Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly: Common Route

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Here is the Common Route for Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly omg finally!. It features majority of the game content so this will be a monstrous post. This follows from the Prologue. (Updated with the links to the different ends!)

Chapter 1

Beniyuri is woken up by the message tone from her mobile phone. She wonders how long she’s been asleep, as she comes face-to-face with an unfamiliar room. She slowly recalls what happened, before checking her phone. Once more it’s a message from the unknown sender: The kaleidoscope is within the mansion. With a heavy heart as to how to resolve their current circumstances, she exits her room and heads downstairs where the rest already are. As she greets them, Karasuba tells her to drop the formalities. He’s glad that she’s finally here, as it felt suffocating to only have guys around.

They’re not sure whether it’s morning now, but Kagiha estimates that 6-7 hours have passed since they dispersed. Hikage sharply remarks on how he’s relieved to see she has a lot of nerve to sleep so well, thinking that girls would be more edgy. Beniyuri embarrassingly replies that she’s surprised herself, but she probably felt at ease to know that the two of them were on watch and thanks them. He goes silent, before observing how blissful she is to not get the sarcasm. On the other hand, Karasuba sees Yamato ignore Beniyuri and thinks that he must have not been popular previously. This provokes Yamato and Kagiha has to calm them down. Beniyuri thinks to herself that they must get along well to be able to fight like this.

Afterwards, they go to search the storeroom next to the kitchen and see that there’s plenty of food available. Kagiha reassures them that they’re all edible. Beniyuri soon notices that Hikage’s missing, and finds him upstairs. He explains that he was thinking about the kaleidoscope, as well as the monsters and gun that materialises in their hands. She notes that it’s true that nothing has been solved though they’ve found company. It appears that everyone received the same message she did, so the kaleidoscope must be extremely important to the mysterious sender. At that moment, Hikage widens his eyes and stops Yamato from exiting the hideout.

Yamato wants to find a way out no matter what, for he doesn’t plan to play along with this game. Beniyuri is alarmed for it’s too dangerous to head out alone, though she realises that she did the same last night. She grabs onto Yamato’s sleeve, determined not to let go. This draws a loud sigh from him, before saying that he feels an extreme urge to return. But he doesn’t know why that’s why it’s torturing him. Perhaps it’s something he shouldn’t have forgotten. Karasuba wonder if it’s his girlfriend, and withdraws the statement he made before about Yamato not being popular. Anyway, Hikage is opposed to leaving the hideout this recklessly. But they’re can’t remain here forever either. And if they don’t act accordingly, perhaps the mysterious sender will do something else – like snatching away the hideout.

He reasons that for some reason or another, the sender can’t find the kaleidoscope himself, but the fact remains that the sender has control over the mansion. So if he were in the same position, he would likely seize away their hideout to shake them up. In any case, they should act before something unexpected like that happens.  Yamato remarks that they’re leaving the hideout still, though Hikage doesn’t want to be compared to his level of stupidity. Everyone else is agreeable to his proposal, and he goes to get knives from the kitchen since they don’t have their guns. Beniyuri attempts to materialise it again, but fails. Hikage says that he couldn’t do it either, so they’ve to be realistic. They decide to split into two groups, to search the right and left sides of the entrance hall. Yamato takes the left, and Kagiha takes the right. As the former narrows his eyes at her, as if telling her not to be a burden to him, Beniyuri decides to join Kagiha. Karasuba quickly asks to join her too, leaving Hikage with Yamato.

After splitting up, they step outside to the cold corridors again. Honestly, the temperature isn’t that different but her sixth sense warns her of the dangers that lie in wait. They proceed cautiously down the endless hallways, with locked doors lining the side. The mansion is much bigger than expected, and eerily the doors all have distorted shapes. After walking in the labyrinth for a while, Karasuba starts to knock a sculpture against the window. Kagiha states that he’s tried it too but the windows weren’t damaged at all. Karasuba returns the object back to its place, and they continue to try and open the doors.

Finally, Beniyuri comes across an unlocked door. Kagiha carefully opens it, and they find what appears to be a storeroom. The scattered items all appear to be expensive, but put together they give off a weird atmosphere. It appears safe with the absence of any monsters, though Beniyuri doesn’t want to stay here for long. She and Kagiha enter, but Karasuba remains at the door staying that he’ll keep watch. He isn’t good with these meticulous tasks, and leave the searching to them while he literally cheers them on. The remaining two start their search, but Beniyuri fails to find any clues to escaping such as a map or keys. An hour or so passes by, till she discovers a box with a butterfly motif on it. Inside lies a porcelain box wrapped in silk. She immediately feels that there’s something special, and opens it up to find a circular plate with a beautiful mother-of-pearl design. As they wonder what it is, Beniyuri feels that despite the many other items in this mansion, this disc feels different.

Just then, a clatter is heard and Karasuba questions who is there. It turns out to be a girl wearing a rabbit mask, who timidly apologises and informs them that it’s the lid for the kaleidoscope they’re searching for. If they join it with the cylinder, the kaleidoscope vessel will be complete. She was told by the master of the mansion to help those who open the box, and has been waiting for them. She can’t answer their questions about the master, and is also unable to introduce herself.  Beniyuri decides on the name “Usagi”, and the masked girl doesn’t mind it. She can’t share too much with them, but says that the master’s aim is to complete the kaleidoscope. So they need to join the lid and the cylinder, as well as insert the fragments. Fragments are glass shards which that bear a mysterious light. They possess a special power, but for one reason or another they’ve been scattered throughout the mansion. And perhaps the monsters are drawn to its power, so they have it.

In other words, they need to obtain it from the monsters by force. Their weapons will materialise if they think strongly about it, with the power of thought. She doesn’t know anymore, and tells them to just follow the text messages. They are unable to fully comprehend her words, and Beniyuri is unsure of where to start clarifying things. But Usagi points out the sound of rain which means that it’s almost nighttime. Over here, it rains at night. The monsters will start to appear (at night), so they’d better return and should only come out when it’s daytime. She takes her leave and quickly vanishes. As the rain pounds down more heavily, they hear a distant roar. It’s as Usagi said. Beniyuri notes that they’d have to face the monsters again, and feels fear at herself. She’s gotten used to fear due to these strange occurrences. Even though she knows that it’s a matter of life and death, the reality feels distant like a dream. Letting out a deep sigh, she hugs her own shoulders to confirm her existence, and notes that this isn’t a dream.

Back at the hideout, they share their findings with Hikage and Yamato. Their current situation becomes a lot clearer. But they still need the cylinder and the shards, which will take a lot of effort. Hikage wonders if what they found is the cylinder, as he reveals a cylindrical vessel and a pedestal. They couldn’t search far due to the monsters, so they returned and searched the hideout – and found this on the living-room shelf. They piece the objects together, and it appears complete. Now they just need to insert the fragments, as according to Usagi. As the rest are puzzled by how it looks, Beniyuri recalls the shard she retrieved after the man with a fox mask shot the monster. She brings it out and they decide to try inserting it in. As she attempts to find a place to insert it, the shard and lid start to shine. She hesitantly places it on the lid, and it starts to shine brightly as the fragment is sucked in. The kaleidoscope projects colourful geometric patterns onto the walls, as Beniyuri realises that it works like projector. She feels as though she’s being drawn into a different world as she stares at it.

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Soon, the light weakens and the illusions end. She is snapped back into reality, as all of their phones ring. It’s as though the master is watching their every move. They open up the new message: Here’s your reward. They all receive the same message, and an attachment. Beniyuri checks hers, and finds a family photo: a father, a young girl, and a girl holding a puppy. In fact, the last girl looks just like her. Her head throbs painfully, as she struggles to grasp onto her memories. She recalls a memory of the past. Her younger sister, Haruka, wonders why she’s up this early. Beniyuri replies that she’s going to meet someone important, but denies that the person is her boyfriend. Her father tells Haruka to stop bothering her, as the bus will be here soon. He confirms that she’ll be home in the evening. Beniyuri then tells Koro, her puppy, that they’ll take a walk later.

As she says goodbye to her family, Beniyuri is brought back to reality. It appears that the rest also remembered something. Yamato is mad that the master knows everything about them, as is making them forget and remember their past as he wishes. She tries to calm him down while Kagiha looks at them worriedly. She wishes to return to her family soon, for there’s a place for her to return to. As Yamato remarks that they don’t belong here in the first place, Kagiha reassures them that they’ll be able to leave if they work together – surely. Hikage agrees that they first need to gather the fragments. Beniyuri notices that the usually lively Karasuba is quiet. He quickly apologises as he was thinking about something else.

Afterwards, they talked about what they recalled. They still don’t know their name, address and so on – it’s only a single piece of the puzzle of who they are. Beniyuri is back in her room, thankful that she recalled even a bit. She gazes at the photo again, fondly remembering her family – including her deceased mother who gave her a pretty ribbon as a protective charm. She wonders if she can see them again, and can’t help but think for the worse. Surrounded by unfamiliarity, Beniyuri is overwhelmed by loneliness and tears up, wondering why she has to face this. Just then, someone knocks on her door. It’s Kagiha. She quickly rubs away her tears, before letting him in. He has brought some hot cocoa for her. But he realises that she’s been crying, and she can only come up with the weak excuse that dust got into her eyes.

Kagiha hands her a mug, and Beniyuri tastes it. When she praises it, he explains that he added cinnamon though he considered brandy too. Unexpectedly, the warm taste makes her tear up again. She apologises while wiping the tears away, but he tells her not to hold it back. After all, no one else is watching or blaming her. If she doesn’t cry when she wants to, she won’t be able to smile afterwards. When that happens, she’ll slowly forget how to smile and her mood will grow worse. Encouraging her not to hold back, he pats her head and remains by her side as she starts to cry like a little child. Some time passes, till she stops and is met by his smile like the sun. She apologises for keeping him here and is embarrassed. He denies this, as observes that she’s smiling again.

Once more, he tells her to cry when she wants to, so that she’ll be able to smile naturally. She’s cuter when she smiles. Kagiha catches himself, and blushes as he wonders if he’s being influenced by Karasuba. He didn’t mean to flirt. But it doesn’t mean that he was lying. She’s cute and honest. That’s as expected she’s……whether she’s crying or smiling. (Words are indistinct on purpose). He then wonders why she addresses him more formally with “-san” when she calls the rest with “-kun”. Beniyuri wonders too, thinking that perhaps it’s ‘cos he appears older. The way he comforted her and is always so calm, is like an elder brother. Hearing this, Kagiha wonders if he should be happy or sad over this. For a moment, his gaze appears lonely but he soon smiles as per usual. He wishes her good night before leaving, as she is left wondering over his last words. Thanks to the hot cocoa, she falls asleep easily.

Outside her room, Kagiha sees Hikage standing there. He wonders what the latter is doing, but Hikage returns the question back. Kagiha replies that he only made hot cocoa, with Hikage confirming if that was it. The taller man then says that he has something to talk about. Hikage leads him inside his room.

Read: Chapter 1 Short Episodes

Chapter 2

They continue their life in the hideout for a few more days without any problems concerning shelter and food. In fact, fresh ingredients are supplied to them everyday. That’s why they can give their all for training, in other words materialising their weapons. At first, they tried to do so with reservations. Naturally, they failed. After continuous failed attempts and on the verge of giving up, a miracle occurred for them – that is for everyone else except Beniyuri. After their daily training, Yamato questions when they can head out to defeat the monsters. At this rate his reflexes will grow dull. Hikage insists that everyone has to be able to materialise the gun, so now’s not the time. Yamato’s comments make Beniyuri fully aware that she’s dragging their progress, though Karasuba points out that Yamato struggled just as much.

As the duo are on the verge of breaking out into another argument, Karasuba suggests everyone else heading out while he remains here with Beniyuri. Hikage replies that this place isn’t 100% safe so it would be difficult for him if he had to protect Beniyuri while fighting. The best would be for each of them to protect themselves. Karasuba expresses his disappointment at not being able to be alone with Beniyuri, loud enough for Hikage to pick up. Soon, it starts to rain, signalling that it’s nighttime. They reassure Beniyuri to go at her own pace. But late in the night when everyone else is asleep, she gets up to train again. Yamato comes to fetch himself some water, chancing upon her solo training.

Noticing her meek responses, he asks if she’s afraid of him. She denies this. She’s felt fear when she encountered the monsters, but she doesn’t feel that way towards him. His words may be harsh, but he’s never gotten physical with her. And she’s started to feel closer to him. Beniyuri admits that she is afraid – of someone disappearing from this hideout. He can be reckless due to his desperation to escape, that’s why she’s afraid that he’d disappear by himself. She wants to escape too, but with everyone present. For some reason, her chest tightens when the thought of losing the place she belongs to, losing her beloved one, crosses her mind. Yamato remarks that all the more she needs a weapon, in order to recover the fragments and to protect your friends. He stands behind her, gently cradling her hands as she nervously takes her stance.

Yamato advises her to image herself holding the gun. Image training!! He notes that she isn’t most afraid of using the gun, but of losing her friends. In that case, she should use it to protect them. As Beniyuri listens closely to his words, she’s taken aback when a gun materialises in her hands – as if it’d been there from the start. She’s delighted, and he briefly remarks that she merely didn’t have enough imagination before. She gazes at the gun, with beautiful gemstones engraved in it. Previously, she had a scary image of it. But seeing it now, she can now believe that it will be a tool that will shine light on the path to their future.

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The two of them finally realise their close distance, as they jump away from each other. She thanks him for his help, and he replies that he was also taught this way by Hikage. He expresses a rare praise for the guy, adding that he has all the qualities he lacks. The two seem like an unexpected pair to her, but on the flipside it means they also complement each other. Yamato adds that Hikage seems to resemble someone. He then returns to his room, leaving Beniyuri to wonder if it’s okay for him to have forgotten his drink. He couldn’t possibly have specially come to see her, could he?

The next day, everyone else is thrilled by her progress. Yamato averts his gaze from her, so Beniyuri keeps the truth a secret as she explains that she somehow managed to do it when training. They decide to split up in groups to search the mansion. Here, Beniyuri is given the first choice of whom to be her partner.

Hikage: She thinks that it’s better to go with the person whom she defeated the monster with. In response, Hikage raises an eyebrow. He did suggest moving in groups, but to be honest he’d rather someone more reliable. Beniyuri doesn’t catch his last words, and he dismisses his queries. They step outside, and she can’t help but feel uneasy. Today, they will be confronting monsters. Hikage appears fine. She recalls his reluctant expression, and realises that she’s always causing him trouble. So does he hate her? He can feel her piercing gaze, and advises her to say it instead of just staring.

Since she’s being prompted, Beniyuri asks if he hates her. He widens his eyes at her, before commenting that he does dislike working with her. But it’s because she’s unreliable, not because he hates her. Hikage clarifies his choice of words, adding that it’s not just her – he finds women to be weak and unreliable. That’s why he’s unsure if he can protect her by himself. He’s not as sturdy as Yamato, not as quick-witted as Karasuba, and not as thoughtful as Kagiha. Rationally speaking, she should choose someone else. Beniyuri is relieved to hear that she isn’t disliked, and a weight disappears off her chest.

But while she’s happy that he wants to protect her, there is also the option of running away. He remarks that he doesn’t like that side of her – she thinks that it’s a virtue to sacrifice yourself. While the person who moves on first may be okay, the person left behind will be wrecked with regret and guilt. If she really thinks of the rest, she shouldn’t give up till the very end, and not give up on her own life. Hikage always speaks with a tinge of sarcasm, but just now he spoke rather passionately. Still, she sees his point and apologises for what she said. She won’t give up, and will work hard so that everyone can leave together. Hikage looks at her with a kind gaze, as he finds her honesty is a virtue.

They head to the second floor, where they find countless masks lining the walls. Perhaps it’s the owner’s collection. Beniyuri gets the chills walking down, as countless pairs of vacant eyes stare at her. Soon, they notice a school boy standing a distance away. Hikage readies his gun, and Beniyuri takes the cue to ready hers too. They see that the boy is wearing a cat mask, and doesn’t seem to have any ill intent. They asks if he’s seen anyone else, and he shrugs his shoulders. He doesn’t think so. He doesn’t recall any memories, though there are times he almost does.

Beniyuri remarks that it’s dangerous for him, due to the monsters. Hikage asks if he has seen any, and the boy points just ahead where a black shadow is. It’s a monster. Beniyuri wants to evacuate the boy to somewhere safe first, but he has already vanished. Hikage tells her to snap out of it, as the monster heads towards them. After defeating it, she is thoroughly exhausted. Hikage isn’t affected, as he picks up a fragment. She is thankful that they got one, and sees her tired reflection in it. Hikage wonders if she tires because of the physical aspect, or because of the black butterflies. In any case, she can’t defeat many at one go in a day. She apologises for dragging him down, but he tells her not to. It’s proof that she has worked hard.

He questions where her strong point has gone. He praised her, so she should honestly accept it. Despite his sudden words, she can feel his kindness. Beniyuri can’t help but giggle. She recalls that he was the one who taught Yamato how to materialise a gun, so in a way she was under his care too. If she can’t apologise, then she should thank him. Hikage is puzzled at her abrupt words of gratitude. She’s fine with that, and laughs at his confused look. In any case, they should return now since they have collected a shard. Everyone else should be returning soon too. Hikage supports her, and she can’t help but wonder what happened to the boy.

Yamato: Yesterday, Yamato helped her with her practice. So she’s like to choose him, but during their previous search he seemed to have a rather gloomy expression, as if he wanted to shut the door in her face if he could. Just then, their eyes meet so she decides to go ahead and try asking. Yamato is surprised, and remarks that she has peculiar tastes. After all, one usually wouldn’t choose a person like him. Beniyuri promises not to drag him down, and they head outside. As per discussed, they head to the second floor. It isn’t any different, except for the masks lining both walls. It’s rather creepy, could it be the owner’s collection? Yamato walks along quickly, and she wishes that they could converse. But he looks like he’d get angry if she talks to him. Surprisingly, he asks her to say something. It feels weird for her to keep quiet, moreover with these masks.

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So Beniyuri asks what photo was sent to him from the mansion owner, is it his family? Though she asked a casual question, for some reason his expression darkens. Did she ask the wrong thing? Attempting to lighten up the mood, she recalls about her family instead. Herself, her father, sister and pet dog – the 4 of them live happily together. Yamato corrects her, it should be 3 people and 1 pet. She explains that she found Koro abandoned in the park on a rainy day, and she and Haruka took it in. Perhaps because it was abandoned, it was very afraid of them at first, but soon it grew close to them. It even took her back home when she got lost one day. Whilst speaking, it occurs to her that Yamato is similar to Koro. He appears cold at first, but he helped her out when she was in trouble.

She makes that remark to him, and he questions if she’s implying that he’s like a dog. She says that it’s more like Koro is like a human. As Beniyuri giggles at this, Yamato always cracks a smile. She wants to see her family again, and he replies that they need to leave this place soon then. They keep searching till their legs are stiff, but they can’t find any monsters. The doors are also mostly locked, and those that aren’t are all storerooms. Beniyuri thinks that it would be good if nothing happens, but then again they need to collect the shards. Just then, the sound of rain is heard from a distance. It’s better to return soon.

Suddenly, a loud cry is heard. They hurry over, and find a young boy being attacked by a monster. The masked boy cries out to Yamato, but it’s too late as black specks spread across his body and he’s sucked into darkness. They couldn’t make it in time. The monster directs its attention to them now. They successfully defeat it. But when Beniyuri calls Yamato, but realises something off about him. It’s as if blue flames are emerging from him, with all of his anger being directed at the monster.

He slowly bends down to pick up a glass shard, which probably belongs to the kaleidoscope. Yamato whispers that he wasn’t able to protect again, even though he was asked to help. With clenched fists, he punches the floor again and again. Beniyuri watches quietly, till she sees his hand bleeding. The fragment is cutting into his hand. But his figure looks extremely hurt, and she can’t bring herself to interrupt. Perhaps he had recalled a painful memory the other day. The sound of rain grows louder, and they stare at where the boy was for a while before returning.

Karasuba: She thinks that if she goes with someone bright, she can be more optimistic. Karasuba welcomes her with open arms, and she is startled as she hasn’t said anything yet. He winks at her, saying that he heard her inner voice. He happily drags her away, leaving all the other men behind. Beniyuri promises not to drag him down, and he says likewise. But he jokes that he’ll leave her behind if things get dangerous. His words make her uneasy, as she chases after him. The mansion is like a devil’s lair, and she holds her breath expecting the monsters to jump out anytime. But Karasuba pays no mind, as he casually mentions how he was chased away by Hikage when he suggested playing cards in his room. She’s thankful for him.

Karasuba then commends her on materialising her gun, and he wonders if someone taught her. The way she stood reminded him of someone, is it just his imagination? Beniyuri gives a vague reply. There’s no reason to hide it though, and perhaps it will be a chance for Yamato and Karasuba to get along. She explains the truth, which shocks Karasuba. She notices that he looks dissatisfied, and he replies that he just doesn’t take a liking to Yamato. It’s as if every cell of his is rejecting that idea. She remarks that Yamato looks a bit scary, but he’s a good person. Karasuba questions her proof for that statement, besides helping with her training. She has no real reason, as she just presumed that everyone here is good.

It’s just her gut feeling. You know the scarier someone looks, the kinder they are. Karasuba laughs at this – in other words all those who look kind are bad? Kagiha looks kind, so is he a bad person? Beniyuri denies this, and he remarks that no one really knows who is good or bad. She bitterly bites her lip, having lost the argument. He smiles wider, apologising for picking on her as she’s too naive and cute. She’s a good girl, to the point that she believes in that “good people” illusion – but she can’t survive that way. His smile turns cold, and it sends a chill down a spine. There’s only monsters after them right? Why does he seem to imply something else? Just then, Karasuba breaks out into laughter. It was just a joke.

He really can’t help but tease her. He switches the topic, suggesting that they head to the second floor. Left wondering about the meaning behind his words, they go upstairs. Karasuba is taken aback by the masks on the walls, wondering if it’s the owner’s collection. As they walk forward, they hear someone sobbing quietly. It’s a young girl, but Karasuba stops Beniyuri from approaching. There’s no proof that the person isn’t “bad”. The small girl reminds her of her sister though, and she tells Karasuba that she won’t get too close. As he calls her stupid, Beniyuri asks the girl why she’s crying. The girl looks up, wearing a cat mask, which startles Beniyuri a little. She asks who Beniyuri is.

Beniyuri introduces herself, adding that she recently came to the mansion. The girl recalls that she was in the hospital for a big operation for a complicated disease. Everyone told her that god will surely save her if she’s a good girl and yet. Beniyuri tries to calm her down, but the girl cries out that everyone is a liar. A mass of black butterflies envelope the girl, and Karasuba observes that it’s too late to save her. They have no choice but to defeat the monster. When they finish, he reminds her that he did tell her that she can’t survive like that. She will meet danger if she trusts people so easily. It’s fine if she learns from her mistake though. Karasuba picks up a fragment left behind by the monster. She asks why he can smile even at a time like this. Does he think nothing of the fact that they just killed the girl?

Karasuba replies that she is hurt because she was deceived by the exterior of the crying girl. If she suspected that the girl might be a monster, then she wouldn’t get hurt. Which is smarter – to believe and get hurt, or to doubt and remain unhurt? He smiles as he places the fragment in her hand. Beniyuri thinks that she might be simple, but not everyone in this world isn’t like that. At least that girl, meant no harm. He only points out that the result is everything, she attacked them. She doesn’t know why he can say this, as if he’s speaking to himself. So does he not believe anyone, even her? He nods, and apologises. She remarks that he may not get hurt, but it’s lonely to not believe anyone. An unsettling silence follows, and soon the rain starts to fall. He says that they should return since they have collected something. They remain quiet throughout the way back.

Kagiha: She decides to go with the kind, reassuring presence. Outside the hideout, everything else appears the same as previously. Kagiha expresses his surprise at her choosing him, after all the others are more reliable and stronger – though it’s unsightly to say so himself. Beniyuri recalls the other time he brought hot cocoa for her and gently comforted her, and insists that he’s reliable. He made her feel that she isn’t alone, so that she could pick herself up again. It isn’t easy to change one’s tears into a smile in such a situation – but she could do so because of him. Kagiha remains quiet at her words.

He then confirms that she trusts him. He thanks her for that, as it makes him happy. He’ll have to work hard so as to not disappoint her. Kagiha takes the lead, and fortunately or not they encounter zero monsters. Just then, a young masked girl asks what they’re searching for. Her unexpected presence takes them both by surprise, but Kagiha calmly answers her. The girl replies that the monsters can be found on the 2nd floor, as she fled from there. So far none of them have ventured up there. When he’s about to ask the girl for more details, she’s vanished from their sight. Though it may be dangerous, they decide to head upstairs.There, they discover the walls decorated with eerie-looking masks. Could it be the mansion owner’s collection? Knowing the possibility that there might be a monster, they proceed with caution. Beniyuri even wonders if she should first materialise the gun or not.

In the midst of her thoughts, Kagiha takes her hand and reassures her that she isn’t alone. His gentle warmth eases the tension in her, and at the same time she finds it strangely familiar. Just as she was about to recall something important, a sharp pain hits her. Kagiha is alarmed and apologises, but Beniyuri replies that it has nothing to do with him. She was about to recall something, and Kagiha quietly acknowledges this. At that moment, black butterflies flutter past which hints the presence of a monster.The two of them defeat the monster, but her body feel extremely heavy despite Kagiha looking just fine. They pick up the glass shard, and she wraps it up in the ribbon from her top. They decide to head back, as she wonders what memory she was about to recall. Would she remember it if they touch again? But nothing happens when Kagiha supports her on their way back, and she can only smile back at his kind gaze.

(Back to common route) Back at the hideout, they learn that the other group also encountered masked people. So clearly they are not the only residents. But with the monsters roaming about, where do they usually stay? In any case, they are a bit suspicious so it’s best to stay clear of them. Beniyuri isn’t so sure of that though, as she recalls how the person with the fox mask saved her.

They all gather the fragments they collected, and Karasuba places it on the kaleidoscope’s lid. Once more, bright patterns are projected onto the walls. Beniyuri notices that it’s slightly different from before. After the projections end, she catches sight of white butterflies in a corner of the room. Following the trail, she finds Usagi through the cracks of the door. Her sudden appearance shocks Yamato, and Hikage holds him back from lunging at her. Usagi apologises, explaining that she’d wanted to just deliver a tray cart filled with food. Beniyuri helps her to transfer them to the table, and Usagi explains that it’s a reward from the mansion owner for their find. Karasuba is suspicious of whether it’s safe to eat or not, and she firmly denies this. After all, her master needs their help. Beniyuri wonders to herself what sort of relationship she and her master have.

Awkward silence follows, tills Yamato seats himself at the table to try the food. He reasons that her master would’ve long done them in, if the master was really out to get them. Hikage agrees, highlighting the fact that previously they also received a reward in the form of a memory. The rest of the members follow suite by sitting at the table, and start to eat. Hearing their words, Beniyuri is hopeful that they’ll be able to leave the mansion if the kaleidoscope is complete. She helps Kagiha prepare some tea, while Yamato and Karasuba are quick to pick a fight again. Hikage calmly ignores them, saying that it will resolve by itself.

As they continue eating, Beniyuri sees that Hikage has been avoiding shiitake mushroom, wondering if he dislikes it. The latter reddens in the face, insisting that he just can’t forgive its taste. She points out that she’s right then, adding that he can’t do so since it’ll be rude to the person who made the food. But this backfires on her, as she’s left green peas on her own plate. Kagiha remarks that she’s a good girl, so surely she’ll eat them.

Soon, Beniyuri notices Usagi standing silently by the door, whom refuses to eat with them as she’s a mere messenger. She tells Beniyuri not to pay her any mind, but her growling stomach gives everything away. So Beniyuri offers her some sliced apples with lots of honey. The masked girl gratefully accepts it, and the older girl is surprised to see her cute, delicate face underneath the mask. But Hikage reminds her to be wary of strangers, not to be deceived. Against her protests, he forcefully drags her back to the table. With him glaring at her, Beniyuri has no choice but to meekly sit down. While she’s grateful for his concern, she can’t help but feel that he’s being too rigid. Behind her, a soft voice thanks her for the food. When Beniyuri turns around, Usagi has disappeared and the empty plate is left on the floor.

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The filling meal has filled up not just their stomachs, but their souls too. Thanks to it, she feels energised again. Though the true motives of the masked girl and her master still remain a mystery, it’s evident that they’re to complete the kaleidoscope. It’s the only hope they have in this sea of confusion and fear. While wondering when she can reach the shore and see her family again, Beniyuri drifts to sleep that night.

Read: Chapter 2 Short Episodes

Chapter 3

After that, their days of exploring the mansion and defeating the monsters continued. It was tough to adjust to the battles and using a gun at first, but gradually her movements grew more nimble. The glass shards they collected grew, and each time the atmosphere in the hideout grew more light-hearted too. As if they were united as friends. At least that’s what Beniyuri tried to feel at first. If not, she wouldn’t be able to bear the terror from this situation. But right now, surely that’s the case for everyone who is working towards a common goal of escaping. Among them, Yamato is the most eager in their search.

On one such day, he returned to the hideout with minor wounds again. Beniyuri observes that he doesn’t look well, but he dismisses her concern. Her nosiness is tiring him out more. Yamato turns his back to her, ignoring her further words. Karasuba comments on how brusque he is to not answer, triggering Yamato to shout at them to not bother him. This startles Beniyuri, for he never was this irritated before. Karasuba wonders if he’s lost it, recalling how he fought the monster as if he was exacting revenge for his parents. Kagiha agrees that his feathers seem ruffled. Hikage watches on in silence. Beniyuri can only conclude that he must have a pressing reason to leave the mansion. She feels similarly, but it’s almost as if Yamato has sunk into despair.

She recalls how she cried as she remembered her family on her first night here. It’s good to know that you have a place to return to, but it also hurts to be separated from them and to be alone in this mansion. It was heartening when Kagiha came to comfort her, and she feels motivated to do the same for Yamato. She attempts to offer some hot cocoa to him. Unfortunately, he replies that he isn’t fond of sweet stuff. Embarrassed, she awkwardly laughs and says that she’ll drink it then. Shuffling her feet uncomfortably, he sighs loudly and tells her to come in his room since she wants to talk.

Inside, Beniyuri realises that there are rather few white butterflies in his room. The jewel resting in his choker also looks rather dull. When asked if Hikage told her to talk to him, she denies this and explains that she’s worried about his condition. He always looks troubled. Yamato remarks that it’s just the face he was born with, and comments on how nosy she is. She can only apologise, as she reflects if she has made a wrong move to interfere. But soon, he confides in her about his younger brother. He gestures for her to sit, as he explains that he has a twin brother but they’ve opposite personalities. And it’s his fault that his brother met with an accident and has been hospitalised for 10 years – in coma.

But his brother’s conscious is still present. So as per recommended by the doctor, he’s been visiting everyday to talk to him, in hopes that he wakes up. On the flipside, if he doesn’t visit his brother’s conscious will fade away even more. So in place of his parents who are busy with work, he’s been diligently visiting everyday. This explains why he’s so eager about leaving the mansion. Yamato doesn’t want her sympathy though, after it’s his fault that his brother’s in a coma. A heavy silence falls upon them, and for some reason her chest is aching with a different pain.

“It’s my fault.”

For some reason, those words resonate in her – as if she knows it too well. Has she hurt someone before too?

Yamato feels bad for confiding in her about this, but instead she remarks that he’s kind to think so much for his family. She’s sure that his feelings would reach his brother. Beniyuri thanks him for talking to her, and he unexpectedly returns a serious gaze. Is it the first time that they’ve had this talk? She confirms that it is, and he notes that it’s probably the case. But he can’t help but feel otherwise, and he reaches out to touch her face. She avoids his touch as she abruptly stands up. Yamato apologises for surprising her, it was probably just his imagination. Beniyuri apologises too, wondering why she avoided him. It did look as though he was going to recall something.

Another silence follows, and she excuses herself from his room. He thanks her for the talk, adding that it did make him feel better. His small smile should make her feel happy, but oddly it pains her. Beniyuri leaves the room, heaving a sigh. His gesture just now was as if he was searching for something, and she clearly rejected it – it felt as though it would pull up a memory she shouldn’t recall. It was as if alarms were going off in her head. She’d wanted to help him, so why did she dodge him? Why is she such a coward. With the pain still piercing her heart, Beniyuri returns to her room.

Later that night, her phone’s message tone wakes her up. She immediately checks it, and the text questions if she wants to know about Yamato. The very notion that the mansion owner might have overheard their conversation sends a chill down her spine. Whether or not Beniyuri answers or hesitates, another message is sent. This time, a photo of the two twins is attached. One looks like Yamato, and the other uncannily resembles Hikage. This confuses her, since his brother is supposed to be in coma. Her thoughts are interrupted by a loud cry from outside, followed by loud noises and hurried footsteps.

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She finds the rest chasing after Yamato who has ran out of the hideout. They find him just outside, leaning against a pillar like a broken doll. He’s clearly out of sorts, as he doesn’t respond to them and mutters that he did it – he killed him. At that moment, black butterflies gather at Yamato’s choker as if it’s nectar. Kagiha holds her back, as Yamato’s skin is stained black up till his sharp fingernails. It’s as if he’s transforming into a beast. Everyone else can only stare in shock, as the beast writhes in pain and disappears into the darkness. They’re left speechless, and Usagi appears before them, asking if they’re unharmed.

Beniyuri almost leaps at her for an answer, but Kagiha tells her to calm down. The masked girl remarks that Yamato’s soul has been thoroughly stained with despair. At first, she poses an ambiguous question – isn’t this mansion rather different? Noting their dissatisfaction, Usagi explains that this place is a dimension between life and death. A place where souls cross through from the living world towards afterlife. She patiently waits for her words to sink into them, till Hikage rationalises that if she’s speaking the truth it would mean that they’re dead. She replies that there’s still a chance for them to be revived, since they’re in between life and death. In fact, they just witnessed Yamato turn a monster. And all the monsters they’ve met, everyone was originally human.

By right, when one passes away and arrives here, they should have lost all memories. And gradually they’ll lose their face and body, and their soul will move on. But those with strong attachments to the living world, or those who recall any memories, cannot leave this place. Stuck here, they’ll change into that ugly form as they’re worn out and sink in despair. Eventually, those monsters who have lost all hope are drawn into the depths of hell. On the other hand, if you want to revive you’d need both your memories and a strong attachment to the living world.

Everyone is silent. It doesn’t seem like she’s lying. But Beniyuri still can’t swallow this reality. Usagi asks if they recall the butterflies. In truth, those are like particles of souls. White butterflies guide people to afterlife, but black butterflies lure people to hell. It explains why black ones are present wherever there are monsters. Her master is the one who created this dimension. And for a certain reason, he desires the completion of the kaleidoscope. It appears that it will grant his wish. In the past, it was destroyed and its fragments were scattered. It has taken a long time for its repair, and its completion is almost near. When her master uses it for his own wish, he also plans to grant their wish.

So in reality, her master hasn’t trapped them here. They’re just passing by. If they want to fight against the tide, there’s no other way but to collect the remaining fragments. Beniyuri points out that they’d have to kill monsters who were formerly humans then. Usagi agrees, but more accurately they’d vanish. And if Yamato has a fragment, it means they’d have to attack him too. Hikage calmly remarks that it’d probably hurt less to attack those with masks since you can’t see their faces. Usagi emphasises that they’ve lost their memories and faces. So perhaps they hide under a mask as they’re unable to accept that fact. In any case, they’re already doomed and can’t be saved.

Beniyuri notes that Usagi is different from those masked people, in that she has a face and memories. Karasuba remarks that their goal hasn’t changed, but he’s suspicious of whether they can really return to the living world. Usagi only explains that unlike the living world, strong will, memories and feelings can materialise. So if they truly wish to be revived, they should continue fighting with that same desire and finish the kaleidoscope. She then gives a little bow, before walking away. Everyone else is left standing with extreme lethargy.

It was expected that the fog clouding their visions would clear up with her explanation. But the path revealed leads to a dark cave with no end in sight. Her explanation was similar to that of a cruel fairytale. No matter how much time passes, Beniyuri finds it difficult to swallow the tale. But considering the mysterious monsters, a gun which suddenly appears, the mansion they’re trapped in – the absurd puzzle pieces all fall into place. Karasuba sighs loudly over the possible fact they’ve died once. Kagiha agrees that it’s hard to believe, but at the same time he can also acknowledge it. Beniyuri herself wonders if it’s better to not remember anything and to disappear – but she wants to go back. Surely she can see her family again?

Back inside the hideout, the rest learn that she received a photo of Yamato. Hikage asks to see it, since it might be the reason for Yamato’s transformation. She is hesitant, confirming if he wants to recall his past and return. He replies that he’s doing everything for that purpose. So Beniyuri shares the photo with everyone else. They speculate that it looks like a younger Yamato and Hikage. They’re even wearing the same soccer uniform. Hikage turns pale as he grimaces and kneels down, claiming that his head only hurts a little. As he rests on the sofa, he says that he’s seen the photo before. In fact, he’s Yamato’s younger twin brother. It’s just as Beniyuri suspected. The two of them do have opposite personalities, just like Yamato described.

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Karasuba wonders if they both died at the same time, but she clarifies that he’s supposed to be hospitalised, according to what Yamato said. But seeing how confused Hikage is, she decides not to say that he’s also in a coma. As Hikage frowns deeply, trying to recall more, Kagiha rests a hand on his shoulder. The taller man advises him not to force it – it’s better to recall the important memories as you go along. There’s a lot on their minds now, including the fact that they might not be able to save Yamato. But Kagiha suggests for everyone to turn in first and calm their nerves. Hikage is the first to excuse himself. His lonely figure causes Beniyuri to unwittingly call out to him.

She offers to send him the photo, but he points out that only the owner can use his/her own mobile. He tried it with Kagiha before. The phone is probably also a product of their own thought, so it doesn’t have any other function besides receiving messages. Hikage tells her not to worry, before heading upstairs. As the rest return to their bedrooms, Beniyuri is left in her own thoughts. Did Yamato receive the same photo? Did he recall something he shouldn’t have which caused his transformation? Why did he say those haunting words? She was the last one to have seen him, yet she didn’t take the effort to notice anything unusual. Can he no longer change back to a human being? She feels short of breath, as regret, sorrow and uneasiness stir inside her.

Is it her fault……?

The feelings overwhelm her. She needs to talk to somebody. She can’t sort out her thoughts alone.

I want to solve the mystery of this mansion: Read Hikage End

Is there a way for Yamato to return to normal?: That thought crosses her mind. And also, they need to figure out where he went. Usagi must have witnessed people changing into monsters before. If so, perhaps she can ask her more the next time they meet. Beniyuri lies in bed, listening to the sound of the rain. Having listened to it every night, she realises that it is always falling at the same rhythm. After a small shower, comes an aggressive typhoon. Following that, the raindrops fall down playfully. Every night, it follows the same pattern. But tonight is different, the rain is especially quiet. Beniyuri is falling into a light sleep, but she opens her eyes when she notices something off.

There is someone there. Beniyuri can’t say anything, as she stares at the faint figure who seems to be pleading to her: “……save……”. She can’t clearly catch the words, but that voice seems very familiar. She closes her eyes again, and listens closely. It’s the sound of heavy rain once more. She thinks to herself that it was just a dream, and soon falls into a deep sleep.

If only everything was a dream: If only she slept, and when she wakes up she’ll be back in her house. How happy she would be if that happened. Beniyuri endures the urge to escape to that familiar place, as she starts to tear up. An abrupt knock is sounded, and she quickly rubs her tears away. No one answers when she asks who it is, and she opens the door with reservations. To her surprise, no one is there. She gets scared at the thought that it might be something unknown. All of a sudden, something cold touches the nape of her neck and she cries for help. A voice remarks that she’s full of openings, and it turns out to be Karasuba.

He laughs at her nice reaction, and warns her not to open her door when it’s clearly suspicious. Beniyuri realises that it was his finger that touched her neck. He had been hiding behind the door and thought that she would find out immediately. She tells him off for scaring her at such a time, but he thinks that it’s also important to learn how to relax and be playful. She wonders if he wasn’t shocked at all from Usagi’s explanation. Karasuba lets himself into her room, as he has something to talk to her about. She tells him not to stare around too much as it’s embarrassing. He admits that his heart skipped a beat at her line, and continues to act flippant. As if getting tired of it after a while, Karasuba goes quiet and smiles at her.

Karasuba: ……Hey Beniyuri-chan. Do you ever think, if only this world was all but a dream? No, not just this world. If everything you didn’t like was but a dream. If only happiness alone existed……don’t you ever wonder that?

Beniyuri looks back at him, for she had just been thinking that before he came. It’s as if he’s seen through her. He asks her again, and she wonders why his reason for doing so. An alarm inside her rings, telling her that she cannot agree with him.

Beniyuri: ……indeed, it would be nice if there was only happiness in this world. But if everything you didn’t like was gone you wouldn’t mature……I think that you shouldn’t run away no matter the issue, and should confront it. If you don’t have a strong heart, nothing will start……
Karasuba: …………fu-n, I see.

Her words are meant to encourage her cowardly self. Having said them has given her courage to live on in this unreasonable world. Karasuba ask if she has come to terms with what happened to Yamato then. Before Yamato turned into a monster, the owner sent her a photo of Yamato and his brother. Why did he send it to her? Could it be that it’s her fault that Yamato became like that? If so, it would be shameless of her to act so positive. He purposely uses a hurtful tone, to wilt her courage. Karasuba takes the chance to press her against the wall. Though he’s smiling, she’s unable to move under his burning gaze.

Karasuba: Beniyuri-chan is a——liar. ……in truth you’re not that optimistic right? Your legs tremble the moment you step outside in the corridor……even now you can’t help but want to run away. You pretend to be a good kid, and say pretty things……and I get irritated at that.
Beniyuri: Ka……Karasuba-kun……stop it……
Karasuba: You can confront everything right? If so, you can stand up again even after being forced like this right? Aren’t you strong?

Karasuba closes in, and she’s unable to struggle out of his grip. She tears up as his lips close in on her, and he lets her go. He was only kidding, and would never really do it. He wipes her tears away, and apologises for bullying her. When asked why he did it, Karasuba smiles widely, replying that he wanted to hurt her as she was playing the good girl too much. Something like bullying the girl you like. He decides to let her go for now, as he licks her tear from his finger. His challenging gaze makes her blush, and she chases him out since he’s done.

He remarks that he’s only just starting. He feels that they know each other in the living world. Though his full memory hasn’t returned, it feels like they’re used to each other. He thinks that his gut feeling should be right. But among them, someone strange has mingled in and caused an unbalance. His words confuse her, for she only remembers her family anyway. Karasuba tells her not to pay any mind, he only decided to tell her since she’s the safest bet.

As he opens the door to leave, he reminds her once more to be wary. Perhaps someone more dangerous than him will appear the next time she opens her door. She will be the one to regret it, if she pretends to not see what she can see. He leaves her with those words, planting seeds of suspicions in her towards whom she considered friends. The seeds haven’t sprouted, but they are more than enough to unsettle her.

I want to talk to someone: A knock disturbs her thoughts, and Kagiha enters. He says that he was worried about her, that she might be crying alone in her room like last time. Beniyuri admits that she is very confused, but she isn’t a crybaby and tells him not to worry. He gazes at her, asking if she’s sure. She affirms this, but her heart is trembling at the thought that he might see through her cowardly self. Kagiha eventually apologises for being too arrogant to think so – in wanting to comfort her if she’s crying. His presence doesn’t always calm her down, and there’d surely be times she wants to be alone too. He was being presumptuous. He’s sorry to have disturbed her, and takes his leave. Beniyuri grabs his sleeve, but quickly lets go as she realises what she’s done. She just didn’t want him to think that he’s being presumptuous. She does feel more at ease with him.

So Beniyuri apologises, stating that she does want to talk with someone. He nods in return, and the two of them take a seat. She can’t think of what to say, and glances at him. For some reason, even if they don’t speak, she feels reassured with him. Kagiha is happy to hear that, admitting that he feels similarly. He’s quick to correct himself though, saying that his heart leaps at the fact that she needs him. It’s odd how she can easily accept his words without any suspicion. Beniyuri recalls that the first time they met, he felt that they’ve met before. Kagiha replies that he still feels that way. She wonders if they’ve known each other since long ago, just like Yamato and Hikage. He isn’t sure himself.

In the corner of her mind, she is reminded of what happened to Yamato. To think that her worries that he’d push himself really came true. An invisible wound in her chest burns. Even though she didn’t want to lose someone again, how did this happen? Beniyuri catches herself by surprise – what does she mean by “again”? It’s as if it happened before. For a few seconds, she struggles to regain her memories: “Don’t go……Where has everyone else gone to……? Don’t leave me alone……can we not……meet again……?”

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Kagiha worriedly gazes at her, as the fear of losing haunts her mind. This feeling is so deeply rooted in her. But the more she tries to recall, the more she’s in pain. As Beniyuri screams, Kagiha hugs her and gently strokes her head, as if calming a child down. He tells her not to push herself. She doesn’t have to remember if she doesn’t want to. She’s still the same person. And it isn’t necessarily a happy thing to remember – so she can stop if she’s in pain. His sad tone takes her by surprise, and she wonders what he recalled from his photo. Beniyuri can hear his beating heart, making the fact that they’re dead so surreal.

He leaps away from her, apologising for his sudden actions. She thanks him instead, for always being there when she’s in pain. He replies that he’s doing so as he wants to be a source of strength to her. His words are so tender that it makes her heart skip a beat. And even this feels familiar to Beniyuri. Kagiha excuses himself, leaving her alone with his warmth still surrounding her. If they knew each other previously, what was their relationship? Classmates, friends, or…? Though it feels special, she can’t recall anything in the end.

Why did we come here: Read Real World End

Read: Chapter 3 Short Episodes

Chapter 4

Ever since that night Yamato left, the atmosphere around them has gotten heavier. What Usagi said was probably the truth, and it’s sinking into Beniyuri. She wonders where Yamato is now. Noticing the dark shadow hanging around everyone, she tries to lighten the mood by offering to cook breakfast. But everyone is stiff and silent as statues, till Karasuba gives it a pass as he isn’t hungry. Hikage also walks away, while Kagiha reasons that they had a late dinner and suggests having fruits later instead. She can only return a smile. It’s as if the balance and unity between them has been broken with Yamato’s disappearance. Will they lose something else next? If so, surely that will be a critical hit. And this is her greatest fear.

A few days later, they’ve resumed their daily pattern of searching the mansion and defeating monsters to gather the fragments. Each time, the projections grow brighter, as the kaleidoscope nears completion. But on the flipside, Beniyuri’s heart grows heavier. She’s almost attacked by the monster one day, but luckily Kagiha saves her in time. The next moment, the monster transforms into countless black butterflies and is absorbed into her hairpin and his ring. Once more, she feels drained of energy. Kagiha notices that this always happens to her, and she can only wonder why the butterflies are sucked into their accessories. There’s still much they don’t know. Since black butterflies lure them into hell, could it be bad if they accumulate too much of this? Beniyuri removes her hairpin, and observes that it’s a murkier colour now.

Kagiha remarks that her head’s always in the clouds nowadays, and is afraid that she’d disappear the moment he looks away. She apologises for worrying him, admitting that she hesitates to kill monsters now knowing that they were once humans. She finds it hard despite the fact that they need the fragments. After all, one of the monsters may be Yamato – she doesn’t finish her sentence though, afraid that her words will turn into reality. It’s almost nighttime, so they head back. Beniyuri catches sight of a white figure on the second floor disappearing. Is it Usagi?

That night, she stares at the kaleidoscope while thinking about Yamato. Does Usagi know where he is? But what can she do even if she sees him? She sighs, and notices white butterflies gathering at the door. Curious, she opens it slightly and they all flutter down the hallway. This has never occurred before, did something happen outside? Monsters don’t appear around white butterflies, so she attempts to follow their lead. They end up guiding her towards the central staircase, where she finds the man with the fox mask sitting.

He quietly remarks that that person’s waiting, and gestures for her to follow. She tries to talk to him, but he only replies that Yamato is ahead. Beniyuri is well-aware that she’d be scolded by Hikage if she gets found out, but Yamato may be there. She ends up following him down a rather complicated path, unsure if she can remember the way back. Just then, the man stops in his footsteps before knocking on the wall a few times. A staircase suddenly opens up behind a hidden doorway, and he tells her that the person’s upstairs. He says that he can’t go, and will wait here instead to see her back. He only tells her to recall the person’s true figure.

And so Beniyuri walks up, and is surprised to find a rather bright greenhouse. The blooming flowers and murmuring waters paint an opposite image from the gloomy mansion. White butterflies flutter around the wide space. A growl breaks the calm scene, and she spots a black figure – it’s a monster. She almost lets out a cry, till she realises that it shouldn’t be here if there are white butterflies. Beniyuri takes a closer look, and sees a familiar-looking choker – it’s Yamato. She tries to approach him, telling him not to be afraid. She recognises him, so she won’t do anything to him. But he backs away further, telling at the greenery with his sharp claws. She tries to hold back her trembles, knowing that he’s surely way more frightened.

Yamato: Please don’t look……at this form……! Right now I’m……not a human being……I may attack you……

His pleading voice resembles that of a scared child. She replies that he’s speaking properly with her now. He’s still a bit gruff but kind, so nothing has changed at all. Moreover, he would’ve attacked her long ago if he wanted to. He’s still himself. Beniyuri hug him, and each time she strokes his back she recalls the times she spent with him – his face, hand, smile. She continued rubbing his back, as if calling back the forgotten memories. All of a sudden, his choker glows brightly and the black colour fades away from his skin – as if he was being purified. Beniyuri tells him that he’s no longer a monster, as she can see his face again.

But Yamato continues to hug her tightly, pleading to stay like this for a while longer. If he lets go, he might return to before again. She remembers how she avoided his touch the last time. If she didn’t, things might not have turned out this way. Beniyuri apologises for that, and promises not to run away this time. She remains by his side for what seemed like eternity, till they finally separate. While he hasn’t fully regained his original appearance, he’s back to his senses. Even he feels weird at his current look, but he laughs that it’s better than before. Though she knows that it’s forced, his familiar smile reassures her.

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When asked how he came here, Yamato recalls how he ran that night till he noticed white butterflies around here. It was pure coincidence as he touched the wall, and found the hidden stairway. This makes him question how she found this place, and she explains the situation. The masked man seems to know Yamato, but the latter has no recollection. He reproaches her for being so trusting, and she tells him not to sound like Hikage. She really did feel that the masked man was safe, plus he saved her before.

The mention of Hikage’s name makes Beniyuri recall the fact that they’re brothers. Yamato mulls over this, before asking how much of the past she’s remembered. She clarifies that she only recalls her family. Noting this, he remains quiet. She wonders if he’s trying to sort out his thoughts, and asks him to return to the hideout. The man with the fox mask will lead them back. But he doesn’t budge, telling her to go ahead without him. He still wants to organise his thoughts, and requests for her not to tell the rest about their meeting. Yamato adds that this place is much more relaxing anyway. She reckons that he may be mindful of his appearance, and decides to leave him be. She promises to come again and offers to bring anything he needs. He replies that there isn’t, and thanks her for coming to see him.

Beniyuri reluctantly leaves without him, and outside the masked man agrees to bring her here again. As she follows behind him, she finds his back strangely familiar. Why isn’t she scared of him? Is it because he brought her to see Yamato? She can only question herself why he knew where Yamato was hiding and who he is, for surely he won’t answer. So Beniyuri thanks him instead. There no reply as usual, but his aura appears gentler. They reach the entrance of the hideout, and he says that he’ll see her tomorrow. Without waiting for her answer, he disappears. She didn’t even get to ask for his name.

It’s better not pry too much: Read Yamato Bad End

What sort of relationship does he have with Yamato: He must have his reasons, for specially taking her to see him. While wondering what is his relationship with Yamato, she returns to her room.

The next night, Beniyuri sneaks out when everyone else is asleep and goes to see Yamato with the masked man’s help again. And when she’s done, he’ll see her back. Soon, that became the daily routine for her. It weighs on her conscious not to be able to tell Hikage about his older brother. At times, she can’t help but want to convey the truth. But if Yamato wants to remain quiet, she should do so too. She doesn’t want to break his trust. And perhaps because he has no one else to talk to, Yamato has opened up more to her now.

She visits him one night, and accidentally lets out a huge yawn. Yamato expresses his worry, since unlike him she can’t sleep during the daytime. Beniyuri reassures him that she’s fine, and says that she wants to see him anyway. She sits beside him, and takes out a lunchbox from her basket. He replies that he doesn’t feel hungry much in this current form, but she remarks that it’s insipid to live without eating. It may be presumptuous of her, but even if his appearance has changed she doesn’t want him to forget the time they had living in the hideout.

Yamato helps himself, and is impressed that she made this without being caught by anyone. Beniyuri explains that she pretended to make too much food, adding that the strawberries are from Usagi. He quietly repeats Usagi’s name. She had told him everything Usagi had said, and he took everything in even more calmly than she did. Maybe due to his physical changes, it’s easier for him to accept this world’s irrationality. Speaking of Usagi, he’s reminded of the fox mask guy. Recently, he’s even appeared before Yamato, though he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t seem to mean any harm, and would quietly follow Yamato if he goes elsewhere.

She can’t help but imagine a puppy following its owner, and giggles at the thought. She’s sure that he’s grown fond of Yamato. The latter points out that he’s a grown man and not a fox, so it is rather distasteful when he suddenly appears and quietly stands around. At that moment, they notice the masked man silently standing a distance away. The atmosphere freezes, till Yamato retracts his statement. But it would be more sociable of him to do something else besides stare at them. Beniyuri can’t believe that the Yamato is advising someone else to be more sociable. The masked man only continues to stare, till his stomach growls loudly.

Beniyuri observes that he must be hungry too, and has Yamato share the sandwich. The latter gingerly offers him a slice, and she chuckles at how the scene reminds her of someone feeding a wild animal. It’s hard to imagine that he easily defeated a monster during their first meeting. The masked man accepts the sandwich, and props himself next to them. He notices their gazes, and turns his back to them before removing his mask to gobble the sandwich down. Beniyuri’s slighlty disappointed that she can’t see his face, while Yamato comments on how he’s eating like a kid. Despite the nagging, his tone is gentle.

After the meal, Yamato insists for his name. But he remains silent to all of their questionings. It is inconvenient not to call him by a name though, so Yamato suggests using the name of a room which hasn’t been taken. Beniyuri recalls that it’s Monshiro, and the masked man appears happy at his new nickname. Both of them take the chance to formerly introduce themselves, and Monshiro quietly repeats both of them names over and over. Yamato gets the creeps over how he’s saying their names like a curse, and Beniyuri remarks that Monshiro is just trying to remember them. She finds his child-like actions cute, and breaks out into a smile. As usual, he sees her back. Before they part, she comments that she had fun today as she was able to talk to him. She asks where he usually is. He doesn’t seem to have any friends, so isn’t he lonely? Monshiro gazes down for a while, before looking at her.

Monshiro: Beniyuri……let me be your friend.
Beniyuri: Eh? By friend do you mean……to live here together with us?

She’s unsure if Hikage and the rest will agree to it. Just then, he removes the ribbon tied around his neck, and hands it to her.

Monshiro: You are……my friend……so, I’ll give this.
Beniyuri: Umm……? Is it okay……for me to accept this ribbon? But why all of a sudden……
Monshiro: ……this is precious to me. So—…………I have been saved by this countless times. It will protect you too.
Beniyuri: Monshiro’s……protective charm……

He takes his leave, promising to come again tomorrow. The next morning, Beniyuri heads to the living-room where a loud commotion can be heard. But before doing so, she neatly folds Monshiro’s ribbon and keeps it in her pocket. She’s surprised to see everyone else standing with Monshiro, as they are hesitant on whether to accept him or not. As she blurts out his name, the rest are curious to know how she knows the newcomer. She’s at a loss, for Monshiro led her to Yamato – and she has to keep Yamato a secret. But her silence will only feed their suspicions. Monshiro states to a questioning Hikage that she’s not at fault, for he came here on his own will. He sticks closely to her side, as if protecting her. While she’s happy, she finds him a little to close.

Hikage: I wasn’t asking you. ……move away from Beniyuri a little.
Monshiro: No. I won’t.
Hikage: ………………

While Hikage is distracted by the other two, Beniyuri quietly asks why he suddenly came. He briefly replies that he already told her yesterday. She thought that he meant at night, but he only says that tomorrow means tomorrow. It’s a fact, and she wonders if her accepting the ribbon was acknowledgement of him coming. She’d like for him to live together, but there’s the issue of convincing the rest. She tries to explain that she met him while searching the mansion, and gave him the name since he had no memories. Moreover, he saved her and Hikage when they first woke up in the mansion. This proves that he isn’t a bad person, and hopes that the rest can accept him.

Unfortunately, her smallest hopes are shattered when Kagiha expresses his hesitation at trusting Monshiro. He could have his own motivations for approaching them. Hikage agrees that they don’t know his background – for all they could know, he may be the mansion owner and is here to watch over them. Beniyuri never considered this, but she is confident that he isn’t. When he demands for a reason, she recalls the first time they met him. He left behind the glass shard and they ended picking it up. The owner would never have done that.

Hikage admits that she has a point and isn’t truly pursuing the possibility that he’s the owner – but he just wants to know why she’s so defensive of Monshiro. They always moved around the mansion as a group, so there’s no way that she could have met Monshiro without their knowledge. Driven into a corner, Beniyuri considers telling the truth about Yamato. But Karasuba interrupts her to claim that she was with him then, but he was just shocked too as he never heard of him coming to live with them. He seeks Monshiro’s acknowledgement, adding that they were all strangers at the start anyway so there’s no need to despise him to that extent. He has his own value as someone who has survived in the mansion too. Or will it be inconvenient with him, is there a reason for Hikage to reject him so assertively?

The latter remains quiet, before replying that he just doesn’t want to have another troublesome thing to look after. Karasuba gladly offers to look after him with Beniyuri, leaving the other two with nothing else to say. He and Beniyuri head upstairs with Monshiro. She is sorry that he had to lie, and Karasuba tells her not to pay any mind. It’s good that Monshiro could join them. The masked man nods in return, and Karasuba smiles widely as he shows him to his new room. Since they’re alone, Beniyuri asks why he helped to cover up. He jokes that he wants to gain favourability points with her by helping her out. But truth be told, it’s just his instinct. She feels the same way, in that Monshiro is “alright”. Karasuba clarifies that he’s weighing the pros and cons – and in this case the former wins. Though Monshiro is an odd fellow.

While they’re talking, the white figure is staring at the lamp in his room. Karasuba figures that Beniyuri’s hiding something, not just about Monshiro. When she tries to explain, he points out that she could’ve just dismissed his question instead of answering seriously. He won’t push the issue, as he doesn’t want to get involved in anything troublesome. Despite his seemingly flippant attitude, Beniyuri observes that he’s rather sharp. She apologises for pulling him into her lie. Karasuba comments on how serious she is, which makes him want to bully her.

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Immediately, Monshiro sticks to Beniyuri as he remarks that it’s no good to bully. She notices how he’s being rather close to her again, but is unable to reject him after all. He doesn’t seem to be aware of it. Karasuba is jealous, and sticks close to her too. She instantly wards him away, but he points out how it’s unfair that Monshiro can get away with it.

Monshiro: ……Karasuba. Bullying. Is bad. I won’t forgive you if you bully Beniyuri.
Karasuba: I’m the one being bullied! Beniyuri-chan is only cold towards me!
Monshiro: ……Bullying, is bad.
Karasuba: Hey! Will you stop clinging onto my Beniyuri-chan while saying that?

The two of them glare at each other. Their warmth feels ticklish to her, and she can’t help but let out a laugh. Their relationship fell out of balance with Yamato’s disappearance. But with Monshiro’s support, it’s slowly tilting back in place. The atmosphere has softened, and with renowned optimism, they’re gaining more momentum in gathering the shards. Contrary to Monshiro’s quiet composure, he defeats monsters effortlessly. He’s a strong companion. While Hikage and Kagiha remain wary of him, thanks to Karasuba’s interception, their time as a group have increased.

They return from their daily search one day. Beniyuri is exhausted, but Monshiro is composed. She’s amazed at how he doesn’t get breathless at all, and never gets scared. She finds him reliable, and hopes to be as strong as him one day. Then again, she doesn’t want to stay here forever. Once the kaleidoscope is completed she’d return home. Monshiro remains quiet, and she wonders if she said something wrong.

Monshiro: …………you don’t need to.
Beniyuri: ……eh?
Monshiro: You don’t need to……become strong. I was always alone. ……that’s why I became strong. Beniyuri……isn’t suited to be alone. Beniyuri……doesn’t need to become strong. ……I will protect (you).

She’s sure that he must have been here alone for a long time. He won’t say anything even if she asks, but he must have been lonely. Beniyuri remarks that he’s no longer alone anymore as they’re here for him. At the very least, she thinks of him as an important friend. So she still wants to become strong, so that she can protect him. They’ll always be together now, so he won’t be alone anymore. Beniyuri wraps her hands around him to encourage him on. She doesn’t know if her warmth will reach to the depths of his loneliness, but he takes her hand in return.

Back in her room, Beniyuri gazes at the ribbon and a strange sense of nostalgia wells up in her. At that moment, a small noise is heard across the door. Placing the ribbon on the table, she goes to check and finds Monshiro standing outside her door. He can’t sleep, and asks if he can sleep together with her. Naturally she is hesitant.

Monshiro: ……it’s cold when I’m alone. I’ve always been cold. Beniyuri, (is) warm. I want to be with Beniyuri. ………………can’t I? ……if not I’ll go back.

His small figure reminds her of an abandoned puppy, making it hard for her to reject. Wondering why he’s acting dependent on her, she recalls that she told him that they’d always be together. She meant it in a different way though. His uneasy gaze can be felt through his mask. The way he sticks closely, surely reflects how he craves for companionship. She’d wanted him to rely on her too. Perhaps, this is the only thing she can do in return for him. Beniyuri agrees, but only for tonight. Monshiro is clearly delighted, and he lies next to her in bed.

Thanks to him, she feels warm. She asks if it’s the same for him. He isn’t sure, but feels that she’s warmer. When he’s together with him, his heart feels warm. She chuckles at his words. She then asks if it isn’t suffocating to sleep with his mask on. Monshiro reassures her that he’s fine. Beniyuri wonders why he hides his face, remarking that he’s full of mysteries – how long he’s been here, how he’s been living, what sort of face he has. He asks if she has come to hate him, and Beniyuri denies this. They’re friends, so he doesn’t need to worry about that. She’s willing to wait for him till he’s ready to talk about it. Soon, Beniyuri feels sleepy. He says that he’ll sleep too, asking her not to leave him alone. She agrees, as she gradually drifts to sleep.

Monshiro: Beniyuri……I want to always be together.
Beniyuri: Yes, always together……collect the fragments……and return together…………nn…………
Monshiro: I can’t always be together…………but, just for now…………

Just before falling into a deep slumber, Beniyuri vaguely feels that something important is being conveyed to her. But the already unconscious her, failed to grasp its significance.

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Some days later, Beniyuri is meeting Yamato at night. She thinks that Monshiro is slowly getting along with the rest, though he wonders how that’s possible with his character. She adds that Karasuba has been helping a lot, playing board games with him when they’re free. Yamato is glad that things are going well. Monshiro isn’t paying attention though, as he nods and chases after another butterfly. Yamato laments at how he isn’t listening, but Beniyuri thinks that he really likes Yamato. He appears more comfortable here than at the hideout. Yamato doesn’t quite understand why though, since he isn’t doing anything special.

She apologises that she hasn’t been able to come a lot. Recently everyone’s been sleeping late, so she can’t sneak out. Once more, she asks him to come back. They can see each other everyday then and Monshiro would be happy – and Hikage is waiting. Yamato is quiet at first, before agreeing but now is not the time. All of a sudden, Monshiro ruffles Yamato’s hair. The latter tells him to pick a fight a better way, but Beniyuri thinks that it’s his way of comforting. It just seems that the masked person can’t judge distances properly and isn’t used to people. When he’s talking to Karasuba he clings closely, but stands metres away when it’s with Hikage.

Yamato claims that he’s fine already, so Monshiro lets go. As he sighs and combs through his hair, he asks if that’s really the case. Monshiro isn’t sure as he’s always been alone, and asks if he’s weird. Yamato gives a wry smile, as he notes that indeed he wouldn’t know how to interact since he’s been alone. Beniyuri thinks that Yamato would be feeling lonely here too, but still doesn’t want to return. Yamato tells Monshiro to remember the way to comfort others, as he gently pats his head. Though Hikage and Kagiha are still on their guard, surely they’ll get along soon. Beniyuri agrees, but Monshiro remains quiet as he’s being patted.

Out of the blue, Yamato asks if they’ve been to that room before. A room on the second floor filled with book shelves and messy with documents. Monshiro seems to react to the description. He chanced upon it while exploring outside, and finds it odd since it appeared as if someone used it. Beniyuri wonders if it’s the mansion owner, as Yamato adds that black butterflies passed by so he retreated that day. When asked, Monshiro quietly replies that he’s never seen it. Since there may be clues, Yamato suggests checking it out one day.

The search teams change everyday. The next day, Beniyuri was paired with Hikage. It’s the first time Monshiro isn’t in the same group as her, and he appeared lonely like a baby chick separated from its mother as Karasuba and Kagiha took him away. Compared to the first floor, they haven’t search the second floor as much. The duo head upstairs, with Beniyuri holding hopes that she may find that study-room. She opens up numerous rooms to check inside, with no luck. Perhaps she should’ve asked for more details. Hikage observes that she’s extremely proactive today, could she be searching for something?

With arms folded, he adds that she always hides and is unreliable – unlike today, she seems to have a goal. She laughs awkwardly, replying that she’s always been giving her all. It seems to be nighttime soon, so she wants to have some results today. His gaze continues to pierce her, and she hurries him to continue searching. She wishes for some change, but at the same time she hopes for nothing to occur. Just then, Beniyuri notices a door slightly ajar. She spots books. Could this be it?

Pointing the room out to Hikage, both of them enter the messy room and she carefully speaks past the books to reach the desk. As Yamato had suggested, everything implies that someone had used it. The fountain pens lying on the desk, the half-written notes – and a book which gives off the most presence of its owner. It appears to be a manuscript of sorts, and the cover looks extremely unique.

Take it: Read Bad End

Avert your eyes away: Beniyuri turns her back to it, feeling that it’s something she shouldn’t look at. She shifts her gaze elsewhere, and discovers a piece of burnt paper stuck on a wall. Black and white butterflies and drawn, and she wonders if it’s an art print of sorts. But she immediately notices that it looks like it’s been torn out of a book. She studies it closely, and sees the black butterfly flying upwards and the white butterfly welcoming it from the skies. It gives off a happy vibe to her, as if the butterflies are waltzing in midair.

As she points it out to Hikage, she finds him studying something else. Beniyuri approaches him, and is startled to see an old photo with the people’s faces scribbled over in black ink. It’s a really old photo, perhaps from the Taisho or Meiji era. Next to it, is a colour photo of a group of a children. Just as she takes it in her hand, both of them hear a voice from outside. She quickly keeps it in her pocket, and the two of them ready their guns to confront the threat.

They successfully defeat it, and return to the hideout with a fragment. As always, the kaleidoscope absorbs it and projects vibrant patterns. Karasuba and Kagiha both observe that the patterns are getting more distinct and brighter each time. They wonder how long it will take till its completion, but only Monshiro remains quiet. If the flow of time here is the same as the real world, months would have passed by already. If they’re on the brink of death, it would mean she’s in a coma. Beniyuri knows that her family must be worried, and wonders how much she’d have to catch up in school. If only she knew how her friends looked like too. At that thought, she recalls the photo she found.

Beniyuri places it on the table for everyone else to see. It seems to depict a group of children on a camping trip. As she wonders what excursion it is, the rest seem to recall something as their heads throb painfully. Surprised, she looks at the photo again till the faces register in her head.

Takuya: A commemorative photo for a camping trip is such an exaggeration. It’s not even a big deal.
Kazuya: ……Takuya. Even though you were looking forward to it so much, you couldn’t sleep last night.
Takuya: Wha-!? It’s not that I couldn’t sleep ‘cos I was looking forward! It’s ‘cos it was too hot!
Akira: Ah-really. It’s so hot……stop shouting and just line up quietly.
Takuya: A~ki~, I can hear you. My ears are really good. I think that if your ears are bigger you’d be able to hear better too.
Akira: Ah, owowow……! Stop it, don’t pull my ears……!
Natsuki: Come on, don’t fight. If you want to hurry up and play, you need to line up accordingly. Ah, since Ai-chan is a girl you’d be in front. Here, don’t hold back. Come over here.
Ai: Yup, thank you Nacchan!

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It’s her memory of the summer camp which her neighbourhood always holds. The photo was taken just after they had arrived at the camp site near the lake. Why was this photo found there? But more importantly, she confirms everyone else’s identity: Karasuba is Akira, Kagiha is Natsuki, Hikage is Kazuya, and Yamato must be Takuya. She wonders why she never noticed when they were this close all along. Beniyuri observes that they must be feeling a mix of joy and bewilderment too, as they remain speechless. Kagiha laughs awkwardly, unsure of how to treat each other now. Karasuba thinks that they should continue calling each other with their nicknames, and she guesses that that they’re more used to it.

Beniyuri feels re-energised at working towards their goal, but Karasuba weakly agrees. Hikage remains silent. She wonders why they look so solemn despite recalling a happy memory. Karasuba questions how much she’s recalled, confirming that she cannot recall anything past the photo-taking. Hikage sees that her memory is still incomplete, and Kagiha remarks that she still hasn’t recalled that yet. She is confused as this sudden distance between them.

In any case, Hikage concludes that they all knew each other (including Yamato) – except one person, Monshiro. He realises that this is why he couldn’t trust the masked person, he’s the only outsider. Beniyuri finds his words overly harsh, but she cannot fault the logic of his words. He adds that there are other people who exist in this dimension, but Monshiro’s unlike the other masked people they’ve met. He has his own personality and can protect himself perfectly. Hikage starts to interrogate him: who is he? What is his motive for approaching them? How did he win Beniyuri over – with some strange magic? So is he controlling her?

She cuts in, insisting that she isn’t being manipulated so there’s no need to blame Monshiro. But Hikage feels that her defensive stance is proof of that. Monshiro states that she has done nothing wrong. In return, Hikage points out that as long as he’s here, she will be faced with suspicion too. A stern silence follows, and Beniyuri reasons that Monshiro has saved them and lived with them all this time. He’s a friend too. Hikage doesn’t like the idea of that, seeing how he’s just been acquainted with them. When she asks why he’s so wary of the other, Hikage replies that he disturbs the harmony. Beniyuri rebutts that it isn’t Monshiro’s fault, but theirs. However, she realises that Kagiha and Karasuba have been quiet all this time. Hikage guesses that they feel similarly to him. Frustrated, she demands a clearer explanation.

But Monshiro pulls at her sleeve, not wanting to see them fight. He then apologises sadly, and returns to his room with slumped shoulders. Beniyuri can only stare at him leaving, as she blames herself for not considering his feelings when she was overjoyed that the rest were actually childhood friends. Left in an awkward situation, no one else dares to speak up afterwards. Later in her room, she recalls his past memory while worrying over Monshiro. In the past, she often played with the four of them. And on one summer day, they went for summer camp. After travelling for some hours by bus, they arrived at the camp site and took a group photo. After which they went exploring in the nearby forest. She is unable to remember anything else.

Judging by everyone else’s expression, something must have happened. That was why they were not overjoyed like she was. Beniyuri has a bad feeling about it. She wants to know, but at the same time there’s no turning back if she does so. It feels as if their relationship will permanently change. But it also means that it is that important, yet she is the only one running away from it. Is it alright to continue like this?

Try to remember: They’ve been together since young, and she doesn’t like to be the only one left in the dark. But what can she do? She can’t recall even if she tries to open up the box of memories. Unable to fall asleep, she decides to go to the living-room. Beniyuri gazes at the kaleidoscope, admiring its beauty. Will it really grant their wish if they complete it? Will she remember everything? A voice calls her out from her thoughts. It’s Kagiha. When asked what she was doing, she explains her worry if they can really return.

Kagiha is sure of it, and she agrees with him. After all, they worked so hard. He nods with a small smile, and his sunshine-like smile melts away her worries. For some reason, she feels especially conscious of him ever since her memories returned. Beniyuri looks back at the kaleidoscope, and wonders if the opposite will happen. Will they forget everything that happened here if they return to the living world? Somehow that feels lonely. There were scary moments, but everyone managed to overcome them together.

Kagiha: ……but I would abandon all of my time here as Kagiha, in order to live again. Live again, and walk under the bright sun with you. Spend the same times together as we did as kids, studying together, playing together. ……it seems like a lot of fun right.

Beniyuri agrees, for she even enjoys talking with him like this now. He thanks her with a soft laugh. Even though the painted future is filled with dreams, why is his smile so fragile like stained glass. As if it would break the moment she touches it. She catches something from his words: “Spend the same times together as we did as kids”. Does that mean that they haven’t met recently? Are they going to different schools? Has he remembered everything?

But he remains quiet, and a sad shadow is cast over him. Since she hasn’t recalled everything, he thinks that it’s better if he doesn’t say anything. Surely it’s best for her to remember by herself. Beniyuri questions why everyone is hiding the truth from her, something happened during the summer camp right? His gasp confirms her suspicions. She knows that Kagiha always gently protects her, but it puts a painful distance between them. She wants to stand side by side with everyone else. She tears up, wondering why only she is unable to remember.

As she’s about to turn her back to him to not let him see her tears, she vaguely recalls something similar happening before. It was when he brought her hot cocoa to her on the first night. Kagiha remarked something about the way she cried and smiled – so he remembered about her. When she asks him about this, he replies that he sort of knew that she was important to him. He asks if she remembers their past promise. Beniyuri mulls over this, before answering that it’s their wedding promise. He’s relieved that she remembers.

Adults may find their wedding promise childish and immature, but they were serious then. She truly dreamed of marrying Natsuki. Kagiha asks if the promise still applies, and if she will become his bride when they return. She is flustered at his words, but a warm feeling spreads inside of her. Beniyuri almost nods, but something nags at her – what is their relationship now? She isn’t seeing anyone else now is she?

Seeing her hesitation, he apologises for his sudden question. She apologises too, but she is unable to answer right now. Kagiha understands this, adding that he only wanted her to know that he still treasures that promise. It would be nice if it comes true one day. Beniyuri remains speechless at his direct words, as her heartbeat quickens and her cheeks redden. Even after 10 years, he still feels the same way. Does she still feel the same way too? Though she was feeling down just now, but now even for Kagiha’s sake she wants to (regain her memories).

Hikage interrupts them, wondering what they’re doing up so late. If they’re going to flirt, they should do it somewhere where people can’t see them. Beniyuri denies this, but Kagiha is puzzled at her reaction. Feeling awkward, she changes the topic by asking Hikage what he would do if he returned to the living world. He replies that he doesn’t really want to do anything, after all the kaleidoscope isn’t even finished. She laments at how he doesn’t have any dreams, so he sighs and thinks over it.

Hikage: ………I want to do something fun. So that my feelings would be clear up, something like that.
Beniyuri: Something fun?
Hikage: No, that’s probably a bit different. I’m looking forward to the completion of the kaleidoscope itself. After coming here, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. ……it’s the same for you right? Kagiha too.
Beniyuri: Yes, that’s right. It’s fun to think about what will happen when you return, but I’m also looking forward to the moment we collect all the fragments.
Kagiha: ……surely, that moment is almost here. In any case, we need to do whatever we can.

Beniyuri brightly agrees, as she gazes at the kaleidoscope once more. It seems to symbolise their bright future, and that thought excites her.

It’s alright not to remember: Perhaps there is a reason why she isn’t able to recall it. Using this excuse, she stops herself from grasping at the strings of memory. But she feels exhilarated for some reason, and is unable to fall asleep. Beniyuri goes outside to get a drink, as she hears the sound of rain pounding on the windows.

In the living-room, she finds Karasuba quietly looking at the kaleidoscope. For a moment, he looks like a different person with his serious expression. He calls out to her when he spots her, and she corrects herself when she accidentally calls him “Aki”. Karasuba casually says that he was thinking of destroying the kaleidoscope, which alarms her. She reminds him that they need it to return, and he replies that he was just joking. He only wanted to scare her. But his innocent gaze troubles her.

Karasuba: It’s not a joke. ……but I’m not serious either. I’m always like this. I’m always half-hearted in everything. I thought of destroying it, but I don’t have the courage to do it. I guess that’s how it is. It’s horrible.

As if losing interest, he shifts to the sofa. When Beniyuri asks if he doesn’t want to return, he gestures for her to sit next to him instead. Left with little choice, she does so. As she tries to ask him again, Karasuba looks in a distance and interrupts her.

Karasuba: ……I’m only talking to myself now, so don’t pay any attention to it.
Beniyuri: Eh……?
Karasuba: I didn’t want to recall anything. There was an unfortunate incident when I was a kid……I was desperate to forget it entirely. But the ingrained memory could never entirely be erased. Even if I acted bright and optimistic, it felt pointless. I earnestly wanted to forget everything and start from scratch. That wish……was being granted without me knowing. I woke up in this mansion with amnesia……even though I’m happier not remembering anything. A-ah, why did I recall it all. Life never goes the way you want it to–. Oh, I’m dead already right. Haha……
Beniyuri: ……that unfortunate incident, was it during the summer camp? Was that the reason why everyone seemed weird when they regained their memories from the photo……?
Karasuba: I’m talking to myself so I won’t answer.

Upset at his reply, Beniyuri sulks on purpose and starts to squeeze a cushion. But she’s sure now that it has something to do with the summer camp. And only she has yet to remember it, that’s why Karasuba is opening up to her. He asks how much she exactly remembers – does she not remember their last conversation? She confirms that she only recalls her family and partially about the summer camp. She isn’t sure about school, and asks if they went to the same school. Karasuba seems relieved to hear that, and leans against her. This takes her by surprise, and he questions if she would believe it if they were actually lovers.

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She mulls over this, before replying that he wouldn’t test her like this if it were true. He clicks his tongue at her sharp intuition, adding that their relationship was more than friends but less than lovers – at least that’s what he thought. Beniyuri remains suspicious, and he laughs in return. She never had enough wariness in the past, so he thinks it’s good for her to react like this now. She’s unable to see how he reflects the young Aki though, commenting that he has changed. Karasuba reminds her not to call him by his real name, and she wonders if it’s because he doesn’t want to recall the past.

Beniyuri: So, even if the kaleidoscope is complete and you can be revived, you wouldn’t want to return?
Karasuba: Nn-……
Beniyuri: I would. I want to meet my family. I want to remember everyone. I don’t want to remain here forever.
Karasuba: Just to let you know……it would only hurt you if you recall everything. It’s better if you don’t. You’d surely be happier that way.
Beniyuri: ……I don’t reckon that……
Karasuba: ……Right now, the you now and the you from before is the same, but also a bit different. ……Beniyuri-chan. You’re not Ai-chan. You’re Beniyuri-chan. And I’m not the weak and unreliable Akira. I’m Karasuba who can protect you…… Hey……let’s restart in this world. Let’s not see a harsh reality, but a happy dream? ……okay?

He reaches out his hand to her, and Beniyuri wonders what she’s forgetting. Will Karasuba be saved if she takes his hand? Or should she be doing something else?

Take his hand: Read Karasuba Bad End

Don’t take his hand: After much deliberation, Beniyuri puts his hand down. She can’t take his hand. Her real name is not Beniyuri, but Minato Ai. Her parents gave her this name, and her sister calls her by it. Everything important to her is in the real world, so she can’t abandon it. Karasuba only looks quietly at her, as she admits that she’s afraid of regaining her memories. Truth be told, she doesn’t want to know if it’s painful or sad memories. But after talking with him, she feels that she needs to face up to it after all. Without memories, she wouldn’t know about herself for sure. Even if someone said she was his lover, like he just did, she wouldn’t know and can’t properly reply. That’s very lonely.

Even if something painful occurred in the past, it would be worse if something more painful happened because they ran away from it. She wants to remember, and to return with everyone to the real world – where she can call him “Aki-chan” once more. In response, Karasuba only laughs softly. Just when he’d thought that they could both ran away from reality, she gives him this lecture. As Beniyuri apologises, he remarks that even though things didn’t go his way – he still likes her after all. His sudden confession takes her aback, but he yawns loudly and excuses himself before she can react. He thanks her for letting him lean on her shoulder, before retiring to his room.

Read: Chapter 4 Short Episodes

Chapter 5

They’d thought that they were strangers, but in fact they were childhood friends. Now that she remembers, it’s strange how she forgot all about them when they were so close. On the other hand, Monshiro hardly leaves his room now. At times, it feels like he goes out alone and she wonders if it’s to meet Yamato. But she never saw him in person, and the days without seeing him stretches on. Beniyuri is worried about him, as well as Yamato who is alone in the greenhouse. But without Monshiro, she can’t go to see him in the middle of the night. As those days continues, Usagi visits them one day and is impressed by how much the kaleidoscope has been repaired. There are only one or two pieces left to collect. She believes that there will be news from her master soon.

While the rest are excited at this, Beniyuri notices Karasuba out of sorts. As she approaches him, he jokes that he’ll kiss her if she’s this close to him. She leaps backwards, and he laments at how broken his glass heart is. She soon gets annoyed at his jokes despite his worry, and he wonders if he should’ve acted sadder. Karasuba returns to his room, adding that he’d welcome her into his room anytime. Despite his casual words, his footsteps appear extremely heavy. As she wonders what’s wrong with him, Hikage suggests that he’s probably tired.

The next morning, someone urgently knocks on her door. She learns from Kagiha that Karasuba has disappeared. He’s worried that something may have happened to him, like Yamato’s case. Together with Hikage, they go outside to search for him. Since it’s urgent, they split up and search the mansion. Beniyuri tries not to think of the worst. Since she’s alone, she decides to ask for Yamato’s help too. While he’s surprised at her visit, he calmly listens to the situation. Beniyuri regrets not having talked to Karasuba more last night, but Yamato knows that he will only evade – he has always been like that.

His choice of words gives away the fact that he’s recalled everything. Beniyuri explains how everyone else came to recall the past. Yamato had intended to keep quiet if they didn’t. She adds that he often bullied her, and he immediately denies it. There’s much for them to talk about, but right now they need to find Karasuba. He’s sure that he’s weeping by himself like he would in the past, so they need to quickly find him.

A few hours after parting from Yamato, Beniyuri is exhausted from her search. There’s still no sign of Karasuba. As uneasiness fills her, the sound of pouring rain creeps into her ears, as if she’s being mocked. Right now, she’s on the verge of breaking down. She doesn’t want to lose anyone again. Swallowing her uneasiness, she treads on. She meets up with Hikage, who reckons that it’s better for them to return since it’s soon nighttime. Beniyuri still wants to check elsewhere, feeling that she’d never see Karasuba again if they give up now. And this time for sure, everyone will fall apart. But why is she so afraid? Maybe he’s already returned to the hideout.

All of a sudden, a loud gunshot shatters the cold air. The two of them chase after its origin, and find an injured Karasuba on the floor. He explains that he was caught off-guard, and Beniyuri sees that he was scratched by a monster on his shoulder. He weakly teases her for being perverted, as she removes his outerwear. She tells him to stop fooling around, as she checks the severity of his wound. Karasuba is not thrilled at her seeing him this uncool though. Ignoring his comment, she asks about his condition and why he came out by himself. But he only weakly laughs at the coward he is, how he can’t change despite hating it.

Beniyuri is unable to ask any further, and focuses on his injuries instead. Hikage calmly remarks that they have to go back to the hideout, since they don’t have the resources now. He kneels down to offer support to Karasuba, but the latter is hesitant. He didn’t know that Hikage was here too. Instead, he insists that he can walk on his own as he wobbles towards the door. She finds him acting very odd, as he gives off an unapproachable vibe. Hikage advises her to leave him be, for he probably has his own reasons. So the two of them quietly watch over Karasuba, as he drags himself back. As they’re about to reach their destination, they hear voices talking in a distance.

???: ……ood…………all.
???: ………ome……but, ………nge……e.

For a moment, Beniyuri is unable to comprehend the situation. But soon she realises that Monshiro is pointing his gun at Kagiha, and she quickly steps in between. As she protects the taller man, she asks Monshiro’s reason for doing this. The latter only replies that Natsuki is becoming a monster, like a monster. That’s no good. He speaks like a child, and she’s unable to understand. Frustrated, she raises her voice and says that Monshiro’s no good here. She pleads for him to say the reason, as he still refuses to lower his gun.

Suddenly, a dry laughter comes from behind her. Karasuba laughs as he holds his gun, remarking that everyone here is no good. But the worst one is himself, even though he’d decided to change. Before Beniyuri can stop him, Karasuba fires a shot towards Monshiro. A small cracking sound is heard, as Monshiro’s fox mask breaks apart. It’s the face which Beniyuri was always curious about, and she’s shocked to see that he looks exactly like Hikage. Karasuba confirms that Monshiro really is Kazuya, and the latter hastily covers his face with his hands. Which means that Hikage is an impostor. Everyone else remains silent, and only she appears shocked. Beniyuri doesn’t like being left out, and she’s literally screaming at the top of her lungs demanding for the truth.

Right then, he laughs heartily as strong winds blow past and black butterflies surge around Hikage. He’s thoroughly amused with her reaction, and couldn’t hold back his laughter.

Hikage: Betrayal by friends, distrust, wandering souls……it has a pretty pleasant ring to it. Fuhaa, “cruel”……huh. I wonder who really is the cruel one. Even so, Karasuba……that was unexpected. Did your cowardliness fly off somewhere?
Karasuba: ……it’s still within me. But I’ve kept it at the bottom. As expected I can’t leave things like this……the weak me can’t forgive this……

Hikage is not amused, commenting that he shouldn’t have let him be. He points his gun at Karasuba as the shot is made. He seems pleased with Karasuba’s terrified expression, after all just a bit more and his shoulder would have been broken. Then again, it was he who pointed his gun first. Just beside Karasuba, black butterflies are absorbed into Hikage’s accessory. The latter licks it, remaking on how delicious the taste of despair is. Beniyuri is taken aback. His face, voice – everything is the same yet it’s so different it’s giving her goosebumps.

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He realises that they still don’t know the truth about their accessories. He explains that it’s something like a protective charm, which absorbs the negative energy and souls. His has sucked in all sorts of despair from the souls who have fallen into this mansion. Hikage shows how black its luster is to them, finding it a beautiful colour. Though she already guesses it, Beniyuri can’t help but want to confirm his identity. Hikage wonders if she’s pretending, as he finally reveals that he’s the mansion owner.

This revelation further confuses Beniyuri. If that’s the case and Monshiro is Kazuya, why was he pointing his gun at Kagiha/Natsuki? She can’t wrap her head about this. The Hikage here now isn’t the one she knows. As she looks to him for an answer, he smiles with a gleam in his eye and steps towards her. He claims that he’s himself, the one whom she calls Hikage – as well as the weak her. She’s startled when he shape-shifts into her figure, and he continues to transform into Karasuba, Yamato and Kagiha. Your thoughts can materialise in this world, so naturally you can change your appearance.

Hesitantly, Beniyuri asks if he was pretending to be their friend from the start. Even when he protected her, encouraged her and worried about her? Was everything a farce? Hikage is delighted with her expression, twisted in despair as everything she had trusted in is breaking down. It was worth it to have waited this long. Seeing him in ecstasy, Karasuba calls him a pervert. Beniyuri finds it hard to believe that he deceived them all for the sake of the kaleidoscope. She can’t comprehend him.

Irritated, Hikage tells her to keep quiet as he aims his gun at her heart. Kagiha raises his voice, and Hikage recalls that he’d promised not to touch her. But he remarks that it’s fine as long as he gets the last shard. He bids farewell to Beniyuri, as he pulls the trigger. She shuts her eyes, readying herself for the impact. To her surprise, Kagiha gets shot as he covers for her. Beniyuri supports him, as blood flows out from his abdomen.

Hikage: Oh? Could it be that you’re dead? How troublesome, even though you had your merits.
Beniyuri: Do, don’t come close to Kagiha!
Hikage: Though you act like friends, the truth is he got hurt because of you right? In order to protect you. In order to save you. No matter when it is, this pitiful man—.
Kagiha: ——……! Don’t say it! ……it’s alright, not to say it……

The mansion owner doesn’t say another word, and Beniyuri questions why the rest are looking like that. Karasuba is unable to answer, and Monshiro can only apologise. Only the vermilion red blood that’s oozing out, is keeping her from escaping from reality. Annoyed, Hikage remarks that she should die after all. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger again, Yamato dashes in and attacks him. Blood drips down from Hikage’s fingers to the floor. Yamato had correctly guessed that he was the mansion owner, and challenges him to try counter-attacking when he’s injured.

In response, Hikage snatches Kagiha away from Beniyuri. Pointing the gun to Kagiha’s head, he threatens to shoot if anyone else moves. As they freeze on the spot, he disappears from their sight with an injured Kagiha.

Summer camp

The usual members are gathered in the neighbourhood park after school – Takuya, Kazuya, Ai, Natsuki and Akira. They’re trying to decide what to play. They are unable to agree on a common game, so Ai and Takuya play scissors-paper-stone. As the latter rejoices over his win, Ai argues that the timing was unfair. He gets upset when Kazuya takes her side, and Aki supports them too. Before another argument erupts, Natsuki intercepts. Takuya looks down on them for all listening to Ai despite being boys. Eventually, Natsuki suggests 3 rounds and the one who wins 2 times will be the winner. Sighing heavily, Takuya accepts.

With the issue resolved, they soon resume their playtime. After a while, they sit down to rest with cans of juice in their hands. Commenting on how worn out she is, Takuya replies that it’s because she played with the obstacle course. She likes it though, and Kazuya agrees because it’s like a secret hideout. Takuya is upset at him siding with a girl again, and Aki chimes in that he likes it too. Takuya can’t stand the fact that they like things girls like, questioning if they’re embarrassed or not. Kazuya shrugs that it can’t be helped, everyone has their own preferences.

Frustrated, Takuya squeezes the can in his hand. He then redirects the topic to the upcoming summer camp, and awkwardly asks if Ai is going. It’s a regular summer event organised by the adults for the neighbourhood children, held over a course of 1 night and 2 days. She replies that she is, and returns the question to everyone else. Kazuya replies that they both are, and this angers his brother. The two of them are talking to each other now, not him. When Ai wonders what’s wrong, to her bewilderment, he gets mad at her and says that it has nothing to do with her. Natsuki calms him down, saying that it won’t be fun if he keeps getting riled up.

He brings up the topic of their sleeping arrangement. Ai recalls that she is sleeping in the same tent with him and Aki. Takuya replies half-heartedly, and Natsuki teases him, asking if he’s jealous. He gets flustered, denying that he wants to sleep in the same tent with a girl. Kazuya notices how red he is, which irritates him further. Kazuya always says unnecessary things. Aki finds the twins in sync, and Takuya rejects this idea. He shouldn’t talk as if he knows everything when he’s a “princess”. Aki apologises in return, and Ai tells Takuya off for calling him “princess”. She’s reminded him time and again that it’s forbidden. Takuya claims that it just slipped out, and huffs as he faces the opposite direction. Once more, Natsuki is the peacemaker as he warns them that they might not be able to go for summer camp if they keep fighting.

Switching topics, he remarks that they won’t be having curry this year. Instead, it’ll be a barbecue. The mood is lightened, as Takuya is excited to eat skewered meat. Kazuya reminds him to eat his vegetables too, as their mother always gets mad at him. He shouldn’t leave out his green peppers and carrots. Aki is bemused by his child-like tastebuds, which trips Takuya up. Once more, Kazuya has said something unnecessary. Aki comments that he won’t grow bigger if he is picky, but Takuya doesn’t want to hear that from someone so midget. Natsuki steps in, making the same comment, since he is bigger. With nothing left to say, Takuya forcefully ends the subject of the summer camp. It’s the end of their break, so next up is soccer. It’s almost time for them to return though, so it’s just for a bit.

Ai thinks to herself that if it’s a camp for 2 days and 1 night, they won’t need to go back home for dinner. They can play the whole day and even share secrets at nighttime. They’d always be together. It’s a summer camp where they can experience what they don’t usually do. What sort of excitement await them this year? If only summer camp starts tomorrow.

Finally, the day has arrived. The night before, she was so excited that she couldn’t sleep. So Ai is extremely sleepy, as she prepares to leave. But the moment she sees everyone’s faces at the gathering point, her weariness is blown away. The uncle in-charge does a roll call, before they board the bus in-line. One hour passes by quickly as they played with each other, and soon they will arrive at the camp site. The in-charge announces this, and that they will have a group photo once they alight. They can move around freely till dinner time, but he reminds them not to wander too far. There is a lake nearby and it’s dangerous near water, so he advises them against going there.

Every year, the same guidelines are read so it’s very boring for them. Besides the first-time participants, the rest of the kids are holding back the urge to yawn. Of course, this includes Ai and the rest. So Ai starts discussing what to play during the free time later. She considers exploring the nearby forest, and Aki expresses his interest to join her. Takuya is not pleased that they’re discussing by themselves, and Ai replies that they don’t exactly need his permission. She then wonders if he wants to join them. Just as he’s about to answer, Natsuki and Kazuya join the conversation. He tells them not to cut in, which draws a warning from the in-charge to lower their voices.

So they remain quiet for the rest of the journey, and take the group photo when they alight. Once that’s done, they start their exploration. Takuya remarks that should have a name, like Kemurin Exploration Team. Kazuya thinks that it’s a good idea, but his suggestion is so lame. Takuya gets mad, adding that it’s merely an example. He asks Kazuya to propose one then. The latter suggests Exciting Exploration Team. Takuya comments on his lame naming sense, but the rest seem agreeable. Unable to argue against them, he walks ahead of them.

Natsuki warns him not to go too far off, and the rest chime in that it’s dangerous and the in-charge would get angry. He ignores them as they quicken their pace, and Kazuya, who is last, trips over a tree root. He ends up scraping his knee, and they need to disinfect it. Aki offers his wet tissues, and Ai treats Kazuya’s wound efficiently. Aki is impressed, and she explains that she often treats Haruka’s injuries. Now they just need to cover it. Unfortunately, they can’t find any plasters or handkerchiefs to use. In the end, Ai undoes the light purple ribbon around her wrist, and ties it around Kazuya’s knee.

Aki asks if it’s alright, since the ribbon is important to her. Takuya thinks that he’s exaggerating over a piece of ribbon, but Aki whispers to him that it was from Ai’s deceased mother. The other boy freezes, and slowly looks at Ai. He can’t see her expression, but he can see Kazuya looking somewhat embarrassed and happy. Kazuya asks if it’s fine, and Ai affirms this. So he promises to return it to her after washing it clean. Seeing how honest and direct he can speak with Ai, Takuya looks down and bites his lip. Once they’re finished, they set out on their exploration again.

At first, everything appears new so it was exciting. But soon, the same scenery keeps rolling out before them and they start to grow bored. Just when they’re about to head back, a butterfly flutters past them. They’re fascinated by its exotic appearance, and immediately chase after it. It flutters elegantly, as if guiding them somewhere. When they’re almost out of breath chasing it, they come across a mansion sitting in the middle of a lake. It’s like a scene out of a foreign film, and Ai is captivated. She proposes going there, and everyone else is hyped up – except Natsuki. The in-charge had warned them not to approach the lake.

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Ai thinks that it’s fine if it’s just a short while. She’d like to visit it, it’s almost like a castle. Natsuki remains hesitant, but eventually gives in. Takuya thinks that he worries too much, as they set off. They cross a narrow path, and find themselves inside the abandoned mansion. The windows are broken, with light pouring in. The plants and moss have overrun the interior, and the large chandelier has fallen to the ground. As if drawn to the sunlight, a few butterflies are dancing in it. The sight is like an illusion, and Ai stares at it. It’s like a fairy tale world. Unlike his initial opposition, Natsuki gets drawn in too and agrees to explore the mansion. He stops in his footsteps though, and picks up a glass shard. Ai finds it extremely pretty.

Seeing this, Natsuki gives it to her and she promises to treasure it. Aki looks at them with a lonely expression. Kazuya calls him over, having spotted another fragment. Looking closely, there are multiple shards on the floor – 4 of them. So besides Ai, they each take one. Ai is delighted, as she keeps changing it angle and staring at the colour changes. Takuya isn’t impressed since it’s just a piece of glass, but Ai finds it beautiful – plus everyone has one each. He comments that it’ll just become unnecessary, and Kazuya says that he doesn’t need to speak that way. It’s a good memory for them. He gets annoyed at his brother for playing the good kid, and Ai tells Kazuya to stop since Takuya won’t get it. She thanks the younger twin for speaking up for her, and finds him kind.

Kazuya smiles in return, and Takuya grows more irritated seeing that. He doesn’t get Ai. Ever since Kazuya scraped his knee and she wrapped her precious ribbon around it, a black haze has been stirring inside of him. The young Takuya is unable to comprehend it, unable to deal with it properly. So he grows angry and suffocated instead, as it accumulates. Natsuki calls out to them, and he reluctantly follows.

He spots the ribbon loosening from Kazuya’s knee. As he calls out to his brother, Kazuya looks at him suspiciously. The older twin points out the loosening ribbon, and offers to retie it. Kazuya realises is then, and allows him to do so. He’ll redo it tightly such that it won’t come off again. Takuya pauses, and Kazuya asks after him. He dismisses his question, and finishes tying the ribbon. Kazuya thanks him with a smile, but Takuya is unable to face him and mumbles that he’s overreacting.

Before they realise it, the skies darken and raindrops start to fall lightly on the windows and roof. The sound grows louder. They must have been too engrossed in their exploration, to not notice the sun hiding behind the clouds. Natsuki comments on how easily the weather changes, and suggests returning to the camp site before it worsens. Everyone else agrees, and exits the mansion.

(It’s dangerous so let’s wait inside……: Read Grand Finale End)

Chapter 6

Beniyuri wonders how much blood has soaked into the crimson carpet. Exhausted by the string of shocking events, she collapses onto the blood-stained floor. The kaleidoscope was almost finished and everyone was supposed to return home – what exactly went wrong? She tries to wrap her head around the reaffirmed facts: Monshiro is Kazuya, and Hikage is the mansion owner. If so, why did the former want to attack Kagiha? Is Kagiha okay? Because he covered for her, he—a mixture of feelings well up inside of her. Sorrow, helplessness, anger, emptiness. If she attempted to even try to open her mouth, it feels as if they will pour out. So instead, she bites her lip and hugs her shoulders.

It really feels like the calm after a storm. But the pain from before doesn’t go away. If only she could stop time, then her heart and body would stop both freeze and she need not think of anything. She’s having a hard time believing that Hikage deceived them deliberately all this time. Just how much of it was a lie? Did he have them in the palm of his hands?

She turns to Monshiro, who confirms that he’s Kanda Kazuya. He apologises for keeping quiet about it. Looking closely at him, Beniyuri realises that he is the exact opposite of Takuya. The younger twin who quietly observes his surroundings, and at times would make a sharp remark to surprise the rest. Though Hikage has the same face, upon realisation Monshiro really is Kazuya. She apologises in return for not realising earlier.

The rest wonder why he kept quiet too, was he being threatened by Hikage? Monshiro shakes his head, but is unable to answer clearly. Yamato, who has just been reunited with his brother, hesitates to reach out his hand to him. Eventually, he sighs loudly and suggests for them to move elsewhere. It isn’t exactly safe here. Karasuba comments that Hikage knows their hideout location, so it makes no difference. He turns his attention to Yamato, surprised at his appearance and how he’s been alive. The latter snaps at him to not stare and touch him, it’s not like he wanted to turn out like this.

Yamato explains that he’s been living in a greenhouse, and thinks that it should be a safe location. Beniyuri is dragged along with them, as she stares back at the empty corridor. The lifeless face of Kagiha’s flickers in her mind. There was so much blood. His injury should be treated immediately, and she worries that something might happen to him because of her. She refuses to lose him. Yamato rests a hand on her shoulder, calling out her of her thoughts. He advises her not to think too much, it’s better to sort out their feelings first. After that, they’ll think of what to do about Natsuki.

Karasuba: To actually find a hidden door, Yamato-kun’s wild instinct is amazing–
Yamato: Are you complimenting me? Or speaking ill of me? I get angry whenever it’s you talking.
Karasuba: Uwaa, you get angry just at this? Yamato-kun is super short-tempered. As expected of a single-cell organism!

Whether they’re happy to see each other again, or they’re trying to lighten up the dark mood, Karasuba teases Yamato more than often. So they start arguing the moment they step inside the greenhouse. Speaking of the greenhouse, nothing has changed. The numerous flowers are blooming with life, and receive them warmly. Monshiro remarks that there are white butterflies here too, so it should be safe.

Beniyuri gazes at her three childhood friends – Takuya, Aki, Kazuya. She recalls them together with their figures in her memory, so as not to make the same mistake again. The more she looks at them, the bigger the sense of nostalgia she feels. Yamato confirms that he’s Kazuya. Though his voice has changed, as expected he’s his younger brother. Once more, he questions why he hid his identity behind a mask. Surely he must have his reasons. Did something happen with Hikage? Monshiro goes quiet, and Beniyuri tells Yamato to calm down first.

Slowly, Monshiro recalls how everyone was already on good terms when he joined them. Hikage had united everyone, and they looked happy. Beniyuri reasons that it was because they had trusted Hikage, and had the same goal. Monshiro emphasises that that’s why he couldn’t say anything – he didn’t want to break their relationship. He doesn’t like the idea of destroying their happy times, he was afraid of that. Yamato comments that it will happen sooner or later though, once they find out Hikage’s real identity. Monshiro pouts and shakes his head.

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Monshiro: But……I still couldn’t say it. If I revealed myself and Hikage’s lie was discovered, what if everyone separated because of that……? I……will be alone again. I don’t want to be alone anymore. It’s lonely to be alone……
Beniyuri: So……because of that, to keep quiet when someone else has taken on your identity……
Monshiro: ……It’s fine. I can bear the pain and sorrow. But I just don’t like to be alone. My name, and even my face, I will give them all if he wants it. I will give it all so……don’t leave me alone anymore……

Monshiro appears like he’s going to cry. Yamato and Karasuba both realise that he’s been alone ever since then – it’s been 10 years already. The older twin awkwardly pats his head, and apologises. The younger twin replies that it’s his fault anyway. Yamato tries to correct him. Meanwhile, Beniyuri is unable to follow the conversation. Are they talking about the summer camp? As expected, something happened then. Yamato is surprised, thinking that she’d remember everything. She replies that it’s only bits and pieces. The three of them instantly go quiet, as they glance at each other.

Yamato immediately dismisses the subject, telling her not to pay any mind. She gets upset at being left out though, yet no one will tell her what it is. Why are they trying to sweep over the topic? He denies this, and Karasuba is quick to intercept. He winces in pain, recalling that he is injured. He’d forgotten about it because so much happened. Beniyuri apologises too, and offers to see to it near the fountain. Though it has stopped bleeding, they can’t be careless about it.

Surprisingly, Karasuba asks Yamato to help him instead. Beniyuri repeats her offer, but he questions if she wants to see him naked. As she points out his choice of words, he requests for her understanding in a guy not wanting a girl to see his lame side. So he leaves her with Monshiro, as he drags Yamato away. Beniyuri knows that he’d usually ask for her help, and wonders if he’s avoiding her on purpose. Monshiro reassures her that his injury isn’t that deep. She smiles weakly in return, but uneasiness spreads in her chest like a black matter.

She asks Monshiro why he tried to attack Kagiha. He only briefly replies that they had a fight. Is he trying to hide something? She knows that he isn’t the type to hurt others for no reason. She feels the black matter stirring up inside her. And it’s not just Monshiro. Even after treating his injury, Karasuba and Yamato continue to whisper to each other in a corner. But at times, she can feel them glancing over. Beniyuri wonders if she isn’t trusted by them. Is she the only one who sees them as friends? She’s the only one being left out. What is she to them?

When her gaze meets Yamato’s, he immediately turns away. He purposely avoids her queries, and Beniyuri snaps. She can’t stand their behaviour, wondering just what they are hiding from her. Even if they can’t tell her the secret, she should at least know their reason for hiding it. She walks away from them, as anger pours out from her chest. Monshiro chases after her, and asks her not to blame them. He pulls at her sleeve, explaining that they both treasure her so they can’t say it. Her mind understands the logic behind that, but she still feels injustice.

If she is one-sidedly being protected, that doesn’t make them friends – she’s a burden to them. Beniyuri knows that her anger is directed at her own helplessness. Monshiro adds that if she meets Hikage again, an unwanted memory of hers may return.

Monshiro: I came to this dimension much earlier than everyone else……and met Hikage. Hikage is……an existence which was dwelled in this dimension since long ago. Because he’s been here for so long……he is extremely good at……manipulating thoughts and finding people’s weaknesses. If you have your memories……you may be manipulated easily. So……it’s better not to remember.
Beniyuri: Manipulated easily, that can’t be……are you saying that it’s better to be in a situation where you can’t think of anything?
Monshiro: ………yes.
Beniyuri: ……even if I’m worried about Natsuki, and everyone is worried over something, only I don’t think of anything and act thoughtless……?
Monshiro: ……sorry……

As she tries to search for some acknowledgement, the other two also look back at her with guilt-ridden expressions. Though Beniyuri is together with them, she feels like she’s alone. She knows that they’re protecting her, but her chest hurts as an indescribable pang of loneliness overwhelms her. She can’t see why they have to keep secrets from her, if they really trust her. Yamato is worried, and Karasuba comforts her. They’re not trying to make her an outcast. Beniyuri tells herself that if she continues to blame them, they’d see her as more unreliable.

So she brightly reassures them that she’s fine, and was just a little confused and panicked. Beniyuri laughs, as she adds that she was lucky then to not remember everything. She doesn’t know what exactly she gets, but she gives up trying to understand and lies instead. If Kagiha was here, what would he say?

Gradually, the days pass by. At first, they were wary. But against their expectations, the days are peaceful and they start to feel anxious. Once Karasuba’s wound has healed, they start to explore outside. What is Hikage doing? Is Kagiha alright? Hoping for an answer, they checked the hideout but no one is there. The unchanging days continue. But every night, she’s aware that the others would start whispering to each other when they think she’s asleep. Their whispers are unpleasant to her like a fly buzzing past her ear. Trapped in loneliness, she try to escape by falling asleep as soon as possible.

And then one day, the end to those days arrived. Usagi greets them one day, as she explains that this world is like his master’s garden so he can easily grasp where they are. In any case, it was thanks to their cooperation that the kaleidoscope is almost complete. So thanks them on her master’s behalf, and adds that only one piece is left. So she wishes to escort the person who has it to her master – Beniyuri. It’s in her hair piece. Beniyuri quickly removes the butterfly pin, and is startled to find a shard embedded in it. How did it get there?

As she tilts it against the light, she notices that the hair piece looks duller than usual. She recalls that Hikage mentioned that these accessories suck in despair. Usagi explains that objects which you have had fate with in the real world, will act like protective charms here. It will accept the owner’s misfortune, and the negative energy from the monsters. Hearing this, Beniyuri can’t help but notice that everyone’s accessory is blacker than before. Karasuba exclaims in shock at how black Monshiro’s is. Usagi notes that he has been here very long, so he must have met with many negativity. It’s a mystery how he’s managed to survive this long.

Yamato is worried that something might happen to him, but Monshiro reassures him that he’s fine. But the former demands for proof of that. Usagi interrupts, advising him not to proactively engage with monsters in future. It’s best if he can maintain balance in his heart.

She is about to excuse herself, when Beniyuri asks if Hikage really plans to let them return to the real world when the kaleidoscope is finished. In the first place, they wonder why he is so concerned with the kaleidoscope. Usagi thinks that she should ask her master instead, as she’s only following orders. Karasuba questions if they are also invited too, and Yamato and Monshiro add that they can’t let her go alone. Usagi doesn’t mind if they come, and notes that they probably need to prepare themselves. She will leave signs to guide them, and tells them to come when they are ready.

No matter what, they need to meet Hikage as he has the critical item (kaleidoscope). The three of them think that they should take him by surprise when he’s talking to Beniyuri, and snatch it away. Beniyuri asks them to consider negotiating, since Hikage was originally their friend. Yamato remarks if he can really be talked to, but she thinks that they should at least try first. Perhaps they can come to a compromise. Karasuba laughs heartily, commenting on how naive she is – as if she’s made up of cotton candy (in Japanese, the word “naive” is the same as “sweet”).

Karasuba reminds her that Hikage once wanted to shoot her dead, and in exchange Kagiha got hurt. Can they really negotiate with him? He finds her goody-two-shoes way cute, but it’s about time for her to stop averting her eyes from reality. Yamato stops him from saying anymore. Monshiro only emphasises that Hikage can’t be trusted. Yamato tells her to just distract Hikage, and they’ll figure something out. He reassures her, after all he managed to strike Hikage once before.

He smiles to reassure her, but it pains her instead. Yamato says that they’ll figure something out, Karasuba remarks that she’s avoiding reality – when in the first place none of them tell her the truth. Once more, she feels that she isn’t the same place as them, as they start to come up with a plan. Only she doesn’t know anything. Only she is useless. The loneliness she feels grows, inside this kind prison. She’s drawn back out of her thoughts, as they ask if she wants to go now or wait. They think she should decide, since she’d be the one talking to Hikage.

I want to wait and see for a bit: Read Monshiro Ends

I want to go now: Beniyuri doesn’t think waiting around will change things, and wants to go now. Moreover, she’s concerned about Kagiha. She reassures them that she has the trump card, so she won’t do anything foolish. They plan to meet Hikage tomorrow. Afterwards, they agree to talk to Hikage to affirm if they can really return to the real world. Gradually, her thoughts fog up. She wants to return, but all along she had thought it would be due to them working together as friends. She’s saddened by the current situation, but neither words nor tears will come out. As the rain starts to fall, they all rest for the night to prepare themselves for tomorrow.

Chapter 7

This may be the last night she spends here. Beniyuri stares at the foggy sky through the glass. She wonders if a clear night sky filled with stars will appear once the kaleidoscope is complete. Suppressing both uneasiness and hope, as always she hears the constant whispering of their voices. It is expected that they’d need to formulate a plan against Hikage. But it hurts that she’s being kept in the dark. As she sighs, she’s unable to fall asleep due to the excitement as tomorrow is an important day.

At first, everyone didn’t know anything due to amnesia. Despite the frightening and strange things that happened, she felt reassured as she wasn’t alone. But it’s different now, with her being left out. Even though she still remembers more compared to the start, she feels more lonely and uneasy now. She mumbles Kagiha’s name. Despite his injury, he smiled at her so as to not worry her. As she recalls his gentle smile, a mixture of feelings well up inside of her – nostalgia, sadness, and others.

Beniyuri recalls him telling her before, to cry and let everything out. If not, you’d slowly forget how to smile. So she doesn’t need to hold back. Kagiha was always there to comfort her – yet now…perhaps the lonely days have dried up her tears. She wants to meet Kagiha. Unable to fall asleep, her five senses grow sharper in the darkness. Among the chilly air, the faint smell of plantation and the feel of the lawn, the one that stands out the most to her is—

The sound of rain: Read Kagiha End

The faint light: A faint light flickers before her, but when she opens her eyes it’s the same scenery. But she sense something at the entrance. She heads outside, noting that no one else has woken up. What is that light? Was it a white butterfly? But it doesn’t seem like it. Just as she was about to return to the greenhouse, she sees someone standing in a distance.

It’s Kagiha. Before she realises it, she runs into his embrace as she calls him “Nacchan”. She wants to feel more of his warmth, and she clings to his clothes. Kagiha takes her hand and places it against his cheek, saying that she doesn’t need to say anything else. Everything is already conveyed to him. Beniyuri stutters that she wanted to see him, she was so uneasy. Kagiha knows that she must have been scared, and apologises for leaving her alone, for making her cry like this, for hurting her.

She wonders if she has been enduring it all, as she feels like breaking out in tears. On the one hand, they have been kindly protecting her as they tell her not to do anything. But on the other hand, it feels extremely distant. She pretended to understand, but by lying she has stolen her own place among them. After she has calmed down, she separates herself from Kagiha. While she is embarrassed, more than that she wants to see his face. Beniyuri confirms that he’s fine, asking if he escaped from Hikage. He nods, answering briefly to her concerns about his injuries too. It hasn’t been that long since they last saw each other, but it feels like ages to Beniyuri. Kagiha voices that he has a request to ask of her.

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Gently touching her face, he whispers that he wants something important to her. Will she give it to him? Beniyuri is puzzled, till he describes it as a purple ribbon. She wonders how he knows about the ribbon she got from Monshiro. She replies that it’s from Monshiro, so she can’t. However, Kagiha states that if she has it, they can’t return to the living world. Attachments like it will keep them in this dimension. So she needs to let go of it, if they were to return. She does want to return right?

Kagiha’s soft voice is like a sweet hypnotism, and Beniyuri’s head goes blank. The ribbon is important to Monshiro, but with it they can’t go back home? The ribbon is tied tightly to her wrist, but Kagiha swiftly unties it. While a small speck of suspicion remains in her, she sees Kagiha’s relieved expression – and it dissolves the last of her suspicions. He quickly tucks it away, and she confirms again if she can’t return with it. He nods, and apologises that he has to leave now. But they will soon meet again. Until then, he wishes for her to keep their meeting a secret from everyone else. Beniyuri asks again, if everyone will go back home together. He replies that they will, surely it’ll be okay.

Kagiha turns away with a sad expression, before asking her to keep this a secret again. She agrees, and he praises her for being such an honest, good girl. He pats her on the head, before walking away. Beniyuri stares at his disappearing figure, with a vacant expression. Today is surely the last day here. Thank goodness she let go of the ribbon. Now they can finally go home, to how they used to be. She wasn’t sure how she went back. Before she realises it, she’s lying down on the lawn again.

The next morning, everyone leaves to meet Hikage. As Usagi had suggested, signs are left in the form of black butterflies. It’s eerily quiet, as they walk towards their destination. They soon stand before a large door, but no one dares to open it. As they remain standing outside, they can hear voices coming from inside.

???: Hikage……you will really fulfill your promise right?
???: You’re really persistent……won’t you do something about that personality?
???: Don’t diverge the topic. I have only been doing what you told me to for this reason alone.
???: Yes yes, I get it already. ……rest assured. I have made ready particular tastes.

The two people speak as if they’ve been acquainted for a long time. One voice sees that it’s almost time, as the doors swing open and they step inside a huge room with colourful glass-stained windows. A single chair sits in the middle. The twisted aura makes her want to flee, yet she can’t take her eyes away. Feeling nauseous, Beniyuri struggles to stay alert. She spots Kagiha with Hikage, and is surprised that they’re together. Kagiha remains quiet with a stern expression, and Hikage laughs. He doesn’t exactly want to see him look like that. Then again, he did purposely call them here. Monshiro spots the kaleidoscope just next to Hikage.

As Beniyuri questions why they’re together, Hikage offers to explain. Kagiha raises his voice, not wanting her to know the truth. But his words frustrate her, as she cries out that no one tells her anything. Why is she the only one who is shocked to see Kagiha here? Why did Hikage pretend to be one of them? She can only question why, why, why. Even though she wanted to speak calmly, the black feeling inside her is spilling out.

Hikage: Why—huh. Isn’t that obvious. It’s to collect the fragments. It’s easiest to guide a group, if you personally enter it. Moreover, the more trust you gain, the more you’d despair when I betray you all. Destruction. I have been living this cycle over and over till now, and from now on too.
Beniyuri: Hey……what is Hikage-kun’s wish? What wish do you want the kaleidoscope to grant……?
Hikage: —It’s got nothing to do with you.

His answers make her feel worse, as she begs for him not to go though such painful experiences. But Hikage laughs aloud at this. On her own accord, she comfortably soaked in the thought of them being friends. In turn he questions her, has she never hurt anyone before? Has she ever caused something which she couldn’t reverse? Is she in a place to criticise him? When Beniyuri asks what he means, Hikage replies that he’ll tell her a special story of the past.

Once upon a time, there was little girl who got along with 4 boys. They always played together. One summer day, they were brought by the adults to a site near a lake. Surrounded by lush green trees and fresh air, the children had so much fun that they broke the adults’ warning—. The others try to interrupt him, but he shoots towards the ceiling. He calls them rude, pointing out how Beniyuri is quietly listening. It’s something she wanted to recall, but also didn’t want to recall. She asks if it happened during the summer camp, and he only wears a cold grin on his face.

Hikage steps towards her, and Monshiro tells him not to come closer to Beniyuri. The former replies that it’s her who wants to get closer – to the truth, that is. But she should’ve already reached it – she should already know it. He prompts her to remember, as Ai. His sweet whispers shake a small box inside her. The box should be tightly covered, but like a lie it’s easily unraveled and opened. One by one, her memories come pouring out. The dots are connected, and she becomes herself once more.

Once they exit the mansion, Takuya lets out a cry of despair. So much rain has fallen, that the narrow pathway is almost buried under the water. Natsuki tells them not to worry, and to cross over calmly. It wouldn’t be good if they slipped. Following his instructions, they slowly cross over. He is the last one to go, as he watches over everyone from behind. Eventually, Aki and Takuya safely make it across. Kazuya is almost there too, but he stops in his tracks as he realises that he’s lost the ribbon. They don’t think that it fell off while they were crossing, so it must have dropped off while they were exploring the mansion.

Kazuya wants to go back and retrieve it, despite everyone else’s protests. He’d promised to return it to Beniyuri, so he is going back first. He pulls away from Takuya’s grip, and heads back. Both Ai and Natsuki follow him back, with the latter telling the other two to wait there. As the three small figures disappear in the pouring rain, both Aki and Takuya can only look on uneasily. Back in the mansion, the three children split up to find the ribbon. Soon, Kazuya lets out a shout as he waves the ribbon he found. Natsuki urges them to hurry back, as it looks like the rain is heavier and the other two are waiting for them.

Like he said, the rain is a lot heavier. The water level was at their toes, but now it’s past Ai’s knees. Across, Takuya shouts that he will call for the adults and tells them to wait there. But the pounding rain drowns his voice out, and Ai can’t make out what he’s saying. Kazuya apologises, and Ai replies that it isn’t his fault. She’s sure that they can still make it across. Natsuki waits till the rain is a bit lighter, and urges them to cross now. They struggle against the tide bit by bit, till the goal is in sight.

Just then, a tide pushes Kazuya and he falls into the lake. Ai barely manages to grab his hand, but she can hardly support his weight with the water thoroughly soaked in his clothes. Both of them end up falling in, and Natsuki dives inside to save Ai. He manages to pull her back onshore, as she gasps for breath and thanks him. He tells her to wait, as he needs to save Kazuya too. He tells her not to worry, for he’ll be back soon.

Natsuki smiles kindly at her, a smile like sunshine. He disappears back into the water, and Ai tries to stretch out her hand and to shout at the top of her lungs – but everything before her suddenly turns white. She can’t see anything, nor say anything, as if water is stuck in her throat. Ai weakly calls out his name, and Takuya and Aki call out to them. The adults are called over as they appear to rescue them. The white fog turns to black, and Ai’s memory ends there.

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Vaguely, the next scene has Ai sitting down with black clothes on. In front of her sits Natsuki’s photo of him smiling brightly, in a black frame. The photo is from last year’s summer camp. They went fishing. It was fun, and Natsuki was extremely good at fishing. He caught a lot and everyone grilled and ate it. Such thoughts vaguely crossed Ai’s mind, as she stared at his photo. Why is she here, and what is going on—it all feels like a dream to her. Behind her, the adults whisper about the children playing. But suddenly a storm came and some fell inside the lake. Natsuki tried to save them, and Kazuya is still unconscious. Takuya and Aki moved away during the summer vacation. So Ai was left alone.

Ai: ……everyone, is gone. Aki-chan and Takuya-kun……Kazuya-kun and Nacchan……where have you gone? Have you moved house like the two of them? If so……we can meet again someday right……? It would be good, if we can meet again……

(Additional paragraph if you read the flashback from the flowchart: Drip drip, drip drip. It feels like her feet are stuck in water, trapping her senses. In a flash, the water level is at her waist, and soon swallows up to her head. Who is drowning? Is she the one drowning? She doesn’t know, doesn’t want to think. She only wants to keep floating in the water. And so Ai trapped her memories in the water. Fun things, painful things, everything. She doesn’t want to recall anything, or to feel anything. That’s why……)

Beniyuri feels like she is getting swept away by the wave of memories. Every last bit of strength leaves her body, and she collapses on the floor. Hikage laughs gleefully at the fact that she has recalled everything. Indeed, that was the “her” she had forgotten. How does she feel now, happy or sad? Well, there’s no way she’d feel happy. After all, it was because of her own selfishness that someone she loved passed away.

She vacantly echoes his words, asking if it’s her fault that he died, and Kazuya is in coma, and that everyone went separate ways. Is it all her fault? Karasuba and Yamato deny this, remarking that it was an accident. But she keeps blaming herself, for not listening to Natsuki’s warning and insisting on going to the mansion. In the end, Natsuki and Kazuya were stuck in this dark place with no sunlight, because of her. She doesn’t want to lose her beloved ones, her own place of belonging. That thought alone makes her heart cry aloud.

Beniyuri had thought that her uneasiness was a result of the baffling incidents in this world – but it was actually all her fault. That feeling was rooted much deeper in her, and cannot simply be described as guilt. But only that feeling remained in her even when she had amnesia, constantly blaming her. Hikage agrees that it’s all her fault – Natsuki dying, splitting up the twins, everyone falling into this abyss. Yet only she didn’t realise it, and was living comfortably. Her sins run so deep, but no matter how much she apologises it will never be enough.

Hikage: Hey, you might as well……disappear. Wouldn’t that be better?

Her breath comes to a halt the moment his words strike what she really thought. Yamato yells at him to shut up, and Karasuba tells her not to listen. But Hikage’s words break something black, as her hair piece shatters. Her world goes black, and Beniyuri is haunted by the thought that she should disappear. She screams as a black matter explodes from her chest, and its heat burns to the core of her body – robbing her of all reason. She can’t think of anything and doesn’t want to remember anything. She gasps for breath, but it feels like she’s swallowing mud and dirt instead. Yamato and Karasuba desperately try to snap her out of it.

But black butterflies emerge from her body, and it burns the two of them like smoke. Beniyuri’s senses start to grow duller, but she can tell that Hikage has picked up something she dropped. He has a twisted smile on his face, elated that he has finally gotten the last shard. He could’ve taken it by force earlier, but it’s more thrilling to leave the fun towards the end. Kagiha exclaims that he promised to save Beniyuri, but Hikage questions if he doesn’t like the entertainment prepared for him.

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Kagiha: It was promised that at least she will be saved, that’s why I cooperated with you all this time. Yet—!
Monshiro: You……took the ribbon from Ai!? That was a protective charm……it was something that will protect Ai and yet……!
Kagiha: But he said that if she has that she won’t be revived……that’s why……I……!
Hikage: Ku……aha……ahahaha!

Kagiha realises that he was deceived, but Hikage corrects him. He pretended to be deceived. It’s not as if Kagiha trusted him in the first place. Though he thought that it was strange, he could only obey. Kagiha has always observed from his side, so he should know his true personality. But Kagiha always averted his gaze from the inconvenient things. In truth, Kagiha is a greedy, weak and despicable person. Despite being a traitor, he longs for the light and wishes to grasp onto hope. No matter what, he wanted to return to the living world with Beniyuri. In order not to lose that faint hope, he blindly obeyed Hikage. And in the end, Beniyuri has sunk into the abyss of despair.

Left speechless, Kagiha collapses to the ground. He mutters that even so, he still…… Hikage laments at how pitiful they are. Just minutes ago, they were basking in camaraderie and look at them now. He revels in it. Very soon, they should be able to taste an even more aromatic ecstasy. He is about to place the last fragment onto the kaleidoscope. Just before he does so, Monshiro fires at him. He won’t let Hikage use it, it’s meant for Ai and the rest to return to the real world.

Hikage knows that he purposely missed. It’s easy to imagine what will happen to him if he does so, now that he no longer has the ribbon. He points at Beniyuri, noting that he doesn’t want to become like that. Monshiro angrily demands for the ribbon, and Kagiha remains quiet. Meanwhile, Beniyuri wants to give up on everything. She screams aloud, and Yamato and Karasuba are unable to get past the black smoke. She begs for them not to get hurt anymore.

She looks up at Kagiha sitting a distance away, as he whispers that he wanted……with her……no matter what…… Beniyuri slowly walks towards him. His jade green eyes reflect her ugly transformation. So this is how her heart looks like – she is ugly, weak, cowardly and despicable. She already knew that, but pretended not to. She tears up, apologising to him. She only wanted everyone to get along. But thought that if she recalled, everything would be destroyed. She loves them all, it was always fun with them. Even if it was an illusion, and they couldn’t move ahead. She admits that she was weak, and ran away from the past – from his death. Beniyuri apologises over and over, as tears stream down her face.

Kagiha admits that he was weak too, as he didn’t want the fun times to end. If she couldn’t remember, then he could continue hiding the fact that he was already dead. He never planned to tell her. He wanted to be in her future, not her past. He doesn’t hate or regret the fact that he died as a result of saving them. But if he could wish for something, it would be to live again by her side. To walk again underneath the bright sun with her. He wanted to think of such a future, even for the slightest bit.

He apologises, for turning her into this form. He shall stop tying them down. In an instant, the burning sensation disappears from her body as she feels the ribbon around her neck. Kagiha thanks her for looking at him, and coming here. In the past when they were kids, and even now, he loves her.

All of a sudden, a gun shot is heard. Monshiro is kneeling down, pressing his hand against his wound. Hikage remarks that Monshiro is often out of sorts, yet now he is so alert, waiting for a chance to snatch the kaleidoscope away. The latter mutters for him to keep quiet, and Hikage comments that that’s enough entertainment. It’s time to complete it. He observes that Yamato and Karasuba can’t move anymore, and warns Beniyuri and Kagiha not to do anything. They shall just witness this brilliant moment in silence.

Hikage had waited so long for this moment, and calls for the beautiful kaleidoscope to answer his wishes. As the last shard is placed, the kaleidoscope emits an extremely strong light of multiple colours – like a rainbow. Hikage is thrilled that his dearest wish will finally come true, he shall unleash all of his pain into the world. As he cackles loudly, Kagiha whispers to Beniyuri that he wants to return them to the living world. She replies that she does want to return, but the kaleidoscope is already in motion. Moreover he is…… Kagiha smiles gently, melting all of her worries. He asks her to listen to his request, reassuring her that she can do it – only he can do it.

Suddenly, he takes her hand and tells her to shoot Hikage when he gives the signal. She shall save them all at the end. He squeezes her hand. A kind warmth envelopes her, and at the same time resolute. Soon, he’s no longer by her side, as he dashes towards Hikage. Before the latter can shoot at Kagiha, Karasuba shoots at him, taking him by surprise. Beniyuri realises that Yamato had been supporting Karasuba. This shot creates an opening for Kagiha to grab Hikage. He yells at Beniyuri, to do it now. She is hesitant, knowing the implications. Hikage struggles to break free, asking Kagiha if he knows what will happen. The taller man does.

No matter what he did or sacrificed, he wanted to live again. But that was because he wanted to make his first love happy. However, that is no longer his role. As for themselves, they need to return to where they belong. Kagiha tells Beniyuri not to be scared. Just then, a strong voice speaks to her. Monshiro tells her to face forward. They are still alive, they need to live on. Kagiha agrees, she needs to do it, to end this. Beniyuri holds her gun, but her fingers tremble at the trigger. She sees everyone else, lying on the floor injured.

Kagiha: For you to smile and be happy underneath the bright sun. That is my hope.
Beniyuri: ——!
Kagiha: This is my first and last selfish request. So, please smile.

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Seeing his sunshine smile, Beniyuri holds back her tears and awkwardly smiles in return. Hikage inhales sharply as the trigger is pulled. A mass of black and white butterflies appear from where they were standing, and surge towards the ceiling. The colours make it looks as if it’s both day and night. She collapses onto the floor, breaking out in tears as she gazes at the illusion-like scene. There is no one there. The person who had gently called out her name, is nowhere to be seen. She sobs while calling out his name, and a warm breeze catches her face.

???: ……goodbye, please be happy……

She knows who that gentle and familiar voice belongs to. If so, she has to see him off with the smile he wanted. Beniyuri looks up, and clumsily smiles once more. She thanks him, and says goodbye for real this time. She’s called back to reality by Karasuba’s voice. They all stand before her, looking in pretty bad shape.  She calls them by their real names, and Karasuba agrees that it’s about time to return to those names. Having lost its owner, the kaleidoscope sits on the throne with a bright light. Monshiro observes that the light is gradually growing brighter. It’s probably finished.

All of a sudden, it feels like something is approaching them – something extremely familiar. It’s the world they came from. They didn’t wish for anything yet, but they can feel that they’re slowly returning to the living world. Monshiro wonders if he can return too, and Yamato reassures him. Even if he does’t want to, he will drag his brother back. Karasuba remarks that they should be more worried about themselves, as they have no idea what will happen. Yamato is sure that they’ll figure something out.

Beniyuri asks to hold hands. If they get lost along the way, at least they won’t lose each other. They do so, and strangely even if they disappear in the bright light she isn’t uneasy. She knows that they are here as they are holding hands, like a ribbon of light connecting their hearts. Even if it seems to loosen, that light binds them together. That is their bond.

For a moment, she feels as if she’s drowning. But she is no longer getting washed away, and no longer lost. She will live on strongly. Beniyuri looks upwards, and can see the exit – the water surface shimmers brightly. She reaches for it, and her fingers break through the water. She can see the sun of hope.

Read Yamato Good End

Read Karasuba Good End

Read Best End

One thought on “Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly: Common Route

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