Introduction by the translator: I’m not Japanese.

I’ve studied the language for years and am pretty good at Kanji, can follow Manga just fine for the most part, watch Anime in the raw, and can read a newspaper article in Japanese as long as I’ve got a couple of dictionaries with me, but I’m not a native speaker. I’ve been to Japan recently and know I can get through at the conversational/business level. But the real question here is: why tackle translating a novel? I’m returning a favor. I discovered Kimagure Orange Road thanks to the translation of the Manga that you can find elsewhere on this site. I discovered it myself completely by accident. I bought the Manga. I fell in love with the language and began learning it. I found on-line translations for the first two novels. But not the third. My contribution to KOR culture therefore was going to be a translation of the third novel.

But it was harder than I expected. For one thing Kyousuke is back to his stuttering ways. There are two stories, and the second one takes place before the first. Matsumoto-Sensei and Tereda-Sensei decided to be dramatic and colorful with their language. There are idioms in the second story that don’t translate into English well. The first story is very serious, but the second one straight out of anime. There were Kanji not in my dictionaries. And I’m not fluent. The POV jumps all over the place and there are many changes in narrative style, which added to my troubles in getting this right. And DAMN all of Kyousuke’s “wake de ari” endings! Demo, Ganbarunakutcha! I plugged ahead anyway, and this is the result. I think I’ve done reasonably well. I’ve probably made a few mistakes, and I certainly wouldn’t want my version used as the definitive translation, but I believe I’ve gotten the point of both stories across well because I've done something many translations do not - gone into the emotional thoughts of the characters. The first story, Madoka’s Private Memory, clears up a few nagging questions that have always dogged the series. How did Madoka become Kimagure in the first place? Why did Kyousuke’s comment about smoking set her off so much in the first episode? Why wasn’t she in a gang? And how is Hikaru doing after the fantastic events of the second novel? All these questions and more get answered. The second story, An Angel’s Dangerous Smile, was tougher and easier. There’s a lot more slang and idioms that don’t translate well into English, but by this point I had the flow down and did as best I could. There are idioms about sex that don’t really translate at all, and I’ve left them as they would be said in Japanese. You should be able to catch on to them when they happen. Occasionally I put a quick comment in, but for the most part I’ve left it alone. This one’s much funnier, and I’m sure you will be able to picture it as if animated the way the original series was. There’s a lot of reading between the lines you’ll need to do, but if you’re familiar enough with the series to have come this far you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Anyway, enjoy. If I’ve made a mistake that’s glaring, let me know and I’ll take another look at it. The novel is by Matsumoto Izumi (of course) and Tereda Kenji. Illustrations by Takayuki Goto, which I have also included at a slightly lesser quality than appears in the novel itself. At the end of the novel is a postscript by Matsumoto-san and Tereda-san, plus a couple of final comments by yours truly that will be worth your time, I promise.

Ja ne! -Chris Reed San Francisco, January 2002

Contents:

Madoka's Secret Memory
Prologue (below) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Epilogue

An Angel's Dangerous Smile
Prologue Act I Act II

Act III Act IV Act V (with an afterward by the author)

Madoka’s Secret Memory
Prologue Sometimes, I remember Ayukawa Madoka’s surprised face. The time I confessed to her about my power. Like a little girl her eyes went blank and her jaw dropped – then her eyes went round and wide. Those eyes are always mysterious and precocious – whether or not they seem totally childish. Although I had confided in her with this most important secret, I was uneasy. Would this drive her away? But somehow…. She’s lovely…. But somehow it seems to me that I’m the only one who can protect her. But for all that, I couldn’t reach out to her shoulder – I was actually beginning to feel impatient. But that was only for an instant. Soon Madoka’s usual cool look returned. Looking me straight in the face she said, “Hey… That’s why. Kasuga-kun always seemed full of secrets.” Well, I did use the power to come and go between Madoka and Hikaruchan… Ah, uh, anyway… Be that as it may, Madoka laughed and said, “Thank you Kasuga-kun, for baring your secret to me.” And then, “You should have a reward," she said, and she kissed me on the lips. The sweet vinegar smell of her black hair wrapped up my whole body. That was our first real kiss. Telling her about the Kasuga clan’s secret, now more than ever Madoka kept her mouth shut. Somehow, I think that Madoka will forever keep my deepest secret. However, that one time… Surely Ayukawa Madoka wouldn’t tell anyone… No, I can’t share this secret that I have, but that doesn’t mean I can’t trust. Kasuga Kyousuke, 22 years old. Hikaru-chan’s kidnapping was settled for the time being, and after we came home from New York… I… I became aware that Madoka had a secret of her own… Madoka took one step out of the market and felt a cool breeze at the base of her neck, and fastened the collar of her raincoat. The market faced Aoyama Doori and was a fairly high-class place. At the entrance shopping carts were lined up, mixed with people leaving the store. In addition, people who weren’t carrying umbrellas were collecting under the eaves to get out of the sudden rain. The crowd was stitched together in such a way that Madoka decided just to wait for her older sister in a corner under the eaves.

Her sister had said she would get the car from the parking lot in back and bring it around, and had entrusted Madoka with the cart full of the things they had bought. A HUGE stockpile of wine. Thy wouldn’t be scolded by Ani (Madoka’s older sister’s husband I’m assuming) If he didn’t know… The basket of the cart was crammed full of countless bottles of wine. Lately, Madoka’s sister, who loved to cook, had developed quite a taste for red wine. Her sister had said that they really couldn’t get the white at the local liquor store so she had been drawn to the rich flavor of the red for her cooking. Although it was a spring rain, it fell with the force of a summer rain. All the cars on Aoyama Doori seemed to be chased away by the downpour, vanishing to the left or the right. Madoka thought it an interesting spectacle. The red and yellow cars looked like fairies in the midst of the bright fog the rain seemed to be. Madoka tried to put a melody to this scene, and began to hum. Yet the sound of the rain and something near her drove it away. It was a person under the eaves shaking out a drenched coat.

It was a young man in a white raincoat. In his hand was a business envelope labeled “YAMAZUMI”. The name made Madoka hold her breath. The way “YAMAZUMI” was written, in a bold brush-stroke design, drew her eyes to it. Besides the name, “Yamazumi Construction” was written on the side. It didn’t feel like it would just be a simple construction company envelope. The man noticed Madoka’s glance and spoke up. “Excuse me. This is the way to Aoyama It-chome, isn’t it?” he asked. His voice was quiet and composed. Madoka heard it quite clearly. Usually when a man said something like this, there was usually an underlying motive. But Madoka felt from this man’s voice that he would never do something with such malice. Madoka raised her eyes from the envelope, took a fresh look at his face, and was probably going to answer his question. However at that instant her face went blank. All the sounds around her were drowned out. The steady flow of raid behind the man’s back on Aoyama Doori became vaguely like a shiny curtain, and the man’s well-put smile looked even better.

To show even further that he had no other ulterior motive, he began asking other people. “Excuse me, but this is the way to Aoyama It-chome, isn’t it?” As he spent his courteous words, Madoka had a feeling of being a bit out of place. It was obvious that the voice was familiar. Not just the voice though. The way the eyes were set, the expression of the long nose, the look of his short hair – suddenly, she began to remember the visage of a person from 7 year ago. Mishima Shuujirou. But Madoka was certain she had seen him die in an accident, before her very eyes. Part 1 “Ghost?” Kyousuke shot a quick peek at Madoka’s face. “Hey, don’t talk so loud. People will think we’re strange.” The two of them were in a corner of the college cafeteria. At the next table a previously arranged reading circle group looked up at Kyousuke with questioning faces. “But, Madoka was saying ‘Ghost’?” Kyousuke questioned. “You surprised me, saying such a bad and pretty thing.” “Bad?” Madoka shot back. “That’s going overboard, don’t you think?” Kyousuke saw Madoka let out a puff of air and felt a bit cross. Madoka seemed a bit irritated. “What now? Like I said, ‘Ghost’. Don’t you believe me?” “Hey, hey….” “Mou! Right here is a ‘superman’, so I don’t think that a ghost or two would be so strange.” “Damn it, don’t confuse the Kasuga family power with ghosts. But why do you all of a sudden bring up ghosts? Surely you’re not saying it’s someone you met…” As he said it, Kyousuke looked at Madoka’s face once more and for some reason she gave a shrug of her shoulders, which could be takes as a “Yes” or “No” or just smoothing things over. That Madoka would try to keep up her own appearances was a surprise. Why would I…. Why couldn’t she tell Kyousuke about that person? From the time she had heard the voice of the man that might be Shuujirou, Madoka next became aware of herself upon hearing the blaring of the horn of her sister’s car. Her sister’s dark gray Audi was already right in front of her on the street. Madoka realized she had been frozen there for a while as her sister was beckoning her over from the driver’s side window. Her sister seemed to be urging her on, and many other car horns were now blaring away, so she ran in the direction of the red zone (the actual translation is “red slope”. A no parking zone, perhaps?). Seeing she was saved

from the hustle and bustle under the eaves, she took the cart and ran for the cover of her sister’s car. “Hey you!” the man shouted at Madoka’s back. Once again his voice didn’t seem dishonest. Even if he was only trying to ask for directions… yes, that was certainly all it was. However, for a man not to have an ulterior motive for Madoka was an eerie feeling. Because of this she began to think more and more that this man must be Mishima Shuujirou. Madoka took the contents of the cart and roughly put them in the Audi’s trunk, then slid into the backseat. After that Madoka didn’t see the man. No… COULDN’T see him. The rain started falling even harder. Likely as not, even if Madoka had turned to look back, she surely wouldn’t have had a clear look at his appearance. Still, thanks to the rain not allowing her to see him or to go back and ask, Madoka didn’t have the self-confidence to be sure. “Madoka.” At Kyousuke’s call Madoka came back to herself. “Hmm?” “What’s up? You suddenly spaced out.” “A, um, it’s nothing.” “Nothing?” “What?” “You just didn’t seem to be yourself. This Kimagure Angel, when she blanked out, didn’t seem like your usual self.” “Not so!” “Yes, so!” Kyousuke said a bit seriously. Then they both shrugged their shoulders and laughed. “I don’t know why Madoka would be concerned about ghosts, but next time you should ask Ojiisan.” “Okay.” Madoka allowed a smile to float to her lips. “However…. Ghosts huh… Madoka, did you meet the ghost of someone you know?” If she tried to tell him it would sound foolish. Nevertheless, those words pierced her heart. Madoka shrugged her shoulders twice, and said in a small voice “It’s nothing…” and nothing more. Pretending not to know she had said anything to Kyousuke didn’t make her feel good, but she had a reason she couldn’t talk about that man with Kyousuke. Mishima Shuujirou, for Madoka, was the first man she had ever allowed to see her nude body. No, no… I don’t know that. Kasuga Kyousuke, 22 years old. He was still in her heart even though it had been shaken up. I didn’t notice it though.

As usual, I was interested in the carefree lifestyle of being a student, getting ready for the annual festival and studying for exams, and after school every day I had an easy part-time job I went to. However, I soon forgot about Madoka’s ghost. At that time, a picture postcard arrived from Hikaru-chan. “No! Hikaru-chan’s returned to Hokkaido?” As there was no lecture today, we were in my room teasing Jingaro. Kurumi and Manami had brought the postcard they had received from Hikaruchan. “Yep! For Oniichan from Otaru (a city in Hokkaido)”. “Thought she would. Hikaru-chan has returned from America.” When I said that Manami handed me the postcard. The picture was of an antique handmade lamp in a shop. The sepia ink gave it a good, feminine feel (talking like a photographer, isn’t he?). “Do you suppose Hikaru-chan has an audition in a musical there?” Manami asked. I haven’t yet told my loud younger sisters all that happened in New York. “If Hikaru-chan is successful we absolutely have to go give support she said.” “Right! And she’s really going to ‘get’ it too!” Kurumi added. “Hmm? ‘Get’? What’s that?” “Decided. I learned it from Hikaru-chan’s New York boyfriend.” Ah, ‘get’ in English it seems. “Um…” “Hey hey, you know what she said? Too all her friends? If in the future I become a big star what will everyone think? Kurumi-chan might be a pro baseball player or own some rice fields or something…” “Kurumi! What the hell are you talking about?” “Come on, she wants to see Madoka-san and the cute guy she liked if she can.” “Huh? Ah… well…” (doesn’t feel good) “Manami-chan and I couldn’t do it alone, but there’s more than enough Kasuga family power to get us there.” “Kurumi! Absolutely not!” It’s unheard of to use the Power in this way. Sometimes I just want to wring Kurumi’s neck. But at that instant…. Fugyaa! Suddenly my field of vision was filled by a twitching Jingaro, swing his sharp claws at my forehead. “Gyaaa!” Thanks to Kurumi’s power, the air was filled with the pitiful screams of me and Jingaro. I grabbed the wildly flailing cat. “Kurumi! Manami!” “Paaa….” The twin girls fled the room, forgetting the postcard. Man… those two… It reminded me that they were the same age as Hikaru-chan.

While still holding onto Jingaro, I fell back to my bed. I looked at the reverse side of the sepia photograph and for the first time in a long time saw Hikaru-chan’s writing. I often saw it during high school, strange little girl-type words, and in truth they made me break out in a cold sweat. But Hikaru-chan’s words clearly felt like an adult’s. This past summer, when we met in Tokyo… That body… how mature she’s become (what am I saying!) All of that I began to remember. About two months ago when we left Hikaru-chan in New York somehow it wasn’t with the feeling that we had become close friends again. Hikaru-chan’s letter was well written, about recent bright times, looking like from a girlfriend. “Thank you for your recent help in America,” she began formally. “At the end of January I returned to Otaru. I left my apartment in New York pretty much the way it is. I hadn’t seen my parents and how they live in a while, and it’s been fun, but having them worry about me is leaving me numb, so I’m writing. “However… lately when I try to write to you casually, my chest begins to tighten up… “Hikaru is okay. So don’t answer. Bye!” Is how it ends, the last of it in English. “Don’t answer,” she said… In other words, don’t send a reply. She’s fine… well, because she’s fine now her intent is to set me free. But that’s a strange thing for me to say. As usual, the whole situation between me, Madoka and Hikaru-chan is unresolved in Hikaru-chan’s heart. But I may be reading between the lines. Until the audition for the musical “The Legend of Atlantis” it had been a good time for Hikaru-chan. But then she had been caught up in the complications of its promotion, and her life had become in danger. When Madoka found out, she flew to America to rescue her. Hikaru-chan had been kidnapped, and once it became known that it was on the orders of a famous actress named Anita Brussel, it raised quite a fuss in the Americas. After that, “The Legend of Atlantis” which had had Japanese sponsors, upon hearing the extraordinary fate of Anita east-west cultural relations had suffered some friction. What’s more, on a personal level, because of Anita’s manipulations Hikaru-chan received a huge shock about one of her closest friends. Anzai Shiyuri, who had the same dreams as Hikaru-chan, had devoted herself to lessons and they had become close friends. (You need to read the second novel to understand this part – it doesn’t get explained here). Unfortunately, the Japanese companies, in the interest of U.S. relations, immediately decided to discontinue their sponsorship. After that, Hikaruchan’s dream vanished. Hikaru-chan found out when she was in the hospital in New York. Her parents had rushed there from Japan. Upon hearing the news about the

cancellation of the musical, she clamped her lips shut and fell silent. Her parents left the room and I thought I should too, so Hikaru-chan clung to Madoka’s chest and cried her eyes out. Her parents and I could hear her cries from the corridor for quite some time. At that time, Hikaru-chan’s mother spoke as if this were all my fault. “For that girl, at this time, only Madoka-chan is this important.” The reason those two are separated… Kyousuke, isn’t it you? Madoka and I left New York a few days later, before Hikaru-chan’s parents. When she saw us off at the airport, Hikaru-chan’s bright smile was back. Whatever it was, after that moment, she seemed to me to be one or two steps closer to being an adult. To me she felt radiant. “Hikaru, will you be coming home?” Madoka asked. Hikaru-chan lightly shook her head and shrugged. “My dad’s about to confront me about it. He wants to go home by tomorrow.” “That’s what parents do.” Me, I couldn’t say anything… I laughed foolishly with an empty smile. However… “Kasuga Sempai, Madoka-san? How is Shiyuri doing?” We had trine to mention it as little as possible, but Hikaru-chan had dared to ask. Anzai Shiyuri. She had been enticed by Anita Brussel as well, but she wasn’t the perpetrator who had brought Hikaru-chan into all of this – of that I’m sure. Although the police had arrested her, because of her awareness of what had been done to Hikaru-chan, her state of mind seemed to fall apart. We had hear she was now being treated by a psychiatrist. “The police said that if she gets treatment, then they can start to investigate,” Madoka said simply. Hikaru-chan hadn’t seen that Shiyuri’s situation wasn’t very good. “As always, a bit slow. That kid double-crossed you. It would certainly be okay to hate her.” “No way, Madoka san!” “What?” “’It would certainly be okay to hate her’.” “Ah… If you say so… it would seem a bit strange…” I said. “Okay then, just Kyousuke.” Madoka said. Madoka began to pout, then let out a long exhale. Hikaru-chan did to, and let out a boisterous “Ha ha ha” laugh, like old friends again. However… “All right Madoka-san, all right. If I absolutely have to return to Japan I think I will be mad at Shiyuri. However…” “However…?” “Yes. However… This is New York. There’s a reason it’s a place of huge successes and bottomless ravines. This is where I first met Shiyuri, after all. The idea was to realize or not realize the end of the dream together. Therefore… I…” “Hikaru-chan?” I started.

“Therefore I… fell sorry for Shiyuri. Not good huh?” “Hikaru. Are you saying you forgive her?” “No way. Hikaru’s not that kind. I absolutely can’t forgive Shiyuri. Won’t forgive.” That’s what Hikaru-chan said, and her face was having trouble keeping that smile. “But you know, for her sake, I think I want Shiyuri to keep living here.” Madoka and I didn’t have a good response for that and we just exchanged glances, but Hikaru-chan still had that same smile. “Maybe there’s a special kindness that floats in the air here in New York.” “Kindness?” “Yes… everyone lives with the inevitableness of death – and that can’t be changed. At least here this brings out kindness… so I believe.” Madoka looked Hikaru-chan square in the face. Right then her eyes were like a gentle goddess. But soon she deliberately returned to her sharp glance, just like old times, and spoke with her old authority. “Hey… so that’ what you’ve come to say, Hikaru.” “Ha ha! I apologize for my impertinent words, Madoka-san.” Like old times, Hikaru-chan bowed her head to Madoka. But this was the limit of Madoka’s old front. Hikaru-chan’s name was blurted out softly, and as if that were the signal she was waiting for Hikaru-chan abruptly raised her head and held her tight. Like a dam bursting they both began to cry. Hikaru-chan’s voice began to sound as if she had come undone, and then she couldn’t stand it any longer and held on to Madoka with all her might. The two of them stood like that until we heard the final boarding announcement, in a tight embrace. Hikaru-chan… as I thought she would, at least for now has come home. While laying down on my bed I set Hikaru-chan’s picture postcard in a stand. That way if Madoka came across it by change, she would wonder if it came from Hikaru-chan, I thought. I knew that she was always getting these postcards from Hikaru-chan. But maybe if she saw one for me another must also be coming for her. I grabbed hold of the cordless phone next to the stand and called Madoka. Probably today she would be working on a composition at home. Although she said she didn’t like writing pop tunes, a very popular artist had asked, and she certainly couldn’t turn that one down. Madoka is never one to sponge off her parents. While saying that due to her talent and hard work she had sold a few songs, it still bothered her. The phone rang 4 times, than the answering machine picked up. Did she go to town for a diversion? She had said that this new composition was due quickly, so I suppose she’ll soon be home.

I said “Suppose so” and got myself up, picked up Hikaruchan’s picture postcard and headed out. Anyway, I don’t have anything more important to do. I thought I’d show it to Madoka to keep her encouraged. Besides, Madoka will be under the impression that I went to class. I have a duplicate key (sorry, I carry a key of the Ayukawa residence!) and I’ll let myself in the back door to surprise her. …However…I…. That this would cause me such a shock… if I can speak plainly, I have never dreamed. Relying on Madoka… I know almost everything about her, but my confidence in this crumbled… I snuck into Madoka’s house, but she hadn’t come home yet. But apparently she was in the middle of working – the Macintosh she used when she composed was still on. The monitor was showing her favorite 3-D screen saver. It was an animated, egg-shaped rocket that flew strangely. But nearby, this pretty girl I love – she had out a bunch of old pictures and albums. Who is this? As I picked up the photograph, I touched the mouse with my forefinger. The egg-shaped rocked quickly disappeared, and Madoka’s usual screen returned. When the screen came back, I took a deep breath. Mishima Shuujirou. Why was that name written countless times on the screen? Madoka had never mentioned that name. Madoka had spaced out at the monitor, probably pressing one key that repeated the entire name over and over – it hit me like a body blow. Rather like a violent shock wave. Again, I picked up one of the scattered photographs. A sailor-suited Madoka had an older man holding her shoulder, but when this was or what she was thinking I couldn’t tell. What the…? This is Ayukawa Madoka? I knew that long ago Madoka had been a rebellious one. When I met her and her protégé Hikaru-chan in junior high they seemed to say “we’re tough!” But because of this demon-like or thug-like attitude (lately, that’s not a phrase I’ve wanted to hear) so-called skirt-chaser wouldn’t chase them, and they seemed to stay out of that world. Although… the Madoka in the photo was the same girl? The man had a hand on her shoulder, but she seemed self-conscious or not all together there…

Unnnnh….. Hey, Kyousuke, this isn’t the place for moaning! Unnnnh… But all I could do was stare at Madoka’s photograph… For a very long time… ‘till the end of time. After a while I noticed that the Mac’s screen saver had returned. But now, in my state of despair, the things it did and the comical electronic voice just made me annoyed. Part 2 Madoka crossed the pedestrian crossing at Aoyama Doori, heading for Nishi Azabu and entered Tsuushou Kotsu Tou Doori (real place – Literal translation is Popular Antique Street). The name of the street came from all the expensive antique and art shops that people could come to after lunch at nearby restaurants to window shop at their leisure. From there the market that Madoka and her sister had come to several days before on that rainy day was before her. From there Madoka learned that Yamazumi Construction Company was participating in the construction of an apartment complex, and had just headed towards that residential street. After that day Madoka had been unable to get Mishima Shuujirou out of her mind. After talking to Kyousuke about ghosts she couldn’t get it out of her head. Speaking of Shuujirou, somehow she had put all of that behind her since his death, but the fact he might still be alive she couldn’t understand. Madoka was the type to stare reality right in the face. Unlike Kyousuke and Hikaru, living in a fantasy world or pursuing unrealistic dreams were not her style. Probably since she’s been separated from her parents from a young age, getting to the bottom of things was nothing else if not a way to protect herself and get the feel for things. First, she checked the yellow pages for a “Yamazumi” Construction company. What relation the person who looked like Shuujirou had to this company she didn’t know. But the first clue was the name on the envelope he had been carrying. There were 10 office of Yamazumi Construction in Tokyo. Madoka called each one from start to finish. She spent much of her work time making inquiries, but they weren’t able to give her much in the way of answers, and would suddenly cut her off. But Madoka is a student too, and once her mind was made up she wouldn’t back down in her search. Therefore, choosing her timing carefully, she asked workers and people coming in and out of their offices if Mishima Shuujirou worked there, but because of privacy concerns (one would suppose) she was unable to obtain the information. But with various give and take she was able to obtain some precious information.

She called the Yamazumi Construction in Minato-ku. It seemed to be an old family-managed business. Not the best place to find a first-class business concerned with large-scale projects. However, it did get a lot of incorrect inquiries form those who thought it was the “other” Yamazumi Construction. A kind-sounding man told her about the main district office downtown. Their new office in an apartment building under construction might be of assistance. It would be found on a residential street off of Aoyama Doori. Upon hearing this, Madoka quickly understood. She was sure that the man who looked like Shuujirou had inquired of Madoka the direction to Aoyama It-chome. Naturally somebody around the office or nearby might be around, so there was no reason someone wouldn’t know. Soon Madoka called the new office, having obtained the information from the other Yamazumi Construction. This office was in the direction of Hokuri-ku. After Madoka had called, they sent her correspondence. Once Madoka was certain that this construction company was presently involved in the construction of the Tokyo apartment building, her heart began to pound. She took a deep breath and after many times of calling and not having any breath she finally managed to ask the question.” “Is there a Mishima Shuujirou there?” The middle-aged receptionist, without any suspicions about the situation, answered as if there were even more intimate. “Well well! You know Shuu-chan?” The local kindness, from her viewpoint, redoubled her shock. Suddenly she felt light-headed. But the middle-aged receptionist seemed more excited and asked “Where do you know Shuu-chan from? “Good lord, could you be his old girlfriend?” Madoka, shaking as if possessed and shaking hear head heavily, politely hung up the phone. Beep! Beep! Once Madoka had entered the residential neighborhood from Tsuushou Kotsu Tou Doori, a shrill sound cut through the dry air. A woman about her age, wearing a construction uniform, was directing traffic in front of the site. Although up until now this had been a man’s industry, lately the cause of young women has been on the rise. Using up some of the day, Madoka got friendly with this brisk woman and then followed her directions through an alley, then was standing before the apartment building construction site. The building would be square-shaped upon its completion. Opposite a surrounding fence and cover, a building you couldn’t get a complete view of soared above. Madoka turned the knob in the door in the fencing. Then, nervously facing a past she had expected to leave behind, pushed open the door.

“Hikaru-chan? What? I can’t hear you!” I pressed the cordless phone close to my ear and signaled my younger sisters (noisy, in their seats) to be quiet. To make matters worse, ABCB was crowded with lunchtime customers. In addition to Kurumi and Manami, adding Jii-chan to the mix made the clamor even greater. Hmm? Why were we with Jii-chan? Well, generation after generation of Kasuga men have enjoyed the company of women… ah… no… I mean that Jii-chan especially has a weakness for “perfect” young girls. Right now, by chance he was having lunch with Kurumi and her friends, engrossing them with mysterious divinations and making the scream with excitement. However… The Kasuga Clan has long thought that divining the future of girls was easy. Truth is, it’s just the desire to hold the girl’s hand and prattle and hold on to them. “Senpai! Kasuga-Senpai!” At the other end of the line Hikaru-chan had raised her voice. “Anyway, Mishima Shuujirou was someone who helped Madoka-san and I when we were still delinquents.” “Uh, yeah, no… I know it was from junior high school. I saw a picture…” “Eh? What did you say?” “Uh, eh, er, nothing, nothing.” “No way Sempai – you always say that! Nothing, nothing.” “Ah, no, ha ha ha.” Hikaru-chan was cackling brightly. I always have felt a bit relieved to hear it.

After coming across the photo of Mishima Shuujirou by accident at Madoka’s place, after seeing the photo, I wanted to know Madoka’s selfishlykept secret, yet at the same time… but… if I confronted her directly she’d say “How do you know about that!”, become very offended, and run away. (It actually says “Flee town” but that strikes me as an overreaction, even from Kyousuke). Anyway, truth was, I just wanted to end my own suffering and understand it all… anyway… anyway what kind of man is Mishima Shuujirou… I didn’t know and I thought I wanted to. But! If… I asked about the name that was written all over the Mac monitor, saying to Madoka “Hey! What are you doing? Who is this man?” or something like that, but I couldn’t act like a gangster or some sort of Yakuza. How about… “Madoka… For our hearts, can’t we just forgive? Come rushing to my heart!” like that, but I can’t be as graceful as some trendy drama male. On that occasion I had received that postcard… she had said it was okay not to answer. But under the circumstances… About this one thing I might be able to ask Hikaru-chan about Madoka and this man named Mishima Shuujirou – and I thought that could give results. But getting that result – calling Hikaru-chan – put me under a considerable amount of pressure. Why? Because that summer of our last year of high school… after Hikaru-chan and I broke up, I had never called her since. That’s why I called her during the lunch rush at ABCB, even though it was noisy. I said, “I just remembered something I have to do…” I was trying to come up with a casual way to begin the topic (besides, I didn’t want Kurumi and company to think I wasn’t there to eat with Jii-chan!) “But Sempai? Why are you asking about Mishima Shuujirou now?” “Um, well… it’s nothing… no, Madoka was saying that she wondered if Hikaru-chan was okay.” “Yes…” “The she was talking about old times. She wondered if Hikaru-chan might remember a person named Mishima…” “Madoka-san said that?” “Hmm? Well…” “I don’t think so! I can’t forget him. Shuujirou-san was a great, great, great benefactor to me and Madoka-san.” “Benefactor?” “Yep! For me he was a role model. For Madoka-san… For Madokasan… he was…” Hikaru-chan stopped speaking, he words seeming a bit sad. “What’s wrong? Hikaru-chan? For Madoka he was… what?” “Ah, er, um, nothing! Kya kya kya! (Hikaru screams) Senpai, are you jealous?”

“Huh? Ah, er, no… no I’m not…” “It’s all right. It’s nothing to worry about. Madoka-san and I were kids. Besides, Shuujirou-san isn’t around anymore.” “Isn’t around? You mean he went somewhere overseas?” “Oh? You haven’t heard?” “Huh?” “Shuujirou-san died.” “Wh… What did you say?” “Right in front of us.” “No way…!” I suppose it was sixth sense, a little like a memory clamoring at my chest. Madoka has… Madoka has gotten herself wrapped up in something unbelievable. “Senpai? Kasuga Senpai?” “Ah, hmm. I he.. hear you Hikaru-chan.” “Humph. But what’s Madoka-san thinking? She didn’t tell Senpai that Shuujirou-san had died, did she.” “Huh?” At that moment, suddenly, a loud sound began from the keyboard. After 6pm at ABCB, Master’s friends would gather and the place would become a Live House. In the afternoon it was a normal café. But occasionally in the afternoon, when they could meet, when they had spare time form work Master’s friends would drop by and they would use the instruments already set up to play 2 or 3 songs. The person who had started playing the keyboard was a man who worked for a nearby taxi company we all knew as Paku-san. Seems he had finished his lunch and was full. “Can you hear me Senpai?” I could only barely hear Hikaru-chan. Although I thought I wanted to inquire more of Hikaru-chan, I was a bit scared to do so. Madoka had met Mishima Shuujirou… no, his ghost, somewhere, I was certain. And to now have Hikaru-chan seem to say that Madoka has some reason to not… not tell me. “Sorry, Hikaru-chan, I really can’t hear you. I’ll call you back. Thanks.” Because Paku-san’s keyboard now played the sound of an ocean and was quieter, I could hear Hikaru-chan. “Take care of Madoka-san,” she was saying. I hung up the phone and nodded an acknowledgement to Master over at the counter. Master spoke while putting a plate of Hamburger Rice on the counter. “It must take a lot of courage to call Hikaru-chan. Did that idiot Paku bother you?”

“It’s okay. Here. I’ll take that. I don’t have class today, so I’ll work off the cost of the phone call to Hokkaido.” “Hey hey! Don’t be so formal with me. Don’t worry about it. Act like that around me and I’ll leave this town.” “Huh?” Master gave me a friendly wink. I’ve known him since junior high. I immediately softened my expression and could see through his state. “What…? You have something in mind, I’m sure.” “Uh, well…” I laughed and took the Hamburger Rice Master had put on the counter and took it to a nearby customer. “Now then, Kyousuke!” When did Ojii-chan leave his seat? “First of all you should take Master at his word when he gives advice.” “Ojii-chan?” “Kyousuke. Madoka-chan saw that man’s ghost, I suppose.” “Huh? Ojii-chan, you were eavesdropping, weren’t you.” For a long time now the Kasuga clan has thought of eavesdropping as an interest. Ojii-chan’s power is very strong, so doing something like listening in on Hikaru-chan and my conversation would be simple. “Special circumstance. Listen, Kyousuke. Suppose that ghost is real. If Madoka-chan speaks with it than there could be real trouble.” “Huh? Tro… trouble?” Ojii-chan furrowed his eyes. Then he began to say something amazing. “If that ghost has something is cares about in the real world, it’s an Akuryou that can’t rest in peace… It might have been holding on to another person.” “Akuryou?” “Hmm. Yes. An Akuryou is a spirit that wanders this world many years after it’s death under bad circumstances.” “Oh no…” “Kyousuke. Go search for Madoka-chan! An Akuryou that has a solid grip on this world doesn’t have the power to reach the next life. To reach Nirvana it must wrap itself up in a living person. Besides, there may be some deeper fate involved.” “Wha… What did you say?” “While Madoka-chan is trying to get answers from him, the Akuryou will certainly carry away her soul.” Ojii-chan and I immediately called over Kurumi and Manami, then split up to search for Madoka. Madoka turned around upon feeling a tap at her shoulder. A tall man in a company uniform stood there. Embroidered on his chest was the word “YAMAZUMI”. He must work at the same company as Mishima Shuujirou. “Oops. I tried to tell you, but you weren’t listening.”

It seemed that Madoka hadn’t reacted for a long time, so apparently this young man had tapped her shoulder. Madoka had a good feeling about this simple young man. “When you hear something, please notice, okay?” The lunch break had just ended, and the sound of people operating machinery could be heard. If she would wait in the temporary office, the man named Mishima Shuujirou had left for a lunchtime appointment. Madoka turned down the offer and waited for Mishima in a corner. Although lunchtime was over, Mishima had not yet returned. “You can’t wait here.” A luminous smile seemed to float on the man’s face. “If it’s all right, there’s a hotel across the way. Over there.” In the direction the man pointed was a hotel called Shitei Hotel (no bad puns, please). “On the top floor is a café. If it’s all right with you, please wait there. When Shuu-chan comes back…” “Oh, sorry…” “Don’t be. He’ll just be angry with me.” “Huh?” “Ah… once a woman visited Shuu-chan and waited here. I got scolded.” The tall man bowed politely. Probably Shuujirou would feel too conspicuous in a public place. The waiting Madoka bowed her head in apology, if she had caused any trouble. Now Madoka was even more convinced that this Shuujirou was the right one. The man she knew was still the same one the young ones had admired and had come to rely on. But the fact that Shuujirou was still alive; no explanation made any sense. If she remembered right, he had died right before her eyes. Madoka remembered a science fiction novel that Kyousuke had read. It was about a newly married couple, the husband of which had been possessed by an Akuryou when he was a boy and the two held joint ownership over the wife, painted as black humor. “Did you say something?” The young man appeared before Madoka’s face. His sudden, silent appearance left Madoka flustered. “It’s all right. Nothing.” Madoka made an effort to smile and walked towards the hotel. She was starting to regret not confiding in Kyousuke. “Kyada! Kyada! Kyada-----!” (gotta love how she screams) When Hikaru-chan came through the entrance, she saw me and suddenly screamed. “Kyada! Kyada!”s came in rapid succession, like a fist at my chest. (Oh, in case you didn’t know, “Kyada” is Hikaru-chan’s way of saying “Yada”). But Hikaru-chan’s surprise was justified. It must have been only two

hours since I spoke with Hikaru-chan on the phone at ABCB that I was now visiting her home in Otaru, Hokkaido. There was no mistaking Hikaru-chan’s “Kyada! Kyada~! <<heart>>!” This was an emergency, so a quick explanation is due. Me, Ojii-chan and my twin sisters quickly left ABCB. Kurumi went to search Madoka’s and my college; Manami to check Madoka’s friends; Ojiichan to various shops Madoka frequented… I went to the studio and production places Madoka had told me she used for work, using the Kasuga family Power to warp (teleport) to each one respectively. Even though I’m always reminding Kurumi and Manami “Don’t use the Power.” Now it came to good use while scrambling to contact her, desperately searching for Madoka. But… even making full use of the Kasuga family Power, finding Madoka in such a big city was something we couldn’t make simple. So I received the following instruction from Ojii-chan: “Kyousuke, it can’t be helped. You need to go to the past to make sure this Mishima died.” “Make sure of his death?” “Yes. How he died. I suppose you can ascertain that. In case he wasn’t able to go to the next life, understand? Warmly consign him to oblivion.” “No… No way… Consign him to oblivion?” “Idiot! Kyousuke, I told you a soul that can’t go to the next world will become an Akuryou. Do you think it’s okay for Madoka-chan to be joined to the world of the dead?” “Bu… but what point in time should I return to?” As soon as I said it it occurred to me. Of course! Hikaru-chan! If I were to take Hikaru-chan with me to the past, certainly we could go to where he was. “Hey! Hey! Senpai. How did you get here from ABCB so quickly?” The “Kyada! Kyada!” had settled down for the moment, typical Hikaru-chan (sorry I said that) and asked a realistic question. “Hmm? Ah, well, I used the telephone line.” “Telephone line?” “Ah, no no. A lie! A lie! Ha… ha hah… it would be great to have that kind of power… Not.” (just kidding). “Bwa ha ha ha!” Hikaru-chan let out a huge laugh, an example of a pleasure-filled laugh. Anyway, far brighter than anything I had heard before. “I don’t believe this! You were lying when you said you were at ABCB. Where? Where? What café were you calling from? There are some nice café’s around here, aren’t there?” “Ah no, a haha.” “Well anyway, welcome to Otaru. Welcome Senpai. Hey, you didn’t come with Madoka-san?” “Hmm? Ah, no. That’s right. Not together. Hikaru-chan and I should search for her, you think?”

“Huh? For Madoka-san?” “Yes. In the past.” In the very next instant Hikaru-chan’s eyes became points, upon hearing this. (But not a sound!) Anyway, now that I was here, explaining this and that couldn’t be helped. With a grunt (“Ei!”) I concentrated the Power in my forehead. I was able to make Hikaru-chan faint. I held her in my arms and flung ourselves into a gap in time. Part 3 All sorts of bright colorful lights flew at me. Each bright light was an “event” in time left behind. As I flowed back in time it was as if “we probably won’t be forgotten, will we?” was being inquired – information flowed into my eyes. Hikaruchan, still in my arms, didn’t notice. She and I had a lot of “events” in our past. Should I take Hikaru-chan or choose Madoka, everything had finally been set to right. I had chosen Madoka… and the fun days the three of us had spent we could never visit again… After that we had each become adults. That time… thru Hikaru-chan’s tearful and questioning eyes she saw me. I can never forget those eyes. Right! Forget it for now! An unthinking Hikaru-chan, still in my arms, was still in my power. “Yada! Senpai, I’m at a loss.” Hikaru-chan, face still pressed against my chest said in an excited voice. “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” “Senpai, I’m at a loss. Something like this… this I’m ready for. But being held like this by Senpai… I’m at a loss.” “Ah… no… my… my intention was…” I was about to let go of the confused girl when, “Kyaaa!” Hikaru-chan screamed and clung onto me. We were flying through the flow of time. If Hikaru-chan’s body were to become separated from me, she would be flung into whatever era we were passing through when she let go. “Sor.. Sorry.” I held Hikaru-chan again. She had seemed elastic but was startled rigid. At the same time she clamped her mouth shut, although I couldn’t see it.

Maybe, Hikaru-chan… already knew about my Power. How bright Hikaru-chan is… it was considerably confused and chaotic… that was certain. “Ah… hey… Hikaru-chan?” As time flowed, a “hyu… hyu…” sound hung around my ears. It was only the silence of the two of us. After a short while, Hikaru-chan began to mutter to herself. “Wha… just as I thought.” “Huh?” “As I thought… Kasuga Senpai… is an ESPer, isn’t he?” Hikaru-chan still had her face against my chest. “Hikaru-chan…?” “That’s why… because of this Senpai.. never loved me.” “Ah, er, uh…” “Perhaps I was under the spell and love was blind.” “That… that’s…” “Senpai… Pretty slick.” “A, hey, hey.” “Mean…” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” She giggled then. Hikaru-chan let out a small snort at my chest. It tickled. To tell the truth, around my waist… well… the delicate part of the lower half of my body enjoyed the sensation (what am I saying!). But… Hikaru-chan fell silent… but soon was herself again. “Wha… what… what…” she said again, “What… why… me and Madoka-san… and also Senpai…” I already knew what Hikaru-san wanted to say. Hikaru-san slowly found the right words. “Using ESP… I see… That’s why you were always so good at everything.” “Hikaru-chan…” At long last Hikaru-chan lifted her face and showed me a surprised smile. No, well… not really a smile. She held back tears as much as she could. Although she was showing a smile naturally I noticed it. I… I… I pretended to completely not notice Hikaru-chan’s condition. “Aha… ha ha ha… at long last I’ve been discovered.” I could laugh it off – and showed some sympathy for her. “Kasuga Senpai?” “Hmm?” Hikaru-chan’s face had already cleared up. I had purposely exposed the secret of the Power. She had already perceived there must be a meaning for it. “Did something happen with Madoka-san?” I nodded my head in response again. “Hikaru-chan, I want your help.”

Hikaru-chan made as if to prepare herself and took a deep breath. “Hai!” she said powerfully. Just then, the sound of time floating seemed to rip apart, and a violent exhaust note screamed at us. “Wha… what was that?” When the sound exploded I saw a mass of bright orange light. “Senpai… this is a ‘time trip’ isn’t it?” “Hmm? Ah… eh… more or less.” “I and Madoka-san are here.” “Huh?” Hikaru-chan seemed to be concentrating on the orange light. “Us from back then… Not just where we’re about to go… going where we can’t go…” “Hikaru-chan…” I headed towards that orange light for as long as my strength would last. In the midst of that light were countless wriggling things I could see. …what? It was a wharf or dock at night, crowded with young people. I soon understood that this was a motorcycle gang. Moreover, it seemed to be two large groups facing off against each other. Large numbers of the boys riding the bikes seemed to be brandishing silver pipes and even now seemed to be sweeping down on each other. Behind each group was a souped-up gaudy sports car. In the surrounding area were many girls under the gang’s protection. Undoubtedly in the middle of all this were the figures of junior high students Madoka and Hikaru-chan. A tall Sailor Uniform. But… missing the cigarette. I remembered that from when I had just met the two of them. “Madoka the Pick” (so named for throwing a guitar pick at her opponents)… the “lost bad girl” Madoka. Hikaru-chan was the only one who understood how that girl felt… “Kyada! Kyada kyada kyada… Senpai… what are you grinning at?” “Eh? Um… when I look at you two now, you’re still cute somehow… just kidding.” “Yada… Does this mean you’re a dirty old man now?” “A… hey, hey…” Hikaru-chan let out a cackle. At that time the two of them supported each other alone… But it was certainly a heart-warming feeling to look them over… but for this Hikaru-chan there might not be time to spare. Well at least these two young girls weren’t yet smoking with a practiced hand. At least… then… this defiant Madoka… there was nothing she could say to me better than the 22 year-old Madoka. “Hikaru-chan, we need to leave this time.” “Right!”

I painted the orange light of time and holding Hikaru-chan close stepped into the middle of it. From the top floor of the hotel, the afternoon sun shining over Aoyama neighborhood could be seen at a glance. Although it wasn’t yet summer, a calm atmosphere enveloped the area. As the neighborhood had some old dwellings, but with one good-sized road it suddenly occurred to Madoka that this place would bustle with activity and she could imagine settling down here. Although the building was still under construction, she wondered what this town would melt into once the apartment building was complete. Blending in would be good… Madoka suddenly came back to herself and held her second Salem cigarette in her fingers. As she lit the match a memory of certain words came to her. “Stop. You’ll find yourself becoming one of them. It doesn’t flatter Ayukawa Madoka’s face. If you twitch of laugh, hold it at the corner of your mouth.” Mishima Shuujirou tossed Madoka a box of “Short Hope”. Originally, Madoka had had no intention of joining up with the reckless crowd. Bur her musician Parents tended to be busy overseas. She lived with her older sister, which was all fine and good, but at the time she was seeing the man she’s now married to. She had known something was bothering Madoka, but Madoka carried this heavy burden herself. Because of this, she made an effort to go out a lot. Her companion from a very young age had always been her protégé, Hikaru. Without belonging to any group, glaring and not fawning over any clique, little by little had left her mark on the boys. Because of this, at that time, when someone tried to some boring fight, she fought. Madoka had been obsessed with fastidiousness for some time. Because of this, anyone who spoke with false intentions she simply couldn’t let pass by. While protecting Hikaru she trained in using her classical ballet as a weapon, and without exception drove them all away. However, while their enemies increased, on the other hand they had one pretty friend… Ryouko, who had just turned 22, for Madoka and Hikaru showed want a fine adult could be. Ryouko was the owner of a coffee shop that Madoka, Hikaru and other delinquents hung out at. Her customers were almost never boys. No bad language was allowed and if any of them started a fight they would find themselves shut out and un-served. Madoka thought she was probably pretty smart, so she never questioned it. However, the look in Ryouko’s eyes always seemed to be the same as her own.

Because she understood that solitary look, when it came to seeing something wrapped up in solitude, there was no limit to the kindness in those eyes. And Ryouko’s younger brother was Shuujirou. At that time, as Madoka was becoming more and more of a leader she was invited to join “Yokosuka Ladies”. But the “Ladies” leader had a personality that was all too easy to read. But, thanks to her situation at home at the time, at her own discretion she fell in and accepted the invitation. At the time, Madoka’s heart wavered, and it was Shuujirou that said “That clique’s laughter doesn’t suit you.” (shubo) – the sound of a lighter being started. Madoka held the flame from her lighter before her Salem. She took a deep draw from the cigarette and had a small laugh at the memory… she twitched and laughed darkly. Another puff? Twitch, laugh. Just like Shuujirou had said way back then. – Why Madoka? Your face twitches. Madoka filled her lungs with tobacco smoke and then puffed it into the air. The smoke was bathed in sunshine, beginning to swim as if a living thing, and soon struck against the transparent window glass – vanishing all too soon. “Mascot?” I shot Hikaru-chan’s face a quick glance as I shot the question back at her. The fight between the motorcycle gangs had come to a head. We were looking down from the roof of a warehouse. Hikaru-chan looked down at her own past nostalgically, saying “my old friends…”, almost like a cheerleader for the J-league she was cheering them on. (note from the translator: This is the largest digression from the printed text I make. He actually says “like a familiar jockstrap” but that was imagery we could all do without, don’t you think?) “That’s right, Mascot. Yada… Kasuga Senpai, aren’t you familiar with it? Mascots are like the symbol of the motorcycle gang. She’ll be the one in the car. A very pretty woman.” “Eh…” “On top of that, she won’t have a boyfriend. For example, the head of that group decided that no on can date the Mascot by himself.” Mascot, head… The terminology of a motorcycle gang was coming to be now. That is, what to call them. For the boys… the members of the gang, the girl who was the mascot belonged to no one person, but was a symbol for the whole group (but something to handle seems rude). So some sort of illicit sexual relationship was, of course, thanks to the head of the group, a hands-off situation. If something perverted happened, that person wouldn’t exist with the group anymore.

Because of this, for the opposition force this would seem to be a suitable target. In other words, if you’re going to fight another group, if you succeeded in attacking your opponent’s symbol, their girl mascot, it would be a major wound to the opposition. “So, that’s the mascot’s role.” “Yeah… that person and the head… well… did it.” “Did it?” Kyada! Kyada kyada! Senpai, you know… IT.” Hikaru-chan gave little screamed and lightly pounded my shoulder, whispering “Etchi..” in my ears. “A… aa…” “So? Within the group it became a real problem. IT was against the rules. On top of that, the head was one of the smartest people in the neighborhood, and he had won the confidence of his comrades. Ah, hey, it’s the person Kasuga Senpai was asking about.” “Huh? …You mean Mishima… Mishima Shuujirou?” “Bingo!” Hey, Hikaru-chan, this isn’t a game, you know. “Slow! That’s right! When Madoka-san and I heard about it, we were complete shocked. What was he doing? Shuujirou-san had always been affectionate to us. Particularly for his older sister, we felt he helped everyone more than his own parents.” “Sister?” Hikaru-chan told me that Shuujirou’s older sister, Ryouko, was a person Madoka looked to for understanding in those days. No matter how strong to the core Madoka was, at the time she was still in junior high. Because her home life was so lonely, it’s easy to imagine that her mental stability could easily come undone. Moreover, looking from Madoka’s lifestyle, understanding that her parents were overseas, she had good reason to be burdened with the solitude of living alone. “Fine! Fine! I’m all right,” she would way. So… for Madoka, and Hikaru-chan of course, this Ryouko’s very existence was very important… I could imagine. “Um, Hikaru-chan. This Shuujirou. Where is he?” I was getting used to seeing my first gangland fight… I was finally understanding everything about the sect Madoka belonged to, and more and more this guy Shuujirou weighed on my mind. “He’s not here.” “He’s not?” “That’s what I said. Shuujirou-san did things with the mascot, right?” “Ah, hmm.” “So the group is in disorder. All in shock. So..” “Ah, aa…” “So, the opposition believes they can make mince-meat (actual word used!) of them, so they’ve come to attack.”

It looked like the size of Madoka’s group and the opposition’s were about the same, but by comparison, the opposite side seemed to have an energetic offensive posture, while they in turn looked as if they were going to fall to pieces. Just then, sparks flew from the opposing group’s Coupe. “Ah, it’s starting, Kasuga Senpai.” “Huh?” The opposition group, once the spark signal had been given, as one attacked Madoka’s group. With iron pipes they attacked the opposing side’s bikes without mercy, and for the resisting drivers they were presented with full-face head-butts from their helmets. The middle-school versions of Madoka and Hikaru-chan quickly climbed on the sports coupe. Then Hikaru-chan desperately tugged on Madoka’s sleeve, but Madoka didn’t seem to be the least bit inclined to run away. “Wha... what’s Madoka doing?” “Back then, Madoka-san never budged an inch.” “No… no way! But Madoka and Hikaru-chan weren’t formal members, were they? It was just for fun, not to get wrapped up in disputed, wasn’t it?” “Yeah but, Madoka-san had said… her eyes were full of tears, so she said she couldn’t move. Not until she spoke with Shuujirou-san. He had betrayed him comrades… so, in this way the comrades had been defeated.” “Wha…?” “Madoka-san. It had been such a shock. She had completely relied upon Shuujirou-san. So it was a complete shock.” If she had, that would be like Madoka. She’s never the first to start something with another person. From the first she never associated with many people, and almost never entered a deep relationship. But once you were allowed in her heart, she would never betray you. Because of this, faced with Shuujirou’s utmost betrayal of his comrades, I suppose she was thinking from the bottom of her heart she wouldn’t forgive (when she’s like this, it can be pretty scary to be on the receiving end). “Anyway, we have to rescue her!” Because of Madoka’s love of keeping things tidy and wrapped up, I knew she wouldn’t run away, and the girls from the other gang couldn’t fail to notice her. I grabbed the railing of the rooftop, ready to fly down and rescue Madoka and Hikaru-chan. But…

“Kasuga Senpai! It’ll be all right.” “Huh? But… Hikaru-chan…” “The police are about to arrive.” “Huh?” Come to think of it, this was also Hikaru-chan’s past. Coming straight to the point, I do have the 20 year-old Hikaru-chan next to me… Sure enough, just as Hikaru-chan predicted, a patrol car rushed to the scene. Immediately the two groups scattered, running away in every direction. Suddenly I couldn’t see either Madoka or Hikaru-chan. “Wha… what happened?” “Like I said, it’s all right, Senpai. Madoka-san and I were famous for our ability to get away fast.” “Hmm?” “Can we go to three days later?” “Ah… ah… if you want. But why? Three days later.” “I’m not sure… but on that day Madoka-san changed completely.” “Madoka did?” “Yes. Like she was brand new… But Madoka-san never said what happened.” “Man…” “First time that ever happened… before or since.” “…Hikaru-chan…” Just then… I had a bad premonition. Something happened three days later… I thought something had happened between Madoka and Shuujirou that was the reason Madoka had said nothing to me. I trembled a bit, but it seemed that Hikaru-chan was again excited by the prospect. “Besides… Three days later Shuujirou died.” I took Hikaru-chan’s hand, pulled her close, and pulled her with me into time. “Madoka-san! Wait please Madoka-san!” I held Hikaru-chan close, then we fell into 3 days later to suddenly hear a high-pitched voice. It was the junior high school Hikaru-chan’s voice. Right before our eyes the Madoka of that time went past in a huff. In order to stop this Madoka, Hikaru-chan had just come out of the café. “Kasuga-senpai! Now! This is the time!” Hikaru-chan excitedly tugged at my arm. But now we had a new problem; Hikaru-chan couldn’t meet her in this time. When I’m no longer completely in this time, half of myself is still in the space-time continuum. Thanks to this, Hikaru-chan and I couldn’t be seen by anyone in the present time. “Hey. I felt I had just gone into Ryouko’s shop, at almost the same time Madoka-san left.”

This was the first time I had ever seen Madoka so flushed in the face. “Wow! What happened?” “I told you, I don’t know. I was unavoidably detained here.” “Huh?” Sure enough, the Hikaru-chan who intended to follow Madoka was held back inside by a woman who came out of the shop. “Don’t Hikaru. Leave Madoka be.” “But… but… Ryouko-san.” This was Ryouko-san? The 20-year old Hikaru-chan seemed to read my mind. “That’s her. That person is Ryouko-san. My old friend!” The junior high Hikaru-chan stood her ground before Ryouko-san. “What happened? Madoka-san… something’s happened to Madoka-san!” “Nothing’s happened to Madoka.” “Huh?” “But… it might have been more of a shock than Madoka could handle.” “What do you mean? What do you mean? Ryouko-san.” “Hikaru…” “Yes.” “Her fastidiousness… may not exist anymore.” This very young Hikaru-chan fell silent at Ryouko-san’s words. “Kasuga-senpai?” the current Hikaru-chan said in a small voice. “Hmm?” “As interesting as this may be to see, I think we should be following Madoka-san.” “Understood.” Once again I held Hikaru-chan close and we re-entered the space-time continuum. “Senpai?” Hikaru-chan was getting used to the time slips. Soon after entering the time stream, she pressed her cheek against my chest. “Strange, somehow…” “Huh?” “Isn’t it strange?” “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” “We… even though we’ve split up… even though… the two of us are chasing after Madoka-san.” “That’s…” “He he… It’s okay. Senpai, you don’t have to answer. You don’t have a reason to answer. Hey… didn’t Ryouko-san say something?” “Huh?” Hikaru-chan looked slowly up at me. She looked so much the adult now, her eyes made me think. “Her fastidiousness… may not exist anymore.”

I tried to search for an answer to Hikaru-chan’s words, but I soon stopped. No matter what I could say, there would be no real meaning, and Hikaru-chan wasn’t expecting an answer anyway. I mean, for people, isn’t this part of how we become adults? “Kya!” Just then something surprised Hikaru-chan and she let out a small yelp. “What’s up Hikaru-chan?” “Shu… Shuujirou-san!” Just as we had seen the junior high Madoka, we were thrust back to the warehouse. Then this huge 750cc bike slid alongside, and then we could see a bloodstained young man cowering before it. “That… that’s Mishima… Mishima Shuujirou?” “Yes.” Madoka saw the bloodstained Shuujirou and sped up, and a cry-like voice rang out “Shuujirou-san!” But as soon as the man saw Madoka, he seemed to become nihilistic… this sort of illuminated smile he gave. To keep Madoka from coming any closer he held up both hands to ward her off. “Shit. Heard about it from Nee-chan? Come to laugh? That Yayoi is such a pest. Leads me around by the nose…” “Yayoi-san? What do you mean?” Just as before, as we descended down the time channel, half-in and half-out of the present, Hikaru-chan still seemed surprised by it all. “Hikaru-chan. He said Yayoi?” “Senpai. That was the mascot. The one Shuujirou slept with.” “A… oh!” Mishima Shuujirou, bit by bit, told the whole sequence of events to the young Madoka he had left behind. Yayoi, it seems, was the girl of the opposition group. From the first she had crawled into Shuujirou’s gang with evil intent, it seems, with the mission of being a spy. Of course Shuujirou’s group didn’t know this, and this pretty girl was made the mascot. She became an effective pressure point. “He… turns out I’m just a man too. A laugh, isn’t it! The man called Yokohama’s Shuujirou, his pure heart played like tag.” Shuujirou pulled a box of Short Hopes from the pocket of his bloodstained shirt, and pulled one out. Madoka presented a lighter and set the flame, but he loudly slapped it away. Madoka was looking straight at Shuujirou. At that time she saw the wound in his heart, and seemed to be feeling the same pain. Now, this Kasuga Kyousuke understood the entire situation. Shuujirou had fallen into the opposition’s cruel trap and had fallen in love with the mascot Yayoi. For the comrades who had come to depend upon him, probably, it couldn’t have been a more painful choice to have to face. But…

he had decided on this girl Yayoi. It was perfect… what the opposition had begun had dropped him into hell. At first, the fact that he had had the mascot had caused uneasiness amongst Shuujirou’s comrades. Then, 3 days earlier the opposition had taken advantage of this weakness and attacked. Up to this point, it hadn’t been discovered that Yayoi the mascot was the opposition’s spy. But after the police’s half-hearted attempt to break up the fight, bit-by-bit the opposition’s final methods became apparent. In short, when it was finally said “the girl your head slept with is really our bitch”, an exhausted Mishima Shuujirou had become a laughing-stock. Now, this blood-covered man had single-handedly ridden over and attacked the opposition. “Shuujirou-san…” Madoka, who had been silent until now, had finally had more than she could bear. “I… What can I do?” Shuujirou suddenly heard her, and looked at her in spite of himself. “I… I and Hikaru owe Shuujirou-san many thanks. Maybe… if it weren’t for Shuujirou-san and Ryouko-san… we would have faced Fukuro a long time ago.” Fukuro? Hikaru-chan whispered to me, “its slang for being ganged up on.” “Oh… oh…” Hikaru-chan, upon hearing Shuujirou’s situation, was desperately trying to hold back tears. Maybe, the Madoka from 7 years ago before us was doing the same… there was certainly no mistaking the grief. Madoka suddenly looked hard at Shuujirou and continued talking. “Therefore I owe Shuujirou-san thanks. So, now, for Shuujirou-san…” “What can you do for me? Quit.” “What?” “Such a laugh. You’ve just begun menstruating, so pretty soon the boys will be wanting to play tag with your pure heart too… It will exhaust you. Quickly ruin that pretty face.” Shuujirou took a deep draw on his cigarette. The smoke diffused in the darkness of the warehouse, and he looked towards Madoka, then peeled his eyes away. No, not just a man. Hikaru-chan and me as well were amazed at what Madoka did next. “Ma… Madoka-san!”

Madoka took off her sailor uniform. I think she had a chemise under that… anyway, under that you could obviously make out her bra and panties. Madoka set her chin and said in a clear tone, “Shuujirou-san, it wasn’t just tag…” “What?” “Shuujirou-san, you fell in love with Yayoi-san. You still love her. So…” “So what? So I should be crying? Is this the best you can cheer me up? Madoka?” Shuujirou seemed to be getting irritated. “Shu… Shuujirousan…” Madoka’s… her still a bit childish form, bit-by-bit her shoulders began to shake. And not just that… her still not fully developed chest no longer seemed full of bravado and quaked and heaved. Madoka… Madoka… I had muttered this countless times in the middle of my heart… but, for this, what can the person I am now say to you? Want to say… what? Madoka and Shuujirou faced each other and stared silently. This silence went on for one, maybe two minutes I think… but for me it seemed to last an eternity. “Brat! Do you even understand what I’ve said?” Shuujirou spit out the words and my own uneasiness was set free. “I understand all right. Shuujirou-san is really crying!” “That’s why!” Madoka, seeing the full sadness in Shuujirou’s eyes, swallowed her words. “Madoka, this is why! It’s just like you said. Shuujirou of Yokohama is in tatters. Crying just like a little kid. So I put on airs by smoking a cigarette. Like you said. Are you happy? You’re exactly right, so are you happy?”

The tears she had been desperately fighting back until now came flowing, leaving Madoka heaving. In a small voice Shuujirou said, “Madoka…” “Hmm?” “Dummy… Gratitude… a woman will open her legs out of gratitude.” “Huh?” “Really, open the legs only for someone you’ve truly fallen for.” As he said this Shuujirou let out a puff, and if illuminating the room. “Shit… you… have anything to speak to me about love?” He laughed one more time. Madoka, having drawn out that smile, allowed one to come to her mouth. Shuujirou made fun of her a bit, saying, “Why Madoka. Your face is twitching.” “Huh?” “Your mouth seems to twitch – like holding a cigarette.” He tossed the box of Short Hopes at Madoka’s feet. This was a sign to Madoka to put her uniform back on. As if Madoka had finally noticed that she was half-naked, and hurriedly put her sailor uniform back on. This flurried situation hadn’t been amusing. I was relieved… and after giving a slightly unhappy sigh Hikaru-chan gave me a small poke in the side. “Thank god, huh, Kasuga-senpai!” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” Hikaru-chan giggled. After putting on her sailor uniform, Madoka picked up the box of cigarettes and took one out. This time she showed that smile she shows from time to time and said to Shuujirou, “Like holding a cigarette? You’ll be sorry, Shuujirou-san.” “Whatever. Someday some dumb guy who holds you will see that.” (Choke! Choke! Choke!) Kasuga Kyousuke (hey hey) you don’t have a reason to be here anymore. Here, from an adult’s perspective, the two of them smiled and consoled each other with “there there”. But maybe, this was the last time Madoka ever saw his… Mishima Shuujirou’s smile.

Part 4 After pushing Madoka off, Mishima Shuujirou had something else to do. Madoka had just lit his cigarette, and then one of Shuujirou’s gang came rushing in, covered in blood. The many young men who had sought out Shuujirou once they knew the despair he had bee reduced to had announced

they were going to attack the opposition group. Besides, they wanted another shot at them after having fallen apart so badly at the last fight. “Idiots!” More and more they think they can put pressure on us!” Shuujirou said this quickly while hopping onto his 750cc bike. Before Madoka could ask anything more, there were off. “Senpai! After this Madoka and I followed in a taxi!” Hikaru-chan seemed to be following her memory. “Huh?” “Unbelievable stuff is about to happen. The police… the police wanted to crush the gang in one swift stroke…” “Police?” After junior high Madoka flew out of the warehouse, I grabbed onto Hikaru-chan and once again dropped us into the time stream. Just as Hikaru-chan had said, somewhere near the Yokohama Port, bike exhaust notes, sirens, and from a speaker somewhere the trailing voice of the police, all adding up to a huge amount of noise. Both groups of gangs from 3 days ago were back, but who was lively was very different. All the ones fighting alongside Shuujirou seemed the active group. The opposing group now struck at Shuujirou and the others with all their might. But the local boys didn’t have any reason to not le the police see too much. A patrol car pushed it’s way through, right into the midst of the 2 groups. “Hikaru-chan… where are you and Madoka?” Hikaru-chan and I were looking out over the dispute from the roof of a building near the Marina tower. However, from places facing the port like Yamashita Park and Chinatown, a real mob was forming. Will all of this I certainly couldn’t find the two young girls. “Hmm… If memory serves right the taxi brought us as far as the outskirts of Chinatown. Ah1 Over there!” I looked in the direction Hikaru-chan was pointing, and sure enough getting out of a taxi were the junior high aged Madoka and Hikaru-chan. Although they intended to get to Shuujirou and the rest, the rabble effectively blocked them from joining the others. Just then “Kasuga-senpai!” Hikaru-chan said in a strained voice as she seized my arm. “…Hikaru-chan?” “Senpai… Senpai’s Power… What kind of Power is it?” “Huh?” “Senpai’s Power… Shuujirou-san… Can you save Shuujirou-san’s life?” “Tha… that’s…” I was at a loss for words at Hikaru-chan’s question. There was a real chance that this was the time that Shuujirou was supposed to die. At that

moment, if I intervened, I probably could save him. But if I did that… if I changed the reality of a dead person in the past, I would change the lives of the people around him as well. Even with my power, I didn’t think there was a way to do it… On top of that, Ojii-chan had said that I would have to deal with Shuujirou’s Akuryou… “Senpai! Well? You can same Shuujirou-san, can’t you? Save him for me?” “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” “Madoka said it before. We… I and Madoka-san owe Shuujirou-san… and Ryouko-san… we’re in their debt… so please… Please save Shuujirousan!” Tears were welling up in Hikaru-chan’s eyes. Those eyes were pleading with me with all her heart… I… suddenly it was all my responsibility… it felt like it was not completely my responsibility. However, Hikaru-chan… this. This… I can’t do. I can’t! Just then “Gaga-----n!” A terrible sound rang out. At the same time a shriek that was somehow admirable could be heard. But, just then the Hikaru-chan next to me scolded and yelled at me. “Kasuga-senpai! Hurry!” Amidst all the spectacle of confusion of the people this had floated to the top. It had somehow come to the periphery of the city streetlights. “Shuujirou-san!” Shuujirou’s 750cc bike flew over the hood of a blocking patrol car, and from the air attacked his opposite’s bike. “Senpai! Save him, Shuujirou-san is going to die! …Senpai!” Hikaru-chan’s nails bit into my arm. But… I… I couldn’t look Hikaruchan in the face. “Hikaru-chan… I’m sorry!” “No… no way…” The front wheel of Shuujirou’s bike hit an opposing boy’s helmet full in the face, sending it flying. At the same time, Shuujirou lost his balance and practically fell headfirst back onto the asphalt. “No…….! Senpai you idiot!” As if she had gone mad, Hikaru-chan hit my arm with her fist. “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” But just then I… as all this was happening I inferred a sign of something. A sign of something? No, not just something. Undoubtedly it was the sign of the Kasuga family – now, the feel that the Power was used. What? Wait a minute! This seems an awful lot like a spectacle I’ve seen long before.

Shuujirou’s bike had already slammed into the asphalt. The police had already surrounded all the boys who had laid down. But the opposing group were shook by his heroic death, and one by one they all got back up, and were struggling with the police. Heroic… death? No. Truth was, this man named Shuujirou just by chance had encountered the Power; he had narrowly escaped and his life had been saved. From the direction of Chinatown, coming right into the middle of the rabble, was the Kasuga Kyousuke of seven years ago… Me. “Hikaru-chan…” Hikaru-chan had her face buried in my chest and was crying her eyes out. I softly picked up her face, while Shuujirou toppled and the nearest group in the crowd began to point. “I’m sorry, Hikaru-chan… but I’ve just remembered something.” “Wh… what?” “Ah, well, take a look. I’m over there.” “Huh? Senpai is…?” “If I remember right, that day we were getting ready to move to the next town, and me and the rest of my family had gone to see the town… but before going home we had gone to Yokohama’s Chinatown for dinner.” “No… no way!” Shuujirou was lost in the surrounding policemen and the crowd, and clearly different from all the boys was a cheerfully talking group of four. “Se… Senpai! There’s your dad, Kurumi-chan and Manami-chan too.” “Yep. Right then we were having a bit of a dispute.” “Huh?” “No!! What are you doing onii-chan, using the power…” Manami was saying. And there was Kurumi saying, “that’s right, that’s right. We had to leave the last town because out power had been discovered you know…” Hikaru-chan, tears still in those pretty eyes, bit by bit began to laugh. Then we heard, “It can’t be helped. Did you just want to sit silently by and watch that person die?” “Kasuga-senpai said that, didn’t he.” “Yes.” “So, so you did save him after all. Shuujirou-chan.” “Aa… that’s what it looks like. Of course, I didn’t know about Madoka or Hikaru-chan yet…” Ah ha ha… I laughed, trying to cheat a bit with all that I hadn’t remembered until now… But Hikaru-chan still seemed to be crying although a laugh did come out. “Hi… Hikaru-chan… I… I’m sorry…” From Hikaru-chan’s big eyes tears fell like drops and fallen seeds. She shook her head hard… then said in a hoarse voice, “Senpai… I can’t stand this…” “Huh?”

“I can’t stand it anymore.” “Hikaru-chan?” “Besides… you’re Madoka-san’s boyfriend, and not just that… still happy… but… some sign of thanks is needed.” “Hikaru-chan?” The next instant Hikaru-chan hugged me close. Then she kissed my cheeks over and over again. “Thank you… thank you senpai!” Aha… a ha ha ha… I… that is… well… there was nothing I could do… This storm of thank you kisses from Hikaru-chan I gladly accepted. But shortly Hikaru-chan was going “Ahhhh! I kissed him! Kissed him!” and her usual bright laugh returned… and then as if she suddenly remembered something hey eyes went as big as plated. “Wait a moment… what was Shuujirou-san doing? Why did he make us all think he had died?” I certainly didn’t have an answer for that question. Epilogue “Why did I disappear from all of you?” Mishima Shuujirou’s smile had changed little from 7 years previous, and he still smoked Short Hopes. His handsome face shone in the afternoon sun. Madoka was excited to know that Shuujirou still lived. But on the other hand, mysteriously, he no longer seemed to have been part of the same world they had once lived in. In this manner Mishima Shuujirou was a mystery to Madoka. “That’s right. To Hikaru and me it was a huge shock. We couldn’t even eat for a while.” Madoka said in a sweet sounding voice. At the same time, other than to Kyousuke, she never used this type of straight intimacy with anyone and it was a bit bewildering. Madoka, while waiting, had smoked 3 Salems when Shuujirou, a tall, smart man, finally entered the restaurant. Both of them let out the same small smile simultaneously and with a simple “yo!” he bowed before her. For Shuujirou, to have Madoka suddenly visit had been quite a surprise. On top of that when he had heard that the girls asking about him on Aoyama Doori had been Madoka his penetrating eyes had gone round and he had whistled. “I’m glad I never chased after all. It would have been embarrassing,” he tried to joke badly. Shuujirou wore a company jumper, and seemed a bit embarrassed having come straight from work. “I… You… I disappeared from the comrades because…” Shuujirou let out a puff of smoke from his cigarette and let his eyes follow it, and simply began talking. “I thought I should make a clean… complete disappearance.” “Clean… complete?”

“Yeah… As it was, as long as I was in town and everyone being who they were, they’d keep searching and drawing me out. That’s what I thought. So, Oneechan and the Police conspired and took me out the back way… carried me to the hospital because I was dying…” “No way…” “Mean, wasn’t it? But, Madoka, I left the town behind. They weren’t able to find me. There would have been 2 or 3 times as many victims… Absolutely.” “…Shuujirou-san…” Undoubtedly, the local police who had had trouble with two large gangs, used “Shuujirou’s death” as a foundation to make them weaker. While one or two other people might have stood out, one month after the accident, no more motorcycle gangs could seen found. “I would be less than honest if my blunder hadn’t been a problem for everyone… it was for the best that I simply drop from the face of the planet.” “Hmm…” Madoka didn’t answer with words. The shock of having heard of Shuujirou’s death was obviously still a shock. And of course, Hikaru, and all their friends from the gang as well, as if they had each died as well, they had all fallen into a dark depression like a fire in the chest. But now the 22 year-old woman, upon understanding the situation and his actions, the first thing that came to mind was the woman who had been her friend. “Shuujirou-san?” “Hmm?” “Ryouko-san… How is Ryouko-san?” “Ah… she’s fine, fine. She’s a complete Education Mama.” “Education… Mama? Our Ryouko-san?” “Yep! She works with her son’s kindergarten, representing the PTA.” Madoka let out a puff of air in spite of herself. If she thought about it, Ryouko would be about that age now. This woman who had been silently helping delinquents and high school dropouts, once one could imagine her having a son in kindergarten, it didn’t seem quite so strange. “Odd, isn’t it Madoka.” “Odd. Very strange.” “Shit. You too, some day soon…” “And as for Shuujirou-san?” “I’ll have a boy sometime this summer.” “A boy?” “Yes. Absolutely a boy.” “Yada… already decided…” “Of course. For the second time, Shuujirou.” (This is the line – I can come up with three interpretations for it that make sense in the story. Do with it what you will)

Madoka and Shuujirou both laughed loudly. At this late afternoon time, customers were scattered sparsely through the restaurant, and they all turned to look every time they laughed. But for now Madoka didn’t even notice the surrounding eyes. More than anything, after even this day full of all kinds of thoughts, she decided she couldn’t help but be happy about all this. Not just that Shuujirou-san was alive. Shuujirou’s life wasn’t some strong living thing (i.e. a ghost). She wouldn’t be conscious of his being the opposite sex. Still, for the emotional girl Madoka had once been, there was no one she respected more, and no one’s existence she had love more. By the same token, that Madoka had exposed herself bare before his eyes. ---Absolutely, she had done it with the single intention of consoling the wounded man. So she knew she had nothing to fear. “Shuujirou-san…” Madoka said as if something suddenly came to mind. “Hmm?” “I… I have someone I’d like… Shuujirou-san to meet.” Achoo! I had nothing to fear from Madoka meeting that person either, but the sneezes (someone was saying some rumor or some such about me it seemed) came as I was returning Hikaru-chan back to her home in Otaru. Then I was bad to Hikaru-chan. Although Hikaru-chan and I had had a pleasant time overall in the time slip. It really truly couldn’t be helped. But… when I returned to the real world, using the Power I erased her memory of the time slip and everything else. Once I returned from Otaru, Madoka’s voice was on my answering machine. This person, this anxious girl said, “Anyway suddenly I didn’t ask this of you” then “I have someone I’d like Kyousuke to meet.” Really, it sounded a bit willful. I said, “Okay, okay. Naturally, this is now, and I have a lot of things to ask you.” And with this feeling I picked up the phone. I had Madoka’s home phone number as a speed dial, and so I pressed it. The phone soon rang and it’s calling sound could be heard. First of all, there’s one thing I have to ask. Hey, Madoka-kun. How come you never told me you met Mishima Shuujirou? This time, that Kimagure Angel was left speechless. At least that’s what Kasuga Kyousuke thinks… END

An Angel's Dangerous Smile
An Angel’s Dangerous Smile
Prologue The Primeval Forest of the village of Narusawa in Yamanashi Prefecture – I don’t think it’s more that a shout away from the even more famous Mt. Fuji – but it’s just separated from the working world. It has a feeling (atmosphere) of fantasy to it, almost like the forest where the Ewoks from “Star Wars” lived – or something like that. Mr. Fuji is of course a great place for sightseeing, and on weekends and the like hordes of people crowd up the place – but people really don’t make the trek to the Primeval Forest. Well, that can’t be helped… at least you’d expect that it couldn’t be helped. But on the other hand, the enormous roots of these trees seem to coil themselves out of the ground, so much co that you can’t really tell which roots go to which trees as you come into the forest. On top of that, you lose your bearings the further you step into it. Because of this, the place is a well-known place for suicides, the lady at the souvenir shop on the road leading up to it was telling me – she looked at me with some doubt and for some reason I was agreeing with her…

But while she did look at me with doubt (why I don’t know) you would think as if I was going to crowd up the forest, but the truth is the problem was my lousy friend the Manga Artist. Hatta Kazuya’s request… Man! To go to a place to take nude photos. Hatta’s story was that there was a nudist village in this Primeval Forest. Ah, well, truth is, it was the story in the Manga he drew. But, why, if this angling for a story isn’t true, why was I brazenly doing this? You might ask. In other words… Kasuga Kyousuke, 22 years old, always seems to get tolled up into some kind of troublesome event. “Eh? You can’t do tomorrow?” Upon finding out about Hatta’s request for me to go photo shooting in the Primeval Forest, those were the words that came from Madoka’s mouth. That was yesterday. Truth is the next day, today, I had promised a date with Madoka. “My fault, I’m so busy. That idiot Hatta doesn’t have the time to collect the data, so he says. When I went to America I borrowed money from him, didn’t I? I haven’t yet paid him back, so I couldn’t refuse…” I couldn’t tell her I was going to film nudists, could I? “But if I remember right…doesn’t Hatta-kun’s Manga already have something about this?” “Ah…ha ha… ‘I’ll forgive you’ he said it’s called.” “Something perverted, I suppose.” “Uh… ye… yes.” “Although, what’s the relation to the Primeval Forest?” Sting!

“Ah, um, er, well, things like the scenery – he’d want to use that, certainly? A ha ha… I really don’t know though.” “Hmm…” Ayukawa Madoka showed that she really didn’t completely trust Kasuga Kyousuke with the look in her eyes. “Wha… What? Madoka?” “I wonder if I should go to.” “Huh? No! No way!” “Why? Why----? Ah, Kyousuke, are you hiding something?” “Don’t be stupid. What are you saying? I have no reason to, do I? Madoka, this is work. Work! On top of that it’s a place famous for lots of suicides. Madoka, if anything you should refuse.” “Eh…..” “Wha… What?” “You’re a pro…” “Hey, hey, Ma, Madoka…” This laugh of “It can’t be helped” came over Madoka’s face, and she entwined both her hands around my neck. I held her close about the waist and kissed her a bit hard. I took in a deep breath of the sweet smell of her long black hair. Just then the thought suddenly hit me of “you’d better come back” and that made me feel a bit uneasy. …However, so that Madoka wouldn’t see this I shook my head “what do you mean by that?” and struck it from my thoughts. “Yatto!” I held onto my camera bag and jumped onto a root the size of an electric pole. I looked back at the path that until now I had been able to walk. At the foot of Mt. Fuji had been a sign marked “Fugakufuuketsu”, and I had walked under this only entrance to the Primeval Forest. But already I couldn’t see it. I could faintly hear the song of some far away small bird – of course you’d think I would hear the nearby people or the sound of cars on the nearby highway, but I couldn’t hear them at all. And before I knew it fog had rolled in. Even though there was a lot of time left in the afternoon, while I looked around the field the visibility got worse. I pulled my favorite Canon Camera from my bag, and it suddenly occurred to me to set up a camera position and start shooting. I had just looked through my finder when suddenly my field of vision was completely covered by fog. I lost my balance and my foot slipped. “Ah!” Because of this danger, I dropped my camera. However, instantly… you could say accidentally, anyway I smacked my head into one of those roots, and as I grabbed on to my camera and held it to my chest I fell on my ass. Then… “Wait… hold on… what’s this?”

As I stood up quite the spectacle appeared before my eyes. As before, a thick fog blanketed the Primeval Forest. But I could now make out something fading in and out of sight across the way through the slowly flowing fog. It was too big to call a pond… too small for a lake… let’s call it a lake. The surface of the lake reflected a brilliant sunlight. And a bit closer to me, a lone female was bathing in the cold water. On top of that, her tummy… er, ah… she was stark naked! “Ah, er… um…” I was suddenly led into a trouble spot, and I didn’t know how to get out of it. Even though I still had my camera, I just stood there spaced out. Her hair was short. Her milk-white skin seemed transparent (pervert!) shining from the silver water, her notquite-fully developed body when she moved, came together as sexy. Age… 13 or 14 or so (man, this 22 year-old is acting too much the old man…) She was having fun, laughing and playing in the water. But… with a whiff she noticed my presence and swung around to face me… The both she and I at the same time said “eh?” as our eyes went wide. I knew this girl. Well, not exactly THIS girl. No doubt about it, this girl I just met was… Hiyama Hikaru… In other words the 13 year-old Hikaru-chan! “Hi… Hikaru-chan?” Then, upon hearing my voice Hikaru-chan’s answer was certainly not what I expected. “Kyadaa! Kyadaa! You’re Darling! Aren’t you?” “Huh?”

This Hikaru-chan, as I suspected, this Hikaru-chan didn’t know me.

Act I – You were expecting Sexual Misconduct? The story goes back to yesterday morning. That morning I was suddenly woken by a naked Hikaru-chan. “Kasuga Senpai! Please wake up.” “Uwa….” In my confused state I jumped upon the bed. Wha.. what? Hikaru-chan’s in New York… what’s she doing here? But the answer’s simple. “Ne… hahaha! How about it Kyousuke! You waking up now?” Although I could see Hikaru-chan, it was really my cousin Akane. The Kasuga family blood is in her too, and she can change her appearance into just about anyone. Actually, she doesn’t change, but what she wants to show changes, so that someone else will think she’s someone else. In other words, this is her power. The nude Hikaru-chan instantly transformed to the mischievous face of our Akane. But even with this personality of hers she’s an okay girl (even for a relative). “Akane! You’re a grown woman now – what are you doing – such a stupid thing?” “Heh heh heh – Kyousuke, this past winter you met Hikaru-chan in New York, didn’t you? Surely you were unfaithful, weren’t you? So I got to thinking. Service! Service!” “Hey hey…” “Just having a little fun, okay?” Akane pressed her C cup chest against me with pride. “Dummy! Cut it out! I don’t want ‘service’ from you…. Demon.” (note: it actually says “horn” but the meaning is implied). “Well, I have a favor to ask, so... service!” I see. Akane and her little brother Kazuya always get me into trouble this way. They both have a fondness for getting me into trouble. “Oh, all right. What’s up?” I resigned myself to it and got out of bed and opened the curtains. The good warm feeling of spring flew into the room. “It’s a bit of a problem. As of yesterday Kazuya is gone.” “Ka… Kazuya?” “Uh hm. Where do you think he could have gone?” “Don’t know. Don’t know.” I hadn’t seen much of that 6th grader this year, but he was still too young to stay out all night. “He might have gone some place dangerous.”

“Where?” When I heard where he had gone, I sat bolt upright. Like a wizard or something of the mountains, my jaw was out of place… Ah, well, I mean it was quite a shock. Anyway, what is that idiot Kazuya thinking? “He’s a big fan of that Pervert Manga that Hatta-san does. It looks like he went to the world of ‘I’ll forgive you’ and now he can’t come back,” she said. (You don’t suppose…?) Kazuya’s power, more or less, is that once he knows something he sets his sights on it. Now, he can read people’s minds without worrying about their feelings (even if you refuse he’ll talk as if it’s okay!). He can switch places with someone if he knocks heads with them, and he understands his power. But that kid is overflowing with curiosity and he dreamed himself into a perverted Manga, he might find a way to go to that world, strange as it sounds. (Well, in general he’s strange, but still!) Ah… can’t be helped. After having some breakfast Akane and I visited Hatta’s place of work. “Oh, we have problems too,” Hatta’s manager Komatsu (I’m sure he decided on this job himself) said. He invited us into the apartment where Hatta’s office was, and in a rare show of docility went on. “These past 2 or 3 days Hatta’s just puttered around, no ideas coming at all. Finally he dropped off into sleep, and he’s been groaning ever since.” “Hatta is…?” “He said some Kappaneko had cast a spell on him.” Kappaneko?

Even if it is said, if you haven’t read Hatta’s Manga you wouldn’t know the term. “I’ll Forgive You” features 3 sailor-suited Angels (all of them pretty girls – it’s full of extreme sex and Hentai stuff) who fight the “Devil Adeluf” of the underworld’s gang – the story is about their continuing confrontations. Every single time Adeluf uses a slightly perverted (always!) strategy to raid the human world. The usual patters in that once the 3 sailor-suited Angels conquer the villain, the villain says “forgive me!” and the pretty girls say “I’ll Forgive You.” Ah, and sometimes a former sailor Angel called Madoura will appear if a riddle has been posed, who will save them from danger and then something new will develop (like a window opening or something like that). Then there’s the Kappaneko. In the Manga there’s this cat shaped sprite that shows up from time to time. Its characteristics are cat shaped ears, a plate on top of its head (perhaps in an imitations of Matsumoto’s Manga. Such a nice guy). This character doesn’t do anything important in terms of the plot. Why use it then? It’s a writer’s convenience to set up parts of the story. “Hey, Hatta. What did Kappaneko do?” I went into the room Hatta had toppled into, and in the midst of the mess (he slept here?) Hatta was rocking back and forth and groaning. Kazuya had used the Kasuga family power and entered the world Hatta had created, and now couldn’t come back. Just like Akane said, I began to feel that he might be stuck there. “Oooh… Kasuga. Kappaneko… Kappaneko said ‘You’ve muddled through, but your Manga’s very existence is idiotic’…he threatened.” “Ka… Ka… Kasuga… That’s what I mean. Once this Manga becomes a hit the money really comes rolling in. There’s been talk of an Anime, a game…” “Hey hey, Komatsu. It’s difficult enough with you coming in. Turn around and march back out.” Once I made sure Komatsu was out of the room, I got the story from Hatta. Somehow it appeared that Hatta had gotten from Kappaneko the story about the Nudist Village in the Primeval Forest at Narusawa in Yamanashi Prefecture. But then he suddenly suffered a mysterious migraine, and the idea wouldn’t release him until he looked into it. Then, Kappaneko appeared in a dream. “The world has become confused. Come to this world and take a picture of the situation with a camera, and take it back to the human world,” he said. Hatta said that Kappaneko was always comparing what he wrote to the passage of time, and now this personality was appearing in dreams. “Take a picture with a camera. What are you talking about?” “Kasuga, don’t you read my Manga?” “Hmm? Un, well… sometimes.”

“I read it, Hatta-san,” Akane started to say. “We’re talking about a special complete-in-one issue story, aren’t we? It’s an interesting setup about the Kappaneko family.” “Perverted I suppose” “Ka…Kasuga…” “Listen up Kyousuke. The Kappaneko have some power. In their forest, their world, there’s a miniature garden they like, made and live in.” “And?” “Sometimes they take an interest and appear to villagers… they also have a human viewpoint. For example if they find a great bread shop they encircle it and bring it back to the countryside.” “I see.” I really didn’t, but it caught my interest a bit. “The Kappaneko that come back when they see something that catches their eye, for example a pretty girl, Shuba! From their plates on their bodies it will come flying out.” “That’s dumb…” “Hey Kasuga, you haven’t read my Manga so don’t say things like that. It has a good reputation with the fans. Right, right, Akane-chan?” “Seems like. Anyway, the girls who come to the countryside when the Kappaneko takes this ‘picture’ that instant is all they see.” “That instant?” “Uh hun. In other words Kasuga, as an example, suppose the girl was just eating Ramen.” “Okay.” “The girl the Kappaneko had brought to his country would go ‘Huh? What was I doing… eating Ramen?’ they’ll think only that. The past and future, their relationships with other people, they’ll forget it all.” “Complicated.” “Nahahaha… complicated stuff always shows up in S.F. Comics. Then, with only that memory of the real world, the Kappaneko places them in a strange parallel world they’ve created, and undoubtedly they come to live there.” “Ho…..” I can’t really say I either understood or didn’t. However, according to Hatta the Kappaneko transmitted this living legend to the certain Mr. Matsumoto the Manga artist, and from the hints of this legend they appear in the Manga. (Really… I wonder.) From here though, the important thing is to figure out the ambiguous whereabouts of this Kappaneko and Kazuya. “Okay… this Kappaneko family somehow, if a camera takes a picture of some bad event in their country, it gets solved.” “Yada Kyousuke. I was jus getting to that!” “Huh?”

“To sum up, in the special one-story book, when the Kappaneko takes a picture of the person that came from the human world, they are carried back to the human world. “Ah…” “However, that person gets a bit perverted. An uproar happens in the nudist village in the Primeval Forest.” “Shit. Still some perverted development.” “Kasuga, listen. Akane-chan, before that… before that…” “Right. Anyway, this place? It’s always the same Perverted Cameraman and the other person. He’s always taking pictures of the nudists. Then, by chance at the same moment the other person comes to…” “A picture is taken, correct?” “And once that happens the person is returned to the human world; dropped in as it were.” “Waah… I’m deeply moved, Akane-chan. You remembered all that.” “Uh huh… I have an outstanding memory!” It seemed that in talking with Hatta Akane had forgotten all about Kazuya (and just what was Hatta doing, so close to death just a moment before?) Man, if this is what Adult Manga is like, will Japan’s future be all right? “Hold on a moment, Akane. Anyhow, if we go to the Primeval Forest and take a picture of this bad event, the world of Hatta’s Manga will return to normal, correct?” I didn’t believe Hatta’s story. But anyway, if Kazuya had gotten himself tangled in this world, a thorough comparison seemed to be in order. Besides, there was no real reason to show Hatta and Komatsu the Kasuga family power. This was the reason I was willing to pretend I believed what he said. “Oh, Kasuga, will you go? You have a debt to your friend, you know. Money borrowed to go to America, not yet repaid, no interest…” “Aw, shit!” “It’s just… maybe… like an S.F. Comic, if reality and the world I created have gotten mixed up… ha hah… maybe you might have to go to the Nudist Village.” “Kya… Pervert! Pervert! Hatta-san!” I left those two noisy people behind and left the room. I know it took a while to explain how I got here but… Hikaru-chan nude! Hmm. Suddenly she appeared from the lake in the Primeval Forest, without even the slightest bit of embarrassment, and came towards me. The 13 year-old Hikaru-chan. The atmosphere was completely different than with the adult Hikaru-chan currently living in New York. “A… Um… Hikaru-chan?” “Yes?”

Hikaru-chan placed her hand on a change of clothes hanging from the branch of a tree. The she suddenly came aware that she should feel embarrasses, and laughed that way. “You… you just called me darling. What do you mean… ha ha ha…” I laughed the same way she did with my words; no real meaning to it. But still, the Hikaru-chan before me was still the lovesick girl not fully grown… Somehow I began to notice the smell of a peculiar sweetened vinegar… my laugh became ambiguous and I thought it drifted off… “Uhu. Of course. The Elder said so…” “Elder?” “Eh? You don’t know, darling? The Elder of the Kappaneko clan.” “Kappaneko!” I see! I had already entered the world of Hatta’s Manga just as Kazuya had and things were already a bit mad. The Kappaneko had gone to the human world and thought of bringing Hikaru-chan here. On top of that, they did it before I first met her. She didn’t know that I’m Kasuga Kyousuke. “Uh huh. The Elder said ‘Hikaru. Go bathe in the Virgin Lake. There you will meet your life mate’.” “Life… mate? You mean… you mean we’re to get married?” “Yes!” “Yes?… A… er… um…” “Darling, I’m sure of it. So please, take care of me.” “You’re certain… what the…” Just the, before I even knew it, Hikaru-chan’s face was right before me. But she spoke in a voice that was barely a whisper. “I’m the foretold virgin. Certain!” “Hi, Hikaru-chan!” In spite of myself I took a half-step down. But at that same instant I rose up into the air. Uh, well, it wasn’t my own power that made me rise up. While this was happening a net had lifted me up into the tree. “Ah! Darling!” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” “Kyada! Kyada kyada! Darling! You like getting into a net and flying in the air this way?” “Eh? A, er, no… li.. it’s not about like or dislike…” “A… in that case please quickly come down.” Just then a solemn, full voice surprised us. “No! Hikaru. That’s far enough.” I went “Huh?” and looked down and gasped in spite of myself. Unbelievable! (said in English) Unbelievable! (said in Japanese)

The Kappaneko that shows up from time to time had appeared… somehow the whole clan had assembled. “Elder!” I could tell that Hikaru-chan addressed someone in the middle of the crowd, and indeed an older one came forward. “No! I went to a lot of trouble to meet up with darling.” From the family came a small monk that came up to Hikaru-chan’s knee, carrying a bow and spear and the like, as if he were a brave soldier. But the Elder gave a kind laugh to Hikaru-chan, almost as if she were a granddaughter… on top of that, spoke in some kind of English.” “Ah, so. I understand, Hikaru. It can’t be helped. But you can’t kiss yet. When we return to our country you can have the honor of marrying him. Besides which, Hikaru, your virginity is very important… over…” “Ha ha ha. Hikaru, it may be sad but that’s how it is. Be patient a little while longer.” (spoken by the small one). “Hikaru-chan…” “Okay everyone, let’s take this one back to our Holy ground!” Now things got pretty miserable. As I was still in the Kappaneko’s net, caught up like a bear by a hunter, they carried me to their country. Then there were these shouts of “Pi…” that came from everyone. From the midst of the Kappaneko carrying me came a “he he he…” from the small one I had seen before. From all those faces came a memory. NO, not really a memory. It looked exactly like my own face from childhood. “Ka… Kazuya!” I shouted in spite of myself. Then (no doubt this little Kappaneko was Cousin Kazuya) he shushed me. I dropped my voice and asked “What the hell are you doing?” “OH.. to hear it is tearful, to say it is tearful (sob sob).” “Idiot! This isn’t the time for such foolishness.” “Ehe! We can talk once you arrive in their country, Kyousuke-niichan. But isn’t it great?” “Wh… what?” “Thanks to me you can get ‘Etchi’ with someone other than Madokaneechan, eh Kyousuke-niichan? With Hikaru-neechan!” “Idiot!” Kazuya let out a laugh. But soon the heads of the Kappaneko nudged together. It seemed that Kazuya had become an underling of their clan… and maybe more. But this way… even admitting somehow we were in the middle of Hatta’s world, Hi… Hikaru-chan… here… why is she here? Come to think of it, why a 13 year-old Hikaru-chan? This could be illegal and downright nasty. While I was thinking about all of that I began to see what seemed to be the clan’s home.

Act II - Are you really the Kimagure Angel? “Hey, I’ve seen this type of place before.” When I arrived at the Kappaneko country I protected my eyes in spite of myself. The clan’s home was in the midst of still more towering trees, and up the thick trunks of those trees there were small rooms. From room to room were these round, thick bridges you could use to go back and forth, and there were many places you could hold rituals and ceremonies. In other words, the clan’s entire life was up in the trees; sort of in a fantastic or dreamlike village. “He he, of course you’ve seen this, Kyousuke-niichan. It comes from Star Wars.” The Kappaneko were on the other side of me (still in the net) so Kazuya spoke in a small voice. “Star Wars?” As soon as I said it I saw what he meant. It was entirely like the Ewok forest. “That damned Hatta snaps up everything.” “Ha ha ha – that’s what makes Hatta-san’s Manga so interesting.” “Damn… but come on, Kazuya! Going into the world of a Manga!” Bonk. My body came free of the net and I whacked Kazuya on the head. “Ow! That hurt! That hurt!” “Overreacting just a bit, aren’t you? It wasn’t that big a hit.” “Man… the Kappaneko are really unspoiled, you know.” “What are you talking about?” “The Elder says, absolutely, you never hit anyone from the clan on the plate.” Come to think of it, the Kappaneko were deliberately avoiding the plate on the top of the head. Well, this plate is how things get burned into the human world, just like a camera negative, so perhaps it’s not so strange. (Hey, Kasuga Kyousuke, you’re gradually starting to think like Hatta!) I, along with Kazuya and countless Kappaneko, climbed to the village in the treetops. Then I noticed what I hadn’t seen from below; the village seemed run down here and there.

Here and there beams of sunlight shone through burned holes, and what’s more, the meeting hall in the trunk of this great tree looked like some kind of huge battle had scooped a huge chunk away. “Hay, hey, Kazuya. What happened here?” “Hmm… looks like the work of the Sailor Tenshi.” “Sailor Tenshi? But aren’t those girls, aren’t they the good guys in the Manga?” “That’s right. But now, the Devil Adeluf got his hands on them. I haven’t seen them yet myself.” “Hey hey…” “According to the Elder’s story, Adeluf has carried off every girl that can be called girl of this world.” “W… Girls?” “Um, yes. Only Hikaru-neechan from this country was left behind. That’s why the Elder wants Hikaru-neechan and Kyousuke-niichan to hurry up and get married.” “But… No way…” “See, if Hikaru-neechan is married, they won’t be invaded anymore you see?” Shit. Seems this grade-schooler still doesn’t really understand with a Virgin is. Well, I had no idea if this was the story that Hatta’s Manga followed or not. The gist of it is, the Devil Adeluf has taken all of the virgin girls of this world (probably girls flashed into this world from the human world by the Kappaneko) for his own pleasure (what kind of pleasure I wonder) and Hikaru-chan was the only virgin… ah… well… girl left so of course she was a target. And just then. “Zat’s a right. Just as he said, Kasuga-kun.” The Elder said this from the place on the meeting platform he had moved to, and was waiting eagerly. Next to me, Hikaru-chan said, “U…hu…, Darling…!” or something like that. This eagerness… interesting, coming from the Hikaru-chan I first met (that’s Hikaru-chan all right). With an innocent smile she waved to me. “Oy, oy, ‘Zat’s a right” he said. Have you nothing to say to me? Kazuya. Can the Elder look into people’s hearts like you do?” “Eh? A, yes. But, well, I got into this world, didn’t I? Things like this aren’t so strange. So maybe…” So maybe… Got it. The Sailor Tenshi of Justice had turned bad, the Devil Adeluf for some reason needed a virgin – it was all Kazuya’s fault. Hatta’s story, in accordance with Kazuya’s wish had cast an irresponsible impression into it all, making big changes in the story. “Oy, Kazuya. What did you do when you entered the Manga?” “I tried to become the Devil Adeluf. He’s cool.” “Shit! So you wanted to be Adeluf. Why are you a Kappaneko?”

“That’s just it! First, I thought I’d bump heads with Adeluf and change places with him.” Kazuya and I had both accidentally and on purpose done this many times. By bumping heads with another, you enter the other’s body while the other in turn enters yours. “Why?” He laughed. “Don’t ask me that Kyousuke-niichan. I failed every time! When I tried to ‘papaaaan’ that Adeluf, I mean I made flight calculations and everything, the Kappaneko would notice and try to stop me… Niichan, let’s hurry and go back to the human world. I was invited to Emi-chan’s birthday party…” he whined. “Idiot. I know.” I knocked Kazuya lightly on the head one more time, and while I didn’t mind him starting to whine I walked towards the Elder. “Elder. I’ve more or less heard the story from Kazuya. I’m afraid I have to turn you down.” “Hmm. Then, upon leaving this dream Hatta-Sensei has created. This country’s dangers will never cease.” While listening to the Elder’s words I pulled out my camera to start to take a picture of this broken-down forest. Now, if I took a picture of the bad things happening to this place peace would return… then I thought of something that really bothered me. “In this world, whenever a virgin disappears the spirit of the souls of the dead that have crossed over get weaker,” the Elder said. “The spirit… of the dead?” “That’s right darling. Originally the Kappaneko clan called upon the gods who protect the forest. Usually in the clan’s forest the souls of the dead get together in the forest… even if attacked from the outside a perfect barrier exists. …But now…” “Hmm. But now the virgin power of Hikaru is the only power supporting our land.” “That’s bad… Bu… but, Elder. A, Um, Something I need to ask. If Hikaru-chan and I… in other words… do it… what I mean is, if Hikaru-chan is no longer a virgin, Na ha ha ha…” (This is no laughing matter!) “Kyaa! Kyada kyada darling! Such a display for me!” Hikaru-chan smacked me hard on the shoulder. “A, I, no, wait a moment Hikaru-chan… Elder, in other words, if Hikaru-chan and I were tied together like this…” “Hmm.” “Then… this virgin power, you wouldn’t have it anymore, would you?” Chi chi chi… Each one of these wasn’t the sound of some singing little bird. The Elder made this affectation, waving his finger left and right and pointing at me.” “No… no… no… That’s wrong, Kyousuke-kun. Chi chi chi…” “Wrong darling, chi… chi… chi…”

Hikaru-chan, not you too! “What we mean is that once Hikaru is bonded to you this way… Itza means… it’s the end.” “The end you know, darling?” “The stronger the bond of love between a human man and woman, the more power…” “The more power…” “For all eternity, the power of that source will flow…!” “Ooooh…!” At that moment the Kappaneko all rose up and applauded. …However. The world of this irresponsible Mange had been tossed into such disarray. But if nothing was done, they… the Kappaneko clan, this world’s Hikaru-chan, even the real world’s Kazuya didn’t know what would happen. “Not so, Kyousuke-kun.” “Huh?” “We know what will happen. We will become extinct.” “Ex… extinct?” The Elder, Hikaru-chan, Kazuya, hell everyone seemed to become depressed. “No… no way.” “We’re out of time. Everyone! We’re going to hold Hikaru’s wedding ceremony immediately. Hikaru, get changed. Get into your wedding dress.” “Yes Elder!” “Waah, hey, wait Hi… Hikaru-chan!” “Kyousuke-kun. By the way, you’re experienced, aren’t you…” “Huh?” Ex… Experienced! He’s interrogating me about… about…! “Ah, yes… um… well… I guess…” Hikaru-chan gave out an exclamation in a non-understanding sort of voice, and hid behind the Elder’s back. Ah, no, Hikaru-chan was being resolute about this, so it really didn’t seem like hiding. “Hmm. So dependable. This will save our land.” “Ah, well, E… Elder…” “Darling, I’ll be back. Please wait for me. I’m going to go become a beautiful bride for you.” “Hi… Hikaru-chan.” Hikaru-chan was drawn away by many Kappaneko females (?) and left the meeting area. This was getting more and more unbelievable. The Kappaneko clan quickly milled about to get the wedding clothes ready, and some of them played these large drum-like things to perform music while others put together some sort of scaffold on the platform. “Hey, hey hey, Kazuya. What are they putting together?”

I grabbed hold of Kazuya and pointed while the Kappaneko worked furiously. “Huh? Come on. It’s decided. Kyousuke-niichan, you’re marrying, right?” “Ah, well… it’s kind of been decided… not.” “Well then, this is important!” “Huh?” “Bed! It’s a bed!” “B… bed?” “Yup. Even once you’ve kissed Hikaru-neechan, there’s more important things, yes?” “Now look here…” “The Elder expressly stated it has to be strongly built.” “Strongly?” “Hey hey, anyway, why if you kiss her does that have to be so strong?” “Shut up shut up. Go look it up in a pervert’s magazine!” Kazuya gave me this stupid look, and soon the work of our Kappaneko friends was done. They… maybe they had studied the rough seas of life and had come to understand it a bit. … Or something like that. They were thinking anything was okay. Suddenly, “Pokkon!” this terrible violent sound reverberated throughout the countryside. “Wha… what what?” I drew near the confusion in the clearing below. Kazuya and the Kappaneko gave out an emergency call and Kazuya dashed up to me. “Bi… big trouble, Kyousuke-niichan. The Sailor Tenshi are attacking.” “Wha… what did you say?” Just then, atop the just completed scaffold-like bed were one, two, then three beautiful girls in flashy, tight sailor suits (on top of that, the skirts were super mini) landed. …Beautiful girls? A, well, in spite of myself I did say beautiful girls, and generally speaking you could say so. But when I saw them that wasn’t what I was thinking. Why? Well, for me these three sailor girl’s very existence was all too familiar. “A… Akane! Manami! Kurumi! What the hell are you doing here?”

That’s right that’s right. First in red, pink and then yellow, these very un-pure (Hatta’s taste!) sailor suitwearing girls were, my Cousin Akane, and my two younger twin sisters. “Whoa! Akane-neechan and the others are the Sailor Tenshi…! Cool!” “You idiot! This is nothing to be happy about. This and the rest of the mess this world is in is your fault!” Gong! I smacked Kazuya on the head again. But it was strange. Akane and the others who had appeared before Kazuya and I had no idea who we were (ooooh… what the hell was going on?) Shun shun shun! If I remembered right, the Tenshi in the red sailor suit was the leader. That one faced her enemies and waved her baton like a weapon… now she struck a pose from the level she stood upon. “The virgin girl you have hidden, kept in secret from the Devin Adeluf-sama…” And so on and so on. The same kind of speech the bad guys always give. “…Furthermore! The intention to have this man of the human world, wherever he comes from, to have him have sex with…” Hey, hey! “We, the Devil Sailor Tenshi, absolutely, absolutely cannot forgive! Wicked hearts… will be served!” Then with a flourish her miniskirt waved, exposing a lot of thigh, then she struck a decisive pose. “Whoa… go, go, Akane-neechan!” “Hey, hey, Kazuya!” “I know, but it’s a bit wrong.” “Wha… what is?”

“Wicked hearts… will be served, she said, but it should be Hearts of Justice… will be served!” “Well right now I don’t care which it is!” Pashuu! The Sailor Tenshi, in perfect precision, flew into the air (wings flapped from the collars of their uniforms!) “Beautiful Dream Typhoon!” With those words a bright beam of light commenced their attack. “Uwaaa!” Just as Hatta-sensei would have liked, the Sailor Tenshi’s flashy attack in an instant broke he peace of the Kappaneko village. “Everyone! We’re under attack! We must protect country to the death until Hikaru’s wedding!” Once the Elder spoke, everyone raised their weapons in unison. However, the opponents of the protagonists in an adult Manga just aren’t up to the task. Akane and the others… no… even before the Sailor Tenshi’s attack the Kappaneko were scrambling and falling over each other. “Ah… Darling!” At that moment, a white wedding dress-clad Hikaru-chan came running up. “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” It was… once again it was unbelievable… She was such a beautiful bride… for that moment, I didn’t want to look at anything else. Ma… Madoka, I’m sorry… but Hikaru-chan was so pretty. “I… I thought it would be like this.” It was Kazuya who spoke the words that were in my heart. “H… hey, Kazuya! I told you not to look into other people’s hearts!” “Ke… ke… what do you mean, Kyousuke-neechan. You’re the one being a pervert in this emergency.” “Huh? A, well, no…” “Ah… darling. What are we going to do?” Hikaru-chan looked as if about to cry and was clinging to my arm. “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” “Eh, Hikaru-neechan, you’re blushing!” “Kyada kyada! Kazuya-kun, you shouldn’t tease the older girls you know,” she said, looking shy, but then, “I’m blushing? Darling?” she asked without any embarrassment, as if there was no one else around. “Wa… wait a moment Hikaru-chan. This isn’t the time or place for this. This is…” But at that instant Hikaru-chan vanished from right in front of me. “Wh… what?” “Kyousuke-niichan! Manami-neechan, no, Sailor Pink has Hikaruneechan!” “Huh?” I looked in the direction Kazuya was pointing, and saw Hikaru-chan floating in an engulfing whirlpool of pink light (no, more like captured). This

pink whirlpool of light was being lifted by the Pink Sailor Tenshi, with a similar light coming from a stick she held. “Kyousuke0niichan, Sailor Pink’s special power is ‘The Pink Sigh’!” Pink… sigh? That son of a bitch Hatta. When I get back to the real world our friendship is over! “A…. re…. Da… rl… ing!” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” In the Kasuga family household, we have a rule to never show The Power in front of other people. But… but these weren’t ordinary people. These were bad Angels. Furthermore, even if we were in a Manga, these were my sisters and cousin. I could see nothing bad about it here. “Ei!” I made a big leap towards Manami, and teleported. “Yeah! Kyousuke-niichan! Go for it!” Kazuya gave me a nonchalant cheer. I didn’t mind, and I appeared next to Manami saying “Hey, Manami, give me back Hikaru-chan!” Ga! The stick dropped from the powerful girl’s hands. “Akyan! Oh… oh no!” At that same moment, the whirlpool of pink light vanished. “Kyada! Kyada!…..” Hikaru-chan fell straight downwards. “No… not good!” Once again I teleported. So one moment she was falling, and the next instant I was holding her to my chest. “Hikaru-chan!” “Yada… I’m impressed! You used magic, didn’t you darling!” “Ma… magic? Er, well, ah… it’s…” “So cool so cool so cool! You whistled, and you flew in the air! That means that maybe just maybe, my child can use magic too?” “Huh?” “Oh, yada… surely before I die I’ll have a cute child, darling?” “Wa… wait a moment, Hi… Hikaru-chan…” Just at that moment Hikaru-chan and I were again engulfed in a violent whirlpool of light and were blown apart from each other. “Kya…!” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” While flying away, I desperately tried to catch on to Hikaru-chan. …But, bam! Something struck my entire body, and I was knocked cold. I regained consciousness… I think… shortly afterwards… it seemed. For some reason I was surrounded by my sisters… no, the faces of the Sailor Tenshi, and a bit away from me could be seen fire and smoke coming from the Kappaneko village. Tha… that’s right. Hikaru-chan?

In my confused, half-awake state, I looked around me. Hikaru-chan was gone. Instead, a new girl stood there, making me want to shout “no way!” If I looked back at the changed Sailor Tenshi, all three had undergone a complete change; their faces now tense. And the didn’t seem to care a bit about me. Probably the light that had struck Hikaru-chan and I had been caused by the Sailor Tenshi. But now, they turned their attention away from me and gave a fierce look to the new girl, their present opponent. Somewhere a navy blue sailor suit. Dark, long black hair. Those penetrating eyes that show straight at the Sailor Tenshi. I slowly stood up and knew this sailor-suited girl was familiar. This girl, probably from this world, I called out to. “A… Ayukawa… Madoka, right?” Then Madoka, the girl who some years later I would sleep with… a… er… whose fate I would be so tied to, gave me a hard stare upon hearing me speak. “Don’t use that name so familiar. Even if I did give you the straw hat!” Straw hat?… The Red Straw Hat? This slightly different Tenshi called Madoura, unlike Akane and the others, knew me. On top of that this Madoura from Hatta’s Manga didn’t really seem the same as the real Madoka. In other words, this one came from the Manga or Kazuya’s imagination. The traditional Kappaneko had come to reality… that time… sometime after we had met on those stairs, and according to the real Kappaneko ways had taken her picture.

Act III – You know your fate is tied to mine? “Madoura-sama! Please come to your senses! Do you really intend to get in our way?” Sailor Red Akane called out to Madoka. Akane, even if she did have lesbian tendencies, even if interested in certain treasures, always had these feelings of friendship for Madoka (anyway, that’s how it is in the real world). Upon seeing Madoka… no, Madoura she seemed to drift into a fever. “The one’s who haven’t come to their senses are all of you! You’re becoming the screw-ups of the Magic Army!” “Don’t… don’t be stupid. The Tenshi were originally the loyal servants of the Devin Adeluf-sama. Don’t be so stubborn and hurry up, you must turn over the new virgin to the Devil-sama.” Next to her, Manami, Sailor Pink, and Kurumi, Sailor Yellow, both said “Uh huh!” I didn’t know what had happened to them…

…Anyway, this Ayukawa Madoka, well, the Strayed Tenshi Madoura of Hatta’s Manga, appeared to be the ranking older sister. In other words, he had used the Stray girl from our junior high school days as the model. “Eei!” Akane, with great feeling and preparation, spun her baton. Then, “Whatever you can do, you won’t get in our way.” Madoura… er, Madoka, as she said this, Shu shu shu! A number of picks appeared between her fingers (picks, as in guitar picks) and she shot them towards Sailor Red. Come to think of it, the Madoka of that time was called “Madoka the Pick”! Just like all those years ago (hey, pervert detective)… anyway, the Sailor Tenshi attacked. The Sailor Tenshi started saying things like “Beautiful…” and “Miracle…” and “Blizzard…”, and all that performance stuff. But Madoka wasn’t about to lose. Instead of a similar performance, she released her picks and presented more. Although I watched all this dumbfounded, I soon said “It doesn’t need to be like this!” or some such, and began following the girls with my camera. There was no doubt that the personalities of the Sailor Tenshi had been changed. If the Elder had spoken the truth, I had to take a picture of this bad part of this world. But anyway, “Madoura-sama, some one, you’ve been our friend. Madoura! Remember!” like that. They kept saying such bad things as they withdrew. …Still, if I could show a photo to Kurumi and the others they might return to their conceivable selves. “Hey, you okay?”

While she said this I picked up a few picks and went to her. I said, “You saved me, neh?… a ha ha…” Laughing with no real meaning to it. The 15 year-old Madoka was a bit dazzling. While I did kind of miss this sailor-suit wearing girl… but since that time the Ayukawa Madoka before me and I had grown close… of course, there’s no reason she would know about the kisses… or the sex we’d had. I, somehow only I knew her secret (well, her truth)… it might be some great crime but I was so glad to see her that I allowed myself to be wrapped up in that feeling. “A, ah… Ayukawa…” I called her in the name I used before calling her Madoka. “Oh, hey do… you know my name?” Madoka answered bluntly. “The stairs kid.” “St.. stairs… k… kid?” Maybe… maybe this was the girl who had only just met me at the top of the 100/99 stairs. I might not have told her my name yet. “A ha… A ha ha ha…” My memory of it came back, Madoka’s as well, we had had a lively exchange then, and had both laughed. That’s it. That’s right. In this way this Kimagure Angel’s expression would change. “I’m Kasuga Kyousuke.” “Kasuga… Kyousuke?” “Right. Ha ha ha… to put it bluntly, you and I will be close friends someday.” “Why?” “Na ha ha… It’s destiny.” “Destiny?” “Right.” I waved my hands before her face as if casting a spell. “Right right… Ayukawa Madoka… you are connected to me… just kidding…” But Madoka swatted my hands away. “You must be joking!” “Eh? Ah, we, well… maybe it’s too soon…” “What are you talking about. Your head okay?” “Hey, hey, hey, A… Ayukawa…” If you think about it, this was awfully brave of me. There’s no reason for the Madoka of that time to believe my story. I acted confused and changed the subject. “Um, anyway. Why do they call you the Stray Tenshi Madoura?” Ayukawa shrugged her shoulders like anyone else would. “Who knows. Ever since I can remember. Yes. Ever since… those kids have thought I’m another Angel…” “And before you realized it, they thought you were bad.” “Ah, Hmm.” Madoka murmured in spite of herself, biting her lip as if a bit embarrassed.

Anything that the “real” Kappaneko took a picture of would be brought to this world, with little memory left to them. This Madoka would carry some doubts. …But… “What?” I had snuck a peek at her, and she quickly lifted her head my way. “Huh?” “You look like you’re trying to laugh.” Now I knew why the Sailor Tenshi had gone crazy. It was Kazuya’s fault. But form all that, I still thought it strange that Madoka had been so seriously worried about them. “It’s a laugh, isn’t it? Such a strange laugh.” “I’m not laughing!” “Liar.” “No… no lie! But why? Why are you the only one who hasn’t gone crazy?” “Oh, that’s easy.” “Huh? What do you mean?” “Because I’m an incomplete angel. According to the Goddess I can’t follow them.” I see. That’s her role. “Therefore, ‘Stray Tenshi’. From the start I was neither bad nor good. Because I’m still a bit kimagure, I’m the only one who can same my former half-sister Sailor Tenshi.” “A ha… Kimagure, kimagure.” “What!?” “Un, er, nothing, nothing.” But just then, with a sudden jerk Madoka’s face came closer. She looked at my face mysteriously, but closely. “A, Ayukawa… what’s up?” “Neh, what you said before, is it true?” “Eh?” “That we’re going to be very close. That story.” “What’s this all of a sudden! I was pretty beat up before. “But… it’s like you’re older.” “O… older?” “Kasuga-kun’s face. After meeting at the stairs, so much like him.” Ga… gack! Shock! Good god, she couldn’t possible remember it this way. But… somehow, no doubt about it, this Madoka could see me in the 22-year old Ojisan I now am. “Somehow… Ojisan Kasuga-kun must have a reason for being here.” “A, Ayukawa…” I braced myself for it, then seriously looked at Madoka again. “Anyway, Ayukawa. You want to hear Ojisan’s story?”

15-year old Madoka looked me straight in the eye. I looked at this Madoka over and over. This time, Ayukawa Madoka… so gently… if she fully opened her heart… anyway, to listen to the story with all her heart. In no way could she turn against me… those glittering eyes searched me so deeply. I gulped and swallowed a bit of saliva, and I began to tell her what made up this world. First of all, this guy Hatta you know (will know?) willfully created this world where the Kappaneko bring girls here. Then, the empowered Kazuya came along and everything went nuts. Madoka, after my tale was done, let out a small sigh then fell silent. She didn’t believe it immediately. But her brow drifted into a bit of a frown, and she seemed to put my story into context. From somewhere the wind blew. The wind blew her hair in front of her lips, and Ayukawa Madoka entangled her hair in her fingers. This unconcerned manner… was so cute. I regretted just a bit that ‘this’ me couldn’t hold her tight. After a little while, Madoka’s normal look returned. Even a slight smile. “Say, Ojisan… Kasuga-kun?” “Huh? Hey hey, it’s a little early to be calling me ‘Ojisan’.” She laughed. “So you have come to save this crazy world?” “More or less… you believe me?” The 15-year old Madoka got a dreamy look in her eyes. “Neh…” As if a bit embarrassed, she looked me in the face. “Wh… what?” “Us… just how close are we?” “Eh?” “How close… we will be?” “A, Ayukawa…!” Then came a bit of good timing. …However, this time… I mean the time I had just met Ayukawa, despite the fact that I had decided… “Kyaha! Kyada kyada! Darling… are you there?” Hikaru-chan’s piercing voice broke the two of us apart. A, er, well it’s not really Hikaru-chan’s fault. Reflexively Madoka and I drew apart. Hikaru-chan had been thrown in the direction of the Kappaneko village by the shock of Madoka’s counterattack against the Sailor Tenshi’s skilled attack, it seemed. …But, be that as it may. “Hi… Hikaru?” “Eh? No way! If it isn’t Madoka-san!” What? Hikaru-chan knows Madoka? I see. Hikaru-chan and Madoka both had their pictures taken by the original Kappaneko.

Anyway, upon first meeting in this world both gave a surprised shout to each other and hugged. …This was getting complicated. “Wah… Madoka-san saved us, didn’t she! Hikaru is so moved!” Hikaru-chan, and of course Madoka, were always together in those days, and were so happy. …But!… “Hikaru-chan, what’s up with the wedding dress?” A new development. It started with “Kyaha! I knew you’d ask me that, Madoka-san!” …Hikaru-chan with great pride began explaining the story. It had been going so well with Madoka… and now I felt I should start running. And then, “So after all that, Darling and I are going to sleep together…!” As soon as Hikaru-chan said it (and my breath caught up in my throat) just like in the old days, this air that nothing had happened between us fell in one stroke. Of course, Super Hikaru-chan never noticed. She just beamed brightly. I think Madoka said, “I’m not very comfortable with you getting married at 13…” “But, darling knows how to do it well, he said. Trust me! I think…” she finally said (he he he). Then came the last straw. “Hey, one more thing one more thing, Madoka-san? Madoka-san absolutely, absolutely, must come to mine and darling’s newlywed house to have fun to,” she said, grabbing onto my arm. (Uwaaa!) Madoka, maybe… gave a little twitch upon hearing this. (Maybe. Like hell. Absolutely!) “I see. Good for you, Hikaru. Decided to sleep with a good man.” She gave me an icy stare, then turned on her heel. “Hey her, A, Ayukawa…” I wanted to hastily pull her back. But she gave me a sharp stare like crystal, and said, “Eh… become close, will we?” “A, Ayukawa!” “What’s this about, Madoka-san? Become close, darling and I?” “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” “Looks that way. Seems that Kasuga-kun can see the future. He said he can absolutely see the future.” “He… hey, Ayukawa…” “Aaan, darling, he can do anything…” “Ah, now hold on…” While I pried Hikaru-chan’s hands off of me, Madoka began to withdraw. “Madoka-san, you’ll go, won’t you? Absolutely, absolutely, please come to our Newlywed house.” “Hi… Hikaru-chan…”

Madoka glared again (!) then laughed (!) and said, “Hikaru, what would be a good wedding gift; think about it, okay!” “Got it! Madoka-san.” …Kasuga Kyousuke, 22 years old. The fact that the person I am now is going through the same type of situation I had in my High School days… I never dreams this would happen. Happy, sad… no real emotion at all, and yet I’ve fallen into this complicated emotional state… However… upon returning to the Kappaneko village, once again, just like when Hikaru-chan first put on the wedding dress, something that made me very nervous happened. Ayukawa Madoka was carried off by the Devil Adeluf. ACT IV – As You and I live in a Different World It was Kazuya and a Kappaneko friend who told me that Stray Tenshi Madoura had been taken away. The two of them, even though restoring the area was important (they looked like they were tying up tons of thick logs) they had gone to the lake where I had first run into Hikaru-chan. There they had seen the Sailor Tenshi’s Masenshi (translator’s note: this means Evil Army, but I like the term so I’m going to use it) take away Madoura… I mean Ayukawa Madoka. I immediately grabbed a hold of Kazuya and teleported us to the lake. “Damn! Which way, Kazuya? Ayukawa… which way did they take Ayukawa Madoka?” “It’s okay, don’t worry Kyousuke-niichan. When we’re talking about ‘I’ll forgive you’ you don’t have to get upset. If I’m not mistaken, the Devil Adeluf’s hideout is an island right in the midst of this lake. “Island?” Just like before, the lake was shrouded by a thick fog. I could see considerably further than when I met Hikaru-chan. There was an island in the midst of this lake? As I thought this Kazuya read my thoughts and said. “He he. It is our irresponsible Hatta’s Manga, after all. Somewhere in the middle of the serialization, the size of the lake got changed.” “Shit!” If I took my trusty Cannon Camera and used the telephoto lens, I should be able to see through the fog. That was all I could think of as I used the finder and focused.

From the view of the camera lens the fog cleared, and a fortress-like island floated up. “There!” “You can see the devil’s hideout! Let me see, let me see!” “Idiot. You couldn’t do it yet at you Power.” “Shit…” Using all the Power I could I did a close-up of the fortress and then I could hear some kind of commotion. In a moment, I could hear everything clearly. “Heh heh… Stray Tenshi Madoura, once you meet Devil Adeluf-sama, you’ll return to normal.” That was… Akane? Ah, no, the voice of Sailor Tenshi Akane. Sure enough, there through my finder appeared Madoka, in the hands of the Sailor Tenshi, being dragged to the Devil’s hideout. “Ayukawa!” “Kyousuke-niichan! You’ve spotted Madoka-neechan?” “Kazuya. Return to the village.” “Oh, come on…” Paying no attention to Kazuya, I teleported through the finder of the camera. “Hey! Oniichan…!” Kazuya shouted. With a deafening sound I entered a different plane and vanished. Before my eyes was incredible light and heat. Then in a twinkling I could see the Masenshi pressing in on Madoka. At the top of my lungs I shouted, “Ayukawa…!” And then it felt like a great scene from Hatta’s Manga. I’m sorry (well, not really), but then I gave an abundant display of the Kasuga family Power. Maybe Hatta would have thought it appropriate. All kinds of shapes of Masenshi had their souls devoured. Then I freed Madoka and she yelled “You still don’t remember!” while standing to face the Sailor Tenshi. However… once said it was clear we were out-numbered. For someone like me who isn’t a fan of Hatta’s Manga I had no idea what it would be like to fight the Devil Adeluf. The first priority would be to get the hell out of here! I ran up to Madoka, who was just about to attack Manami Sailor Pink and yelled “Madoka!” and grabbed her from behind. “Wh… what are you doing?”

“Don’t take it the wrong way – we’ve got to get out of here now!” “Huh?” “Hold on tight!” Madoka’s eyes got even bigger. But this wasn’t the time for explanations. “Ei!” With all my might I held on to Madoka and teleported. “Where… where are we?” This was the first time Madoka had gone through jumping to another plane, and it surprised her. When you enter the time stream, you float and read the magnetic patters while you move. But for a normal person like Madoka, it would just be brilliantly colored lights… In other words, floating through all these lights, the sensation of something powerful flying behind one would be a bit (okay, a lot) unsettling, no doubt. 15-year old Madoka, upon seeing these bewitching lights, grasped my shoulders with great force. “A, Ayukawa…” I spite of myself I… curiously enough, called her by that name. While she couldn’t believe what she was seeing, she looked back at me. Ah… those adult-like eyes of Madoka that I would someday fall in love with. “Hey.” “Hmm?” “Before… that story about coming from outside of this world.” “Yeah…” “That… that place… I… a different me lives there.” “Yes.” “Kasuga-kun… you and I… are close there.” “Yes.” “I… Kasuga-kun’s power… I know about it?” “Er, uh, you mean, this power?” “Yes.” “You know… Now, at any rate.” “Huh?” “I… I couldn’t tell you. At that time… but I’ve spoken of the Kasuga family power to Ayukawa… I’ve told Madoka.” “That time?” That… that my life and Ayukawa Madoka’s will be so wrapped into each other. That we’ll be deeply in love… “Kasuga-kun? What’s wrong?” “Ayukawa… we’re back at the edge of the lake.” Avoiding her singleminded inquiry, I brought us out, standing where I had been with Kazuya earlier.

It appeared that Kazuya had gone back to the village. My trusty Canon was placed on a rock, waiting to take me home. “You take a picture of the bad things of this world?” Madoka said, holding the Canon. “Uh, yeah. According to the Elder of the Kappaneko, if I do that things return to normal… at least peace will return to the Kappaneko world.” “Hey…” Madoka gave a small meaningful sigh… but soon her voice dropped. “But… after that Kasuga-kun… then what?” “Huh?” “Kasuga-kun… you’re not from this world, right?” “Ah, uh huh…” “I see… you’ll disappear won’t you,” Madoka said with a sigh. “A, Ayukawa…” “So you’ll go… strange isn’t it?” “Eh? Wha… what is?” The Kasuga-kun I met… the Kasuga-kun I gave the red straw hat to… where do you suppose he is?” I… somehow… now I noticed that she was feeling awkward about it. The Madoka before me, 15-year old Madoka… the Kappaneko came to the human world and brought her back here. In the real world the actual Madoka was still there… in other words the one I would become close to was still living there… This Ayukawa Madoka… this Madoka who lived in the Kappaneko wonderland… maybe, this one who gave Kasuga Kyousuke the red straw hat could never see him again. That careless remark of mine “Your fate and mine are bound together”… this girl could only line in this world. She might have to forget about the Kasuga Kyousuke she gave the red straw hat to. “What’s with you?” Madoka’s voice suddenly came back. “Huh?” “This other world. A different world… well then, the Ayukawa Madoka who becomes close to Kasuga-kun… that me, is so much the same, but is another person.” “A, Ayukawa…” The 15-year old Madoka seemed scared. Before being left alone, she had come to understand things on her own. It would help ease the paid she would feel afterwards. She’s probably been able to do this since she was a child, when her parents went abroad and left her alone… from before she met me she’s been able to brace herself this way I think… but for this younger Ayukawa Madoka it seemed like a cruel thing. But… then. Something warm pressed against my lips. My heart skipped a beat. 15year old Ayukawa Madoka’s quivering lips met mine.

Her sorrow… she fell into my arms… with such energy and force… my breath was labored and my nerves paralyzed. “Ma… Madoka…” After that long kiss, my pulse was so strong you could hear it. I felt full of guilt. Even supposing that Madoka started it, I had no idea now if kissing her would make the wound deeper or not. But… 15-year old Madoka, as if nothing had even happened, used my camera to take pictures of the lake, and in a cheerful voice said, “When?” “Eh? Wh… when?” “Well, becoming so close to you, how old was Ayukawa Madoka when you kissed?” “A, ah… ei… eighteen, I think?” “I win!” “Huh?” “I’m still 15… so I beat her.” “A, Ayukawa…” “Even though… you’re more an Ojisan.” “Oh, hey now…” Then, this young girl Madoka laughed and tossed me the camera; the flash went off and the shutter clicked. …But then… I… That time, her smile… that spirited front of hers was nowhere to be seen. Then, “Aah, darling, you’re safe!” Again Hikaru-chan and Kazuya ran up. Then the worst things of all began. The Devil Adeluf, once informed of my power, was personally leading his army towards the Kappaneko village. “Oh… oh no!”

“Ah… Darling. We have to do it right away…” “Eh? Wh… do what?” “Come on Kyousuke-niichan. Marry Hikaru-chan of course.” “What?” Hikaru moaned. “Kyada kyada. Hikaru went to such pains, took time… wanted romance… so boldly… Da… ha ha ha! I wanted to go slow! Right? Darling?” “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” I looked sideways to Madoka. But she a cut me sharp look and started taking pictures. As the Elder had said, when Hikaru-chan and I came together… when Hikaru-chan’s virgin power and my Power combined… what kind of power would result I couldn’t fathom. That kind of power should be able to suppress the Devil Adeluf’s army. But… well. (Whether I wanted to do this with Hikaru-chan or not was beside the point!) Now there didn’t seem to be another way. “A… anyway, back to the village!” I said with a bit of fresh resolve. Then, Madoka, who hadn’t taken part in the conversation, with her kimagure personality looked me square in the face but addressed Hikaru-chan. “Okay. Now Hikaru. You have sex with Kasuga-kun, and Madoka-san will be the cameraman,” she said so stubbornly, while looking only at me. …At that moment, my heart skipped a beat. This was unbelievable; on the other hand Hikaru-chan seemed so happy. I just wanted to vanish. Alone. Anywhere.

ACT V – In bed before an Angel? Don doku don doku…! Back at the Kappaneko village comes the big climax. In the village, the scars of the battle with the Sailor Tenshi had been left behind, and the midst of the meeting hall had been restored. On top of that, the ceremonial bed… the scaffold-like bed where Hikaru-chan and I were supposed to do our thing had been grandly raised, really looked strong enough and was magnificent (It was in such bad taste before!) Around the bed were drawn silk curtains, and felt as if for some sort of holy ceremony. But as the curtains were partially sheer, people in the meeting hall… er… the Kappaneko would be able to see every holy (?) event that took place inside. “Ah, er, Elder… This is where, the, wedding ceremony will be?” The Elder led me, and when I arrived along with Hikaru-chan and Madoka before that curtain I was feeling out of sorts.

“Zat’s a right… well, Kyousuke-kun. What do you think? Magnificent, isn’t it?” “Kyaha! True true, Hikaru is so moved! Right, right, Madoka-san?” “Uh huh, Kasuga-kun, you’re experienced. Do you think it’s strong enough…” “H, hey hey, A, Ayukawa…” “Aaannnn… Yada… Madoka-san… Darling, usually he’s soft (translator’s note: that’s really what she says – she means gentle)… when it’s time… I wonder if he’ll be wild like a god…!” “A, hey… Hikaru-chan…” Hikaru-chan had never felt so happy and frolicked around. Off to the side, Madoka was stone silent and gave me a cold stare. “Okay young humans. Let’s begin… To protect our Holy Trees, let the wedding ceremony commence. A disturbing wind is starting to blow.” No doubt about it, some kind of disquieting wind had begun in the green-scent forest. “Bu… but, Elder, by doing this a power that can protect the land will be born?” “What are you saying Kyousuke-kun. Look at our land’s protective trees.” “Huh?” “Just by having the virgin girl and a healthy boy stand before the bed we worked so hard to build the leaves shine brightly and the trunks are more sturdy, aren’t they!” I didn’t tell him that it didn’t really seem that way to me. But there was no doubt that the trees that had suffered from the Sailor Tenshi’s attack in the meeting hall did seem full of life. “Kasuga-kun…” “Yes?” “After, it’s that. Once it’s done, it’s over. Every possible tree in our land will gain power… Even if the Devil Adeluf attacks we will be able to beat it back.” “Once it’s… done?” I must have looked like an idiot right then. The elder reached out to my stupid face, and put the thumb from one hand into a closed circle made with the fingers of his other hand. “Pon! That.” He said with significance. Ah, well… anyway, I got the significance of the Elder’s words. So, once I took Hikaru-chan’s virginity (note: implies penetration)… In other word’s, once it’s done, no doubt the power would be born. “Here…. We…. Go…. Now get to it!” Upon the Elder’s words Hikaru-chan and I turned towards the holy bed. “Ke ke! Kyousuke-niichan… good luck good luck!” Kazuya flashed a peace sign while helping to raise the silk curtains. Jeez. Why do I have to take this peace sign from a grade-schooler?

I used the power to give Kazuya a thump on the head. “Jeez. This is all your fault you know. Be serious! Be serious!” Kazuya gave a small crying moan, which I didn’t mind, and Hikaruchan went on, passing through the curtains. …Just then… I took a look towards Madoka. But at that moment that I stared at Madoka she took a picture of my face with my trusty Canon. So just then I had no idea what was on her face. While taking the picture of my face, in a crisp voice Ayukawa Madoka said, “Hikaru. Camera angle is perfect.” Hikaru-chan didn’t answer. I passed through the curtain and entered, and Hikaru-chan stood by the side of the bed, as if unsure what to do next. She was fumbling with the ornamentations of her pure white wedding dress. The curtains fell, and inside fell a strange quiet. Once we were alone Hikaru-chan seemed un-worried and her old smile showed. “Um… darling?” “Huh?” “Uh… I thought… the wedding dress… I should take it off?” “A… yes…” Hey hey, that was brilliant, Kyousuke. I turned and could make out Madoka through the curtain. As before, she was taking pictures of my face. A perfect camera angle she said. Ayukawa Madoka… Ayukawa… I turned from Madoka to again face Hikaru-chan… The next instant my heart stopped again. Hikaru-chan had taken off the wedding dress. I could see her skin through the pure white but transparent underwear. “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” She seemed to be more like the Hikaru-chan who had been playing at the lake… a bit sensual, like a woman… anyway, that time… like many other times… it was more than enough to… get a rise out of my sexual instincts. Hikaru-chan said in a quaking voice, “Kya… kyada darling… don’t… please don’t stare at me that way…” “A… aaa…” I turned my confused eyes away and began to unbutton my shirt. I couldn’t look at Ayukawa Madoka again. This world isn’t the one I live in… for one thing, this was only in the middle Hatta’s Manga… but the 15-year old Madoka and 13 year-old Hikaruchan had really been brought here by the Kappaneko… anyway. Even supposing all this, I had no doubt that the life and death of this world was held by people. Even before Ayukawa Madoka, this thing I was to do… become tied to Hikaru-chan… I had to do it to protect this world. I’m sorry… 15 year-old, just barely met, Ayukawa.

…I… you… I can’t be with you anymore… I took off the shirt, and Hikaru-chan lay on her back in the bed. I pulled my (under)shirt over my shoulders, while in the bed she took off her underwear and quietly dropped them beneath the bed. “Hi… Hikaru-chan…” I sat down beside Hikaru-chan. Hikaru-chan murmured “Darling” and closed those big eyes of hers. Then for some reason she sighed. “…What’s wrong?” Hikaru-chan’s eyes were still closed, but a small smile came to her lips and she shook her head slightly. “No… but, unexpectedly, this seems wrong…” “What is?” “I’m shaking, and this has happened only once before I think.” “Once?” “Y… yes.” Hikaru-chan paused a moment to search her memory. “Ah, yes. When I had just entered grade school… Madoka-san and I…” “Ayukawa and you?” “Yes. I was with a friend having fun on my way home, and we got lost on a dark road. A stray dog was following us. We…” “Uh huh.” “Madoka-san saved us from certain death by driving the dog away… she saved us.” “A, aa…” “Always… It’s always been like this. Me and Madoka-san… Madokasan, no matter how scared or trembling… so in place of me quaking I always hang in there.” A, Ayukawa…! This… it struck me as the same type of situation now as well. Ayukawa… while Madoka protected scared Hikaru-chan… while taking her protective stance with the camera… but on the other hand… it must have been hard… withstanding all this. The, Hikaru-chan’s eyes popped open. She had regained her composure. With her mind made up, she looked at me. Then, as before she said slowly and softly, “It’s… all right… I am.” This girl in one breath had become a woman? “Hikaru-chan!” While feeling Madoka’s stare through the curtain I came closer to kiss Hikaru-chan on the forehead. But… just then… Go… Gong! A ringing like sound came from outside and the bed shook violently. “What, what the?” “Da, Darling. Look! The Devil is…” “Huh?” I looked in the direction Hikaru-chan was pointing, to see the Devil Adeluf leading his entire army to attack.

At the lead were Akane, Kurumi and Manami Sailor Tenshi, followed by the many types of soldiers. The Devil Adeluf seemed to blanket them, overseeing everything while getting bigger and rapidly closer. Then in a voice like the anime voice actor Shiozawa Kaneto-san (Hatta’s probably a fan) in a nihilistic and overly obsequious manner said, “Ku ku ku… Fools! Against the wishes of Devil Adeluf-sama, it seems you wanted to borrow the power of a human match of a man and woman to give birth to a new power… All right. Adeluf will just drop all of you into the depths of hell myself!” “Kyahoo! Kyousuke-niichan! Look, look, it’s him it’s him! Devil Adeluf! Ain’t it cool?” Kazuya opened the curtain in his excitement. “Idiot! Even if you are family I’m going to crack your skull!” But the Elder’s head followed. “Now now. Hurry up! Be quick, Kyousuke-kun! Adeluf is coming down to the land to end it all.” “Oh… oh no, even if you say hurry…” I hadn’t even kissed her yet! “What are you doing Kasuga-kin!” Madoka ran up with an angry expression on her face. “A, Ayukawa…!” “You came to protect this forest, yes!” “Th… that’s true but…” Camera carrying Ayukawa Madoka was complete different from earlier and was clearly flustered. Not unreasonable. She knew that the power of the Devil Adeluf and the Sailor Tenshi combined would be stronger than anyone. Setting aside Hikaru-chan and I having sex (setting aside indeed!) we had to escape from the danger. However… however! To escape the danger… have sex with Hikaru-chan in front of Madoka… what a choice! “Darling! We have to try!” Hikaru-chan said, grabbing my arm with a sudden jerk and pulling me to the bed. “Hi… Hikaru-chan!” Madoka made the camera ready. Well, she put the camera on automatic and kashan! Kashan! Kashan! Just then, Zugaaaaaaaaan! The entire meeting area shook violently. The Devil Adeluf had just arrived. “Ah!” Thanks to the vibration, Madoka fell onto the bed with me and Hikaruchan. “A, Ayukawa…!” In the confusion, I fell towards Madoka. Just then the flash on the camera Madoka was carrying went off. “Uwaaa!”

In spite of myself, I covered my eyes. At the same time, I seemed to spring up into the air. No, not seemed. I was thrown into the air. “Kasuga-kun!” “Darling!” Madoka and Hikaru-chan said. But my eyes still burned from the flash, and the Kappaneko, the demon army, and everything else seemed to vanish, and sound fled as well. In this state I fell once again back into the void. A Slightly Dangerous Epilogue. “Kyousuke-niichan… Kyousuke-niichan…” I regained consciousness to Kazuya’s voice. Not a Kappaneko, but the human Kazuya seemed to be glaring at me. There was something familiar in my hand. I didn’t even have to look. It was my trusty Canon. “Wha… what happened?” I got up as I said this and realized we were in the midst of the Primeval Forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji near the village of Narusawa in Yamanashi Prefecture. Of course, the lake where I met Hikaruchan wasn’t there. “We’ve returned. Thank you, Kyousuke-niichan.” “I know that… but how did we get back?” “Ah, well when Madoka-neechan joined you and Hikaru-neechan on the bed there was a flash!” “Huh? Flash!” “Come on… you took a picture of the Devil Adeluf!” “Oh, I see… Oh…!” Just like the Kappaneko Elder had said. In one snap all the insane bad things had been put back in their correct places through the camera. In spite of myself I asked Kazuya about the Ayukawa Madoka and Hikaru-chan of that world… but I stopped myself. The Primeval Forest had already gained an orange tinge. “Let’s go, Kazuya.” “Hmm.” “Never ever do this again.” “Right right.” I was going to give Kazuya a nudge on his head… but instead only smacked him on the behind. Then I walked straight towards Fugakufuuketsu. During that walk I was tempted many times to go back… but I didn’t. Going back… I had no doubt… no doubt that 15 year-old Ayukawa Madoka and 13 year-old Hikaru-chan were still there. Then maybe, without this “Ojisan”, once Madoka and I met at the 100 steps… they would go back to being close friends.

Hikaru-chan’s brightness would hold onto Madoka’s solitary way… Madoka would take Hikaru-chan’s youth under her wing… they… they would be great together again. Goodbye, 15 year-old Ayukawa Madoka. Goodbye, 13 year-old Hikaru-chan. P.S. Once I got back home I went and sealed myself into the bathroom I use as a darkroom and developed the pictures I took in the Kappaneko land. But while I was doing that… “Oniichan! Madoka-san’s here,” came Manami’s voice from the living room. “Hmm? Oh, oh no!” In the developing fluid on the film paper the images of the Devil Adeluf, the Kappaneko version of Kazuya, the Sailor Tenshi versions of my sisters were beginning to appear. And and, naturally pictures of Hikaru-chan and I in be. “Wa! Wa... wait a moment!” Whenever I was developing film, Madoka would usually turn out the lights in the hall outside and then come in. So she said, “It’s all right. It’s dark out here, so I’m coming in.” 22 year-old Madoka gave a wry smile and came in. “How was it? Your expedition to the Primeval Forest?” “Huh? Ah, er, well…” I didn’t have time to hide the pictures, and Madoka suddenly took a peek into the developing fluid. Jeezus! This would be the end! …But as I resigned myself to it… “Yada… nothing came out!” Madoka said in a thoroughly disappointed voice. “Eh?” …Surprisingly, sure enough, on the film paper nothing showed… no, not nothing showed… but without my noticing it the images had vanished. Everything that happened in the Kappaneko world… that world… in other words, in my world even the images burned into the film paper… were no longer necessary. “A ha, er, well, a complete failure…” “Is that okay? I mean this was on Hatta-kun’s request, after all.” “It’s okay, it’s okay. He owes me more for this than he knows.” “Huh?”

I gave a bit of a laugh and pulled the paper from the developing fluid. “H… hold one… Kyousuke, what’s this?” “Eh?” It was one of the disappearing things. A single sailor-suited girl had appeared. Partially adult, partly as if crafted of glass and easy to wound… a lovely girl. 15 year-old… Ayukawa Madoka. “Eh? Oh no! Isn’t this me?” “E? A, er, um… funny, isn’t it…? Just kidding.” I laughed a bit deceivingly, without ease. 22 year-old Madoka gave me a look that told me she doubted me completely and said, “Okay. Superman Kasuga Kyousuke-kun. I seems you have a long, long story. It’s time for dinner. I suppose I’ll have to listen very carefully.” “A, Ayukawa…” “But only of course… if it’s your treat.” Ayukawa Madoka, upon saying that, showed an exceptional smile…………… END

Postscript by Matsumoto Izumi
Hello, Matsumoto Izumi here. Before I’d even been aware of it I’d written 3 Kimargure Orange Road novels. This time, I had help from Tereda Kenji with illustrations by Takayuki Goto, whom I thank for their work and putting up with it all, for which I apologize. We had a schedule to keep. Come to think of it, as the first novel was turned into an Anime movie, the Anime stretched on for about 8 years. I was invited to a private screening. It is a great movie, and if you haven’t seen Kimagure Orange Road yet by all means do so. I strongly advise it. Tereda-san’s plot is very precise, Goto-san’s character designs are cool, and Touyama-san (the Director) skillfully infused the play with adult drama. Fututani-san, Tazu-san and Gan-san once again did great voice work, the piano compositions of (sorry, can’t read this one) were wonderful, and I think it’s the best Kimagure Orange Road anime ever done. And there’s no doubt that the novel for “New Kimagure Orange Road” is fun too. You may be aware that now I produce the digital CD ROM comic “Comic On”. Digital comics are ones you view on your computer. Our pace of publishing one CD ROM every 3 months keeps me very busy. Tozai EMI has been publishing them since last February, and we’re now on volume 4. Of course it’s not just new work by me, but also work by young Manga artists like (he names 5 names here, and I don’t get the Kanji for any of them – Name Kanji can be very tough). It’s in full color, with sound, with a portion animated as well. If you don’t have access to a computer, you won’t be able to use the interactive features woven into exciting Manga. Starting May 28th when volume 4 goes on sale, my new S.F. Comic “EE” will begin serial publication. The first challenge in SF was that I wanted this idea brewing in my head for six years to be presented digitally. Every issue has a new music version of Kimagure Orange Road. Take a look, please. You can find it worldwide at any P.C. store. Oh, my new Internet site is http://www.ask.or.jp/~comicon/. But you may think, “We can’t collect the work of Matsumoto Izumi because lately it’s all digital? How sad.” Worry not. I’m thinking up a new project, so please be patient a bit longer. Not much of a postscript, is it. Well, later… March 1997 Matsumoto Izumi

Postscript from Tereda Kenji
Last fall, when Toei unveiled “New Kimagure Orange Road, Summer’s Beginning” Matsumoto-san and I were very happy (and now that the Laser Disc is out…) Of course, the origin was the first volume from Jump J Books, but I boldly changed some of the things I wrote… I replace certain scenes, and you noticed didn’t you? There seemed to be something hidden (not really hidden) in the scene where Madoka and Hikaru once again meet. To those not in the know, in the first volume Madoka and Hikaru don’t meet. Whenever Kyousuke was with one or the other, Madoka and Hikaru never see each other. For the novel this didn’t seem unnatural. But for the making of the movie it seemed to be a good idea for them to meet… so we thought up a scene. Above all else, having them speak directly to each other, the deep ties Madoka and Hikaru had, he feeling each had for the man called Kyousuke (tied to each heart), we had a specific range of feelings to cover, as the girls had grown up together The following is an excerpt: Poolside: A happy Madoka and Hikaru have once again met. Kyousuke has been left alone. Madoka: Hikaru… Hikaru: E? M: You’ve really grown up, haven’t you. Hikaru gives a childish laugh and shakes her head vigorously. H: No… not yet. I, I’m not there yet… that’s why, even now… I couldn’t contact Madoka-san. When I men Madoka-san… more…I wanted to be further along. M: I see… H: Right… still… not there yet. M: (small laugh) Your standards… are pretty high. H: Not high… just important. M: …? Madoka and Hikaru look hard at each other. Pause. H: Madoka-san… They both laugh and giggle. Next they drop Kyousuke in the pool and frolic together. So, that summer, in this way these three still could have good times…..

Matsumoto-san always said, “The connection between Madoka and Hikaru, through the embodiment of the man called Kyousuke, can’t really be broken.” Well, now there are three “New Kimagure….” These people, connected by pure hearts, have through this time through great obstacles have grown into adults, and we are certain we’ve done this to the best of our ability. I suppose that you’ve been able to perceive each of the three’s individual earnestness? -Tereda Kenji`

Note from the translator:
It’s now early 2002 and some things have changed. “Comic On” folded after issue number 5, which is why it isn't an active hyperlink. If you can find it grab it, they’re impossible to find now. The website above is also gone. But worry not, Matsumoto-san has a new website, at http://www.comic-on.co.jp. On it he announces that “New Kimagure Orange Road 2002” was published December 21, 2001. As of this date (January 11, 2002) I have my copy on order. I foresee a new translation project for myself. In addition, the long awaited project he alluded to above is coming soon! The first book is supposed to be out in March of 2002, called Bakumatsu Men'you Ko Joushi, which sort of translates as "History of feelings of the Sheep Girls in the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate". I like the Japanese title better myself . There are a few preview pages up at his website. I had planned for a Manga called "Speed Boat Race Girl" to be my next project, but we’ll see how then next KOR novel is... he… he… he… Thanks for reading my work! Tanoshimi ni natta ne! -Chris Reed, January 2002.