Now then, nobody expects this inquisition.
But at this point of time, I suppose I should mix things up a little.
I find it appropriate that I’m translating this during Easter.
Be warned though, this one contains heavy spoilers, and much emotional turmoil.
Then lets begin.
The time was 4am. In the dark room, I heard the rain as I awaited this moment.
April 8th, Hikari Yumesaki’s death anniversary. The weather was rainy.
This would be the day Hikari Yumesaki’s personality would show up. At 4.59am, she would take over from me. Thus, there were still fifty nine minutes. This was the remaining time I had.
“Time to head out.”
I put on the watch Hikari Yumesaki gave me, and checked the time.
I passed through the darkness, walked out of the room, and slipped through the corridor quietly.
The rain appeared in my sights, and it was really heavy. It appeared it would not stop for the time being.
I walked down the asphalt road that was flooded. The vinyl umbrella blocked the sky, and made it look a little twisted, probably because of the raindrops.
“I remember it was the raindy day.”
I heard the raindrops, and thought of the journal entry I wrote.
“There’s something I have to apologize to you about, Hikari Yumesaki, I lied.”
I walked down to the crossing where Hikari Yumesaki died.
“I told you the Atelier Journal contained the truth to the revival.”
There’s still an hour left. What would her feelings be when she wakes up?
“I said, that on the four hundred and forty fourth day after the death, the 25th of June this year would be the only day to negotiate with the death god.”
She would probably be fuming. Definitely lamenting.
“444. This might look like something, but I just made it up.”
But it did not matter. No matter how much she hated me.
“The one day to negotiate with the death god is not the 25th of June, but–“
As long as that person, Hikari Yumesaki,
“Exactly a year after death–today, April 8th.”
Could continue to live, it did not matter.
“By the time you’re reading this entry, on the 8th of April, I might have completed the deal.”
Sorry, Hikari Yumesaki.
“You probably won’t forgive me. There’s no way you will. But.”
I’m really sorry, Hikari Yumesaki.
“I guess it’s impossible for me after all. There’s no way I can live in a world without you.”
I can’t accept a daily life without you.
“So, Hikari Yumesaki, continue living for my sake.”
The water slipped down my face. Raindrops or tears, I could no longer tell.
Sorry everyone, Yukiko, mom, dad, I’m really sorry.
Choking on my tears, I went forth.
There’s still another two hundred meters to the crossing. The location was at the other side of the corner. It was enough, I don’t have to think much. I’ve decided not to turn back, just head forward. If I missed this day, I’ll be unable to save Hikari Yumesaki. So, on this day–I have to do this.
But I had to stop.
There was someone holding a black umbrella standing before me in the dark screen of rain, and I gasp.
That guy waved at me, smiling heartily. Why…
“So you came by? Sakamoto?”
Kazeshiro was standing before me.
“What are you doing, Sakamoto? It’s still too early to go to school.”
“Why are you here…?”
I paled, and asked. Kazeshiro smiled, and said with rigor,
“TIme to go back, Sakamoto. I’m not letting you meet the death god.”
“How did you know…”
I made a lie on the journal to hide the truth from Hikari Yumesaki. Naturally, I did not tell Kazeshiro, and the hidden location of the Atelier journal was known only to me. I told Hayato to keep it a secret. However,
As I thought about it, I realized. No way.
“Have you noticed it now, Sakamoto?”
Kazeshiro looked up at the rainy sky, and let out a deep sigh, saying,
“Hayato Hyuuga. That guy told Hikari Yumesaki everything. Everything about the Atelier journal.”
“That Hayato Hyuuga probably expected it, that you may have lied. He probably realized that this was unfair to Hikari, so he told her the truth. Hikari then realized why you lied that it was four hundred and forty four days later, and thought of what you wanted to do.”
I see, so that’s how it is. Why didn’t I suspect anything?
–I’m the same as you.
I asked Hayato why he was working so hard for Chiaki, and this was his answer. Hayato saw that I was the same as him, wanting to die for his partner. The reason why Hayato did not want me to do this because he chose me to be the friend supporting Chiaki. With this mindset, even an idiot would understand. Hayato would not just watch me die. No matter how I might tell him to keep this secret, it was pointless. At this point, the situation developed as Kazeshiro had said. Hayato and Hikari Yumesaki were on the same side, and in a certain sense, he understood her feelings better than anyone else. That was why he would not pretend to ignore this unfair lie to Hikari Yumesaki.
“Hikari told me. “It looks like Sakamoto wants to die in my stead. He’ll definitely go negotiate with the death god before.4.59am on the 8th of April. If he finds out that I know this, he’ll definitely try to slip through. So make sure you pretend not to notice, and on that day, no matter what, you have to stop him”…”
“…So you show up before me now, Kazeshiro?”
“Yeah. I’ve been in ambush since last evening. And you showed up.”
I glared at Kazeshiro with much regret. In contrast, he was sneering away, taunting me.
He called out, loud enough for a certain someone who’s no longer on this world to hear.
“If you want to save Hikari, you’re going to have to beat me! You win if you beat me! You can die all you want then! But if you can’t–”
The smile vanished from Kazeshiro’s face. The hollow eyes were staring right at me, and I could not look straight into them.
“That’s enough already. Continue living happily in the world without Hikari.”
For some reason, I started laughing out loud. Ah damn it. I thought it would be a perfect strategy. I never thought I would be seen through so easily. But it did not matter.
“Too bad, Kazeshiro.”
My plan failed. Good job, you guys. But you guys made a mistake. No, you guys are overconfident.
“Kazeshiro…do you think you can beat me?’
I stared at the enemy, and declared this. Hikari Yumesaki, I don’t know how you managed to bribe Kazeshiro.
“Kazeshiro. You’re not going to beat me.”
I have the advantage in height, physique and arm strength. There’s no way your thin arms are going to beat me, Kazeshiro.
Firmly believing this, I smiled. I’m confident. However,
“Who knows, Sakamoto? Hikari said that I’ll win.”
Kazeshiro didn’t back down, and smiled, laughing,
“Sakamoto. This is…the opposite of back then.”
For a moment, I did not realize what he was getting at. However, I immediately understood.
“Back then, I wanted vengeance through my death, and Hikari asked you to stop me. Right now, it’s me who was asked by Hikari, and you’re the one who want to die. Look how far you’ve fallen, Akitsuki Sakamoto.”
“I remember it was raining back then. Sakamoto, you were like me back then. That’s why–”
Saying that, Kazeshiro glared at me,
“I won’t lose. Back then, you were the same.”
The turbulent rain overpowered Kazeshiro’s voice. The memories of that day appeared in my mind, and everything before my eyes went blank.
Regret and rage were mixed into my blood, running throughout my entire body. The rain poured harder than before–
The next moment, I ran, threw aside my umbrella, and swung my fist at Kazeshiro. Howeve,r
He easily evaded my fist, and landed a clean shot into my abdomen.
Despite this, I stood up, trying my best to fight back. I continued charging into the rain. However,
I couldn’t reach. Not only that, I was easily beaten down,
Several times, I stood up, and several times, I was beaten down. Kazeshiro again dodged my attacks, beating me down, and blood dripped onto the ground along with the rain, probably as I was hurt somewhere. I felt displeased.
“Damn it…damn it…”
I can’t lose. If I lose, and miss out on the day, I won’t be able to save Hikari Yumesaki. There’s no second chance; once I miss this, she’ll never be able to be revived again. However,
With all of my remaining strength, I stood up, and I saw Kazeshiro’s anguished eyes.
Stop. What are you looking at? What are you pitying?
That was the last of my strength. I could not fall correctly.
Kazeshiro swung his fists down on me, depleting my strength. I collapsed onto the concrete, the rain staining my skin.
“Why…why, can’t I win…”
The tears could not stop.
“Please…I beg of you…!”
Kazeshiro remained silent.
“Let go, Kazeshiro! You miss out on this day, and you won’t be able to save Hikari Yumesaki! I can’t live without her! You’re the same too, right!? You’re fine with Hikari Yumesaki dying just like that!?”
I yelled at Kazeshiro, who stood in the rain. I believed that he would surely understand me.
“Think of what Madam Hinako will think! She just reunited with her daughter…but, they’re going to be separated again! Are you willing to allow such a cruel thing to happen!? Say something!? Are you willing to let her die!?”
I will not allow this to happen.
“Kazeshiro! You don’t want Hikari Yumesaki to die, right!? Or is it fine that she’s dead!? What about you, Kazeshiro!?”
“Answer me! Even if Hikari Yumesaki vanishes, you’ll really…”
I could no longer continue my words. That was because, Kazeshiro’s hand was grabbing me by the collar.
But that was not the only reason why I could not say anything;.
“Do…you know what I’m thinking about as I stand here…Sakamoto?”
At this point, I noticed. Kazeshiro’s–crying too.
“Do you know the feelings Hikari had as she asked me? The feelings I have as I stand here? Please, don’t say anything…stop putting me in misery!”
The tears continued to fall. Anguished tears seeped into the rain.
“Also, Madam Hinako knows about this.”
Kazeshiro’s words left me speechless again.
“When Hikari went to visit Madam Hinako, she confessed everything; about how she was going to vanish, that you want to die, everything that will happen today, everything, everything, everything–”
Impossible…but, these actions–
“Are for your sake…”
“Even till the end, Hikari was still scared of meeting Madam Hinako. However, she’s more worried about you feeling guilty for letting her vanish–that you won’t dare to look for Madam Hinako again because of her disappearance–to prevent this from happening, Hikari summoned her courage to meet her. And, she said everything. She prepared herself to see her mother cry, all for the sake of having you meet her mother again.”
“You’re a blessed man. Hikari thought so much for your sake. I said it a long time ago, but your life is the best of all. That’s why….I can’t let you end your life here.”
Despair turned into rain, freezing my body.
“Was I the only one in the dark?”
“Was I the only one in the dark…”
Kazeshiro did not say anything.
“I came to save Hikari Yumesaki…but I was the only one who didn’t know anything…in the end, I was saved, by Hikari Yumesaki…again…again…”
I could not stop crying. I wanted to save Hikari Yumesaki. However, I was saved by her again.
Kazeshiro picked up the umbrella, and walked towards me, taking out something from his bag.
It’s a letter with a pretty color. That’s,
“From Hikari Yumesaki, a letter for you.”
I received the letter Kazeshiro handed to me, and wanted to open it, but my hands could not exert strength. However, I finickedly moved my fingers, and opened the seal. Appearing before me was,
The familiar cute words appeared on the letter.
“If you see this letter, this means you intend to die for my sake. I’m really sorry for pretending not to notice all this while. Don’t blame Kazeshiro. It’s all my decision.”
“Sakamoto, I’m really happy by your feelings. Every time, you’ll come to save me. Again and again, I was saved by you. That goes too for Kazeshiro, and for mama. You kept saving me. Without you around, I probably won’t be able to do anything. So I’ve already made up my mind. One day–until the day I’m able to save Sakamoto, I’ll definitely choose to save Sakamoto. I want to be the hero protecting Sakamoto. This is my repayment for not being able to do anything. I want to protect the irreplaceable, most important…you that I love.”
No, Hikari Yumesaki. It’s just you who thinks that you didn’t do anything. You’re the one who changed my lonely life. Do you know how much I’ve benefited from you.
“And I said before, that I can’t live in a world without you. That’s because,”
The exceptionally pretty handwriting continued–
“I can’t live on alone in this world anymore. The ones connecting my life to this world are the cold, yet gentle eyes line.”
It was the line that girl once wrote in her student handbook, the line that caused Kazeshiro and I to misunderstand,
“Ehehe! I’m finally able to use this line! I always wanted to use it once before I die. It’s amazing, isn’t it, Sakamoto? Really appropriate to use it here. As to be expected of this Hikari! Praise me! Praise me! Pat my head! And then…”
“Keep smiling. Don’t cry, Sakamoto. This is my final wish.”
The rain got warmer, and my cheeks got hotter. The tears fell, my fists are clenched. Everything–
I ran. Kazeshiro hurried after me. Just a little more, and I’ll reach the crossing where she died. As long as I get there, reach there. But,
My legs do not obey me, and tripped me over. The rain pelts on my body mercilessly,
As I fell, something fell from my pocket.
The thing that rolled before me gradually got damp.
The strings scattered, and the content spilled out. Inside it was a piece of paper that was folded really small. The rain soaked paper contained the words Hikari Yumesaki wrote with her cute handwriting,
“Sakamoto. We’ll be together forever!”
I reached my hand out, yet it was not enough. Just a little more, but yet unable to reach. I could no longer, reach for it, ever.
“Why couldn’t I do it…”
The hands of the watch on my wrist indicated 4.58am. Ten seconds, twenty, thirty. And then,
A voice rang through the rain.
It was a kind, bubbly voice. The one who picked up the talisman for me was.
I seemed to hear her mutter.
After that, the time reached 4.59am.
I died, and she revived.