Hana Awase: Mizuchi-hen – Himeutsugi

So here I am in Hime’s route… and I feel like crying. Some of you might already know this, but Hime is the yandere of the game. His route is soul-crushing, and after finishing it I can never look at Hime again without feeling sad. _(:3」∠)_

姫空木 (CV:立花慎之介)

Himeutsugi is the Kaei of the Gekkou Class, sitting on his second year in Kaen. He’s friendly, considerate, and gets along really well with everyone. He tends to put others before himself, which sadly also causes him to be too empathetic for his own good. Everyone in Kaen knows him as the kind and gentle “princess”, but underneath that smile, no one knows what he truly feels about that image. He ranks the fourth among the Five Brights.

• Day 21 •

Mikoto goes to visit Hime’s room, and she finds him looking terribly sad inside. He apologizes to her, saying he can’t find any words to say. When he thinks about what happened to her and about Mizuchi, he doesn’t know what to say. Mikoto then admits that she’s worried about Mizuchi, which causes Hime to put up a sad smile saying she’s a kind girl. After the library incident, Iroha was blaming Mizuchi. It was the first time Hime has ever seen Iroha getting that angry… and it must be hard for Mizuchi as well, to receive such words from a senior he respects a lot. Mizuchi thinks his feelings for Mikoto have simply gone too far, but the fact won’t be able to comfort her after what happened. On the other hand, Hime also knows that Iroha got that angry just because Mikoto is precious to her. Their feelings are sincere, but why did the “gears” turn distorted? He sadly whispers that people’s hearts are difficult to understand.

Noticing that the incident is hurting Hime as well, Mikoto thinks carefully about what to say to him… and she asks if he wants to return the “gears” to the right path with her. When he looks at her in confusion, she asks him to become her partner. Hime answers that Mizuchi will be concerned about this, but Mikoto points out that Mizuchi is blaming himself right now. She feels that even if she asks him to become partners, it will only hurt him even more. She has thought about how to make him feel relieved. He’d probably get concerned if she chooses Iroha in this situation, and she doesn’t really want to deal with Kurenai… but Hime is Mizuchi’s best friend. That’s why Mikoto thinks Mizuchi would be relieved if she becomes partners with Hime. Mikoto then realizes it’s just like saying she’ll be safe with Hime, and he smiles saying that’s an excellent elimination method. She apologizes and explains that she didn’t mean it like that, but he doesn’t mind and accepts her request. He’ll become her partner.

When Mikoto happily thanks him, Hime asks her not to hold back. They’re now partners, so she can rely on him more. She nods and cheerfully says she will, but he only gives her a sad smile… which she didn’t notice, unfortunately. She’s actually aware that her request was really cruel, and yet he agreed even after knowing how she truly feels—he’s such a nice person. She thoughtlessly relied on him, and she’s wondering if she’s being too bold here. Somehow she puts her guard down around him, because he’s always kind to her. She feels that no matter what she does, he will encompass her with a comfortable, warm atmosphere. Now that she’s done, she feels relieved. Just then Mikoto’s stomach growls, and Hime instantly bursts into laughter. It was splendid! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ She blushes and apologizes, explaining that her mind was really occupied by partners. She mentions that she hasn’t eaten anything since morning, and he asks if she wants to eat some cookies he received as a gift.

Mikoto feels bad and refuses. She tells Hime that she’ll go buy something in the cafeteria, but he only smiles and asks her to come over. Before she can say anything, he pulls her closer and reminds her to rely on him. She panics since his face is really close to hers, but he only brings a cookie towards her mouth and asks her to open up—which really surprises her. Mikoto feels embarrassed and tries to say that it makes her look so childish, but in the end she loses to Hime’s smile and eats the cookie. She protests that he’s teasing her too much, and he laughs saying it’s because both Mizuchi and her are so fastidious. If he doesn’t do this much, they won’t be able to become friends.

Hime then mentions that the Senki candidate and her partner draw out power by touching each other, so they’re going to need more physical contact from now on. Mikoto knows he’s probably only teasing her to make her less nervous, but still… he heart is pounding upon hearing that. Hime then asks if he doesn’t look like the type of person who will do things like this, and Mikoto nods saying it’s not like him at all. (´・ω・`) He chuckles and apologizes for teasing her. It doesn’t seem like she’s seeing him as a man, and so he thought it’d be fine. She quickly apologizes saying she didn’t mean it that way, but again… he says he doesn’t mind. Besides, he’d feel bad for Mizuchi. They’re only going to have light skinship, so she shouldn’t feel burdened by it. However, somehow this leads Mikoto to think that this kind of action doesn’t mean anything for Hime. Whenever she looks at him from close distance like this, she can see that he’s androgynous. He’s beautiful, elegant and graceful—just like a princess. Even if he does things like this, the water in her doesn’t decrease like when Kurenai touched her. Even if Hime touches her, Mikoto doesn’t feel scared. It was embarrassing, but she thinks it’s simply his way to approach his partner. Realizing that it’d be weird to keep her guard up, Mikoto tells Hime that she understands—she’ll do her best. He gently asks what she’s going to do her best at, and he laughs at how cute she is.

Mikoto wonders if she said something weird, but Hime already changes the subject by asking if they should do a ceremony. Before she can ask what he’s referring to, he suddenly moves in to kiss her cheek. Mikoto is obviously surprised, but then Hime points out that she did the same thing with Mizuchi when she just came to Kaen. He thought Mizuchi won’t get angry if he kisses her on the same place. She tells him that she feels troubled by this, but he replies that it’s necessary for her to become a Senki. He’ll do his best too, and so he wants her to endure it for a bit. Mikoto realizes that Hime is kissing her for her own sake, and she feels bad for resisting… so she thanks him and promises to work hard. However, he asks her if “working hard” means she will return his kiss. She nervously says it’s impossible for her to go that far, and he lightly answers that it can’t be helped then. Mikoto is relieved upon hearing this, but suddenly Hime uses this opening to lick her lips—saying she has some cookie crumbs there.

When Mikoto calls his name in protest, HIme laughs and says it’s safe. He didn’t kiss her, but he asks her to keep this a secret from Mizuchi. It’s their little secret. Then he tells her: “Mikoto-chan… I will do anything for you. I’ll be in your care from now on.” Hime says it with a smile, and Mikoto can only nod in response. After that, Mikoto leaves Hime’s room feeling surprised. She wonders if he’s always been that forceful. Or maybe she simply didn’t know about this side of him? For a moment she thinks about how he nearly kissed her on the lips, but then she assures herself that it’s not a kiss. It’s just a light skinship. There’s no deeper meaning to it… right? In any case, Mikoto is glad that Hime agreed to become her partner. She’ll do her best starting from tomorrow. Mizuchi should be okay if it’s with Hime, right?

“物思ふと人に見えじとなまじひに 常に思へりありそかねつる” — Manyōshū vol. 4 (613)
Falling in love with someone, in a way that people do not perceive. While I act normally, in truth, I am in pain to the point of wishing for death.

Hime never thought Mikoto would come to see him, but then again she chose him through elimination… so maybe it’s reasonable. He then whispers that it will be alright. He will do it properly, because he’s Mizuchi’s best friend. He will become the best princess for her. That’s why, he wants her to rely on him. He wants her to depend on him. Because he will do anything for her.

That night, Mikoto is thinking about Kabatsu. It’s going to start tomorrow. She wonders if she has made the right choice, but this is the path she chose for herself. No matter what the result is, she won’t regret it. She’s going to do her best and become a Senki. Mikoto goes to sleep after that, and she finds Half Moon again in her dream. Half Moon is happy that Mikoto remembers her name, because they can only meet right here in her dream. She asks about his identity, but he sadly answers: “…even if I tell you… you won’t know it’s me.” Mikoto asks what he means by that, but Half Moon doesn’t reply. Instead, he informs her that the full moon is close. When the moon is full, fate will drastically change… but that’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.

Mikoto wakes up in shock. She’s been seeing Half Moon in her dream everyday, but who is he? She can only hear his voice, but he also gives her a nostalgic feeling—even though she can’t remember anything from it. Now that she has chosen her partner, Mikoto wants to tell Momotose about this. She has chosen her moon. She has chosen that person…

• Day 22 •

When Momotose heard that Mikoto chose Hime as her partner, she feels relieved. She knows she can leave Mikoto in Hime’s hands since he has a calm personality, not to mention he’s also considerate and attentive towards women. Momotose then asks if Mikoto has told Mizuchi about this, but she admits that she hasn’t. Momotose nods, but she also suggests informing Mizuchi as fast as possible. Even if Hime and him are best friends, it’s still different when it comes to partners. There’s no way Mizuchi wouldn’t be concerned. Mikoto nods and promises to tell him tomorrow. Then she excuses herself and leaves Momotose’s room.

Back in her room, Mikoto thinks about Hime. He’s friendly and deeply considerate. She can understand the reason why everyone loves him. He’s a very nice person who cares about her, even though they come from different classes. Her heart was racing when he nearly kissed her in his room, but he said there’s no deeper meaning behind the action. Mikoto decides to tell Mizuchi about this tomorrow. He should be relieved if it’s with Hime. Later on, Mikoto notices that she has a mail from Hime. He greets her good morning and asks if she had a good sleep last night. He reminds her that they’re going to do Kabatsu today, asking her to work hard together. The mail was sent at 5 AM, and Mikoto wonders if Hime sent it as soon as he woke up. Again, Mikoto thinks Hime is really kind for caring so much about her. She feels nervous about Kabatsu, but she’s going to do her best.

When Mikoto goes to school, she’s surprised to find Hime with Mizuchi by the entrance… but she greets them politely and asks what they’re doing. Hime smiles and explains that he already told Mizuchi that he became Mikoto’s partner, because he knows it’s something Mizuchi would be concerned about. He turns to ask for Mizuchi’s opinion, but Mizuchi remains silent before replying that he doesn’t have the right to become her partner—she’s free to choose whoever she wants. Hime then assures Mizuchi that he’s only borrowing his precious Senki candidate for a bit. When the time comes, he’ll return her properly. Mizuchi’s response is simple: “Don’t refer to a lady in such a way.” Hime chuckles saying he’s so stiff, but it also means that Mizuchi understands… so he turns to Mikoto and asks her to work hard together. She nods and thanks him, then she promises to Mizuchi that she’s going to do her best. She won’t put her status as a Minamo of the Koukoku Class to shame, and she asks if she can return to be his partner again when everything is over. Mikoto knows her wish might be too convenient, but she is Mizuchi’s partner after all. She doesn’t want any misunderstandings.

Mizuchi answers that he doesn’t have the right to choose and leaves in silence. Noticing that Mikoto looks sad, Hime smiles and says Mizuchi is actually happy. Mikoto sadly admits that she’s worried if she might be troubling Mizuchi again, and Hime chuckles saying Mizuchi is so lucky to be loved like this. When she tries to deny this, he reminds her that her current partner is him. From now on, he wants her to rely on him more. He wants her to depend on him. Mikoto is really surprised when Hime suddenly approaches her, asking if they should do the ceremony’s continuation from yesterday. He’s surprisingly frank. It’s really obvious, but Hime is really different from Mizuchi—both in terms of looks and personality. Can she rely on him…? Mikoto is lost in thought for a moment, and by the time she snaps out of it, Hime already walked away. Instead, she meets the class rep—who greets her good morning. Mikoto mentions that she comes to school really early, and the class rep says she had to attend morning practice. She’s in the volleyball club, and practice is harsh on them. First years can only do basic training and picking up balls, not to mention the seniors make them work hard everyday. She’s about to give in, but the class rep knows quitting the club will hurt the Koukoku Class’ reputation. She’ll bear with it until she becomes a regular. Mikoto is impressed since she’s not in any clubs, but the class rep says she understands since Mikoto seems to be clumsy—which she can’t deny LOL.

Suddenly, they hear Minamo of the Gekkou Class greeting the “princess” good morning. When she turns to see what’s happening, Mikoto sees Hime surrounded by Minamo from the Gekkou Class. One of them says he must be tired after morning practice, and she gives him a lunch box. Today’s main dish is fresh foie gras sauté and sole meunière with white truffles—directly imported from France. For the dessert, Minamo of the Gekkou Class have made gateau au chocolate in a separate wrapping. When Hime smiles and thanks them, she replies that every Minamo in the Gekkou Class would do anything to make the princess happy. He says their feelings are more than enough to make him happy, and they all squeal when he calls them cute. At the same time, Mikoto is surprised to see the HUGE basket that is Hime’s lunch box. Not to mention it’s just too amazing to have foie gras for lunch.

The class rep then explains that those girls are Hime’s maids of the royal court. Since Hime is beautiful like a princess, the girls who are serving him are called that way. They take care of his meals, clean his room and everything he needs—just like maids. In order to prevent them from fighting, they take turns in taking care of their princess. The class rep says that the Gekkou Class has different traditions from the Koukoku Class. She finds them strange, but one can also say they’re aristocratic. Since “that person” is currently away, the maids are busy taking care of their princess. Noticing that Mikoto is confused, the class rep further explains that she was referring to Hime’s Minamo. Mikoto doesn’t know her because she just came to Kaen recently, but she’s really popular even in their junior high section. When Mikoto asks what kind of person she is, the class rep says it’s better to see her with her own eyes—it’ll surely surprise her. It doesn’t seem like she will return anytime soon though, so it’s going to take a while. The class rep then notices that it’s almost time for class, and as they rush to their classroom, Mikoto is still thinking about Hime’s Minamo. She’s curious.

Later on, Onosada comes to visit Mikoto’s classroom. He’s impressed that she chose Hime as her partner, because he’s the best—or rather, the only—option available in that situation. Besides, his Minamo is away. There will be no fighting involved. It’s a wise decision. This reminds Mikoto of what the class rep said this morning, so she asks Onosada about what happened to Hime’s Minamo. He answers that she’s going on a trip and won’t return for half a year. She should return by the time they’re done with Kabatsu, and similarly to the class rep, Onosada thinks Mikoto will be surprised to see her. That aside, Mikoto realizes that’s why Hime can accept her request so easily—because his Minamo is away. In the end, she’s glad that she picked him as her partner.

After class, Mikoto is tottering through the hallway with a mountain of books in her hands. She’s happy that Onosada gives her a lot of textbooks about Minamo, but there’s clearly something wrong with this amount. She can’t see anything in front of her, and her legs are twisting due to the weight. She nearly trips when the books sway to the side, and despite her attempt to maintain her balance, she ends up dropping everything. As she picks them up, someone mentions that she dropped the books here too. She apologizes and thanks him for being so kind, but she’s surprised to see that it’s actually Mizuchi. He asks where she needs to carry the books to, and when she answers that it’s the classroom… he quietly picks them up and carries them for her. Mikoto apologizes for troubling him and says she’ll carry half of the books, but he only says he doesn’t mind—asking her to guide him to the classroom instead. Mikoto nods, but she’s secretly impressed by how Mizuchi can carry all the books so lightly.

When Mizuchi notes that they’re textbooks about Minamo, Mikoto explains that Onosada lent them to her. He suggested if she’s going to do Kabatsu. He agrees that the books contain helpful information, and it’s a good idea to gain knowledge before the actual battle—just as expected from Onosada. After a brief silence, Mizuchi reminds Mikoto that she said she wants to be his partner again after Kabatsu ends, but he doesn’t understand the reason. She thinks about this for a while, then she answers that she wants to remain as his Minamo. Not because the demon card chose him, but on her own will. Mikoto is about to say something to Mizuchi, but then he asks where he should put the books… and she’s surprised to see that they’ve reached her classroom. Mikoto says he can put them on a desk, and Mizuchi excuses himself as soon as he puts the books down. However, he turns silent when she thanks him. Then he tells her: “You’re earnest and diligent. The Koukoku Class welcomes those who deeply learn.” Mizuchi leaves after that, but Mikoto feels very, very happy to hear those words. She’s hoping that her feelings can reach him—even if just for a bit. Mikoto then promises to do her best for Mizuchi. She will become the Senki and return to his side. Until that time comes, she asks him to wait for her.

After that, Mikoto meets up with Hime for today’s Kabatsu. He asks her if something happened because she seems to be happy, which really surprises her. She wonders if it’s because of the conversation with Mizuchi earlier, but she reminds herself not to get carried away—they have to do Kabatsu from now on. She shakes her head and says it’s nothing. Then she quickly suggests heading out, and so he can only follow her with a confused look. The sun is setting by the time they reach Goto-gai in the central district. It looks like a normal business district, but somehow… Mikoto doesn’t feel like going further into the city. It feels like something is weighing down her body. Hime mentions that the impurities are strong today. He asks if her body is alright, and she assures him that she’s okay—she only feels a bit cold. Hime reminds Mikoto that Minamo are weak against impurities, and he asks her not to leave his side.

As they walk through the street, Mikoto notices that Hime slows down his pace to walk closely beside her… which once again, makes her think that he’s really kind. The drawback is that people who see them walking like this might misunderstand. Just then Mikoto notices girls from another high school squealing about how beautiful Hime is, so much that they’re not sure if he’s a man or a woman. They’re also wondering if he’s a model, but they’re clearly disappointed to see him walking with a girl. Mikoto can feel people’s eyes piercing her from all directions, but she can understand their feelings. Hime stands out a lot in terms of appearance. He has an unworldly and aristocratic image. He has unbelievably good looks, fair complexion and excellent build. Noticing that Mikoto is staring at him, Hime asks if there’s something on his face. She quickly says no, but then he smiles and asks if she’s interested in him. In that case, she can continue looking at him. Mikoto is surprised to hear Hime’s answer. Just as expected, he’s used to this kind of situation. Hime is so different from Mizuchi in this area, as Mizuchi would never say suggestive things so lightly.

Mikoto stops herself from thinking about this. She reminds herself that they have to do Kabatsu, but before they can go on… two girls from another school come to hit on Hime. He’s very good-looking, and they want to be friends. They ask which school does he go to, and they’re wondering if he’s a third year student since he looks so mature. When Hime casually replies that he’s a second year, the girls squeal in glee and say this must be fate. Uh, are you sure…? Σ(゚ー゚;) They also invite him to go to karaoke with them. He refuses right away, but they keep being persistent about it—even going as far as pulling his arms. One of the girls points out that Mikoto is so plain, and Hime definitely won’t need her. They promises that he’ll have more fun with them. Hime says he’s troubled since they’re all really cute, but then he tells them that he’s on a date with his “girlfriend”—who is none other than Mikoto. They don’t believe it because Mikoto looks rather dull. Not to mention they don’t look like lovers at all. Hime wonders if they can’t see it, and to prove that Mikoto is really his girlfriend… he suddenly moves in to kiss her on the lips.

The girls scream in anger before leaving, while Mikoto is frozen in place. Hime smiles saying she widens her eyes too much. This brings Mikoto back to her senses, so she asks Hime to let go and pushes him away. She asks what did he just do, but he calmly explains that he thought it’d be the quickest way to make those girls understand. Since Mikoto keeps on glaring at him in disbelief, Hime comes to the shocking realization that it might be her first kiss. He thought she might have done it with Mizuchi. Mikoto angrily says that she doesn’t want to answer, then she runs away while thinking about how cruel Hime is. She can’t believe he kissed her so suddenly, and he even asked if it was her first kiss. He also lied so easily about them being lovers. Mikoto has always thought that Hime is a considerate person, and yet he turns out to be so frivolous! She’s aware that it’s partly her own fault too. She should have rejected him, but she got kissed instead. Now she feels so guilty towards Mizuchi.

However, Mikoto stops running upon hearing a faint behind her. It sends chills down her spine. When she turns around, she sees darkness enveloping her surroundings. A dark figure is standing nearby, muttering about it can sense a strong, sweet scent coming from her. Mikoto screams when it lunges to attack her, but the shadow keeps on laughing—mentioning that she has the scent of a Senki. It appears that her scent has attracted a low-rank Adabana. The Adabana then moves closer saying it’s going to taint Mikoto’s pure body and shred her with its sharp claws. Mikoto can feel a strong wave of impurities hitting herself, and her body feels like it’s freezing. When the Adabana walks even closer to her, Mikoto screams out for someone to help her… and Hime soon appears to save her. He asks if she can stand up, but she assures him that she can do it on her own. Instead, she asks him to do Hana Awase with her. Hime looks taken aback for a moment, but then he smiles and agrees. He’ll take Mikoto’s power as a Minamo. After setting up a field barrier, they enter Hana Awase to defeat the Adabana.

After the battle, the Adabana withers and disappears. This leaves Mikoto feeling guilty because she was the one who erased its existence. Even though it’s an Adabana, she made it wither on her own will. Mikoto also wonders what they really are. They might look like human, but they’re not—they’re a tainted, sad existence. Hime asks if she’s not hurt, but Mikoto assures him that she’s alright. He doesn’t have to be concerned. She then thanks him for saving her, but he clearly looks sad upon seeing how stiff she’s being. Mikoto then says she’ll report to Onosada and walks away, but Hime suddenly asks her to wait. He tells her that he didn’t kiss her because he wanted to tease her. However, she only remains silent before eventually replying that she’s troubled by this. He might be used to it, but she doesn’t want to do something like that so easily. That’s why she doesn’t want him to do it again.

When Hime points out that she doesn’t see him as a man to begin with, Mikoto is surprised and admits that she doesn’t… but still, she doesn’t want it. He then reminds her that a Senki candidate and her partner Kaei draw out power through physical contact. What should they do if she’s making a fuss over a kiss? She’s too fastidious for her own good. Mikoto is shocked, and she immediately takes her leave—leaving Hime looking sad. As she runs through the park, she thinks about how he’s actually right. She’s just not prepared for this. The Senki candidate and her partner need to touch each other, and yet she ended up rejecting him. Not to mention she was the one who asked him to become her partner. She’s really cruel. That being said, she still doesn’t want to kiss someone she doesn’t love—not even if it has no deeper meaning. She then wonders if she’s being too fastidious by thinking like this.

Late at night, Mikoto receives a mail from Hime. It says that he’s sorry for today, and he wants to apologize to her. Hime asks if he can meet her now, but Mikoto refuses since it’s already late—it’s 11 PM. She tells him they can do it tomorrow, but then he replies saying he doesn’t mind even if it’s just for a bit. He begs her to see him, stating that he’ll be waiting by the school gate. Mikoto wonders what to do as it’s already past the dorm’s curfew. In the end, she tells him that the dorm has very strict rules. Once again she refuses and asks him to save it for tomorrow, then she says good night. She wonders if she’s being too cold to him, but she brushes it off since it can’t be helped anyway. She’ll just talk to him tomorrow. Mikoto then goes to bed, but hours passed and she finds it hard to sleep. She keeps wondering if Hime is really waiting for her… but it’s already 2 AM. It should be impossible, but why does she feel so uneasy?

In the end, Mikoto runs out of the dorm to check the school gate. She’s running out of breath by the time she gets there, and Hime is nowhere to be seen. What is she doing? Of course he wouldn’t be here… right? Just before Mikoto walks back to the dorm, she hears a faint voice calling her name. The next second, Hime comes out and hugs her from behind. He’s been waiting for her. When she asks him why, he says he wants to apologize for hurting her. She asks if he waited just because of that, but he tells her that he doesn’t mind waiting for hours—he’s glad that she finally came. Mikoto can feel that Hime’s body is really cold. He waited for her here, all alone… Hime admits that he’s reflecting on what he did to Mikoto. He realized that what he did was selfish. He didn’t think about her position. Mikoto tries to deny this, but then Hime asks her not to reject him. If there’s something she doesn’t like from him, she can tell him and he’ll fix it.

Mikoto answers that it’s not Hime’s fault. She’s simply lacking self-awareness as the Senki candidate, not to mention she troubled him as well. However, Hime says Mikoto is not troubling him at all. Just as he told her before, he wants to do anything for her. Then he continues: “Yes, for you… I will do anything. Because… I’m a princess.” Mikoto is surprised when Hime tightens his arms around her, but he asks her not to reject him. He assures her that there’s no deeper meaning to this. Mikoto remains silent for a while, but she eventually agrees. She can feel Hime’s heartbeat through her back. It’s beating slightly fast—just like her own. Mikoto can feel Hime’s warm breath touching her nape. She wonders if he’s nervous, even though he looks really calm. He said there’s no deeper meaning to this, so what does this mean then…? Hime sighs saying he can smell a sweet scent from Mikoto. It’s sweet and fragrant, so much that he feels dizzy. The mysterious scent is alluring. Mikoto wonders if it’s because she took a bath earlier, but then she remembers what Awahana said before—it’s her “tempting water”. What did Awahana told her that time?

Before Mikoto can recall anything, Hime whispers that her scent makes his mind go blank. He can’t think of anything. Then suddenly, Mikoto feels Hime’s lips on her nape. She tries to protest, but he only asks her not to move. He wants to stay like this for a little longer. Mikoto is about to say something, but then she realizes that Hime might get hurt again if she rejects him… so she remains silent. Her voice leaks out when she feels his tongue touching her nape—as if it’s playing with her skin. Mikoto tells Hime this is embarrassing, but he only kisses her neck and asks her to remain like this for a little longer. His answer leaves her confused, and soon she feels a sharp pain piercing her nape. Mikoto is really surprised by the sudden pain, and she ends up shoving Hime away. She quickly realizes what she has done, but he only gives her a sad expression and apologizes for being so forceful.

Since Mikoto doesn’t reply, Hime once again apologizes for today. Then he bids her good night and leaves, with her watching him quietly. Her neck is still tingling in pain. Why did he do that…?

“なかなかに黙もあらましをなにすとか 相見そめけむ遂げざましくに” — Manyōshū vol. 4 (612)
If things were meant to be like this, I should have stayed silent. Why do we have to meet, while it’s impossible for this wish to be granted?

Hime sadly admits that he couldn’t stop, even though he knew he needs to think about her more. For her, he’s nothing more than an elimination method. All that he wanted was to help her and Mizuchi—nothing more than that. Hime knows Mikoto will return to Mizuchi’s site after Kabatsu ends. He knows she belongs to Mizuchi… so why is he thinking of something else? It’s as if he has another heart inside of him. Her scent is making him confused. Hime wonders if he can keep acting as a princess properly, just like how he always does so far.

• Day 23 •

In the morning, Momotose comes to wake Mikoto up. Mikoto is still feeling sleepy, but she leaps out of bed when Momotose tells her that it’s almost time for school. She asks Momotose to go to school ahead of her, but Momotose doesn’t mind being late together. This is a chance for her to see Mikoto oversleeping, and of course she won’t let it go to waste. Momotose chuckles as she Mikoto’s bed head, and she moves away for a bit since Mikoto has to get changed… but then her eyes widen in amusement. She asks what happened to Mikoto’s neck, and Mikoto checks the mirror to find a bruise on her nape. Of course Momotose recognizes it as a kiss mark. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Mikoto panics upon realizing that Hime was the one who left it there, and it looks really obvious. It doesn’t help that she can’t cover it up with her uniform collar either.

However, Momotose thinks it’s terrible. How could anyone put a bruise on her precious Muse! She wants to know who did it, and the first suspect she comes up with is—of course—Mizuchi. ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ Mikoto lies saying she just got bitten by a mosquito, quickly adding that she left the window open last night. Momotose is obviously not convinced. She points out that it must be a REALLY strong bite, as it caused Mikoto to bleed internally. Mikoto can only bite her lips, but Momotose doesn’t inquire further. She only says it really stands out, so she helps putting a band-aid over it. She has no idea what kind of “mosquito” bit her, but she wants Mikoto to take a better care of her body—because there’s a lot of bad bugs in this world. Mikoto smiles and nods awkwardly. She can’t possibly tell Momotose that it was Hime who did it, since he doesn’t look like the type of person who would do something like this. She sighs and thinks about how she needs to pull herself together. It was just too careless of her to get a kiss mark.

When Onosada enters the classroom later, he immediately notices the band-aid on Mikoto’s neck. He asks her what happened, and once again, she lies saying she got bitten by a mosquito. He only hums and lightly smacks her on the head—saying she should tell a better lie. Then he grins and teasingly tells her not to be sexy. In her mind, Mikoto complains that Onosada is so mean. What if it was true!? But she’s aware that he must have seen through her lie. Meanwhile, Momotose storms into Mizuchi’s room—shocking Mizuchi and Hime inside. When Mizuchi asks her what’s wrong, she replies that he should know better than anyone. Of course Mizuchi is confused, but Momotose sarcastically comments that he moves so fast despite his lack of experience. Mizuchi tries to ask what she’s referring to, but Momotose angrily tells him not to “play dumb”. She warns him that it’s very easy to leave a bruise on a maiden’s skin, and so he needs to be careful about where to put it. Then she scoffs and walks out in anger. Of course Mizuchi is like ?(´・ω・`)? and tells Hime that he doesn’t get what Momotose was trying to point out. Hime quietly nods beside him. Mizuchi notices that Hime has a sad smile, though he doesn’t know why.

Later on, Hime goes to talk to Mikoto in a hallway. He apologizes for leaving a bruise and not knowing the limit, but she doesn’t say anything. As an apology, he asks if she wants some sweets. The girls from Gekkou Class gave him some petit four, and she can choose the one she likes. However, Mikoto refuses since they made it for Hime—she’d feel bad for taking them. He smiles saying she’s so kind, and he asks if he can see the bruise. He wants to check the condition, and he reaches over to take off the band-aid… but she quickly refuses and brushes his hand away. He looks surprised for a moment, but then his expression turns into a sad smile. Mikoto assures Hime that the bruise will heal in no time, and so he doesn’t have to be concerned about it. After telling him that she’ll be in his care for today’s Kabatsu, she turns around and leaves. As she walks away from him, Mikoto thinks about how she didn’t mean to say that to Hime. He’s kind, friendly and cares a lot for others, but she can’t talk to him properly after what happened. Because of what he said, she thinks the kiss mark doesn’t have a deeper meaning to it… but it’s still bothering her. At this rate things will remain awkward between them, and she wants to fix this situation as soon as possible.

By the time her classes end, Mikoto sighs in relief. She’s been feeling nervous all day, because her band-aid surprisingly (or not) stands out. She’s hoping the bruise will disappear tomorrow. After handing out a copy of their assignment, the class rep asks if Onosada scolded Mikoto because of the band-aid. Mikoto puts on an awkward smile saying it’s something like that, but the class rep finds it strange. She only got a bruise due to a mosquito bite right? Why did he scold her that much? Mikoto is glad that the class rep doesn’t seem to notice her lie, but the class rep then informs Mikoto that Onosada was calling for her… and so Mikoto goes to see him at the lecture hall. However, she’s surprised to see Mizuchi inside. Onosada greets her by calling her the delinquent candidate, and he comments that it’s so carefree of her to make out with Mizuchi during the period of Kabatsu. Mikoto is surprised and asks what he means, but Onosada only tells her not to play dumb—she shouldn’t make him say everything.

Onosada then points out that Mizuchi is at fault too. He’s not Mikoto’s partner right now, and so he should control himself for a bit. Poor guy LOL. Mizuchi doesn’t say anything though. Onosada then comments that Mizuchi looks deadly serious despite his actions, including the library incident. When Mikoto tells Onosada that she doesn’t get what he’s taking about, he asks if there are any other men who would touch her aside from Mizuchi. That’s when she realizes that Onosada completely misunderstood the kiss mark on her neck. She tries to explain that he’s wrong, but he doesn’t listen and gives them a bunch of work to do. Or rather, a mountain of Kasen research documents suitable for youngsters who are “frustrated” in a lot of ways. He wants Mikoto to sort them out with Mizuchi. If they drown themselves in work, it will put their raging libido under control as well. That, and they should get it done within this week. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Mikoto is staring at him in disbelief, but Onosada only grins saying Mizuchi is here—they’ll finish it in no time.

Mizuchi agrees to do it though. If they split up the documents and work efficiently for 3 hours per day, they can finish in time. He’ll give her the order so she can start working. When Mikoto obediently nods, Onosada smiles saying that’s a good answer… but that’s not everything. They have 3 more mountains of documents to take care of. ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ Ignoring the shock on Mikoto’s face, Onosada says they can use the lecture hall while working. However, Onosada also reminds Mikoto that she still needs to do Kabatsu. She can work on the documents after that. As Mikoto thinks about how evil Onosada is, Mizuchi says they should change the time to 5 hours per day. For a week, they’re going to meet up here after Kabatsu. The only thing she can do is to think about how this has turned into something so outrageous.

After Kabatsu, Hime asks if Mikoto has time and invites her to have dinner together. She feels bad since she has to turn down his invitation, and she tells him that she has something to do… but he assures her that it’s alright. He’ll invite her again another time. Mikoto sadly nods before taking her leave, and Hime watches her walking away with a painful smile. From there, she rushes back to Kaen and apologizes to Mizuchi for being late. He says she’s only 5 minutes late though, and it’s still within the tolerable error range. He then asks her to start working, and so they begin sorting the documents together.

After working for a while, Mikoto feels her hands going numb. Even though they’ve been working nonstop, the amount of documents doesn’t seem to decrease at all—it’s endless. It doesn’t help that Onosada left all the work to them and returned to the dorm, and she wonders if they can really finish everything. When she glances at Mizuchi, she finds him working in complete silence. He doesn’t complain like her, and he doesn’t talk unless it’s to give her orders. He got dragged into this because of her, and yet he doesn’t say anything… she can’t look him in the eye. It reminds her that she hasn’t spent such a long time with him after the library incident, and her heart is slightly racing. Mikoto snaps out of her musings when Mizuchi points out that her hands aren’t moving. She quickly apologizes to him and tells herself to work harder.

• Day 24 •

Mikoto isn’t too excited today since she’s got a lot to do after school. After safely finishing Kabatsu, Mikoto rushes back to the lecture hall for the detention with Mizuchi.

• Day 25 •

Similarly to yesterday, Mikoto reminds herself to work hard today. She lets out a heavy sigh during Kabatsu, and Hime reluctantly mentions that recently she always returns home as soon as they finish Kabatsu. Is she busy with something? She quickly says it’s nothing and apologizes for spacing out. Mikoto then promises to concentrate, but Hime suggests ending Kabatsu early for today. She assures him that she’s alright and they can continue if he wants to, but he doesn’t reply and only gives her a sad smile. However, she doesn’t want to tell him that she got detention because of the kiss mark—he’ll only get concerned. That being said, she’s been sorting out documents until late at night after Kabatsu… and it obviously takes a toll on her body. Just then Mikoto suddenly staggers, but Hime quickly catches her. She assures him that she’s fine, but he points out that she’s not and brings her to the park. She can’t possibly do Kabatsu in that condition, so they’ll end it here for today. She apologizes for troubling him, but he only asks her not to mind. Instead, he sits on the grass and tells her to lie down on his lap.

Before Mikoto can protest, Hime asks her to relax. He already prepared a wet handkerchief, and he tells her to unbutton her shirt—as well as unhooking her bra and skirt. Mikoto is obviously shocked, but Hime then asks if she wants him to do it instead… and so she obediently follows his words. She apologizes because he even puts his jacket on her, but once again, he says it’s alright. As long as it makes her feel better. When she thanks him, he gently strokes her hair—like a mother would do to her child. Hime’s expression turns sad as he says that he must have pushed Mikoto too hard during Kabatsu, so much that she got worn out. Mikoto quickly denies this saying that’s not the reason, and he asks Hime not to feel concerned about this… but he falls into a short silence before asking her not to say something like that. It makes him feel sad, because he wants to worry about her.

Hime then points out that Mikoto has been avoiding her. She’s about to deny it immediately, but then she turns silent. He then admits that he’s been thinking about how to gain her forgiveness. From her, a person who’s stubborn, obstinate and fastidious—a person who’s exactly like Mizuchi. Mikoto asks if he’s actually dissing her, and Hime teasingly asks if she noticed. When she pouts saying she did, he laughs and says she finally gets angry. It’s much better than getting avoided. Hime then asks if Mikoto is willing to make up with him, and he looks so happy when she says yes. Mikoto finds it unexpected for Hime to laugh so happily like that, because he usually puts up a quiet smile instead. His expression is more childlike, more innocent than she expected. It’s not like a princess, but maybe she likes this smile better.

As Mikoto thinks about this, Hime mentions that she’s a strange girl. Her image keeps on changing, but she doesn’t seem to be dyed by Kaen. She’s pure white. When she replies that he’s the pure white one, he only chuckles and asks if he looks like that. Mikoto nods, but she admits that Hime has a frivolous side too… like how he suddenly kissed her. He points out that she’s being really blunt, and she quickly apologizes before asking what a kiss means to him. However, he admits that he never really thought about it. He thinks maybe it’s something you do when necessary, when someone seeks it from you. Everyone is happy if he does that, and sometimes it also makes things run smoothly. Mikoto then asks if Hime ever wants to kiss someone on his own will, but he seems confused to hear this… and so she tells him that for her, a kiss is something that you do with the person you love. He smiles saying he loves everyone, and she’s not an exception. She tells him that it’s not the “love” she’s talking about, but then she wonders if her way of thinking is old-fashioned. Because her grandfather taught her that she can only kiss the person she loves. Only with that one person. Mikoto’s words trail off after that, and Hime comments that she fell asleep at the most important part.

Hime’s smile turns sad again as he whispers that Mikoto is a really strange girl. It’d have been better if only the demon card chose him right from the start. If she became her partner right from the very beginning, he would have been the only one to dye her. Hime then slowly whispers that sleeping beauty has always been waiting. She’s been waiting to for the prince she loves, the only one who can awaken her with his kiss. Hime leans in and quietly kisses Mikoto on the lips, but she remains asleep. Then he pulls back and resumes that sleeping beauty didn’t wake up with his kiss… because he’s not a prince. He’s a princess. Hime’s expression turns painful as he whispers that Mikoto’s prince is not him. He knows, and yet why is it that he can’t look at her the same way as he does to other girls. He can’t help but yearn to do something for her. If she’s having problems, then he wants to help her. He can’t leave her alone. However, Hime is aware that it’s not the only reason. There’s something more. From Mikoto, he senses a sweet and painful nostalgic feeling. It’s like they have met once in the past. Then he adds one of the most painful lines in the game:

“Is it okay for me… to dream about the miracle of fairy tales? A miracle in which you will choose me and not Mizuchi. Then… I would throw everything away. Everything in fate that has been imposed on me…”

“つれもなくあるらむ人を片思に 我は思へば苦しくもあるか” — Manyōshū vol. 4 (717)
To hold this unrequited love for you, who are not interested in me, is tormenting me with the pain.

Hime thinks about how he kissed Mikoto again. She didn’t notice, but he wonders if she’ll hate him again if she finds out. She’s truly pure, just like Mizuchi. That’s probably why they’re attracted to each other. On the other hand, he’s the opposite of them. Which is why she avoids him by instincts. Even so, Hime asks Mikoto to be nice to him. He’s her partner… and he’ll do everything to fulfill her wishes.

• Day 26 •

Mikoto feels less exhausted today, probably because Hime allowed her to get some sleep yesterday. She’s glad they managed to fix their relationship, though she didn’t expect him to think of kisses like that—it’s so different from her own view. Mikoto wonders what Mizuchi thinks of kisses. Since he looked like a different person during the library incident, she doesn’t think he’s the type who would do things like that… But then why did that time… She quickly stops herself from thinking further though, and she goes to prepare herself for school.

In the evening, Mikoto notices how they finish Kabatsu earlier than usual. It’s probably because she’s in a prime condition, as she was able to provide good support as well. Hime also praises Mikoto for improving, saying that it made Hana Awase much easier for him to do. She thanks him saying it’s all because he covers for her, and he’s glad to see her looking healthy. He can see that she’s got enough sleep. Hime wants to ask if Mikoto has time to have dinner with him, but he stops himself upon remembering that she just recovered from fatigue. He falls into silence before admitting that he’s so greedy when it comes to her, and he laughs saying this is troubling him. Mikoto also turns silent upon hearing this, but then she asks if Hime is willing to keep her company for a while. They should be able to make it in time if they go now. They’ll have to walk for a bit though, and she’s wondering if he’s okay with that. Hime doesn’t know what Mikoto is planning to do, but the invitation makes him very happy. He asks if it’s a date and if they can hold hands like lovers, but she refuses saying he’s not allowed to mess around like that.

From there, Mikoto takes Hime to a park. There’s a playground there, so he asks if she wants to play swings. Of course she quickly says no and asks him to come near the railing instead. Hime is confused, but Mikoto only says they’re almost there. As soon as they reach the railing, she points to the scenery before their eyes. The sun is setting, and they can see the city bathing in its golden light. Hime is amazed by the beautiful view, while Mikoto explains that she loves the view of this high ground. Seeing the city slowly and quietly turning orange makes her feel calm. It won’t be enough to thank him for yesterday, but she hopes the scenery can relieve him too. Since Hime looks surprised, Mikoto points out that he’s been busy with Kabatsu as well. He keeps taking care of her, but it should be tough on him too. Even if it’s just for a while, she wants to share a relaxing moment with him.

Then suddenly, Hime’s smile disappears. He asks if Mikoto has seen this view with Mizuchi before, and she admits that she hasn’t—which makes him happy. She notices this too, though she doesn’t know why. Since they’ve come all the way to the park, Hime then asks if they can play for a bit. Before Mikoto can answer, he quickly runs off to play with the sand. She’s really surprised to see this, but he excitedly shows her the sand castle he built. He made a gate for the castle along with 4 towers, and he’s going to add the outer walls too. He explains that it leads further to the royal palace, showing her the room locations for the king, the queen, and the prince. Mikoto is still taken aback by this sight. Hime is so absorbed in building a sand castle, not to mention he’s good at it too. Mikoto reluctantly tries to call his name, but Hime only replies with “Come here, princess!” and pulls her into the sandbox. She protests since she’s now covered in sand, but he just laughs while lightly apologizing… and she finds it hard to get angry while he’s laughing so innocently. Hime is also covered in sand, and Mikoto notices that his usual “noble” image is gone. She has no idea what happened to him, but it looks like he’s really enjoying this.

Once he’s done laughing, Hime thanks Mikoto saying it’s been a while since he laughed that much. Mikoto shakes her head, and she asks if Hime is okay since he’s covered in sand. As Mikoto goes to brush them off his hair, Hime suddenly turns silent… and then he whispers “I love you.” Of course this really surprises her and she starts panicking, but then he smiles and says he was just kidding. He asks if it surprised her, and so she pouts at him for teasing her. Hime had a serious expression, and so Mikoto thought he was confessing to her for real. He only looks at her in silence for a while, then he stands up saying he’s done—now he has to return her home. Mikoto notices that Hime has reverted back to his usual self, and she can only wonder about what just happened.

That night, Mikoto receives a mail from Hime. He says he had fun playing in the sandbox, and he asks her to visit the park again. They should bring some change of clothes next time. Mikoto is surprised knowing Hime is serious. It seems like she saw a truly surprising side of him today. After turning off the light, Mikoto thinks about how she’s finally done sorting the documents today. It felt so long, but she’s happy to meet Mizuchi everyday. They won’t be able to see each other anymore next week, and it makes her sad.

• Day 27 •

On lunch break, Mikoto and the class rep go to eat their food in the courtyard. Kaen’s courtyard is just like a large garden, and there are even tables for them to sit in. Mikoto soon notices that the class rep is holding a paper bag, and the class rep proudly smiles as she reveals the contents—the muffins they made during the home economics class. She made green tea, white chocolate and strawberry muffins, and she’s planning to “conquer” them all… so she didn’t make lunch today. When Mikoto says she wants to do it too, the class rep takes out some muffins for her. She knew Mikoto would say that. Before they start eating, Hime and Mizuchi suddenly comes to their table. Hime asks if they’re having lunch too, and just as usual, the class rep blushes and panics the moment she sees Mizuchi. Mikoto asks if they want to share the same table, and Hime nods asking if they can join in. When the class rep nervously asks them to join in, Hime thanks her and sits beside them. Mizuchi remains silent.

Mikoto notices that Hime is carrying a big basket, and he explains that it’s the lunch box from the girls in the Gekkou Class. They made a LOT of food, so Mizuchi always helps him to finish everything. Mikoto notes that Hime’s lunch box is so extravagant. It has three tiers, and each of them is filled with colorful food. It’s really pretty. It seems like today’s menu is Kyoto kaiseki. Hime turns to Mizuchi saying it’s a good thing they’re not having French cuisine, since Mizuchi doesn’t like heavy food. Mizuchi sits down saying he doesn’t mind, but they don’t have much time—they should start eating. Hime agrees, and he asks if the girls are having those muffins for lunch. Mikoto explains that they made it during home economics class. They made a lot, and so Hime and Mizuchi can have some if they want to. Hime thanks them and is about to pick a one, but then he notices another wrapping on the table. Mikoto tells him that it’s her lunch box. She cooked it in the dorm’s kitchen, but she decided to just have muffins today.

However, Hime asks if he can open it. Mikoto is surprised and asks him to wait, but he opens it anyway. Her lunch box has seaweed, salmon, stewed dishes, fried eggs, chopped burdock root and also boiled clams in soy sauce inside. She asks him not to look since it’s embarrassing, and the class rep explains that her lunch box is always like this. It looks brown overall and is very much like a commoner’s. Mikoto protests that she can’t make anything other than this, and she asks Hime to stop here… but then he asks if he can have it. He wants to eat her lunch. Mikoto is shocked since her cooking is really plain, especially compared to the Kyoto kaiseki, but Hime is already eating. Then he happily tells her that it’s really delicious—it’s the best. She did a great job with the fried eggs, and she’s really good at seasoning the stewed dishes. The boiled clams make a nice accent too. He’s completely absorbed in her cooking.

Eventually, Mizuchi warns Hime not to eat people’s lunch without permission. Hime apologizes and stops, but the class rep notices that he looked so happy to eat Mikoto’s lunch. She finds this strange because she doesn’t get the charm of Mikoto’s lunch box, and Mikoto admits that she doesn’t get it either. Mizuchi then tells Hime that he can’t eat everything by himself, so Hime says it’s okay to leave the rest. Since Mikoto looks confused to hear this, Hime explains that Minamo of the Gekkou Class make this knowing there’s going to be leftovers. They simply want to make a lot for Hime, and he thinks it’s very kind of them. Mikoto finds this hard to believe though. They’re not going to finish this extravagant lunch? Is it okay for the Minamo of the Gekkou Class to accept this just because they’re “kind”? Does it even work that way? The class rep notices a lobster in the huge lunch box, and Hime says they can have it if they want to. The class rep nervously turns the offer down though, and Mikoto knows Mizuchi won’t be able to eat everything alone.

After a while, Hime lets out a satisfied sigh and says it was really delicious. Mikoto is surprised to see that her lunch box is now empty—when did he eat it!? Hime says he’d like to have her handmade lunch next time, so Mikoto promises to make one for him if she has the chance. He happily says it’s a promise, but she finds him difficult to understand. She then asks what he’s going to do with the leftovers, and he replies that of course he’s going to throw them away. Or else they will go bad. Mikoto loudly shouts that they can’t do that. It’d be such a waste to throw them away. Both Hime and Mizuchi are surprised, and noticing what she just did, she apologizes for being so loud. Then she asks if she can have the food instead, because she doesn’t want everything made by the girls in the Gekkou Class to be thrown away. She’s going to have them for dinner. As for the ones that go bad in no time, she can warm them up and put them into her lunch box tomorrow. The class rep sighs saying she’s completely a commoner, but Hime gladly hands the leftovers to her. He knows it’s just too sad to throw them away, and he says that she’s very kind. Mizuchi asks if it would be better if he leaves more, but Mikoto quickly shakes her head and asks him to eat as much as he wants.

In the evening, Hime asks if Mizuchi wants to eat some muffins. Mizuchi refuses though, and he points out that Hime should have held back more. Hime answers it’s because he wanted to eat Mikoto’s cooking, and he knows that Mizuchi wants it too. However, Mizuchi tells Hime not to put them on the same level. Mizuchi warns Hime that he’s being too free while Kagami is away, including what he did to Minamo of the Gekkou Class—he needs to control himself. Hime frowns and answers with: “Okay, okay. I’m the princess after all.” When Mizuchi asks him what’s wrong, he admits that he’s grown a bit tired of being “everyone’s princess”. Everyone in the Gekkou Class will do anything for him, but in return, they only seek for the princess in him. What’s inside of him doesn’t matter. They want the beautiful, kind and compassionate princess who treats everyone equally.

Hime’s smile turns sad as he points out that everyone is seeking too much ideals from him. He admits that he’s not that clean and beautiful. He’s a man who doesn’t have any problems with throwing their heartfelt lunch box away. Mizuchi says it’s because he’s putting on airs too much. He should just be honest with his feelings. Hime seems surprised to hear this, but then he chuckles saying he’s envious of Mizuchi. He asks if it’s okay for him to become serious. Mizuchi is confused and asks Hime what happened. He seems different somehow. Mizuchi says he’ll listen to Hime if he has something to say, but Hime remains silent—leaving him in confusion.

Meanwhile, Mikoto runs into Onosada in the hallway. He asks if she’s doing well with the punishment, and she tells him that they might finish everything today. Onosada is pleased to hear this since he can’t take his naps in the lecture hall until they’re done, and so he asks Mikoto to do her best. In addition, he has MORE documents from their superior. He already brought them to the lecture hall. It’s nothing much though, just 5000 sheets! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Mikoto tries to protest, but Onosada grins saying he’ll let them use the lecture hall for one night. That being said, she shouldn’t do naughty things with Mizuchi just because they’re alone in there. She quickly says that she won’t, but 5000 sheets… they might really take all night.

• Day 28 •

In the evening, Mikoto finishes Kabatsu with Hime as usual. She’s starting to understand the flow, though she still can’t get used to seeing Adabana withering. The only thing that’s bothering her is that despite her doing Kabatsu this much, there’s still no sign of her awakening as a Senki. She wonders if it’s normal, since the haven’t captured the culprit behind the utsurohi incidents either. It seems like she’s still got a long way ahead of her. Noticing that Mikoto is spacing out, Hime asks if she’s tired. She apologizes and says there’s nothing wrong, so he smiles saying her support has gotten a lot better. She always provides help when he needs it, but as usual, she says it’s because he’s always covering for her. Hime then asks if Mikoto has time for dinner today, but of course she can’t accept the invitation. She apologizes for being so busy this week, and after a short silence, he asks what she’s been doing. He’d like to hear it, if she doesn’t mind.

Mikoto hesitates for a while. It’s hard to tell Hime about the real reason, but it should be fine to tell him the sorting documents part right? …and so she finally tells him that she’s been sorting out some documents for Onosada in Kaen. There’s a lot of documents and the deadline is tomorrow, so that’s why she’s been busy. Hime is surprised to hear this, but then he says she should have told him sooner. He’ll help her. She quickly refuses though, and she lies saying Onosada warned her not to ask for anyone’s help. However, Hime says it’s okay if Onosada never finds out. He feels bad that a girl like her has to work alone after Kabatsu. Mikoto can’t bring herself to tell him that she’s working with Mizuchi, and it doesn’t seem like Mizuchi said anything to him either. Since Mikoto doesn’t answer, Hime asks if she still can’t trust him yet. She assures him that it’s simply because she’s doing well with the documents, and he finally says he understands. He asks her to call him if she needs help—he’ll come to help her. Mikoto awkwardly thanks Hime for being so considerate, but he only smiles at her in silence. Somehow she feels guilty, because she feels like she’s betraying his feelings. Is this really okay?

After that, Mikoto goes to join Mizuchi in the lecture hall. He didn’t expect to receive 5000 additional sheets, and she asks him what to do… but he says they have no choice. If the deadline is tomorrow, they will need to finish everything today. They start working immediately, and soon Mikoto reports that she’s done sorting out 100 sheets. Mizuchi asks her to put them in a box. She notices that the insane amount of documents is rapidly decreasing thanks to his precise commands, which she finds amazing. She snaps out of her reverie when he asks her about the next batch of documents, and it surprises her so much she ends up dropping everything—including the ones they’ve sorted out. Mikoto feels really bad, but Mizuchi eventually says lack of concentration will affect their efficiency at work. They should take a break for 15 minutes. She nervously nods and asks if he’s thirsty, offering to pour in some tea for him. He quietly accepts, and she happily goes to make some green tea for him.

Mikoto then pours the green tea into a cup for Mizuchi, and he drinks it in silence. When she asks him how it tastes, he smiles saying it’s delicious—she brought out the taste of the tea leaves. She’s really glad to hear this, and she tells him that her grandfather taught her how to make tea. She made tea whenever she visited her grandfather’s place, and so she grew used to it somehow. He nods saying his grandfather enjoys tea as well, and he often makes it for his grandfather in the tea ceremony room. Mikoto is amazed and asks if he’s familiar with the etiquette of tea ceremony, but Mizuchi admits that he only knows a bit—far from mastery. She still finds it impressive though, and she thinks tea ceremony suits him. Mikoto says she never made tea to that extent, and she’s interested in how one prepares it in tea ceremonies. Mizuchi smiles in silence for a while, then he blushes saying he’ll make tea for her next time—if she doesn’t mind. They don’t have the full equipments here, so it’ll be a simple one… but the taste shouldn’t be that different. Besides, Mizuchi wants to apologize to Mikoto for dragging her into this mess.

Of course Mikoto is surprised since it’s actually her fault, and she apologizes to Mizuchi as well. She’s been bothered by this for quite a while, but he didn’t do anything to deserve this punishment… so why didn’t he say anything to Onosada? He admits that he doesn’t know the story behind the punishment, but there’s no need to deny it. She’s a proud Minamo of the Koukoku Class, and he’s simply protecting that pride. Mikoto thanks Mizuchi, quietly adding that she doesn’t deserve this much. She knows he doesn’t ask her anything because of his kindness. He’s not a man of many words, but everything about him is sincere and kind. Her heart feels warm, which brings her to realize how she truly feels about him. Mikoto then asks if she can give Mizuchi one more question, but it’s alright if he doesn’t want to answer. She wants to ask what he thinks of kisses, but then she stops herself. She’s afraid that he’ll hate her if she asks him such a vulgar question. In the end she only tells him it’s nothing and apologizes. Her face has turned red due to the panic.

However, Mizuchi says he also has a question for Mikoto: “What do you think of Hime?” She asks what he means by that, but he averts his gaze and turns silent instead. Then he apologizes saying it’s nothing and says they should return to work—their break is over. Mikoto is taken aback and wonders what’s wrong, as it’s rather unusual for Mizuchi to stop mid-sentence. Did something happen with Hime…?

• Day 29 •

Mikoto wakes up in the lecture hall today. She wonders what time it is, though it seems close to dawn. She recalls that they finished sorting out the documents, and she fell asleep out of relief. Soon she notices that it feels really warm, and she finds a jacket covering her body—probably Mizuchi’s since it’s big. Mikoto also recognizes the scent as the one she got after Mizuchi hugged her during their date. Noticing that Mizuchi is not in the lecture hall, Mikoto wonders where he is. She notices that the door seems to be locked, but then it swings open and to show him outside—sleeping soundly as he leans against the door. She wonders if he went out because she fell asleep in the lecture hall, even though it’s so cold outside. Mikoto gently smiles as she thanks Mizuchi in her mind. The last time she saw him without his eyepatch was back during the library incident. She didn’t remember much due to the panic back then, but now that she can take a closer look at him… she thinks he’s really good-looking.

Upon realizing what she’s doing, Mikoto blushes and scolds herself for staring at Mizuchi while he’s asleep. But then again she also fell asleep inside, so does that mean he also saw her sleeping face…? She suddenly feels really embarrassed, and she flinches in shock when he opens his eyes. She nervously greets him good morning, and he returns the greeting before falling back to sleep. Realizing that he’s still half-asleep, Mikoto smiles thinking Mizuchi’s sleeping face is foul play. His image completely changed from cool to cute. In her heart, Mikoto apologizes and asks Mizuchi to let her see his face for a little longer. He always seems so scary and brusque, but he’s actually kind and gentle. Her heart is racing whenever she’s with him. As she realizes that she’s really in love with him, she whispers that she loves him. Mikoto is surprised to hear herself saying it out loud, even though there’s no one around them. Despite the embarrassment, she continues watching over Mizuchi and repeats her confession: “Mizuchi-san, I love you…” Right now it takes all of her might just to say those words, but she’s hoping to convey her feelings to him someday—when she’s done with all the things she needs to do.

Mikoto soon realizes that it’s about time for the morning practice, and she has to wake Mizuchi up before it begins. She then takes out her phone to check the time. The display screen shows that it’s 4:30 AM, but she also notices that she received a mail. Her phone was set to silent, and so she didn’t notice. The mail is from Hime, and it was sent just a moment ago. It reminds Mikoto that Hime sent her a mail around dawn before, and she notes that he wakes up so early in the morning. When she opens the mail, she only finds one word inside: “—why?” As she wonders what this means, she hears a familiar voice behind her. The voice asks her exactly the same question: “…why?” When Mikoto turns around, she finds Hime standing right behind her.

Hime quietly asks why the two of them are here. Wasn’t Mikoto supposed to work alone? As Mikoto tries to search for an excuse, Hime explains that he was worried about her. After Kabatsu, he actually went to visit the lecture hall. He was planning to surprise her, and he looked into the lecture hall from the window… but then he saw Mizuchi inside. Mikoto is shocked to hear this, but Hime smiles and says he watched them the entire time. Both of them are so diligent. They did their best to sort out the documents. She messed up a bit by dropping the documents, but Mizuchi helped covering her mistake. After that, they had fun chatting and having tea. It was cute how she shyly looked at Mizuchi. Mikoto hesitantly asks if he really watched them the entire time, and Hime nods saying he did. She points out that he should have came in, but he only asks her why. She only wanted to invite Mizuchi into the lecture hall, right?

When Mikoto denies it, Hime asks what she means by doing this. He wants to serve her and do anything for her, so why didn’t she allow him to enter? Before she can say anything, he points out that she’s in love with Mizuchi. This really shocks her, but he’s not done yet. He adds that a confession is supposed to be done to someone who’s awake, which means that he heard her confession to Mizuchi earlier. Hime silently looks at Mikoto for a while, then he smiles and asks if he can stop now. He wants to stop being her princess, and he tells her that being a princess is boring. He wants to be a prince, one who kisses his only princess everyday. Mikoto is still taken aback, and she tries asking if Hime has some time for her—she’ll explain why everything turned this way.

However, Mikoto’s head suddenly starts spinning. Hime chuckles and asks her what’s wrong, and she tells him that she’s losing strength. She can’t seem to move her body. He lightly answers that she must be tired. Poor girl. Mikoto knows that it’s definitely not fatigue, but Hime calmly says he’ll save her—because he’s the prince. He’ll take her away before Mizuchi opens his eyes. Mikoto tries to ask where he’s taking her, but her consciousness starts fading away… and the last thing she hears is Hime chuckling softly.

In Mikoto’s dream, Half Moon appears 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 replies 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 fades away, and Mikoto asks Half Moon not to leave… but then she wakes up in a dark room. What was he talking about? What does he mean by two moons? Before she can figure anything out, her consciousness suddenly starts fading again. She’s losing her strength again, and her voice won’t come out.

“紫のにほへる妹を憎くあらば 人妻故に吾恋ひめやも” — Manyōshū vol. 1 (21)
If only I could hate the beautiful you, who glow vividly as the purple grass. You are already married to another man, and yet why do I yearn for you this much?

Hime says it can’t be helped, because he wasn’t chosen by Mikoto. He didn’t have any other choice. Mizuchi is truly a good person. Even after seeing Hime’s real personality, Mizuchi keeps him company as usual. That being said, there are things one just cannot give to others—not even if they’re best friends. It’s the first time he desires something. It’s the first time he ever felt this way, and there’s no turning back. He won’t sacrifice himself in love.

• Day 30 •

Today, the chairmen receive the report that the Senki candidate has gone missing. Onosada confirms that he asked her to work in the Kasen lecture hall two days ago, and no one has seen her ever since. Mizuchi, who was working with her, reports that she was inside the lecture hall. He locked the door and went to get some sleep in the hallway… and that was the last time he saw her. Kintokihana concludes this as the Senki candidate unlocking the door and going out on her own, but Awahana thinks it’s just too bizarre for her to go missing after that. Awahana then asks if they have any clues, but Momotose sadly informs him that they don’t. Mikoto’s bag and phone disappeared, and she didn’t return to the dorm either. What makes it more strange is that the guard didn’t see a student like her leaving Kaen. It’s as if she was spirited away.

The chairmen then ask if Hime knows anything, since he’s Mikoto’s current partner. He replies that it’s hard to believe she’d disappear just like that. As the Senki candidate, she worked really hard during Kabatsu. She was optimistic and earnest, not the type of person who would abandon her responsibilities. There must be a reason behind this. Upon hearing this, Kurenai punches the wall saying that’s not it. They’re asking where she has disappeared to. Onosada warns him not to snap like that, but Kurenai only tells him to shut up. He has no intentions of listening to Hime’s pretentious speech, especially because he knows that Hime doesn’t mean anything he says. Then he grumbles that this is all so stupid and leaves the room, with Hime watching him in silence. Kintokihana sighs saying this looks difficult.

Then suddenly, Iroha suggests searching in Kaen. The guard didn’t see Mikoto leaving, which means there is a possibility that she’s somewhere in Kaen. This is further supported by the fact that Kaen is protected by a barrier, and any intruders will get caught by their security cameras. The chairmen then issue an order for the Five Brights to search for the Senki candidate in of Kaen, and Hime walks out of their office with a silent smile. Mizuchi doesn’t notice though, and he apologizes that everything turned this way—even though he was with Mikoto yesterday. Hime assures Mizuchi that he’s fine, and he asks if it’s not tough for Mizuchi. He hasn’t slept ever since Mikoto disappeared. Hime promises to join the search as well, so Mizuchi should get some rest for now. However, Mizuchi only says that it’s his responsibility and walks away.

As Hime silently watches Mizuchi’s back, Kurenai comes out saying it’s ridiculous to see them pretending to be friends. Hime simply notes that he didn’t notice Kurenai there, but Kurenai only grins before telling Hime to lend him an ear. As he moves closer to Hime, Kurenai whispers that he’s a great actor. Who knows what lies behind that beautiful face of his. Hime calmly asks what he’s talking about, but Kurenai only shrugs and moves away with a grin. Then he says he feels sleepy and walks away, leaving Hime to watch him in silence. Momotose soon appears saying Kurenai is so childish for bullying Hime like that, but Hime says he doesn’t mind. He thinks Kurenai must be worried too about Mikoto’s disappearance. Momotose smiles saying Hime is so kind, and she promises to help their search as well. When Hime thanks her, Momotose points out that he’s been working hard alone while Kagami is away. She thinks Kagami will return soon, so until then, Hime can rely on her support. Once again Hime thanks Momotose for the concern, but he falls into silence when Momotose leaves.

After that, Hime returns to his room and mutters that everyone has sharp intuition. He thought it’d be hard for them to see what’s in front of their eyes, but maybe it was too easy for them. Hime then turns to Mikoto, who’s now wearing a beautiful white dress, and tells her he’s home. He asks if she was lonely while he was away, but she doesn’t show any reaction. Hime then says Mikoto looks really beautiful in that dress, and he chuckles saying she’s his princess after all… but again, she doesn’t show any reaction. Ignoring her silence, he says they should kiss since he’s returned home. Then he kisses her once, telling her that it’s the kiss she was asking about. It’s a kiss that holds all of his feelings. A kiss only done for the person he loves. He smiles saying it’s like a dream for a beautiful princess like her to become his and his alone. He goes on to ask if she wants to kiss more, and despite her nonexistent reaction, he happily says he’ll give her more kisses. He tells her to entwine her tongue with his, and he praises her for doing so good—happily telling her that she can rely on him more.

Hime’s voice turn unstable as he whispers that Mikoto is a pure-white princess. A princess who belongs to only him. He won’t let her go. He won’t hand her to anyone. Hime says Mikoto must be hungry by now, and so they should have a meal. They’re having Italian food today—a seafood risotto. He’s going to serve it for her, and he asks if she has particular likes and dislikes. He takes a spoonful of risotto and asks her to eat it, but he asks her to be careful since it’s a bit hot. He asks if it’s delicious, and completely ignoring her silence, he says he’s glad to hear she loves it. They have a lot, so she can eat as much as she wants to. Just then the food drips off the spoon, and Hime leans in to lick them off Mikoto’s chest. They can always get a new dress for her, and if she gets dirty… he can just lick her off like this. At the same time, he also leaves kiss marks on her body—a lot of them. She hid his kiss mark before, but now they can see them clearly. Then he chuckles saying he’s dying her. He’s dying the pure-white her with his color.

Meanwhile, Kurenai barges into Mizuchi’s room—commenting that he looks gloomy. When Mizuchi asks if he needs something, Kurenai tells him not to look at him as if he’s a pest… because he’s obtained the best information for Mizuchi. He knows the culprit who took the Senki candidate away. Mizuchi is surprised and asks if he’s serious, to which Kurenai replies that a Minamo from the Ouka Class saw his “super best friend” carrying the Senki candidate near the lecture hall. Noticing the shock in Mizuchi’s face, Kurenai laughs and asks if he didn’t know anything. Isn’t it interesting to play friends? Before he could even notice, his woman has been stolen by his best friend. Mizuchi refuses to believe in this though, and he asks why Hime would want to kidnap Mikoto in the first place. Kurenai calls him stupid and says he doesn’t know either. Mizuchi should ask Hime directly, though Kurenai doesn’t think Hime would take off his disguise so easily. Kurenai then leaves Mizuchi’s room, and Mizuchi stares at the door in shock until he notices something. Or rather, until he notices someone.

That night, Hime receives a call from Kagami—whom he call as “senior”. He greets her good afternoon, not noticing the time until she points out that it’s already night. He asks how she’s doing over there, reassuring her that he’s doing fine as usual. She doesn’t have to worry about him. After ending the call, Hime explains to Mikoto that it was Kagami—his Minamo. She’s currently away on a trip. Mikoto remains silent though, so Hime asks her not to look so worried. There’s nothing between them. His only princess is her. Hime’s smile turns sad as Mikoto doesn’t show any reaction, but then he tells her that it’s already dark outside. Time flies whenever he’s with her. From the window, he can see the beautiful full moon in the sky. Then he whispers that he wants to have sex with her. This is followed by a super fancy confession from him:

“I want to become one with you… underneath this moon, naked as we were born. I want to enter you and hold you tight… Ah… I want to fill you up with me… Over and over again… I want to make love to you until I reach exhaustion.”

Hime… (´;ω;`)

Hime then asks if Mikoto knew that he’s thinking about something like this. She never looked at him as man, but she’s always a woman in his eyes. He tells her that after waking up from the prince’s kiss, the princess is living a happy life in the castle… but it seems like he might lose his castle. This place is his only castle, and he can’t make a happy ending if he goes outside. What should he do? Are there other castles in this world…? A castle where the two of them can be happy together? Hime is drawn back to reality by a knock on his door, along with Mizuchi’s voice asking if he’s inside. Hime asks him what’s wrong to come so late at night, and so Mizuchi says he wants to talk—asking him to open the door. Hime asks Mizuchi to wait saying he’s currently changing, but of course he uses this chance to put Mikoto in a closet and quietly asks her to wait there.

When Hime opens the door and says it’s an unusual visit, Mizuchi promises that he won’t take much time. Hime offers to prepare some tea and light snacks, but then he remembers that Mizuchi doesn’t eat after 10 PM due to a family rule. However, Mizuchi gets straight to the point. He says he’s here to ask about Mikoto, and he asks if Hime really doesn’t know where she is. Both of them remain silent for a while, but then Hime calmly answers that he doesn’t. He asks why Mizuchi is asking this, but another long silence flows before Mizuchi nods and apologizes for intruding so late at night. Hime asks if he’s not staying for tea, but Mizuchi refuses and takes his leave. As soon as Mizuchi disappears, Hime whispers that it was a miraculous timing. Then he opens the closet door and apologizes to his princess, asking if it was painful for her to wait for so long. Mikoto remains silent as usual, but soon Hime notices that she’s crying—even though she shouldn’t have enough power to do that.

Just Mizuchi suddenly yells at Hime to stay away from Mikoto. When Hime turns around, he’s surprised to see both Mizuchi and Iroha in his room. Iroha flatly informs him that causing harm to the Senki candidate grant him the deprivation of his title as a Bright, as well as a punishment on top of expulsion from school. After receiving information from Kurenai, Iroha went to ask Minamo of the Gekkou Class. It turns out that ever since that day, it was forbidden for them to enter Hime’s room. He doesn’t allow them to clean up his room, and he won’t let them in whenever they come to deliver his meals either. Hime falls into silence for a while, but then he chuckles saying he forgot to keep them silent—he made a careless mistake on the most important part. Mizuchi still finds it hard to believe that Hime would do something like this, and Hime nods saying “Himeutsugi” probably wouldn’t.

“Himeutsugi” is everyone’s princess. He’s kind, gentle and puts others before himself… but Hime wants to prioritize himself. There’s nothing wrong with confessing his love for the things he loves, so he decided to stop being the princess. Right now he’s no longer bound by any shackles, and he can be himself. Mizuchi is shocked to hear the sound of utsurohi gathering around Hime, and Iroha asks if Hime was the one behind the utsurohi incidents… but Hime doesn’t answer his question. The only thing he can say is that he’s not a princess. He’s a prince! His smile turns wicked as says that he won’t hand Mikoto to them. She has become his princess. Then he tells them to look at the marks he left on her body. He gave her lots of love and put a lot of his proof on her. Hime laughs before telling them that he’s always holding back, so it should be okay for him to receive just one thing… right? As he begs for their approval, Hime says that he wants to receive a permission as well. Then he asks Mizuchi if it’s okay for him to take the girl Mizuchi loves, and his soft voice breaks into a desperate scream as he begs Mizuchi to say something.

The commotion attracts Momotose’s attention as well, and soon she enters the room to see what’s going on. She’s really surprised to find Mikoto inside, and Iroha asks her to do Hana Awase. Momotose protests since they’re going to fight Hime and Mikoto, but Iroha replies that it’s not “Himeutsugi”—which confuses her even more. Mizuchi remains silent for a while, and he eventually asks Iroha to let him do it. He wants to do Hana Awase against Hime. Iroha agrees as long as he wins the battle, and Momotose offers to support him. Mizuchi then proceeds to set up a field barrier around them, and it doesn’t take long until they defeat Hime. Since Momotose manages to pull Mikoto out of the field barrier, Iroha announces that they’re going to purge Hime from now on. Hime seems surprised to hear this, but then he smiles and disappears with all the utsurohi around him. Iroha commands for them to chase after him, and so Momotose asks Mizuchi to take care of the rest before running off with him.

After they’re gone, Mizuchi tries calling Mikoto’s name and lightly slapping her cheeks… but she shows no reaction. He notes that she’s breathing, and he wonders if she’s unconscious. But then again, she assisted Hime in Hana Awase earlier. What’s happening to her? Mizuchi starts looking around in a panic, hoping to find something that can open Mikoto’s eyes… and then he notices something. He takes a certain liquid into his mouth and kisses her to pass it into hers. He begs her to open her eyes. She doesn’t show any reaction for a while, but eventually she regains her consciousness and calls his name. Mikoto is confused, especially when she sees the beautiful dress she’s wearing. Noticing that Mizuchi is looking at her, she calls his name and gives him a puzzled look… but he only surprises her more by kissing her on the lips. Of course she has no idea about what’s happening, but she doesn’t resist since it’s him.

After a while, Mizuchi eventually stops and apologizes for kissing Mikoto without permission. He couldn’t stop himself. She doesn’t mind though. Mizuchi tries to ask if something happened between Hime and her, but she only looks up at him in confusion… and then he kisses her again. Once again he apologizes since he can’t stop it, and she’s surprised to receive such a passionate kiss from him. Mizuchi then whispers that he doesn’t want to let go of Mikoto. He knows it’s unfair to say it in a situation like this, but towards her… he feels… However, Mizuchi can’t continue his confession when the image of Hime crosses his mind. Instead, he releases Mikoto and asks her to forget it. She can only wonder about what he was going to say.

That night, Mikoto has a nostalgic dream. In the dream, she asks what “Hime-kun” is doing. He replies that he was talking, but she can’t see anyone around them—because they’re in the forest. He tells her there’s a lot of them, but she laughs and points out that he’s saying weird things again. When she invites him to play with everyone else, he says he doesn’t want to go to the secret base. There’s a ghost there. She never saw any, but he insists that it’s there. It’s scary. It’s going to take her… precious thing… She assures him that it’s going to be fine though, because she can’t see any ghosts. Even if it’s there, she’ll defeat it! Once again she asks him to play with them, since she finds it boring without “Hime-kun”. He agrees under the condition that she holds his hand. If she holds his hand, he’ll play with them. When she gladly squeezes his hand, he whispers that he loves her… and she answers that she loves him too. The boy then promises: “I will protect Mikoto’s precious thing, so it won’t be stolen… If it’s for Mikoto, I will do anything. No matter what it is…”

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 “Hime-kun”. Could it be…?

• Day 31 •

The day starts with a meeting in the chairmen’s office. They still don’t know where Hime is right now, and it doesn’t seem like he has contacted Kagami either. Kintokihana wonders if it means he’s the one behind the utsurohi incidents, but Iroha says they’re still not sure about that. The only thing they can say for certain is that Hime confined the Senki candidate and summoned utsurohi. Awahana asks if Mikoto’s body is alright, or if she lost her Senki qualifications… but she shakes her head. Mikoto explains that she suddenly lost her strength in the hallway, and she has no recollections of what happened before she woke up. The chairmen find this strange since Mikoto was able to do Hana Awase, which means she didn’t faint because she dried up. They never heard anything like this before, so they have no idea what Hime did to her. Mikoto herself is also aware that it was different from drying up. She lost all of her strength in an instant before fainting, and she doesn’t know what Hime did to her before she was rescued.

In any case, Kintokihana announces that Hime needs to be purged as soon as they find him. Mikoto knows she probably shouldn’t say this, but she tells them that Hime might have his own reason for doing this. She knows she’s being naïve, but she asks them to give some time before purging him. Kurenai gives Mikoto an answer by punching something and scoffs at her. She’s been teasing them with her actions, and now she’s acting like a saint. Kurenai then points out that Hime only has one reason: “He wanted to fuck you. That’s it. That hypocrite fell for you so hard he cracked his head. Don’t spit out pretentious crap!” Momotose warns him to control his words, but Kurenai says he’d rather die and leaves the room—like he always do. Despite his rough words, Awahana admits that Kurenai does have a point. Sometimes innocence and purity can be a sin. Upon hearing this, Mikoto quietly lowers her gaze and apologizes.

Back to the problem at hand, Iroha says their top priority should be to find Hime. Kintokihana agrees, and so he orders both Iroha and Mizuchi to search for Hime. Once they find him, they are to purge him on the spot. That, and Mikoto is not allowed to go outside for her own safety. Both Mikoto and Mizuchi are silent as they receive this order. After leaving the chairmen’s office, Momotose admits that she still finds it hard to believe that Hime would do something like that. Iroha flatly replies that the result is everything, and he asks Momotose to search for Hime in Goto-gai with him. Mizuchi informs Mikoto that he’s going to examine the central districts with several Minamo from the Koukoku Class, and he asks her to return to the dorm before walking away.

• Himeutsugi’s Ending 1 •

If Mikoto doesn’t stop Mizuchi, she obediently returns to her room—wondering if it’s really okay for her to abandon Hime like this. Is it really okay for her to ignore his feelings? Is there anything she can do…? At this rate, he’ll only get purged by Iroha and the others. If only she knows where he is… A place he would go to… As she tries to think about this, she suddenly remembers the time when she watched the sunset with him. It was the place where she saw a surprising side of him. She’s not allowed to go outside, but if she doesn’t go now, she might not make it in time. She has to go before Iroha and the others reach that place.

Mikoto then leaves the dorm and runs all the way to the park. As she calls Hime’s name and looks around hoping to find him, she notices a beautiful sand castle in the sandbox. It has large towers, and the castle is standing deep inside the gates—it was built carefully. The sand castle feels rather familiar to her. Soon she notices something buried right in the middle, and she digs it out to find a blue cellphone. Mikoto wonders whose phone it might be, but she feels like she has seen this design before. The next moment, she hears a familiar voice saying: “I found you, my princess.” She quickly looks up to find Hime standing in front of her, and he’s happy that she came here to see him. He has a gentle smile, but she wonders if it’s really the usual him. He doesn’t look like someone who’s been swallowed by utsurohi though. Anyway, she’s glad that she found him before everyone else.

Mikoto tells Hime that she’s glad to see him doing fine, but he only smiles in silence. She then explains that everyone is searching for him. They’re all worried because he disappeared from Kaen. She admits that she doesn’t remember anything, and so she doesn’t know what happened between them… but it might just be a misunderstanding with everyone. Mikoto then asks Hime to return to Kaen with her. She promises to talk to everyone too, so she wants him to explain first. However, he only asks what explanation she wants. Is it about how much he loves her? Mikoto is surprised, but Hime points out that she came to see him. It seems like the fairytale of the prince and the princess has a continuation. Mikoto is about to ask what Hime means by that, but suddenly her vision turns blurry—she’s losing strength again. She calls his name in confusion, but he only says they need to keep her conscious this time… or else he won’t be able to convey everything he wants to do to her. Mikoto panics upon realizing that she can’t move her body, while Hime chuckles and invites her to go to their secret base. He politely asks for her hand, and then she blacks out.

When Mikoto opens her eyes later, she finds herself in a dark place that looks like an abandoned building. Hime happily welcomes her to the prince and princess’ castle. He has found an eternal castle for the two of them to live in. No one would come to disturb them here. Mikoto is shocked, but Hime only smiles and asks her to do a ceremony—their wedding ceremony. She panics upon realizing that his eyes doesn’t look sane and tries to escape, but he grabs her leg and asks why she ran away from him. She came to see him, didn’t she? When Mikoto screams and struggles, Hime asks why she’s rejecting him. A princess isn’t allowed to act unreasonable. Or does she want him to take more from her…? But he doesn’t want her to be unconscious. He wants to see her face when she gets turned on. He wants to see her face as he dyes her with his hands. She can’t reject him anymore. He won’t let her, because she’s already in his hands. As Hime forces a kiss on her, Mikoto tries to scream and resist… but it’s useless. The only thing she can do is to take the wedding kiss from her prince, while he laughs in satisfaction.

Mikoto doesn’t know where they are, but Hime calls the place as their secret base. Ever since that day, she has been staying there. She doesn’t have any strength in her body, and she can’t walk. She can’t leave this place. She can’t do anything on her own, and so he does everything for her—just like a doll. One day, Hime returns home and asks if his princess was being a good girl. Mikoto doesn’t reply, but he notices that she’s fallen off her chair and fixes her position. Earlier he went out to buy some fruits for them, since the grapes look delicious. He gives her one to let her taste how fresh and juicy it is, telling her not to hold back since he bought a lot. Hime soon notices that Mikoto’s shoes are slipping off her feet, and he fixes them for her. Her skirt doesn’t cover her properly either, and so he fixes it as well. Mikoto remains silent, but Hime then asks why she’s looking at him with such a cute expression. Does she want him to pamper her even more?

Hime gently pats Mikoto’s head and asks what she wants him to do next. She can ask him to do anything, because her happiness is his happiness. Mikoto doesn’t reply, but Hime continues: “I will do anything for you… so, please, don’t run away anymore. Because you are my eternal princess…”

• Himeutsugi’s Ending 2 •

If Mikoto asks Mizuchi to stop, she ends up admitting that Hime confessed his love to her—which surprises Mizuchi. Mikoto explains that Hime always treated it as a joke, as if he’s just teasing and fooling around with her… but she actually noticed. She noticed that he was different, but she pretended not to notice… because she was afraid that if she noticed, the “Himeutsugi” she knows would turn into someone else. She ran away from him. Now she wants to face him properly, and she asks if it’s too late for that.

Excuse me for a second, I have to…

WHAT THE HELL, MIKOTO? (╯゚□゚)╯︵ ┻━┻

After a long silence, Mizuchi says the result might be different from what Mikoto is wishing for. Would she be okay with that? She looks at him in silence for a while, but eventually she nods. He says he understands and declares that from this moment on, he’s no longer a student of Kaen. There is no need for him to obey the rules of Kaen, so he doesn’t mind taking her outside. Mikoto is surprised to hear this, but then Mizuchi says he wants to face Hime as well. At first she finds it hard to believe that he’d ignore the rules for this, but then she stops herself. She knows why he’s doing this, and she won’t pretend not to notice anymore. They have to find Hime. Their first destination is Goto-gai, but Iroha and Momotose are also searching for Hime there. They keep searching around until they reach the train station in the evening, but Hime is nowhere to be found. Mikoto rejected all of Hime’s invitations, so she doesn’t know what kind of places he would visit. Where is he? As she thinks about a place that Hime seems to love, Mizuchi notes that the sun is setting. She looks up at the sky to find it dyed red by the sunset, and this finally reminds her of the sunset she watched with Hime. Mikoto quickly tells Mizuchi that there’s a place she wants to visit. There’s no mistake, Hime must be at that place. It’s the place where she saw a surprising side of him.

From there, Mikoto takes Mizuchi to the park. There’s no one there, and she wonders if she was mistaken. Mikoto looks around as she calls out Hime’s name, but then she notices a sand castle in the sandbox. She notices that something is buried in the middle, and she digs it out to find a blue cellphone—which Mizuchi recognizes as Hime’s phone. Before they can draw any conclusion from this, suddenly they hear a familiar voice asking: “…why?” When they turn around, they find Hime standing with a painful expression. Then he asks why did Mikoto bring Mizuchi here. Isn’t this a place just for the two of them? Why does she keep on betraying him? She tries to explain that he’s wrong, but he interrupts saying it’s not necessary to have two princes in the same castle. He’s the only prince, and he asks his princess for confirmation.

Mizuchi is shocked when utsurohi starts gathering around Hime, who laughs and welcomes them into his castle. Mikoto screams as the sand around them begin to dance—as if they’re alive. Mizuchi points out that Hime is controlling utsurohi, and he quickly pulls Mikoto away. At the same time, Hime laughs saying it feels so good. He should have done this sooner. Now he’s… free. Mikoto notices that he’s losing his mind, while Mizuchi explains that he’s being corrupted by utsurohi. If they don’t cleanse him quickly, he’s going to get swallowed by the impurities. At first Mikoto refuses, because fighting Hime means they won’t be able to talk to him. She desperately wonders what to do, but Hime continues to hurl more sand towards them. Mizuchi ends up saving Mikoto from the attack, and he tells her that Hime won’t return anymore. He didn’t expect it to be THIS bad though. The only thing he can do is to end this with his own hands. Mikoto finally says she understands, and Mizuchi sets up a field barrier before starting Hana Awase—eventually defeating Hime.

The battle ends with an explosion, and Hime collapses onto the ground. Mikoto quickly runs up to him and apologizes. She tells him that she’ll treat his injuries now, hoping for him to be saved somehow. He doesn’t say anything though, and she confesses that she was taking his kindness for granted. He’s always kind and would forgive everything she does, so she took advantage of his feelings and ignore them. Once again she apologizes to him, and after a long silence, he smiles and says: “…don’t cry, princess. Don’t cry for me. I am a prince. A prince needs to make his princess happy.” Mikoto panics and asks Hime not to speak because it will only open his wounds, but he only shakes his head. He can’t escape from his fate. Even if they save his life, it’s already too late… for everything.

Mikoto snaps out that he doesn’t understand what Hime means by fate. Besides, even if such a thing exists, it has nothing to do with this situation. However, Hime closes his eyes saying it’s just like Mikoto. She’s really kind, even after he did something so terrible. Then he admits that there’s another side of him that she’s not aware of—a side that he doesn’t want her to know. Upon noticing the worry in her expression, Hime notes that Mikoto is so cute after all… and he lightly complains that he doesn’t want to die. Mikoto begins sobbing as she asks Hime not to die, begging him to live on with her. As the answer, Hime only chuckles and turns to ask: “…Mizuchi, it’s okay right? For me… to be the prince… After all… I was the first one… who fell in love with her at the first sight…” Mizuchi firmly answers with: “Yes, that’s… right. It was you, Himeutsugi.” Hime closes his eyes and chuckles, asking if Mizuchi is jealous that he can monopolize a cute girl like Mikoto. Then Hime leaves Mikoto with his last words:

“Mikoto-chan. Next time… If we’re to reborn… The one you will choose, is me… That’s right… Then, without being bound by anything… without having to hold back, without reservation… for you, I will… With you…”

Hime closes his eyes forever after that, with Mikoto screaming out his name.

After Hime’s death, the utsurohi incidents stopped occurring in Kaen. There are rumors and speculations about whether or not it was caused by Hime, but no one knows the truth. In the end, Mikoto never figured out the reason behind his sudden change or the fate he was talking about. Mizuchi took responsibility for taking her out of Kaen and dropped out of school after that. She never saw him again ever since. She also submitted a request to drop out, but the chairmen rejected the idea. She never became a Senki and walked towards her graduation just like that. After she’s done with her graduation ceremony, she went to visit that place. The place she won’t be able to forget…

Upon arriving at the park, Mikoto thinks about how her 3 years in Kaen passed by in an instant. She failed to become a Senki, but they acknowledged her power as a Minamo, and so she can continue her studies in the university. Ai, Shou, Momotose and the class rep were happy for her… but the person she wants to tell this the most to is not there. From near the railing, she can see the sun setting in the distance. Everything is over. Mikoto then whispers Hime’s name, telling him that his Minamo were really sad about his death. They all mourned for him, even saying that they want to leave Kaen. The ones who stayed continued to keep his room clean, and they also delivered meals for him. Kurenai secretly took away the meals, and believing that Hime ate them all, the girls in the Gekkou Class continued to cook for him. It keeps on repeating. Everyone lived on his kindness, and nothing changed other than the fact that he’s already gone. Mikoto also reports that she never gets involved with Mizuchi since then. She’s protecting her promise to Hime. Right now she actually feels glad, since she can’t possibly have a relationship with Mizuchi after what happened.

Mikoto soon hears some footsteps, and she turns around to see Iroha nearby. He informs her that Mizuchi was here earlier, but he left upon seeing her. Mikoto quietly nods before telling Iroha that she remembers the words he said before. She wonders if she has taken the wrong path, and if it’s her fault that everything turned this way. Iroha doesn’t answer. Instead, he hands something to Mikoto—Hime’s phone. There’s an unsent mail for her inside. Iroha already asked for the chairmen’s permission, and Mikoto can do whatever she wants with it. Iroha then walks away, and Mikoto decides to check the mail. She gasps out Hime’s name upon reading the contents. His heart remains, even until now. In fact, it’s now binding her even stronger… and she knows the same goes for Mizuchi. Hime’s feelings will continue to bind the two of them, until they can meet him again… someday.

“天地の底ひの裏に我がごとく 君に恋ふらむ人はさねあらじ” — Manyōshū vol. 15 (3750)
Even if you were to search to the ends of heavens and earth, you would not find someone else who yearns for you as much as I do.

• Extra•

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 Himeutsugi in Hana Utsushi.

Hime asks Mikoto to wear a bunny suit. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ She gets embarrassed since it’s rather revealing, but he excitedly says she looks really cute in it—just as he expected. Hime then asks Mikoto to come over. When she tries to refuse, he reminds her that she lost… so now she has to listen to his wishes. His smile turns sad as he says that he wants to show this to Mizuchi, but then he falls into silence and takes it back. He wants to be the only one who knows about her embarrassing moments. Hime then tells Mikoto that bunnies are the favorite of wolves. If he’s a wolf, then he’d eat her for sure. After quietly staring at Mikoto for a while, Hime suddenly leans in and starts biting her. Σ(゚ー゚;) Of course she’s shocked and asks him to stop because it hurts, but he only chuckles saying she tastes sweet. Should he strip her here and eat her whole?

Mikoto’s eyes widen in shock upon hearing this, but then Hime laughs saying he was just kidding—did that surprise her? It’s the end of her punishment, and she can escape now. Mikoto protests and says Hime is so mean, though she never knew he has this kind of… uh, hobby. It can’t be helped since she lost to him, but it was so embarrassing. It feels like her face has been set aflame.

At first I thought Hime isn’t the type of guy I usually like, but that only lasted until this whole route started. I’m actually not sure about what to think of Hime as a character, because I feel that we didn’t get to see the real him in this game. Even though he threw away his “princess” mask, the change also affected his mental state… and so his real personality is completely covered by his unstable state. It’s truly heartbreaking to see how Mikoto treats Hime though. In a way I can understand her way of thinking, but was it really necessary to lie to him about the punishment? It doesn’t help that she lied after avoiding him and repeatedly turning down his invitations, so you can’t really blame him for snapping either… (´・ω・`)

Also, I have to admit that Mikoto’s confession in ending 2 really annoyed me. So she did notice that Hime is in love with her, but since he’s always so kind and would forgive everything she does… she decided to just ignore him until things turn ugly and they can’t repair it anymore. It’s a good thing that Mikoto is so loyal to Mizuchi, but still… _(:3」∠)_ Similarly to Kurenai’s, Hime’s route left me with a lot of questions. We can clearly see that Hime feels tired by his role as the “princess”, but why and how did he end up with that role in the first place? Did someone put him into it? Or did he got into the role by himself? During the call with Kagami, she seems to be rather concerned about Hime… It’s like she’s checking up on him and making sure there’s nothing wrong with him, but why is that? Not to mention everyone keeps saying Mikoto will be surprised if she sees Kagami, and there’s also the childhood dream with Hime. I can’t wait to see if these questions will be answered in Himeutsugi-hen.

Now regarding Hime’s name, “Himeutsugi” comes from this poem:

“佐伯山卯の花持ちし愛しきが 手をし取りてば花は散るとも” — Manyōshū vol. 7 (1259)
As long as I can obtain my beloved, holding a Deutzia in Mount Saeki, let the flowers scatter.

By “卯の花 / u no hana”, the poem refers to the flower “utsugi” or Deutzia crenata. If you want to read more details regarding Hime, then please do check this character analysis written by Lore.


10 thoughts on “Hana Awase: Mizuchi-hen – Himeutsugi

  1. Hi! Thanks for your hard work! Great review as always, especially considering how much pain the non-Mizuchi routes bring. Thanks for suffering for us all! ^_^

    About Hime, I agree that he’s a little hard to figure out. In his route, we see him becoming insane without having a chance to understand the reasons behind it all. It bothered me a little, because it felt kind of random. I kept wondering whether I had to be angry for his actions or feel sorry for him.

    I have to say that I usually HATE yanderes. The whole “I have to lock you up because I LOOOOVE YOU” thing just doesn’t click with me. Despite all of this, though, I can’t hate Hime. It’s true that Mikoto was really terrible to him, and made some stupid decisions that ended up hurting not only Hime, but herself and Mizuchi too. I mean, she figured out he’s in love with her AND WHAT DID SHE DO?! She though: “Oh, who cares! Let him suffer! He’s nice, so he’ll forgive me and I can go back to Mizuchi!”. Talking to him, explaining him how she felt and finding a solution together before it was too late wasn’t an option, apparently. -.- Not to mention when, in Ending 1, she ran off alone to look for a yandere in berserk. Is she suicidal or what?! I think this is when I started seriously being annoyed at Mikoto.

    In the end, I can’t say Hime’s route broke my heart. I was heartbroken with Kurenai and Iroha, but with him I was just ANGRY. It made me feel furious and powerless at the same time. All I can say is that I hope Hime’s game will come out soon, to erase this horrible feeling I get every time I think about him.

    • LOL thank you for suffering with me by reading this. 8D

      Similarly to you, usually I don’t like yanderes unless they have a good development / characterization / reason behind their actions. I don’t like the ones who lock you up just because he wants to, or because he gets jealous of you loving someone else other than him… but Hime is different. The way Mikoto treated him was SO BAD you can’t help but understand why he snapped, especially because he knew right from the beginning that she was just using him as an “elimination method”. That alone might still be okay, but yeah the lie wasn’t necessary. She does have her reasons (not wanting him to worry etc.) but in the end it only made things worse. Hopefully Mikoto won’t take advantage of Hime’s princess mask again in his own game, that might make me rage. Her “I knew he loves me, I just pretended not to notice.” confession was just… no. NOPE. :|

      Hime’s route gives you that kind of pain. You get despair, heartbreak and rage in one pack. _(:3」∠ )_

  2. I can’t even ヽ(#`Д´)ノ. I knew that she don’t want him to help her and don’t want to make him worry but still (´Д`).
    Anyway, as exepected from the guy who is next in the line, Himeutsugi is the only one beside Mizuchi to have “happy ending” (in yandere’s way) a.k.a. survive end (everyone have death ending 。゚(゚ノД`゚)゚。). I hope that Mikoto’s personality is difference from installment to installment because this personality fit this game well but it’s not for other one.
    Thank for the great review as alway d=(´▽`)=b

    • I’m pretty sure they will keep Mikoto’s personality, but we’ll get to see how she warms up towards Hime instead. Maybe we won’t get as annoyed (emphasis on “maybe”) since the interactions will be different from this game, but then again if we look at how tragic the bad endings are… maybe not LOL. I’m looking forward to see Mikoto as a part of the Gekkou Group though! :D

  3. Thanks for your hard work (;___;) I’ve been reading along here while playing the game because your summaries are really helpful – especially the poems, I had a lot of difficulties with those parts. Yandere really isn’t one of my favourite character types so I thought I would dislike this route a lot more than I did, but it ended up just being sad more than anything. Also Mikoto wtf with your behaviour in this route ( ゚Д゚)<!!

    Are you thinking of summarizing for Himeutsugi-hen in the future? I’ll keep an eye out~ I really like your posts so you’ll probably see me again on your Ken ga Kimi posts when I get around to playing that ✧٩(•́⌄•́๑)و ✧

    • Hello. Yes, I do have plans to blog Hime-hen in the future. Since Kurenai / Utsutsu-hen is out, I’ll be playing that one first before summarizing the 2 games back to back. You might have already know from my previous comments, but Hime-hen made me really confused as it only gave a few answers and dished out even more questions. I heard Kurenai / Utsutsu-hen holds most (if not all) of the answers, so I want to do it first to get a good grasp on what’s going on in the hope that no misunderstandings would be made when I finally blog the continuation of Hana Awase.

      Thank you for reading my posts. I haven’t got much time to write lately, but will resume blogging once real life issues start winding down. ;_;

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