Do you believe in heaven?

Ah, no, this isn’t a religious invitation.

There is a heaven. It’s relatively close. Specifically, it is in East Tenguu, Tenguu City, Tokyo. ──Yes, it is our home!

There is a secret garden where cute girls gather every night……also it comes along with Darling’s delicious dinner, I have nothing more to say!

Even a tried body with a hard daily schedule will be refreshed instantly by coming here!

──But, it’s been about a year and a half since meeting everyone.

Recently, I often feel.

There’s nothing else other than this. Everyone is growing.

Natsumi-san decided to go to junior high school while complaining. Mukuro-san cut her hair. Origami-san and Kotori-san are still working hard as ever before. Kaguya-san and Yuzuru-san are learning new things on a daily basis. It seems that even Kurumi-san has been enthusiastically studying something recently. Nia-san seems to have gone on a large strike from drinking Chuhai beer……and not only that; she’s overcome the past and hired an assistant. Well to start out, it’s the story of a digital in-home assistant.

And also──Yoshino-san’s growth was shown when Tohka-san disappeared.

Darling’s strength is in trying to overcome the loss of Tohka-san.

That’s strange. I am an idol.

A person known to shine and sparkle inside.

Once in a while, everyone is too dazzling. I also want to look that dazzling.

──The wind ran through the battlefield.

That was the only way to describe this. The moment Yamai fired that giant ballista at <Beast>, a dense cluster of air drew a straight line across the sky.

And after that moment, there was nothing remaining left.

The remnants of the piled up buildings.

The traces of the road that should have been there.

And of course──the appearance of the Spirit <Beast> who was on the receiving end of this arrow.

“Ara, ara……”

“Hiya……amazing.”

“How refreshing and beautiful……”

One beat later, the Spirits began absent mindedly raising their voices at the overwhelming power displayed. Shidou also felt a jolt reach his shoulders.

“T-This is a bit too much……”

Shidou and everyone’s utmost goal was to interact with <Beast> and make her fall in love. Certainly it was true that they couldn’t talk properly, so their policy shifted towards neutralizing her first──but with this, they weren’t even essentially sure if <Beast> was still safe.

“Trust. Fu──”

However, Yamai was still expressing a smile with full composure, using both hands to dispel what she had set up. Then, in response to that movement, the giant ballista dissembled in the air and once again wrapped around her body as wings and armor.

“If that Spirit can be defeated through a single blow, she would have been long gone after receiving Kotori and Origami’s bombardment.”

“Eh?”

Shidou replied while curling up his eyes. As if to match that timing, the ground swelled up and exploded.

“……!”

“……, A──”

From below the ground, using her sword as a cane, a girl’s shadow emerged. ──No doubt about it. <Beast>.

But having already received severe damage from Kotori and Origami’s attacks, her Astral Dress could no longer serve as armor. Pale white skin craved with numerous wounds, rough breathing, trembling limbs, from the looks of it she had the appearance of barely standing by the skin of her teeth.

No──to be precise, even this was just a trivial change for her right now.

“……Eh?”

Shidou faintly raised his eyebrows.

Standing there was <Beast>. That wasn’t wrong at all.

Bur right now, her atmosphere felt somewhat different from the raging Spirit just a moment ago.

“……I, am……, ……no, way……”

<Beast> looked around as if terrified. She gazed down at her own palms while her shoulders were trembling.

From that manner and words, Shidou remembered something from long ago as he stepped forward.

“Ah……”

“……!”

Then, <Beast> raised her face as if noticing this. For a moment, while looking at Shidou, her eyes widened in astonishment.

“──Uh, ah, aaaaaaaaaaaah────”

Quite as if rejecting Shidou’s appeal, <Beast> let out a far off cry.

And then, while controlling the weight of her sword, she pointed the tip towards the sky.

“──Be careful, everyone!”

“Ku……!”

Tension ran past all of the Spirits during this moment. Everyone uniformly prepared their Angels, taking a defensive posture in preparation for the incoming slash.

However, the expected attack never occurred.

Instead──

“……!? What, is that……”

Shidou stared in astonishment at the spectacle spreading over there.

That’s right. As <Beast> drew a trajectory by swinging the sword, a crescent-shape scar was opened in the sky.

Scar──a strange description for sure, but he could only describe it like this. It was as if space itself had been sliced and torn open.

Of course, there was no blood since space wasn’t a living creature. There was only a dark color when peeking into that cross-section.

“Ah──”

But, Shidou thought about it for a second. ──This scene looked somewhat familiar.

Yes. At dusk yesterday, when <Beast> first appeared similar scars had been formed in that space. To be precise, during that time it had been torn apart by the claw hovering over her five fingers.

“! Hold on! You are──”

At the same time as recognizing that, Shidou screamed while extending out his hand.

“……,──”

<Beast> look like it was suffocating after listening to Shidou’s voice, and without pause began to shove her body into the scar carved in that space.

“Wha……! No way, are you trying to escape!?”

“I won’t let you──”

“<Michael>!”

The Spirits, after sensing <Beast>’s intentions, one beat later kicked off against the sky at once or activated their Angels.

But──too slow. By the time the Spirits could reach her, <Beast> had already slipped into the crevices of that tear in space.

At the same time, the scar silently closed. The ‘hole’ extend by Mukuro’s arm, <Metatron>’s rays of light, attacked that spot in vain.

“…………”

“…………”

“…………”

──Unnatural silence filled the space that was just a battlefield until now.

Where did <Beast> go? Did she really escape? Or was she lurking somewhere and looking for a chance to strike back?

The Spirits tensed up as the various possibilities swirled around. Everyone was on alert and looked around.

Tens of seconds afterwards, the sense of urgency had resolved as Maria’s voice reached everyone through the intercom.

“──The Reiha response has completely disappeared. It seems she actually ran away.”

Simultaneous with that report, some Spirits let out a sigh of relief while others bit their lips in regret.

“Kya……I really thought that I was going to die this time. Well, these results are fine. I’m glad everyone is still safe.”

Nia, the representative of the sigh group, exhaled out a heavy breath as she fell onto the ground.

However, Kotori, who stood behind her, folded her arms with a difficult look on her face.

“……But our goal was just to capture <Beast>. It’s difficult to say that everything went well.”

“As serious as ever imoto-chan, won’t your wrinkles increase if you keep looking like that?”

“H-Hey you……”

As Kotori raised her brow, Nia waved her hand back in response.

“──Everyone survived this crisis, and everyone’s tenacity was tied to everyone’s life. Anything more than that is too greedy. Or did you want to capture Bea-chan at the expense of one or two people dying?”

“That’s not true……”

Listening to Nia’s remarks, Kotori mumbled those words out.

But then, Maria’s cold voice echoed to refute Nia’s statement.

“Don’t be fooled, Kotori. Even after saying everyone worked hard, Nia didn’t contribute to the <Beast> battle, especially after regain her Reiryoku.”

“Gikku!”

Nia’s shoulders trembled as she easily imitated that sound effect. Everyone half-turned their glances towards Nia.

“Y-You should all know why!? My <Rasiel> is not suitable for battle! Future description takes time and in the first place isn’t effective against strong Reiryoku people! The ever reliable mass produced Maria class making appearance was also no good!”

“That was already decided to be impossible. My arithmetical functions were in full operation to maintain the effects of the <Yggdraramus> for as long as possible. I didn’t have any spare capacity for anything else. Or rather, please think up something else that doesn’t rely on others for an objective.”

“Uh, nuguh……b-but even if you say that, it wasn’t just me. Kurumin also did nothing!”

Nia pointed to Kurumi. But Kurumi didn’t panic, saying ‘ara, ara’ while pointed her own finger at her cheeks.

“My sincerest apologizes. Because my <Zafkiel> steals my ‘time’ in addition to Reiryoku, I admit I couldn’t participate very accurately. ──But if allowed to absorb the ‘time’ of those fleeing the shelter, I could have rampaged as violently as needed.”

Kurumi smiled while saying that. A mysterious smile that was reminiscent of when she was called the Worst Spirit.

“Ah……”

“……Well, that should be the case for Kurumi……”

The Spirits all felt sweat dripped down their cheeks as they were convinced of what Kurumi had said.

Kurumi nodded, but then added a ‘but’ before continuing on.

“It would be surprising if I didn’t do anything at all. Although it may have been inconspicuous compared to your success, didn’t you notice <City of Devouring Time> that was confined to <Beast>? And also──”

“……And also?”

As Shidou slanted his head, Kurumi remained silent for a while before giggling and giving a meaningful smile.

“──Still a secret right now.”

“Eeh! What’s that supposed to mean! No fair! What’s with those meaningful words spoken somewhat ambiguously!?”

Nia shouted while waving her hand.

“Well, if it is Kurumi……”

“There may be something……yeah.”

And so, with sweat dripping from their cheeks, they placed their hands on their chin mumbled words like that out.

 “W-What’s with just that Kurumin!? If you say it like that, it makes it sound like I didn’t do anything!?”

“Well, what were you doing?”

As Natsumi asked, Nia flashed a smile as if waiting to hear those words.

“──Still a secret right now.”

Then, the Spirits all half-closed their eyes at this remark.

“……Well, if you say it like that.’

“It’s more important to apologize honestly, Nia.”

“That response is clearly different from the one for Kurumin!”

Nia stood up, crying while clinging onto Shidou.

“Waaah! Boy! Everyone is bullying me!”

“Haha……there, there.”

Shidou stroked her head with a bitter smile. Then, the surrounding Spirits all pierced Nia with gaze carrying various emotions. Nia lifted up her hands uncomfortably and released his body.

“Okay calm down brother. Right now I was really careless. Especially Oririn. Can you stop giving off that bloodlust now?”

“I’m not particularly giving off any bloodlust.”

“R-Really……?”

“Giving off suspicious bloodlust is a mark of inexperience. Pros only leave the consequence of death.”

“Isn’t that even more dangerous to say!?”

Nia screamed with tears in her eyes. Seeing her in this state, the Spirits all smiled.

Nia may have not been aiming for this, but the tension remaining in this spot had come apart in a single gulp. Shidou let out a sigh of relief.

Perhaps as the Spirits also recognized the end of the battle, they gathered from the sky and ground to Shidou’s location. A nostalgic feeling of him seeing the Spirits laughing and praising each other’s accomplishments.

Among them, Miku was the most enthusiastic.

“Kya! Everyone was so wonderful! Reaaaaaly so cool! It’s been a long time since wearing this greatest Astral Dress! Let’s hurry and take a picture! Does anyone have a smartphone or camera!?”

With eyes shining brilliantly, she spread out her hands as if engulfing everyone. Everyone smiled bitterly at this same as always situation.

“Even so──Yamai, if that’s okay. To be honest, you saved us. It would have been far worse if you hadn’t shown up.”

Kotori turned her gaze to Yamai while speaking. Then, Yamai shrugged her shoulders opening her mouth to smile broadly.

“Denial. I just finished things up. You all are the ones who set the groundwork for the pieces in play. Be proud girls, this is your victory.”

While saying that, she gave a wink. While this normally would normally be seen as annoying, there was strangely no sarcasm in her words.

“Uhh, Yamai-san, when Kaguya-san and Yuzuru-san were human……is that what you are?”

“Hey. Are you really Yamai?”

Yoshino and Yoshinon, both of who were still on <Zadkiel>, slanted their heads while asking. Yamai lightly shook her head.

“Explanation. I am certainly Kazamachi Yamai, but strictly speaking, I am not the same as the human Kazamachi Yamai. This body is just a fusion of Yamai Kaguya and Yamai Yuzuru, both of whom have grown significantly. At the very least, I wasn’t this tall during my lifetime──nor did I arrive at a splendid figure like this.”

In a joking manner, Yamai flaunted her heavy breasts. It was a size that had surpassed even the plumb Yuzuru. Miku let out a manga-like “Muho─!” voice.

“Ya, Ya, Yamai-san! I-Is it okay to have a little hug!?”

“Special. This way helplessly little kitten. Come.”

“Nhiiiiii! Onee-saaaaaama!”

With various liquids drooling from her mouth, Miku jumped towards Yamai’s chest.

But, at the next moment, Yamai’s body gave off a faint glow as her silhouette was split in two.

“Owa!? That’s surprising!”

“Surprise. This is……”

Yamai──or rather Kaguya and Yuzuru after splitting apart again, rounded their eyes in astonishment. Inevitably, Miku, who was jumping into Yamai’s chest, dived into the space between the two and fell loudly face first into the ground.

“Mukya!? This unexpected touch!? Is this Onee-sama here!?”

“Ah, sorry. There was something like a time limit……”

“Apology. Originally it was a forced fusion. It was a miracle to keep it up to this point.”

“T-That’s……no, now that it has come to this, Kaguya-san, Yuzuru-san! Just a little hug from both sides!”

Miku stood up, making a dash while spreading out her hands again.

“W-wait, calm down!”

“Shudder. She’s not the type of person to be discouraged.”

Kaguya and Yuzuru pushed Miku back to halt her approach. Seeing Miku act the same as usual, Shidou couldn’t help but smile.

“……I’m glad with this.”

Such a spectacle occurring was because everyone was safe. Shidou clutched on his chest to suppress the regret lingering there.

Certainly, Nia had a point. It was regrettable that they couldn’t capture <Beast>, but he should also be delighted that everyone survived this crisis.

“…………”

However, there was something else that he was worried about. It was <Beast>’s appearance after taking Yamai’s attack.

The tone of her voice, the light shining in her eyes, obviously the atmosphere surrounding her was different. Yes, it was as if──

Thinking of everything so far, Shidou reached a certain conclusion. He lightly held his intercom to talk to Maria.

“Hey Maria. Where did <Beast> disappear to? The Neighboring World……shouldn’t that no longer exist?”

Hearing what Shidou had asked, the Spirits who were all being noisy all raised their eyebrows.

The Neighboring World. It was the space where Spirits are said to exist. A world separated by this one through a thin layer. Originally, a spacequake was the aftermath of a Spirit arriving from the Neighboring World.

However, the Neighboring World should have disappeared with the death of the Spirit of Origin, Mio. So where did <Beast> disappear to?

“……At the very least, the response is different from when she opened a ‘hole’ in space through <Michael> or the general phenomenon of disappearing and becoming lost.”

“That means……?”

Maria was silent for a few seconds before continuing on in a slightly regretful tone.

“….Unknown with only this current information.”

“……”

Shidou held his breath as he clenched his fist.

The answer wasn’t unpredictable. Everything about <Beast> was an irregular Spirit. However, hearing those words out loud, a sharp pain struck his chest as if his heart was being tightly squeezed.

Perhaps <Beast> retreated to heal her wounds. If so, it may still be possible to save her.

But the expression she showed just before disappearing. When looking back at that──Shidou was worried that she would never appear before him again.

“……Shidou.”

Perhaps sensing his disappointment, Kotori gently placed her hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t blame yourself too much. You did well.”

“But, I……”

He couldn’t save her.

That mysterious Spirit.

That child with a face full of despair.

The girl that held that sword──

“…………!?”

And.

That moment, something arrived that blew Shidou’s sense of resignation out of his mind.

──A shooting star from the sky fell right before Shidou’s feet.

“Wha──”

Shidou’s eye felt disoriented from the dazzling light radiating from there.

By the time he noticed, there was──a single sword standing there.

“This is……”

“Huh?”

“<Beast>’s……sword?”

Everyone was left confused as voices of intrigue swirled around.

Yes. A single-edge sword that pursued the goal of tearing all to pieces.

It was undoubtedly the last sword <Beast> was carrying. ──Her tenth sword.

“W-Why is this sword……”

Shidou whispered in a stunned manner, but then he recalled the scene that just had unfolded.

Certainly, thanks to Natsumi’s actions, all ten swords had been pulled from <Beast> and everyone instead regained the power of the Spirits.

However, when counting Yamai as single person, there were nine Spirits here. Nine swords had appeared before them.

During the battle, he couldn’t afford to think about it──but the last sword must have disappeared to somewhere.

And Shidou vaguely assumed that the tenth sword was <Sandalphon> after changing shape. After all, the first to ninth swords had all corresponded to their respective Angels. It was natural to think so.

However, that assumption was broken when the ‘claws’ <Beast> had swung transformed into <Sandalphon>.

Instead, questions began to arise.

──What is this sword?

And why was it standing before Shidou right now?

There was no basis. But this didn’t feel meaningless.

“────”

Shidou was driven by the urge to reach out for the sword’s handle.

“! Shidou, be careful.”

“……Aah.”

Nodding at Kotori’s advice, he made the decision──to tightly grasp that handle.

Then, as if waiting for this, the sword pulsated and changed its appearance.

──A jet-black sword that emitted a mysterious shine.

Gazing at the appearance, Shidou involuntarily choked.

But that wasn’t surprising. After all it was──

“<Nahemah>……!?”

The other Tohka──Tenka’s sword.

Paired together with <Sandalphon>, it was the Demon King <Nahemah>.

“……!”

And the moment of touching it, Shidou felt a strange sensation.

From <Nahemah>, something unusual seemed to be slowly permeating. The feeling of as if ‘something’ was speaking to his mind. It was as if the sword had a will that was appealing to Shidou──

“……I can. With this <Nahemah>……chase after that girl……?”

Shidou half-consciously leaked such words out of his mouth.

“──Shidou-san?”

“What did you say just now?”

The Spirits asked their questions as their eyes open in alarm.

Shidou continued on as he strengthened his grip on <Nahemah>.

“──<Sandalphon> is originally a sword that cuts through invisible things……every rule, concept, and even the wall separating the world. It’s opposite <Nahemah> is also the same……

However, the kind-hearted Tohka subconsciously sealed that dangerous power. By the way, you were inexperienced and couldn’t master it, human……wait, what did you say!?”

Shidou unintentionally turned his voice inside out as that voice was penetrating deep within his head echoed.

However, from their end, the Spirits could only see Shidou behave strangely. Their shoulders trembled from his yell as they glanced over at him with worried looks.

“S-Shidou?”

“……Are you okay?”

“A-Aah……”

Shidou lightly shook his head to regain his composure, placing all of his strength into his hands again──

He pulled <Nahemah> out of the ground.

“────”

──At that moment, a terrifying sense of intimidation attack his body. Demon King. A mystery that couldn’t be grasped by human hands. Thinking back to it now, even though he’s borrowed so many Angels now, this was his first time using a Demon King.

Denial of life. The feeling of death. The waves of incoming minus power came to push and crush Shidou.

Likely, Shidou would have fallen to his knees from this heavy pressure. ──If he was without the help of the mysterious voice echoing in his head.

“…………, Alright. With this……I can go. I alone……rather than──”

Shidou muttered steadily while adapting to the sword in his hands.

Listening to this voice, the Spirits stood by breathless in astonishment.

“Wait a minute, Shidou. What are you trying to do?”

“Could it be, you’re going after <Beast>?”

Hearing the Spirits cry out, Shidou paused for a moment.

“…………Aah.”

Briefly, he gave his reply.

To that answer, Kotori tensed her eyebrows.

“……No way. I won’t allow it. We have no idea where she went……and even if you reach her, isn’t there no guarantee that you can come back here!?”

“…………”

The other Spirits also had the same tense look as Kotori. Their expressions looked curled up by the complicated thoughts.

Even if he didn’t ask, he knew. Besides, it wasn’t as if everyone didn’t want to save <Beast>. Even if she wasn’t a threat to the world anymore, they wouldn’t be able to leave her alone. They weren’t even thinking about that as the reason. Rather, if they could reach a hand out, they would do it just for that sake.

But they may lose Shidou forever. That possibility casted a dark shadow in everyone’s mind.

“……Everyone.”

Shidou wasn’t undervaluing himself. He was well aware everyone cared about him just as much as he did for them.

So Shidou didn’t want to run recklessly on his own. Because that would mean nothing more than trampling on everyone’s thoughts. ──That too, was something Shidou had learned from meeting with everyone.

But──

“……!”

“Eh──”

And, then.

Shidou and the Spirits both simultaneously widened their eyes as their shoulders shook in surprise.

The reason was simple.

In this field of rubble that was full of tension──

“────────────────────────”

Suddenly, a beautiful singing voice came out of nowhere.

“Miku──?”

A familiar voice. No, before even that, there was only one person here that could sing this beautifully. Looking back at the source of this singing, Shidou called out the name of the owner of this voice.

And so the unmatched diva smiled gently, as if embracing everyone’s anxiety.

“──Kiyaaaaaaaaaa! Please help me, Darliiiiiiing!”

A few months before <Beast>’s attack, as the red colored-leaves of the trees began to scatter in the wind.

As Shidou was sweeping the fallen leaves in the garden, a voice suddenly came from the street.

“W-What the……?”

With a beautiful voice like a rolling bell and the distinctive name of being called ‘Darling’, the identity of the voice’s owner was immediately known. ──Izayoi Miku. One of the girls who used to be Spirits and a legitimately licensed idol.

But even after that was determined, the situation was still completely unknown. He looked back in a hurry to check outside. There, he found Miku running over here, disguised in sunglasses and a hat and with her plumb bust shaking vigorously.

“What happened Miku! What’s going on!?”

He shouted back as he opened the gate to welcome Miku in. Then Miku screamed while pointing backwards.

“That person……that person is persistently chasing after me!”

“That person?”

Shidou knitted his brow inquisitively as he looked towards behind Miku. Over there, he could see the figure of a woman dressed in a suit. While wearing a tight skirt and pumps not suitable for exercise, she was chasing after Miku with a desperate look.

Noticing that figure, Shidou began to feel nervous. Who was this person chasing after Miku in broad daylight? ──An enthusiastic fan or stalker? DEM’s remnants? Or a weekly journalist aiming for a scandal? The various possibilities disappeared as quickly as they came to mind.

“Eh, I’ll leave that for later. Anyway──”

Shidou pulled Miku’s hand as she arrived at the Itsuka household, standing in front of the woman dressed in a suit to protect her. And with a resolute attitude, he confronted the woman running up to them.

“What is that child doing now? Depending on the situation……”

However, Shidou’s stiff expression quickly changed to a look of confusion.

The reason was simple. The face of that woman, who was out of breath and covered in sweat, looked familiar.

“Huh? If I recall, you are……”

“……Haaah……haaah……Kurebayashi……Subaru……Miku’s…… manager……“

Looking as if she was gasping for air, that woman──Subaru gave her name.

“……Miku?”

As Shidou glanced suspiciously towards Miku, she let out a “……Kyaha ☆” with an adorable wink.

“──Going overseas?”

A few minutes later, as Shidou invited those two into the living room of the Itsuka household, he rounded his eyes in response.

“Yes……actually the other day, there was this proposal from an American music company……”

Subaru, sitting on the sofa opposite of them, was wiping away the sweat on her forehead with a handkerchief.

Incidentally, for ordinary visitors it was common to arrange guests to be sitting at the sofa facing opposite of Shidou. But right now, Miku was naturally sitting next to Shidou, wrapping her arms around him as she was leaning on his shoulder.

Even though this was a very scandalous image for an idol trying to flourish, Subaru was already well-aware of the circumstances (or rather that means she’s already given up) and didn’t raise any protest over this. And so, she continued on with any particular concerns.

“Anyway, a producer over there heard Miku’s song on a video site. From a glance, the ears were charmed and full support has been offered. Certainly, that singing voice should be spread to the world……”

“Oh……”

Shidou nodded to show his agreement.

A sudden story for sure, it would be a lie to say that he wasn’t completely surprised. But by no means did he ever think that this would be impossible.

Indeed, Miku was a former Spirit with the power to channel her Reiryoku into her voice. A singing voice marked with devilishness nectar. That was how she could manipulate people with a single word.

However, Miku’s popularity as an idol, speaking if it was something fictionally fabricated by the power of the Spirits──that was never the case.

The natural quality of that voice, both her singing ability and performance was backed up through solid effort

An overwhelming presence that captured and wouldn’t let go of one’s eyes and ears, this was undoubtedly her power and not something given by the Spirit of Origin. He didn’t even have to understand to tell the feelings of producer with ears now charmed.

“But how does this story lead to that chase for just a moment ago? As far as I heard, this sounds like good news……”

“That’s……”

Subaru had a difficult look while glancing at Miku.

But then, Miku turned her face away in easy-to-understand gesture.

“No matter how many times you say that, I still refuse! I won’t go to the United States!”

“……And, this is why.”

“I-I see……”

Shidou nodded with sweat dripping from his cheeks. Then, he turned to look at Miku who was clinging onto his arm.

“Um, can I ask why? Why do you hate it this much? It’s not as if you dislike the United States……am I right?”

“I mean, who wouldn’t be glad to see their activities expanding? I’m grateful for the opportunity and would be happy if my songs could be spread to even more people. But──”

As Shidou asked, Miku slammed against the table while shouting loudly.

“That means launching a new career in America! And that would mean the time spent with Darling and everyone will be reduced!”

“Ah……right. Thank you for the expected answer.”

Shidou said that with a bitter smile. Miku smiled in a carefree manner and replied with “Don’t mention it!” Without a hint of sarcasm, it seemed those words were said in pure appreciation of Shidou’s thanks.

Subaru scratched her face with a grumpy look.

“Hey, please reconsider this, Miku. Isn’t this a unique opportunity?”

“I──said──no! How many times have I refused now!?”

“But Miku, this producer is sweeping the American music industry at just the age of 30, the skillful P──”

“Humph! Even if you say that, my reasoning won’t change!”

“──A tall glamorous career type woman that’s also a blonde hair beauty!?”

“Ugu……!?”

As she heard what Subaru said, Miku’s shoulders trembled. But she clenched her teeth, shaking her head while pinching the back of her hand.

“S-Something like that……won’t get me on board with this……!!”

This appearance made him recall Kotori trying to resist her destructive impulses. Well no matter how pitiful she looked then, Shidou could never put that into words as an older brother taking his little sister’s feelings into consideration.

“Ku……then I have no other choice……”

Subaru dejectedly lowered her shoulders. ……When considering a last resort with the information at hand right now, he could only guess what treatment was given to Miku at the office.

“……Hey, Shidou-kun. Could you also speak up? This really is a choice that could determine Miku’s future. That’s right, I understand Miku’s feelings. But five or ten years later, I don’t want Miku to have any regrets.”

“Eh, m-me?”

As the conversation suddenly shifted to him, Shidou suddenly widened her eyes.

“Uhh……”

Subaru’s glance and Miku’s slight anxious gaze was piercing him from both directions. Shidou faintly squirmed from this uncomfortable feeling as he thought over this in his head. 

He could understand Subaru’s feelings very well. She was Miku’s manager. Miku’s first fan who has seen Miku’s success more closely than anyone else. She would never want to miss the chance of having Miku’s songs resonate across the entire world──if it was Miku, she must have believed her to have the potential in becoming a world diva. In fact, Shidou also shared the same idea with Subaru about Miku.

However, he could also understand Miku’s feelings as well. She has never had a life that has been trouble-free until now. It was no wonder that she was valuing this peaceful life so much right now. ……And somehow, more than a week of not having Natsumi (it didn’t have to be her, but for some reason Natsumi’s face was the first that came in mind) to hug might prevent Miku from keeping her always energetic mood. 

“…………”

Shidou let out a small groan as he raised his face.

“I──”

“──I would like Miku to do whatever she wants.”

After thinking it over, Shidou came to that conclusion.

Hearing that, Miku let out an energetic “Kyaa!” cry. On the other hand, Subaru let out a dejected “Ugh…..!”, as if she had taken an arrow to the knee.

“As expected of Darling! I love you!”

While crossing her arms even more so, Miku jumped on the couch. Shidou continued his words while smiling over Miku’s actions.

“Of course, I want Miku to participate actively……but more than that, I want Miku to be happy. If Miku thinks her life right now is more important……than I will respect her decision.”

“Darling……!”

Miku shed gentle tears hearing what Shidou had said. Without any pause, she reached out to embrace him. Feeling his shoulders being tapped, Shidou felt his cheeks start to flush red from embarrassment.

After having her fill from the temperature and scent of this embrace, Miku took a deep breath and turned to Subaru.

“And there you have it Subaru-san! Give up gracefully!”

“T-The last hope……”

As Miku said that, Subaru stood up powerlessly and began walking to the corridor.

However, just as she was about to leave the living room, her eyes sharpened and she pointed her finger at Miku.

“Remember Miku……even if you defeat me, the second and third assassin will arrive to persuade you……!”

“Fufufu! I’m not afraid of that!”

“……Ah, hello. It was hopeless after all. Yes, please send over a cute child from the production over there. A must-have spoiled onee-san type and a meek junior type. Also make sure that their Japanese skills are weak.”

“What!? The enemy is much better than I thought!”

Subaru left with an evil laugh as Miku screamed while pressing her hands against her cheeks.

A few seconds later, the sound of a door closing was heard. After confirming that, Miku suddenly exhaled.

“Thank you, Darling. I was persistently in trouble.”

“Haha……well, it can’t be helped. It’s an amazing discussion, so Kurebayashi-san had no other choice but to be like that.”

“That may be true……”

Miku sharpened her lips as if displeased, but then quickly brightened her expression.

“But I am happy. Darling told me. After all, Darling wants to be with me too!”

“Un…..well, yeah.”

Seeing Miku like this, Shidou gave a somewhat troubled look──but then he immediately nodded and tried to erase it with a smile.

“Rather than being famous, I think it’s best for Miku to live in way where she feels most satisfied.”

“That’s right! As expected of Darling, you understand!”

As Miku replied with a smile, Shidou interjected with a ‘but’ as he continued on.

“If Miku wants to take on this challenge, I’ll support you with all my strength. What I want you to remember is that whatever you choose, I will always be Miku’s ally.”

“……! Darling──”

Miku choked once more on her tears as she hugged Shidou again.

Shidou was worried about the complicated look that was expressed for a moment──it gradually faded away from the warm feeling filling his body.

──In the end, it took no more than four months for Miku to understand Shidou’s feelings from then.

Yes. When Shidou wanted to pursue after <Beast> and head to the other world.

Amidst the confusion and frustration between the Spirits, Miku alone was trapped with a mysterious look.

“Huh, this is……”

Whispering in a voice that no one could hear──she became aware.

She herself was in the same position as Shidou at this time.

Of course, the scale and situation was completely different. Above all, Miku chose stability over challenge, while Shidou was taking a new step forward.

However, the most important turning point came at the important people watching their choices. It couldn’t help but feel like a strange coincidence.

And there were things she could feel just from being placed in the positon of being a third party.

Shidou wants to follow after <Beast>. He wanted to reach out to her who disappeared into the world beyond. That wasn’t wrong at all.

However, there was no guarantee he could ever return to this world after crossing over in this wall of space. This was──no to be more precise, it wasn’t possible for Shidou to endure making Miku and the other Spirits sad.

“────”

And at the same time, she recognized there was something else.

──She didn’t want to be a burden for Shidou.

Of course, she didn’t want to be separated from Shidou. She wouldn’t know what to do if it meant no longer be able to see Shidou anymore.

However, the fact that her feelings served as a shackle for Shidou, steering him from a choice he wanted, was an intolerable pain for Miku.

It was an inescapable contradiction.

Miku, the Spirits, didn’t want to lose Shidou──

But at this moment, he was the one who made the choice to save <Beast>.

“Aah──”

Miku felt a strange emotion as she narrowed her eyes looking at the other Spirits with anxious expressions.

So it’s persisting like this, Miku thought.

However, Miku was convinced that everyone must be thinking the same, aware of it or not.

Because all of the Spirits met Shidou just like Miku, having been saved by Shidou just like Miku, spent time with Shidou just like Miku──loving Shidou just like Miku, because they were friends.

Then, what should Miku do now? What was it that Miku needed to do now?

When thinking over this, she operated the headset to talk to only Maria.

“……Maria-san. I have a request, is that okay?”

“Miku? What is it?”

“Yes. Actually──”

As Miku told her wish, Maria responded with a ‘ho’ sound.

“So that’s it. If that’s the case, it is possible for the current <Fraxinus>. I’ll arrange it right away.”

“Really? Then please do so.”

“Miku.”

“Yes?”

“I’m glad you are there.”

“Did you just fall in love? Aren’t I always welcoming?”

“Always including something like that no matter what.

──And, preparations are done. You may start at any time.”

“Ara, as expected, you work fast.”

Miku laughed while saying that. Then, she quickly took in a deep breath.

“<Gabriel>──<Fantasia>.”

With a voice channeling all of the Reiryoku she held right now──

A song, she started to sing.

“────────────────────”

This was.

It was a beautiful, brave──and gentle song.

As Shidou and Kotori were conflicted over the matter of <Beast>, their eyes and ears were snatched away in an instant.

But it was not just a beautiful melody. The song had a dense Reiryoku that could be felt from just moving one’s hands.

“Wha──”

From both eardrums──no on the contrary, he could perceive this melody through the surface of his entire body. Shidou felt the pain left in his body being alleviated.

No, that wasn’t all. All of his exhausted limbs were full of energy and all of his sensory organs were sharpened. It was as if being immersed in <March> and <Requiem>, a feeling of his body being basked in a collection of <Gabriel>’s songs.

The other Spirits must have felt the same. They blinked their eyes in surprise, astonished at the pain suddenly disappearing.

“────────,──────”

Eventually, as the song came to an end, Miku made a big gesture as if giving thanks for her performance.

At that moment, Shidou and the Spirits suddenly felt their throats clog up.

Thunderous applause and cheers arrived from the intercom worn by everyone.

“Eh……?”

“T-This is……”

As Shidou and the others were left surprised, Miku flashed a smile.

“Are you surprised? I asked Maria-san to connect us to a nearby shelter. Everyone is worried and some may be injured. ──An invitation to Miku’s long-awaited concert. Wouldn’t it be a waste not to gather more people?”

“──Furthermore, only the transmission of the song is being sent, so there shouldn’t be worries of needing a follow up conversation afterword.”

Maria added on as a supplement. Nothing but the most skillful work carried out. Shidou smiled at Maria’s meticulous nature.

Then, Miku loosened her cheeks and turned to face Shidou.

“Now, how are you feeling, Darling? That was my full-powered song.”

“Aah……I was a little surprised, but it was amazing──”

“──Have you gathered enough power to make <Beast>-san fall in love and return back to this world without fail?”

Then.

As Miku’s words quickly obstructed Shidou’s words, Shidou unintentionally widened his eyes.

“Miku……”

“Fufu, aren’t I still the Onee-san? Then at times like this, let me play the role accordingly.”

As Miku said that, she turned towards Kotori and the others Spirits.

“That’s right, everyone. I’m going to be helping Darling. If you have any complaints, please leave them with me. I’ll listen to all of them.”

While saying that, Miku……smiled and moved her fingers accordingly. The Spirits all let out a startled ‘hii’ cry and stepped back.

But eventually, the Spirits sighed as if giving up.

“……Nmm, in the end it’ll be like this after all. It can’t be help I suppose. Because it is boy.”

“Mun…….If Nushi-sama had chosen this in a calm manner, in the first place there is no reason for Muku and the others to not agree.”

“Smile. By the way, Yuzuru wasn’t apposed from the beginning. Incidentally, Kaguya has teary eyes.”

“Hey, can you stop saying things at your own convenience!?”

Relaxing their facial expression, they all began speaking in turn.

Nevertheless, the fears built up weren’t suddenly gone from Miku’s’ dialogue’, nor were they being manipulated by Miku’s voice.

There was one reason only.

It was because of what Miku conveyed in her song.

And perhaps because of realizing the thoughts being conveyed were the same as their very own.

Originally, a song is something that channels one’s feelings. ──Especially so if it’s a song with blessings of an Angel.

Miku’s song not only empowered everyone, but also conveyed the singer’s resolve and determination to everyone.

“──Be careful. If it’s Shidou-san, you can do it.”

“Please do your best, Shidou-san.”

“I’ll be preparing the celebration party.”

“……Well, if it’s Shidou, it should be okay somehow.”

“A woman in need doesn’t suit me very much……fufu, but I wish you all the best on your special endeavors today.”

As Shidou was being encouraged by the Spirits, he turned to Kotori.

“Kotori……”

“…………, Humph, if you don’t return expect all of the black history collected by <Ratatoskr> to be exposed.”

“T-That’s……I guess I have to come back then.”

As Shidou laughed at that awful plan, Kotori grabbed Shidou’s collar and pulled herself into his chest.

Then, pressing her forehead against his chest, she whispered in a soft voice.

“……Definitely come back……Onii-chan.”

“…..Aah, of course.”

Shidou answered briefly while gently stroking Kotori’s head.

After doing that for a few seconds, he finally turned to face Miku.

“Thank you, Miku. This power and determination I’ve received from you. I’ll never waste it.”

“Ufufu, of course. It was an invitation from the world idol Miku, a single song sang with all my power. Please go capture <Beast> and return home.”

Miku continued on while laughing mischievously.

“If you’re too late──won’t I have already become a world diva by then?”

“! That’s……”

Realizing what those words mean, as Shidou rounded his eyes, Miku’s lips still kept smiling.

“──I am an idol. The personification of something shining and glistening. In order to keep shining in front of everyone like now──and to be someone admired by everyone, I have to become at least that much.”

“……Haha, for sure.”

Shidou laughed while shrugging his shoulders. Then, he braced his heels as he placed all of his strength in gripping <Nahemah>.

“──I’ll be back.”

“Yes, we’ll be waiting.”

From behind, the voices of the Spirits, including Miku, could be heard.

Incidentally, from <Nahemah>, a ‘hurry up” was transmitted to him through a tremor.

Shidou breathed out a thin breath.

“──Haah!”

Letting out a fighting cry, he swung down <Nahemah>.

That moment, as tremendous pressure was placed onto both hands, <Nahemah>’s jet-black blade tore through space. ──A crescent-shaped ‘scar’ was created in that empty space.

It was the exact same as what <Beast> created earlier, the world coming apart at the seams. An unknown door had opened there.

He didn’t know what would be ahead. He didn’t know which world he would arrive at.

The only thing certain was that <Beast> would be ahead──a lonely girl with sad eyes who exerted a power beyond human comprehension.

“……That’s more than enough.”

Shidou whispered as he placed his strength into his feet──

He jumped into the unknown world.

“……Ugh, uh──”

──Sense of discomfort was instantaneous.

But the shockwaves violently rattled Shidou’s head.

For a comparison, the sensation was similar to being sent into the past through the Twelfth Bullet <Yud Bet>. Intense dizziness that would make one unable to even stand. If he didn’t receive <Gabriel>’s blessings, or if <Nahemah> wasn’t in his hands right now, he would have collapse on the spot.

Nevertheless, he was forcing himself into someplace where he shouldn’t exist. He was lucky that the dizziness was only at this level.

“Haah……haah……over there……”

Taking deep breaths, he placed his hand against his forehead while looking around.

“……”

He was at a loss for words at the sight spread out before his eyes.

──A field of rubble as far as the eye could see.

It was a landscape similar to the original world where he was at. For a moment, he thought that he had failed to move at all.

But, wrong. Shidou bent down to his knees to inspect the ruins of the buildings making up the ground.

The building material had been absurdly crushed into pieces. Moss was growing from it as the dust formed a layer. At the very least, this hadn’t been destroyed a few days ago. Months or years……trampled down on with overwhelming power, the condition was left as it was without any attempts at reconstruction.

And the problem was the range. Shidou narrowed his eyes while looking off into the distance once again.

“…………”

But it was useless. Nothing could be found.

Any safe buildings or cars, or even any forest and mountains, there was nothing left.

Yes. All of the scenery in Shidou’s field of vision had been had been completely flatten.

A sight as if it was embodying the destruction of the world. A world of death as if all life was extinct, except for a few plants. Shidou shook his head to shake off his own imagination growing to sinister.

But.

Immediately, his thoughts were interrupted.

The reason was very simple.

On the rubble──he found a girl there.

An Astral Dress in tatters and wounded skin. She was now crouching on the ground as if resting, faintly lowering and raising her shoulders.

Her back looked too weak to be the same Spirit that trampled down on the city earlier──she looked just like a crying girl.

“Ah──”

Unexpectedly, his voice leaked out.

“……!?”

Then as she noticed that, the girl’s shoulders faintly shook.

Raising her face to see Shidou, her eyes opened in astonishment.

“W, h, y……are you here……?”

While saying that, she stood up and took a step back from that spot.

As if she was afraid of Shidou.

“…………”

Seeing that appearance, Shidou thinly exhaled.

He didn’t know what happened. It wasn’t exactly clear where this was yet. But from that sight alone, it was enough to be convinced that his intuition was correct.

“I told you. For you, I──”

As Shidou looked into that girl’s eyes, he put his words on pause.

Yes. For a second person, to use those words for her, it felt a little different than if done for a stranger.

“──I came to save you.”

“…………”

The girl looked like she was suffocating from Shidou’s words.

“No way……you followed after this me……. No, I decided, I wouldn’t see you anymore. Not good, I’m──”

The girl’s words never reached its conclusion.

But that wasn’t surprising.

──Because Shidou’s lips were blocking that girl’s lips.

“────”

“…………”

──It was a method that had been repeated many times.

To kiss a Spirit to seal that power, in this world a forbidden ceremony permitted for only Shidou.

However, right now that wasn’t Shidou’s intention. Now that Mio had disappeared, it wasn’t clear if Shidou still even had his sealing ability.

But something like that wasn’t relevant for Shidou right now.

He had decided for a long time.

If he could met her, then──

He would hug her with all her strength and kiss her.

Ah, that’s right.

After she had changed her ‘claw’ into that great sword.

After he held <Nahemah> in his hands and heard that voice.

No──maybe since he first met her.

Shidou knew her name.

“Ah……”

A few moments after that.

A voice leaked out from <Beast> after that kiss.

And. <Beast>──Yatogami Tohka whispered like such.

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