“Let’s begin,” Sayaka spoke as I sat beside her.
The other angels had gathered, sitting at their respective seats. I looked at Sayaka, who seemed really serious before turning back to the others.
“Let’s start with status report.”
“Everything’s okay, except for the abnormal amount of activity in that village near the mountains.”
“Thought so. Miyuki, how was your little scouting mission earlier?”
I stood up when she said my name.
Should I tell her…?
“Miyuki, what’s wrong? Did you find them or not?”
I shook my head. “No…”
She sighed. “We’ll have to look again. Maybe we should send troops to cover more ground.”
“No.” I said quickly. “I’m fine by myself. Don’t worry.”
“Are you sure…? You seem...Panicky.”
I quickly faked a smile.
“Those demons have nothing on me.”
Sayaka looked at me and smiled back, patting my head.
“You look better when you smile, Miyuki.”
“Don’t be so discouraged. We’ll find them tomorrow.”
“Alright, let’s continue. Yamada.”
“Yes,” Yamada Nana stood up.
“Have we identified the unknown beings seen in front of the Gates?”
“Not yet. Our intel are still working on it.”
“Alright. Let me know if you find out anything. Next, Kadowaki.”
“How’s that girl?”
“She’s currently stable and the mages are keeping her safe.”
She smiled again. “That’s good to hear.”
“Sayaka-san,” Yagura stood up. “Do you think… one day, she’ll be able to return to her friends?”
“Umm.. That was a very surprising question, but maybe. Honestly, I’m not sure.”
“That aside, Yagura...”
“Have yours and Shiroma’s progress been going well?”
“E-Eh? I guess it has, Sayaka-san...”
“Nice to know. Lastly, if anyone has word on that one demon, let me know personally.”
“Yosh. That concludes the meeting for today. Everyone, return to your positions.”
Everyone dispersed as they left me with Sayaka.
She turned to me. “Something still bothering you?”
“No, it’s just...”
“Tell me. I know you need it.”
“I...” I gulped. I didn’t want to tell her about the deal I made, so I had to figure out something else.
“I do have a report on Furukawa Airi.”
“Eh…? That human?”
“Yes. It seems that she has bonded with a demon, one of the generals as a matter of fact.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I see. What about the seal?”
“She needed to know the truth so...I removed the seal from her.”
“What?! You shouldn’t have, Miyuki.”
“I’m sorry. But, you and I both know she is strong. She has a power just like us.”
“I understand that… but...”
“What? You know she needs to find out soon enough, that she needs to access that power soon or else...”
“I know. But, I don’t think she’s ready yet, she needs to realise it herself….”
I sighed, I guess she is right, being the Archangel and all…
“But about the occurrences happening on Earth...”
“I believe it to be centered on one person alone.”
She just stood there, looking at me, speechless at what I had just said.
“You can’t be serious, Miyuki.”
“I am. You’ve seen the carnage happening across Earth, why don’t you do anything to stop it?”
“It’s just… I’m worried that more chaos will ensue if we interfere further.”
“Let’s just focus on our mission for now. If we confirm it’s the Maou, then we’ll discuss that more later. That’s all.” Then, she walked away from me.
I have to get back there…
I banged the table loudly, settling down the loud chatter.
“Alright, alright, everyone… let’s start.”
Everyone sat, eyeing me as they quietened down.
“Now, we need to settle a few feuds that have been going on. I know you all want Takayanagi punished for what she did, but I think it could be useful.”
“But, it’s law for us not to work so intensively with angels, right?” I could hear Shibata’s voice from the far corner.
“Yes, I know but it’s worthwhile! We might be able to rid the gates of that thing!” Takayanagi retaliated further.
“That human you’ve bonded with… She can be quite useful,” Miyazawa said with a sly tone to her voice.
“Don’t you dare hurt her! Or I’ll kill you first!” Takayanagi stood up with anger consuming her.
Miyazawa backed down afterwards. She knew Takayanagi was my right hand so she knows how powerful she is.
“There will be no killing from anyone.”
“Y-Yes, ma’am...” Takayanagi sat back down again, flinching in fright.
“Anyway, give us you intel from your little adventure then, Takayanagi.”
“Airin… Furukawa Airi and her friend, Matsui Jurina… both of them were involved with the incident that occurred with her 5 years ago.”
“Wait, by her, you mean…?”
“Yes. G-ge… Gekikara.”
I covered my mouth, the others started murmuring amongst one another.
“That girl is crazy...”
I cleared my throat, silencing them.
“Yes. The angel, Watanabe Miyuki, by her own will, removed Airin’s seal and she regained her memories.”
“That angel… She knows by doing that she could release her back into the world…”
“She said Airin needed to know the truth about… her past.”
“And Matsui Jurina? Did she remove her seal?”
She shook her head. “No, she said that she might not be ready to relive that.. Torturous experience...”
“I’ve just got to ask you a question, Akane. Why are you calling that human by a nickname?” I could hear Oba question the girl curiously.
“Th-that’s none of your business!” she blushed.
Why is she blushing..?
“Anyways, that aside, does anyone have any intel on the abnormal activities occurring on Earth?”
“Yes,” Miyazawa stood up. “There are larger amounts of these activities currently happening in that village.”
“What?! You can’t be serious…!”
“It’s true. Nightcrawlers have started appearing more in the evening and there are also unexplained earthquakes around that area.”
I looked at Takayanagi, she looked back.
“Takayanagi, do you know anything? Did that angel say something?” She looked away, biting her lip. “Takayanagi!”
“She… she did say one thing...”
“She said… there’s a possibility the one who’s causing all this is….”
She gulped before saying, “...The Maou.”
Everybody gasped at her statement, including me. They all started murmuring again.
“The Maou. No way. Not HIM!”
“If he gets out, we’re all doomed.”
“That guy is seriously insane.”
“E-everyone, calm down..!” I tried to say, but even I was panicking at this moment.
Then, there was a loud scream.
“W-What was that…?”
“Oh no...” Suda got up. “I’ll be right back. I think I know who that was.”
She ran off, “Wait!”
“It’s fine,” she looked at me with serious eyes.
Then, she disappeared.
After she left, Shibata said, “I’ll check on her later.”
“Hey, if this is the Maou’s doing… what’s going to happen?”
“We need to get prepared… If not we’re all doomed.”
I had my hands clenched into fists.
This is… crazy.
Third Person POV
Shibata Aya arrived at the location of her friend, Akari. She was in another room, and also in that room was a girl. A fellow demon.
“Hey, you okay? I heard you scream,” Akari asked. “Did something happen?”
But the girl stayed silent. She only gave her a cold glare with empty eyes.
“Marika, please talk to me. It’s been months.”
The girl, named Tani Marika, continued to say nothing. She looked almost dead with those dark eyes and expressionless face.
“Come on, you know you want to say something. So that we can help you.”
She looked away, making Akari pout. She gave a serious expression.
“Marika, we’re all worried about you. Ever since that day...”
At that moment, Marika’s eyes widened. Her breathing started to speed up.
“We don’t know what happened to you since then. You haven’t talked to anyone, or done anything since that time. I miss the old Marika. That’s why I need you to tell me what’s wrong. Otherwise, we can’t help you, okay?”
As she was talking, Marika’s breathing sharpened, faster and faster with each word.
Every memory of that day seeped into her head. She finally snapped and grabbed Akari’s arm hard.
Akari’s eyes widened at her first words. “Eh?!”
“They’re coming here! They’re coming for us!”
“No! NO!!!” She held her head. “Get away from me!”
“Marika, calm down!”
“No, no, no! I don’t want to..! Don’t make me do it..!”
“Marika, it’s just a hallucination! It’s not real!”
As Marika was in the midst of her panic attack, Akari had seen Aya and signaled for her to get some help.
Aya nodded and quickly went to get someone.
Marika screamed loudly and with that, she had finally let go. Her eyes stared blankly as she slowly collapsed on the bed, unconscious, but with her eyes wide open. Tears streamed down her cheeks from the terrible memories that played in her head.
It’s been several months since Marika had suddenly disappeared, taken away without a trace. When they finally found her, however, she wasn’t the same anymore.
She had to have gone through something awful to become like this, as if the last string in her mind broke because she couldn’t take it anymore. She lost her smile and her sanity.
“Marika… what happened to you?”
It’s been a few hours since the others had left me alone with Jurina. She had finally woken up and was preparing lunch for the both of us.
“Today’s weather is nice,” she remarked, looking out the window. “Let’s go out and have a picnic.”
“Come on, doesn’t that sound nice?”
“Y-Yeah, it does… I just wanted to know, why so suddenly?”
“I don’t need a reason~. Now, let’s go!” she took my hand.
She pulled me out the door and we started walking to an open field in the village.
“This looks like a good spot.”
I looked at the scenery.
This almost looks like the field from when… we were with Rena.
“Hurry up, Airin~ You slowpoke!”
“E-Eh? Hey, wait up!” I shouted to her as she only continued to run. She stopped suddenly and sat down, waiting for to me to sit down with her.
“Nee, Airin~ How do you see the world?” She had asked me as I had sat down next to her.
“Eh? What’s that question suddenly?”
“Just tell me.”
“Mou~. Hmm… let’s see… the way I look at it, the world has an endless amount of possibilities, good and bad.”
“How do you see it?”
“Well… I think the world is filled with evil.”
“Because people leave the world, every second for some strange--”
“E-Eh?” I turned around to see a large demonic monster in the distance and someone running in front of me.
“Run!!!” the person screamed. Looking closely, I had recognised the person. It was another person who lived in the village, Nakanishi Chiyori.
“T-That thing…! I-It’s going to destroy the village!”
We looked and saw a gigantic, dark camouflaged beast, with it’s crimson red eyes seeking for blood.
A Nightcrawler? No, that can’t be…
“Airin, what is that?!”
“I don’t know..!”
“I’m outta here!” Chiyori ran off, leaving me and Jurina to fend for ourselves.
As I started to unsheathe my sword, I saw Tsugumi in the distance, holding on to one of her arms, with her face showing signs of pain.
“Airi, Jurina!” She came closer to us as I heard more panicked screams coming from the other villagers.
“Tsugumi! What’s wrong with your arm?”
“Nevermind that, just go!”
“Not without you! I never leave injured people behind!”
“Ugh, fine…! Just don’t leave my sight!”
“W-What… Is that thing…?” Jurina stuttered behind me, cowering in fear.
“Both of you stand clear. That thing’s a Phantom. It’s larger than the Nightcrawlers but isn’t the largest.”
“How are you going to stop it, with one hand?”
“I’m not going to, I’m waiting for Akane. Argh, it’s painful, let me tell you that much.”
“What happened? Where’s Akane?”
“We got separated by some of Nakanishi’s guards because there was a little misunderstanding but she’s fine, she’s just gone to a meeting with the other generals and Nakanishi. Her guards beat the fudging hell out of me by almost cutting my arm in half.”
“I’ve got bandages. You’re lucky right now, Tsugumi.”
“Thanks, Airi but you need to worry more about Jurina than you need to worry about me.”
She had pointed behind me as Jurina was cowering down, with her ears covered.
“Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah, I will be. I’ll distract it, get Jurina to a safe place.”
“No buts, Airi, you two might die here.”
“So will you! I can’t let a friend die like this!” I had pleaded with her, “Tsugumi...Please… Don’t just think about me. What will Akane say if I told her you died by that thing?”
“Wouldn’t she be heartbroken? Wouldn’t she feel regret and anger? Just think about that before you do anything reckless.”
I looked away from her and I could her murmur one word, “Sorry...”
The monster roared again and Tsugumi charged forward. Jurina started to cry as I had kept on looking in the distance.
Akane… Where are you….?