of me.



Having several fractures, lacerations on every part of his body, and countless bruises.

Full recovery would take a month. However, this was only because he was an <<Exceed>>; if it was a normal person then it would take several months for full recovery.

It was the medical examination results of the injuries my friend Tora suffered during that <<Template:Furigana>>--------no, doing her work in the backstage and targeting students with reputation, it was done by Tsukimi who was doing secret work.

“Why is Tora over here?”

After finishing our breakfast chat and everyone headed to the classroom, I saw a familiar small male prostrating himself on the table while sleeping.

“…………………Isn’t it obvious I was discharged from the hospital, you idiot.”

Responding to my mumbling with his sharp-ears, Tora made a yawn while stretching.

“I think there should be around 10 more days until discharge but……………”

“Fuun, I can’t keep resting for that long.”

During Golden Week, we went to visit him in the ward around the premise of the school when we were in a stage where we could move but, he immediately sent us away because of something about showing his pathetic state.

After that, I heard the discharge day and condition of his wounds from the nurse but, it seems Tora was pushy for his discharge.

“What are you going to do if you dragged your wounds just because you forced yourself. Keep quiet and sleep. Also there is that, you know there is a saying that a child that sleeps will grow bigger………..sorry, nothing.”

“Who the hell is small!!”

Hearing that from behind me, Miyabi twitched from that angry voice and hid behind me as if she was scared.

“It’s okay. That retort was for me.”

“U-un………… ……………….. Ah……….!”

When I made a smile towards Miyabi who was grabbing my clothes tightly, she opened her eyes wide in an instant----------

She quickly separated her hands, and took a step back before apologizing.

“Haha, I won’t bite.”

Miyabi slipped a smile from the sentence that reminded her of the introduction we made during the first time we met.

“But, are you seriously okay? The wounds you got from her should be quite serious. Just like what Kokonoe says, I think it’s better for your body to not force yourself.”

“Judging by the way you said it, you already know about the situation too?”

Tachibana swung her head vertically from Tora’s question.

On that day, it was great we managed to break Tsukimi’s <<Template:Furigana>> but, I suffered extreme fatigue while the wounds on Julie’s legs were serious, and thus both of us could not move.

Then, Tachibana and Miyaba contacted the academy side after looking at our state, and performed emergency treatment on all the injured people including Tora and the rest.

During that occasion, we explained to Tachibana and Miyabi about what happened--------including the secret of the <<Blaze>>------so, they were already aware about the situation.

“I see, you two did my emergency treatment………Tachibana, Hotaka, it was a life saver. You have my gratitude.”

Tora lowered his head.

“…………………….”

“…………..Tooru. What is with that face?”

“I’m shocked.”

“Why are you shocked, Tooru?”

Julie tilted her head and *Chirin* a bell sound was produced.

“Nooo, that’s because Tora is lowering his head towards someone.”

“Don’t open your eyes wide from something like that! Even I would lower my head when I really want to show my gratitude!”

“That’s because it’s Tora you know!?”

“What kind of image of me is inside of you!!”

“…………….Tooru, Tora. Fighting is bad.”

“*Giggle* *Giggle*, it’s alright Julie-chan, this isn’t a fight.”

Miyabi made a small giggle from our small quarrel, and nodded towards Julie [Is that so?] question.

However, Julie tilted her head because she could not understand at all and *chirin* the bell shook.

“Oh yeah! You said you would lower your head when you really want to show your gratitude right. Then, you were saved by me and Julie during that time, so I’ll have you show that gratitude of yours.”

“Uuu………Gugu, Th-that’s…………kuh, i-it certainly is unpleasant…………”

While I was making a spiteful smile at Tora, Tachibana [Are you a child] muttered that in a tired tone behind me.

After a while, although Tora *un**un* groaned, he made a complex expression while opening his mouth with a desperate tone.

“Al-alright. I will show you my gratitude so be grateful.”

“It should be thank you there right?”

“Muguuh………! Gu-gu-gu……….Tha-tha-thatha……than……… ………..Haah!? No-now that I think back about it, if it weren’t for me saving you in the first place, even you would be defeated too!!”

Damn it, he noticed.

“That’s why we don’t owe each other anything. You get it! However, you will show your gratitude to Julie!”

*Fuun* Tora made a rough snort and turned his back towards us.

“Seriously, I don’t know whether I should call you childish, or you’re existence is mean………….oh, it’s the chime. See you later. Kokonoe.”

Hearing the ringing sound of the chime signifying the start of the classes, Tachibana lightly hit my shoulders and headed towards her own seat.

Miyabi also left with a [see you later] before chasing after her back.

“Tooru. Let’s sit down too.”

Although I went to sit on my seat when I was urged by Julie, there was question that popped up at that moment.

“Wait a sec? It’s okay for the class to start but, what about our homeroom teacher?”

There was no way it was going to be the girl wearing rabbit ears.

Which meant, another teacher should be a replacement-------

“Good Morning--♥ Did you all enjoy your GW? I think this is unlikely but, are there naughty children that played too much and forgot their homework? If there is then, please raise your hands—♥”

“-------Uh!!”

The moment we saw the rabbit ears coming into the classroom after the chime ended, me-------Julie, Tachibana, Miyabi, Tora and Tatsu stood up.

Each of us placed our hands on our own chest, and the instant we were about to say the <<Word that carries strength>>-------

“The class is going to start. Please sit down at your seats.”

We could only stop our thoughts, from the words coming from Mikuni-sensei who showed himself after coming into the classroom after Tsukimi.

“You didn’t hear me, Kokonoe-kun? The other 5 too. The class is going to start.”

Once again ordered to sit down, we lowered our hips while in bewilderment.

(What’s going on………….!?)

“Alright ☆, let’s begin our long returning HR---♪“

Exactly like what the owner of that evil blade that attacked on that day proclaimed, the HR has started.

As if that attack did not happen, she was making her usual, natural smile.

However, we were only bewildered since we know about the face under that smiling mask.

“Okay okay ☆, regarding the <<Template:Furigana>> we had just before the holidays, good work to those who won magnificently and although it is disappointing, to the people that lost too♪ it looks like there were several people that got injured from hustling a little too much but, Sensei is very satisfied to be able to see everyone’s current powers ♥”

The part about got injured------although me and Tora were about to open our mouth to say whose fault was it by reflex, Tsukimi *pachiri* closed one of her eyes while placing her fingers on her mouth.

The matter regarding that attack was a secret; that was probably what she was telling us.

We know that without her telling us but, thanks to the main culprit of that incident lying so calmly, we were just barely maintaining our composure.

“--------With that said, just like what I explained beforehand, the <<Duo>>’s with good results will be able to receive the <<Sublimation Ceremony>> as a special prize on Saturday. Errrr, the ones who will take it are--------”

The ones Tsukimi said were me & Julie, Tachibana & Miyabi, Tora & Tatsu, and 2 other <<Duo>> groups.

According to that, it seemed the standard of 3 wins and above was the condition to receive the special prize.

Originally, I would be happy to be able to receive the <<Sublimation Ceremony>> but, now wasn’t the time for that.

(What the hell is going on……?)

My head was in chaos.

I did not have to say the reason; it was about the reason as to why was Tsukimi still our homeroom teacher, and why did Mikuni-sensei------the academy side approved it.

But, during the time I was thinking inside my head, the HR was still continuing.

After that, we were told about the classes from now on, the interleague match with the 2nd year students, and that there would be a seaside school trip in July. Tsukimi then left the classroom from the chime signal and the class started after the general science teacher entered while she left.

The questions regarding Tsukimi, everyone related to that incident felt bewildered.

“What do you make of that, Kokonoe?”

When it turned break time, Tachibana came over to talk to me while making a blatant perplexed expression.

Miyabi was beside her and Tora and Tatsu sitting in front of us turned around to look at me.

Even for Julie who normally doesn’t move her expression much, she was bringing her eyebrows closer.

“Let’s talk in the corridor. Someone might hear us here.”

After saying that, I urged everyone to head out to the corridor. The damages caused from the <<Template:Furigana>> was completely restored during the GW, and there was nearly no one in the corridor with its original aspects restored regardless of it being break time, the class--------rather than saying that, this showed the fact that there are only a few people inside the school including the staff members.

We moved to a place which was quite separated from the classroom just in case.

At that moment, Miyabi was the first one to open her mouth to break the somewhat heavy atmosphere.

“E-eerr…….Tsukimi-sensei was trying to kill Julie-chan and Tooru-kun right?”

“Ja---. If not for Tooru, by now I would be………….”

“I could not do anything if I was alone. That plan succeeded because Julie was there.”

I seriously thought that without being humble. Thanks to Julie stopping Tsukimi’s sword, a chance to slam Template:Furigana in was produced.

[Nai. It was Tooru………….] [Nono, it was Julie…………….]

“Stop it already. We should be talking about why that woman was once again in front of us first!”

Unable to hide his irritation, Tora made an angry shout and we returned back to the main thread.

“Even if you say that………………even I would like to hear why Tsukimi appeared with a nonchalant face.”

The academy was left to deal with Tsukimi but, at the very least we thought we would never see her ever again.

“Kuhah, then let me tell you, <<Irregular>>.”

“------Uh!?”

The voice of the subjected person suddenly mixed into the conversation.

At the same time with being shocked at that voice------our sights gathered towards the window.

As if to respond to our sights, when we thought we heard the laugh from her true self echoed, Tsukimi showed her face at the opposite side of the window. Why was she in the opposite side.

“Oora, Open the window. I can’t get in like this. Hurry up and open the damn window if you want your questions to be answered.”

You shouldn't eavesdrop first if you want to ask someone to do something. I opened the window, while thinking I shouldn’t be doing this.

Naturally, while being cautious………………is what I planned to do.

“Arayooto.”

Tsukimi treated the window frame like iron bars and after making a turn in midair, she broke into the school with her legs first.

What’s more, this was done at the same time when opening the window, and from my point of view, the petticoat that suddenly appeared in front of my eyes looked like a large white flower blooming.

“Buu!?”

…………Incidentally, the thin white cloth Tsukimi was wearing on her lower half was pushed at my face.

(Wait………….this is………..!?)

After being stumbled upon with bewilderment and an impact towards my head, my head was put between her soft thighs and my upper body was pulled forward.

*Zuun………..*! A strong impact was directed towards my back together with a dull sound.

“Gah……………! Kahah………….”

[Tooru!!] [Tooru-kun!!] [Tooru!!]

“Ko-Kokonoe! Tsukimi-sensei what are you doing!?”

Although Tachibana raised an angry shout from the sudden Franken Steiner, Tsukimi easily washed it off indifferently.

“Kuhahah. Template:Furigana awaits after a good Template:Furigana. This is the rule of the world.”

Tsukimi erected her index finger and *Chi*chi* swung it left and right.

“Kuh, what rule is that………..ouch………..”

“Are you okay, Tooru?”

She had a provocative smile----------Tsukimi was standing still while showing her true self while Tachibana, Tora and Tatsu were confronting her.

The only one not revealing any enemy intent was Miyabi, since she was not used to fighting, she was only looking at my face and Tsukimi’s alternately while being flustered.

The strained atmosphere continued for a full 10 seconds------

The first one to move was Tsukimi.

We were about to manifest our <<Blaze>> in reflex but, it was not needed.

It’s true that Tsukimi moved but, she only raised both her hands up with no intent to fight.

“………………….What are you planning.”

“Just like what you see, I have no intentions to fight. If I were to fight with you guys here then, I would get fired in just one day after obtaining my hard earned reemployment.”

Tsukimi answered while wearing a nonchalant smile from Tora’s question.

“What do you mean by reemployment…………..?”

“It probably means, her employer has switched to the academy.”

“Kuhah. As expected from an honors student, your head processing is different from that blockheaded dairy cow.”

“Co-cow!?”

Miyabi used her hands and tried to cover her chest from Tsukimi’s words………………however, she could not hide it since it was too big.

“Well, that is the case. Me continuing to be a teacher like this is more than enough proof.”

“…………………. It’s hard to believe since it is abrupt but, it looks like the case judging by the situation.”

“You can’t do that you know, Kokonoe-kun☆ You have to use honorifics properly towards Sensei ♥”

“……………Don’t ask for the impossible when you were someone that almost killed us.”

“Kuhah, you didn’t die so don’t be so stiff with me.”

“That’s why you too, don’t say something stiff like asking me to use honorifics.”

“Uh! Seriously!! You got some nice sense there <<Irregular>>!! Kua---ahahahahaha!!”

For an instant, Tsukimi opened her eyes wide from my reply and started laughing by hugging her stomach while hitting her hips.

Soon, after her laughing calmed down, she leaned against the wall while making a happy expression.

“………Then a question from me. You said [job] at that time right? I’ll have you answer the where, who and what kind of reason did they have to attack us.”

Having received the worst injuries from Tsukimi, Tora could not hide his irritation and asked.

“There are a lot of people depressed about the <<Exceed>> in this world. Well, I can’t say who it is because of confidentiality but, it’s a country that holds justice.”

“That means………..”

We didn’t even need to ask for the name of the country, we can get it from that sarcasm.

“Don’t tell me…………that isn’t possible. Are you saying it came from a country………….”

Tsukimi shrugged her shoulders as if to play a fool towards Tachibana who was unable to hide her shock.

“Kuhah, remember this. Darkness exists in every country. And it is the same with this Kouryou-------which means, this academy is the darkness of Japan. If not for that, although it is done in secrecy, there is no way they could succeed in using inhuman methods to produce nano-machine monsters.”

I wonder could it be taken seriously.

But, it was persuasive.

It does sound convincing if I think about the fact that the existence of the <<Lucifer>> and <<Exceed>> has not come out to public because there is a country in the background.

“Well, it is up to you guys to believe how much you want. ………….alright then, break time is about to end so see you all later. Don’t be late for class.” Tsukimi swung her hands and left after turning her back towards us.

“……….How much do you think we should believe that talk?”

“Fuun. Leaving aside the fact that a country is behind this, I think it should be true judging by the situation of her going to the academy side.”

“I have the same opinion with Tora.”

“Only, let’s be cautious just in case.”

Both of them agreed to my opinion.

(However, to think something like her attacks were related to the country, I don’t know how much of that I could believe………….)



The time for lunch ended and has turned into the afternoon, and it has come to the physical ability enhancement training after a long time but------

“A 20 kilo baggage…………”

With a smiling face, Tsukimi announced that the real training would start from today since the GW had finished.

But, the surroundings made a commotion when they heard the contents.

“Tooru-kun. What do you mean by baggage………..?”

Miyabi beside me asked me a question with a soft voice regarding the unfamiliar word.

The baggage is a knapsack and after I answered that we would probably be running with weights placed inside it, she showed an uneasy manner.

Miyabi had become used to running in long distance thanks to her continuously running voluntarily but even so it did not change her lack of confidence.

Because of that, it was probably natural for her reaction when she heard that the training will be harder compared from before. That’s why--------

“Miyabi if it is you, it will be okay. You became able to run a marathon already right?”

“Th-that’s true…..I’ll do my best.”

Although she could not hide her uneasiness, Miyabi nodded.

“………Bu-but, if I can’t run as far as finish then…………….will you come and pick me up again?”

“Pick you up…………?”

Go and pick Miyabi up---------what I could recall back from that was the event that happened around a month ago.

The memories of me giving the unmovable Miyabi a piggyback and coming back.

(It was because of that day, Miyabi has started to talk to me…………..)

“Will, you………?”

“Eh? Ah………..”

Because my reply was not coming out, Miyabi asked me with upturned eyes as if to appeal to me.

“Aah, I understand. I will definitely go pick you up.”

“Un, I will wait for you………….”

And then, Miyabi nodded happily.

“---------Wait a sec, it’s bad if you wait. You have to run to the finish.”

“Ah………tha-that’s right. ahaha………..”

I made a wry smile following Miyabi.

At that moment, Julie brought over the baggage’s in both of her hands respectively for Miyabi and me.

She then tilted her head when both of us were showing her a wry smile.

“Tooru, Miyabi. What happened?”

“A little something.………..Aah, thanks for the baggage.”

The baggage I received transmitted the weight into my arms-------although I say that, I don’t feel the small number of 20 kilograms now that I am in my enhanced state.

I once again knew the amazingness of the <<Lucifer>> since the small bodied Julie could bring the baggage with a weight almost the same or even crossing her body weight when it was joined together with just some wobbling.

What’s more, since this is said when we are still <<Template:Furigana>>, I can’t even imagine how much it would be at the end.

But even so, I have to continue running towards that end.

In order to understand the meaning of those words after obtaining <<Power>>.

Why did Otoha have to die, I was seeking that truth.

However that was------a deception.



“They are dead, because they were weak.”

The dream showed its desire by saying that.

No matter how much gloss was on top of the surface, hatred and anger were swirling in my abyss.

There was a demon thirsting for revenge living there.

I realized that, each time the memories from that day, and that person’s words resurface.

“Uaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh----------------------!!”

It was same today too. My roar filled with hatred has brought me back to the present from my dream.

“Haa…………ah, haaa, haaa…………..!”

“Tooru, are you okay……..?”

Julie came down from the upper level bed and directed her Template:Furigana towards me worriedly.

“……………Sorry.”

“Nai. Please do not mind it.”

It was already bright outside and morning has arrived.

Nonetheless, it was still somewhat faster compared to our waking up time but------

“Where are you going?”

After I washed my face in the washroom and changed into an attire that was easy to move in, Julie tilted her head while her face looked a little sleepy.

“I am going to sweat for around 30 minutes. I feel like moving my body a little.”

After leaving an I understand from the nodding Julie, I left the room and headed towards the underground facility.

Although it was still morning, there were only a few people inside the training room which can be used from 6am to 10pm.

I exchanged a simple greeting with one classmate and headed deeper inside.

I was standing in front of a special sandbag which easily crosses 100 kilograms. It usually has urethane foam inside it but, the thing in front of me was specially made and was cramped with sand just like the name suggests.

I continuously punched and kicked that sandbag without resting.

My breathing became rough, and it became painful.

But even so, I would continue punching as long as I had power.

As if to drive away those words.

As if to slam all my hatred towards him.

I was only dead-set on that.



“You should stop around there.”

I wonder how long I had been punching the sandbag.

By the time I stopped my fist when I was called out, I was dripping in sweat and my rough breathing was very painful.

“Just when I thought it was such a rare occurrence for you to train enthusiastically in the morning, how long are you planning to keep on hitting. If you keep that up, you will only injure your fist.”

After I turned around, Tachibana made one sigh while her expression was frowning.

When I looked at the fist she pointed out, the skin was torn off and blood was oozing out.

“Ah…………ouch……………”

I started feeling pain on my fist and I distorted my face.

When I did that, Tachibana grabbed my hands while starting to walk.

“Let’s go to the infirmary. It would probably heal immediately thanks to the <<Lucifer>> but this is for just in case.”

I completely understood the blessings of this strengthened healing power from that one battle with Tsukimi.

This level of wound would completely heal by tomorrow but, it was now throbbing painfully.

But this was okay.

I felt a bit better from moving my body in a daze.

It would be a cheap trade if I think like that.

While pulling my hands, although Tachibana brought me along to the infirmary beside the training room, the doctor could not be seen there since it was early.

“There is no one here at this time as expected. Even though I said that, even I can handle this level of treatment.”

After making me sit on a chair, Tachibana took the gauze and wet it with water.

“Uh……………!”

In the middle of the blood stains being wiped off with the wet gauze, I groaned from the stinging water.

“Sorry. I’ll have you………withstand it, a bit……………”

Both of us noticed this the moment Tachibana raised her face.

Our faces were close.

Either I or Tachibana was the first one to have our cheeks blush from this close distance.

We both averted our face almost at the same time, and time advanced silently just like that.

“Alright, then. Next up would be wrapping a cling film before bandaging.”

Different from the gauze application on the wounds we learned in class before GW, this was the moist wound healing method covered with a vulnerary covering material.

Many people get injured because Kouryou academy was a special technique training school, but thanks to the <<Lucifer>> increasing the healing abilities, there were many cases where it would end with just emergency treatment just like this.

Tachibana wrapped the cling film on my hand in a familiar manner before wrapping it with a bandage.

“I thought about this during class too but, Tachibana is quite good at this kind of stuff.”

“There are always fresh wounds in the Tachibana dojo. I was always treating someone’s injuries almost every day before enrolling here.”

“No wonder…………then, I think it won’t be a problem to ask Tachibana to treat my injuries when I get them.”

“Before that, you should pay attention to not get injured.”

“Seriously.”

Tachibana frowned her face towards me who was making a wry smile.

“………….More importantly, Kokonoe, what happened? Rather than calling you enthusiastic just now………….err, you had a somewhat bloodcurdling atmosphere around you………..”

“Hnn…………….last time, I remembered back about that time I lost to a person that was my friend. Thanks to that and by the time I noticed myself being filled with frustration, well.”

I did not lie. I only said one part of the truth but, that was enough to trick her.

“……………Fumu. That must be one terrible loss. However, I know it might be frustrating but even so, you should take care of your own body a little more.”

After I nodded at Tachibana who was making a wry smile, this time it was my turn to ask questions with the intention of changing the topic.

“By the way, you said it was a rare occurrence seeing me just now. Which means, Tachibana often comes to training in the morning?”

“Almost every day, I would be in the training room around this time.”

And after that ended, she would go around to other people’s rooms to wake them up.

She’s amazing, after honestly stating my opinion, I swung my head left and right.

“That’s because Miyabi is always working hard every morning. I can’t lose too as her <<Duo>>.”

“Every morning?”

“Every day, she will run in the morning and after class……………though I say this, she only started running in the morning after the <<Template:Furigana>> though.”

While muttering that, I thought Miyabi was working hard too.

At present, she was able to finish the baggage attachment marathon which started a few days too without retiring, the reason for that was probably because the results of her steady endeavor has born fruit.

“We can no longer remain careless anymore.”

Tachibana made a happy smile to her <<Duo>> who has changed very differently from the first day of enrollment.

“Well then, I should be heading back to my room now. Tachibana, thanks for the treatment.”

“What, it wasn’t much. I think it’s better to replace the wrap a few more times so, feel free to tell me when you want it.”

It’s true that it would finish quick and would look nicer compared to me doing it.

“The problem is taking notes will be a little tough with my hand like this.”

“Fufu, then I will lend you my notes later.”

“Is it okay?”

“But, the condition is you take the class properly.”

“I understand………..however, it looks troublesome to go to the toilet with this hand.”

“Fufu, feel free to tell me when that happens. I will help-------”

She then stopped her words mid-way. Tachibana noticed what she was about to say and in a blink of an eye her cheeks-------no, her whole face turned red.

“Wha-wha, what kind of obscene thing are you saying------------!?”

“Wait, I didn’t say anything!?”



*zazan*…………..*zazan*…………..the wave was hitting nonstop.

“Fuwaaa………..”

In the morning of the next day, after hearing the faint sound of the waves in front of the school gate, a yawn unintentionally came out.

At that moment, I could hear the sound of light footsteps coming from afar.

The owner of those footsteps came closer, and I called out around the time I could see her.

“Yoo, Miyabi.”

“To-Tooru-kun!? …………..dre-dream? Un-until I could dream about him, towards Tooru-kun I…………”

“No, I am not a dream but the real one.”

I lightly tapped Miyabi’s shoulders while she was bewildered.

“Real one…………………eh? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? --------uh!! Fo-forget that from just now! Please pretend you didn’t hear that!!”

Miyabi’s expression quickly changed.

She was probably very embarrassed about misunderstanding this as a dream, and it felt heartwarming seeing her swing both her hands quickly.

(Pretend I didn’t hear that huh, I wonder how I am supposed to do that………….)

Miyabi regained her calm after a while and asked a question.

“E-erm……….why is Tooru-kun here?”

It’s only normal to think like that.

That’s because I was waiting in front of the school gate, with the time just passed 6 am in the morning.

“I heard from Tachibana that Miyabi was running not only after school but in the morning too. So I thought, I should join in too.”

“Eh…………? To-Tooru-kun too……….!?”

“Aah. I’ll quit if it is an annoyance.”

“Th-there is no such thing. You aren’t an annoyance at all, Un.”

*Buun*Buun* Miyabi swung her head left and right.

I thought it was about to be torn off since it was done so vigorously.

“Alright, let’s start running immediately. It’s a waste just nonchalantly being carefree like this.”

“U-un.”

Just like that, the conversation concluded and we started running side by side.

The running pace was not that fast, and there was leisure to have a conversation.

The topic that came out was-------

“………..E-errr, Tooru-kun. Sorry about that time.”

It was about that time when she witnessed me hugging a fully nude Julie In the middle of GW.

Due to the much unexpected scenery (Me too) raising a panic, Miyabi used the <<Template:Furigana>> and opened a big hole on the floor in my room (#Already repaired), this event was still fresh in my memories.

“Don’t worry about it anymore. I wonder how many times you apologized for that.”

After that day and even today too; each time our faces meet or do not meet, Miyabi has lowered her head countless times and it was more than enough to tell she was self-reflecting on her act.

“B-but……….”

“No buts. I can’t remain calm when I get apologized to all the time, and more importantly it is only natural to misunderstand that situation.”

“…………………It’s a misunderstanding right?”

“Eh?”

“Li-like I said, you aren’t in that type of relationship with Julie-chan……..t-to do those type of things right?”

Towards that question she asked while her cheeks blushing, I also blushed while swinging my head and replying it’s wrong.

“Tha-thank god ………”

Miyabi muttered, and I made a relieved sigh since it ended without the misunderstanding becoming something big.

After a while, the laps started to take its toll and Miyabi lost her leisure to exchange words with me.

“To-Tooru-kun………..it’s okay to go…….. ahead ……….”

“I understand. Then I’ll be going on ahead.”

By the time we reached the last lap, I nodded at Miyabi’s words while she was out of breath, and both of us started running at full strength. Although we were running side by side until now, as expected Miyabi’s figure was washed away in one go since we originally have a difference in stamina.



“Good work, Miyabi. You’ve gotten faster.”

“U-un……..thank, you, To-Tooru-kun………”

Miyabi finally reached the goal a few minutes after I reached the school gate.

She places her hands on her knees and repeatedly breathed heavily.

That was a normal aftermath scenery of the finish of someone running, but the unusual one was Miyabi’s………..err, those.

They were swaying in a manner as if they were following gravity; it made one think as if melons were inserted inside her chest.

Each time Miyabi breathed and her shoulders would go up and down, they would jiggle and-------

(…………..Wait, what the hell kind of eyes am I giving Miyabi when she did her best in running!?)

*Pan*!

A flashy sound was produced when I used both my hands to slap my cheeks.

“Tooru-kun………?”

“I-I was putting in motivation………”

“Again? Fufu, Tooru-kun sure gets motivated at weird times.”

Miyabi remembered the past and made a smile even though her breathing was still in disarray.

I could only make a dry smile towards her-------

All of a sudden, a sound completely changed the atmosphere.

*Para*Para*Para*………the sound of the helicopter erased the never-ending sound produced by the waves.

The helicopter passed across us and headed towards the premises of the academy just like that--------not long later, it started descending around the staff building.

“What is happening this early in the morning?”

That question unintentionally came out from my mouth and since there is no way Miyabi could answer that question, she tilted her head.

The light from the morning sun reached the descending helicopter.

The sun reflected something and a golden-hair color shined.

For some reason, I could not release my eyes from that shine.

Part 2Edit

There was a shadow inside the school looking at the helicopter just like Tooru and the others.

In a room inside the staff building--------- deep inside the chairman's office there was a gorgeous chandelier, an extravagant red carpet, a table and furniture finely decorated nicely with ornaments, and also a bedroom with a bed canopy placed inside.

Naturally, the shadow looking at the helicopter outside from the room-------- belonged to the Kouryou board chairman, Tsukumo Sakuya.

“…………..She’s here.”

Sakuya was already dressed up regardless of how early in the morning it was and was wearing her usual gothic dress.

After moving from the bedroom to the office, Mikuni her trusty confidant was already awaiting her, and Sakuya brought him along to the courtyard.

The helicopter had finished landing almost at the same time Sakuya and the rest came out to the courtyard.

The wind caused by the rotor, made Sakuya’s elegant black hair and gothic dress sway-----

A girl with Template:Furigana showed herself from the helicopter.

Sakuya made a charming smile towards the gold girl whose shine made one think of the sun.

“Welcome, to Kouryou Academy. <<Exception>>------Lilith Bristol.”



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Chapter 2: If I Borrow Your WordsEdit

Part 1Edit

“So you are the <<Irregular>>----Kokonoe Tooru.”

The first words the transfer student put in her mouth was that.



Going back about a minute in time.

On the morning of the day the <<The Sublimation Ceremony>> would be commencing.

The HR started and right after Tsukimi introduced the transfer student------

Most of the classmates gasped……………even Tora too.

A beautiful Template:Furigana foreign girl with Template:Furigana was the one who entered the classroom.

Not only her eyes and hair, her style consisted of places which should be coming out, came out, and places that should be tucked in, were tucked in; that charming style that would put foreign actresses to shame not only made the males, but also the females gasp too.

Adding on, she had an elegant and lovely charm drifting around her, and her red lips further emphasized that fact.

If the same foreign beauty Julie was a fantasy-like moon floating in the dark night then, the impression she gave would be the shining sun in the grand sky.



Such a girl was placing one hand on her hip while the other hand was on the table, and was in front staring right at me.

Thanks to her slouching forward a little bit, I was about to move my sights toward the two swaying bulges before the 2nd round of voice came flying over.

“……………Hey, are you listening to me?”

“------Uh!! So-sorry. I am Kokonoe……….”

“Okay. Kokonoe Tooru, I am interested in you. That’s why you'll come along with me.”

I heard the same thing just one month ago but, the speech this time had a soft tone of command to it.

The gold girl acted as if it is only natural for her will to be followed, and turned her heels around without hearing my answer and started walking.

“O-oi. Even if you tell me to come along, right now it’s-------.”

“………….Don’t make me say it twice.”

She stopped her legs and said that sentence once she turned around.

“Errr---. It’s still in the middle of HR though…………”

Tsukimi was the first one who opened her mouth in the re-silenced classroom.

“You will specially have it permitted right? Tsukimi-sensei.”

“…………Go ahead-----☆”

For an instant, although a vein popped up on her forehead, Tsukimi permitted the transfer student's selfish actions.

(What does this mean? That Tsukimi isn’t someone that would allow something like that…………..)

“…………….If you have a matter with Tooru then you can talk to him here.”

Although Tora said that to her irritated-----

“Isn’t it okay since it’s something unrelated to you. I just want to have a talk in a place without any noise.”

She flat out replied back.

Normally, his anger would burst out but, he was probably overpowered by her one sentence and glare. Tora stopped with a soft groan.

“Well. I’ll be heading out a bit. It’ll probably finish fast if it’s just talking.”

I made a small smile to Tora and stood up.

Tentatively, as long as Tsukimi the home-room teacher has given her permission, there was no reason to refuse unreasonably.

I exited the classroom together with the gold girl.


The place we reached was the garden located between the school building and the dormitory.

Since it was the season when flowers and greens would prosper, the garden was covered entirely with multicolored roses.

Inside the choking scent of roses------I am bad with it------she unhesitatingly advanced through on the path of small stone pavements.

Further up ahead, there was a gazebo there and a female butler standing-by inside it.

The butler respectfully lowered her head to us--------rather than saying that, it was for the gold girl.

In the middle of the gazebo, there was a table with a white cloth with beautiful embroidery and a tea set was placed on top of it.

“………Don't tell me we are going to have a tea party?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

She said it as if she didn’t have to tell me about it and made a smile before sitting down and folding her long legs.

Although I have something I wanted to say and hear, I imitated her and sat down on the opposite side.

Once I sat down, the female butler poured the cup with milk tea.

“Thank you.”

“………………….”

Even though I said my thanks, I was glared at for some reason.

(Why is that……….?)

Although I was feeling perplexed inside my mind, the gold girl sitting on the opposite side did not bother about the butler’s manners and took a sip of the milk tea before making a satisfied smile.

“Well then, my business is-----”

“Nono, please tell me your name before your business. It looks like you know about me but, I know absolutely nothing about you.”

I hurried and stopped the girl when she was going to start her one-sided business talk.

“Now that I think about it, I haven’t named myself yet. I am Lilith=Bristol. A student from a UK school.”

UK school------

The official name is St. Foren academy. I was told it was a sibling school founded by the Dawn organization similar to Kouryou academy.

It is the only school outside of Japan that can nurture <<Exceed>>’s, and just like Kouryou, graduated students will be affiliated to the vigilante forces of the organization. Since they would be dispatched overseas, after affiliation to the force, we would be meeting up with people from the UK school eventually………..



“I see, a UK school’s………”

“Yes…………..though I said that, I will be a student in Kouryou from today onwards.”

Lilith winked and smiled.

The moment I saw that smiling face, it was the first time I felt she was a girl my age.

“Nice to meet you, Lilith. Incidentally, it would make me happy if you could tell me the reason why you know me.”

She knows about my name, face, and also the <<Irregular>>.

And for the reason------

“I heard of rumors of the <<Irregular>> in the UK school. I had them specially get the student documents and got your face and a name once I got here.”

“I see………….”

Even though I nodded, I thought what happened to the protection of personal information in Kouryou academy.

(As expected it would be problematic if a student is able to browse through………..)

“………..Hn?”

I unintentionally raised my voice when I tasted the milk tea while I was in my thoughts.

“Th-this is very good………….”

“Fufu, it's superb right.”

I nodded at Lilith’s happy words.

It is clearly different from the milk tea I drank before until now.

It is this cupful of milk tea that greatly changed my impression of it because of the light aromatic smell going through my throat, and the exquisiteness of the moderate sweetness.

“Hn………….it was tasty, Sara.”

“………………Much obliged, Ojou-sama.”

The gold girl-----Lilith placed down with composed movements and the butler that has been silent until now opened her mouth for the first time.

(Ojou-sama, huh……………)

I already guessed it since she brought a personal butler here but, she was probably from a rich family.

But, I’ll just ask about that later after things ended.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 2.jpg

Maybe she grasped my thoughts, Lilith slightly nodded-----

“Well then, the main topic.”

She pointed her finger at me and fluently said out words that my ears doubted.

“Kokonoe Tooru. From today onwards you are my <<Duo>>.”

“………………Huh?”

I wonder if there is any other response other than astonishment, when someone who I barely met for even one hour suddenly says that I am her partner?

“Wha-what did you say just now…………”

“Don’t make me say it twice.”

“You won’t say…………..no, errrr……..me becoming your <<Duo>>……..?”

“It’s not you but Lilith.”

“Ah, sorry………….wait, nononono wait a second. I have a <<Duo>> already so, I would be troubled if you suddenly tell me that, and isn’t it school rules that a group that has already been established will remain like that until graduation in the first place.”

“Doesn’t matter. That’s because I am an <<Exception>>.”

“<<Exception>>…………..?”

I pondered the word I was not familiar with.

“………………But even so, I am troubled that you didn’t attend classes on the first day itself, Lilith=Bristol.”

When I turned over to the voice that suddenly mixed into our conversation, a girl wearing a gothic dress was standing in front of a background with white roses.

“Pleasant meeting you. Chairman Tsukumo. This is a nice place. It’s an ideal place for tea time.”

“Those words make me happy, Lilith. But, now isn’t tea time but class time.”

“I’ll be specially pardoned from that.”

Towards the threatening chairman, Lilith replied by pointing her fingers at me.

“I don’t care about the classes since I flew all over from UK just to meet him in the first place. More importantly, how about you join us chairman?”

“………..I’ll accept that.”

After the chairman made a soft sigh, she sat on the chair.

The butler was in the middle of brewing a new set of milk tea, and I asked about the things I was pondering about from the words Lilith brought out just now.

“Hey Lilith. Judging from the way you said it just now, don’t tell me you transferred here to make me your <<Duo>>? Why are you going so far to make me………..?”

You and I are the same a <<Template:Furigana>>. That is why I have cordially come to pick you up because you are someone fitting to be my <<Duo>>. Be thankful, Kokonoe Tooru.”

“………No, even if you tell me to be thankful, I have been telling you from just now that I have a <<Duo>> already. And the school rules too ------” “You don’t have to tell me twice, I already know that.”

Lilith interrupted my words and swung her hands.

“But, Kokonoe Tooru. What you are saying is something general.”

I tried recalling back the things Tsukimi taught previously.

(…………..Now that I think about it, she said unless there is a good reason.)

“Which means it is okay for you team up again with a new <<Duo>> if you are out of the rule restrictions. For example, when there is a big difference in <<Level>> with the partner or that person has dropped out from school………….”

Lilith placed her fingers on her mouth and made a smile.

“And I---------the <<Exception>> am not bound by the rule restrictions.”

“…………I don’t know what is <<Exception>>. But, do you think you will be forgiven if you say such selfish things?”

“It can be forgiven.……………Right, chairman?”

Lilith directed her sights towards the chairman who held the highest authority within Kouryou academy.

But, the Gothic girl silently drank the milk tea.

Not long later, after emptying her cup, the chairman finally destroyed the silence.

“………….Kokonoe Tooru. If you wish for it, by the name of the chairman of Kouryou academy Tsukumo Sakuya, I will specially permit you to cancel your current <<Duo>>.”

“Wha………….!?”

“See.”

Contrastive to my shock, Lilith made a satisfied smile and said that.

“………………What will you do?”

“……………..”

Right now should I cancel my <<Duo>>-----Julie or not.

“I don’t even need to think about it.”

“It’s decided then.”

I move my sights from the chairman to Lilith and clearly told her my intentions.

“Aah. It’s decided. I don’t wish to team up with Lilith so, I won’t cancel my current <<Duo>>. That’s my answer.”

“Wha……..!?”

Lilith was stunned with an expression filled with shock.

Opposite to that, the chairman made a quiet smile and nodded.

“I have clearly heard your intentions.”

“Well then, I should be heading back to the classroom. Pardon me, chairman.”

I made a light bow, and stood up.

“………..See you, Lilith.”

“-----Uh!! Wai-wait a second, Kokonoe Tooru!! Do you understand what you are saying right now!?”

“Aah, I understand. The answer is No. I will not team up with Lilith. If I were to borrow your words then, don’t make me say it twice.”

I turned my back to the speechless Lilith and returned back to the classroom in a fast pace.



"Zeeehaa". I heard my breathing I was probably making from, far away.

Naturally it was impossible. I just felt that because the fatigue was quite something.

(Fin-finally the goal huh…………)

Since I saw the school gate from far away, I squeezed out my remaining power.

As a punishment for sabotaging HR and class, I was forced to run.

That’s because Tsukimi said, "The only one special is only that Ojou-sama."

Although I felt it was unreasonable, I accepted the penal regulations but, the difficulty was beyond my imagination.

“Go-goal………..”

Inside the ringing echoes of the clock tower signifying lunch time, I reached in front of the school gate and sprawled on the ground with my limbs spread out.

(It’s been a long time since I ran until I lost all my stamina…………)

I repeatedly breathed heavily and my chest moved up and down.

The salty scented wind riding on the wind felt good on my hot body.

After I was dead tired for a while, the sun was suddenly blocked making a shade.

“Good work, Tooru.”

When I slightly opened my eyes, the silver girl making the shade was there making a small smile.

“Please take this.”

“Aah. Thanks………….”

I then raised my body, received the bottle and moisten my throat. This is exactly what the feeling of coming back to life is.

“*Kusu* it’s rare to see Tooru-kun exhausted……………”

“That was a disaster huh, Kokonoe.”

It seems they came over to see my condition with Julie.

Miyabi was giggling while Tachibana was making a wry smile.

“Haa………I went through something nasty.”

“Fuun. That’s because you nonchalantly followed after that girl.”

Leaning against the wall, Tora snorted wildly and said that. Tatsu was in the middle of muscle training behind him.

“……………I am unexpectedly someone popular.”

“Reflect a little on yourself, you idiot!”

“Well well, calm down Tora. More importantly Kokonoe, what matter did she have with you?”

While entering between me and Tora, Tachibana asked about the event in the morning.

“Ah----………”

My words were clogged when I was about to reply, and I remembered the conversation I had with Lilith.

“From today onwards you are my <<Duo>>.”

She thought her intentions being followed as something natural; I thought that she was a selfish fictional Ojou-sama that had become reality.

I then never met up with Lilith after that.

In the end, she did not appear in the class during the first period and after second period I was made to run the whole time.

“------Tooru?”

Julie tilted her head from seeing me being silent.

No, Julie wasn’t the only one. Everyone’s sights were concentrated on me.

“She-----you didn’t hear anything from Lilith?”

“Because she did not come back to class, I think the problem lies there before even asking her.”

“I see……………errrr, Even though Lilith enrolled here from St Foren academy. It seems the topic of an <<Irregular>> was told there too so, she came over to ask regarding about that.”

“Fuun. Is that really all?”

She’s sharp.

“Aah, that’s all.”

I made a pretentious face towards Tora who asked another question and did not say anything about the offer to be her <<Duo>>.

It’s because I don’t want to make Julie worry.

“More importantly, let’s hurry and go grab some food. I am so hungry that I am going to die. It’s going to be the <<Sublimation ceremony>> after I recover by eating meat to my heart’s content.”

Hearing my comment, everyone laughed except for Tora who made a given up sigh.

However---

“Not only meat, you have to eat vegetables too, Kokonoe.”

After laughing, Tachibana made a firm comeback………….



The <<Template:Furigana>> sublimation, is a little different from the one we went through during the enrollment ceremony.

We had new <<Lucifer>> administered into our body using a jet injector on the nape of our neck-------until there was still the same but, the difference occurred after that.

Right after administration during the enrollment ceremony, the <<Astar>> floated up and a heat that I thought was going to burn me to death attacked my whole body but, none of that happened this time. It’s true that my body felt a little hot but, it was just in the level of a little hot.

“Fuu………..thank god I could successfully <<Template:Furigana>>……….”

Around the time we finished the administration and exited the staff building, Miyabi made a big sigh and stroke down her chest.

“It’s because the results of your training is coming up.”

When I directed a smile at her after hitting that small back of hers, Miyabi became shy.

The sublimation can’t be done if the mental state and physical state do not match up with the <<Level>>.

Because she heard that, Miyabi became especially happy.

Miyabi knew clearly about the fact that she was the most inferior in terms of stamina inside the lineup of people that received the special sublimation.

Miyabi’s <<Duo>> Tachibana showed her happiness in her success for the <<Template:Furigana>>.

“Fufu, with this everyone here has quickly accomplished the condition to rise to 2nd year. It’s a nice thing to be able to continue socializing with this lineup for the next while.”

(Now that I think back, the people who don’t raise their <<Level>> will be dealt with expulsion…………)

“………..Fuun. There is still that possibility of dropping out of school if that someone is unable to follow the training.”

“Uuu………….”

Miyabi groaned from Tora’s sentence.

(Seriously, this guy says too much…………)

Although I made a sigh in my heart, I raised a lively voice and hit Miyabi’s back once again.

“It’s going to be okay. If things get tough, I’ll pull you along even if I need to tie you up with a rope.”

“To-Tooru-kun…………..”

“Fufu, Kokonoe isn't the only one, I will do that too. As Miyabi’s <<Duo>>, I vow I will not let you meet up with a bitter experience like dropping out from school.”

“Miyabi. I will help too.”

After opening her eyes wide from our words, Miyabi said [Thank you] and smiled.

“Tora. You have to help her when the time comes, for the portion of unease you caused to Miyabi. You’re a comrade too.”

“Uu………Fu-fuun. I have no choice then, I’ll lend my hand when that time comes…………but there is one thing I need to say, I am not your comrade but rival, Tooru.”

After I replied by saying "I get it, I get it" to Tora who was pointing his finger at me------

“Well, if Kokonoe doesn’t work hard on your general subjects, rather than pulling Miyabi your status will be overturned so you better be careful.”

A hurtful comment to the ears came from Tachibana.

“Uguh………….! Even Tachibana’s English is the same as me!”

“E-everyone has a subject they are bad with!!”

Tora made a grand sigh when we were having such a pitiful quarrel.

“<<Template:Furigana>> huh……………it somehow does not feel real at all huh, Julie-chan.”

“Ja----. That’s true. If our appearance changed then it would be easier though…………..”

(It somehow does not feel real at all, huh………………….)

I recalled back the similar conversation I had with the ponytail girl last time and felt nostalgic.

(Even though one month has not passed yet………..I wonder if Imari is doing well.)

But------

I didn’t have time to sink into sentimentally.

“Kuhah. If that’s the case then----want to try it out?”

“-------!!”

A voice suddenly mixed inside the conversation.

In an instant, I looked back at the staff building when I was pulled by my heart and placed my hand on the <<Astar>> on my chest at the same time.

“Tsukimi…………!!”

“Add sensei, <<Irregular>>.”

The rabbit ear headband was swaying in front of my sights.

She was leaning on the wall with her back, and was making an unpleasant smile.

“Yooto………well, leaving that aside, manifestation of the <<Blaze>> without permission is against school rules.”

Tsukimi came closer while being directed with painful sights coming from everyone in the spot.

“…………What do you want?”

“Since you all said it doesn’t feel real so, I am saying do you want to confirm it or not.”

There was only one imagination that comes to mind from those words-----it was to fight.

“Tsukimi-sensei. I know about how strong you are. But even so, are you saying that you will cause an uproar by having these numbers of people as your opponents?”

“Kuhahah. Didn’t I tell you I don’t want to be fired after reemployment, honor student.”

Tsukimi passed by us and in a defenseless state------even though we can’t lower our guard------exposed her back towards us.

“Well, forget about that and follow me.”

After turning around and saying that, Tsukimi once again faced her back to us and walked away.

As for us, we could not read Tsukimi’s intentions and followed her while being cautious.

“This is…………..”

The place we were brought to was the outside training room.

Our shoes were covered with sand and the facility closely resembled a coliseum with all the mortar seats surrounding the area.

We were led to a place that had yet to be used in classes and was off-limits during the <<Template:Furigana>>, it was a facility that we had only stepped into once during the facility tour right after enrolling into the school.

“………..So, what do you want us to confirm here?”

“Will you all stop with those scary faces already. Even though I told you all I have no plans on hurting you all already, what a troublesome bunch…………..”

While we were thinking where this is and not releasing our cautiousness, Tsukimi started calling someone in a carefree manner.

“Heya, it’s me. Aah, right now in the training room. ………Yes, the outside one. Aah, that’s because I will be letting them use it. Hn, then I’ll be switching with the <<Irregular>>.”

She suddenly threw the phone she was holding and I caught it in panic.

(It means I have to talk to the person on the phone right………?)

And when I was about to speak the moment I touched it to my ear--------

“Is this Kokonoe-kun? It’s me Mikuni.”

“Mikuni-sensei…………!?”

When I said out the name of the person I was talking with on the phone, everyone concentrated their sights on me. “I have heard it from Tsukimi-sensei. You all might feel uneasy from the previous matter but, right now she will not hurt you all. If you feel uneasy then I will send some observers there…………”

“………………I understand. I’ll ask for it just in case.”

I hesitated for a bit but, I ended the call after calling some people here just in case.

“Looks like observers will be coming.”

“Kuhah. I have observers on me huh, I am not trusted at all huh……….”

Tsukimi said that after I gave a brief explanation.

“I am not that pure to honestly believe someone that almost killed me.”

“Fuun. More importantly, I would like to know the reason about why you have brought us to a place like this.”

“Because you all became <<Template:Furigana>>, so with a service in mind, I am allowing all of you to confirm the extents of that enhancement. Of course, I have received permission for you all to use your <<Blaze>> so fight to your heart's content.”

I see. That’s why she said "I will be letting them use it" to Mikuni-sensei just now.

“I think I swallowed most of the idea but, don’t tell me you are planning to take all of us alone?”

“Kuhah. I wanted to do that but I gave up. We don’t know when we would be putting killing intent in the <<Blaze>>.”

At the very least, I think our side wouldn’t do that-------that’s what I would like to think but, I feel uneasy about Tora and Tatsu though.

“……….That means, each of us will have to decide with which opponent to go against among ourselves.”

She was still someone I couldn’t trust but, now that there were observers being sent here, Tsukimi probably couldn’t do anything strange.

More importantly, since there was permission to use the <<Blaze>>, there was no way we wouldn’t be drawn to it.

“One team will be left out if we fight in <<Duo>>. Let’s go with a one on one then.”

[Tooru. Fight------] [Kokonoe. If it is okay with you, would you like a match?]

Almost at the same time. Tora was the one faster to a certain extent but I decided to accept Tachibana’s challenge.

“Sorry Tora. I usually have practice matches with you normally.”

In the end, we went with match-ups which we usually don’t go with and we decided to make Julie fight with Tora, and Miyabi with Tatsu.

The observers appeared at a good timing and we started the <<Template:Furigana>>.

Miyabi and Tatsu were made to be the ones to go first and we took audience in the audience seats in order to not disrupt them.

(Rather than calling it a rare team up…………is having Tatsu as the opponent really okay?)

She has a mental state of being bad with males and Tatsu’s physical strength is the best in the class.

Miyabi said she would do her best so, Tatsu would probably hold back but, I could not wipe off the uneasiness.

But-------

“I-I am coming, Tatsu-kun! Teyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa--------!!”

“---------!!”

In an instant, I wasn’t the only one who gasped.

Holding the <<Template:Furigana>> and kicking the ground, Miyabi closed in the gap between Tatsu with shocking speed.

It was not to the extent of blinding speed.

However, it was an unexpected speed from the Miyabi we knew until now.

It seemed the same case for Tatsu too-----

*Dozuu*!! The strong impact shook the training room.

His stomach was pierced through and he was skewered to the wall just like that.

If we had not known the specialty of the <<Blaze>>, it would be a shocking scenery where we would avert our eyes from………..

“Wawah, are you okay, Tatsu-ku~~~~~~~n!?”

Miyabi panicked. Staring at them from the audience seats, we were wrapped in shock.

“It is a surprise. It’s at the same speed as Tooru's.”

Although slightly, even Julie opened her eyes wider as she said her thoughts.

The factor that should be shocking wasn’t her speed.

The power that brought Tatsu from the middle of the training room to the wall was also observed.

“To think this much change occurred with just one <<Level>> going up………….”

I wonder how much it has occurred for me, if Miyabi has changed this much.

Those thoughts worked up my feelings and when I stood up to go down to the fighting area, my arm was grabbed.

“Tooru. Let us go first.”

Maybe just like me or even more than me, Tora was making a high-spirited expression.

(Well, I did refuse Tora’s challenge just now……..)

It’s not like he would forgive me with this but I decided to pull back here.

After bringing the fainted Tatsu to the audience seats to sleep, the second battle started.

“Tora. I am going at full power.”

“Bring it on.”

Julie and Tora. I didn’t need to say this but, Julie was the fastest amongst the first year. However, Julie’s opponent Tora also has good speed coming after her.

Both of them have speed as their weapon. However, Julie attacks furiously even though her self-taught skills have refined parts, and because Tora has learned martial arts for many years so, his attacks have a distinctive characteristic of attacking in a pointed and accurate manner.

“They would be equal on <<Fist Practice>> but, things would be different when it comes to <<Template:Furigana>>. What is your insight, Kokonoe?”

“That’s because this is the first time I've seen Tora using his <<Blaze>> to fight. But even so, I think it would be Julie. Julie is a different person when she is with her <<Template:Furigana>>. Even for myself, if I am asked whether or not I can win against her in a serious battle, I think it would be hard to say.”

However, the results will be unknown if I use Template:Furigana.

Since it was impossible for me to direct it towards Julie, the assumption is out of question.

“I see. I have the same opinion as you since I fought Julie with her <<Template:Furigana>>------Oh, they moved!!”

Since we saw Miyabi’s movements just now, I thought we wouldn’t be that surprised.

But, we were astonished again at the speed of both of them the moment they moved at the same time.

Julie took the upper hand using a speed slightly exceeding Tora’s.

Opposite to her cute appearance, the <<Saber>> she held with both hands was attacking wildly from left and right.

However, Tora blocked the blade with the <<Template:Furigana>> from the right and avoided the left blade by slightly twisting his body.

Julie did not stop and continued pursuit------ the instant I thought that, Tora dodged and continued thrusting. Even though the <<Template:Furigana>> scratched her clothes, it was far away from a decisive strike.

After countless exchanges, the sound of blades slicing the air and the sound of steel clashing continued echoing.

But, the fight dance did not continue forever and the time of conclusion had come.

Right after Julie reacted to the blade aiming to the side of her head by evading and bending her upper body, Tora’s body spun like a spinning top and made a continuous side sweep.

If it was me, I would use my <<Shield>> to block it or perform a back step to make distance------

Whatever I picked, I would probably be in a defensive stance.

But Julie was different.

She reacted to Tora’s attack in an instant and dodged the <<Template:Furigana>> by sinking her body as if she was crawling on the ground.

At this moment, this match was determined.

Julie swung the <<Template:Furigana>> at the same time while standing up.

Just like the fangs of a wolf, the 2 blades attacking from left and right, slashed Tora’s stomach.

“Are you okay?”

“Fuun, this much isn’t a problem…………… I will win next time………!”

When I asked Tora who came back to the audience seat, he replied back with a hating to lose answer.

However, it looks like Tora could not hide the exhausted part of his <<Soul>> which had been slashed, and made a big sigh the moment he lowered his waist.

“Next off is Tooru’s turn.”

I called out to Julie, when I stood up and was about to go down towards the training area.

“Aah. Now that I have seen such a good match, I have to put up a good fight that won’t lose to that………….and, more importantly Julie, take this………..”

I took off my jacket and handed it to Julie by hanging it on top of her body.

“-----------?”

That’s because just now, the part scratched from the <<Template:Furigana>>---------the part around her collarbone was cut, causing her skin to be exposed.

“It isn’t cold now……….?”

Speaking of which, it would be hotter after a battle and Julie was tilting her head.

“…………It isn’t good for a girl to show off her skin.”

It wasn’t particularly an exposure that was bad, for a young man’s education but, this is just in case.

“…………….. Thank you very much.”

From my explanation, Julie finally understood and her cheeks were slightly blushing pink in color.

“Please do your best, Tooru. I will do my best in my cheer too………..with this jacket part too.”

Together with the last sentence, she grabbed the jacket slightly tighter around her hand and showed a small smile.

After I went down to the training area, Tachibana the one who I was going to confront was making a happy expression.

“It has been since the <<Template:Furigana>> that I had a match with you. But this time, I’ll have you hand over the win.”

“It was as a <<Duo>> that time so, it’s not like I personally won……….that is why for this match, I don’t plan on giving away the win.”

“Fufu, bring it on!”

At the same time as the signal, Tachibana and I kicked the ground while aiming at each other.

“Here I come!!”

“-------!?”

Tachibana and I were also shocked.

After looking at the previous two battles-------the fight Julie and the rest had, I had already confirmed the enhancement of the physical abilities from the <<Template:Furigana>>.

However, because it was beyond my imaginations when I confirmed it actually with my own body, I became bewildered.

To think my step in would become this fast from sublimating to <<Template:Furigana>>.

Inside the feeling of the almost weightless feeling of my body and yet not my body, I launched a thrust.

“Kuh………..I won’t let you do it so easily!!”

Regaining her composure instantaneously, Tachibana attempted to block my fist.

In regards of defense skills, there was no one in class that could come next to Tachibana.

Furthermore, it was also the same with switching from defense.

“Seii!!”

Tachibana blocked my fist with her palm and twisted her body-------

The energy of the thrust was used just like that, and I was thrown away.

But, in order to avoid being struck, I turned my body mid-air and landed facing over to Tachibana.

“Tou……..! Not bad, Tachibana! Your reflex speed also increased-------wait, Uoooh!?”

Right in the middle of my words, I noticed the metal drip approaching right in front of me, and I jumped to the side.

“That was dangerous……………”

The speed of the metal drip could not even be compared to that time I saw it during the <<Newcomer battle>>.

“Fuu, not bad for avoiding that one. But, how about this one!?”

The battle between me and Tachibana turned into a much simpler battle compared to the previous two.

The focus point of this match is for me to pass through the <<Template:Furigana>> and enter her chest area.

(………………At times like this, I envy Julie and Tora who have light foot work!)

Evading the <<Template:Furigana>> several times, and sometimes blocking with my <<Shield>>, I took the chance and closed in the distance.

“Over here…………!!”

I prepared my fist after slipping past, but-----

“Naïve!!”

The foot I stepped in was tangled with the <<Template:Furigana>>.

Tachibana then pulled the <<Template:Furigana>> just like that, and my balance collapsed when my foot was pulled away.

Without losing that chance, Tachibana grabbed my collar and sleeves and performed a osotogari[2b 1], slamming my back towards the ground.

In a flash, Tachibana moved to the next attack but------

A problem occurred over here.

Tachibana then performed a scarf hold.

Explaining in an easier way on why that is a problem, Tachibana’s breast was being pushed at my face.

“~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!?”

*Funyan**funyan**funyan**funyan**funyan**funyan*.

Those soft lumps pressed on my face bounced. It kept bouncing.

Even though I struggled desperately in half panic, Tachibana did not let me go and pressed her breast even more.

“Tsukimi-sensei. This is different from a defeat but, since I completely sealed his movement, is it okay to say this is my win in this case?”

“Kuhaha. Why not? An oppai[2b 2] press feels like close to heaven too in a different kind of way.”

“Eh……..? O-Oppai………Eh?”

Tachibana stopped……………while pressing her breast towards my face.

“Kokonoe!? Wha-what did she meant by close to heaven! Did you wish for this match with those shameless thoughts!? Yo-Yo-Yo………You foooolllllll!!”

Tachibana then *Pyon* hopped up and separated from me, and ran away with a completely red face.

“It’s a misunderstanding------------!!”

Although I shouted towards the back that was getting smaller-------

[To-Tooru-kun you pervert……….][…………You damn lecher][So Tooru was perverted……………]

“Like I said, it is a misunderstanding------------!!”

The three of them from the side shown perplexity, resignation and, a surprised reaction respectively. The rabbit ears was hugging her stomach while making an unbearable laugh.



(I became stronger right…………?)

I thought that when, I recalled back to the match that happened in the afternoon in a daze.

*Pyuuu* the sound of the wind was produced when I swung my fist.

(It’s true I became stronger but----------)

Being strong isn’t my only goal.

I want a strength that can pierce through that person with my fangs.

(It’s still not enough……………)

There was nothing to measure the difference between me and that person but, I can tell from feeling.

The current me------no, it’s better to say that I am not even close to him.

After a while, Julie with flushed Template:Furigana after a bath, returned back to the room.

“Tooru. There is something I want to request for tomorrow.”

“What is the request?”

“It’s tomorrow but, is it okay for you to accompany me?”

“I don’t mind, is there something going on?”

“Ja---. It’s Sunday too so I want to go and buy outside clothing. It has been hot recently and I only have thick clothes……….”

It is still May so I don’t think it’s that hot but, it seems the heat can already be said to be summer to Julie who was brought up in a cold country.

“I get it, I’ll accompany you. But, where are we going?”

“I have not decided yet. I was thinking of going to a good shop nearby. If there is one.”

“I see. Well, we can probably find clothes if we search in a station building.”

“Ja----. But, I think walking without a plan is a problem so, I’ll go ask Miyabi and the rest.”

“Aah, that’s true-------and, wait! Are you planning to go like that……….!?”

Hearing my question, Julie made a puzzled expression.

It was the usual style of her in her dress shirt form freely exposing her slender white legs.

Julie didn't notice how dangerous that form could be on a floor lined up with male rooms.

As expected, there isn’t anyone that would attack her but----------

Before even that, it’s true that I felt somewhat unwilling to let them see Julie like this.

“I-I will ask. Julie………you prepare the apple tea.”

“Ja---. I understand.”

I stood up and left the room before hearing a reply.

(What the hell am I thinking…………)

While making a sigh, I walked in the corridor with less people in it.

I am not sure why I have those kind of feelings.

Is it because I don’t want the surroundings to misunderstand after someone sees Julie like that?

It’s true that there is that but, I feel there is something wrong.

(…………Something like, not wanting to expose my daughter to the eyes of inquisitiveness?)

I might have received the influence from Julie looking at me as a father figure.

It felt fitting when I thought that and I made a wry smile while ascending up the stairs.

I reached the floor lined up with the girls rooms and, abruptly met up with Tachibana(Who has finished kneeling on the ground during the day).

“Ko-Kokonoe!?”

“Ooh, nice timing. Hey Tachibana, actually-------”

However, I could not end the last part of my sentence.

“I-I am really sorry about what happened in the afternoon! Al-alright, I will be off then……!!”

Maybe she remembered the scarf hold in the afternoon, her face turned red in a flash and she descended down the stairs.

Her attitude was like that right now, and she didn’t show up during dinner time too so, it seemed she was quite bothered about the matter in the afternoon.

(I have no choice. I’ll go ask Miyabi and quickly head back.)

Thanks to Tachibana making a squeaky voice before leaving, a few number of girls nearby directed their sights towards me wondering what happened.

While feeling embarrassed from the sights, I headed towards Miyabi’s room in a fast pace.

“Wha-what’s wrong, Tooru-kun………?”

Bringing her face out from the door after I knocked, Miyabi looked up at me in a little surprised manner.

“Aah actually, I want to go buy clothes, so I came to ask whether or not there is a good shop nearby.”

“If that is the case, then I recommend the A La Mode shopping mall. Its nearby, and it’s very big I think.”

Together with the direction towards that shopping mall, Miyabi also recommended a gelato shop too.

“I see, thank you…………ah, if you are free, Miyabi would you want to come with?”

“Fuee!?”

If it was buying clothes for Julie, a girl’s opinion would be better than a guy’s so I thought of inviting her but--------

“Aaah, errr, errr, my heart preparation……….!! A-a date so suddenly…………..!?”

“--------!? Yo-you’re mistaken! It’s not a date! There is one more person coming!!”

“Eh?”

“Rather, I was planning to go buy Julie’s clothing. Sorry for the confusing words.”

“Ah……..I-I see. Ahahaha……………I am also sorry, for making such a weird misunderstanding………..”

“No, it’s because I said it in a way that caused you to misunderstand so, I am really sorry.”

An unpleasant atmosphere flew by.

“So…………what are you going to do? Would you want to come with us tomorrow?”

“Ah, errm………I have a promise with Tomoe-chan to go out with her tomorrow so……….”

That’s why with Tachibana too--------is what I thought but, I immediately reconsidered.

From the reaction I saw just now, Tachibana is clearly not the type that would completely forget about the matter once its tomorrow and come with us, it’s probably better not to invite her unreasonably.

“It can’t be helped then. Alright then, I should be heading back soon. Thanks, Miyabi.”

“Ah, un…………good night Tooru-kun.”

After saying good bye to Miyabi who was nodding, I decided to head back to the lower floor.

“Together with Julie tomorrow huh………..”

Part 2Edit

“To-Tooru-kun and Julie-chan are going out together………..”

Miyabi closed the door and muttered.

She heard clearly that Julie was not Tooru’s lover from his mouth.

More importantly, judging from the point of inviting three people to go out, Miyabi probably knew both of them didn’t have that kind of relationship but------------

What will happen tomorrow?

Then after that?

For the both of them, who pass a lot of time together, there was no guarantee their relationship wouldn't change forever.

Much less, Miyabi normally thought Julie, who was the same sex as her, had a very cute appearance together with her personality.

That was why; there was no reason to be found for Tooru not to be attracted to the silver girl.

(I-it's Tooru-kun’s freedom to go out with whoever he wants………….)

Even though she thought that, it was complex in her mind.

Miyabi was not self-aware of her own feelings towards Tooru.

It’s true that she trusted him the most out of any of the opposite sex she met until now but, she had yet to reach to conclusion of the affection deep inside her.

But even so, unconsciously from under her self-awareness, she leaked out a big sigh.

(As expected, I wished I said okay……..to go together with them…….)

How long would it take Miyabi to be self-aware of the reason to make her think like that?

“What’s wrong, Miyabi?”

Returning back to the room at that moment and seeing Miyabi standing there at the entrance, Tomoe asked strangely but, the reply that came back was a dry smile.

“By the way, where should we go tomorrow? If Miyabi doesn’t have any wishes then I am thinking of Kasai aquarium-------”

“Ah……..”

Towards Tomoe’s question, a place floated inside Miyabi’s mind.

“You have a place in mind?”

“Errrr, somewhere like A La Mode…………..”

“A La Mode? Didn’t we go there just last week? Is there something you forgot to buy?”

“Eh? E,errr, I heard To-Tooru-kun and Julie-chan were going together so, err……………I-I was curious……..”

Originally, it would be normal to trick her in a time like this but; Miyabi said the reason in extreme honesty.

“Kokonoe and Julie are……!?”

(Both of them together------which means………..a-a date?)

The scenery that immediately popped out inside Tomoe’s head from those simple words, was the scenery of Tooru and a naked Julie hugging each other that happened a while back.

(Im-impossible right…….?)

The situation about Tooru and Julie was explained to her and she believed the talk in agreement.

However, the doubts she gained expanded in a blink of an eye.

“C-can we……….?"

The answer Tomoe gave from Miyabi’s question was------

“I-I would have never thought both of them would……………..Thi-this is because they are in an illicit relationship. That is why---------I think it would be good to watch over them from the shadows, Umu.”

It was a tailing--------with a fake excuse as cover.




Chapter 3: That Is a Good IdeaEdit

Part 1Edit

After exiting the school gate and crossing the small bridge, the only connection to the outer world to the students attending Kouryou academy ---------was a monorail for authorized personal only.

In a distance that doesn’t even take 5 minutes; the suspended type monorail was connected to a nearby JR station[2c 1] of Tokyo and Chiba from the front of the school.

When we boarded the railway car, there were only a small number of people riding inside.

Since school academy personnel were the only ones able to use it in the first place, it's only natural to say the number of users are few.

Thanks to that, we're grateful to find empty seats without fighting over them.

“This is somehow heart throbbing isn’t it?”

Sitting in the opposite side of the box seat, Julie said while looking outside the window.

“I see. It’s the first time you visited a Japanese city.”

“Ja---. That is why I am looking forward to it.”

Julie moved her viewpoint, from the sea outside the window--------, to me and nodded.

(It might be good to take a breather like this once in a while……….)

I took a side look at Julie, who returned to her sightseeing at the sea again, and *Fuu* leaked a smile.

Incidentally, Julie and I were in uniform even though it was Sunday.

It’s not like there is a school rule saying we have to wear the school uniform when going out of the school.

It’s simply just because Julie doesn't have any clothes to match the May weather, and I followed her.

(However, this placement relation sure feels nostalgic. Well, it’s probably because I've gotten too used to it.)

Normally, I would be with Julie side by side with our shoulders close to each other when we usually watch television--------and depending on the situation, we would be sitting side by side within a certain distance, I could feel the warmth from us almost touching each other.

It's also the same case when we attend classes and at the cafeteria.

That is why I feel strange sitting in front of her and would accidentally fix my stare at her.

This foreign beauty directing her Template:Furigana outside the window.

Her Template:Furigana, which no one would turn away from and would stare at amazed, was beautifully swaying.

Because there's a lack of expression shown on her well-featured face, it makes one think of her as a delicate bisque doll.

But I know this normal girl has something aside from those truths.

---Inside that heart holds a dark emotion known as revenge.

The same darkness as me.

Maybe------That night was just a dream, I would think something like that.

However, I felt hesitant to put that matter in my mouth again.

That’s because I didn’t want to admit Julie held the same hatred as me and was someone that wished for revenge.

“-----Tooru?”

*Chirin* the echoing bell brought me back.

She has probably called out to me many times already. Julie was looking at me while tilting her head.

“We're going to arrive soon."

“Ah…………I-I see.”

Before I knew it, almost as soon as we departed, the monorail was close to reaching its destination.

In the middle of slowly entering the platform, Julie got up from her seat.

“Julie, it’s better to stand up once we arrive.”

*Gakon*.

Almost at the same time as my warning, the monorail was close to stopping and was swaying.

“Ah……..”

My warning was useless and Julie’s balance collapsed, making her fall on her butt.

…………On top of my lap.

Her hair swayed and a nice smell tickled my nasal cavity.

“Th-that’s why I told you.”

“Ja-Ja-----……..”

After I said that while feeling a little embarrassed, Julie also hung her head downwards in embarrassment.

“I will be careful from now on. Alright then, let’s get off.”

After I stood up, I extended my hand to Julie.

Although I once extended out my hand to her in the clock tower last time, including this time, having her hand's weight on mine felt very embarrassing.


After getting out the station we transferred to the JR route, following what Miyabi taught me, and got off after one station.

From there, after walking for around 5 minutes, we reached our destination the A La Mode but------

The A La Mode was once the biggest shopping mall in Japan (According to Miyabi’s information), although that status has been taken by another place, the number of customers didn't decrease and was filled with many people during holidays.

“…………….It’s like a festival.”

Although it can’t be said to be wide, Julie opened her mouth in amazement and looked around.

“Tooru isn’t really that shocked.”

“That’s because there was a big mall in my hometown. Well, let’s see the floor guide and confirm the location of the shop for now.”

“Ja---…………..”

I urged Julie, who was still a little blank at the moment, as I opened the guide map I took from a nearby help kiosk, I furrowed my eyebrows in bewilderment.

“What is this…………..”

The guide map was oddly thick, as it spanned 8 pages even though it was just introducing the floors; with a total of more than 500 plus shop names written in it.

(I heard there were a lot of shops but, I didn’t think it would be this many……………)

“Tooru, is something wrong?”

While I was dumbfounded, Julie tip-toed while peeking at the guide map.

She then grabbed my sleeves to take balance and her peeking form made me think of her as a small animal.

“Ah, sorry. Let’s look at this while sitting nearby.”

After saying that, I sat on a nearby stool with Julie.

“This is…………….I have no idea what's going on in this at all.”

“A-aah…………As expected, it’s normal to think that.”

She brought her body closer, defenselessly as usual, and stuck on my lap making me feel, in my mind, slightly excited.

However, Julie did not seem bothered by this at all and flipped the page but------

“It’s too many, so I don’t know where we should go…………….”

And like that, she made a troubled face.

The only information in the index were the shops name and position code. What’s more, it’s not like the places were positioned in the west, south, north hall respectively since it also expanded to the first and second floor; thanks to that, just like Julie said, we had no idea where we should go.

“U---n…………. Let’s walk around randomly for now. Since there are this many shops, I think we would find something of interest sooner or later.”

I stood up and the moment I was about to start walking, I recalled something and turned back.

“Julie, please be careful not to get separated because of the crowd.”

“Ja---”

*Koku**koku* Julie nodded and grabbed my sleeves tightly.

“I won’t get separated like this.”

Julie said that with satisfaction while making a small smile.

“Th-that’s true………”

It’s not like the level of holding hands, but this was embarrassing in its own way.

However, that feeling immediately disappeared somewhere once we started walking.

Inside, amongst the hustle and bustle, the many people we passed by looked at us and I could hear topics about Julie.

["Hey, isn’t that girl really beautiful?"] ["A celebrity?"] ["I’ll take a photo and upload it"] ["Oh, she has a guy…….."] ["The Blondie just now was good too but, this is good in its own way………."]

There were a lot of reactions but, most of it regarding Julie.

But, while I meant most of it, it meant all of it wasn’t that.

["They are wearing school uniforms though; I wonder which school they are from?"] ["Don’t know? I never seen that before…………."]

It’s only normal they didn’t know.

Unless there was a good reason, Kouryou students were not allowed to go out other than weekends.

And even if they were to go out on a weekend, there probably wasn’t any commendable students that would go out wearing a school uniform.

Only the school name could be heard at best.

Even for myself, if I hadn’t heard about the existence of the school beforehand then, not only would I have no idea about the internal conditions of the school, I wouldn't even know the school’s name in the first place.

(That’s because it’s a school with that kind of enrollment ceremony.)

Although it was a school lacking common sense when half of the number of students dropped out from the enrollment ceremony, it’s also weird that this school was not known to the public.

Mikuni-sensei said that information regulations were imposed, but it would probably be just a rumor at most.

And when I was thinking things like that, my sleeve was *gui**gui* being pulled.

“Tooru, how about that shop?”

“Ah……. You’re right, that’s a cute shirt………..I guess?”

I was often brought by my sister------Otoha to buy things but, I have absolutely no idea about girl's clothing.

But, judging from the shop display, it’s true that I felt it would suit Julie.

Like that, we tried entering this shop for now but-------

“I think this suits her. How about it, boyfriend-san?”

“Eh!? Ah………. No, no, no. I am not her boyfriend…………!”

When we were looking around for clothes, a female shop attendant came over and said those lines; even though I hurried and denied it, she just giggled.

I probably made her think I was trying to trick her due to embarrassment.

A male and a female together, what’s more even though we entered the shop and started looking at clothes, Julie was still grabbing my sleeves and it’s true that it wouldn’t be strange for her to misunderstand.

Rather, even if I am a 3rd person here, we definitely would be thought of as a couple.

“I will go try on these clothes now.”

Julie left with those words taking several summer clothes, recommended by the shop attendant, before entering the changing room.

“Fufu, she’s a very cute girlfriend!”

“Y-yeah………”

I gave up denying since anything I did would be useless and gave a nod mixed with a wry smile.

Checking on her status, I made a small sigh while making a side glance at the shop attendant who came over to see us with the purpose of sticking her nose into our business, and began regretting coming here with the two of us only.

(It would have been better if everyone was together…………)

Miyabi was probably out playing with Tachibana somewhere.

Tora headed out somewhere so I couldn’t find him.

Tatsu was working hard in his muscle training.

…………And while I was recalling that back, the curtain slightly opened and Julie suddenly brought her face out.

“Tooru. I have finished changing……..can you have a look?"

“I’ll say this just in case; don’t expect a good sense from me.”

“Ja---. It is okay.”

I don’t know what she meant by "it's okay" but Julie nodded and opened the curtain wider.

[Uoo……….][Oh my………..]

The shop attendant and I let out a shocked voice at the same time and Julie silently showed herself.

The clothes Julie tried on was a refreshing, basic, white one piece.

The sleeves were opened wide and the arranged white lace has emphasized the girlishness.

“What’s wrong, Tooru?”

“A-aah……………errr, I think it suits you very well…………..”

“Thank you very much. I will buy this then.”

“You decide too fast!!..............wait, isn’t it at least better to try some of the others first before deciding?”

*Un**un*The shop attendant beside me nodded.

Rather than doing it for her job, her expression was saying to try more clothes on.

“I understand………….but I decided to buy this one.”

After saying that, she closed the curtain once more and we waited a few more minutes.

“Tooru. What do you think about this?”

It's black this time, opposite to the one piece from just before. Looking at that figure, the attendant and I made an sound of admiration again.

The skirt was short and it has a lot of frills as its characteristic, thanks to it being black, it made Julie’s silver hair attractive and it suited her very much.

“Err………I think it’s nice. Extremely.”

“Ja---. I think I will buy this too then.”

Maybe she liked my response, Julie slightly narrowed her eyes and confined herself within the changing room a third time.

She then showed herself not long later, and the clothes this time again suited her.

“How about this?”

“It looks refreshing so why not?”

“Ja---, it is very soothing. Well, this too……………”

She bought all 3 clothes she tried in the end.

“E-erm. If it’s okay with you, will you try other clothes? For my eyes recuperation………..not that, I think it will suit miss customer and we have a lot of cute clothes too.”

“Errr………..what will you do, Julie? Will you try it on?”

“Ja--. If Tooru says so.”



…………It was a mistake to go with this flow.

“…………….Julie. Don’t you think you are buying too much?”

While staring at the 12 clothing items, stacked up like a mountain on the counter, I made a comeback just in case.

Looking at the pile of clothes she tried on, as they started entering the list of purchases, I thought she bought too many as expected and if I did not tell her that it was about time we should head to another shop then I would have no idea what would have happened.

“Nai. I am only buying the clothes Tooru said were nice.”

“N-no, it’s true I said I liked them, but I think all of it is just a little…………..”

“But, this one looks very matching and this one is very nice, this one is cooling and-------”

Julie lined up my comments one by one without making any mistakes.

After saying everything until the last 12th clothes-----

“As expected, I will buy them all.”

In the end, Julie announced herself as a very good miss customer.



Although the shop attendant opened her eyes wide when we said we wanted to buy 12 clothes (+3 pair of shoes), she made an even more shocked expression when we told her we would pay with a credit card.

She probably would have never thought students like us would pay with a card.

But the instant we handed the student card which also functions as a credit card, ["Aah, it’s that school………….."] the attendant muttered.

I became curious on how she knew about it and asked her. It seems several people like us come over here to buy stuff every year.

However, we were the first ones to purchase this large of an amount.

Incidentally, the moment I heard the total amount of money, my eyes were almost going to pop out but this was a secret.

Luckily it was within allowance range so there wasn’t any problem.

“Alright then, now that we finished buying clothes, what should we do now?”

“--------? Weren’t we going to other shops to see the clothes?”

“………………..No, I’ll give up on that for today.”

It was not hard to imagine the same result if went to another shop.

It would be faster if I say it didn’t suit her but, the foundation material was good---------rather that, Julie was so good looking, to the point that, any clothes she wore suited her naturally.

More importantly, it was impossible for me to twist my thoughts and tell Julie.

In front of the small happy expression she shows when I say it suits her, there was no way I could lie.

“So, should we head back?”

“U-nn………well since we are outside, let’s wander around for a bit then.”

“Ja--. That’s true.”

Nonetheless, as expected, we had a lot of baggage so we decided to stop by the delivery counter first.

“Well, where should we go, Tooru?”

Right after we finished our delivery and lightened the load, we then decided to look around the north hall from one corner to the other.

As if it was natural for her, Julie grabbed my sleeves and walked besides me.

Although it was more or less embarrassing for me at the beginning, we talked with each other while looking at the shops until I naturally forgot about it.

After that, Julie looked at the ferret in the pet shop nearby with her eyes glittering, and played a free to play virtual game in one corner of the game shop; we were passing time peacefully and with enough fun for us to forget the tough training we go through daily.

“Now that I think back, Miyabi told me the gelato on the first floor is recommended.”

“……………Gelato huh. If Miyabi recommended it then, I want to try heading there but…………..”

As a late lunch, when Julie was about to start her pumpkin cream pasta and fondant chocolate as dessert, I recalled the talk Miyabi told me.

Even Julie isn't an exception to girlishness. It seemed Julie also loved sweets and she often changes expressions with the desserts that came out from the cafeteria.

That is why it's only normal for her to think she wanted to try something after hearing about it as a recommendation but------

Since Julie ate little in the first place, it was clear that she would lose the space for the gelato once she ate the chocolate; she knew that herself and dropped her shoulders from what I could see.

It would probably be alright after some time, but the influence would probably come back during dinner time this time if we were to do that.

“……………Why don’t we try buying as much gelato as you can eat for now? If you cannot finish, then I will eat the leftovers.”

Because of me forgetting, her disappointed look was really pitiful and after I brought up that idea-------

“That is a good idea.”

Julie brought out a happy atmosphere.

I unintentionally leaked a smile from that expression.

(This is good, this is good……….)

And like that, my thoughts were hastily over.

“Tooru. Just in case, can you eat this chocolate?”

“Aah, I don’t mind.”

Julie proposed this when it was half eaten.

Of course, since there was no reason to refuse, it was alright until I nodded but-------

“Please open your mouth.”

“Huh?”

“Like I said, please open your mouth.”

She lifted, with her fork, one mouth-full sized scoop of fondant chocolate, wrapped in cold ice, placing right it in front of me.

“…………….Are you perhaps going to feed me?”

“Ja—♪Ahnn.”

“N-no, doing that in front of people is a little……….”

“----? Miyabi often does this to me?”

But that is between girls.

And we are of the opposite sex.

I know Julie has no other intentions, but it couldn’t be helped for me to feel resistant to her actions, rather I think it's only normal to do so.

“Errrr…………”

Luckily, there weren't many people in the shop since it's after lunch time, and thanks to there being many dividing panels, it's not like people could see us. It isn't as good as a window but, there was no road in front of this shop which is located on the 3rd floor but rather it's an atrium until the 1st floor so we probably won't get noticed at all.

(Well, I guess this situation is alright…………?)

“------?”

*Chirin* the bell rang as if to urge me. And of course, Julie didn’t have any intentions of making me hurry.

“I-I get it. Then…………..”

*Ahhn* I opened my mouth wide as I was told and ate the chocolate.

(I’m glad everyone didn’t come………….)

Just now, I was thinking a completely different thing than from the tailor shop earlier.

“Tooru, here you go.”

“Eh? Again?”

“Ja---. There is still too much left. So, Ahhnn.”

“Hahaha……okay.”

In the end, I was fed around 8 times and there was one time when the shop attendant there saw us and giggled making it an awkward situation.

But------

I then found out the really problematic situation happened right after that.

“Tooru, Ahhn.”

Between the south and north hall-------in a place called Harbor Street where there were many passersby, Julie brought the gelato to my mouth.

“………Eh?”

“It's very delicious so I am sharing with you. That’s why Tooru, please. Ahnnn.”

Inside, within the presence of a crowd of people, Julie smiled as if she was not bothered about them at all.

Of course, it was only natural for me to be bothered about the sights from our surroundings.

“----Tooru?”

She tilted her small head-----

“Ya-yaa-----………”

I answered powerlessly and let her feed me the gelato……….

Part 2Edit

Tooru and Julie. Unless one knew about their situation they could only be seen as an intimate couple, and there were shadows watching those two from afar.

It was Tomoe and Miyabi.

Having asked Tooru and Julie’s departure time indirectly during breakfast, Miyabi and Tomoe reached the closest station near the A La Mode shopping mall one hour before those two did.

From that point on, the both of them were, sneakily, following them from behind; They acted as if they were buying things at a shop nearby the one Julie had tried on her clothes in---------(Miyabi actually bought something)------. This time they were hiding in, and peeping from, a sports shop located some ways across from the atrium where Julie and Tooru were eating at.

“Mi-Miyabi. Are those 2 really not going out with each other……….?”

“U-un…………..Tooru-kun said that………..”

“I see………. No, but……………”

During eating and this time in a manner of not bothering the public eye----------(Miyabi and Tomoe saw it like this)-------Tooru was being fed gelato by Julie.

Looking at those two, Miyabi and Tomoe panicked together.

“To-To-To-Tomoe-chan. That’s errrr…………..not an illicit relationship right………..?”

“N-no, i-it isn’t sexual conduct so……………..”

There are probably those in this society that might call these actions by a couple stupid but, at the very least it isn’t any kind of an illicit relationship.

Thanks to that they could not cut in and intrude on them, only making both of them getting more and more agitated, because they couldn't take any other actions other than to watch over them.

However, the both of them were suddenly called out by a voice.

“Both of you are alone?”

“Eh………..?”

When they looked over, there were 4 guys standing there.

They were obviously picking up girls.

["If it is okay you two, want to play with us?"]["Both of you are cute. High school student? From what school?"] ["Kouryouu?"]["I know where. It’s the place nearby popular with martial arts."]

The confirmation this guy made about Kouryou academy wasn't wrong.

A private school with a dormitory system, with a power structure placed within martial arts, graduation would link to an employment from the secret service.

Leaving no school services supplied by the public, because of the secret regulations from the Dawn organization, it is impossible for there to be any eye catching general information left inside people’s memories.

Even if the <<Lucifer>> or <<Blaze>> had been turned into a rumor, it would probably be interpreted as absurd nonsense at most.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 3.jpg

Unless they had definite proof it would not leave the realm of rumor, even if it was real.

Naturally, since this was also made to be fully aware to the students that went out, during the filing for permission to go out, they were not to cause any trouble outside, they were not to manifest their <<Blaze>> and etc; it was an outing with many restrictions.

By any chance that any of those rules were broken; strict punishment would be given but------

“Heeh, by martial arts is it judo or karate? So you all are doing that too?”

“Ye-yeah…….”

Miyabi and Tomoe were agitated by the sudden pick up and answered the person's question honestly.

“That’s nice. Then, teach us some pinning skills too.”

“……………..No thanks. Let’s go, Miyabi.”

Finally at this moment, Tomoe recognized the guys’ intentions and even though she took Miyabi and left that spot-----

“That’s so cold. A little is fine. We won’t do anything strange.”

A guy then grabbed Miyabi’s arm and pulled hard.

“Ah…………..”

Scared--------the moment she felt that, her body moved by reflex.

“Le-let go……….!”

*Don* Miyabi thrust the guy away.

Normally, he would stagger a bit but-------

Since her arm strength was exceedingly stronger than a normal person because of the <<Lucifer>>, the guy fell over pathetically.

["Haha, lame!"]["Shut up! My balance just collapsed!!"]

The fallen over guy shouted at his comrades who were laughing loudly.

Luckily, he was just grazed.

“Oi, oi. Give me a break from violence.”

“Your side were the ones getting violent first. It’s true that, thrusting him away was too much though………………”

Although Tomoe entered between Miyabi and the leader, her tone of voice was weak as expected.

Naturally, the person did not let that slip by.

“If you think it was too much then, isn’t it okay for you two to go out with us to reconcile?”

“I-I refuse! I will apologize but, this and that are different!!”

“To-Tomoe-chan……………”

Tomoe whispered It’s alright, to Miyabi who was seemingly becoming smaller behind Tomoe.

(I have no problems with this number of people alone……….!)

That awareness, made Tomoe’s feelings stronger even if it turned into a fight.

However, Tomoe’s response did not feel nice to the guys and after the guy Miyabi thrust away joined back, the guys stood and surrounded both of them like a wall.

At that moment, someone Miyabi and Tomoe were familiar with, pushed through the crowd of people and appeared.

“Stop it you bastards!!”

["What is it!?"]["Who the hell are you!!"]

Tooru was the one who stood in front of the guys.

Luckily, since they were nearby, he heard Miyabi and Tomoe’s voice and ran over here.

“These two are with me. I’ll listen if you have any problems.”

["To-Tooru-kun………."]["Kokonoe………..!"]

Both of them called Tooru’s name and were a little relieved.

["He says they are with him."]["Looks real."]["What should we do?"]

On the other hand, the guys were looking at each other on what to do next from the appearance of the person who named himself as one of them-------

“Miyabi, Tomoe, are you two okay?”

At that moment, they made their decision when Julie joined.

["Wow. She’s super cute………."]["This girl is also with him?"]["The so called Harem?"]["I feel a little pissed][What should we do?"]["Obviously---"]

At the same time with the leader saying that, the guys slightly lowered their hips.

“Let’s give him a small lesson!”

“-----!!”

The guys move at the same time.

It was somewhat surprising------- but nonetheless, it still looks like it was in slow motion to Tooru who has sublimated to <<Template:Furigana>>.

(I have no choice then; I’ll give them a light one then run away.)

I’ll push them down so they won’t get hurt I guess, it was at that moment when Tooru decided that.

*Taan*…………!! A dry sound from far away-----a gunshot echoed in Harbor Street.

Almost at the same time, one guy that was going to punch Tooru, fell down as if he was flicked away.

“Eh…………?”

In astonishment, the voice of the person who muttered that was unknown.

However, faster than everyone in that spot-------including Tooru and the group------faster than them understanding what happened, another gunshot echoed and another guy collapsed.

“Wha…….!?”

“Tooru, That’s…………!!”

Further ahead of Julie’s sights-----around 100 meters away standing on top of the 3rd floors balcony, Tooru saw the owner who made the gunshot.

A girl with long gorgeous shining Template:Furigana.

Her hand was holding a-------black long barrel <<Template:Furigana>>.

(Lilith!? And that’s-------------<<Blaze>>!?)

During the time Tooru was opening his eyes in shock, Lilith then pulled the trigger making the 3rd shot then 4th shot in an instant and all of the guys collapsed.

In the middle of the sights looking at the guys suddenly collapsing at their surroundings, Tooru and Julie were looking at the gold girl-------and were unable to take their eyes away from the <<Template:Furigana>> she was holding.

The thought that revived in his mind, was the talk that was taught in class last time.

“The <<Blaze>> cannot be manifested as a weapon with complex structure.”

That talk wasn’t a lie and, a <<Gun>> type <<Blaze>> is impossible originally.

But the <<Blaze>> being shown in Tooru and the group’s sights was unmistakably a <<Template:Furigana>>.

Lilith made her <<Template:Furigana>> disappear and turned her heels around.

While looking at the Template:Furigana walking away from the balcony, Tooru muttered.

“<<Exception>>………..”



Chapter 4: Equal to the Protection of a KnightEdit

Part 1Edit

“Finally a breather………”

During the time the sun was starting to set, we got onto the monorail and took a seat before making a big sigh.

“Seriously. Haaa………”

Tachibana sat opposite to me, while making a sigh overflowing with tiredness just like me.

Beside her was Miyabi while Julie was sitting beside me.

It was my fault to be the first one to sit but, it felt a little uncomfortable being surrounded by girls.

“I-I wonder if those people are alright…………”

“Nai, no need to worry. They only fainted.”

Right after the gun sound, I and Julie checked the pulse of the group of males and the part that got shot-------their head and after we confirmed there was a pulse and no external injuries, we immediately took Miyabi and Tachibana away from the spot.

After that, there was quite a commotion but, there was probably no one that could understand the truth of what happened there. Of course, that goes for the group of four that got shot in the head too.

“I see, it's alright then. I’m glad………”

*Hafuuu* Miyabi was the only one that made a relieved sigh.

Julie felt the same as usual but, me and Tachibana stiffened our faces.

“……….That is a <<Template:Furigana>> <<Blaze>> right, if I am correct?”

“Aah. There is no mistake.”

While Julie and Miyabi were having a conversation at the side, we started to exchange words while looking outside the window.

“The manifestation of the <<Template:Furigana>> huh………..just what is going on I wonder? I never heard of that before.”

Tachibana probably recalled back the things that were taught in class.

She brought her eyebrows closer and took a posture as if she was troubled.

“Maybe, it’s because she is special.”

While recalling back the conversation I had with the gold girl, I continued my words.

“Lilith said she was an <<Exception>>. And is the same as me, a <<Template:Furigana>>.”

“If I think that her <<Template:Furigana>> is a <<Blaze>> which no one else can manifest like your <<Shield>> then, a consistency would be met.”

“Aah, I thought so too……………but even so, I was surprised she used her <<Blaze>> in a place with so many people like that.”

“Seriously. Although we got saved but, just what was she thinking…………”

“Anyway, we have to head over to Mikuni-sensei once we get back.”

If we were to encounter trouble during our outings then, we have the duty to report.

“Umu, that’s true………..b-by the way Kokonoe. This might be an abrupt question but------ar-are you and Julie……go-go-going out with each other?” “……………huh?”

Not only did the talk change suddenly, I had no Idea what I was told for a moment.

“Wh-why that suddenly……..? Ah, maybe you are talking about us going out?”

“It’s okay until there but apart from that, we unexpectedly just unexpectedly and only unexpectedly saw her feeding ic-ice cream to you and well…………”

“----Uh!?”

Right now, I would definitely spit out if I had any drinks stuffed into my mouth.

“Th-that’s just a portion given by Julie and……….”

I then moved my sights towards Julie and Miyabi-----

They probably heard our conversation. Both of them were staring at me.

Especially Miyabi, maybe she really likes loves stories because, I could see something hot dwelling in her sights.

“A-am I right, Julie?”

“Ja--. It was very delicious so. It is expected from Miyabi’s recommendation.”

*Hoo* I made a sigh at Julie’s reply.

……………...I felt someone making a sigh just like me in the surroundings but, it was probably my imagination.

“Th-then……….the cake too?”

“Aah, Julie could not finish that so------wait, how come you two know that much!?”

[No, err, hahahaha…………..] [A-ahahaha……..]

Both of their dry laughs piled against each other and echoed throughout the vehicle fruitlessly.





It became night time and the matter that happened in the A La Mode turned up in the news.

But the contents were saying 4 young men collapsed from heatstroke. Instead of them fainting with an unexplainable phenomenon, also, there was completely nothing in the part where there was a quarrel before they collapsed.

The news summed up with [Please be careful of heatstroke], and changed to the next topic.

(I guess the information got manipulated……….)

When they immediately reported to Mikuni-sensei the moment they got back to the academy, he [We will deal with it immediately] told us that and most probably that was what happened.

If I was asked whether I got saved, I would reply yes but, there was some kind of vague fear in a sense.

Whether it’s the <<Qualification Ceremony>> that has completely no information leaked to the public or this matter, I wonder just how big is Kouryou academy------and also the Dawn organization’s influential power.

Tsukimi said that the country is attached to this but, that fact might actually be real.

Although I am alright now because I was getting protected but, I am going to use this <<Power>> the academy side gave me for my own goal someday. I wonder how the academy side would deal with me at that time.

(………...No matter what happens, only for that guy I will definitely------)

*Girari* when I gripped my hand tightly-----

“Tooru. You can use the bath.”

Fu………...I relaxed when I heard Julie’s one sentence after she got out from the bath.

“Aah-----I under------wait, Julie………….!?”

“--------?”

I got surprised because Julie’s clothes’ was no different from usual until now; the one piece of shirt.

“Di-didn’t you buy clothes……….”

“I sent the clothes with the express home delivery service so, it will come tomorrow. Also------I did not buy any pajamas.”

(That’s true………..)

Now that she said it, it’s true that she didn’t buy one.

Which means; she will continue to remain in a hard to look at appearance from now on.

“It is alright. There is no problem with this.”

I am the one with the problems.

I wish she would somewhat consider my feeling of embarrassment when she accidentally touches me with those slender legs when she sleeps together with me.

“By the way, Tooru.”

But however--------

“…………...Can I sleep with you today too?”

Not even a fragment of my thoughts reached her and Julie requested me with upturned eyes.

And like that for today too, the start of a night with endless worries has been decided……….





This happened during the end of lunch time on the next day-------

We were heading towards the school gate for the physical enhancement training for today too, and the sight of glowing gold entered the side of my sights and I stopped my legs.

“Tooru?”

Julie who was walking in front, *Chirin* looked behind.

“Sorry. Please go on ahead, Julie.”

After Julie nodded, I headed to the dorm’s balcony-----where I saw the light come from.

After I left the lounge, Lilith was elegantly tasting milk tea while sitting at a table.

“……………Was there a table here before?”

“Sara prepared it.”

Lilith swayed her Template:Furigana and slightly sent her sights towards the butler standing by behind her.

“More importantly, what do you want? Did you reconsider being my <<Duo>> like I thought?”

“Sorry, but that isn’t it. I just thought that you aren’t going to the physical enhancement training even though it is going to start soon. You don’t show your face in class and training so, Tsukimi……Sensei was quite angry you know.”

Following after she first transferred to the school, Lilith did not show up in either classes or training.

“I don’t really mind it. I did not come to Japan to take on something like that.”

“It might be true but, I do think studying is important though………….”

“I already finished high-school level of study a long time ago. There is no choice to become an <<Exceed>> unless I enter this school so, I just became a member.”

“T-that’s amazing………”

Whether its Lilith or Julie, it seems the foreigners in our class have very excellent results.

“But if that is the case then-----”

Then, I think it’s better if you at least come to training.

My words were interrupted before I could say that.

“You know. Why must I be told that by you?”

“What do you mean by why------if you don’t pass time with everyone then, you might get left out in the class you know. If that happens then you can’t make any friend right?”

I think she is already being left out but, I think it's still in a stage for recovery.

“…………...You’re a softhearted person huh.”

“I-isn’t it normal?”

“It seems you jumped in to cover the girls in the A La Mode too; I think you are softhearted enough though?”

“It’s only normal to save a comrade.”

“…………...Fuun. I don’t hate those kinds of things.”

Her Template:Furigana stared at me and *doki* my heart skipped.

“O-oh yeah. Speaking of A La Mode, I have something I want to ask you. Yesterday why were you-----”

“Wait a moment, Kokonoe Tooru.”

Lilith interrupted my words and stood up before making a mischievous smile.

“Let’s see……….if you want me to answer your question then, go out with me now ♪”

“Go out with you………there is a class after----”

“Don’t make me say it twice.”

Just like the reenactment from a few days ago, I felt a little regretful to have talked to Lilith.




Just when I was brought to the staff member building’s courtyard, I was a taken back.

There was a helicopter ready for takeoff over there. It seems it was for private use.

My clothes and hair got messed up by the wind produced by the rotor.

“Where are we going with this…………..”

“Fufu, A nice place ♪”

Although I asked her when I was about to get into the helicopter, it seemed she was planning not to tell me.

(Ya-re Ya-re. Just where am I being brought to-----)

*Fuwa*.

The moment we took off, my balance collapsed when I was attacked by a floating feeling as if I lost my foot hold.

If I did not have the seat belt on my hips then, I would have probably rolled down to the ground pathetically.

*Pofuu*

But, I don’t know whether it was lucky or unlucky, I collapsed to the side.

During that time, since Lilith spread out her arms to catch me in reflex, my face dug in between her soft and big breasts.

“Hey, are you okay?”

“So-sorry……… I was surprised because it suddenly felt light when we flew so………..”

I was asked what are you doing and I replied back while feeling embarrassed.

“Puu. How pathetic……well leaving that aside, could you hurry up and get away? You’re a little heavy.”

“So-sorry!! It wasn’t on purpose! But sorry!!”

“Be careful okay, fufu.”

After I apologized while quickly separating my body, Lilith placed her hands on her mouth and giggled as if my panic was to her liking. The appearance of a gold girl laughing that happily was enough for me to be pulled to that charm and I was charmed by it for a while but------ I then noticed her butler Sara was giving me one heck of a glare behind her.

(Scaryyyy!!)




Although we left from Kouryou academy, it did not take even 5 minutes for the helicopter to land somewhere.

“This is………..”

Everyone would know if they are Japanese------it isn’t exaggerating for me to say that; it was a horror theme park.

Although she nodded, her Template:Furigana were fixed towards the Template:Furigana.

It might be my imagination that those eyes looked very excited and could not calm down.

“Alright then, I will be going now Sara.”

“------!? O-ojou-sama, I……..!?”

“Sorry but, please take care of the stuff. I am going to deepen my relationship with my future <<Duo>>. Come on, let’s go Kokonoe Tooru.”

“Uooh!?”

*Gui* at the same time with my hands being pulled, Lilith started to run.

While feeling the sight of resentment coming again from my back, I ran together with her in a bind.

“It’s Turner! Turner is here! Look look, Kokonoe Tooru!”

We entered the park and Lilith pointed excitedly at the animal cartoon-costume.

Coupled with that appearance, more sights coming from the surroundings started to gather on the mascot character.

Incidentally while my hand was being grabbed, I couldn’t handle being the target of attention too.

“You aren’t a child so you don’t really have to make such a fuss…………”

“Well sorry. I was looking forward to this place since I got here.”

“Is that so. It sort of feels unexpected………..”

“I can’t help it since UK doesn’t have one. When I decided to go to Japan, I thought that I definitely have to come here.”

While replying I see, I felt that I saw a new face of the girl called Lilith.

Free, uncontrolled, and smart, she is from a distinguished family and an ojou-sama here overseas, also----

The <<Exception>> that uses the <<Template:Furigana>>.

There is new info added into it other than the one i knew, and that is, she has a normal face of liking DNL.

(It would be nice if she tried getting closer to the class like this though…………..)

If she continued not going to class and taking training like now then, I feel that she would be left out by the class sooner or later…………no, I think she was quite left out already.

“Speaking of which is it okay to leave the maid------not that, the butler behind?”

“Aah, Sara? It’s okay. That girl is a little overprotective so, she would definitely not let me get on a roller coaster saying that it’s dangerous. To me who likes thrilling entertainment, I just can’t stand it.”

“It’s normal to make sure that the master does not go through any danger but, it’s true that, that is overprotective…………”

“Right? Even though it’s okay…………”

Lilith placed her hands on her hips and made a big sigh before making a wry smile.

“But, why is a girl a butler?”

“Her family has been working as my family’s butlers for generations. Her grandfather retired 3 years ago, and that girl became my personal attendant.”

It seems they have been together since the age of awareness and were raised like sisters.

“She was originally a girl that was always sticking close to me so; she made an amazing face when I told her that I got interested in you. That was interesting, fufufu.”

(No wonder………….)

I got convinced, when I recalled back the time when she poured the milk tea violently for me, and that time when Lilith held on to me inside the helicopter.

“Since before, that girl………aah, Rogers! It’s Rogers in the flesh!!”

In the middle of our conversation, Lilith saw the DNL main mascot and got excited.

From what I could see, I could only think that she was a normal girl.

“Ahhh mou, I can’t stand looking from so far away! We’re going to take a photo, Kokonoe Tooru!!”

After saying that, she linked her arms around mine.

However, since I was being pulled towards her, it was not something like walking together while having our arms linked.

“Wait wahh!? Le-Lilith! To-touc……no, wait, let goo!”

“We can’t afford to wait right! Touc? What is that, what is the meaning?”

Of course, there was no way I could voice it out and explain the meaning to her.

Something like, Lilith’s big soft breasts were touching me.

What’s more, it was shaking because she was running. *Tayun**Tayun* and would touch me each time it shook.

There is no way that any male would not get agitated from this, because of that; I made a shout inside my heart.

(Gi-give me a break-----------------------!!)




Not long later, the sun set and the surroundings were starting to get wrapped in the night’s darkness-----

I used up all my strength when I was brought around the park and was leaning on the bench completely exhausted.

“What a pathetic appearance………….here, cola.”

Lilith felt astounded at my state.

After saying my thanks and receiving the cola, I then moistened my throat.

“Seriously, weren’t you training yourself normally?”

“Even when you ask me that, these circumstances are different from the training, and also-----”

“Also?”

“…………Nothing.”

Since there were a lot of times we moved around while linking arms, my mental strength kept on reducing.

“Well, forget it. Let me drink too.”

After saying that, she *hyoi* took the cola I just drank, put in a straw and placed her mouth on the straw.

“I-if you wanted to drink cola too then, can’t you just buy two?”

While feeling the action happening in front of me with my heart pumping, I tried asking her------

“I can’t finish one drink alone. I'm bad with carbonated drinks.”

“You say you are bad with it but, aren’t you drinking it then?”

“I shook it before handing it to you to make it less carbonated.”

“Evil………….”

If she did not tell me then, I would have thought that the carbonate was just weaker.

I learned that there are a lot of truths that you are better off not knowing in this world.

“Ah----, that was fun. How long has it been since I played this much…………”

*Thud* Lilith sat beside me before, making a big stretch with her back.

Just like her words, she was making a satisfied smile on her face.

I then moved my sights towards the sky and saw one and two stars glittering although it was hard to see it because there were quite a few lights in the park.

Julie and the rest are probably together eating dinner by now.

(I wonder if everyone is worried. It’s inconvenient not to have a phone at times like this.)

Normally, Kouryou academy students are made to own a phone.

The academy would prepare one to be loaned when going out of school but, because I was brought outside in a special way by Lilith today, I don’t have it.

“The Night parade is later. I was looking forward to this too. It seems that it’s going to begin soon so, it is probably the best to take it easy until then. This is for you too.”

“I am really thankful for the consideration………...by the way, is it okay to talk a little until the parade starts?”

“Okay. I did promise to answer your questions if you went out with me.”

I thought of what to ask at Lilith’s nod.

There were two things I wanted to ask.

“Let’s see. First off-----”

I hesitated in which one I should ask first before, determining.

“Lilith, you said that you are a <<Exception>> last time right? Is it because you can manifest a <<Blaze>> <<Template:Furigana>>?”

“That is one of the reasons. My <<Blaze>> is a <<Template:Furigana>>. Originally, it is impossible for the <<Blaze>> to manifest into complex weapons. You know that right?”

“Aah. If I am correct, the reason is that the <<Soul>> is in a simple state I think.”


The weapon to manifest the <<Soul>>, the <<Blaze>>-----

Why is everyone’s weapon different?

That’s because everyone’s <<Soul>> was different; that was the biggest reason.

But that was not all.

There exist many types of weapon data from the old east and west inside the <<Lucifer>>.

While taking experience and desire into account on top of everything else, the <<Soul>> would pick the most corresponding weapon for the body, and as a result create various types of weapons for each respectively; it seems that is the case.




“Since I was young, my hobby has been hunting.”

After making the shape of a gun with her finger, the gold girl *Bam* made a shooting pose while muttering that.

“Having hunting as your hobby is quite a special one………”

“Really? It’s not that rare around me though.”

………………It felt like a talk from another world.

“However------hunting as a hobby huh……….You can manifest the <<Template:Furigana>> with only that reason?”

No matter if she had many years of experience, I think that reason was insufficient to manifest a <<Blaze>> that was special enough to be called <<Template:Furigana>>.

“………….There is the thing about understanding the gun’s structure in detail right? I have performed dis-assembly and re-construction many times already.”

“Does hunting make you do something to that extent?”

“No way. You normally don’t do that. But, I just thought I should know better about the weapon that gives me the custody to life, and to take away life.”

After saying that, the gold girl joined her hands and stretched forward.

“Well, because there is that, the gun to me is my most familiarized weapon of all. That is why I think my <<soul>> manifested as an <<Unrivalled Blaze>>.”

After hearing Lilith’s story, I understood.

I think that is a rare example but, it’s true that if she was so familiar with it then, it might be possible for the <<Soul>> to pick the <<Template:Furigana>>, and thus.

“What about you?”

“Eh?”

“Like I said, I am asking whether or not you have any reason that comes to mind on why your <<Soul>> manifested as a <<Shield>>.”

“Any reason that comes to mind, huh………………”

There was something that comes up.

The one that could be called my core right now would be the matter with that person.

Nonetheless, I didn’t feel like talking about that as expected and said [I don’t know] before swinging my head.

“Fuun, you don’t understand it yourself too. How mysterious……..”

“Well yeah. More importantly------”

After I got her attention off the <<Shield>>, I then returned back to the continuation of questions although it was quite forceful.

“Just now, you said that the <<Template:Furigana>> is one of the reasons why you are called <<Exception>> so, what’s the other reason?”

“My family is rich.”

[Well…………that’s true I guess] I could only nod at that weird reply.

Because she has a butler serving her, and owns a helicopter for personal use so, it would stranger to not think she was not rich.

“Have you heard of the Bristol company?”

“…………….Was it a Tyre maker?”

“No, seriously……………it is quite a famous corporation in UK and my grandfather is the head. And also---The Bristol Company is one of the investors for Dawn organization.”

I did not even need to ask this anymore because; Dawn organization was the founder of Kouryou academy.

Which meant-----

“The grandchild of a big shot is the manifestor of the <<Template:Furigana>>. And that is why Lilith is given the authority of being treated as the <<Exception>> huh…………”

There were no words of consent but, the gold girl just smiled.

That was probably the answer.

Normally, I would move to the other question I first thought of but------

I have come to be curious from the replies she made just now.

“Even though you are born in a house like that, why did you think you want to be an <<Exceed>>?”

Judging from the talks just now, it seemed she was not worried about financial problems so, I had no idea why she picked the road of the <<Exceed>> which would involve undertaking dangerous jobs in her future prospects.

“There are a lot of reasons. An ojou-sama has worries and thoughts of their own but…………..Leaving that aside, even you have them right? A reason to be an <<Exceed>>.”

I got taken back by Lilith’s words.

“That’s true……….sorry, please pretend that I didn’t ask that question.”

“It’s okay, really. You’re a serious one, to apologize for something like that………”

She shrugged her shoulder and made a wry smile.

“………...Ah, the parade started. Is it alright to end question time about now?”

Although we couldn’t see it, Lilith moved her sights to the sound which could be heard from far away.

“No, there is one more thing I want to ask.”

After saying that, I threw the 2nd question at her.

“Why did you use your <<Blaze>> in the A La Mode? I am thankful for the save but, no matter if Lilith is the <<Exception>>, wasn’t it bad to manifest it in a place with that many people?”

Most of the people were paying attention to the commotion we made and probably did not notice the existence of Lilith-------who was holding the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hands and was far away in the upper floor.

But there should be quite a number who noticed the gunshot and looked at Lilith.

Even though I did not put my thoughts into words-----the gold girl swung her head while making a smile.

“Something like that won’t make a big fuss. Nobody would think it is real anyway.”

That might be the case.

Since there was no one injured', the worst that could be thought of would be some kind of accident.

“More importantly---------it is only normal to show your <<Duo>> your <<Blaze>>.”

(She still hasn’t given up yet huh………..)

Even though I clearly refused her, it seems she was not discouraged from that.

“You’re making a face, saying I haven’t given up yet right.”

It seems it was coming out from my face.

“But I won’t give up that easily. That’s because the teaming up of our <<Duo>> is -------”

Lilith energetically stood up and turned around.

“Because of fate.”

The parks' lighting----- lights with many types of color was in her background, while she shot those Template:Furigana at me.

Her sparkling Template:Furigana was swaying, and towards that inhuman------fairy-like appearance, the heartbeat from my chest increased.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 4.jpg

“F-fate you say……………how did you feel something like that from me?”

My asking voice turned a little shrill.

“I rejoiced when I found out there was another <<Template:Furigana>> user like me. That I wasn’t the only <<Unrivalled>>…………..”

The gold girl gently closed her eyes.

“I then felt it. That the only one suitable to be my <<Duo>> is you, the <<Irregular Blaze>>.”

Lilith piled her hands on top of each other before placing it on her voluptuous chest and continuing on.

“My <<Template:Furigana>> will shoot the enemy, and you will block the blades with your <<Shield>>. Yes, equal to the protection of a knight. That’s why------”

Her closed eyes slowly opened together with the sound of the parade coming closer.

Under the 7 lights coming from the parade, the gold girl extended out her hand.

“It’s not my principle but, I’ll say it once more.”

The cheers welled up together with the echoing voice.

But even though it was inside that whirlpool of excitement, Lilith’s words clearly reached me.

“Become my <<Duo>>, Kokonoe Tooru.”

I found confidence overflowing in her words.

That it was the best path, that I would follow her words; Lilith believed that.

But------

The answer did not change.

“I have a precious <<Duo>>. That is why I can’t team up with Lilith.”

“------!! That’s------”

“I vowed to become her power. For that girl, and for me………..that’s is why no matter how many time you ask, my feelings will never change.” In an instant, *Paan* a dry sound echoed but, it got erased by the parade.

I found out about what happened only from the pain of my cheek.

“…………..Aren’t you an idiot. To refuse my invitation twice------”

Lilith turned her face away and muttered.

“I will definitely not forgive you.”




“Tooru. Welcome back.”

The time for lights out was near and at the same time as I opened the room door, Julie ran over to me.

It was hard from an outsider’s perspective but, her expression was somewhat cheerful.

That was probably because I am with Julie the longest compared to everyone else.

“You came back so late. I was worried since you did not come to class. Miyabi was very worried too.”

“Sorry to make you worry. There was a lot of stuff.”

“Nai. There is no problem if you are not hurt.”

“I have to apologize to Miyabi tomorrow.”

“Ja---. That’s right.”




In the end, after that------

Having her pride hurt, Lilith left without seeing my face.

Because I was the cause of it, I did not chase after her and came back alone using the train.

She probably got back here already, I think I saw the helicopter that I rode on flying to the east, while on the train back from DNL.

And the thing that was waiting for me when I got back was a reflection paper and a lecture from Mikuni-sensei.

I did not and wasn’t planning to tell him that I went out because I got dragged by Lilith but, it seemed that there were some staff members that saw me getting on the helicopter.

Even though the reason for my no permission outing was the <<Exception>>, it meant that the academy still has some dignity.

“Tooru, have you finished your dinner?”

“I had some snacks but, I am still hungry I guess.”

“I received some from the cafeteria so, would you want to eat? Or do you want to enter the baths first?”

“Let’s see…….I’ll get into the baths first then. I feel dusty since I was walking around inside a crowd of people.”

“Ja--. You can go in anytime so go on ahead.”

“I see. Thanks, Julie.”

After a short reply, I gently patted her hand and Julie looked ticklish.

I then headed into the bath immediately-----

After I took my time submerging myself into the bathtub, I heard the sound of the bathroom glass door getting knocked when I started to think I should get out soon.

“Tooru.”

“What is it?”

“I forgot to bring the chopsticks so, I will head to the cafeteria to get it.”

“Ah, sorry about that------hey, wait a second Julie! It’s bad right now!”

Of course, her clothes were the problem.

Going outside the room with one shirt on was dangerous in a lot of ways.

“Nai, it is alright. I will go while not getting spotted by the dorm advisor.”

“I see. Then-----no, just because the lights are off, I don’t mean that……..!”

My voice did not reach her and I heard the door closing.

(This is bad! This is really bad!)

I simply wiped my body after I got out of the bathtub in a panic and put on my shirt before jumping out the room.

My target location was obviously the cafeteria.

The lights were off and luckily there was no one in the dark corridor.

While making a sigh of relief, I jogged through the corridor and reached the cafeteria located beside the lounge.

“Ah-re?”

The cafeteria door was shut tight and there was no presence of anyone inside even though I examined inside.

(Did she get back the room?)

However, there was no way I would fail to notice Julie, even though the lights were off.

“Julie?”

Thinking maybe, I tried calling out to her with a soft voice and------

“Ja—”

Together with that reply, Julie face sprung out from behind the sofa.

“Why are you at a place like that…………..”

“Since the cafeteria was closed, I tried finding whether or not if there was a replacement for the chopsticks.”

When she heard my footsteps, it seemed she hid herself thinking that the dorm advisor was patrolling.

“Tooru why did you come here?”

Julie tilted her head in wonder, because I appeared here when I was supposed to be in the baths.

“………….I don’t know about Gimle but, walking around outside in your pajamas in Japan is not mannerly.”

“Is that so………I am lucky no one found me. I will be careful from now on.”

I made a guts pose in my heart at Julie’s reply. It was perfect for a random sentence.

“There should be a coffee spoon if I am correct so, let’s take that and head back.”

“Ja--. Let’s do that.”

Eating is going to look tough but……….just when I was thinking things like that.

I heard someone walking from far away and saw the light of the flashlight illuminating nearby.

“-------Uh! Is it the dorm advisor!!”

“Come here!!”

I followed Julie’s soft shout and headed behind the sofa.

The light from the flashlight illuminated the lounge, after I hid quickly without making any sound for a while.

But, if there was a problem then------it was narrow.

Because of that, it was only natural to bring our bodies closer but……..

(Cl-close………rather than calling this close, this posture is very bad in a lot of ways!!)

It was normal for our breath to touch each other and my body was being caught between Julie’s legs.

My chest was beating violently.

If I get found in a place like this then,

Even though I tried to separate my body in panic------

“………Tooru, please come closer. We will get found.”

Julie whispered and pulled my body closer with her hand.

(Ah, I touched her legs! I can’t say where it is but, I touched it! This is bad! Julie------!!)

“--------?”

Julie tilted her head at me, when I was resisting while shouting in my heart.

Inside the darkness, a desperate conflict of offense and defense (Mainly me) was taking place in the shadows.

Even though the light moved around the lounge, the illumination did not reach the secretive conflict----

The light and footsteps then left after a while before Julie finally let me go.

I stood up, while feeling completely exhausted from the strong feeling of tiredness.

“Th-thankfully we weren’t found………..let’s get the spoon and head back.”

“Nai.”

When I asked why to Julie who shook her head left and right-----

“When I think about the patrolling course, returning now is not a good plan. If things go bad, we might accidentally bump into the dorm advisor who is coming back.”

She then replied with a convincing answer.

“That’s true. Then let’s pass time here for a while I guess.”

“…………… If that is the case then, let’s go there.”

Julie pointed her finger towards the window.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 5.jpg

The entrance to the balcony was there.

It was the place where I received Julie’s confession under the blue moon.

“…………I understand.”

After I nodded, we left the lounge without making any sound.

The cold wind brushed my cheeks as if it was calming my throbbing heartbeat from a while ago.

“It’s a little cold at a time like this as expected.”

“This temperature is just right for me.”

After slightly making a comfortable expression from the wind brushing her cheeks, Julie placed her hands on the handrail and looked up at the moon which has waned more than half already.

“It’s going to get hotter from now though.”

“……………...I will work hard.”

Even though she clenched both her fist, I don’t know how and what she is going to work hard for.

“Tooru…………….”

“What’s wrong?”

While Julie was the one who called out first, I called out to Julie who went silent just like that.

“I am wondering if it is okay if I asked where you went today………..”

“What, is that it. I don’t mind.”

After saying that, I recalled back the good time I had with Lilith------and what’s more, it was in DNL.

Julie is my <<Duo>>; she was not my girlfriend or anything.

Nonetheless, I think it’s not a good feeling to hear that my partner was playing with another girl for a whole day without telling me anything.

“-----Tooru?”

“A-aah…………….”

Julie tilted her small head when I changed places with her and went silent.

“…………...I went out with Lilith. Err, together to Death New land.”

“Death New?”

“It’s the nearby theme park but, you don’t know?”

“Sorry. I did not study enough…………”

I swung my head in panic at Julie who got dejected.

“N-no, isn’t it okay to not know if you don’t know. And well, I had a good time…….with her there.”

“Is that so.”

She nodded while not making much change in her expression.

When Julie slightly moves her expression at times like these, it makes it very hard to know about how she was receiving my words and what her thoughts about it were; this makes it very problematic.

Most likely, it does not look like she was angry but……..

“………...Was it fun?”

“Eh…………….A-aah…..it felt like I was getting dragged around at first but, before I knew it, well. Un, it was fun.”

For an instant, I hesitated to answer.

But, I then immediately told her honestly------

My chest hurt when I said the last part.

“That is good.”

A small smile was what she replied back.

“That’s right……….”

After I said my true feelings, I nodded.

But, my chest got a sharp pain once again the moment I nodded.

“…………Did something happen?”

Maybe she felt something from my response.

Julie looked troubled before asking.

“…………..Some time ago, Lilith dragged me out on the day she transferred here right. On that day-----”

When I suddenly switched the talk to a few days back, Julie kept quiet and lent her ear.

“Lilith invited me to become her <<Duo>>.”

“………………But by rule, a <<Duo>> that gets established once-----”

“It can be determined by my will…………...she would specially permit that, the chairman told me that.”

“Is……that so……”

I thought of keeping quiet a few days ago. Because I did not want Julie to worry unnecessarily.

But------I decided to tell her this time.

“I was asked the same thing again by Lilith today too.”

Julie kept quiet at my continuing words.

“Well, I refused both times. But because of that, I made Lilith hate me a little.”

I reported the results with the clearest voice I could make. I mixed in a wry smile at the end though.

“Tooru…………”

“Sorry. For keeping quiet about something this important.”

“Nai. I think Tooru has your own thoughts. That’s why-----”

Just when I thought her words got cut half-way------

Julie’s hand piled on top of mine.

“Thank you very much for picking me, Tooru. When I think about being together after this, I feel happy.”

“Aah me too. I am happy being together with Julie too.”

“Ja---♪”

After saying that, the silver girl smiled happily under the moonlight.

“I-it’s about time we head back okay? I think the patrol will be over by now………..”

It felt embarrassing having her joy directed straight at me and I turned to return back to the room.

But------

“…………...Is it okay………for a little more.”

Julie silently swung her head because she wanted to continue talking more.

But, if talking was the only thing she wanted, then she could just continue after we head back to the room really.

On the other hand, if she was being cautious of the dorm adviser still patrolling then she could just tell me about it.

Which meant-----

“…………I understand. But, we have to go back before our bodies get cold.”

“Ja--. If that is the case then………”

When I thought that, Julie took a step closer-----

“-----!?”

She then entered my chest area and brought her body closer as if she was leaning her body on me.

“I think it would be warmer like this. ----Tooru?”

“A-aah………….”

Julie looked up at me in wonder at my awkward answer.

“Actually, it would be nice if I could hug Tooru but………..”

It was something difficult to the Julie who was the smallest among the girls.

“That is why; please hug me tightly like a hot-water bottle like this. I think you would be warmer if you do that.”

(E-even if you tell me that……….)

I could not hide my agitation at her usual defenseless state.

If it was the afternoon and we were facing each other then she would probably notice.

But, it's night time now and Julie was unable to see my face.

“Tooru. Like this.”

Since I did not hug her tightly, Julie took my arm and wrapped it around her body like a muffler.

“It is warm.”

“Th-that’s because I just got off the bath…………..”

Actually, I have already cooled down but, my body temperature probably rose up from my nervousness.

(Ca-ca-calm down, me. more importantly………)

After breathing in 2, 3 times, I switch my mood------

And softly talked to her.

“Julie……….you have something to tell me right?”

“…………Ja---”

“Is it……about the scar on your back?”

Silence took over the spot-----

And not long later, she nodded back as a reply.

(Like I thought…………..)

This balcony was the place I heard her confession at--------

What is going to begin now was the continuation of that night.



“I am also the same as Tooru-------an <<Avenger>>.”



For me and Julie who are completely different in every way, that was the only common point.

There was a burning flame of hatred living in our hearts.

For me, my sister------

For Julie------

“My papa was killed……………”

After I was a little shocked, I felt that it was like what I thought.

My speculation I made the next day after that confession was not a mistake.

“In front of me, that person did that to my papa……….”

I lowered my sight, and Julie started muttering her memories of hatred blandly.

“I did not know this at that time but, I heard that my papa was stronger than everyone else. That, he was the hero of Gimle that everyone acknowledged if you ask them about his name……………”

Maybe, Julie’s sword talent might be taken from her father.

And that talent bloomed as a source of the darkness called revenge; it might be something sad but------I thought that, while lending my ears to Julie.

“But to me, he was a kind father. He would smile every time and would love me and mama…………”

Julie’s hands piled on top of my arms.

Even though the back I was sticking to was warm, her white slender fingers were quite cold.

“But during a certain winter night. Papa left the house while making a stern face. He left after telling me not to follow him no matter what since he was going to come back immediately……….I will not forget his face at that time. I will not forget……………...the face my kind papa showed me for the first time.”

*Gyuu* Julie put in the strength into her hand.

Right now, I who held the same target called revenge with her understood the feeling Julie was feeling this moment.

That is-----regret.

The feeling of never ending grief no matter how much we do it, towards the choices we made before.

That regret made this small body trembled.

“I was worried. Even though he said that he was going to come back immediately, papa was not really coming back------not long later, the moment I heard a strong earth tremor, I swung off Mama’s restraints and jumped out of the house.”

If she had not jumped out the house at that time-------

No, if her father stopped her from going outside then, Julie would probably not be here.

She would be surrounded by kind parents in her hometown, and probably live a life without any battles.

But, time will never reverse back and those normal days will never come.

“I headed towards the field I often go with my family. It was deep in the forest, and it was a beautiful place with flowers blooming everywhere during spring.”

Julie looked nostalgic, but sad while looking up at the sky and talked about her hometown.

“But on that day, a hell-like scenery unfolded in front of my eyes.”

Trees were mowed down and there were several big holes on the ground, Julie then continued.

“An indescribable grand fight unfolded in front of my eyes……….and not long later.”

Julie dropped her sights to her leg from the moon.

“Papa………...lost………when I ran over to papa who collapsed in front of that man………he pat my head and smiled apologetically………..and…………..”

Her voice trembled and she could not finish her words.

“………………”

Both of us passed the time without saying anything.

I cannot heal the wound inside Julie’s heart.

But even so, I hugged her a little tighter.

“This scar on my back was given by that man. In order for me to not forget the sadness of my father’s death, in order for me to not forget about the hate towards the man that killed my father………do not forget, do not forget, never forget………….he carved it there so that I would come to kill him someday.”

Julie let go of my hand and took 1, 2 steps forward before slightly looking back.

She then placed her hand on her shoulders as if she was going to touch the scar carved onto her back.

“That is why this scar-----is a curse. As long as this curse is not released, the flames of hatred will continue burning my body forever and I am not forgiven to move forward………..”

Julie made a big sigh.

She made long sigh as if to calm her rippling heart.

“I want <<Power>>……. The <<Power>> to achieve my revenge. That is the reason why I enrolled to Kouryou academy and my goal……….”

“…….. I see…………”

Just like Julie’s words, it’s true that we are the same.

We had our precious people get stolen by <<Power>> and were <<Avengers>> that chose to have revenge with <<Power>>.

Normally, I should be stopping her by telling her that revenge is useless and the deceased does not wish for that.

But I could not stop Julie.

Because, I devoted myself to revenge and have no intentions of stopping.

“………..Julie. Sorry to make you talk and recall back something painful. But, err……….it might be now of all times after finishing hearing your talk but, is it really okay to tell me that?”

“Nai.”

Julie placed her index finger on my lips.

“I talked because I wanted to talk. More importantly……………it really is now of all times, Tooru.”

At the end, Julie in a rare occasion------however for only an instant------made a mischievous smile and told me that the conversation on the balcony was over.

That was why I would match the atmosphere and replied back in a cheerful and joking manner.

“Alright, let’s go back this time. As expected, I think my stomach won’t last any more than this.”

Immediately after that, my stomach growled as if to turn my proclamation into reality.

“Ja--♪”

Part 2Edit

(I wonder if Tooru-kun is back already………?)

Standing at the opened window, Miyabi absentmindedly thought about Tooru.

Being the last person who was with Tooru, even Julie said that she did not know what he went to do after lunch.

Just where did he go-------

There was one boy that said he ran away because training was hard but, Miyabi muttered that it was not true.

It was impossible to think Tooru would run away when he was the one that pushed her back when she was about to give up.

But, the sun set and it was almost time for lights out but even so, it seemed Tooru had not come back to the dormitory.

(It’s around there right……….)

Outside the window, she directed her eyes to the room at the right hand side at the lower floor.

It’s not like she couldn’t see because there was no light but, unluckily since Tooru’s room was quite far away from Miyabi and Tomoe’s room, she could not see properly.

Tomoe who was reading a book, lifted her face and called out to Miyabi.

“Miyabi. How about getting into the baths soon?”

“Ah…….Th-that’s right, un………”

Because Miyabi was worried about Tooru’s return and read a book in the lounge until it was time for lights out, she did not take a bath.

(I can meet him tomorrow right………..)

Miyabi took off her clothes while telling herself that it would definitely be okay but--------

“Mi-miyabi. Is it alright for you to take off your clothes once you enter the bathroom………..?”

“Eh? Ah-----”

Miyabi regained herself when she was called out again about the time she was taking her bra off.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 6.jpg

“A-ahahaha…………okay, I will go to the bath, Tomoe-chan.”

Miyabi made a wry smile and entered the bathroom.

Tomoe saw her off before making a sigh.

(Oh my oh my……….Kokonoe is a troublesome one.)

Tomoe noticed the reason why Miyabi was acting strange.

---Even though she said that, that was the only thing she could think off.

Similarly, Tomoe was also worried even though she did not show it out from her attitude.

(Tomorrow, I have to have a word with him if he is back.)

Maybe it was for Miyabi's sake or………..

*Hyuu* the wind blew in from the window that was left open.

(Her body might be cold if she gets out of the baths so, I guess I’ll close it then.)

Feeling the chill of the night, Tomoe stood at the side of the window.

Just like Miyabi just now, she took a glance at the direction of Tooru’s room to the right side before closing the window.

If she directed her eyes towards the balcony to the left side during that time-----

If Tomoe discovered Tooru hugging Julie then there might be change in her mental state.

But, Tomoe did not notice them and left the window.

Nobody would know whether or not it was unlucky or lucky.




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Chapter 5: 『《Kouryou Battle》,StartEdit

Part 1Edit

“Alrighty then, how many of you remember about the inter-league match ☆”

Most of the class raised their hands at Tsukimi’s question.

Of course, it was most of the class not all of them.

“……….Kokonoe-kun. Why. Did. You. Not remember~?”

Tsukimi was poking my forehead with her fingers while making a business smile.

“I recalled back when I heard it just now.”

“I’ll kill you.”

Tsukimi returned to her true-self for an instant and mumbled something before putting back her smiling mask on again.

“Okay okay, it looks like there is one very pathetic person who did not remember sensei’s talk so, I’ll explain this once more♪ Late this month, there will be an interleague match held with the 2nd years. And the name is <<Kouryou battle>>, Okay?”

“Is it something like the <<Template:Furigana>>?”

“Yes yes. But this time it isn’t a <<Duo>> battle but instead it is a battle between the grades. The first years vs the chosen members from the 2nd year.”

“Sensei, I got a question. Why does the 2nd year have to go with chosen members?”

“That’s because, if we normally went with everyone in the 1st year vs everyone in the 2nd year then it wouldn’t be much of a battle right?”

Tsukimi replied back with the harsh reality in a light tone to the girl who asked.

Sublimating to <<Template:Furigana>> was the condition for promotion to year 2.

Judging on how strong I got after the physical enhancement, if we fought the whole 2nd year then we would have a hopelessly large difference in battle potential even though we were winning in numbers.

Tsukimi then continued explaining the rules.

The contents were roughly summarized.




○Everyone in the 1st year, and 4 teams of <<Duo>> chosen from the 2nd year.

○Usage of the <<Blaze>> permitted.

○Time limit is 1 hour.

○The place is at the training area.

○It would be the first years’ victory if the flag is toppled within time limit.



“……………Which means, it’s alright to think of this as a Botaoshi[2E 1] right?”

Tachibana was the one who said that bluntly.

“YES♪”

(It is totally different from the <<Template:Furigana>>…………..)

Different from the <<Template:Furigana>> which was attentive to actual battles, the <<Kouryou battle>> this time felt like a contest-----no, a game.

Judging by the rules, the first plan of the 2nd years would be not having their flags toppled so, they would probably be on their defensive side. However, as long as we use the numbers crossing 40 people and attack while having the mindset that there is no necessity to defeat the 2nd years then-------

“You are making a face as if the 1st year has the advantage?”

“……….We-well I do think so.”

She hit the bull's eye, and I nodded while contemplating whether my thinking was wrong.

“Tentatively, the 2nd years’ percentage for winning is about 70% for this event.”

8 vs 40----

There was no way we would lose if we looked at numbers but, the 2nd years had already overcome the strict training during the 1st year and most likely have a few numbers of <<Template:Furigana>> within them.

Also, the reason why their winning percentage crossed 70% was because they formed strategies to cover up the difference in people.

“So with that said, if you all don’t use your heads then you all will get beaten up senselessly you know, ♪But, you will all win if you topple the flag so good luck ♥”

(Ya-re Ya-re. Don’t say it like it’s easy………….)

Even though we have 10 <<Template:Furigana>>, the 2nd year have gone through accumulated tough training during their first year. Incomparable to us, they probably had tactics and strategy slammed into them and more importantly, the biggest problem was that they might have a <<Template:Furigana>>.

(As expected, it is important to make a good plan……..)

Although I was thinking that, honestly speaking I really wanted to try and have a straight on match with the <<Template:Furigana>>.

Even if I didn’t win, having a battle against a strong person would become important experience.

“Ah, oh yeah. It seems the 2nd years are going to have their members selected today so, let’s go spy on them♪“

“That’s one heck of a bold way to spy…………”

“I don’t think we will get exposed if we go quietly ☆”

“There is no way spying with 40 people and above would not get exposed…………”



In the end, after we accepted to boldly go observe them, everyone in the class moved to the training area.

There was already a battle royal commenced in the middle of the battle field to choose the members and we sat down in the gallery.

(Hn? The chairman is here too………..)

I found the girl wearing a gothic dress at the visitor seat.

Just like usual, Mikuni-sensei was sitting beside her and the 2nd year’s homeroom teacher were sending their sights to the battle field.

“Tooru. What are you day dreaming for. You’re going to miss it.”

“A-aah, sorry……….”

I quickly looked at the battle field after I got rebuked by Tora-----

As expected from the <<Template:Furigana>> group who had accumulated training for the past year.

I made a breath of admiration when I saw them freely work with their <<Duo>> and performed excellent combinations with their physical abilities as if it were normal for them.

There were 3 people in there that stood-out.

Judging by the clear difference in physical abilities compared to the other 2nd years, they were probably <<Template:Furigana>>.

Within the 3 of them, it seemed 2 of them were <<Duo>> and were providing cover for each other’s gaps while maintaining a non-aggressive defense.

Even though they were targeted by several opponents, they would counter back with great combinations each time.

The remaining person was quite skilled and kept defeating other students one after another because there was a difference in physical ability.

Soon, the battle royal had come to an end and the 3 <<Template:Furigana>> stood victorious as if it was natural.

“How do you look at it? Think you can win?”

"It would be tough to handle their total force but since we can by toppling the flag as the rule says, let's go with that initial plan."

When I looked over to Tachibana sitting beside me, she replied back like that.

As if to continue my words, Julie and Tora gave their comments.

“From what I can see, it seems they are just slightly slower than Tsukimi-sensei. If it is 1 on 1 then, then by no means are they unbeatable opponents even though there is a difference in <<Level>>”

“Fuun. It doesn't matter if there is a difference in physical abilities, I would still win."

“E-err………….we would win if we topple the flag right? Listening to everyone’s talk, It sounds like you all want to fight with the <<Template:Furigana>> people though……………..”

Miyabi looked troubled at our appearance.

[Well, I guess I want to fight since we are at it anyway] [Ja---. That’s right] [Fuun, I’ll fight and win it]

“Ya-re Ya-re…………I understand your feelings but, everyone in the class are comrades in the <<Kouryou battle>>. There might be one vs one when it is needed in the strategy but, it would be helpful if you all prioritize the victory of the class as our basis.”

Tachibana made a wry smile while telling her opinion after she saw the reaction from the 3 of us.

“The class’ victory huh…………Tachibana has that kind of side huh.”

“What do you mean about that side?”

“Well look, the first thing that would come into me and Tora’s head would be to fight with someone stronger. While Tachibana feels like you would work hard with everyone.”

During the <<Template:Furigana>> too, I recalled back the feeling she was pushing Miyabi’s back.

“Fumu……..it is probably from the circumstances in my previous environment. In terms of future prospects, I will have to lead everyone in the dojo so; my feelings in stressing on harmony are strong.”

Maybe because Tachibana was the next heir of a big dojo, she was like that.

Recently, she has gained popularity because she became the mediator of the class and attended to people with that type of conscious.

“The power of harmony instead of the power of individuality huh…………….I would immediately think about myself so, I seriously think Tachibana is amazing to be able to think like that.”

“Wh-what are you saying, all of a sudden………..”

Tachibana averted her sights in embarrassment.

“And, judging by the way you said it just now, I hear it as if you and I are completely different.”

“Hnn? Do we have something in common?”

Me who was the first one who brought out the individuality and Tachibana who places importance on harmony, I wonder if there was any common point between the two of us.

“Fufuu. Even though I am like this, I pretty much hate to lose you know.”

“………….Haha, well that goes for me too.”

After talking about myself happily, Tachibana opened her eyes wide in an instant and laughed back.

“Alright then, now that the 2nd year members are decided, let’s go back to the class room and have a strategic meeting ☆ If you all lose, then I’ll beat you all up ♥”

(What <<Template:Furigana>> said does not sound like a joke…………..)

While thinking that, I stood up from the seat.

“Ah………..”

On the path that led out of the training area, I saw the gold girl with a butler attending her entering the room and stopped my legs.

“Lilith……………..”

“…………..”

After the gold girl saw me, she sharpened her sights towards me-------

She did not talk to me and continued going down to the battle field.

(What is she planning to do………?)

I wasn’t the only one that had that question.

Not only my 1st year classmates, but the eight 2nd year members who were just selected, were also staring at Lilith.

It was only normal. For the 1st years, she was the transfer student that had completely not shown her face in the classroom since the first day’s HR.

For the 2nd years, it was because an unfamiliar student and what’s more a foreign beauty had suddenly appeared.

In the middle of the gathering eyes of curiosity, Lilith stopped in the center of the battle field before saying something doubtful to the ears.

“I am sorry since you only just got all your members selected but, can we have the <<Kouryou battle>> now. But, taking into account the tiredness you all have, I will take you all on alone.”

“---------Wha!?”

Shock was running about in the training area.

With just the contents she presented, most of the people became taken aback and could only stare at Lilith.

The one that regained his composure first was a second year male------one of the selected members talked to her in astonishment.

“Oi oi, what are you saying after appearing out of nowhere suddenly. Saying things like the <<Kouryou battle>> and taking us on alone, I don’t get it.”

“……………Then, I will teach that body of yours.”

“Huh? What did you say……..”

“I won’t say it twice.”

Instead, she showed it with her actions.

“<<Blaze>>------”

In response to the <<Word that carries strength>>, the <<Flame>> dance around-------and manifested the <<Template:Furigana>>.

“T-that’s…………”

The <<Template:Furigana>> <<Blaze>> which is thought to be non-existent.

The young man getting pointed by the gun------no, almost every student there doubted their eyes.

Immediately, a dry gunshot echoed and the young man shook his body for an instant before collapsing backwards.

While looking at that appearance, Lilith rotated the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hand.

After a moment of silence, roars of anger were released.

[What are you doing!!][Hey, what are you trying to pull!?][You picking a fight!!]

The 1st years held their breath when the 2nd years released killing intent.

Lilith made a cool smile and looked towards the visitor seat while gathering the sights on her.

“Looks like things won’t settle peacefully, so can I have the permit for the <<Kouryou battle>>, chairman?”

Lilith said that brazenly at the situation she made up.

“……………That’s quite sudden. I would like to hear the reason.”

“Is it okay after I am done?”

The gold girl looks like she was not planning to say the reason.

“Seriously………..your selfishness is a real problem.”

Chairman Tsukumo made a small sigh------

“I understand. I specially allow the <<Kouryou battle>> to commence now.”

“Thank you, Chairman. Well then, now that we got the permission--------.”

After making a wink, Lilith turned back to the selected members.

“<<Template:Furigana>> Start!!”

At the same time she finished saying that, the gold girl slipped in to the girl holding the <<Hammer>>.

“--------!!”

She would never have imagined that she would jump into her chest area after throwing away the <<Template:Furigana>>’s advantage point.

Taken aback, the <<Hammer>> user was getting thrusted by the <<Template:Furigana>> while Lilith gave her a warning.

“Everything will immediately end if you daydream………….like this!”

*ZuTann!!* A gunshot echoed and the girl collapsed forward.

“…………..6 more to go.”

Finally at this point, the remaining 6 selected members switched their body and soul into battle mode.

In response the change in their expression, she narrowed her Template:Furigana and made a fearless smile.

That sharp glint in her eye makes her look like a hunter in front of its prey.

“Alright………who wants to be the next one to be hunted?”




*Pann*!! The sound of a bamboo sword hitting men[2E 2] echoed.

“Okay, 1 man. Match over.”

The referee let out a spiritless voice while lying down on the chairs lined up.

The practice occurring now was not any kind of special training but just a normal kendo class.

Although the <<Blaze>> we use are different, we should aim to learn martial arts from the start to end as the fundamentals and get better at using it in your own battle style.

“Fufu, you lost by 1 hit magnificently.”

After I went to the waiting room after the match, Tachibana made a smile while coming to greet me.

“That’s because that guy became skillful.”

It seemed Izumi had good senses and was conspicuously improving these days.

If this goes on, it looked like he would progress more than Kigami who was his partner with martial arts experience.

“By the way Kokonoe. Did you learn juukenjitsu[2E 3] before?”

“Aah. Something wrong with that?”

“No…………..considering all that, each time you swing your sword, I feel some kind of weird awkwardness there…………..Something like………..yes, you are hesitating or something…………..”

Tachibana’s insight was correct.

There was reluctance when I swung the sword.

That’s because, the sword to me is a deadly weapon.

It was an only a normal fact when speaking about it naturally but, it varied for each individual.

Because it was an existence I hated since my sister’s life was taken away in front of me, so each time I swung it down------even I am reluctant to hold it. Even if it was a bamboo sword.

“……………Kokonoe? Sorry, did you feel bad about it?”

“Ah……..n-no, I guess I can’t trick Tachibana’s eyes. Actually, it’s been like that since last time. It might be a chance just now but, I will think a lot about things like whether I should be attacking there or not.”

“So I guess the fist is totally different.”

“It’s totally different. I am more suited for this.”

After swinging my fist lightly, Tachibana averted her consciousness from my sword.

“Fumu, juu[2E 4], huh……….so the arts from your place is mainly using the body huh.”

“Aah. Is there something wrong with that?”

The Juukenjitsu I learned before was just like its name showed, the combination martial arts of 'juu' and sword.

Rather than using kenjitsu[2E 5] I prefer jujitsu------from the word it looks like judo but, in reality it mainly exists of-------Atemi[2E 6](Blow), throw, Kime[2E 7]--------and that became the foundation of my fighting style.

“Errr…………I have no intentions to deny the arts you learned but, I feel that it’s a little consciously inclined to attacking. Advancing forward might be good but, you would eventually get big injuries someday if it’s like that-----------”

Tachibana sent her sights over in worry.

“Haha, so that means you’re worried about me huh. Thanks.”

“I-I am not really worried about you alone. It is only natural to be concerned about my friends and comrades………..”

“I understand. Well, just like Tachibana said, my arts are relatively weighted towards attacking if I have to choose either one. But, it’s not like I neglect blocking, I got taught half-way because of circumstances.”

“I see. I guess it can’t be helped since everyone has their own circumstances………..”

Things like transferring schools probably floated in her mind.

Tachibana did not ask any further and agreed.

“Hey, Kokonoe. I might still be immature but, I think I can teach you something decent.”

Tachibana’s movement could become a reference for me.

Especially the defensive body movement and blocking was probably beneficial to apply in the usage of the <<Shield>>. However-----

“To me, this is something I desire but, is it really okay to say that you will teach someone else in another style that easily?”

I heard that technique leakage in the arts was extremely strict.

I wonder if this thing is okay for Tachibana who is the next heir for the old martial arts style of a distinguished family.

“Of course. The Tachibana door is always open and is always interchanging with other arts and skills. But, my guidance is going to be strict so be prepared.”

“Haha, please be gentle with me.”

“Fufu, inside the 18 Tachibana arts there are techniques to handle fighting with weapons unarmed so, I think it would definitely be beneficial for you. However-----”

After making a small distance, Tachibana continued her words.

“Leave these thoughts after we fight her. I would feel sorry breaking your battle style’s balance with techniques remembered in hasty preparation.”

“…………We are going to fight with her-----Lilith, huh………”

While pondering, I recalled back the time just a few hours ago.

The memory of Lilith’s <<Kouryou battle>> she commenced in her own arbitrary…………..




Speaking of results; it was Lilith’s one-sided win.

Many vs one and completely in the disadvantage, what’s more there were 3 <<Template:Furigana>> in the 2nd year's side.

I found this out later but, Lilith’s <<Level>> is <<Template:Furigana>>.

Taking the victory even though her physical abilities are certainly lower than the 3 <<Template:Furigana>> is one of the reasons why she got the name <<Exception>>.

<<Template:Furigana>>------<<Template:Furigana>>.

We were shown that <<Power>> in front of our eyes fixedly.



“Alright………who wants to be the next one to be hunted?”

At the same time as she spun her <<Template:Furigana>>, *Come on* she beckoned them with her hand.

2 people were provoked by her.

One of them was a <<Template:Furigana>> and from what I could see the other one was a boy with a powerful physique holding the <<Mace>>.

Both of them closed the distance, and lunged an attack almost at the same time.

Lilith avoided the <<Template:Furigana>>’s attack without making any large movement-----

*Gakinn*!! And blocked the <<Mace>> with her <<Template:Furigana>>.

However, Lilith did not hold her ground there and got blown away.

(……..No, she jumped just now!!)

The moment the gold girl who jumped backwards to kill off the impact, was about to hit the wall-----

She made a vertical turn with her body and fixed her posture before kicking the wall and flew up.

She then shot a bullet at the <<Template:Furigana>> while in mid-air.

Next, the moment Lilith landed on the ground and rotated the <<<Template:Furigana>>, she swiftly pointed the gun at the <<Mace>> user and-------shot his chest.

I heard someone muttered [Amazing…..] at the movements that looked like it was from a stylish hard-action movie.

But, in the battle field there was another meaning of surprise there.

“N-no way………..for those guys to get beaten that easily…………!”

“What is with that <<Blaze>>………”

Just 10 seconds right after Lilith announced the commencement of the <<Kouryou battle>>, 3 people-----what’s more among them there was 1 <<Template:Furigana>>------were defeated and the 2nd year selected members were getting agitated.

Agitated, which meant it was a chance.

“Like I said, if you day dream………..wait, I'm not obligated to say it twice.”

Before the 2nd years regained their composure, Lilith pulled the trigger and another person collapsed-----

She then easily dodged the attack of the comrade she made an enemy out of and counterattacked.

The only ones remaining were the <<Template:Furigana>> <<Duo>>.

“Well then……..this would take around 1 minute I guess.”

*Kurun* Lilith rotated the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hands.

(That is a habit more than a provocation.)

However that trivial habit-------even though it was for an instant but certainly, she would not shoot.

And the remaining 2 <<Template:Furigana>> did not miss that instant.

They were holding a <<Small sword>> and <<Scaramasax>> respectively and attacked the gold girl.

Different from just now, Lilith made a huge body motion to dodge for the first time at the sharp blade combinations.

But she could not run away.

There was a difference in physical abilities and she was not allowed to run away.

The 2 blades were attacking in repeated rapid succession and Lilith was only on the defensive.

But, the moment after she dodged the <<Scaramasax>>-----

“How about this?”

While twisting her upper body, Lilith moved the <<Template:Furigana>> behind her hips and shot a bullet. It was a so-called acrobatic shot.

The <<Small sword>> user was the one who collapsed.

The moment his <<Duo>> collapsed, the <<Scaramasax>> user took his sights off Lilith for an instant.

---That chance became fatal.

His legs got swept and he tumbled down-------and at the same time he raised his face, the gun was thrust towards his forehead.

“Right at the 1 minute mark I guess.”

Lilith made a fearless smile-----

And immediately, the gunshot to indicate the end of <<Kouryou battle>> echoed throughout the training area.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 7.jpg

“I am sorry to say but, you took 1 minute 6 seconds.”

“A-ra, that’s disappointing.”

Rather, she replied back happily and Lilith turned her <<Template:Furigana>> into the <<Flame>> and scattered it.

While looking at that appearance from the visitor seat, the gothic girl started talking to Lilith.

“The <<Kouryou battle>> is something to allow the 1st years to gain experience by fighting stronger opponents on equal ground depending on the strategies and-------at times, possibly defeating the opponent.”

“Yes, I know.”

The Chairman raised her eyebrows at the gold girl’s careless reply.

“Then why did you do something like this, commencing it alone and what’s more, destroyed the original schedule date by wishing for the commencement of the <<Kouryou battle>> to happen, I would like you to tell me as promised.”

“I want to host a party.”

“…………What do you mean?”

“I am saying that I want to host a party to deepen my relationship with my classmates. And what’s more I want to make it grand.”

“In what way is that related to the <<Kouryou battle>>.”

The Chairman asked again at the reply that was not an answer.

“That’s because I had no choice. The <<Kouryou battle>> was clashing with the date, when I thought of borrowing the arena.”

“……….Which means, you wanted to end the <<Kouryou Battle>> quickly for your own personal reasons.”

“Bingo. That was helpful, I can finish this faster.”

The Chairman made a sigh at Lilith who winked.

“Seriously…………….you did something problematic for me……I have to either arrange something with the same contents again in the future or maybe prepare something different……..this is a headache.”

“Then there is no problem.”

Just what is, everyone in the training area lent their ears to Lilith’s words.

“Just like what you saw, my ability has surpassed the 2nd year selected members. If you say it is possible to defeat stronger opponents on equal grounds depending on the strategies, then………….could you show that to me?”

“……..I see. Which means, you want to hold a dance party.”

“Yes, that’s right. We will dance. The dress up would be <<Blaze>> and the flowing song would be dances of sword strikes.”

“Kuhah, this ojou-sama is one hell of a rampaging horse.”

Contrary to the words she said softly, Tsukimi made a smile.

“Let’s see, the title would be-----”

While saying that, the gold girl stopped at one point.

“<<Survive>>.”

The target her sights were pointed at was-----me.

“…………Just how much did you mess her up.”

Inside the echoing sound of bamboo swords hitting, Tachibana asked me while I was recalling back the events from a few hours ago.

A few days ago, I roughly told everyone about the case of me being dragged outside the academy by Lilith.

I did not tell her about the <<Duo>> matter, but a lot happened and I got scolded by her.

“Seriously………….”

Tachibana made a big sigh at me who replied back with a wry smile.




“-----With that said, when you all go out together with your escort, just take a position and pay attention. Of course for attacking, too, be very aware for sniping------”

(…………Sniping huh)

While receiving Tsukimi’s lecture blankly, I was reminded of Lilith’s <<Template:Furigana>>.

(3 more days left to the <<Survive>>……..)




In replacement for the <<Kouryou battle>>, the event hosted by Lilith that was decided opened hurriedly-------the <<Survive>>.

The contents of the new <<Blaze practice>> rules are below.

○Everyone in the 1st year vs Lilith alone.

○Usage of the <<Blaze>> is permitted.

○Time limit is 1 hour.

○The place is the northern block of the A La Mode.

○Either one of the following is the victory condition for the 1st year team.

A. Everyone is not eliminated (Everyone is not unconscious).

B. Scatter the rose attached onto Lilith’s chest.




Only 3 things changed.

First was the opponent.

Even though it became one person, Lilith defeated the selected 2nd year members with ease.

She is <<Template:Furigana>> like us but, it was better to think that she is much stronger than us judging by the abilities we saw.

Next was place.

There were 2 reasons why the A La Mode grounds were selected.

The first one; if the place had many obstructions then the 1st year team would be extremely at a disadvantage. It made a lot of sense from what I saw from that one battle held in the training area.

If it was a place with obstructions, then wouldn’t the premises of the academy be okay too?--------the answer to that question is the 2nd reason.

It seemed (According to Lilith), it was more interesting to fight in a shopping mall compared to the school.

Incidentally, the A La Mode was reserved by an Ojou-sama of a big company for the reason of making an independent movie-----which will never be completed.

The last would be the victory condition.

Regarding this, I think we have quite the advantage.

Lilith will have to continue running around and hiding, and needs to eliminate every one of us who just need to survive.

It was not hard to imagine how annoying that would be, if I were in her shoes.

(Nonetheless, I have no intention of running around.)

For the second one, it would be our victory if we scattered the rose on Lilith’s chest; it was very like her.

In order to show her confidence that she would not lose if she fought normally, she imposed a handicap onto herself.

But even so, the gold girl probably thought that her victory was something unshakable.

(The source of that confidence is the <<Template:Furigana>>------the <<Template:Furigana>>, huh…………..)

Just how should I fight an opponent with a super far-range weapon while I am a super close-combat fighter.

I know that it was only natural to somehow get close to her no matter what but----------

(Bullets that surpass the speed of sound…………how am I going to slip past that…………)

Originally, it would be suitable to go with the No plan like the <<Template:Furigana>>.

But this time, I have to make a counter-plan for this <<Survive>>, the possibility of things ending before I could even get close to her was very high.

(I can’t dodge that as expected…………)

And when I was worrying in my head-----

“Hello hello! Kokonoe-kun!!”

I got called out by a loud voice and Tsukimi was staring at me when I noticed.

“Did you listen to Sensei’s talk?”

“Ah…….so-sorry, I did not listen.”

After I apologized, I could hear laughter coming from everywhere in the class.

“It would be problematic if you don’t listen properly…………..even though I said that, I was talking about how the class has ended a little earlier because I taught you all everything I needed to teach.”

When I looked at the clock, there were only a few minutes left to the end of the class.

“Then I don’t have to really pay attention………….”

“You didn’t pay attention to the last part because you were daydreaming right?”

“Uu…………..”

When I fumbled my words, Tsukimi brought her face closer and moved her mouth without letting out her voice.

“I’ll scold you, you know.”

There was probably no mistake that she would destroy me.

“By the way~, what was Kokonoe-kun daydreaming about? Is it perhaps about Lilith-chan?”

“………….Yes, that’s right. Even though I said that, I don’t mean it in a weird way; I was just thinking how I should fight against the <<Template:Furigana>>.”

“Just dodge the bullet ☆”

“Don’t ask for the impossible.”

I shouted in reflex. But------

“Ahaha, It’s true that it is impossible for your current <<Level>>”

I understood Tsukimi’s announcement-----and several people moved their expression including me.

“Haaaai, Sensei. I have a question.”

That slow voice was from a girl called Kibitsu.

Just like that absent minded personality, she did not leave any good results in practical skill practice but her studies were quite good.

I often spotted her talking closely with Miyabi.

“Since you said it is impossible at our current <<level>>, then are you saying that we can dodge it sooner or later?”

“Un, once your <<Level>> gets to <<Template:Furigana>> you can somewhat dodge it I guess♪”

“Seriously……….”

“Honorifics♥”

“Is that true………….”

“Of course, of course ☆ You will become somewhat able to see it♪”

Together with Tsukimi’s tone, it was unexpectedly hard to believe.

But, if that was the truth, then it would be okay to call us the <<Exceed>> beings that surpassed humans.

“That’s amazing---.but, I feel <<Template:Furigana>> isn’t really that far away----”

Not feeling that surprised, Kibitsu said that in a calm tone.

(It’s true that it’s not that far away………..)

It’s 2 more to go if I think that I am <<Template:Furigana>> now.

As if to deny that thought, Tsukimi extended a finger and swung it left and right.

“That is unexpectedly far you know. Reaching <<Template:Furigana>> is still bearable but, the <<Template:Furigana>> wall is very very high. So high that around 3 or 4 people at most are only able to reach it every year.”

“-----Wha!!”

There were various reactions, there were people who raised their voice, turned speechless, and stood up but most of the students were surprised or in discomposure.

That was only normal. Judging by the first year students, it’s like saying around 70% of us would drop out really.

“Ah, but but, you all are qualified to graduate the moment you all reach <<Template:Furigana>> so relax ☆ Look, it would be unfavorable for the Dawn organization if they asked for too much ♪”

A relaxed atmosphere spread out at Tsukimi’s follow.

As expected from the Dawn organization-----it looks like the academy side thought about that too.

But, if the system is like that then------

(It would be great if they did not kick out the loser in the enrollment ceremony………..)

The ponytail girl floated in my mind.

Are they saying that they have no use for people that couldn’t survive when they have to live.

Cutting them off just because they failed in an exam once was a little------

No, it should not be a small loss, thinking in future prospects.

In the first place, as long as people who have the <<Qualification>> are rare, it would be very inefficient since not everyone was able to enroll if they wanted to.

However, that question stopped and left a small thorn inside me when a boy asked Tsukimi a question.

“Sensei, why is sublimating from <<Template:Furigana>> to <<Template:Furigana>> that tough?”

“Hnn, I think it’s obvious that there is only 1 difference through maths. Well, to make things simple, almost everything until <<Template:Furigana>> is physical ability enhancement. But-----”

Tsukimi made 3 fingers stand at first but, made it four once she reached the middle of her talk.

“Mental strength enhancement will start from <<Template:Furigana>> and it would bring out the true power of the <<Blaze>>.”

<<Blaze>>------a weapon that was able to defeat someone without physically injuring them.

However it has highly classified information that, if killing intent was put inside, it would become just as deadly a weapon.

I thought that was all there was to it.

If I were to name other advantages then, I thought it would be around the specificity that we do not need to carry it around because it was different from normal weapons but………

(True power--------what kind of power is within the <<Blaze>>………..?)

Unfortunately, the chance to find out about that was postponed.

“Well, if you want to know the true powers at <<<Template:Furigana>> then confirm it yourself with your eyes when you get to that, and class is going to end any time now ♪”

The chime rang just at that timing.

“Well then, we will be having physical enhancement training like usual in the afternoon so, be careful not to be late ☆”

After saying that, Tsukimi left the classroom.

“-----Ah, yeah yeah.”

The moment I thought she did that, she came back with movements like a playback.

“For the sake of my cute cute students, and because Kokonoe-kun begged while crying, I will tell you all the method to handle the<<Template:Furigana>> ♪” I don’t remember crying nor did I beg, but I kept silent since I was curious about what the method was.

While looking at everyone in the class holding their breath, Tsukimi made an annoying long pause and-----

“Dodge with your spirit ♥”

She told us a completely useless method.

(I was an idiot to expect something…………)



“………A union?”

Since there were clear skies today, we decided to spread a sheet out on the lawn outside and have lunch on it today.

There was a different kind of charm, being surrounded by stacked boxes cramped with many dishes from the cafeteria buffet under the warm sunlight.

Pleasant winds blew past by the smell of grass tickling my nose, and it felt as if the food was more delicious compared to usual.

In the middle, Tachibana asked us if we should make a union for the <<Survive>>.

“Umu. You all know that there are people that have already teamed up right? I thought it would be good if we team up and challenge her just like them.”

Although everyone in the class were comrades in the <<Survive>>, it’s not like we were a big rock.

If there were people that wanted to fight then there would be people that would want to run and hide to avoid losing consciousness.

That was why the people that chose to fight got along together and joined hands, and several teams were made just like Tachibana said.

From what I saw from Lilith vs the selected 2nd years, she was not someone that we could beat just because we gathered more heads and everyone most likely understood that.

But, the range of strategy would broaden if we increased in numbers and the winning percentage would also increase.

So Tachibana invited us after thinking about that.

“If it is okay with you all, how about it?”

Tachibana turned her face around and looked at me, Julie, Tora and the rest.

“………….Well, I don’t mind but, how about you Julie?”

This had nothing to do with the <<Duo>> this time…………nevertheless, I’ll try asking Julie------

“If Tooru wishes for it.”

After she answered, it looked like Julie was planning to fight as a <<Duo>>.

“If that is the case then let’s team up. Pleasure working with you, Tachibana.”

While saying that, I got a hamburger.

“Umu, it’s decided then.”

“Fufu, let’s work hard together, Julie-chan.”

“Ja---”

“What about you Tora?”

“Fuun. Normally, I don’t like grouping up to fight………….but, even I know the likelihood of me winning is exceedingly low if I fight that woman honestly like an idiot at this current stage.”

(You could have said it honestly……..)

“So it’s okay to say that the members here are in a union right?”

Tora nodded and Tatsu who was stuffing food into his mouth *Muga**muga* nodded too, and with this the battle union with the usual members had been established.

“So let’s decide how to fight then.”

After I said that while picking up the octopus sandwich, Tachibana *I have waited for this* made a smile.

“Fufu actually, I have already thought of several plans already. Would you let me explain it together with the building map? Of course, you all can say anything you want if you have an idea or something.”

“You’re really into this.”

While feeling a sense of admiration to her, I took a bite into a chicken nugget.

“Fufu, it’s only natural. I told you before but, I hate losing and I like making plans like this.”

(As expected from a Shogi lover. Now that I think about it, she said she made lots of plans during the <<Template:Furigana>> too, and defeated 3 to 4 groups…….)

……………While recalling back the things I heard during GW, I picked up a Tatsutaage[2E 8] with my chopsticks.

“Ah oh yeah. I have something to say before telling the plans------”

*Mogu**mogu* while I was stuffing my cheeks with the Tatsutaage, Tachibana turned towards me.

“Kokonoe. Did you think I did not notice you eating only meat from just now!?”

“-----!?”

I was really surprised.

……………Enough for the meat to get stuck in my throat.

“Hn, Hngu….!! oOfuu……….nnGu, fuooo………!!”

[To-To-Tooru-kun, are you okay………!?][What are you doing………..]

Worried and astonished voices came flying to me while I was hitting my chest.

“Wa-ter……..! Give, water…….!!”

“Seriously, this is the certainty of divine punishment.”

While saying that, Tachibana started pouring barley tea into my paper cup.

---But, I did not have the leisure to wait and took the nearest paper cup while having teary eyes.

“Uh!? Wa-wait, Kokonoe. That’s-----”

I heard Tachibana say something but, I did not bother about it and washed the barley tea down inside my throat.

“My………partially……drank………..”

After drinking up the cup of tea, I made a big exhale.

“………..Fu, haa………..haa…………haa. I thought I was a goner…….”

“Are you okay, Tooru?”

I thanked Julie who was rubbing my back.

“A-aah. Somehow………”

While nodding, Tachibana sent her sights towards me.

Although I prepared myself to get lectured for only eating meat-----

“Ah-re?”

Tachibana’s face was red for some reason and she was trembling.

“What’s wrong, Tachiba-----”

“Ko-Ko-Ko………Kokonoe you pervert---------!!”

Tachibana suddenly shouted that while running away.

We looked at her back absentmindedly and saw her off.

“Why……………”




(It’s tomorrow huh…………)

On the night before the <<Survive>>.

After getting out of the bath and leaning against the wall, I absentmindedly thought of Lilith.

The <<Template:Furigana>> which held unparalleled power----- the <<Template:Furigana>>.

But that weapon was not the only one that was strong.

From the way she moved her body she showed during the fight with the selected 2nd years, it was understandable that she was quite used to fighting. That was why, I am looking forward to tomorrow's <<Survive>>.

It was clear from her attitude that this started because I rejected Lilith’s invitation, but that was not all.

I think we came up with all the possible plans we could think of, and we had only one plan to handle the <<Template:Furigana>>.

But I had no idea whether or not it was possible, and more importantly I don’t know if I could get into the distance needed to execute the plan.

(I have to do it without practice, I guess. And…………..)

Other than the strategy and plans, there were some things I thought I needed to do no matter what.

That is-----

“Tooru, apple tea.”

“Ah……..aah, Thanks.”

I regained myself when Julie called out and stopped my thinking.

After taking the cup filled with apple tea, I took a sip.

“Fuu……….”

I clearly felt the hot fluid flowing down to my stomach.

Around the time I put my mouth on the cup for another sip, Julie came over to the distance where our shoulders were touching.

After she sat down, Julie drank the cup she was holding with her small mouth and *Gulp* that sound came from her throat.

“It is delicious.”

“Yeah, it’s tasty.”

I agreed with the smiling silver girl.

The milk tea I drank with Lilith was delicious too but, this apple tea had an even better taste of deliciousness.

(Although this is just an instant………….)

Julie probably felt the same, that this was delicious too.

The time I went through with the silver girl sometimes felt gentle and calm so much that I felt guilty.

The memories painted with sadness, rage, resentment and despair, were forgotten even though it was temporarily.

I could feel the warm normal days which I had lost before.

I sometimes worry if I am allowed to feel that warmness again.

But, it’s true that there was a part of me that did not want to let it go.

“…………..Tooru. Are you thinking about tomorrow?”

“Aah. Tomorrow----rather, I am thinking about Lilith.”

“Is that so…………”

*Kupi* Julie took a sip of the apple tea and opened her mouth again.

“Tomorrow……….for tomorrow-----let’s win, definitely.”

“Win huh………..That’s true, it’s not good to think that it’s okay to lose.”

Let’s win, instead of working hard.

Different from the way she pumped herself up during the <<Template:Furigana>>, I thought Julie was reliable.




“Alright, then………let’s go to sleep already.”

“Ja---”

Around the time when the date was about to change, I was going to get to bed but-----

“Tooru. Err……….is it okay to sleep together?”

“………Tonight too?”

Julie nodded when I asked again.

Yes, tonight “Too”.

Actually for the past few days, Julie had been saying she wanted to sleep together.

This became frequent, ever since the time Julie told me the reason why she was an <<Avenger>> like me on that night.

“……………I understand. Let’s sleep together.”

“Ja--. Thank you very much, Tooru.”

Julie made a happy smile.

(Well, I guess I have no choice………….)

Although by accident, she had found out about my past and because of that she told me of her injured heart and memories she did not want to talk about originally.

Her feelings were probably unstable because of that.

In order to divert that sad feeling even if it was little, I continued patting Julie’s head until she fell asleep for tonight too.





Just past noon on the next day.

We went outside the premises to head to the place where <<Survive>> was going to be held.

We got off the monorail and after we got on the private bus that was waiting in front of the station, the bus reached the rooftop carpark in the A La Mode in around 10 minutes.

The bus we were riding on now was the only one in this place which usually had many cars parked too.

“Seriously…………..just how are they, to be able to borrow the whole place.”

“What’s more it seems it's borrowed for 3 days. Just how much did this cost.”

After looking around the deserted parking spot, I mumbled that and Kigami matched up with my talk.

They considered that the building interiors would be more or less damaged, so they borrowed the place for a few days in reserve for repairs.

“………………………Fuun.”

After Kigami noticed I was the one that called out to him, he raised his eyebrows and distanced himself from me.

(What is it? Did I do something to make him hate me……..?)

After I twist my neck, Izumi who was Kigami’s <<Duo>> hit my shoulder.

“That fella Kigami, lost to you during the <<Template:Furigana>> right? That’s why he is looking at Kokonoe with rival eyes. Since he has a very sporty personality, he seriously hates losing.”

“Izumi!!”

He probably guessed what we were talking about. Kigami shouted at Izumi.

“Hei Hei. So see you later Kokonoe, let’s work hard. Also, please don’t be angry at him.”

“Aah, I get it.”

With a light heart, Izumi ran towards Kigami.

“Fufuu, that was a disaster.”

“Well, I can’t be helped.”

It seems Tachibana heard the conversation and made a wry smile, I also replied back after shrugging my shoulders.

“And, looks like the organizer is here.”

I don’t know what car model it was but, a high-class looking black car was reflecting the sunlight while showing itself on the rooftop carpark.

The car then slowly stopped beside the bus we rode on.

The first one that got of the car was not Lilith but her butler-----Sara.

After Sara made a respectful bow, the figure of the gold girl who was her master, appeared from inside.

With the black car as the background, the eye-catching beautiful Template:Furigana was shining under the sun and her Template:Furigana were like jewels.

A girl wearing black clothes showed herself from behind while wearing a bewitching smile.

Within the many people holding their breath at them, Tsukimi who rode on the bus to lead us mumbled something.

“Seriously, why am I the only one that has to take care of the brats………….”

“Maybe they didn’t want to let you on because you would cause a ruckus?”

“I’ll crush you……………primarily with one of the 3 great desires.”

“Please no.”

Since she was someone that would seriously do it, I distanced myself by taking a step back just in case.

“Everyone. There is a talk the chairman wants to present. Please keep quiet.”

Mikuni-sensei started the proceedings and everyone’s sights gathered on the chairman.

“Everyone, how do you do. Everyone should know this but, we were supposed to commence the <<Kouryou battle>> today. But-------”

The gold girl lowered her head after the chairman directed her hands to Lilith beside her as if to introduce her.

“Due to the wish of Lilith=Bristol over here who enrolled here from our sibling academy, St Foren academy, the plan has changed to commencing the social gathering----<<Survive>>.”

Even though she said it was a change in schedule, the goal for the <<Kouryou battle>> was to make us challenge stronger opponents with strategies, had not changed in the <<Survive>>.

Because of that, the chairman talked to make us have fun fighting against Lilith no matter how we do it.

“I pray from the bottom of my heart that you will all gain good experience from this <<Survive>>.”



It’s not like there was any special change; the whole thing would start once Lilith entered the building 10 minutes after we first entered the building.

After the explanations were over, my classmates went inside the A La Mode building one after another to start the <<Blaze practice>> which was borrowing the name of a social gathering.

But, I only took a backward glance at everyone and did not move from my spot.

“It’s okay to head inside with everyone first, Julie.”

“Tooru…………”

After I lightly tap the silver girl’s shoulder while she was slightly raising her eyebrows, I headed closer to Lilith.

“What is wrong, Kokonoe Tooru?”

The chairman stopped me when I was heading towards a different direction from the building.

“Sorry. There is something I want to talk with Lilith about before this starts------”

“I have nothing to talk about.”

“…………..And that is the case.”

Her clear rejecting voice interrupted my words. Of course, it was Lilith.

“I have something to say no matter what.”

“I won’t say-----”

“Kuhah, isn’t it okay? Specially allowing something small like a talk, ojou-sama.”

Lilith moved her eyebrows, at Tsukimi’s forced verbal argument.

It might be a revenge for making her come here on the bus or maybe she had something against Lilith who moved around as she likes by using the <<Exception>> shield-----

I don’t know what her reasons were but, it was a lifesaving question to me.

“That’s true. Just like what Rito says, isn’t it okay to specially allow a talk?”

“…………..I get it.”

“Thank you for the recommendation, Chairman………..and Tsukimi-sensei.”

“Kuhah. It’s okay. It looks like things are getting interesting anyway.”

The lifesaver had a useless reason.

“I’ll say this first; it would be a problem if the starting time becomes late if you talk for too long. Please end everything within 5 minutes okay?”

“Yes, I understand.”

After making a smile while looking up at me, the chairman took a step back.

I finally come face to face with the gold girl and called out to her name.

“Lilith.”

“…………………”

Even though she was averting her face away, I did not care about it and talked to her-------and lowered my head.

“I am sorry to refuse your <<Duo>> invitation.”

“……………..After saying you wanted to talk, is that all you wanted to say?”

Even though she was facing away while leaving it as it is, her bad mood was straightforwardly being told.

“Aah, that’s right. I could only say the reason why I refused that time so------sorry.”

“You don’t really need to lower your head. It does not change the fact you refused my invitation even if you apologize and whether you do. Of course, I have no plans to even give an atom of consideration in the <<Survive>> later.”

“Aah, I don’t mind that. I really want to fight against Lilith’s full strength anyway.”

I thrust my fist at the gold girl.

“I will go at full strength too. If both of us go at full strength, I feel we will accept each other without any reservations and stop being in the winning and losing relationship once the <<Survive>> is over.”

“…………You’re an idiot right.”

“I sometimes think that.”

“I don't even know how to reply to that………..”

Lilith faced her back towards me, thinking that there was nothing left to talk about.

I thought this when I saw the back of the gold girl.

Once everything ended, definitely………..

“Then, I’ll wait inside. Let’s talk again after this ends.”

“……………….”

After I said my goodbyes and started heading inside the building-----


Lilith opened her mouth while facing her back towards me.

“I will become that girl’s power----------you said this right.”

“Yeah I did.”

Lilith turned back and looked towards the entrance to the building.

Julie was being pointed at by her Template:Furigana.

“Then prove it.”

The gold girl took a glance at Julie and stared at me.

“But I will not forgive that-------I will have you know how useless you are.”

I did not reply to those words and ran towards Julie.

I muttered to no one in particular.

“I already know that……………”

It is because I am useless, that I am here.

Part 2Edit

“We will accept each other if we go at full strength-------he is just like a child.”

Lilith did not say anything to Sakuya who said it in astonishment.

“Sakuya-sama. We have confirmed their deployment in the vicinity. There are no problems if we start anytime.”

“Good work, Mikuni.”

After Mikuni finished giving out orders to his previous students, he reported to Sakuya.

This was still a public area even though it was fully reserved, and in order to commence the <<Blaze practice>>, the <<Exceeds>> deployed from the Dawn organization were securing the vicinity.

“Since that is the case, let’s start this.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Ojou-sama please be careful.”

“Thank you, Sara. I can have fun for around 1 hour…………..well, it would be nice if they can last that long.”

Lilith replied with that to her personal attendant and faced towards the building entrance before Sakuya talked to her.

“The battle between the same <<Template:Furigana>> but does not have the same <<Blaze>>, and the same two that has driven them away…………..I am looking forward to see it, Lilith=Bristol.”

“Pray that it will meet expectations…………for them that is.”

Last time in the chairman's room of Kouryou academy, the words Mikuni said------the person that got driven away.

Yes, just like Tooru and the rest, Lilith had driven away a <<Template:Furigana>> at <<Template:Furigana>>.

However, unlike Tooru and the rest, it seemed it was to measure the power of the <<Unrivalled Blaze>>.

But the biggest difference would be that the gold girl had driven that person away alone and what’s more uninjured.

“I’ll be going then.”

Lilith swayed her Template:Furigana with her hand and entered the building.

After the automated door closed behind her, the outside sound got cut off and silence immediately wrapped around her.

“……….Fufu.”

During the middle of her slow descent down the escalator that had stopped because the power supplies were turned off------

Each time she descended one floor after another, she understood that her feelings were uplifting.

Lilith was fighting with a different type of nervousness compared to her hunting hobby; she liked this electrifying atmosphere.

She naturally leaked a smile at her throbbing heart.

(Like a child, huh………..)

Even though Sakuya said that, Lilith understood Tooru’s words.

But, since he said to accept each other, bringing out our full strength would not be enough.

She thought it was an indispensable condition to show the <<Power>> to be able to accept each other.

(Can you keep up with me? My full strength that is.)

In that instant-----

The sound of the air and her thoughts were cut through.

A surprise attack. It was an <<Arrow>> aimed towards Lilith.

But-------

*Pashi*!! The arrow disappeared together with a dry sound.

No, it was different. Lilith caught it with her hands.

“N-no wayyyyy………..”

The girl that shot the arrow------Kibitsu was taken back by the event that just happened in front of her.

The time she regained her composure was when Lilith threw the arrow to the ground and making it turn back to the <<Flame>>.

“--------!!”

Even though she quickly nocked the arrow for the second shot, Lilith was already pointing her gun towards Kibitsu.

The moment she pulled the trigger, the gold girl proclaimed this.

“<<Survive>> start.”

Immediately, the gunshot echoing throughout the building became the starting signal for battle.





Chapter 6: Existence Transcending HumansEdit

Part 1Edit

“What, didn’t you go with Miyabi and the rest?”

I asked the silver girl who was waiting for me even though I had told her it was all right to go on ahead.

“It’s because I am Tooru’s <<Duo>>.”

The bell rang like usual and Julie nodded.

(Even though the <<Duo>> is not related in today’s <<Survive>>.)

Although I thought that, there was no way I would not be happy if she told me that.

“Thanks. Let’s go then.”

“Ja---. Okay let’s go. Miyabi and the rest are waiting.”

Maybe it was the thought of wanting to hurry up to side of Miyabi and the rest; Julie took my hands.

(Uu…………..this is somehow embarrassing……….)

Julie walked while tightly holding my hand with her small hands.

After I took a small glance at Lilith for the last time, she was staring at me while placing her hands on her hips.

Once we entered the building and immediately descended 2 floors down with the escalator, we let go of our hands.

It seems the power supplies were off today so after we got down 2 floors using the escalator, which had become a staircase with big ramps, we reached a place called Nagisa plaza.

There was a path on the left side while there was an atrium connecting the first floor and right side; there was also a book store in front of us.

From this place which was located at the very east end of the building, we headed to the meeting point we promised with Tachibana and the rest located to the west-----

“Ah-re? it’s Kokonoe-kun and Julie-chan. You two took your time coming down here?”

In the shadows of the shelves in the bookstore which I thought were empty, a girl-----Kibitsu showed her face.

“Just a little strategic meeting. How about you Kibitsu, why are you in a place like this?”

“Uun, I am going to ambush her here. Look, my <<Blaze>> is <<Template:Furigana>>. I am confident in hitting someone else other than Lilith-chan if it becomes a free-for all fight.”

“I-I see…………….”

Just how could she say that with a confident smile on her face.

“By the way Kibitsu. I have been wondering this since a while back but, how do you manifest the arrow?”

<<Template:Furigana>> and <<Template:Furigana>>. It is quite different but, it is the same type of shooting weapon if I put it in forceful words.

I tried asking since it might provide a hint to a strategy.

(Is it the same with Lilith’s <<Template:Furigana>>………….?)

“It seems I can manifest the shape of an arrow using my mental strength by having the <<Blaze>> be the medium. The arrow is like the other self of the <<Template:Furigana>> main body.”

“During the manifestation, I have to imagine the actions. It seems it is different for each individual, but mine is like the feeling of pulling out an arrow from the quiver. It seems you can manifest it by just taking the pose if you are used to it.”

“I see. That was knowledgeable.”

“You are welcome. Alright, I have to go back to my stand-by spot soon. Kokonoe-kun, Julie-chan, I leave my revenge to you two.”

“I think there is something wrong, with having you assume you will already lose…………..”

While making a smile while making a comeback, Kibitsu once again hid herself behind the book shelf.

“Well then, it seems we are a little late so, let’s hurry up and go to everyone.”

“Ja---. Let’s do that.”

Inside the A La Mode building, which was filled with people when we visited a few days ago.

It was now wrapped in silence and it gave off the illusion as if we slipped into a ghost town.

The different atmosphere where there was no one manning the shop even though it was open made that feeling stronger.

“To-Tooru-kun, Julie-chan. Over here, over here……….!”

From far away, Miyabi was making small waves with her hands to us.

(I don’t know whether she is appealing or not……….)

While making a wry smile, we met up with Tachibana and Miyabi.

“Sorry. For making you guys wait………..”

“I-ya, I don’t mind. More importantly, let’s confirm the plan once more before it starts. First off, in the center plaza for ambush, at that standpoint in that location--------”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 8.jpg

Being the group leader, Tachibana looked at the building map while she started talking about the plan.

Several situations were assumed but, the basic plan was to drive Lilith to a corner with our numbers.

After the confirmation was over, we confirmed the actual building instead of the map.

The northern part of the A La Mode which was the grounds for <<Survive>>-----

After going straight through the approximately 400 meter wide path which was stretched out from the east to west, there consisted 4 plazas mid-way through.

The names of the plazas in order were: ..Nagisa, the first eastern plaza right when we got down from the roof ..after heading west from there is Yukari ..then the Center ..finally Sora.

However, the path was not a completely straight path and each of the Yukari and Center plazas had narrow paths to use for moving around. The building has a 2 floor structure but, although this does not go for all the plazas, all of the paths connect from the 2nd floor and 1st floor through an atrium.

It was easy to move around on the 1st floor since it is wide, but since it is very disadvantageous if she attacks us from above by using the atrium we chose to fight on the 2nd floor.

Around 1 minute after confirming the place I would be stationed again, a building announcement that the <<Survive>> had started.

“It’s time. Are you all ready? I am counting on you all to follow the plan!”

[Aah!][ Ja---!][U-un……..][Fuun, leave it to me.]

Leaving approximately one person out, right when we made a strong nod to Tachibana (Tatsu was silent), a light bell different from the usual one I was used to hearing, *Karan**Karan* echoed.

Immediately after that sound disappeared-----

A gunshot echoed from the east side.

“It started huh………!”

Right when we were stationing according to Tachibana’s words, I could hear several more gunshots.

The sound was louder then first and, I found out that she was in battle at the second plaza------the Yukari plaza.

Even if they were not defeated by Lilith, it would probably take some time for her to come here.

And during the time I was thinking that.

“Let’s go there, catch her-----!!”

When such a voice appeared, with a backward glance; the figure of the gold girl running here could be seen.

(I thought she would defeat everyone that was waiting for her before advancing but……….!)

It’s true that from Lilith’s perspective, she did not have to go with the opponents' plan.

It seemed the thought of her eliminating each one of us by order was mostly out of expectations.

(She’s coming……….!!)

They chased Lilith to the place we were waiting for her.

“Lilith!!”

Right when Lilith ran near me, I jumped out from the pillar’s shadow and stood in her way.

I was probably supposed to perform a surprise attack originally but, my role was to stop her.

And, what kind of method to use was up to my personal discretion.

Even though Lilith was making a stance with her <<Template:Furigana>>, she stopped and slightly lowered her gun when she noticed I was the opponent.

“Oh my, why if it isn’t Kokonoe Tooru. Long time no see.”

“…………..That’s right. I am surprised to see you again this fast.”

I directed an ironic smile to Lilith.

“That goes for me too………….but this is good. I don’t have to go around looking for you.”

After swaying her hair with her hand, Lilith aimed her <<Template:Furigana>> at me.

“First off, I will test your true abilities.”

In a situation where everything would end if she pulled the trigger-----

However, in a different perspective, you could say this was a one-in a lifetime chance.

This was the chance to practically use the plan to handle the <<Template:Furigana>> I thought of using at the real scene.

Failure would mean instant retire-----

Although this had high risks, I had nothing else.

(-----It’s coming!!)

Lilith put in strength on the finger at the trigger and-----

*Ginn*!! Right after the gun fired, a metallic sound was produced.

(Success!! I can do this at this distance!!)

“…………Not bad. Or is it just a coincidence?”

After I blocked the bullet with the <<Shield>>, Lilith stared at me.

“If you think that was a coincidence then want to try it one more time?”

“…………I’ll give up on that. I will accept you as the main dish. That is why I will let you go for now.”

Right when Lilith was showing her <<Template:Furigana>> rotating habit after firing, I raised the corners of my mouth.

“………No, I won’t let you get away. It is our turn now-----Tachibana!!”

“Leave it to me!!”

Placed between the atrium, Tachibana showed herself with her <<Template:Furigana>> at the front of the shop, and the gold girl reacted by moving her gun at her.

At that moment, Tatsu jumped out from the shop to Lilith’s side this time.

“----!!”

Once Tachibana diverted her conscious to her by showing herself, Tatsu would attack from a completely different direction.

This was one of the many plans we had prepared.

“It’s a simple but good method.”

Lilith moved her sights to Tatsu and said that as if to show her composure.

*Zan*!! The <<Crescent Blade>> that got swung down made a big crack on the path but, Lilith dodged it with a back flip and landed on top of the glass fence like that.

“Tatsu!! Swing to the side!!”

If he swung to the side then she might have to make a huge dodge movement.

At the same time as I told Tatsu my instructions, Julie who was hiding behind the objects jumped out.

If it was on top of the fence then, she had to dodge by jumping away from Tatsu’s attack.

*Ton*. Just like predicted, Lilith kicked the glass fence and jumped to the sky.

However, she was heading towards the atrium.

“Wha………….!?”

The height was easily around 5 meters until the first floor.

If by any chance she failed in her landing, she might end up injuring herself but even so, she did not hesitate.

“It’s not a bad attack but, I advise including the <<Exceed>> physical ability in the calculations.”

Everyone became fascinated by the sight of the gold girl who has sunlight shining down on her from the glass roof.

The appearance of an angel descending down was shown to our eyes and Lilith descended to the ground.

However, the group standing-by on the first floor did not end with being fascinated by her.

That’s because the hunter came down in front of them who were the prey.

Sword strikes, gunshot, shouts and the sound of battle echoed back.

Even after I ran to the fence and looked downwards in panic, the Template:Furigana had already entered the blind spot of the building’s cover.

(Damn……….!! I won’t let you get away!!)

I crossed the fence and jumped down to the first floor.

After landing and spotting Lilith, there was a 5 meter distance between us.

“Ah-ra, I won’t go easy on you if you chase me.”

Lilith turned around and prepared her <<Template:Furigana>>.

(Kuh, where is she aiming……..!?)

“Tooru!!”

Julie shouted and at the same time as the bullet hit the <<Shield>>.

The bullet course slightly diverted and scratched my cheek.

“You have good luck. Or is your luck included into your abilities too?”

“Tsk………….!!”

I decided that this distance was to my disadvantage and jumped into the shadows but there was no pursuit attack.

Instead, I could hear Lilith voice together with her footstep getting further away.

“Well I don’t mind. I will leave you as the main dish like I thought. Kokonoe Tooru.”

After I brought my face out from the shadows, I saw the back of the Template:Furigana swaying around while leaving.

(She got away……………but, there was some profit.)

---This was the first contact with Lilith in this <<Survive>>.

“Are you okay, Tooru.”

“Aah, I' m not injured. But, the guys on the lower floor……………”

After I nodded to Julie who easily got down, I set my sights to the guys collapsed in the front.

Looks like there were 6 people but, they were all defeated in that short time.

It just took 1 minute for Lilith to take on the selected 2nd year members who had 3 <<Template:Furigana>>. It couldn’t be helped for 6 <<Template:Furigana>> to be unable to do anything in direct combat.

I then heard a gunshot from the direction Lilith ran to.

“She is probably fighting with the group in the Sora plaza.”

Tachibana with Miyabi behind jumped down from the 2nd floor path like us.

“Hyawa!?”

In spite of coming down timidly, Miyabi failed in her landing and landed on her butt.

Thanks to that her skirt got flipped up, but it stopped at a dangerous spot luckily.

“Ouch…….. ………………---------!!”

Although she frowned her face in pain at first, she immediately noticed what was happening and quickly fixed the hem of her skirt.

“Miyabi are you okay?”

“U-un. I am okay but………..errr…….di-did you see………..?”

I extended my hand to her as she asked a question with a soft voice.

“I did not see so relax.”

After I replied back while making a wry smile, Miyabi exhaled and took my hand before standing up.

Behind us, Tachibana muttered while lining up the people that had collapsed against the wall to let them sleep.

“Because we did not stop her, this turned into an inexcusable result to them………….”

“We can’t help it. She was one layer better.”

“Fuun. More important than that, shouldn’t we decide on the next objective for now on?”

Tora came down while saying that.

“Without Tatsu?”

“That guy is not suited for brain work. It’s probably best just to let him be on the look out up there.”

“I-I see…………..then let’s go with the objectives first…………Tachibana.”

I asked the decision from Tachibana who was our leader.

“………Her victory condition is to eliminate all of us. Instead of us moving, we should go with the first plan and wait here without moving------”

“Oi, Kokonoe!! Don’t let her get away so easily!!”

An angry shout mixed into our conversation from the 2nd floor.

When I looked up, Kigami and his comrades who were supposed to be camping at the Yukari plaza were there.

“That goes for you too.”

There were no mistakes with what I said, since Kagami and the rest were the first ones to be broken through like us, I got irritated because there was no reason to be scolded at.

“The hell you say!?”

Kigami got angry with my reply and the atmosphere clearly got bad-----

At that moment, Tachibana and Izumi came in front of us respectively to calm us down.

“Sorry, Kigami. It is my responsibility as the team leader to be unable to stop her here. If you want an apology then I will apologize to you properly later. But for now, isn’t it decided that we repair the broken formation first?”

Kigami stopped his words when Tachibana lightly lowered her head.

In replacement, Izumi was the one who opened his mouth.

“We don’t need an apology since we got broken through that easily. More importantly, we are planning to chase her now like this so, if it is okay with you all, do you want to join in?”

“Izumi!!”

Kigami got angry at his partner’s plan.

“Maa maa, Kigami. Isn’t it okay. We are low on numbers anyway, so everything is okay if we go with this for the last.”

He probably purposely did it to allow everyone to hear.

But, it might be because his natural virtue makes it hard to be hated even though he has that light feeling with him.

And since I dare not say that comment, Tachibana questioned him on the words he said half-way through.

“What do you mean that we are low on numbers?”

“Just like what you can see, 5 people were taken down when she broke through the Yukari plaza. Thanks to that, most of the methods we prepared cannot be used anymore”

Now that he mentioned it, most of the people that I saw when I crossed by the Yukari plaza at the beginning had been eliminated.

“What are you going to do? If it is okay, then it would be a lifesaver if you corner her from down there.”

Izumi claimed the charge of the 2nd floor which had the lowest possibility of getting shrewdly attacked from above.

Tachibana made a slight wry smile and nodded.

“I understand. We will be in charge of the first floor.”

Alliance established.

“Don’t pull my leg, Kokonoe!!”

“Fuun. What a noisy guy……!”

Tora said that as if he was spitting and glared at Kigami.

“……………Weren’t we supposed to ambush her again here?”

I held back his voice just in case to avoid letting it reach Kagami and the rest.

“I felt that the atmosphere would get even worse if I refused.”

“…………..Sorry for being bad at being considerate.”

“Fufu, I don’t mind. More importantly, let’s move too, we need to tell Tatsu about the situation as well.”

“Aah, let’s do that.”

Everyone was gathered once Tatsu came down and just when we were about to move, I recalled back the time when I confronted Lilith just now.

“………………That’s it. Everyone, listen. It seems that plan to handle the <<Template:Furigana>> works. But, it’s going to be tough if it is more than 5 meters.”

“Fuun. Then the thing you have to do, is to enter a distance where the plan will work no matter what.”

“That’s true; it is probably limited to closing in the distance between her next time.”

Tachibana nodded at Tora’s response.

“Well, it is a big gain just by knowing that the plan is effective. Next would be-----”

“Kokonoe!! Let’s go already!! I told you not to pull my leg!!”

A angry shout cut into our conversation again.

“Sorry. We were confirming on how to corner her.”

“………Keh.”

After Tachibana replied that while lowering her head, I saw Kigami spit on the ground.

It was quite irritating but, as long as Tachibana put a follow in, there was no way I could tarnish that.

“……………Everyone, let’s go.”

I held it in and pretended to be calm before urging everyone to start moving.

“To-Tooru-kun, can I have a moment…….?”

Right when we were running passed the Center plaza, Miyabi called out in a soft voice.

“Ah…….it was scary right. Sorry.”

“U-un………….”

Miyabi was scared of Kigami’s angry shout during the interchange we had just now.

After I apologized for that, Miyabi swung her head.

“Th-that one is okay…………..but that wasn’t what I wanted to talk about……… …………….. e-err, its about before. ……………yo-you really did not see right?”

It seemed she was still worried about the time when she fell down.

“If I saw then I would not be able to talk to Miyabi while remaining calm.”

“Ah………..I see……….that’s good. Fufu………”

I relaxed a little because of the conversation that felt impossible to be happening in the middle of a practice match-----

The quarrel with Kigami left a slight irritation in my heart but, I felt it disappearing.

“…………Thanks, Miyabi.”

“Eh………..? Ab-about what…..?”

“I just thought it’s great that Miyabi is here.”

“Eh………..!? Gre-great………wha-wha-what do you mean by that……..?”

I only laughed back at Miyabi who was troubled.




We were at the big path connecting the Center plaza and Sora plaza. There was about a distance of 70 meters in between.

While hiding our body behind the stores located in between, we headed towards the 4th plaza----the Sora plaza.

“Alright, Me, Julie and Tatsu will head to the right side. Tachibana and the rest head to the left side while paying attention. Tora, you are the rear guard so be careful of your back.”

Other than a big path that we were going to go through after this in the Center plaza and Sora plaza, there were small paths connected to it too.

If Lilith went through there then, there would be a chance we would get attacked from behind so, the role rear guard right at the back of the line was very important.

Tentatively, the small paths on the 1st and 2nd floor had Kigami’s group on the look out but even so, I couldn’t say it was safe for certain.

“Fuun. You too, be careful not to get ahead of yourself and get shot straight on.”

“None of your business.”

“That goes for you too.”

*Gon* we bumped our fists together and scatter to the left and right path.

Both groups on the 1st and 2nd floor moved.

“It's quiet, Tooru.”

The sound of battle had already stopped echoing and the building was wrapped in silence.

“Aah. Let’s go while cautiously.”

If Lilith was defeated then, someone would probably shout in victory but, that was impossible.

If that was the case then, the chances of Lilith being on overwatch [2F 1] further up was very high; my nervousness got stronger even though I did not want it to.

I lowered my body and dashed towards the store in front while bending down.

There was no gunshot.

I confirmed if there was someone in the shop after entering but, there were no particular problems.

After I made a hand gesture saying it was safe, Julie ran here first and then Tatsu next.

Tachibana was ahead on the opposite side of the path with Miyabi following her back.

Even though we crossed half the distance of the path, we could hear no gunshots.

(It’s about time she is going to snipe…………)

We needed to be cautious of the stairs connected towards the roof at the Sora plaza, Tachibana said this.

But, thinking about the charge immediately at the start, we couldn’t throw away the possibility of a charge attack.

Inside the oppressive feeling created by the nervousness, we slowly got closer to the Sora plaza.

“Tooru. Look at that.”

Further up Julie’s finger------there were 3 guys collapsed frontwards at the plaza.

On half of the stairs heading towards the roof, there were girls collapsed there.

While moving onwards with our cautiousness increased, we kept a look out at the shops while hiding our bodies-----

I got shocked when I saw a female Kouryou uniform.

But, the hair was black and was streaming down to the chest.

Near the girl with black hair, I saw one more girl leaning against the wall.

Both of them were hiding in the shop and probably got found by Lilith.

It seemed there was no one hiding in the shop, and I sent a signal to Julie behind me saying it was alright to advance.

“Tooru. I feel something is strange.”

“Aah, I think so too. If there is no movement until now………”

She was moving outside our expectations again.

That thought passed my mind and hesitation was born.

Hesitation corrupts the concentration ability and a chance would be born-----

That instant was targeted.

A sudden attack came.

“That is no good, Kokonoe Tooru.”

That sudden call out came from a direction I would never expect.

“-----Wha!!”

When I looked behind, the black haired girl was preparing her <<Template:Furigana>>.

“Hesitation in a battle which has already begun is forbidden you know. It would only make a fatal chance. Like this.”

She threw away the black wig which was hiding her Template:Furigana and Lilith made a wry smile.

“I thought this was cliché but, it unexpectedly works.”

The gun was clearly pointed at Julie.

“Julie!!”

The gunshot broke the silence and----

The silver girl dodged the bullet just right.

And at the same time, Tatsu roared and swung down the <<Crescent Blade>>.

---But, Lilith dodged the attack by jumping over Tatsu’s head, and the shelves got mowed down by the <<Crescent Blade>>.

*Kurun*. Lilith spun the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hands.

“Tatsu, dodge it-----!!”

However, my shout was useless and the bullet that was shot pierced Tatsu’s head.

During the time that giant body was collapsing from losing its strength, the gold girl jumped out the shop.

She then ran up the giant ball light in the middle of the path and jumped towards the 2nd floor path.

“Julie, it’s amazing, you dodged that.”

“Ja--. It’s because Tooru confirmed the counter plan was effective.”

“I-I see…………”

I could only be shocked once I heard she used the counter plan meant for a <<Shield>> defense to evade.

“--------Above…….!?”

The voices of Kigami group advancing on the 2nd floor falling into disorder from the sudden attack could be heard.

“Kuh………..! Like hell I will let you do what you want any more than this!!”

After I dashed out the corridor, I kicked the ball light and jumped up from the recoil before grabbing onto the glass fence surrounding the atrium.

After dropping to the 2nd floor, Izumi was down and I saw Lilith’s back while she was thrusting the <<Template:Furigana>> at Kigami further ahead.

“Lilith!!”

“Oh my, why if it isn’t Kokonoe Tooru. You are the main dish so, please keep quiet.”

“Sadly, I am bad with waiting.”

“A guy that can’t wait will get hated by girls you know.”

The moment Lilith said that and was about to put strength into her fingers------

“UooooOOOOO!!”

I shouted with a loud voice while closing the gap.

“------!?”

Lilith moved her sights in reflex, and her hands shook.

The fired bullet scratched near Kigami’s collarbone instead of his head.

Even though Kigami got blown to the floor, it’s not like his consciousness got blown away.

“Kigami, dodge it!!”

I shouted once more while swinging my fist targeted towards Lilith------the rose but, she dodged it.

However, since I swung it down in a manner of charging my body, I got between them with that momentum and prepared my <<Shield>> while covering Kigami.

“Kokonoe! What the hell are you doing!?”

An angry shout came from Kigami behind.

“What do you mean what………you are my comrade so-----is what I wanted to say but, my body moved on its own.”

I did not release my sights from the gold girl while replying.

“You say your body moved on its own?”

“Aah. I refuse to see…….someone getting downed in front of me. That’s why hurry up and run away!”

That scenery from that day in summer carved into my brain moved my body.

Even if I know <<Survive>> was just a practice match, and no one would die.

“………..Damn it…………! Damn it, damn it, damn itt!!”

“------!? Kigami!!”

“Shut up!! Who the hell would run!!”

Instead of running away, Kigami prepared his <<Blaze>> and charged at Lilith.

Of course, Lilith did not stay quiet and prepared her <<Template:Furigana>> before------

Shooting Kigami mercilessly.

“It’s regretful you couldn’t save him. But I am just getting started.”

“………….Are you planning to defeat everyone else first.”

“That’s right. Didn’t I tell you that you are the main dish already?”

I closed in the gaps between Lilith in one go while she was making a smile.

“I won’t let you do that to anyone else!!”

“How persistent. Please keep quiet.”

Just like usual, Lilith rotated her <<Template:Furigana>> and pointed the gun at me.

*GiKiin!!* I blocked the bullet shot at my shoulder with the <<Shield>>.

“I won’t get hit that easily at this distance

When she pointed the gun------I expand my awareness to its maximum and saw through the firing line.

It might be hard to dodge the bullet but, as long as I know the place where she is targeting then I could use the <<Shield>> to block it.

This was the counter-plan I prepared for the <<Template:Furigana>>.

The drawback is, the more the distance between us kept opening, any slight change in her gun’s angle would make a big difference and it would be hard to see through the bullet’s path.

“Not bad……..!!”

After stepping in, I drove in my fist aimed at the rose.

Even though she blocked the attack with the gun’s body, I moved to combination attacks without making any distance.

(I’ll keep pushing her like this!!)

But, Lilith’s calm face did not break and right in the middle of handling my continual attacks skillfully----

*Kurun* she rotated the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hands.

(………What is it!?)

Normally, I should be going for that chance but, my attacking hand got duller because of shock and questions.

Right after I thought the bullet shot in close-range got deflected by my <<Shield>>-----

She gave a flashy low kick like a whip to my legs that had stopped moving.

“Nguh!!”

Lilith did not relax her attacking hand and continued with a front kick.

Even though I blocked it with the <<Shield>> immediately, her goal was not to attack me.

Lilith kicked the <<Shield>> and use that momentum to jump behind and open some distance.

(Oh no, this distance is disadvantageous for me………!!)

If she opened up a distance of more than 5 meter, I would lose the ability to see through the fire line accurately.

At the same time with her firing, I jumped into a nearby shop.

“Fufu, it’s okay even if you don’t run away that pathetically. That was just an intimidation, so I did not aim at you. I already told you that you are the main dish.”

“Kuh…………!”

While hiding in the shop’s shadow, it was in that instant I grinded my teeth knowing that I was being played around with.

“Kokonoe! Let’s retreat for now!! You all too, retreat now and regroup!!”

Even though I could not see her, Tachibana’s voice echoed throughout.

Because of Lilith’s surprise attack, she probably decided our group situation could not fight in cooperation.

Especially, after losing Kigami and Izumi, the remaining people in the group on the 2nd floor became completely agitated.

(I have no choice, I guess I’ll follow Tachibana’s words and retreat……….!)

But, during the moment I was about to retreat------

A silver gale ran passed me.

“Julie!?”

Julie’s long hair fluttered and she chased after Lilith.

“Don’t overdo it, Julie!!”

“Nai. It is okay………!!”

I thought this decision was very unlike Julie who usually fought in a calm manner.

“Ah-ra, you won’t run away? I was planning to let you all go though.”

Lilith pulled the trigger while saying it’s a different story if she came after her.

But, Julie’s response was magnificent.

She dodged the bullet flying at her before kicking the wall and slashed with her <<Template:Furigana>> after closing the gap in one go.

However----

“Your movements are too honest.”

“----!!”

Lilith went above that.

The moment the attacking <<Template:Furigana>> from left and right was about to cross------

The blades bounced off because she used the gun-stock to hit from below.

In that moment, Julie became completely defenseless and------

*DoBo!!*Lilith’s knee thrust towards Julie stomach.

Lilith then continued by giving Julie a sokuto[2F 2] and made her go flying.

“Ka, Haah!!”

Her small body slammed the glass fence and the stainless exterior distorted-----

*Kashaaan*!! The glass broke and Julie’s body got thrown out to the atrium.

“How regretful, Julie=Sigtuna. I expected you to be a little worth hunting but……….”

During the time the fragments of the glass and the Template:Furigana was reflecting the light, the gold girl spun the <<Template:Furigana>>-----and pointed the gun at Julie.

“You ended up unable to be this girl’s power huh, Kokonoe Tooru.”

“Julie-------!!”

“……….This is the end.”

A dry sound echoed and the moment the bullet was about to pierce Julie mercilessly-----

“I won’t let you.”

A shadow ran away with that small body.

After hanging the tip of the <<Template:Furigana>> near the ceiling, Tachibana caught Julie in mid-air with the movement of a pendulum.

Tachibana then landed on the 1st floor like that and while carrying Julie and running pass the ball light and decorative plants to block the <<Template:Furigana>> line of fire.

“Kokonoe! We are retreating!!”

I immediately ran away from the spot at the retreat declaration she made again.

When I looked back at last, Lilith was seeing us off without preparing the <<Template:Furigana>>.

I could easily imagine her making a leisurely smile as usual on that face.



After heading up slightly west from the 4th plaza----the Sora plaza, we entered a store and I took a breather.

“Fuun. Looks like she isn’t coming.”

“………Aah, she probably let us go since it looks like she isn’t coming for us.”

By now, she was probably chasing the 2nd floor group which ran away in a different direction from us.

(Damn it, she is one tough opponent, more than I imagined……….! Her close-combat is quite good and I would never have thought Julie would get countered……….)

“Julie, are you okay?”

“Ja, ja--……...my left shoulder hurts a little but, I am alright.”

Julie replied while staggering.

Behind her, Tachibana made a stern expression.

“………..What do you mean by alright when your shoulders are dislocated. Stay down until emergency treatment.”

“Dislocation, Julie………….! That is why I told you not overdo it…….!”

“……..Sorry.”

Julie became despondent at Tachibana and my frowning face.

“More importantly, we have to treat her shoulder fast. It would be nice if someone has bandages but, does anyone have it?”

“So-sorry. I did not bring with me……….”

Miyabi swung her head at Tachibana’s question and the other members swung their heads next.

“I will go find-------”

“No, I will go find some. Tooru, you go act as a look-out.”

Tora went outside the shop without even hearing my reply.

The moment he went out, [I won’t take long. Leave it to me] he said that.

While thinking this might be true, I made a wry smile and saw Tora’s back off.

“Thank you very much, Tomoe.”

After a while, Tora found the bandages and brought it back and Tachibana performed the emergency treatment.

About the time she was about to take her clothes off, me and Tora went outside to stand guard.

“………..Even if you are treated, please be careful not to force yourself.”

It seems the treatment was over so I entered the shop and Tachibana was making a stern expression.

“Maa-maa, Julie gets that too so you don’t have to say it many times……… more importantly, I have to thank you. Thank you for protecting Julie, Tachibana.”

“Fufu, protecting my comrades……..is…………na-tural………..”

At the same time I thought her voice was weak even though she was smiling--------

Tachibana staggered and drooped towards me.

“Ta-Tachibana!?”

After I caught her in panic, Tachibana’s body relaxed and became heavy, and I noticed her breathing was wild.

“Oi, Tachibana? What is wrong, Tachibanaa, Tachibana--------!!”

Immediately, I found out.

There was a hole opened by a bullet on Tachibana’s uniform.

File:Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 9.jpg

Part 2Edit

There was the sound of a helicopter coming nearer from far away.

It was different from the one Lilith’s personally owned and was a giant tandem type rotor.

On the A La Mode roof, Tsukimi Rito moved her sights from the helicopter up at the skies of Tokyo bay to the special monitor and muttered that.

“It’s going to be the climax soon.”

40 minutes had passed since the commencement of the <<Survive>>-----

Almost every 1st year other than Tooru in the building had been defeated by Lilith.

“That time when silver hair was about to get defeated half-way, I seriously thought what was going to happen.”

“If that happens, it would probably end without showing any good prospects.”

While quietly gazing at the monitor, Sakuya made a bewitching smile and was damping her lips in the milk tea Sara poured for her.

“Oi oi, even if the silver hair is defeated, that <<Irregular>> is still left right?”

“A <<Duo>> with only one wing will not beat her.”

After replying her assertion to her rabbit ear wearing subordinate, Sakuya took another sip of the milk tea.

“………..In the current stage, the both of them are not showing any promise of winning against her in the first place. Even if they were the same people that drove them away.”

“Seriously, that is one unthinkable dryness from a little kid………….ah---, by the way, I am changing the topic.”

“What is it?”

“Is that your invitee, director?”

Rito pointed to the sky and asked.

The giant wheel type helicopter floating up at the sky. It was something that could be seen at the bay coast from just now.

“At the very least, I don’t remember inviting them.”

“……….That goes for me too.”

The guy---Mikuni who had been keeping silent until now, opened his mouth.

“Fuu, how regretful………it looks like we have no time to see the long-awaited Climax.”

Sakuya made a sigh before leaving the last part of the sentence and stood up.




Around 20 brawny men got off from the helicopter.

All of the men were in exaggerated outfits, they wore helmets that only showed the mouth part, armor that covered their chest and arms on top of their Template:Furigana, and they were holding assault rifles in their hands.

“That is a team I have not seen before.”

Mikuni said that after the men separated into left and right making a path without any useless movements.

Mikuni, who has various information connections, had all the special teams and organizations in the world in his head----- but the men standing in front of him were unknown to him.

However, Mikuni and Sakuya did not show any signs of discomposure like it were only natural.

Soon, there were 2 people walking through the center of the men in a relaxed manner.

One of them was like the men lined up along the left and right, he was wearing a battle suit but, he was wearing a different helmet from the others and was exposing his face.

His age was probably around Tooru’s. It was a Caucasian teenager with arrow sharp pair of eyes.

The other one was a lean old man dressed in white clothing.

The color of the base of his white hair could not be defined but, judging from his blue eyes and tall nose, it could be guessed that he was a westerner.

After the men stopped, Sakuya took a step forward and picked up her skirt to take a curtsy.

“First time meeting you all, my visitors. What kind of business do you all have in Japan?”

“Whaat, just a little stroll.”

The old man was the one that answered Sakuya’s question.

“*Kusu**Kusu* Don’t joke. A stroll is something you do with your own legs.”

“Fuhaha, that’s a harsh one. Well then………….how about having a talk with the youngsters about society while I am sightseeing?”

“Yes, gladly if that is the case.”

Even though she was in front of a weird scenery of a group of men holding guns, Sakuya was not showing any signs of cowardice.

“However well, I was seriously scared that we might be shot down when we were landing.”

“No, it’s because this is Japan. It would be a big commotion if we do something that dangerous.”

“Hahaha, that’s true too. No wonder that man is in such light clothing.”

“That’s because there was no need for it………….”

Having his sights directed to him, Mikuni answered.

It was only natural to be in light clothing.

There was no need for the <<Exceed>>’s to carry weapons such as guns.

“I see, I see. I guess this is the famous <<Exceed>> from the rumors like I thought.”

The old man said the word that should be impossible for a normal person to know and *Pan**Pan* made a short clap.

However, Sakuya and the rest were not surprised at all.

It’s normal. There was no way a team of normal people would bring guns along with them.

“Oya, I thought you would show some response but…………….”

“Sorry to not meet your expectations……….by the way, is it about time you named yourself? Or should we name ours first?”

“Fuhaha, I don’t need you to do that, Tsukumo Sakuya-dono. No should I call you-----the <<Template:Furigana>>.”

“…………….”

Sakuya moved her expression at this point for the first time.

“There is a reaction like I thought. Iyaa, this is good, this is good.”

Although it was slight, she did show her surprise and the old man was laughing very happily like he succeeded in his prank.

“Sorry for the late introduction. I am <<Equipment smith>>-----Edward=Walker. This unannounced visit was because I wanted to meet the witch I heard of from the rumors.”

“-----I apologize for not knowing a person from <<Rein>>. I am honored to meet you, <<Equipment Smith>>-sama.”

Sakuya bowed her head once more with a smile.

Even though she heard the old-man’s nickname, she had yet determined what kind of organization the men in front was affiliated with.

Enemy------it’s not like they are. At the very least, at the current point that is.

But, it’s true that it was an organization that they should be cautious about and originally, it would be normal to start exchanging a conversation without obstacle to search each others intentions but-------

“Hey, Jii-san[2F 3]. Forget the sluggish conversation already and let’s get to the point. I will become sleepy if you continue blabbing useless words.”

Just like her words, Rito made a large yawn in a bored manner,

The old man who called himself <<Equipment smith>> opened his eyes wide at the comment and actions of a person unable to read the atmosphere and-------

“Fuhahahahaha!! That is harsh. Ha—hahahahaha!!”

He placed his hand on his forehead and made a big laugh.

“I apologize for my subordinate.”

“Iya Iya, it is an old-man’s bad habit to make the conversation long. I will follow the rabbit ear Ojou-san and enter the real topic to avoid boring the <<Template:Furigana>>.”

While making the smile of a good nature old-man, Edward started talking about the real reason why he suddenly appeared in front of Sakuya.

“If I have to put in one word then it’s about making an alliance. <<Template:Furigana>>-dono, I want to borrow your power.”

“……….You jest.”

“Iya Iya, I am really serious. I am an old friend with your grandfather. I understand his amazingness more than anyone else and inheriting that thick blood of his, I have also heard of how magnificent you are. That is why; I am paying my respect and came to pick you up personally.”

“---------I see, grandfather’s………….but how regretful, my answer will not change.”

Sakuya’s answer *Hohoou* made Edward mumbled shortly.

“No matter what?”

Sakuya made a small nod in a natural manner at the question again.

“Fumu, how regretful. You, your grandfather and I are quite close------because of that, I thought it would be possible to work together but……..let me see, this would mean-----”

“Now that the deal is off, you will use force and take our director away-----right?”

In an instant, Rito continued in the part that got opened.

“Fuhahahaha!! You sure said something interesting.”

“Kuhah, but I am right, right?”

“It is just as you say, rabbit ear Ojou-san. And incidentally-----”

Edward sent his sight to the teen standing behind him.

“I am having difficulties finding a practical use of the <<Power>> I gave them. If the opponent is the famous <<Exceed>> then, it would be something that would occur easily even if I wish for it.”

“Nice nice, that confidence. I really can’t get enough of it.”

In the vigor of almost licking her lips, Rito revealed her happiness.

“Well then, <<K>>-kun. I’ll leave the rest to you. Please be careful not to hurt <<Template:Furigana>>-dono even if it is a mistake.”

After Edward went to the back, the Caucasian teen-----<<K>> gave orders to the men at the side.

“You, take around 2 people into the building with you. Remember to secure the Bristol daughter. If she resists then, It is okay to hurt her as long as she does not die.”

“………..Oh my, do you have any business with Lilith?”

“Naturally. There are a lot of ways to use her.”

“I won’t recommend you using her if you are going to make a trade with Dawn organization. No matter if she is the <<Exception>> they would easily throw her away if it produces an unprofitable situation.”

“I don’t mind. Even if I don’t use her for the trade, she is a target the <<Equipment Smith>>-dono has taken a good interest in.-----okay, go!!”

3 men entered the building by <<K>>'s order.

“Errrr, what’s left is……….15 people huh. Kuhah, you’re going to need 100 times more than that if you are going to take me on.”

“As expected from the <<Exceed>>. Rather than getting scared from this number of opponents, you say that there is an absolute difference in power…………..then, I will work hard to give you the enjoyment.”

<<K>> spread both his hands out and showed a fearless smile.

Although it was in a polite way, it was unpleasant to hear <<K>> words which had hypocritical courtesy felt in it.

“That’s because we are also existences that transcend humans too.”

Immediately, the group of men in the surrounding scattered around in a speed unthinkable for normal people and surrounded Sakuya and the rest.

“…………...Strengthen armor I guess.”

The moment the group of men moved, Mikuni did not miss the slight machine sound coming from their armor.

“It is still in the prototype stage without the adjustments made yet.”

“Kuhah. Interesting.”

Rito made a distorted smile and manifested her <<Template:Furigana>>.

“To show respect to that expression that looks down on others, I will seriously beat the shit out of you.”

But------

“Stop, Rito.”

It was her master that stopped Rito.

“Now that you have no <<Level Limit>> placed on you, the building will get destroyed if you go all out.”

“Incidentally let me say this, your <<Blaze>> stands out a lot, it will be annoying to fix the after-effects for me.”

Being told by her master and her superior, Rito made a sullen face.

“Rito. You and I will protect Sara. Mikuni, please present them the time of silence.”

After Rito stood down, Mikuni manifested his <<Blaze>>.

After seeing the <<Soul>> weapon that appeared in his hands, <<K>> made a scornful smile.

“I think this is impossible but, are you going to take on all of us with that seedy-looking <<Stiletto>>.”

“Seedy-looking huh……………rather, let me tell you something, I am very unsatisfied about the thought of you able to take on an awakened <<Exceed>> with that level of power. And one more thing----”

“------!! That’s ………..!?”

Immediately at that strange scenery--------

<<K>> gasped when he saw the 12 <<Stiletto>> floating around Mikuni.

Mikuni answered with both his hands spread out.

“I have 13 blades.”



Chapter 7: Give Me 《Soul》Edit

Part 1Edit

“Sorry…………….I, became a hindrance………..”

Tachibana was lying on the floor painfully and said that apologetically.

It seems the mental damage she received when she got shot by the <<Soul>> was quite something.

On top of being shot in her stomach, she was attacked with a strong fatigue and barely maintaining her consciousness was all she could do.

“I am sorry. It’s because I got close recklessly………….”

“You don’t have to mind it-------I guess it’s probably useless if I say that. That’s why, instead of an apology………..I will say I would be happy that you give me a report of the victory……….”

“…………That’s what she said, Julie.”

“Ja,Ja-----! I will win, definitely………….!!”

Tachibana smiled when Julie strengthened her determination again, and made a strong vow.

“Fufu, there is no reason to get that worked up………………rather, I think Julie was somehow worked up from the beginning of today……….if not, you would not have chased her that far during that time……….Did something happen, Julie?”

“……….Nai. Nothing.”

It was only for an instant, but Julie sent her gaze over to me.

(------? Just now………….)

Behind me Miyabi and Tora, and of course Tachibana who was in front of me, were looking downwards so they did not notice the movements of her gaze.

“………………I guess she got too worked up because the opponent is a strong one, right?”

“Fufu, I see. If that is the case then, Julie has one unexpected side to her huh………….”

After I made a random follow up after seeing Julie’s state, it seemed Tachibana was satisfied with that.

“But Julie, I feel that your weapon is speed……………and the coolness to see it through in an instant. I hope you will not forget that and go into battle……….”

“Ja---. Thank you for the advice, Tomoe.”

*Pekori* around the time Julie lowered her head, a gunshot could be heard from quite far away.

Either someone who was running away from the spot or who was hiding was defeated.

“I wonder how many people are left…………”

Miyabi muttered that in anxiousness.

“I don’t know. But, it won’t be weird for Lilith to be coming to this west side.”

That is why we have to make some kind of plan before then or else we have only a slim chance at victory.

“Understanding the situation is first -------our battle strength is, me, Julie, Miyabi and Tora. These 4 people.”

Julie could only swing her right hand due to the influence of the fracture.

Although Miyabi’s <<Template:Furigana>> was a trustworthy power, it's reckless to charge directly at the <<Template:Furigana>>.

I can’t think of anything now but, I included the methods we could use before moving to the next confirmation.

“Like I thought, I think we should use the difference in numbers. The only ones able to keep up with her movements are me, Julie and Tora, so I think it is appropriate for the 3 of us to surround her and fight.”

“Fuun.”

“Don’t say that. That is why; we have to think of a way to surround Lilith.”

“………….I think the Sora plaza is a good spot.”

I agreed with Julie’s comment.

It's because they cannot use the advantage of having more numbers, if they fought in a narrow place just like what happened in the 2nd encounter.

“The problem is the <<Template:Furigana>> counter-plan but, I don’t know if I can bring her to an effective range……..”

This is something we wouldn’t know unless we tried it out.

“Please be careful if you get close too. Her taijutsu is quite something.”

I nodded while recalling the fight from just now.

Although it was close quarter combat that I'm good with, I could only get one hit in.

Forget that, I was the one that was getting attacked.

If what I took was a bullet instead of a blocking then, everything would have ended at that point.

(Well, since she is thinking of leaving me as the main dish, she probably did not use the <<Template:Furigana>> as a method to slow me down………)

It was thinkable that the reason why she aimed for my shoulders instead of my head or chest was because of that.

(Hnn…..?)

Suddenly, something caught on.

“Fuun. <<Template:Furigana>> and Taijutsu…………seriously, what a nasty woman. On top of that, it is annoying that she keeps showing her easiness.”

“Ahh. That <<Template:Furigana>> rotating habit…………..--------!”

The moment I replied to Tora, I noticed what caught on to me.

It was the weird feeling that I had during the offense and defense exchange.

(Why does Lilith let that habit appear during close-combat…….!?)

Although one mistake would cause the rose on her chest to scatter and result in her loss.

Was it done unconsciously, or---------

She has to do that movement?

(-------!!)

I felt all the pieces fit into place.

Was the movement Lilith kept showing to us until now really a habit?

If my imagination was correct--------

I recalled back to Lilith’s back during the time in <<Survive>> and the previous <<Kouryou battle>>.

(Lilith normally………….no, wait………..)

“Tooru-kun………?”

Miyabi called out to me when I suddenly got quiet.

“Sorry, I was thinking. More importantly everyone, listen to me………..this is just a possibility but------”

I turned my face to everyone and said the rest.

“We might be able to win.”



Julie and Tora went out of the shop to get into position.

“Miyabi, I leave the rest to you.”

“U-un…………..Tooru-kun and the rest please work hard too.”

I then talked to Tachibana who was lying down behind Miyabi who nodded.

“Alright then, you have to endure a little more so work hard.”

“Aah, I understand…………..I will only rest after I get report of the victory……..”

Although it was weak, she made a promising answer.

“I am heading off now.”


After I reached the Sora plaza, I went and took my position in the center.

Small paths connected to the main path and what’s more, since this was part of the 1st floor atrium, this spot could be seen clearly from the 2nd floor.

In a different way, this spot was also a place where surprise attacks could hardly work and I was wary of sniping.

I would stop Lilith here and Julie and Tora who were hiding around her would come out and complete the surrounding.

(After we bring it to that situation, it will finally be the start line…………..)

After that, it would be a tightrope walking with the rope worn and patched up.

Will we really cross this rope?

No matter which it was, all we had to do now was wait for Lilith to appear-----

“Tooru…………..”

“Julie. You have to be hiding.”

The silver girl showed herself from her hiding spot.

Coming from 3 sides was important otherwise we would not be able to surround her if we were together like this.

“I am sorry. I really wanted to tell you something……….so please, just for a while………..”

I could not say [leave the talk to when the <<Survive>> ends] when Julie looked so apologetically.

“………….Is your body okay?”

“Ja---.it’s a little heavy though.”

“I see………..sorry, to force you like this.”

“Nai. More importantly, I just don’t want to get spotted.”

After saying that, Julie touched her own chest.

The current Julie certainly has slower movements than usual.

Whether or not that reason could or could not be noticed could become one of the turning points for the battle.

“So, what do you want to talk about?”

“It’s about the words Tomoe said just now------about me getting worked up.”

Although Tachibana agreed with the follow up I made, I think there was something.

Our time together was not so shallow that I did not feel anything from the sights Julie had shown to me in that instant.

“It is just as what Tomoe said. I got worked up. I got worked up at that person……….”

“…………Is it perhaps the <<Duo>> matter?”

*Chirin* Julie nodded and the bells rang.

“Tooru refused that invitation and that person got angry too. But, if Tooru and that person have a relationship of accepting each other in this <<Survive>> then…….”

“Did you think I would bring up being a <<Duo>> with Lilith?”

“…………..Ja---”

*Chirin* Julie nodded and the bells rang.

(I see. That’s why-----)

The fact that the number of times we slept together increased ever since I told her about the <<Duo>> invitation.

The fact she said to win which was different from the <<Template:Furigana>>.

The fact that, she said she would wait for me even though I told her it was okay to go on ahead.

The fact that she headed towards Lilith, even though I told her not to overdo it, to stop her.

The reason why Julie kept doing those actions and saying words unlike herself was a way to show her feelings of wanting to be by my side.

At the same time when I understood the consistency, I thought the silver girl was very cute.

That was why I------

“Ah…………”

I patted Julie’s head gently.

“I told Julie that I am happy to be with you. Those words are not lies. It definitely is true, and will stay that way.”

“Tooru…………”

“Are you relieved already?”

“Ja,Ja----”

I once again patted her head after Julie nodded.

“Okay. Now that you are relieved, you should get spirited again. However, don't overdo it or you will end up too worked up you know? That’s because we have to report We won, to Tachibana who is working hard.”

“Ja,Ja---……!!”

It was at that moment Julie made a strong nod.

“………….Did you forget that we are in the middle of <<Survive>> now?”

““-------------!!””

An utterly amazed voice came down suddenly.

When I looked up-----at the direction of the voice, a beautiful girl with a red rose attached on her chest and has Template:Furigana and Template:Furigana, was sitting on the glass fence while folding her legs and was looking down at us.

She was not holding her <<Template:Furigana>> and was not showing any intentions of wanting to fight immediately.

“That’s a surprise, when have you been there………?”

“I am quite good in erasing my presence. That’s because it's important for the hunt.”

*Fu**Fu* she laughed while narrowing her eyes.

“And of course, that goes for detecting presence too.”

“………..Did you eliminate everyone else.”

“That’s right. That is why I came to take the main dish. By the way-----”

Right in the middle of her words, Lilith jumped up to and took one spin before landing on the plaza without making almost any sound.

“Let’s stop the slow parts okay. I came taking on the invitation so, I think you should come out too you know?”

“Fuun. You really are taking this easy.”

Tora showed himself from the store he hid in, at Lilith’s words.

“Well, it’s predictable that he would be nearby.”

“Isn’t that obvious. Attacking from many directions is effective if you fight an opponent with a <<Template:Furigana>>.”

“Haha, you are going to accompany us even though you know all that, what an energetic service.”

“That’s because it’s more interesting that way. By the way-----”

After giggling, Lilith looked at our faces.

“What about the other two?..............even though I said that, one of them should have gotten hit by a bullet and the other one looks slow so, I guess you decided that they won’t become battle strength and left them.”

Inside the 2nd battle, it seems she was calmly observing the movements and reactions of the surroundings.

“You really looked carefully huh. But, Tachibana and Miyabi are-----”

“They are fighting with us.”

Julie interrupted me by saying that and placed her hand on her chest.

“Like your hearts are together? I don’t hate those types of sentimental feelings.”

It was slight but, the smile disappeared from the gold girl.

“Strong feelings becomes <<Power>>………….that is what I believe.”

Although it was soft, those words were filled with a strong will.

It could be felt that she was burdened with something judging by the atmosphere which was different from usual.

“Well then, let’s begin already. The Template:Furigana of this <<Template:Furigana>>!”

“Just like I promised, I will go all-out………..!!”

“I will make you know how useless you are even if you go all-out!!”

The gold girl placed her hands on the <<Astar>> on her chest and shouted.

“<<Blaze>>!!”

At the same time the <<Template:Furigana>> manifested in Lilith’s hand, Tora and Julie ran to the left and right with me in the center.

Lilith was the one who took the initiative.

The same time the gun shot and I deflected the bullet with the <<Shield>>, our offense and defense state reversed because Tora and Julie jumped in.

After dodging the <<Template:Furigana>> Julie’s <<Saber>> was next.

*JaKiin*!! However the blade was stopped by the gun’s frame.

“It was a somewhat rough sword skill but, it was a heavy and good attack. But-------your movements are duller than before. Since you are only using one hand and sword, it would mean that there is quite some damage left I guess.”

Seeing through Julie’s movement turning dull in an instant, Lilith guessed the level of injury she had.

In a blink of an eye, she rotated the <<Template:Furigana>> before, pointing the gun towards Julie this time.

However, the silver girl that had regained her inherent coolness guessed the line of fire from the gun and dodged the bullet.

“It’ll be a problem if you forget about me!!”

At that moment, Tora once again took a side sweep with the <<Template:Furigana>> and cut the air.

“Of course, I did not forget.”

At the same time as those words, she rotated her <<Template:Furigana>> and pointed the gun at Tora this time.

“Guh……….!!”

Tora evaded his body from the shooting line immediately but, he distorted his expression.

That’s because Lilith kicked his side stomach like an elastic whip.

She used the <<Template:Furigana>> as a feint and countered, this made Tora’s body float for an instant.

I switched with the staggering Tora and attacked.

“How about this!!”

I repeatedly showered a left jab and a right back knuckle but, it all hit the air with her bending her body.

---But, right after that, Lilith flipped up her leg while making a swaying posture.

The somersault kick scratched by my cheek and I stopped.

At that point, she landed and pointed the gun at me.

“Kuh……!!”

I immediately flipped the gun frame and diverted the gun; the bullet scratched my cheek.

Julie then closed the gap and made a pincer attack with me.

It was a hectic switch from between offense and defense.

But, Lilith’s rose was not showing any signs of scattering from our fierce attacks.

Although it was good that we took Lilith’s position, the biggest problem was the <<Template:Furigana>> existence.

She flashed the rifle that could make us unable to continue if we suffered a clean hit, and used it as an intimidation to make our step-in duller.

“What are you doing, Tooru, Julie!!”

An irritated Tora jumped in between the attack but, his movements were clearly slower than usual.

It seems he was in pain from the kick but, Tora did not say it hurt and unleashed an attack.

“Seriously, you are all so restless.”

Lilith said it in a tired voice and was still showing a leisurely smile even though she was in this overly disadvantageous situation of 3 vs 1.

But even so, the momentum for victory was slowly leaning towards us.

While we were attacking from all directions, Lilith had to be constantly conscious of all 3 of our movements and could only maintain a defensive stance, thus slowly cutting her breath away.

“Eat this!!”

Even though Tora crouched and made a spin kick, it hit nothing because Lilith dodged it easily with a back step.

---But. The moment she landed, *Kurun* she folded her knees.

The fatigue finally reached her legs.

“This is the end………..!”

It was a once in a lifetime chance and Julie sliced down to finish her but--------

Lilith smiled in an instant.

“It’s a fake.”

“------!?”

She went for the finish but since it was a large swing attack, it got dodged again with a back step.

“Too bad, Julie=Sigtuna.”

A big opening would appear if a big swing was performed, and she shot at that part.

*Giin*!! But, I got between the girls and deflected the bullet with the <<Shield>>.

“That too bad goes for you too, Lilith. The <<Template:Furigana>> won’t work at this distance!!”

“…………Not bad, Kokonoe Tooru. But------”

Lilith swiftly rotated the <<Template:Furigana>> in her hands.

“Don’t think the same trick will work forever!”

In an instant, I focused on the gun’s direction and placed my <<Shield>> in the shooting line.

“------What!?”

The moment it shot-----I saw it.

That the gun slightly lowered and the shooting line changed.

I was able to see through the gun’s direction because of the distance until now.

But for this time, due to it being close, my body could not react in time to the sudden change of the line of fire.

“Guaa……………!!”

I shouted at the pain at my right thigh that felt like a nail had pierced through it.

“The tables have turned huh.”

I fell to my knee and Lilith said it happily.

[Tooru!!][Tooru!!]

“Don’t come!!”

I stopped both of them with my hand.

“If the 3 of us gather at one spot, then we won’t be able to win even though we can win.”

“Tooru…………”

“Oh my, are you still planning to win in this situation?”

*Kurun* she rotated the Rifle and the gold girl smiled.

(It’s just as I thought………….)

Not limited to this fight, and even during the <<Kouryou battle>>, Lilith would definitely show that habit once the <<Template:Furigana>> shoots.

I then found out there was something that could be guessed from that.

That, Lilith was unable to continuously fire the <<Template:Furigana>>.

The <<Template:Furigana>> user Kibitsu said, that she had to manifest the arrow by imaging herself taking an arrow out from the quiver.

So I thought, Lilith had to reload too by using the rotation movement of the <<Template:Furigana>>.

And more importantly, it would be very clear that she would enjoy the fight more if she was able to fire continuously, and there was no way she would not fire continuously without a reason.

“Tooru, are you okay?”

I did not avert my eyes from Lilith and listened to Julie.

“………Moving like normal looks impossible huh.”

Although the pain was gone already since this was a <<Blaze>> attack, the part that got shot felt heavy.

(It would have been great if the three of us cornered her then………..)

“You all look beaten up but, are you all still going to work hard?”

I lost my legs; Julie lost her shoulders and Tora’s ribs are probably hurting.

Even if we continued fighting, forget cornering her, we would probably just be waiting to lose.

(……………Which means, there is only one thing left to do.)

I made my determination and looked straight at the Template:Furigana and answered.

“That’s true…………Let’s end this already.”

“Yes. It is a little regretful but--------everything must have an ending.”

The gold girl prepared the <<Template:Furigana>>------

And I prepared myself too.

I pulled back my fist like I am going to shoot a bow and charged up.

Julie and Tora jumped to the left and right respectively at that signal.

“Just now, you asked that was I still planning to win right? Aah, that’s what I am planning to do. We will------Win!!”

Together with a roar, I released my strength.

Towards my own feet.

*Pikiiiiiiii!!* The Template:Furigana released with the <<Template:Furigana>>’s strength making a crater.

“Wha……….!?”

Small and large fragments flew around and Lilith jumped back in reflex.

The moment I confirmed that, I looked upwards and shouted.

“Now, Miyabi------!!”

“Teyaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh-----!!”

A loud shout echoed in the building.

Coming from the stairs heading towards the roof on top of the Sora plaza, Miyabi was holding the <<Template:Furigana>> and was charging-----no, was jumping down.

“------!! You’ve thought of that!!”

The Template:Furigana was to limit the directions Lilith could run away to.

Next off would be Miyabi who was standing-by performing a lance charge downwards for an ambush but, the plan I prepared did not end here.

Rather, I was convinced Lilith would not let this end and continued the plan.

Lilith responded to my expectations by dodging the lance charge and------

Almost at the same time, Julie and Tora charged at her.

“This timing………..! I can’t evade!?”

Lilith guessed our intentions in an instant and the leisurely smile disappeared from her expression.

Even if she defeated one of them, the remaining person would definitely bring her down by attacking the opening due to the reload.

This is what we aimed for……..!!

“I won’t……….be defeated!!”

The gun was pointed at Tora.

Even though Tora dodged the bullet immediately, it scratched his head and broke his balance before falling down.

Julie then slipped into the gap.

She aimed for this instant that Lilith had not finished reloading yet.

“It will finish with this………!”

In that moment-----Lilith smiled.

“…………You are the one that will be finished, Julie=Sigtuna.”

“-----!?”

The moment Julie swung down her <<Saber>>, Lilith thrust the <<Template:Furigana>> which was not reloaded yet towards Julie’s chest-----

Almost the same time the blade was about to dig into her upper arm, she pulled the trigger.

*Zutaan*………..!! A dry sound echoed throughout and Julie’s small body got blown away before----

She fell to the floor.

“How regretful, it was a fake. Did you think I need to reload?”

Lilith sent a sidelong glance towards me while making a smile.

It was a trap from the start.

She skillfully prepared a sweet lie by making us think that she reloaded by rotating the <<Template:Furigana>> starting from the <<Kouryou battle>>, and made us aim for that chance.

But-----

“I predicted that possibility too.”

“Eh……….!?”

Lilith showed an outwitted expression when she saw me lifting the side of my mouth.

“I am saying that I saw through the lie and disclosed the truth!!”

Immediately-----

*Chirin* the bell rang.

Lilith turned around and------her Template:Furigana was filled with surprise.

She saw the silver girl flying in the sky with one black wing.

“Wha….!?”

*Zan*!! The brandish got through faster than Lilith pulling the trigger.

“With this……….it’s checkmate.”

The <<Template:Furigana>> left the gold girl’s hand-----and dropped to the floor.

“N-no way……….I'm sure I shot through your chest-----…………!! That’s!!”

Lilith noticed.

She noticed the existence of the <<Chain>> making a dull glow inside the hole she made on Julie’s uniform.

“No way, you wrapped that around your body…………so that’s why your movements got duller.”

Lilith said that while touching her cut right arm with her left hand.

“So there are 2 ambushers huh………..even I will fall for that.”

Lilith moved her sights towards <<Template:Furigana>> that fell to the ground, and made a sigh of admiration.

Yes, it was just as what Julie said just before the fight, we were fighting together with not only Miyabi but also with Tachibana too.

“Tachibana’s hard work profited.”

The <<Blaze>> would disappear if she faints-------and that’s the reason why I told her to work hard.

“……………Fuun. Don’t forget I went along with your plan.”

Maybe it was from the impact from getting grazed from the bullet; Tora was placing his hand on his head while saying that.

In order to make Lilith shoot continuously and to make her get deluded that I was deceived, so we had him take up a role to do it.

Similarly, although it was great that the ground got destroyed by my Template:Furigana but, the skin on my fist tore because it was not able to withstand the impact and was stained with the blood that spurted out.

“………………I really thought you got deceived.”

“It’s true that I was deceived at first………….but I recalled back. That last time, I saw Lilith shooting the <<Template:Furigana>> in A La Mode.”

That time, Lilith pulled the trigger without any gaps in between.

Then why did she start that action at the <<Kouryou battle>>.

It’s obvious. She started it to fight me in this <<Survive>>.

There was a reason why she did not fire continuously.

The reason why she did this was to flip the table, right before the moment I'm convinced of my victory.

“Lilith. Continuing this anymore now that you can’t hold the <<Template:Furigana>> is unreasonable.”

It seems Lilith was having a hard time lifting her arm because it got slashed by Julie, so if we kept fighting like this, there was no chance for her to win.

“………………………”

“Lilith. It’s over-----”

“I won’t say it twice.”

“Eh……..?”

Those Template:Furigana shot towards me-----and she made her move.

“………….Not yet.”

There was a strong will of light coming from her eyes.

“I won’t give up!!”

“-------!!”

The gold girl kicked up the <<Template:Furigana>>.

Her right arm could not move because it got slashed.

But even so she still grabbed the <<Template:Furigana>>, even though it is going to be hard to move her left hand because of the damage in her upper arm.

“Kuh……..!”

I immediately pulled back my fist stained with my blood and took a stance.

(I can scatter the rose with the Template:Furigana impact wave if it is in this distance!!)

Lilith put strength into the finger pulling the trigger and the moment I was about to release the power stored in my fist------

*Bannn*!! A different dry sound from Lilith’s <<Template:Furigana>> echoed and at the same time, I received an impact on my shoulders before dropping to my knees.

“Ga,aah…….!?”

It was slightly late but, a scorching heat and pain attacked.

“Uu, Guh, aah……….Wha-what……..?”

After I turned behind while withstanding the pain, there were 3 guys standing there with Template:Furigana on.

The guy in the middle was holding a pistol and there was gunpowder smoke coming off the muzzle.

(This guy……….shot me……!?)

“That was too close for comfort huh. Lilith=Bristol.”

The guy called Lilith’s name in a cheeky voice.

“Lilith…………..who are these people……..?”

Even though I asked while pressing my shoulder which was twitching in pain, she swung her head.

“I don’t know. Who are you all? What do you all want!?”

*Kii* Lilith glared at them while demanding the group of men to reveal their identity.

“The <<Equipment Smith>>-dono’s subordinate------you should understand if I answer that right? We came to pick you up as ordered by sir.”

It seems Lilith got an idea from the man’s reply and was taken aback for a moment.

But she immediately reverted her expression and pointed the gun at the group of men.

“………..I refuse. I don’t have the duty to follow someone who rudely stepped into my dance party with those dirty feet. And if you wanted to escort me in the first place then, start with sending an invitation first.”

“Ya-re Ya-re…………that’s your answer after having me walk all the way down here.”

“I don’t remember asking you all to pick me up.”

“……………Hey you guys. What did sir ask us to do in this type of situation?”

“If she resists then, we give her a beating as long as she doesn't die before bringing her up, was what he said. Kehihii.”

The guy behind made a nasty laugh.

“-----Looks like it.”

Faster than his words, the guy pulled the trigger.

But------

*Jigiinn*………!! The leader guy raised his eyebrows, when the bullet got deflected by the <<Shield>>.

The guy asked in a pissed manner when I stood in between Lilith and him.

“………..What are you doing, brat.”

“I don’t know what’s going on but, Lilith is our classmate. More importantly, I will be troubled if you bring her away before our battle is settled.”

“Kokonoe Tooru………”

“You’ve said it, Tooru. I will not forgive a victory from a time up because that woman got dragged away.”

“It is just as Tooru says. That’s why------we will protect this person.”

Julie and Tora stood beside me.

“You brats. I will have you know the price for acting like a hero.”

Gunshot’s echoed one after another.

“Whaaat………!?”

Even with all that, I blocked it with the <<Shield>> and the guy was surprised.

“Unfortunately, I got trained quite a bit by Lilith today.”

“………….Even if you all are brats, you all are still <<Exceed>> huh. But………..how about this!!”

The guy prepared an assault rifle this time instead of a pistol.

“------This is bad!! Julie, Tora, get away!!”

It’s okay if it was a single shot but, it was impossible to block random shooting like I thought.

“Kyaaa!?”

I immediately carried Lilith and jumped to the side and Julie and Tora jumped away too.

[Tora, I leave the left to you……….!][Fuun, I know!!]

Almost at the same time they regained their posture, Julie and Tora jumped towards the guy.

But the 2 guys standing-by behind the leader stood in front of Julie and Tora and------

Blocked Julie’s <<Saber>> and Tora’s<<Template:Furigana>> with a knife.

“Not even a budge……!?”

It was not surprising for Tora to be surprised. Different from our looks, our physical strength enhanced by the <<Lucifer>> could not even be compared with normal humans.

“Kuku………did you think you that were the only existence that transcends humans?”

“What did you say……..!?”

The moment he felt shaken at that devastating statement, Tora was kicked away and Julie got grabbed on the arms before being swung around and got slammed to the ground.

However, the shocking part of the guys in Template:Furigana had only begun.

“Fast…….!?”

Julie’s expression changed.

That’s because, Tsukimi was the only person faster than her until now.

Those guys had speed that could not be caught up by Julie, even if her body was at her top condition.

Having their speed and powers exceeded, the guys freely attacked with their assault rifle and knife quickly cornering the both of them into a predicament.

“Julie!! Tora-----!!”

“Oooto, I am your opponent.”

The moment I directed my senses towards the both of them, the leader stood in front of me.

Although I was going to immediately use Template:Furigana, the shoulder that got shot started to hurt and I couldn't put any strength into it.

“Ku, ah………!!”

I drove my fist in like that but, it got blocked with one hand easily.

“Is the <<Exceed>> only this level?”

*Mishiri*…………..He put in strength into his fist to crush mine and I raised a shout from my throat.

The guy showed his teeth and laughed.

“I’ll teach you this, brat. This is how you punch someone……….!!”

*Doboo*!!My stomach got crushed from the impact he punched up to my stomach, and I throw up the air in my lungs.

“Ka…….ha,a………!!”

Another existence transcending humans other than <<Exceed>>.

After I got to my knees from that tremendous power, my chin was kicked upwards.

“Guah…….!!”

I got blown away and fell to the ground pathetically.

“To-Tooru-kun…….!!”

“Do-don’t come here, Miyabi………! Run away………!!”

Even though I shouted to Miyabi who was running towards me, the leader’s moves were faster.

He grabbed her arm, and Miyabi got caught.

“Kyaaaa!? L-let go!!”

“Kuku…………..This is a <<Exceed>> even though it’s like this. Looks like she’s quite strong but, she is no different than a little girl to us.”

The leader twisted Miyabi’s wrist to restrain her before pushing the pistol to her head.

“Hii…..!?”

“It’s noisy so stop shouting………….alright, the other brats stop resisting!!”

The battle concluded at this point.

Julie and Tora who were still putting up a fight, saw Miyabi getting captured before throwing their <<Blaze>> away.

“Wasting my time, squirming around like that!!”

Tora got sent flying by the guy he was confronting.

The other guy again, raised his fist at Julie.

“St……..Sto-p……………!”

“Wait!!”

The one that stopped that fist, was none other than Lilith.

“…………….I will go with you all quietly. That’s why; I will have you stop laying your fingers on my classmates any more than this.”

“What if I say no?”

“Your goal is to bring me back without killing me right?”

After saying that, Lilith took the fragment of the ground------and thrust the sharp part to her own throat.

“Release your dirty hands from that girl.”

“Okay okay. I’ll do that if you come with us quietly. But-----”

The leader pushed Miyabi aside to release her.

However, the guy remained pointing the gun at Miyabi while walking closer to Lilith----

*Paan* a dry sound was produced when he slapped the gold girl’s cheek.

“You have to calm that mouth of yours too, Bristol’s Ojou-san.”

“I’ll leave it at that.”

Lilith made an angry glare at the guy that was *Niya**Niya* smiling happily.

“Okay then, we will have you go up like this.”

He pushed to the gun to Lilith’s back and the group of men were about to leave the Sora plaza.

“Le-Lilith….!!”

When I called her name, Lilith stopped and turned over to me.

“…………………Sorry I did not finish the match, Kokonoe Tooru.”

After saying only that, Lilith left the place with the group of men.

“Damn………..!! Those bastards….!!”

I could not do anything.

I got irritated at my own incompetence and slammed my fist to the floor.

“So-sorry…………i-if I did not get caught……U-uguu………..”

Large teardrops were flowing off Miyabi’s eyes.

While Miyabi was breaking down crying, Julie patted her on the head.

My chest hurts badly at that scene.

“Tooru. I think this is not possible but, you are not going to say this will end right?”

“……………Aah, of course.”

After nodding to Tora, I encouraged my creaking body and stood up.

“Miyabi stop crying.”

“B-but, but………I…..Uuu……..”

“It’s okay. No one will blame you. Also, I will save Lilith so stop crying. It’s going to be okay.”

“Tooru…….kun……….”

Miyabi looked up at me with wet eyes and nodded back.

“I will go too. I am Tooru’s <<Duo>>, I will be together when you fight.”

“Fuun. Don’t forget me too. I won’t be able to settle down if I don't give them a payback.”

“I see………Thanks you two.”

In spite of being inferior in the last battle, the fact that the both of them did not have their hearts broken made them trustworthy.

“But, what are we going to do? It is annoying but, those guys are stronger than us. There is no chance of us wining if we fight straight on.”

It was just as Tora said.

We had to make a clever plan for victory, using a surprise attack.

(Think…………! Is there any plan that could make use of each of our distinctive characteristics……..!?)

I looked towards my fist stained in blood and thought------

“------!!”

Immediately, the giant hole made by this fist entered my sights.

“Tooru. Did you think of something?”

“……..Aah, tentatively. It might work if I add a little arrangement to it. And----”

I knelt down with one knee in front of Miyabi before saying.

“Miyabi wait right here.”

“Eh…………..? Bu-but……….I also…….”

I swung my head at Miyabi who looked troubled.

It was because I noticed Miyabi’s body was trembling in small intervals.

Even though Miyabi was released, she was seized by fear.

That is why, I swung my head.

“I promised this before right. I will come back for you. The situation is kind of different from that talk, but I will definitely protect that promise. I will save Lilith and come back to pick you up, so please wait here.”

After I said that I *Pon**pon* lightly hit her head.

“And greet us with a smile when we get back, Miyabi.”

“Tooru-kun………..”




This was the second floor of the Nagisa plaza located at the furthest east of the A La Mode northern block.

Immediately after I reached here, Lilith and the group of men came up the escalator.

“Kokonoe Tooru…..!!”

After Lilith and the group of men recognized me, they showed their surprise.

“…………Brat. How did you get here first.”

“There are many back lanes. I came here first when you all were taking your time walking here.”

I used the small paths instead of the main path the group of men used and overtook them.

“Also, you guys said that the Sora was “Deep” in and have her go “up”. Which means you came from the roof. And in order to head back to the roof, you have to pass through this Nagisa plaza.”

“I see. Then one more question, did you come here alone.”

Yes, I am alone. Julie and Tora were not in front of the escalator connecting to the roof.

“Of course. I came here to save Lilith. It will be a problem if you bring her away when the match is not over yet.”

Hearing my answer, the group of men made vulgar laughs and Lilith shouted angrily.

“Don’t say stupid things already and retreat, Kokonoe Tooru! Did you think you can win against these people alone!?”

“I’ll win………! I------We will win!!”

“…………Don’t make me say it twice you idiot!!”

“You don’t make me say this twice too!! We will reach you with our hands and protect you!!”

After saying that, I clenched my fist-----and pulled it like pulling a bow.

“Brat………….are you perhaps going to take on an opponent with an Template:Furigana barehanded?”

“Aah, that’s right. However, you guys aren’t what my fist is targeting though.”

“Don’t say stuff that does not make sense you brat! I’ll mince every other part-----other than the part hidden by that small <<Shield>>!!”

They pulled the triggers of the assault rifles pointed at me.

*Gagagagaga*!! The gunshots were enough to tear my ears apart. I held out the <<Shield>> towards the countless bullets attacking.

But of course, I could not deflect all of them and just like the man’s declaration, my flesh was getting scrapped off and several bullets pierced through my body, arm and legs.

“Uguh……..Guaah…!!”

I groaned at the pain attacking my body and was about to lose my strength.

(Endure it! I promised to save Lilith and go back!!)

I lowered my sights straight down in front of the endless muzzle flashes.

“Go through------!!”

I used everything my body could mutter and slammed the floor with Template:Furigana like just now.

The only difference was that this was the second floor.

*Bishiii*!! The cracks that took an instant to spread out, reached the feet of the group of men.

The men shooting blindly were slightly late in noticing because of the muzzle flashes released from their weapons-----

And in the next moment, the 2nd floor foothold started to collapse.

“Lilith!! Come!!”

I extended out my hand to her right in the middle of the collapsing foothold.

“Kokonoe Tooru!!”

While dodging the stray bullets which had lost their target, the gold girl jumped into my arms.

“I leave the rest to you two, Julie, Tora-------!!”

[Ja---!!][Leave it to me!!]

I heard the replies of both of my trustworthy comrades standing by on the 1st floor----

The two <<Exceed>> turned into two blades and charged towards the wreckage falling down with high-speed.

They ran through the wreckage like threads weaving its path and they slashed the men each respectively-----

“Yo-you brats-------!!”

*Zuzaa*!! Both of their sword lines crossed in an X at the leader for last.

A loud sound echoed throughout the building immediately.

Dust rose up and the group of men got buried in the wreckage.

But----it still wasn’t the end.

“You damn brattttttttttttttts!!”

Even though his armor was sliced apart, he had been slammed against the ground, and was crushed by the wreckage, the leader still stood up.

“I will kill youuuuuuuuuuuuu!!”

After pointing his bloodshot eyes from inside the broken helmet to me, the man took out his knife and charged at me.

My fist was broken so I had no weapon that could beat the guy in one hit now.

However----this goes only for me.

“Lilith!!”

I shouted to the gold girl in my arms.

“Lend me your <<Soul>>!!”

Everything was told with just those words.

The <<Flame>> danced and the <<Template:Furigana>> appeared in Lilith’s left hand.

“I will do the aiming!! So------you pull the trigger!!”

I nodded and placed my hand on Lilith’s thin and flexible finger------

Absolute Duo Volume 2 Non-Colour 10

“This is………..the endddd--------!!”

A gun shot echoed throughout.



“…………Tooru was too reckless.”

When I was right in the middle of performing emergency treatment to my crushed fist, Julie made a seemingly angry expression.

“Iya, I could only think of that during that time and……….”

“………….To crush your fist just because of that reason, are you an idiot.”

Tora silently nodded at the astonished voice flying over from Lilith who was leaning against the wall.

“But well………..”

“Hn?”

“…………..Thank you for coming to save me.”

Although the last part was soft, those words perfectly reached my ears.

“You’re welcome…………..by the way, is it really okay if we don’t head up to check?”

“It’s okay. There is no way both Mikuni and Tsukimi would fall behind opponents that we can beat. And if they are currently fighting then, we would only be a hindrance if we go.”

“Well that’s true.”

I could only agree to her sentence, especially the last part; I then made a sigh.

But, there was something else I was curious about those men.

“…………….Hey Lilith. You know about their boss, the-------equipment whatever you call it right? If it is alright with you, can you tell me?”

“…………..Sorry. I can’t tell you even if I am the <<Exception>>.”

(Well she said that even if she is the <<Exception>>, so it might be related to the so-called dark side of the academy like that time with Tsukimi………..)

I gave up asking for more when I saw Lilith saying that with a sharp expression.

Soon, around the time my emergency treatment was done, I raised a lively voice to change the atmosphere.

“………Well then, let’s go pick Miyabi and Tachibana up then!”

“Ye----. Let’s do that. We made them wait for quite a long time.”

“Haha, it took us quite a while.”

But suddenly-------the gold girl suddenly stood in front of us, when we were about the head back inside.

“Wait, Kokonoe Tooru.”

“Lilith………..?”

The gold girl pointed at the rose at her chest and said.

“It is still not over.”

“………I, on top of my fist being crushed, I took some bullet hits you know.”

“You’re noisy. That is why I waited for your emergency treatment to end. You still can move a little right.”

“O-oi oi………..Are you serious……..?”

“Of course. In the first place, weren’t you the one that said-------It will be a problem if you bring her away when the match is not over yet.”

Lilith flicked her yellow topaz hair, before continuing.

“I also can’t use my dominant hand so, accompany me to the end. Weren’t we going to accept each other.”

“Accompany with her, Tooru.”

After saying that, Tora pulled a button off his school uniform.

“………..I get it.”

I took my position while making a sigh. I can’t put in any strength but, it is probably possible to at least scatter the rose.

Not long later, the button Tora flicked right up reached the summit and started to fall-------

*Kii---n*. Using the sound of it dropping to the ground as the signal, Lilith and I moved at the same time.

After a moment, the rose scattered-----

And this time, the curtain for the <<Survive>> closed.



---In addition, it's a different story that both Miyabi and I became embarrassed when she came hugging me when we went to pick her up, and Tachibana who looked like she could not walk was making a big rampage when I tried to carry her.

Part 2Edit

“Fuhahaha. As expected from the <<Exceed>>. It looks like being un-adjusted is no match.”

After looking at his subordinates lying on the floor while groaning in the surroundings, <<Equipment smith>> made a laugh.

Not only was their opponent Mikuni uninjured, there was no stains on him and that showed that the fight that took place just now turned into something so one-sided that it could not be called a fight anymore.

“There is also no reply from the people that headed down.”

After the loud sound ended, there was one reply from the transmitter so <<K>> shrugged his shoulders.

“Fumu. I never would have thought they would lose to students. Iya iya…………it seems you have quite some excellent students there.”

“Thanks to us having especially promising students this year, I am really looking forward for the future.”

The faces of the people that took out the people that went down floated in Sakuya's mind and she made a smile.

“Well then, what will you do next? If your side wants to leave, then we will not lay our hands on you all any further.”

“Hou, that is thankful. Well then <<Template:Furigana>>-dono, I will generously follow your words. <<K>>-Kun, order those who can move to retrieve the people that went down.”

After she told him that they could leave, the <<Equipment Smith>> accepted it without any shame.

Soon, the retrieval of the subordinates that got taken down by Tooru and the group ended; <<K>> and the group finished their preparations for evacuation.

“Well then, we will be leaving now. <<Template:Furigana>>-dono------let’s meet again someday.”

“Please, as you wish.”

It was during that time Edward got onto the helicopter after turning his heels around and <<K>> was about to follow him-----

After seeing them, <<K>> stopped and directed both his arrow-like eyes to them.

There were 3 people that took his attention.

One of them was their target, the gold girl.

Another was a small girl with Template:Furigana.

And the black-haired young man carrying a girl standing in between them.

<<K>> made a hunch that this boy was the one that took down his subordinate.

For a short time, Tooru and <<K>>’s sights crossed.

“……….Looks like we will meet again soon.”

That was a prediction. However, it was close to a conviction.



The brief encounter reached an end just like that.

While staring at the giant helicopter, Sakuya whispered out.

“………….<<Equipment smith>>-sama. We are the same and yet different. That is why our paths will never intersect.”

Her mutter did not reach anyone’s ear and got blown away by the wind just like that.


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EpilogueEdit

Part 1Edit

“So bored……..”

Right now, I was thrown into a medical ward room inside the academy because of the injuries I received from the fight with the group of men.

The sunlight shining into the white room was warm and it was nice passing the time relaxing.

However, it turned into a hellish confinement lifestyle after 3 days.

A self-proclaimed white clothed rabbit-ear angel (She was cosplaying) told me that I would be confined (She literally said it that way) for around two more days.

Since I had nothing to do, I thought back on the memories I have been recalling ever since that day.

(………….Existence transcending humans, huh.)

The words those guys said; also the commander, who was a teenage Caucasian boy, that I saw at the roof.

We will meet again.

It will probably be a fight when we do.

Those arrow-like eyes gave me a convinced prediction.

(I have to get even stronger…….)

More than now------

In order to confront that person someday………..

*kon**kon**kon*--------the knock echoed in the quiet room.

“Tooru, are you awake?”

“Aah, I am awake. Did you bring something?”

Please bring something the next time you visit--------I requested that of her to break this boring hellhole.

“Here you go, its apple tea.”

“…………Un, thanks.”

I couldn’t say that I wanted something to kill the boredom.

At that moment, Miyabi and the others came in.

[To-Tooru-kun, are you okay…….?][Kokonoe, how are you doing?][How long do you plan on sleeping?]

“Even I want to get out of here as fast as possible.”

Although I said that, I was expecting the gifts the four (Tatsu included) of them brought.

Knitting set (Miyabi)-------it’s disappointing I couldn’t use my right hand though.

“I-I see. Sorry, Tooru-kun………….”

Dumbbell (Tatsu)------Tentatively, I am an injured patient.

“Sorry Tatsu. I’ll use it when my injuries get a little better.”

Reference book (Tachibana)------honestly speaking, I am not happy at all.

“Fufu, it will become a way to kill time, you won’t fall back in the class and you can prepare for the lessons, it’s killing three birds with one stone-------”

“Miyabi, Tatsu, thanks. Tora, why didn’t you bring anything………..”

“Fuun. Be grateful I showed my face to you.”

“Wait, Kokonoe! Why are you ignoring me!?”

“………..Julie, I’m sorry but can you go boil the water?”

“Ja----”

The moment Julie raised her hips, a knock echoed in the room again.

When everyone looked towards the door, a beauty with Template:Furigana and Template:Furigana was standing there.

“Lilith!”

“………….Seriously, you are all so noisy in a medical room.”

Lilith entered the room while making a tired sigh.

“Why are you here………”

“What do you mean by why…………..”

Looking like she’s having a little hard time with words, Lilith looked away from me and fiddled her hair with her finger.

“It’s only normal to visit a comrade right?”

“Eh……………?”

“What? Am I wrong? Didn’t we go all-out at each other.”

Lilith brought her hands forward while looking away.

After I moved my sights back to her face from her hands, her cheeks were slightly blushing.

“……………Well, I have a stupid side in me too.”

“Lilith…………”

“And your cheeks probably hurt, right? Sorry.”

“I don’t mind.”

I grabbed Lilith’s hand and we smiled at each other while looking at each others face.

This hand connection indicated that we accepted each other.

After we let go, Lilith threw a question to me.

“………By the way Kokonoe Tooru. I’ll ask this just in case so-------Is that matter really no?”

I knew what she meant without even asking. It was regarding the <<Duo>>.

I faced towards Julie while replying with the same answer as last time.

“Sorry. I have a precious <<Duo>> already.”

“It’s okay. It can’t be helped if it is like that………..but, I will not give up once I make up my mind. So call me anytime you change your mind, okay♪”

I only made a wry smile at that sentence.

But, it seems my <<Duo>>’s heart was not calm.

“……….Tooru is my <<Duo>>.”

Julie was making a clear cautious expression on a rare occasion.

I felt somewhat happy when she grabbed my sleeves tightly.

“Fufu, I feel like running away if I am shown that scary face.”

Lilith giggled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Oh yeah. Different from the current conversation, there is something important I need to tell you for last.”

“Something important?”

“Yes, I won’t say it twice so listen carefully.”

“Aah, I get it.------wait, eh……?”

The moment the talked about this being something important, Lilith brought her face closer to mine---

And those red lips touched my cheek.

“”””Uuuuuuuuuh!?””””

All the sights of everyone in the room were gathered on us.

“Wha-wha-wha……what are you…..!?”

The gold girl winked at me and announced this loudly.

“I decided to make you my future husband♪”

There was a slight silence before------

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh-------!?”

The silence broke with my voice and then there was a whirlpool of shock in my surroundings next.

[Tooru. You are with that person as expected……..][Tooru-kun you pervert!!][Ho-ho-how shameless!!]

“Nonono don’t misunderstand Julie!! Miyabi, Tachibana, I didn’t do anything!! Forget that……..why am I so over accepting this------!!”

“………….Ya-re Ya-re, these idiots are making a ruckus.”

Inside the huge commotion, Lilith was about to leave the room now that she said what she wanted to.

“Well then, I will be leaving now……..ah, Oh yeah.”

Lilith turned behind from the door and made a gun shape using her finger before----

“I will definitely shoot your feelings, Kokonoe Tooru♪”

*Ban* she said that while making that posture and this time the gold girl left the room.

Part 2Edit

The gentle breeze grazed their cheeks and tousled their hair.

There were 2 beauty’s facing each other in the rose garden.

One of them was a girl with Template:Furigana which could be mistaken for the sun.

The other, a black hair girl calling herself a witch, was facing her.

“Looks like there was quite a ruckus at the medical ward.”

“Oh my, you heard it?”

“It was loud enough to prevent me from meditating.”

“I am sorry about that, Sakuya.”

Sakuya frowned her face towards Lilith who was not showing any signs of reflection.

But she was not polite.

“Lilith. No matter how well acquainted we are, could you please stop calling me that way? You are a student of this academy and I am the chairman.”

“I understand, Chairman.”

The only thing that changed was the way she called her.

Her attitude remained the same, but Sakuya did not expect any more than that anyway.

“But even so, I would have never imagined that I would meet up with the <<Equipment smith>> from something random that got started by you.”

“A-ra? You say that it’s something random, but to me it was something we needed to aim for.”

After smiling to Sakuya with only her eyes, Lilith took a sip of the milk tea.

“It’s random enough. It would be great if you fought with them normally instead of making that kind of event.”

“It will be boring if it is normal. Also, another interesting opponent appeared.”

Lilith purposely avoided referring to who that was.

Sakuya also chose not to ask her about it.

“…………So, what did that person come for anyway?”

“Alliance negotiating, a practical test is what he said. Judging from his talk pattern, it might be just as he said.”

“Fuun. So, what are you going to do with them from now on?”

“I won’t do anything. It’s okay as long as they do nothing to us, but if they do------then they would make good sacrifices.”

“Oh my, how scary.”

Lilith shrugged her shoulders when she saw Sakuya making a cold smile.

“Well then------it’s about time I hear your opinion regarding them.”

Lilith took on Tooru and the rest.

Because of that, Sakuya purposely called the gold girl to her.

It resulted in Lilith’s loss, but Sakuya was not interested in that point.

“Julie=Sigtuna…………..let’s see. Her mental state is naïve at this current stage and her abilities are still rough around the edges. But, her quick wits are outstanding.”

Lilith took a sip of the milk tea and took a moment before continuing her evaluation.

“I will put Kokonoe Tooru’s evaluation on hold, but I think the possibility of it changing is quite plausible……………uun, I am convinced that it will be like that. That’s because-------”

The gold girl placed her hands on her chest and narrowed her eyes as if she was fascinated.

“I felt it in my <<Soul>>. It was enough to shake it too.”

Lilith placed her fingers at her lips and smiled.

“This is my truth♪”

“…………..I don’t understand you.”

Sakuya *Fuuu*……….took a sigh at Lilith’s words.

“I’ll be leaving now.”

“Oh my, are you leaving already? It’s alright to take your time you know.”

“It’s time.”

Sakuya replied immediately and Lilith made a regretful expression.

But even so, Sakuya stood up without showing any care about it.

“Fun times end so fast right, Sakuya?”

The girl in black clothes did not reply and left using the path of roses.

“………….Your eyes only see the <<Absolute Duo>> huh.”

While looking at the back of the girl called the witch, Lilith leaked a small sigh.

“Did you notice this, Sakuya? Your world is very small.”

The gold girl moved her sights up to the sky.

“That is why I will end that world. Because I am the <<Exception>> and-----”



“The <<Abyss ray>> that will end everything.”


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Volume 3Edit

PrologueEdit

“I, wonder what type of person I will fall in love with………..”


The girl-----Hotaka Miyabi was bad with the opposite sex.

It’s not like she had an inerasable trauma from her childhood…………it’s just that she was bad with strangers and shy. Another reason for it was that she went to a girls only middle school the same as her sister.

Because of that, the existence of males of the same age as the middle-school Miyabi only appeared in stories like drama or manga.

But even if she was bad with them, it’s not like she had no interest in love.

She had always imagined that she would fall for someone one day------like that.

Even though she was not conscious about this, her head turned completely blank when she saw the target of her affections getting kissed----even though it was just on the cheek. To Miyabi, who has only slowly gotten used to having conversations with a member of the opposite sex, a kiss was a very high level action.

The moment she regained her composure, the criticism that came from her mouth was-------a cute shout calling him a pervert. Of course, it’s not like there were any bad intentions in it and those were the only words that Miyabi could have thought of in her half-panicked state.

However, she encountered a different kind of emotion in her chest when she recalled the event calmly after some time had passed and it had become night time. As if being covered in a haze, those emotions made it feel hard for her to breathe and at the same time made her thoughts heavier.

Thanks to that, Miyabi felt troubled.

(What is this feeling………)

“Miyabi, I'm turning off the lights.”

“Ah, un………….”

Since she was daydreaming on the bed about the feelings in her chest, it had passed the time for lights out before she knew it, and Tachibana, her roommate and at the same time her <<Duo>>, called out to her.

After Miyabi nodded, Tomoe turned off the lights and the room was covered in darkness.

She closed her eyes. But, the event that happened in the afternoon did not vanish. The image of the boy, who had given her the feelings to make her work harder in Kouryou academy and who was her first male friend, getting kissed.

The haze in her chest would not clear up.

It was there, whether she slept or stayed awake.




The girl-----Tachibana was dense.

Of course, the denseness here was related to the opposite sex-----which meant it was related to love emotions.

She could take care of everything other than love in detail, and was good at taking care of others.

Although she was a little hard-headed, she was diligent, social, and was seen favorably by others.

But she was dense.

It was something created from her environment.

Being born into the martial arts family of the Tachibana style, Tomoe had devoted most of her childhood days training to succeed in the family’s name. Fortunately she was blessed with the talent for martial arts, and the tough training certainly bore fruit even though it was little by little.

However, that became Tomoe’s misfortune. The training of the Tachibana style was to give girls strength.... strength that would make males the same age as them run away barefooted.

Strength was simply something standard to males-----especially teenagers.

The fact of having a girl stronger than them made the teenage males around Tomoe have stubborn hearts. It was so severe that not even one boy could tell their feelings to her even though they had favorable intentions towards her.

If any one of them had been honest, then Tomoe might have been able to discover love.

………………Judging from the point of others telling their feelings, there were several times she got letters and chocolates from other girls, but that only made her confused.

Anyways-------as a result of being born into the environment she was raised in, and with that talent, Tomoe grew up without knowing about love. Different from Miyabi, one of the reasons was that she had no chance to touch any works that made her yearn for love.

The trigger for a change of feelings was being treated as a girl by a teenage boy she met in Kouryou academy.

Even though it was not like she fell in love, it was just strong enough to show concern over the boy unconsciously.

It was still a small feeling. Her chest rustled the moment she saw him getting kissed, and she crushed the chance to notice this feeling by shouting about how shameless it was------which was done from beyond her senses.

Even so her story did not stop and still continues on.

Gradually but certainly, she was starting to be attracted to the boy without noticing it.



After a few days passed, the boy------Kokonoe Tooru got discharged from the hospital and was returned back to the girls.



When Miyabi thought about Tooru, her chest ached. It felt itchy and did not calm down.

Strangely enough, those feelings vanished when Tooru actually stood in front of her and she got wrapped in an uplifting fluffy and comfortable feeling instead.

It was the same thing when Tooru called out to her when she headed to the cafeteria alone during the evening.

---Yes, in past tense.

“Eh……Ah, you are going with Tomoe-chan tomorrow morning………..?”

What Tooru had said was, that he would most likely not join her in morning runs for a while because he was going to learn martial arts from Tomoe starting tomorrow morning.

“Sorry. We promised to have her teach me once the <<Survive>> ended.”

Even though he did not make any promise with Miyabi, Tooru felt a little apologetic to her since he ran with her almost every day.

This sudden talk gave Miyabi a shock as she was unconsciously looking forward to running together again starting from tomorrow morning.

---But she swung her head to the side in panic when she saw Tooru’s apologetic expression.

“Th-there is no reason for Tooru-kun to apologize. See, it’s not like we promised to run together………a-and, you would show your face since it’s been a while right? Then, I will run as much as I can and become fast so I can surprise Tooru-kun, fufu.”

Miyabi tried her best to smile and Tooru felt saved when he saw that expression.

“I get it. Alright, I look forward to that day……….. the day Miyabi's lap times are faster than mine.”

“-----E-eeeeeeeeeeeeh!? To-Tooru-kun, don’t make such an unreasonable demand~~~~”

The atmosphere flowing between them returned back to the usual lively one.

A while after that Miyabi would send looks towards Tooru, who was having fun talking to his friends, several times during dinner and would make small sighs unconsciously each time.

(I see………..With Tomoe-chan, huh………..)

In the end, Miyabi didn't have any appetite for today’s dinner and didn't finish her meal.



The night cleared out and it became morning-----

Right in the promenade between the dormitory and the hall opposite, Tooru and Tomoe were facing each other.

“Well then, we will now begin the introduction of the techniques from the Tachibana style.”

“I am counting on you master Tachibana.”

“St-stop it. It’s true that I am going to be the one guiding, but I am still a novice so I can’t help but feel itchy if I am being called that.”

Tomoe scratched her cheek while looking embarrassed and troubled because of my joke made toward the Tachibana style.

“I’ll say this before we start; the contents I am going to teach you are the basics, so plain and simple training will continue. I am sorry, but please prepare yourself for that. If you want a good sword then forge it from the ore, that is the guiding thought in the Tachibana-----”

“Haha, I got told something close to that by my master before. Well, mine was a tree instead of a sword though.”

When Tooru talked about the proverb he told to Miyabi before, Tomoe made an agreeing nod.

And at the same time, she had a favorable impression to Tooru who understood the importance of the basics which are easily overlooked and forgotten even though it was a normal thing to do.

“Well then, let’s begin. First off please imitate my stances……………yes, like that. Then move your leg-----”

The guidance for the body movements started. Even though he was confused at first, Tooru immediately made an understanding nod.

“------Uuun, I am able to understand the shape but, I have to make my body get familiarized to it in order to use it.”

After he said that, Tomoe made a small smile while looking at Tooru who was repeating the moves he learned seriously while somewhat having fun.

(Fufu, Looks like he will progress fast at this pace.)

No matter what skills it may be, it took time for the body to really get it. However that time changes greatly by the enthusiasm of the heart wanting to learn.

After a while, the guidance for the next technique-----the way of the eight style’s basics started.

“----------That’s about it. If you get used to it then you will be able to combine it with the first moves. I’ll show you an example. I will now get close to you and you thrust your fist out.”

Tooru brought his fist forward towards Tomoe who got close like he was told------and at that moment, Tomoe suddenly spun her body and grabbed his arms before slipping into his chest area.

“And well, this is it. I am saying that I will make a throw here. It’s probably good to add an elbow strike here depending on the situation.”

“………….This is the move I lost to during the <<Fist practice>> a while ago, but I see now. The connection between attacking and blocking is amazing.”

“It’s Ryuusui[3a 1]. Whether it’s the movements, way of performing, or attack, all of it will flow within as one. Okay, let’s try it out. I will bring my fist forward now, so you try doing the same.”

Tooru nodded and dodged her fist similar to her and entered a throwing stance once he slipped into her chest area together with grabbing her hands but-----

He noticed.

Tomoe’s big and soft breasts touched his back.

“That’s right, that’s the feeling. Okay, let’s repeat that for 10 times. However, you can put more strength in your arm and pull harder this time.”

Tooru’s face stiffened.

The breasts behind him would touch harder the stronger he pulled and would make him more conscious about it.

(Hu-hurry up and endddddddddd!!)

Tooru’s heart got chaotic from the feeling touching his back.

Tomoe thought something different when she saw Tooru like that.

(Umu, it’s a good face. The spirit of wanting to acquire this move as fast as possible is being told.)

“…………Okay, since we’ve gone this way, let’s add in 10 more times!”

Tooru shouted in his heart at Tomoe’s suggestion.



Like that------Tachibana Tomoe deepened her relationship with Tooru through the guidance of martial arts.



There was someone looking at both of them from the tree's shadows.

It was Miyabi.

She would normally be running outside the school in this time slot by now but, she got curious about Tooru and Tomoe today and took up the unfunny action of peeking like this.

(What am I doing…………)

Miyabi made a sigh when she looked at the objectives of her actions.

Even though she was wondering why her eyes wouldn’t leave them for some odd reason, she continued looking at both of them without getting any answers and-----

“-----!!”

Suddenly, Tooru hugged Tomoe from the back.

---Of course, it was just a demonstration of the combination of the move and the way of performing it and is completely unrelated to the male and female relationship, but Miyabi misunderstood that and took a big breath.

It was only when she saw Tooru and Tomoe’s positions switch and perform the same------the action of repeatedly bringing their body closer and letting go, that she let go of the breath she had sucked in.

(O-oh I see………That was training…………)

*Dokun**dokun* her heartbeat coming from her chest got faster at this surprise.

She took a deep breath to calm it down as much as possible and slowly exhaled. She then repeated this.

Her heartbeat started to calm down and-----

“Haa……….”

Miyabi’s feelings sank together with that, and leaked a big sigh------she then mumbled this.

“How nice…………”

Those were her true thoughts that she had said unconsciously.

It was something pointed to the scene of Tomoe------and Tooru bringing their bodies closer.

(Eh………?)

After she mumbled that, Miyabi felt surprise at her own words.

(Why did I think 'how nice' just now……….?)

Miyabi got bewildered at her true thoughts that had come out unconsciously.

It was impossible for her senses until now to think that hugging a male was enviable.

Rather, it was something that was enough to make her get embarrassed and look away when she saw males and females-----couples bringing their bodies closer in the city.

But even so, Miyabi continuing to wonder why and------the answer came out.

The answer was shown from the words she said unconsciously.

Yes, Miyabi was envious of Tomoe. She understood herself for feeling envious of bringing her body close to none other than Tooru.

And to find what kind of emotion it was, Miyabi applied the knowledge she had in herself before----

(Ah-re…………? That means……….I, might have……..)

She got perplexed when she reached the answer.

However, the answer was shown to be correct by the throbbing heart she got just by hearing Tooru’s voice.

She wanted to hear his voice more.

She wanted to see his face more.

The embarrassment was enough to make her want to die but, she wanted to run to him and hug him.

No matter if Tooru was the first male friend she had gotten close with, there was no way she would hold that kind of emotion towards a friend.

Miyabi mumbled this.

“So, I love-----Tooru-kun, huh…………..”



Like this-----Hotaka Miyabi became aware of her first love.



Chapter 1: Is It Okay To Wish For ItEdit

Part 1Edit

“Uu,kuh…………..”

I narrowed my eyes because of the dazzling sunlight after I opened the somewhat heavy door and got outside.

At the same time, a breeze with a strong smell of salt tickled my nose.

A lot of the breeze got sucked into my chest and when I looked to the outside scenery again-----it was all blue.

Both the sky and the earth were blue.

It was normal for the sky but for the earth------it was strange.

Speaking specifically, it's not the earth but instead it was the ocean. The endless ocean spread out as far as I could see.

Yes, right now I----Kokonoe Tooru, am riding on a boat. Starting today, the first years of the Kouryou academy are heading out to the southern islands on a boat for a 1 week seaside school.

“The smell of salt water is amazing.”

I looked back after taking a few steps forward and talked to the girl who was holding my sleeves tightly.

“Are you okay, Julie?”

“J-ja----………..I am okay……….”

While the wind was swaying the hair, reaching to her hips, the small girl nodded.

She is my <<Duo>>-----Julie.

She was a girl with transparent like Template:Furigana, Template:Furigana opposite to the blue sea, and Template:Furigana glowing because of the sunlight.

The problem was simple and clear-----it was seasickness.

I heard that her country, Gimle, was an island surrounded by the sea, so I thought she would be okay on the ship. I jumped to the wrong conclusion.

The color of her face looked bad, so I brought her from the cabin to the stern while her legs were unsteady.

Since there was shade at the stern, unlike the bow of the ship, it was the most suitable spot to take a rest.

“It’ll be a bit better if it's windy, so let’s rest here for a while.”

“Ya---…………….”

After Julie nodded, she leaned against the wall and dragged her hips down before *Petan* sitting down.

“Tooru…………Is it okay if I borrow your shoulder?”

“Aah, go ahead.”

After I sat beside her, Julie came closer to me. She closed her eyes and looked like she was having a hard time breathing.

“………Are you okay?”

“Ja--. It feels nice outside………”

(Julie being like this is kind of rare………..)

Even though she was small, the silver girl’s physical and battle abilities were at the top level of the class.

It would be quite tough for me; rather Julie’s winning percentage was higher if she held the <<Double>>, and it was impossible to imagine her current weak appearance.

(…………Speaking of which, she looks exhausted lately.)

The summer in Julie's country, Gimle, was cold and the days reaching around 20 degrees were rare. For Japan, where the Kouryou academy is located in southern Kantou, the summer days crossed over 30 degrees once it is passed mid-summer and adding it to her seasickness she turned completely groggy with her stamina exhausted.

“Hn…….Too………ru…………*Suu*……….*Suu*………..”

Before I noticed, Julie started to make sleeping sounds.

I could not move thanks to that, but it’s probably a good idea to let her sleep like this for now.

Since I don’t have any particular thing to do, I just stared at the sea and the blue sky.

(It’s summer huh…………)

I don’t like summer.

I liked it when I was a child, but I started to hate it 2 years ago.

It made me remember about that day-----the day that person destroyed everything. The day my sister was killed in front of me.

(I still can’t reach…………..but, I will definitely pierce my fangs into you………..!)

Just a few days ago, I reached <<Template:Furigana>> from the end of term <<Sublimation ceremony>>. Honestly the moment I achieved the <<Level up>>, I would not deny the fact that it was a little anti-climatic since I was prepared for it to take a longer time.

It was still a fact that I’ve gotten stronger.

My physical abilities, muscle strength and running power could easily break world records and had reached a level which was impossible in normal reality. I polished my battle techniques with training every day and the strength was enough to make me think that I would not lose unless it was to another <<Exceed>>.

And at the same time, I understood this; even though I gained this much strength, it would still not reach him.

I understood that my <<Power>> now would not reach him, by comparing the overpowering feeling from when I confronted him 2 years ago.

(Even if I can’t reach now--------I might manage if I cross <<Template:Furigana>>………..)

The <<Template:Furigana>> was the level that would bring out the true power of the <<Blaze>>.

If I reach it, I think my fist will reach him.

My anger, hatred and sadness---------

It was at the moment I was staring at the sky while having those various expressions swirling inside me.

*Zururi* Julie’s head slipped off my shoulder.

(-------!!)

For a moment there, I got surprised but-----

“*suu*……..*suu*………..”

Julie must be quite exhausted because she did not open her eyes and was sleeping comfortably using my legs as a pillow this time. I patted her head from the thought of wanting to help even just a little bit as I saw her exhausted face.

“Hn…..Too……ru……………”

“Ah……..so-sorry. Did I wake you up?”

“Nai…………It feels, good…………..please do it more…………”

I nodded in agreement before continuing patting her head. Her silky silver hair felt good and it felt like silk thread.

After a while, Julie’s breathing gradually became well-regulated.

Her sleeping face got softer and I felt happy I could help her this much.

At the same time, I also felt saved too.

Thanks to recollecting the days I passed with Julie, my heart which was rampaging because of him turned calm.

“Thanks, Julie………….”

When I patted her head while mumbling that, Julie rubbed her head from the ticklish feeling.

(I have to be careful not to move or else I’ll wake her.)

I raised the side of my mouth while looking at the silver girl sleeping comfortably.

After a while in this position-----

*Gachari* the sound of the door separating the cabin and deck was heard opening.

It was Hotaka Miyabi who showed up. She was my classmate with a shy personality but there was a part on her body which emphasized its large size. …………….I will never tell Miyabi which part of her emphasizes largeness.

“Yo Miyabi, did you come to feel the wind too?”

“Eh, ah, erm, I thought you two weren’t showing any signs of returning, so…………..”

“So you got worried and came to see Julie huh?”

“U-un………….It’s a different meaning, but it’s correct but……….”

“Different meaning?”

When I asked about the reply she whispered out, Miyabi looked panicked for some reason.

“-----Uh!! E-eerrrr, Lo-look, I just thought that it would be dangerous if she fell into the sea!!”

“It’s going to be okay, it’s not like she staggers that much. Well, thanks for worrying.”

“A-ahaha………Mo-more importantly, is Julie-chan asleep…………?”

“----uh!! Tha-that’s………”

I completely forgot about Julie using my lap as a pillow.

While getting panicked from Miyabi pointing that out, I told her that it became like this after I lent my shoulder to Julie who got seasick.

“*Giggle*. So that's the reason why you can’t move.”

“Well yeah…………by the way Miyabi, are you going to be outside for a while?”

With things settled without any strange misunderstandings, I made a relieved sigh while asking her.

“Eh……….? I-I guess I’ll do that. The air outside is nicer anyway………..”

“I see. Then let’s talk. I need company.”

“…………..U-un.”

After she nodded, Miyabi was about to sit down with Julie in between.

“It’s going to be hot if you sit there because the sun will hit you so, why don’t you come over here?”

“Ah…………Tha-that’s true……..Err, So-sorry for the bother……….”

It was not long since she had gotten out of the cabin, but it was probably already hot for her.

I advised Miyabi whose face was a little red, to sit besides me.

Even though she nodded and sat next to me, I felt that it was very like her in a way because she left a 50 centimeter gap between.

“Now that I think about it, it’s been a long time we talked like this.”

“T-that’s true………….”

More specifically Julie was also with us but, I wondered how long it had been since we had talked alone.

When I tried recalling back, I felt that there was almost no time over these last few months------ever since I stopped showing up for the morning runs.

If there was anything, we would converse when the usual groups gathered and it’s not like we didn’t talk to each other since we often ate meals together.

“This morning………..with Tomoe-chan too?”

“Aah, it’s almost every day.”

Tachibana didn’t have to be with me regularly, since the main thing in the morning training would be to repeatedly practice the basic forms with my body before using my head to think. But, she showed up every day to conduct a Kumite[3b 1] for the last 10 minutes-----Tachibana would do the attacking while I focused on defense------because she said it was faster to master it this way than to only focus on the Kata.

“I see. Every day, huh………..”

“Aah. She’s a great help.”

Although Miyabi said that’s good, I think I am imagining it but she looked somewhat lonely.

“If Miyabi is okay with it, why don’t you join us? Tachibana would probably welcome you too.”

“………..Uun, I guess I’ll pass……..See, I have to gain stamina instead of techniques now anyway.”

“I-I see………….”

I couldn't say any more since she made a somewhat troubled expression.

(Things don’t go how I want them to huh……….)

Actually, Miyabi had been acting strange recently.

She would immediately look away when our eyes met, absentmindedly thinking about something, and it felt like her movements and actions had something behind them.

But, I had some idea regarding the reason why.

Miyabi probably felt inferior to us when she failed to achieve the <<Level up>> during the-----<<Sublimation ceremony>> that everyone in the class received at the end of term semester.

If it was about the usual faces then, Tatsu also failed the sublimation and remained at <<Template:Furigana>> but, he did not mind at all and it’s probably because of his personality.

In any case, it felt bad to have a timid relationship with a friend.

“Hey, Miyabi. If you have something bothering you, you can tell me?”

“Eh………?”

“I told you this before right. It’s better to let it out, if you think it’s tough. I think it’s okay to tell Tachibana if it is awkward to tell me. She is also worried.”

“Ah……..U-un. Thank you……..Eheh, really thank you, Tooru-kun.”

Miyabi said this after raising the both sides of her mouth.

I probably lightened her feelings a bit.

Or she might just be acting tough to avoid making me worry.

I could not judge which one it was, but if Miyabi confided in me then I would do my best to assist-----that was what I thought.

“The-then ca-ca-can I request for one wish………?”

“Aah, if it is something I can do then say it.”

“……..Ca-can I……..borrow your shoulder…….”

“Shoulder?”

Even though there was only one meaning for that case but, I asked back just in case.

It’s because those words were hard to think to have come from Miyabi who was bad with males.

Just when I was wondering what the answer would be-----Miyabi moved her head vertically with a clear red face.

“It feels comfortable here so, I got a little sleepy and that’s why, I won’t ask as much like what Ju-Julie-chan is doing so, I thought I could ask you to borrow your shoulder for a while…………….”

It was probably very embarrassing because, Miyabi lowered her sights and fiddled with her finger tips while saying the reason.

“I, can't……….?”

“N-no, it’s okay. If something like my shoulder is okay with you, then use it.”

I got a little embarrassed and agreed to her since there was no reason to refuse.

“U-un, Thank you……..but, something like that ……… that is not true you know……..?”

I have no idea what she meant by that. Even though I was thinking about that question------

“Ex-excuse me………”

The 50 centimeter gap turned into 10 and once Miyabi placed her head on my shoulder, the thoughts I was thinking just before vanished.

“…………..”

It’s warm. Miyabi’s body temperature was being transmitted from the touching body parts. And at the same time, the heartbeats coming from my chest got a bit faster and my body creaked.

(Thi-this is kind of nerve wrecking……)

Honestly speaking, this situation was very embarrassing.

But, I just thought that she was relaxing around me more than I expected. I was happy that we became great friends, which was enough for me to be unable to perceive her usually poor interactive skills with the opposite sex.

(…..Nonetheless, I think it is going to be annoying if someone sees us here like this.)

After I made a small sigh, I stared at the horizon separating the blue sky and blue sea while starting the image training of the moves Tachibana taught me…………rather, it felt like my nervousness wouldn’t settle down unless I thought of something else.

Even though I did that image training, I would be wary of Miyabi each time she exhaled or made any slight movement and the training was interrupted several times; this became a difficult situation.



Nearly an hour passed after that.

[Oi, Tooru, the rabbit woman is calling us to gather-----][------Uh!!]

The steel door opened and Miyabi jumped up the same time the voice called out to me.

“What are you all doing………….”

[I-ya,hahaha……………][Ahaha………]

In a tired manner------he was probably tired-------a small boy with glasses made a sigh; it was my friend Tora.

“To-Tora-kun. What did Tsukimi-sensei say……….?”

Miyabi asked with a tone which I don't think is possible from someone who had just woken up.

“There is something she wants to say about the seaside school so, I was told to call the people that went out to the deck.”

“I get it………Julie, wake up. It seems Tsukimi is calling us for something.”

When I slightly shook her shoulders, Julie woke up. However, her consciousness was still probably in dreamland. Even though she raised her body, she was still in daze with her eyes half opened.

“Had a nice sleep?”

“Ja----, thanks to you. Thank you very much, Tooru.”

“It’s nothing much. How about you Miyabi?”

“…………I-I, err……even though I was the one that asked you to borrow your shoulder, I-I was too nervous, so not at all……….”

Miyabi told me she did not sleep and lowered her glance while her cheeks were blushing.

No wonder she woke up immediately when Tora appeared.

It was probably better if I hadn’t said it was alright when she asked to borrow my shoulder.

(It looks like both of us were nervous.)

It was probably tough for Miyabi who was in the world of drowsiness, but it was a little funny when I think that both our feelings were the same.


“Okay okay okaaay, is everyone here?”

Our evil homeroom teacher, who was unfit to be a teacher, was wearing a maid outfit with rabbit ears and spinning around in the room.

“Alrighty then, this ship will reach the island soon☆ The kids that went out to the deck saw the island right♪ So, please get ready to get off since the ship is going to stop♥ Also, everyone’s belongings got deliciously------not that, the staff has already transported them so relax♪”

Essentially this seaside school was a training camp to commence survival training which could not be done on the premises of the academy. Because of that, there was quite some danger accompanying it so there would be 5 <<Exceed>> <<Template:Furigana>>----- Kouryou graduates with survival techniques as their expertise acting as the support staff.

“Tsukimi-sensei. Even if they join in as members of the staff, there is no way we can make our seniors carry our belongings.”

The girl with long beautiful hair-----Tachibana commented to Tsukimi with a dignified voice. Those thoughts were very like her because of her honest and serious personality.

“Don’t mind, don’t mind. That is their job too♪ More importantly I will be distributing these, so come over here when I call your names out☆”

After saying that, Tsukimi raised a watch-like object above her head.

“What is with that?”

Tsukimi once targeted our lives. However, since I was made to hide that fact in front of our classmates, I asked a question politely.

“It’s the armband with an emergency signal switch and light attached to it☆ Only push it when it is really bad okay? Seriously do it when you are about to die♪ Okaay?”

The cabin got noisy in an instant. Was this camp that hard to have such a thing prepared?

However, when I thought about this carefully, it was probably going to be a quite a tough one the moment <<Exceed>> staff came with us.

After receiving the armband, she told us to wear it at all times until the seaside school ended.

And after everyone wore their armbands, we left the cabin when the ship had already stopped but------

“……….Hey, Tsukimi.”

“Add Sensei.”

“Why didn’t we land-----Desuka!?”[3b 2]

Everyone that was out on the deck was dumbfounded.

It was only normal. It’s true that we could see the island…………it’s just that it’s a few kilometers away.

“Which means you have to swim♥”

“From here----Desuka!?”

“Of course, with the clothes you are wearing now too♪”

“While wearing our uniform----Desuka!?”

“Sounds tough to have a second personality huh, <<Irregular>>……….”

You have no right to say that.

“Okay with that said, we will now begin the swimming training with your current clothes for this seaside school♪ Once you reach the island, please head to your respective training spots located in the middle of the island☆”

Naturally there were some who raised their shock at Tsukimi’s announcement, but this was exactly the way Kouryou academy works.

The battle training, emergency medical treatment, survival and etc were------ different from a normal high school; this was the curriculum for a special battle technique school.

Swimming with our clothes like this was one of them, and it was a skill that had just been taught last week.

The action of swimming with our clothes on was unexpectedly tough and it was so tough that it made me, who had confidence in my stamina, hate raising my body after finishing just one kilometer of swimming.

It was completely unexpected that we would be using those techniques we just learned suddenly at the seaside school.

“This is something you master better if you do it with the will not to die. Good luck and work hard, kuhaha.”

Tsukimi showed her real personality with a voice the other students could not hear and made an evil smile.

(So that is why our seniors carried our belongings huh? Now that I think about it, she did say the boat would stop instead of land………..)

After I made a big sigh, I prepared myself.

Part 2Edit

“………..Did you call me?”

The teenager with arrow-like eyes spoke when he anticipated that the old man would finish moving his hands.

“Fuhaha, sorry to call you at a busy time like this.”

“No, the mission given to me is to obey you.”

The teenager continued his words with a emotionless voice.

“So your business?”

“Umu. Just as you know, the <<unit>> has finished its adjustments and has been spread to a few teams. The last thing would be to advance to the final stage but-----before that, there is something I want. So with that said I want to borrow your power to obtain it.”

“What kind of material do you wish for?”

The old man replied with three answers to the teenager’s question.

“I don’t mind since I would get one soon anyways.--------of course, it would exceed the one <<Diabolica>> has though.”

“…………Aiming too high is fine but, the disappointment if we are unable to obtain it will be big.”

“That’s true. Fuhahahaha!”

After the old man finished laughing, the teenager opened his mouth.

“Well then, please give the permission to report to the higher ups of the plan we just------”

“No need. Those fellas would want to know the <<Power>> of the <<Unit>> too anyways. Let’s just say this plan is just a test and report only the results.”

“…………Understood.”

The young man did not raise his objection and obeyed the old man’s decision.

He then made a slight smile before----asking.

“To evaluate or to be evaluated huh………I understand. How about the operation name for this?”

The old man laughed----before replying.

“<<Selection>>----I guess I’ll call it that.”



Chapter 2: The Time For Disaster, huhEdit

Part 1Edit

Our classmates jumped into the sea one after another and we were the only ones left on the ship.

“Okay, I will jump in first so follow me after I do that. I will go right to you so, please rest assured. Remember to grab my shoulders when you surface.”

“U-un……I am counting on you, Tomoe-chan.”

Miyabi and Tachibana were discussing their actions after they enter the water.

On the opposite side, Tora and Tatsu were-------fighting as usual------and were making a ruckus about a match of who would swim to the shore first.

(Ya-re Ya-re, I don’t know if they are close or bad with each other as usual………)

“Fufun. Don’t think you will win against me with swimming, Tatsu, Tooru!!”

“Eh, me too!?”

“What are you surprised for, it’s normal.”

“Is it normal………?”

The rabbit ear homeroom teacher talked to me with a grinning smile.

“Oi oi, now is the only time you can act happy and talk about matches you know? That’s because the current around here is complex. You will meet pain if you take it easy-------rather, feel the pain, Kuhahaha.”

(I’ll give up taking him as an opponent. And I mean everyone.)

We got tired of those disgraceful words from a teacher (as usual) and decided to head out.

Tora, Tatsu and next Tachibana made a magnificent plunge which was so good it made me think they might have been in the swimming club during their middle school years. However-----

(……I saw something.)

Since we were going to swim with our clothes on, which meant the clothes everyone were wearing now would be------our school uniform.

Thanks to that, I could vividly see the inside of Tachibana’s skirt from the boat when she jumped off.

“To-Tomoe-chan, I am coming.”

Just when I was thinking of a way to delete that vivid memory, Miyabi jumped in this time.

Different from Tachibana, she pushed down her skirt girlishly and *Pyon* jumped in from the stairs feet first.

However, since she only pushed down the front part of her skirt, I could see from behind and-----

(………I saw something again.)

Let’s forget it. I did not see anything.

*Don* A water column was produced and Miyabi’s face popped out from the sea surface after a while.

“Miyabi are you okay?”

“Un, somehow I guess……?”

*Splash**Splash* Miyabi dog paddled to Tachibana before placing her hand on her shoulder.

Since Tachibana learned an old swimming method, used when a person wore armor because it is a step towards mastering her martial arts, it looked like she was taking it easy even though Miyabi was holding onto her.

“Just as expected. Well then, we------wait, now that I think about it Julie. You were resting when we were swimming with our clothes on last week but, are you going to be alright suddenly?”

When I recalled and asked Julie who took a rest during the previous water training because of her bad condition-----

“It’s okay……….I think.”

Even Julie would show uneasiness like I thought.

Well I think she would most probably be alright if it is Julie.

“Okay, let’s go.”

“Ja---”

*Doboon* a flashy landing sound was produced and I entered the sea from the tip of my toe to my head.

It felt good in the sea for my sunburnt skin but, my uniform was sticking to me making it hard to swim.

I felt this during training but, the water resistance of normal clothes was different from a wet suit making me lose stamina excessively. This was something I knew already, but it will be quite hard to swim to the island in this condition.

When I showed my face on the sea surface, the refreshing sight of the blue sea and white clouds expanded in my view. And after I took a deep breath while looking at the summer scenery, there was a voice coming from above my head.

“Tooru, I am coming.”

With the sun at the background, after Julie stood at the Ship’s fence-----she jumped into the sea.

The form was magnificent and it would not lose to what Tachibana did just now. Not only me but Tachibana and Miyabi also raised a voice of admiration at the appearance of her diving into the sea like a mermaid.

*Toboon* a sound was produced and the silver girl entered the sea together with a small water column.

(As expected from Julie)

That jump made me think she has no other bad skills other than writing literature----limited to only Japanese.

(No, she is bad with boats too.)

When I apologetically shook my shoulders at the new information about Julie I found out an hour ago----

“……….Err, Tooru-kun.”

“Julie isn’t coming up though…………..”

“Eh……..?”

Although I checked the area to confirm their words, there are no signs of Julie showing her face on the sea surface.

“””……………..”””

There was an additional 5 seconds of silence & standby.

“Julie------------!?”



“*Cough*, *Cough*……!!”

I grabbed Julie’s arm when she was sinking into the darkness and brought her back to the sea surface.

After she came up to the surface, Julie breathed in oxygen filled with the smell of salty water.

After she repeated breathed wildly while grabbing hold of my shoulders, I talked to her as soon as she calmed down.

“Are you okay, Julie.”

“Ja-Ja---………..Thanks to you I somehow managed………..Thank you very much, Tooru………”

“But even so, it is kind of unexpected that Julie can’t swim.”

“Sorry. There was no custom to swim in Gimle……….”

I agreed when she told me that. It is probably unthinkable to swim in the seas or rivers in a cold country like Gimle. Judging by the way she put her words, I could guess there are no warm water pool facilities there.

“I thought I could managed if I learned by imitation, but it was no good. Whether it’s the seasickness earlier or just now, I have been only causing problems to Tooru today…………”

I made a lively smile to Julie who dropped her shoulders in disappointment.

“Don’t worry about something as small as that. We are a <<Duo>> so helping each other is normal……well, even if we weren’t a <<Duo>>, I think I would still want to save Julie.”

“*Giggle*. That goes for me too, Tooru. But even so, the sea water really is salty huh. I know this already but, I never would have thought I would confirm it in this way.”

I could only laugh at Julie’s sentence.

“Alright, we have to head to the island soon. We will lose to Tora and the rest if we take our time. Julie, I will carry you on my back from this point on.”

“Ja--- Thank you very much. By the way Tooru.”

“Hn?”

Even though I failed the start dash from an unexpected trouble, I thought I should still be able to make a recovery-----that was what I thought………..until I heard the next sentence.

“Where are Tora and the rest?”

“Heh………..?”

I checked the surroundings thinking that there should not be that much of a distance made when I saw Julie tilting her small head-----

“Ah-re?”

It was not like there was a distance made.

It’s true that that the distance between us is very big but, Tora and the rest did not move much from the boat.

Which means we were the ones that got separated from the boat.

“This------we got washed away?”

It probably happened when I dived down to save Julie.

“……….Now that I think about it, she told us the water currents were complex here.”

“Yeah there was that talk before…………what’s more, it seems we are still being washed away. It looks like distance between here and the ship is getting bigger even at this moment. Looks like it’s going to be tough heading back there……….”

“Sorry, Tooru………….”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s not like the island got further away. Lets head there while watching out not to counter the current. Julie don’t let go of me, okay?”

“Ja---”

Before I started swimming, Julie made a hand gesture to Tora and the rest that we would be heading to the island like this.

After a while, Tora and the rest separated from the ship and headed toward the island.

I confirmed that and we started to move too.



40 minutes might have passed since I started swimming.

I could hear nothing but the sound of the waves and my breathing.

Julie was keeping quiet. It’s probably in consideration to avoid causing any burden to me who was swimming.

(I guess there is 1.5 kilometers left to the island maybe? Just a little bit more……..)

The moment I thought that---------

*Bara**bara**bara*………….The sound of a helicopter mixed with the sound of the waves.

It was just passing this southern sea--------there is no way that is the case.

I knew who that helicopter belonged to.

“To--------o------ru-----♪”

In the door of the helicopter hovering about 30 meters above us, a girl leaned forward and waved her hands.

Lilith=Bristol. With her Template:Furigana swaying, the girl looking at me with those Template:Furigana that makes one think of a deep sea, was an Ojou-sama that transferred to Kouryou academy 2 months ago from UK. She is a little selfish but has a lively personality; she is also the owner of a <<Unrivaled blaze>> like me and because of that, she is an existence called <<Exception>> but…………..actually, she was someone I am bad with.

“Sorry. For. The. Wait-------Chuu♥”

Lilith raised her voice to avoid getting it erased from the sound of the helicopter and threw a kiss over to me but------

“…………….”

I moved my head for some reason.

“Hey, Tooru---!! Why did you dodge my kiss of love!?”

I got scolded.

---Back to what I was saying, those words that came from Lilith’s mouth just now were the reason why I'm bad with her.

Yes, this gold girl has taken an odd liking to me and would actively show her favors to me------incidentally, she has no hesitations in declaring me as her future partner. What’s more, she would do things like link our arms every time, and those intentions for physical contact are extremely problematic for a young man like me.

“Tooru--, can you hear me!?”

“Ah………Sorry--, I did not hear you!!”

“What did you say!? Ah—mouu. Enough, I will go there now so wait there for me!!”

“O-ojou-sama!?”

Her butler Sara showed panic at Lilith’s announcement.

“………….!? …………!! …………..!!”

The gold girl did not listen to her butler who was shouting in disorder and-------started taking off the clothes she was wearing.

“Wait, Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh!?”

Although I was surprised and shouted, since her body with excellent proportions was wearing a swimsuit, I *Hoou* made a sigh.

“Wait, what are you planning to--------!?”

Even though I shouted, I knew what she was going to do. I knew it but, I still shouted.

“Wait for me, Tooru. I am heading there now-----♪”

The gold girl winked and threw her body to the sky without any hesitation like she was in a diving contest.

---late by a moment, the gold arrow pierced into the sea.

“Hi, Tooru♥”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 3 Non-Colour 1.jpg

After some time pass, Lilith floated right near us.

“………….Yo, Lilith. Sara looks very upset up there you know………….”

“It’s okay it’s okay. I told you this before, but that girl is a little too overprotective.”

No matter if she is an <<Exceed>>-----who just became <<Template:Furigana>> from the <<Level up>> like me a few days ago-----but still nonetheless, I think it is a little pitiful to call her overprotective when you jumped into the sea from the helicopter that high up.

When I looked up thinking that, Sara's and my eyes met and she was glaring at me.

(It’s not my--------I guess maybe it is my fault…………)

Without a single care to her butler’s condition, Lilith sent a hand sign telling her to head to the island first.

The helicopter headed to the island not long later but, Sara was grinding her teeth while glaring at me to the end. Thanks to that, it feels like I could hear the sound of her teeth grinding which was supposed to be inaudible to me.

“Haa………..just what were you thinking to make you jump into the sea.”

“Isn’t it obvious that I want to be with Tooru. More importantly, why are you sticking that close to that girl?”

Unsatisfied------rather, she is unsatisfied I guess. Lilith looked at Julie.

“……………..I can’t swim”

“Well, that’s it. I have to support my partner as a <<Duo>>”

“………….As a <<Duo>> huh?”

Lilith narrowed her eyes as if she wants to say something.

“Then, I will also receive support as your future partner♪”

Faster than her words, she rode on my shoulders.

“Wait a second Lilith! You can swim, right!?”

“I cramped my legs.”

“Like hell I would believe you when you have that easy expression on!!”

“…………..You will burden Tooru. Please don’t count on Tooru if you can swim.”

“Oh my, that goes for you too; you won’t be bothering Tooru if you learn to swim immediately you know?”

The gold girl replied back easily towards the discontent silver girl.

Julie tightened her grip.

(Again huh…….)

After Lilith enrolled, this type of rivalry between them had already occurred many times.

The reason was because of the claim of the gold girl wanting to make me her <<Duo>>. It seems because of that one sentence, an alert signal was being issued inside Julie that there might be a chance I might get taken away from her.

Thanks to that, she would often flare up against Lilith’s actions and words, like what was happening right now.

However, since Lilith doesn't show any concern of it and her leisurely attitude does not crumble at all, I think it’s okay to say it’s lucky if it will not reach a big quarrel.

Personally in my mind, I felt that Julie holding onto my clothes tightly to avoid letting me get taken away was a little cute but, it's fundamentally a way to mediate them.

“Haa……….I get it I get it. Julie, you aren’t causing any burden to me so it’s okay. That’s why, Lilith it’s okay to hold on to me like that.”

“Tooru………..”

“……………It’s okay. I like causing trouble for Tooru but, this type of trouble is not good. Sorry to be so selfish.”

After she said that, Lilith *Topuun* dived into the sea and------showed her face a few meters ahead.

“Tooru. Let’s have a competition to see who reaches the island first as a mood refresher.”

“……………But I am carrying Julie.”

“It’s a handicap, a handicap♪ Isn’t that okay since your opponent is a girl. Ready, Go♪”

“Wha!? Tha-that’s dirty!! I didn’t say a single word that I would accept the match!!”

She might have not heard me or she was ignoring me (most likely the latter) and, Lilith started swimming toward the island.

(Whether it’s Lilith or Tora, why are there so many people around me that are this combative?)

Although I sighed after seeing the gold girl take the lead, I do not hate that type of aspect.

“Tooru, what are you going to do?”

“Let’s see………..losing is annoying, so let’s chase her. Hold on tight.”

“Ja----♪ I will not let go.”


Around 20 minutes passed since I started swimming after Lilith----

With the endless repetition of the waves as my BGM, I am currently collapsed at the beach while making a 大 sign.

“Good work, Tooru………..”

“It is my overwhelming win, Tooru♪”

“I-I completely forgot I was in my uniform.”

What’s more my opponent was wearing a swimsuit unlike me; there was no way I could do anything.

“But, it is quite amazing that you finished swimming with that speed without resting…………..I might not be able to get much sleep if I have Tooru as my husband I think?”

What are you talking about.

“So, what are we going to do next? Rest for a while?”

“Sorry. Let me do that……..I can’t move now as expected……..”

After she heard my words, Lilith *Pupuu* spurt out before saying [You worked too hard] and laughed.

“Understood, Tooru……….having a rest would help me too.”

I got curious why it would help Julie too, and asked what she meant-----

“It feels disgusting because my clothes are wet……..especially my underwear.”

“If that is the case, then I guess I will rest until Julie’s clothes dry off.”

“Ja---. Thank you very much.”

The silver girl nodded------and put her hands inside her skirt.

[Julie!?][Wha-what are you doing!?]

“Ah………….So-sorry….*Hyau*”

I quickly looked away just when her underwear was about half-way taken off.

The last scream was most likely because of the coldness when she put it back on.

“I will go dry it off at the shadow of the rock over there.”

After Julie said that, she disappeared to the rock------the moment I thought that, her face popped out from there.

“You can’t come over here, Tooru.”

After saying that, she hid her lightly blushing face behind the rock again.

“………….Is that girl an airhead?”

“Well, a little…………”

Thanks to that, crazy things would sometimes occur in my normal life, but I was not careless enough to let that slip out of my mouth.

“Fuun…………..”

“A-alright, I guess I’ll take a small afternoon nap.”

I closed my eyes to run away from the sights that seemingly want to say something.

“Oh my, are you going to sleep? You are quite a blockhead to choose to sleep without having a fun strawberry talk with a swimsuit beauty alone at the beach.”

“That’s because sleeping is the best way to recover stamina. Sorry but, let me sleep for 30 minutes.”

“Okay, It’s alright. Then I will------”

*Fuu*……..a shadow suddenly appeared.

“Lilith?”

When I opened my eyes, Lilith sat down to interrupt the falling sunlight and looked at me as if she was peeking in.

“It’s somewhat easier if there is something blocking the sun, right?”

“A-aah………..but won’t you be hot……?”

Today’s sunlight was strong and the blazing hot sun shining down was burning the skin.

“I don’t mind for 30 minutes. I just want to let Tooru to have a good rest.”

“…………I am happy for those feelings but, the sorry feeling is stronger as expected.”

“I am doing this because I want to anyway, so it is not something Tooru has to worry about. I've got sunblock on too anyway………..but if you are still worried about it then, I guess I’ll have a gift of gratitude.”

“What should I do?”

When I asked back, Lilith placed her finger on her lips and made a charming mischievous smile.

“A good morning Ki-ss♪”

“----!?”

“An advance payment is alright too you know?”

Her hair brushed my ears and Lilith’s lips got closer.

Those red lips that make one think of a rose.

“It’s okay, really, it’s okay! I don’t need any shade as expected! I’ll just accept only those feelings!!”

My eyes were stolen by those lips for an instant, but I immediately regained my composure and turned my back to Lilith.

I got expose to the sunlight because of that and since I was going to fall asleep like this in the first place, I gave up having a blind over me.

My heart was *dokun**dokun* beating hard. Although I knew it was going to be alright, I was worried that Lilith might hear it.

“Mouu [3C 1], Tooru-kun you are so shy♥”

Even though I heard chuckling from her, I continued closing my eyes and didn’t reply to her.

She then made some shade for me again.

“………..I won’t give you a kiss.”

“It’s okay. Instead, I get to keep Tooru’s sleeping face all for myself♪”

“Hey you……….”

“I can’t?”

Honestly speaking, having my sleeping face get seen by a girl is embarrassing------but, I felt that this much was alright; maybe because I was too tired or because I accompanied the girl called Lilith.

“I get it……..Thanks, Lilith.”

“I don’t mind. Don’t make me say it twice, my husband♥”



After a while, I woke up and most of the tiredness was out of my body and my clothes were almost dried off.

“Now that I think about it, why were you late?”

Right when Lilith was talking nonchalantly, I asked the question that suddenly popped into my mind.

Even though she had some distance with the other classmates, Lilith had completely blended into the class now because she was unexpectedly sociable and Tachibana chipped in after <<Survive>>. There was no way she would think of not wanting to go together but………

“I got left behind when I was picking my swimsuit. Seriously mouu, waiting for 1 hour at least is okay right? I wonder what they think about the <<Exception>>”

(So that is why you were wearing a swimsuit under your uniform…….)

Lilith might have seriously thought that she could ease off on the clothed swimming after doing that.

(No no, we are going to train so wearing a swimsuit is bad.)

But since she managed to finish her clothed swimming training properly, it is okay to think that she has already understood the technique and there should not be any problems.

Incidentally, the boat departed following the strict schedule without caring if the <<Exception>> Lilith was late or not. Tsukimi said [The Ojou-sama would probably come later with her helicopter] and laughed; her prediction was beautifully on the mark.

It happened then-----when I was making a small wry smile when I recalled that.

“Ah……!!”

A small scream echoed from the rocks.

When I looked over thinking what happened, a white bird flew towards the sea and Julie was extending her hand towards it.

“What happened, Julie?”

After I got near her and asked, Julie told me about what happened in a somewhat fidgety manner.

“Tha-that’s…………my underwear got blown away by the wind…….”

“Huh…………..?”

I opened my mouth blankly at the unusual reply and looked at the white bird again-------rather, it was just right about the time I saw her underwear fall into the sea. Her underwear got swallowed by the waves just like that and could not be seen anymore.

““…………...””

I returned my sights back to Julie and she was holding the sides of her skirt tightly.

(Which means, she isn’t wearing------)

“Tooru. It's not good to stare.”

Julie's cheeks were faintly blushing, her eyebrows were slightly frowning and she was staring at me with upturned eyes.

I unexpectedly felt shocked at the cuteness which was different from usual.



We gave up on the underwear that disappeared into the sea and headed for the lodging house in the end.

Although Julie was usually defenseless, it looks like she is quite embarrassed since she was not wearing anything now, and was following behind while pushing her skirt at all times.

We reached a cove at the beach which was surrounded by 10 meter tall cliffs.

But it’s not like it stayed that way for a long time. We continued walking a bit farther and discovered a somewhat gentle rock surface.

“Looks like it is easy to climb from here…………but before that, Lilith please sit there for a while.”

Lilith did what I told her and sat on a small rock; I then bent down in front of her.

After that, I tore my uniform and covered her feet with it.

“This is better than being barefooted.”

“Fufu, thank you, Tooru. That consideration itself makes me happy. Thanks to that, I really want to make you my <<Duo>>-----”

“Tooru, let’s go if we have already finished preparing.”

Julie slipped in as if to interrupt Lilith’s words. Of course, it was done deliberately.

Lilith shrugged her shoulders while getting up and took the front before heading out.

However, when she started climbing up with her swimsuit on, I had trouble on where to put my sights.

When I lift my face, Lilith’s butt would definitely enter my view.

What’s more, since people would take many unthinkable poses as far as rock climbing was concerned, I could only think awkward thoughts while climbing up.

Of course, I tried not to look up as much as possible.

………Because of that, I almost fell many times.




There was a circular ridge when we finished climbing the cliffs.

It was at this moment that we first found out this island was a caldera. [3C 2]

It was hollow within the cliffs we climbed from and a forest covered completely with trees spread throughout.

The building we can see in the middle was probably our lodging spot. I could see a wide space like a hall and its surroundings.

“It'll take about an hour I guess?”

“It's questionable whether we could reach it or not before the sun goes down."

The gold girl pointed at the falling sun and agreed with my measurement.

This time, the silver girl opened her mouth.

“The wind is blowing hard here, so I want to get down fast, but………”

The silver girl was pushing down her skirt desperately, in opposition to the wind blowing through the mountain ridge.

Although I felt sorry at that appearance, I spurted out.

“You are evil, Tooru……….”

“Lilith. Be careful of the branches on the ground.”

She turned around and talked to me.

“Thank you, Tooru. It is okay.”

The light shining in the complex forest got dimmer when it turned into the evening and the times we got stuck in the tree roots got more frequent if we did not pay attention. This was especially true for Lilith, who looked like she was having a hard time walking since she only had cloth covering her feet.

I tried asking her if she wanted a piggy back once but she refused, saying that this was what she gets for joining up with us with only a swimsuit on.

(Lilith is someone that basically does not ask help from anyone else.)

She could do almost everything-------more specifically, I have not seen anything that Lilith could not accomplish at this current point. Accompanied from the education of her parentage, she was the embodiment of accomplished literacy and martial arts.

Nonetheless, it was different now. She could not perform a normal task such as walking.

(All of us are in a pinch so, I think it’s alright to count on each other at times like this though……….)

When I looked back again while thinking that, I could see Julie having a hard time with a different problem compared to the gold girl. Whenever there was a big obstacle we had to cross over, she would be concerned with my sights and at the same time------her skirt, making it hard for her to walk. I am trying my best not to look behind in consideration but, it couldn’t be helped since we had to drop our movement speed.

And because of that, the 1 hour I guessed at at the ridge got passed a long time ago and the sun had already set.

“Time of disaster huh……..”

That name was suitable for this time period; the darkness inside the forest got even darker and it was really eerie here.

Of course, the darkness is not giving us anything beneficial-------

“Ouch……..!!”

There was an anguished voice coming from behind------she probably stepped on a branch or stone.

“Sorry, Lilith. I missed that.”

“It can’t be helped since it’s this dark. It is not your fault, Tooru.”

“Even so, sorry. If there is something that can brighten-------”

I suddenly remembered the existence of an object when I said that half-way.

*Kachiri*. Light shone out when I pressed the armband’s switch.

“Uou, it’s brighter than I thought.”

I did not expect much since it was a small light but, the light was as strong as the ones from torch lights.

“Fufu, that is helpful…………..so, since you have forgotten about this, I think it’s okay to say that Tooru was at fault for the previous matter just like I thought?”

“Sorry…………”

I clapped my hands together and apologized to Lilith who was raising the side of her mouth mischievously.




After 5 minutes since I started moving with the light guiding our footsteps, I could see light from far away.

I made a sigh, when I saw the artificial light coming out of the building.

“Ya-re ya-re, we finally arrived.”

I told the girls that we are close and advanced while pointing the light forward.

Just like bugs attracted to flames------- this was probably what they are seeing.

“----, Tooru!!”

“Uwah!?”

Lilith who was walking behind me, suddenly pulled my collar strongly.

I did not have the leisure to ask why.

That was because, something scratched the tip of my nose immediately.

*Ka*! Something pierced into the tree trunk.

“This is…..!?”

“The next one is coming!!”

I was wondering if it was a double-bladed knife, but when Lilith’s voice suddenly jumped to the side, I could once again hear something piercing into the tree trunk. She rolled on the ground using the momentum from her jump and hid behind the trees to avoid the attack which had been continuously targeting her while she was rolling on the ground.

(I see. The light is the target………!!)

I noticed the reason why the aim was so precise and shouted towards my female partner.

“Julie, turn off the light!! It will be targeted!!”

“-----! Ja,Ja----!!”

A light coming from a further distance disappeared, after she shouted while turning it off.

At least she won’t get sniped with this.

---That thought was overly hasty.

Something accurately aimed at us as if they could see through the darkness.

Even though I used the trees and stared in the direction that the knife flew from, I could only see the dim forest continuously spreading out and could not see the enemy attacking us.

(An enemy…..!? On a deserted island like this……!?)

Although I was thinking that was impossible, we were currently being attacked.

I acknowledged the facts and switched my awareness to think of the enemy’s identity.

Is it an assassin sent into the academy like Tsukimi?

Or maybe it’s those battle suit guys that we fought 2 months ago?

Or is it a totally different enemy?

My thoughts stopped when the sound of metal clashing echoed.

(Oh no! Julie and Lilith got targeted!)

Even though I looked towards the direction where the echo of the sword clashing was coming from, I could not see any moving shadows.

It seemed we were separated more than I thought.

(Damn it, I have to go to those two fast………!!)

Julie and Lilith were not in their best conditions and I am the only one who could fight at full strength.

However, I stopped my legs when I was about to run towards the corner where the sound echoed from.

---No, I had no choice but to stop.

That’s because a shadow was standing there blocking my path.

It was covered with black clothes and the face was hidden with a hood; that unidentifiable appearance made me think of a demon living in the darkness.

“I met the demon during the time of disaster huh.”

I made an ironic smile towards the shadow.

---But, that smile turned into bewilderment in an instant.

The moment the <<Flames>> danced around those black clothes.

And the moment those <<Flames>> took shape and transformed into a weapon.

“A <<Blaze>>…….!?”

Part 2Edit

There was a surprise attack in the darkness. On top of that, the identity of the enemy had not been confirmed even though some time had past since the battle started-----

Normally, she would be maximizing her cautiousness and concentration.

Yes, normally.

However, Julie’s concentration had remained in disarray even after the moment the attack came.

The first attack was aimed at Tooru. Julie was also targeted immediately after Lilith shouted, and this event occurred right after she jumped away. The moment she landed her skirt flipped up.

“------!!”

She pushed down her skirt in a panic and looked towards her <<Duo>>-----Tooru.

The boy was making a stern expression towards the darkness----the direction the attack had come from----and was not concerned about Julie.

(It is safe, right…….?)

It was only for an instant and what’s more the surroundings were dark------but since the lights were still on, she could not determine whether he saw her or not.

But she had no time to indirectly confirm this with Tooru.

“Julie, turn off the light!! It will be targeted!!”

“----! Ja,Ja---!!”

Although she quickly turned off the light, she still received attacks since her position had been completely exposed to the attacker a few moments ago.

Julie pushed her skirt down while jumping away.

“What are you doing. Hurry up and manifest your <<Blaze>>!”

With a low tone voice, an order came from Lilith.

“……….I know.”

Normally, she would be moving her attention to the matter at hand, but that was just how much the girl was in disarray.

(I have to concentrate……….!)

She was surrounded by the silence of the dark forest when she stopped moving.

The wind would sometimes shake the trees and the *Zazaza*, the sound of leaves brushing each other……..was produced------

The attacker aimed for that single moment to launch the attack.

*Gikiin*!! *Giin*!! She used the <<Saber>> she manifested and deflected the flying object.

“<<Kunai>> huh. So our enemy is a ninja?”

Even though Lilith saw the object that got knocked down and made that comment, her voice currently was not reaching Julie.

Julie's skirt would sway each time and she would knock it down, deflect and dodge; her concentration crumbled each time she did that.

(Where is Tooru…..!?)

She would look around the surroundings for Tooru, especially right after she made a big dodge.

She would be relieved that he could not be seen around but still felt uneasy at the same time.

Julie knew Tooru as someone who would still run to his comrades, no matter how injured he was, to prevent them from getting hurt. Since she couldn’t see him now, it would probably mean that something had happened to prevent him from running over.

If that was the case, then Julie thought that she had to defeat the enemy as fast as possible and run over to him herself but-----

“Kuuh………!!”

The enemy did not allow that and continued attacking from a distance. Since the attacks were mostly flying objects, Julie could only remain defensive because she could not close the gap.

Of course, the situation would change if she could close the gap, but she was hesitant in attacking when she thought of the possibility that she might be seen.

(What should I do………….)

Even though the reason was because of her own mistake, Julie hated the enemy for attacking in this situation.

(But Tooru might be in a big trouble, so now is not the time to be hesitating like this………!!)

On the other side, Lilith was analyzing the enemy calmly.

(Quite fast………but, not as fast as Julie.)

Lilith gave the silver girl a high score in that particular point of her battle technique.

Especially the way she moves her body; she had already experienced that first hand during the previous <<Survive>>. At that time Julie was impatient and she was able to deal with the straight forward and simple attacks without any difficulty. However, if she had attacked in a calmer manner then, the battle would probably have been more complicated.

Of course, Lilith thought that her victory still would not have changed.

Anyhow, there was a great difference with the movements of the girl holding the <<Double>> standing beside her and the enemy attacking them right now.

(…………The problem would be that the enemy’s movements are not straight.)

The enemy changes the course path suddenly by kicking off of the abundant trees. The enemy would move in the opposite, upward and diagonal directions on the terrain; adding on, the biggest problem would be that the enemy uses the darkness to its maximum advantage, making it hard to confirm the precise location.

The gold girl could do something if she closed the gap, but she could not move because of a reason different than Julie’s. She probably thought that it was going to be hard to corner the opponent because she only had a cloth covering her bare feet, making her unable to bring out her optimal performance.

That was why she decided to concentrate. She would concentrate and prepare her <<Template:Furigana>> after predicting the enemy’s movements.

“…………There!! ----Kuh!?”

*Ga*. The long barrel backfired and the bullet shot to who knows where because the tip slammed on the surrounding trees.

(The reason why the attack was done here was to use the trees as a cage huh………not bad!)

Lilith made a fearless smile toward the enemy’s fighting style.

The <<Kunai>> pierced through the darkness towards that smile but------

*Gikiin*!! Julie used her blade and slammed it down before standing in front of Lilith as if she was protecting her.

“…………..I never asked for your help.”

“Ja---. I just did it on a whim.”

Lilith did not say any more to that un-honest reply and returned her consciousness to the enemy.

(Not bad at all.)

Whether it’s the place selected for the surprise attack, or the timing, and more importantly-----the ability to match up with those who are <<Template:Furigana>>, even though she could not display her real abilities------Lilith was giving a good showing.

“Well then………..What should we do huh. It would be nice if there were more space at least………..”

“………….So it will be okay if there is more space, right?”

The silver girl dropped her sights and confirmed the feeling of her surroundings towards Lilith’s mumble and asked.

“You got a plan?”

“If you Template:Furigana in an instant-----I will make it for you

Lilith opened her eyes wide for an instant but immediately understood Julie’s intentions.

“So, let’s do it in the next timing.”

“Ja---”

After Julie nodded, she looked at her feet again.

They were currently surrounded by thickets just reaching to their knees. Tooru was not nearby. It seemed the enemy was feeling superior right now and would probably avoid coming closer.

(It will be okay with this…….!!)

Soon-----that time came. The moment the <<Kunai>> was thrown towards the girls, the girl with Template:Furigana jumped straight up and the girl with Template:Furigana sank her body in the opposite direction.

Julie spun her body while sinking-----and at the same time, used her blades to cut in a circle.

*kiin*……….!!The attacker certainly heard a high-pitched sound. It was not the clashing echoing metallic sound of the <<Kunai>> getting deflected and knocked down like what had been happening until now.

Then what was that, the answer appeared right in front the moment the attacker had that question.

*Mekimekimekimeki*…………….!! The cage trapping the silver and gold girl was-----

The trees collapsed in a radial manner.

---No, the silver girl had cut them all down.

“Wha……….!?”

The enemy could only be shocked at the girl who changed the scenery with a power unfitting her small body in one move----and because of that, a small chance was born.

The gold girl did not miss that chance and------

A gunshot echoed immediately right after.


Chapter 3: I Like You TooEdit

Part 1Edit

The black cloth demon kicked the ground just as I was recovering from the discomposure I got from seeing the <<Blaze>>.

“Kuh………..!!”

It did not give me any time, and the 10 meter gap between us got closed------

The black cloth swung down it’s <<Blaze>>.

My tank top got sliced even though I jumped away.

The black cloth did not stop there and stepped in even more.

“Kuh!------<<Blaze>>!!”

I blocked the non-stop 2nd and 3rd attacks with my manifested <<Shield>>.

It was a heavy and fast attack.

The power and swiftness was same as me----during the time I was a level <<II>>.

It would be a tough opponent if it was me before the Sublimation to <<III>>, but my physical abilities had become really high just because I climbed one <<Level>>. It was so high that it was practically impossible to lose to an opponent who was at that same level as before. It also made me think, constant hard work was meaningless.

However, I was on the defensive now.

I was forced to be on the defensive because of the turmoil in my heart.

(Why does this fellow have a <<Blaze>>……!)

The weapon I blocked was a curved one-sided blade----it is most likely a <<Sword>>.

*Gyaariri*…………!! The enemy pushed me. When I pushed back to prevent being pushed over, the black cloth easily jumped back without making any firm contact with the ground.

I asked when we faced each other again after it assumed a 5 meter distance.

“Who are you?”

“……………..”


There was no reply. However, it’s not like I had no idea who it was.

The enemy was unmistakably an <<Exceed>> since it has a <<Blaze>>.

If that is the case then the black cloth is probably Tsukimi’s old comrade or something close to that.

The thought that a betrayer who had been hired by an organization or country that did not like the existence of the <<Exceed>> had infiltrated the staff popped up in my mind.

Different from that, there is one more point I was concerned about.

(This <<Blaze>>. Where have I-----)

“-------!!”

The black cloth kicked the ground as if to interrupt my thoughts. It then closed the gap without caring about the complex landscape in this dark forest.

Different from just now, it lowered its body posture and attempted to make a tackle this time. The moment I reached its <<Sword>> range, the blade came attacking to my lower leg from the left.

The black cloth took one more step and slashed back the same time I took a small jump back. It was a 2 stage attack meant to make me jump mid-air-----but, I had predicted that much already.

*Gainnnn*!! I twisted my body while blocking the blade as if I was hitting my <<Shield>> at it.

It seems the impact was unexpected to the black cloth and it stumbled a little before it was my turn to attack.

I did not deal any damage even though my hook scratched the enemy. But, the fist has a greater advantage than the sword now that I had entered the chest area.

Even though it blocked two of my punches with the grip when I punched in rapid succession, the 3rd hit landed on its shoulder and it staggered from it.

“Now!! ------Kuh!?”

I stopped my movements when it kicked me as I was about to make a follow up.

Although the black cloth was staggering, it entered the tree shadows and hid itself.

(Damn it, there goes my chance!!)

The moment I thought it hid behind the tree shadows, I could hear the ground getting kicked and----

The black cloth’s presence disappeared into the darkness.

*Zaa*…………!! Some of the trees in my surroundings moved unnaturally and made rustling sounds.

“--------!!”

I could sense its presence behind me suddenly. When I looked back, the black cloth swinging its <<Sword>> down was there.

*Jigiin*!! I immediately prepared my <<Shield>> and blocked it. More specifically, my <<Shield>> entered the blade’s path by luck.

(Kuh…….so this is your real battle style huh!!)

The speed and strength did not change. The movement was the thing that changed.

The bewitching jump kicks performed on the tree trunks, branches and of course the ground looked like what Tsukimi used when I fought her last time.

That time it was a 4 cornered classroom, but it was different now. The trees lined up unnaturally were of course not acting as a single body and had become a screen covering my view. The moment I thought it moved left, it kicked the branches and headed upward before kicking the branches again and heading immediately downward. It then jumped to the right and hid behind the trunks, causing me to lose sight of it------before suddenly jumping out from the thicket behind me.

*Giin*!! I somehow managed to block it and was about to counter attack immediately but the enemy had already disappeared from that spot.

It jumped back while the blade was swung down, then leaped its body back into the darkness again.

(It's completely going with a hit and run pattern. What an annoying opponent!!)

What’s more it was completely avoiding entering my fist range.

That hit and run fight style was enough to fill in the gap between our physical abilities.

(But, I don’t have the time to play with you……….!!)

I have to go to those 2 girls.

I fixed my rough breathing while clearing out my ears to concentrate on reading the enemy’s presence.

(Alright, come…..!)

Where will the black cloth come from? Right, left, from behind again, or maybe-------

*Zaaaaa*……….!! The sound was close. It was not from the right, left or behind.

“Above!!”

*Baki**baki* the sounds of thin branches was produced and the black cloth attacked from above.

The daijoudan[3d 1] slash with the weight of falling down added into it, probably has very high power in it.

My body would probably get blown away even if I blocked it with my <<Shield>>.

That was why-----I dodged the blade’s path.

I dodged it with the body movements I learned from Tachibana that I had continuously practiced in the 2 months after the <<Survive>> until today, and at the same time I slipped into its chest area after I spun my body.

“------!!”

In the moment of the black cloth's surprise, I was already grabbing hold of the hand holding on to the <<Sword>>----and threw the black cloth down. The air inside the lungs of the black cloth came out at the same time as the impact. I did not stop the flow there and mounted it by taking the advantage of the throw’s momentum.

“This……….is the end!!”

I pushed the black cloth’s chest down and swung down my fist-----that was supposed to happen but.

“Eh……..?”

I stopped my fist.

Because the hood hiding the black cloth's face came off when I threw it down.

Because I saw the face under the hood.

Because that face----belonged to someone I was familiar with.

“Y-yo-yo-you are……….”

I could not hide my shock when I saw the girl with long ponytail.

She was------

“Imari!?”

She was the opponent I fought with during the Kouryou academy enrollment exam. She looked a little more mature compared to last time. As usual Nagakura Imari------was exactly a lively girl with both cuteness and beauty.

“Ah…………”

*Pokan* She made a blank expression at my shout------before making an unconcerned laugh.

“Ahaha, I got found out.”

“E-err…………?”

“We might have met up again in a weird way but-----long time no see, Tooru.”

“A-aah……Long time no see…………”

Because it was a sudden event, I greeted back while maintaining my astonishment.

“Aah, I lose this time too huh. You are strong as I expected.”

“I-iyaa………Imari got a lot stronger too.”

“Fufu, I am happy you said that.”

After she nodded in satisfaction at my comment----

Imari’s expression turned a little awkward.

“………By the way Tooru. Can you let go already?”

“Let go……..?”

Imari moved her sights to show me the reason when she heard my words.

After I followed it, my hand was still pushing her body down.

I was holding tightly onto------her soft breast which could be called the symbol of a woman.

“Tooru………………you pervert.”

Imari stood up before erasing her <<Sword>>.

(No wonder I thought I had seen it before……..)

Although I was thinking why I did not recall back just now, I think the biggest reason why I could not recall back was because I heard that the losers from the <<Qualification ceremony>> had their <<Lucifer>> removed and lost their qualification to become an <<Exceed>>.

“I completely have no idea what is going on. Can you give me an explanation?”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 3 Non-Colour 2.jpg

“Of course. But before that-----”

“If it is our side then, we are done.”

The gold girl showed herself from the darkness.

Beside her, there was a girl with Template:Furigana opposite to her hair color.

“Looks like your side ended too, Tooru.”

“A-ahh………Err, what is that?”

Julie was carrying some kind of black person.

“She is the one that attacked first.”

“That’s my <<Duo>>”

As if to add on to Julie’s words, Imari gave an explanation.

“<<Duo>>…………..no seriously what is going on……….”




I replaced Julie in carrying the black cloth and started walking towards the lighted building.

The talk Imari started while we were walking was quite surprising.

“Br-branch school!?”

“Yes, Kouryou academy branch school. That is the school I am affiliated with right now. Incidentally, the building you all are heading to is our lodging place and at the same time the branch school’s school building.”

It was a continuous streak of surprises even though she said that.

3 months ago-------the <<Qualification ceremony>> ended and after the losers left the auditorium, they were brought to the building grounds and were pressed with a choice.

Although there might be some rules, they would either transfer to a normal high school or----maybe transfer to the Kouryou academy branch school to become an <<Exceed>> again but, the environment would be harsh.

It seems Imari picked the path of the branch school without a second thought and brought herself to this island.

During the following 3 months, she received severe training and after she sublimated to <<II>> by the <<Sublimation ceremony>> last semester, she was told that the students from the main school--------meaning us, were coming to visit the island for a seaside school.

Also, they would be conducting a <<Blaze Practice>> of hiding their identity and attacking us.

“So that was what happened……….I don’t know what to say but anyway this is great. It’s really great that Imari’s path did not get cut off……….”

“Fufu, looks like I made you really worried at that time. Thanks, Tooru.”

I kept thinking it was my fault that I cut off her path last time but I felt a load of my chest the moment I heard that it really wasn’t the case.

“However, I told you this before but you really became stronger. If our <<Level>> was the same then, I don’t think I could win.”

“Ahaha, it became a good fight because the terrain advantage was totally mine. Also, my eyes got used to the darkness thanks to the time spent on this island. That’s why the conditions can be said to be fair------uuun, rather I think I was at the advantage……………..nonetheless, judging by the fact that I could not even stand a chance against you last time, I am honestly happy that you told me that I got stronger.”

That smile was the same as the time I first met her.

Different from the ending of the <<Qualification ceremony>>, I relaxed my cheeks from the happiness coming from my heart.

“By the way, Tooru. Can you introduce those two to me? I saw that girl in the entrance ceremony but, I don’t know her name.”

“Hnn? Aah, that’s right. She is called Julie and is my <<Duo>>”

“Ja---. Julie=Sigtuna. I am Tooru’s <<Duo>>. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you Julie. I am Nagakura Imari.”

Julie and Imari exchanged a handshake and---------

“<<Duo>>!?”

She was surprised after some time lag.

“Wait, errr, she is a girl and, Ueee!? Ah……do-don’t tell me the main school is different to the branch school, and the rooms are different, like that………?”

“Same room.”

“To-Tooru……….you didn't do anything behind the scenes, right…….?”

“I didn’t!”

That reaction was quite nostalgic since our classmates had gotten used to the fact that me and Julie were living in the same room and had stopped teasing us………….of course, I still had to retort back with a loud voice though.

“Is that so……..I can only feel it is amazing, in a certain way though……….”

I don’t feel like I was being praised, but she was most likely praising me.

“Err, then about the other girl…………”

“I am Lilith=Bristol. Tooru’s fiancee.”

“Self-proclaimed though.”

After exchanging a handshake with Lilith, Imari------

“Fiancee!?”

“Like I said, self-proclaimed.”

It was already a retort since this was the 2nd time.

“Self-proclaimed huh, how cold of you. Aren't we in a relationship since we kissed?”

“Ki………!?”

Her eyes opened wide and Imari looked shocked.

“That was something you did one-sidedly ignoring Tooru’s will. What’s more, it was on the cheek.”

“Then, I will get Tooru’s permission. Tooru kiss me. Of course the lips are okay too.”

“I'm not going to…………..”

The gold girl placed her finger at her lips. Julie was standing there as if she was protecting me from Lilith.

The ponytail said this while looking at the both of them.

“…………Looks like you are having a fun life, Tooru.”

“How can you get that idea after looking at this situation………”

I changed the topic of conversation after making a sigh towards Imari, who stared at me with eyes carrying a hidden meaning.

“But, now that I think about it again, it really is a coincidence huh? Even if you all were told to attack us, to think that I would be fighting against Imari again.”

Even though it was decided for the branch students to attack the main students in the forest, I would never have thought I would meet up with Imari from the <<Qualification ceremony>> again.

---I brought the conversation there when I thought of it and I got an unexpected reply back.

“Aah, there was a little trick to that. You received an armband when you got off the boat right? Actually, there is a transmitter attached to it, and that is why we were able to identify each individual.”

She then took out a smartphone-looking portable terminal from her pocket and showed it to me. It seems the map shown on the screen belonged to this island. There was a circle shown on the map. There were numbers written inside the circle and the number followed the main school group’s record number.

“So, you are saying that the branch school had complete knowledge of our movements?”

“That’s about it…………..so, I wanted to show Tooru the results I gained during these 3 months and requested everyone to give me the priority to challenge you…………well, thanks to Tooru coming up at a different spot compared to the others, it was easy to make a situation to fight you 1 vs 1.”

Thanks to that Imari made Miwa------the opponent Julie and Lilith fought-----take on a tough role and made a wry smile.

“But, why did you end up at the eastern side?”

“That’s because Julie can’t swim. We drifted away from the others when I went to save her.”

“Hee, Julie can’t huh……….that's somehow kind of unexpected.”

It probably was very unexpected to her because she saw Julie fight during the enrollment ceremony.

“------?”

Julie and Imari’s eyes met and Julie *Chirin* tilted her small head producing a bell ring.

“Now that I think about it, Tooru. I remembered this when the armband topic got brought up, but why didn’t you send out a rescue signal when we were fighting just now?”

“………Now that you mentioned it, there is that function huh?”

“You were attacked by an unidentified enemy, so you have to send the signal out because it includes the meaning of emergency contact too. If we really were enemies targeting the lives of Tooru and the main school students what were you going to do? Lives could be saved just by contacting help.”

“Uu, how strict.”

“Use everything you have in your hand. ………..our instructor slammed that completely into our heads.”

I made an 'understood' nod towards Imari who brought out her tongue playfully.

“Okay, then. We’re here.”

Further up the forest Imari was pointing to, the building was producing outside light.

The western style building looks unfitting for a building in the southern seas, and it was giving out a somewhat similar atmosphere as the dormitory we passed our days in.

Imari ran to the front of the building and turned around.

“Welcome, to Kouryou academy branch school!”



When we entered the western style building, Lilith left telling me she wanted to change and disappeared inside with Sara who came to pick her up.

Even though there was lighting here, Julie and I were being led through the dim wooden corridor by Imari.

*Gishi**gishi* sounds like this were produced and it seems the room we were being brought to was the cafeteria.

When we peeked inside, we saw our classmates from the main school already here.

“Looks like not everyone is here yet.”

“Uun, you all are the last ones. The reason why the numbers aren’t right is because there might be some that are unconscious after getting beaten by the branch school group. They should be sleeping in a different room until they wake up.”

I thought back when she told me that. We took a rest before moving from the beach.

It was only normal for everyone else that got to shore in another spot to reach here a long time ago.

“Okay then, we the branch school group have things to prepare so we are going now. See you later, Tooru, Julie.”

While wondering what kind of preparation it was, Imari said her goodbye and stepped into the cafeteria.

“Julie. Be careful.”

“Ja, Ja---……..”

Our luggage got transported to the cafeteria during the day.

We headed to our luggage located in the corner of the room as fast as possible and got Julie’s underwear.

During that time, I was taking up positions where the surrounding people would be unable to see Julie.

(I never would have thought to test out the things we learn in class like this……..)

This was something that I didn’t realize might be useful somewhere in this world.

………..There should be a limit to how rare this example is.

Julie then headed outside to put on her underwear while in the toilet.

I then fell flat on the table before Tora talked to me.

“Fuun, you sure took your time.”

Tora was smirking and the first words that came out from his mouth was [I got here first so it’s my win].

…………It’s somehow frustrating.

[Kokonoe. Looks like you got here safe][Go-good work, Tooru-kun……….]

Tachibana and Miyabi joined in at that moment.

“Where did Julie-chan go………?”

“She told me she was headed to the toilet.”

That was not a lie.

“By the way, you guys being in this room would mean that you guys fought off the branch school group too?”

“That’s because To-Tomoe-chan protected me.”

“Fufu, it’s not only me. If it weren’t for Tora, who knows what could have happened.”

From what I heard from Tachibana, they acted in a group with 6 people by Tora’s suggestion and arrived to the branch school without leaving anyone behind.

“As expected-------is what I wanted to say but, it’s okay to say that I misheard that Tora suggested to act as a group?”

“It’s true.”

Tachibana became the witness and Miyabi *un**un* nodded.

“……………….Tora, did you catch a fever after getting your body cold in the sea?”

“Hell no!! I suggested it because it would get annoying if the slow one got hurt and told you that I was around her when that happened.”

“Uu………..Sorry for being slow….but, thank you, Tora-kun………..”

“I-I don’t need your thanks anyway!!”

Tora turned away maybe from embarrassment.

“But well, it’s just as Tora says. I would most likely be concerned if someone got hurt. So-----Thanks.”

“------! Fu-funn, thank me as much as you like…….!”

Why is your attitude clearly only different to me.

“Tooru, I am back.”

Julie came back at that moment.

With the familiar faces gathered, they chatted around like usual------

Soon the other classmates who had been resting in another room started popping up.

And just when everyone gathered, Mikuni-sensei followed the chairman into the room.

“Good work all of you for today. Mikuni has something to say about the stay here now, but before that, there is an apology I must make to everyone here.”

The Chairman’s apology-----was about lying to us about the <<Qualification Ceremony>>.

“When a time where you have to fight to open your path comes, you must have a strong will to confront it------in order to accomplish that, I made a lie saying that I wouldn't allow your enrollment unless you did so, and I hereby apologize about it.”

After the chairman took a deep bow, the room turned somewhat noisy.

The rumor that we were guinea pigs for her to test her experiments had been heard by the students in Kouryou academy at least once.

We might not know the truth but we cannot just assume that rumor to be false.

There is a <<Lucifer>> research institute under the academy, and it is a well-known fact to the students that the chairman is the one in charge of it.

A person with that status accepting responsibility for her actions and lowering her head changed the impression I had for her up until now, and I probably was not the only one here that thought that.

It made me think that she was someone with a strong enough will for her to be prepared to be hated; when I was told that the cold-blooded woman that has a teaching policy which could only be described as irrational was actually thinking about the students.

When the chairman’s talk-----apology ended, Mikuni-sensei started talking about the schedule for this next week.

The content was not really new and could be said to be close to the same as usual.

We are to live on this island for one week, we will be participating in training which can’t be executed in the main school with the branch school students, we are not to take off the armbands since the training is somewhat dangerous, we will be free on the last day, etc, etc…………..

“It will be dinner time next, but the people in branch school have already prepared food for you today. Each individual, please move to the hall.”

After hearing the word dinner, a few students (including me) gulped and stood up making noise the same time the talk ended.

“Seriously, your eyes shine when it comes to food, you are one heck of a guy……”

While Tachibana was making a wry smile, she continued her words.

“However………….isn’t it great, Kokonoe?”

“About what?”

“I am talking about the ponytail girl. It might be an unthinkable re-encounter but, aren’t you relieved that she is working hard here?”

“Aah, it’s about Imari huh. That’s true, it really is great.”

3 months ago, I closed off Imari’s path with my own hands. We both agreed with the results, but it was a fact that the guilt became thorns piercing into me.

That was why I felt happy knowing that she was working hard in this branch school like this.

“………Ah, that’s right. Speaking about the Imari event, this might be a little too late but, thank you for trying to cheer me up right after the enrollment. I was really happy thanks to Tachibana’s feelings.”

“Tha-that’s an old talk.”

Tachibana’s cheek, which was turned away, was blushing just a little.




When we headed outside, a heat wave different than the ones from the summer night blew past us. There were several barbecue grills set up and the branch school students were there.

A representative from the branch school came closer to us when they saw us coming out of the western-style building.

“Welcome to Kouryou academy branch school!! A lot happened in the enrollment ceremony and in <<Blaze practice>> today, but just wash those things down with water or with the meat that you are going to swallow. So, nice to meet you all and pleasure working with all of you for this one week!!”

It seemed Imari was the branch school’s representative.

Nonetheless, it was something agreeable if I thought about her sociable personality. *Un**un* one person nodded before a familiar rabbit-eared person voiced out while hanging a skewer with a piece of grilled meat pierced onto it.

“So with that said, we will be having barbecue for dinner while deepening our relationships, everyone♪”

“Hey, Tsukimi-sensei right? Why are you already grilling the meat when we have not toasted yet!?”

“Don’t worry about it, Tail-chan☆”

The main school students made wry smiles when they saw the pace Tsukimi displayed and the panicking Imari; there were some that got tired (Mainly the people around me), and during that time, the paper plates, chopsticks, and paper cups were distributed to everyone.

[How about cola? There is orange juice too] [I want cola]

[I will have oolong] [I-is there milk………..?]

Such conversations were exchanged between the main and branch school for a while-----

And not long after, everyone had their cups filled with drink.

Incidentally during this time, most of the main school students including me were getting restless because of the aroma of meat that was floating around from what Tsukimi was grilling.

“Okay then----Cheers!”

“““Cheers!!”””

After taking a gulp, the hall was filled with noise.

[Don’t push. There is a lot of meat and vegetables] [Hey you! That meat is not cooked yet!] [Shuddap, I like it rare!!] [Onion is something to look forward to♪]

It’s not the level of a little commotion. Hungry teenagers------ what’s more because we were made to swim with our clothes on during the day, and fight with the branch school students in a <<Blaze practice>>, our hunger had reached its peak. Thanks to that, everyone got desperate for the food until it made it hard to get the grilled up meat and vegetables.

“Julie, are you going to eat only vegetables?”

When I headed beside her after getting meat, meat and only meat, I saw the plate Julie was holding only had vegetables on it.

“Nai. I wanted to take some meat but, it disappeared in no time at all……….”

“Ah---………..well, it is a grilled meat contest now.”

It would be quite a fierce battle if it was during the start.

“……………If you are okay with mine, do you want some of mine?”

“Is it okay?”

“Aah, it’s all meat like you see so it isn’t a problem if I share some. As payment, please keep this a secret from Tachibana.”

I took a peek at Tachibana who was talking with a branch school student far away.

Just like me and Imari, it seemed it was her opponent from her <<Qualification ceremony>> battle, and Tachibana was talking to her.

“Ja---. I understand, I will take this and this.”

Julie made a faint smile and *Chirin* the bell rang when she nodded.

I then took a big sausage and one diced steak and transferred it to her plate.

The silver girl took a bite of the sausage with her small mouth and *Byuu* the meat juices came spurting out.

“Hnn………it’s hot……..”

“Are you okay? Be careful not to get burnt okay?”

“Ja----, I will be careful. *Lick*………….*chu**Hnkun*……..it is delicious………..”

Julie scooped up the juice on her cheeks with her finger and licked it.

She then *Fuu**fuu* blew the hot sausage again while putting it into her mouth.

Maybe because it was hot, but she was eating the meat stick while her cheeks were blushing.

“Ahmu……….Hnn…………..Tooru’s sausage is hot and delicious……..*Hamu*, *Chuu*………..”

“A-ahh………….”

Even though I was just looking at her eating the sausage, my heart was *doki**doki* pumping hard for some reason.

It somehow feels that I made her do something which should not have been done or how should I say……….

“Hnkuhnn, Tooru’s is so big……….Hamu, Hnn, fuu…….”

It might have been a fierce fight but I took a big one properly. As expected of me.

However, it seems that it might have been a little too big for Julie’s small mouth.

“Tooru, Julie, are you eating?”

[Yup. A whole bunch] [Ja---]

Imari came with a paper plate filled with a mountain of meat, while I was eating and talking to Julie.

“I see. Then that’s good. There is still more so eat until you are full………….wait, that’s a lot of meat.”

“It’s called, do something while the demon is not around.”

Of course, Tachibana was at the end of my sights when I took a peek.

“I don’t get it but, looks like Tooru is a meat lover huh. Fufu, I am too.”

I noticed this when she said it but, there was a huge amount of meat on Imari’s plate.

[My comrade!!] [Comrade!!]

*GaShii* we lifted our shoulders high up and grabbed our hands together.

“What are you two doing…………..”

Tora came over and made a big sigh when he saw us doing that.

“…………..Ah-re, you are Tooru’s friend, if I am right you’re------”

“I was planning to say you have good memory but, I am not his friend.”

Imari made a [Am I wrong] expression for a moment. However, it seems she recalled back the conversation she had during the enrollment ceremony. After she made a smile and introduced herself, Tora introduced himself back.

She then talked with Tora for a while.

Even if the partner was Julie who talks little or Tora who was blunt with almost everyone, Imari would display her sociability and her natural cheerfulness to connect the conversation skillfully.

That short moment even made me think that she had been in the group since last time.

“And, I am out of meat. Time for seconds.”

I left those words to those three and headed to one of the several grills set up which had less people surrounding it.

We could grill our own meat, and it was okay to take the meat that was placed on the iron grill by the staff responsible for the grilling, so to me who was a greedy fellow, I decided to pick both ways.

While cooking my own meat, I extended my hand to the skewered meat grilled by the staff and------

My hands piled on top of another person who was aiming for the same meat.

[Ah, sorry] [N-no, it’s my fault too-----------To-To-Tooru-kun!?]

It was Miyabi.

“Ah………”

Miyabi moved her gaze from my face to her hand which my hand was piling on and-----

““…………….””

It was approximately 3 seconds of silence.

“Pyaa--------------!?”

Miyabi raised both her hands together with a shout.

Naturally, we became the center of attention.

“So-sorry. A bug flew here………..right, Miyabi.”

*Nodnodnodnodnodnodnodnod*

I immediately made an excuse and made Miyabi follow it up. Since the main culprit who shouted said it’s correct, our surroundings returned back to their own conversation immediately.

“So-sorry, for shouting like that…….”

“It’s okay. I'm sorry to scare you too.”

“Uu………..It’s true if you say I got scared though………”

*Shunn* When I saw Miyabi getting disheartened, I thought it couldn’t be helped since she was bad with the opposite sex.

In my own opinion, we should have gotten closer in the 3 months since we have known each other.

It was enough for me to put my chest up proudly and say that I am her closest friend in terms of the male condition.

But even so, since she shouted it would mean that------

(This might be my imagination but, judging by the fact that she is friends with Julie and Tachibana, she might be forcing herself to act as my friend even though she dislikes it!?)

It would be a shock for me if it was true but, I felt that it was not something impossible.

(But during that time on the ship, Miyabi did ask me to lend her my shoulder……….)

I don’t get it anymore.

After I took a peek at Miyabi, she regained her composure and put vegetables and meat on to her own plate with the tongs.

“Hey, Miyabi. There is something I want to ask but…………”

“Errr, what is it…….?”

I pondered on how to ask her and just randomly asked her.

“Do you hate me?”

“Uuuh!?”

Miyabi gasped.

Her hands let go of the tongs and it dropped to the ground making a *Gachan* sound.

“Wha-what……..do you mean……..?”

Miyabi opened her eyes wide and asked back.

“Ah…….I guess it was a little too random huh. Oh well, these kind of topics are best asked straightforwardly so, I just wanted to ask if I'm still within the dislike category without any changes?”

“Ah………So-so that is what you meant……….err, that is not true………Really, really…………”

The feeling of asking something I shouldn't have felt very strong and I felt a little regret that I had asked her this.

“Al-also…………..”

Miyabi faced her back to me and crouched down before picking up the tongs while continuing her words.

“I Li-li-lili-lii-li-like Tooru-kun………as a friend, as a friend…………”

She said it twice just in case. But even so, my heart pumped for an instant.

“I see. Thanks, I like you too Miyabi.”

“Pyaa!?”

The tongs got blown away-------if I said that, it felt as if the humid night would turn cold in one go.

“What are you doing, Miyabi?”

“The-there really is a bug this time……Ahaha………..”

She picked up the tongs while making a smile at the disaster and after she did that, I went back to Julie together with Miyabi.




“Tooru, so you are here. Mouu, I have been looking for you.”

When I was continuing my meal with the usual faces excluding Tachibana, Lilith who had finished changing her clothes came and joined us. Behind her like usual, Sara was following her (and was glaring at me).

“You sure took your time to change.”

“I took a shower while I was at it.”

After saying that, Lilith flicked her hair with her hands. The soft-looking Template:Furigana danced lightly.

Incidentally, a nice smell floated and it tickled my nose.

“Now that I think about it, we did swim in the ocean.”

I completely forgot about it since it was hours ago but, my hair felt a little dried up when I tried touching my hair.

“It feels kind of stiff………….”

Julie touched her own hair like me and leaked out her comments.

“Isn’t it better to take a shower after you finish eating?”

“Ja----, I will do that. Miyabi let’s go together.”

“Ah…….So-sorry. I took one immediately when I got here so…………”

From what I heard, it seems Tora and the others had already taken showers and we were the only ones who had not taken one since we came in late.

“It feels kind of stiff once you get concerned about it.”

“Is it that stiff?”

“Want to try touching, Tooru?”

“Aah, that’s right.”

When I tried touching, it’s true that her Template:Furigana was stiff and it felt completely different than the comfortable silky hair during the afternoon.

“Tooru. Why not touch my hair too while you are at it.”

While saying that, Lilith held a tuft of her hair and showed it to me.

“In this case, I think it is meaningless to touch your hair since you took your shower already-----”

“It’s okay just do it. Incidentally, you can take a whiff.”

“I-I get it……..”

Even though I nodded, I wouldn’t smell her hair as expected…………it somehow feels perverted.

“Okay, I am going to touch it okay?”

“Why are you asking for confirmation for my case.”

While making a reply, I touched Lilith’s hair.

…………I decided to act as if I couldn’t see the butler making a demonic face behind Lilith.

“Uwah. It feels really nice.”

“Fufu, Thank you♪”

It seems she had been taking care of it regularly and it's soft while elastic making it feel nice to touch.

I then understood why she asked me to touch it when I actually touched it and-----

“How nice……….”

Miyabi mumbled.

“What is it. Do you want to touch as well Miyabi?”

“Eh? Errr, th-that’s, ah-no…….!!”

Miyabi panicked when I talked to her. It’s probably because I picked up the mumble which she thought no one could hear.

“Lilith. Looks like Miyabi wants to touch it too. Can she?”

“Miyabi too? Yes, I don’t mind.”

“That’s great, Miyabi.”

“U-un……….”

Miyabi nodded in a complex mood but, her expression changed to surprise when she touched Lilith’s hair.

(She probably thinks it feels nice even though they are both females. Miyabi’s hair is pretty too so, it looks nice to touch too.)

“……………..What were you doing just now, Tooru?”

When I turned around, a girl swinging her ponytail was there.

“We were just asking her to let us touch her hair though?”

“………….I’ll ask this first but, is she your girlfriend?”

“Huh? What’s up with that?”

“Ah, un. Forget it…….”

Imari immediately cut the conversation and what’s more it was her that started the question; she then made a tired sigh.

“Tooru. Can I have a moment?”

When I looked to Lilith when I was called, she gave me a plate with meat on it.

“Can I eat it?”

“You still have some on your own plate. I am telling you to feed me.”

“Why should I……..eat it by yourself.”

“There is no meaning if you don’t feed me.”

“Okay, open wide.”

Julie picked up the meat from the plate and moved it to Lilith’s mouth.

“*Chew**chew*………….Hafuhafuu………..Hnn, not bad………….wait, who asked you to feed me!?”

“…………Both Tooru’s hands are occupied.”

“Isn’t one of his hands holding chopsticks!!”

“…………..Nai, don’t worry about it. So with that said, open wide once more.”

“Hn, Hafuu, Hafuu, *Chew**chew*……….wait, listen to what people have to say!!”

(She is still eating, although she is complaining……….)

Miyabi and Imari burst out laughing at the skit like conversation.

“Okay, then------”

“Ah, Ah-re? Where are you going, Tooru-kun……….?”

Miyabi stopped me when I was about to add more meat since all the meat was gone from my plate.

“It’s not like I am full so, I plan to get a little more.”

“Fufu, you mean meat?”

“Aah. With Tachibana not here now, now is the only chance to eat meat.”

“Fumu. Now is the chance because I am not here huh?”

““………….””

The owner of that dignified voice touched my shoulders and I slowly turned back.

That person-----Tachibana like I predicted was staring at me with a smile.

Tachibana is a beauty and I feel that beauty is enough to entrance me if she smiled.

However at that moment, I could only see the smile of a hannya[3d 2].

“Kokonoe, sit there.”

“Yes……….”

File:Absolute Duo Volume 3 Non-Colour 3.jpg




After dinner, Julie and I each took a shower before heading to the cafeteria together.

When we reached there, we received a carry bag from the staff before heading out again.

The hall was completely different from almost an hour ago and there were tents placed here and there.

It had been established that we would be camping during the time we were at the seaside school------of course, together with our <<Duo>>.

Thanks to that, I was warned by Tachibana and Imari to not do anything strange to Julie.

I don’t want to infringe on Julie’s feeling of thinking as me as her father so, I got their trusts in the meantime.

---Because of that, I had to ignore the various jeers coming from the other guys.

“Tooru, should this area be good enough?”

“Ahh, Let’s do that.”

We decided to set up the tent at the corner of the hall and after taking the tent out from the bag, we quickly set it up before Julie entered first and I followed her after that.

The tent we were going to stay in for one week was about the size of a double bed wide, and since there was an inner mat spread out under the tent, we could not feel the hardness of the ground. And since there was a mesh window on the ceiling and sides of the tent to prevent accumulating heat, it looked like the ventilation in here was good. And because there was a cover called a flysheet covering our exterior acting as a double wall for us, our privacy was guaranteed.

When I entered the tent, Julie was performing a Seiza inside.

My eyes met with her Template:Furigana and thought this for some reason.

“………….Hey, Julie. Is it my imagination that you look happy?”

*Chirin**Chirin* the bell rang when the silver girl swung her head to the left and right.

My predictions were correct when I saw that posture.

Although there was a lack of change in expressions, it's actually popping out in the atmosphere.

---It might be because the time we have spent together has been long enough that I can understand these things.

However, I still asked her since I am still not at that level where I can perceive what she was happy about.

“Actually, I lied to Imari just now. She asked me how I feel about sleeping with Tooru and I replied to her that I did not mind but-------”

(She said both of them talked about that but, when did that conversation take place?)

However it seems the answer she replied to Imari was a lie and I continued waiting on how that was connected to Julie’s good mood.

“I was really interested in it. I feel very happy when I think about being able to sleep together without caring about the promise for one week.”

“I-I see………..errrr……good for you?”

“Ja---♪”

Although her expression did not change like usual, I felt that the atmosphere around her got *Baaa* one layer livelier.

(…………..I thought about this before but, Julie really does look like some kind of small animal.)

If Julie had a tail, there was no mistake that it would probably be waggling left and right, right now.

And at the same time, I thought it would be very easy for me if she really was a small animal.

When I sleep with Julie, she would cling to me resulting in a soft sensation, a sweet smell, she would also breathe near my neck and I would get nervous on not touching any weird spots so, it was quite a tiring event.

“By the way Tooru. There is something I need to tell you before we sleep. Thank you for today. I will now be careful so I won’t repeat the same mistake.”

She took a deep bow.

“So with that said, I have something I want to request Tooru, although it is embarrassing.”

“Okay. What is it?”

It is most likely a request to teach her how to swim or-------just when I thought that, she handed me something.

“I want Tooru to hold this.”

It was a round cloth ball.

“What is this?”

When I spread open it-----it was a piece of underwear.

“…………….”

“Tooru, spreading it is a little……….”

(I see I see.)

It’s true that this request is embarrassing.

However, she would probably be relaxed if I were to hold onto this, as there would be a change for her if her underwear flies away like today.

But------

“…………..Sorry, give me a break.”

Since my life would end if things go bad, I gave a clear refusal to her.

Just like that, I had a tiring conversation for a finale and the first day of the seaside school reached its end.

Part 2Edit

“Our preparations here are done.”

A veteran soldier-like man with several scars on his face reported to the Caucasian teenager.

“Understood. Please start your mission as scheduled…………..please refrain from doing any actions other than the one given to you until the time comes, in order to avoid having that side read our intentions.”

“I understand, sir.”

The man that received his orders turned on his heels and exited the room.

He distorted his mouth while making a vulgar smile.

(Ahh, I will be a good boy and perform the mission……….but it will be different when things start.)

In his mind, the face of the boy who made him drink boiling water 2 months ago appeared in his mind.

The storm of resentment and anger raged inside the man’s heart.

“Damn brat…..I will definitely beat the shit out of you this time…..!!”


Chapter 4: I Wanted To Be Together LongerEdit

Part 1Edit

On the sea 180 km southeast of Tokyo, on an island that's blocked from the public------

The 2nd morning of the seaside school came to greet us.

“Fuwah, Ah…………”

“Fufu. You look tired, Kokonoe”

“That’s because yesterday was tiring”

I exited the tent without waking Julie up and Tachibana laughed when I headed to the meeting spot while yawning. Unlike me, it seems Tachibana was already completely awake and giving out her usual dignified atmosphere.

I left the hall lined up with the tents to avoid waking everyone else up and headed to the forest path reaching from the branch school to the harbor.

Maybe most of the animals living in the island were still sleeping, but I could occasionally hear the sound of birds chirping; basically it was very quiet. The air in this untouched island smells nice and after I took a good sniff of the clear air into my chest, the morning just like what I go through in the main school started.

“Okay then, let’s begin from the first like usual. Start”

Tachibana urged me and I started the training like normal.

I made a stance first and it was a basic move where I only can move my back feet.

I then moved to the next 8th style basic move and advanced forward while changing my step in leg’s axis just like what Tachibana taught me. This technique of sometimes turning around or half around coupled with the technique of turning to the opposite direction was the combination I used to throw Imari when I fought her on the first day.

The last was the middle line--------I started the Tachibana style Himonho technique which consists of me turning around Tachibana without showing most of my body's vital points.

I’ll be honest and say that this training is plain, but it's because I know how important the basics are that I concentrate and repeat it. And I found something out because I was concentrating, and that’s--------

“Hey Tachibana. Now that I have a good look, your hair is really beautiful”

“Buuu!? What are you saying all of a sudden!?”

“It’s not all of a sudden you know. I touched Julie and Lilith’s hair last night. Both of them had different hair types but, both of them were beautiful”

“S-so what does that have to relate to my hair”

Maybe she thought I was teasing her because Tachibana voice was angry while her cheeks were slightly blushing.

“Recently, you are the one I have been seeing the most compared to everyone else. And since there was that hair conversation we talked about, my eyes went there for some reason and I just thought it looked pretty”

“More than everyone else!? Bu-but if that’s the case then Julie is more than me right!?”

“Tachibana joins me in morning training everyday like this and I had to turn around you the whole time when I am doing the Himonho right. In terms of being together longer, it would probably be Julie. But, it feels as if Julie and my shoulders are lined up and we would see the same thing so……….most of the time we would be looking at the television”

“I-I see, more than Julie too huh………..”

The conversation changed from hair to Julie before I knew it. Why is that………..

“Anyway, I just thought Tachibana’s hair was beautiful when I saw it. It’s not like I was making fun of you, I am really serious about it”

“Eh, ah………Fu-fumu…….err, Tha-thank you…………”

While fiddling with her hair by twirling it around with her finger, Tachibana said her thanks.

I relaxed knowing that she understood that I seriously said that and was not teasing her.

“Ah, that’s right. Can I touch your hair since we're on this topic?”

“------!? Eh, uaa………….we-well, I don’t mind…………”

After receiving Tachibana’s permission, I tried touching her long black hair.

Her glossy hair was smooth and it was completely different from Julie and Lilith’s hair.

“Hou…….Houhou……..”

“Wha-what is with that reaction”

It seems it was ticklish, and Tachibana who was shutting her eyes tightly, opened one of her eyes and asked me in doubt.

“Iyaaa---,I just thought it feels soft and nice. A girl’s hair really is soft huh. My hair is just plain hard. Want to try touching?”

“Fu-fumu. Then excuse me------“

After hesitating for a while, Tachibana timidly touched my hair.

“It’s hard right?”

“I-I think it’s not that hard for mentioning……..”

*Touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch*

It's taking too long.

“………..Tachibana. It’s ticklish and, how long do you plan on touching?”

“WaHyaa!? Yo-you did not say anything so, I lost the timing to stop”

I got scolded.

It seems it was my fault but, I can’t seem to agree with it………..

“Mo-more importantly, let’s start training again………..ah, iyah, stop for a moment. You can stop doing the Himonho”

“Hn? Then what should I restart with? The thing you taught me only reaches here”

“Umu. That is why I am thinking of advancing to the next stage”

“Is it okay? It's only been 2 months since I started learning you know”

Even though I can smoothly perform the walks and body movements that I first learned it was not at the level where I can put my chest up proudly and say I mastered it completely.

When I asked whether is it okay to go to the next stage with this hasty knowledge------

“It's okay. It’s true that grasping the basics is important and the thing really needed is not to understand the surface techniques but rather to grasp the true nature of it. In order for that, the next most important thing is to gain experience. If you don’t get it then you won’t be able to grasp the nature, right?”

Of course, Tachibana sums it up by telling me continue what I learned before when I have time, before making a smile.

“Okay let’s begin. First, please thrust your hand forward. Next make a circle with the hand you thrust forward-----“

Like this, she started teaching me a new move and I secretly made a relieved sigh since luckily, there was no close body contact this time.


Hard training continued for the rest of the 2nd day of the seaside school.

Not only was there the battle training we usually go through in the main school, but we would also get survival training and rock climbing using the islands terrain with traps set up.

In this tough training we would not escape getting hurt if we didn’t concentrate, and since the contents of the training usually came with dangers we went through the every day without relaxing.



4th day-----

A different kind of training started today compared to the other days.

“Haaa…………..Haaa………!”

I was dripping in sweat while running deep inside the dark forest even though it was the in the afternoon.

The temperature today was the highest among these past few days and it was quite tough.

(Tsk, this is unexpectedly one thought out training…………!!)

The content for the afternoon training was-------a game of tag.

I doubted my ears and thought it was a joke when Tsukimi announced that but, now that the event started I realized the contents of the training was just as hard as the training until now. I could not continuously run fast since I have to maintain my concentration in this terrain filled with obstacles such as tree roots and rough trunks on the ground.

On top of that, I was made to carry a doll filled with sand for 7 kilometers. Following that context, it seems the concept was to bring the VIP we secured and escape from the spot.

The ones running were the main school group; the catchers are mostly the branch school group. However, it feels like we were getting chased by hunting dogs because the branch school group has lived in this isolated island and has repeatedly done this training.

As long as this is a game of tag, we are bound by the rules of no attacking the catchers, so we had to hide and scatter about. The winning condition was to get to one of the goal points set at several spots in the mountain ridge.

But-----

“Found you, Tooru!”

The catcher was Imari and she appeared in front of me.

“Kuh, you came here before me huh”

“That’s right. I got contacted that Tooru was aiming for here”

She displayed the power of the wireless cellphone only limited to the catchers’ magnificently.

“Seriously……………I am happy in the sense that you keep aiming for me to this extent”

“------uh!? Y-you’re wrong! It’s not like I purposely came chasing Tooru, it’s just that you were nearby me!!”

*Wa**Wa* Imari swung her head and swings her ponytail.

“A-anyway! This is game over for you, Tooru!”

After saying that, Imari kicked the tree trunk.

She glamorously kicked the ground, rocks, trunks and branches; it was the moves she showed on the first day.

Since it would be defeat the moment the catcher touches me, this attacking pattern is the most annoying one.

But-----

“Don’t think the same method would work every time, Imari!!”

I grabbed the tree vines and concentrated at the direction Imari was going to jump to.

Before immediately-----

“Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!”

Imari’s scream echoed throughout the area.



“………Tooru you pervert. Tooru you lecher. Tooru you beast”

After the game of tag ended and I was in the middle of heading back to the western building-----

Several abusive words came from Imari who is glaring at me.

“Like I said, It wasn’t on purpose…………”

“Even though it was not on purpose, it is still a fact that you saw my panties”

At that time, I made a ring with the vines and threw it to Imari the same time I dodged her attack and when she landed, I aimed the moment she landed and hanged her upside down when I pulled the vine; the trap I learned yesterday was a success.

But, it was also a fact that I caused Imari to have an embarrassing experience.

“Si-since I was the only one who saw it, so it’s considered a safe right? Also, I ran immediately after confirming the trap worked so I did not see much…………..”

“Who was the one that said [Hahaha, how naïve Imari. I have already seen through that attack from last time-----Towaaah!?] before running away with a red face?”

She poked my cheeks.

“Sorry………….”

“Fuuun? I wonder if I should add up the debts while you're reflecting on this…………….ah, now that I think about it carefully, you did touch my breast on the first day so that makes it 3 debts. Also, not only do you have a super cute <<Duo>> called Julie, you get to sleep with her in a small tent at night so that makes it 4 debts. Next, since you were so flirty with that beautiful blonde fiancée of yours, so the total debts is 5”

“Wait wait. I know I was bad until the 3rd one but, the 4th and 5th one has totally no relations to Imari’s debts at all”

“You found out huh♪”

I made a sigh while making a bitter face at Imari who brought her tongue out.

“Well, forget that for now, I might have said this on the first day but it seems I did not see it incorrectly. Your moves are completely different compared to the entrance ceremony 3 months ago. Just what kind of training did you go through until you could make those types of movements?”

“Ahaha, thank you. I have been training really hard every day, ever since I came to the branch school. I would be made to climb steep cliffs with only my hands, or get thrown off of those cliffs………….fufu, the life at the main school sounds like fun……………”

Imari’s eyes looked like the eyes of a dead fish half-way through.

“Honestly, it was so tough that it made me want to run away, you know? But, I guess it’s okay since I got to surprise Tooru this much. Fufuu♪”

She turned around once before making a cheerful smile.

If she can make this expression, then she can probably clear any trials in the future.

---It was at that moment I thought that.

“Aaah, it would be nice if I could be together with Tooru-------uun, wi-with everyone in the main school forever”

Imari showed a lonely face even though it was small.

I understand her feelings really a lot.

We will separate again once this seaside school ends.

The main school group will return back to the Kouryou academy while Imari and the rest will remain on this island.

It’s not like we won’t ever meet again, but it still feels kind of lonely.

“…………..I think so too. I would really like to be with Imari more too”

“-------uh!! Wh-why is it only limited to me!?”

“Hn? Imari is the only one in this spot right now”

“…………….That’s right. Tooru has that kind of personality. Haa………….”

Imari made an exaggerated sigh for some reason.



When the sun set and the sky turned dark, it became time to start preparing our meal.

Ever since the 2nd day, the students have been made to cook for themselves as part of the training. Of course, we were required to make our side-dishes on our own along with the main course.

It took some time since we were completely exhausted from the afternoon training, but it was quite fun cooking while everyone was being lively.

At the same time, I saw an unexpected ability that I had not known until now.

While peeling a potato, I send a look to the girl standing in front of the kitchen with an apron on.

Over there, *ton**ton**ton*………….Tachibana was moving the kitchen knife with a good rhythm.

However, Tachibana wasn’t the only one showing unexpected traits.

“Is this much enough, Miyabi?”

Like that, Tachibana called out to Miyabi who was doing other preparations.

“Errr…………I think it would be better if it was a little finer”

“I see, understood”

Tachibana started moving the hand holding the knife again.

Without a break, Julie called out to Miyabi this time.

“Miyabi. I finished cutting the eggplant. What should I do next?”

“Yes, errr, can you cut the carrots to bite-sized this time?”

“Ya---“

Julie threw the vegetable to the air and cut it into pieces in an instant like a scene from a manga.

On the other hand, Miyabi was still getting called out to------

“Miyabi-chan. Is this much taste enough? It seems a little bland---“

“Hnn…….*Zu**zu*…………Let’s see. I guess we should add a teaspoon of salt since it is a little bland. If it still tastes bland after that, please put in half a teaspoon more”

*I understand* Kibitsu said that before heading back to her post.

“That’s a face showing that you are surprised no matter how many times you see it”

While peeling the potatoes along with me, Tora lifted his face and spoke.

“Aah. I feel bad to Miyabi, but I feel she isn’t the type to be standing in the center of everything”

“Fuun, I agree on that point”

The event that caused Miyabi’s current position occurred yesterday.

At first, the center position for the preparation of meals belonged to Tach