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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  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:26 pm

“Ah, no, no! I'm not an Esper. I'm an outsider visiting Academy City for a little while.”

Confused by his words, Natsume's eyebrows shot upwards as soon as she realised the assumptions of what he was saying, and merely waved a hand to dismiss the idea. Awkwardness having seeped out of her voice, she let her hand return to fiddling with the hat's fabric and fell into a few seconds worth of silence before speaking up again. “But I think you're wrong.” She frowned and adopted a much sombre expression on her mostly hidden face.

“Would this world of science and research be so kind as to give easily influenced children abilities without a price? If there are many dangers around like you said, then maybe it wasn't that they aimed to become Espers and have abilities because something was wrong with them. It could be that the “curriculum” you speak of is what twisted them so that they could gain their powers...” The awkwardness in her voice was slowly being replaced by a much more pained and regretful feeling made clear from her gradually decreasing volume.

However, the realisation that she was partaking in quite a deep and frankly dangerous discussion despite having only met him mere minutes ago and risking having her identity blown had Natsume thoroughly embarrassed and she took a hurried step backwards after finally unfreezing her legs, completely oblivious to the number of times she had apologised since entering the room but even more aware than ever of the only article hiding her face.

“Oh! S-Sorry! I said too much, didn't I? I am just an outsider after all. Anyway, it's very late and you're quite injured, so I should let you rest now. Can I, um, do anything before I go?" She would have gladly offered to call a nurse, but doing so would be selling herself out so, staying true to herself, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Guy Li on Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:29 pm

“Ah, no, no! I'm not an Esper. I'm an outsider visiting Academy City for a little while.”

An outsider. That explained a few things. But if she was here then he was no doubt aware of her. And if that was the case she wouldn't be allowed to walk free if she was a potential threat.

“But I think you're wrong. Would this world of science and research be so kind as to give easily influenced children abilities without a price? If there are many dangers around like you said, then maybe it wasn't that they aimed to become Espers and have abilities because something was wrong with them. It could be that the “curriculum” you speak of is what twisted them so that they could gain their powers...”

Either way, it amounted to the same thing. That wasn't to say he had no sympathy for them. In fact, it was his own particular circumstances that allowed him to have such sympathy. But whether those with troubled psyches were chosen for the program or those who were chosen developed damaged psyches made no difference. If that was the price of power, who could honestly choose it without regret?

“Oh! S-Sorry! I said too much, didn't I? I am just an outsider after all. Anyway, it's very late and you're quite injured, so I should let you rest now. Can I, um, do anything before I go?"

He waved her off casually with his right arm.

"No, I'm good." He looked himself up and down briefly, knowing how hollow that sounded. "Despite how I look, I'm fine." Guy let out a self-effacing laugh, realizing that he was waving with his cast. "Really." He lowered the stiff arm that was held at a rigid right angle.

"Have a good night." He called out after her as she left.

***

The morning came and Guy lurched from his bed, managing to dress himself despite his injuries he took a moment at the door to compose himself. Stepping out into the corridor he paced determinedly for the exit. He avoided eye contact with the staff, eager to avoid suspicion. No one would challenge him if he looked like he wasn't doing anything wrong. There was no need to check himself out.

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

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:55 pm

She nodded, wished him the same and she walked out of his room with a small smile.

However, as she hurriedly left the hospital, a frown decorated her otherwise gentle features, bearing a sense of dread that felt the weight of every single one of her rapid footsteps.

Natsume looked like she had walked out of the funeral of a close family member, and maybe it was because she felt like it had been the case. Though she had discovered that her sister perhaps wasn't as poorly-off socially as she'd been worried about considering her personality, that man's words – and boy did it not sound like he was a stranger to her – left her dubious as to the city's security. And it wasn't like she was strong enough to ensure an entire side's security for the sake of one person. There were far too many things she still didn't understand or even knew about this place, and she had far too little time to do everything.

A slight sigh escaped her, and she simply looked up at the barely starry sky above her; drowned out by the city's radiant lights. It felt like whatever she was trying to get closer to was, in fact, getting further away.

“What should I do?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:59 pm

Elsewhere in the hospital, 1:45 A.M.

She had been running for quite a while now, and only came to a halt in an area of the hospital that she admittedly wasn't very familiar with. Her face was flushed for all sorts of various reasons other than her struggling to catch her breath, and Mikoto only raised her head to analyse her surroundings.

A fair amount of gashapon were lined up against the wall in front of her, bearing the emblem of many popular children's shows and characters.

Including one she was terribly familiar with.

(...An area for hospitalised children? Hey, me, I know that was embarrassing, but where the hell were you even running to?!)

The shock quickly dissipated to be replaced with difficult feelings as she laid her eyes upon the gashapon similar to the one she had gained a Gekota badge from. Mikoto's face dropped as she recalled that last time she had gone collecting, and all that had happened ever since. Such a small, childish machine had been the catalyst for one of the most important encounters of her life, and despite what anyone could say, Mikoto still didn't know how to feel about her lack of ability to have done anything on that day.

A case of easier said than done, it seemed.

“If… stronger… been alive …?” She brokenly muttered to herself, completely lost in thoughts.

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

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:11 am

A swift breeze. Soundless steps. Lacking presence. They just moved past her, not hurting the sensitive barrier that was the abyss of the girl’s regret.

They knelt down, slid a coin into the slit, turned the wheel, a clicking sound, the plastic ball dropping into the opening. Their hands grabbing it, their fingers working to open the plastic cover, then tossing it aside. Again the coin into the slit. Again the turn of the wheel. Again the clicking sound. Again the ball dropping. Again the hands opening the cover. Again the ball being tossed aside. Again the process repeating.

Silently. Firmly. Diligently.

The monotone score of unending repetition would echo throughout that space.

Silently. Firmly. Diligently.

In the shroud of the night they would meet no end.

Silently. Firmly. Diligently.

In that area meant for children to find a small smile even when caught by the clutches of misery, they were doing their best to find their sister’s lost one.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:49 pm

Pulled away from her dreamlike pensive state by the repeated clicking sounds of the gachapon, Mikoto slightly widened her eyes at the body not too far away from her own, playing with the gachapon with a certain amount of intense diligence.

The sight was as if she was seeing her past self from a few weeks ago. How had she not even noticed that incoming presence when she had been alone here mere minutes ago?

“Um...” She hesitantly called out and stretched a head towards the person who was triggering an absurd amount of memories in Mikoto's mind. But she didn't actually have an idea of what to say, so she stupidly blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “H...How are you doing?”

Considering the lack of any actual injuries on the person's body, it was indeed the most stupid question one could come up with, but perhaps there could be some depth find towards these normally formal words?

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

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:12 pm

A click without an impact.

Triggered by the words followed a thoroughly mechanic break, an interruption in the pre established plan. However, there was nothing else. Instead of turning around, the girl remained in the exact same position as before, kneeling in front of the automaton, not even removing her delicate hand from the machine’s lever.

«Wouldn’t ‹what are you doing?› pose as the better question to ask in this situation, wonders Misaka as she pretends to haven’t heard a thing, allowing for Onee-sama to make better use of this scene’s basic set-up.»

Misaka 10032’s oddly worded reply was placed in her usual monotone sounding demeanour, accompanied by a hint of coldness that was omnipresent in that space for children’s care. And once she had spoken, another click and impact followed.

The routine was back on track.

Silently. Firmly. Diligently.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:21 pm

(Ugh... I didn't word that properly at all! Crap, I'm getting nervous now!)

It was like a stab went through her chest at Imouto's sharp but absolutely correct jab, and Mikoto replied with a small pained groan before elaborating.

“W-Well, I can see what you're doing but it's not like... No, forget it. I was just referring to, you know, the whole ordeal that went down.” Though Mikoto was about to say that she had long since given up on following the Sisters' pace and understanding their actions, she for once had the awareness that that was quite rude to do right now before blurting it out, and quickly shut herself up before spilling out too much.

“More like... How do you feel about what happened tonight?”

It was usually very normal to assume that any given person would play at a gachapon to earn merchandise without putting any more thought behind it, and Mikoto had something weighing on her mind so much that she barely paid attention to the meaning behind the Sister's actions, which was perhaps why she hadn't noticed anything...

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

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:54 pm

Another interruption. Again as abrupt as a machine when the off button was hit full force. Again a short interval of silence and again the girl at the machine would tilt her head.

«Seriously, Onee-sama, you certainly are oblivious to the most obvious things, remarks Misaka as she sighs in annoyance.»

It was faint. Unremarkable. Like a little stain on a black dress. Impossible to perceive, yet there. A hint, not an overly present feeling rubbed into her face. It was a minor change in tone, a vibe, something, but not all too present. In contrast to what she had said, the annoyance she actually highlighted was hardly noticeable in her usual machine like coldness that came naturally with her underdeveloped ability to express herself.

Yet, as she unleashed that comment and returned to the duty she performed with such great diligence, it occurred. The coin was inserted, the wheel turned and the plastic container dropped. That was all. She didn't start up again. No continuation. No intention for there to be one.

No word was spoken. No further sound produced.

However.

«Seriously, Onee-sama, you certainly are oblivious to the most obvious things. To not even once think about yourself, let alone feel a hint of greed at the obvious signs of good will I have been showing, comments Misaka as she finally found the perfect way to show off her hand.»

Finally she turned around as a while, finding her way back onto her legs, able to face Mikoto directly, eye to eye. However she didn’t allow for eye contact in the first place, using her glance to direct the original’s attention towards the item she was holding towards her with a stretched out hand.

A round ball made from plastic, partially green, partially translucent.

The important feature was neither the ball itself nor the green aspect. It was that which her eyes would see through the translucent part. A sight so oddly familiar and soothed in the pain of the memories she may have been suffering the most ever since entering the room. However it was these exact same memories that meant so much towards the Sister with the serial number 10032. No, in a sense it had been even more meaningful for another, totally different one that no was no longer with them.

«None of us fully understands why you did what you did tonight. Your actions appear by all standards nonsensical, illogical, but at the same time we do feel a kind of happiness, none of us is capable of understanding either, reveals Misaka who is entirely confused by her own emotions. However, what we are sure about is that none of us wants to see Onee-sama with that bitter expression any longer. Onee-sama, please cheer up, inquires Misaka staring at the original full of expectations.»
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:04 am

"U-Ugh..."

Another jab.

She wasn't too sure what 10032 had meant by “oblivious”, but Mikoto couldn't help wondering in worry if the amount of verbal jabs that had been thrown her way was the result of 10032 being particularly unhappy with her presence. It certainly wasn't qualifying as an ego boost to think that her presence made her mood so sour, so for a brief instant her face dropped she'd sadly considered dropping the matter and not bothering her anymore.

However, the words that followed a final clanking from the machine made Mikoto's gaze trail off to whatever the girl who strongly resembled her was holding as she finally rose and approached.

«Seriously, Onee-sama, you certainly are oblivious to the most obvious things. To not even once think about yourself, let alone feel a hint of greed at the obvious signs of good will I have been showing, comments Misaka as she finally found the perfect way to show off her hand.»

Judging from how empty-handed she had originally arrived and how long she had been twisting the machine's handle for, it was most certainly her very much desired capsule from the gachapon that she had earned after a lot of hard work and money spent.

“That's...!” Mikoto had squinted her eyes slightly to try and see what was inside it upon hearing the repeating notion of her being “oblivious”, and they immediately widened as she recognised that terribly familiar item. Reflecting a deep sense of confusion as if she was trying to communicate with someone speaking another language, Mikoto's eyes flew from the capsule back up to the now gently speaking 10032.

«None of us fully understands why you did what you did tonight. Your actions appear by all standards nonsensical, illogical, but at the same time we do feel a kind of happiness, none of us is capable of understanding either, reveals Misaka who is entirely confused by her own emotions. However, what we are sure about is that none of us wants to see Onee-sama with that bitter expression any longer. Onee-sama, please cheer up, inquires Misaka staring at the original full of expectations.»

Left to her own devices, all she would be able to do is rant on about her regrets of having been useless from beginning to end; she hadn't even been the one to do anything tonight and all she had done as of late was being an ungodly burden to anyone who even merely glanced at her. Mikoto had wanted to go on about how she wasn't deserving of the concern she was shown because that entire mess had happened solely due to her naivete, and she had wanted to go on about how apologetic she felt about not noticing the madness before so many of their lives had been wasted.

"..."

But recalling both Kuroko and Guy's words made her wonder how much worth would even more apologies have? With all the good will 10032 was currently showing first thing after the hopeful end of this mess, was it right to simply shove it off with more negativity when she should be an example of how to finally live a good, normal life? 

With that in mind, Mikoto extended both hands towards the capsule 10032 was stretching out to her, merely closing the clone's hand around it and pushed it back towards her instead of taking it herself. “Thanks, but this is yours. Just take good care of it, because your big sister's going to be angry if it ends up getting mistreated.” Though it was tainted by the sadness from the memories she associated that capsule with, Mikoto did her best to give her little sister one of her usual shit-eating grins.

It seemed both of them would have a lot to work on from now on.

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

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:36 pm

Taken aback the Sister with the serial number 10032 felt at loss for words.

In her mind the scenario had been so simple and straightforward it could stem right from a child’s catalogue of ideas. But in the end that may have been the best to describe her mental shape. Still, the child that she was couldn’t help but stare at her big sister as she made that declaration.

«Thanks, but this is yours. Just take good care of it, because your big sister's going to be angry if it ends up getting mistreated.»

The words were simple. The message straightforward. Her smug grin the smuggest possible.

But that was exactly what she had sought.

The expression that befit her the most.

«Onee-sama…»

It was hard for her to form words. It would have been hard for anyone on the spot like that.

«…isn’t it a bit selfish to take another’s gift and hand it right back to them as a gift from yourself, asks Misaka with a sense of harshness to accentuate her disappointment at the original’s childish behaviour.»

The most natural reply for her to give. In the end it was part of their nature to continue their sharp criticism towards the one claiming to be their big sister, not holding back on anything. However while she had spat those words in her usual cool beauty way, the meaning wasn’t entirely absorbed by her gestures. After all, she hadn’t let to go of that ball of plastic. Instead she kept it there at her chest, claiming it all for herself.

«Nonetheless, I will accept it and keep it as the first gift I have ever received from Onee-sama, declares Misaka smiling faintly in delight at her heart’s strong pounding.»

It had finally reached completion. After all that had happened, again the gift had arrived at the hands of the person it had been destined for from the beginning on. Many things had happened, not only that day but the previous ones as well. A lot had changed, a lot had been undergone and yet in the end everything seemed to have finally reached normality. Or maybe it was a new form of normality that had been acquired.

Whatever it was, the little sister was moved by the big one’s actions.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:26 pm


As Kuroko walked down the hospital’s hallway, she could see multiple nurses shuffling throughout the hospital. From the looks of it, they were checking on the various patients as they opened the doors to various rooms, gave a quick scan and moved on. They did not come off as panicked on the surface, but there was definitely an air of urgency around them if one paid close attention. 

“Code Yellow. Once again, Code Yellow.” Kuroko heard the nurses repeating their announcement over the speakers. 

A hospital emergency code? Kuroko’s mind shifted to the words resounding from the speakers. Unfortunately, she did not have enough knowledge to determine what the emergency code meant. It’s probably just some emergency patient, she concluded as she continued to walk past the nurse’s station. 

It was then that she overheard the nurses talking. 

“Where could she have gone?”

“I don’t know. I was just going in to check on Hujisaka and her room was empty. She was definitely not in the bathroom, either.” 

“Dammit, she hasn’t come back to her room either.” 

“She still needs some rest. Her injuries are far from stable.” 

As naturally as possible, Kuroko moved until she was out of sight. Well, as long as I don’t move my limbs around too much, I should be fine.

Within a few jumps, she had teleported outside of the hospital and onto the roof of a much smaller nearby building than the hospital. The hospital was too high up for her to distinguish people from, especially at night, so she needed something shorter. As she looked over the grating meant to prevent people from falling over, she finally caught sight of a familiar brown-haired girl walking down the street in the direction of the School Garden. 

Without delay, she took a few jumps until she landed about a few meters away without any impact on the ground beneath her. “You know, leaving the hospital in your condition is not exactly the brightest idea, right?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:26 pm

Another hospital room, 1:00 A.M

A cold sweat broke throughout her body the moment she awoke, noting a pain actively throbbing in her abdomen even though it had significantly dulled down thanks to the drugs she was under. 
“Ugh...” She audibly groaned as she tentatively moved her limbs, only carefully nudging her lower ones lest she opened her wound's stitches.

After a bit of prodding, she noticed that only her right arm failed to properly respond and as such she could only conclude that it had indeed been broken in her earlier fight. 

(How long ago was “earlier”, anyway?) Natsumi wondered, unable to get a proper grasp on what her surroundings looked with how blurry her sight was. Instinct simply told her this was a hospital room, so her past experiences in such places allowed her to use her imagination instead.

Unable to determine how much time had passed since she'd fainted, Natsumi decided to ignore the matter altogether for now and forced herself in a sitting position. despite her entire body aching doing so, and brought her left hand to hover over her eyes as they slowly adjusted to a point where she could clearly see it.

(Just as pleasant as all the other times I've been here, isn't it?)

The thought dripping of sheer sarcasm willed her to slightly sigh, wincing when her knife wound starting hurting from the careless movement. “Now what?” She openly asked to no one in particular as she looked up to the ceiling.

**

The answer to that question was a stupid, but very simple answer: a breakout from the hospital. It had been in order no matter how, again, stupid it was from all considerable angles. But it wasn't like she prided herself in being a particularly reasonable individual in the first place.

A bathroom excuse being impossible to use in her current state, Natsumi instead resorted to being patient and carefully sneaking out the nurses' blind spots as she thanked her past experience in stealth-related matters. Without it, she imagined it would have been a lot more difficult to sneak out considering how careful the nurses were being due to the sheer number of patients they had gotten in just a few minutes.

(Patients, huh…)

Then again, it was ultimately pointless to think about since she had much more pressing matters to take care of. Feeling the cold asphalt under her feet and the small night-time breeze that could almost be a blessing in Summer, Natsumi realised that in her rush she had completely forgotten about her clothes and belongings and could only mutter a curse to make up for it.

(Shit. Have I been pushing myself too much?)

Natsumi originally wasn't too sure of where the hell she was going herself; she reasoned that as long as it was within a considerable distance from the hospital, it was fine to simply let her legs lead her out of sheer habit to wherever. But as she forced herself to walk and clear her head from its haziness, she was reminded of something she needed to do that fuelled her need to stay as far from the hospital as possible and her path was a lot more determined.

Until someone interrupted, that is.

“You know, leaving the hospital in your condition is not exactly the brightest idea, right?”

“Yeah. But I've had smarter ideas than getting hospitalised in the first place, anyway.” Natsumi answered with a smile as she tried her best to ignore the pain that came from simply talking as she lightly tightened her arm's grip around her abdomen, careful not to actually worsen it by bear-hugging herself. “Do you plan on force-teleporting me back to the hospital?” She simply asked without turning to look towards her interlocutor.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:27 pm


“Yeah. But I've had smarter ideas than getting hospitalised in the first place. anyway.” There was Natsumi's biting sarcasm. She gripped around her abdomen, trying to suppress her pain. It was clear she was far from the best of states and escaping from the hospital only seemed to exacerbate her issues. 

“Do you plan on force-teleporting me back to the hospital?” She simply, asked without turning to face Kuroko. Whether it was because movement would be too painful or tiring or whether it was because she simply did not want to look back at Kuroko was still up for debate. 

“Considering how you’re hobbling all over the place, you’re not in any condition to be escaping from the hospital. You do realize that stable condition does not mean that you’re perfectly safe, right? At this point, you’re going to collapse in the street and be taken right back to the hospital.” Kuroko sighed as she got a better look at Natsumi. 

“Regardless of a person’s motives for doing so, I can’t just let them do something so self-destructive. I may be Shirai Kuroko first and foremost, but Shirai Kuroko is also a member of Judgement.” She teleported to a meter in front of Natsumi and crossed her arms. “So, I’ll definitely be force-teleporting you back to the hospital if you don’t go back voluntarily.”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:27 pm

“No way the reason I'm “hobbling” is because of the drugs, yeah? They are so light-handed with those in that hospital, after all.”

Natsumi looked at her with raised eyebrows and a fully bemused smile as she started leaning into a nearby building's wall to keep herself straight while getting a proper look at Kuroko, without excluding another serving of her beloved sarcasm.

“A very Judgement-like answer. But you're not really in any place to give me a lesson about needing to rest when injured, you know? A safety speech is always more valued when it's followed by the person giving it, especially when they're part of any given law enforcement unit.” As she gave her quick (and more importantly uninvited) lesson, Natsumi slightly sighed and winced before looking at Kuroko's arms. This would be quite a difficult verbal obstacle to overcome if Kuroko decided to be stubborn and she wasn't interested in picking a fight like some easily angered delinquent.

“I know my limits and this isn't one of them, Shirai. Not to mention that I enjoy a warm and fluffy bed to rest in as much as the next person. But there's something I need to take care of as soon as possible and staying hospitalised is just going to make it a pain to handle.” Her smile turned bitter as her eyes absent-mindedly drifted to one side to mark a certain upset expression, but she quickly discarded it in favour of a more determined attitude. “And that'll be a lot more tiring than if I take care of it right now; sooner is better than later. Now, you can still try to stop me, but I'm going to try and flee again and again until I take care of what I need to. Are you going to make this some kind of stupid battle of wits between the injured?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 pm


“No way the reason I'm “hobbling” is because of the drugs, yeah? They are so light-handed with those in that hospital, after all.”

As Natsumi started to lean against a nearby wall for support, she spoke up with an amused smile on her face. Rather than frowning in response to the sarcastic remark, Kuroko simply sighed and kept maintaining her expression.  

“A very Judgement-like answer. But you're not really in any place to give me a lesson about needing to rest when injured, you know? A safety speech is always more valued when it's followed by the person giving it, especially when they're part of any given law enforcement unit.” Kuroko paid close attention to Natsumi’s face as her eyes drifted down to Kuroko’s arms. To Natsumi, it probably looked like a hypocritical cripple was chasing after her. She probably did not want to deal with more trouble than the injuries she already had.

“I know my limits and this isn't one of them, Shirai. Not to mention that I enjoy a warm and fluffy bed to rest in as much as the next person. But there's something I need to take care of as soon as possible and staying hospitalised is just going to make it a pain to handle.” Her expression seemed to shift into a bitter or melancholic form as she turned her head to the side. “And that'll be a lot more tiring than if I take care of it right now; sooner is better than later. Now, you can still try to stop me, but I'm going to try and flee again and again until I take care of what I need to. Are you going to make this some kind of stupid battle of wits between the injured?”

“Unlike you, my injuries aren’t so severe that I can’t move around. In the end, it’s just a couple of puncture wounds. So, I have more leeway than you” Kuroko gave a short sigh before continuing. “You, however, are barely even standing. Unlike me, you were actually hospitalized. What you want to deal with can wait. After all, it’ll definitely inconvenience you more if you end up falling flat on your face before you can take care of whatever it is. I really can’t fathom why you would even escape the hospital when you’re teetering on such a fine line…though I have a guess.”

With another sigh, she uncrossed her arms and put her left hand to her hip. “But no matter what you think, time will eventually bring about change... no, rather, it already started... and I look forward to it." 

Kuroko repeated the words she heard from Natsumi during the scuffle with the glasses girl verbatim. She had definitely wanted to confront Natsumi about it at some point, but she had never gotten the opportunity until now. She had even felt somewhat guilty for doing this to Natsumi while she was injured, but this was likely the best opportunity she would have to confront Natsumi about it. “Does it have something to do with that?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 pm

Surprised crossed her face for only a brief instant and she found herself realising she might've spoken too much in the heat of things. It seemed the effects of tiredness, injuries, and blood loss weren't something that only happened to others but actually applied to her as well, and though she didn't let it show Natsumi had a rather negative feeling gnawing at her for speaking so carelessly.

But what was done was done, it was now time to deal with consequences and she rose a hand in resignation to show that she wasn't going to run to avoid the topic.

“You're not too good with speech hints, are you? Or what, do you view me as some kind of almighty Esper who can make the city bend to her will?”

The confrontation would have to happen now since the can of worms had been opened, so Natsumi simply took a deep breath as she pondered the words that had clearly been weighing on Kuroko's mind from the way she spoke alone.

“First things first. Telling you to stay put was my mistake, but let me take a free guess I don't think I'll get wrong this time.” She paused for a minute to gather her still struggling thoughts into a coherent reasoning. “You're bringing this up because of the impact it could have on Misaka, and you've decided to confront whatever “villain” might have approached her in the midst of that unruly mess; which, in this situation, happens to be me. Indulge me, how hard was it to spare me the heroic speech on how you'll protect her and the city from whatever evil doings I have planned?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 pm

“You're not too good with speech hints, are you? Or what, do you view me as some kind of almighty Esper who can make the city bend to her will?” Surprisingly she was not denying any of the words she had said. Admittedly, Kuroko was really only keeping Natsumi here to get some answers, considering that it was unlikely that she was going to follow up at this moment on those words she had said in the heat of the moment back then. Even so, it was better that she got an answer sooner rather than later. Besides, she did have a reason to do so. The question was whether Natsumi would explain herself or not…though given her raised hand, it was likely the former.

“First things first. Telling you to stay put was my mistake, but let me take a free guess I don't think I'll get wrong this time. ou're bringing this up because of the impact it could have on Misaka, and you've decided to confront whatever “villain” might have approached her in the midst of that unruly mess; which, in this situation, happens to be me.”  Much to Kuroko’s dismay, Natsumi had read her like an open book. While Kuroko was never successful with the art of deception, she would have much rather had her intentions kept to herself. Though, it was probably her fault for being so head-strong and open in public throughout most of her life.

"Indulge me, how hard was it to spare me the heroic speech on how you'll protect her and the city from whatever evil doings I have planned?”

Natsumi was definitely eager to get everything over with so she could just move on. But, that only meant that Kuroko had a limited amount of time to make any declarations and rebuttals she needed to.

“Honestly, that was what I wanted to do the moment you spoke those words.” Kuroko clutched at her arm before speaking. “‘How dare she use onee-sama’ is what I had originally thought. Or at least something along those lines.” Her thoughts had lead her to an eventual caveat, a hole in her logic that she had been too blinded by rage to see. 

“But, then, it’s not like you were the one who led Onee-sama into this experiment. It was not you who led her to stop that experiment. That was onee-sama’s own prerogative that drove her to do that. So, I’m honestly not sure what to think here.”

She then gave an exasperated sigh. “Even so, I still can’t accept you. Even if her actions were her own, the fact that someone would use her own kind intentions for their selfish and warped goals just doesn’t sit well with me. It just feels like someone is encroaching on the world around onee-sama.” 

Kuroko honestly did not know why she was saying this all to the person she had come to view as a corrupting factor. Perhaps, she still just needed to sort out her thoughts out loud, even if it was to the person it was directed to. At the very least, she knew that until she could stand firm, she would never be able to do so in front of Mikoto. 

Ah…I guess that’s pretty pathetic for me, isn’t it…?
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:29 pm

Natsumi's smile to this was a patronising one that would be given to a child only recently understanding something most people had known for a very long time. It had no malice in it, but it certainly wasn't anything close to a smile filled with good-will. That wasn't to say she wasn't impressed, however; only that Sister she'd talked to a while back had shown her a certain kind of rationality in her reasoning and she found one of her eyebrows had risen as Kuroko spoke, uncertain of what she should think about what was being told to her considering this was one of the rare times someone was displaying some sense of self-awareness when talking with her. She had almost lost belief people were capable of self-awareness.

And even more interestingly, it seemed that the usually head-strong Kuroko was uncharacteristically conflicted between logic and her personal feelings. Natsumi guessed that would be natural for anyone in her situation, but it was still quite amusing to note and didn't pass the occasion on a satisfied hum. “Well, I can at least praise you for being more reasonable than the average person would in your place.” She shrugged as she spoke, somewhat pleased that she wouldn't have to bear the burdening label of the bad guy and the morality-filled speeches that would have accompanied each subsequent encounter with Kuroko with it.

Though, from the ways the twin-tailed girl seemed to be already conflicted enough on her own, it was time for her to mercilessly thrown back into an almost mind-breaking loop as Natsumi addressed her first point by making a hand motion pushing to the side.

“I don't care about how you feel about me, so let's ignore that. Even if your world gravitates around her, I'm sure someone like you understands the magnitude of what happened tonight and how Misaka no longer has a role in any of it. A supposedly "normal" outsider defeated Academy City's Esper development's pride and shattered the city's Level 6 ambition with some fancy fist-fight. Without even using an ability.” For a brief moment, her face darkened with complicated feelings as she found even herself at a loss in trying to rationalise what had happened in the first place herself despite asking someone else to do so. “Do you really think that kind of outcome which no one sane would have imagined won't change the city? And do you think the city doesn't need change? Despite creating and hiding inhumane projects?”

She paused for a minute and brought a hand to her chin while pondering how to address the second problem. Natsumi didn't know whether she should break a certain fundamental delusion that came with having heightened morals and values with what she was about to say, but she felt very curious about how a Judgement member would to it.

Too curious for her to help it in her decision, in fact.

“And let me ask you one thing: do you seriously think humans act out of benevolence? If I turn things around a bit, you talk like I'm being an unbelievably selfish monster since I don't care all that much about the Sisters, but tell me, did you do this out of a sense of justice because international laws were being broken and mass murders were happening? Or did you simply intervene, illegally might I add, in an experimental project because you feared living a daily life where Misaka wouldn't be around?”

For the first time since they'd encountered each other, the condescending smile befitting of the girl who held to heart her cynical belief that nothing was ever born out of true kindness and selflessness appeared on her face.

“Would you have gone to the same lengths if the Sisters had been anyone else's clones? Would you have acted instead of simply standing by and deciding to “try your best” to put your mind at ease by attempting to get the law involved despite knowing how futile it'd be when the experiments had the city's backing?” She had straightened from her lousy posture and was radiating a sense of twisted confidence as she took a step forwards, almost daring the girl to still stand in her way despite her tattered body
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:29 pm


“Well, I can at least praise you for being more reasonable than the average person would in your place.” Kuroko raised her eyebrow slightly as Natsumi’s comment reached her ear. She had no real reason to accept Natsumi’s praise, but she could not deny that it felt out of place to her, at least enough to elicit a minor reaction. 

“I don't care about how you feel about me, so let's ignore that. Even if your world gravitates around her, I'm sure someone like you understands the magnitude of what happened tonight and how Misaka no longer has a role in any of it. A supposedly "normal" outsider defeated Academy City's Esper development's pride and shattered the city's Level 6 ambition with some fancy fist-fight. Without even using an ability. Do you really think that kind of outcome which no one sane would have imagined won't change the city? And do you think the city doesn't need change? Despite creating and hiding inhumane projects?” No matter what preconceived notions Kuroko had on the City she had grown up in and spent countless hours working to protect, she could not deny the accuracy of Natsumi’s words. There was a repugnant side of the city that was kept hidden, much like the underbelly of an animal and Kuroko was far from sure she had seen the depths of it. For all she knew, what she saw was the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of what she wanted, something was likely set into motion, though what it was eluded her. 

“And let me ask you one thing: do you seriously think humans act out of benevolence?” 

Her mind immediately shot to the most simple and comfortable answer. Of course they do. She almost found herself blurting out that answer, only to be stopped by Natsumi continuing to speak after leaving her enough time to shoot for that answer.

“If I turn things around a bit, you talk like I'm being an unbelievably selfish monster since I don't care all that much about the Sisters, but tell me, did you do this out of a sense of justice because international laws were being broken and mass murders were happening? Or did you simply intervene, illegally might I add, in an experimental project because you feared living a daily life where Misaka wouldn't be around?” 

Kuroko’s mind immediately ground to a halt as her mind took in and finished processing those words. It was as if she was subconsciously trying to avoid letting herself probe into that question. After all, humans generally hold an aversion to gazing into the ugliness that was the abyss of their own souls. Yet, there her heart was in front of her: as bare as skinned apple.

But, Natsumi simply kept on going as a condescending smile formed on her face. 

“Would you have gone to the same lengths if the Sisters had been anyone else's clones? Would you have acted instead of simply standing by and deciding to “try your best” to put your mind at ease by attempting to get the law involved despite knowing how futile it'd be when the experiments had the city's backing?” 

When it boiled down to it, what was her reasoning for jumping into danger here?

There was an injustice I could not let stand. So, I jumped into the fray.

Was that really it? 

I…

Faced with her own bare heart, she could not tell herself that in honesty. No matter how much she wanted to skirt around that, she could not. It was as if she was facing herself in her mind. It was as if the self she was facing was the raw, honest Shirai Kuroko. 

So let’s go back to a more interesting question. Why do you think Onee-sama did it, then? Why did she jump into this experiment to protect the Sisters?

It’s because of the same reason. She could not let the injustice that was the Level 6 Shift Experiment stand. 

Really? Do you think that was it? Do you think the fact that she could not stand to see her clones at the slaughter had nothing to do with it?

I…don’t know…

What about you, then? Had it been anyone else aside from Onee-sama. Uiharu. Saten-san. Had it been anyone else aside from them, then what would you have done? What if it had been the so-called Queen, for example?

I would…I…don’t know…

Then, let’s return to the Level 6 Shift. What was the primary reason you intervened? What was it that started it all?

I was worried about Onee-sama. I saw the Sisters. I was worried about her well-being…and I just wanted to see her smiling like normal.

Are you okay with that? That’s different from what you think Onee-sama would do. 

It’s fine. I am not Onee-sama. I am me, Shirai Kuroko. 

Are you okay with that? It’s different from what one would imagine someone from Judgement would say. 

It’s fine. I am more than a member of Judgement. i am me. 

Are you okay with that? It’s unbearably selfish.

I…


Before her thoughts could finish, her mouth started to open. The Shirai Kuroko who had been questioning her had disappeared into the air as she started to speak. 

“I want to believe that I would still act out of sheer benevolence.” She clenched her open hand into a fist. “But I don’t know. No matter how much I want to believe that I would do that, I really don’t know what I would do in that hypothetical scenario.”

She clenched her fist harder. Her sense of justice was constricting at her, trying to prevent Kuroko from admitting anything she was speaking out loud. 

“International law? Mass murders? I guess the very thoughts only barely crossed my mind. All I thought was that Onee-sama’s daily life, her smile, and her presence in my life were all in danger. In the end, those were my priorities from the very beginning.” She could feel her muscles in her hands slowly tightening as she spoke. She could feel her teeth grind against each other as she paused. Her gaze was even turning from Natsumi's eyes.  

She hated it. Admitting to her own selfish priorities invalidated the point of even confronting Natsumi. After all, it made her the same as Natsumi. 

“All I wanted was to protect Onee-sama’s world and the world of mine it overlaps with. That’s…not wrong…”

After all, it meant she had been mired in a web of hypocrisy of her own creation.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:30 pm

“Does it really matter anyway?” Natsumi questioned, much more relaxed than before even though she didn't get rid of that condescending attitude.  

“Selfishness is the very basis of human nature as evidenced by our most basic survival instincts. However honourable someone's actions may be, they're always meant to benefit the person in a way or another whether it's for self-gratification or just to feel good about others feeling good. Pretending otherwise is just a fun little delusion everyone loves to take part in to reassure themselves that they're better people than the ones they criticise.”

Ironic and hypocritical since she was lecturing Kuroko about it, much like any lesson she would give at any time to anyone, and she was painfully self-aware of that fact. Despite her ridiculously young age, she spoke and acted as if those were mere truths of the world. Truths she wasn't even sure of herself and the lingering disgust in her words did hint that even though she cynically saw those things as a part of the human nature that drove everyone, she still thought of them to be repugnant. Perhaps the confident way she affirmed her views was much like a cover to hide a contradictory mind that'd randomly sway between those two feelings of acceptance and rejection, making her believe she'd never reach a point of complete neutrality, only leaving behind an ugly sense of bitterness she didn't even know how to start tackling, and perhaps she was so open to the debate to convince herself of what she said or simply reaffirm it.

She had long since stopped questioning it lest it'd stop her from forcing her way forward.

“I think that it's important for you to acknowledge human nature if you want to start moving on forwards from now on. You're gonna need it.” Putting aside her reflections of the topic to return to the core of the discussion, Natsumi continued and tried to slightly wiggle her injured arm to make a point. “Everyone had a reason to fight as they did tonight and they all got hurt the same doing so. I'm sure even he did, despite how much he enjoys acting like some kind of idiot. Should you really act like you have a right to be the judge of whose reasons were justified and whose weren't with so much wool over your eyes?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:30 pm

Despite Natsumi’s attempts to allay Kuroko’s own doubts, she could not shake them away. Was it truly right to act in her own self-interest? Was it okay to do so while holding her sense of justice as a front? 

Even if she had fully come to accept her own motivations, it was far from easy for someone like her to accept them as right. From this point forward, she would have to face the reality of being Judgement member preaching a sense of justice while acting on her own selfishness. That was Kuroko’s own hypocrisy no matter how much she ever tried to avert her eyes from it. 

Her own actions were simply to protect her world and Mikoto’s world. But, now she was unsure if she would even be able to properly stand by Mikoto’s side, aware of her own hypocrisy. 

In the end, she was sitting steeped in too much uncertainty about herself, more than someone in her position ever should need to bear. Perhaps she needed to simply take a step back. Regardless of how much she tried to sort out her thoughts now, she probably would never be able to reach a conclusion. 

In the end, perhaps all she needed was to rest. Perhaps, she would try and confide in Mikoto. After all, she had been pushing Mikoto multiple times to rely on her. It was only right that she followed her own advice. 

“Honestly, I still can’t say whether I was right or wrong no matter how much you try to sway me to think the former. Both as a Judgement member and as Shirai Kuroko, I want to at least believe in myself as someone who would act on benevolence and altruism. I’m still far from a proper judge of your own actions. However…” Despite her mental turbulence, however, one thing was certain. Kuroko could absolutely say that while turning her eyes back to Natsumi’s. “If you even dare to encroach upon Onee-sama’s world, I’ll make absolutely certain that you don’t get off easy.”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:31 pm

The look on her face was a harsh battle between disappointment and boredom. It was as if she was saying 'really?' without actually wording it to the twin-tailed girl in front of her, clearly removing any need for her to actually say it aloud.

"Were you listening to me when I said that just because your world gravitates around her doesn't mean it's the same for everyone...? If that's all your very hardcore lesbian self is worried about, don't. What I'm going to do has nothing to do with her, and she's not the person I'm interested in right now anyway.” Natsumi mercilessly retorted as she scratched the back of her head; wondering how long had passed anyway since Kuroko had originally stopped her; she was still completely unable to notice the passage of time and all this talking only made her tire herself out more than necessary.

And she could end up needing that kind of energy to get through the girl in front of her.

Deciding against trying to convince the short twin-tailed girl of anything since it'd be a lot of time wasted for no real return, she simply took another decisive step forwards while never taking her eyes off Kuroko; a twisted smile displayed prominently.

“I mean, even you had to have wondered how he, a "normal person", pulled off defeating Accelerator, right? “ 

Without waiting for any sort of positive or negative answer she slowly but surely moved forwards, making sure not to strain herself too much as she passed the younger girl, only leaving behind a few parting words.

“That kind of abnormality deserves a little bit more interest than complete focus on Misaka.”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:31 pm


"Were you listening to me when I said that just because your world gravitates around her doesn't mean it's the same for everyone...? If that's all your very hardcore lesbian self is worried about, don't. What I'm going to do has nothing to do with her, and she's not the person I'm interested in right now anyway.”

Kuroko had long since been aware of it. Natsumi had been pointing out since the beginning of the conversation that everything that had been going on was bigger than Mikoto. She was stuck. She really could do nothing as Natsumi walked on past her, giving a twisted smile. 

“I mean, even you had to have wondered how he, a "normal person", pulled off defeating Accelerator, right? That kind of abnormality deserves a little bit more interest than complete focus on Misaka.”

Kuroko simply stood as Natsumi walked past her without any resistance from her. 

“Even so…” She muttered to herself. She muttered to nobody but herself. After all, at this point, nobody else would hear her words. 

Her own mental paradigms had been shattered. All that was left before was a number of uncertain paths behind her shattered illusions. No matter how much of a fortified front she tried to display in front of Natsumi, the reality before her was never going to leave her. It had long since passed yield and would never return to its original state. 

She may have had many options before her, but none of them had a definite result. She would change, for better or for worse. Her gaze would forever be altered. That was now inevitable. 

After all, Mikoto had always been her sun. She had always been happy to simply stay in her orbit as Mikoto’s presence illuminated her life. But, Mikoto was merely one sun in a great galaxy. She was well aware of that all. 

“That doesn’t mean I have to stop doing things my way…” After all, there was nothing wrong with protecting that radiance she so cherished. 

“Right…?” Kuroko turned back to the direction Natsumi had gone, as if seeking some validation from the one who broke her rose-tinted glasses. But, Natsumi was long since gone. Kuroko had lost track of time in her contemplation.

Even so, if she wanted, she could chase after Natsumi right now. 

She could still…

“Really…” She leaned back against the nearby wall and held her hand out in front of her eyes. Clenching that hand into a fist as hard as she could, she gritted her teeth. “What am I doing?”



That night, the boisterous sounds of harsh, hasty knocking against a certain reinforced door resounded. Upon that door was the weight of an almost completely collapsed body, leaning against it.  After a handful of – understandable, considering the time – minutes that nonetheless felt like hours, the door opened to reveal a small, groggy and most importantly very confused pink head.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:40 pm

August 4th, Heaven Canceller's Hospital, 7:30 A.M.

In the children's section of the hospital, whoever paid a very attentive ear could hear kicks against bed sheets only muffled by the room's door. The source of it was a small, impatient fuchsia-haired girl lifting her legs and dropping them back down in sheer boredom as she gazed at the bright, light that had been shining out of her hospital room's windows for at least two hours now.

Today was the day she was supposed to be discharged, and though she had endured as much and had been as obedient as she reasonably could for a child of her age for the entire duration of her hospitalisation, today's wait had proved to seem much, much straining for her nerves than those whole weeks, which brought her to a peak of impatience. It wasn't like she wanted to get out of the hospital as soon as possible; in fact the pressure she got from the notion of returning to society after all that had happened could make her have a slight accident.

No, rather, the fact that it was time for her to be discharged meant it was also time for someone else to be freed from this hellishly boring place as well and that's the only positive aspect she saw in whatever would happen today. That someone else would happen to be her only remaining friend from her institute, and unfortunately the amount of check-ups and general treatment they had needed as the aftermath of that madwoman's experiment had kept her confined to either her room or wherever the nurses would drag her to.

(I hope Kin-kun's okay.) She thought with a small pout, losing the strength in her previously powerful kicks to the mattress, proceeding to fling her legs over to the side of the bed as she moved into a pensive, sitting position. (What's going to happen now? Are we just going to transfer back to our old school? I don't want that... What if they just sell us off to some other scientist again?)  

Though she was heading down a rather negative train of thought, it had been quickly interrupted by someone knocking on the door.

“Excuse me~!”

“F-Fweh?! Yes?!”  

The door slid open to reveal a woman – who could be easily mistaken for a little girl as well due to how similar both of their heights were – of very petite and pink stature, approaching Iresia with a small smile showing amusement at Iresia's sudden reaction; pink hair, eyes, and a matching outfit that only had a beige cardigan to break away from the overly repeating colours... Barring her height, the overly repetitive shades of her clothes were her most notable feature.

“Hello, Iresia-chan. Did I surprise you?” The “woman” replied in a child-like voice and manner, stopping not too far away from the bed than which she was only barely taller.

“Umm... Excuse me... How do you know my name?” She had met many other children when she was walked around the hospital but never this girl in particular, who seemed a bit too familiar considering she didn't remember ever meeting her; what could possibly bring her here today? Iresia called out, scared and unsure of who this girl could be due to her past experience with people who had a one-sided “acquaintance” with her.

“Ah, I haven't introduced myself yet, right? I'm Tsukuyomi Komoe. I was asked to take care of you.”

As she spoke, the image of a battered brunette at her doorstep in the middle of the night for the most random, out of the blue and most certainly nonsensical of requests came to her mind and her smile had gained a much more deep and thoughtful meaning to it, when she'd reflected on how much the students she knew – even if they weren't under her direct care – learned with time.

“Take care?” Another frown; Iresia didn't like that term at all. But Komoe's nod was much more reassuring than the ones she was used to.

“Yes. Of you, Iresia-chan, and... Kin-chan?” She turned towards the door with a confused expression; she had most certainly come accompanied.

Though Iresia had no clue how this woman knew of her name, she knew how to analyse speeches enough to tell that a certain someone had yet to walk into the room, and for now, that excitement mattered much more than her confusion at the whole situation.
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Hujisaka Natsumi
Level 4 Ignikinesis

Posts : 588
Join date : 2013-05-06
Location : Tokiwadai's Middle School, Academy City.

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