MochiDDR

Christmas String (Prologue-Ch10)

Dec 7th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Thanks to SunnyD, Ruelin for reviewing!
  2. ===============================
  3. -Story Tab-
  4. Touka
  5. Haa... Why do I have to do this when I don't want tooo?
  6.  
  7. -Challenge Tab-
  8. Touka
  9. It's been a while since I could use magic, so can't I be a little enthusiastic?
  10.  
  11. -Ex Challenge Tab-
  12. Nemu
  13. It feels like a long time since I teamed up with Touka to fight.
  14.  
  15. =====Prologue=====
  16. <Satomi Medical Center>
  17. <Touka's Private Room>
  18.  
  19. [*thump*]
  20.  
  21. Touka
  22. Haa...
  23. Why are books so heavy nyaa?
  24.  
  25. Nemu
  26. Because they are filled with thoughts.
  27. Small, but irreplaceable thoughts.
  28.  
  29. Touka
  30. Going by that theory, then even electronic data has mass!
  31.  
  32. Nemu
  33. Well, anyway, given that there are two personal book collections in this room,
  34. the amount of books to sort is vast, which tends to bring about fatigue.
  35.  
  36. [*tap...*]
  37.  
  38. Nemu
  39. Ah...the books are organized by series rather than the author's name.
  40. Come put them in this box.
  41.  
  42. Touka
  43. NYAA!
  44. As a genius, my precious time
  45. is being wasted on such unproductive work like "organizing books"~
  46. This is a great loss for human history, you know!
  47.  
  48. Nemu
  49. Sorry... I personally...feel it is very frustrating.
  50. This body of mine can't help in any sufficient way.
  51.  
  52. Touka
  53. .....
  54. W-well... it can't be helped, nya?
  55. Isn't it for my convenience to not ask others for help?
  56. Since it would be problematic if Papa-sama found some of these books...
  57.  
  58. Nemu
  59. No, in this case I think Touka should be angry, since
  60. half of these books are from my collection.
  61. When I was hospitalized,
  62. I planned to keep them there for a little while...
  63.  
  64. Touka
  65. GEEEZE!
  66. Where am I supposed to vent these pent-up feelings!?
  67.  
  68. [*flip...*]
  69.  
  70. Touka
  71. Huh...?
  72.  
  73. Nemu
  74. This book is...?
  75.  
  76. -----Christmas String-----
  77. ~The Day Our Fingers Were Tied~
  78.  
  79. =====1=====
  80.  
  81. Touka
  82. Huh...?
  83.  
  84. Nemu
  85. This book is...?
  86.  
  87. Touka
  88. It's not mine.
  89.  
  90. Nemu
  91. What book is it...? There is a date written on it, though...
  92.  
  93. Diary Page
  94. [20xx, December xx, 18:00
  95. In a certain place, there were two twins that lived far apart.]
  96. [The younger twin found fluffy gloves just before Christmas.]
  97.  
  98. Nemu
  99. A diary...?
  100. But the contents of what are written appear more like a fairy tale...
  101.  
  102. Touka
  103. ---!?
  104.  
  105. Nemu
  106. That light...!
  107.  
  108. Touka
  109. Eh...? This is...?
  110.  
  111. Nemu
  112. It seems to be Mizutoku Market Street.
  113.  
  114. Touka
  115. Why are we...in such a place...? Ha...!
  116. Nemu! Floating! We're floating!!
  117.  
  118. Nemu
  119. ...I can't feel my body nor can I touch this tree.
  120. Somehow we've become incorporeal beings...
  121. It seems our state has become that of so-called ghosts.
  122.  
  123. Touka
  124. Nevermind that, what's with our appearance...? We transformed...into mahou shoujo?
  125. Nemu's legs are...healed?
  126.  
  127. Nemu
  128. It definitely seems that I can move them.
  129. ...Though I can only say it with irony since I can only walk through the air.
  130.  
  131. Touka
  132. This place is Mizutoku Market Street...? Nemu's home is in this neighborhood, right?
  133. Why is there a tree here before Christmas nya?
  134.  
  135. Nemu
  136. No, it's because it is before Christmas. This is what Mizutoku Market Street is like in the winter.
  137. We seem to have slipped back in time to December of last year.
  138.  
  139. Touka
  140. There's a basis for that speculation, I take it?
  141.  
  142. Nemu
  143. I recall seeing this tree, since it's local.
  144. ...Also, there is another reason.
  145. Just before this happened, we had the book opened to this page.
  146.  
  147. Diary Page
  148. [20xx, December xx, 18:00
  149. In a certain place, there were two twins that lived far apart.]
  150.  
  151. Nemu
  152. It's dated as December of last year.
  153. This page let out a flash of light, and in the next instant we were here.
  154. In other words...only our consciousness
  155. was transfered to the date and place written in this diary...
  156. Wouldn't you say that is the result?
  157.  
  158. Touka
  159. So a mysterious magic power in this diary
  160. caused this time slip back to last year?
  161.  
  162. Nemu
  163. If you have a more logical explanation, do tell me.
  164.  
  165. Touka
  166. .....
  167. No one is aware of us...
  168. At least it's certain that magic caused this phenomenom?
  169.  
  170. Nemu
  171. Taking the appearance of ghosts and visiting the past...
  172. It's reminded me of a famous story.
  173.  
  174. Touka
  175. What you said...
  176. Isn't it like a story I got from Papa-sama's book?
  177.  
  178. Nemu
  179. ..."A Christmas Carol."
  180. It's a Dickens classic.
  181.  
  182. =====2=====
  183.  
  184. Diary Page
  185. [20xx, December xx, 18:00
  186. In a certain place, there were two twins that lived far apart.]
  187. [The younger twin found fluffy gloves just before Christmas.]
  188. [Several days before, she couldn't buy them at other stores because they were too expensive...]
  189. [But at the next store, she was able to spend her pocket money she had saved.]
  190.  
  191. Touka
  192. I've never read this book before. Do you know it, Nemu?
  193.  
  194. Nemu
  195. It's not Touka's book, right? It's not from my collection.
  196. It's also not "A Christmas Carol."
  197.  
  198. Touka
  199. How strange...
  200. Where in the world did this book come from, getting mixed in with ours nyaa?
  201.  
  202. Nemu
  203. I don't have the slightest idea, but the contents are not unfamiliar to me.
  204. The twins written here are most likely the Amane sisters.
  205.  
  206. Touka
  207. Is that so...?
  208.  
  209. Nemu
  210. This diary-style fairy tale...for now let's refer to it as a diary.
  211. If the current time matches the time written in this diary,
  212. then Tsukasa should appear here shortly.
  213.  
  214. Tsukasa
  215. .....
  216.  
  217. Touka
  218. It's exactly as Nemu said! When did you change your occupation to prophet?
  219.  
  220. Nemu
  221. I merely recalled what Mifuyu had told me
  222. last Christmas...
  223. An anecdote that the sisters gave each other presents.
  224.  
  225. -Flashback-
  226. -Fendthope Private Room-
  227.  
  228. Mifuyu
  229. Nemu, listen to this!
  230. Just a little while ago, a wonderful thing happened.
  231.  
  232. Nemu
  233. ...What kind of thing?
  234.  
  235. Mifuyu
  236. It was like a heartwarming short story straight from O. Henry.
  237.  
  238. Nemu
  239. ...That's drawn my interest.
  240.  
  241. Touka
  242. ...That made me a little interested too.
  243. If Mifuyu was so excited to come tell you.
  244.  
  245. Nemu
  246. Mufu, I knew it would make you curious, but
  247. I'll tell you about the "heartwarming" details later.
  248. Right now it has nothing to do with us.
  249.  
  250. Touka
  251. If it's only going to get my hopes up, then don't bring it up!
  252.  
  253. Nemu
  254. It's not that important now, it's the actions that Tsukasa takes from here on that are.
  255. ...According to Mifuyu's story, Tsukasa is in this shopping district today
  256. to purchase fluffy gloves as a present for Tsukuyo.
  257.  
  258. Touka
  259. The diary did also mention gloves.
  260. If this is also as Nemu says,
  261. then the mysterious power time slip theory is confirmed!
  262. Is that what you're saying, nyaa?
  263.  
  264. Nemu
  265. It helps that you understand so well.
  266.  
  267. Tsukasa
  268. ...Well, looks like I'm finished shopping!
  269.  
  270. Nemu
  271. Now, Tsukasa is passing by the store in question.
  272.  
  273. Touka
  274. What happens after that?
  275.  
  276. Nemu
  277. She should notice the discount sale poster and promptly decide to buy the gloves.
  278.  
  279. [*woooosh...*]
  280.  
  281. Touka
  282. ...Hm? Did something just fly by nya?
  283.  
  284. [Import Brand 40% off discount sale going on now!]
  285.  
  286. Nemu
  287. ---!?
  288. This is...the poster from that store?
  289.  
  290. Touka
  291. Nemuuu! Tsukasa is right in front of the store...
  292.  
  293. Tsukasa
  294. .....
  295.  
  296. Nemu
  297. ...She passed by without stopping.
  298.  
  299. Touka
  300. What does this mean nya?
  301.  
  302. Nemu
  303. Could this be a contradiction between the past as I know it and the actual past?
  304.  
  305. Touka
  306. Kuhuhu, this may be a difficult situation, huh?
  307. Will a time paradox occur
  308. and cause us to cease to exist?
  309.  
  310. Nemu's Voice
  311. ---!? Touka disappeared?
  312.  
  313. Touka's Voice
  314. Nemu did tooo!
  315.  
  316. Nemu's Voice
  317. This is...
  318.  
  319. Touka & Nemu's Voices
  320. A TIME PARADOX!?
  321.  
  322. Little Girl
  323. .....?
  324.  
  325. =====3=====
  326.  
  327. Touka & Nemu's Voices
  328. A TIME PARADOX!?
  329.  
  330. Little Girl
  331. .....?
  332. Hey...is someone there?
  333.  
  334. Nemu
  335. Eh...?
  336.  
  337. Girl
  338. Not here...? But I can hear voices.
  339.  
  340. Touka
  341. ...This girl can hear our voices?
  342.  
  343. Nemu
  344. It seems so.
  345.  
  346. Girl
  347. ...Is there someone here after all?
  348.  
  349. Nemu
  350. ---!?
  351. We've returned...?
  352.  
  353. Girl
  354. Ah...! That appearance...
  355. It's the guardian spirits of "Christmas Bonds!"
  356. Is there something I can help you with?
  357.  
  358. Touka
  359. ~ Is she mistaking us for someone? ~
  360.  
  361. Nemu
  362. ~ "Christmas Bonds" is the title of a fairy tale. ~
  363. ~ It's a book that's difficult to obtain now, and I haven't read it either, ~
  364. ~ though I'm certain it's a story involving a pair of guardian spirits appearing. ~
  365.  
  366. Touka
  367. ~ Perhaps this is our chance to avoid a time paradox? ~
  368. ~ Let's tell her to help us! ~
  369.  
  370. Nemu
  371. ~ You're right, we're in a state of emergency, so let's request her help. ~
  372. ~ But, how do we ask her...? We don't have spare time to be clearing up misunderstandings... ~
  373.  
  374. Touka
  375. ~ Using telepathy, ~
  376. ~ won't we sound like guardian spirits nyaa? ~
  377.  
  378. Nemu
  379. ~ ...Let's hope she goes along with it, though. ~
  380.  
  381. Girl
  382. Guardian Spirit-san...?
  383.  
  384. Touka
  385. [The two of us...are in great trouble!]
  386.  
  387. Nemu
  388. [Yes, so will you not lend us assistance?]
  389. [I would like you to take that poster over there and place it back on the storefront there.]
  390.  
  391. Girl
  392. ...Voices, in my head...?
  393. I knew it, it really is the guardian spirits!
  394.  
  395. Nemu
  396. Can you help us?
  397.  
  398. Girl
  399. ...Yeah! I'll get the poster!
  400.  
  401. Touka
  402. Next we just need to call Tsukasa back to the store!
  403.  
  404. Nemu
  405. Call her while looking like this?
  406.  
  407. Touka
  408. It can't be helped! We have to chase after her!
  409. WAIT A MINUTE!
  410.  
  411. Nemu
  412. Haven't you forgotten something important?
  413.  
  414. Tsukasa
  415. .....
  416.  
  417. Touka
  418. She can't see us or hear us at all...?
  419.  
  420. Nemu
  421. Just like with the girl earlier, why don't we try telepathy?
  422. ~ Tsukasa, can you hear me? ~
  423.  
  424. Tsukasa
  425. .....
  426.  
  427. Touka
  428. She ignored us and walked away!
  429.  
  430. Nemu
  431. Telepathy is no good either, then...
  432. The only person who recognizes our existence is that girl from before...?
  433.  
  434. Touka
  435. Ah...
  436.  
  437. Nemu's Voice
  438. Touka just...disappeared again!
  439.  
  440. Touka's Voice
  441. Nemu did too!
  442.  
  443. Tsukasa
  444. ...Ah, this is bad!
  445. I still had shopping to do! I need to go back!
  446.  
  447. Nemu
  448. We returned!
  449.  
  450. Touka
  451. Geez, what is the meaning of this!?
  452.  
  453. Nemu
  454. Take a look, Tsukasa is in front of the store...
  455.  
  456. Tsukasa
  457. ...Huh?
  458. This is...
  459. The same gloves that were sold on the streetside!?
  460.  
  461. [Import Brand 40% off discount sale going on now!]
  462.  
  463. Tsukasa
  464. You're kidding! I can afford it with my pocket change!?
  465.  
  466. Woman
  467. ...Welcome, is there something you're looking for?
  468.  
  469. Tsukasa
  470. Yes!
  471. [This please!!!]
  472.  
  473. Touka
  474. Haa...did we somehow avoid a time paradox?
  475.  
  476. Nemu
  477. ...It seems so.
  478. Thanks to that girl.
  479.  
  480. =====4=====
  481.  
  482. Touka
  483. That girl being there really saved us nyaa.
  484.  
  485. Nemu
  486. Thanks to her, a time paradox hasn't occurred.
  487. ...Assuming the reason for us disappearing was that, of course.
  488.  
  489. Touka
  490. Because the result was a contradiction in causality,
  491. we who are a part of a contradicting future disappeared!
  492. I believe that is what happened.
  493.  
  494. Nemu
  495. Then why do only our voices remain, but our disappearance stopped halfway...?
  496.  
  497. Touka
  498. That girl calling out to us increased the chances of us continuing to exist.
  499. So that's why our disappearing forms returned.
  500.  
  501. Nemu
  502. ...Then why did we disappear again?
  503.  
  504. Touka
  505. Because Tsukasa ignored us!
  506.  
  507. -Flashback-
  508. Tsukasa
  509. .....
  510. -End Flashback-
  511.  
  512. Nemu
  513. ...So that's why.
  514. Did she simply ignore us, or in this instance was she just too far from the store?
  515.  
  516. Touka
  517. You're right about that point.
  518. She just miraculously remembered her errands afterwards
  519. and barely saved us!
  520.  
  521. Nemu
  522. What's important is that the worse the contradiction is, the more faded all traces of us become.
  523.  
  524. Girl
  525. .....
  526.  
  527. Nemu
  528. Ah... Thank you for earlier.
  529.  
  530. Girl
  531. Did I...help Guardian Spirit-san...?
  532.  
  533. Touka
  534. Uh-huh!
  535. You may not be able to tell, but that was critical timing!
  536.  
  537. Girl
  538. Waa...that's great!
  539. I love "Christmas Bonds."
  540. I read the story about guardian spirits over and over again!
  541. Ah...but,
  542. do the real guardian spirits know about that book?
  543.  
  544. Nemu
  545. A book written about us...you say?
  546. It's a very rare book, but I hear it's difficult to get your hands on, though.
  547.  
  548. Girl
  549. Yeah... It's only in our library, so I borrow it a lot so I can read it again.
  550.  
  551. Nemu
  552. ...I have the same experience. No matter how many times I read my favorite book, it's always fun.
  553.  
  554. Girl
  555. Does Guardian Spirit-san also visit the library?
  556.  
  557. Nemu
  558. Ah, yeah...you could say that.
  559.  
  560. Woman
  561. Kuu-chan, where are you? You know it's about time to go?
  562.  
  563. Girl
  564. Ah, Mama...!
  565.  
  566. Woman
  567. There you are. Well then, shall we go?
  568.  
  569. Girl
  570. Yeah!
  571.  
  572. Woman
  573. Tomorrow would you like to go visit Mii-kun's house?
  574.  
  575. Girl
  576. ...No, I want to go to the library.
  577.  
  578. Woman
  579. Oh, you do?
  580.  
  581. Nemu
  582. ...Mm?
  583.  
  584. Girl
  585. Ah...
  586. See you, guardian spirits!
  587. Keep reconnecting the bonds that tie everyone, okay!
  588.  
  589. Touka
  590. You saved us today!
  591.  
  592. Nemu
  593. We'll see you again.
  594.  
  595. Woman
  596. .....? Were you talking to someone...?
  597.  
  598. Touka
  599. "A book written about us...you say?"
  600. You were able to talk around her well.
  601.  
  602. Nemu
  603. Telling the truth to a girl like her would be cruel.
  604. She didn't seem suspicious about anything, so my acting must have been good enough.
  605.  
  606. Touka
  607. She said "keep reconnecting the bonds that tie everyone," though...
  608. Is something like that in the book, nya?
  609.  
  610. Nemu
  611. The story I heard about is a fairy tale set on Christmas.
  612. A pair of guardian spirits reconnect the frayed bonds of people...
  613. It was a story like that.
  614.  
  615. Touka
  616. Hmmm...
  617. Perhaps, we had this encounter because
  618. this diary is "Christmas Bonds...?"
  619. Perhaps we're having these encounters
  620. because this diary is that "Christmas Bonds" book...?
  621.  
  622. Nemu
  623. ...I don't see a title on it.
  624. Huh?
  625. The page turned on its own...
  626.  
  627. Touka
  628. It started shining...!
  629.  
  630. =====5=====
  631.  
  632. Diary Page
  633. [20xx, December xx, 15:10
  634. Thus, thanks to the two guardian spirits who retied the frayed bonds...]
  635. [The twins were able to enjoy Christmas together with their matching gloves.]
  636. [The End]
  637.  
  638. Nemu
  639. This is...Fendthope.
  640.  
  641. Touka
  642. What is the date in the diary?
  643.  
  644. Nemu
  645. It's December of last year, but a number of days have passed.
  646. From what is written here...the Amane sisters should
  647. have had a happy ending.
  648.  
  649. [*knock knock*]
  650.  
  651. Tsukasa
  652. Ah, Tsukuyo-chan!
  653.  
  654. Tsukuyo
  655. ...I am terribly sorry for making you wait!
  656.  
  657. Tsukasa
  658. Nope, it's all good!
  659. Are you thirsty? I'll go make some tea.
  660. Now, without further ado...
  661.  
  662. Tsukuyo
  663. We shall begin our present exchange party!
  664.  
  665. Mifuyu
  666. Huhuhu.
  667.  
  668. Tsukasa
  669. One, two...
  670.  
  671. [Tadaa!]
  672.  
  673. Mifuyu
  674. Both have such beautiful wrapping...the anticipation is growing.
  675.  
  676. Tsukasa
  677. Shall we unwrap them together?
  678.  
  679. Tsukuyo
  680. Yes we shall...!
  681.  
  682. [*rustle...*]
  683.  
  684. Tsukuyo
  685. Ah...
  686.  
  687. Tsukasa
  688. Eh...
  689.  
  690. Mifuyu
  691. ...Those are...!
  692. ...They're both pairs of gloves, aren't they.
  693. Not only that...the same brand, and same product...?
  694.  
  695. Tsukasa
  696. There's no way we got the same thiiing!
  697.  
  698. Touka
  699. ...Is this...a happy ending?
  700.  
  701. Nemu
  702. Watch from here.
  703.  
  704. Tsukasa
  705. Ahhh ah...and I was so confideeent.
  706.  
  707. Tsukuyo
  708. I was as well.
  709. After all, I myself wanted it since it was such a good product.
  710.  
  711. Tsukasa
  712. ...Huh? You mean the same as me?
  713. I wanted to buy it for myself since I liked it so much...
  714.  
  715. Tsukuyo
  716. ...Then that means, in other words,
  717. we both received the item that we wanted?
  718.  
  719. Tsukasa
  720. Yeah, totally!
  721. Is it really okay for me to have this?
  722.  
  723. Tsukuyo
  724. ...That is my line I believe!
  725.  
  726. Mifuyu
  727. ...You two dears! You should be more happy!
  728. You both got what you wanted most, and they're even matching...
  729. Aren't they just the best presents ever!?
  730.  
  731. Touka
  732. ...I see, it really is a happy ending, then.
  733.  
  734. Nemu
  735. The two of us are guardian spirits right now.
  736. Does this mean...the Amane sisters' bond is now retied?
  737.  
  738. Touka
  739. ...Because Tsukasa couldn't buy those gloves due to the tampering of results by the wind,
  740. their bond would have frayed just like that?
  741.  
  742. Nemu
  743. It seems that is how it works.
  744.  
  745. Touka
  746. Muuu-
  747. I don't know if it's the diary or this guardian spirits thing, but
  748. I'm being manipulated by magic I don't understand.
  749. Unless I do what this diary says, I'll disappear because of a time paradox!
  750. Even if I do what I'm told, there's no assurance I'll be able to go home...at all!
  751. What in the world did I dooo!?
  752.  
  753. Nemu
  754. We have all the charges against us we'll ever need, but does this even feel like a punishment?
  755. Well, it doesn't seem like a reward either.
  756.  
  757. Touka
  758. The guardian spirit of Christmas is just a copy of Santa!
  759. Why do I have to play such a role?
  760.  
  761. Nemu
  762. We couldn't possibly be suitable, you or I.
  763.  
  764. Touka
  765. I'm not interested in Christmas at all!
  766.  
  767. Nemu
  768. I've always agreed with that viewpoint as well. We've been the same since we were hospitalized.
  769. ...Among the three of us, Ui is the only one who has sincerely enjoyed Christmas.
  770.  
  771. Touka
  772. Right, right!
  773. She absolutely enjoys giving presents and making others happy.
  774. This role is more suitable for someone kind like Ui!
  775.  
  776. Nemu
  777. Christmas presents, working to retie bonds,
  778. giving in good will, could all be said to be friendly acts.
  779.  
  780. Touka
  781. Is it really fun to please others, nyaa?
  782.  
  783. Nemu
  784. Ui would be sad if she heard you ask that.
  785.  
  786. Touka
  787. ...Is it fun to Nemu?
  788.  
  789. Nemu
  790. I personally am not that type of person,
  791. though I can't deny such people exist.
  792.  
  793. Touka
  794. ...Well, in any case,
  795. we have a method to return back to our original time.
  796. For example, if we turn the page back to the original date in the diary,
  797. won't we go back home, nya?
  798.  
  799. Nemu
  800. Let's try?
  801.  
  802. Touka
  803. ...Huh?
  804.  
  805. [*flap flap...*]
  806.  
  807. Touka
  808. It's...opened to a different page on its own?
  809.  
  810. Nemu
  811. Once again, the book is lighting up...!
  812.  
  813. =====6=====
  814.  
  815. Diary Page
  816. [20xx, December xx, 15:20
  817. In a certain place, there was a kouhai who loved to draw manga and a genius artist senpai.]
  818. [The kouhai showed a Christmas story, but the senpai offered no compliments at all.]
  819. [Despite that, the kouhai was not discouraged and continued to draw...]
  820. [On this day, she showed her senpai a treasured story.]
  821.  
  822. Touka & Nemu
  823. .....
  824.  
  825. Nemu
  826. This is...?
  827.  
  828. Touka
  829. Looks like Sakae Ward.
  830.  
  831. Nemu
  832. The date in the diary is unfortunately before Christmas of last year again.
  833.  
  834. Touka
  835. It was written there was a genius artist on there...?
  836.  
  837. [*step step step...*]
  838.  
  839. Nemu
  840. ...Someone is running this way.
  841.  
  842. Karin
  843. Fugya...!?
  844. Uu...It's frozen here...?
  845. I should have worn no-slip shoes...
  846. Ha...! I can't be worrying about this,
  847. I have to finish the continuation of my manga, yes...!
  848. Alina-senpai, I'm almost there...
  849.  
  850. Touka
  851. ...Did she just drop her sketchbook?
  852. "Shinigami Girl Christmas Caribou...?"
  853.  
  854. Nemu
  855. Going by the contents of the diary,
  856. this girl...Misono Karin, is the one drawing a manga.
  857.  
  858. Touka
  859. Ahh, I get it.
  860. So, that means the senpai she's going to show it to is Alina.
  861.  
  862. Nemu
  863. Usually, manga isn't drawn in a sketchbook, though.
  864.  
  865. Touka
  866. Regardless, she just dropped the most important thing for her goal, nyaa!
  867.  
  868. Nemu
  869. Sakae Comprehensive School is just ahead, but...
  870. we currently can't pick it up nor deliver it.
  871.  
  872. Touka
  873. In the diary, it says Alina is supposed to be shown the manga, right?
  874. That much must happen.
  875. Otherwise another time paradox will occur in the same pattern!
  876.  
  877. Nemu
  878. Just like before, will someone become aware of us...?
  879.  
  880. Boy
  881. Huh...?
  882. What the heck...is that...weird light...
  883.  
  884. Nemu
  885. Can you...see our forms?
  886.  
  887. Boy
  888. Y...yeah.
  889. Hey...that outfit...
  890. Could you be...Christmas Guardian Spirit...san?
  891.  
  892. =====7=====
  893.  
  894. Boy
  895. Could you be...Christmas Guardian Spirit...san?
  896.  
  897. Touka
  898. Thaat's riight!
  899.  
  900. Nemu
  901. You just said it outright...well, there's no choice now, is there?
  902. ...Hey
  903. If you don't mind, could you help us?
  904.  
  905. Boy
  906. Yeah...S-sure can! ...What do I need to do?
  907.  
  908. Nemu
  909. I would like you to pick this sketchbook up and return it to its owner.
  910.  
  911. Boy
  912. Got it, Guardian Spirit-san! But, to who?
  913.  
  914. Touka
  915. A girl named Misono Karin from Sakae Comprehensive School!
  916.  
  917. Woman
  918. Mii-kun, what's wrong?
  919.  
  920. Boy
  921. Ah...Mama.
  922. I want to return this sketchbook to its owner.
  923. The guardian spirits-
  924.  
  925. Woman
  926. Guardian spirits...?
  927. Sure it's a sketchbook that someone dropped, although...
  928. there's a name written on it... looks like a child from Sakae Comprehensive School.
  929. Sure thing, shall we go deliver it?
  930.  
  931. Boy
  932. Yeah!
  933.  
  934. -School-
  935.  
  936. Karin
  937. Uuuu, this is terrible.
  938. I dropped my precious sketchbook somewhere...
  939. When I left the house I know I had it...
  940. ...Ah!
  941. Um...could that sketchbook be...?
  942.  
  943. Woman
  944. Ah...is this yours?
  945. This boy here picked it up on the road back there.
  946. We were about to go to the school to drop it off.
  947.  
  948. Karin
  949. Ah...thank you yeah.
  950. I thought I was going to lose all of my new work I just drew!
  951.  
  952. Touka
  953. Haa...
  954.  
  955. Nemu
  956. Looks like we've managed to avoid disappearing again.
  957.  
  958. Boy
  959. Was that good, Guardian Spirit-san?
  960.  
  961. Touka
  962. Yeah, perfect!
  963.  
  964. Nemu
  965. ...Do you know about the Christmas guardian spirits?
  966.  
  967. Boy
  968. The guardian spirits that appear in "Christmas Bonds," right?
  969. It's my friend's favorite book,
  970. though she talks about it a lot...
  971. .....
  972.  
  973. Nemu
  974. ...Did something happen?
  975.  
  976. Boy
  977. ...We got in a fight recently.
  978. ..... .....
  979.  
  980. Nemu
  981. Would you like to make up?
  982.  
  983. Boy
  984. ...Yes.
  985. I want to apologize, but I have a hard time saying it.
  986.  
  987. Touka
  988. This time,
  989. you should go deliver a Christmas present.
  990. What do you think of that opportunity, nya?
  991.  
  992. Boy
  993. Ah...that sounds nice!
  994.  
  995. Nemu
  996. ~ I never thought such good advice would come out of your mouth, Touka. ~
  997.  
  998. Touka
  999. ~ There's no deep meaning behind it. ~
  1000. ~ Since we're talking about presents I just thought of that is all! ~
  1001.  
  1002. Nemu
  1003. ~ So that's it. ~
  1004. ~ Aside from that, this "Christmas Bonds" ~
  1005. ~ is a book that people rarely know about, ~
  1006. ~ but he also knew of it...? ~
  1007.  
  1008. Touka
  1009. ~ ...Did he hear about it from the girl we met earlier? ~
  1010.  
  1011. Nemu
  1012. ~ Maybe that's the case? ~
  1013.  
  1014. Boy
  1015. I wonder...what kind of Christmas present I should get...?
  1016.  
  1017. Nemu
  1018. What about that book we appeared in?
  1019. Since that book is incredibly rare,
  1020. doesn't that girl borrow it from the library often just to read it?
  1021.  
  1022. Boy
  1023. Woah! How'd you know that!?
  1024.  
  1025. Nemu
  1026. ...I just heard about it.
  1027. You would have to be patient to find it at a secondhand bookstore, but...
  1028. I'm sure it would make her happy.
  1029.  
  1030. Boy
  1031. Got it, I'll try my best!
  1032.  
  1033. Woman
  1034. ...Are you done now, Mii-kun?
  1035.  
  1036. Boy
  1037. Ah, Mama?
  1038.  
  1039. Woman
  1040. ...Were you talking to the guardian spirits again?
  1041.  
  1042. Boy
  1043. Y-yeah...Mama may not be able to see them, though...
  1044.  
  1045. Mom
  1046. ...If Mii-kun says so, I'll believe it.
  1047.  
  1048. Boy
  1049. Thanks!
  1050. Um... ...I need to go soon.
  1051.  
  1052. Nemu
  1053. Sure, good luck on your book hunt.
  1054.  
  1055. Nemu
  1056. Mii-kun, hmm...there's really no mistaking it.
  1057. That child is friends with the girl we met at Mizutoku Market Street.
  1058.  
  1059. -Flashback-
  1060.  
  1061. Woman
  1062. Tomorrow would you like to go visit Mii-kun's house?
  1063.  
  1064. Girl
  1065. ...No, I want to go to the library.
  1066.  
  1067. -End Flashback-
  1068.  
  1069. Touka
  1070. She said Mii-kun, too.
  1071.  
  1072. Nemu
  1073. It's nice that the two mothers are so kind.
  1074. She even waited for him to finish telling his story.
  1075.  
  1076. Touka
  1077. Those two were the only ones who could perceive us...
  1078.  
  1079. Nemu
  1080. Like that girl from earlier,
  1081. can only children who believe in good guardian spirits see us...?
  1082.  
  1083. Touka
  1084. We can't confirm or deny anything with just two samples.
  1085.  
  1086. Nemu
  1087. ...Well, that's true.
  1088. ..... .....
  1089. ...Although, our actions just now were a little careless.
  1090. Time paradoxes are a problem for us,
  1091. yet we can interfere with the past.
  1092.  
  1093. Touka
  1094. I am also bothered by it.
  1095.  
  1096. Nemu
  1097. I thought Touka would have stopped me midway.
  1098.  
  1099. Touka
  1100. Well, there is the fact that we were saved thanks to that child.
  1101. I wonder if we should keep quiet until there's a definitive phenomenom again.
  1102.  
  1103. Nemu
  1104. ...Hmm, so even Touka is capable of feeling gratitude.
  1105.  
  1106. Touka
  1107. Geniuses have feelings too you knooow!
  1108.  
  1109. Nemu
  1110. Ah...
  1111. Again, the book is...!
  1112.  
  1113. Touka
  1114. I want to go home already.
  1115.  
  1116. =====8=====
  1117.  
  1118. [20xx, December xx, 15:40
  1119. Senpai read her latest story, but as usual, the kouhai wasn't praised.]
  1120. [As always, they passed the time in their usual way.]
  1121.  
  1122. -Art Studio/Class-
  1123.  
  1124. Touka & Nemu
  1125. .....
  1126.  
  1127. Nemu
  1128. Look.
  1129.  
  1130. Touka
  1131. Alina...!
  1132.  
  1133. Karin
  1134. I didn't think we would get to meet today.
  1135.  
  1136. Alina
  1137. ...Winter break just started, so it's unusual to be here, y'know.
  1138.  
  1139. Karin
  1140. My manga research club and senpai's art club
  1141. are both active even during winter break yeah!
  1142.  
  1143. Alina
  1144. ...Speaking of,
  1145. it looks like you completed something from earlier?
  1146.  
  1147. Karin
  1148. Sure did! It's freshly drawn!
  1149. It's a new edition of "Shinigami Girl Christmas Death Caribou!"
  1150.  
  1151. Alina
  1152. Hmm...
  1153. It's neither satisfactory nor terrible garbage, it seems.
  1154.  
  1155. Karin
  1156. ...You really mean it!? I'm so happy!
  1157.  
  1158. Alina
  1159. Why is it you're happy? That was not a compliment.
  1160.  
  1161. Karin
  1162. Because my senpai who's always so harsh just told me it's not terrible!
  1163.  
  1164. Alina
  1165. (But after that, there was a "garbage" added, was there not...?)
  1166.  
  1167. Alina
  1168. Well, Alina is leaving now.
  1169.  
  1170. [*Tap...*]
  1171.  
  1172. Karin
  1173. Eh... Strawberry milk?
  1174.  
  1175. Alina
  1176. Alina told you before, right?
  1177. You paid last time, so this is returning the favor.
  1178.  
  1179. [*Shut*]
  1180.  
  1181. Karin
  1182. ...Could this be a Christmas present?
  1183. Senpai, thank you yeah~
  1184.  
  1185. Touka
  1186. ...The Christmas guardian spirits are supposed to reconnect bonds, right?
  1187.  
  1188. Nemu
  1189. There is no doubt about your understanding.
  1190.  
  1191. Touka
  1192. There's nothing to tie here...
  1193. Did we hit the wrong button at the start or something?
  1194.  
  1195. Nemu
  1196. Since these people are already happy, is this a happy ending...?
  1197. Ah...
  1198. The book started flashing again...?
  1199.  
  1200. Touka
  1201. What's on the next page...?
  1202.  
  1203. Diary Page
  1204. [Year 20xx, Month xx, Day xx, 13:40]
  1205. [From then on, the "as usuals" of that time were...]
  1206. [no longer anywhere to be found.]
  1207.  
  1208. =====9=====
  1209.  
  1210. -Hospital-
  1211.  
  1212. Alina
  1213. Freeze! Would you stop moving?
  1214.  
  1215. Mifuyu
  1216. E-even if you tell me...
  1217.  
  1218. Alina
  1219. Be steady like a model, okay.
  1220.  
  1221. Karin
  1222. Uu...I'm so happy my lively senpai seems to be back...
  1223.  
  1224. Kaede
  1225. That is...lively?
  1226.  
  1227. Karin
  1228. Sure is!
  1229. Alina-senpai used to be like this...
  1230. She would never back down on her art and was so cool!
  1231. If she could just get her memories back while in this condition...
  1232.  
  1233. Alina
  1234. Hold it, fool girl.
  1235. If you're not sketching, why don't you leave?
  1236. Alina can't concentrate at all.
  1237.  
  1238. Karin
  1239. Ah, sorry yeah!
  1240. Kaede-chan, let's end the chat for now.
  1241. Once again, I want you to hold a pose.
  1242.  
  1243. Kaede
  1244. ...S...Sure...
  1245.  
  1246. Touka
  1247. I don't understand what's happening in the slightest here.
  1248.  
  1249. Nemu
  1250. I'm not quite sure either.
  1251. However, this place is the hospital we used to be at... Also...
  1252.  
  1253. Touka
  1254. ...Also?
  1255.  
  1256. Nemu
  1257. ...Where Alina and others were hospitalized.
  1258.  
  1259. Touka
  1260. ..... .....
  1261. ...Did we return to the present?
  1262.  
  1263. Nemu
  1264. It can't be.
  1265. The date in the diary is a little in the past, and we're still in this form.
  1266.  
  1267. Touka
  1268. We still haven't escaped from the curse of this diary?
  1269.  
  1270. Nemu
  1271. It's likely Alina and others here have bonds that have yet to be retied...
  1272. We won't be released until we've made sure of it.
  1273.  
  1274. Touka
  1275. ...So,
  1276. what is the meaning of this?
  1277.  
  1278. Nemu
  1279. If I were to guess,
  1280. it's part of a rehabilitation activity to help Alina regain her memory.
  1281.  
  1282. Touka
  1283. Then the kouhai-san is doing what?
  1284.  
  1285. Nemu
  1286. Well...it seems she is eagerly sketching to me.
  1287.  
  1288. Mifuyu
  1289. ...Kaede-san.
  1290.  
  1291. Kaede
  1292. ...Eh? Ah...yes?
  1293.  
  1294. Mifuyu
  1295. Shall we take a little break over there?
  1296.  
  1297. Touka
  1298. What are we supposed to do?
  1299.  
  1300. Nemu
  1301. Let's follow and watch them.
  1302.  
  1303. -Lobby-
  1304.  
  1305. Mifuyu
  1306. ...So Kaede-san also got to be an art model,
  1307. I never would have expected that.
  1308.  
  1309. Kaede
  1310. Karin-chan wants to improve her drawing skills,
  1311. so she asked me to go along with her...
  1312.  
  1313. Mifuyu
  1314. Drawing skills?
  1315.  
  1316. Kaede
  1317. Yeah... Alina-san once
  1318. told her that her drawing skills weren't catastrophic,
  1319. so she thought that if she improved her drawing skills,
  1320. the surprise...might return her memories...
  1321.  
  1322. Mifuyu
  1323. ...Then it's the same as me.
  1324. I am also modeling for Alina's paintings until her memory returns.
  1325.  
  1326. Kaede
  1327. ...Always...in that outfit?
  1328.  
  1329. Mifuyu
  1330. N-not at all...!
  1331. This was...just on Alina's whim... Or perhaps I should say, request...
  1332. Why is Kaede-san in an out of season outfit?
  1333.  
  1334. Kaede
  1335. W...well...
  1336. Karin-chan made a manga before-
  1337. a Christmas Shinigami or something? and was planning on continuing her drawing of it.
  1338. Since this was a big opportunity for her, as a reference
  1339. she asked me to wear this costume...
  1340.  
  1341. Mifuyu
  1342. ...Haa...
  1343. It's difficult for both of us, then...
  1344.  
  1345. Nemu
  1346. Their reasons are both the same; they both want Alina's memories to return, hm?
  1347.  
  1348. Touka
  1349. ...It seems that way.
  1350.  
  1351. Nemu
  1352. The reason Kamihama is in the state it's in now,
  1353. and why these girls have had their peaceful everyday lives taken away,
  1354. is unmistakably because of us.
  1355. ...It's our responsibility to see this story through its course.
  1356.  
  1357. Touka
  1358. ...Yeah. I know that.
  1359.  
  1360. =====10=====
  1361.  
  1362. Alina
  1363. ...Huu, looks like it's complete for now...
  1364.  
  1365. [*Rip rip rip*]
  1366.  
  1367. Mifuyu
  1368. Ehh...!?
  1369. But you painted that for so long! Why?
  1370.  
  1371. Alina
  1372. Don no wai...
  1373. Something reflexively felt wrong.
  1374.  
  1375. Mifuyu
  1376. Yet you painted me perfectly?
  1377.  
  1378. Alina
  1379. ...Don't know why, but my hands just start moving on their own.
  1380. Alina's hands paint. Alina's hands destroy.
  1381.  
  1382. Mifuyu
  1383. When it comes to something like this, you're still Alina after all...
  1384.  
  1385. Karin
  1386. Well, Senpai...?
  1387. How are you? Did you remember anything?
  1388.  
  1389. Alina
  1390. Notto atto aaru. Not at all, nothing.
  1391.  
  1392. Mifuyu
  1393. Ehh...
  1394. Even though I wore this out of season costume...
  1395. The point of going through all of this embarrassment...
  1396.  
  1397. Alina
  1398. Yep, nasshingu.
  1399.  
  1400. Kaede
  1401. ...Maybe...
  1402. ...Since Mifuyu-san is the model...
  1403. I...don't need to anymore, right?
  1404.  
  1405. Karin
  1406. That's not it!
  1407. I have to thank you for your hard work with modeling.
  1408. My most amazing drawing is complete now!
  1409. Alina-senpai, I want to show you.
  1410.  
  1411. Alina
  1412. .....?
  1413.  
  1414. Karin
  1415. ...I-it's this right here.
  1416.  
  1417. Alina
  1418. ..... .....
  1419.  
  1420. Alina
  1421. Hmm...
  1422. It's neither satisfactory nor terrible garbage, it seems.
  1423.  
  1424. Karin
  1425. ---!?
  1426. Senpai...Alina-senpai...!
  1427.  
  1428. Mifuyu
  1429. ...Eh?
  1430.  
  1431. Kaede
  1432. ...K...Karin-chan?
  1433.  
  1434. Mifuyu
  1435. H-hey Alina, what you said was a little extreme...
  1436.  
  1437. Karin
  1438. ...You're wrong. I'm happy.
  1439.  
  1440. Mifuyu
  1441. Eh...?
  1442.  
  1443. -Flashback-
  1444.  
  1445. Alina
  1446. ...Speaking of,
  1447. it looks like you completed something from earlier?
  1448.  
  1449. Karin
  1450. Sure did! It's freshly drawn!
  1451. It's a new edition of "Shinigami Girl Christmas Death Caribou!"
  1452.  
  1453. ---
  1454.  
  1455. Alina
  1456. Hmm...
  1457. It's neither satisfactory nor terrible garbage, it seems.
  1458.  
  1459. Karin
  1460. ...You really mean it!? I'm so happy!
  1461.  
  1462. Alina
  1463. Why is it you're happy? That was not a compliment.
  1464.  
  1465. Karin
  1466. Because my senpai who's always so harsh just told me it's not terrible!
  1467.  
  1468. ---
  1469.  
  1470. [*Tap...*]
  1471.  
  1472. Karin
  1473. Eh... Strawberry milk?
  1474.  
  1475. Alina
  1476. Alina told you before, right?
  1477. You paid last time, so this is returning the favor.
  1478.  
  1479. -End Flashback-
  1480.  
  1481. Karin
  1482. ...I'm happy...
  1483. ...Senpai is...*sniffle*...
  1484. She said it before... The same words as before...she said them.
  1485.  
  1486. Kaede
  1487. ...Karin...chan...?
  1488.  
  1489. Alina
  1490. .....?
  1491. ...Alina said that before?
  1492.  
  1493. Karin
  1494. ...Yeah...
  1495. Just a little...my Alina-senpai came back just a little...
  1496. ...Uu...
  1497. ...Uu...Uuuu...
  1498. ...UWAaAaAN...!
  1499.  
  1500. Kaede
  1501. Karin...chan...
  1502.  
  1503. Mifuyu
  1504. .....
  1505.  
  1506. ---
  1507.  
  1508. Karin
  1509. ...*Sniff* ...*Sniffle*...
  1510. ...Eheh...sorry... I was crying...
  1511.  
  1512. Mifuyu
  1513. ...That one sentence from Alina brought back a memory for you,
  1514. of those days when you felt happy.
  1515.  
  1516. Karin
  1517. That's right.
  1518. You two, thank you for coming yeah...!
  1519. I feel like I got to meet the old Alina-senpai just a little.
  1520.  
  1521. Kaede
  1522. Yeah... ...I'm happy for you.
  1523.  
  1524. Karin
  1525. We're going to do our best together in rehabilitation,
  1526. Alina-senpai!
  1527.  
  1528. Alina
  1529. .....
  1530.  
  1531. Touka
  1532. .....
  1533. ...What do you think, Nemu.
  1534.  
  1535. Nemu
  1536. I don't know if their frayed bond was retied...but
  1537. something we tied had significance.
  1538. ...I'm sure, it did.
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