Taisho x Alice episode 2: Kaguya

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First route is Kaguya (CV: Masuda Toshiki). He treats everyone gently and amiably, and is always smiling. Being adept at dealing with women, his relationships with them are rather showy. He speaks in a unique manner, similar to kansai dialect, and stands out from the crowd due to his peculiar appearance. This follows from the Prologue. (FYI, this is based on Kaguya-hime, or the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Also, this route contains elements which might be triggering.)

This is a cafe in the mirror world, where the residents have grown familiar with as they enjoy their afternoon tea here. Arisu Yurika works as a waitress here. A regular customer pays for his order, and praises the menu here. As she thanks him, the customer hesitantly tries to ask if she’s seeing anyone. Before he can finish, Cinderella calls out to Yurika from across the floor. She winks at the customer, asking him to tell her another time. When she goes across, Cinderella hits her head with an empty plate. Instead of calling him by his name, she should be calling him “manager”. She immediately does so, and he sighs in response. He reminds her that it’s fine to mingle with the customers, but she needs to do her work too.

By the way, the manager often goes out to play, but once in a while he will show up in the cafe and help out when he feels like it. He’s actually pretty skillful, and can do things well. But his fragile mentality is his only fault. Cinderella asks if she was thinking of something rude, and she cutely shakes her head. He tells her to take the order from the couple sitting by the window, before going for her break. At that moment, the lady there slaps the man as she angrily remarks that she hates him. The cafe is filled with a tense atmosphere in an instance. The man presses his cheek with an awkward smile, answering that her angry face is wonderful too. This earns him yet another sharp slap, and the force causes him to fall off his chair. The woman breaks up with the man, and leaves the cafe.

Cinderella quietly comments that women are scary. Yurika wets her handkerchief and goes up to the man, pressing it against his swollen cheek. The man thanks her, but widens his eyes when he sees her. Suddenly, he takes her hand and comments on how cute she is – and asks her out. A buzz fills the cafe at his abrupt confession. She agrees and everyone is startled, including Cinderella who lets out a yelp.

Man: When I say let’s go out, I don’t mean “let’s go out somewhere” you know? It means dating you know?
Yurika: Yes. I know.
Man: Really!? Uwah, I’m so happy!
Cinderella: Oi oi, wait a sec!! Are you serious!? Did I overwork you!?

Cinderella separates them and quickly checks her temperature – not that she has a fever though. The man happily hugs her, declaring that she’s his girlfriend now. Noting that they’re in public, she gently pushes him away. They introduce each other, and she learns that the man is called Kaguya. This is a cafe in the mirror world. On a weekend afternoon where they’re working as always, through a strange string of events, she ended up with a lover.

In the kitchen, Cinderella is still in shock at what happened. After all, it’s only been a minute since they met. Yurika likes how simple it is, and turns to look at Kaguya who is drinking tea. He waves at her when he catches her gaze. She waves in return, and Cinderella remarks that he really can’t understand her. There are so many problems going on, citing that love should involve more…feelings. She comments that he’s a real romanticist, leading him to pinch her cheeks as she sounds like she’s mocking him. He adds that the man is obviously flippant and the type to switch partners around. After all, just moments ago he was ditched.

Yurika says that there’s no problem since it means he’s free to take then. She doesn’t think it’s right to speak poorly of someone you don’t know well. In response, he asks if it’s alright to date someone you don’t know well then. She says that it’s precisely so that she is, because she wants to get to know him better.

Cinderella: ……do you like him?
Yurika: I wouldn’t date him if I disliked him.
Cinderella: Hmm well……if you’re okay with it, I won’t say anything more. But don’t let me see you crying alright?
Yurika: Please comfort me then, Cinderella-san.
Cinderella: N-o w-a-y……alright, hurry up and take your break.

She removes her apron and goes to Kaguya’s side. Asking if she’s hungry, he suggests going out to eat. Before doing so, he kneels down and asks for the princess for her hand. She didn’t expect this development just hours after meeting. While they’re walking in the streets, he asks what she wants to eat. She’s at a loss, so he suggests browsing the restaurants first before deciding then.

Kaguya: Ahaha. I’m fine with whatever Princess likes. Since I’m with the person I like, I want to eat the same thing as the person I like.

Yurika’s taken aback by how he keeps repeating “like”, and sees that things can’t progress till she decides on something. Since it’s their first date, it would be nice to go to a trendy cafe – but since she works in one, it won’t be very relaxing for her. So she proposes going to eat crepes. Kaguya cheerfully pulls her along, his smile is almost like an innocent kid’s. He remarks that he’s truly happy to have such a cute girlfriend like her. She asks what he means by “Hii-san“, and he explains that it means “Princess”. She wonders what dialect it is, or is it an archaic word, she she’s never heard it before. He answers vaguely, which prompts her to question if he’s from the West, as he doesn’t sound like a local. Once more, Kaguya vaguely asks if he appears that way (Note: Kaguya calls her “Hii-san” which is shortened from “Ohii-sama“. It is another term for “Ohime-sama” which means “Princess”.)

She thinks that it’s important to learn more about the other person through trivial talk like this. However, a delicious smell catches her attention – it’s kushiyaki. But she shakes the temptation of meat away from her head, thinking that it would be too unsuitable to eat it for a first date. Just then, Kaguya excitedly drags her along as he’s found something tasty – it’s the kushiyaki store. He asks if they can eat this instead of crepes, even though he did say that he’s fine with what she likes just a while ago. Yurika gives him a thumbs-up, after all this couldn’t be a better chance. He gives a thumbs-up in return and presses it against hers, before ordering one stick for each of them – with a couple’s discount of course.

After buying, they head to the quiet lake to eat. She offers to pay him back, but he refuses her. As she thanks him, he pats her head and gestures her to sit on the bench. Before she does though, he lays his clothing out for her to sit on. She feels bad about it, but he states that it’s only natural since she’s his girlfriend. Following that, he even takes out each piece off the stick, since she would get sauce on herself if she eats off the stick. When Yurika looks surprised, he wonders if she prefers the latter option. But once more, he thinks it’s only natural to do so as her boyfriend. Kaguya then offers to feed her. She hesitates for a moment, before eating it. Seeing her thoroughly enjoying it, he offers his share to her too. He did eat at her cafe earlier, so he’s full. Yurika recalls that he merely ate a scone and had tea though, but he replies that he’s surprisingly a small eater. He removes everything from the stick, and offers the plate to her.

In an attempt to get him to eat too, Yurika asks if he sees her as having the appetite of a devil. He blinks at her words, to which she elaborates that she is a fearsome devil who will eat anything. Kaguya asks if she will eat him too, and she says she will. He willingly offers himself up to her. She pretends to act like a monster, and hugs his arm. He finds her cute, and she counts that it’s his 8th time saying “cute” today. Putting the joke aside, she asks him to eat it together with her. He accepts, and she wonders if he’d like her to feed him. When his reply is positive, Yurika doesn’t hesitate to do so. They are really acting like a romantic couple, and one couldn’t possibly imagine them being strangers just some hours ago.

When they’re done, Kaguya throws away the rubbish and returns with drinks. She had offered to do it, but he insisted otherwise. He’s doing it because he wants to, so she doesn’t need to feel bad. They sit in silence, looking at the lake. At that moment, Yurika is reminded about his swollen cheek and asks if it still hurts. She passes him her handkerchief, and he offers to get her a new one in return. She refuses, and allows him to keep this one. Just like when they first met, he widens his eyes in surprise, before gratefully accepting it with a gentle smile. Kaguya praises her, but she thinks that she’s neither bad nor a good person. There’s no way to know someone from their appearances. She teasingly asks if he regrets it.

Kaguya: Not at all. What about Princess, do you regret going out with me?
Yurika: I don’t know you well enough, to regret it.
Kaguya: Ah, how petty! You should cutely say “No. Not at all ♪” at times like this, like a good kid.
Yurika: No. Not at all ♪
Kaguya: Yes yes.

He then reminds her, asking if she needs to return to work. It’s true that she had lost track of the time. Kaguya stands up and offers his hand. She takes it, and she really feels that he’s treating her like a princess. At the very least, she wants to help to dust his clothing which she sat on. But he takes it before she can – he really doesn’t let up! He then asks if he can wait till she finishes work, to which she agrees.

On the way back, he learns that Yurika has been working there for 2 years already. He praises the tea and scone, to which he learns that she had made it all. He’s impressed that she’s not only cute, but good at cooking too. He actually likes that cafe – the food is delicious, the uniform is cute and sexy, and the manager is interesting. She agrees that Cinderella is interesting, and a good person. Realising that she had just praised another man before her boyfriend, she quickly adds that Kaguya is a good person too. He’s always smiling, and very kind. He smiles dryly, as he doesn’t think so. But Yurika realised since a while ago, many women have been looking over at him and whispering about his looks. When he looks curiously at her, she dismisses it.

Just then, a woman sees them and looks surprised. But she soon glares and approaches Kaguya. Yurika asks if he knows her, but he shows an awkward smile, wondering who she was. A sharp slap is heard, and he falls to the ground. There’s no way that he can be alright, having shown his weak side to her, but he laughs weakly and reassures Yurika otherwise. The lady demands to know who she is, and Yurika answers that she is his lover. As expected, the woman declares that she is his lover too. She’s furious, and Yurika’s unexpected calm disposition throws her off. She then demands an explanation from Kaguya, asking who came first. He ambiguously answers that she came first. This agitates the lady, and she asks who’s the true lover then. He gazes at both of them, before answering that it’s probably Yurika.

The woman is livid, and raises her hand again. Yurika holds her back, acknowledging that what Kaguya did was the worst. But even if she was ignorant, she did steal him away from her. She’s partly responsible and willing to let the woman slap her. She shuts her eyes and mouth, readying herself for the impact – but it never came.

Back in her room, Yurika cools Kaguya’s cheek with an ice pack. It does hurt a bit, but she notes that he got away easily considering what he did. He agrees with a bitter laugh, and tries to erase the awkward atmosphere as he looks around her room, which is a floor above the cafe. To think that she would be inviting him into her room on the same day they started going out. She can’t help but feel shameful. She usually wouldn’t allow men easily into her room, but this time is special. He asks if it’s because he’s a lover, but she pokes at his face.

Yurika: It’s because you’re injured. Listen well okay? You were saved just now because of her kindness, but what she said was correct.

Though she knows that since everyone was already looking, the woman’s dignity would be hurt if she had slapped Yurika who was acting defenseless. Kaguya admits that he was wrong for two-timing, as he kneels down. She removes the ice pack from his cheek, and clears her throat. She isn’t angry, so she asks him to confess how many other girls he’s going out with.

Kaguya: ……you’re not angry?
Yurika: I’ve lost the will.
Kaguya: You’re appalled?
Yurika: Yes.
Kaguya: Ahaha……that’s bad.
Yurika: It’s not something to laugh about.

She places her hands on her hips, and admits that she’s curious. But there’s no meaning in pursuing the past so she won’t ask. He’s taken aback, and she goes on to confirm if he likes her, and if she’s the one he’s currently dating. When Kaguya confirms this, she ends her questioning. He’s unable to hold back his surprise, as he was expecting her to break up with him. Yurika asks if he wants to, and he quickly denies this. So she decides to ignore what happened, to which he comments on how good she is. She replies that it doesn’t mean that she is a convenient existence for him. In any case, there’s no telling how beaten up he’ll get if she leaves him alone. So she tells him to stay here till things calm down.

Downstairs, she explains everything to Cinderella. He remarks that Kaguya was asking for it, reminding her that he did warn her. He advises her to break up before she gets hurt. Yurika agrees that one would usually think that. But she admits that she isn’t being big-hearted, but because it doesn’t feel as though their relationship has gotten far. That’s why she’s this calm. He agrees that it’s because they agreed to go out so suddenly. Out of the blue, she asks him what it means to cheat on others. He mulls over this, answering that the person is always floating here and there. Yurika wonders if he’s referring to himself, since he’s always skipping out on work and floating here and there outside. Cinderella hits her, telling her not to lump him together with Kaguya. While she complains that it’s weird for it to be fine for work but not love, he urges her to return to work.

Yurika does as told, and only returns to her room when she’s done with work. Kaguya welcomes her back with a smile, and volunteers to massage her shoulders. He also says that he’s skilled at massaging the legs, but she refuses him. She says that she’s going to change her clothes, and asks him to leave the room. After he does so, she locks the door. While she changes, she wonders what he was doing while waiting for her. She had brought tea and snacks to him earlier, but it doesn’t look as though he touched them. After she’s done, Yurika opens the door but doesn’t see Kaguya anyway. Cinderella comes upstairs, and she asks if he’s seen Kaguya. He replies that Kaguya had left the cafe with a foolish smile.

As it’s winter, it has already gotten dark outside though it isn’t that late yet. She dashes out and easily spots him among the crowd, due to his unique appearance. She calls out to him, but stops in her tracks when she sees him happily talking to a woman. He spots her and appears surprised, asking what she’s doing here. Yurika returns the question to him, and he replies that he thought she told him to leave. She corrects him, saying that she meant for him to wait in the corridor. He laughs at the misunderstanding. She glances over to the woman, but doesn’t ask anything. Instead, Kaguya explains that the lady was lost and comments that she must have been surprised at how odd he was. Yurika sees that the lady was hitting on him though. She coughs and asks where she was going. Thankfully, the place is a famous sightseeing spot so she gives detailed instructions. The woman bows politely and is seen off.

Yurika turns to Kaguya, who looks curiously at her. He asks what she wants with him, since she came after him. She is speechless for a moment, before answering that she was merely worried since he suddenly disappeared. He bows and apologises, before observing that it’s already nighttime. He meets her gaze and pats her head, offering to see her back as a lady shouldn’t be out this late. She points out that it isn’t that late. He’s worried that someone bad will hit on a cute girl like her though.

Yurika: ……like Kaguya-san?
Kaguya: Yes. Like me.

She asks if he doesn’t need to return home soon, or if he has made any promises. Unexpectedly, he smiles and states that it doesn’t matter as he has no home. Unable to leave him be, Yurika brings Kaguya home and has him eat dinner with them. The situation has been explained to Cinderella, who is in a state of disbelief, and starts lecturing.

Cinderella: Listen well okay? He isn’t a dog or cat you know? He’s a human, human. And a man at that.
Yurika: ……yes.
Cinderella: What do you plan to do by bringing him back. Don’t tell me you want to live together? Cohabitation is prohibited here.
Yurika: It’s the first time I’m hearing that.
Cinderella: I decided it just now. I’m also living here, and won’t be able to take it if things get noisy.
Yurika: Hahaha……

She admits that things would be progressing too fast if they suddenly live together. But it would be morally wrong to just desert him too. Plus in a convoluted way, he is her lover. Cinderella remarks that it’s for certain that he will live off her then. Yurika shuts her mouth tightly, before passing him a large dish to serve. He pinches her cheeks and laughs heartily, before agreeing to do so. However, Kaguya offers to do so and takes it away timely. She says that he’s a guest though and should wait. However, Cinderella pinches her cheeks once more. Kaguya remarks that he doesn’t feel good not doing anything, and Cinderella directly asks him if he has money. Yurika protests while still being pinched, but Cinderella says that he’s asking in her place.

Kaguya awkwardly takes out all the money he has from his wallet – a thousand, two hundred yen. Cinderella smiles widely while patting her shoulder, congratulating her for getting herself a partner who will live off her. But Yurika recalls him treating her to everything earlier today, and he only answers ambiguously. Cinderella calls her a demon for making a penniless person pay for everything, and she hurries to grab her wallet to return her share. But Kaguya stops her, saying that it’s the least he wants to do as her boyfriend. Cinderella tells her to respect his wishes then, as he sits himself at the table. Kaguya gives a troubled smile, and Yurika thanks him while apologising. He tells her not to pay any mind, and apologises for keeping quiet too.

He serves the dishes as told, and Yurika sees that he’s a surprisingly hard worker and proper person – except when it comes to women and money. Cinderella informs her that there’s a new resident upstairs too, and to bring the person some food. The newcomer is apparently a boy called Alice. She’s surprised, since thought that it’s more likely to be a woman with fantastic legs, since he has a leg fetish. She knocks repeatedly on the door, but there’s no answer. So she leaves it before the door, and returns downstairs. They start eating dinner, and Kaguya is impressed by the flavours. He comments on how lucky Cinderella is, to be able to eat this everyday.

The latter asks directly what he plans to do now, since he has no money nor a roof over his head. How did he exactly live till today? Yurika secretly thanks him for asking the question. Kaguya gives a vague answer, and Cinderella sharply guesses that he must have been jumping in and out of women’s places. Kaguya laughs awkwardly. In response, Yurika suggests hiring him here. Cinderella sighs loudly. He was seeing this coming.

Yurika: As expected of Cinderella-san. You’re smart and quick on the uptake ♪
Cinderella: That’s not a praise. And stop that coaxing voice. I have goosebumps.

Kaguya tells them not to mind him, as he will leave after eating. He also leaves the thousand, two hundred yen on the table to pay for dinner. The two siblings are surprised, since that’s all he has left. Yurika refuses it, saying that she meant to treat him. After all, the ingredients didn’t cost this much. Cinderella agrees. Kaguya puts in hands together in a prayer position and thanks them. Cinderella asks if he plans to be put up in a convenient woman’s place, and Kaguya says that he’ll make do somehow – perhaps even stay outside. Yurika glances over at Cinderella, who says that he can see through Kaguya’s strategy to gain sympathy. Out of the blue, Kaguya asks if Cinderella likes her. After all, he’s picking on him for her sake.

Since they’re going out, Yurika quickly explains that Cinderella is her landlord and she is his employee, that’s all there is. She seeks agreement from Cinderella, who answers that it is so with disinterest. She returns the topic to Kaguya, asking what he plans to do next. He replies that he doesn’t mind staying in the open. She observes that unlike his appearance, he’s a pretty passive person. So she clearly asks for his opinion, if he wants to leave or not. After a long pause, he answers that he wants to stay with her. So Yurika asks Cinderella for a room.

Cinderella: Look here.
Yurika: If you object, then my room……
Cinderella: I say it’s prohibited.
Yurika: Do something about that.
Cinderella: No way.

She tries to look at him with puppy eyes, but he says that it won’t work on him. It’s too obvious. When she admits that it was on purpose, he hits her on the head. Kaguya laughs at how interesting they are, but immediately stands at attention when Cinderella glares at him.

Cinderella: ……so? What can you do?
Kaguya: Me? I can do whatever you tell me to……
Cinderella: Cooking? Washing? Cleaning? Helping in the cafe?
Kaguya: Of course.

Cinderella goes quiet, before agreeing to let him stay for the time being if he listens. Both Yurika and Kaguya clap at the unexpected development. But Cinderella has a condition, a one week deadline. Yurika changes it to one month, as one week would be too short to settle everything. Cinderella sighs and gives in. In any case, he instructs Kaguya to share the responsibility with Yurika – be it the household chores or the cafe duties. Moreover, he strictly forbids them from entering each other’s room. And so, their peculiar cohabitation life started.

That night, Yurika is troubled as to how to write a letter to Kaguya. She ponders over it for a while, before writing it. When she’s done, she stands before his room and takes a deep breath. She’s startled when he suddenly opens the door, and blurts out one of her rejected lines for her letter. He apologises for scaring her, and she hesitates and hides the letter. She asks if he needs anything. He replies that there’s not much and Cinderella already provided him a change of clothes. Yurika notices his change of clothes, and comments that it suits him. Kaguya pats her on the head in return, and offers to hug her too.

Unwittingly, she spreads her arms wide in response and ends up revealing the letter. She lets him read it. It turns out to be a diary exchange, as she wants to get to know him better. There may be a lot of things they can’t say directly, so she thought that it’d be better to write in words. Embarrassed, she ends up covering her face, and peeks through her fingers to see if he has finished. Kaguya happily accepts her idea. Though he has never written a diary before, he will give it a try.

“Princess, hello……it feels weird since we’ve only met for a day. I’m nervous about starting a diary exchange with princess from today onwards. It’s alright to just write what happened that day right? I think that it’ll be nice to get to know you better. Please treat me well from now on too. –Kaguya”

“Dear Kaguya. Hello! First, I was surprised that your writing wasn’t in kansai dialect (well a bit of it was). Thinking about it, it’s to be expected. But somehow it’s really refreshing! I think it’s good to write what happened that day, or whatever you couldn’t say aloud. I also plan to write a lot, so treat me well! –From Yurika”

“Princess, hello. Illustration? It’s really cute! I also tried to draw one too, how is it? It’s obvious that my writing wouldn’t be in kansai dialect! I actually wanted to draw a laughing face, but somehow it turned out weird. Sorry. Writing whatever I couldn’t say aloud, is kind of embarrassing. I also tried to think about it, but first I would like to confide my feelings here. I like you. I feel really blessed to have met you, to be with you. Thank you for staying with you.”

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It’s been 5 days since they’ve met. Yurika holds back a yawn, as she heads downstairs. It’s 5am, but it’s still dark as the sun rises later in winter. She can already hear someone else in the cafe – Kaguya. He has already started cleaning the cafe, even though today is her duty. When she points this out, he says that he got up early so he couldn’t help it. She points out that it’s fine for him to go back to sleep then, but he notes that he’s a morning person. When she takes the cloth from him, she can’t help but feel guilty and ends up handing it back to him. In any case, she warns him not to overwork himself. Ever since he came, her workload has gotten a lot lighter. It’s really great, but if she were to state a problem……

Cinderella: You are being outdone by him.
Yurika: Please don’t say it!

Kaguya doesn’t agree, saying that she’s a lot more skillful and good at cooking. Cinderella thinks that he is able to cook though. But Kaguya would rather eat her delicious food everyday. She happily passes him the soy sauce for his egg, and gives Cinderella some sauce when he asks for it. Kaguya finds it rare for someone to eat their egg with sauce.

Cinderella: ……are you making fun of me?
Kaguya: No I’m not I’m not.
Yurika: I prefer my sunny side up with soy sauce.
Cinderella: There’s no need to purposely use English. You fake foreigner.
Yurika: It’s fine isn’t it. Right?
Kaguya: Right–

Somehow they’re getting along fine. Though Cinderella was rather prickly towards Kaguya, his prejudice? towards Kaguya seems to have cooled down in the few days. As for the cafe, Kaguya instantly became popular among the customers due to his serious, gentle, and amiable nature. But all the ladies have their eyes on him. Yurika recognises that he’s handsome and that his unique appearance is a charm point. Moreover he will occasionally joke around, and is kind and considerate. It’s good that he’s well-liked. However, since she is his girlfriend, she can’t help but be mindful. Well, at least they can earn a lot since he’s popular.

After the rush hour and the crowd thins out, she finishes her washing and lets out a sigh. Kaguya spots her, asking if she’s not feeling well. He correctly guesses that the reason is jealously, and she claps in response. She deliberately tests him by pointing out sharply that he’s popular. But it backfires as he finds her cute, and can’t help but wanting to hug her. Somehow she’s finding herself more caught up in him. Yurika opens her arms, volunteering herself. But when he’s about to reciprocate, she changes her mind as it would be rude to flirt here while there are customers. Her action should’ve made him feel sour, but instead he boldly says that they’ll do it when they’re alone then. While she keeps a calm face, she starts thinking deeply into his words. Kaguya tells her not to be so on guard, as he won’t do anything perverted. Unwittingly, Yurika lets out a weird voice.

After dinner, the couple are taking an evening stroll. Kaguya laughs as he recalls her earlier reaction, but she says that it isn’t funny at all. He calls her cute, and she says that she won’t be deceived by his words. But her maiden heart is actually rather happy to hear that. He asks if she’s cold, and covers her with his haori. Worried about him, Yurika takes the chance to walk closely to him. They entwined their fingers like lovers would, and continue walking. Instant love – the word Cinderella has used to describe them lingers in her mind.

They’ve only just met, and still don’t know each other well. She is conscious of him since they’re going out. And holding hands like this makes her heart pound quicker, and it’s fun to converse with him. Of course, there’s no way they will jump to adult-like developments already, but she feels that their current relationship is the epitome of lovers. But if there’s one thing different about their relationship from others – it’s not the process or time, but the period of unrequited love. Can this feeling – their relationship really be called love?

Out of the blue, Kaguya asks why she’s going out with him. He had always wondered about it. Yurika mulls over it, before answering that she’s interested in him and wants to know more about him. He asks if she gets often told that she’s strange, and she snaps her fingers in agreement. He then asks why she wants to know more about him, and she replies that she thought well of him.

Kaguya: Even though I confessed after just being dumped?
Yurika: You said it yourself.
Kaguya: Ahaha……
Yurika: ……Speaking of which, why did Kaguya-san break up with that girl?

She’d like to know for future reference. He thinks that she will hate him if she learns of the reason, and shows a lonely smile. Yurika admits that she’s curious, but will save it for next time since it isn’t necessary for the subject now. Kaguya remarks that it’s like a lecture, and she corrects him – it’s a discussion. By expressing their opinions and thoughts like this, they can get to understand each other better. She returns the topic back to his initial question – why did she feel favourable towards him despite the situation? To be blunt, he was her type. He remarks that he also confessed to her because of the same reason – so he doesn’t see a problem. However, Kaguya adds that he has also grown to like her personality. It’s fun to talk to her, and he’s found many other cute parts of her besides just her looks.

Yurika realises why women fall for him. He’s good at reading other people’s hearts, and can tell what they want. So he’s able to speak the words they want to hear and act how they want. If she were to put it another way, one could see it as not wanting to be disliked by the other party. He says that it’s because she’s smart, and surprisingly honest. She thanks him, and comments that the problem is from here on. There’s still a lot they don’t know about each other. By creating more memories with each other, they will come to learn if this is really love.

Kaguya: In other words, I need to work hard to get Princess to truly love me?
Yurika: Me too.
Kaguya: Nn?
Yurika: I also need to work hard to get Kaguya-san to truly love me.
Kaguya: ……I already love Princess a lot now though?
Yurika: Then I will make you fall heads over heels for me with my charms.

He laughs and agrees. He calls out to Yurika with a serious tone, and she stops to face him. She spots the waning moon behind him, among the numerous stars. It feels like it’s been a while since she’s noticed the moon. Just then, Kaguya covers her face with his mask. Her vision of him is masked, and she can no longer see the moon. But he continues holding her hand, and she can see him stepping closer to her – before giving a gentle kiss.

The next evening, Yurika heaves a sigh as the closing hours draw near. She does to throw away the rubbish, and starts cleaning the kitchen. Cinderella calls her repeatedly, and hits her head when she doesn’t respond. He notices that she has been out of sorts since last night. She points out that she hasn’t made any huge mistakes like breaking plates, and he replies that he would hit her till she returns to normal if that were the case. She says that it won’t work since she isn’t some broken machine, but refuses when he suggests testing it out. Cinderella observes that she the same as always in that aspect, and she sighs again.

She asks him to pinch her cheeks with all of his might, and he gladly does so. She had not expected him to really do it so hard, and he offers to do it once more. Kaguya passes by, wondering what they’re doing. Yurika lets out a yelp, and instantly darts behind Cinderella. She stutters, and on her behalf Cinderella asks what he wants. Kaguya sadly remarks that she need not run away, before asking if he can close up the cafe since the last customer is leaving soon. The manager gives the go-ahead, and she feels like she can breath once more when Kaguya leaves. Her eyes meet Cinderella’s.

Cinderella: You know what I’m trying to say right?
Yurika: ……Yes.
Kaguya: Ah, by the way.
Yurika: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Cinderella: Ah, oi!! W-what was that……
Kaguya: …………
Cinderella: ……oi. You, did something to her right?

Yurika catches her breath upstairs, before letting out all sorts of noises. Despite how she is acting, she is trying to calm herself down. She knows what Cinderella was referring to – it’s her attitude towards Kaguya. Ever since that night, she doesn’t know how to face him. She will keep recalling that night’s events, and lose all composure. Of course, she doesn’t mix work with private, but she loses it when caught off-guard. Naturally, she’s bothered by the kiss through the mask. She starts screaming again as the memory flickers in her head. She can’t forget it no matter how many times she tells herself to cool it. She knows that this is being rude to Kaguya. But she is still only 17 years old. She’s skilled at “attacking”, but weak when it’s turned against her – especially when it’s unexpected. She buries her flushed face into her knees, and starts taking deep breaths. At that moment, the door before her opens and a blonde boy appears.

Boy: You mad woman!
Yurika: Eh……?
Boy: Are you stupid? Or is your head messed up? Gone mad? Crazy? Have several screws in your head dropped off just like that? You’ve been going ah-ah-uh-uh since yesterday, how noisy! Or are you like that. Perhaps a zombie? If so I can see why. That your brain has rotted and your Broca’s area is no longer functioning!
Yurika: Umm……
Boy: Were you never told to be quiet at night? You’re not the only one living here. The only reason you can be noisy here, is because there’s not a single house in sight besides this in this countryside! Thanks to you, I’m deprived of sleep. Look! The black rings under my eyes!
Yurika: H-hah……
Boy: What do you think is the best time to sleep in a single day? It’s said that melatonin, which helps you gain quality deep sleep, and the secretion of growth hormones, which is indispensable for skin repair, peaks from 10pm~2am. Despite that, I only managed to sleep at 2am last night when it looked like you were finally sleeping! My beauty and health have been compromised of thanks to you! How will you take responsibility for this!
Yurika: I-I’m sorry……
Boy: Hmph. Did you think that you’d be forgiven with an apology you sukaponta!
Yurika: Sukaponta……

(Note: Sukaponta means idiot, stupid, used by some villains in a very old anime Time Bokan.) It’s been a while since she has heard that term. He also tells her to stop acting like she is good at cooking. People probably praised her at first, but she couldn’t tell that it was just them being polite. Now she’s putting in extra effort to appeal to the rest, and for praise.

Boy: I can cook, aren’t I amazing? Praise me praise me! Once it’s like that, it’s just an annoying performance!
Yurika: ……is my cooking, bad?
Boy: I’m not talking about that now.
Yurika: No. You’ve said till that extent, I think that it’s quite serious.

Both of them go quiet, and he looks the other way. She guesses that he finds it delicious then. He claims otherwise, but she points out that he never leaves any leftovers.

Boy: Don’t grin like that. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t mean that your food is delicious just because I eat everything. Why don’t you consider that there’s the possibility that I may have some noble ideal?
Yurika: Because it’s rude to the chef? Rude to the ingredients? Or because there are people in this world who have no food to eat?
Boy: Haah? Are you stupid? There’s no way I would be thinking that while eating. Each and every one of it is a stupid self-satisfactory way of thinking. Self-satisfaction. Ego, ego. By the way, I don’t think that it’s wasteful or shabby either. There’s no meaning in finishing the food if I’m already full. That is truly unproductive.
Yurika: Then, because it’s delicious?
Boy: ……Ethnic, French, Italian, casserole-style, Flemish, Southern France Provence style, I don’t get it at all! Where is this!? Japan right! Then bring Japanese food!!
Yurika: In other words, kaiseki?
Boy: ……you said that on purpose right? Or is that it. Are you an idiot who can’t truly understand my words?
Yurika: Basically it’s not just about putting in effort, sometimes there are days when you just want to eat ochazuke?
Boy: Hmph. For you, you’ve understood rather fairly. But I won’t praise you. You’ll immediately get conceited when praised.
Yurika: Th-that’s not true……
Boy: And that sort of sarcasm irritates me the most.
Yurika: Thank you very much.
Boy: …………

He pinches her cheeks – adding to her total count of 3 times today.

Boy: In any case, enough of katakana food for now!
Yurika: ……I understand. Ah, by the way what about dessert? You don’t need it because it’s in katakana?
Boy: Are you an idiot? Or are you teasing me? Making fun of me?

(Note: All the previous food he mentioned was typed in katakana. “Dessert” is also typed in katakana in Japanese.) She gets pinched for a fourth time today. Yurika calls Alice out for being mean. But he replies that she wouldn’t play the victim when she’s the perpetrator.

Yurika: Ah, as expected you’re Alice-kun. Nice to meet you?
Alice: …………
Yurika: My name is……

Alice immediately shuts and locks his door. It’s lucky? that she got to meet her neighbour she had never met before, though she didn’t think that he’d be such a strong character. But thanks to that, she has calmed down a lot. Despite his harsh words, it is true that she has troubled the people around her. She pumps herself up by lightly slapping her face and heads downstairs.

Yurika announces her entry loudly. But what she sees is the sight of Kaguya flying backwards and onto the floor. She rushes up to him, and he responds to her with a weak smile. The inside of his mouth is bleeding, and she quickly takes out her handkerchief.

Kaguya: Ah, you’re right……
Yurika: Don’t say it as if you’re another person!
Kaguya: Princess, your handkerchief will get dirty.
Yurika: A handkerchief is meant to be dirtied!
Kaguya: ………………you’re finally talking to me normally.
Yurika: Eh?
Kaguya: …………

Confused, she exchanges looks between him and Cinderella. The latter says that he punched Kaguya, after hearing how he forced himself onto her last night. She can’t deny that it wasn’t, but tries to excuse it as a greeting like in foreign countries. Her voice gives herself away, as she stutters repeatedly. Cinderella looks at her pitifully, before telling her that she doesn’t need to force herself to act cheerful. Yurika remains perplexed by this sudden kindness, which she has never witnessed from Cinderella before, as he pats her head. It feels as though he has gravely misunderstood something.

Cinderella: ……well, it’s unforgivable for your first (?) time to be outdoors. As a man, he’s the worst……
Yurika: Pfffft!

He wipes her saliva off his face with a frown. Now she’s certain that he’s misunderstanding something, and calls him a pervert. After all, it was just a kiss – moreover it wasn’t a direct kiss and through the kiss.

Cinderella: ……hah? Haah? Haaaaaah!?
Kaguya: ……owowow……
Cinderella: Oi!! Kaguya!! Is what she’s saying true!?
Kaguya: Eh? Yes……
Cinderella: Youuuuuu!! Your explanation was lackiiiiiing!!
Kaguya: Ahahaha~……sorry……

While Cinderella is shaking Kaguya, Yurika reminds him that the latter is injured. He quickly lets him go, accidentally causing Kaguya to knock his head against the wall. He awkwardly apologises, and Kaguya doesn’t mind it since it was originally his fault. Yurika interrupts this, saying that it was her fault for being overly-conscious of him. Cinderella suppress his laughter in response. He’d thought that it must have been something serious, but it was just over an indirect kiss. She protests by hitting him, but it doesn’t stop him from tearing up. As Kaguya weakly laughs, she realises his presence and helps him up. She apologises to him. But he says that there’s no need to, plus she finally talked to him. He couldn’t resist himself then and kissed her, but he really regretted it and apologises. While her embarrassing side is cute, as expected her smiling face is cuter. His words causes her chest to tighten, and she’s probably blushing.

Kaguya: What’s wrong?
Yurika: ……I, probably really like you.
Kaguya: I also like you a lot too though?
Yurika: Kaguya-san!!

She leaps into his arms, while Cinderella watches them with a frown. Shirayuki comments that it was just teasing. The manager is surprised to see him here, and Shirayuki tells him that the customers are troubled (since they’re all here). After seeing the last customer off, the couple goes down on their knees and apologises to Cinderella. He remarks that their reputation almost dropped thanks to them. Apparently, the customers were waiting to pay at the cashier the whole time. Kaguya says that he’ll accept the punishment alone, for he shouldn’t have left the cafe in the first place. Yurika notices that his hands are trembling ever so slightly.

Shirayuki points out that Cinderella himself forgot all about the cafe too, so he has no right to blame others. Moreover he’s only running this cafe out of interest, so things like reputation or profit shouldn’t matter to him. He’s convinced by those words, and admits that he was in the wrong too. He dismisses the issue, telling them not to be bothered anymore. Yurika takes Kaguya’s hand, saying that they’ll be more careful now. He agrees, and both of them stand up. She thanks Shirayuki too, but he says that it was nothing.

Later, the four of them are sitting in the kitchen. She proudly introduces Kaguya as her lover to Shirayuki. Cinderella wonders how her attitude has changed so quickly. Shirayuki is Cinderella’s younger brother. Though he’s staying at their actual house, sometimes he pops by like this. In fact, it’s only Yurika’s second time meeting him. Kaguya comments that it means that he has a home to return to. Cinderella recalls that he has no home, and teasing asks if he was disowned by his family due to his womanising ways. Kaguya notes that he had to ask it in front of Yurika, who remarks that she’s curious but will leave it for now. He pats her head, praising her for being mature. Shirayuki’s attention is on Kaguya’s mask, asking if it’s a rabbit. The latter confirms it, noting that it’s Yurika is cute just like it.

Shirayuki keeps staring, till he finally warns Kaguya to be careful that it doesn’t come off. Kaguya gently laughs and says that he will be. While Yurika wonders about Shirayuki’s true intentions, she’s reminded of dinner. She heads to check the ingredients, while Kaguya offers to help her. After asking everyone, who replies that they have no preference, she concludes that it’ll be alright to cook Japanese food – as requested by Alice. She wonders what would be light but luxurious enough, and Kaguya suggests seafood rice bowl. Yurika is delighted by it. But since they have no fish they’ll have to go out and buy it.

Cinderella is fine with waiting a bit, but warns her that she’ll really get done this time if she takes too long. She blinks at his words, but soon realises his implication and Kaguya has to stop her from hitting him. Cinderella laughs heartily, while Kaguya leads her out of the cafe. He remarks that despite Cinderella’s teasing words, he really is just worried for her. Yurika says that she’s aware of that, and he pats her on the head. She asks if his injury is alright, and he insists that he’s fine. He was in the wrong anyway. So she can’t help but question why he doesn’t speak up for himself – be it against the woman, Cinderella, and even now. He just goes with the flow. She can’t help but worry that he’s enduring everything alone.

Kaguya: ……Princess is kind.
Yurika: I’m not kind. But because you’re my lover, it’s natural for me to worry about you.
Kaguya: …………

He only smiles gently, and she can’t help but feel that she’s being pulled into his pace. Originally, she should be doing the opposite. Kaguya is well-aware of that, and she calls him out for being sly. They hold hands, and she sees a half-moon in the sky. She recalls that a rabbit lives on the moon, not that she can see it. But long ago, people saw the shadow on the moon in the shape of a rabbit pounding rice cakes. Wondering what the rabbit does after doing so, Kaguya replies that it probably eats the rice cake. Yurika learns that he likes rice cakes too, and secretly celebrates over this newly-learnt information. Well, she tried to bring up the topic of a rabbit, and refers to his mask.

Kaguya: Ahaha……if I was a rabbit, I may have to return to the capital of the moon one day.
Yurika: ……if that happens, I will use everything in my power to make you stay. Everything in my power.
Kaguya: So Princess will make me stay.
Yurika: Of course.
Kaguya: I see……I can’t win against Princess.

While he may have meant it as a joke, she was being serious. Though it appears like you can easily catch him, it feels like he can slip out of your grasp anytime. Out of the blue, Kaguya mentions that rabbits have long ears so they can easily hear any voices over long distances – for example, secrets which shouldn’t be heard. Yurika finds the rabbit pitiful. The one speaking the secret won’t notice that someone overheard. But the rabbit has to live with it, despite the fact that it wasn’t deliberate. While it’s not always the case, those secrets may have ill intentions. Even if it wasn’t directed at the rabbit, the rabbit would still feel bad – because it would feel disillusioned, maybe even be despaired at itself. The moment it feels disillusioned with the other person, it would realise that the same applies to itself, and realise those ugly feelings within.

If it were her, she’d want to cover her ears. Kaguya remarks that she really understands the rabbit. She replies that she may not understand other people’s feelings, but she can imagine. What she dislikes or likes may not be the same for others. Because she doesn’t know, she has to observe and guess – which is why there’s a need for conversation. He points out that rabbits don’t talk, but she remarks that there are other hints like body language and facial expressions. He says that they have no facial expressions, but she thinks that one can’t be sure till they really get to know each other. Plus, there’s the solution of exchanging diaries like them too. Yurika reminds him that it’s his turn today, and he says that he remembers.

He gently pats her head, remarking that he’s really glad to have met her. He’s growing more fond of her. She says that it’s the same for her, and is glad to have met him. Kaguya thanks her, and strokes her head as she closes her eyes. When he stops and she opens her eyes, she is reminded of last night’s events and a mixture of embarrassment, joy and uneasiness overwhelms her.

At that moment, a regular customer recognises her and she instinctively welcomes him. He hasn’t been to the store recently, so Kaguya introduces himself as her co-worker who just started recently. After they part ways, Yurika can’t bring herself to ask why he didn’t introduce himself as her lover. Perhaps at that moment, he was thinking about the cafe first. But does he not feel anything when he sees her chatting with other men? He switches the topic at that moment, pointing out the fish shop in a distance. She sighs and decides to not pursue her question.

Back at the dinner table, Cinderella is impressed with the dish. She’s grateful to Kaguya and Alice for the idea. The former replies that he didn’t do much, and it was mostly thanks to Alice’s complaining. Apparently, he and Cinderella could hear the commotion from upstairs. She feels embarrassed, since she did make a lot of strange noises then. Cinderella has to suppress the urge to laugh again as he recalls the misunderstanding. Yurika notices that Kaguya isn’t eating much, but he says that he’s fine and it’s delicious. Cinderella points out that it was his idea in the first place, and grows irritated at his constant foolish laughter. Calling him “brother”, Kaguya remarks that he’s really strict.

Cinderella grows more annoyed, and she quickly changes the topic, asking if Shirayuki really doesn’t need to eat. She wonders how he can live like that, and Kaguya quietly thanks her. He agrees that it’s a waste not to be able to eat this delicious food, but he can understand. He isn’t even living here, and may be worried that he’ll be a bother. Cinderella points out that it’s bad to let the food prepared for you go to waste too. Kaguya can’t disagree, but he’s sure that Shirayuki has his own reasons too. Cinderella finishes eating and gets up. Yurika reminds him that there’s still dessert, which he requests for her to bring to his room later. With the couple left alone, they proceed to eat in silence.

She finishes eating, and starts clearing the dishes. Kaguya is slowly eating, and taking longer than usual. After pondering over this, she asks if he likes seafood rice bowl. He says that he does, takes up her offer for seconds. Yurika says that he doesn’t need to be so reserved, and he stops eating. She wonders what’s wrong, and decides to go ahead and wash the dishes first. She starts humming, hoping to lighten the atmosphere. Kaguya softly apologises, leaving her confused at what he means. He brings his dishes to the sink, saying that he doesn’t need seconds. He offers to help her out, pulling his sleeves up. At that moment, Yurika spots what looks like red scratches on his arm – she knows what it is. Before she can comment anything, he immediately rolls his sleeves back down and gives the excuse that a cat scratched him. Yurika looks back on the short time she has spent with him, and finally asks if he has amnesia.

Once upon a time, there was a mysterious boy called Kaguya in the mirror world. He had a mysterious charm, and all women were attracted to him, be it from noble or humble backgrounds. Why did they love him so much? Of course, he was handsome, and he was very kind. He was always gentle-mannered, and understood them so well, sometimes even more so than themselves. He was never selfish, and always smiled no matter how painful or tough it was. He never treated the women who sought him coldly, and that’s why his “lovers” kept increasing. One, two, three, four……in the end how many did he have? But those relationships never lasted long, and they would eventually break up with him. He endured all of these one-sided feelings quietly, and never spoke what he felt. As for the reason why, it’s because Kaguya…………

Kaguya says that he does have amnesia, and sometimes he has trouble remembering what he was doing or who he is. She remarks that this is pretty shocking, and then wonders who the woman at the cafe was. He explains that the woman recognised him on the streets and had gone out with him before. Even when he said that his memory was vague, she thought that he was fooling around. In other words, the reason he never spoke up was because of his personality, and the fact that he had no memory. The only reason he knows his name, is because others keep calling him “Kaguya”.

He sadly asks if she doesn’t believe him, and to his surprise she answers that she does. After all, she came to that conclusion. As for what lead to that conclusion, at first she did wonder if he was just good at reading other people – but that would be too unscientific. His careful personality may be the reason why he’s good at reading women. He’s way more self-conscious of himself compared to other people. He’s always thinking of how others would react to him. So he can’t help but be mindful of himself, and others. She doesn’t mean to say that it’s a bad thing. After all, one can say that he’s thinking for everyone – but he’s too observant of others.

There are many people who are wary of others, probably because they lack self-confidence but also treasure themselves. They may be unstable, and start to imagine things – and easily misunderstand how others think of them. But his case is different. He just wants to know what others think of him, because he doesn’t know who he is. And he always gives way to other people’s opinions. He can’t really state his opinion, since he doesn’t know himself well.

Kaguya: ……Princess is really smart.
Yurika: Please call me Great Detective Yurika.
Kaguya: ……Princess, don’t you find me disgusting?
Yurika: Eh? Why?
Kaguya: Isn’t it disgusting, for a man not to know who he is.
Yurika: No no. It’s not disgusting at all. In the first place, we’re going out right? I wouldn’t find you disgusting.
Kaguya: That’s right but……I’ve been betraying you all this time……
Yurika: …………

Does that betrayal also include his feelings for her? Somehow her chest hurts, and a heavy silence follows. Yurika pats his head, while looking at him straight in the eye. His moon-like eyes reflect her figure. He’s always patting her, so it’s her payback now. Afterwards, she hugs him, knowing that it’s been hard on him.

At night, she lies in bed while thinking about the day’s events. Amnesia. There’s two types – retrograde and anterograde. Kaguya falls into the former category. Most cases of memory loss is psychological. Memory loss due to physical causes don’t usually last long. After enduring something painful, the feeling of wanting to escape becomes stronger. Wanting to escape, not wanting to recall anything, wanting to bury the past……in other words it’s self-induced. A form a defense mechanism so that you don’t break down, to protect your own heart and body. What does it mean to have amnesia? Even though you’re here, there’s another you out there. Does it feel really ambiguous and unrealistic? What would she think if it happened to her? What would she feel being worried over and encouraged by someone she doesn’t know? Surely she would be overwhelmed with extreme fear and hatred. And she would feel so terrified of her surroundings, and may wish to escape.

Feeling uneasy, Yurika visits Kaguya’s room. Perhaps he’s gone already. He appears from his room, reassuring her that he’s still here. But she feels that he will disappear once she lets him out of her sight. She asks if she can enter, and he says that he’s fine. However, they did promise Cinderella not to enter each other’s rooms. She decides to break it, wanting to prioritise him. She reassures him that she will protect him if Cinderella finds out, and teasingly suggests that they can run away together. She observes that his room is really clean, and one can’t even tell that someone is living here. There are no creases on the sheets, nor any strands of hair. Yurika sits on his bed, and tries to cutely ask him to sleep together. But she stutters and speaks nervously in kansai dialect for some reason. Kaguya hushes her as he climbs over her, teasing her as this is sneaking into a lover’s room at night. When she protests by hitting him, he strokes her head.

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Kaguya: ……can you tell me why you did this?
Yurika: Because……I feel as though you will disappear somewhere at this rate.
Kaguya: Me? From your sight?
Yurika: Yes.
Kaguya: I won’t do that. I won’t leave behind my cute, cute girlfriend.
Yurika: ……Liar. Lies won’t work on me you know?
Kaguya: ……as you’re Great Detective Yurika.
Yurika: That’s right. Don’t you……want to know who you are?
Kaguya: ……I wonder. But well, maybe it’s better not to know. It looks like I have no integrity when it comes to women.

She can’t help but let out a weird laugh, and quietly apologises. He tells her not to, since he knows that it isn’t right to cheat. Yurika reasons that the quickest way to regain his memories is to ask those women. But Kaguya only glances towards his arm with the scars.

Kaguya: ……this is self-harm. I probably hated myself so much that I wanted to hurt myself. That’s why I think that it’s not a coincidence that I’ve lost my memories, and that it was inevitable.
Yurika: But……isn’t your family worried?
Kaguya: ……I wonder. If I had family, and they were worried about me, what am I doing here? …………does Princess want me to regain my memories?
Yurika: You’re asking me?
Kaguya: You see, I’m……a person who lacks individuality right?
Yurika: …………

She can’t argue with that, and eventually replies that she does want him to remember for his own sake. Even if he doesn’t want to recall.

Kaguya: Even if……I am no longer myself? What will happen to the me now, if I remember? The me with no memories now, may be completely different from the past me.
Yurika: Kaguya-san……
Kaguya: ……I’m, relaxed with you. You don’t know me right? And I also don’t know you. Well, that’s a given right? Because we’ve only just met. If it’s Princess, there’s no incomprehensible hugging, getting angry, crying……you also won’t call me a liar. Princess is only looking at the me now.
Yurika: …………
Kaguya: ……even if I no longer am myself, do you still wish for me to regain my memories?

She replies that she does. Even if he is no longer himself, and she is no longer needed, she does. Because at this rate, the forgotten him will disappear.

Kaguya: Even if you get hurt?
Yurika: ……it’s alright. I’m tougher than you think I am. I won’t break even if you treat me a little more roughly.
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: There’s no need to be afraid. I will stay by you when you’re sad or hurt. I will stay with you, hold your hand, and hug you. I will accept your everything. So please show me your true self……is it no good?
Kaguya: Nn……not really.
Yurika: Let’s retrieve your memories together?
Kaguya: Okay…………I’m also fine if Princess is fine.

“Where is this? White walls, white sheets. Everything is white in this narrow room. I can’t help but wonder why I’m here. Since when was I here? With no one else to ask, I can only try to recall. While doing so in a daze, I suddenly hear the sound of film turning. A monochrome image is projected onto the white wall. There’s a young boy with a mask gazing at the round moon. Who is that boy? When……was that?

It’s raining outside, and I remain kneeling on the same spot. My legs are so numb I could collapse, but I can only quietly obey since I was told to stay. Where is this place? I vaguely recall that this is a room in a house somewhere. There is a small altar at the back, with few flowers and a photo of a pretty woman. All the adults are wearing black for some reason. I can hear them talking. I have no interest, but their voices are loud and I can only listen amidst the noise of pouring rain. I don’t know who they’re talking about, but they mention about a young child, being abused by the mother, police having visited several times, and the mother dying.

What a pitiful child. I look at the back of my hand, where my bones are visible enough. Speaking of which, I wonder why I’ve been feeling hungry since just now. I look up at my eyes meet the adults’. I tremble and quickly straight up. I don’t want to be told off for being a bad kid for not being obedient. The women discuss what to do with him, but neither of them want to take him in. Moreover, they don’t really know if he’s related to them. The rain continues falling, drowning out the surrounding voices.”

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The next morning, Yurika wakes up next to Kaguya. When he greets her, she stiffly returns the greeting before diving back under the covers. He forcefully removes the covers, feeling apologetic since he does want to let her sleep in a bit more. But she sees that the sun is shining brightly already, and soon realises that she overslept. He reassures her that it’s fine, for he did all of the morning preparations and even made breakfast. She kneels on the bed, apologising to him. But he doesn’t mind at all, commenting that she was sleeping so soundly.

When she mentions about last night, he replies that he didn’t do anything and kept himself in check. She awkwardly thanks him, feeling embarrassed since she did declare that he could treat her more roughly. But Kaguya is glad to have seen her sleeping face, and reassures her that she didn’t drool, snore or have her eyes half-open. She’s well-aware that her hair is a mess though, since she does take 15 minutes every morning to arrange it. He pats her head, saying that she’s very cute. He then passes Yurika the diary, saying that it’s her turn today. He tells her to go wash up before Cinderella finds out. Everyone else is waiting for her downstairs, and he gave the excuse that he’s checking on her now. Hearing this, she gets ready in her fastest time ever.

Later, she sighs as she presses on her messier-than-usual hair. Cinderella had burst out into laughter when he saw her this morning. Kaguya apologises for not waking her up earlier, but she replies that she’s at fault for oversleeping. She asks if he remembers last night’s promise to retrieve his memories, and is thinking of starting today. He says that they have work in the day, so they’ll only be able to do so at night then.

Yurika: Yes. So I’ll be monopolising you at night, is that okay?
Kaguya: Ahaha. I’m Princess’ be it morning, afternoon or night.
Yurika: Seriously……

She’s about to hug him, but a female customers call out to Kaguya. He goes to respond, leaving Yurika’s hands stretching in the air. Just as he’s about to go to the front, he beckons her over as if recalling something. When she goes over, he hugs her while going “hug–” and the girls squeal over this. He winks at a confused Yurika, reminding her that he belongs to her.

At night, the cafe is closed and they finished preparing dinner. The couple is out walking in the streets with their packed meal. She tells him not to show off their affection in public. But she insists that hugs are fine, since it’s a greeting. Kaguya wonders what the reason is then, asking if she’s angry. Yurika answers that she is, accidentally letting out a giggle. She clears her throat, admitting that she let slip her true feelings. Trying not to break into a grin, she pinches her own cheeks while reminding him not to show affection in public, especially in front of women and at work. He apologises while patting her head, noting that her face is really red now.

In any case, they can check with the police first if anyone is searching for him. If there’s no news, they will ask his ex-girlfriends. It’s better to ask someone who knew him, as opposed to a random person. Moreover, they already know two people. Kaguya appears reluctant, and she takes his hand to reassure him. She will protect him. When asked what she will protect him from, Yurika hesitates before replying that she will prevent him from getting hit. He chuckles, and holds her hand in return.

That being said, not everything will go smoothly. There was no search request for Kaguya at the police, but they asked the police to contact them if they know anything. And now they’re searching for his ex-girlfriends. But the search has been fruitless for two hours. The townspeople also don’t know much about Kaguya, since they only recognised him but weren’t familiar with him. Feeling hungry, they head to the lake and sit down to eat. By the way, the menu is Japanese food, which she concluded was what he liked (?) from the last time. He was eating it slowly previously probably to savour the flavour. Kaguya finds her amazing, for she knows him better than he does himself. However, Yurika replies that it isn’t the case. Because only you would know yourself best, especially when it comes to the heart.

He asks if she’s referring to what she said the last time, about observing others since you don’t know them. She says that she’s more skilled at it than other people, and that conversing is especially important. Of course, so is physical touch. He agrees, placing his hand over hers. He wonders if he understands her, and she directs the question back to him. Kaguya admits that she is easy to read. Yurika points out that since he has amnesia, he doesn’t even know what he likes. But while he has forgotten it, his heart hasn’t. She brings up the example of a baby, who can’t speak but can still express emotions such as by crying or laughing. Then why does it cry when sad, or laugh when happy? Why does the baby feel sad or happy? Perhaps it’s because we all have that heart since birth. She tries to simplify it by using like versus dislike. Perhaps we already have the instinct to differ what we like or dislike since birth. And the memories built upon those is what makes up his existence. To put it more simply, those accumulated memories are experiences.

Kaguya remarks that it’s rather difficult, and she apologises for not being able to explain more simply. She just wanted to tell him that he is still himself even if he has lost his memories. Forgetting just means that his memories have been stored away, and the memories do exist. After all, that’s how he knows that he prefers softer flavours to stronger ones. Plus she did say that she’ll work hard to make him fall heads over heels for her – she’s doing so now. She can do so if she knows what he likes and dislikes. He remarks that he wants to get to know her too, and draws his face nearer to hers. As he observes her reaction, he comments that she’s really honest. But he draws himself away, reassuring her that he won’t kiss her.

He gazes at the sky, whispering that it’s a half moon. He has been trying to recall, but he can’t. It’s as if a fog enters his head, and his head would start to hurt. If he still tries to recall, he would soon black out and faint. Yurika tells him not to push himself, to say that he hates it if he does. But Kaguya reassures her that it’s fine with a vague smile. She recognises that this part of him is his bad point, but also his good point. He tells her to push him away, whenever she starts to hate him. She points her finger at his forehead, taking back her words from before. It looks like he doesn’t understand her at all. She’ll feel very vexed if he really meant that, and is hurt. She asks if she looks like she would push him away, and he admits that he doesn’t. She crosses her arms and states that that’s correct, warning him to be careful of his words from now on. But Yurika soon giggles.

Kaguya: ……the moon is beautiful.
Yurika: It is.
Kaguya: How strange……I feel that the moon looks more beautiful when I’m with Princess.
Yurika: It’s strange. I also feel that the moon looks brighter. Are we mutually in love?
Kaguya: ……it looks like.

Back in her room when everyone else is already sleeping, Yurika looks at the diary. Kaguya wrote that he’s sorry for keeping quiet about his memory loss. He was at a loss as to whether he should confess, but in the end it got revealed like this. He should’ve explained it from the start. He intends to disappear from her sight if she ever finds it a bother, so she should say so. That being said, he knows that she won’t since she’s kind. He finds himself a coward. He actually didn’t intend to kiss her last night, and is sorry for hurting her unintentionally. But he didn’t expect her to be so flustered. She may think of him as despicable, but he really found her cute since she’s usually so confident. He has fallen for her even more since their first meeting. He finds it bad that he’s becoming more selfish since it’s fun to be around her. Only she can stop him, so she should say that she hates it if she really does.

After reading, Yurika starts writing her reply. She whispers “goodnight” when she’s finished, and soon falls asleep. That night, she has a dream. She sees Kaguya looking up at the sky, where a waning moon hangs. His expression is filled with sorrow, and even she feels sad.

Yurika: Why do you look so sad? If you have any troubles, please talk to me.
Kaguya: There’s nothing for me to brood over. But I just feel forlorn.
Yurika: Can you recall anything, looking at the moon?
Kaguya: Maybe.
Yurika: Please don’t look at the moon. If you look at the moon, you will be lost in thought like that.
Kaguya: Why can’t I help but look at the moon. Princess wants me to remember right?
Yurika: That’s true but……

Unable to withstand his gaze, Yurika looks down. Kaguya quietly says that he remembered that he isn’t someone from this country. He is from the capital of the moon, and came to this world because of a promise from his previous life. But it’s soon time for him to return, and his former world will be coming for him on the 15th day of this month. He bids her farewell.

Yurika wakes up, and checks the time. It’s past 4am. At least she won’t make the same mistake as yesterday. She decides not to go back to sleep, and to just get up. After tying her hair and bringing her hair back with a hairband, she opens the door to head to the bathroom. But she bumps into Kaguya and instinctively closes the door. She feels embarrassed, but then again he has already seen how she looks like asleep and when she just woke up. She removes her hairband and opens the door again, greeting him with a smile. Kaguya greets her, saying that she could’ve slept in since it’s his duty today. She explains that she saw a weird dream, but lies that he was a hero of justice and fought off invading aliens to protect the world. It was a Hollywood-like science fiction film. She doesn’t want to give him extra pressure by telling him the truth. He laughs that it does sound exhausting and pats her head.

Kaguya decides to make it up to her, since he was the cause of her weird dream. He leads her back into her room, gesturing for her to sit on the bed. Yurika wonders if he’s giving a massage, and he replies that he wants to help braid her hair. She eagerly lets him, and he tells her to sit in between his knees. She secretly thanks god and settles herself there. But since it’s as if he’s hugging her from behind, she can feel his body warmth and starts feeling self-conscious. He starts to comb her hair, commenting that it’s beautiful. She must have been like a doll when she was young. She admits that she did not really like being told that when she was young. Her features are different from others, such as the colour of her eyes and the shape of her hair. So she was often teased, and she hated it. He finds her cute though, but she remarks that children are frank. They can’t accept people who are different from themselves.

Yurika: But I realised something. I am myself, no matter who I am. So I have to accept myself. If I have a complex, then I should just reverse it. I will love myself. And accept myself no matter who I am. I am different because I am special. These eyes aren’t disgusting, they’re brilliant like jewels. And so, I see my eyes and hair as one of my charm points now.
Kaguya: ……Princess hasn’t changed much from before.
Yurika: Even though we just met recently?
Kaguya: Yes. Somehow I think that……I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft, fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.
Yurika: …………

He’s finished braiding her hair, but he asks if he can stay like this for a while longer. She blushes, and agrees. Kaguya hugs her from behind, and she asks about the morning preparations. He reassures her that there’s still time. Yurika feels embarrassed, and he agrees that they would get into big trouble if Cinderella sees them. She recalls the promise, and secretly apologises in her heart. They broke his promise again, but she says that it should be fine since Cinderella isn’t a morning person – probably. Kaguya rests his forehead against her shoulder. For some reason, he feels at ease like this. Why is he at ease, why is he feeling uneasy – Yurika can’t bring herself to ask. But she will remain like this, if that’s what he wants.

Later in the kitchen after breakfast, Cinderella says that he talked to Shirayuki about them yesterday. He learnt from Yurika that Kaguya has amnesia. She explains to Kaguya that Cinderella knows quite a lot of people, and is reliable. Cinderella says that he should’ve said so from the start. Thanks to that there were a lot of misunderstandings. Kaguya bows as he apologises, though Yurika feels that he has no need to. Cinderella knows that they’re searching for his ex-girlfriends for clues. But rather than that, there’s a faster way to gather people – or rather young women. They can just hold a party here. Yurika clasps Cinderella’s hands, praising him for being so clever.

Cinderella: W-well yeah……you finally understood. How slow.
Kaguya: …………
Shirayuki: It was my idea though.
Yurika: Shirayuki-kun, thank you!! I did think that couldn’t the case!!

Kaguya questions who will be bearing the costs, and she immediately raises her hand. Cinderella pushes her hand down, saying that he will be the one. It’s his apology for punching him. Kaguya feels bad for making him go to that extent. But Shirayuki says that he doesn’t need to, since Cinderella actually really like parties and all. So it is really for his own pleasure. Yurika chimes in agreement, and Cinderella hits her in response. She knows that he wouldn’t do that to Shirayuki, and feels that he’s discriminating. In any case, she will prepare the food so that will lower the costs. The question left is when to hold it. They look at each other, and Cinderella declares that they just have to throw a grand party – tomorrow. After that, they busy themselves with the party preparations while still running the cafe and the household chores.

Before Yurika realises it, it’s already nighttime. She looks up at the waning moon, till a regular customer calls out to her. She quickly greets him, and he asks why she is glaring at the moon. She laughs awkwardly. She doesn’t have good feelings towards the moon after that dream. Instead, she asks what he’s doing here. He admits that he was waiting for her, asking if she’s turned off. She replies that she doesn’t, as she honestly accepts the good-will. He notes that she’s been busy, and she explains that they’re holding a party tomorrow. When asked if he will come, he answers that he does but will be busy. She recalls he was also busy when they last met in the streets. He says that his exhaustion disappears when he sees her smile though – visiting the cafe every week, ordering the same thing, and having her remember his face.

When the customer is about to say something, Kaguya calls out to Yurika. He was worried that she was taking too long throwing away the rubbish, and takes the rubbish from her hand. He bows to the customer, offering to listen to him instead if it’s about the cafe. The customer decides to leave for today, and walks away with a tired smile. The couple go to dispose of the rubbish. Yurika is sure that he had realised the customer’s feeling, and what he was about to confess. Kaguya calls out to her, and they both stop in their tracks. The moon’s shape hasn’t changed much from yesterday. And he’s smiling as usual. But something is different. He’s smiling, yet his eyes are glowing brightly.

Kaguya: ……will you be angry if I kiss you now?
Yurika: ………………why do you think that I will be angry?
Kaguya: Does that……mean it’s okay?

The next moment, he catches her by surprise as he grabs her shoulders and kisses her. It’s hard for her to breath, as he pushes his tongue in. But she can barely protest with him restraining her hands. When he finally releases, she collapses to the ground. Her first kiss was not an innocent one, but filled with desire. Kaguya helps her up.

Kaguya: Why……I didn’t intend to do this……………………shall we head back?

Yurika nods at his gentle smile. While she’s feeling light, it’s not as if she can’t walk. But before she can do so, he apologises in advance before carrying her. She can feel herself blushing. But she’s unable to reject him, and does as she’s told as she circles her arms around him. He’s happy to be able to see her face up-close, praising her that she’s cute. To be honest, she’s embarrassed enough to want to enter a hole. Kaguya apologises for causing such a bad memory. She personally feels that it’s alright since they are lovers – it was just unexpectedly fast. He mentions that they’ve been busy with preparations the whole day. Yurika realises that he’s referring to that instead, and says that he’s been busy too. He insists that he’s fine, after all he’s a man. She can’t say anything in return to that, and pouts instead.

He says that he will deal with the rest of the preparations, and tells her to rest. She refuses though, reminding him that he’s the star tomorrow. So he can’t be worn out. Kaguya doesn’t want to trouble her further, but she mentions that she’s doing all this to make him fall for her more. If she backs down like this, he will never turn her way.

Kaguya: I’m already looking your way.
Yurika: ……more than this.
Kaguya: ……Princess is unexpectedly greedy?
Yurika: Perhaps.
Kaguya: Then……I’ll need to work hard too.
Yurika: Specifically, how?

He ponders over this, and suggests preparing delicious tea for her when they reach the cafe. She’s delighted at this idea, and he agrees to do it. Yurika gazes at him, as if gazing at the moon. He waits for her words with his usual phrase and smile. She says that they have to work hard tomorrow too, to which he agrees.

“Princess, hello. It’s the rabbit– It’s been a week since I’ve come here. So it means it’s been a week since I started going out with Princess. It’s about time that I’ve grown accustomed to life here, and to writing this diary. We always see each other, but we don’t really have a chance to talk due to work. So it’s good that we can talk a lot here.

Princess is always energetic, cheerful and earnest. I really respect and like Princess, but sometimes I’m worried that you’re pushing yourself. I’m not as skilled as you so I may not be of much help, but I’ll do anything if you ask me! So don’t hold back and let me know. I’ll be happy if I can be of any help to Princess.”

On the day of the party, Cinderella happily welcomes the guests. As for Yurika, she’s too busy running to and fro as she serves the customers, and doesn’t have the time to search for the ex-girlfriends. In any case, it’s thanks to Cinderella that this many women came – though currently he looks rather drunk amidst the ladies with kiss marks on his face. She just prays that he doesn’t collapse. Shirayuki is helping out at the back, and as for Kaguya – he’s being pampered by a group of ladies as they offer to feed him. He notices her gaze, and gives a troubled smile. She controls her anger, reminding herself of the main objective. Yurika starts to clear the empty plates, and almost makes a turn when she hears the girls telling Kaguya to feed them instead.

Just then, she comes face-to-face with a familiar face. It’s the woman who dumped Kaguya at the cafe. And just behind her, is the lady she met on the streets. She freezes at the sudden encounter. Soon after, more ladies call out to Kaguya with familiarity. It appears that they’ve managed to gather the right women. After the party, Yurika addresses the ex-girlfriends as they are about to learn more about his past. However, none of the four women are listening to her and are fighting over Kaguya. Cinderella observes the situation with a grin, commenting that he sure is popular. Shirayuki reads his book, while glancing over from time to time. She tries to calm the women down, but it backfires as they start directing their attacks at her. Yurika calmly introduces herself as his current girlfriend, but the situation only escalates. She takes a deep breath, enduring the urge to rebutt.

All of a sudden, Kaguya calls for everyone’s attention. Everyone looks at him in surprise. After all, the usual gentle Kaguya hardly raises his voice. He apologises to them, clarifying that his girlfriend is Yurika. She suppresses the urge to hug him, especially when the ex-girlfriends start crying. He apologises once more, while patting their heads. Yurika ignores that gesture and clears her throat, explaining that he has amnesia. The ladies are in disbelief, asking if he really has forgotten – except for the one who dumped him at the cafe. It appears that only she was aware. Seeing Kaguya’s face growing pale, Yurika makes him sit in between Cinderella and Shirayuki. The women grow agitated, but she refuses to budge and stands before him.

While Cinderella draws back in fear at their attacks, Shirayuki coldly remarks that they’re noisy. That and his frosty gaze, was all it took to overpower and silence them.

Shirayuki: What do you want from Kaguya? Do you wish to make him your “thing”? Does he belong to you?

Against Yurika’s expectations, the most obedient (or so she thought) ex-girlfriend claims that Kaguya is hers. After all, he always listened to her. Two other women also chime in agreement. Yurika tightens her fists while remaining quiet.

Shirayuki: ……hmm. Then, what proof do you have?
Ex-girlfriend C: Proof?
Shirayuki: Yes. Proof that he is yours……he has amnesia doesn’t he? If there is proof, and you bring it to him, perhaps he will remember something.
Ex-girlfriend A: ……that sort of!
Shirayuki: You don’t?
Ex-girlfriend D: I do……I do! Our memento!
Shirayuki: I see. Then bring it here once you find it. The deadline is……within one week will be good.
Ex-girlfriend B: Eeh~!! There’s a deadline!?
Shirayuki: Of course there is……after all if you supposedly already have that proof, so you should be able to bring it here tomorrow right?
Ex-girlfriend A: ……
Shirayuki: Well that’s how it is, so I’ll give you a merit too. If any of you, brings proof that Kaguya is yours……a memento or something else, and if he regains his memories after seeing it, that person will be his real lover.

The four ladies look at each other, agreeing that it sounds good. Shirayuki turns to the rest, asking if it’s alright. After all, the reason they gathered the ex-girlfriends here is to retrieve Kaguya’s memories. His words have a strange force, such that no one can object to him.

Afterwards, Cinderella and Shirayuki had to see the four women home as it was late. So only Yurika and Kaguya are left as they clean up the cafe. She’s really tired – both physically and mentally. As she lets out a sigh, he offers to do the rest and tells her to rest. She refuses to do so, bringing the plates to the kitchen and starts washing them. He does as told, wiping the plates clean. She remarks that it’s fortunate that they found the ex-girlfriends this easily, and he agrees quietly. However, he couldn’t remember anything talking to them. Yurika deliberately remarks in a bright voice that things went in a weird direction, that if they brought a memento and he remembers……her voice trails off.

If he retrieves his memories, he will become someone else’s. Honestly just by listening to them, she doesn’t think that he was treated very well. Shirayuki’s question “is he a thing?” reverberates heavily in her. He isn’t a thing. She should’ve refuted them, but the reason she couldn’t……in an attempt to lift the heavy atmosphere, she asks if he doesn’t want to remember after all. Kaguya isn’t sure since he doesn’t remember anything, but he thinks that he was an awful fellow to have dated so many women. Yurika replies that he might have broken up with them first before dating another. But she knows that they would’ve have acted like that if he had done so.

Kaguya: Those girls were crying. I may have been someone who has killed a lot of people.
Yurika: That’s right……but it’s a bit different. You killed your own heart right?
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: I’m not stupid enough, to not notice the real intention hidden behind your smile.

Kaguya’s eyebrows twitches at her words. Her eyes aren’t smiling, and neither are his. But his mouth still breaks out into a smile, asking what she means. The bell at the cafe entrance rings, and Yurika notes that they have returned. They both shrug their shoulders, and the conversation ends there and then.

Once upon a time, there was a mysterious boy called Kaguya in the mirror world. He had a mysterious charm, and all women were attracted to him, be it from noble or humble backgrounds. But sadly, he has no memory of anything. Who he is, what he has been doing till now, he doesn’t know at all. In order for him to retrieve his memories, all those he was in care of held a grand party for him and gathered the town’s women. It would be find as long as even one girl who remembered him appeared. Yet to think five such ladies stayed behind. All of them claimed to be his lover, and that he belonged to them. They all kept telling Kaguya to “remember me”.

Seeing this, one men told the ladies this: ” The person who brings a memento and is able to make him regain his memories, will be his real lover.”

All the women agreed, and promised to bring it on another day as they returned home. And so, what will be the memento that will bring back Kaguya’s memories? What is exactly the memory he has lost? No one, not even he himself, knows.

At night, Yurika lies on her bed while lost in thought. She thinks back on what was decided, it’s as if he is a game prize. A prize (lover) presented to the winner! While she has an issue about treating people like objects, it is indeed a very straightforward thing. This is a game. The players have accepted a challenge from the master, and the final winner will have the prize as proof that she won. She closes her eyes. Since this is a game, she has to think up of the best strategy. An abrupt knock sounds on her door. It’s Shirayuki, which is pretty rare. Yurika lets him in.

Shirayuki: ……do you think that things have become troublesome?
Yurika: Yes.
Shirayuki: That’s a lie. You think that this is a necessary measure in order to retrieve his memories. Even if I didn’t propose it, you would have.
Yurika: Perhaps.
Shirayuki: Who will be able to gain him, we may be able to see an ugly fight over him starting from tomorrow.
Yurika: Yes.
Shirayuki: But, you’re not there. The reason being that, you haven’t even gotten on the game board.
Yurika: That’s right. After all, I never had any memento with Kaguya-san from the start. My position is different from theirs.
Shirayuki: You wish to retrieve his memories, by using them?
Yurika: Oh yeah!

He remains quiet, his eyes are like mirrors reflecting and looking through her. Yurika admits that she couldn’t refute the women’s claims that Kaguya was an “object”, because she also treated the women as “objects”.

Shirayuki: He may end up getting hurt.
Yurika: Yes.
Shirayuki: If Kaguya regains his memories, Kaguya may leave you. Because your lover was the Kaguya with no memories.
Yurika: Perhaps. Even so, I want him to retrieve his memories. Because it’s for Kaguya’s sake.
Shirayuki: Kaguya’s sake? Does he really wish for that?
Yurika: On the surface he doesn’t wish for it. But what about deep inside?
Shirayuki: Deep inside?
Yurika: His true feelings.
Shirayuki: ……do you know the correct answer?
Yurika: No. I don’t know the correct answer or anything. But because I don’t know anything, I want to know. What happened to him before he lost his memories, what were the painful and sad memories he went through……I have a right to know what he really desires.
Shirayuki: Why is that?
Yurika: In order to save him.
Shirayuki: You can’t interfere with the past you know? (You can decide the past you know?)
Yurika: ……yes. I know. But I may be able to fulfill his wish? Shirayuki-kun. I’m fine as long as the one I love has a happy end.
Shirayuki: Even if you’re not there?
Yurika: Yes. Of course I think that it would be nice if I was.
Shirayuki: …………
Yurika: I may not be on the board yet, I have the resolution to become a pawn at any time. I’m willing be promoted to any type of pawn in order to win.
Shirayuki: ……even if you die?
Yurika: Of course!
Shirayuki: ……you’re strange.
Yurika: I’m often told that.

>> (If you’ve made a few wrong choices): The next day, Kaguya disappears. Wizard appears, voicing Yurika’s doubts as to why he suddenly vanished. He advises her that look back on what happened – what she needs to treasure isn’t herself. She has to always be a convenient being to him. (BAD END)

>> From the next day onwards, the ex-girlfriends begin a tournament of bragging about their treasures. The first cool-looking ex-girlfriend brings a bowl from the time they lived together. Kaguya is unable to recall anything. But she claims that she gave him a place to stay when he had nowhere to go, even fed him and gave him a decent life. She calls him shameless as usual for not remembering, and he can only apologise. Yurika resists the urge to raise her fist. In her place, Shirayuki asks if the bowl has any special value or memory to it. The woman says that there isn’t. They ate separately, they never really talked, and he never talked about himself.

Shirayuki: ……I see. You treated him as a nuisance.
Ex-girlfriend C: Nuisance? I never did something that cruel. I did give him freedom.
Shirayuki: But he was ignored right?
Ex-girlfriend C: That’s because I didn’t know what to do. He was a foreign existence which appeared. He’s not my real family.
Shirayuki: Then why did you purposely prepare this and show up here? That bowl may have been used by Kaguya, but we wouldn’t know if that’s the real thing.
Ex-girlfriend C: Yes. Honestly this sort of thing doesn’t matter at all.

She throws the bowl to the floor, and it breaks. The woman tells Kaguya that he needs a guardian. Her turn has come, so he just needs to listen obediently. Yurika restrains her before she can grab Kaguya, and meets her cold gaze. Shirayuki remarks that she has thrown away that bowl – and in doing so, her turn will no longer come. (Note: This is a pun on the word “bowl” in Japanese. The Japanese phrase “one’s turn has come” has the word “bowl” in it.)

The second ex-girlfriend is the one who hit him in the cafe. She claims that Kaguya listened to her, helping out with the household chores and the store. When Yurika asks if she made him do so, she replies that it’s obvious. After all she’s spending money on him, so he should be helpful. Basically, the situation is of him working in exchange for food and shelter. To be honest it isn’t that different from his current situation. She adds that he often annoyed her by buying the wrong items he was told to do so, and sometimes even bought unnecessary things. He would often disappear from the house, and each time she would have to bring him back. Thanks to that, embarrassing rumours were spread.

Unable to listen any further, Yurika asks if the item she has is the memento. The woman shows a blooming crystal branch of a plum tree. Cinderella’s interest is sparked upon seeing the glass work. She explains that this was a gift from Kaguya, and that all of her pain disappears and she feels calm when she looks at it. She would feel that he did everything for her, and that he really loves her. She tells Kaguya that he loves her, so he’s hers. She will forgive him for everything and should return to her side. Kaguya is hesitant, and Cinderella realises that he was the one who made the glass work. He finds it nostalgic, and asks why she has it. The ex-girlfriend panicks, saying that an amateur can’t make this. Cinderella offers to show his collection in that case, and to check if it’s missing. She claims that it can’t be, since she bought it.

It’s then that she realises that she dug her own grave. Shirayuki concludes that it’s a fake then. Yurika checks if Kaguya can remember anything, and he replies that he doesn’t. Cinderella laughs that it’s impossible, since there was no memory behind it anyway. Infuriated, the woman lunges at Kaguya. Yurika and Cinderella have to restrain her. She screams that she’s been enduring it too as it’s a bother that he always disappeared. She gives up on him, saying that she doesn’t need him anymore. She marches out of the cafe angrily.

The third ex-girlfriend is the cute girl, who presents what looks like burnt cloth fragments. Yurika asks if it’s cinders, but the girl claims that it was what Kaguya was wearing when he first came to her. So Yurika asks why it’s all black, and she explains that there was a fire at her house. However, Kaguya isn’t able to recall anything. For some reason, the girl seems to appear relieved. So Yurika asks how Kaguya was like then. She replies that Kaguya was always smiling and always pampered by everyone else who found him cute. He was treated well and was always given new clothes.

Yurika: More than you? You’re cute. But you’re saying that Kaguya-san was way, way cuter than you?
Ex-girlfriend D: ……no!  No! Of course I’m cuter! It’s true that Kaguya-chan is cute……but he’s not really cute he’s pititful. It’s a fake type of cute. Everyone pitied him so they sympathised and pampered him! ……yet, yet it’s weird for the cute me to become pitiful!
Yurika: I see. In other words, the flames of jealousy were burned. That clothing which is a memento, was burnt by you.
Ex-girlfriend D: ……that’s right. He was always, always showed off his good side and made others look better. Everyone’s cute, cute Kaguya-chan was always smiling, but I knew that wasn’t true. So I thought of stripping away this hypocrite’s mask! Hey, Kaguya-chan. Come to my place? It’ll be fine this time. Everyo–ne knows you well. I told them what sort of person you are. That’s why, it’s Kaguya-chan’s turn to be jealous of me!
Shirayuki: The moment you were jealous, that memento became the same as an imitation. The proof of it being that you couldn’t retrieve Kaguya’s memories. You can’t obtain Kaguya. Go back.

The fourth ex-girlfriend was the woman they met on the streets. She shows a jade necklace, asking Kaguya to look more closely when he doesn’t recall anything. He apologises, asking her to explain what memory is behind it. She remarks that he hasn’t changed at all, and that she told him that she had dropped this necklace in the lake and told him to find it. Because he would do anything as long as he’s told to do so. So everyone decided to test him one day, to see how far he would go so as to listen. So one day, they told him that they had lost something important and to find it together. Of course, there’s no way he could find it since it was never lost in the first place. But he didn’t see through their lie, and kept searching in the pouring rain. He fell ill in the end and they didn’t know what happened to him. But it looks like he’s fine now. She asks him to come back with her, and to make them laugh again.

Kaguya: …………sorry.
Ex-girlfriend B: Eeh–!? Why!?
Kaguya: ……can I ask you one more thing? In the end, I returned without nothing in hand right? Even if I had brought you your necklace, would you…………

His tone weakens, and Yurika remarks that it was intolerable treatment. The result would be the same whether he had found it or not. She turns to ask for Shirayuki’s opinion, who bluntly tells the woman to return. And so, the week passed by in a blink of an eye.

The four ladies used different strategies of wits, wealth, power, but it all ended in failure. Upon knowing that Kaguya wasn’t theirs, they spat hurtful words at him and left. The fifth lady too……

Yurika observes that it was all for naught. Cinderella remarks that they were really cruel. Despite claiming that Kaguya was theirs, they turned around and called him ungrateful and the worst when he couldn’t remember anything. When they all left, they all said the same thing – why can’t he be obedient despite being allowed to stay. In the end, all of them only saw Kaguya as a pretty and convenient accessory. She calls out to Kaguya, who is staring in space. Cinderella comforts him, saying that he’s getting by even without his memories. He even offers to introduce better girls to him, which draws a glare from Yurika. Cinderella agrees that there is already a good woman here, and quickly escapes back into his room. Everyone else feels sympathy for Kaguya, but as for the man himself……

Kaguya grew increasingly pensive, and would often head outside in the winter night to gaze at the moon. Yurika would stay by his side, so as to watch over him and make sure he doesn’t disappear. The moon is gradually becoming a full moon. She asks what is on the moon, and he replies that there’s nothing. She advises him not to wander around too late at night, as the other are worried. She asks him to return home, if not she will accompany him if he wants to go elsewhere. Upon her question, Kaguya looks up at the moon again. It’s a place where she can’t go. He recalls the conversation about the rabbit on the moon, and that rabbits have long ears and can hear any voices no matter how far.

She said that the rabbit will be in despair with itself. He thinks that it’s a bit different. The rabbit was in despair with the world from the start, so it can hear any voice. That’s why the rabbit longs for the moon. When it looks at the moon, it feels forlorn and deeply sad about the world. The people on the capital of the moon are brilliant and beautiful, and never age. They have no worries either. It’s utopia. He remarks that the rabbit wants to return to the capital of the moon. Kaguya thought about it, and thinks that the women were right. He should be thankful enough for them to allow an abnormal person like him stay. He has nothing. He’s only a bit strange, and isn’t that handsome or talented. He can only be useful as an errand boy. They were only attached to him because he was convenient to them, not because they needed him.

Kaguya: Hey, Princess……are you also like them, towards me…………
Yurika: …………
Kaguya: ……no, it’s nothing. Sorry. For saying something weird……did I offend you?
Yurika: ……no. I’m fine.
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: I said it before right? I’m tougher than you think I am. I won’t break even if you treat me a little rougher. So let’s go back? To our home.

She takes his hand, and leads him back.

“Princess, hello. I seem to have worried Princess recently, so I wish to write something cheerful! Today, the grandfather who always comes said that he was lonely as he hasn’t seen Princess recently. Grandfather said that Princess resembled grandmother when she was young. He especially liked your smile, and bragged about it in front of your boyfriend here! Princess, is really really popular! Lol. When talking to grandfather, I recalled the time I first met you. When I first saw you, you treated others cheerfully, and I thought that you were a girl with a cute smile. Princess, you are liked by everyone. I find you unbearably bright.

Princess. When I first went out with you, you said that by conversing, touching, and making more memories, we would know if this feeling if really love. Is it still the same now? Do you still wish to get to know me better? Princess. Why are you going out with me?”

As Kaguya is growing more pensive, Yurika’s heart is also captured by him – she can’t stop thinking about him day and night. One such day, she accidentally cuts her finger with a knife. Kaguya appears with an order, but turns pale when he sees her wound. He staggers back and hits a bowl of flour, turning it over. Cinderella appears, analysing the situation. He quickly asks what the orders was from Yurika, and starts preparing the tea. He has Kaguya treat her injury.

They head to her room, as he presses her injury with the handkerchief she had given him. When she insists that it isn’t painful, he sees through her lie – there’s no way it wouldn’t hurt. He treats her wound skillfully, as if he had done so numerous times. He says that it would be better to go to the hospital, but she reassures him that it will heal soon since it’s light. He looks down, and Yurika glances towards his left hand. The red lines at his wrist seem to resemble his pain and tragedy. His wounds won’t heal quickly like hers. They either have to wait for it to slowly fade away, or perhaps it will never heal.

Kaguya: ……Princess, what should I do for you?
Yurika: Why are you asking this suddenly?
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: …………what you can do for me, you should think about that.
Kaguya: Me……?
Yurika: Yes. What do you want to do for me?
Kaguya: I…………
Yurika: What do you want to do?

They are both quiet, and she says that it’s fine if there’s nothing. But he replies that he can’t not do anything. Yurika swallows back the urge to ask if he thinks he can’t stay here if he doesn’t do anything. Instead, she says that she will hug him for his sake. As she does so, he sighs lovingly and remarks that he’s always on the receiving end.

Yurika: Of course. I’m your lover.
Kaguya: Lover…………
Yurika: Lovers hold hands, and hug each other.
Kaguya: ………………do lovers hurt each other like this?

Kaguya brings her finger to his lips. She remarks that it hurts to hurt yourself, asking if he understands her pain. He answers that he does.

That night, the couple goes out for a walk. No matter how much she tries to guide him not to look at the moon, he ends up doing so. He comments that the moon is beautiful, as it glows on his face. Yurika feels that he looks beautiful, transient, and very sad. He thinks that he isn’t a human, and comes from the capital of the moon – what would she do if he said that? Strangely, that was just what he said in her dream.

Yurika: Do you remember what I said before? If so, I will do everything in my power to make you stay. No one will take you to the moon. I won’t show mercy no matter who the person is (the moon’s envoy).
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: The people on the capital of the moon are brilliant, beautiful, and never age. They have no worries. Utopia? Is that true happiness?
Kaguya: That…………

He casts his gaze downwards. As she’s waiting for an answer, her hair gets caught in a branch. He gently untangles her hair. If he weren’t here, she would be unable to move at all. Yurika adds that she may be crying. She’s glad that he’s here. As he’s about to reply, a voice calls out to him. They turn to see an elderly lady, who says that he has grown older but she could recognise him in an instance. She speaks in a nostalgic and friendly tone, saying that everyone is worried about him. Due to a past incident, they were wondering if he was still bothered by it.

Seeing that Kaguya is unable to respond, Yurika speaks up instead. The lady apologises for interrupting, and explains that Kaguya was at their institution previously – a children’s home called Nayotake no Ie. (Note: “Nayotake no Ie” literally means home of (flexible) bamboo. By the way, “nayotake no kaguya-hime” is the accurate name given to Kaguya in the original story.) Seeing Yurika’s surprised expression, the lady wonders if she said something unnecessary. Yurika turns to Kaguya, and sees his face curls up in pain. He collapses to the ground. She hurries to his side, noting how much he’s sweating and how pale he is.

Suddenly, he leaps away from her, screaming in pain. Her voice doesn’t reach him, and it’s useless even when she reaches out to him. He slaps her hand away, and her words would disappear. After that, Kaguya faints.

Episode of Kaguya (aka Kaguya’s POV)

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What did I lack? What did I do to make them angry? What did I do to make them disappointed? What did I do to make them unfortunate? What should I do?

“I’ll give you this——it’ll be good if——a healthy baby is born——”

No matter how unreasonable the demand was, I couldn’t refuse. If I refuse, I know that the other person would be disappointed in me. I was scared – for the person to get angry at me, to hit me, to treat me as a nuisance, to ignore me, everything everything everything everything. I lived while watching their expressions. I lived while constantly smiling. But in the end, I couldn’t do any of those demands they asked me to do. That’s why I was abandoned. I don’t belong anywhere. I’m not needed by anyone. That was when she said to me: “The earth is corrupted. So let’s fly across the sea to a far away place like swallows?”

Back to Yurika’s POV

Back in the cafe, Yurika explains everything to Cinderella and Shirayuki. The elderly woman was a former staff at the children’s home. Having lost his parents and being tossed from relative to relative, he was placed there. He never acted selfish or dissatisfied, and was always smiling and obedient. However, there was an incident. A girl from the children’s home jumped off the roof of the building and died. And Kaguya happened to witness it. Of course, he wasn’t responsible for it. But he was on good terms with the girl, and was traumatised. He didn’t eat nor drink after that, and grew very frail. He seemed to have left the children’s home after a while. The lady does not know what happened after that.

But she guesses that Kaguya probably wanted to forget that incident and everything after that. Shirayuki adds that it’s to protect his own body and heart, so that he won’t break down. Cinderella thinks that it’s better to forget it then. He doesn’t mind maintaining the status quo. But Yurika thinks that it’s no good to leave Kaguya be. Or rather, he will leave this place sooner or later. She now understands why he’s always looking at the moon, and feels forlorn. To Kaguya, the earth is too corrupted. Just being here is painful and lonely for him. That’s why he yearns for the moon. Cinderella comments that it’s an extreme form of escapism, even though there’s nothing on the moon. Though he can see why Kaguya feels that way. He offers to prepare anything she needs, and the two brothers leave the room.

Yurika visits Kaguya’s room, sitting next to him. It’s the first time she’s seeing his sleeping figure. He appears so peaceful now, unlike how he was earlier. It’s also refreshing to see him not smiling for once. He can only let down his smiling mask now. To not let people see, realise, or know his true feelings. How lonely he must have been. Yet she gave him pain, even though he didn’t want to recall anything. She looks at the diary on the desk, and opens it.

“Princess, hello. It’s become a habit for me now to look back on the diary entries. By doing so, I can recall what happened on that day. It’s really enjoyable. I started this diary by accommodating Princess, but now I’m the one looking forward to it more. Words are a curious thing. Even though we’re still exchanging words, unlike conversations, we can’t see the other person’s face. That’s why it’s also easy to pretend, and it’s difficult to read the other person’s feelings with limited words. It’s kind of refreshing and interesting to imagine how you were feeling when you were writing this.

Just like you said, I’m a bit sensitive to other people’s words. That’s because I’m always looking at their expressions. I can read what the other person is thinking based on their mood and facial expression. But words don’t have that. When I see Princess’ entry, I always think of your smiling figure. Is my prediction correct? And by looking back, it feels as though a long time has passed since I’ve met Princess. But actually that’s not the case. Perhaps because a lot has happened since I’ve met you, it feels as though we’ve been together for a long time.

……though I have amnesia. Lol. Will it be selfish of me to wish for this exchange to keep continuing?”

“Princess, hello. I’m sorry for always worrying you. I don’t have anything I wish for you to do. Princess always treats me well, so I feel kind of bad. What I can do is to wake up a bit earlier than you, and to finish the work first. But if I do that, I’ll be stealing Princess’ role right. Somehow it’s difficult. I can’t do anything in return. What can I do for you – it’s my biggest concern now.”

“Princess, hello. Thank you again for doing so much for me, who has no memories. Even though you’re working in the morning and afternoon, you still use up your time at night for me. I’m sorry. I’m fine so don’t push yourself, and be more concerned for yourself. I’m fine.”

“Princess, I’m sorry for putting you through something painful. Even though I’m your boyfriend, I’m always hurting you. I know that it isn’t a happy thing to see the one you love get along with others. You may not believe me since I have no memories, but my love for you is real. I think that all the other girls are cute, but Princess is the cutest, I really love you……it’s just that, if I really regain my memories, what will become of these feelings? I don’t mind even if I disappear. It’s just that, Princess. I’m concerned about you.”

Kaguya’s entries keep repeating words of apology. Her chest hurts each time she reads them. She pens down her own thoughts in the diary. After she’s done, she returns it to the original place just as he’s waking up. Yurika’s relieved to see him awake, as he recalls that they met an elderly lady who knew him. His head started to hurt when they were talking, but he couldn’t recall any further. He’s smiling as always, and so she whispers in his ear.

Yurika: ……you don’t need to smile anymore.
Kaguya: Eh?

She covers his eyes with her palm, and kisses him. It’s been a few weeks since they’ve met, and she finally understands him now. After that, Yurika starts to look after him. She feeds him the porridge she made, knowing that he wouldn’t eat otherwise. He remarks that it’s delicious with a smile. Kaguya still smiles, despite what she had said. But she doesn’t pursue the issue, and has decided to wait and see. If she doesn’t wait to make the right move at the right time, she will be checkmated in this game immediately. She glances towards the diary, and he apologises for stopping. He asks to keep it for a while. She replies that it’s fine, and they can start exchanging again when he feels like it.

Kaguya: I’m sorry……
Yurika: About what?
Kaguya: No……I feel that I’m always troubling Princess.
Yurika: Troubling? Do you mean me cooling down the porridge and feeding you? If so, I don’t think that way at all. Rather it’s a perk.
Kaguya: Ahaha……that’s not it. I’m a stranger living here, so it’s bad if I don’t do anything.

Even when she’s no longer smiling, he still is. She carefully asks him if he has regained his memories. He shakes his head. To be honest, there are times when she thinks that he has. Even if he hasn’t, it should be clear from the 5 women’s words what happened in the past and how he felt about it. That’s why his heart is worn out, and it’s affecting his body. And it was her who set things up that way. Yurika closes her eyes, and opens them after some thought.

Yurika: ……lovers are a curious thing.
Kaguya: Eh?
Yurika: It’s written as people in love. Despite having no blood relations and having separate bodies and spirits, they are tied together by “love”. They have no blood relations, but are an existence close to a family’s……don’t you feel that way?
Kaguya: …………
Yurika: Kaguya-san, who am I to you?
Kaguya: ……a lover.
Yurika: That’s right! So it’s fine for you to be spoiled by me. It’s fine for you to trouble me. I will forgive you even if you are selfish. Because you’re my lover.

He smiles in return to her smile. But his smile is conscious of her, it’s a fake smile. She will use any means to save him. But she is at a loss, as to how to save him.

When she is drying the dishes in the kitchen, Cinderella asks about Kaguya’s condition. Yurika replies that he’s still not well. Despite saying that he is, he will get a terrible headache when he gets up. She’s worried that he will overexert himself. He seems to think that he has to do something, as he is a stranger. She wonders if she was wrong. She made him go through a painful experience in order to retrieve his memories. Despite saying it’s for his sake, she hurt him. Is it her own ego? Cinderella isn’t sure, but tells her not to be too concerned or it will affect her. He pats her head, comforting her.

Just then, they see Kaguya behind. Yurika hurries to support him, asking if he’s well enough to move. But he keeps his distance from her as he insists that he’s fine, and averts his gaze. Cinderella tells him not to push himself, as he stands next to her. Kaguya looks at him, remarking that he’s a good man. His words confuse the both of them. Cinderella accepts the praise, but wonders why he’s saying it suddenly. Kaguya only smiles in return, but the glimmer in his eye is weaker than usual.

Yurika takes Cinderella’s arm, as she decides to bet on this based on Kaguya’s earlier reaction. Realising her intentions, Cinderella grins and places his hand on her head. At that moment, Kaguya tells him not to touch her, and grabs Cinderella’s arm. When she calls out to him, Kaguya realises what he’s done and his face curls up in pain. He is no longer smiling as his mask is gone, and there stands the real him. He apologises, saying that he didn’t intend this. He struggles to keep himself together, perplexed by this unexpected emotion in him. He can only force his smile back on. He is unable to answer further when Cinderella questions him. Yurika says that he still looks unwell, and needs rest. As she takes his arm to lead him back to his room, he looks visibly relaxed and apologises to Cinderelle again. His tone sounds a bit happy.

Back in his room, Kaguya says that he doesn’t need to rest. They’re sitting on the bed, with his hand over hers. He remarks that Cinderella is a good person, and she agrees that he’s wonderful. He remains quiet, saying that it’s nothing when she questions him about his words. He removes his hand, and she stands up. He cries out to her, but is unable to say anything further when she turns around. Yurika tells him to call her if he needs anything, and exits the room.

Just then, the door of the room next door opens, and empty plates are being placed outside. She asks what he’s doing as she pulls at the door, and Alice lets out a yelp as he falls flat on his face. When she tries to help him up, he hits her instead.

Yurika: How mean. Alice-kun……
Alice: It looks like you still have not learnt and still act the victim. It’s about time you understood that you’re the perpetrator, you oaf!
Yurika: Oaf……
Alice: Seriously, your personality is the worst. When you see the door open, it should be easy enough for you to imagine that my hand is on the doorknob. Yet you still pulled at it with such force. Thanks to that I kissed the floor so magnificently! There’s no help for you millennials, who can’t even imagine what your actions will result in!
Yurika: …………
Alice: Hmph, keeping quiet huh. Is that your strategy too? You sure are crafty. That really sickens me.
Yurika: You did really crash on your nose.
Alice: Hahaha. Thank you for the boring joke. As thanks, I shall curse you to be rejected by the prince.
Yurika: I’m sorry! Please don’t!
Alice: Hmph. It looks like you really don’t want to be rejected.
Yurika: That’s not……
Alice: …………the princess won’t be together with the prince, and are separated. That isn’t a happy end, but a tragedy.
Yurika: Tragedy?
Alice: Yes. That may be a beautiful end to the readers. But not for the people in the story. It is just sad for them.
Yurika: ……yes. That’s why I……will make the prince stay no matter what. No matter what means.
Alice: What dreadful possessiveness.
Yurika: ……is possessiveness such a bad thing?
Alice: Is it not sinful?
Yurika: Right. Desire is desire. But I have no time. Time will solve certain things. But time is limited. I don’t know when it will end.
Alice: ……hmph, there’s only one week left to the next full moon. Well, let’s see what you’ve got.

(Note: The Japanese phrase for “that sickens me” has the word “nose” in it. Hence the pun.) The five suitors all forced Kaguya to serve them. That left a deep, deep scar on him. Word of him was also passed onto the mirror world’s princess, and she wanted to see him. But no matter how much the princess wished for it, Kaguya wouldn’t show himself. And if she tried to force him, he would disappear. And while they were comforting each other’s hearts, three weeks have passed. The moon is nearing a full moon, and Kaguya grows more pensive.

“You can’t look at the moon.”

No matter how much he is restrained, he will sneak out to look at the moon and cry pitifully.

“I want to return to the moon.”

Unable to bear the corrupted earth, Kaguya yearns for the moon today too.

It’s a week left till the full moon. Upon seeing Kaguya’s reaction when she took Cinderella’s arm, Yurika decided to place a bet. She hasn’t separated herself from him, but rather she has distanced herself a little from him. She has only lessened the time they meet by a little, and increased her time with others. And when talking to him, she would mention Cinderella, Shirayuki, or other men’s names. He would remain smiling, and even agree that a wonderful girl like her would rather spend time with others over him. But she knows his real expression behind that smile – the sadness in his heart. But Yurika doesn’t say anything, and doesn’t desire anything. She doesn’t even ask to hold hands or to hug. She is only earnestly waiting for that time to arrive.

With just a few days left till the next full moon, Kaguya has recovered and is helping out at the cafe again. On the surface, the days aren’t any different from before. But she doesn’t work in the kitchen, and is serving the customers. Even when he offers to do it, she tells him not to overwork himself as he just recovered. Using this as an excuse, she distances herself and is friendly towards other men besides Kaguya.

On one such day, Kaguya gives her the next order. But he doesn’t let go of the tray. When she asks him what’s wrong, he looks down. After a brief silence, he speaks up again. However, Yurika goes on to serve the customer and turns around. He calls out to her, offering to switch duties with her. When asked for the reason, he hesitates. His gaze falls upon the regular customer, who is holding a big bouquet of flowers. After a pause, she says that she can’t make the customer wait any longer. He doesn’t hold her back, and she goes to lead that regular customer to a table. The customer confesses to her with his white bouquet of flowers, asking her to go out with him. The scene is just like that from a few weeks ago. Yurika turns to see Kaguya caught up with a girl. When their eyes meet, she notes that the glimmer in his eyes darkens just a little bit. After confirming this, she accepts the flowers and thanks the customer.

After the cafe is closed, Kaguya calls out to her in a reserved voice. She tells him to wait a bit, as she goes to place the flowers in a vase. Visibly irritated, he abruptly grabs her and pushes her against the wall. The vase collapses, spilling over the flowers and water. He steps on the flowers, glaring at her with a desperate expression.

Kaguya: Why do you look at other men!? Don’t smile at anyone else but me!! Why do you accept things from other men!! I’m Princess’ lover aren’t I!! Princess is mine!! I don’t want you to be snatched away by other men! I……want Princess, Arisu Yurika!!
Yurika: …………

When she doesn’t answer, his angry expression changes to a sad smile.

Kaguya: Haha……would it be alright if I said this……? Were these the words Princess wanted? Hey, Princess. Why……? Why, did you try to test me……? Did you think that I was a fool who wouldn’t realise anything? You tested me to see how I would react by talking to other men everyday right? Hey, was it fun to test me? Did you mock me behind my back? Hey, did you think that I was a man who wouldn’t be hurt by anything? Did you think that I was a man who could always smile? Haha…………no. No……since a lo–ng time ago……before I even realised, you realised it right……? In fact I……more than anyone else……………………! ……hey, why could you do such a cruel thing? Hey, do you really see me as your lover? ……hey, why aren’t you saying anything at all……? Hey, say something!!
Yurika: …………
Kaguya: ……if you have come to hate me, and don’t need me anymore……reject me……Princess……

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He tilts her head upwards, and she shows no sign of resistance. She shows no expression either, and only looks straight at him. It seems that he doesn’t realise that he’s tearing up.

Kaguya: If Princess hurts me, then I will also…………

He places his hand over her neck, and they both remain silent. Slowly, he walks away from her and apologises in a painful voice.

Episode of Kaguya (aka Kaguya’s POV)

Kaguya is in his room, and attempts something till Cinderella interrupts. The latter comments that he can’t go to the moon even if he hurts himself, and tells him to stop. He enters the room, and directly asks if he has regained his memories. When Kaguya remains quiet, he asks why he doesn’t tell Yurika. Kaguya replies that she already knows, if not she wouldn’t have deliberately tried to make him realise. When Cinderella asks what he means, he doesn’t answer.

Kaguya: Cinderella-san. I’m……afraid of her. She is like a bright light, and I feel wretched when I’m with her. She is beautiful, and sometimes cruel. She is a strong light which reveals everything, even things I don’t want to see. She sees through things even I don’t want to see……and tested me. Compared to her, I’m like a sinner. Still, I’ve been spoiled by her as I forget my sins each time I see her smile……that is really, really painful……
Cinderella: ……well, it’s not as if I don’t understand how you feel. She is somewhat too good to be true.
Kaguya: Haha……too good to be true. Perhaps that is the case……then, I wish to be in a place I can’t be reached……a place I can’t be reached even if you stretch out your hand, it would be good if I’m not noticed and left alone.
Cinderella: …………
Kaguya: Cinderella-san……what do you think of Princess, Arisu Yurika?
Cinderella: Nothing much. Is that what you want me to say? Or do you want me to say that she is my important woman? What should I say to satisfy you?
Kaguya: That’s not what I……

Cinderella points out that his opinion doesn’t matter. Even if he likes her, Kaguya remains her lover. Kaguya wonders what it means to be lovers.

Kaguya: Does being lovers mean, that I desire her……both her body and mind……that I wish to gain everything? I didn’t even realise that, and asked her to be my lover. If things were to become like this, if I knew that it felt like this, I wouldn’t have been able to approach her……I……towards her……towards Arisu Yurika………………I……was made to realise it by her. Recently, she purposely let me see her getting along with Cinderella-san and other men, I knew that it was to make me jealous. That’s why, I didn’t play along with her plan. But it’s too late already. For me to leave her. I’ve been with her for too long……I’ve come to want her as my own, to be by her side, she has made me desire her over and over again……I hate being treated as an object……! People……she isn’t an object. Yes, I should know that more than anyone else……! But, right now I want her!! I’m the worst……I’m no different from those who treated me as an object! Surely, she hates me too……! I did such a cruel thing to her……I’ve been on earth for too long and am corrupted……! I want to return to the moon……

To their surprise, Shirayuki enters and remarks that he should just return then. He had overheard everything. He questions why Kaguya remained by her side, if she was too bright. He shouldn’t have approached her then, if he knew that his shadow would only darken when she is so bright. Even if he didn’t know at first, he should’ve left her the moment he had realised. But he didn’t – why is that? Kaguya remains quiet, so Shirayuki answers in his place.

Shirayuki: In the end, you wanted her to chase after you right? You implicitly ordered her to prove how remarkable that aspiration was, if she did love you. And if she had succeeded your challenge, you could finally believe that is true love. How arrogant.
Kaguya: !
Shirayuki: Moreover, you knew that no one could succeed. You forced an impossible and unreasonable challenge on the other person, denying love from the start.
Kaguya: I never……! Did that……
Shirayuki: You never really tried to kill yourself till now right? You weren’t serious, that’s why you slit your wrist. You never had the intention to die, that’s why only the scars on your wrists increased. If you really intended to die, rather than slitting your wrist, there are more certain ways. At least you know that. The reason being that, you witnessed the moment when someone ascends to the sky.
Kaguya: Stop it!!
Shirayuki: …………
Kaguya: Stop……please stop…………!
Shirayuki: Just as you said, you’re no different from those who treated you like an object. You’re an extremely arrogant and sinful, earthly human.

Back to Yurika’s POV

Yurika visits his room, seeing that Kaguya is gone. She knew that this would happen one day, but she can still feel herself tearing up. She suppresses the urge to dash outside to look for him, and takes a deep breath. Still, when did he disappear? There wasn’t a sound at all, as if he never existed in the first place. The room is so tidy, that one can’t imagine someone living here before. She recalls the last time she visited his room – it was really clean. He probably was mindful of the slightest movement so as not to trouble others, holding his breath and killing himself. The only scar left by him — is the diary left on the desk. She flips it open.

“Dear Kaguya-san, thank you for your questions. I’m very happy, since having those doubts means that you are seriously confronting the issue. You are truly thinking for me. Firstly, whether I still think that we will know if this feeling is truly love by accumulating memories, I will answer “Yes” without hesitation. The way we got together may not be normal. It’s true that it’s imprudent for a girl to immediately say OK to a stranger like you confessing. It’s true that I hesitated. (I wrote this in my first diary entry.) Let’s change the topic a bit, please forgive me as this is related. Last time, we talked about instinct right.

I spoke about a theory that “We already have the instinct to differ what we like or dislike since birth. And the memories built upon those is what makes up his existence.” In the end, I think that the core I didn’t realise in me……in other words I was instinctively attracted to you. But instinct is only instinct, and not consciousness. Consciousness is the surface of a person, and can be manipulated by memories. When I first met you, I was lacking that consciousness. That’s why I wasn’t confident if my feelings were love.

But it’s different now. By spending time with you, I created memories with you. Those memories overlap consciously, and I realised that I’m in love with you. Having realised my love for you, I shall say this to your clearly now. Kaguya-san, I fell in love with you from the moment we met.

Next, the question as to why I’m going out with you. You should know now from the previous answer right? But if putting it into words can save you even a little, I shall write it over and over again. Of course, I don’t mind saying it too. I love Kaguya-san, that’s why I want to be with you. Kaguya-san. I love you, I desire you, you also desire me, that’s why we’re going out.

Now. I used the word “desire”. To desire means to want. I know very well that this is giving you much pain. Perhaps even now when you’re reading this diary, your chest may hurt so much that you can’t breath. Even so, I may be hurting you by trying to retrieve your memories. I know that my words aren’t reaching you, you who has no confidence. No matter what I say, no matter how many times I say it, you find my words so shallow that you can’t believe it.

Lastly, I also have a question for you. Having created memories with me, what do you think now? ……why are you, staying together with me?”

This was her last diary entry for him, which she wrote when he had collapsed. She tried all sorts of things so as to save him. She couldn’t stop even though she was aware that it would hurt him. And the wounded him has now vanished from her sight. Having no memories, he may think that he doesn’t belong anywhere. That probably hasn’t changed. But he did exist here, he did meet her and stayed together with her. The proof of it is in these love letters exchanged over a month. Yurika flips over to the next page.

“Dear Princess, this will be my last entry. The time to say goodbye has come. It’s almost a full moon, so I will return to the moon. In order to return to the moon, I need to throw away all my clothes till now, and return to my original form. But before that I need to say something, so I’m taking up my pen and writing this entry which is not a letter.

You probably already realised it, but I have recalled everything. I’m sorry for hiding it. And I’m really sorry if that hurt you. I wish to talk about my past now, but it may be a bit long so I apologise in advance. And I’m writing this as I recall, so there may be some ambiguous or cumbersome parts. If that’s still fine, please read on.”

Episode of Kaguya (aka Kaguya’s POV)

Before I realised it, I was in someone else’s home. The woman tells me clearly that I’ll be kept at her place for a while – meaning I don’t belong here, and may have to leave anytime. They were distant relatives, so much so that I couldn’t think of them as being related to me. They were like strangers to me. The same went for them, as they treated me with caution. I was a queer child who only bothered them – that was how they saw me, and how I saw myself. In the first house, I was an existence like air. I was given shelter and food, but it didn’t matter if I were there or not. I have no place in that house, and was always outside their conversations. I only ate the food that has gotten cold, after they had finished their meal. It was as if I was cut away from everything.

Well it’s true that there is no reason to smile at a stranger. The only exception is when you smile at the person’s actions. After noticing that, I started to act in the way they desired, like a comedian or an actor. The family’s child sneered at the way I spoke. It didn’t matter, I wanted any type of reaction. I’m not a mute.

I eventually left the first house, and was taken in by the second. I was made to do all sorts of tasks in exchange for staying there. Cooking, washing, cleaning, helping out at the store……I couldn’t say no and accepted it all. They told me to work my share since they were taking in a suspicious person like me in, who had nowhere else to go. If I couldn’t, I would have to keep at it till I could do it before I could eat or sleep. I would be beaten if I said something.

Well it’s true that humans are creatures who cost money just by breathing. But I had nothing at hand, and could only offer my body. I eventually took the initiative from others at work. Even if it proved no benefit for myself, it was much better than getting beaten. I’m not worthless.

And then I left the second house, and taken in by the third. Using the experience from the second home, I grew to be an amiable and observant child. The adults took a liking to me, and gave me fine clothes and delicious food. I led a life without restraints. I worked hard in order to be liked and spoiled. I earned it. I thought that this was the happiness people spoke of. But that didn’t last. One day, a fire broke out. It was put out in time. The source was the children’s room, and they started to search for the culprit. The child of the family pointed at me, accusing me. It was a blatant lie that she saw me do it. I saw my figure, who had nowhere else to go, in the child’s crying figure. The adults didn’t see through the lie, and condemned me harshly.

Well it’s true that I’m not their real child. Who will believe me? A cute child definitely can’t win over a pitiful child. After realising that, I always read people’s expressions and discerned how I acted. I must never desire something. If I do, I will be snatching away something important from someone else. If so, I shall wear a smile like a mask. I’m not emotionless.

And so I was chased out of the third house, and taken in by the fourth. It was a relative’s home with almost no blood relation. I became a target which always smiled. I always showed a smile to them no matter what was done or said to me. As long as I do so, they won’t do anything crueler than finding me disgusting or being turned off. One day, they played a prank on me. The family’s child said that she lost something important in the lake. I could tell at once from her grin that it was a lie. But what good will come out of it if I talked back? So I pretended not to notice and obeyed. They laughed at me from a distance, seeing how I desperately searched for something I could never find. Soon it started to rain, and they left me there and returned home. I no longer had a need to continue searching, but I kept doing so in the pouring rain.

Perhaps due to being out in the rain for a long time, my consciousness started to grow hazy and I no longer knew what I was looking for. As I looked to the sky, I saw that the rain had stopped and a round moon hung above me. I found it beautiful. What could be on that beautiful moon? After gazing at it for a while, I saw a glass shard thrown at the shore. As if guided by the moonlight, I pressed it against my wrist. It hurt, and my consciousness grew clearer. Aah, I see. This is what it feels like to be alive. It’s not as if I don’t know pain.

After being sent around the four houses, the next one which took me in was a children’s home called “Nayotake no Ie”. The staff observed that I was weak due to malnutrition and a cold. And that there were signs of abuse. The director assured me that it’s fine now, that everyone is my friend. That place was different from previous ones. Everyone there was not blood-related, and were strangers. They were all children like me who had lost their family. The children all followed the rules laid out by the adults. It was constraining, but I didn’t find it difficult since it was fine as long as I followed the rules. But in the end, I couldn’t grow accustomed. I was not their friend.

My duty in the children’s home was to care for the rabbit everyone was raising. I liked taking care of it. A rabbit doesn’t talk, doesn’t force you. I can’t read its expression, and it can’t read mine. It was the only time which brought me peace. It was then, that a girl called out to me, asking if I liked rabbits. I was shocked. She had a smile as gentle as the moon, and was liked by everyone in the home. She had been here the longest, and often looked after the younger children. I was looked from afar, as her beautiful and kind figure comforted the crying children who were lonely. Being starved of kindness, I grew fond of her immediately.

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She told me all sorts of things – her background, why she came here. She had no parents, and was in this children’s home ever since she’d realised it. Yet she never grieved over her situation, and never blamed others. I wondered if such a precious person could exist on this world. She would often gaze at the moon, and tell me that the people in heaven live on the moon. They’re brilliant and beautiful, and they never age nor have any worries. I remarked that it’s just like her. In response, she says that she will turn into a bird and return to the moon one day. She asked if I will follow her then. Wanting to desperately be liked by her and to see her smile, I agreed. It was fun to be with her, I thought that this was happiness.

As those days continued, I heard a rumour about her from the staff room. They didn’t expect her to be pregnant. Hearing this, I realise that this must be why she’s feeling unwell lately. She often takes care of the younger children, she will surely be a good mother.  Wanting to please her as usual, I sneaked out of the home and got a gift. I gave her an amulet for safe childbirth, in the form of a shell, hoping that a healthy baby will be born. She thanked me hesitantly. I thought that the least I could do was to pray to god on her behalf. She smiled at my gift. But I didn’t realise that the stronger the light is, the darker the shadow is.

One night when it was still bright, she asked me to accompany her. I followed her out, but she wouldn’t say where we were going. She was holding my hand and walking in front of me, so I couldn’t see her expression. Eventually we arrived at the rooftop of a nearby building. She released my hand, and reached out towards the moon.

Girl: Hey, did you know? Unlike the world on the moon, the earth is corrupted. Because I’m on such a corrupted earth, my body has long since been corrupted.
Kaguya: ……corrupted?

I listened to her confession as my heart throbbed. It wasn’t a romantic one, but a foreshadowing of a tragedy to come. She reminded me that I had agreed to follow her if she turned into a bird and returned to the moon. That time has come. She remarked that it’s a fine moon tonight. The envoys from the moon have come for her, to guide us back to the moon.

Girl: So let’s fly across the sea to a far away place like swallows?
Kaguya: ……what about the baby?

Her face darkened at my question, but she soon replied that we’ll be together. It would be too pitiful if it were raised on this corrupted earth and turned corrupted too. Feeling something off and feeling fearful, I said that I couldn’t. But she pointed out that we’re the same, as she pulled up her sleeve. There were scars on her wrist, just like mine. Fear turned into conviction – she was telling me to die.

Girl: You long for the moon too right? Let’s abandon this earth, and return to the moon together?
Kaguya: No……I’m fine with earth even if it’s corrupted……I don’t want to return to the moon.
Girl: Why? Why! You said that you’d follow me!! I don’t need this sort of thing (amulet)!! I want you (companion)……!!

Upon being rejected, her kind expression instantly grew harsh. She reaches out her hand to me at her last words. She was just like those people who had chased me out, presenting me a challenge. They would then abandon me when I couldn’t complete it. But I just couldn’t give myself up. I ran away from her. What I couldn’t do till now, I did it at this moment. That’s right, I’d wanted to run away all this time – from difficult situations, and from this corrupted earth. The next day, I heard that she could no longer come back. Just as she had wished for, she returned to the moon. The people from the heaven world are brilliant, beautiful, and never age nor have any worries. A world suitable of being called a utopia.

It’s a world which I must return to someday. My real parents are there, will they welcome me warmly? If so, then why was I born into this world? If I was truly needed, then they wouldn’t have let me go right? If this world was corrupted, why am I existing in this world? Could I be here, so as to atone for my sins?

Kaguya: Who…………am I?

That’s why I shut my memories away like a silent shell.

Back to Yurika’s POV

Yurika whispers Kaguya’s name in a choked voice, as tears stream down her face. The words before her are a blur. She feels suffocated with anger and sadness, unable to cast these feelings elsewhere. She sniffs and wipes her tears away, and carries on reading.

“Princess. Having read this, what are you thinking of now? I shut away my memories on my own accord. I hurt myself, and tried to protect myself by forgetting. But that is only sweeping the problems under the rug, and merely running away from reality. Forgetting means to put your memories away in a far away place. Whether you can recall the memories or not, you cannot erase the “fact” that they were created. Being sharp-witted, you had realised since long ago that I would disappear from your sight, having recalled everything. I am a weak man. Having regained my memories, I can no longer remain on earth.

That being said, whether or not I was in your care, even if it was brought upon myself, I still find it regrettable if you think of me as a cruel man for only leaving this diary entry behind. And not just Princess, Cinderella-san and Shirayuki-san also took great care of me. It’s been one month since I came here. Thank you so much for treating me kindly, when I had no memories. The times I had spent with everyone, was truly irreplaceable and wonderful. Goodbye.”

The entry ends here. In the end, Yurika never got to know what was Kaguya’s answer to her question. Perhaps there being no answer, was an answer. She desperately searches for something else in the diary. It can’t just be a farewell letter. Is it a challenge left by Kaguya, if so she has to solve it. She has to prove that he doesn’t wish to separate. In order to save him. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blows the window open. The wind blows at her hair, and the diary pages. She sees that the clouds have cleared, and the moon shines brightly in the sky. The moonlight pours into the room, and onto the diary. Just then, she realises marks on the last page, of something being erased. It’s light, but she can make out the words in the moonlight. Yurika instantly dashes out after reading it.

Episode of Kaguya (aka Kaguya’s POV)

I’m now at the lake. The lake is the perfect place to say farewell, since no one is here at night. I’m truly cruel, to have picked this spot. This is where we went on our first date, and we came here numerous times after that. I feel bad towards her, but that also makes this the most suitable spot to say goodbye. The wind blows the clouds away, and the moon finally reveals itself. It’s the long-awaited full moon. While waiting for the full moon, midnight has passed and it’s now a new day. In the end, I’m still the same person even with my memories. More so than anyone else, a cowardly, skeptical, despicable and arrogant person. Having lost my memories, I wandered aimlessly and was taken in by women I had just met.

Why women? There’s a fundamental difference in strength and it’s easy to handle them……but more than anything else I just wanted love. I was never loved by anyone. I was never needed by anyone. That’s why I truly yearned from the bottom of my heart, for someone to truly need and love me. But in the end, it never lasted with anyone. Once I learnt that the other person hated me, I would erase my memory (list cut (wrist cut)) and go out with someone else. It’s ironic that in order to erase my memory, I would leave behind a scar I couldn’t erase. I knew that I wouldn’t die no matter how much I cut myself. Of course. Because I can forget.

“You forced an impossible and unreasonable challenge on the other person, denying love from the start.”

That’s right, I tested the women. I gave them unreasonable challenges, to prove how remarkable that aspiration was for me. And if they couldn’t succeed, I would erase my memories and disappear from their sight. How arrogant of me. Even though I longed for love for than anyone else, I denied love from the start. In the end, none of the women could succeed my challenges. Still, I felt happy in the times when I had no memories. Of course, because the painful feelings would vanish, and the sorrowful troubles would disappear. Without any memories, I could smile truthfully too. That was what I thought till I met her.

Arisu Yurika was the first girl I had reached out and spoken to. That time in the cafe, despite what happened with my lover then, she smiled at me brightly. I found her cute at first sight. Compared to her, the other women I had found cute previously, all paled in comparison. I think that it was precisely because I had no memories, that I could act out the sudden confession. After going out with her, I never once mentioned about my amnesia. Of course, because there’s no benefit in doing so. I realised each time that I’m saved because I have no memories – the countless scars on my wrist proved that. It’s better to forget in that case. I’d chosen to respect my past self’s opinion: You’d forgotten because you wanted to forget right?

The problems that arose along the way, I dealt with somehow by wearing my smile like a mask. No one realised the truth behind me – except for Arisu Yurika. She had easily noticed the reality which I didn’t want to know. She’s sharp, almost too good to be true. I was scared when she suggested retrieving my memories. I wanted to scream at her to stop. But I couldn’t. In the end, this part of me had not changed one bit from the past. I don’t have the courage to hurt myself, nor to die. While thinking that it’s better to die, I couldn’t do it at all. I’m weak.

Having recalled everything, I had stripped away my current clothes and changed into my best clothes (heavenly robes). I folded the clothes, and recalled my conversation with Cinderella and Shirayuki. It appeared that they had realised my true self which I had wanted to hide. They had also taken good care of me, like she did. But having changed into my former clothes (former self), those feelings vanished too. Alice came into the room.

Alice: Are you returning to the moon?
Kaguya: ……yes. I’ve only been on earth for a little while, but it appears that many years have passed. I need to return to the moon.
Alice: She will use any means to not return you.
Kaguya: ……that’s impossible. Even if I’m locked up or they prepare to fight, they cannot resist against the people from the capital of the moon.
Alice: I suppose so. The people on earth and the people from the moon are of different dimensions.
Kaguya: At least……I wished for us to be together for a little longer, I can’t follow what my heart desires. Even that is unforgivable.
Alice: Can’t follow what your heart desires huh……I’d thought that you hated obeying others. Even so you will return to the moon?
Kaguya: ……yes. I need to return to the moon.
Alice: I see. Then it can’t be helped. Hey, Kaguya. Have you ever wondered why you were born into this corrupted earth? If you were born into this corrupted earth so as to atone for your sins, then exactly what sin did you commit?
Kaguya: That……

Back at the lake, I’m considering how to go to the moon. Hanging, jumping down, jumping in, suffocation, medicine, self-immolation, freezing, electrocution……that’s all I can think of. But it’s most ideal that I die quietly without causing anyone trouble. In the end, I decide to make use of the lake’s feature as it strongly reflects the moon. The moonlight cast on the lake almost looks like a path of light. If I follow it, I could go to the moon I long for.

I swallow a few anti-anxiety pills which I had hidden. So when I do feel fear, my consciousness would be hazy by then and I would no longer be able to move. I close my eyes, and imagine a world filled with light. On the moon lives the people in heaven. They are brilliant and beautiful, and they never age nor have any worries. It truly is utopia. Feeling the light, I slowly open my eyes and see people descending from the sky on clouds.

Kaguya: The prince of the moon kingdom. I have come for you.

Is the voice I hear an illusion? Or— I have no right to refuse, and can only obey. Aah, somehow it’s no different from earth. I faintly think this while gazing at the moon.

Kaguya: Goodbye, Princess……

Back to Yurika’s POV

She’s running through the empty streets. She had almost missed it, the other entry (his true feelings) he had left behind.

“Dear Princess, about your question on what I think now that I have created memories, the answer is obvious. Towards Princess……no, Yurika-chan. I love you. The more I love you, the more I desire you. I want you to only smile at me. It’s fine if you treat only me kindly. I don’t want you to become someone else’s. I become more and more selfish when I’m with you. Even though I don’t want to treat you like an object, I want to yell out that you are mine.

Yurika-chan. The reason I confessed to you, went out with you, of course it’s because I love Yurika-chan and want to be with you. Yurika-chan. I love you, I desire you, and you desire me, that’s why we went out. Yurika-chan. Now that I’ve said farewell and just changed into the heavenly robes, I’ll fondly remember you.”

Having reached the lake, Yurika spots Kaguya walking towards the centre of the lake. She cries out to him, and steps into the lake. The moonlight ripples. He questions why she’s here. Perhaps his judgment has dulled in that moment, but he doesn’t move at all. It’s timely for her. While he’s only in knee-deep, the water level is already at her thigh. She can’t go in much further. Yurika grabs him by the collar, and slaps him. He winces in pain. She first learns that that both the person hit, and the person who hit, hurts. As her palm stings painfully. She glares at him and pushes him, distancing themselves a bit.

Yurika: Please don’t underestimate Great Detective Yurika. I can see through everything you’re thinking. If you were to die, I thought that you would choose to drown. You can see the moon clearly from here, and because you long for the moon, you would drown while being intoxicated with the moonlight or something right? You want to return to the moon? Don’t use such a frustrating expression, and just say honestly that you want to die.
Kaguya: ……

She can’t tell his expression with only the moonlight casting down in the darkness. But it would be good if his face is reddened from her provoking words. It’s much better than forcing himself to smile when he doesn’t mean to. He asks if that’s all she has to say, and she shakes her head. Yurika shows him something wrapped in cloth, and Kaguya’s eyes widen at the sight of it. It’s the kitchen knife she uses everyday, and she shows that it’s real by gently placing it against her wrist. It pierces her skin and blood flows out. She winces at the sharp pain. She hides her pain with a smile (challenge). In a shaky voice, he asks what she plans to do – to kill him?

Yurika: No, I won’t do that. I read your love letter. Having accepted all of your past and your feelings, I shall say this again. Kaguya-san. I want to save you. But no matter how many times I say that you have a place you belong in, the darkness in your heart won’t be lifted. Of course. Because I wasn’t there when you wished for help the most. One can say anything. That’s right. Because there’s no difficulty in lying. From your perspective, there is no worth in believing such shallow sweet words. What you believe in aren’t words. I shall now prove that I love you.

She raises the knife, and stabs herself in the stomach. She can feel something warm splatter on her face. She staggers a few steps, as the wound burns and she starts to sweat. She struggles to stay on her feet, and can hear Kaguya screaming. Despite this being intentional, she can’t stop herself from tearing up or from her heartbeat quickening. As he cries out and tries to approach her, she musters all of her strength and yells at him not to come any closer. While enduring the sharp pain, she glares at him when he asks why.

Yurika: ……why……t……that……is obviously because I accepted your challenge……

The pain is unbearable, and making her breathless. But it’s still better than the pain from love being denied. Yurika removes her trembling fingers from the handle of the knife, and laughs. Somehow the sight of it stabbed in her seems too surreal, she can’t help but think that this is a dream or an illusion. Has she finally gone mad? No, she’s rational. She’s doing this because she’s rational. She stops laughing and turns to Kaguya.

Yurika: ……this……isn’t suicide……I’m not dying for my sake. I’m dying for your sake……
Kaguya: For me sake……?
Yurika: Yes……I’m only doing the most I can do for you. Kaguya-san……I can die if it’s for your sake.

She had stabbed with all of her might, but it looks like it wasn’t fatal since she is still able to think clearly and move. It’s strange how humans can bear such pain and still not die. So she removes the knife from herself, and blood pours out from her wound like tears. Surely her clothes are now stained red. Yurika raises the knife above her once more.

>> (If you’ve made a wrong choice earlier): Yurika stabs herself once more. She loses balance and falls into the lake. Kaguya cries out to her, and she can see his figure above the massive number of bubbles. Her body sinks into the dark waters, but is soon pulled up. She can see him crying as he hugs her through her heavy eyelids. She softly tells him not to cry. He asks why she did this, was it to stop him from going to the moon? When she asks if he knows her pain, he replies that he does – painfully. However she is in way more pain than he ever felt. Yurika laughs weakly, saying that he’s wrong. She wanted to ask if he understands the pain you feel when your beloved is hurt. She has always been in pain, each time he hurt himself.

Kaguya answers that he does, he’s feeling very hurt seeing her now. So she asks him to stop hurting himself, and she will stop doing this. He begs her not to speak anymore. When she can barely keep her eyes open, he begs her not to close them. He desperately tries to make her stay, but she cannot refuse the people who have come for her – they are taking her to the moon. Yurika asks to see his face, and he says that she can do so anytime. She notes that he has finally removed his mask. She has always wanted to see his real self. She loses consciousness, and doesn’t reply when he keeps calling out to her. He weakly calls her name, pleading her to answer. He wants to hear her voice one more time.

Kaguya: Yurika-chan Yurika-chan Yurika-chan Yurika-chan Yurika-chan Yurika-chan!!!! My……Yurika-chan ……

He sobs uncontrollably as he hugs her. His face is wet with tears, and his face is twisted with grief. What has he done? He was a fool. He desired her and loved her, yet he couldn’t believe in her even though she had repeatedly confessed her love. Is this retribution? Is this his sin? Kaguya strokes her face, leaving a trail of red behind. His hand and body is stained with her blood.

Kaguya: Yurika-chan……Yurika-chan. Don’t leave me behind and go to the moon……if you are going, take me with you too……!!

She wants to tell him not to go. But she can’t now. She wanted to save him, for him not to go to the moon. She wanted to protect him no matter what. She doesn’t mind laying her life down for that. If he’s carrying a sin, she will bear that burden in his place. Despite all this, Kaguya gently whispers in her ear.

Kaguya: If I can no longer see you, what reason is there for me to continue living in this world……?

Did she make a wrong choice? If this was going to hurt him so much, should she not have done this? Yurika is unable to open her eyes, but she glares at the moon – please, don’t take away her beloved.

After the credits, Wizard remarks that Kaguya has sinned and so he is here on this corrupted earth. The deadline is up. Is there a need for Kaguya to remain on this corrupted earth? And so, Kaguya was taken to heaven by the moon’s envoy. The end. (BAD END)

>> Kaguya begs her to stop, as he grabs her arm.

Kaguya: What foolishness is this!! Do you know how hurt I am if you are hurt!? Do you know how much I love you……how much I treasure you!! If you are hurt, I get assaulted by a thousands times more the pain I get if I hurt myself!! More so than if my body is ripped apart, more so than if my body is burnt, it’s so painful that I can’t even breath!! If you like me, don’t put me through this!! If you love me, don’t ever do this again!! I……I’ll be sad if you are gone……! Extremely sad!! So please ……! Please stop……I’m begging you…………I believe! I believe you……I believe your love!! So pleae stop hurting yourself…………! Yurika……!

He hugs her, while sobbing. Yurika drops the knife and it sinks into the lake. She can’t die anymore now.

Yurika: ……I can return those words straight back to you.
Kaguya: Yurika-chan……
Yurika: Hey, Kaguya-san. Do you know my pain……?
Kaguya: Aah……
Yurika: Really?
Kaguya: I do……painfully……
Yurika: …………

She closes her eyes, as tears stream down her face. It’s so painful like death, but strangely her heart is calm. Kaguya carries her, as he recalls that they need to go to the hospital now. He tells her to bear with it till then. When they reach shore, he places her down and presses her wound with his clothing. As Yurika winces in pain, he kisses her and then wipes his thumb against her lips. He apologises. Anti-anxiety medicine doesn’t tranquilise pain, and he doesn’t know if he has any left on his tongue, but it’s better than nothing. She whispers that it just makes her more anxious. He replies that he would use immortality pills immediately if he had them, but it’s just a fantasy. When she points out that his clothes will get dirty, he says that it’s fine. Kaguya also hands her the handkerchief she had first gave him – this is all he can give her back.

He then carries her again, and starts running. He’s desperate running for her sake, but midway his face twists in pain and his speed drops. He breathes heavily, and struggles to keep his eyes open. The moment his eyes closes, Yurika finds herself falling. He quickly catches her, and stands up again. But he’s still struggling, and even grits his teeth to the point blood flows out from his mouth. She can see that he’s desperately trying to stay conscious. Perhaps the anti-anxiety medicine he had mentioned, is starting to take effect. Kaguya apologises, and sits her under a tree. Her mind is hazy too due to the blood loss and pain, but she can make out his blood-stained clothes. She continues pressing down on her wound, which seems to have stopped bleeding. He smiles at her to reassure her, telling her to wait for a bit. He takes a fallen branch in his hand, and stabs his thigh. Questioning him, Yurika reaches out her hand but loses her balance. Kaguya helps her out, and smiles kindly.

Kaguya: I’m sorry……Yurika-chan……despite telling you not to hurt yourself, I hurt myself like this…………if I don’t do this……I can’t stay conscious……but, I hope you forgive me……this wound isn’t because I want to die……it’s because I want to live with you……

Once more, he carries her with unsteady steps. Due to the pain, he wobbles a few times, but he still trudges forward.

Kaguya: I have……always longed for the moon……the earth is……overflowing with things I don’t want to see……and don’t want to hear……ever since I was born, I was only shown those corrupted sides. My heart is a darkness with no light. What did I do? What did I lack? No one yearned for me. I was unwanted……No one loved me……that’s precisely why, I was attracted to the beautiful moon, and wished to return to the moon……I wasn’t a corrupted human. I was really from the capital of the moon, and different from the people on earth……there are people who need me on the moon, that’s……what I thought. But I actually had realised it long ago. I’m not from the capital of the moon……I’m the same as them……a greedy person on earth……I can’t gain anything, despite desiring everything……I’m a normal human who lies and hurts other people……and, you too…………

She agrees, they’re both normal humans on this earth. He admits that the people from the capital of the moon are brilliant, beautiful and never age. And perhaps they have no worries. But to not have any worries means forgetting everything – the memories with her, the fact that he loves her, everything. He doesn’t want to return to the moon in that case, and won’t let her go there either. If the envoys from the moon arrive, he will crush their eyes, pull their hair and shame them. He promises to save her. Yurika nods and smiles weakly.

It hurts terribly to see the one you love get hurt. But it’s even more unbearable if they’re gone. She won’t let him leave her behind for the moon – and vice versa. Even if the deadline (for the sin) is up, they will continue living on earth. Kaguya tells her to hang in there a bit more. They continue calling each other on the way. She then asks if he understands now why she wanted him to regain his memories. He replies that he does.

Kaguya: You always wanted me to realise it right? That your heart is mine.
Yurika: Yes……my heart is yours only……
Kaguya: ……mine too. If you give me your heart, my heart belongs to you too.

Finally, they spot the lights of houses in a distance. It feels so dazzling, probably because they’ve been walking in darkness this whole time. The energy leaves her body, and her arms drop. He notices this, and loses his balance. As they’re both on the ground, he calls out her name. Yurika’s vision is blurry, she can’t tell if this is a dream or reality. Her body won’t listen to her. She feels terrified. If she closes her eyes, it feels as if she will sleep forever. As he cries out to her, Cinderella’s voice can also be heard. She can see Kaguya’s crying figure, and the round moon. It looks so beautiful.

When she wakes up, she finds herself lying on a hospital bed. She is on a drip, and she can see Kaguya’s sleeping figure next to her, holding her hand. Yurika can see the fatigue on his face. Just then, his eyes flicker open. She can’t find her voice. He jumps up, and says that he’ll call the doctor immediately. She grabs his sleeve, and he is alarmed, warning her not to move as she just had surgery. She blinks at his words. He sits down again, holding her hand, and explains what happened. After she had fainted, she was rushed to the hospital and had surgery performed on her. It was a success, as fortunately none of her organs were hurt. But she didn’t wake up after that, and everyone was worried. She’s been unconscious for 5 days. Kaguya wasn’t sure what to do if she didn’t wake up at this rate. He apologises, as a scar may remain on her. Even though she’s a girl. It’s his fault. Yurika smiles, trying to comfort him.

Kaguya: I’m willful, selfish, cunning……easily jealous and a corrupted human. You laid down your life……for such a person. You gave your best, so as to obtain my feelings. Thank you. That’s why, it’s my turn now. I will give the best I have, so as to obtain your feelings. No matter what unreasonable demands there are, I will answer them. Yurika-chan. Because I love you.

After she woke up again, Kaguya visited her everyday. Yurika soon recovered, and can now be discharged in a few days. He hugs her, as he sighs that it’s been a long time since he did this. She stutters and whispers that she’s happy but she’s been in a hospital the whole time so she never bathed. He reassures her that she’s pretty, and smells nice. He gently takes her hand and looks at her, causing her to meet his gaze. She remarks that it must be because the nurse wiped her off. He agrees, but corrects her – it was he who cleaned her up while she was asleep. As she’s taken by surprise, he kisses her.

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Kaguya: You’re my girlfriend. So I won’t let anyone else touch you.

Yurika’s at a loss with his bold confession, and he smiles teasingly at her. He comments that she’s cute while asleep, but he prefers to see her beet-red. She raises her voice, telling him not to say such embarrassing statements. Usually, she would hide under the blanket and act cute. But she’s still injured and winces in pain at the slightest movement. Kaguya asks if she’s alright, and she forces a smile in return. He looks at her kindly, and says that he’ll get the doctor soon as he pats her head. As she wonders how the cafe is doing, Cinderella and Shirayuki enter the room. The former apologises for not visiting more often, and the latter hands her some lilies.

But Kaguya takes the flowers for her instead, since she belongs to him. Cinderella asks if she’s an idol, and he cleverly replies that she’s his only idol. He asks if they can help call the doctor too. When Cinderella questions why, Kaguya kneels and pretends that his leg is hurting. He complains that they keep giving him work to do, he isn’t sure if he can recover fully at this rate. When the two brothers protest that he did it all willingly, he points out that he can’t leave them alone since they can’t make ends meet. He requests them to get the doctor once more with a smile, pressuring them not to refuse. Left with little choice, they leave the room. He laughs and remarks that they’re good people – but a bit careless to not have noticed that there’s a call button. But thanks to that, the intruders have left.

As he winks at her, Yurika thinks to herself that the time of the black Kaguya has arrived. She says that he’s changed a lot – to have even made Shirayuki speechless. He replies that he hasn’t changed. He has always been a willful, selfish, cunning……easily jealous and a corrupted human. He just wore a mask to hide it all this time. But it looks like everyone saw through it. So he will remove it from time to time, to catch his breath. It was her who made him recall that. He’s an easily jealous, possessive, cunning man. So he won’t hold back now, and tells her to prepare herself. Before she can answer, he kisses her again. With his true nature out in the open, it appears that she will be the one who will be left breathless. But she fell in love with such a person. She will continue answering any challenges he has for her.

Elsewhere by the lake, Wizard remarks that the people of the capital of the moon are brilliant, beautiful and never age. It is an immortal kingdom, where there are no worries. But there’s no heart there. With no heart, one can’t love anyone. Knowing that, Kaguya lamented that he didn’t want to return to the moon. Love is all about the heart. It is intangible. That’s why it is difficult to prove it. One may even say that it’s impossible. But having solved that challenge, Kaguya has now been reborn as a human. And the two of them lived happily ever after……

Once upon a time, there was a boy with no relatives called Kaguya in the mirror world. The people around him kept throwing the young boy around. The first house, second house, third house, fourth house, fifth house……Kaguya did his best to try and make them favour him. He always listened to them, and was never selfish. He always smiled no matter how painful, scary or tough it was. He wore a smile like mask, and killed off his true self. But he has no place of belonging anywhere. Whenever something sad happened, he would gaze up at the moon and recall what he was told in the fifth house.

“The people from the capital of the moon are brilliant, beautiful, and never age. They have no worries, it’s a utopia.”

Longing for the moon, Kaguya would hurt himself so as to return to the moon. And each time he failed, he would erase all of his memories except his name, so as to protect himself.

It was then, that he met a princess in a cafe. The princess welcomed him with a dazzling and bright smile. Falling for her in a instance, Kaguya confessed to her and they happily became lovers. The couple lived together, and exchanged a diary while deepening their bond. The princess was unlike the people Kaguya had met till now. She was a very sharp girl. She would do what Kaguya wanted, and say what he wanted. Kaguya fell even more in love with her.

But as the days passed, the princess started to notice the true self under his mask. Kaguya was terrified of that. He felt extremely embarrassed for his true self to be found out, that he was really ugly and corrupted. With the sensitive issue being touched upon, Kaguya started to yearn for the moon more. And on the night of a full moon, Kaguya left the princess and the people who took care of him behind, leaving only a written note. He had recalled everything.

“The people from the capital of the moon are brilliant, beautiful, and never age. They have no worries, it’s a utopia.”

With no more regrets, Kaguya entered the lake. Midway, the princess called out to him. She had realised his true feelings. Kaguya forced impossible and unreasonable challenges on the others, denying love from the start. The princess said that she was aware of his true nature, and wanted to save him. And she wounded herself with the knife she held in her hand. Seeing her hurt figure, Kaguya finally realised. It hurts a thousand times more to see the one you love being hurt, as compared to hurting yourself. He cast aside his smile which he wore like a mask, and showed the princess his real self. She smiled happily, upon seeing his hidden side. And so Kaguya was saved by the princess’ love, and lived happily ever after.

(After the credits)

Kaguya congratulates Yurika on being discharged. He asks if she really has nothing she wants, or places she wants to go. She replies that she already has what she want – he’s by her side, and he’s hugging her now. She’s more than happy. He remarks that she really has no desires. She redirects the question to him, asking if he wants her to do anything. He says that he has a lot on his list, as he was so lonely that he could die when she was in the hospital.

Yurika: Like a rabbit?
Kaguya: Yes. Like a rabbit.

He admits that while he’s happy to be able to touch her like this, he wants to touch her more.

Yurika: …………to hug me tightly?
Kaguya: Yes. To hug you tightly.
Yurika: ……I’m fine if it’s Kaguya-san.
Kaguya: You may break though?
Yurika: It’s alright……
Kaguya: “I’m tougher than you think I am. I won’t break even if you treat me a little more roughly.”……right?
Yurika: ……Exactly. You know it well, don’t you?
Kaguya: ……Nn. Because it’s about the one I love?

She pauses before asking a request of him – to give the rabbit mask to her. He remarks that it has no value, but she insists. Kaguya is quiet for a brief moment, before agreeing to her request. He no longer needs it anymore. Yurika thanks him, as she accepts it. He asks what she plans to do with it. She answers that she now has his mask, as well as his true self under the mask.

Yurika: Please say that you’re in pain when you’re hurt. It’s fine to no longer hide it, or endure it all alone. I will accept all of your selfishness and feelings.
Kaguya: ……I understand. Then I will specially show my real self to Yurika-chan, and not to anyone else. In exchange, I shall monopolise your smile and your crying face too. It’s fine to not endure it when you’re hurt or in pain. Let it all out to me alone. And……let’s continue to create more memories?

……and they lived happily ever after.

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Overall thoughts

I’m sure that I was more alert this time so it should be relatively typo-free. But again, please let me know if you spot any. I felt that so far, this route was the most well-written. I was really pleased with how the route mirrored the original story – because I had no idea what to expect. Like how were they going to adapt a traditional Japanese folktale into more modern contexts? Well I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can only say that it was really well done!

That being said, THIS WAS PAINFUL. At certain points in the route, my mouth was literally half-open but I was screaming inside. I already mentioned at the start that this route contains possible triggers for people. Now I will add that this route has the line: “The moon is beautiful.” Several other games I played before also used this line, and they were PAINFUL too…yeah you see where I’m going? Don’t trust routes which use the moon. By the way, one of the CGs actually appears in a bad end here. Haha…the previous routes didn’t. I will say that this route is about 20% the pain from Getsuei? Yes that beautifully-written but traumatising experience.

I enjoyed the character interaction as usual, and the development in the couple’s relationship is really……!! While I still think that I will end up liking Alice the most, Kaguya and Yurika as a couple…is really amazing. The development was really convincing. Speaking of Alice, so far he really does appear at the most opportune moments in the game doesn’t he?

Soooo I shall move onto Gretel’s route soon. Till then~

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