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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  Kihara Kisue on Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:56 am

In response to Komoe's call, a young boy who appeared to be in the last years of middle school entered the room, sheepishly leaving his hiding place from behind the door. With golden brown hair and a name to match, his build had changed almost completely from the last time Iresia had seen him. Where before he had been thin and rather sickly from the stress of the 'experiments', he was now in the pink of health (or as close as you can get after being holed up in a hospital for days on end). He looked almost as if he had grown a full foot since their last meeting.

"Ah, sorry, Tsukuyomi-sensei," he said, obviously somewhat embarrassed. His appearance wasn't the only thing that had changed. This nervousness of his would have been, once upon a time, a sign of extreme danger. But there was no hint of that abnormality now. This was simply the ordinary insecurity of a teenage boy.

For a moment he scratched his head, searching for the right words. Now that he and Iresia had been reunited, he had more than a few worries to deal with. But if worrying was all he did, he never would have made it to this place. Though it might be able to push and pull, ultimately it would take more than a failed experiment to change a person's core.

"Hey, Iresia. I'm back," he said with a slight smile. It was a slightly awkward greeting, but they were the words he had wanted to say, so that was fine with him.

It was only now, having finally greeted Iresia after that slightly awkward entrance, that he noticed the look of confusion on the girl's face. For a moment he acquired one of his own, but a short glance at the pink shape standing between him and Iresia cured it. Now smiling somewhat helplessly, he recalled his own meeting with the tiny teacher, and his expression made it clear that he felt something closer to sympathy than understanding.

"I suppose I should introduce the two of you? I'm a little late on the uptake, but I may as well." That was his own fault for not entering along with Komoe, so he told himself that he really shouldn't complain as he decided to acquaint the two, hoping to quell Iresia's confusion somewhat.

"Iresia, this is Tsukuyomi-sensei. Despite her looks, she's actually a teacher. As she said, she's agreed to take us in, given that we don't have any place to stay. And Tsukuyomi-sensei, this is Iresia, who you've already heard about." With Komoe's previous introduction his actions may have been somewhat redundant, but hearing it from him would hopefully put Iresia a little more at ease with the tiny pink blob of a woman.

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

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:16 pm

"Hey, Iresia. I'm back,"

"Welcome back, Kin-kun."

Iresia happily swung her legs forwards and backwards as she greeted him with a toothy grin, but that was quickly replaced by a myriad of much more complex expressions at certain parts of Kin's following explanation of the situation.

Firstly, was shock. Shock she'd made no attempt at hiding along with her opened mouth at the statement that this young girl was actually a teacher, and it took all of her upbringing and self-control to refrain herself from calling Kin out and openly asking him if he'd hit his head on something.

Secondly, was open confusion. Where had that girl ever heard of them about? Had there been news coverage of the incident she wasn't aware of?

And thirdly...

“Take us in? But we're not up for adoption, are we? How does she even know about us?” was the slightly insulted frown that was now accompanying her confusion at the implication she was still that much of a child, openly sending Komoe a suspicious and cautious look as she tackled two of her three problems. The last time any adult had “taken them in” had ended in this disaster so Iresia was naturally hesitant about the idea.

But Komoe only returned an understanding and kind smile as she picked up Kin's explanation.

“Well... I'm used to picking up stray sheep from the streets and reconditioning them to get back up and live a normal life!” She proudly exclaimed while hitting her petite fist against her equally petite – terribly so, in fact – chest. “So, someone came to my door last night and asked me a little favour; if I could take care of you two until you could find a more trustworthy establishment than the one you were in. As such!” Komoe let her arm back down and pulled out a set of papers adequately separated and sorted with bunny-shaped paperclips from her bag, extending them fully in front of Iresia's eyes.

They seemed to be school registration forms along with a handful of much more complex, administrative papers.

“It took a little digging to find you two adequate schools that would take you in so suddenly, but Tsukuyomi-sensei managed! You'll be staying with me while I help get the rest of the papers and all of the boring adult procedures out of the way, and then you'll be moving into your own little cosy dorm room!”

Putting the papers back in her bag, Komoe turned around towards Kin and showed him a teasing finger and smile. “And since you two won't be in the same school, the problem of mixed dorms and their consequences won't even matter.”

“Eh? What does she mean? What consequences?” Iresia asked Kin with a confused, tilted head as she pondered the matter for a minute. She'd finally reached her conclusion when she decided, however, that she wanted to hear Kin's thoughts on this first. “Hey, Kin-kun, what do you think?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kihara Kisue on Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:21 pm

It was really like watching himself in a mirror, similar to the point of déjà vu. Abject, open shock upon hearing Komoe’s age. Suspicion upon hearing her intentions. And a funny look at the clips adorning the stacks of paperwork she showed off so proudly. It was uncanny. Kin's careless reminiscence of his own first meeting, however, brought forth an unexpected consequence. With no guard to speak of, Komoe’s teasing had caught him unawares like a blow to the back of the head.

Twisting his head to head to turn his gaze away from Iresia with speed enough of to evoke whiplash and cause some truly ominous noises to emanate from the vertebrae of his neck, he gave Komoe as scathing a glare as he could manage. Kin was hardly interested in Iresia in that sort of way, but he was still a middle school, even if in his later years. Due to the time spent at those various institutions for the ‘care’ of Child Errors, his maturity may have actually been lesser than his age would indicate. Therefore, he still retained that special sensitivity possessed only by middle schoolers, and the light teasing had elicited a critical hit as a result.

Having delivered his wordless disapproval, Kin thought he might have been able to leave the matter in the closet where it belonged. Not having predicted a betrayal from an unexpected source, he had thought wrong.

“Eh? What does she mean? What consequences? Hey, Kin-kun, what do you think?”

His attempt at a withering glare had transformed into something new. Different. Stronger. What was previously the attempt of an embarrassed middle schooler to act intimidating had all of a sudden become something very truly frightening: the angry gaze of an overprotective older brother. No words were spoken, but the meaning was surely conveyed.

Don't teach Iresia unnecessary things.

...And at the same time, he passed the buck to her to try and resolve this awkward situation.

"Even if we refuse, it isn't as if we have any better options. I say we go, if only because of that." In response to Iresia's second, more serious question, Kin coolly gave a rather cynical-sounding response without missing a beat. It might have been somewhat out of place in front of the atmosphere Komoe seemed to generate just by being there, but for the two of them any other logic would just be too hard to believe.

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

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:44 pm

Komoe had waved off Kin's threats with a small laugh, full of satisfaction at the boy's reaction and answer, proceeding to pat the still hesitant and then surprised Iresia's head as she spoke in the most reassuring manner she could. She naturally understood that those children had long gone past the point of blind belief at the sound of kind words, which their ears must've over-saturated from, but she would still try her best to bring the stray sheep back and make them readjust to a more normal life.

She removed her hand from the young girl's head, judging that that was enough for now from the sheer discomfort and awkwardness Iresia was displaying – though she was honestly feeling a bit of strain in her legs as well anyway – to turn back towards Kin with a more knowing than kind smile.

“You must've heard a lot of things like this in the past, so being cautious is understandable, but Komoe-sensei will still try her best to convince you of her good will!” She proudly puffed out her chest for a brief instant, and gave them a final piece of explanation, figuring that it'd be best for them to learn along the way as well rather than be dumped so many life-changing occurrences at once but still needing to warn them of one thing. “Sensei did say that she'd take care of you two until you have proper rooms to live in, but that's not quite all of it. Since you've been in a Child Error facility for so long and were subjected to brain-altering experiments, it is also sensei's duty to keep an eye on both of you until you can be declared safe to live freely in the city and to rehabilitate you into being able to deal with normal social situations, including stressful ones, without negative reactions.”

Speaking of negative reactions, Iresia was currently adopting a very sour and almost insulted expression. It was very clear she did not enjoy the idea of still being considered a public danger even if it was reasonable, seeing how that was a status no normal person would wish for.

Understanding this. Komoe moved towards the door and lifted a small fist as she turned her back to them after finishing her explanation.

“And our first step towards that will be to celebrate your hospital discharge! Sensei will be right back, she just needs to sort a last thing out and then we should go somewhere fun!” At first glance, it may have seemed like she was jumping at an opportunity for fun, but Komoe was feeling much more complex about the whole thing; she was used to accommodating children who needed guidance, but such a case was a first for her and she couldn't help but worry about whether she'd perform her duty well.

But for now, she had to be an example for two kids of different ages but similar trauma, so she decided to cast away those doubts and started running.

Back in the room, however, was a very wordless and sceptical Iresia. It was a very, very delicate situation that she had no clue how to start tackling; logic would state that she shouldn't trust anyone after all that had happened, but then she'd be at a stand still in terms of progress seeing how she didn't even have a facility to return to anymore. Iresia, and therefore Kin, were very likely stuck between a rock and a hard place currently, so she proceeded to turn towards Kin in search of an icebreaker of any sort in this matter.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kihara Kisue on Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:26 am

Naturally. Putting aside whether it was the best or only choice or whether Komoe's kindness was real or faked, they had never had a choice in the first place. Kin frowned at Komoe's words for a reason slightly more thoughtful than Iresia's, though from the outside they appeared to be in perfect synchronization.

Ignoring the sudden fouling of their moods, or perhaps escaping it, Komoe's abrupt evacuation from the room left him no time to object or complain. The two of them had been abandoned to the unhappy atmosphere they had created. Though their own reactions were the source of it, unpleasant things remained unpleasant, so Kin looked towards Iresia hoping to break the silence.

Finding himself locking eyes with her and realizing that they had both had exactly the same idea, Kin sighed and gave in. As the elder of the pair, it was his responsibility to guide the conversation, or so he thought.

"You don't have to trust her, you know."

Kin knew very well what Iresia's worries were. His were the very same. The only difference between the two of them was that he had already come to a conclusion. This was why Komoe had come to him first, he decided. She would allow him to assess the situation first, and then put the younger and less mature Iresia in line. Most likely, this was meant to be an opportunity to do just that. He disliked the idea of following the adults' predictions so faithfully, but to him, putting Iresia at ease came first.

"We don't have anywhere else to go, and this looks official enough on the surface, at least. I checked on the web and the schools exist. In the end, this is something the city decided, so if we defy it, they'll chase us down, and I don't think we can handle that. So we should just go along with it for now. We don't have to trust her, just see where she goes."

Finishing the talk that should have been far too serious to ever be spoken to a small child like Iresia, Kin placed his hand on her head and gave it an affectionate rub. Lacking the awkwardness of Komoe's due to his more normal height, it had the playful roughness of an older sibling.

"But hey, forget all that. Cheer up! Today we're finally getting out of this stuffy hospital, aren't we? Is there anyplace you want to go to celebrate?"

Kin himself didn't feel nearly as cheerful as he sounded, and he didn't know if they would be able to do whatever it was Iresia would say she wanted. But he enjoyed her smiles, not her frowns, so he tried his best to improve her mood. And who knows? If Komoe hadn't been lying about going someplace fun...

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

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:33 pm

"You don't have to trust her, you know."

Initially confused at Kin's statement despite his apparent earlier siding with Komoe, that confusion ended up quickly being replaced by a truly morose expression not belonging to such a child. After being flung in so many adults and facilities' arms, it was difficult at her age to try and figure out if this time things would work out, or if she and Kin were just doomed to leading manipulated lives for all eternity.

Then again, she was openly aware that if she had been an adult, the question might've not even needed to be asked as she could have likely simply settled on the latter with no further reflection.

"We don't have anywhere else to go, and this looks official enough on the surface, at least. I checked on the web and the schools exist. In the end, this is something the city decided, so if we defy it, they'll chase us down, and I don't think we can handle that. So we should just go along with it for now. We don't have to trust her, just see where she goes."

Despite his best attempts at reassuring her, the implication that it's not like they were given a choice in the first place has Iresia growling under her breath...

“Official enough, huh...”

That was, until her eyes widened from something occurring to her.

That small teacher had not once referred to them as a Child Error.

She had not been tagged as a socially rejected child like she'd always been. It may have seemed like something small to anyone else, but it was a very big difference to a girl who had always been a Child Error before a person.

And from the way they both explained the situation, she realised a very promising future announced itself to her if this attempt at trusting adults was the right one.

“Hey, Kin-kun. Are we...” She recalled the cat-eating man's dorm she had slept over in during her escape from the laboratory. The memory caused her to slowly but surely replace the sheer negativity in her body language by an ever growing hopeful expression and excited voice that followed Kin's advice to cheer up as she spoke of each part of her realisation. “Are we going to really get to attend real schools and real dorms of our own? We'll be able to eat, take baths and go outside whenever we want?! Will I be able to keep a kitty too?!?!”

Childishly starry eyes that were far more appropriate than her previous depressive ones, had finally appeared after so long, longing after a sense of freedom that sounded so great compared to any quality of life they'd been given as the city's abandoned kids that she couldn't help but grin stupidly at the idea.

“Then, if, uuh... Sensei? Uh, i-if she was serious then,” She hurriedly talked to cover the fact that she'd already forgotten the poor woman's name. “I want to go to an ice cream shop! And an arcade! And a pet store!”

The door slowly opened slid to reveal a smiling figure, holding a few more papers related to both Kin and Iresia's hospitalisation. “Sensei finalised all the papers about your discharge on her side, so we can go to the nearby underground mall now! You never got to visit it, right? That last bit may be a bit delicate, but besides that it has everything you're looking for and more! Sensei can guarantee that it's a dream place for students of all ages!”

Komoe didn't bother walking in, simply nodding and winking to accompany her announcement that they were good to leave now and consequently turning on her heels to guide Iresia and Kin out, the former of which had jumped out of her bed faster than an abruptly awakened cat.

**

Perhaps it was due to how young Komoe appeared to be, but Iresia was lacking the discomfort she'd grown over talking to adults about such things.

On their way out of that hellishly boring place, Komoe had gotten her quite engaged in casual discussions of all pleasant sorts; one that was much more fitting for the two of them than the unpleasant social tags, experimentations and paperwork that had ruled her life so long.

It was entirely likely that they'd simply be betrayed again, but if the result was of freedom she would've never otherwise been offered had everything gone smoothly at the Child Error facilities, then Iresia could definitely give it her all for one last shot.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kihara Kisue on Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:51 am

“Hey, Kin-kun. Are we... Are we going to really get to attend real schools and real dorms of our own? We'll be able to eat, take baths and go outside whenever we want?! Will I be able to keep a kitty too?!?! Then, if, uuh... Sensei? Uh, i-if she was serious then, I want to go to an ice cream shop! And an arcade! And a pet store!”

What first came to Kin's lips was a soft 'no'. There was no telling what lied ahead of them. They had just been whisked out of hell, but for all they knew they might only be falling into an even deeper one. To hold any sort of hope in this sort of situation would be foolish, he thought. The greater your expectations, the worse the pain when they were betrayed. It was that sort of cynicism that guided his thoughts.

But the thought went unspoken. It was the right thing to say. It might hurt her now, but it would only be to save her from more pain down the road. But faced with her innocent joy, and feeling the grin that was taking form in reaction to it, he couldn't bring himself to do it. After all, it was the very smile he was looking at right now that he'd fought so hard to protect.

"Yeah, definitely," he said, not bothering to fight the girl's infectious joy any longer.

“Sensei finalised all the papers about your discharge on her side, so we can go to the nearby underground mall now! You never got to visit it, right? That last bit may be a bit delicate, but besides that it has everything you're looking for and more! Sensei can guarantee that it's a dream place for students of all ages!”

The room Komoe returned to with her announcement was the polar opposite of the one she'd left. Before, the mood had been dark and dreary; caused in no small part by the contrast between the youth of the inhabitants and their obviously pessimistic expressions. But now they had smiles fit for their ages, and the atmosphere was a light one. The children who would have once done more than scowl at her casual eavesdropping now took it in stride.

With Komoe's prompting, Iresia easily rushed out of the door in pursuit of the teacher who had left as abruptly as she'd entered, but Kin stood back. He would follow in a moment, but right then what he wanted was to just watch over Iresia as she ran off ahead of him.

Regardless of what would happen after, he was sure that this moment at least would be something he'd be able to look back on fondly.

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

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:48 pm

On a bridge in the hospital's perimeter, 8:00 A.M.

This early morning's attempt at finding Touko's room had been a very clear failure; that much Natsume was able to deduct without giving it too much brain power.

However, even if she could no longer visit the hospital when it was now daytime and risked having her identity discovered, she couldn't afford to not meet Touko today; glancing at a small piece of paper that had been sneaked in her clothing by the mysterious blond man from the day before, there was still an important message she had been tasked to give to the young spiky-haired girl.

Of course, she could always go ahead and ignore it since she had no personal engagement to the matter written on the small note that had been crumbled and shoved back into a pocket. Making the girl find out the meaning of her message all on her own as she'd eventually head back home certainly sounded like it'd have a fun outcome, but Natsume wasn't that kind of sadist and so she merely sat on the edge of the bridge that would lead from the hospital back to the dorm.

It was stupid to consider waiting there all alone until she'd eventually catch glimpse of an at least metre high hedgehog head instead of directly asking the hospital staff to meet her, but she could tell from yesterday alone that she would very likely be captured by nurses looking for her fugitive twin.

How did she know her twin was a hospital fugitive? Well, she had no concrete proof, but rumours going around the area had taught her that there had been a lot of them just this morning between the people who'd been admitted that same night: the young man she'd met earlier and a short-haired girl, heavily injured and bandaged, who asked around of his whereabouts were included in this rumoured lot.

And from what that man had told her, supported by the shocked expression a young pink-haired girl accompanied by two kids clearly older than her had given her before she'd fled, she bore no doubts that one of the fugitives must've been her sister.

She sighed dejectedly as she wrecked her brain trying to understand how and why anyone would make themselves a well-known figure at a hospital of all places, but quickly raised her head and looked around with a bored and impatient pout on her face, vaguely hearing odd steps coming her way.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:08 pm

Kamijou Touko had had a really tough day.

The day before she had helped to fight a minuscule zombie apocalypse you’d see in any other B movie, triggered by an insane Magician that had invaded Academy City. After a long, drawn out final showdown she had somehow managed to overcome the big bad guy and then been hospitalised due to the countless injuries her reckless actions had brought along.

Having collapsed shortly after the final battle, she had spent the most of the night sleeping in the same warm and comfy hospital bed she had grown so used to over the years — after all it was entirely within her misfortune laden nature to get into all kinds of trouble.

Thus, just like many many times before the spiky haired girl was covered in bandages while steadying her weight by leaning onto a crutch she had borrowed from the hospital. Yes, she had borrowed it upon flight. Dressed in her usual featureless sailor uniform, currently also battered as a result of eager struggle, she was currently departing from the place, hurriedly trying to make her way to somewhere else.

«I need to make it! I need to make it! Why did I have to end up in the hospital again!? Aaah! Such misfortune!!»

That desperately cursing girl however wasn’t on her way home, as you might suspect. Currently she was on the run for a place a bit more distanced from that: School. Having been forced into summer classes due to weak attendance rates and worsening grades, she had been urged to stick to some drawn out extra curriculum. One she wished to get over with as quickly as possible. However what value was there in that goal if all she accomplished was miss out even that, only piling more on top of the already high towering stack?

As she charged forward desperately, leaving behind the oddest stepping sounds for both her legs’ unfortunate state and her crutch, she had the familiar girl she’d just passed skip her attention entirely. But that was fine as well. After all there were much more pressing matters: Summer time freedom!
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:00 am

Though Natsume had been expecting a semblance of a reaction, perhaps an interest in knowing how things had wrapped up with the magician ordeal, the odd steps that had been slowly and painfully-sounding approaching her eventually passed her without giving any sign of interest to what was around, simply bringing their owner to their destination and barring anything else. It was a mystery whether Touko had seen and elected to ignore Natsume or if she was just in that much of a hurry she hadn't even noticed her.

In a way, she felt rather bad she'd have to take up some of Touko's seemingly precious time, but one must do what one must do. “Umm... Ahem...” As a subtle and kind first approach, she decided to simply cough and see if that would catch her attention, but by then Touko had already gotten much further ahead.

Basically, she had no choice but to be outgoing and actively approach her if she wanted to get the message across.

“...Touko-chan? What are you doing, running when you're injured like that?” She called out in a much more stern voice as adopted a slightly jogging pace to keep up to the speedy, injured girl.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kamijou Touko on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:16 am

«Huh? Hujisaka-san?»

In surprise Kamijou tilted her head at the arrival of the company jogging along with her foolhardy haste. But before anything else, she turned her head to face forwards again, not allowing herself to be distracted from reaching her goal. Actually she already had the worst of all premonitions crawl up to her. Premonitions she couldn’t afford now at all times!

«Sorry. No. Time. To. Talk. Must. Reach. School. Before. Classes. Start. Not gonna. Miss out. Again. Summer. Vacation. Want. Free Time.»

Shoving aside the girl trying to approach her in the strangest way of conversation available, Kamijou forced all three of her legs to increase tempo.

She knew, if she stopped only more of what she most dearly wished to avoid would come over her. She didn’t know for sure actually, but a voice deep inside her mind and her very own experience told her to run just the moment that girl had approached. With what happened the day before and forced her into that state being strongly connected to Hujisaka, she could already smell the stench of trouble.

Therefore make the grand escape before things get even worse!

«Onwards! Onwards! Legs! Crutch! Go! To school!»

And her speed increased by a truly tiny bit. Yet it was the thought that mattered right now. Express train battered Kamijou-san charge forward!
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:43 am

Kamijou Touko would find herself stopped in her train tracks by a very powerful shoulder grip, barely allowing her to even flinch as the girl who'd restrained her had a more than dangerous smile on her face.

“...I've been trying to find you since yesterday, so perhaps you could take at least some time to listen to me considering you shouldn't be outside the hospital in the first place~?”

Her face completely softened up once she had made her intent and determination clear. “About yesterday... I'm not really too sure what happened there at the end, but I have something to tell you... well, two unrelated things.” As she spoke she rose two fingers on her opposite hand but without lessening the grip on Touko's shoulder, fearing what would happen if she dared to let her go even slightly.

“Firstly, could you never mention meeting or knowing about me, even to people who really feel like they may be related to me? I'm in a bit of a pinch and I can't have anyone know about my presence here, so it'd really help if you pretended I was never here.” An admittedly less important matter, but with the meeting she had had in the hospital, it was crucial to take additional steps to protect her cover and she felt that it was now or never knowing for that purpose, considering how fast that girl could run and how unpredictable her reaction could be to the actual news she was tasked to give her.

She hoped that, with any luck, Touko wouldn't ever need to actually pretend she didn't know Natsume and fulfil that request in the first place.

How funny. She clearly had no idea of what Touko embodied.

But now was time to approach the most serious matter.

“And secondly...” She finally let Touko's shoulder go, and straightened as she recalled the note's interesting words with a pensive look. “I was told to inform you that the Index Librorum Prohibitorum has been freed and allowed to remain in Academy City under your care. I seem to understand she's roaming around right now, but I don't know where.”

Natsume highly suspected that the Index Librorum Prohibitorum was the oddly out of place but nonetheless friendly nun she had met in front of a vending machine, and couldn't help but wonder why the Anglican Church's trump card would be in this city of science. She had been aware that the magic side had started to plague the science side, but had it started much earlier than she'd realised?

"Why would they leave such a dangerous library with you?" She openly asked a single of her multiplying questions with a confused frown, clearly feeling she was missing a big chunk of the puzzle.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kamijou Touko on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:25 pm

Express train battered Kamijou-san was stopped in her tracks by none other than that most terrifying grip of doom. Tough, intense, powerful and of course dreadful. She could feel her bones creak as a result and the pain of overstraining herself rushed through her body, yet only to be swept away by the grip’s strong pressure and that glance Hujisaka gave her.

«Hehehe…hehe…he…he…e….»

She’d laugh desperately realising fully well that this marked the end of her ordeal…

Discarding the idea of ever making it to school timely and thus saving the little free time she would be able to gain, she’d finally give in and listen to what that sudden messenger of calamity had to tell.

«Firstly, could you never mention meeting or knowing about me, even to people who really feel like they may be related to me? I'm in a bit of a pinch and I can't have anyone know about my presence here, so it'd really help if you pretended I was never here.»

The first was a rather strange request, but she nodded a few times to signal her agreement on the matter. She felt like not prying deeper into it, mostly because some things shouldn’t be mentioned out in public. Then again at the same time she grew curious about the entire thing. Curious enough to actually settle on asking for the reason, after all the girl had actually mentioned a kind of trouble she had been into. It was tiny conflict based on the idea of not digging into someone else’s privacy and being worried at the same time.

«I won’t. I don’t know why you’re asking me for that, but I won’t. Should you need my help or anything, though, Kamijou-san is open ears for anything. I owe you some after all!»

She spoke with the naive smile of someone who had no idea of what they had gotten into, yet at the same time would charge right in with the fury of a complete idiot — a smile that suited her quite well. The most reliable one.

The true shock would only arrive a sentence later.

«Heeeeh? They're placing Index in my care!? Whaaaaaat?!»

Entirely different from before Kamijou Touko this time around was hit by the biggest shock ever since. She was surprised, even more confused than ever before and a bit panicky? She quickly turned her glance here and there, before eying Hujisaka again.

«Wait, that can’t be true can it? That can’t be? Why me of all people? What about school!? Can’t I live in peaceful days for once! This is bad! Very bad! This sounds like trouble! Big trouble! How am I supposed to look after her with all that stuff!? Don’t they realise I have a school year to pass!? What about my summer vacation!??!? WHAT ABOUT THE FREE TIME I’M WORKING SO HARD TO GET!?!?!?!?»

That thing again. Immediately she’d revert to where she had been just a moment ago, shouting aloud as she cried internal tears over her slowly fading future. She didn’t think much into it actually, but only had images of her very own interpretation of care-taking cross her mind; for some reason most of which were more along the lines of keeping a dog and taking it for a walk than the actual real life example. In the end the entire world around her seemed to break down, with her holding her head with both hands as she was somehow seeking a way to adapt to the sudden shock. She seemed so absorbed in her pointless everyday troubles that she overheard the last few words Hujisaka had let slip, leaving her seemingly unaware of their importance. Much like for the true meaning of having to take care of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum…
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:47 pm

Putting up both hands in front of her as if to quell Touko's despair, Natsumi only uttered a small, awkward laugh. “I'm not too sure the Anglican Church has much concern for student's schooling...?” Thankful she actually listened to her instincts about making the Index matter come second, this time around she set a calming hand on Touko's shoulder and spoke of a concern she had.

“But don't worry, I'm sure it'll just end up being something similar to having a roommate. Anyway, thanks for the offer, but you should focus on being careful. The fact that the forbidden library is in Academy City is probably going to attract some trouble once the news spread to the outside now that diplomatic issues have been sorted out.” A grim look appeared on her face at the realisation that whatever had happened the day before would likely occur again once magicians held the belief that a powerless young girl was the only guard of the forbidden grimoire library, but she quickly replaced it with a reassuring smile.

“That said... I'm sure people will work to fight off those kind of threats again like they did yesterday.” Speaking of people who had helped them fight Shinichiro and the red-haired young boy, Natsume suddenly remembered of Jack's presence and demand, widening her eyes as she approached in a slightly urgent manner.

“Ah! I forgot! What happened to that pendant? I'm rather certain I gave it to Jack, but did it ever find its way back to that boy?”
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Kamijou Touko on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:03 pm

«Actually, I don’t mind. I really don’t mind. I’m happy.»

There was no need for her to say these things, nor was there anything she could have said that in reply towards, yet still, she did speak up, in the calmest voice she could have possibly presented even. This was different, entirely. Kamijou Touko no longer seemed like the panicky and childish over the top idiot, but like someone fairly adult in all their being.

«We fought so much to save her…to know she is safe and to have her by my side really makes me happy. Really happy. I’m grateful for everything and I will do anything I can to keep her safe. If that’s what’s needed then I will provide it, no matter what. So whoever or whatever will come her way, I’ll take on it.»

Again she would wear that smile as she spoke up calmly. There was not even a hint of worry or fear anywhere in her. She was strong or maybe just foolishly reckless. Whatever it was, her belief in her own capabilities seemed to be rather strong so she’d tackle it without hesitation. That was the kind of person Kamijou Touko was. Maybe she didn’t realise what exactly it would take to stay true to her word, maybe she just didn’t care right now, but what would she do if she realised the full extent of it all? Would she still spout such nonsense? Or would she fall apart like anyone else? A soft summer breeze blew past them, as she turned for the sky at the river’s end.

«So leave it all to good old Kamijou-san. I’ll somehow prove worthy of their trust!»

With that her overly self confident speech concluded.

She would have loved to leave it at that. The entire universe would have. Everything about it was perfectly filled with romance, the good kind, the best kind. And yet something would shatter exactly that just the next moment. A simple thought throwing Touko into a wholly different tantrum.

«Oh right! Milo! I totally forgot about him! Goddammit!»

The spiky haired girl didn’t remain still, instead she quickly had life resume its presence in her legs as she adjusted the crutch in her left hand once again.

«Sorry Hujisaka, I gotta go! I’ll try to see if Milo is somewhere in the hospital or wherever! I just need to make sure he’s fine!»

Not letting a single moment come to waste, she quickly departed accompanied by the oddness of three legged steps. Off, back into the direction she had originally attempted to flee. Off, to find any trace of that friend she hadn’t even known that well. They’d actually hardly ever talked, even while being classmates and yet she had gone through such lengths just to make sure he was safe. But that was exactly the kind of person Kamijou Touko was.

Discarding the last bit of the worries over the academic nightmare, she hurried elsewhere to see after someone who may as well have been a total stranger.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Furuhashi Gou on Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:15 pm

In an underground mall somewhere in District 7, 9:23 A.M.

Furuhashi Gou was another boy that had been involved into the zombie incident a day ago. Much like the other fools playing hero he had also been hospitalised. However he’d been dealt with rather quickly, immediately being released this very morning. After all, all that had happened was him getting salt into his eye, basically dragging him out of commission for an entire afternoon. Thus it wasn’t as bad as last time.

He could still feel the dry, aching pain in his eyes, but he tried to fight it, much like someone of his stature. He was a tall boy with delinquent like features, whilst wearing his tidily cleaned school uniform with an armband on his right arm: A symbol of authority. He was a member of Judgement, the group akin to Academy City’s collective disciplinary committee. An image that suited him perfectly well and vice versa.

Currently he was lecturing a young couple that had been going a bit too wild in a photo booth in an arcade. He’d noticed them when patrolling and dragged them forcefully to the front door.

«…and therefore, I will report this to your respective schools and of course Anti-Skill, to ensure that none of this spoiled behaviour will spread anywhere further.»

Concluding his speech that was an come-together of his usual intense rule obsessed blabber, he’d eye the pair with the full brunt of his strictness, his eyes — still red from the salty incident — seeming even more threatening than ever before.

However.

«Jeez. What’s up with you Judgement suckers? Don’t you get anything about fun? Pff. Come Mine, we’re going.»

«Yes, yes. Let’s leave that stuck up broom boy. I know another even be~tte~r place Ken-kun❤︎»

That was how things usually went. With the defiant couple speaking and ignoring his existence along with all further attempt to bring them to listen, they left off, metaphorically spitting into his face. But that was how it was. He didn’t have the power, influence or right to do anything else than what he had announced. Talk to the authorities and see what they’ll do about it. That was all Judgement was ever good for. Everyone knew and yet nobody cared. They’d just throw whatever they came up with his way, no matter how harsh he scolded them. His words always hit walls. It had been like that just now and it had been like that yesterday with that boy, too.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:51 pm

A slight yawn escaped Natsume as she stretched, walking around ever so casually inside an underground mall. She had completed most of what she had meant to do today, and with the little sleep she'd gotten, her plans were now dedicated to relaxation and rest in order to keep her mental state healthy.

The outcome with Touko's discussion had made her quite happy, even if also amused the girl never skipped a beat to run off for others' sake, but with the two-day long ordeal, any more and she would probably start losing her mind and commit the same mistake she'd did in the hospital; for this, shopping was the best way to ensure no one else “recognised” her.

However, she came to an abrupt halt near an arcade as she heard a vaguely familiar voice, turning her head to see the young Judgement member from yesterday.

...The one she had thrown salt at his eyes, she sweatdropped at that realisation.

But well, now that he seemed to be back to normal, there was no need to ever bring it up or mention it; perhaps it was also a way for her to have to avoid the awkwardness of apologising for throwing an entire bag of salt at someone no matter the circumstances if they ever so happened to not remember.

“Um... Hello.”

Before that entire eye abuse ordeal, though, was a demand she had made to the young boy she truly wanted to know the status of, and as the two berated students departed, she arrived near him.

“You're that Judgement officer from yesterday, right? I wanted to ask how... that matter went?
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Furuhashi Gou on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:17 pm

Just as his mind was drifting off to remember a certain boy’s face, someone else approached Gou. Not paying any mind to both his thoughts and the couple that had already departed into the distance, he’d simply turn towards the new arrival. Only to find his eyes itching as they met with her’s.

«Ah, it’s you. Good morning.»

He was not speaking in any way that seemed anyhow affected. All there was, was cold politeness that had been so fine tuned, it was absolutely lacking any character and emotion. But that was the way he liked to handle things, the very same reason he left a bad impression on others.

«Apologies that I wasn’t useful yesterday. Things happened and well…I somehow ended up in a hospital.»

Gou blinked a bunch of times upon speaking, trying to fight back that unforgiving itch.

For some reason his mind felt a bit blurry thinking back on what exactly had happened. All he recalled were that delinquent boy, the people in zombie-like state and those others he had met. That was enough, yet still he would have loved to sort things out properly in his head, even though everything had settled down and been handled. He just couldn’t shake off the bad feeling all these strange events had given him.

«Oh right. That matter. I asked a colleague of mine to take care of it for me and they did so immediately, reliable as they are. However…there occurred a slight problem in the process…so…instead of deleting just the requested images from Damion Koyoko's cloud, its entire contents happened to be erased entirely, without any chance to recover the data.»

That entire thing was a tad embarrassing, something he openly admitted by averting his blinking gaze and blushing slightly. Mistakes could happen any day when working with technology, especially computers. A wrong press of a button, a misclick, a bug, an error, there were numerous ways for it to happen, yet for a proud member of Judgment to admit that the group he was trying to make appear so flawless actually screwed up on something that easy was still a big deal.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:10 pm

The girl had gone a bit stiff and heavily sweatdropped at the boy's off-hand mention of having been sent to a hospital, therefore she could only fake a vaguely worried smile and let him carry onto his explanation of what she had approached him for; praying that the fact that the reason he'd been hospitalised, if the current state of his still slightly red eyes were any indication, was her and her pack of salt's fault, would never need to be revealed.

«Oh right. That matter. I asked a colleague of mine to take care of it for me and they did so immediately, reliable as they are. However…there occurred a slight problem in the process…so…instead of deleting just the requested images from Damion Koyoko's cloud, its entire contents happened to be erased entirely, without any chance to recover the data.»

“...Entirely?”

At the sound of those words, Natsume was torn between a feeling of pity that he'd lose all that was on his phone due to her fault...

Or if it was well-deserved for stalking and taking pictures of her in the first place.

She then realised that, had it been her sister, what would be dead wouldn't just be his phone data.

“I see. That's a shame. Thanks for taking care of it so quickly, it's good to see the city's law enforcement units are so quick to act.”

Well aware of how weird and ironic it was for a magician aware of how the science side came to be to say this, the amount of trouble she had caused in just two days was enough for her to settle on staying low for a while...

As such, deciding to keep on going down the “taking no responsibilities for what my words do” train, Natsume simply frowned a little before showing Gou a polite smile, however filled with the intent to get right out of there before she triggered another disaster from speaking alone.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Furuhashi Gou on Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:28 pm

«No problem. That’s what we are there for to begin with.»

That summed up his point of view entirely. Judgement was there to help wherever they could, not just to enforce rules. To begin with the rules themselves were only set up to help and protect, but nobody saw that these days. He would have loved to skip into another rant, but left it at that, having grown tired of only hitting ignorance here and there. Besides, that girl before him hadn’t done anything to deserve it.

«Therefore, whenever you feel like you need support, don’t hesitate to approach us. We’ll be sure to help you.»

Unaware that he was the second person today to offer the girl such a perspective he spoke words that perfectly fit on an advertisement banner with some cute twin-tailed model officer blinking at the audience cheerfully. However, neither was that rough block hard model disciplinary committee grunt a cute twin-tailed girl, nor in any way cheerful.

However, as he was about to leave it at that, he suddenly changed gears all over again.

«Oh right. There’s one thing I wanted to ask.»

Furuhashi took a few steps to close the gap between him and the girl dangerously daringly, whilst staring at her intensely. His eyes meeting hers directly, digging deep into her psyche. His stare was in fact so intense, it felt as if she’d somehow had ended up in an interrogation scene.

«Is there anything off with my eyes? You see I was just released from the hospital, but they still feel a tad off. Do you think I should let them check me again?»

Big dark grey spheres surrounded by what was a strange and truly unhealthy looking mixture of both white and red. It seemed strange, a bit disgusting and a tad frightening. From looking alone it was questionable how much that boy had to endure, was it in no way natural or within the confines of the normal. More like something to be found in a paintbox’s mixture compartment than anything found in nature. And it was staring down on her, deeply, intensely, inescapably.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:36 pm

With each step that boy took forward, Natsume took an unconscious one backwards, making extra sure to keep a certain distance between him – or just about anyone at this point, really – and herself. Still bearing the most stiff of expressions, it truly looked as though she had a certain kind of emergency that was about to head into critical levels.

Eventually, he stopped, and with a gulp she feared the worst for her life; ironic, for a magician to fear for her life in face of a...

Law enforcement student. Barely older than her.

«Is there anything off with my eyes? You see I was just released from the hospital, but they still feel a tad off. Do you think I should let them check me again?»

All sense of tension immediately left her body, and with an escaping nervous laugh she scratched the back of her head before answering his question.

“T-They look a bit red. I think you should... uh... yes, rest a little bit more especially if you were hospitalised just a few hours ago.”

It was time to escape, lest the next thing she would say would lead her to being recognised as the salt offender. “A-Anyway, I have to go now, but really, thank you for your help!” She quickly muttered with a much more natural smile this time around, and proceeded to depart from the arcade steadily growing a certain population within it with a wave destined towards the stern Judgement officer.

This had marked the end of the magician infiltration matter.

She knew better than to expect it to be the last.

But for now, the girl, considerably reassured on the fact that Academy City does have people willing to protect it rather than needlessly head to war, had herself to look out for.

If she did that, then eventually she would gain the right and opportunity to not have to hide from that girl and her surprisingly wide surroundings anymore.

A small smile appeared on her face at the possibility, as she disappeared into the crowd whilst playing around with a strand of hair.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:06 pm

At the intersection of two bustling roads, 9:59 A.M.

A girl was toying with a strand of her hair, as a small smile appeared on her face, having the crowds of the lively city pass by her.

Her hair was pink, dyed, not naturally. She wore a navy skirt, white short sleeved blouse with red tie and pink Mary Janes instead of loafers, the usual uniform of Kirigaoka Girl’s Academy, another prestigious school. Her hair cut to a bob, petite physique and doll like face could have only been described as «kawaii», a word that very well fit the entire direction the overall package she was. Much like the girls found in Harajuku she would stand there among the otherwise ordinary masses. Being the only one standing unmoving, holding onto a small flower-heart-print handbag, she stuck out like a sore thumb.

And yet, nobody seemed to pay her any more attention than the advertisement boards throning on the rooftops in the surroundings.

A smile, a soft one, a malicious one, a cute one. It had many facets in that instant it rested on her face. It was a simple thing, yet an impossible to read or understand one.

Her eyes were swaying across the masses, bypassing the many faces, until finally they found who they were looking for. As they did her smile transcended into a grin.

«Fou~nd You~! Perfectly timely, as expected ☆»

Immediately after she’d just take the few steps it took, bypassing all the students walking left and right, back and forth, straight towards the target she had been waiting for all along.

And as she did, she didn’t hesitate to invoke her most charming of smiles.

«Good morning ☆ It’s about time we met ☆ Hujisaka ☆ Natsumi ☆ -san! ☆☆☆»

10:00 A.M.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:42 pm

It was hot.

Way too hot.

Especially in this crowd of hurried people, no matter how light her bare minimum of a uniform's shirt and skirt were.

So much that, for a minute, she uncharacteristically felt like she should've just stayed in the hospital.

However, matter of pride aside, Natsumi wasn't one to openly be captured (again) by turning herself in just to lie in a bit of air conditioning, especially as someone who was excruciatingly familiar with and used to hot temperatures, so it was a matter of grinning and bearing with it.

The reason she was walking around without having given herself any time to rest after the mess that had occurred? Matters of utmost urgencies had needed to be taken care of, and slightly more personal ones needed to be gotten out of the way. She had achieved half of the objectives she'd set herself before officially crashing somewhere, but it was now time for the biggest task of her day yet.

She was waiting at an intersection.

Waiting for a certain amount of unpleasantness to arrive.

And it did, in the form of a highly peculiar individual she made no conscious effort to even get near to. All she did was stand still and only move her eyes to follow the pink-haired girl.

«Fou~nd You~! Perfectly timely, as expected ☆ Good morning ☆ It’s about time we met ☆ Hujisaka ☆ Natsumi ☆ -san! ☆☆☆ »

Though she had never met this person before, she could very well tell she was the one being called out so “sweetly” to; and anyone who'd call out to her without being any particularly familiar was most likely job-related.

“I don't have a choice, do I? Since this kind of shit is like trying to avoid an appointment to the dentist: you're gonna regret it sooner or later if you don't show up on time.” Her eyes had grown dull, lacking all light as she looked at the girl acting much more childishly than her uniform and age would ever make one think. Again motionless, she merely moved her eyes around to observe the scenery surrounding them.

“Have the rules changed? Are we actually talking in public to gather less attention instead of hiding around in alleys like kids taking food from the fridge without permission?” She raised a perplexed eyebrow at the place she had been summoned in, her biting responses never leaving her whoever the recipient might've been.
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:14 am

The Harajuku girl only chuckled at Natsumi’s remark. She seemed amused by the off-hand comment, not getting absorbed by the seriousness of the conversation’s background. However not expanding any further on it, was enough to confirm the nature of the situation.

«It’s just a chit-chat between two teenage girls ☆ An everyday normal thing enveloped by absolute secrecy. No sane person would listen in to that, would they? Girl-talk is a holy area, don’t you know~? ☆»

It was a childish reason, but likely the actual one for her choice. Or was there more to it? That pink haired girl wouldn’t allow anyone to pry into her true intentions as she sparkled from the cuteness she was embodying all over. She was lively, radiant, extraordinary and yet it could very well have been a means of overshadowing the true extent of her darkness.

«Really now. I expected you to be more on guard than this. Especially with all those things you and your cute little friends have done the last night. And yet here you are passing through the city out in the open without any care in the world, not even bothering to think about consequences and all that stufffff ☆»

She spoke in faked pity. It was much like she was having a joyous conversation with a friend, exaggerating a little here and there, but not really on the serious side of things. It was as if none of the ongoings were in any way serious to her, or of interest. Something that was key to understanding what she was trying to express. Especially as she’d brush it off the table the next instance.

«Gladly all that gloomy boring stuff doesn’t concern me ☆ Accelerator ☆ the Sisters ☆ Level 6 Shift ☆ who cares for that? It’s just another one of the city’s sinking ships, a failure among many others. Well, it served us well in setting some things up and I recall he was rather excited hearing the news, so it might be better than I imagine it to be, from an entertainment perspective. Buuuu~t, buuuuu~t, no this isn’t why we’re meeting here, like I said ☆»

The girl, even though she was trying to wash away the topic, had somehow wandered astray in her own monologue. However when she returned back to the point she was trying to make her entire airhead demeanour was gone, replaced by the sharpness of an ice-cold blade.

«We’re gathering assets for a new team. You’re up on our list and for all I care you might actually owe us already either way. You don’t know what for and you shouldn’t to begin with. Let’s just say cleaning away stains is a thing we’re perfectly goo~d at. That’s it. So what do you say? In or in? I mean, the answer is obvious, but at least it sounding like you having a choice has a nicer ring to it, doesn’t it?»
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:17 pm

Again with a perplexed look, Natsumi was quite annoyed by the way this girl acted like she had just entered this field of business.

“You talk like there's actually anywhere to hide in this city. There's no use in thinking about things too hard: if last night's consequences had declared my death sentence, I'd have died from “mysterious complications” while I was still hospitalised and wouldn't be walking around in the first place.” Such twisted logic was the way things worked once you started being aware of the city's ugly side; if you could walk freely around then it was solely because you were still allowed to and the fact that Natsumi hadn't died so far hinted at her that the Accelerator matter hadn't been as important to the higher-ups than what it originally sounded like. 

“I've to wonder what happened to that Gorilla woman, though...” She muttered with a smirk.

Which, in turn, begged her to wonder what that made of the man who'd actually defeated that supposedly nonsensical rule-breaking teenage boy.

But that was a matter for another time.

And experience told her it was best never to ask about anything concerning anyone but herself anyway.

After a few moments of silence, Natsumi merely turned away from the girl, only giving her a long side-glance as she gave her answer to the offer in the form of a nod.

“Am I not even allowed to know when this stain removal session is supposed to occur? As far as I know, the reasoning behind any kind of cleaning was always “the sooner the better before it gets too stubborn”, isn't it?”
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Hujisaka Natsumi
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Re: A Certain Experiment's End (Arc 3 Epilogue)

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