rayla_ch3

Binary Star Translation – Chapter 3 Rayla (Part 1 of 2)

26 May 2017 , In: Otome Game, Translation , With: No Comments
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CHAPTER 3 RAYLA

[phone ringing]

???: “Strange things do happen.”

???: “Uh? Wh-what’s this all of a sudden? I don’t know what you’re trying to say if you just start talking like that, Master.”

???: “Hahaha, my bad, my bad. I discovered something so shocking I just lost my mind a little.”

???: “After all, I found out the man you supposedly killed is alive; there’s no way I wouldn’t be shocked by that, right?”

???: “!”

???: “Rayla Konomi is alive and not only that, it seems he’s an Akatsuki Angel…”

???: “Th-there’s no way that can be. I’m certain because I killed him myself.”

???: “So that means you failed to take him out.”

???: “But… Oh, what about the possibility it’s just someone with the same first and last name!?”

???: “Either way, we’ll need to kill him if we confirm it is actually him. Right? It’s our rule that traitors get killed.”

???: “!”

???: “I just thought I should let you know, just in case. Because the man you supposedly killed back then is still alive.”

???: “I’ll bump him off tomorrow. That’s fine, right?”

???: “No!”

???: “…”

???: “Ah… Um, if he really is alive then it would be my fault so… I’d like redeem myself on my own!”

???: “I won’t fail this time, so let me do it. Okay?”

???: “…Fine. Make sure you kill him tomorrow.”

???: “Ah, w-wait! We’ve got to make sure it’s actually him before we kill him… So please let me confirm that first.”

???: “Fine. Go say hello. …And remind him of his time with ‘na’ while you’re there.”

[knocking]

???: “Ah- it looks like someone’s here so I’m hanging up. Later!”

???: “Oh, I forgot! I’m opening it now!”

???: “Oh, it’s you… Hah.”

???: “You don’t look so good. Is something wrong?”

???: “…He found out that Rayla’s alive.”

???: “!”

???: “Agh… I don’t know what I should do…”

???: “Do you mind if I ask how he found out?”

???: “Right… It looks like Rayla finally became an Angel, here in Akatsuki ironically enough.”

???: “…”

???: “Maybe we were destined to be reunited. Even though he can’t have anything to do with me now…”

???: “You mean, prepared to kill him?”

???: “Think it over yourself. It isn’t something I can tell you.”

???: “ Hah… I mean, I know that. But there is one thing that’s clear to me…”

???: “…No matter what, I’ll protect Rayla. Even if that means hurting him—”

The following day.

We were doing research work as our first duty to validate the authenticity of some information given to us by the Intelligence Department.

For that reason, all of us have been sitting at our desks doing research since this morning.

FUU: “Yun, no matter what the job is, you’ll fail as an Angel if you don’t complete it. Let’s do our best.”

YUN: “Jeez, saying it’d be a failure is an over exaggeration~ And isn’t this kind of thing mostly Tchica’s job anyway?”

TCHICAI: “Yun-Yun. You learned at school that a Soldier’s job isn’t just direct contact missions, didn’t you? …Ah, this candy was restocked~ ♪”

YUN: “Hey hey, Tchica! What was that last thing you said!?”

FUU: (I’m curious about what Tchicai just said too… Don’t tell me he’s doing internet shopping while working…?)

MICT: “…Being on the same team as these people is the worst…”

RAYLA: “I have no choice but to throw this mouse to shut them up.”

FUU: “Tchicai, do your personal shopping during break time! Yun, do your work seriously!”

Yun sighed and finally faced his monitor but—

TCHICAI: “Hmm. But but, I already finished my part~”

FUU: “Huh? …Already?”

I noticed it once he said that.

While most of us had more than half of our documents in our unprocessed inbox, Tchicai’s was completely empty.

YUN: “Just what you’d expect from an expert! Okay, help me out.”

TCHICAI: “Hmm, what should I do? I’d be happy to help if it was for Fuu though~ ★”

FUU: “No, I’ll do my own portion by myself.”

YUN: “Well then, you should help me out after all!”

TCHICAI: “Hmm… I’ve lost to the strength of Yun’s persistence. So I’ll help you. ★”

RAYLA: “It’s not great. Yun, Do your own work yourself. You’re the slowest one.”

YUN: “What, why? We’re a team so shouldn’t we be supporting each other?”

RAYLA: “The ‘support’ you’re talking about is just you slacking off isn’t it? Did you really think I didn’t notice you’ve been looking at porn sites for a while now?”

MICT: “…I thought you were all perverted, but to even be doing this during work hours… It’s conduct worthy of death.”

YUN: “Wh-no-this is, this is just!”

RAYLA: “It’s seriously unbelievable that you would leave your work to other people talking about ‘team’ this and ‘support’ that.”

YUN: “D-don’t look at me so coldly, Fuu! This is just studying… Right, I’m studying up on health and physical education…!”

While we were fussing over that, it ended up being lunchtime when we somehow finished up our desk work.

Once we finished our lunch and break time, Nana called us into the meeting room and briefed us on the contents of our afternoon work.

Yun and Tchicai were to do net patrolling to see if there were any sales of Star going on online.

Nana and Mict were to change into civilian clothes and meet up with Jiro.

And then Rayla and I—

NACHI: “All right, I’ll be the ‘target’.”

These were the details of the training:

We’re using the Angel Tower as a substitute for a city along with the assumption that the ‘target’ has gotten away. The dealer, played by Nachi, is on the run.

Additionally, Rayla and I were to cooperate in securing the target.

If we did not act quickly, there was the possibility he could disappear to a far off city.

That was the same as our real missions.

NACHI: “Excluding everyone’s rooms, it’s okay if I use any of the other rooms, right?”

FUU: “Yes. Um, there is one thing I’m curious about.”

NACHI: “What’s that?”

FUU: “There’s the possibility the target could attack us in a real situation. You’re not carrying a weapon, are you?”

NACHI: “No worries in that case! I’ve got these!”

Nachi pulled two guns out from his pocket.

NACHI: “They’re model guns! It doesn’t shoot real bullets; they’re bb pellets!”

RAYLA: “Can you even handle that? Can you aim at your target properly?”

NACHI: “What are you saying, Rayla? I’ve trained with these since I was a child so I’m an expert!”

RAYLA: “Pft. Child’s play, huh?”

NACHI: “Ah-ah-ah! You were just making fun of me! Dammit~ I’ll make you understand just how skilled I am!”

NACHI: “Roger! …I’ll come at you for real.”

FUU: (? I feel like Nachi looked like a completely different person for a moment there…)

RAYLA: “Bring it. We’ll be going on the offensive toward you so be ready, all right?”

NACHI: “What!? You’re not just going to capture me!?”

RAYLA: “Relax. You’ll just go a little numb.”

NACHI: “No-no-no-no! Going numb is plenty frightening!?”

RAYLA: “It’s not like you’re going to die so it’s fine, right?”

FUU: “Nachi’s uneasiness is quite reasonable. May I ask what sort of needle you’ll be using?”

RAYLA: “Mm. I’m using needles with anesthetic coated tips. And you’ll… have it pretty hard, huh.”

FUU: “Indeed. Seeing that this is a simulation, I can’t actually use my kunai. It’s not as if I could injure Nachi.”

RAYLA: “Well then, if you’re at a spot you’re certain you can capture the target and have your kunai at the ready, we’ll count that as a success. Sound good?”

FUU: “Right, let’s do that.”

NACHI: “Wh-no-wait!? Don’t just consent to it by yourselves please!”

FUU: “Relax, Nachi. Rayla’s needles are like he just said; they aren’t capable of seriously wounding or killing.”

RAYLA: “Well then, let’s get started. Nachi, give us a sign on the Tefu Tefu once you’re done running.”

NACHI: “Urk… You’re too forceful-!! I’m going tell on you to Nana after this! You jerk! Jerk!”

Nachi left the training room while spouting some harsh words.

FUU: “…Is he going to be okay?”

RAYLA: “Nachi said he was skilled but does playing around when you’re a kid really count?”

FUU: “No, that’s not really what I was talking about…”

FUU: “In any case, we don’t have much time so let’s decide on our strategy.”

RAYLA: “True. Still, since I’m the only one who can use their weapon, I have no choice but to act assertively.”

FUU: “Right. Since we decided on our plan yesterday, I’d like to hurry up and try it out.”

RAYLA: “I’ll say this: your kunai are just decorations to me in a simulation or a real situation.”

FUU: “What?”

RAYLA: “I’m saying they’re nothing but a means for threatening.”

‘I won’t kill any target.’

‘Operate with capturing the target as a priority.’

Those were Rayla’s objectives.

RAYLA: “Well, you can’t use them perfectly today. It’s fine as long as you remember that during the real thing.”

FUU: “And what about wounding them?”

RAYLA: “That is one way of threatening. It’s fine as long as it’s not a fatal wound.”

FUU: “If there are any ironclad rules you’re thinking of, would you mind telling me in advance?”

RAYLA: “There’s no need for that though? You should just obey what I tell you.”

FUU: “What-!? That’s oppressive!”

RAYLA: “I don’t expect you to understand. No matter what you think, I’ll have you obey me.”

FUU: “—!”

FUU: (I have no idea what to say to him now that it’s come to this conversation.)

While part of me wanted to support Rayla’s objective, there was also part of me that thought it would be difficult to do so.

Then, as if it was trying to interrupt our conversation, our Tefu Tefus informed us that Nachi was contacting us.

Mission start.

Even though this is just a simulation, it’s no time to be letting my guard down.

What’s important is our speed and reliability up to capturing the target.

I braced myself and nodded toward Rayla.

FUU: “I’m placing importance on our reliability this time. First, let’s start searching the basement and first floor.”

FUU: “In this scenario we’ve obtained the structure of ‘this town’ from Tchicai.”

FUU: “So there shouldn’t be any problem if we go solo for a short while.”

FUU: “In exchange for that, we must contact each other promptly if anything goes wrong.”

RAYLA: “So you mean one of us goes to the basement and one of us goes to the first floor.”

FUU: “I’ll head to the basement so Rayla, go to the first floor please.”

RAYLA: “Roger.”

When Rayla released the pin holding his sleeve up, I could see a bracelet with his poisoned needles stored inside.

RAYLA: “Let’s go.”

FUU: “Okay.”

We got on the elevator and headed toward the lower floors.

FUU: “Wait—! I forgot. Let’s set our Tefu Tefus to be on only between us.”

FUU: “Our rendezvous location will be in front of the elevator on the first floor. Our search time is one minute. Be mindful of being quick. That’s all.”

Rayla silently nodded and disappeared further down the hall without a sound.

Being able to make the sound of your footsteps disappear completely was a sign that he habitually trained for it.

FUU: (I need to do my best to not to be any less than that.)

I pressed the close button and headed toward the basement.

I slid my body into the recreation room as the elevator opened.

It was my steadfast rule to leave the lights off to ensure the target wouldn’t notice me.

Acting recklessly only gives your opponent an opportunity against you.

I gazed into the darkness and didn’t so much as move a muscle until my eyes adjusted to it.

Once my eyes were finally adjusted, I could make out the interior of the recreation room.

The silhouette of the billiard table, the back of the projection screen, and the edges of the planetarium and sofa—

There were no human figures in any of the places where they could hide.

FUU: (…There are no indications here so it seems he isn’t in here.)

I quickly left the room and went into the elevator once again.

When I got back to the first floor, Rayla was waiting there.

RAYLA: “So yours was a miss too?”

FUU: “Yes. Let’s go to the second floor next. There’s only the kitchen because personal rooms are off limits.”

FUU: “Still, let’s go in together.”

Rayla nodded. The two of us got into the elevator and went toward the second floor.

FUU: “There’s a variety of cutlery in the kitchen. It’s the type of place with an abundance of items that can be used as weapons.”

FUU: “While we know that Nachi has guns, there’s the possibility he could use that presumption against us and stab at us with a knife.”

FUU: “Please try to be especially careful.”

FUU: “…I’ll go first. Please follow me.”

I took up the lead and headed to the kitchen while trying to keep my footsteps silent.

I could hear a slight sound, but I didn’t know what it was.

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “…”

After advancing along the wall a bit, I stopped.

Suddenly from nowhere, I could hear a slow sound.

FUU: (So this was the actual cause for that noise.)

It’s possible we could fail to hear small sounds because of this; perhaps that was the target’s intention.

That is to say, there was a strong possibility he was hiding in there.

FUU: (There’s also the possibility this is a trap so I need to move carefully…)

In order to investigate the sink in the middle of the room, I sent a signal to Rayla using just my eyes.

I kept a watchful eye looking backward, but right as I went to go around the kitchen counter—

[gunshot]

RAYLA: “…!”

I heard a gunshot from further inside. I crouched and hid myself behind the sink.

NACHI: “Hah, so the Angels make their appearance… I was waiting for you.”

It seemed as though Nachi was hiding behind the cupboards.

NACHI: “Hah! Go ahead and catch me if you can!”

FUU: “Rayla, please focus.”

NACHI: “What are you you mumblin’ about, huh!? If you’re not gonna come here then I’ll go to you!”

[gunshots]

The bullets Nachi shot hit above or to the side of the sink and fell to the floor.

Rayla quietly took a breath and got his weapon in hand.

Then in a momentary gap when the firing stopped, Rayla put out just his arm and released needles in Nachi’s direction—

NACHI: “Agh— …My hand, my hand-!”

Upon hearing his voice, I prepped my kunai and quickly rushed out.

FUU: “!?”

NACHI: “You fell for it, huh?”

His hands that we supposed to have been struck by the needles were firmly holding the gun.

FUU: (! To think I was fooled by Nachi’s lie-!)

NACHI: “Prepare yourself!”

Right as Nachi’s finger was about to pull the trigger, I quickly threw my kunai.

NACHI: “Woah!?”

It pierced through his hat and into the wall; a surprised Nachi fell to the floor as if the ceiling had blown him down.

I kicked the gun out of the Nachi’s hand and turned him around as if I was making a semi-circle.

I pressed Nachi’s body, which had been up against the wall, down to the floor, twisted his hands behind his back and subdued him.

NACHI: “Wah-ow-ow-ow-ow! I surrender! I surrender!!”

I released Nachi and stood up.

I removed the kunai that was stuck into the wall and gave Nachi back his hat.

Mission clear.

RAYLA: “Heh, not bad.”

NACHI: “Fuu, did you know that I was lying?”

FUU: “It was a failure on my part for responding to that and rushing out in front of the target. I really should have confirmed it first.”

I turned to Rayla and deeply bowed my head.

FUU: “It was conduct unbecoming of someone that’s giving instructions. I’m sorry.”

RAYLA: “Well, that is true. But shouldn’t your quick wittedness be praised?”

RAYLA: “And it’s my fault for being off target. If I hadn’t done that you wouldn’t have had that failure.”

FUU: “You were aiming at his arm, right?”

RAYLA: “Right. I thought I could make him drop his weapon.”

In that case, it really was an error in my judgement.

If he was forced to drop his weapon, the gun would have made a noise when it fell to the ground.

I hadn’t even thought that far and didn’t coordinate with Rayla.

NACHI: “Sorry to both of you but I’m glad it was off! Hah… That really saved me some trouble.”

RAYLA: “You’re overreacting. I diluted the poison pretty well so you would have only been unable to hold things for about an hour.”

NACHI: “Th-that’s no joke!”

Rayla said it was his own fault, but it was all my own responsibility.

It wouldn’t be strange at all to get killed in real combat by taking action without confirming that status of the target.

FUU: (For me to make such an error in judging his condition when I’m taking a leading role… Pathetic.)

NACHI: “Anyway, this ends the simulation, right? Is it all right if I get back to my work?”

FUU: “Oh, yes! Thank you so much.”

Nachi exited the kitchen, leaving the two of us alone.

FUU: “…”

FUU: “…

RAYLA: “In any case, we safely captured the target so who cares?”

‘Safely captured the target’

I’m sure what Rayla means when he says that is that we didn’t kill the target.

FUU: (I wonder if I would have acted the same way if this was real combat.)

Would I have maybe gotten flustered and hit the target?

FUU: (I need to train more after all…)

As I decided that in my mind, I recalled one more thing I was hung up on.

FUU: “Rayla, can we go to the meeting room?”

FUU: “We need to get to know each other better for us to coordinate together smoothly. Please talk with me.”

We sat in the meeting room chairs and faced each other.

FUU: “Would you mind telling about your weapon in detail please?”

RAYLA: “You’re overreacting. I diluted the poison pretty well so you would have only been unable to hold things for about an hour.”

It was the weapon of the person I was paired up with, and yet I had never heard that it has such a function.

If coordination is important, that was something that I definitely should have known about.

FUU: “How many types of poisons do you coat your needles with?”

RAYLA: “Other than the anesthetic, there’s poison that knocks people unconscious and one that causes pain.”

RAYLA: “The first two gradually increase in strength after they’ve been stabbed.”

FUU: “For what length?”

RAYLA: “As far as the pain one goes, it gives an intense pain when it pierces through. However, it’s less effective compared with the first two.”

FUU: “Tell me about the poison concentration you’d use for a real situation. Assuming that to be 100%, what would you place today’s concentration at?”

RAYLA: “20%… I suppose.”

FUU: “I see… Um, while I’m aware that your weapon isn’t meant for killing, could it cause death at 100%…?”

RAYLA: “What? Why are you asking that? Do you want me to kill people that badly?”

FUU: “N-no, it’s not that. I just wanted to know it’s abilities so that we can coordinate.”

RAYLA: “…They won’t die even at 100%. My weapon is incapable of killing people. Remember that.”

FUU: “Right…”

I recalled our conversation from last night.

While Rayla had said that he ‘wouldn’t kill anyone, no matter what kind of person they were’, it seems that he deems ‘killing itself’ to be unacceptable.

Although I feel the same way, there are plenty of things that won’t go my way considering I belong to the institution.

If he isn’t able to get everyone to obey him—

If he fails to convince them, and they tell him he must kill—

I spent my time in bed yesterday thinking about what Rayla would do then.

FUU: “Let me ask one more thing.”

FUU: “Your policy of not killing is very ideal. I mean, I don’t want to kill anyone myself if possible…”

FUU: “If you’re in a position where you have to and the others don’t obey you like you said they would…”

FUU: “Will you still persist with your own objective? Even if you had to go against what everyone said and put your position as an Angel in danger?”

RAYLA: “…”

The silence stretched on for a moment.

Rayla looked at his own hands as if he was deliberating something.

Finally, he lightly brushed away his bangs and spoke shortly.

RAYLA: “Star Code, Article 2: Those who sell Star, dealers, will be taken into custody to the Netherworld or dispatched.”

RAYLA: “We have our options laid out for us. That’s why I simply chose right from the beginning – that I won’t kill no matter what type of person they are.”

RAYLA: “It isn’t written anywhere that we absolutely must obey the orders given by our leader so I wouldn’t be violating the Star Code.”

FUU: “That is true but…”

RAYLA: “And I’m certain I told you. My weapon doesn’t have the capacity to kill so I’m incapable of killing.”

FUU: “So did you choose that weapon because—?”

RAYLA: “I choose back when I was still a student at Angel School. That I wouldn’t kill.”

FUU: “…I’ll change my question then. So suppose that the time comes when you yourself are in danger; are you prepared to carry out your duties?”

I purposely chose to use ‘carry out your duties’ instead of killing.

I felt that would get my point across to Rayla sufficiently.

That there are things you must do or they will be done to you.

If even then he still would choose not to kill, it’s a possibility it could happen.

Just imagining it was frightening.

RAYLA: “No matter the situation, my intentions won’t change. I won’t dispatch a target. Never.”

RAYLA: “Even though I wouldn’t be violating the Star Code, if I’m told that what I’m doing is mutiny and I’m forced to quit, I’m fine with it.”

FUU: “No way…”

RAYLA: “There’s no meaning to stay an Angel if I have to bend my own intentions… Well, not that I can atone for it.”

FUU: (Atone…?)

As much Star as possible—

In order to atone for my parents’ crime, I want to retrieve as much Star as possible—

My mind flashed back to that scene from when I was a child.

Back to that incident that led to me deciding to become an Angel.

As I was thinking to myself, Rayla stood from his chair as if that was it the end of our conversation.

RAYLA: “…Nothing really. It has nothing to do with you.”

He passed by me and walked a bit toward the door before turning back.

RAYLA: “I haven’t resigned myself to killing ever since I had my eyes set on being an Angel. So I have no intentions of bending that no matter what you say to me.”

I didn’t have a response to give him so I just silently watched his back as he left.

FUU: (I wonder why he’s so obstinate. I’m just… worried about him.)

What is going on behind Rayla’s intentions? And just what sort of experience is he hiding?

And the meaning behind ‘atone’…

I’m sure that Rayla’s strong intentions and the meaning behind that ‘atonement’ are deeply connected.

However, I have no idea how they’re connected.

FUU: (What’s Rayla ‘atoning’ for…?)

Even though the answer wouldn’t come to me just by thinking it over by myself, I ended up staying like that, thinking it over in that empty room.

It turned into evening, and we once again all gathered in the meeting room to report our accomplishments.

Because Nachi had participated in the exercise with us today, he was seated with us.

Rayla, who came in after me, sat down in the empty seat next to me, but his attitude seemed somehow cold.

FUU: (I guess it wouldn’t be good to ask him about that again… the meaning for him atoning.)

I know he won’t talk about it without resistance, but I really do want to ask him.

While I was worrying over that, Nana had asked each pair for their report. Last up was Rayla and I…

FUU: “We conducted a direct contact mission exercise with Nachi’s support.”

IDZUKI: “So how did it go?”

RAYLA: “Nothing much. Normal.”

NACHI: “’Normal’… You can’t just end it like that! You need to report properly.”

RAYLA: “…”

NACHI: “D-don’t glare at me!”

Rayla seemed to be in a considerably bad mood.

FUU: (This is probably my fault.)

He might be feeling displeased after I asked about those things.

YUN: “It’s like Nachi said. You can’t end it with just ‘normal’ when you’re paired with such a cutie!”

YUN: “Wait— Did something happen that you can’t tell us about!? …I see, that’s it, huh!?”

RAYLA: “The porn-site viewing R-18 should shut up.”

MICT: “How was it for you, Fuu?”

FUU: “I…”

? DIALOGUE CHOICE

⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎


⯌⯎⯌⯎⯌⯎

“We coordinated well.”


FUU
: “I think we coordinated well.”

FUU: “I gave instructions and Rayla reliably completed them.”

They weren’t the words that conveyed how I truly felt.

In actuality, I made a mistake and it ended with me being unconvinced of the outcome.

But I didn’t want to make Rayla even more displeased by speaking the truth.

RAYLA: “…”

Rayla was thinking about something as he stared silently at the orientation for tomorrow.

NACHI: “It’s just like Fuu said! I was really planning to go all out but she captured me as soon as they found me…”

NACHI: “I was really frightened when she pinned me down.”

YUN: “Err, wait. She pinned you down? Like in what way?”

NACHI: “In what way, I mean, she wrapped her arms around me from behind…”

YUN: “Sh-she wrapped her arms around you!? Then what!? What’d she do to what then!?”

MICT: “Yun, this is a meeting place. Do you want your mouth closed for you?”

NACHI: “You can go ahead and close it already. Do it in a way he can’t say lewd things for eternity.”

YUN: “For eternity is cruel! At least make it just for now!”

While everyone was excited over talking about something completely off topic, Rayla approached me.

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “Well, I don’t like annoyances so I stayed quiet, too. So I guess we’re in the same boat.”

FUU: (I probably should have said the truth.)

Hiding the truth won’t let us progress at all.

If I just try to guess at my partner Rayla’s expressions and avoid conflict, we won’t be able to coordinate at all.

If I choose to pass him by instead of collide with him, we won’t be able to get to know each other.

FUU: “Um, Rayla.”

IDZUKI: “Hah… You’re finally behaving. The report meeting will… Ah, that was it. Well then, let’s disband.”

I saw Rayla’s back mixed in with everyone as they got up from their seats and headed toward the door.

I hurriedly followed after him.

[dialogue branch ends – continue to rejoined dialogue]

“I messed up.” (+♥ RAYLA)


FUU
: “We were able to capture Nachi. However, I made a mistake.”

I just decided to speak about it upfront.

FUU: “I made a careless judgment and ran out in front of the target.”

RAYLA: “But you demonstrated your quick-wittedness and in the end, we were able to capture him.”

FUU: “But I need to act more carefully during real combat.”

RAYLA: “I couldn’t stop you at all when you jumped out. So that would make it my mistake too.”

FUU: “I don’t think you could have stopped me under those circumstances.”

RAYLA: “I should have if I had thought to do it.”

FUU: “But still, this was my error in judgment.”

RAYLA: “It was my mistake in the first place for missing with my needles. Why are you only blaming yourself?”

FUU: “I’m doing some introspection. At least let me reflect on it.”

RAYLA: “If you’re going to do it alone, then no. Why are you trying to take it all on by yourself? We’re a pair so shouldn’t I be reflecting on it too?”

FUU: “…!”

I was surprised at Rayla’s statement.

After examining Rayla’s facial expression, I didn’t want to displease him any further and decided to take everything on myself.

I felt that we could work this out peacefully if I was introspective.

But that was no good. Because we’re a pair after all.

FUU: “…I’m sorry for getting worked up. Um… If it’s all right with you, would you like to reflect on it together?”

FUU: “…I need you, Rayla.”

RAYLA: “…!”

RAYLA: “…Mm.”

TCHICAI: “Getting along is a lovely thing~♪ Kyahaha★”

YUN: “Hah! Don’t get carried away, Rayla!”

NACHI: “Yun, that sounds really petty.”

IDZUKI: “To have your opinions be divided at an information meeting is nothing to be praised for. It seems you two still need to talk some things out.”

FUU: “…Yes.”

RAYLA: “…”

That was where our report meeting ended, and we were fine to rest until it was time for dinner.

Before I knew it, Rayla was already walking toward the door; I hurried after him.

[dialogue branch ends – continue to rejoined dialogue]

[end of branched dialogue]

FUU: “Rayla!”

I caught up to him right before he left the room and called out to him.

I held out my hand to Rayla who turned around looking slightly annoyed.

RAYLA: “It’s not like we were fighting. Isn’t that unnecessary?”

I forcefully took Rayla’s hand as he scowled and shook it.

FUU: “Last night you joined our hands together. I was really happy then because I felt like you accepted me as your colleague.”

FUU: “So it’s my turn today. You’re my important partner.”

RAYLA: “…Yeah, sure.”

I once again took up Rayla’s hand that he had lowered in his confused state.

FUU: “I’m sorry for abruptly dragging up that conversation about your objective again this afternoon.”

FUU: “I just wanted to understand; not just listen to what you had to say but to understand what you were thinking.”

RAYLA: “…Did I not tell you that you don’t have to understand me?”

FUU: “But still, we’re a pair, aren’t we? We can’t coordinate without understanding each other.”

FUU: “Instead of trying our best with our feelings all in pieces, I’d like to try to act while understanding you.”

FUU: “I think that we’ll become a pair in it’s true meaning if we can coordinate after accomplishing that.”

RAYLA: “…”

Rayla’s hand that had just been dangling loosely before became full of strength as it powerfully shook my hand back.

Just that made me so happy that I unintentionally started to laugh.

RAYLA: “I said that I’d make everyone obey me, but I’ve decided to make you fall first.”

FUU: “……… What?”

RAYLA: “Having the only girl not obey me is pretty lame.”

FUU: “Can you knock it off with that ‘obeying’ you thing? I’d rather have us talk things out instead of have something one-sided.”

FUU: “Since we’ll be tied together as a pair after this too, I think we’ll need to lay out our thoughts and feelings even if it means there’s conflict…”

RAYLA: “So you’re saying you don’t mind if I get pissed at you and end up gloomy enough that I won’t even talk to you as a result of that?”

RAYLA: “We may be associates but that’s only because of our job. There’s really no need for us to get understand each other enough for us to cause conflict, right?”

FUU: “It is necessary. Because we’re comrades, even if it’s through work.”

RAYLA: “…Heh. Very good.”

Rayla let go of my hand and lifted up his hand once again.

I immediately understood what that meant and brought my palm to his.

[smack]

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “…”

We both lightly nodded and separated our hands.

FUU: (I feel like I’m finally standing at the starting line.)

About Rayla and as an Angel, too.

I felt steadied once again. I brought my hand to my chest and quietly breathed out.

That evening—

I laid down on my bed after getting ready to sleep and thought about Rayla.

FUU: (I want to get to know him more and understand him.)

Maybe it’s presumptuous to want to understand someone else, but it was something very important for us right now.

—I happened to notice the picture book sitting on my side table.

I raised my body to pick it up and gazed at the cover.

It was a picture book I’ve loved since I was a child.

I’m not sure who brought it there, but this picture book was left next to my bed 13 years ago when I was at the Heavenly Skies.

This book, which might have been a present from someone, ended up catching my interest at first glance, and I’ve treasured it ever since.

The angel unfortunately noticed that their precious family had betrayed them. The angel was so sad; they cried and cried for three days and three nights.

And then on the fourth day, the angel realized that they had become a demon.

GOD: “Have you, an angel who served me, fallen and become a demon?”

DEMON: “It’s because hatred has stolen my heart! It’s not my fault!”

DEMON: “It’s all my family’s fault for betraying me!”

GOD: “It’s quite painful to live while harboring such hatred.”

DEMON: “I’ve already suffered plenty! Are you going to torment me even further!?”

GOD: “If you don’t like it, then forgive your family’s crime and atone along with it.”

GOD: “If you do that, you will welcome the end to your days of suffering. I swear it— That rabbit that lives on the moon shall be our witness.”

DEMON: “Is this true…?”

GOD: “Yes, it is.”

DEMON: “With the moon rabbit as my witness, I’ll take an eternal vow!”

DEMON: “To forgive my family’s crime and to also atone for it.”

With that vow, light began to emit from the demon’s body, and when the light stopped, they were in the form of an angel.

Then the angel immediately went to their family. To uphold their vow and to wish for their own happiness…

Fin.

I was overtaken by a pleasant sleepiness as soon as I closed the book.

I returned the book to its original place, snuggled deeply into my bed, and closed my eyes.

[alarm ringing]

FUU: “!?”

IDZUKI: “Everyone meet in the meeting— no, meet in the kitchen. I want to make sure everyone’s okay first.”

The kitchen was the closest shared space to all our bedrooms.

NACHI: “Got it!”

I immediately changed and headed to the kitchen at double time.

The first ones to arrive at the kitchen were Rayla and I.

Our floor number was the closest so it was only a matter of course.

After that everyone gathered one after another. Once Nana confirmed we were all there, he began to speak.

IDZUKI: “The alarm bell is currently on. I want each pair I name to do their individual patrols.”

IDZUKI: “Mict and I will be outside. Tchicai and Yun join up with Nachi and check the building’s systems.”

IDZUKI: “Then, Rayla and Fuu have the rooftop. Okay, break!”

RAYLA: “Huh!?”

RAYLA: “…Dammit. He forgot that I have a fear of heights.”

FUU: “Rayla, this is an emergency! Well, I know that you’re scared of heights but—”

RAYLA: “I’m going! I just have to go, right!?”

Rayla fled from the kitchen in half-desperate state

RAYLA: “…”

Rayla’s face went paler as the elevator went upwards.

I couldn’t just watch him like this, and recalled the way Rayla acted the time we went to the rooftop before.

FUU: (That was a little embarrassing but-)

RAYLA: “I’m not scared.”

FUU: “Oh… Right.”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “If you insist then… I don’t mind if you cling on to me.”

FUU: “Pft.”

Rayla’s show of acting tough made me unintentionally laugh.

RAYLA: “Hey… Why did you laugh?”

FUU: “N-no, I didn’t laugh though?”

RAYLA: “No, you did. I’ll tell you now, I’m really not scared. And I’m totally fine even without borrowing your hand.”

Rayla was plainly indignant as his pale face stiffened and turned the other direction.

FUU: (…He’s probably, no, he’s definitely scared. Will he really be okay?)

As a matter of fact, he wasn’t okay.

FUU: “Um… We’re here?”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “Come on, come out please.”

I pulled on his hand and forced him to follow me out.

Right as the wind blew in and caused our bodies to sway slightly—

Rayla cried out and he crouched down on the spot.

FUU: “…Hold on to me.”

RAYLA: “L-look, I’m not scared!”

FUU: “Rayla, let’s just be honest okay? You really are scared, aren’t you?”

RAYLA: “Yeah, that’s right! Of course I’m scared!”

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “Ahh… Forget that.”

FUU: “No, I can’t do that. Just hold on to me…”

It was right then that a cell phone went off somewhere.

When I turned my gaze to see how that got onto the rooftop lawn, I had my breath taken away.

There were a countless number of small things that had fallen onto the lawn. They were—

Star.

FUU: “Th-this is… What’s the meaning of this…?”

I ran out to the center of the rooftop and once again looked at the ground.

There was no mistaking it, these were Star.

RAYLA: “I’ll be fine as long as I look at the ground, just fine, remain clam. This is the ground; my feet are on the ground.”

I turned toward Rayla, who was muttering assurances to himself, and raised my voice.

FUU: “Rayla, come here right now!”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “Try your best, please!”

RAYLA: “This is me doing my best, though?”

FUU: (This isn’t the time to start getting defiant…!)

FUU: “Just look at the ground please!!”

RAYLA: “I’ll open my eyes in just a bit so can you tell me what’s happening?”

FUU: “There’s a massive number of Star out here!”

That shocked Rayla into opening his eyes and looking in front of him.

RAYLA: “…What is this…?”

His eyes were taken in by the scattered Star for only a brief moment.

Perhaps the distant landscape unfolding in front of him had caught his attention because he quickly went pale.

RAYLA: “—! So high. This place really is high up—!”

FUU: “Rayla, you go back inside. I’ll look for the cause of that sound.”

The sound of a cell phone that hadn’t stopped ringing.

There should be something up here that’s making that noise.

RAYLA: “No, I’ll hang in there a little longer. But I’ll leave the searching to you.”

FUU: “Understood.”

I walked along following the noise.

Then I discovered a cell phone deeper into the grass past where the Star were scattered about.

The cell phone had something like a balloon attached to it, so I considered the possibility that it might have fallen in from the sky.

Rayla called out to me as I went to press the answer button.

RAYLA: “Don’t answer yet! Bring it over here!”

FUU: “Understood.”

I double timed it back to Rayla and handed it over.

Rayla switched it over to speaker phone mode as soon as he pressed the answer button.

???: “Good evening! Akatsuki Angel!”

FUU: “…Who are you?”

???: “Hey, hey! How about you try to reason it out a little? Look, some Star fell in there, right? That’s your hint.”

I looked at the Star.

[na] was carved into them.

RAYLA: “Ah—! [na]…”

FUU: “Huh… Why do you know Rayla’s name—”

???: “Dun da da duuun! Correct! Long time no see, Rayla.”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “Rayla, what’s the meaning of this?”

Even though I asked him, Rayla’s mind seemed to be elsewhere as he didn’t answer me at all.

He might have not even heard my voice… No, he wasn’t seeing anything around him right now, not even the fact that I was there.

I had no choice so I took the phone from Rayla and questioned the person on the line.

FUU: “Tell me what your objective is!”

???: “Huh? Did the cards not fall in there? I scattered a bunch of them.”

FUU: “Cards?”

???: “They might have been blown away by the wind~! Hahaha! Tooooo bad!!”

FUU: “D-don’t mess around with me!”

???: “I’m not! But since I did make you angry… Hahaha! For the end I’ll show you some fireworks as an apology.”

FUU: “Fireworks?”

???: “You’ll be the one to launch up, and I’ll be the one to ignite you. Okay then, 5 seconds to ignition~♪ 4… 3…”

RAYLA: “! Give it here!”

Rayla snatched the phone from me and threw it into the sky as hard as he could.

FUU: “Kyaaah—!”

The phone exploded with a huge noise and fragments of it rained down from above.

IDZUKI: “What was that explosion just now!?”

FUU: “A cell… phone… exploded. I’ll explain, later when we assemble…”

IDZUKI: “Got it. Well then, if everyone’s done with their individual duties we’ll assemble in the meeting room.”

FUU: “Rayla, let’s move to the meeting room.”

RAYLA: “…”

FUU: “…”

RAYLA: “Michiru…?”

It was obvious that Rayla knew the person from that phone call.

And also that he knew about Rayla.

FUU: (Michiru… I wonder who he is.)

Rayla wasn’t his usual self when he saw [na] carved into the Star and when he realized who the person on the other end was.

That was the first time I’ve seen Rayla in such a dazed state.

RAYLA: “…”

Rayla had been quiet for a while, staring at the elevator floor with a grave expression on his face.

It wasn’t the sort of atmosphere I could simply start talking to him in…

So I silently listened to the sound of the elevator’s motor running.

Nana went silent with a grim-faced expression after taking my report…

YUN: “Hey, he knew Rayla’s name, right? Is he someone you know?”

MICT: “There were numerous Star that had fallen within the Angel Tower grounds outside. Also, these cards were all over the place as well…”

MICT: “I think this is probably what he meant when he said he scattered cards.”

This is what was written on the postcard-sized card that Mict handed over:

ladIes and gentlemen ★

are you haVing fun?

bEing Comfortable isn’t bad sO

go ahead and take a bite

of these infinite dreaMs.

Eternal happiness FOR YOU…

a Rainbow-colored world for you…

a beAutiful night for You…

Lots of love for you…

so that I can shAre joy with you.

TCHICAI: “Kyahaha, no matter how much you say there’s hidden message, this is such a joke…”

FUU: “A hidden message…? What do you mean?”

FUU: “Tchicai, hurry up and tell me please.”

What Tchicai told me was to connect the capital letters and read it—

ladIes and gentlemen ★

are you haVing fun?

bEing Comfortable isn’t bad sO

go ahead and take a bite

of these infinite dreaMs.

Eternal happiness FOR YOU

a Rainbow-colored world for you…

a beAutiful night for You…

Lots of love for you…

so that I can shAre joy with you.

I V E C O M E F O R Y O U R A Y L A

‘I’ve come for you Rayla’

RAYLA: “…”

Rayla’s face had gone stiff, but he may have been expecting it to some degree, because he was breathing in a calmer state than I thought he would.

YUN: “Rayla, explain this.”

Even with everyone pressing for answers, Rayla kept his mouth shut and he didn’t give out any statements.

While he should actually know something, he looked like he was afraid of actually saying it.

IDZUKI: “It’s nothing we need to force him to answer.”

FUU: “!”

MICT: “Yep yep. We might be know who he his or what his objective is through what Rayla says.”

TCHICAI: “… I don’t really get it, but it’s something that isn’t very good for Ray… right?”

Nana nodded grimly at what Tchicai said.

FUU: (Both Rayla and Nana are acting strange. …Why?)

No matter how you look at it, this is an important issue but they’re being dreadfully light about it.

Star were scattered over the Angel Tower and there was even an explosion… Normally, it wouldn’t be strange at all to ask Rayla about the situation.

[Tefu Tefu rings]

Nana’s Tefu Tefu got a transmission while a grim mood hung in the air.

IDZUKI: “What…!?”

Nana cut the transmission off and told us what to do with stiff expression.

IDZUKI: “Put on your uniforms, grab your weapons and assemble outside.”

The air was taut with tension in a single moment—

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Rae

In a complicated relationship with languages. Hopeless lover of cute things.