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A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:28 am

The girl only smiled kindly and sweetly as Natsumi gave her retort. It wasn't clear what exactly it was that was running through her head, but it was likely something more than just nodding in agreement.

She’d remain silent and listen, that’s all she’d do for a fair bit of the conversation, even through that silent phase. Up until the point where the other spoke up again.

«It will begin once it begins. But to give an exact date…hmmm…just wait for the deliveryman ☆ patiently, will you~?»

Another strange sentence, another cheerful voice underlining the entire story. But there was of course another kind of logic at work. The keyword to what she was clouding with her overly cheerful and sparkly demeanour was something entirely simple, the base fact of the world they lived in: Secrecy.

Even here in the middle of those passing masses of pedestrians all there was was secrecy. It existed in the most absurd of places, not in some hidden underground bunkers or shadowy back alleys. With those places being the most obvious of choices, wasn’t standing out in the open among hundreds of other people a much more secret environment?

She smiled, she shined, that was all there was to her, as she eyed the other side of their lovely holy girls-talk. However all of a sudden all of that changed…

«I’m disappointed. You’re not asking any questions….none at all…why? Is it because you think you’re so experienced that you don’t need to or is it because you won’t even bother, since you’re already too hardened by the world? Where is the enthusiasm? Where is the worry? Where is all that? Don’t tell me you’ve already grown so indifferent to all of this that it doesn’t matter to you? That isn’t good, you know? That’s exactly what makes people fall on the long run…»

She pouted, not holding back the girlish disappointment she felt at the unexpected turn of events. Maybe it was actually expected, but she still went for the exaggerated display of childish emotions that shouldn’t fit into this conversation to begin with. Or maybe they did from an outsider’s perspective?
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:44 pm



This girl was annoying.

Was it because she felt the need to affirm some naive and fundamentally mistaken sense of superiority?

“You're a funny one, aren't you... You're the one who literally just told me I didn't need to know, and now you're wondering why I'm not asking questions?” She remarked with a more than perplexed and slightly exasperated question, feeling like she was the one having to deal with a newbie.

However, she knew better than to make her exasperation, possibly brought forward even more by her current state of health, more open than necessary if she wanted her head to stay on her head. Still, looking at the girl's obvious confusion as to why she wasn't sharing her childishness on the matter, Natsumi couldn't help but wonder if she actually knew what she had gotten involved with or if she merely enjoyed being a dog standing however higher than the average one.

“I'm confused, are you looking for a feel-good terrified reaction from me? I can fake it if you want, but at the end of the day I'll just end up doing what I'm told, whether I'm curious about it or not, and that'll be the same until I'm no longer useful. Isn't that the one thing all of us dogs are equal in?” Though she still strayed from adopting an aggressive tone of voice that would get her in trouble, her expression was nonetheless one as cold as ice; making her look much more older when directly compared to the youthful childishness being displayed before her.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:31 pm



This girl was dull.

«Awww, just what is it with you, Hujisaka-san?! Why are you so utterly limited…?!»

Coating it in her cutesy disappointment the girl didn’t hold back any sort of response towards the other party, grabbing her head with both her hands while shaking it a bunch of times. Then she’d simply readjust and eye her surroundings carefully. She wasn’t checking for any spies or other categories of hostile individuals, but for onlookers that might get the wrong impression of her. After all the public image is a lady’s greatest treasure.

«I don’t get what he sees in you. I really don’t. I guess I never will, but that goes for all of them probably. You’re way too obedient, that’s just boring. Here I was hoping for some big rebel or whatever. Someone actually daring, with all you have done. But I guess that’s Academy City for you. Awwww. How unfortunate. How stupid. How dull.»

In the end most of those dogs were the same. Once someone put a collar around their necks they’d just obey. In most cases there was some force involved, in this particular one even that was unnecessary. Whoever Hujisaka Natsumi was, to her she seemed like someone convenient, way too convenient even. It was unnatural and thus probably something that was worth further inspection. Convenience wasn’t something that made sense after all. Not after what that girl had done, not after what that girl had…

«Awww, well. Time to go ☆ See ya around soon ☆ Hujisaka ☆ Natsumi ☆ -san ☆»

As sudden as she had appeared she suddenly steadied the grip around her handbag and took a few steps forward, passing on along the many others.

«The pyromaniac that’ll watch Academy City’s order crumble, huh? I wooooondeeeerrrrr about that Yuu-chan ☆»

A faint whisper and the next instance she was gone. There no longer was a trace of her pink head, the elite girl’s school uniform or the pink Mary Janes. Just like that she’d been swallowed by current of the ever moving masses.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:54 pm

In the place that girl had stood in before her timely, if a bit belated knowing how short convocations to these jobs usually were, departure remained no trace of their normal-sounding but truly dangerous exchange. Natsumi's glance lingered for a few seconds before looking up to the sky.

And as she did, ignoring the passersby that would have to openly avoid her with an upset expression in order to not bump into her, she simply smiled, closed her eyes and deeply breathed in. It was not a sweet and enjoyable expression, nor was it a malicious one, it was simply one of patient longing.

After a few seconds, she opened her eyes and her expression morphed to a truly sadistic and merciless one.

(That girl was one hell of an idiot. Are the higher-ups recruiting them dumber and dumber?)

Those insulting thoughts were unfitting of the expression on her face, but after all, if she had only been able to see obedience in Natsumi, then it simply meant she wasn't as sharp as the other agents Natsumi had encountered before; the obedience that had been shown wasn't just a mindless sense of obligation to carry out duties, that much was obvious from the previous day's actions alone. The divergence in her actions was a very simple indicator that when given an opportunity, she would seize it, and until then she would patiently wait for it.

It was simply a logical course of actions, one that would allow her to witness the sight she had most wanted since getting involved in this mess a few years ago, even if it personally disgusted her to have to act like such a loyal dog.

Then again, she'd never praised herself for her lack of hypocrisy.

(Yeah, since I'm not going to be able to have much fun with all that awaits this city if I die, am I...? Whoa. I have a feeling I'm growing some really twisted reason to live.)

With those comically-turned grim thoughts in mind, her feet started moving in direction of her last objective of the day; slowly feeling her burst of energy drain out of her now that the day was calming down. There remained one personal problem she had to take care of, and if she didn't then it would weigh on her mind for quite a while.

She opened her eyes and her expression morphed to a truly sadistic and merciless one.(Still, I wonder who the hell has the sights out for me? The way she said it sounded creepy.) She questioned half-heartedly, figuring that she would soon meet this “he” if “he” was that interested in her.

**

A Certain Dormitory, 10:25 A.M.

It had taken a few minutes, her steps had grown a lot slower and heavier as fatigue and pain was catching up to her, but she was finally back in the general area of the dorm she had visited a small handful of times in the past.

She didn't associate this place to any particularly good memories, but nonetheless she had to come today to improvise a one-sided unexpected meetings in order to quell something that would hurt her pride deeply if she left the matter untouched.

And as such, she waited a few minutes.

All until, out of the corner of her eyes, she'd catched a glimpse of two people talking nearby.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:18 pm

A road nearby A Certain Dormitory, 10:15 A.M.

The blue summer sky. Not even a cloud anywhere in sight. Just eternal blue, reaching from the horizon to everywhere around. Birds crossing here and there, hardly possible to make out light bulbs somewhere behind the blue and the song of the chirping cicadas.

Dream or reality which one was it?

Her eyes couldn’t confirm. Her curiosity couldn’t be stilled. Her desire to absorb more of it didn’t waver. She just couldn’t expend it. She just couldn’t stop it. She just couldn’t understand it. She sought an answer somewhere in that eternally beautiful sensation and yet there was none to be found. She doubted herself, she doubted her own perception, she found herself unable to grasp any of that or even express it.

That girl stood there in the middle of a sidewalk, staring up into the heavens.

«What was she doing?», one might ask. Well, the most obvious of all things. She was watching the world itself unfold. It was a thing people nowadays were hardly capable of enjoying. It was a thing that nobody bothered with, looking at how heavily people are spoiled by the many offers of modern day society. It was something people ceased to entertain at all. It was something so rare for people to enjoy nowadays, it was saddening.

However that girl hadn’t grown tired of it yet, she never might actually.

After all that was what her circumstances granted.

A special thing found in anything that was normal for others.

A special value. A treasure.

Melancholia. Happiness. Excitement. Future. Confusion.

Those were just a portion of the emotions that overcame Misaka Serial Number 10031 this very moment.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:40 am

"You know, staring at the sun is bad for your eyes." The voice belonged to the shaggy-haired youth in red who approached along the sidewalk. The young man looked disheveled, as though he had just returned home from a night spent drinking and partying. Only the cast on his right arm, hidden beneath the jacket slung over his shoulders, hinted at the true story. He reached into the inside pocket of the jacket.

"Here. Try these." Guy handed the girl a pair of sunglasses with wide, aviator-style frames, opening the arms to sit on her ears. "You're going to be hanging around in this world for a while, so you need to start taking care of yourself properly." The lenses looked oversized on the girl's impassive face, like the kind of novelty disguises sold in costume stores.

For all his talk of taking care of oneself, the fact of the cigarette hanging from Guy's lips, and his general state, made it difficult to take his advice at face value.

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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:24 am

Averting her gaze from endless blue to face the roughed-up man, even on her usually cold and emotion lacking face there rested a hint of surprise. It was small, yet at the same time with how her jaw fell down a slight bit, readable.

Meeting him of all people here just like this. What was this?

He spoke casually to her and before she could even build up the courage to speak up let alone adapt he’d suddenly pressed something into her hands spouting more words of good will.

Misaka 10031 didn’t know what to say, let alone think. The world was still filled with many different sensations, not just the sensual kind; events, actions, feelings, those were still new to her. About a day ago her world had just consisted of the same old routine. Training, fighting, dying. That was all there had been to her, but now she’d stand here with everything wide open towards her. She was stunned, astonished, surprised, absolutely unable to grasp it all.

And there he stood again, doing the same thing he’d done before.

For her.

«Why…? Why…did you help me, asks Misaka finding herself unable to comprehend any of this.»

She’d stare at him full of surprise, empty of understanding. She was like an infant that had just been cast into the world. She still didn’t understand anything at all. Her world hadn’t been like that. Her world had never been like that. All she’d ever learned was that her life was exactly what it had been until this point, without any change in sight. So why…

«Why…are you so kind to me…asks Misaka…as she is about to cry without even understanding the reason for that…»

A simple action's impact on a girl's heart.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:27 am

"Is it so strange?" He asked. "It made sense. I don't really have any better explanation than that, I suppose."

There had been something wrong with the world. Something terrible was occurring and once his attention had been called to it he could not ignore it. In that situation, some would choose not to act, to declare that this was just how things are.

But that course of action made no sense to someone like him. Faced with such horrible truth there could only be one rational response.

You had to do something to change it. Relying on the problem to take care of itself made no sense. Living in a world where such things came to pass made no sense. The only thing that made sense was fixing the problem by any means available.

"So don't worry about it, okay? If you keep frowning your face might get stuck like that."
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:57 pm

It made sense.

Did it?

Did it not?

Did anything at all make sense?

How could she tell. Nowhere in the knowledge implanted into her by Testament could Misaka 10031 find an answer to that. Nowhere in her knowledge or emotions. Nowhere in her own microcosm. So was it part of that new macrocosm that was offered to her? Was it something to come to understand upon exploring this new world?

She couldn’t tell.

Of course she couldn’t.

She fell silent, the tears flowing from her eyes little by little, drop by drop, slowly forming a faint current that very well was none at all. She didn’t understand why. She didn’t know why. Even now. And yet she still cried. Did a human ever know the reasons for their tears to be shed? Who knew. She didn’t. It was something she came close to understand, yet at the same time not yet to. Her mind was still too rational it seemed.

However in the end, amidst all that rationality there was a spark. The same spark that had led her to cling to her life. That very same spark that had triggered everything. When her tear filled eyes met that boy, she saw it again, she felt it again. Something. Somewhere. It was enigmatic, yet at the same time natural. How should she interpret it? The logic she’d been following for the entirety of her existence couldn’t answer that. Nothing in this world could.

In the end all she could do was move on.

«Your parental behaviour leaves the impression of an old man, comments Misaka sharply as she puts on the newly received sunglasses in movie star like fashion.»

Speaking sharply, she quickly covered the tear-filled eyes, tilting her head in a manner that could only be described as badass. She was posing, underling the impression and it all worked perfectly well with her cool beauty like demeanour.

However, no matter how strong the impression, it’d never mask the story told by tears.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:28 am

«Your parental behaviour leaves the impression of an old man, comments Misaka sharply as she puts on the newly received sunglasses in movie star like fashion.»

The tears in her eyes threatened to tug at his conscience like a calculated attack on his heart. Covering them with the sunglasses only served to emphasize the fact that there was something to cover in the first place. He wanted to tell her that it was alright to cry. That she didn't need to hide those tears.

"You're just like your big sister, you know?" He cocked his head to one side with a relieved smile. "Still. That's a good thing, I guess. Even if it does mean I've got more headaches to look forward to." He released a short laugh. "I don't know whether it's genetic or whatever, but there are worse people you could model yourself on."

Against all hope, things had resolved in what could be considered a happy ending. For now, it would be alright to enjoy this peace, even if it wasn't perfect. A tiny flicker of an expression registered underneath his carefree smile. More than the wounds he bore, something pained him. He pushed it down. Away from the surface.

"And who are you calling old anyway?" He changed tact, registering her comment with a flick to the girl's forehead and a chagrined grimace.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:05 pm

What was that warmth, that strange feeling coming over her cheeks?

It felt strange, unusual and at the same time both comfortable and uncomfortable.

She couldn’t see it herself, but in fact her face’s colour had reddened slightly. Slightly enough to be nothing but a pink nuance quickly turning invisible right away.

Again his casually spoken words were like bombs blowing her away into directions entirely unknown. It was still early after all. The world map was still unexplored territory. It was exciting, though. Mystifying. Intriguing. Entirely satisfying.

That was it. The happy end. The reason she was crying. The reason she was now trapped in all that confusion. But it was what she believed she truly wanted, not just something installed into her brain like software.

«And who are you calling old anyway?»

As he spoke, she suddenly felt something hit her forehead softly, teasingly.

With her eyes still hidden behind those glasses he wouldn’t see them widen, as she was suddenly dragged from the thoughts she had drifted off into. Yet, with the silence that resided for just that moment maybe things did become clear eventually. However that was fine as well, was it the most human reaction there could possibly be. She herself thought so.

«Actually, technically speaking, compared to me you are quite old. According to my personal assessments and calculations you should be 120 times as a old as me, thus rendering you the second oldest individual I know, next to that doctor, announces Misaka mischievously dealing the finishing blow.»

And as the human, no, the girl she was she wouldn’t just let things like that sit.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Wed May 03, 2017 1:04 am

And yet you still talk to me like that. Whatever happened to having respect for your elders? Guy's eyelids dropped into a deadpan look that mirrored the girl's own cool expression.

Whatever his retort was going to be, it was interrupted by a mewling cry from his feet. A large black cat curled around his feet, rubbing itself against his legs insistently. The animal paused to look up at the young man with another loud yell before resuming its circuit around his shoes.

"You again? And I thought I might get a moment of peace after all that's happened." He let out a sigh like a laugh as the plump looking feline sat itself between 10031 and Guy and licked its front paw absently.

"This guy keeps hanging around my room making a nuisance of himself. But I need some sleep and he makes a lousy bedside companion. You'll keep him company though, won't you?" The scruffy-looking youth knelt beside the equally scruffy looking stray and ran his hand along the fur on the back of its head. They resembled each other in a strange way and as he spoke those words the cat looked up at him with another cry that could have been mistaken for dismay.

"It's okay, buddy. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun together." He pacified the attention seeking cat with a firm scratch behind its ears that caused its eyes to close in apparent euphoria.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu May 04, 2017 12:17 pm

A sudden intrusion into their conversation, delivered by that all too familiar sound. The meow of a cat, the melody that once before had shaken her heart. Not only hers but all of theirs. A certain memory had been spread all over the Misaka Network and it had touched all of their hearts. So when their eyes met, it felt magical.

Taken aback Misaka 10031 changed.

It hadn’t been hers, but did it matter? A certain someone’s heart was beating and so was hers. They all felt the same eventually. So…

«I hope you didn’t treat him badly, Misaka expresses her initial thought, not hiding her suspicions.»

But after firing off that rather sharp comment, she immediately softened, kneeling down towards the cat, slowly moving her shivering hand towards its neck. She was hesitating, obviously afraid. Yet, even then she’d continue straight towards her goal. A single touch, she didn’t demand anything beyond. That was all she’d ever desire.

She had changed.

She wouldn’t be held up again.

Softly, with motherly care her hand touched the black fur, caressing it faintly, hesitatingly. Flinching the same moment the cat flinched, yet continuing on as it stretched its neck her hand’s right afterwards way, she finally felt it coming all over her.

She would finally live freely.

That wall had shattered once and for all.

«…thank…you…for…everything…, whispers Misaka under her overbearingly heavy breath…»

Like its remaining shards the tears fell.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Sun May 07, 2017 3:15 am

The plump cat reached out with its snout to meet the girl's hand half way. It was clearly welcoming her touch and it nuzzled its head against her soft hand with a purr. The pudgy feline rose up onto its hind legs, placing its front paws on the clone's knee to better reach her hand.

"You guys play nice, okay?"

Guy didn't hear her whispered thanks, but he didn't need to. He was content with the truth of her continued existence. Her life, and those of the other clones.

He didn't need thanks. Because in his mind, he wasn't the one to save them. They had already been saved the instant an older sister stepped in harm's way for the sisters she didn't even know.

The young man with a disheveled appearance spared a glance at the pair before continuing towards the dormitories. The cat hopped up onto 10031's legs and pulled itself up onto her shoulders to hang around her neck like a thick fur scarf. It batted at the goggles on her head.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon May 08, 2017 10:25 am

Being accepted like that was nothing she had ever expected, yet all she could have ever wished for.

As the cat suddenly climbed to her neck she flinched out of surprise, but didn’t do anything else about it. As much as she was accepted, she’d accept the cat as well. It was odd and entirely happy thing. Her thoughts circulated everywhere and nowhere at the same time. All there was for this moment were her and that little feline. That chance she had awaited for the longest time.

If she could, she’d smile, she’d chuckle, she’d celebrate.

There was no time to feel grief anymore, no time to be in pain. It had been as plain as that. That’s the lesson the small one taught her and the lesson that boy had attempted to implant into her as well.

She knew now, so she would accept their wills.

Occupied with her own joyful play, she’d simply let everything else slip her attention, much like the boy that had left the two of them behind on the ground.

It had finally ended. That time of violence. That time of pain. The inevitable chain had finally been broken. All that remained was the soft touch of paws fighting her high tech goggles. A struggle that was entirely enjoyable. She’d laugh internally as she fought back with the softness of her own touch. She’d smile if she could, but then again there was no need to. Just from looking at her everyone around could tell her happiness and joy. They were overflowing. They became all she was about for that moment.

Nobody could say what the time ahead would bring. None of those remaining under 10000 could predict it any longer. But not knowing what awaited them was all the more exciting. Not knowing what was up ahead, but living into the day freely, that was what they had gained.

They had wanted it all along, hadn’t they? It had just needed someone to show them…

Someone to shove it her way and leave the rest up to them.

The rest was just what was happening right now.

As long as it would last, this was truly…a happy end.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Fri May 12, 2017 8:40 pm

A Certain Dormitory, 10:30 A.M.

Punctuality was not something she necessarily always stuck to, but it was a trait she certainly knew how to appreciate. Whether it was in a personal or professional context, showing up on time – given the person didn't have any last-minute issues rightfully preventing them from doing as such – was often a sign that they cared about either the person they were meeting up with or their job.

As such, the girl who often found herself breaking the rules of punctuality at the drop of a hat was certainly pleased when a certain delivery man, standing barely any taller than her and likely doing this as a part-time Summer job, had finally to the dormitory's doorstep at the exact time that had been written on the receipt-like paper she had crumpled in her only available hand to deposit a handful of plastic bags at her feet, trying to force a bizarre smile certainly befitting of socially awkward teenagers forced to act with courtesy on the job.

His youthful face, desperately trying to hide a landmine of freckles under a messy fringe fitting of the rest of his unkempt haircut, would make anyone believe him to be much younger than he actually was. It was a jarring contrast to his plain but straightforwardly professional clothing comprised of a simple white t-shirt exhibiting the logo of a supermarket brand and accompanying bland black trousers.

The deliveryman spoke on for what felt like an eternity to the girl, going through a list confirming the order: it was important to not get any client's order wrong or to at least be able to present a suitable alternative, after all.

Natsumi, however, wasn't paying much attention and was occasionally glancing at the two who seemed to be wrapping up their talk. Whether it was because she was awaiting this delivery, because she simply wasn't interested in what was being told not too far away from her, or both, she'd decided to not pry any further. In a way, it was also because she could imagine what was being told.

“This... should be right. Will that be all?”

The words and the rustling sound of plastic snapped her out of her trance, and she refocused her attention on the deliveryman anxiously awaiting confirmation that this was indeed the appropriate order, afraid that the lingering silence from the girl meant he had made a mistake. He was clearly unnerved at the sight of such a dishevelled and injured young girl spacing out and not replying to anything he was saying, but her sharp glances told him better than to ask anything regarding her state and simply carry on with his job.

“Yes, that's fine. Thank you.” The boy sighed in relief at this, but in truth, even if it wasn't, she could hardly afford to stand around for five more minutes waiting for him to go through the list again when this wasn't even for her. And at worst, she could just call the concerned company for any further complaint.

“Oh, uh... Okay. Thanks for your order, and, uh, have a nice day!” He said, before retreating in an amusingly rapid manner as if to escape any further awkwardness born from the fact that there was an amazing difference between the young man trying his best to seem courteous and professional and the young girl giving no mind to any politeness of the sort.

Looking down at the unreasonably numerous bags, Natsumi pondered on their contents and why exactly she had gone through the bother of ordering them. But at the end of the day, she already knew the answer, so now it was simply time to wait for their rightful owner to arrive.

And, perhaps in a rare fit of luck, Natsumi found that the timing between the order's arrival and the end of the nearby talk had been just perfect enough that she'd only need to wait for a few seconds for the man she'd been waiting for, as equally battered as her, to trudge his way to the currently blocked off by plastic dormitory...
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Hujisaka Natsumi
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Tue May 16, 2017 2:23 am

Approaching the dormitory, Guy almost felt a sense of relief. It was short lived though as the crashing burst of pain tore through his body. It stole the breath from his lungs and seized him like the pressure of an entire ocean bearing down on him. Threatening to crush him where he stood.

But more than the aching soreness of his wounds, this pain engulfed his weary body and commanded his attention.

It hurt to even see.

Guy coughed, the act sending a throbbing wave of dizziness through a skull that already felt ready to split open.

With a great deal of effort, he steered himself towards the wall. To anyone watching it appeared casual enough. And if asked he would have only replied that he was resting for a moment. He looked back at the pair. The girl and the cat. They were out of sight and didn't have to see the pitiful display at least. There was no point in worrying them needlessly.

There was no need for anyone to see him this way. And within seconds the pain was gone. Guy pressed himself off from the wall and continued to amble towards the doorway as though nothing had happened.

He found himself facing another familiar soul.

"You're blocking the way." He said, tilting his head to look down at Natsumi. His words might have been brusque but his tone was one of friendly teasing.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Tue May 16, 2017 10:27 am

Perhaps out of moderate shock at the sight she had witnessed or simple tiredness catching up to her, Natsumi had taken a fair bit to register that she was being talked to even if she had been expecting this encounter and her eyes had been pretty unfocused until she realised it was perhaps time to actually reply.

“Well, a final obstacle that doesn't stand in the way isn't much of one, is it?” She replied in jest, somewhat surprised by the fact that he wasn't groaning at their meeting for once.

“I'm amazed. That hospital was supposedly one of the best in the city and they let two people escape in the span of six hours?” Quickly taking a glance around and noting that the boy had been indeed alone until his talk, meaning he certainly hadn't been discharged and accompanied here, she quickly looked back towards him and asked with a somewhat amused expression.

“You look like a grandpa about to kick his bucket into outer space; did you discharge yourself for the sake of your personal freedom? Or are you expecting a cute girl to come and nurse you?” Without realising what she was doing in an unfamiliar sense of responsibility, she bent over to pick up four of the dozen or so plastic bags as she adopted a sterner look, suddenly recalling just how likely that option was considering what had happened the first time she'd come to this dorm.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Wed May 17, 2017 2:56 pm

“You look like a grandpa about to kick his bucket into outer space; did you discharge yourself for the sake of your personal freedom? Or are you expecting a cute girl to come and nurse you?”

"Isn't that why you're here?" He asked with a sly smile and a playful wink. "Though you don't look like you're in much better shape. So I suppose my question to you should be; what are you doing here?" He glanced at the bags in her hands. "Have you taken up deliveries full time now?" He recalled her last visit to his apartment and the skirmish that had resulted. "Because I don't want to be rude, but your customer service skills leave a lot to be desired.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed May 17, 2017 3:15 pm

If there seemed to be one thing she didn't need to be concerned about, it was whether he'd hit his head too hard. No, it seemed like he was just being his annoyingly usual self. “Nurse you? Why don't you let me nurse myself before going all delusional on me?” She growled, handing him over the four bags she had in her hand as she noted it would be impossibly for her to carry all of them and back-and-forth trips would be the end of her.

"Have you taken up deliveries full time now? Because I don't want to be rude, but your customer service skills leave a lot to be desired.

“A lot to be desired? The hell do I have to serve people like some poor teenager for? At this point I get money just for existing, so I don't have a reason to get a part-time job and be forced to smile around people who annoy me. Last time was just a favour, and this time I needed to take care of some business before actually letting myself rest,” she explained, as she glanced once more towards the bags at her feet. “and that includes these.”

Recalling what had happened mere weeks before, it wasn't to say Natsumi felt any guilty about latching a young girl on him and almost making him an explosion's collateral damage, but if there was one thing she disliked it was to feel indebted.

“They're groceries. Since I had to cook for that kid with the barebones amount of food you had, I figure this is the quickest way to make sure we're even. I may have overbought some, though. Now that I think about it, it's not really a reasonable amount, is it...? Ah, whatever, let's say it's a month's worth; it's not like you'll get very far doing groceries with your arm.” As she explained, she picked up the remaining amount of bags with a bit of difficulty, balancing some on her operational shoulder while holding others, and motioned for him to follow her as she headed inside the dormitory that wasn't even hers.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Wed May 17, 2017 3:27 pm

He took the bags in his hand and followed Natsumi into the building, watching anxiously as she climbed the stairs with the pile of haphazardly stacked goods. He was ready to catch anything that fell, whether it was a bag or Natsumi herself.

"Well, I appreciate the thought, but you didn't need to go to all that trouble." He said, keeping his eye on the topmost bag that seemed to wobble with every step. He reached up and carefully added it to the others in his hand. "I can take care of myself, you know?" He laughed. And as they approached the door to his apartment he set his load down and reached for his keys, nudging the door open with his foot.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed May 17, 2017 3:43 pm

Though her pace was terribly slow in order to avoid opening her knife wound, carelly, she looked back at him wordlessly though with a sceptical expression: surely he knew himself his definition of “taking care of yourself” meant getting involved in life-endangering trouble every few days or so? It seemed like something that would get redundant to point out.

“Well, that's not the only reason I came to see you anyway. There was something I needed to tell you... and, well, a question I wanted to ask.”

Once they had actually arrived at their destination, though with much more difficulty for the young girl who had underestimated the weight of these things than she liked to admit, she carefully set them down one after the other.

“Ugh, those were heavy, how do people manage to do this on a weekly basis? Hell, a Tokiwadai student carrying groceries, the other girls would have an aneurysm at the thought... Anyway, there's a beautiful, young woman who wants to see you tonight.” She spoke with a smirk as she interrupted herself from her tangent on her “classmates”, becoming a lot more talkative with how light-headed she was from moving around so much, though the following words would be particularly worrying ones she spoke in the most innocent of words as she gradually brought the bags inside the room to put their contents away.

“And incidentally, me. And incidentally, Misaka and Shirai. It may or may not be a fun experience for all of us. You may or may not have a choice but to show up to the outside dorm tonight...”

With those words, she was subtly revealing the fact that her return to Tokiwadai in order to dress herself in anything but a hospital gown had brought doom upon them all, despite not even belonging to the same dorm...
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Wed May 17, 2017 4:00 pm

“Well, that's not the only reason I came to see you anyway. There was something I needed to tell you... and, well, a question I wanted to ask.”

He narrowed his eyes warily, ready for the bad news that invariably followed when Natsumi had something to tell him.

“Ugh, those were heavy, how do people manage to do this on a weekly basis? Hell, a Tokiwadai student carrying groceries, the other girls would have an aneurysm at the thought... Anyway, there's a beautiful, young woman who wants to see you tonight.”

He was tempted to poke fun at her level of fitness but that last sentence piqued his interest.

"Is that so?" He was still suspicious but had clearly let his guard down.

“And incidentally, me. And incidentally, Misaka and Shirai. It may or may not be a fun experience for all of us. You may or may not have a choice but to show up to the outside dorm tonight...”

Yes. There it was. The caveat that sank his hopes. His eyelids dropped into a resigned expression of weary acceptance.

"No good deed goes unpunished, right?" He sighed. "How about I just leave you guys to it? It can't be worse than what we've already been through." He was already moving to remove himself from the coming fallout when he was struck by a realisation. "Wait. How does anyone know I'm involved anyway?" He looked sidelong at Natsumi with dawning awareness that she had sold him out.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed May 17, 2017 4:14 pm

The one hand she was able to move, she'd raised in a defensive state after interrupting her emptying of the groceries bags, almost offended at the implication and shocked he had to wonder why he had been summoned to the place of ultimate doom.  

“Hey, keep your suspicious glances to yourself, I didn't do anything. In fact she probably doesn't know anything and is going off the very logical reasoning that since you're our teacher, you should've seen to it that we didn't break the school's rules and she wouldn't be wrong.”

It was amazing how little self-awareness of the responsibilities his job he held, or how strong his sheer ability was to just not care. In a way, she find herself admiring just how strongly he stuck to his efforts of pretending keeping himself out of trouble he would, at the end of the day, always get involved in...

“It's not like I particularly want to share the experience of what's going to be a merciless ass beating session with you, but don't forget we've been away from school for longer than she'd ever accept as an excuse. She's close to our headmistress, anyway, so you probably want to actually show up tonight if you don't want to... well, rely on these groceries until you find a new job.” She spoke in a warning tone as she proceeded, knocking out about half the plastic bags she'd proceed to store in a random drawer.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Wed May 17, 2017 4:25 pm

“Hey, keep your suspicious glances to yourself, I didn't do anything. In fact she probably doesn't know anything and is going off the very logical reasoning that since you're our teacher, you should've seen to it that we didn't break the school's rules and she wouldn't be wrong.”

"One. I'm one of your teachers! I'm not the only person responsible." He complained, admitting at least a little responsibility for what might have been the first time.

“It's not like I particularly want to share the experience of what's going to be a merciless ass beating session with you, but don't forget we've been away from school for longer than she'd ever accept as an excuse. She's close to our headmistress, anyway, so you probably want to actually show up tonight if you don't want to... well, rely on these groceries until you find a new job.”

"Yeah, as if she'll get rid of me that easily..." He muttered under his breath. "Ugh. Fine!" He tossed his head back with a groan. "But don't think I'm taking the fall for this. We need to get our stories straight because I don't think the truth will cut it this time." Honesty was the best policy in most cases. Except when honesty meant admitting to involvement in pseudo-terrorist activity and conspiracy theories that implicated the entire upper management of the city. No one with an ounce of credibility could believe such things.
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