Hana Awase: Mizuchi-hen – Iroha

It’s been a while since I started this game, and now I’ve finally reached the last route. It seems like a lot of people misunderstood Iroha and found his actions to be too abrupt, but the hints are actually everywhere. Painful hints, that is.

いろは (CV:寺島拓篤)

Iroha is the Kaei of the Chisen Class. He’s a third year student in Kaen, as well as the top figure among the students. His entire body is wrapped in a sensual charm, enchanting every single person just by meeting their eyes. However, he has a stoic personality. He’s extremely detached from the world and holds very thin interest in everything. Iroha also speaks in monotone and never shows his emotions. He’s really strong and ranks the first among the Five Brights.

• Day 21 •

Outside, Mikoto hears Momotose calling for Iroha to stop. It’s unusual for Momotose to raise her voice like that, and so Mikoto asks her what’s wrong. Momotose sighs saying she never thought Iroha could be that childish. She explains that after the library incident, Iroha harshly reprimanded Mizuchi. When she scolded him for being so harsh, he only said it’s useless for her to interfere. Iroha and Mizuchi stopped speaking to each other after that. Momotose understands that Iroha did it for Mikoto’s sake, but she wished he would be more mature. This reminds Mikoto that when Iroha saved her in the library, he looked really scary. If she didn’t stop him back then, he would have killed Mizuchi. They used to spend a lot of time together, but now she can’t see that anymore… and she wonders if it’s because of her. In that case, she needs to clear Iroha’s misunderstanding—hoping it can restore their friendship. Even if it’s just for a bit.

Mikoto then goes to see Iroha in his room. He only asks if she needs something, and she hesitates because he seems scary somehow. It’s as if he’s even more detached than before, but not quite intimidating either. It feels like he has an aura that stops people from approaching him. Since Mikoto remains silent, Iroha tells her to leave if she doesn’t need anything. This surprises her, but she quickly says she does. She thanks him for saving her in the library, to which he replies that he already heard her gratitude. Mikoto averts her gaze and apologizes, but then she reminds herself not to waver. She needs to say it properly. She then explains that she came to talk about Mizuchi, as she already heard everything from Momotose. Iroha remains silent, and she continues that Mizuchi isn’t a person who would do such a thing. There must be a reason behind his odd behavior. Mikoto assures Iroha that she’s alright now, but before she can ask him to do anything… he interrupts saying she misunderstands. He only informed Mizuchi about how to interact with the Senki candidate. It has nothing to do with her personal feelings. This leads Mikoto to think that Iroha was angry because Mizuchi tried to hurt the Senki candidate, not because she—as a person—was in danger. It seems like she got too self-conceited by thinking that he’s worried about her.

Iroha asks if that’s all Mikoto needs from him. Feeling ashamed of herself, Mikoto’s tears start welling up as she quietly apologizes to Iroha. She doesn’t realize this until he asks why she’s crying, and she tries to tell him that she didn’t mean to. Mikoto reminds herself that what Iroha said is true. She’s the Senki candidate, and she lacked the awareness that she nearly lost her qualifications. She felt like a tragic heroine, thinking that Iroha and Mizuchi are fighting because of her… and now she’s crying after learning that she’s wrong. Mikoto feels pathetic, because this looks like she’s asking for Iroha’s sympathy. She quickly excuses herself and tries to leave, but then he asks her to wait. He doesn’t understand the reason behind her tears. When she brushes him off saying it’s got nothing to do with him, he falls into silence for a while… then he quietly says she’s right. It’s none of his business. He’s got absolutely nothing to do with her—now and forever.

In contrary to his words, Iroha moves closer and touches Mikoto’s cheek. She looks up at him in confusion, but she notices that his hand is really gentle. Iroha points out that Mikoto is always crying. She’s the Senki candidate, so she needs to keep her emotions in check. She obediently nods, but she finds it strange how he used the word “always”… even though she only cried in front of him once. He continues that whenever she cries, Mizuchi can always be found beside her. It’s Mizuchi’s fault. Even now, she’s crying for him. Iroha pauses for a moment, and then he adds: “If you’re going to cry for Mizuchi, you shall become my partner.” Of course Mikoto is surprised, but Iroha explains that it’s an efficient and rational suggestion. Beside him, she will be able to control her emotions. He thinks it’s an appropriate decision. Mikoto nods upon hearing Iroha’s explanation, but she admits that she’s not mentally prepared since it’s so sudden. However, Iroha answers by kissing Mikoto’s tears away. Along with the words: “Let these eyes reflect myself alone. Always.”

Mikoto turns bright red as she tells Iroha that it tickles. She asks him to let go, but he only says he’ll let go if she becomes his partner. Despite her attempt to protest, her body is trembling every time he licks her tears. What happened to him…!? This is the first time Mikoto has ever seen Iroha being so forceful. She also feels bad for Mizuchi if she becomes Iroha’s partner, but then she gets an idea. She asks if he will make up with Mizuchi if they become partners. However, Iroha says there’s no reason for him to do that. Mikoto doesn’t give up though, and she points out that he has no reason for not making up with Mizuchi either—because she’ll become his partner instead. Mizuchi will have nothing to do with her, the Senki candidate, anymore… so there will be no reason to continue their quarrel. Iroha denies having any quarrels with Mizuchi though, and he says he’ll interact Mizuchi like he always does. If Mikoto doesn’t mind that, he’ll accept the deal. She gladly agrees, feeling relieved since things will be easier for Mizuchi.

…but then Mikoto realizes that she just agreed to become Iroha’s partner.

Maybe she said something outrageous.

“色は匂へど 散りぬるを”
Although its scent still lingers on, the form of a flower has scattered away.
“我が世誰ぞ 常ならん”
For whom will the glory of this world remain unchanged?
“有為の奥山 今日越えて”
Arriving today at the yonder side of the deep mountains of evanescent existence.
“浅き夢見じ 酔ひもせず”
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away, intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.
Iroha (translation by Ryuichi Abe)

Iroha knows. He knows he will regret what he did today. Did the moon drive him mad? Or did he turn mad on his own? Destruction will come, but even so he keeps on yearning…

“Just like that distant day, a long time ago…”

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 hears that Mikoto is now partners with Iroha, she’s really surprised. Mikoto feels bad for making such a decision without asking Momotose—Iroha’s Minamo—but much to her surprise, Momotose is worried because it’s “dangerous”. It’s truly dangerous, for Iroha doesn’t understand a maiden’s heart at all! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Momotose frowns and explains that Iroha is just like an incomplete machine. It feels like he’s lacking an important part as a human. If they’re to be left alone, she’s afraid that Iroha might do rude things to Mikoto. In any case, she’s worried to leave Mikoto in Iroha’s hands alone. That’s why she’s going with them for Kabatsu. She’ll keep an eye on him. Of course Mikoto is surprised at how weird the situation has become. She was worried that Momotose, as Iroha’s Minamo, would feel offended by how she thrusts herself between them… but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For now, Mikoto can only wonder about what kind of relationship Iroha shares with Momotose.

After Mikoto returns to her room, Momotose calls Iroha over. The moment he enters her room, she forces him to explain how did he get Mikoto as his partner. Mikoto is in love with Mizuchi, and Iroha should know that Mizuchi feels the same way. Iroha remains silent, and Momotose reluctantly asks if he’s actually in love with Mikoto… but he interrupts saying this is Mikoto’s decision. After a short silence, Momotose nods saying it’s fine. Now that Mikoto has become his partner, Momotose warns Iroha not to hurt her. Being brusque is not an option. He needs to be REALLY kind and gentle to her. Iroha simply replies that he’ll do it as much as he can, and Momotose also reminds him to make up with Mizuchi properly. Again, Iroha answers that he’s not fighting with Mizuchi. Momotose knows that he’s lying though, so she gives Iroha a silent stare until he finally agrees to do it—moderately. Momotose sighs as Iroha walks out of her room, wondering if he really understands.

After school, the class rep comes to Mikoto something. There are rumors about her replacing Momotose as Iroha’s partner, but the class rep doesn’t think she’d do such a reckless thing. When Mikoto reluctantly asks if it’s that big of a deal, the class rep snaps out that it’s obvious. Momotose is the number Minamo in Kaen, and she stands on the very top on the Minamo ranking. The class rep thinks it’s plain impossible for Mikoto to push Momotose off that spot. In fact, she should be honored that she can be close to her. When Mikoto mentions that Momotose is always so friendly to her, the class rep points out that she doesn’t understand. It means that Mikoto is special too. Momotose always cares about her in a lot of ways, and it’s truly a great thing. For a Minamo, both Momotose and Iroha are high above the clouds. Normal Minamo like them don’t even have the chance to talk to them. Normally it wouldn’t be weird for Mikoto to get worse treatment from their seniors, since she’s an amateur AND an “outsider”… but they never do anything because Momotose is backing her up. Even how Aoi and the second years treated her can be considered lukewarm.

Mikoto is taken aback, as she never knew about this before. She does understand though, because Kaen is full of elite people. It’s highly unlikely for a commoner like her to be accepted right away just because she’s the Senki candidate. The reason why she’s doing well in Kaen is because Momotose keeps supporting her. The class rep doesn’t believe in the rumors, but if it does turn out to be true, Mikoto will have a rough time dealing with Minamo of the Chisen Class. Since the Chisen Class is led by Iroha—the top figure in Kaen—all the excellent Minamo want to be a part of it. They even have a tournament only for the Chisen Class, where they compete with each other just to remain in the group. The Koukoku Class is peaceful since Minamo are not allowed to compete with each other, but it’s rather brutal in the Chisen Class. They won’t survive if they don’t defeat others. The class rep is glad that she’s in the Koukoku Class, because she’ll only get tattered in the Chisen Class. She then asks Mikoto not to keep this conversation a secret, but Mikoto feels that she has done something REALLY outrageous. Is it really okay for her to become Iroha’s partner…?

After that, Mikoto goes to Iroha’s room. She feels nervous to do Kabatsu with him, but she needs to do her best. She enters his room after knocking on the door, and she’s surprised to find him sleeping on the floor. Or rather, he’s lying face-down on the floor. She wonders if it doesn’t hurt him to sleep like that. He doesn’t move when she calls his name, but then he suddenly opens his eyes and gets up—in complete silence. She can see that he definitely doesn’t look happy, but they have to do Kabatsu starting from today… and so she tells him that she’s looking forward to work with him. Iroha doesn’t answer though, and Mikoto wonders if there’s something wrong since he’s not moving at all… until she realizes that he might be half-asleep. When Mikoto tries calling his name again, Iroha simply replies with one word: “Kabatsu.” She nods saying it’s time for Kabatsu, and he just walks out without saying anything.

Feeling confused, Mikoto wonders if she should follow Iroha outside… but suddenly Momotose comes and stops him. Momotose already told Iroha to be gentle, so she’s not pleased to see how he’s treating Mikoto. Since he remains silent, she sharply tells him to open his eyes. He replies that he’s awake though, and he’s trying to be gentle to Mikoto. Momotose can only grit her teeth in frustration before apologizing to Mikoto, who says she doesn’t mind at all. Iroha responds to this by saying it doesn’t seem like they have a problem, and noticing that Momotose is on the verge of snapping… Mikoto quickly assures her that she’s alright and invites her to go with them. Momotose only gives her a troubled smile, while Mikoto is worried about doing Kabatsu at this rate. As soon as they walk out of Iroha’s room, Mikoto runs into Mizuchi in the hallway. She wants to inform him that she has become partners with Iroha, but he walks away in silence before she can say anything. Mikoto is surprised, but she understands why Mizuchi ignores her. After all, she did a terrible thing by choosing someone else—not to mention it’s Iroha. She did it to restore their friendship, but there are still no signs of improvement. Mikoto sadly wonders if both Iroha and her can repair their relationships with Mizuchi, but she quickly snaps out of it and reminds herself to do Kabatsu.

From there, Mikoto goes to Goto-gai with Iroha and Momotose. She visited the place with Ai and the others before, but it has a completely different impression. Somehow the air feels stagnant, even though it looked like a normal business district before. Momotose explains that it’s because Mikoto’s abilities as a Minamo have improved. Goto-gai is a normal city for normal people, but for them it’s a den of impurities. Mikoto is a Minamo, and that’s why the city now looks different in her eyes. Before she knew it, she has become a part of Kaen. Momotose then asks about the location of Adabana given by Onosada, and Iroha replies that it’s at their current area. He believes it’s about time. Mikoto doesn’t get what he means by that, but soon a faint laughter answers her question—at the same time sending chills down her spine. It appears that her sweet scent has attracted a low-rank Adabana.

Mikoto is too shocked to move when the Adabana lunges to attack her, but Momotose quickly saves her by throwing something at the Adabana. Momotose notes that it has set a crude dark field around them. Was it planning to make the first hit? Iroha suggests giving it a counter-attack to end this faster, and before Mikoto can even grasp the situation, both of them take their stance and purges the Adabana in the blink of an eye. Mikoto is shocked to see the Adabana withering, but she’s even more confused about what just happened. She saw Iroha and Momotose entering a field barrier, and the next second the Adabana has been purged. Momotose then mentions that the battle took one full minute, which isn’t exactly efficient for Iroha. He has to make it shorter next time. He obediently nods, while Mikoto only watches them in silence. Realizing this, Momotose apologizes to Mikoto for purging the Adabana. The attack was so sudden, and they defeated it without thinking.

Mikoto awkwardly shakes her head and thanks Momotose for saving her, but then Iroha coldly says he’s appalled. She didn’t even take her stance when the Adabana appeared—did she want to die? This shocks Mikoto, and Momotose warns him that it’s her first time doing Kabatsu. He should pick his words carefully. However, Mikoto tells Momotose that it’s okay—admitting that she’s indeed inexperienced. She apologizes to Iroha and promises to be more proper next time, but after a short silence, he announces that Kabatsu is over for today. They’re going back to do their reports now. Iroha then walks away without saying anything, and Momotose feels bad thinking she’s done something unnecessary. Mikoto assures Momotose that it’s her own fault for being so incapable though, so much that she caused Iroha to feel unpleasant. Momotose asks her not to mind Iroha since he’s always brusque like that, but Mikoto knows that Iroha is right. There was an Adabana right in front of her, but she was too scared to do anything. She can’t support her partner like that. She fails as a Minamo, let alone as the Senki candidate. Momotose tries to cheer her up by asking her to get some sweets before going back, but Mikoto quietly refuses.

On the way back to Kaen, Mikoto thinks about how the Adabana withered. They look like humans, but they are not—they’re a sad, impure existence. However, they don’t have the time to think about that whenever a battle occurs. She needs to fight and protect her partner’s life. She feels pathetic after what happened, and she wants to take Kabatsu more seriously. What can she do to reach that…? Just then Mikoto’s phone starts ringing, and she picks it up to hear Shou’s voice on the other side. He asks how it’s going with Mizuchi, but when she thanks him for the concern, he notices that she sounds so meek. Mikoto falls silent before telling Shou that she has reached a wall before she could even reach Mizuchi… which means it’s not going well at all. Shou is at a loss for words for a while, but then he asks Mikoto not to feel so down. She’s having a hard time because she went to a showy place like Kaen, so she can always return anytime. He—though he fixes it to Ai and him—will always be waiting for her. Mikoto chuckles saying Shou is really kind, so much that she wants to go back and let him pamper her. He gets flustered upon hearing this, but he’d be glad to do that if she wants him to… though he quickly adds that Ai said the same thing. Unfortunately for Shou, Mikoto says she can’t spoil herself with his kindness—because this is her problem. She then thanks him saying she feels refreshed now, and she says good night since it’s already late. Then she cuts the call even though the poor guy is clearly confused. Mikoto, you… (´・ω・`;)

In any case, Mikoto doesn’t want to let Shou spoil her just because things aren’t going well. She needs to do her duties as a Minamo and the Senki candidate, including taking care of the issues with Mizuchi. After returning to Kaen, she rushes to see Onosada—who’s about to enjoy his alcohol after work. Knowing that something is troubling her, he decides to cancel his plan and takes her into the lecture hall. There she tells him everything, and he concludes that she felt intimidated by Iroha and Momotose during Kabatsu today. Mikoto admits that it showed the gap between their abilities, and Onosada agrees since Momotose is on a completely different level. Momotose is the number one Minamo in Kaen—a monster. Mikoto nods saying she knows, but at this rate she’ll only keep getting protected by those two… and she doesn’t want that. She wants to be strong, and she asks Onosada to tell her what to do.

Onosada is impressed that Mikoto can say such a thing since she used to be so naïve before, but he warns her that she needs a lot of determination in order to grow stronger. Mikoto replies that she’s well aware of that, and after confirming that she’s really sure… Onosada agrees to give her a special training menu. If she can take it, she’ll become as strong as Momotose. Maybe. He’s sure that she’ll improve though, and he asks her to follow him—which she firmly agrees to.

Meanwhile, Momotose is sighing in her room. She knows that her actions must have hurt Mikoto, and the thought of being hated by Mikoto is torturing her to no end. While Momotose is lamenting over this, Iroha remains silent. He just keeps… munching… on something. Eventually she snaps and asks if he’s listening to her, protesting at the munching noise he makes. He only replies that it’s apple chips. Is there a problem…? Momotose tells Iroha to stop eating that like a squirrel and listen properly, because it was his fault to begin with. Mikoto is insecure because Iroha doesn’t support her as a partner. He should treat her more kindly at times like this. He only answers that there’s no reason for him to be kind since her conducts are insufficient as a Minamo, which causes Momotose to protest that he’s really like a machine. Can’t he do anything other than his “input”? He needs to learn more about people’s hearts. Momotose scoffs at Iroha before storming out of the room, leaving him to ponder about being kind.

• Day 23 •

Mikoto is sleeping soundly in class today, and the class rep has to wake her up after school. Mikoto didn’t realize the time at all, but the class rep reveals that her snore was echoing through the room during class. The class rep feels ashamed that a Minamo of the Koukoku Class could do such a thing, and she’s about to give Mikoto a lecture regarding rules… but Mikoto quickly apologizes and dashes out of the classroom. She needs to see Onosada! Mikoto is panting when she reaches the lecture hall, but Onosada simply points out that she’s late for 3 minutes. As the punishment, she needs to do Hana Utsushi for 10 rounds in a row. She cringes at those words, but obediently accepts the punishment. It’s not the end though, because Onosada orders Mikoto to memorize 100 Kasen vocabularies directly after that. It’s followed by an hour of reflection simulation, as well as an endurance test against impurities for two hours. Before they move on to the next training, Mikoto asks if there are still more to come… and Onosada nods saying it’s only obvious. He shows her a paper containing her training menu, and she’s shocked to see how full the page is. Onosada says she needs to do that much if she wants to catch up to Momotose, and Mikoto nods saying she’ll do her best.

• Day 24 •

After training all night, Onosada asks Mikoto how it feels. She doesn’t answer though, and soon he notices that she has fallen asleep. He says it’s so carefree of her to sleep here in the lecture hall, but he also praises her for doing well. Just then Onosada hears a thud outside, and knowing who’s standing behind the door, he grins saying he ran out of energy gasoline. He’ll just leave Mikoto here and go out to enjoy himself. Then he whispers “I’ll leave the rest to you.” and walks out. For a moment only Mikoto’s snore is heard inside the lecture hall, but soon another voice says she’ll catch a cold if she sleeps here. Even in her sleep, Mikoto can feel someone carrying her out of the lecture hall… but the owner of the voice, Mizuchi, asks her to keep her eyes closed. He’s really surprised when she answers with “Yes, Mizuchi-san…”, but then he realizes that she said that in her sleep.

Mizuchi’s relief doesn’t last for long though, since he soon realizes how this position puts Mikoto’s chest against his back. Not to mention that she keeps mumbling in her sleep, and he can feel her breath on his ear. ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ He asks her to hold on as he carries her to the dorm as quickly as possible, sighing at how she pushed herself too hard… but he also adds that it’s an honor for the Koukoku Class to have a sincere Minamo like her. However, Mizuchi’s monologue is interrupted when a figure appears in his way—Iroha. Iroha sternly asks what he’s doing, and Mizuchi honestly answers that he’s carrying the Senki candidate… because she collapsed. After a long silence, Iroha asks if Mizuchi forgot what he said before. Iroha orders Mizuchi to put Mikoto down—he’ll carry her instead. Mizuchi obediently agrees and apologizes, but before he can put her down… Mikoto suddenly mumbles that she doesn’t want to. She begs Mizuchi not to leave. This surprises Mizuchi, while Iroha says that Mikoto is being honest in her sleep-talking. He’ll let it slide just for this once. Iroha then walks away, leaving Mizuchi in silence. On his back, Mikoto is mumbling that it’s warm. He turns red and says she’s unbelievable. He made a promise to Iroha, but he asks her to allow him to touch her—just for now. Because there won’t be a next time for them.

Later on, Mikoto wakes up in her room. She’s surprised to find herself sleeping in her uniform, because she was supposed to be training with Onosada in the lecture hall. Mizuchi also appeared in her dream, though she wonders if it’s just her imagination. It was a nice dream, and she remembers that Mizuchi was so kind… but she stops herself from thinking about it and rushes off to school.

For today’s Kabatsu, Onosada gives them four locations to check. Momotose points out that it’s a LOT more than before, but he only hints that it’s a chance for Mikoto to show her abilities. She nods and says she will do her best, assuring herself that it’ll be fine. She can do it. She took that much training. All she needs to do is to believe in herself. Momotose smiles upon hearing this, but Iroha remains silent. Outside, they run into Mizuchi again. He quietly averts his gaze though, and with Iroha watching him in complete silence, he walks away without saying anything. Noticing the sad expression on Mikoto’s face, Momotose gently urges her to proceed with their task.

By the time they reach Goto-gai, the impurities are already floating in the air. Momotose wonders if there’s an Adabana nearby and asks Mikoto not to push herself too hard, but suddenly Mikoto turns around with a wary look. When Momotose asks her what’s wrong, she points out that there’s an Adabana behind them. Momotose is surprised, while Iroha confirms that it’s true. In fact, he can sense multiple presence. It will be a chain of consecutive battles. Mikoto nods and asks Iroha to do Hana Awase with her. Iroha’s eyes widen in shock, but soon an Adabana appears nearby. Once again Mikoto asks him to take her as his partner, and he eventually agrees. Iroha then sets up a field barrier around them, and he takes Mikoto into two rounds of Hana Awase.

Mikoto is panting when they finish the battles, and Momotose catches her before she collapses. When she asks how she did, Momotose smiles saying she did a splendid job. Mikoto is relieved to hear that, and she apologizes for making Momotose worry. In return, Momotose also apologizes to Mikoto for doing such an unnecessary thing. While the girls are smiling at each other, Iroha walks away in silence. Mikoto asks him to wait and thanks him for letting her do Hana Awase for today. She admits that she’s still inexperienced, but is it okay for her to be his Minamo? Iroha simply answers that he has no rights to refuse. Before Mikoto can ask that’s a “yes”, he interrupts and asks if she’s going to sit on the ground forever. Adabana might come to attack them here—she’s being too careless. Mikoto quickly apologizes and gets back on her feet, and Iroha remains silent for a while… then he suddenly hands her some apple chips. He tells her to eat it since sweets are good when you’re exhausted. As Mikoto thanks Iroha, Momotose notices the chips as the ones he was eating before. The bag is no longer sealed, so it’s probably half-eaten. Momotose sighs and wonders if he’s trying to be kind by doing this, but Mikoto can tell that Iroha is probably concerned about her. It makes her happy, because it feels like he has acknowledged her for a bit. She’s got a long way to go though, and she’ll do her best as his Minamo.

That night, Momotose sleeps over in Mikoto’s room. Mikoto asks if she’s really okay with this, because she only has one bed… and she thinks it’d be hard for Momotose to sleep here. Momotose doesn’t mind at all though. In fact, she’s happy since narrow bed means she can stick closer to Mikoto. After asking Mikoto to come closer, Momotose admits she was afraid that Mikoto hates her. Mikoto replies that it’s not true, since she only felt indebted. Momotose has a wonderful power as a Minamo, and she was envious. She wanted to be like Momotose. She wanted to be acknowledged as a Minamo, not only relying on her position as the Senki candidate. Momotose smiles saying Mikoto is praising her too much, but she loves that sweet side of Mikoto. Then suddenly, Momotose leans in to kiss Mikoto—on the lips. Of course Mikoto is surprised, and Momotose laughs saying the Senki would awaken here if only she was a man… which reminds Mikoto that the Senki candidate needs physical contact with her partner.

Mikoto then tells Momotose that she’s been wanting to thank her. Without Momotose, Mikoto’s life in Kaen wouldn’t be as smooth. She admits that might cause more trouble from now on, but she asks Momotose to take care of her. Momotose happily nods before asking Mikoto to do the same, and they both laugh at how embarrassing this is. Here, Momotose reveals that she has a secret. Yesterday at dawn, Mizuchi came to the girl’s dorm. When Mikoto asks what happened, Momotose falls silent for a while… and then she reveals that he carried Mikoto all the way to her room. Mizuchi never broke the rules by entering the girls’ dorm before. It’d cause a commotion if other people found out, so he secretly asked Momotose for help. Momotose also reveals that Mizuchi has been worried about Mikoto. He keeps wondering if she’s eating and sleeping well.

Mizuchi asked Momotose to keep it a secret no matter what, but Momotose is spilling the beans since she’s so happy to share the same bed with Mikoto. Mizuchi is rather stiff and clumsy, but he’s a truly kind person. Mikoto nods in agreement. She knows that Mizuchi is that kind of person. He may seem cold, but he always cares for her so casually. Momotose says it’d be nice for their relationship can return to how it was before, and Mikoto nods saying she’ll do her best for that too. Before going to sleep, Mikoto thanks Mizuchi in her heart. They’re not partners right now, but after everything is over… she wants to return to his side. For that, she’ll do her best to improve at Kabatsu and as a Minamo—so she won’t put him to shame.

• Day 25 •

The day opens with Onosada thanking Iroha for his hard work. By now Iroha should know that Mikoto has improved, so he should be grateful to Onosada for training her. Iroha flatly says that’s normal though, and Onosada sighs saying he’s not cute at all. That’s why Mikoto is attached to Mizuchi instead. Iroha asks what he’s talking about, but Onosada knows he actually understands. Onosada also points out that he was “one step too late”. Iroha says he doesn’t get the meaning, but Onosada only answers that he was truly forsaken by the moon. Once again, Iroha replies that this has gone beyond his understanding and excuses himself… while Onosada grins saying he’s so young and inexperienced.

After that, Iroha calls Mikoto to see him in the courtyard. She finds it unusual, but this is a good timing since she has something for him. When Mikoto arrives and asks if he needs something from her, Iroha asks if the apple chips were good. She nods saying they were delicious; sweet, sour and crunchy. He says that’s good and starts to walk away, but she asks him to wait and hands a bag of handmade apple chips to him. Mikoto explains that she feels bad for taking Iroha’s apple chips, so she tried making some for him. It was her first time making apple chips, so they don’t look that good… but she assures him that they taste similar. She also put cinnamon on some of them. Iroha asks if it’s for him, and she nods as it seems like he loves sweets. He answers that everything tastes the same in his mouth. It’s just sweets are “efficient”. ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ He decides to stop explaining further though, and she happily thanks him when he accepts her apple chips.

Iroha silently stares at Mikoto for a while. He opens his mouth to ask something, but gets interrupted when Hime comes to greet her—along with Mizuchi. It appears that Mikoto made a lot of apple chips, and Iroha watches in silence as she asks them to have some. Hime is clearly happy since the chips are handmade, not to mention they smell nice as well. He urges Mizuchi to have some too, but noticing that Iroha is watching… Mizuchi refuses and walks away. Hime apologizes and explains that Mizuchi doesn’t like sweets, but Mikoto smiles saying she knows. Hime notes that she seems happy, and she only replies with a soft chuckle… while Iroha remains silent. Hime then asks if he can have Mizuchi’s share of apple chips, and Mikoto gladly hands them to him before turning back to Iroha. She wants to ask why he called her, but he’s already gone.

Later on, Mikoto delivers her assignment report to Onosada. He’s impressed by her work, and she admits that she can sort out her thoughts whenever she writes reports. She can also think of battle strategies with a clear and composed mind. Somehow she feels that she’s starting to understand how to do Hana Awase. Onosada grins and points out that Mikoto is an enthusiastic person. Even during her training, she focused on one task at a time. She admits that she tends to get too absorbed though, and her friends used to scold her for not paying attention to her surroundings—just as he expected. Onosada points out that Mikoto is obstinate and lacks flexibility. She’s as stubborn as a mule. Mikoto can’t deny it since it’s really true, and she tells Onosada that she wants to be more flexible… so he decides to help her loosen up by touching her. Or rather, harassing her. This causes Mikoto to give Onosada a punch to the chin, screams that he’s a pervert and leaves the lecture hall in anger.

Outside, Mikoto runs into Awahana. He asks why she’s pouting, and she mistakes him as Kintokihana… but he says it’s alright since it’s more unusual if people can tell them apart anyway. Awahana can sense a sweet scent coming from Mikoto, and he grins saying this should be good enough. Of course she’s confused, but he doesn’t explain and only asks her to follow him—he needs her help. Then he grabs her hand and drags her through the hallway, which makes her feel like a mother who’s getting dragged by her son. He can read her mind though, and he tells her not to call a man in his sixties as a kid. Mikoto is surprised and wonders if she said it out loud, but Awahana says it’s written all over her face. It’s so easy for him to read a young girl’s thoughts. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

From there, Awahana takes Mikoto to the greenhouse. They are greeted by a student wearing an explorer’s cap, holding with a bug net on his hand. When Awahana asks where “he” is right now, the student reports that “he” has flown deeper into the greenhouse. The next second, a bunch of enthusiastic students appear to swarm Awahana—flooding him with questions and requests regarding butterflies. However, he asks the students to save it for later. Right now they have to prioritize the Cypris. Since Mikoto is obviously confused, Awahana explains that he’s talking about a male Morpho Cypris. He points to a blue butterfly flying around them, and she’s taken aback by its beauty. The butterfly is sparkling in the air. Awahana says it’s also known as the “flying gem”, and he just released it into the greenhouse earlier.

The student from earlier soon asks Awahana about Mikoto, and he’s wondering if she’s going to join their “Velvet”… but Awahana says Mikoto is different. She’s the Senki candidate from the ceremony. This leads to the student asking about which category should they classify her into, and Awahana points out that Mikoto is clearly a human. He sighs saying they’re not interested in anything other than butterflies, while she thinks about how odd this situation is. She feels that the student is ready to catch her with his net. Awahana then explains that these weird students are members of “Velvet”— Kaen’s butterfly association. He’s their highest advisor. Mikoto is surprised to hear that Kaen has a butterfly association, but he explains that Velvet is filled with a bunch of weirdos. There’s no need for her to become acquaintances with them LOL.

More importantly, Awahana has a request for Mikoto. He wants her to capture the Cypris. He wants to put it in a cage, but the members of Velvet tried catching it with their nets. Awahana is afraid that it might damage the Cypris’ wings. He wants to capture the Cypris without harming it, so now he wants Mikoto to lure it with her “tempting water”. Kintokihana told him that she’s releasing strong “tempting water”, and he can indeed sense an erotic scent from her. Now, do you remember what happened on day 20? The one who informed Mikoto about her “tempting water” was a rather shady Awahana, but this further proves that it was actually Kintokihana in disguise. ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ The members of Velvet can’t sense Mikoto’s “tempting water” at all, but Awahana says that’s because they don’t see her as a female. Her “tempting water” is a unique pheromone, so it’s impossible for butterfly freaks like them to feel it. Mikoto doesn’t know what to do, but Awahana tells her to just stand there. Eventually the Cypris should come to approach her.

Mikoto obediently stands in her place, while Awahana and the members of Velvet take some distance from her. They all observe in silence for a while, but the Cypris won’t approach her. The members of Velvet start protesting, and despite Awahana’s attempt to tell them to be patient, they conclude that Mikoto isn’t sweet enough. They prepared a bucket of sugar water just in case, and so they suggest coating her body with it to make her sweeter. Mikoto is shocked and flees, but the members of Velvet chase her around while carrying the bucket. The chase ends with them accidentally flipping over the bucket towards Mikoto, and now she’s drenched from head to toe—completely coated with cold, sticky sugar water. At the same time, the sight of a wet girl also makes them feel rather… uh… excited. She tries to resist, but they start swarming her instead. Mikoto screams for a sensible person to come and help her, and the next moment, Iroha appears and tells them to stop. He has a scary expression as he orders them to take their hands off her, which they instantly obey out of fear.

Iroha then turns to Awahana, warning the chairman to treat the Senki candidate more carefully. Awahana says he knows that, and he grumbles that he got scolded by Iroha thanks to the members of Velvet. Mikoto watches as they apologize to him. It feels like their positions have been reversed. However, she then hears a strange sound. As she wonders where it’s coming from, a student points out that there’s a black shadow coming out of the sparkling Cypris—there’s utsurohi on the butterfly. Iroha asks where Awahana bought it from, and Awahana says it’s from a butterfly trader in Goto-gai who talks in broken Japanese. Iroha says it’s just too suspicious. He asks why Awahana bought a butterfly from someone like that, but Awahana replies that a collector has to be adventurous from time to time. When Mikoto points out that the Cypris is growing large and larger, Iroha informs her that they’re going to do Hana Awase. She firmly nods, and he sets up a field barrier before taking her into battle to defeat the Cypris.

Once the battle ends, the butterfly explodes and vanishes. Mikoto is panting harshly, but she’s glad they’ve won. Different from Adabana—who are like human—it was difficult to fight the butterfly. She couldn’t read their thoughts at all. The members of Velvet weep over the death of their beautiful butterfly, and they leave to give it a funeral so it can rest in peace. They also carry Awahana along, with him protesting at them not to touch his butt. (((壊゚∀゚)))ァヒャヒャヒャヒャヒャヒャ Mikoto is left alone with Iroha, who comments that he can’t seem to understand… and she shares that feeling. In any case, the greenhouse has been tainted. Iroha says he’ll get Mizuchi to purify the place later. When Mikoto gives him a questioning look, he says the chairmen asked Mizuchi to take care of the greenhouse. He also purified it after the previous utsurohi incident—that’s why he released water in the greenhouse before.

Since they’re talking about Mizuchi, Mikoto uses this chance to ask Iroha a question. He said he’s going to ask Mizuchi to purify the greenhouse, so does that mean they have fixed their relationship? Iroha reminds Mikoto that he said he’ll treat Mizuchi like he always does. Mikoto points out that she doesn’t see the two of them together as often anymore, but Iroha only asks if it has anything to do with her. Noticing that he has a cold expression, she falls silent and wonders if she was being too persistent. In the end she apologizes to him, though he doesn’t reply. Things aren’t going that well, but it seems like they do talk to each other… so it might be weird if she keeps on meddling with their problem.

That aside, Mikoto is troubled at how sticky her uniform is. The members of Velvet completely coated her with their sugar water, but she only has one uniform. What should she do? Soon she notices that Iroha is staring at her in total silence, so she asks him if there’s something wrong. He responds to this by telling her to strip. Mikoto can’t believe her ears, but when she asks about what he just said, Iroha replies with: “I told you to take off your clothes. I will do the same.” Before Mikoto can even digest those words, Iroha goes on to strip right in front of her eyes… which obviously makes her scream. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ He flatly states that the butterfly’s tainted scales are sticking to their clothes after the battle, and she nods in panic even though she doesn’t get why he’d strip in a place like this. When Iroha proceeds to take off his pants, Mikoto screams in embarrassment once again. He asks why she’s screaming, but she only begs him to wear his pants. Instead of answering, he tells her to strip quickly LOL.

Mikoto quickly says it’s impossible. She’ll return to the dorm and strip there instead, but Iroha only tells her not to spread impurities all over Kaen. Mikoto admits that it’s true, but she has no choice since she doesn’t have clothes to change into. Besides, it’d cause a commotion if Iroha walks around in Kaen naked like that. Mikoto then asks Iroha to get dressed before someone sees him, and she helps him wear his clothes while keeping her eyes closed. He quietly obeys though, and she sighs when he’s fully clothed again. It’d cause a huge commotion if the top figure in Kaen roams around naked, but he doesn’t seem to care. She asks him to lift his arms as she buttons his sleeves, but she gets nervous when he draws closer—too close, even. He doesn’t move around though, which makes her think that he’s surprisingly submissive.

Mikoto is wondering why she ends up helping Iroha get dressed when he suddenly says that he can sense a sweet scent. She realizes that he might be talking about her “tempting water”, but then he leans in to sniff around—trying to find the source. Mikoto panics since Iroha’s face is really close to hers, and she asks him to move away for a bit since it’s hard for her to fix his clothes. However, he stares at her instead. This makes her realize that he’s incredibly beautiful from up close—so much that she feels dizzy just by looking at him. It reminds her that when they first met, she was surprised that such a beautiful person exists in this world. Iroha remains silent, but Mikoto feels nervous to have him staring at her. She tells herself to fix his clothes, and she’s about to ask him to move away again… but then their eyes met, and she can see something there. It’s faint, but there’s a pair of moon in his eyes.

Iroha moves away for a bit before telling Mikoto that it’s full moon. She asks if it’s the same full moon as the one in her textbook, and he explains that it appears when the owner is doing Hana Awase. Normally it can only be seen by a small number of Kaei and Minamo. She doesn’t know why she can see it either, but he states that it can be seen by those who also have full moon. Mikoto is surprised since she doesn’t have any, but Iroha doesn’t say anything and leaves in silence. She’s still amazed though, thinking it’s so impressive how he has moon in his eyes.

• Day 26 •

In the morning, Mikoto’s uniform has been washed clean. She’s glad the sugar water didn’t leave a stain on it, but she’s still surprised by how enthusiastic the members of Velvet are. She never knew there are people like them in Kaen. Soon she hears a knock on the door, and Momotose comes in with a new set of uniform for Mikoto— a token of apology from Awahana. Momotose is obviously not pleased about the sugar water incident, but Mikoto reassures her that she’s alright. She was just surprised, and the sugar water has been washed off too. Mikoto doesn’t know what to do about the uniform though. She can still wear her old one, but Momotose asks her to accept it. After all, it’s meant to be an apology. Awahana also asked Momotose to deliver a letter for Mikoto, which turns out to be an invitation for a moon-viewing party. Momotose explains that the chairmen love moon-viewing and hold a party every month. It’s a social event, though participation is limited to those who are chosen.

Mikoto can’t believe that she gets invited, but Momotose thinks it’s only obvious since the chairmen like her a lot. Momotose is going to participate too, and Mikoto agrees to attend the party together. Momotose also asks Mikoto to do Kabatsu only with Iroha starting from today. When Mikoto asks if she’s not coming along, Momotose gives her a sad smile and says she’s nosy. She might interfere with their Kabatsu again. Kabatsu is a trial for Mikoto, so Momotose decides to watch over her from afar—it’s a form of love. She believes that Mikoto will be alright even without her, and she’s been strictly lecturing Iroha as well… so there’s nothing to worry about. Or at least that’s what she wished for, because she knows it’s impossible. Momotose sighs as she wonders why Iroha doesn’t have any interest in people. He’s really detached and doesn’t seem to have any compassion. He’s not even interested in himself. He might be perfect when it comes to Kasen, but aside from that… he’s completely indifferent, messy, neglectful and crude.

Momotose thinks it’d be nice if she can do an emotional maintenance on Iroha, but even if she buys “new parts” for him, he’d just destroy them into pieces. Mikoto is taken aback since she’s really treating him like a machine, but Momotose admits that she’s worried about Iroha’s attitude. If Iroha is being rude, Momotose wants Mikoto to just scold him regardless. Mikoto nods, but she wonders if Iroha is really not interested in people. It’s true that he’s cold, but she never takes it that way. When she got into the accident, he stayed by her side until she opened her eyes. For Mikoto, Iroha is her savior… and she finds him mysterious.

After school, Mikoto visits Iroha in his room. She thinks he might be worried since Momotose won’t be with them, but she promises to do her best. However, Iroha remains silent. Mikoto tries calling his name, but he doesn’t reply. His eyes are open, but he doesn’t move at all. Could it be that he’s actually… asleep? She then asks him to wake up, to which he finally answers that he’s awake. Iroha asks Mikoto to get some water, and she looks around to search for water in his room—which is just as filthy as usual. Eventually she finds some water among all the junk in his room, but when she turns to talk to him… he’s already gone. She panics and runs out to chase after him, eventually catching up with him in Goto-gai. She never thought that he’d leave her behind. Mikoto then hands the cup of water to Iroha, but he flatly states that Adabana’s presence have been confirmed. It’s time for Hana Awase. She’s still surprised, but then she nods in agreement. He sets up a field barrier around them before taking her into three rounds of Hana Awase.

Once the battles end, Mikoto thanks Iroha for the hard work. Her stamina is completely drained, since they did consecutive Hana Awase battles after she ran all the way to Goto-gai. Iroha announces that it’s the end of today’s Kabatsu, and she nods saying they should report to Onosada next… but once again, he walks off and leaves her behind. Mikoto quickly chases after Iroha, and she’s running out of breath by the time they finish their report. She tried to chase after him, but she couldn’t catch up at all. Mikoto then hands the cup of water from earlier to Iroha, but he only replies by dismissing the group and leaves—not even looking at her. In the end she drinks the water herself, encouraging herself to do her best without wavering.

• Day 27 •

In the hallway, Mikoto notices a crowd surrounding a something on the wall. Some of them are delighted to see their ranks improving, while some others are crying since they got kicked out of the ranks. A Minamo tries to comfort her friend and asks her to work harder next time, but her friend snaps at her… which leads to a fight between the two. Mikoto is surprised to see this, and Kurenai soon comes saying this has become a commotion again. Noticing her wary expression, he assures her that he won’t do anything. Since she has become partners with Iroha, he just concluded that she has a bad taste in men. Mikoto opens her mouth to argue, but Kurenai interrupts and points at the commotion—explaining that those are the girls from the Chisen Class. They’re making a stupid ruckus over a tournament, as it decides whether or not they can stay in the group.

Mikoto remembers that the class rep told her about this before, but Kurenai scoffs saying it’s so stupid. No matter how much they compete with each other, Iroha would never glance at them unless they actually talk to him. Kurenai knows that Iroha isn’t interested in any of them. The only person he listens to is that “damn cheeky” Momotose, and he’s just a “crappy doll” under her control. Mikoto warns Kurenai that he went too far, but he only grins—telling her to ask Iroha if he’s interested in her. Who knows, Iroha might give her an interesting answer. Kurenai walks away with a smirk, but of course Mikoto can never ask something like that to Iroha. Mikoto thinks Kurenai is just as mean as always, but today she also learns that Minamo who fail in the tournament can’t stay in the Chisen Class. It must be really tough for them, and she also finds it scary to imagine herself in the Chisen Class.

However, the girls then start whispering about Mikoto. They all know her as the Senki candidate who kicked Momotose down, and it’s pretty obvious that they resent her. One of them scoffs saying it doesn’t seem like Mikoto is that great. She was chosen by the demon card, but they don’t believe in her abilities as a Minamo. They can’t forgive how she’s trying to replace Momotose as Iroha’s Minamo, and they’re going to put her in her place. Of course they don’t say this directly to Mikoto’s face, but she can feel their intense glare—which feels more like hatred. For a moment Mikoto panics and wonders what to do, but soon Momotose appears and tells the girls to be quiet. Momotose says she heard them mentioning her name earlier, and all the girls quickly deny this in fright. She adds that recently there are rumors about how the Senki candidate became Iroha’s Minamo, and she demands to know who’s spreading that lie. The girls nervously say that’s absurd since Iroha’s Minamo is Momotose alone, and Momotose nods saying it’s only obvious. Spreading such a lie would only trouble the Senki candidate. Momotose warns the girls that the Senki candidate is a Minamo of the Koukoku Class—guided by the demon card. Outsiders from the Chisen Class are NOT allowed to do anything to her. After making sure the girls understand this, Momotose smiles and leaves with Mikoto.

Once they’re far enough from the girls, Momotose apologizes to Mikoto. If she didn’t give them a warning, she’s afraid the girls might do something to harm Mikoto. She’s truly troubled at how hot-blooded they are. Mikoto feels grateful for the help though. When she says that Momotose was really cool, Momotose laughs saying it’s embarrassing. Mikoto is amazed, but it also makes her realize that Momotose is truly the number one Minamo in Kaen. She wonders if Momotose always acts that way towards other people, and she finds it strange since Momotose is always so friendly to her. Is it because she’s the Senki candidate…? Momotose then invites Mikoto to have lunch, as she really enjoys her meals when they eat together. Mikoto smiles and accepts, though she still thinks of this as a mystery.

After school, Mikoto is searching for Iroha. Someone told her that he was in the greenhouse, but he might leave her behind if she’s not careful—like yesterday. Sometimes Mikoto isn’t sure if Iroha recognizes her or not, and it doesn’t help that he rarely looks at her in the eye. Upon entering the greenhouse, she notes that the place is rather quiet today. It’s so different compared to the day of the Cypris incident—maybe because people rarely come here. The greenhouse has an aura that makes it hard to believe that it’s located inside a school. Mikoto notices that the plants are sparkling with water, and soon she sees Mizuchi standing among the plants. She wonders if he’s purifying the greenhouse, but she only watches him in silence until he starts walking away. Mikoto quickly calls out to Mizuchi and asks if they can talk. He doesn’t answer, but he agrees when she promises that she won’t take much of his time.

Mikoto starts by saying there’s something she wants Mizuchi to know. She thinks he already knows, but she has become partners with Iroha. They’re doing Kabatsu together. However, she wants to continue being a Minamo of the Koukoku Class. Once everything is over, she wants to become his partner again. She knows it might be a shameless wish, but she wants to stay in the Koukoku Class. Before Mikoto can go on, Mizuchi cuts her off and says Iroha is much better than him. If Mikoto wants to learn and improve her abilities as a Minamo, Mizuchi thinks she should move to the Chisen Class. It’s a harsh place, but her power will improve even more. This really surprises her, especially since she just saw how brutal the competition is. She shakes her head saying she wants to stay in the Koukoku Class and return to become his partner, but much to her shock… he refuses. Mizuchi makes it clear that he has no intentions of accepting Mikoto, leaving her with no option but to apologize and leave. At the same time, this also causes her to think that he’s angry at her. He’s always been strict, but he never pushed her away like that. She thinks it’s because she kept quiet and didn’t tell him anything about changing partners. What should she do…? Maybe she’s done a terrible thing.

After purifying the greenhouse, Mizuchi reports to Iroha in the hallway. He explains that he came in contact with the Senki candidate, but there were no problems. However, Iroha coldly says he’ll be troubled if there was. Once again, he warns Mizuchi NOT to get involved with the Senki candidate. Mizuchi falls silent before apologizing to Iroha, promising that he won’t interact with the Senki candidate anymore. He will protect the rule they have exchanged. Iroha only says that’s good before leaving, and soon Mizuchi also walks away in silence—unaware that Hime is listening in to their conversation.

From there, Mikoto follows Iroha to Goto-gai and safely finishes today’s Kabatsu. She can support him with a calm mind now, but she knows she still has a long way to go. When Mikoto turns to thank Iroha for today, she notices that he’s already gone. She tries calling out to him, but since there’s no reply, she wonders if he went home ahead of her. Mikoto sighs and is about to walk back to Kaen, but then she hears a large crowd screaming nearby. Or rather, screaming over Iroha. They find it different to see him in person instead of in the magazines, and they squeal over his everything—height, force, sensuality. They feel lucky to see Iroha’s photoshoot session, so much that it’s driving them insane. Meanwhile, Mikoto is surprised and wonders if they’re talking about THAT Iroha. When she takes a closer look, she finds him standing in the middle of the crowd—with cameramen taking pictures of him.

Mikoto tries to ask what Iroha is doing, but the producer tells her not to talk to him directly. She needs to go through the producer first, since apparently Iroha is a popular “super beautiful high school model”. In fact, the producer can’t believe that Mikoto doesn’t know about this. He hands her a magazine, and she’s surprised to find Iroha’s pictures on the front cover. He’s even featured in a special edition. The producer explains that Iroha’s origins are completely shrouded in mystery. The only thing known about Iroha is that he’s a super model who appeared in Goto-gai, grabbing the hearts of the ladies who admire him. Since the producer can only see him in Goto-gai, they always have guerrilla photoshoot sessions—they take pictures whenever they find him. When Mikoto stares at him in disbelief, Iroha only says it’s because they said they want to take pictures… which means he probably doesn’t know what he’s getting into. She’s really amazed that he’s working as a model, but she can understand since he attracts people’s attention.

The producer then asks Iroha to change his position. He doesn’t know when they can meet again, so he’s going to take a lot of pictures today. Mikoto thinks she shouldn’t disturb them any longer, so she tells Iroha that she’s going back first. She will return to Kaen and do the report, he can continue with his photoshoot. Iroha doesn’t reply, but soon the girls start screaming in jealousy. They’re definitely not happy that Mikoto is talking to him, and they’re yelling at her to go away. Mikoto averts her gaze and excuses herself, but then she feels something dropping onto her head… and Iroha notes that it’s raining. The next thing they know is that rain starts pouring down—sending the crowd around them to scatter. Mikoto wonders if it’s a passing rain, but it seems to be too strong for that. Then suddenly, Iroha states that there’s something nearby. She turns to ask what he’s referring to, but a woman’s laughter answers her question. It seems like Arabuki has found the Senki candidate.

Arabuki can’t believe the treasured princess of Kaen is allowed to play in a place like this. Have the “nerdy” chairmen lost their minds? She received a tip that they can catch the Senki candidate by keeping an eye on Iroha of the Five Brights, and it turns out to be true. Behind her, Suzumushi reports that he has set up the dark field. Arabuki thanks Suzumushi for his hard work, promising to give him a reward later. Since Mikoto looks confused, Iroha explains that they’re a Minamo and an Adabana serving Goto—which surprises her. Normally if a Minamo loses her qualifications, her power would disappear as well… but they can get it back by swearing their loyalty to Goto. It’s an evil path taken by fallen Minamo, and yet it also grants them strong power. Arabuki grins saying their encounter here was the end of Mikoto’s luck. She’s going to taint Mikoto’s life. Right after saying that, Arabuki summons a black rain to fall upon them. Mikoto screams in panic, while Iroha states that she’s planning to wear them down by using impurities—they should defeat her as quickly as possible. Knowing it’s time for Hana Awase, Mikoto nods. She’s still concerned about fallen Minamo, but it’s not the time to think about that. Iroha sets up a field barrier before taking her into Hana Awase, and the battle ends with their victory. Suzumushi screams and collapses immediately after, and Arabuki has to drag him along as she makes her escape—warning them to remember this.

After they’re gone, Iroha concludes that Arabuki and Suzumushi might know about the previous utsurohi incident… because they know about Mikoto and him. He then suggests returning to Kaen and report this to Onosada, but soon he notices that something is wrong with her. When he asks her what’s wrong, she only apologizes saying her body is shivering. Maybe it’s because of the black rain from earlier, but her body feels heavy—she feels sick. Iroha asks if she’s drying up, but Mikoto says it doesn’t reach that extent. It might be because of the impurities, so she’ll be fine if they return to Kaen and wash it away. Upon hearing the word “wash”, Iroha falls silent and starts looking at the buildings around them. Then suddenly, he tells Mikoto to come with him and brings her into… a hotel. Σ(゚ー゚;)

As soon as they enter their room, Iroha orders Mikoto to get into the bathroom and strip—they’re going to wash off the impurities on her body. Mikoto is surprised and quickly refuses, but since Iroha is giving her a scary expression… she has no choice but to obey. She wants to shower alone though, and so she asks him to wait outside. However, his answer is: “I don’t understand why I have to go out.” Mikoto replies that she’s embarrassed, but Iroha seems confused to hear this. Being seen by him shouldn’t be a problem, though it clearly is if she’s seen by other people. This leaves her even more confused. What does he mean by that…? Mikoto doesn’t have time to think though, because Iroha tells her to strip again—saying she’ll get tainted at this rate. She nods and asks him to leave first, but he replies that she needs all the help she can get to wash off the impurities. She needs to have more self-awareness as the Senki candidate.

In her mind, Mikoto begs Iroha not to be so unreasonable. She thinks he wouldn’t feel anything even if she takes off her clothes, as he’s only concerned about the Senki candidate—not her. Iroha tells Mikoto to do it quickly, and she panics when he grabs her clothes. Mikoto screams and resists when Iroha tries to remove her clothes, which eventually causes her uniform to get ripped. Iroha only stares at Mikoto in silence, but it only lasts until she starts crying—thinking that he’s gone too far. He looks surprised and asks why she cries, to which she replies by asking if he doesn’t feel anything… even though she’s clearly embarrassed and feels unpleasant. Iroha says he doesn’t know why he has to feel something, but Mikoto interrupts and shouts at him to understand. When he gives her a questioning look, she asks if he only sees her as a Senki candidate.

Iroha remains silent for a while before asking: “Is it necessary to see you as anything other than the Senki candidate?” Mikoto is shocked, but he continues by saying that the Senki candidate doesn’t need tears. He already warned her to control her emotions before. Mikoto can’t say anything in return, and Iroha gives his uniform to her. She can wear it and go back to Kaen after washing off the impurities. Then he leaves before she can stop him. Left alone in the bathroom, Mikoto wonders if she’s been wrong. Does this mean Iroha is really like a machine? Just as Momotose said? But even so, she…

That night, Mikoto sees Half Moon in her dream. It’s been a while, and she mentions that she hasn’t seen him recently… but he only nods quietly. When she asks him what’s wrong, he replies by apologizing to her. She’s confused and asks why he apologizes, but he doesn’t answer her question. He only says he feels bad for her, but there’s nothing he can do. Half Moon then asks if Mikoto only has 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. What was he talking about? What does he mean by two moons?

• Day 28 •

Onosada calls Mikoto and Iroha to the lecture hall today. He already figured out the identity of the Minamo who attacked her yesterday. Her name is Arabuki, and she’s a “grass” serving a member of Suuto—Coin. By “grass”, Onosada is referring to the minions. Even though they have sworn their loyalty to Goto, their boss, they are nothing but weed for Suuto. Iroha asks if that means Coin is the one targeting the Senki candidate, and Onosada nods. So far the only thing they know about Coin is his name… but among all the information he got, there was one issue Onosada is concerned about. It seems like Coin can control people’s minds by using a bizarre technique, changing them into a completely different person. Mikoto notices what Onosada is trying to say, and Iroha puts it into words for her: “It’s Mizuchi.”

Mikoto is surprised to hear this, but Iroha flatly points out that Mizuchi was controlled by Coin and tried to harm her in the library. She instantly falls silent because it all makes sense, and it explains why Mizuchi was completely different back then. Does that mean the one who attacked her was Coin!? Iroha then continues by saying everything is connected, and he concludes that the culprit behind the chain of utsurohi incidents is none other than Mizuchi. Since Mikoto doesn’t get this yet, he explains that according to the student who got possessed in the first incident, Aoi took suspicious actions in the greenhouse after the ceremony. Right after that, Aoi also got possessed by utsurohi and dropped out of school. The timing is too perfect, as if the culprit was getting rid of the nuisance.

Next is the Adabana corpse incident at the park. The only ones who can make an Adabana wither are Kaei, and yet no report was submitted to the country. This can only mean one thing. The one who did it must be a Kaei who has no obligations to report to the country. Namely, one of the Five Brights. The Five Brights are students, so they follow the laws of Kaen instead of the country. After doing Kabatsu, they are supposed to report to Onosada—who’s in charge of the activity. Those who are chosen as the Five Brights would never forget to do this, and Iroha states that Mizuchi took advantage of that common sense. Mikoto can’t seem to believe this, but that’s not everything yet. Directly after the incident, someone saw Mizuchi walking with Aoi in Goto-gai. Onosada also heard the same thing from Kurenai. At first he was half in doubt, but everything is falling into place. Iroha then points out that Aoi is Mizuchi’s relative, so he can always contact her even if she has dropped out of school. She can also fill in the role of his Minamo when they attack Adabana.

The last one is the library incident. Mizuchi was controlled by Coin and tried to rob Mikoto’s qualifications. It would be be easy to harm the Senki candidate by using the closest person to her, so Iroha arrives at the conclusion that Coin and Mizuchi are partners in crime. Mikoto doesn’t want to believe it, but she can only whisper that it’s all a lie. Onosada then asks if Iroha has been taking a distance away from Mizuchi because of this, but he doesn’t give an answer. In any case, Onosada thinks it’s really bad if everything turns out to be true. He can’t believe that one of the Five Brights would be connected to Goto and his minions, but then Iroha says it doesn’t matter. What they need to do is to secure Mizuchi immediately and grant him a severe punishment—he shall be purged.

Mikoto can’t believe her ears and asks what this means, but Iroha confirms that they will obliterate Mizuchi from this world. This really shocks her, and she asks him to change his mind because it’s just too cruel… but he refuses. Just like he always said, he wants her to have more awareness as the Senki candidate. Onosada says purging a Bright requires permission from the chairmen though, and so Iroha decides to put physical restraints on Mizuchi for now. He also asks Onosada to surround the area around Kaen, so Mizuchi won’t be able to escape. Onosada agrees to leave everything to him, and Iroha excuses himself—leaving Mikoto to panic. Onosada thinks Iroha is so devoted to investigate everything up to this point, and he believes that Iroha did it for Mikoto. He must be irritated when she got attacked, and so he tracked down the culprit just for her. However, she denies this saying he only did it for the Senki candidate. It’s not for her. Her existence only means that much to him. Onosada is surprised by this sudden outburst, but Mikoto falls silent thinking she finally knows why Iroha pulled her away from Mizuchi by force. By making her his Minamo, he also put the Senki candidate directly beside him… and that allows him to keep an eye on her. It’s not because Iroha is worried about her—he does everything for the Senki candidate. Mikoto can understand his reasons, but she still thinks his decision is cruel. She keeps screaming Mizuchi’s name in her heart.

…or so you think, Mikoto. ( ಠ_ಠ )

Later on, the chairmen summon everyone to their office. They’ve heard everything from Onosada, and they ask where Mizuchi is right now. Iroha answers that he locked Mizuchi in the auditorium, and he forbids the other students from entering. This is the first time for such a scandal to occur, and so the chairmen want to keep this just between them. If everything turns out to be true, they’ll have to track down Coin’s location as well. Iroha reports that he’s trying to get Mizuchi to reveal Coin’s location, but it’s been fruitless so far. This causes Momotose to frown and ask if he’s doing cruel things to Mizuchi, and Iroha coldly answers that it’s necessary to give a suitable punishment if Mizuchi keeps his mouth shut. Hime soon speaks up to point out that Iroha is going too far. There’s a possibility that Mizuchi was only controlled by Coin, so there’s no need to go that far. However, Iroha points out that it’s a problem that Mizuchi got controlled in the first place. He should be aware about his responsibilities as a Bright.

Hime can’t say anything in return, but Kurenai suddenly starts laughing—pointing out that Iroha looks like a bad guy. He wonders if that’s just how Iroha normally behaves. Kurenai thinks Mizuchi is similar to Iroha, but he finds Iroha a thousand times less endearing. Iroha remains silent, and Kurenai asks if they’re going to crush each other before leaving with laughter. Hime also excuses himself and walks out. Despite the bad timing, Kintokihana reminds those who remain that they’re having a moon-viewing party tonight. Awahana tells him to read the atmosphere, and he grumbles saying he knows… but the moon won’t wait for them. It will start at 8 PM, so he wants them to gather in the chairmen’s office by then. Iroha, Mikoto and Momotose are still silent though, and so he sulks saying this is an order from the chairman. After Kintokihana walks off, Iroha says he’ll check up on Mizuchi. Momotose asks him to go easy on Mizuchi, but he doesn’t reply. This makes Momotose feel really bad for Mikoto, and she doesn’t know what to say. She’s not allowed to enter the auditorium, so she doesn’t know what’s happening to Mizuchi. Iroha is always so calm and composed, but she thinks he’s a bit weird right now. It’s as if something is driving him mad.

In the evening, Mikoto walks around the courtyard while thinking. What does Iroha do to Mizuchi? She can only wish for Mizuchi to be safe. Mikoto soon runs into Hime, who still finds everything hard to believe. He’s known Mizuchi since they entered Kaen, and he can’t believe Mizuchi would do the things Iroha said. Hime also knows that he will only trouble Mikoto by saying this, but ever since Mizuchi attacked her in the library, Iroha has been acting really cold to him. Mikoto thinks it’s because Iroha was suspecting Mizuchi, but Hime thinks she has an influenced in this. If the girl you love falls in love with someone else… normally you would get jealous. Since Mikoto seems confused, Hime asks if she’s in love Mizuchi. She admits that she’s not sure, but Mizuchi is really kind and sincere. She respects him, and he’s an important person to her. Hime puts on a sad smile and says if the person he loves says something like that, he’d grow to hate Mizuchi. Mikoto asks him why, but he answers that men are like that… They don’t want the girl they love to think of anyone other than them, let alone seeing them protecting someone else.

Mikoto realizes that Hime seems to be talking about Iroha’s actions, but he adds that it’s what HE would do. The rest is just his imagination. He finds it hard to think that Iroha is in love though. Hime then promises to think of a way to save Mizuchi and walks away, leaving Mikoto to think about what his words. It sounds like Iroha is in love with her, but she thinks it’s just impossible. Iroha only sees her as the Senki candidate. What she thinks of other people has nothing to do with him… but in that case, what drives him to do something like this? She wants to visit the auditorium and see them, to find out what’s going on with her own eyes.

Upon reaching the greenhouse, Mikoto sees a paper on the auditorium door—saying it’s prohibited from entry. She hesitates for a moment, but decides not to back down after coming all the way here. Mikoto then opens the door a bit and peeks into the auditorium. It’s really dark inside, and she wonders if Mizuchi and Iroha are really inside. However, Mikoto soon notices Mizuchi. He’s wounded and tied-up, groaning in pain with blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. Iroha is standing in front of him and asks where Coin is, but Mizuchi answers that—just as he’s been saying—he doesn’t know. This causes Iroha to hit him, saying he already heard those words before. He points out that Mizuchi is being extremely stubborn, and he asks if it’s still not enough for him. This is followed by Iroha slashing Mizuchi several times, and Mikoto watches in horror as Mizuchi bleeds even more.

Mizuchi weakly groans before closing his eyes. Noticing that he’s losing consciousness, Iroha orders him to open his eyes and pours water onto his head. He won’t give Mizuchi any peace before Mizuchi gives in and reveals everything. Mizuchi chokes before telling Iroha that he always makes sure that he doesn’t do things that would put the Five Brights to shame. He asks Iroha to believe in him, but Iroha punches him in the face mid-sentence. If Mizuchi won’t say anything, then he’ll ask the people of the Koukoku Class instead. If any of them dares to stand up for Mizuchi, of course Iroha would punish them as well. Mizuchi is shocked, and he begs Iroha not to involve the Koukoku Class—he doesn’t mind enduring the punishment himself. Iroha falls silent upon hearing this, and he grabs Mizuchi’s head before pulling it upwards. He asks if Mizuchi was referring to the Senki candidate as a part of the Koukoku Class, and he also asks if Mizuchi still hasn’t given up on her.

As he brings his fist closer to Mizuchi’s face, Iroha orders Mizuchi to throw away his feelings for the Senki candidate at once. He won’t allow Mizuchi to look or even think about her. Mizuchi has to erase the Senki candidate’s existence from his mind, or else Iroha is going to kill him. Mikoto is obviously shocked to hear all of this, but after a long silence… Mizuchi finally says he understands. Then he asks Iroha to kill him. He can endure being interrogated and tortured, but he can’t bear to erase Mikoto’s existence from his mind. No matter how far they’re apart, he can’t erase his feelings for her. If Iroha insists, then Mizuchi wants him to kill him. Even if his body is taken and destroyed, no one will be able to take his heart. Iroha listens to this in silence, and he nods saying he’ll fulfill that wish. Mikoto gasps in shock when Iroha lets go of Mizuchi’s head and proceeds to kick him in the face—repeatedly. She’s about to enter and beg him to stop, but then Onosada appears and tells her not to go.

Onosada asks Mikoto to let Iroha punch Mizuchi, because he won’t kill Mizuchi for real. Mikoto panics and points out that Mizuchi might get severely wounded, but Onosada says that even though it might look that way to her… it’s Iroha who lost. If Mikoto enters and protects Mizuchi, even Iroha’s expressionless face will break down. Mikoto protests that it’s absurd since Mizuchi is the one in pain, but Onosada only smiles and says it’s okay if she doesn’t understand. It’s about time for the “referee” to interfere, so he tells Mikoto to go back. She has no choice but to obey, though she doesn’t get what he means by Iroha’s defeat. No matter how they look at it, Iroha is the one who keeps attacking Mizuchi. She doesn’t get it… but Mizuchi’s words are still ringing in her head.

That night, Momotose comes to pick up Mikoto for the moon-viewing party. Momotose asks if she’s ready, though Mikoto isn’t too excited. When they enter the chairmen’s office, Kintokihana tells them to go to the terrace—where they see two large butterflies dancing around the moon. Kintokihana explains that just as the name says, the party is an event to admire the moon. The stars for tonight are the full moon itself, along with the chairmen’s butterflies— Ruri and Beni. Mikoto finds the view very whimsical. It’s as if the butterflies are dancing, pampering themselves with the moon. Awahana says they’re free to spend their time until the moon disappears, and so Momotose asks Mikoto to come over. It seems like Hime is going to be a little late. Mikoto is reluctant since her seat is next to Iroha’s, and they end up sitting in complete silence. After seeing what happened earlier, she doesn’t know how to face him. She thought he was really scary. It was the most terrifying side of him she has ever seen so far. Mikoto forces herself to act normal, but Iroha remains silent.

Momotose then asks if Mikoto wants some tea. They have herbs from the greenhouse too. Mikoto wonders if it will be enough for everyone, but Iroha says he doesn’t need any—he’s leaving. When Momotose asks if he’s going to see Mizuchi, Iroha coldly replies by asking what if he is. Kintokihana tells him not to say boring things though. Onosada is keeping an eye Mizuchi, so Iroha should stay here for a while. Kintokihana then points to the night sky, telling them to look at how lovely the full moon is. The color and the shape are truly beautiful, so much that it’s terrifying. The butterflies look like they’re having more fun than usual—as if they are dancing to court the moon. However, Awahana suddenly shakes his head and tells Kintokihana to look closer. Both Kintokihana and Mikoto are surprised when Ruri falls down from the sky, and before they can figure out what’s going on… the moon turns crimson. It’s a total lunar eclipse.

Kintokihana finds it unbelievable, since they’re not supposed to have a lunar eclipse at this period of time. However, Mikoto soon senses a familiar sound creeping nearby—the sound of utsurohi. The next moment, a black butterflies appear in the night sky. Iroha wonders if the tainted butterfly still remains, even though Mikoto is sure that they already defeated the Cypris. As Kintokihana gasps out Beni’s name, Momotose calls Iroha saying it’s time for Hana Awase. She asks him to take his stance, but he doesn’t respond. Instead, he roughly grabs Mikoto’s arm. When she tries to protest, he frowns saying his Minamo is her… and so she has to fight with him. This leaves her with no choice, and he sets up a field barrier before taking them into Hana Awase against the butterfly. It disappear when defeated, but the battle really drained Mikoto’s stamina. The butterfly was incredibly strong compared to the Cypris from before, so much that it’s overwhelming.

Before Mikoto can even catch her breath, suddenly more butterflies appear in the sky. Just then Onosada also comes to report that countless utsurohi in the shape of butterflies has invaded Kaen, as they can see for themselves. That, and Mizuchi has disappeared from the auditorium. Onosada was keeping an eye on him earlier, but he vanished when Onosada went to check the lunar eclipse commotion. The chairmen set a powerful barrier around the auditorium though, so it’s supposed to be impossible for utsurohi to enter. What does this mean? Mikoto clearly saw that Mizuchi was tied up. How did he leave the auditorium in that state? However, Iroha points out that Coin probably came to release Mizuchi and called these utsurohi as a distraction. Mikoto is surprised and asks how did they break the barrier, but Onosada says it means they’ve underestimated Goto’s executives. In any case, Iroha states that Mizuchi has fallen to Goto’s hands. At this rate he might cause harm to other students, so Iroha requests for the chairmen’s permission to purge him. Kintokihana has no choice but to agree, but he wants them to exterminate the utsurohi first—before Kaen got tainted. Iroha accepts the order. He will destroy the utsurohi in Kaen with Mikoto, while Momotose will stay here to protect the chairmen with Onosada.

Mikoto then follows Iroha outside, and they get swarmed by countless butterflies in the hallway. He warns her that it’s going to be consecutive battles, so she shouldn’t let her guard down. Unfortunately, the battles keep draining Mikoto’s stamina… while the butterflies are endless. Iroha suggests luring the butterflies into a classroom, where they continue fighting until she finds it painful to breathe. The butterflies keep coming no matter how many times they defeat them. Where are they coming from…? When more butterflies appear in front of them, Iroha tells Mikoto to run. The butterflies are chasing them through the hallways, and they suddenly multiply in number upon reaching the courtyard. Exhausted from fighting them, Mikoto keeps on running with Iroha until they eventually reach his room.

Mikoto is panting harshly as she asks Iroha about what’s going on. It’s really strange for the butterflies to keep on spawning, not to mention the butterflies seem to know their location. Instead of answering, Iroha stares at Mikoto in silence. Then he suddenly says: “I see… so it’s the ‘tempting water’.” This really surprises her, but he explains that her scent is attracting the butterflies. Mikoto is confused since she failed to attract the Cypris with her scent before, but Iroha only asks if she can’t sense it—her entire body is brimming with a sweet scent. Aside from the butterflies, it also drove Mizuchi towards insanity. It’s the water of destruction released by the Senki candidate. Or rather, it’s not only her scent—it’s her everything. When Mikoto tries to call his name, Iroha pulls her over and pins her against the wall. As he looks into her eyes, he whispers:

“This moon has been mistaken. The full moon is bleeding. This is a fate which is not allowed to be chosen. But I can no longer stop it. Why did I choose it? Because that day… you were crying. Because the full moon was soaked… Because I… saw the moon.”

Iroha’s eyes widen as he says the last line, while Mikoto is panicking in front of him. She doesn’t know what happened to him, and she doesn’t get what he’s saying either. However, he continues by saying: “If this is a mistaken fate… then I shall die with you.” Before Mikoto can open her mouth to protest, Iroha leans in and kisses her. Her sweet lips, her sweet tongue, her sweet body… he wants to feel them before death comes to pick them up, and this sin shall be forgiven along with death. Mikoto is suffocating as Iroha’s tongue enters her mouth, while his hand slowly runs all over her body—as if he’s trying to confirm something. Eventually Iroha’s hand reaches a certain spot down there, and Mikoto gasps in shock. She begs him to stop, but with a strained voice, he says that Mizuchi has touched it before. This really surprises Mikoto, as she never knew that Iroha saw it during the library incident. Why…?

Iroha then asks Mikoto to loosen up since he can’t take off her clothes. She resists and yells at him not to touch her, but her strength is gone. He’s breathing heavily as he says that he wants her, but she keeps on screaming. She begs him to move away before calling out to Mizuchi, begging him to help her. This causes Iroha to shout at Mikoto not to say that name. She flinches in shock, and at the same time… she can clearly see the moon in his eyes. Iroha falls silent as his angry expression fades away, and he quietly whispers that they will become one like this… then Mikoto will lose her moon, and die with him. She tries asking if it’s all a lie, but he doesn’t reply. Iroha only repeats that they will become one, and Mikoto screams out in tears.

Then suddenly, the door bursts open and Hime enters the room—along with the wounded Mizuchi. When Mizuchi calls her name, Mikoto immediately runs over saying she’s glad to see that he’s alright. In return, he also smiles saying he’s glad that she’s unharmed. However, they soon notice how Iroha is silently staring at them. Hime apologizes to Iroha, revealing that he was the one who released Mizuchi. Even if he was under Suuto’s control, even if there are incriminating evidence, Hime believes in Mizuchi. Hime also points out the painful truth that Mikoto doesn’t choose Iroha. The one who was chosen is Mizuchi. Iroha answers that he won’t forgive this, but Hime says he’s the unforgivable one. When Iroha gives him a questioning look, Hime tells him to look behind him. Mikoto screams when the black butterflies break the window to gather behind Iroha. He remains silent, but Hime points out that it shows who actually attracts these butterflies. Utsurohi is attracted to negative emotions. The one that takes the form of butterflies and dances around… has been Iroha’s heart all along. Mikoto is shocked and asks Hime what that means, but once again, Iroha states that he’ll die right here with her. As the butterflies fly towards them, Mizuchi tells Mikoto that they’re going to do Hana Awase. Both Mizuchi and Iroha set up their field barriers in silence, and they eventually defeat Iroha.

Even after the battle is over, more black butterflies appear around Iroha. Mikoto wonders if they’re truly his heart… because they’re so sad and fragile. She’s about to beg him to stop, but Mizuchi then speaks up and says that the Senki candidate doesn’t belong to any of them. However, they are allowed to love her… and it goes for both of them. Iroha only wonders about this, and he calls Mikoto to say that he should have killed her. Then he adds: “…with the power of moon that only you possess, let us meet again.” Mikoto is confused and asks what he means by that, but Iroha collapses without answering her question. At the same time, the sound of shattering glass is heard. As Mizuchi and Hime run out to see what’s going on, Mikoto is left alone with Iroha—who is lying in the middle of blue butterflies. She cries and begs him to open his eyes, but he’s not moving anymore. Mikoto soon notices something on Iroha’s face, and she breaks into tears even more. Why is he crying…? Didn’t he always tell her to control her emotions? Mikoto asks Iroha not to cry and yells out his name, but she never receives a reply.

Iroha is gone.

After Iroha’s death, it’s revealed that Mizuchi doesn’t remember anything about his involvement with Goto and Suuto. He feels responsible for what happened though, so he decided to leave Kaen. Mikoto has never seen him again ever since. She also requested to drop out of school, but the chairmen stopped her. It was to protect her from Goto, but in the end… she never awakened as a Senki. Following their Kaei’s death, the Chisen Class became scattered. A lot of Minamo were shocked and tried to commit suicide to follow Iroha, and things would’ve gone out of hand if Momotose wasn’t there to support them. Momotose also behaved as usual in front of Mikoto. Long after this incident, Mikoto heard from Momotose that Iroha kept the apple chips she gave him in his drawer. The chips only decreased a bit, which made Momotose realize that Iroha must have treasured them—only eating a bit each day.

After losing both Iroha and Mizuchi, Mikoto became an empty shell for a while. Even until now, Iroha’s last words still remain in her heart. Why did Iroha say the same thing as Half Moon? …and why is she alive after taking the wrong path? She hasn’t found the answer yet.

One afternoon, Mikoto receives a call from Ai—who’s running late. Ai asks if Mikoto has arrived, and Mikoto says she has… though Shou hasn’t arrived either. Ai apologizes saying she just left the house, promising to run there as fast as she can. Mikoto doesn’t mind though, so she only tells Ai to be careful before dropping the call. She smiles and notes that Ai and Shou never change. It’s been a while since the last time she went out, because she’s been spending her days making round trips between Kaen and the dorm. Hime offered to accompany her since he’s worried that she might get attacked by Goto, but she refused since it’s close to Kaen. Not to mention Ai and Shou would be surprised to see him. They’re having a nice weather today, and Mikoto thinks it’s a perfect day for shopping. She starts wondering what she’s going to buy. Shou said that he wants to see some bags, so she’s going to look for a new one too.

Mikoto snaps out of her thoughts when her phone starts ringing. She’s a bit taken aback to see the number displayed on the screen, but she decides to pick it up. Then suddenly, she hears a car running towards her. This is followed by a loud crash, and Mikoto doesn’t get any chance to figure out what’s going on. What just happened? This is just like… Her consciousness fades away after that. When she opens her eyes again, she finds herself floating in a dream. A voice is calling her name, asking her to hold his hand. She wonders who he is, and soon she sees a small boy. The boy says it’s his turn next, and she holds his hand asking if this is what he wants. The boy nods as he thanks her, and then he says: “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…” Mikoto is about to ask further, but then she sees a light at the tips of her hands… and then everything is enveloped by a blinding light. The last thing she heard is Iroha’s voice reciting a line from the poetry that shares his name.

“あさきゆめみし えひもせず” — Iroha
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away, intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.

• 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.

Unlike the others, this event will happen if you win against Iroha in Hana Utsushi.

Since Iroha sits on the top of the rankings, Mikoto receives great applause from everyone upon defeating him. Momotose is moved to tears, Himeutsugi is excited, Mizuchi praises Mikoto and says she’s the pride of the Koukoku Class, Onosada congratulates her for taking the number one spot in Kaen, while Iroha… stays silent. Iroha suddenly grabs Mikoto’s hand and takes her outside, not saying a single word until they reach the courtyard. When she looks at him in confusion, he flatly states that he was thinking of a reward for her. He had been thinking of something that would be suitable for her. However, Mikoto tells Iroha that it’s fine. Having the chance to face him in a Hana Utsushi game is more than enough for her. Ever since she met him in this school… Or rather, ever since he saved her from the accident… Since the day she touched the demon card, she has entered the world of Kasen—the world she always admired. If she never met them, she won’t be here today. The demon card called Mikoto, and Iroha was the one who guided her through the path of Kasen. That guidance is the most precious reward she has ever received. Mikoto thanks Iroha, promising to keep doing her best as a Minamo from now on.

Iroha only nods, and Mikoto is about to take her leave when he suddenly asks her to wait. After hearing all of this, he’s found something he wants to do… and he asks if he can do it. He doesn’t understand why—he simply wants to do it. Iroha once again asks if he can do it, and when Mikoto nods, he gives her a brief kiss on the lips. Mikoto turns red as she stares at Iroha in disbelief, and he stares back at her in silence. Then he tells her: “Welcome to Kaen. I welcome you.” He still doesn’t understand why he wants to kiss her. He’s sure that he will never understand it either, but he does know that her power as a Minamo is still unknown… so she should improve and aim to become the top Minamo. He wants to watch over her journey there. Mikoto is taken aback for a moment, but then she smiles and nods. As he looks up at the sky, Iroha says:

“We are flowers. You are water. If we intersect each other, a new life will be born. It’s something gentle, like the wavelets of a Minamo. I want you to become the water of blessings… and make the flowers bloom.”

I… am not sure what to say. (´・ω・`) Iroha appears as cold and unemotional. Or just as Momotose puts it, like a machine. That’s probably why most of his actions feel too abrupt or unclear, but if you read between the lines… there’s a lot of hints that Iroha has been in love with Mikoto all along. It’s also heavily hinted that Iroha is Half Moon, especially with his last words, but his identity is still unclear. I have a lot of speculations, but there’s just too many questions regarding Iroha at this point. Hopefully they’ll drop more hints for him in Himeutsugi-hen. To be completely honest, Mikoto annoyed me quite a lot in this route. She judges Iroha so fast, though it’s understandable how she’d stand up for Mizuchi. In the end, it all came back to hit us in the heart with that painful ending. I can never look at apple chips the same way again. 。・゚・(*ノД`*)・゚・。

That’s a very brutal way of “resetting” Mikoto’s life though. I wonder if they’re stuck in a loop, and it seems like they also have an order? The small boy at the end sounds exactly like “Hime-kun” from Mikoto’s dream, and even in his ending, Hime says that his turn is coming up next. That leaves me extremely curious about why and how did they get into this loop, but I guess it’s for the other games to answer.

As for questions, Iroha’s route leaves a lot of them. The one that bothers me the most is why did Iroha say that the moon will never shine on him? Also why did he say there’d be no problems even if he sees Mikoto naked? Iroha mentions the word “sin” several times too. There are only more questions beyond that point, but I wonder if this is all related to the fact that Iroha doesn’t have his own game. Of course they listed that “???-hen” on the official site, but is it really his game? I feel that Project Gekka might surprise us as they work on the next installments, but I also have this tiny hope for Iroha to receive his own game. (´;ω;`)

Anyway, it’s hard to sum up my thoughts for Hana Awase. It’s definitely not for everyone, but Hana Awase has an amazing story. The way they describe everyone’s inner feelings through poetry is simply beautiful… though it also adds to the bitterness of the sad scenes. It’s definitely a unique game, and it gives you a mix of complicated feelings beyond simple like or dislike. If you don’t mind a complex story with tragic endings, then do give Hana Awase a try. Just keep in mind that Mikoto is a REALLY dense heroine, but she’s also very devoted and loyal to her partner until the end.

Now I shall wait for Himeutsugi-hen to come out. _(:3」∠)_

Oh, and they opened the site for Himeutsugi-hen today. So excited for more updates! /o/

26 thoughts on “Hana Awase: Mizuchi-hen – Iroha

  1. いろは唄って「あいうえお~ん」五十音すべてを使っているんだよ。しかもカブリなしで。英語でいうなら「A~Z」を一文字ずつ使って26文字の歌をつくるようなもんかな。

  2. Weeps at Iroha forever щ(ಥДಥщ)
    His poem is so fitting, and fits the series as a whole too ; __ ;
    The other day I was browsing through the poem’s Wikipedia page, and then…
    “Research by Komatsu Hideo has revealed that the last syllable of each line of the Man’yō-gana original (止加那久天之須), when put together, reveals a hidden sentence, toka [=toga] nakute shisu (咎無くて死す), which means “die without wrong-doing.”
    _(:3 」∠)_

    • That’s why they put the last two lines of Iroha under the title, I guess? xD

      …and that part of Iroha’s wikipedia article is just…

      _(:3 」∠)_

      Iroha. Please come back to us.

  3. So depressing (ノД`)・゜・。 this game sure know how to move to tears (╥_╥). I hope that Iroha will have his own game, but I have a hunch that the last installment will be something along the line of: “Iroha/Momotose-hen” because Momotose’s VA was Mizushima Takahiro.
    Thank you for your detail review O(≧▽≦)O.

    • That’s Hana Awase for you. 8D
      Even if Iroha is made available later on, I get the feeling that the last installment will be something that’s related to something bigger. Aside from the fact that Momotose is voiced by Mizushima, there are also hints in the story that there’s more to her than she lets on. Like the sad expression she shows from time to time, or the time when she kissed Mikoto. Hopefully we’ll find the answer in the upcoming games.

      • I agree. Hopefully everything will be resolve by the time of the last installment (maybe it will be name as Mikoto-hen ಥ‿ಥ). And for some weird reason I kept having hunch that Utsutsu is Goto (I know it’s weird but I just can’t shake it off)

        • LOL some of us have been thinking that it might be Mikoto-hen too. Maybe it’ll explain everything that happened in the past, since it’s all blurry by now. It’s not weird though, because I do suspect that Utsutsu might be Goto as well. 8D

  4. Thank you so much for your update! To finally read your review for Iroha is what I was waiting for all month. Tbh after reading it I started to cry, my heart just hurts for the guy. While his actions did make me go “AAARRRGGHH!” when he was cold but then he acted sweet and I went “AAAWWWW”. His route tugged my heart in so many directions that when he died (we all knew it was coming) I thought I would die of sadness and angst. He’s just so awkward you have to pity the guy. But the ending really did bring up more questions than answers. Like when you mentioned that they were maybe stuck in a loop. Did you mean anything like in the game Amnesia where she was tossed into different parallel worlds or was she just reborn. And when she was a kid who was “that kid”? was it Goto? Iroha? Half-Moon? All these questions left unanswered and there are still more games to come. Dude the wait feels so torturous! Once again thanks for the update!

    • Ahh sorry for posting this so late! /o\

      Since it’s hinted that Iroha might be Half Moon, it just feels painful to see how sympathetic / compassionate Half Moon is compared to Iroha’s cold exterior. Especially when you look back at how Iroha said emotions aren’t necessary, but Half Moon is always encouraging Mikoto—even if it means letting her go. Iroha’s ending CG left me speechless, but when Mikoto notices his tears… it makes you feel like flipping tables and cry. _(:3 」∠)_ Actually, I’m not quite sure what the loop is. It might be reincarnation, but since the game starts with an accident and Iroha’s ending also closes with one, maybe it’s a loop of that specific time span instead of resetting her whole life.

      Yeah, “that” kid is a mystery too. Some of us believe it might be Utsutsu, but so far we have absolutely no clue on him LOL. I agree, the wait feels so torturous. It seems like Karakurenai / Utsutsu-hen has been pushed back to 2014 too? Oh well, let’s just wait as they do more updates for Hime-hen. ;____;

  5. I haven’t been on your blog in a while. xD;;

    The pain in my chest after reading this just won’t go away. ;__; What more if i’m already in his route. ;;___;;

    • It’ll be even more painful. 8D
      But if you have the time, you should play his route and see how things unravel by yourself. It’s much more beautiful that way. :3

        • Personally I’d recommend Mizuchi → Kurenai → Hime → Iroha, because unlike other otome games, the general route focuses on Mizuchi and no one else. His route has a lot of explanations too, and I think Kurenai’s route will be very confusing if you haven’t read about Mizuchi’s background yet… but if you don’t mind that, maybe you can do him and Hime first. Hopefully it won’t ruin Mizuchi’s image for you, since the things he did in Kurenai’s route are rather extreme LOL.

  6. Reading this review is like pouring salt on my wounded heart T_T
    I can’t forget Iroha’s voice in his ending, usually he is so expresionless…..
    If Himeutsugi-hen released after June maybe we would have to wait until 2014 for Karakurenai/Utsusu and the last game (I don’t care about the title….. just give Iroha happiness, he deserve it).
    One of the saddest part for me is when Iroha calling Mikoto’s name before he died, it the first and the last time he did it, usually he only call her by “you” or “Senki candidate”. The other is when he recite “あさきゆめみし えひもせず”. He recite that part the most, I think he try to warn himself.
    Anyway, I love your review, thank you!

    • No problem, thanks for reading! :D

      I haven’t read the articles in B’s Log properly, but I heard Himeutsugi-hen will be released around fall? They’ve just started releasing new information regarding the game recently, so I guess fall sounds about right… which means the third game might really get pushed back to 2014. I actually don’t mind waiting as long as they keep this quality, but yeah… hopefully they’ll give Iroha the happiness he needs. Iroha said that line when Mikoto first came to Kaen, and when she got hit by the car at the end. I wonder what he’s trying to say there, since the line is referring to “shallow dreams”. He also knew he’d regret asking her to become partners, but he failed to stop it and everything got out of hand. Man, these questions will haunt me until we get the answers LOL.

  7. I totally suspect that Utsutsu is Goto, but I guess that remains to be seen. Thank you for these wonderful reviews! At first I was only going to read the common route & Mizuchi’s route because I hate sad endings, but I got too sucked into the story . . . Oh well. Now I’m interested in the other three brights too.

    • Same here. There are hints, the biggest one being his disappearance and foreign outfit, but I guess it’s still too early to draw any conclusions. Thanks for reading, glad to hear you’re now interested in the other Brights. Hopefully the pain they give us here will be healed once they get their happy endings. :D

  8. Congrats for finishing this game! Now you can finally stop suffering! (I think they should add a message like this at the end of the next Hana Awase games!)

    Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about Iroha either. In my opinion, his route is the most mysterious of the whole game. It drops hints, but doesn’t give any answer. Iroha himself is somewhat a mystery, because we really don’t know anything about him. He’s the kind of character that is involved in everything, but we can’t really perceive and understand his action even when we get to see them from a close distance. As I already said about Mizuchi, I don’t really like the stoic type (and Iroha is 10000000000 times more stoic than Mizuchi), but he is so adorable when he shows his childish side that I can’t help but love him. I like him almost as much as I like Karakurenai, and that’s probably why his route made me feel really sad. Also, it’s true that Mikoto is kind of annoying here too, but… well, I still think she was an angel compared to how she treated Hime, so at least I didn’t rage quit every five minutes because I couldn’t stand her anymore. Still wanted to slap her from time to time, though.

    About the various questions, I agree that it might be some kind of loop, and I get the feeling that everything that happens is somewhat tied to Iroha. I think so because in one of his endings Hime clearly asks Mikoto to choose him in their “next life”, and in another scene Kurenai asks Mikoto if they already met before, even though it seems to be impossibile. Iroha, though, seems to already “know”, and sometimes from the way he behaves I have the feeling that something already happened between him and Mikoto. So my thinking is that Mikoto and the Brights are stuck in a loop, and somehow it all started with something Iroha did (that would explain why he always talks about sin). We don’t know what happened, but at this point the time keeps resetting, and every time it resets, Mikoto’s fate points her toward a different Bright. So, in a way, the Brights do have an order. And maybe the reason why Iroha said that the Moon will never shine on him is because, since everything started from him, he has already passed his turn. In my opinion, the loop order is Iroha > Mizuchi > Himeutsugi > Karakurenai, but we started seeing everything from the second turn, Mizuchi’s one. So maybe the last game, the nameless one, will finally explain exactly what happened during Iroha’s turn back then and maybe we’ll see a solution to this whole mess. Also, the reason why Iroha says that he has no problems seeing Mikoto’s naked is because he already saw her during his turn!
    Of course this is only my way of seeing things and maybe it doesn’t make any sense at all, but we have so little to work on that I just think about something better.

    And now, sorry again for this textwall and have fun with your next game. I’m not planning to play Double Score, but maybe your reviews will make me change my mind! ^_^

    • Thank you! (*ゝω・)ノ アリガ㌧♪
      …and yeah, they should add that line. Congratulations! Now you can stop suffering… for now.

      Yeah, Iroha’s route leaves more questions due to the number of hints given. Aside from Iroha himself, it also gives hints that Momotose might be more than what she appears to be. Like the kiss and her constant sad expression when Mikoto chooses someone… I feel like they’re hinting at something deeper. I think Iroha’s biggest charm is the gap between his stoic exterior and his lack of ability to survive normal daily life LOL. There was a 4-koma manga that shows how terribly messy Iroha becomes when Momotose is away, and it was as adorable as his love for sweets. (*・ω・*)ポッ I don’t like how Mikoto treats him either, but you’re right—this is nothing compared to what Hime got. Maybe it’s because Hime is much nicer and more considerate, while Iroha just pushes his way through without saying anything.

      Similarly to you, I also think that Iroha is closely linked to both Mikoto and the loop. There’s also that one boy who was “outside” of their childhood group… but it’s not Hime, Mizuchi nor Kurenai. I feel that maybe something happened back at their “secret base”, and it threw Mikoto and those three into the loop. Also, there is a possibility that Iroha and Mikoto might be two halves of the same moon, and that might be why the moon will never shine on him. The order also makes me think that maybe those three are aware of what’s going on, or maybe they were involved in causing the loop. At least for Hime, because so far he’s the only one who’s hinting about the loop and its order. I guess when Hime’s game comes out, we’ll get to see if Kurenai is aware of this or not. We have a lot of speculations floating around, so don’t worry about sharing yours. It makes me happy to see other people’s opinions. :D

      No need to be sorry, your comments are fun to read. *。☆:・’ヽ(*・ω・)ノ*:・’゚☆゚・*

  9. Hey, it’s my first time talking with you, thank you for your detailed review!!:D
    it’s been a big help since my japanese ability needs so much improvement.
    Hana awase has affected me deeply, I just finished all the route a while ago and the suffocating feelings won’t go away from my chest. Iroha’s route is just so…TT_TT every time I hear his theme song I can’t help but feel like crying…;_;
    and since right now any of my friend haven’t play this game yet, I can’t exactly let my bursting feelings about this game out so I’m very glad I can found you… XD
    eh I guess I’ve been babbling on too much, sorry for that, and again, thank you for your review!XD

    • Hello, thanks for commenting. :D
      Hana Awase is a great game. It’s definitely not happy, but it contains a lot of emotions. The way they deliver the guys’ feelings is so subtle, which makes it even more painful as we go through. Iroha… _(:3」∠)_ There are some new CGs in the latest B’s Log, and Iroha’s looks like it’s gonna lead to more suffering.

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