NORN9: Sakuya, Itsuki, Natsuhiko

mikoto

Lastly, here are the three guy’s routes for Kuga Mikoto (CV: Takagaki Ayahi). First, some basic information about her. Born in a noble family, she was raised with great importance. Mikoto feels a great sense of responsibility in protecting the ship. Being taught that her power (forcefields) is a gift from god, she feels proud of it and has used it to protect many important places and people so far. While she’s good at taking care of others, she has only interacted with her single male childhood friend (Sakuya) previously and hence has difficulty settling down. You may wanna read Senri’s route first for a basic outline, including common events.

Nijou Sakuya (CV: Saiga Mitsuki)

Sakuya has a gentle demeanor and treats women in a gentlemanly manner. While he treats everyone kindly, he cares a lot for his childhood friend, Mikoto. His interests include telling fortunes which never come true, as well as riddles. Even as childhood friends, they weren’t always together as they grew apart as they got older, and were only together again after having both boarded the ship. There is a childhood promise between Sakuya and Mikoto, which is revealed later in the game. The next day, Sakuya accompanies Mikoto to the library as she wants to look up on the device the attacker used. Sorata is there too, as he wants to search up on this era but all he finds are encyclopedias, recipe books etc. He can’t help but observe that the two don’t seem to really get along, as they don’t seem to really talk to each other when alone. Mikoto denies this, but Sorata says it’s fine if she isn’t aware of it. Though they can’t find anything, Sakuya can’t help but be bothered by the empty shelves in one part of the library. If it were space for new books, it’s odd as the books are usually arranged from the top left and so on – but this one is concentrated in the bottom right and the rest of the space is empty. So it’s as if the books there were removed. Sorata recalls that books in libraries are arranged according to genre however he can’t recall what comes next after Philosophy – which coincides with this empty space. Afterwards, they learn from Sorata that Itsuki (who’s his partner) and co. have been playing cards since last night. The two of them go to interrupt the trio and Mikoto helps a sleepy Nanami back to her room. There, Nanami sleepily remarks that she’d been wrong about Sakuya and he’s in fact a kind person. She falls asleep before Mikoto can question further, though she’s sure that Sakuya is the kindest person she’s known.

On another day, Kakeru suggests everyone to have a little event so as to deepen their interactions. Mikoto wonders if this his is plan of seeking out the betrayer. Heishi suggests a test of courage but there is opposition and Nanami advises against it if not everyone wants to participate. Kakeru agrees, and decides to leave this for another time. After lunch, Sakuya accompanies Mikoto to the rooftop to search for any clues the attacker may have left behind. Sakuya recalls that when they were young, they looked after a baby bird which fell from its nest. Though Mikoto denies remembering at first, she soon says otherwise when Sakuya deliberately recalls a wrong fact – that was she afraid when they were feeding the bird with worms. In fact, Mikoto did most of the work while Sakuya was afraid. Even as a child, she was strong and mature in comparison to Sakuya – so he often thought of her as an older sister despite him actually being a year older. He’s happy to be together with her like this now. As they return to searching, they come across a broken wall which had been there since the start. As Mikoto decides to inform Kakeru of this later, Sakuya quickly drags her away for her safety. Mikoto slaps his hand away, insisting that he doesn’t need to worry just ‘cos he’s taller, older and a guy. Sakuya apologises, and says that he’s abiding to the promise so she has no need to worry too – he won’t fall in love with anyone. Today was fruitless, and Mikoto decides to patrol the 2nd level tomorrow. Itsuki approaches them and remarks how they’re together more often now unlike before. He’d always thought that despite being childhood friends they don’t really open up to each other, and offers to switch places with Sakuya if things aren’t going well between them.

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As he closes in on Mikoto, he remarks that she may be able to see a sweet dream with him. Sakuya pulls Mikoto away from Itsuki, saying that he won’t let someone like him touch Mikoto and that he won’t hand her over to anyone else. Itsuki soon leaves them, and Mikoto berates Sakuya for interfering as she could’ve handled it alone. Sakuya apologises in response and Mikoto hurriedly takes her leave. Spotting her, Koharu invites her to eat the peach pie Akito just baked tomorrow. Mikoto checks with Sakuya on this first, and he happily agrees as it’s the first time she’s made female friends. The next day, the three girls spend time in the dining area. Nanami remarks that she’d always thought of Sakuya as cold, and observes how his mood often changes except when he’s with Mikoto. Koharu sees him as kind, but the only times she’s seen him is when he’s with Mikoto. Hearing both of them heavily praise Sakuya, Mikoto bluntly offers to change pairs if they really want to. Just then, they notice that Kakeru, Heishi and Sakuya are present. The others quickly leave the room, though Kakeru whispers to Mikoto that he wouldn’t want to be with someone selfish who ignores her partner’s will. Left alone, Sakuya seems to read what’s going on in Mikoto’s mind and says that she’s the kind one instead. When asked if he’s really okay with not falling in love with anyone, Sakuya says that he’s satisfied with the status quo now since she won’t forgiven him if he falls in love with her. Sakuya was sickly as a child so Mikoto would always worry whenever she saw his symptoms acting up, and would pray for him not to be taken away. She received her powers first, and so she happily thought that she could protect Sakuya with it – but she realised how powerless she was when Sakuya received his later.

All of a sudden, Mikoto feels faint and she collapses on the spot. When she wakes up later, she learns from Sakuya that it was food poisoning. She wonders how he can still treat her so kindly after what she’d said, but Sakuya doesn’t think that he’s kind at all – truth be told he’s holding himself back and would like to do more for her, as a childhood friend. Nanami and Koharu visit her, giving her some konpeito as a gift before leaving. When Mikoto apologises honestly to Sakuya later, he remarks how she must be really sick for her do so lol. He’d prefer a word of thanks over an apology though, and decides to take the konpeito for himself. Mikoto continuously tries to get it back from him, until the day she feels better and decides to patrol around again for clues about the betrayer she wonders if something bad will happen ‘cos of the konpeito. When she tries to question Sakuya about this, he gives her a riddle in return which indirectly tells her not to ask further.

Mikoto stops pursuing the matter, and later Sakuya explains that fate is built on many factors – the konpeito just happens to be one of them. He can only see fragments of what may happen. He only saw the future on his own will when he first received his power, and after that he stopped doing so and now he would only see glimpses unwillingly. Sakuya then scatters the konpeito outside. Mikoto is captivated by the scene before her, but she’ll never tell him that she actually finds Sakuya the most beautiful in this world. He apologises for doing this to her gift, but reminds her that it isn’t the first she’s received as he’s given her numerous before. Mikoto remarks that he isn’t a friend though, but her kind childhood friend who constantly worries over her. Sakuya doesn’t think he’s kind at all though, in fact he really isn’t that kind to anyone else besides her. He then tells her that he’s been wishing the same wish since young, but it’s rather difficult to fulfill. He asks if she’d continue doing so despite the slim chances, and Mikoto answers that she’d work on her own efforts instead to make it come true. That’s why she worked so hard to train herself, and Sakuya sees how she still hasn’t given up on his fate. In that case, it’ll be harder for his wish to come true. Later, they go search around the 3rd level where it’s literally a forest area. There, Sakuya thinks of asking the World when they reach their destination if they can still remain together later on. He can’t help but worry over her, and Mikoto insists that she can protect herself just fine. In fact, she’s more worried about him and she knows that she hates using his power. In the end, Mikoto remarks that it’ll be good if they are in countries close by each other.

Just then, a sharp sound is heard and Mikoto tries to protect Sakuya from a falling tree with her powers. But it turns out that it’s actually coming towards her, and Sakuya protects her instead. Heishi and Kakeru rush to the scene and quickly help them out. Though Mikoto is alright, Sakuya is hurt and she starts to panic and blame herself. She dashes away and past memories flood her mind: Everyone is praising Mikoto and calling her a goddess so Sakuya feels as though she’s a different person. Mikoto insists that she’s still the same though, and promises to train hard so that she can protect him. But in the end, when the crucial time comes she can’t do anything. Suddenly, she’s knocked unconscious from behind and when she next wakes up, Mikoto finds herself tied up and in a dark place. She’d ran away from the reality that Sakuya got hurt ‘cos of her, and from the fear of hurting anyone else. As she tries to hold back her tears, Mikoto tells herself to be calm and to try and find a way out. But then the thought of Sakuya dying dawns on her, and she finds it meaningless to protect anyone if he isn’t there – even though she knows that it’s her duty to protect everyone on the ship. Just then, Sakuya appears before her as he’d used his power and saw her crying in a dark place. He apologises for taking this long to come, and didn’t expect this to occur even though he’d protected her. When Mikoto wonders why he’d go so far, Sakuya replies that she’s his most important person. Nothing else matters as long as she’s fine. Mikoto realises that she feels the same too, and wonders if this is still considered as feelings for a childhood friend.

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After Sakuya unties her, Mikoto hugs him as she apologises for running away and for getting him hurt. This surprises Sakuya as it’s unlike her to say this, and he reassures her that he won’t die. As she cries, Mikoto begs for him not to die. Afterwards, Sakuya carries her back to her room. The next day, everyone holds a meeting to learn the full details of what happened that day. They also wonder why Sakuya knew Mikoto’s location and Mikoto immediately stands up for Sakuya, seeing how he’s being treated like the culprit. Sakuya reassures her, and decides to reveal his power to the rest. Afterwards, Masamune calls on Kakeru on going too far even though he knows that he purposely did all this to erase everyone’s suspicion of Sakuya, though he feels bad for Sakuya. Sakuya is grateful though, as he’s afraid that Mikoto would blame and distance herself from the rest – but with the current situation both Koharu and Nanami won’t leave her alone now, though they’re now kinda hostile to the guys. When the girls are together one day, Itsuki approaches them and the same conversation leading up to the dream event happens.

In the dream, Itsuki thinks that Mikoto should be more honest as she likes Sakuya too, and Sakuya treats her as really important. The screen goes white and Sakuya appears before Mikoto. Mikoto is taken aback as Sakuya starts sprouting lines like Itsuki would, telling her to only think of him as he carries her. She’s sure that Sakuya wouldn’t be like this normally, as he’d abide to their promise. Sakuya asks for her to stop bringing it up even in a dream, for here they’re the prince and princess who’d live happily ever after. When Mikoto replies that there’s no way they can be happy together, Sakuya merely calls her cruel for saying this even in a dream. He closes in to kiss her but she struggles free from his grasp and runs off, leaving behind a glass slipper. She wonders if the Sakuya she saw was what she’d desired for, and if she actually loves him.

As a child, Sakuya was sickly and hardly left his room. While Mikoto actually wasn’t allowed to, she would visit him in secret. Each time she visited, he would smile at her and hence Mikoto felt happy to be needed. But their relationship slowly changed, and she’s certain that the trigger was when the injured little bird they’d raised dearly died. Mikoto commented that once it’s healed, it can fly again and go outside. She’d hoped for Sakuya to recover soon too. But it died when it went outside and the Sakuya who would always be calm cried furiously, begging Mikoto not to go anyway. The maid quickly tranqualised him and advices Mikoto not to come here anymore – unlike what she’d thought, he would always cry after she left. Upon hearing that she made him cry instead of smile, she stopped visiting him. When asked for the reason by Sakuya next time, Mikoto gave the excuse that she’s busy with her duties. Sakuya hopes to go with her one day, for he has also received a special gift now. All the predictions he made came true, and Mikoto was delighted and this way both of them can protect the country. Sakuya remarks otherwise though, saying that he’ll protect the one he loves.

“……I’ll tell only you about my future. I’ll protect the girl I think of as the most important. I’ll protect her, and die.”

Though Sakuya isn’t sure of the details, he remembered clearly those feelings of wanting to protect the one at the cost of his own life. There’s only one such important person to him. But Mikoto broke down and begged him not to go anyway, and so Sakuya promised her that he won’t die as he won’t fall in love with anyone. Itsuki appears before Mikoto then, as he finally realises why she treats Sakuya so coldly. However, Mikoto sees Itsuki as Sakuya, and Itsuki sees that this is what she wants to see. He assures her that he isn’t Sakuya as he hugs her, and Mikoto breaks down as she confesses that she really likes him and begs for him not to go anywhere. However, Sakuya who catches up with Mikoto’s slipper, stumbles upon this scene of Itsuki hugging Mikoto, and Mikoto confessing her feelings to him – and misunderstands the situation. Mikoto then wakes up crying, but can’t quite remember her dream. The next day, Mikoto persuades Koharu and Nanami to return to their pairs, and so Nanami replies that they’ll do so if she is together with Sakuya too. As they do so, Mikoto is left with Sakuya whose attitude is clearly different from usual. Mikoto can’t figure out the reason he’s angry though, as there are too many reasons she can think of. But then she thinks that perhaps it’s better if he hates her after all.

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Later, Masamune informs everyone that they’re reaching their destination soon, and for everyone to pack up and to prepare themselves too. Sakuya thinks that they’ll be doing their usual patrol again, and is surprised when Mikoto dismisses it for today as there’s only little time left before everyone parts. Mikoto struggles with her feelings as she tells herself that she can’t be with Sakuya in order to protect him, but when Sakuya asks her who she wants to spend the remaining time with she gives an honest answer. Just then, Masamune comes to help Sakuya change his bandages. The latter asks Mikoto to do them instead though, and she agrees. She gets embarrassed though when he undresses and tries to leave the room to call a guy after all. Sakuya holds her back, asking if she’s that used to men. He questions if she desired for Itsuki that much, and when she fell in love with him. As Sakuya pushes Mikoto down, he remarks how she was everything he’d wanted but at the same time she’d never accept him – he was the one who made her do so, so numerous times he’d wished he never told her about his future. As Mikoto continuously begs him to stop, Sakuya asks if the reason why she doesn’t want him to die is ‘cos she likes him – or does she hate him but like Itsuki? He tears at her top, and tearfully asks what should he do. He was never afraid of death. In fact, he felt proud to be able to finally protect her, since it was always the opposite. But he wonders if he’d lost her already 10 years ago. Mikoto is unable to wipe his tears, or to hug him in return. Sakuya then apologises for doing something horrible to her, and despite her plea to not leave, he passes her his coat and leaves the room. Later, Mikoto leaves and bumps into Nanami and Heishi. Without asking anything, Nanami quietly hugs her and Mikoto breaks down like a child, while thinking that Sakuya has no one to comfort him like this as she was the one who made him be alone.

Later that day, a huge storm occurs and Masamune and Kakeru are discussing whether to wait for it to pass or not. They’ll inform everyone later of the decision but Masamune can’t find Sakuya anywhere. While Mikoto is sleeping, she meets Itsuki and Heishi in her dreams as they want to talk in private. She blames Itsuki for causing the misunderstanding with Sakuya but he wonders why she doesn’t clear it up then. Heishi brings up the point that Sakuya doesn’t appear sad to die ‘cos he can protect her, and Itsuki agrees to, saying that Sakuya is unlike his cowardly self. Mikoto realises that she was the one who made Sakuya ‘pitiful’. She was both afraid and sad of his death, and so Sakuya made that promise to reassure her. That’s why she can’t accept him, yet she can’t fully reject him. As if sensing this, Heishi tells Mikoto that neither her or Sakuya are at fault. But she should rely on friends, and they’re not outsiders. All of them will think of a way to help Sakuya, she doesn’t need to do so alone. If they can’t, they’ll think of what would make Sakuya the happiest. Mikoto confesses that it’s the first time she’s spoken of her weaker side, as she never thought of other people helping her out when she couldn’t make it alone. But Heishi remarks that it’s also ‘cos she worked this hard till today, that she is who she is today so it isn’t all for naught. Heishi decides that it’s time for her to go find Sakuya now, while Itsuki stays behind as he mutters that if he were Sakuya, he would’ve isolated himself so that if he dies no one would be sad.

Back in reality, Mikoto finds Sakuya on the rooftop in the rain. He asks to cool his head a bit longer, before going to properly apologise to her for this afternoon. Mikoto tells him not to be bothered by it anymore, even when he goes on to say that he did the worst possible thing to her. Mikoto rushes up to hug him, and remarks that they’re even now. Hearing this, Sakuya sighs deeply as sometimes he can’t believe how he fell for such a girl. Mikoto tells him that she can’t fulfill his wish, as she wants to always be together with him. She won’t accept his wish or the future he saw. While Sakuya understands her, he says that he isn’t strong so all he can do is be her shield. Mikoto begs him not to die like she did 10 years ago. Sakuya recalls that ‘cos of that, he couldn’t bring himself to confess to her and regretted. Mikoto remarks that she’ll hate him more if he dies without saying a word. She tells him that she’s started to learn cooking from Akito, to mend her flaws and so on – so he shouldn’t die and should watch her grow. Sakuya replies that it does make him want to live on, and says that he’ll try struggling for a bit longer.

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Later that night, Mikoto, Sakuya, Koharu, Nanami, Kakeru and Heishi gather in the same dream to discuss about Sakuya’s situation – Itsuki is there too but he’s elsewhere in the dream. They try to seek for more clues relating to the future Sakuya saw, and ask him to let everyone see it too since it’s probably possible to do so in a dream. Itsuki move Koharu and Nanami elsewhere as Sakuya doesn’t think it’s fit for them to experience it, but Mikoto insists of seeing it so she remains with them. As Kakeru warns Itsuki not to do anything funny, Itsuki imitates Koharu’s voice and starts teasing Kakeru. Mikoto gets annoyed as she’s reminded of the last incident, and so eventually Sakuya figures out the misunderstanding he saw. Sakuya reddens as he realises the truth, and Mikoto raises her voice to erase her embarrassment. Sakuya then recalls the future he saw, and Mikoto experiences a sharp pain in her chest and blood flowing out. After this, Sakuya quickly reassures her that he’s well and alive. While Heishi can understand Sakuya’s feelings, if he dies he won’t be able to protect Mikoto’s happiness. Koharu and Nanami are brought back, and Mikoto recalls that the sound in the vision is that of a gun. She quickly explains to everyone, and she and Sakuya both realise that they heard that same sound when the tree fell down on them. That means that either the attacker with a gun has infiltrated this ship, or that the betrayer also carries a gun. In the end, Kakeru decides to report this matter about the gun to the World, and he advises everyone to be cautious.

Before they leave their dream, Sakuya asks Mikoto if she can say the words she said to Itsuki to him. Mikoto refuses since they haven’t changed his future yet, and so Sakuya asks if it’s alright after they do so. In response, Mikoto hurriedly agrees and Sakuya remarks that he’ll have to work hard then. After waking up, Mikoto can’t calm herself down so she goes outside for a bit and spots Itsuki and Ron in a distance. The next morning, it’s known that they’ll reach their destination tomorrow. They’ve planned to report to the World then about Sakuya’s matter, and to request for him to be sent to a safe place without guns. When Sakuya asks what she’s thinking, Mikoto insists that it has nothing to do with him and so he easily sees through her. He remarks that he thinks of her all the time too, and as he kisses her hair he vows that he won’t die and will live on with her. Mikoto calls out his name, in exchange for being able to confess her feelings. As if reading her intentions, Sakuya replies that he does too. Later outside, the couple spot a troubled Senri and learn that he can’t pack his things as his luggage lock won’t open. Mikoto creates a forcefield inside the lock, and expands it to force the lock open. She can only do so if she can imagine what’s inside though, and Senri passes a remark that if she knew how humans were inside that means she can destroy them too. The next day, the ship lands in a place which looks nothing like America. Sorata is brought along too to meet the World so as to solve his mystery. As Masamune leads them to the place the World has been in since 2080, Sorata soon recognises it (as the Diet building, now covered in greenery).

Inside what was once the assembly hall, a girl appears before them, Aion. When asked by Masamune about who is a power user since there should only be 9, Aion corrects him by saying that there was an irregularity so there are 10 users this time. Though her hard disk was partially destroyed by Natsuhiko, she easily points out Itsuki as the odd one out, which shocks everyone else. When Sakuya demands to know if he wanted to kill Mikoto, Itsuki doesn’t deny it and gets hit. He then offers to leave the room, adding that he can’t possibly escape from this island. Aion then proceeds to explain everything, adding that war is spreading in this era too and the decision to Reset everything or not is up to all of them. Out of a total of 8 times, it wasn’t held 5 times so it isn’t a must to Reset. They’re rushing things this time though, as Aion has started to deteriorate so this would be the last Reset. There are no side effects to Reset, and they’ll be returning their powers to Aion so she would be doing the Reset process. Two doors then appear, and Masamune asks for Sakuya to stand before one – they’ll be producing a hologram of the past, 2060 in which WWIV occurred, and the future 30 years from now if Reset isn’t held. As Sorata talks to Aion at one side, Masamune adds that they needed to deepen their bonds during the journey since at this stage they need to come to the best consensual decision. He was born and raised on this island, and his role was to gather everyone and lead them here. Heishi quickly tells everyone not to blame Masamune as he’s probably feeling the worst now. Afterwards, it’s decided that Ron and Koharu will go see the future, while Kakeru and Heishi go see the past.

Left behind, Mikoto learns from Aion that if Reset is held they’ll probably have about 300 years of peace (and guns would be gone). Mikoto is relieved as this means that Sakuya would probably avoid death. Just then, an alarm is sounded as a foreign ship trespasses. Natsuhiko appears before them but he’s unable to destroy Aion, yet, with current technology. He decides to kill the rest, to prevent them from doing Reset – it’s a good chance as Koharu is not present. As Mikoto tries to hang in there with her forcefields, Sakuya tells her that he saw a glimpse of the future and that there would be one chance for a counterattack. If they fail, they’ll die. But if they do nothing, when the four who left return they’ll be killed. Soon, Natshiko’s gun runs out of bullets and Mikoto counterattacks.

Tragic Love End: Mikoto fails to concentrate though, and Sakuya protects her from Natsuhiko’s gunshot. Flashbacks from the past occur, from Sakuya’s perspective. He sees Mikoto as always pushing herself too much. But when she slapped his hand away that time, he wondered if she hated him that much when he grew taller than her etc. He can’t confess his feelings to her, and can’t be kind to her – so the least he can do is worry for her. He knows fully well that that’s her kindness. He’d always watched her striving hard at what she does, but soon grew afraid to fall in love with her as he kept wondering if she’ll continue to visit him. That was all his empty self could think about. That’s why he was happy to know that he could protect her, it was like his empty self was filled up. If he failed in struggling, it’s not ‘cos Mikoto was weak. She’ll probably cry if he dies, but he knows that there’ll come a day when she’ll smile again as she was kind friends around her. It’s alright if she forgets about him, if she can smile again. As Mikoto sobs at his side, Sakuya asks her to smile for him as he likes her smiling face. Slowly, Mikoto’s warmth gets less, and it’s as if he’s fallen into a dark place. He looks up at the light, and prays for Mikoto to be happy. As tears fall down his face, Sakuya wonders why he couldn’t give her happiness.

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Good End: Mikoto successfully sets up a forcefield inside Natsuhiko’s gun, and blows it up as it expands. Natsuhiko is badly injured, and the four return from the respective doors. Seeing Natsuhiko hurt, Ron draws his guns and Koharu instinctively burns them. Ron appears to give up any resistance, and puts Natsuhiko to sleep. He saw that what Natsuhiko wished for wasn’t in that future, but perhaps he’ll get it in his dreams. Ron merely says that his job was to fulfill Natsuhiko’s wish, but that’s over now. The rest hold him back as he’s about to leave with Natsuhiko, for they need him if they’re to Reset. Just then, Itsuki enters as he caught someone (Setsu), and explains to Ron that as long as you want the person will continue to be in a dream even if the power user dies. With that, everyone returns their powers to Aion and it’ll take 7 days for her to Reset. This reminded Sakuya of god creating the world in 7 days. (Apparently, Itsuki passed his power onto Ron just before they reached their destination.) Masamune also explains that the chosen power users have to have a high synchronisation rate with Aion, and of course one must consider personality. Aion tells Mikoto that though her synchronisation wasn’t high, but her other qualities made up for it such as not giving up hope in order to change the future. As Mikoto and Sakuya exit the room, they hear a clear voice singing. As Sakuya asks where they should go now, Mikoto replies that anywhere is fine as long as they’re together. Sakuya is happy to finally have a future together with her, and Mikoto remarks that it’s ‘cos Sakuya was here that they can stand here like this today. The current place has high ceilings and stained glass windows, an ideal place to vow their love. As Mikoto finally confesses her feelings to Sakuya, he kisses her in return.

Kagami Itsuki (CV: Yusa Kouji)

A playful man who often makes jokes and lies, Itsuki hardly ever says his true thoughts. He often teases Mikoto and is usually seen together with Heishi and Nanami. From the start, Mikoto claims that the pairs are meant to watch over each other and she sees Itsuki as the only man who requires it. She reassures Sakuya that she’ll continue to protect him, and he asks her to use her dagger if Itsuki does anything to her. Itsuki is made to accompany Mikoto on her investigations, though he thinks that it’s hopeless. Itsuki notices that she’s put up a forcefield on the ship 24/7 now, and remarks that Sakuya is worried about her not just ‘cos of himself. Mikoto remarks that no one else can do it though, so she refuses to slip up and make everyone worry about her. She insists that she trained herself for this, even though Itsuki’s words about her pushing herself is true. Mikoto slaps his hand away, and soon after Nanami and Heishi appear – it turns out that Heishi insisted on changing partners though he claims to have won ‘fairly’. Seeing the trio talk of playing trump later, Mikoto thinks that she can’t afford to be as easy-going as them.

The next morning, Sorata helps Mikoto’s team with breakfast. Sakuya worries over Mikoto, and when she puts up a strong front he sadly asks if he isn’t allowed to worry over her. Mikoto dismisses the question as she tells herself that they can’t treat each other kindly. Itsuki observes all of this, noting how Mikoto’s defenses are strong even against Sakuya. Later on the rooftop, Itsuki points out that Mikoto is distracted now thanks to Sakuya though she’s quick to deny this. Feeling irritated by his words, Mikoto even goes as far as to set up a forcefield when he tries to approach her. Itsuki sees that she hates him to such an extreme, and adds that it’s okay to say that she looks down on him – he’s used to it due to his upbringing. He also wonders if a nobel member is expected to work hard in everything, even if it means hurting people who care for her. Mikoto sees Sakuya in a distance, and she says that she never meant to do so. Hearing this, he wonders what she wishes for then and when she exposes her real self. People usually do so when they’re alone, thinking, or in their dreams. Mikoto blocks out his words as she faces her back to him, telling herself that there’s no real her – protecting everyone is her everything.

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All of a sudden, Itsuki grabs her from behind as he repeats his previous words – would she choose between a reality where she has to work hard, or a dream where she can be her real self? A kind dream where there’s no pain or sadness, where she won’t hurt anyone by being her true self. He wonders what sort of dream she’ll see, and what her real self is like. His words almost seem to immoblise her and Mikoto feels her conscious slipping away. But she manages to snap out of it and she struggles free, much to Itsuki’s surprise. He remarks that her stubbornness is indeed real, and refuses to tell her what he was trying to do. He notes that she’s totally different from himself and his taste, but shaping her into that is also part of the fun. Annoyed, Mikoto walks away only to be pulled away by Itsuki as a tree suddenly falls down. It appears to have been intentional but there’s no sign of the culprit. The next day, Mikoto drags Itsuki to the library to look up for any information on guns etc. Sorata is there too, and he comments on how strange it is for the library to have empty shelves here and there. Sorata’s partner, Sakuya, is feeling unwell and resting in his room. Mikoto remarks that Sakuya has always been weak, but as the air here is good he’s been looking better. He’s probably been feeling tired as of late, and Mikoto decides to visit him later. Itsuki then tells her that he’s meeting Heishi and Nanami later and he invites Mikoto to join them. As he helps Mikoto on the side, she manages to beat Heishi in cards (he always loses anyway lol). Itsuki offers to give her a prize, which she flat out refuses. That night, Mikoto has a peculiar dream of her resting on a fluffy cloud, and the Hiyoko are there too. She feels relaxed, and realises that she’s been so focused that she hasn’t gazed at the sky at all recently. Suddenly, Itsuki appears and comments on her dream, which surprises Mikoto as she wakes up.

That morning after visiting Sakuya, she tries to find Itsuki to accompany her investigations. She spots him with Ron and drags him away after they’re done talking. As they climb up the stairs, Itsuki pretends to sprain his ankle and excuses himself for that day. Sorata sees Itsuki happily climbing down later, and tells Mikoto about this. But it’s too late as she fails to find Itsuki that day. Ever since then, Itsuki keeps pinning some excuse to run away. One day, Mikoto finds him sleeping on the rooftop. Soon after, they see Sakuya and Nanami talking at one side before disappearing. Itsuki remarks that only Sakuya can cause her to have such an expression. She tries to clear up the misunderstanding but Itsuki isn’t convinced. Out of the blue, Itsuki tells Mikoto to fall for him instead, as he’ll always be with her. He’d always thought it was admirable of her to work hard to protect everyone unlike himself, but she can rely on him sometimes too. He says that he’s serious, and will protect her. Itsuki reaches out to touch her, and to both their surprise there’s no forcefield in between them. Flustered, Mikoto dashes off and Sakuya approaches Itsuki as he overheard everything. He questions if Itsuki was being serious, as if it’s a joke Mikoto would take him seriously anyway. Itsuki suggests for Sakuya to comfort her like a kind prince would. In response, Sakuya says that she’s an elder sister to him. He just doesn’t want to see Mikoto crying and won’t forgive Itsuki if he hurts her.

After that, Mikoto can’t remain calm around Itsuki. So she tells him the next day that they’ll take a break from investigating today and though he looked surprised, he didn’t pursue further. Eventually, Mikoto finds herself with Koharu and Nanami. The same conversation leading to the dream event occurs. In her dream, a carriage stops before her as the driver offers to bring her to the castle. Mikoto doesn’t see any need to go there and dismisses him, as she trudges onto find Itsuki. He soon appears before her, surprised that she’s not on her way to see the prince. He tells her that Sakuya is waiting for her there, and that this is his present to the her who can’t be honest. Seeing that he’s still misunderstood, Mikoto wonders if his words back then were lies. When she continues to be stubborn, Itsuki forces her onto the carriage – she’ll regret not being able to confess her feelings while she still can. Mikoto demands for the driver to stop, but he tells her that Itsuki is the dream guide here and no one can go against his words. It’s her role to have a happily ever after ending with the prince. Mikoto gets annoyed that she has to listen to others, and kicks the carriage door open and jumps out. She goes back to finding Itsuki, till she arrives at a tree which appears to be growing snake gourds – but human shadows can be seen inside.

Itsuki soon appears, wondering why she came this way after all that he did. He tells her not to approach the tree if not everyone would wake up. Mikoto realises that this is his power, but doesn’t think that one can be happy with a transient thing like a dream. Itsuki remarks that reality is full of pain, and it’s only “equal” for some people. So the least he can do is to give people a convenient dream, which even the poor can relish. This was originally his elder sister’s power which he got just before her death. To them, using this was a means to feed themselves. He’s using his power for others, just like Mikoto – but it’s different too. She wonders why he looks so sad then. When Itsuki persuades her to go to Sakuya’s side, Mikoto replies that he’s like a younger brother to her. She questions why Itsuki isn’t seeing any dreams then, and adds that she gets irritated seeing him smile like that – but he’s not really enjoying himself. She can’t tell if his words are true or not. But seeing him not enjoying himself now, it must mean that he knows that nothing can come true in dreams. After hearing this, Itsuki has another Mikoto appear before them, saying that he can make her do anything even lick his shoes. In response, Mikoto insists that it isn’t her for she won’t do such humiliating acts. She questions if Itsuki is satisfied with a fake her that only lives inside of his mind. After a brief silence, Itsuki has the fake Mikoto disappear and asks if she’ll make him smile in reality then. When she demands to know why she has to do so, Itsuki points out that it’s ‘cos she likes him.

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Taken aback, Mikoto strongly denies this. Itsuki wonders if he made a mistake, since she was so conscious of him after what happened on the rooftop. Annoyed by how cool he remains, Mikoto punches him and states that she couldn’t possibly have taken his joke seriously. But as those same words sink into her, she starts to cry. Surprised, Itsuki wipes her tears and asks if she really didn’t like Sakuya, confirming with her repeatedly. When asked if she likes him again, Mikoto is quick to answer that she hates him the most but Itsuki is seen smiling brightly. He apologises for saying that he was joking, and calls her a child which irritates her more. Itsuki remains cheerful and decides to give her the prize for winning the card game now. As he hugs her, Mikoto suddenly finds herself in a hot spring with him and tries to struggle free from his grasp. Unexpectedly, Sakuya shows up behind Itsuki with an axe as he tells Mikoto to shut her eyes. As she does so, Itsuki can be heard screaming and the clock striking 12. Mikoto wakes up then and since that night, the days pass by peacefully – except that Itsuki is more touchy-feely with her now and seems to constantly be in a good mood. One morning, Sakuya asks Mikoto if she’d like to send a letter to her family too, which he’s going to do. Mikoto promptly agrees and asks Itsuki to write one too. He asks her to teach him then, and Mikoto accepts this. Afterwards, Itsuki excuses himself to talk to Ron. Heishi happens to be there and is worried as Itsuki appears to be bothered. But when Mikoto confronts Itsuki about this, he dismisses it.

Later, Mikoto drags him to the library to write their letters. While he didn’t appear serious at first when she was teaching him, he soon starting writing his letter. He never went to school so he only learnt to write by looking at the words. After rewriting countless times, Itsuki finally finished and gives it to Mikoto. She’s both surprised that it’s addressed to her, and how neat his writing is. Embarrassed, Itsuki asks her to read it when he’s not around. Mikoto admits that she was bothered by who he was writing the letter to, seeing how serious he was. Itsuki apologises for trying to set her up with Sakuya as he thought that it would make her happy. But he didn’t really mean for it. Though he meant to only joke with her at first, all his words and feelings are now sincere. He initially thought that if she liked Sakuya he would wish for her happiness over his. Mikoto doesn’t understand this though as if it were her she wouldn’t be able to take it. He apologises again, as this time he jumped to conclusions and should’ve faced her feelings upfront instead. While he likes the her who works hard, he doesn’t want her to push herself either and to at least relax around him. Itsuki kisses her which leaves her in a state of semi-shock and semi-embarrassment, before she suddenly dashes outside. She passes Sakuya outside and he questions Itsuki if he did something again. While Itsuki understands where he’s coming from, he sees Sakuya as being overprotective and everyone treating her like some goddess even though she’s a normal girl. Sakuya confirms that everyone did see her that way, and so Itsuki comes to understand why Mikoto grew up with that personality. Itsuki gets mildly annoyed when Sakuya blames himself for driving Mikoto to a corner, and corrects him by saying that the reason is Mikoto’s ability even though she doesn’t think that way. As he chases after Mikoto, Sakuya sees that Itsuki is serious and thinks that it’s time he gives up his elder sister to someone else.

Out of impulse, Mikoto dives into the water to cool herself down and Itsuki chases after her. The likes of Sakuya, Akito etc. stare at them with no idea what they’re doing lol. After Itsuki manages to get Mikoto out of the waters and they head back to dry off and change, Sakuya suddenly sees the future changed. Only him and Mikoto seem to understand these words, as they cry together. When the others show concern, Mikoto remarks that nothing bad has happened since it changed for the better but Sakuya remains quiet. As Sakuya excuses himself first, Itsuki chases after him to check on him and Mikoto feels uneasy for some reason. Following that day, Itsuki never came out of his room and only Heishi goes in and out of his room. Sakuya doesn’t have any idea what might’ve happened, and Mikoto is left both mad and confused. Nanami encourages her to go see Itsuki, and to take action rather than think over it. When she tries to knock on the door though, Heishi comes out which surprises her and causes her to dash off instead. Thinking about it, Mikoto hardly takes the initiative with Itsuki as she isn’t used to interacting with men. She decides to change this when everyone is called for a meeting, and told by Masamune and Kakeru that they’re reaching their destination soon and to prepare themselves. Itsuki isn’t present so she tells Heishi that she’ll convey the message to him. Mikoto goes to see Itsuki and does so, while adding that everyone already knew they’ll separate when they reach the destination anyway just like herself. But Itsuki wonders why she’s crying then.

When asked for the reason he shut himself up, Itsuki eventually says that he didn’t want to see her and Sakuya together. He knew fully well how strong their bond was after hearing from Sakuya concerning his future, and how Mikoto protected him. But the future has changed so Sakuya will no longer die. Itsuki has come to discover an unexpected side of himself. He’d thought that he was never serious and so never sincere about someone. Mikoto points out that someone like that wouldn’t have studied writing on his own and he replies that he enjoys being able to see the outcome. He’d thought that due to his poor upbringing, he often annoyed people and took on a flippant attitude – but that’s actually not the case. He’s actually weak and afraid of hurting and losing people and so he never took on a serious attitude. Seeing his complicated expression, Mikoto realises that it’s the first time Itsuki is exposing his real self to her. Itsuki adds that it’s Mikoto’s strength – to persist without fearing of getting hurt or making mistakes. After he became serious and sincere, he was overwhelmed by feelings including that of attachment and possessiveness. He tried to suppress it all and shut himself up to control himself and think over it all. He asks Mikoto if she can love him forever, and if so he doesn’t need anything else. Mikoto takes his outstretched hand in return, and answers that she’s serious too. Itsuki agrees, as if it weren’t the case she wouldn’t have come to his room – that’s why he told her everything. Itsuki asks Mikoto to be his forever and there’s no turning back now that she made him like this – and he takes her to his bed after that wow as expected of Itsuki. That night, Mikoto dreamed of them living together peacefully. She wakes up in the middle of the night, and shares this with Itsuki. As she falls asleep another time, Itsuki apologises to her.

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The next morning, Koharu and Heishi come to Itsuki’s room one by one while Mikoto tries not to reveal her location lol. After Itsuki sends them away, he tells her that he’d have like to spend more time in bed together. When Mikoto gives a rare honest word of agreement, he goes silent as he’s trying to think of how to strip and get it done in 5 minutes lmao. After punching him, Mikoto quickly readies herself and they head for breakfast. There, Mikoto notices that she’s unable to use her power for some reason, and the ship doesn’t seem to have any forcefield protecting it now. At one side, Itsuki reassures Sakuya that he’s settled it already (he’s not referring to the sex okay). Soon after, the ship is under attack and Mikoto is still unable to use her power. Feeling responsible, Mikoto struggles to get outside to protect everyone but Itsuki pulls her back from an incoming impact. When Mikoto next wakes up, she finds herself living in a small house with Itsuki. For some reason, she thinks that they’ve finished their journey and fulfilled their duties, and have settled down now that they’re free. As she spends her peaceful days with Itsuki, one night she suddenly sees him disappear for a second. But she tells herself that it’s just her imagination. Mikoto starts to notice that things are off though, and Itsuki is disappearing more often. Itsuki reassures her otherwise, since there’s no way people can disappear. All of a sudden, Mikoto hears Koharu and Sakuya’s voices, telling her to wake up. It’s as if her eyes have been opened, and Mikoto demands to know where she is. Itsuki tells her that he has no intentions of letting her return – living in a blissful cage is better than the painful reality. Mikoto quickly realises that this is a dream. But she tells herself that just like her, Sakuya and Kakeru, a user’s power would be unstable and there should be a weakness somewhere. She tries to recall all that’s happened to find some clues.

Tragic Love End: Mikoto is unable to recall anything though, and Itsuki persuades her to give up as she’s living happily with him here. As much as Mikoto would like to deny this, she can’t recall anything. He proceeds to tell her to not see anything, and that he can protect her here and won’t let her have any bad memories. No one will die here, and they can always be together. She just needs to think about the him here. Mikoto eventually does so, and they continue living happily together. But one morning, Itsuki suddenly disappears before Mikoto’s eyes even though he’s still there. Itsuki sees that the time limit is up, and another him appears before Mikoto to reassure her. Looking at them from afar, Itsuki thought that it was okay as long as Mikoto was happy but for some reason he’s crying.

Happy End: Mikoto recalls what happened on the rooftop, and in her dreams. She realises that Itsuki’s words hint to the person in question, and that if one reaches the denouement the dream is over. This world is her dream, and so Itsuki constantly hints to her to make her act in a certain way – that’s the restriction. This kindness of his is one which renders one useless. Moreover, since this is her dream things only within her imagination can happen – it can’t win over reality. When Mikoto demands to know what his motive is, Itsuki disappears as the time is up. He apologises as he wanted to be together longer, and Mikoto wakes up from her dream to find Sakuya by her side. She learns that when the ship was attacked, they suffered a lot of damage and crashed. Ron went missing and the person who suffered the heaviest injury was Itsuki, who’s still lying unconscious in bed. Mikoto rushes to see him, and she starts to look after him tirelessly. One day, everyone is told that Masamune should return in 3 days with the World’s envoys. That afternoon, a familiar letter blows past Mikoto and she realises that it was the letter Itsuki wrote to her. As she reads it, she starts to cry and Itsuki wakes up at that moment too. He tells her that he made her see that dream, as he didn’t want her to cry thinking that he wouldn’t be able to make it. Mikoto insists that he’s still alive, and Itsuki remarks that the future has changed.

Just then, Ron enters the room as he remarks that Natsuhiko doesn’t just want Mikoto’s ability, but Nanami’s too. Itsuki tells him that it’s unlike what they’d agreed on, that he’ll leave the girls alone. Ron agrees, and that’s why he would’ve preferred if Itsuki had died so that he could break the agreement. And so he’s here with another proposal: 3 days later Natsuhiko plans to attack this ship to get the powers he’s interested in, and to kill the rest. He advices Itsuki to escape before then. Annoyed, Mikoto throws a nearby object at Ron, and is surprised to see him using a forcefield in response. After Ron leaves, Itsuki explains that he’d passed Mikoto’s power to Ron. He was threatened by Ron, that he would kill Mikoto and take Nanami away. As the betrayer, Ron couldn’t take any action due to the people who can attack with their powers. But knowing those who can’t attack like Heishi and her, he’d planned to kill them. In an attempt to stop Ron, Itsuki made a deal with him. At first, he tried to find out what everyone’s powers was in the dream event but failed to. In the end, he thought of one thing – to try and kill Ron by passing him the power, since he’s witnessed numerous people die before since they weren’t compatible. But to his shock, Ron didn’t die. While it wasn’t the best solution, it wasn’t the worst solution either and Mikoto thinks that if the person wasn’t Itsuki the deal wouldn’t have gone through Ron. While Mikoto was sad at first to hear that she’d lost her power, she can’t help but feel relieved at the same time. Thinking that she’s horrible to think so, Mikoto tears up and Itsuki tells her that she’s a normal girl now. She’s lost her power, and is now released from that future.

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Later, the couple tell Kakeru everything. Though they don’t feel good leaving everyone behind, Itsuki’s still injured and Mikoto has lost her power so they can’t do much. Kakeru points out how Mikoto doesn’t appear more devastated, since all along her power was her everything. Mikoto realises that it’s ‘cos she has Itsuki now. They leave the ship without telling anyone else, but Sakuya does come to find them shortly after as he saw the future. At one side, he warns Itsuki not to make Mikoto cry if not he’ll castrate him lmao. He then tells Mikoto to be well before disappearing. After they make it through the nearby forest, they settled down in a nearby town and live peacefully in a small house just like in their dream. They’re saving up so that they can hold a wedding ceremony, though Itsuki also reminds her not to be too frugal if not they won’t enjoy themselves. When Itsuki’s wound healed, they went back to search for everyone else but the ship has left and there was no signs of them having ever been there – almost as if it were all a dream. Itsuki reassures Mikoto that everyone should be doing fine, and one day they’ll be contacted by Heishi and reunite again. Itsuki recalls that he and Heishi had the same dream of living happily with a family – and now it’s come true for him. All of a sudden, Mikoto starts reciting the contents of the letter Itsuki wrote to her, which surprises him as he wonders when she read it. She asks if what he wrote then still hasn’t changed. Itsuki says yes, and so Mikoto tells him that they’ll have to fulfill it in real life then – and first it’s to hold a wedding ceremony just as planned. Itsuki thanks her for becoming his family, and says that he’ll treat her well for the rest of his life. Though there’ll certainly be painful moments in the future too, Mikoto sees the future as bright as she’s moving forward together with Itsuki.

Azuma Natsuhiko (CV: Ono Daisuke)

A rational thinker, Natsuhiko hardly gets agitated. Due to certain reasons, he’s after the lives of those aboard Norn. He’s good at inventing, handling machines, and a specialist at controlling ships. In this route, Mikoto doesn’t pair up with anyone as she wants to search for the betrayer by herself. Earlier in the meeting, Mikoto almost got suspected since she went to the rooftop alone. But as Sakuya asked Sorata to go after her, he’s able to act as a witness for her. Speaking of Sorata, Mikoto gets stuck with him in the first part of this route. Mikoto tries drawing Natsuhiko and goes around asking the members if they’d seen him before. Thing is, it’s pretty indistinguishable though while Ron laughs at it, he asks to take a copy with the excuse that he’s searching for the guy too. Everyone keeps thinking that it’s Sorata’s drawing too lol. The only one who can recognise that it’s a guy is Sakuya – as well as Masamune which is suspicious as he is more focused on the supposed gun the figure is holding. But Mikoto can’t bring herself to suspect Masamune at first since he was chosen as the contact role by the World. The next day, the ship has landed in town and Mikoto plans to ask around there too, much to Sorata’s shock. Masamune always opposes to Sorata going out of the ship though, though Mikoto brings him out in secret anyway. Outside, Sorata can’t believe that they’re still in Japan even after a week. Mikoto also runs into a relative of hers who just came back from America, and they learn that it takes about 2-3 weeks to travel there. Mikoto never noticed anything fishy since they can’t question the World, but it’s strange as Sorata points out. Someone is clearly not letting them not reach the destination earlier. She starts to wonder if Masamune wanted to prevent this by not allowing Sorata outside.

As Mikoto continues her investigation, she starts to feel tired of suspecting Masamune especially seeing how hard he works for the ship. It’s as if she’s opened up a Pandora’s box the more she realises the facts sticking out. Koharu and Nanami also feel that she’s pushing herself and asks her to rely on them too – but Mikoto doesn’t want to worry them, especially since nothing’s proven yet. Eventually, Mikoto shuts herself in her room and only comes out when Sakuya and Itsuki force her out. Sakuya wants her to stop investigating as it’s clearly making her break down. However, Mikoto decides to remain stubborn before him, before going to find Sorata. Sorata tells her that Masamune went to the rooftop to report to the World. Sorata feels as though everyone on this ship is under some sort of weird spell as they don’t suspect anything. He also asks to see the newspaper which Mikoto got the last time they went to town so as to check something. Mikoto tells him that she’s stopping the investigations, not wanting to drag him in anymore. Later, Mikoto goes to the rooftop to find Masamune but sees Ron instead. He tells her that he found the attacker, and leads her to the side where there’s a hole in the wall – and pushes her out while telling her to hang in there since Natsuhiko’s a sadist. Thankfully, Natsuhiko catches Mikoto in time and takes her into his ship. Meanwhile, Sorata confirms from the newspaper that this isn’t the Taisho era he knows of.

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When Mikoto next wakes up, she finds herself with Natsuhiko and comes to realise that Ron was the betrayer. Natsuhiko is quick to threaten her from the start, though she remains stubborn and says that once the rest report this to the World he’ll be done for. Natsuhiko calmly replies that whatever happens on the ship has to be solved by them and so the World won’t interfere, as they’re being tested on whether they can make the decision or not. Mikoto insists on him explaining everything to her if not she won’t listen to him, but Natsuhiko doesn’t think that she’ll understand anyway. Instead, he says that he won’t kill her if she cooperates. Ever since that day, Mikoto kept having nightmares of when she was being pushed out, and she refused to eat. She also spots a dictionary and looks up the word “sadist” – and after that she kept misunderstanding and imagining Natsuhiko being one lol. One day, Natsuhiko brings her porridge and even eats it to show that it’s safe to eat. When Mikoto refuses to eat from the same spoon, he tells her to choose between this or eating from his mouth. While she stubbornly puts up a strong front, she gets rattled when he closes in on her before managing to put a forcefield between them. Natsuhiko advises her to eat since she can’t last for long that way, and agrees to tell her everything if she eats. Mikoto complains that it’s gone cold, but eats it anyway.

And so Natsuhiko tells her that he’s after a man. He was once a scientist, but is more of a weapon dealer now and is selling them to many countries and hence spreading war. His goal is probably to make 2056 happen again. When Mikoto brings up Sorata, Natsuhiko guesses that he probably came from the 3rd world – the world has been reset numerous times and currently this is the 4th world. And it’s them power users who make that possible. He decides to leave this talk for another time. It’s no use just stopping one conflict, and better to kill the source which is the weapon dealer. To deal with him, Natsuhiko has been researching on weapons to counter attack, but he could do with her ability too. He believes that without that man, a time can come when science wouldn’t be abused. Mikoto feels that it’s a good thing to stop war, but doesn’t understand why he’s after their lives. Natsuhiko is willing to not kill them for now, if she cooperates, as he knows that they won’t reach their destination till much later. As Mikoto opens up to him about her suspicions from before, he commends her on having thought that much as a frequency running in the ship which prevents them from thinking about information which can’t be disclosed. He confirms that they’re being deceived, and asks her to cooperate if she wants to know the truth. Mikoto agrees in the end, though she gets shaken when she realises that there are other men aboard (Setsu). Thinking that everyone is a sadist, she chases them out and even casts a barrier 24/7.

After that, Mikoto cooperates with Natsuhiko and is no longer handcuffed, or threatened since that day. She gets freaked out one day when Natsuhiko arranges for a large robot to attend to her and misunderstands his intentions. So he then arranges for a white Hiyoko, modelled after those on Norn, to attend to her. Mikoto slowly opens up to its kindness, not knowing that Natsuhiko is the one responsible for writing its lines on the green board its holding. One night, Natsuhiko brings her out to see the stars. Seeing the full moon, Mikoto remarks on how it’ll be fun to travel to it. Natsuhiko replies that it’s possible one day – they discover new things with research and he feels touched at that. He thinks that it probably what motivates scientists and that’s how they fulfill dreams. Mikoto starts to think that Natsuhiko is all that bad, and thanks him for the Hiyoko. He tells her not to push herself, though the only thing he can’t do is let her return. After that, they started spending more time star-gazing and he would teach her what he knows about stars. On a rest day, Mikoto reads a book on stars Natsuhiko gives her and learns about Arcturus and Spica which are known as the husband and wife stars which would slowly get closer to each other as time passes. Wanting to share this with Natsuhiko, Mikoto goes to find him but overhears talking to Setsu. It appears that Setsu is going to infiltrate Shirou’s side to find out which countries he’s involved with, where is his HQ, and how long more can Shirou last. Natsuhiko wants Setsu to return before they kill the power users. Mikoto dashes back to her room, not knowing why she feels betrayed even though she knows fully well the circumstances. She pours out her feelings to the white Hiyoko, wondering why he treated her so kindly if he was going to kill them.

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Natsuhiko suddenly barges in and hugs Mikoto. Mikoto starts questioning him, asking for the truth and adding that none of them ever wished for their own power. She promises to do anything as long as he doesn’t kill them, and Natsuhiko hugs her tighter. Slowly, he tells her that their powers are meant to Reset the world. In 2060, WWV was impending and all other culture was dying out as countries kept buying weapons as a means of defence. At this rate, the world is bound to end as some areas are already not fit for living. In 2085, it was decided that they’ll Reset the world. But humans kept going in the same cycle and this is the 4th world. Aion will use their returned powers to Reset the world. Natsuhiko tells Mikoto to take as much time as she needs to wrap her head around this. He adds that he’s opposed to Reset, and that’s why he’s after their lives. Moreover it’ll be dangerous if Shirou abuses their powers. After Natsuhiko leaves her alone, she suddenly hears Heishi’s voice calling out to her, alongside Nanami and Koharu’s. While she can’t repond to them, she feels comforted. Just then, the ship is under attack but Mikoto can’t set up a forcefield in time. In the end, Natsuhiko protects her from an incoming attack as the ship crashes. He then carries her all the way to a nearby village for help before passing out. Mikoto wakes up 3 days later with no harm, but learns that Natsuhiko is in a more severe condition. When left alone, Mikoto sees that this is her chance to kill Natsuhiko with his gun but can’t bring herself to do it. She wonders for what purpose she lived – all along she thought it was to protect people, but now she’s told that it’s for Reset. Moreover, Natsuhiko saved her despite them being enemies, and her failing to use her forcefield during that critical moment. She couldn’t do so as she was conflicted as to whether to die just like this, or to block the attack.

Soon, he wakes up but fails to remember anything except Mikoto’s name. They stay here while Natsuhiko recuperates though he shows no signs of recalling his memory. One night, Natsuhiko has the urge to go outside to see the stars. Mikoto accompanies him and tells him as much as she can about the stars, including Arcturus and Spica. When they return, Natsuhiko asks what he is to her. When Mikoto is unable to answer, he asks the opposite instead. In reply, Mikoto says that she’s a tool to him as he threatened her with her friends’ lives. Natsuhiko wonders why she’s taking care of such a cruel man then, she could’ve just run away. In return, Mikoto asks why he protected her then. Natsuhiko is sure that he wouldn’t have done that if she were a mere tool. Whether he gains back his memory or not, he knows himself best and sees her as important. He promises not to hurt her again and to believe in his feelings as he wants to protect her. And as Mikoto returns his feelings, he takes her to bed…yeah. It feels as though the gap between them has been shortened, just like Arcturus and Spica. The next morning, Natsuhiko cooks breakfast for it and Mikoto observes that the porridge is pretty much boiling – which makes her recall their first conversation in which she complained about the cold porridge. But she wonders why Natsuhiko remembers it. All of a sudden, Ron comes in and Mikoto tells him that Natsuhiko has lost his memories. Seeing that this is the case, Ron remarks that their agreement is void now and draws out his guns. Natsuhiko soon responds and Ron notes that he regained his memory after all.

While Mikoto sees that their temporary peaceful life is over, Natsuhiko reassures her that nothing will change – his feelings for her remain the same and he promises not to kill the Norn members. Later, Natsuhiko gets updated on the situation from Setsu. Apparently Shirou appeared in Norn and pointed Ron out as the betrayer, and so Setsu had to step out and save Ron. However, everyone has been deceived by Shirou especially since Kakeru went to Shirou’s side. Ron did try to remove Kakeru’s earring to stop the brainwash but he failed. Natsuhiko explains to Mikoto that Kakeru isn’t Shirou’s blood-related son and probably took him in ‘cos of his power. Natsuhiko orders Setsu to check up on their whereabouts, while he works on a weapon to counter attack Shirou. Later, Natsuhiko goes to find Mikoto. When she denies that she’s worried about anything, he draws her into his arms instead. Though her lack of honesty does annoy him, he’s also started to take a liking to it. He opens up to her as he says that he’s always hated them since they’re the ones responsible for Reset. Once they do so, everyone loses their memories and all the research is reduced to nothing. While he knew that it was the last resort to stopping the war, he couldn’t bring himself to forgive them. He also hated Shirou for using science for his own selfish gains. He points out to Mikoto that unlike her, there are people who abuse their power for monetary gains. However, just as she previously said it’s not like they chose to accept these powers and they’re human just like the rest of them. Mikoto observes that just as how she was driven by the sole thought to protect everyone, he was driven by his hatred of them and Shirou for a long time and that has worn him down.

NORN9 ノルン+ノネット_0207

That night, Natsuhiko brings Mikoto out to see meteor shower which occurs once every 1000 years. He tells her that humans once travelled to outer space in the past. He also explains that Aion, known as the World to them, is the one who chooses the power users and have them decide on whether to Reset the world or not. He’s the descendant of the scientist who created Aion, and his people live on a small island to see to Aion and see that Reset is done properly. Natsuhiko plans to go meet Aion. While Reset may be the best solution to stopping Shirou, he wants to see the future of mankind where science is used for better reasons. Days later, they arrive at the island and Masamune is there waiting for them. Inside, Mikoto is reunited with the rest though they don’t adopt a welcoming attitude to Natsuhiko. Also, Kakeru is not with them, and Sorata is currently talking to Aion. Masamune explains that when Mikoto went missing, he tried to contact Aion but he couldn’t so he went to meet her on his own. During that time, Shirou came onto Norn and outed Ron as a betrayer. He asked them to come with him and with Kakeru’s lead, Koharu, Senri and Sakuya followed. The rest remained behind, and waited for Masamune’s return. While Akito thought that it was weird for Kakeru to accept his father (who should’ve long been dead) so casually, Koharu also knew Shirou from before and recalled him saying that he had no kids. They followed Kakeru as they were worried, and sensed something wrong when they were told to fight. However, Shirou died and they managed to escape amidst the chaos with the help of Masamune – but without Kakeru as he’s no longer the same as before. When Natsuhiko questions why Shirou died so suddenly, Masamune hints that he’s the same as Aion.

Ron then bids farewell to Natsuhiko, as in the end he couldn’t kill Shirou or any of the Norn members so his work is done. He drags Setsu along though to send him back. Inside, they meet Aion who explains that even if Shirou has died the weapons he’s distributed everywhere has already sparked off conflict. Natsuhiko is prepared to deal with that but Aion wonders why he won’t choose Reset as an alternate solution. Natsuhiko sees it as a mistake, and thinks that they should improve on Aion instead such that no one can oppose her and she can govern over all the countries. But Aion points out that the idea of letting an emotionless robot rule them was rejected, and it was a compromise in which she became Aion – she was built with a heart inside of her in the first place. It’s too much of a burden for a robot to guide mankind. Also, if Natsuhiko destroys the weapons Shirou distributed with his own it’s still a war so the best solution is still Reset. She persuades Natsuhiko to abandon his weapons. Humans are afraid to lose that power so instead they keep investing in it and it eventually leads to conflict. While Natsuhiko speaks for the good of humanity, he himself doesn’t want to abandon his own weapon.

Tragic Love End: Natsuhiko isn’t persuaded, and sticks to his initial goal of ending the Reset cycle. He doesn’t listen to Mikoto’s words, and calls for Setsu and Ron to return. When Mikoto begs for him to bring her along, Natsuhiko refuses to. Sakuya holds Mikoto back while Natsuhiko leaves, telling her that Natsuhiko has already chosen to rid of all weapons over her. Mikoto knows that she was unable to change Natsuhiko, but still she can’t deny her feelings for him. After that, Natsuhiko never returned and probably never told her to wait for him knowing that he can’t. Some time later, it was known that Natsuhiko was killed and Mikoto is unable to accept that reality and a future without him. In the end, Nanami erases her memories of Natsuhiko and Sakuya plans to take her back to their hometown. While war is still ongoing, Sakuya thinks that it’s better to act earlier and will protect her even at the risk of his own life. Meanwhile, in her sleep Mikoto dreams of herself sleeping in a sea of stars besides an unknown person (Natsuhiko).

Happy End: Natsuhiko gives up his weapons and after that day each of them start heading their own separate ways. They chose not to do Reset, and returned their powers to Aion – except Itsuki and Heishi who fled the island. Masamune is still trying to catch them. Though later, Mikoto learns that Natsuhiko helped Itsuki and Heishi escape as they want to save Kakeru. Natsuhiko and Mikoto remain behind to research on outer space, as well as to compile all the different progresses mankind has made since the last Reset. And today, Koharu, Senri, Nanami, Akito and Sakuya are returning to Japan. Mikoto writes a letter to pretty much every family member (even Sakuya’s) and passes the bundle to Sakuya. Sakuya tells her to be happy (and to improve her drawing skills lol), and tells her not to send them off knowing that she’ll end up crying. He adds that he once though that it would be alright to die protecting his important person – but now he feels happy to have a future. Afterwards, Natsuhiko spots Mikoto tearing up though she still puts up a strong front. He overheard their conversation, and brings out the drawing Mikoto drew of him. Apparently Ron sent it to him in exchange for not being able to kill Shirou. Natsuhiko starts teasing her as he brings her hand to his face, and asks if his face is that twisted etc.

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Natsuhiko remarks that the him before was so hung up on his duty, that he lost sight of what’s really important. Even though the world hasn’t been changed, he feels as though he has and is filled with happiness thanks to her. In response, Mikoto brings up their research and while she’d like to go to outer space herself one day – but if they can’t she’s alright with her children fulfilling that dream too. The future way ahead of them appears bright to her as she’s with Natsuhiko. Just then, Mikoto sees the ship everyone is supposed to leave on flying past. Natsuhiko tells her that while they can’t travel to outer space now, they can go to see her friends anytime. After all, he fell in love with her crying face as he found it beautiful.

Overall

On the whole, I found Mikoto’s routes to be better than the others – I wonder if the writers were biased to her lol. The ends have a more conclusive feel, though the jump to Natsuhiko’s happy end was a bit odd. I don’t have much to say to be honest since I’m rather neutral to Mikoto’s personality, and so I’m also quite neutral to the couples. But I did notice that pretty much all the guys already loved Mikoto from the start lol. I say the same for Natsuhiko ‘cos in those random Hiyoko Channel shows, Natsuhiko reluctantly answered that his preference was long-haired and black…lol. That being said, I think this is the only locked character whose route feels rewarding.

Anyway, even after having finished 9 routes and if the full story still isn’t clear to you – it’s okay. I didn’t get much either. ‘Cos after you finish all this there’s still a epilogue which I will cover in the next and last post. But well, don’t expect too much since it isn’t that long.

7 thoughts on “NORN9: Sakuya, Itsuki, Natsuhiko

  1. yuuki says:

    First, I am sorry for the inconvenience!
    I am a beginner in Otomi games and this is the first game I play!

    I chose Mikoto and choose Sakuya and Itsuki
    But I got the bad end!

    I do not know why!
    I changed many options
    But I did not get a happy ending never!! : (

    Please help me

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