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Holding under his arm the tube containing his graduation certificate, Ren looked up at the school building he spent six years in.
It's spring and that means he became a junior high school student. Although one might say the new school is close to the old one, it doesn't really feel like a new beginning.
In the school yard the sakura trees are early blooming, pleasing the eyes of the ceremony attendants. Ren too, looked at the sakura trees and harbored his already habitual thoughts.
I wanted to show this to Ayumi-chan.
Two months already passed since that incident. His scars mended for the most part and those that didn't were replaced with something else - Today also, the world goes on like nothing happened.
The Tsuwabuki family was restored. Although their residence was completely destroyed, they had few casualties, and the only people that died were Iwao and Kureha so it was the natural conclusion.
By the way, it seemed Yuuji completely recovered. He became the adviser of Mayumi - the new Head and he was working diligently.
But for Ren that didn't matter.
According to their report Mt. Fuji didn't completely Die. Because of Zenon's annihilation his spirit became almost exhausted. By taking in the surrounding >, it seemed he was slowly recovering. It seems that it will need approximately five hundred years to store enough power to erupt.
But for Ren that didn't matter.
And for the fairy egg that was inside Mayumi, it seems Tiana recovered it without problems while Ren was crying. Later it seems Kazuma received his remuneration without fail.
But for Ren that didn't matter.
Even now, Ren can't accept Ayumi's death. Day after day - no, through out the day, he's only thinking such thoughts.
If he could have done it better, Ayumi wouldn't have died at that place. And, even for a month, they would have passed their days in happiness.
No, maybe they would have managed to heal her body and she would smile next to him even now.
Only those kind of thoughts popped out in his head.
I wanted to see something pretty.
The girl's too modest wish didn't go away, burning inside Ren.
"More.....I wanted to show you so many things. The world is so beautiful and yet......."
And yet she's not here. Nowhere in this world.
"I can't be happy by myself........"
Whenever he saw a beautiful scene, he thought so. And he wished - if she were next to him -
"I want to meet you - "
He can't forget. No, it's not like he had the intention to forget. Together with the sense of helplessness from not being able to protect, the thought will burden him for his entire life.
But, it didn't stop. Accepting Ayumi's death as reality, before settling this inside himself he can't move forward.
At the very least that word, her whisper on the verge of death, if he could only hear it -
What did you say to me?
When he told her his feelings, Ayumi said something back. The was the biggest regret.
If he were to say it out loud, Kazuma would make fun of him. Ayano would hit him. They would complain unanimously.
"Isn't it obvious, such a thing!?"
Rationally, Ren also understood. It doesn't seem likely she would reply just to turn him down.
But he didn't hear the words. Ayumi replied to his confession. If he could hear it once he could put behind his first love. Without prolonging those feelings, he will be able to look for tomorrow.
Looking up at the sky as if she was there somewhere, Ren whispered.
"I love you."
How many times did he say those words to the sky since that day? Obviously, there was no response. But still Ren prayed to hear her reply that day.
"I love Ren too."
Seeming to hear something that was impossible, Ren looked up at the sky.
Naturally, there's nothing there. No - for a second, something close showed on his field of vision.
He had the feeling he saw the girl's figure with wings......
Thinking hard about it his mind was maybe driven to a pretty bad place.
But, he doesn't care, even if it's an illusion. Hearing Ayumi's voice after two months, he felt his depressed consciousness lifting.
This sort of auditory hallucination I want to hear more...
He left the school gate with light steps. Outside, Kazuma and Ayano were waiting.
Raising his hand and calling their name, both of them slightly opened their eyes wide in surprise.
"I'm sorry for making you wait."
Asking while slightly tilling his head, Ayano waived her hand in confusion.
"Ah, it's nothing.......Congratulation on your graduation. - By the way, did something good happen?"
"No, not really."
With an obvious look of incomplete understanding, Ayano stopped any further investigation.
Ren asked Kazuma.
"Am I weird?"
"Instead of weird, it's more like your expression drastically improved."
After thinking on it for a while, Ren suddenly changed the topic.
"By the way, I heard about the fairy egg that was inside Ayumi but are fairies produced from eggs?"
"As if I knew the reproduction method for such random creatures. I wouldn't be surprised if they grew from tree crotches"
Immediately replying point-blank, Kazuma started a more serious explanation.
"Well Tiana said the egg was a metaphor. The lump of life force, un-specialized, whose course of action has yet to be determined - that was the metaphor. I don't know their concrete method of reproduction. Ah, come to think of it...", Kazuma said, as if taking the opportunity.
"A legend from somewhere around Britain said that children that died before they were baptized turn to pixies."
"Hmm, that's interesting.", Ren replied as naturally as possible.
children that died before they were baptized - that was an expression resulted from the Christianity practiced in Britain but it would have been more natural to say souls of children that after death don't have a caretaker.
Uninfluenced by God or Buddha so they were children that didn't go to either Heaven or Hell. That means that the soul with no place to go becomes a pixie.
Japanese people forget about their religion except for the memorial service - but all of them are attached to a religion. Without it, they would have no place to go.
The children that satisfied the condition to become a pixie - they are almost non-existent in this country. Except for orphans or artificially made clones.
And then, inside Ayumi the egg that was supposed to give birth to the next Patriarch was buried. From inside there, did a new conscience sprout?
He knows. This is just a prank.
Blurry in his field of vision, just one shadow - that ambiguous thing on which his entire theory was founded is meaningless.
But he's still glad. There is just a slight possibility. There is hope.
Using that he can live.
"........hey, are you really OK?"
Worriedly looking at Ren that started smiling all of a sudden, Ayano asked.
"I'm fine. Let's go. Today i want you to treat me a lot~"
The celebration of graduation, and the celebration of entering another school, an event for the sake of going further he had the feeling that now he can enjoy all that.
In this world where Ayumi died, he will continue to live. But, he will never forget.
About the girl that became his first love. It was only for a short while but she lived eagerly and proudly.
Burdened with everything, she accepted it - and while writhing she lived.
"That's enough, right Ayumi-chan?"
The day he graduated from primary school, Ren knew his first love was over.
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