Next up is Kurenai’s route! I jokingly call this “the horror route” with my friends, but it’s actually… true. None—I repeat, NONE—of the guys has a happy ending other than Mizuchi, so now it’s going to be pain, despair and more pain.
Karakurenai is the Kaei of the Ouka Class, a third year student in Kaen. Due to his aggressive personality, he loves violent things such as fights and blood. He is considered a genius in Kasen, so he has amazing confidence and has a very self-centered way of thinking regarding everything. He always provokes people through his actions though, and he has a strong desire to monopolize. He calls himself “Kurenai-sama” and ranks the second among the Five Brights.
• Day 21 •
As Mikoto thinks about who to choose, she notices a commotion in the hallway. For some reason, a lot of girls are heading towards the auditorium. When she asks them what’s going on, a girl from the Ouka Class informs her that Kurenai asked all Minamo in the school to come to the auditorium—he has something to tell them. It seems like he wants to talk about the library incident. The girl also heard that it might be related to Mizuchi, which is unusual since Kurenai never really talks about him. Realizing what he’s planning to do, Mikoto rushes to see Kurenai in his room. When she asks him about this, he grins and asks if she wants to hear his big speech as well. He’s going to tell them that as unbelievable as it may seem, Mizuchi has tried to fuck the legendary Senki candidate… and so they should be careful too. Mikoto is shocked and asks why he would do such a thing, but Kurenai says it’s a natural action for the Five Brights. After all, he’d be troubled if Mizuchi causes the Ouka Class Minamo to lose their qualifications.
However, Mikoto knows that Kurenai only wants to humiliate Mizuchi in public. She can’t believe he would go that far just to corner Mizuchi, and she lifts her hand to slap him… but he easily dodges it and grabs her arm instead. He won’t fall for the same trick anymore. Mikoto resists and yells at him to let go, but Kurenai is not pleased with how he keeps calling him “the worst”—who does she think she is? She seduces and tricks men, and yet she claims to be pure. She forces her beautiful yet naïve argument on people, slapping those who disagree with her. Just how haughty can she be? Mikoto is taken aback, and she can’t deny it because Kurenai does have a point. He laughs as he calls her a girl who pretends to be innocent, and he tells her to be honest. He knows she has another reason for coming here, and he asks her to say it—it all depends on her. Mikoto realizes that arguing with Kurenai would be useless. What he said was terrible, but she can’t let him go to the auditorium. She needs to persuade him.
…and so Mikoto begs Kurenai not to taint Mizuchi’s reputation. It’s a misunderstanding. Back then Mizuchi wasn’t quite himself. He wasn’t the Mizuchi she knows. Mizuchi is suffering, and Mikoto asks Kurenai not to hurt him any further. Kurenai only sighs saying Mikoto is being so noisy by saying Mizuchi’s name over and over. It spoils the fun. He doesn’t mind cancelling his speech, but he has one condition. She has to become his woman. It’s an easy task if she wants to protect Mizuchi’s reputation. If she agrees, he promises to keep the library incident a secret from the Ouka Class Minamo. For some reason, Mikoto is under the impression that Kurenai wants her as his partner… and she doesn’t want to. There’s no way she’d take a mean person like him as a partner, but Mizuchi would be in trouble if she refuses. Mikoto then asks if he’ll really keep the library incident a secret if she becomes his partner, and Kurenai replies that it’s not “partner”. He wants her to become his “woman”, though he brushes it off saying they’re the same thing anyway.
With no other choice at hand, Mikoto reluctantly says she understands. She will become Kurenai’s partner. She doesn’t want to, but she wouldn’t be able to protect Mizuchi by going against him. Kurenai is satisfied to see how obedient Mikoto is. Now that she has agreed, he wants her to show the proof that she belongs to him: “Mikoto, kiss Kurenai-sama.” (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ She gawks at him in disbelief and refuses, but he points out that it’s only natural for them to kiss. If she refuses, he can always go to the auditorium. Mikoto grits her teeth in frustration. She doesn’t want to kiss him. She wants to reject him. She doesn’t want to touch him…! After a while, Kurenai says it seems like her resolution has fallen apart. He grins and says goodbye, but she stops him from leaving the room—telling him that she understands. Mikoto then gives Kurenai a kiss on the cheek, and she gets startled upon realizing how cold his skin is. It feels that her body might freeze simply by touching him. She feels terrified, and she can feel the water in her body pulling back.
Kurenai sighs, and he asks if Mikoto is stupid—what the heck did she do? When she gives him a confused look, he whispers that a kiss should be like THIS. Before she could even react, he suddenly pulls her closer and presses his lips against hers. She gasps and tries to resist, but he only releases her lips to ask: “How’s that, Mikoto…? You’re trembling right? Your body must be tingling to the core. This is a kiss.” Mikoto tries to resist, but Kurenai only whispers he’ll engrave it onto her. He’ll teach her that he’s a real man. With her lips sealed by his, she desperately screams out in her mind. She doesn’t want to do this. This is not a kiss. The way he forces his tongue into her mouth is terrifying.
As Mikoto’s vision starts fading, Kurenai orders her not to call other men’s names from now on. Including Mizuchi’s. She belongs to him now. As Kurenai kisses her again, Mikoto can feel her consciousness fading away. The water in her body is running out. Both her body and heart are cold. She wonders if she’s going to become his possession at this rate. In her mind, she calls out to Mizuchi and asks what she should do. It seems like she’s done something outrageous. She weakly asks him to help. Then everything fades to black.
“思ふには忍ぶることぞまけにける 逢ふにしかへばさもあらばあれ” — Ariwara no Narihira (1151)
My love for you defeats all hesitation. As long as I can see you, let the world do what it wants.
Kurenai grumbles about how Mikoto dried up when they were about to have fun. Mikoto doesn’t need to worry, because Kurenai is not desperate enough to sleep with an unconscious woman. He did give her a treatment though, since they need to have that much fun at the very least. He finds her comfortable to hug, especially when he recalls the fact that she belongs to him. Now that he has obtained her, he promises that he won’t ever let her go… and he laughs to the night sky.
• Day 22 •
That night, Mikoto finds Half Moon again in her dream. They can only meet in her dreams, so he’s happy that she remembers his name. She tries asking about his identity, but he sadly says she wouldn’t know it’s him even if he tells her. Mikoto asks what he means by that, but Half Moon doesn’t reply. He only tells her that the full moon is close. When the moon is full, fate will drastically change… but it’s a trial for her to face. She has to think about what to believe in, and there’s only one answer. Half Moon then asks Mikoto to find her own half of the moon, and the dream fades away—leaving her to wake up in shock. She’s been seeing him everyday, but who is he? She can only hear his voice, and he gives her a nostalgic feeling… though she can’t remember anything. Now that she has chosen her partner, Mikoto wants to tell Momotose about this. She has chosen her moon. She has chosen that person…
When Mikoto reports that she chose Kurenai as her partner, Momotose is obviously surprised. Momotose asks why she chose Kurenai out of all people, but Mikoto doesn’t know what to say. She knows that saying it’s to protect Mizuchi’s reputation would only cause Momotose to get worried. Momotose tells her it’s fine though, because no matter what happens, she’ll always be on her side. She only asks Mikoto to be strong, so she won’t lose to Kurenai’s intense temper. Despite this advice, Kurenai already stole a kiss from Mikoto. Not to mention she dried up too due to the shock. When she regained her consciousness, her uniform has been removed. Mikoto found herself in Kurenai’s arms, only wearing her underwear. It seems like he didn’t go any further, but she can’t believe he stripped her when she was unconscious. She feels so embarrassed she wants to run away. What will happen to her from now on? Can she do Kabatsu in this condition? Sadly for her, they still have to do Kabatsu no matter what.
After school, Mikoto goes to meet up with Kurenai by the entrance of Kaen… but he’s nowhere to be seen. They’re supposed to do Kabatsu though, and she starts wondering if she mistook the meeting time. Mikoto soon sees Kurenai walking to the gate, and she’s about to call him when she notices that he’s surrounded by a bunch of girls—Minamo of the Ouka Class. One of them asks if won’t kiss her, to which he replies that he already did earlier. The girl squeals that she wants more, but another girl protests and tells her to get in line. They start arguing because of this, but he quickly stops them from fighting—he’ll give all of them some love. Kurenai then asks who should he start with, and Mikoto stares in disbelief when he kisses one of the girls. They’re in public! When Mikoto walks up to him, Kurenai asks if she wants to kiss as well. She reminds him that they have Kabatsu from now on, but he only laughs saying they do. He clearly forgot about it, and he has no intentions of doing it either. It’s so troublesome. Mikoto points out that Onosada ordered them to do it, but Kurenai says he doesn’t care—he doesn’t feel like it.
Beside them, a girl asks if Mikoto is the Senki candidate. She’s not from their class, so why is she fawning on Kurenai? Mikoto doesn’t get which part of their conversation can be considered as “fawning”, but Kurenai grins and informs everyone that she has become his woman. Or rather, she switched from Mizuchi to him. She protests since everyone will misunderstand, but much to her surprise, one of the girls say it’s good for her. Another girl even welcomes her to the Ouka Class, saying she must feel honored to become Kurenai’s possession. He always treasures his Minamo… in a lot of ways. If you know what I mean. Mikoto is shocked to see everyone nodding—is all the girls in Ouka Class like this…? It’s like being his possession is something obvious to them. Mikoto thinks this misunderstanding will only hurt Mizuchi’s reputation, so she tells them that she’s not switching classes. She belongs the Koukoku Class, and she’s only partnering with Kurenai for now—it’s temporary. That’s why it doesn’t mean she switched from Mizuchi to him.
The girls think it’s really a waste, since they believe she’ll have more fun in the Ouka Class. They turn to ask Kurenai about this, but he only frowns in silence. Instead of answering their question, he asks Mikoto what did she just say. She nervously replies that he heard her, and he sighs before growling at her to come. This surprises Mikoto, but Kurenai once again yells at her to come. Without giving her a chance to reply, Kurenai grabs Mikoto’s arm and drags her away—promising to play with his Minamo tomorrow. He pulls her all the way to the courtyard, where she asks him to let go since he’s hurting her. It feels like her arm might get torn off. His answer is simple though: “Don’t order Kurenai-sama around.” After violently pushing Mikoto to the ground, Kurenai asks if she remembers what he said last time. She asks if it’s for her to become his partner, but he yells that it’s for her to become his woman. Mikoto screams when Kurenai rips off the ribbon on her uniform, but he tells her that her body belongs to him. When he wants it, she has to let him do whatever he wants—just like those Minamo from earlier.
Mikoto opens her mouth to protest, but her vision slowly starts fading again. Kurenai is glaring at her… and she feels terrified, but she knows she can’t lose here. If she lets him take control, he will only do as he likes. She has to resist as much as she can, or else it’s going to end up like last time. Mikoto grits her teeth before yelling out that she doesn’t want to. She did agree to become Kurenai’s partner, but it’s only for the sake of Kabatsu and her responsibility as the Senki candidate. Not for something like this. Besides, she’s a Minamo of the Koukoku Class—she can’t act the same way as the ones from the Ouka Class. Kurenai glares at her in anger for a while, and then he closes his eyes saying he understands. Yes, he understands the fact that she needs to learn it with her body. Then he pushes her down and kisses her, ordering her to repeat the words her tongue said to him earlier.
Mikoto struggles and tells Kurenai to let go, but like hell he would. He continues kissing her, asking her how it feels. She tries to scream, but her lips are sealed as he teases her tongue with his. How dare she bring up Mizuchi’s name after coming so far. It’s just the same as underestimating him, and so he needs to give her a “little” scolding. Mikoto tries to explain that she didn’t mean it that way, and she desperately begs Kurenai not to touch her… but he doesn’t stop. As her consciousness drifts away, she keeps wondering why. Why is it that everything she says to him is useless? She’s scared. From her tongue and her chest… From the places he touches, her body is growing cold. She’s trembling, and she mutters a weak cry as everything fades to black. Kurenai is surprised to sense Mikoto’s body turning cold, and he grumbles as he asks her not to dry up every single time. Her consciousness returns when he lets go of her, and she’s panting harshly. It’s cold and she feels dizzy. As Mikoto fixes her uniform, Kurenai grumbles about how troublesome she is. He can’t have fun with her at all. He’s not interested in sleeping with an unconscious woman. Since she has become his possession, she should satisfy him.
Kurenai then tells Mikoto to only think about him. Do the things that make him happy. Fawn on him. Flatter him. That’s what a woman is all about. She points out that he’s treating women like mere tools, but he asks what’s wrong with that. Mikoto doesn’t reply, but she thinks Kurenai is so cruel. What does he think women are? He doesn’t have any compassion, kindness and sincerity like Mizuchi. He’s the worst. As if he can read her mind, Kurenai says he doesn’t like the look in Mikoto’s eyes. She only stares back at him in silence, and so he walks away saying this is sickening. She tries to stop him because they have Kabatsu, but he’s already gone. What should she do…? Every time Kurenai touches her, Mikoto can feel her body turning cold as ice. Trust is really important between partners, but she feels too terrified of him. Even though her mind is ready to face him, it feels like her body is refusing to become his Minamo. But then again, she already chose him as her partner…
Mikoto snaps out her thoughts when she hears Hime’s voice, asking if she’s feeling sick. She doesn’t look well. When she turns around, she’s shocked to see Mizuchi standing next to Hime. She panics the moment she realizes that he’s looking at her torn uniform, and she quickly apologizes before running off. Mizuchi remains silent, while Hime wonders what’s wrong with her. Kurenai walked past them earlier, and he can’t help but wonder if he’s got something to do with this. Hime also notices Mikoto’s uniform ribbon lying on the ground, but Mizuchi only takes a deep breath before walking off—leaving him confused.
At night, Mikoto is fixing her torn uniform. She’s glad that she brought a sewing kit from home, but Kurenai is just too violent. As if cancelling Kabatsu alone wasn’t enough, he also went as far as ripping her uniform. Before hanging her uniform, Mikoto realizes that her ribbon is gone. Did she drop it earlier? She’ll go ask if Momotose has a spare ribbon later. After turning off the lights, Mikoto sighs on her bed. She’s glad Mizuchi didn’t actually see what happened with Kurenai, but she doesn’t know how to face him now. She betrayed him by changing partners after all, and she can only wish that he won’t misunderstand. Even if Kurenai did that kind of thing to her, she’s still Mizuchi’s Minamo.
“世の中に絶えて桜のなかりせば 春の心はのどけからまし” — Ariwara no Narihira (53)
If only there is no such thing in this world as cherry blossoms, spring would have been peaceful for our hearts.
Kurenai is irritated. Just what the heck is wrong with Mikoto? When it comes to women, every single one of them is always begging him to sleep with them. It’s only obvious for them to be happy, and yet she refuses. Not to mention she dried up once again. Is she underestimating him? There’s no such thing as a Kaei who causes his Minamo to dry up. Kurenai whispers that Mikoto will have to pay a great price for this, and she’ll have to do return the debt with her body.
• Day 23 •
Today Onosada calls Mikoto and Kurenai to the lecture hall, though they should know the reason already. It’s obviously because they skipped yesterday’s Kabatsu. This is not a game. The path towards becoming a Senki and Mikoto’s school life depends on it. They have to take it seriously. Mikoto apologizes and says she understands, but Onosada says the same goes for Kurenai. It’s fine even if he wants to fool around, but do it after he’s done with his responsibilities. Otherwise he won’t be able to gain any credits and might have to repeat a year—which would be the first in the history of the Five Brights. However, Kurenai says he doesn’t care. Onosada sighs saying this is why dealing with kids is so troublesome, and once again he asks them to do Kabatsu properly today. He doesn’t want this to become a problem with their superior.
After leaving the lecture hall, Mikoto tries to ask Kurenai about today’s Kabatsu… but again, he tells her that he doesn’t care. This surprises her, and she tries to remind him about what Onosada said. They have to do Kabatsu today! As the answer, he just yawns saying he’s free before night comes—he’ll go take a nap in the greenhouse or something. Mikoto tries to stop him from skipping again, but Kurenai only tells her to shut it. He doesn’t feel like it. She can’t believe he’d skip Kabatsu again for such a reason, but then she realizes that he never had any intention to do it anyway. He gains satisfaction just by humiliating Mizuchi, and he has no interest in the Senki or her… because in his eyes, she’s nothing more than a thing. After thinking for a while, Mikoto finally tells Kurenai that she understands. She will do Kabatsu alone. Kurenai frowns and asks what the hell is she saying. There’s no way she’d be able to do it, but Mikoto doesn’t listen and walks off in anger. She doesn’t care about him anymore, and she won’t ask for his help. She doesn’t know what to do, but it’s better than not going at all.
From there, Mikoto really came to Goto-gai alone. Somehow the air of the city feels stagnant. She visited the business district before to shop with Ai, but the atmosphere is different from back then—probably because she has become a Minamo. The air—or rather, impurities in the air—stickily lingers around her body, and it feels disgusting. Mikoto is thinking about returning when she suddenly hears a faint giggle, and she senses a tainted presence behind her. When she turns around, she sees a dark shadow that resembles utsurohi… but the strong hatred emanating from it sends chills down her spine. It seems like her sweet scent attracted a low-rank Adabana, and now it’s thrilled to taint her with its sharp claws. Mikoto screams and runs off, but the Adabana chases after her… until something suddenly cuts the air and stabs it. Mikoto is surprised, even more so when she sees Mizuchi standing in front of her—asking if she’s okay. He quickly commands her to do Hana Awase, and they enter his field barrier to defeat the Adabana.
After the battle, Mikoto watches silently as the Adabana withers and vanishes. She was the one who made it wither. Even though it’s Kabatsu, she did it on her own will. When Mizuchi asks if she’s not injured, Mikoto nods and thanks him for saving her. However, Mizuchi simply apologizes for breaking the rule. He’s not her partner right now, but it was an emergency. She feels grateful to him though. Who knows what would have happened to her if he didn’t come. Mikoto then asks why he’s in Goto-gai, and after a short silence, Mizuchi says he wanted to return her uniform ribbon. He didn’t intend to follow her, but he was worried to see her heading to Goto-gai alone. In any case, he’s glad that she’s alright. Realizing that Mizuchi keeps supporting her even after she changed partners, Mikoto feels deeply touched. He’s always looking straight at her. He’s such a warm and kind person, and yet she…
Mikoto is about to say something, but suddenly someone grabs her from behind… and they turn around to find an angry Kurenai. She looks up at him in surprise, but he only sighs before telling Mizuchi not to come any closer. Mikoto tries to explain that Mizuchi came to save her when she was chased by an Adabana, but Kurenai yells at her to shut up. Then without further words, he punches Mizuchi and starts kicking his head on the ground. Mikoto screams in shock and asks if Mizuchi is alright, but Mizuchi asks her not to approach him. He broke the rule by doing Hana Awase with her, so it’s obvious for him to be punished. Kurenai isn’t pleased though, and he kicks Mizuchi again for being so pretentious—calling him a filthy thief. Mikoto begs him to stop, but Kurenai answers that she’s guilty too. She’s his woman. How dare she do Hana Awase with another man. Mikoto argues that it’s because Kurenai refused to do Kabatsu, and Mizuchi saved her when she got attacked. Kurenai then asks if she did Hana Awase with Mizuchi after that, and Mikoto honestly says that she did—which obviously doesn’t impress him. He thinks she’s underestimating and testing him, so he takes out his anger by kicking Mizuchi again. Even more than anything, he hates it when someone lays their hand on his woman.
When Mizuchi groans in pain, Kurenai breaks into laughter and continues kicking him. Mikoto begs him to stop, but he points out that it’s her fault too. She’s nothing but a possession, and yet she flirts with another man. Mikoto replies that she didn’t mean to do something like that, but Kurenai lifts her chin and kisses her by force—right in front of Mizuchi’s eyes. Despite her attempt to resist, he only laughs saying he can do her right here… but he thinks it’d be interesting to wait until she becomes a Senki. After all, Mizuchi has failed to awaken her. Mizuchi remains silent, while Kurenai turns to Mikoto and says he’ll do Kabatsu with her. He’ll do the things this “virgin bastard” couldn’t do, including turning her into a Senki AND a woman. As Mikoto thinks about how cruel Kurenai is, her consciousness starts fading again. She doesn’t want any of this, and she begs for someone to help… and then everything fades to black.
That night, Mikoto wakes up in her room and finds a worried Momotose—who explains that she dried up again during Kabatsu. Kurenai was the one who carried her back to Kaen, and he said he already gave her an emergency treatment… but Momotose was worried because she wouldn’t open her eyes. When Mikoto apologizes for worrying her, Momotose points out that she hasn’t been looking well lately. Did something happen? However, Mikoto only says it’s nothing. Of course this is not convincing at all, but Momotose only nods and asks her to get enough rest. After Momotose leaves, Mikoto apologizes in her heart. She can’t tell Momotose about Kurenai, knowing that Momotose will only get worried. Mikoto then lets out a heavy sigh. Her body feels heavy and her head is dizzy. Probably because she kept drying up for the last few days. She healed in no time when Mizuchi circulated her water before, but now her partner is not him—it’s Kurenai. Mizuchi had a painful experience because of her. Because she didn’t do her role properly. She’s scared of Kurenai, but she can’t back down now that they’re partners. She was the one who chose him, so she has to accept him. Earlier Kurenai said that he’ll do Kabatsu, so Mikoto decides to believe in him and do her best.
“月やあらぬ春や昔の春ならぬ 我が身ひとつは もとの身にして” — Ariwara no Narihira (747)
The moon is no longer what it used to be. Spring is no longer what it used to be. Only myself remains the same, the person I have always been.
Note: The moon and the scenery of spring are unchanging. When they look different, it means that one’s perspective and circumstances have changed from what they used to be in the past.
Kurenai laughs and wonders if Mikoto sees Mizuchi’s face when they kissed. His eyes were wide open, and it seems like he might come to punch Kurenai anytime—serves him right. From now on, Kurenai is going to pamper Mizuchi’s favorite Senki candidate. He’ll make her unable to live without him.
“あはれあはれこの世はよしやさもあらば あれ来む世もかくや苦しかるべき” — Saigyō Hōshi (710)
I do not care for what happens in this world, but will the afterlife be as painful?
Mizuchi apologizes for putting Mikoto into a painful experience. Everything was his fault. It was all because he made her suffer, doing something which makes him unworthy as her partner. He can’t forgive Kurenai’s cruel actions towards her. It’s repulsive. Mizuchi groans in pain, and he wonders what he should do. Even if he takes his medicines, he can’t seem to control his emotions. He can’t suppress the feelings rising inside of him. Mizuchi takes a deep breath and assures himself that it will be alright. He still has his paraselene. He doesn’t want to awaken… to the the terrifying fate of his blood.
• Day 24 •
For some reason, the cries of crows can be heard in the morning. Mikoto wakes up feeling sluggish, as she couldn’t sleep last night. She knows she can’t act spoiled though, because there’s something she needs to do today. Lately she hasn’t seen Half Moon in her dreams, and she wonders why. Upon seeing her uniform ribbon, Mikoto recalls what happened yesterday. She wonders if Mizuchi is unharmed, and she feels really guilty for what happened. No matter how many times she apologizes to him, it won’t be enough. She sighs and thinks about how should she face him after what happened.
Along the way to school, Mikoto feels really drained. It’s hard for her just to walk, which means her stamina must have dropped quite a lot. She stops walking upon seeing Iroha by the entrance, and she notices that the air around him is sparkling. It doesn’t seem to be the morning sun, so she wonders if it’s his aura. She’s amazed at how radiant he is even though he’s simply walking, but she still doesn’t understand what kind of person he is—it feels strange somehow. When Mikoto greets him, Iroha replies that he already heard what happened from Momotose. He tells her to open her mouth, and the moment she does, he suddenly stuffs something soft and sweet into her mouth—a marshmallow. In addition, he also hands her a paper bag full of marshmallows. She can eat them as much as she wants. Mikoto happily nods, and Iroha shoves another marshmallow into her mouth before silently walking away—leaving her to thank him with a full mouth. She remembers that something similar has happened before. It’s just like she’s being fed by him.
In class, Mikoto asks the class rep to tell her about Karakurenai from the Ouka Class. What kind of person is he? The class rep says she doesn’t want to state this out loud, but he’s a womanizer—very different from Mizuchi. For Kurenai, he stands on top of everything. She heard that if he doesn’t get the most attention, he would get a foul mood. Also, he often skips classes and takes his Minamo to play around in Goto-gai. When Mikoto repeats the word “Goto-gai”, the class rep warns her not to say it out loud. Mizuchi hates that place. Despite his reputation, Kurenai’s grades are always top-class. He skips Kasen lessons most of the time, and yet he has never lost. There are also rumors saying he might be even stronger than Iroha. Mikoto says she has never seen Kurenai in a match though, and the class rep explains it’s because he only plays whenever he wants to. That’s why his real strength is unconfirmed, but considering his high confidence… he must be pretty strong. The class rep prefers stoic men like Mizuchi though, and she runs off in embarrassment after saying that. (*´艸`*)ｧﾊ♪ This leaves Mikoto to wonder about how Kurenai fights.
Later on, Mikoto is searching for Kurenai all over the school. She can’t find him anywhere though, and she ends up bumping into Onosada—who informs her that he left with a Minamo from the Ouka Class earlier. She’s surprised since they were supposed to meet up, and yet he just left her behind. Since this happened right after they neglected Kabatsu, Onosada can see that they’re obviously not doing well together. Mikoto sadly looks at her feet because it’s true, but Onosada tells her to smile—teasingly saying that she won’t be able to attract men with a sad face. Since she doesn’t seem to hear it, he moves really close to her and once again tells her to smile. This startles her since his face is really close, but he only grins as he tells her to smile and look into his eyes. At first she feels embarrassed and asks him not to tease her, but she eventually gives in and smiles. She knows her smile looks forced, but he cheerfully says she passed. Whenever she reaches a dead end, she should get troubled and laugh as much as she can… then she can forget it.
Mikoto is surprised and asks if she can forget her troubles, but Onosada grins and nods. There’s no way a kid can get the right answer from the first try. She shouldn’t try to act mature, and just do the things within her reach. Mikoto protests since he makes it sound like she’s trying to act mature, but Onosada points out that being the honor student that she is, she IS acting that way. Before she can say anything, he suddenly pulls up her skirt and comments on her “boring” white panties. Mikoto shrieks and punches Onosada, but despite the pain, he laughs saying she should be okay if she can punch someone like this.
In the end, they don’t do Kabatsu again today. That evening, Mikoto thinks about how she has to capture Kurenai before he runs away and drag him to do Kabatsu…
Now there’s a strange loop here.
The day doesn’t end. Instead, it rolls back to the afternoon. After school, Mikoto tries searching for Kurenai before he escapes. She won’t be able to find him in Goto-gai, and she might get in trouble again if she goes there alone. Mikoto runs into Mizuchi in the hallway, but instead of greeting each other, both of them turn silent. She can’t bring herself to talk to him. She actually wants to ask if he’s okay and how he’s been doing, but things will turn ugly if Kurenai sees them talking to each other. In the end she can only bow to him, and he doesn’t say anything either. This is the only thing she can do right now. She doesn’t want to trouble him again. He walks away after that, and she can only whisper his name.
Since Kurenai is nowhere to be seen, Mikoto then goes to visit his room. There’s no reply when she knocks on the door, but then she hears a soft chuckle inside. Once again she knocks and asks if she can enter, but the door swings open and a girl walks out—excusing herself while giggling. She’s really surprised since the girl’s hair and clothes are all disheveled, but then she forces herself to hold back. What the girl and Kurenai did inside is none of her business. She has decided to do her best, and so she must not falter. Mikoto then walks into the room and asks Kurenai to do Kabatsu. He sighs saying she’s not cute, and he tells her to beg him in a cuter way. For example: “My beloved Karakurenai-sama, let’s do Kabatsu~?” ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Of course Mikoto doesn’t want to do it, but she reminds herself that she shouldn’t rebel… and so she reluctantly says that line. Kurenai complains that it’s not sexy enough this time, and her tongue ends up slipping when she repeats it. He laughs saying that’s so uncool, but when she rages at him for laughing, he finally agrees to do Kabatsu with her. It’s a reward for her since she managed to say it.
Despite her frustration, Mikoto notices that Kurenai seems to be in a good mood. He puts his arm around her hips when they walk out, and she protests since everyone is looking at them… but he lightly replies that he’s showing off on purpose. Showing off his possession, that is. Both Mikoto and Kurenai are not aware that Mizuchi is silently watching them from afar.
Upon reaching Goto-gai, Mikoto feels nervous. Kurenai looks completely fine, but that’s probably because he often comes here. She checks her notes to see the locations of Adabana given by Onosada, but he says that’s not necessary. The entire city is howling with Adabana, and any of them will do. They should just drop all the troublesome things, gather as many Adabana as possible, and reap them at once. When Mikoto asks what he means by that, Kurenai grins saying it’s easy. They’ll pick a fight with ALL Adabana in this area, then wipe them all out. Mikoto is surprised to hear this, but Kurenai calmly sets up a field barrier and takes them both into two consecutive rounds of Hana Awase—cleaning Adabana one after another.
Mikoto is panting by the end of the second battle, wondering if Kabatsu is really this hard. Kurenai, on the other hand, doesn’t look tired at all. In fact, he looks really calm. She’s also surprised to see his strength. He defeats Adabana without even lifting an eyebrow, while she finds it hard just to keep up—it takes all of her might just to support him. Kurenai grins saying he’s getting interested, and he excitedly says it’s time to slay the next one… but Mikoto reluctantly asks if they can stop for today. However, Kurenai reminds Mikoto that it was her who wanted to do Kabatsu. She’s the Senki candidate, so she shouldn’t be so sloppy. This leads to Mikoto saying she understands, and Kurenai grins as he leads her to the next area… but then her vision starts fading. His voice sounds distant to her. Before she can figure out the reason, Mikoto’s consciousness fades away. She collapses to the ground, and the last thing she hears is Kurenai calling her name—trying to ask her what’s going on.
When Mikoto regains her consciousness later, she finds herself in an unfamiliar room. She instantly panics upon realizing that she’s only wearing her underwear, not to mention Kurenai is sleeping right beside her. She tries to sort out her thoughts and looks around the room, telling herself to calm down. She still has her underwear on, so it should be okay. Maybe. Something like this has happened before, though she doesn’t get why he has to strip her clothes. Upon looking back at Kurenai, Mikoto realizes that it’s the first time she has ever taken a good look at him. He looks so elegant and handsome, definitely doesn’t look like someone who would do vulgar things. That, and he also looks a bit younger when he’s asleep. She knows it’s strange because he’s older than her, but if only he keeps quiet and not do anything weird… Kurenai then opens his eyes and questioningly calls Mikoto’s name. She mentions that she fainted again, but he shuts his eyes and softly calls her stupid. Why didn’t she tell him that it was rough on her body? Kurenai points out that Mikoto is really bad at relying on people, and he tells her to be more honest in front of him.
Mikoto apologizes, but Kurenai chuckles and gives her a hug. She’s taken aback for a moment, but then he asks her not to be so stiff—she should relax more. Mikoto admits that she’s nervous, and she’s about to tell him that she can’t do things further than this, but Kurenai says he won’t do anything. He doesn’t feel like it. In return, he wants to indulge in her scent. He can feel an indescribable, sweet scent from her body. Mikoto says it tickles, but Kurenai only tells her to bear with it. When he sniffs at her, she thinks he’s just like a huge dog. Awahana said the same thing before, but does she really have a strong scent? Kurenai turns red as he mutters that Mikoto’s scent is really arousing. He wants to sleep with her right now, and yet… He doesn’t get it. The same thing happened last time too. Then he tells her: “Mikoto, don’t ever leave Kurenai-sama’s side. This scent and this body… They all belong to Kurenai-sama.”
However, Mikoto asks what does a “thing” mean to him. Things don’t have a heart. Does that mean he only wants her body and doesn’t need her heart? Kurenai turns silent for a while, and he eventually tells her it’s so troublesome. She shouldn’t make him think. Mikoto tries to protest, but Kurenai asks her to be quiet and let him hug her like this. Somehow she feels that she shouldn’t argue with him right now, because he looks really lonely… Kurenai then falls back to sleep, and Mikoto notices that she doesn’t dry up even though he’s touching her. He’s lying right next to her, but she doesn’t feel scared at all. She doesn’t hate his defenseless expression either. The relief causes her to feel sleepy, and she decides to sleep for a bit as well.
“見ずもあらず見もせぬ人の恋しくは あやなく今日や ながめくらさむ” — Ariwara no Narihira (476)
Longing for someone who’s neither seen nor unseen, shall I spend the day musing without knowing the reason why?
Kurenai comments that Mikoto is the Senki candidate after all. Up until now, no one has been able to keep up with him alone. He’ll praise her for that, but he also thinks she’s a big idiot. If she feels tired, she should tell him properly. Thanks to what she did, he had to hug her again. Kurenai notes that it’s the same as what happened last time. He stripped Mikoto and thought about doing her, but then his hands stopped and he doesn’t understand why—he should be able to do it just fine. Kurenai quietly curses and says that Mikoto is really pissing him off after all.
• Day 25 •
In the morning, Hime comes to school for tennis practice. It’s only 5 AM, and so he wonders if he came too early. At the entrance, he notices Kurenai and Mikoto walking together—what are they doing at this hour…? However, Hime is shocked to see another figure hiding in the bushes. It’s Mizuchi, and he’s watching them in complete silence. What does this mean…?
Later on, Mikoto wakes up in her room and yawns. She had a nice sleep, and she’s happy that she doesn’t feel tired anymore. That means she’s perfectly ready for Kabatsu today. Momotose soon comes to Mikoto’s room, and she’s glad to see Mikoto looking healthy. Momotose asks if she has gotten used to Kabatsu, and Mikoto admits that she hasn’t… but she’s surprised to see how strong Kurenai is in Kasen. Momotose nods saying he’s one of the best players in Kaen—though it’s only when he feels like it. Due to his overwhelming strength, one Minamo isn’t enough for him. Minamo who can support his genius abilities are rare, and that is why he doesn’t have a fixed one. He gains power when a large number of Minamo take turns to support him. That’s the reason why he loves all of them equally. Mikoto thinks Kurenai goes too far to pamper all of his Minamo, but she quickly says it’s nothing when Momotose asks what she’s talking about. Since Kurenai doesn’t know any limits, Momotose asks Mikoto to stop him if he’s being reckless in Kabatsu. She’ll end up fainting again if she doesn’t watch her stamina, so she has to tell him properly next time.
Before Mikoto goes to meet up with Kurenai, the class rep panics and informs her that someone is here to see her again. That someone turns out to be Hime. He asks if she has some time to talk, and so she follows him to the courtyard—where he tells her that Mizuchi has been acting strange recently. He locks himself in his room everyday, but then he’d leave and disappears without a word. Hime sadly says it’s the first time he has ever seen Mizuchi looking so tormented, and there’s also something that’s been bothering him. Mikoto asks what it is, so Hime goes to the point and asks if she returned early in the morning recently—surprising her. Is he talking about how she spent the night with Kurenai in a hotel? Kurenai didn’t do anything to her, but Mikoto knows that if she admits it, Hime will only get the wrong idea. Since she doesn’t reply, Hime then apologizes for interfering with her personal issues too much.
Hime then explains that Mizuchi was born in a severely rigid family, and so he’s really strict on himself. Due to his strict nature, there are also things that he locks inside of him. Even though he appears calm, Mizuchi is actually an emotional person. He’s not good at keeping the balance of his mind, and he also thinks about things too much. Mikoto remains silent, and Hime apologizes. He knows saying things like these would only put her in pain, so what he’s going to say now is simply a monologue. Hime then reveals that based on the chairmen’s request, Mizuchi takes care of the plants in the greenhouse. He does it by himself at night, once every week… and today is that day. Hime chuckles saying the flowers of the night are beautiful, and then he takes his leave. Mikoto realizes that he’s subtly hinting of a place where she can talk alone with Mizuchi. She feels really bad knowing Mizuchi is tormented because of her, so she decides to see him tonight. She wants to talk to him and clear any misunderstandings he might have.
In the afternoon, Kurenai ends today’s Kabatsu with a blast. Mikoto is panting as she nods, but she’s glad that she managed to keep up with him somehow. He’s just as calm as usual, but she’s pretty much drained. Kurenai grins saying this he hasn’t caused riot yet, and he asks if they should challenge one more dozen of Adabana… but Mikoto admits that she can’t go on. She asks him to stop here for today, and he agrees since her feet are trembling. He can see that she’s got guts though, and he throws something into her hand—it’s a pack of gums. A reward for keeping up with him. Mikoto is surprised, but she honestly thanks Kurenai for the gums. Did he know that she’s exhausted? It seems like he has a kind side as well. She decides to eat the gums without holding back, and she notices that they have soda flavor—which makes her think that he has a surprisingly cute taste. However, Kurenai has a mischievous smirk when Mikoto slides her fingers into the package. The next second, she screams when something snaps her finger. Why yes, the gum package turns out to be a toy. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Kurenai laughs at Mikoto for getting tricked by a kid’s toy, and she complains that he’s being mean. He says it’s her own fault though—it’s so easy to fool her. As Mikoto takes back what she said about his “kind side”, Kurenai asks why she’s sulking. She replies that she’s not sulking, but her anger fades away when he hands a gum to her and tells her to eat it. Mikoto knows that she’ll only get dragged by his pace if she refuses, and so she takes the gum into her mouth. In return, Kurenai steals a kiss from her—teasingly mentioning about how they share the same flavor. Mikoto protests and asks why he always does things like this, and Kurenai is about to answer… but then he turns silent for a while. Then he replies: “It’s because you’re easy to tease! Stupid!” (๑ ´ ლ `๑)♡ She gets frustrated at how mean he is, but she notices that he was at a loss for words for a while. Was it just her imagination? As they walk for the crosswalk light to change, Kurenai suddenly asks if Mikoto has ever met him a long time ago. She doesn’t think they’ve met before, and he has no recollections of it either… so he concludes that he must be wrong.
That night, Mikoto receives a mail from Kurenai: “Your taste today wasn’t bad. Let me eat you again.” Mikoto sighs at how Kurenai’s words would make people misunderstand. He gets mad if she doesn’t reply, so she sends him a mail to thank him for his hard work today. It’s now 10 PM, and there should be no one in Kaen at this hour. She feels a bit awkward for sneaking out after the dorm’s lights out time, but she wants to see Mizuchi no matter what. She’ll sneak out for a bit and return as quick as possible. Before leaving her room, Mikoto remembers that she made something warm for Mizuchi. She should deliver it to him before it turns cold. Mikoto sneaks into the school after that, and she’s relieved to find the greenhouse door unlocked—it means Mizuchi is really inside. Then she opens the door and walks in.
The greenhouse feels cool at night. It’s a bit scary, but it also feels mysterious somehow. Just when Mikoto wonders if Mizuchi’s deeper inside, she gets startled by his voice—asking who’s there. She quickly explains that she heard about his task to take care of the flowers, but then he comes out saying no one is allowed to enter the greenhouse without permission. She should leave. Mikoto nods and apologizes, but before that, she gives a bag of hot sandwiches to Mizuchi. She thought he might be hungry, and he can eat them while they’re still warm. Mikoto excuses herself after that, but Mizuchi informs her that he doesn’t eat much… and so he doesn’t think he can eat everything alone. He asks if she’s willing to help, promising that he’ll explain to the chairmen later. Of course Mikoto is happy to help, and she takes out the sandwiches for Mizuchi. She made two kinds. One is cheese and ham, while the other is chicken and tomato. She also put in some fruits for dessert. He smiles saying that’s luxurious, and he politely eats one of the sandwiches.
Mikoto watches as Mizuchi takes a bite, and she nervously asks how it tastes. She’s worried that it might not suit his taste, but he smiles saying it’s tasty. He then asks if she cooks, so she explains that before coming to Kaen, she used to cook everyday at home. She can’t make difficult recipes, but she’s good at making things with a small amount of ingredients. Mizuchi can sense the scent of herbs from the chicken, and Mikoto tells him that she put a bit of basil. She also used smoked cheese because they smell good. Mikoto then pours a cup of warm tea for Mizuchi, but soon notices that he has a troubled expression. He reminds her that she’s here to talk to him, and she sadly nods. She should have told him this right from the start, even before they started doing Kabatsu. Mikoto apologizes for the lateness, and she reports to Mizuchi that she has become partners with Kurenai… but she wants him to know that she’s still a Minamo of the Koukoku Class. She’s his Minamo. She’s only changing partners for now. Once everything is over, she wants to return to his side. He doesn’t understand why she wants to return though. She won’t have to partner up with him anymore after becoming a Senki, and he doesn’t get why she would want to do that either.
However, Mikoto asks if she can’t do it just because she wants to remain as his Minamo. She’s been doing her best because he and everyone in the Koukoku Class taught her everything, from the rules they have to obey to how one should prepare herself as a Minamo. She was truly happy when he came to save her from the Adabana. She respects him, but she also feels something more. He’s special to her. She doesn’t think of them as only a player and his Minamo. She feels something… different. Upon hearing this, Mizuchi shuts his eyes and grits his teeth. Of course Mikoto notices his reaction, so she stops and apologizes—thinking she’s only troubling him by saying these things. She tries to think of a more proper reason, but then he suddenly hugs her. When she calls his name in surprise, Mizuchi asks Mikoto to stay like this for a little while. She can feel her heart racing, and she wonders if he can hear it too.
After a long silence, Mizuchi asks what he should do. Ever since that day, he’s been chasing after Mikoto’s shadow. He keeps thinking about her everyday. Is she suffering? Does Kurenai taint her? He doesn’t want her to get tainted by Kurenai. He doesn’t want her to stay with such a vulgar man. When Kurenai kissed her, and when he saw them together after that… he was about to go mad. Mikoto is wondering what he means by “after that”, but Mizuchi continues saying she’s a pure Minamo. No one is allowed to taint her. Mizuchi then says he wants to cleanse Mikoto, and he asks if she would mind. She’s about to ask him what does he mean by that, but he suddenly lifts her chin up and kisses her—asking her to open her mouth. He wants to cleanse all the places Kurenai has touched. Mikoto tries to call Mizuchi’s name, but then he gives her a very passionate kiss. It’s different from the one they shared in the library. She can feel heat in his breath as their tongue intertwine. Her body is shivering and she can’t think straight. The only thing she can say is that she doesn’t hate his kiss. As she feels his warmth, the water in her is filling up her body.
Mizuchi tells Mikoto that this is a ritual. It’s a ceremony to cleanse her, and so she doesn’t have to worry. As long as he’s cleansing her like this, she will never be tainted. Mikoto only whispers Mizuchi’s name, and he quietly kisses her again… but then she notices that something’s different in the way he looks at her. Is it just her imagination? In the end she decides to ignore it. For now she’s satisfied as long as she can touch him.
“君により思ひならひぬ 世の中の人はこれをや恋といふらむ” — Ariwara no Narihira (944)
Thanks to you, I finally come to understand. This is must be what they call love.
Of course this just have to come right when Mikoto is “busy” with Mizuchi.
PLEASE HAVE MERCY. _(:3」∠)_
Kurenai laughs as he recalls Mikoto’s face when she fell for his trick. He loves how she got mad and turned bright red, and he’s wondering about what kind of trick he should pull on her next. Kurenai calls Mikoto’s name and says that she’s merely a thing. She’s nothing more than a way for him to pass his time. Or at least that’s what he wanted to say. He can’t bring himself to put it into words, because he knows that she will be sad if she hears that. It’s supposed to be fine. He’s been doing that up until now, and he doesn’t know why he gets so concerned right now. He decides to brush it off though. He’ll hold back for now, and he laughs saying they still have a long way ahead of them.
“嘆けとて月やは物を思はする かこち顔なるわが涙かな” — Saigyō Hōshi (628)
Is it the moon who leads me to mourn in grief? No, it is not. The cause of my grief is a heartless lover, and yet I look up at the moon and let my tears flow in agony.
That day, Mizuchi saw how Mikoto fainted after Kabatsu. He saw how Kurenai took her to a repulsive place, though fortunately nothing seemed to happen between them. It’s absurd how Kurenai took her to such a place while she was unconscious. It’s an action that he cannot forgive. When they kissed earlier, he noticed a faint, sweet taste on her lips… which he recognizes it as the taste of the gum Kurenai often chews. Um, so why do you know about this? Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) Mizuchi wonders what Kurenai actually did to Mikoto—could it be that he did things further than a kiss? If that’s the case, then he has to cleanse her. If she’s tainted because of Kurenai, then he needs to save her. After taking a deep breath, Mizuchi says he’s never been as thankful for the noise of his cursed blood. The paraselene has vanished. Now he can throw away all his doubts and awaken himself to the blood of “Mizuchi”.
• Day 26 •
At night, Half Moon appears in Mikoto’s dream—saying it’s been quite a while. She points out that he didn’t appear in her dreams recently, and he nods saying he thought he can pull it off… but he couldn’t. He can’t stop it anymore. She asks what he means by that, but he responds with a question: “Do you only have one moon?” He can see two moons behind her, but there should be only one waning moon. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen from here. It all depends on her. All he can do is to hope that the moon she chose won’t end up here—in hades. The dream then starts fading away, and Mikoto asks Half Moon not to leave… but then she wakes up in her room. What was he talking about? What does he mean by two moons?
Later on at school, some Minamo from the Ouka Class approaches Mikoto in the hallway. They want to ask her something, and one of them explains that Kurenai has been acting weird recently. He doesn’t play with them anymore, and he won’t take them out at night either—it’s so boring. That’s why they wants to know if he’s really THAT busy doing Kabatsu and finding a way to awaken the Senki candidate. Mikoto answers that they’re not that busy though, and it’s not like she spends all of her time with Kurenai. The other girl reveals that Kurenai doesn’t call them to be his Minamo as much anymore, and so it makes them lonely. They know that he only thinks of them as his pawns. He loves them equally, but their relationship is purely physical. He doesn’t have a “real” Minamo. That being said, they love him. They want him to love them back, and so they ask Mikoto to tell Kurenai that the Minamo of the Ouka Class will always be waiting for him. After they leave, Mikoto realizes that they really love Kurenai… but are they really okay with being mere pawns? Is that what it means by unconditionally loving someone? In her case, she wants Mizuchi to share the same feelings. It’s an impudent wish, but she wants to become someone special for Mizuchi someday. For now, she needs to find Kurenai and deliver the message to him.
After school, Onosada is happy to see Mikoto and Kurenai in the lecture hall. Kurenai complains since HE was the one who called them here, and Onosada reminds him that he’s being too rude to a teacher… even though he knows it won’t change anything. In any case, Onosada has made some progress regarding the utsurohi incident at the park. Apparently some students from Kaen was involved. He received a report that a boy and a girl wearing Kaen’s uniform were seen at the park that day. The Adabana withered soon after, which means it was killed by a player and his Minamo. Mikoto asks if there are other students who received the order to do Kabatsu, but Onosada says that’s impossible. He seems to have his own thoughts, but only informs her that the chairmen’s barrier can’t be broken from outside—someone must have erased it from the inside. Onosada is going to talk to those who took suspicious actions during the greenhouse incident, so Mikoto and Kurenai should search for clues at the park. Kurenai protests that this detective game is just too troublesome, but since Mikoto wants to do it, he sighs and agrees to go. Onosada is amused to see the change in Kurenai, and he asks if this is because of the great Senki candidate’s guidance. Mikoto denies this right away, but she notices that Kurenai has become much more honest recently—even though he actually hates stuff like this. She doesn’t know why though.
When they reach the park, Mikoto thinks about how it’s been a while. The last time she came here, she was on a date with Mizuchi. She’s not sure if they can find any clues since the park is rather large, but she wants to do her best for his sake. She will work hard to finish her task and return to his side. Mikoto snaps out of her reverie when Kurenai asks what she’s thinking of. She quickly says it’s nothing though, and he tells her to talk about anything. He hates silence. Mikoto asks if he wants to talk about this investigation, but Kurenai calls her stupid and asks her to say something more sexy—like asking him to let her serve him. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Of course she won’t do something like that though, and he sighs saying it’s so boring without Kabatsu… so he tells her to let him fondle her boobs. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ She quickly refuses, but unlike before, he only sighs and once again complains that it’s so boring. Mikoto is surprised when Kurenai walks away. Normally he’s much more persistent and would keep bugging her. What’s going on?
However, Kurenai suddenly turns around and grabs Mikoto’s boobs from behind. She instantly turns red, screams and begs him to stop, but he only replies that her size is just right. He thinks boobs should be that big after all, and it makes them worth it. Worth fondling, that is. She shrieks and calls him a pervert, but her resistance only turns him on. He laughs and keeps groping her… until something suddenly flies past them. Both Mikoto and Kurenai are shocked, especially after seeing what it was—it was an arrow. Mikoto notices that it was released to hit the spot beside her. Or rather, it was aimed towards Kurenai. Of course Kurenai notices this too. He growls saying this is interesting, and Mikoto gasps in horror when he angrily takes out a knife from his pocket—demanding to know who’s after his life. If they’re picking a fight with him, he gladly accepts the challenge. Kurenai then yells at the attacker to come out, and he walks off while glaring at their surroundings—leaving Mikoto in shock. Looks like the arrow was indeed aimed towards him, but she didn’t expect him to get this angry.
When Kurenai kicks something and yells, Mikoto realizes that the anger is causing him to lose himself. What should she do? There’s only one thing that she can do. Mikoto runs up to Kurenai and holds his hand, not releasing it even when he orders her to let go. Instead, she begs him to get a hold of himself and return to his senses. Kurenai is surprised, and Mikoto asks him to look at her. He glares and asks why he has to do it, but he turns silent the moment their eyes met. He can feel water flowing into him from her hands, carrying her wish for him to calm down. In her mind, she assures him that everything will be okay—she’s right here with him. She’s wishing for him to accept this water in her. Noticing that Kurenai has turned quiet, Mikoto is relieved and suggests moving to a safe place for now. The attack might be related to the utsurohi incidents, so they should leave and sort out the situation.
Instead of answering, Kurenai only lets out a sigh. When Mikoto asks him what’s wrong, he answers that he doesn’t get it—is this for real? She asks what he means by that, but he snaps out that he’s serious. Is there a problem with that? Before Mikoto can figure out what’s happening, Kurenai suddenly embraces her. He’s gone mad, and he wants her to take responsibility. Then he adds: “I’ve become… serious about you. I have fallen in love with you… for real.” ｷｬ━━(*ﾉдﾉ)━━ッ!! Mikoto is surprised and points out that Kurenai has always been treating her like a thing, but he says he doesn’t understand either. She’s cheeky as heck, never listens to him and says naïve things. She’s a genius when it comes to pissing him off, and yet he fell for her. He says it’s all her fault, because she tempted him. Mikoto tries to deny this, but Kurenai repeats that she’s tempting him. What’s with her soft body? What’s with this sweet scent coming from her? He never knew any this. He wants to touch her more. He wants to hold her, going deeper inside of her. He wants to thrust into her, stir her up and fill her up. It’s driving him nuts. At the same time, Mikoto is thrown into panic. Kurenai is serious about her, but… she has Mizuchi. She can’t answer his feelings. She has to make it clear, or else she will only get carried away.
C= C= C= C= C= C= 。・゜゜ヽ| ；∀；|ノウワァァァァァァンッ!
Mikoto then calls Kurenai’s name, answering that she’s his Minamo and his partner. They can’t go further than that. Kurenai’s breath trembles as he holds her in silence, but then Mikoto continues that he has a lot of Minamo who treasures him in the Ouka Class. They want to be loved by him. They’re all waiting for him, and so she wants him to cherish them. However, he answers with: “Just one. I only need you alone. I don’t need a lot of people. I only want you.” Kurenai reminds Mikoto that he can do Kabatsu only with her alone. There hasn’t been a woman who can keep up with him all by herself. By now, she should have figured out that they’re compatible. That’s why… Sadly, Mikoto tells Kurenai that she is Mizuchi’s Minamo. (´・ω・`) She will return to Mizuchi once everything is over, and so she can’t accept his feelings. She doesn’t mind even if he gets angry, and she deeply apologizes. Kurenai is stunned for a moment, but eventually he lets go of her and walks away in silence—leaving Mikoto to wonder about what she should do. Upon taking another look at the arrow, she notices that it’s quite a fine arrow. Who shot this arrow? It wasn’t aimed at her—the Senki candidate. It was aimed at Kurenai… but why? Mikoto decides to bring the arrow back. She’s going to show it to Onosada tomorrow, maybe he can figure something out.
That night in Goto-gai, a girl in the casino asks if Kurenai is going home already. He answers that tomorrow would be harsh if he doesn’t sleep for a bit, and she finds it unusual for him to be so concerned about the next day. It sounds like he’s meeting up with a lover or something. To her surprise, Kurenai replies that it’s something like that. At the same time, now she understands why he doesn’t take his fangirls along recently. She can tell that he’s completely absorbed, and she wants to see the woman he’s fallen in love with. He has no intentions of showing Mikoto to them though—she belongs to him and only him. The girl replies that he has such a strong desire to monopolize, but she warns him to be careful. Even if a woman acts obedient in front of men, they won’t be able to see what she truly feels. One might think that she belongs to them, but in reality she might belong to someone else. Kurenai only tells the girl not to lump Mikoto with her, and so the girl jokingly says he should put a leash on her if he loves her that much—he should never let go of her. Kurenai laughs saying that’s none of her concern, but then he looks up at the sky and whispers that Mikoto is like the moon. He feels drawn just by watching her. He has never fallen in love so deeply with any woman before, and yet instead of being grateful… she rejected him. Kurenai whispers that he wants to see Mikoto as soon as possible. He wants to sleep with her. His endurance has reached its limits.
Back in the dorm, Mikoto is seeing a nostalgic dream. A boy warns her that “he” is dangerous, but she only asks him why. She doesn’t think “he” is dangerous, because “he” made shaved ice for them. She points out that the boy—”Kurenai-kun”—ate most of their shaved ice, so much that his tongue turned blue. He tries to brush it off, but she comments that he really loves soda flavor a lot. He only asks if that’s bad, because soda is the coolest flavor ever. Only girls eat strawberries. She tells him that it’s called prejudice, but of course he doesn’t care about these stuff. What he wants to say is that she needs to be careful of “him”. He knows that she never suspects anyone, but as people often say… they have to be careful of everything sweet. She takes this literally though, and so he screams out of frustration. In any case, he can’t stand “him” and tells her not to call “him” to their secret base tomorrow. She protests since they already promised to meet up tomorrow, but he insists. “He” is dangerous. If he sees “him”, he’ll chase “him” away.
Mikoto pouts saying Kurenai-kun is so mean, but he only tells her to shut up. He also warns her not to flock around. She’s his wife, and a wife has to listen to her husband. He then pulls her closer, and she tells him that her waist feels ticklish… but he only orders her to rely on him more—because she belongs to him. He also comments that her body is so soft and smells good. Once again he reminds her that she’s his wife, and he asks her to stay with him forever. The dream then fades away, and Mikoto wakes up wondering if it was a dream. It feels like a childhood memory, and yet she doesn’t remember anything. The boy in her dream is called “Kurenai-kun”. Could it be that he’s…? Mikoto sighs. It’s now 2 AM, and she woke up because of that strange dream. From the window on her ceiling, she can see the moon shining in the night sky. Tonight is a full moon. The moon also exists in Kasen. Her textbook says it symbolizes madness. Those who got allured by the moon would turn insane. As she watches the moon, Kurenai appears in her mind. He’s serious, but why does it have to be her? Is it because she’s the Senki candidate? She wonders if it’s okay for her to stay as his partner, because she is Mizuchi’s Minamo… and her heart belongs to Mizuchi as well. What does she want to do? Who does she want to choose?
Just then Mikoto’s phone starts ringing, and she picks it up to hear Mizuchi on the other side. It’s unusual for him to call her, and it appears that he has an urgent business with her… so she agrees to meet up with him. Mikoto then rushes to see Mizuchi at the park, and she asks him why he wants to see her in the middle of the night like this. He remains silent for a while before answering that he wanted to view the moon with her. He wanted to see this full moon, the light that exists only at this very moment, with her. Their promise to have another date was cancelled due to the utsurohi incident, so he wants to use this chance. Now that no one is watching, they won’t be blamed for anything. Mikoto is happy that Mizuchi remembers, but she’s also wondering if it’s really okay. It’s true that no one is around at this hour, but it’s not like him at all—he’s always protecting the rules. However, she decides to let it slide. He went out of his way to call her, and she feels happy to be with him.
Mikoto then takes Mizuchi to sit on a bench, and she gets captivated by how beautiful the moon is… but he remains silent beside her. When she turns to look at him, he suddenly pushes her down saying it gets cold at night—they can stay warm by doing this. She nods because it’s indeed warm, but she finds this position embarrassing. Mizuchi then says he has a question for Mikoto: “What do you think of Karakurenai-senpai?” She answers that Kurenai is her partner for Kabatsu. He’s really strong, and it’s hard for her just to keep up with him. At first she finds him really violent, but recently she feels that he has softened up—he has calmed down, even though it’s only for a bit. She came to realize that he’s not as bad as she thought. Upon hearing this, Mizuchi frowns and asking if Mikoto is attracted to Kurenai. Before she can answer, he grabs her chest and asks if she’s fine with Kurenai doing this because she loves him. Mikoto panics, and she asks Mizuchi to let go—she’s troubled being touched there.
Mizuchi’s eye widens, and he tells Mikoto that this is a ritual. It’s a ceremony to keep her pure. He won’t let Kurenai taint her. She needs to remain pure. Mikoto realizes that Mizuchi’s eye is gleaming in a strange way. Why does he know that Kurenai touched her chest…? She tells him that she’s not tainted, and she mentions that it’s not like him at all to do something like this. He’s supposed to be a sincere person who’s really strict on himself, protecting the rules above all else. He would never do forceful things like this. Mikoto then asks what is wrong with him, but Mizuchi suddenly starts laughing. He answers that she doesn’t know him. The family of “Mizuchi” never protects any rules to begin with. They were a cruel, bloodthirsty family. They were sealed by the emperor, with the power of the moon. Their family have been serving the emperor ever since, except for those who don’t have any moon in their eyes.
Mizuchi then takes off his eyepatch and tells Mikoto to look. He can finally hide the moon—the paraselene given by his grandfather—from his eye. The humiliation sealed by the fake star has come to an end. It’s all thanks to her. She was the one who awakened the blood of “Mizuchi” inside of him. His heart was longing to snatch and fill her up… and she granted him satisfaction. He is no longer bound by any rules, so now he will take her away under this moonlight. Mikoto struggles and screams, but soon they hear a familiar voice ordering Mizuchi to let go. Mikoto is surprised to see Kurenai, who’s obviously pissed that Mizuchi dares to touch his woman. Kurenai then calls Mikoto to come over, so she apologizes to Mizuchi as she pushes him away. On the other hand, Mizuchi doesn’t get why Mikoto runs off to Kurenai’s side. She’s a member of the Koukoku Class, and he orders her to return.
Kurenai only scoffs and asks what this “sexually excited bastard” thinks he’s doing. Mikoto belongs to him, and he’s about to throw further insult when Mizuchi shoots something at him—an arrow. Mizuchi mutters that Kurenai is repulsive, and he tells Kurenai not to taunt him any further. Kurenai answers that it must be Mizuchi’s true color, but he accepts the challenge. In fact, he likes it. Mikoto isn’t too sure about where this is going, but Kurenai tells her to come closer—all the utsurohi around them are gathering. Mikoto gasps in shock when dark shadows start gathering around Mizuchi, and Kurenai explains that Mizuchi was the one who called them. What does he mean by “tainted”? He’s the most tainted one here. Kurenai then provokes Mizuchi further by saying that Mikoto belongs to him. If he wants her, then he should snatch her away with his own hands. Mizuchi calmly accepts, and they both set up a field barrier before Kurenai takes Mikoto to defeat Mizuchi through Hana Awase.
After the battle, all the utsurohi around them instantly vanish. Mizuchi grits his teeth before disappearing as well, and Kurenai comments that he ran away with his tail between his legs. However, Mikoto feels that it’s not over yet. Something feels strange. Besides, she thinks Mizuchi actually still has some power left. She feels really sad that she had to fight Mizuchi, especially because he always helped her as a partner. As she looks up at the full moon above, she wonders what’s going to happen from now on.
• Day 27 •
The chairmen have received the report. Mizuchi has attempted to attack the Senki candidate again, as well as shooting an arrow at Kurenai. Mikoto has informed them that it was caused by the blood carried by the family of “Mizuchi”, and they find it hard to believe since the family is fiercely loyal to the emperor… but the family is closed off to outsiders. They don’t know what happened with the family the past, and so they can’t dismiss this case either. Kurenai angrily tells the chairmen to stop this troublesome stuff already, since they clearly witnessed Mizuchi’s true color with their own eyes. Onosada warns him to talk more properly to the chairmen, but Awahana says it’s alright—they can understand why he’s irritated. Back to the main problem, Kintokihana asks if Mizuchi hasn’t returned to Kaen. Mikoto sadly nods and explains that he’s missing, and he can’t be contacted either.
Awahana then turns to Hime, asking if he knew about this side of Mizuchi. Hime admits that he didn’t know that Mizuchi could reach such a state, but he does know that Mizuchi has an emotional family. He takes out a medicine bottle and hands it to the chairmen, explaining that it’s a stabilizer. Mizuchi has been using it to suppress his raging emotions. Hime believes that Mizuchi has been enduring the pain caused by the blood of his family, but Kurenai snaps out that he shouldn’t say naïve things—it won’t justify his attempt to attack Mikoto. Controlling utsurohi has put him on the same level as Adabana. His rights as one of the Five Brights and as a Kaei have to be revoked, and then Kurenai will kill him. Mikoto stops him saying they must listen to Mizuchi’s feelings first. She’s hoping to solve this problem by talking to Mizuchi, but Iroha flatly replies that it’s impossible. On top of being expelled, Mizuchi is charged with a heavy crime. The Five Brights have large responsibilities which suit their title. In this case, only death awaits Mizuchi.
Mikoto is shocked, and she begs them to wait since death is just too much. She turns to ask Momotose and Hime for help, but both are silent. She asks if they’re seriously going to kill Mizuchi, but Kintokihana says it’s the rule. Mizuchi protected the rules more than anyone else, until he sacrificed himself to his fate. Mikoto is really upset to hear this, and she leaves saying they’re really cruel. They don’t even give Mizuchi a chance to explain himself. Outside in the hallway, Mikoto cries alone. She can’t believe they don’t have a problem with killing Mizuchi. He’s also one of the Five Brights, their friend. There must be a reason behind his action, and she wants to believe in him. Even if it was caused by the blood of his family, he’s been fighting against it. He even took medicines to keep himself in control. She just can’t accept how they’re going to kill him despite all this. It’s outrageous. Even if she’s the only one, she wants to stay on his side.
Just then, Mikoto’s phone starts ringing. She’s surprised to see Mizuchi’s name on the screen, and she picks it up to ask where he is right now. She then goes to meet him in the greenhouse, and she tells him that she was really worried about him—though she didn’t expect to find him in Kaen. Mizuchi doesn’t reply though, and he has a painful expression when he suddenly hugs Mikoto. The first thing that appears in her mind is that he has a broad, warm chest. She wants to believe in him, because she knows he won’t do cruel things. Mikoto then asks Mizuchi to talk to everyone. They all misunderstood him. She believes that he has his own reasons, and she wants him to explain it to everyone—they will surely understand. She’ll stay with him and do everything she can too. However, Mizuchi remains silent. Mikoto tries calling his name, but he says that it might be too late. It’s useless even if he tries to cleanse her. She’s already tainted… Stained… Corrupted.
Of course Mikoto fails to pick up the hint. She asks what he’s talking about, but he ignores her and goes on to say that he’s been thinking. He’s been thinking about what he should do to protect her from impurities. Realizing that Mizuchi is being incoherent again, Mikoto starts wondering what happened to him. She tells him that she’s fine. She’s not tainted. The one who’s not fine in this situation is him. However, he suddenly grabs her before she can finish her sentence. She gasps in shock upon noticing where his hands are. They are strangling her neck. Mizuchi mutters that Mikoto’s neck is really thin. It’s easy to break her bone. He tells her that it’s alright. She hasn’t been completely tainted yet… and so he asks her to die with him. While she’s still pure. Before she gets tainted by anything. Mikoto tries to struggle, but Mizuchi’s hands are choking her. Upon noticing that he’s using all of his strength, she finally realizes that he’s serious. She can’t breathe and her vision is fading. Why…? Why is he doing this to her!? Did he want to kill her like this? Does that mean she didn’t know him? The man she knew was kind and sincere…
• Karakurenai’s Ending 1 •
If Mikoto begs Mizuchi to believe in her, she manages to gasp out that she loves him. Mizuchi’s eye widen in shock, while Mikoto repeats that she loves him. She wants him to believe in her words. However, Mizuchi sadly replies that he can’t turn back. He can’t stop this feeling anymore. Mikoto whispers his name, but he tightens his grip around her neck—telling her “I don’t want you to be stolen away.” Mikoto’s consciousness is fading away, and she can only wonder why things turned out this way. The last thing she hears is Mizuchi asking her to forgive him. Then everything fades to black.
If Mikoto whispers that she loves Mizuchi, she continues that she doesn’t want to hate him. She wants to believe in him. Mizuchi is shocked and releases Mikoto immediately, but he tells her that he can’t turn back. He can’t stop this feeling. He wants to kill someone. He wants to hurt someone. Even more than anything, he doesn’t want anyone to take her away—he loves her. Even if he takes the medicines, they’re not working anymore. His blood is going out of control. He has no options but to turn insane. Mizuchi grins and lets out a sad laugh, but Mikoto assures him that he’s got her. She loves him, and she wants to support him. Mikoto asks if that won’t do. Mizuchi is taken aback, but then they hear Kurenai’s voice saying that obviously won’t do. Mikoto is shocked, but Kurenai ignores her and greets Mizuchi—by saying “How dare you come here.” When Mikoto begs him to stop, Kurenai only grabs her arm and roughly yanks her over. There’s no way he would hand over the woman he really loves. After killing Mizuchi, he’s going to have sex with her.
As Mikoto gasps in shock, Kurenai tells her that he doesn’t give a damn about Senki and Kabatsu. He wants her—that’s all. He will turn her into a real woman tonight. Mikoto refuses saying she’s in love with Mizuchi, who quietly removes his eyepatch in front of them. At the same time, the greenhouse glass are shattering… and utsurohi flow in to gather around Mizuchi. Then he simply says one word: “…kill.” Kurenai grins asking if it’s time for his true color to come out, and it seems like he has summoned quite a lot of audience as well. He accepts the challenge though, and he orders Mikoto to do Hana Awase with him. Unfortunately, Mikoto refuses saying she doesn’t want to fight Mizuchi anymore. She’s not Kurenai’s possession. She knows he’s not a bad person, but if he’s planning to kill Mizuchi, then she refuses to become his partner. She’ll protect Mizuchi. Kurenai angrily tells Mikoto to stop messing around. Does she even understand this situation…? Is she planning to assist Mizuchi instead?
Mikoto can’t bring herself to answer Kurenai’s question, but she has to choose one of them.
• Karakurenai’s Ending 2 •
Kurenai is shocked when Mikoto chooses to assist Mizuchi. She doesn’t care even if she’s breaking Kaen’s rules. She will stay with Mizuchi. Kurenai shuts his eyes, but then he yells out that she can do whatever she wants. He then walks away from them, but before he can leave… a lot of Minamo from the Ouka Class come looking for him. They heard that utsurohi has broken into the greenhouse, and so they came to see if he’s alright. They’re surprised to see the greenhouse enveloped in total darkness, but they offer to support him. They know that they don’t have enough power, but they will support him with all their lives. Kurenai clearly never expected this, but then he grins saying they’re irresistible. Both Kurenai and Mizuchi set up their field barrier at the same time, and they enter Hana Awase after that.
Unfortunately, Mikoto and Mizuchi are too strong for Kurenai and his Minamo. The battle ends in a massive explosion that blows them away. Mikoto quickly runs over to approach Kurenai, who’s coughing up blood with all of his Minamo collapsing around his feet. They weakly apologize to him for being so useless. If only they have more power, they would’ve been able to support him. The girls turns silent after that, and Mikoto is horrified upon realizing that they’re dead. She was the one who killed them. Mikoto then turns around to Mizuchi, only to see him releasing an arrow to pierce Kurenai’s shoulder. She screams and asks him to wait. Hana Awase is over. They shouldn’t go further than this. However, Mizuchi quietly takes another arrow and mutters that it’s not enough. He needs more screams. He wants more screams of agony. More disgrace!
Mikoto calls Mizuchi’s name in disbelief, but he laughs before releasing two more arrows. Kurenai groans in pain when the second arrow pierces his chest, while the third puts him into silence… and then he closes his eyes. Mikoto stares in horror as she whispers Kurenai’s name, but that’s only until Mizuchi says it’s time for the last ritual. When she turns to look at him, he points out that she must have slept with Kurenai… and so in order to cleanse her, he needs to sleep with her as well. Mikoto is shocked. She tells Mizuchi that she is completely fine, and what does he mean by a ritual? Doesn’t he understand the situation they’re in? She tells him that it’s not sane to do something like this, but she gasps in shock upon seeing his expression. As Mizuchi walks closer and closer to her, the only thing Mikoto can do is to let out a scream.
• Karakurenai’s Ending 3 •
Mikoto reminds herself to be calm. Who is her current partner? Besides, Mizuchi has lost his sanity. It’s not a good idea to pair up with him in this condition. If this means she can save him… Mikoto then tells Kurenai that she has a request. She’s his partner. She will fight alongside him… but she begs him not to kill Mizuchi. He grits his teeth and replies that they don’t have that convenient option—they have received the order to purge Mizuchi. Mikoto is about to argue when Kurenai adds that he has no intentions to save Mizuchi, but she’s free to do whatever she wants. Realizing what Kurenai is trying to say, Mikoto firmly nods and agrees. After setting up the field barrier, they enter Hana Awase to defeat Mizuchi. He screams and collapses when the battle ends. Ignoring Kurenai’s warning, Mikoto immediately runs up to Mizuchi. She’s relieved to know that he’s still breathing, and she apologizes to him for not knowing anything. He has been carrying a heavy burden in the name of his family’s fate. It must have been painful. Mikoto then asks Mizuchi to allow her to stay by his side, and also to start over together.
However, Kurenai scoffs saying it’s too late for that. When Mikoto turns around, she finds a sad Momotose behind them. Beside her, Iroha reports that he has set up the barrier. They’re going to purge Mizuchi now. The other Brights shall wait for further orders along with their Minamo. Mikoto is shocked to Hime standing in silence, and Momotose can only apologize to her. Even if Mizuchi is their friend, they have to protect the rules of Kaen. Mikoto tries begging for Hime’s help hoping he’ll understand, but Hime remains silent. At the same time, Kurenai laughs and asks if she sees the end of their fake friendship. Mikoto keeps insisting that they’re wrong, but their argument comes to a halt when darkness falls upon the greenhouse—a very large number of utsurohi are crawling in. She realizes that something is luring them in, and Hime points out that it’s actually Mizuchi. Iroha quickly drags Mikoto away from Mizuchi, and she screams upon seeing utsurohi flocking onto him.
While Mikoto is desperately screaming Mizuchi’s name, Momotose is shocked to see a Bright getting eroded by Utsurohi. Iroha states that the number of utsurohi is abnormally high, and they will corrupt the students outside at this rate. Momotose nods and says she will strengthen the barrier, but then Mizuchi gets back on his feet with an insane laughter—yelling that it feels good. This is the best feeling ever! Mikoto keeps calling his name, but Iroha notes that he’s been stained by the darkness. Mizuchi starts mumbling that he’s going to taint everything. Then he screams that he’s thirsty. He wants blood and more blood. Mikoto realizes that Mizuchi and the utsurohi around him are responding to each other, but she believes they can save him by purifying him. Unfortunately, Mizuchi only continues screaming at them to give him more blood. Hime calls out Mikoto’s name to warn her, but before anything happens, Kurenai sets up a field barrier around them. He smirks saying Mizuchi is such a waste, mockingly calling Mizuchi uncool. He’s putting on airs and hid his lecherous side, and now he’s saying it’s all because of his blood? He shouldn’t use his family as an excuse.
Kurenai doesn’t give a damn about fate. If you can’t cut open your fate with your own hands, it means you are just a weakling. After glaring at Mizuchi in silence, Kurenai challenges him to show the man in him. If he can’t do that, then Kurenai will take Mikoto away for real. Sadly, Mizuchi only replies with: “…KILL!” Kurenai grins saying this is the best festival, and he will give Mizuchi a requiem for his death. They do another Hana Awase battle after that, but despite Mikoto’s hope… both Mizuchi and Kurenai collapse in blood. This really shocks Mikoto and she asks if Kurenai is alright, but he replies that he messed up. He held back because of her. She asks him not to speak because his blood is pouring out, but he only smiles and says: “Blood suits Kurenai-sama, right?” Mikoto begs Kurenai not to joke around. She doesn’t want him to die! Upon hearing this, he grins saying she has a cute side after all. He thinks it’s best when she’s being honest, and he admits that he wanted to have one round of sex with her.
Just then something rustles behind them, and Mikoto turns around to see Mizuchi standing up—muttering that she needs to deliver the final blow. She gasps in surprise, but Kurenai tells her to go and give Mizuchi the closure he’s asking for. Kurenai then hands a knife to Mikoto, and she recognizes it as the one he took out at the park. It’s really a shame, but he’s dying. She needs to pull down the curtains of this performance for them. Kurenai opens his eyes and whispers: “Mikoto, I… you…” He’s trying to tell her how he feels about her, but sadly he closes his eyes forever before finishing the sentence. (´・ω・`) Her tears start flowing out, and at the same time, she hears Mizuchi laughing—repeating the word “kill” behind her. Mikoto then walks up to Mizuchi, and she tearfully calls his name as she stabs him with Kurenai’s knife. The hit brings Mizuchi back to his senses, while Mikoto can only cry and apologize. She tells him that he can’t go further than this. She doesn’t want him to lose his pride and everything he has built up. She doesn’t want to see him in such a state.
However, Mizuchi only smiles and answers: “Mikoto-kun… So you… were here. I’ve been searching for you. Ever since the day I lost you as a partner, always… Finally, I can touch you.” It feels like he’s been watching a long dream. He wonders what he’s been doing up until know. She answers that he’s always been him. He’s always been a person who is truly precious for her. Mizuchi weakly says he feels grateful, but before he can thank Mikoto… something suddenly stabs him from the back. His blood sprays out as he falls into her arms, and she can finally see who stabbed him—it’s Iroha. He flatly states that they are done purging, and they’re going to destroy the utsurohi now. In her mind, Mikoto wonders if it’s the only thing Iroha has to say after seeing Mizuchi and Kurenai’s death… but then he tells her: “You have mistaken your moon.” He did tell her about this before. If she takes the wrong path, she will eventually reach destruction. Mikoto wonders if that means she took the wrong path. If the fate she chose wasn’t the right one. If Mizuchi and Kurenai became like this because of her. Her vision starts blurring with tears.
After that, Mikoto dropped out of Kaen. The utsurohi incidents have stopped occurring since then. A lot of speculations appeared from there. Some said it was indeed done by Mizuchi, while some others think Goto is the cause… but no one knows the truth. A lot of Minamo who love Mizuchi and Kurenai also dropped out of school due to their grief, and Hime is still concerned about Mikoto even after she left. A year passed, and today is the first anniversary of Mizuchi and Kurenai’s death. Mikoto is looking up at the evening sky when Hime arrives at the park, apologizing for making her wait. He notices that she’s holding a beautiful bouquet, and he asks if she bought it. She shakes her head saying she brought the ones she’s growing at home—it’s a bouquet of campanulas. Hime smiles and says they’re so small and cute. He can tell that Mikoto has been raising them with care, and she nods saying she wanted to bring them today no matter what.
From there, Mikoto follows Hime to the entrance of Kaen. It’s been a while, and she can feel the unique air of the area. She then says that she won’t go further, because she’s no longer a student in Kaen. She asks if he can put the bouquet in “that place” for her. Hime nods, but his expression turns sad as he says that she might be holding a grudge on him—because he didn’t say anything back then. Mikoto denies it because he couldn’t possibly do anything in that situation, but he reveals that a long time ago, Mizuchi asked him to kill him if he ever awakened to the blood of “Mizuchi”. If he failed to defy his fate, Hime should kill him without hesitation. The fact that he was born in a cursed family had been tormenting Mizuchi forever. To protect his pride, he had to rely on medicines to suppress his unstable emotions… but he started enjoying his life after meeting Mikoto. Hime was surprised, as he never knew that love can change someone that much. For Hime, the most unexpected one was Kurenai. He never thought that Kurenai would be serious about Mikoto. She replies that Kurenai was actually a very kind person, but she failed to understand him back then—her mind was full of her feelings for Mizuchi.
Hime then hands a poem to Mikoto. It was from Mizuchi. If anything happens to him, Mizuchi wanted Hime to give the poem to Mikoto. The contents of the poem surprises her. Hime mentions that both Mizuchi and Kurenai’s love for Mikoto were sincere, and that’s the only thing he can say for certain. Her tears run down her cheeks as she nods. How strong was the feeling that Mizuchi kept hidden in his heart…? She also wants to hear the continuation of Kurenai’s words one day. For now, all that she can do is to present her feelings along with the campanulas and leave Kaen—hoping that she won’t mistake her moon again next time.
“ねがはくは花のもとにて春死なむ そのきさらぎの望月の頃” — Saigyō Hōshi (77)
I wish to die in spring, under the cherry blossom trees, around the time of full moon in February.
Once you’ve climbed high enough in the rankings, the Five Brights will come to challenge Mikoto. They will have a competition in which the loser has to listen to the winner’s words.
This event will happen if you lose to Karakurenai in Hana Utsushi.
Kurenai laughs saying that was so easy, and now Mikoto is going to listen to him. Iroha warns him that she is the Senki candidate, and so actions that might cause her to lose her qualifications are strictly forbidden… but then again, this is Kurenai we’re dealing with. Of course he doesn’t give a crap. He’s the winner, and so he’s the rule. Then he grabs Mikoto’s hand and drags her outside, leaving Iroha in shock. Mikoto screams and begs him to stop, but Kurenai only tells her to shut it and follow him. Kurenai drags Mikoto all the way into his room, where he immediately orders her to strip—he’ll give her some love. This shocks her and she instantly refuses, while he angrily points out that she lost. She has to listen to his words. However, she still refuses saying she doesn’t want to. She keeps on resisting against him, and he protests since he can’t strip her like this… so that leaves him with no choice. Mikoto freezes in place when Kurenai takes out a rope, and he grins saying it’s perfect for an unruly woman like her. Once again she screams and tries to resist, but he quickly ties up her hands and grins—now she can’t move anymore.
Mikoto’s lips are sealed when Kurenai leans in to kiss her, and he warns her not to bite him. If she does, he will return it with more pain. His voice softens as he praises her for being obedient, though she still tries to resist when he asks her to stay still. Kurenai then tells Mikoto that this is a legitimate action, in the sense that she’s giving him a “suitable reward” with her body. She keeps on resisting below him, and he laughs saying it’s useless even if she struggles… but his laughter is interrupted when someone busts the door open. The next second, Iroha walks in to stop this madness. As he said earlier, actions that might cause Mikoto to lose her Senki qualifications are strictly forbidden. The rules of Kaen state that if anyone is found doing this kind of actions, they shall be punished with a severe penalty. In a low voice, Kurenai asks if he’s really serious… and Iroha answers that he is.
“みをつめぱ 物思ふらしほととぎす 鳴きのみまどふ 五月雨のやみ” — Ametsuchi no Uta (line 13)
Restrained, a cuckoo lost in thought, crying in doubt, the darkness of early summer rain.
The ground starts shaking as Iroha recites this words, and he ends it with a blast that throws poor Kurenai away. After releasing Mikoto and asking her to wear her uniform, Iroha explains that he will give Kurenai a severe punishment. He won’t take Kurenai’s life, but he’ll make sure Kurenai won’t lay his fingers on Mikoto anymore. As Iroha walks out, Mikoto can only wonder what kind of punishment he’s going to give…
… I loved Kurenai a lot. (´・ω・`) Kaen is a really strict place, and I find him so charming with his “screw the rules” attitude. The way he cuts open his path towards everything is so manly, and it’s so adorable how he turns ツン when he gets embarrassed. At first he might come off as a jerk due to how he treats women, but he’s really cute once he falls in love and soften sup. Not to mention that childhood dream is really sweet. Maybe I’m weak against this type, but his constant teasing and makes me go ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´ д `从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ no matter how many times I’ve watched it. His confession completely melted me, but that actually made the scene more painful because Mikoto rejected him… _(:3」∠)_
There are some things that piqued my curiosity in this route. First, Mikoto noted that Kurenai’s skin is really cold. She felt like she might freeze just by touching him. Why is this? I don’t think it’s simply because she felt scared of him. Second, why does Kurenai keep lurking around in Goto-gai? Walter mentioned that Kurenai can easily be found in Goto-gai since he always goes on a rampage, but we don’t know why he does that… yet. That, and why does he carry a knife around? His reaction towards Mizuchi’s arrow isn’t normal. It’s like he’s extremely wary of his surroundings. Speaking of which, Kurenai is really observant. He’s the only one who notices that Hime is hiding something underneath his “princess” image, and also how the Five Brights are all lusting over Mikoto.
Regarding Kurenai’s name, “Karakurenai” comes from this poem:
“ちはやぶる神代もきかず 龍田川からくれなゐに水くくるとは” — Ariwara no Narihira (294)
It was unheard of even in the ages of the gods, for the water of Tatsuta River is dyed bright red by the fallen maple leaves.
Okay, enough tl; dr. Kurenai, where’s your game. I need it like NOW.
But first Hime’s game need to come out. _(:3」∠)_