MochiDDR

Sentimental Gaze (Ch1-10)

Nov 24th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Thanks Gilde for the review!
  2.  
  3. =====1=====
  4.  
  5. -Coffee Shop-
  6.  
  7. Shizuku
  8. What would you like to order?
  9.  
  10. Ryou
  11. Hmm, Midori-san will have a hot coffee.
  12.  
  13. Ikumi
  14. Oh! Ryou-chan is so adult~
  15. Kumi waaants, black tea!
  16.  
  17. Shuzuku
  18. Yes, please wait a moment.
  19.  
  20. [*clang clang*]
  21.  
  22. Ayaka's Voice
  23. Welcooome!
  24.  
  25. Ryou
  26. Mm?
  27.  
  28. Shizuku
  29. .....
  30. ...Otou-san, could you take her order?
  31.  
  32. Shizuku's Father
  33. Mm, got it.
  34.  
  35. Ayaka
  36. Wait!
  37. That's totally killing the boke! Terrible!
  38. Wait, huh.
  39. Shizuku-chan's senpais!
  40.  
  41. Ryou
  42. Ahh, it's been a while Mariko-chan.
  43. But it's been an even longer time since she's called us senpais.
  44.  
  45. Ikumi
  46. Now, we're just all friends.
  47.  
  48. Ayaka
  49. Oh~
  50. Right, yeah! Whenever she talks about you two, Shizuku-chan's face does look softer than it used to!
  51.  
  52. Ryou
  53. Heeh, is that so. That's a surprise, though.
  54. She's been talking about us to other people, huh?
  55.  
  56. Ayaka
  57. Ehh! Shizuku-chan's been talking a lot.
  58. I heard her say what nice people you are about a thouuusand times by now~
  59.  
  60. Shizuku
  61. W, wait Ayaka...!
  62.  
  63. Ikumi
  64. Ehehe~ so happy♪
  65.  
  66. Ryou
  67. But y'know, she talks a lot about Mariko-chan too.
  68.  
  69. Ayaka
  70. Eh! What what what what! I want to hear this!
  71.  
  72. Ryou
  73. She says "she's a wonderful friend who's aaalways smiling at me."
  74.  
  75. Shizuku
  76. Ry, Ryou-san...!
  77.  
  78. Ayaka
  79. WAAN! PARTNERRR!
  80.  
  81. Shizuku
  82. Wait, you're too close Ayaka...and too loud...
  83.  
  84. Ayaka
  85. Ah, s, sorry...! I'm just so happy...dehehe.
  86.  
  87. Father
  88. Shizuku.
  89.  
  90. Shizuku
  91. Ah, I'm very sorry for the noise...I'll get back to work right away.
  92.  
  93. Father
  94. Ahh, it's fine.
  95. It's about time for customers to start thinning out.
  96. Leave the rest to me and go have fun for a bit.
  97.  
  98. Shizuku
  99. Eh...but...
  100.  
  101. Father
  102. Your friends came all this way to see you, didn't they?
  103. Don't worry about this, it's alright.
  104.  
  105. Shizuku
  106. Mm... ...Thank you, Otou-san.
  107.  
  108. Ayaka
  109. Yaay! Well everyone let's go plaayy!
  110.  
  111. Shizuku
  112. [Whenever I'm getting along with so many mutual friends like this, I feel a tiny bit uneasy.]
  113. [Ayaka, Ryou-san, Ikumi-san. I'm glad all of us can get along so well, because they're all important people to me.]
  114. [Moreover...]
  115. [When I think about what our relationship used to be like, I understand what a happy thing it is to see the day when we can talk together like this.]
  116. [I wish gentle days like this could last forever, just slowly drifting along...]
  117.  
  118. =====2=====
  119.  
  120. -Outside Stores-
  121.  
  122. Ayaka
  123. Hey Ryou-chan, do you always carry that camera with you?
  124.  
  125. Ryou
  126. Yeah, I can't ever miss a scoop,
  127. so this thing's always by my side.
  128.  
  129. Ayaka
  130. Eh! Is it one of those things where you even sleep with it?!
  131.  
  132. Ryou
  133. Of course I don't go that far.
  134.  
  135. Ayaka
  136. Ah, c'mon.
  137. That's where the tsukkomi comes in! "It ain't a soccer ball or anythin', ya know!"
  138.  
  139. Ryou
  140. H-huh...? That's kind of tough.
  141.  
  142. Ikumi
  143. Ryou-chan also takes pictures of Kumi.
  144.  
  145. Ayaka
  146. Ikumi-san's?
  147.  
  148. Ikumi
  149. Yeah!
  150. Ryou-chan takes the absolute cutest pictures of me when Kumi's on stage.
  151.  
  152. Ayaka
  153. Stage!? Are you a comedian or something?!
  154.  
  155. Ikumi
  156. Nope, Kumi works as a maid at a maid cafe.
  157.  
  158. Ayaka
  159. Ehh! Ikumi-san is amazing!
  160.  
  161. Ikumi
  162. Ehehe, thank you~!
  163. Buut,
  164. Kumi does deliver tons of kyuun-kyun smiles to everyone,
  165. so maybe Kumi's like a comedian in that sorta way?
  166. ...Kumi won't get in trouble for saying that, right?
  167.  
  168. Ayaka
  169. Nah, don't worry! Both are amazing!
  170. Hmm, maybe I'll come to Ikumi-san's place to train as a maid too...
  171.  
  172. Ikumi
  173. Kumi will always welcome you warmly.
  174. Ooh, also! When talking about Kumi
  175. feel free to say Ikumin instead, okaay!
  176.  
  177. Ayaka
  178. Ikumin?
  179. That's like some kind of Showa era maid, it's nice!
  180.  
  181. Ikumi
  182. Hmm, you didn't hafta say the Showa part~
  183.  
  184. Shizuku
  185. .....
  186.  
  187. Ikumi
  188. Shizuku-chan's delicious house coffee also
  189. makes everyone smile too!
  190.  
  191. Shizuku
  192. Ah, um, not as much as a maid cafe, but...
  193. I hope, that I can make others happy enough to smile...
  194.  
  195. Ikumi
  196. Shizuku-chan's house coffee brings relief when you drink it.
  197. Kumi loves iiit♪
  198.  
  199. Ayaka's Voice
  200. Ah!! Look look look look!!
  201.  
  202. Shizuku
  203. ...?
  204.  
  205. Ayaka
  206. A mocha bunny!! Waa!!
  207.  
  208. Ikumi
  209. Mocha bunny!? Eh! Cute!
  210.  
  211. Shizuku
  212. And they're gone...
  213.  
  214. Ryou
  215. Seems to be popular with young kids, that.
  216.  
  217. Shizuku
  218. As if you're not a young kid yourself...?
  219.  
  220. Ayaka's Voice
  221. Ryou-chaaan! Take a pictuuure!
  222.  
  223. Ryou
  224. Ahh sure, I'll be right there.
  225. Hozumi-chan, do you wanna come with?
  226.  
  227. Shizuku
  228. No, I'm... fine, I guess. Feels a little embarrassing.
  229.  
  230. Ryou
  231. Mm, I understand. I'll be back soon.
  232.  
  233. Shizuku
  234. .....
  235. (That looks fun...)
  236.  
  237. [There's nothing I'm dissatisfied with.]
  238. [Ikumi-san was kind enough to pass the conversation to me, even though I always struggle to say anything.]
  239. [And Ryou-san asked me to come with her, because she knows I have trouble joining in with them by myself.]
  240. [Even Ayaka was trying to liven up the place.]
  241. [And yet, there's still that moment where I feel like I'm about to lose my footing.]
  242. [It's just a little difference in enthusiasm between me and everyone else.]
  243. [A trivial difference that wouldn't occur if, for example, I was the kind of person who wanted to take a picture with everyone.]
  244. [I'm overwhelmed by the sense that I'm just floating in midair.]
  245. [I wonder if I can find peace being with everyone. I wonder if I can laugh naturally.]
  246. [It shouldn't be a problem, but these vague thoughts rise up in my heart, disappear, and repeat.]
  247.  
  248. =====3=====
  249.  
  250. -Coffee Shop-
  251.  
  252. [*clang clang*]
  253.  
  254. Ikumi
  255. That mocha bunny, was so cute wasn't iiit.
  256. So kyuun kyun wasn't iiit.
  257.  
  258. Ayaka
  259. Yeah yeah!
  260. But that was, how do I put it...
  261. more funny than cute! Ahaha!
  262.  
  263. Ryou
  264. At least it's good that they seem to be having fun.
  265.  
  266. Shizuku
  267. ...Huhu.
  268.  
  269. Old Woman
  270. Oh Shizuku-chan, good evening.
  271.  
  272. Shizuku
  273. Ah, good evening. Thank you for always coming by.
  274.  
  275. Old Woman
  276. Uhuhu, I should be saying that.
  277.  
  278. Shizuku
  279. Huh, what are those stones on the table...?
  280.  
  281. Old Woman
  282. Ahh this, I've been addicted to fortune-telling lately.
  283. Oh, I know. If you'd like, how about all of you try it?
  284. It's just a little hobby, of course, so I don't expect any of it to come true. Uhuhu.
  285.  
  286. Ayaka
  287. Yes yes! I want my fortune told!
  288.  
  289. Ryou
  290. Well, if it's no big deal either way, Midori-san doesn't mind.
  291.  
  292. Ikumi
  293. Kumi too, Kumi tooo!
  294.  
  295. Shizuku
  296. Yeah, me too, if you'd please...
  297.  
  298. Old Woman
  299. Uhuhu, thank you all.
  300. It's a pretty simple type of fortune-telling, so it won't take long.
  301.  
  302. [*rustle rustle*]
  303.  
  304. Old Woman
  305. Now just take a stone out of this bag...
  306.  
  307. Ayaka
  308. That's, like...
  309. SUPER authentic-looking!!
  310.  
  311. Ikumi
  312. Yeah yeah! Kumi's also getting excited!
  313.  
  314. Old Woman
  315. Huhu, then let's get started, shall we.
  316. I'll announce them in the order drawn.
  317. First is yours.
  318. Yes, it seems like you'll have a wonderful meeting.
  319.  
  320. Ayaka
  321. Eeeehhhh!
  322. I've already met Ryou-chan and Ikumin! It totally came true!!
  323.  
  324. Old Woman
  325. Next is yours, hmm.
  326. You'll come across something very interesting, yes.
  327.  
  328. Ryou
  329. That's already wished for and granted, as far as Midori-san's concerned.
  330.  
  331. Old Woman
  332. Yours is...
  333. Today you will fall down.
  334.  
  335. Ikumi
  336. Heh?
  337.  
  338. Old Woman
  339. Here's a band-aid, please be careful.
  340.  
  341. Ikumi
  342. Eehhh~! What kind of fortune is this for Kumiii~!
  343.  
  344. Old Woman
  345. And now for Shizuku-chan's...mmm...
  346. You may lose something important to you.
  347. It may be good to be careful for the time being.
  348.  
  349. Shizuku
  350. ...Okay.
  351.  
  352. Ayaka
  353. This, is so heart-poundingly thrilling...! I wonder, if I could become a fortune-teller...!
  354.  
  355. Ryou
  356. You'd probably spend too much time telling weird gags to give anyone a proper fortune, anyway.
  357.  
  358. Ikumi
  359. Heey, do you think, Kumi will really fall down?
  360.  
  361. Ayaka
  362. Mine was dead on! Maybe yours will really be true!?
  363.  
  364. Ikumi
  365. Eeeehn, Kumi's scared.
  366.  
  367. Shizuku
  368. .....
  369.  
  370. Ryou
  371. Well, I don't think you really need to be that careful about it?
  372.  
  373. Ikumi
  374. Yeah, I don't!
  375. Kumii, only believes in good fortunes.
  376.  
  377. Shizuku
  378. .....
  379.  
  380. Shizuku's Father
  381. Shizuku, can you help me wash dishes for a little?
  382.  
  383. Shizuku
  384. Yeah, got it.
  385.  
  386. [*shatter*]
  387.  
  388. Shizuku
  389. Ah...
  390.  
  391. Father
  392. Shizuku! You okay?
  393.  
  394. Shizuku
  395. ...Sorry. I broke the mug.
  396.  
  397. Father
  398. Nevermind that, you're not hurt are you?
  399.  
  400. Shizuku
  401. Yeah, I'm okay, but...
  402.  
  403. Father
  404. Ohh, this was Shizuku's favorite.
  405.  
  406. [Right, it is just fortune-telling after all.]
  407. [It was an event that I'd usually just forget about in no time. Nothing more.]
  408. [So, I don't care at all.]
  409. [However, my favorite mug being cracked leaves just a tiny bit of a dark shadow in my heart.]
  410.  
  411. =====4=====
  412.  
  413. -Shizuku's Bedroom-
  414.  
  415. Shizuku
  416. (Maybe it's because things were so lively all day...)
  417. (But now that I'm alone in my room, it feels very quiet...)
  418. (Ah, that reminds me, the book I borrowed from Ryou-san...)
  419. (I need to return it soon.)
  420. ...Eh, huh? It's not here...?
  421. It should have been right here.
  422.  
  423. [You may lose something important to you.]
  424.  
  425. Shizuku
  426. (...No, it's just my imagination, right...)
  427.  
  428. [*beep♪*]
  429.  
  430. Shizuku
  431. ...A message?
  432.  
  433. Ayaka
  434. [Listen Shizuku-chan! On the way home Ryou-chan found a scoop!
  435. For some reason, Hinano-san was picking ingredients for her growth serum in some grass or something.]
  436. [And that's not all! Then, after Ikumin saw that, she totally keeled over
  437. for absolutely no reason! That fortune-telling was all bullseyes, I tell you!]
  438.  
  439. Shizuku
  440. Eh...
  441. (She said it was just a hobby of hers...)
  442. (But if they keep coming true like this... I might also lose...)
  443. (...I'm just thinking too much.)
  444.  
  445. [~~♪~~♪]
  446.  
  447. Shizuku
  448. ---!?
  449. Now it's a call from Ryou-san...?
  450.  
  451. Ryou
  452. Ahh, Hozumi-san, it it okay to talk right now?
  453.  
  454. Shizuku
  455. Y, yes...
  456.  
  457. Ryou
  458. Mm, that's good.
  459. I know this is sudden, but Hozumi-chan, are you free tomorrow?
  460. Somehow, Makino-chan
  461. got 2 free tickets that are good until tomorrow.
  462. She said it was for a cake buffet.
  463.  
  464. Shizuku
  465. Ah...that's kind of you, but I have to go shopping tomorrow...
  466.  
  467. Ryou
  468. I see, if that's the case we can always hang out another day.
  469.  
  470. Shizuku
  471. Yeah...
  472. .....
  473.  
  474. Ryou
  475. ...Hey, are you still worried about the fortune-telling?
  476.  
  477. Shizuku
  478. Eh...
  479. Ah, you see...Ayaka sent me a message...
  480.  
  481. Ryou
  482. Haa, so that's what's going on.
  483. Hozumi-chan, do you know about the Barnum Effect?
  484.  
  485. Shizuku
  486. ...?
  487.  
  488. Ryou
  489. Well, I'm not trying to say those fortunes were all bunk or anything...
  490. But most fortune-telling results can apply to just about anyone.
  491. It's this psychological thing where you're just *convinced* that it came true.
  492. 'Course, I'm only repeating stuff I heard from the Magius,
  493. so I'm not an expert or anything myself, but...
  494. I guess those fortunes based on your blood type are an easy example to understand?
  495.  
  496. Shizuku
  497. Haa...
  498.  
  499. Ryou
  500. 'Sides, the reason I never miss a good photo op
  501. is that it's Midori-san's unique magic.
  502.  
  503. Shizuku
  504. Then, Ikumi-san...
  505.  
  506. Ryou
  507. Ahh, that's 'cause Makino-chan's always been kind of careless to begin with.
  508. And as for Mariko-chan,
  509. in the world just about everyone has tons of wonderful meetings.
  510. So you don't have to worry so much.
  511.  
  512. Shizuku
  513. But, I just lost something important.
  514. ...That, photo book of cats that belongs to Ryou-san...
  515.  
  516. Ryou
  517. Hm?
  518. Ahh, you already returned that to me.
  519.  
  520. Shizuku
  521. Eh...then-
  522.  
  523. Ryou
  524. Yep, you didn't lose it, you're fine!
  525. So?
  526.  
  527. Shizuku
  528. Eh...
  529.  
  530. Ryou
  531. Feeling a little better?
  532.  
  533. Shizuku
  534. Ah, y, yes...
  535.  
  536. Ryou
  537. Yeah, well let's hang out together again some time.
  538. Then, good night Hozumi-chan.
  539.  
  540. Shizuku
  541. Yes, have a good night Ryou-san.
  542. (That's, right. I'm sure I was just thinking about it too much...)
  543.  
  544. =====5=====
  545.  
  546. -Train-
  547.  
  548. Shizuku
  549. (Yesterday I could barely sleep...)
  550. (Otou-san told me to go buy coffee beans from our provider, but)
  551. (it's so far away...)
  552.  
  553. -City-
  554.  
  555. Shizuku
  556. (I wonder, is everyone here going to the cake buffet?)
  557. (I didn't ask for the location, but)
  558. (business is pretty good around here, so there's probably a lot of cake shops...)
  559. Hm?
  560. ...Huh, are those people over there...?
  561. (It's everyone...)
  562. (That cake buffet was around here...)
  563. (In that case, maybe I could've waited to shop until after I joined them...)
  564. ...Huh?
  565. (Ahh, come to think of it, those two free tickets...)
  566. (In my absence, Hinano-san joined them...)
  567. (Then, I'm glad the ticket wasn't wasted.)
  568.  
  569. -Evening-
  570.  
  571. Shizuku
  572. (The oba-san we get our beans from...)
  573. (I forgot she likes to talk...)
  574. (That took longer than I expected.)
  575. (I wonder if maybe it's already over.)
  576. (I'm done with purchasing things,)
  577. (so maybe we could go home together from here on...)
  578.  
  579. Ikumi
  580. Heey heey,
  581. let's take a picture of everyooone♪
  582.  
  583. Ryou
  584. Then shall Midori-san take the photo?
  585.  
  586. Ikumi
  587. Nope, Ryou-chan needs to be in the photo too.
  588.  
  589. Ryou
  590. Eh, Midori-san doesn't mind though.
  591.  
  592. Ikumi
  593. 'Kay 'kay picture tiiime♪
  594.  
  595. [*flash*]
  596.  
  597. Shizuku
  598. .....
  599.  
  600. [I know that if I was there, Ikumi-san would still say the same thing.]
  601. [So I should understand that I'm not being left out of the group...]
  602. [But still, this foggy feeling I'm sure is because those four act so natural together.]
  603. [It's as if those four have been together since the beginning, as if I never existed.]
  604. [It's like each of them is a puzzle piece that fits together perfectly...]
  605. [So if I didn't fit in with them, what does that make me?]
  606. [Fuunii may have been my missing piece, but he's no longer here.]
  607. [I have no place to belong in a puzzle that's already complete. Yes, just like the picture they took yesterday.]
  608.  
  609. -Flashback-
  610.  
  611. Ayaka's Voice
  612. Ryou-chaaan! Take a pictuuure!
  613.  
  614. Ryou
  615. Ahh sure, I'll be right there.
  616. Hozumi-chan, do you wanna come with?
  617.  
  618. Shizuku
  619. No, I'm... fine, I guess. Feels a little embarrassing.
  620.  
  621. Ryou
  622. Mm, I understand. I'll be back soon.
  623.  
  624. -End Flashback-
  625.  
  626. [It's not just because I'm not with the other two in those photos Ryou-san took.]
  627. [I'm sure that they'll remember who took the photo, but since I wasn't even nearby, everyone will forget about me.]
  628. [I'm the one to blame for all of this. I was invited, but I was too stubborn to go.]
  629. [My body that had always been slowly drifting away suddenly begins to fall, as if it couldn't resist gravity anymore.]
  630. [There's a heavy weight stuck in my chest, like lead, that I can't get rid of.]
  631. [Its thorns are stabbing me from the inside, blaming me for all of my mistakes.]
  632.  
  633. Shizuku
  634. (It, really hurts.)
  635. It's painful...Fuunii.
  636.  
  637. =====6=====
  638.  
  639. -Pond-
  640.  
  641. Shizuku
  642. .....
  643.  
  644. ???'s Voice
  645. ...Mu, someone's already here?
  646.  
  647. Kanagi
  648. ...Ahh, it's you. Hozumi-kun, I believe your name was?
  649.  
  650. Shizuku
  651. Ah, yes...umm. You are Kanagi-san, aren't you.
  652.  
  653. Kanagi
  654. Mm, we've met face to face once or twice.
  655. Incidentally...what brings Hozumi-kun to a place like this?
  656.  
  657. Shizuku
  658. Nothing...for some reason...I just, want to be alone.
  659.  
  660. Kanagi
  661. ...This may indeed be the best place for that. Very little noise, for one thing.
  662. You can think clearly, feeling nothing but nature... the wind, the voices of insects, the smell of the earth.
  663.  
  664. Shizuku
  665. .....
  666. Does that mean, Kanagi-san also visits here to think...?
  667.  
  668. Kanagi
  669. Once in a while.
  670. I think about those that have passed on, while feeling the work and continuous changes of nature..
  671.  
  672. Shizuku
  673. .....
  674.  
  675. Kanagi
  676. It's a law of Nature that the world is always flowing, and all life must end one day.
  677. But mahou shoujo, and those who lose their lives in witch attacks...
  678. They perish outside of Nature, disconnected from it.
  679. The thought of that makes me especially aware of how important it is to protect those lives.
  680. Even if those lives will still be lost some day, regardless.
  681.  
  682. Shizuku
  683. ...Y-yeah. Everyone leaves you eventually.
  684.  
  685. Kanagi
  686. Mm...
  687. Hozumi-kun...!
  688.  
  689. Shizuku
  690. There's nothing you can do about it...
  691. ...Excuse me. I, will be going.
  692.  
  693. Kanagi
  694. Her soul gem...this is bad...
  695. I was trying to tell her that that's why I feel so strongly
  696. about protecting everything I have now, but... it's rather difficult, I suppose...
  697. ...This is concerning. I should inform Yakumo about it.
  698.  
  699. -Riverside-
  700.  
  701. Shizuku
  702. (I... really shouldn't have acted like that...)
  703. (I, just ran away.)
  704.  
  705. -Forest-
  706.  
  707. [*beep♪*]
  708.  
  709. Shizuku
  710. (A message...?)
  711.  
  712. Ayaka
  713. [Heey, heey! Are you at the cafe right now? We're all thinking of going together right now, but is that OK?]
  714.  
  715. Shizuku
  716. .....
  717. (For some reason...I just don't feel like replying...)
  718.  
  719. [*beep♪*]
  720.  
  721. Shizuku
  722. (...Again?)
  723.  
  724. Ayaka
  725. Also also, today we met Hinano-san, we all took pictures together! Next time let's take a picture with everyone, okay!
  726.  
  727. Shizuku
  728. .....
  729. (I should be happy that my friends are making more friends, but...)
  730. (...I'm such a jerk...)
  731.  
  732. -Beach-
  733.  
  734. Shizuku
  735. (It's about time to go home.)
  736. (But my legs feel too heavy to do that.)
  737.  
  738. [~~♪~~♪]
  739.  
  740. Shizuku
  741. Eh...Ryou-san? Why...
  742. .....
  743.  
  744. [*beep♪*]
  745.  
  746. Shizuku
  747. ---!?
  748.  
  749. Ryou
  750. [Hozumi-chan, sorry to keep bugging you.]
  751. [Yakumo-san just passed on a message from Kanagi-san; she said she saw you in Daitou.]
  752. [She said it seemed like something was bothering you, so I just got a little worried. You can wait until you're done shopping or feeling more calm, but I'd be happy if you could send me a quick message later.]
  753.  
  754. [*beep*]
  755.  
  756. Shizuku
  757. .....
  758. ...Why am I, still running away. I even turned my smartphone off...
  759. Even though they're worried,
  760. why am I willingly leaving such an important place behind...?
  761. I, always do.
  762.  
  763. [I always abandon the places that matter to me. It was the same back when I fought with Ayaka and ran away.]
  764. [And I know there were other factors at play, but I still left Ryou-san and Ikumi-san of my own accord.]
  765. [Doubting myself over nothing, getting angry over nothing, finally finding a place to belong only to leave it behind-- how can I say "I want a place to belong" when I act like this?]
  766. [Besides, I don't even know what I'm looking for. I can't face everyone like this any more. There's nowhere for me to return to.]
  767.  
  768. Shizuku
  769. No matter what I do, I'll lose everything.
  770. (The way I am now, I'll never find a place for myself again.)
  771.  
  772. =====7=====
  773.  
  774. Shizuku
  775. ...Huh, where am I...?
  776.  
  777. ???
  778. Oh, you're up.
  779.  
  780. Shizuku
  781. Eh, you are...?
  782.  
  783. ???
  784. Who cares? More importantly...
  785. You're looking for something, right?
  786. A place where your surroundings won't warp and leave you floating in midair.
  787.  
  788. Shizuku
  789. .....
  790.  
  791. ???
  792. It's impossible.
  793.  
  794. Shizuku
  795. Eh.
  796.  
  797. ???
  798. It's impossible. You're never gonna find it again.
  799.  
  800. Shizuku
  801. Why? Why would you say something like that?
  802.  
  803. ???
  804. Ahaha! You get what I'm trying to say, right?
  805.  
  806. Shizuku
  807. .....
  808. I became a mahou shoujo to meet Fuunii
  809. and lost so much...
  810. But as I met everyone, I still thought that I hadn't only lost things.
  811. That even if I lose people, or part ways with them, it'll still lead to something new...
  812. At least, that's what I thought...
  813.  
  814. ???
  815. But even if I make new connections, I'll just run away from them too.
  816.  
  817. Shizuku
  818. Yeah...
  819.  
  820. ???
  821. I'm sure to abandon it of my own accord.
  822.  
  823. Shizuku
  824. Yes, that's right... that's why I'll never find it again...
  825.  
  826. -Flashback-
  827.  
  828. Kanagi
  829. Mm...
  830. Hozumi-kun...!
  831.  
  832. Shizuku
  833. There's nothing you can do about it...
  834. ...Excuse me. I, will be going.
  835.  
  836.  
  837. Ryou
  838. [Yakumo-san just passed on a message from Kanagi-san; she said she saw you in Daitou.]
  839. [She said it seemed like something was bothering you, so I just got a little worried. You can wait until you're done shopping or feeling more calm, but I'd be happy if you could send me a quick message later.]
  840.  
  841. -End Flashback-
  842.  
  843. Shizuku
  844. (...I knew she was worried about me.)
  845. (But I...)
  846.  
  847. ???
  848. See, the thing about me is that I just can't stay in the same place.
  849. I'm just that kind of person.
  850.  
  851. Shizuku
  852. .....
  853.  
  854. ???
  855. If I try making a special place for myself, I'll just feel miserable when I lose it.
  856. So don't stop in one place! Let's keep searching forever.
  857.  
  858. Shizuku
  859. .....heh?
  860.  
  861. ???
  862. We can keep running like the wind, pursuing our ideals for ever and ever.
  863. It's not as bad as you'd think, y'know? Traveling.
  864.  
  865. Shizuku
  866. Travel...? Like Fuunii?
  867.  
  868. ???
  869. Right!
  870. So we don't need to stay in this place anymore.
  871. I mean, I'm just gonna throw it all away anyway.
  872. So let's break everything, and venture out into the world.
  873.  
  874. Shizuku
  875. Break...?
  876.  
  877. ???
  878. Right! I don't need any of this, right?
  879. This isn't where I belong after all.
  880.  
  881. Shizuku
  882. ...But,
  883.  
  884. =====8=====
  885.  
  886. Shizuku
  887. ...But,
  888. even if I throw everything away to go traveling,
  889. I wonder, if I will ever find a place to belong in my travels...
  890.  
  891. ???
  892. I just told you! You're never gonna find it again.
  893. In the first place, it's not *just* that you throw it all away on your own.
  894. You don't even know what you're looking for, either.
  895. So how are you ever gonna find a place to belong?
  896.  
  897. [What it is I'm looking for...]
  898. [I don't want to be someone like Ayaka, who has endless cheerfulness.]
  899. [I don't want to be a calm and composed person like Ryou-san, or someone that can make others smile like Ikumi-san.]
  900.  
  901. Shizuku
  902. .....
  903.  
  904. ???
  905. You don't even know what it is that you're dissatisfied with,
  906. and yet you're still complaining about where you are now? There's only one word for that. Arrogant.
  907.  
  908. Shizuku
  909. I'm not complaining!
  910.  
  911. ???
  912. It's all the same.
  913. I mean, you're here with me right now
  914. because you can't give your current place a 10 out of 10, right?
  915. What a luxurious problem.
  916.  
  917. Shizuku
  918. ...
  919.  
  920. ???
  921. You don't know what kind of person you want to be, what kind of things you want...
  922. And despite that, you just keep saying "I want something else, I want something else!"
  923. And if it's something you don't like even a little, you run away from everything important.
  924. What can you even call that besides "selfish"?
  925. That's why we have to keep on searching.
  926. We'll keep seaching for a nonexistent answer until the day we die.
  927. ...I'll show you, who I really am.
  928.  
  929. Shizuku
  930. This, is...?
  931.  
  932. ???
  933. See? I'll keep searching, forever and ever...
  934. ...For something that no amount of searching is ever going to find.
  935. This is who I am!
  936.  
  937. ???
  938. Right? You get it now, right?
  939. You'll never find it either, so let's hurry up and go somewhere that isn't here.
  940. Let's throw this current place away right now and go on a trip together!
  941. I'm sure that'll make you so, so much happier!
  942.  
  943. Shizuku
  944. ...Thank you.
  945. I, finally understand.
  946.  
  947. =====9=====
  948.  
  949. ???
  950. Hmph. As long as you've clued in, we're all good.
  951.  
  952. Shizuku
  953. I can't go together with you, after all.
  954.  
  955. ???
  956. Ha? Did you not listen to a word I said?
  957. Even if you do find something valuable, you'll just run away.
  958. The more valuable things you find, the more you'll lose and regret.
  959. And above all else! The thing you need to look for doesn't even...!
  960.  
  961. Shizuku
  962. ...You're right. You're completely right...
  963. Losing things is scary. I run away from them on my own.
  964. I don't know what I want.
  965. But, even still...! I don't want to give up from the start...
  966. Maybe, I won't ever find the answer for the rest of my life, and
  967. I may never find another place I feel like I belong.
  968. But if that's the case,
  969. then I feel like it's all the more reason to cherish what I already have...
  970. So I have to accept this uneasiness that eats at me.
  971. And I'll search a little further. For who I am, that is...
  972.  
  973. ???
  974. ...You DO know what you're saying, right?
  975.  
  976. Shizuku
  977. Yeah. At least, I'm pretty sure I do.
  978. Plus, everything will be gone one day.
  979. People's lives, their connections-- they all end at some point...
  980. I'm sure it's unavoidable. Especially for mahou shoujo like us...
  981.  
  982. ???
  983. .....
  984.  
  985. Shizuku
  986. ...Because of that, we should value all the important people who are already within reach.
  987. So what I can do right now...
  988. is to cherish all of them. To not lose sight of them.
  989. I understand what you were trying to tell me. Thank you.
  990.  
  991. ???
  992. ...
  993.  
  994. Shizuku
  995. Instead of grieving over what we'll lose one day, let's cherish what we have now.
  996. Let's protect it. That's what I'm thinking...what about you?
  997.  
  998. ???
  999. ...That's impossible for you. You'll definitely be back here again someday.
  1000. You'll absolutely repeat the same mistakes.
  1001. Well, I know you'll be here anyway, so I guess I can wait a little longer.
  1002.  
  1003. Shizuku
  1004. Huhu, you're a good person.
  1005.  
  1006. ???
  1007. Ha! What are you saying!
  1008. I'm just waiting for you to mature, it's not for your sake.
  1009. Go on, hurry and get out of here, stubborn fool.
  1010.  
  1011. Shizuku
  1012. Yeah, goodbye.
  1013.  
  1014. -Adjuster Shop-
  1015.  
  1016. [Nn...Nu]
  1017.  
  1018. Ayaka
  1019. Shizuku-chan's awake!!
  1020.  
  1021. Shizuku
  1022. Eh...what...
  1023.  
  1024. Ayaka
  1025. Don't "what" me!
  1026. You, you...ginormous dummy~!
  1027.  
  1028. Ikumi
  1029. Really! Everyone has been so worried about you!
  1030.  
  1031. Shizuku
  1032. Umm...
  1033.  
  1034. Ryou
  1035. On top of how you never replied...
  1036. After a certain point, I couldn't even reach your phone.
  1037. Even Midori-san here was worried to the bone...
  1038.  
  1039. Shizuku
  1040. ...Ah!
  1041. (That's right, I...)
  1042.  
  1043. Mitama
  1044. It's a good thing that your Doppel emerged where it did.
  1045.  
  1046. Shizuku
  1047. Mitama-san...
  1048.  
  1049. Mitama
  1050. When Kanagi-san contacted me I was surprised.
  1051. She said you were wandering around with your Soul Gem pitch black!
  1052.  
  1053. Shizuku
  1054. U...I'm really sorry for worrying you...
  1055.  
  1056. Mitama
  1057. Really...
  1058. Ah, also Kanagi-san had a message for you.
  1059.  
  1060. [Hozumi-kun has many friends. If you're having a hard time, I'm sure you can rely on them. I think that's the sort of thing that will help clear away your troubles.]
  1061. [I don't mind if you consider me to be one of those friends, either. As someone in the same profession, I hope to continue seeing you around.]
  1062.  
  1063. Shizuku
  1064. Profession...?
  1065.  
  1066. Ikumi
  1067. Kanagi-san also works in a maid cafe.
  1068.  
  1069. Ryou
  1070. Which makes her a fellow cafe worker...
  1071. Though I'm not really sure if it counts as "the same profession".
  1072.  
  1073. Mitama
  1074. The next time you visit her cafe, she said she would give you a discount.
  1075.  
  1076. -Maid Cafe-
  1077.  
  1078. Kanagi
  1079. *Achoo...!*
  1080.  
  1081. Manager
  1082. Oh what a terrible sneeze that was~
  1083.  
  1084. Kanagi
  1085. Mm...
  1086. Someone must be spreading rumors about me.
  1087.  
  1088. Manager
  1089. They say that if you only sneeze once, it must be a good rumor~!
  1090.  
  1091. Kanagi
  1092. Mu...is that so. That makes me happy.
  1093.  
  1094. -Adjuster Shop-
  1095.  
  1096. Shizuku
  1097. ...Eh?
  1098.  
  1099. Mitama
  1100. Huhu. Well today you should be resting...
  1101.  
  1102. Ayaka
  1103. Ah!!!!!! Shizuku-chan! We're going home!
  1104.  
  1105. Shizuku
  1106. Heh?
  1107.  
  1108. Mitama
  1109. No, she needs to rest!
  1110.  
  1111. Ayaka
  1112. It's alriiight it's alriiight!
  1113.  
  1114. Ryou
  1115. Uhhhh, sorry to run out on ya!
  1116.  
  1117. Ikumi
  1118. Mitama-san! Sorry!
  1119.  
  1120. Mitama
  1121. What's with them...
  1122. ...Huhu, be careful, okaaay.
  1123.  
  1124. =====10=====
  1125.  
  1126. -Coffee Shop-
  1127.  
  1128. Shizuku
  1129. Um...why...
  1130.  
  1131. Ayaka
  1132. Hinano-san is gonna arrive too, any minute now!
  1133.  
  1134. Shizuku
  1135. Eh...
  1136.  
  1137. Ryou
  1138. Ah, good ol' Hinano-san. She fell into a pond while looking for you.
  1139. She went to go change her clothes for a bit.
  1140.  
  1141. Shizuku
  1142. Ehh...
  1143.  
  1144. Ryou
  1145. When we talked about Hozumi-chan at the cake buffet,
  1146. Hinano-san also wanted to be friends with Hozumi-chan.
  1147.  
  1148. Ikumi
  1149. Right, right! She was like, "you guys are totally hogging her!"
  1150. Throwing a lil' tantrum.
  1151.  
  1152. Shizuku
  1153. Huhu.
  1154.  
  1155. Ikumi
  1156. I think we still came a little early though, Ayaka-chan?
  1157.  
  1158. Ayaka
  1159. Ah~! A terrible fumble by Mariko Ayaka!
  1160. A swing-and-a-miss triple-strike home-run~!
  1161. ...Guys, c'mon.
  1162. This is the part where the tsukkomi should be like,
  1163. "you're just sayin' a random pile of words you remember!", right?
  1164.  
  1165. Ryou
  1166. Mmm. Yeah, that's pretty tough.
  1167.  
  1168. Shizuku
  1169. Ah, then, until Hinano-san gets here, would you like a little tea?
  1170. I'll prepare some.
  1171.  
  1172. Ayaka
  1173. Wa! A genius is among us!
  1174. Ah, but, but, Shizuku-chan, are you okay? Like, physically?
  1175.  
  1176. Shizuku
  1177. So asks the person who dragged me all the way here herself.
  1178.  
  1179. Ayaka
  1180. Uu...
  1181.  
  1182. Shizuku
  1183. I'm joking. I'm doing fine.
  1184. Then what would you like to order?
  1185.  
  1186. Ryou
  1187. Midori-san will have a hot coffee.
  1188.  
  1189. Ayaka
  1190. Wa! Bitter! Adult! How old are you!?
  1191.  
  1192. Ikumi
  1193. Kumi will have black tea. Ryou-chan is in her 3rd year of middle school.
  1194.  
  1195. Ayaka
  1196. An unforgettable shocking revelation!!
  1197.  
  1198. Ikumi
  1199. What'll you have, Ayaka-chaaan?
  1200.  
  1201. Ayaka
  1202. Ah, um, that's riight.
  1203.  
  1204. Shizuku
  1205. ...Melon soda. Total mismatch with the other two.
  1206.  
  1207. Ayaka
  1208. Eh! That's right on! How!? Is Shizuku-chan an esper!?
  1209.  
  1210. Shizuku
  1211. Huhu, I wonder.
  1212.  
  1213. [Thus, the circle of friends expands. I can't avoid the farewells that will come some day, but for now, I'm fine being together with everyone like this.]
  1214. [How I want to live in this place, and what kind of place I am looking for, I still don't know, but I will continue searching for it.]
  1215. [...Maybe I will never find the answer. As that girl told me, I may never find a place like this one again.]
  1216. [I'm sure I will never fully clear away my uneasiness.]
  1217. [But if things can just stay like this a little longer, with me being able to smile as I watch everyone have fun, then maybe that's fine.]
  1218.  
  1219. Hinano
  1220. Good afternooon! I'm heeere!
  1221.  
  1222. Ayaka
  1223. Wa! Yahoo!
  1224.  
  1225. Shizuku
  1226. Ah, good afternoon.
  1227.  
  1228. Hinano
  1229. Ohh! Thanks as always for taking care of my kouhai.
  1230.  
  1231. Ayaka
  1232. Eh, you're tiny but you're our senpai!?
  1233.  
  1234. Hinano
  1235. Hey! Don't call me tiny!
  1236. I am an eighteen-year-old woman who puts even flowers to shaaaaame~!
  1237.  
  1238. Ayaka
  1239. Kyaaa! I'm sorry~!
  1240.  
  1241. Ikumi
  1242. Um, sorry about all the noise.
  1243.  
  1244. Shizuku
  1245. Well, right now there's no customers so...
  1246.  
  1247. Hinano's Voice
  1248. Ikumi! Help me out! This girl needs to be punished!
  1249.  
  1250. Ikumi
  1251. Eehhh~ Kumii doesn't think violence is good, buuut
  1252. it looks fun so Kumi will join in♪
  1253.  
  1254. Ayaka's Voice
  1255. Go pick on someone your own size! Hey, Shizuku-chan HELP!
  1256.  
  1257. Shizuku
  1258. Huhuhu.
  1259.  
  1260. [*flash*]
  1261.  
  1262. Ryou
  1263. (Yeah, that's a nice smile, Hozumi-chan.)
  1264.  
  1265. Hinano's Voice
  1266. Hey Ryou! You needa get over here too!
  1267.  
  1268. Ayaka's Voice
  1269. Hieeh! She's tickling me, help meeee!
  1270.  
  1271. Ryou
  1272. Yep, yep. I'm on my way.
  1273.  
  1274. Shizuku
  1275. Ayaka, quit thrashing like that.
  1276. Geeze...huhu. I guess it can't be helped.
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