Anyway, too bad this is not a continuation from where the last chap end off.
P.S: I added a term explanation corner at the contents page as well; just briefly explained the classification and Mushi type.
Translated : Wing
Edited : Skat, Keito
Touko Part 1
Goromaru Touko was walking on a white path, while carrying a stack of files.
The white attired people that passed by her were staring at her with untrusting gazes.
“Hello everyone, good work.”
Even though Touko bowed every time when she saw someone, no one responded to her. The majority just stared at her silently, while there were some that were surprised by her actions.
After walking for a few minutes, Touko came to a dead end.
In front of a wall that had a crack-like mark, two people wearing black coats were standing still. They were both wearing huge goggles that covered their entire faces.
“I’m the deputy branch-director of the East Central Divison, Goromaru Touko. I would like to see her, can I?”
Facing one of the goggled figures under the distance of breath, a red dot could be seen appearing on the lens of his goggle, while the faint sound of an electronic device could be heard.
“Retinal comparison completed. Deputy branch-director Goromaru, please come in.”
The wall before Touko then split into two.
A white tunnel, very similar to before, appeared within the interior of the wall.
Just then, one of the goggled figures called out to Touko, which caused her to stop.
“Deputy branch- director.”
“Branch-director… How’s branch-director Haji doing now?”
The first goggled figure shouted angrily. Judging from their voices, it seemed like the person who performed the retinal scan for Touko was a male, and the one who asked the question after was a female. Both of their voice sounded very young.
“Deputy branch-director, you don’t need to answer. Any information related to branch-director Haji is top secret, it’s not something that low ranked members like us should know of. If we obtained the information without permission, there will only be punishment awaiting us. So please don’t mind.”
“I-Is that so…”
The two goggled figures became silent, and since Touko didn’t know what to say, she continued to move forward.
While walking forward, she turned her head around to check on them. The two people were whispering to each other quietly, it seemed like they were arguing.
After passing through the tunnel, another gate could be seen with black-coated figures guarding the front.
And after going through with the same matching procedure as before, she crossed the second gate and continued to march forward until she finally arrived at a floor where a large number of people in white clothing were walking about. She randomly picked a person and asked him about the location of the room that she was searching for. Even though the other party was displaying an alert attitude towards her, he still pointed out the direction for her.
After following the directions, Touko soon arrived at a spacious room that was filled with screens and electronic devices; there were a few white attired people staring at the other end of a glass wall.
At the other side of the glass wall, several large-scale machines could be seen along with a few more figures dressed in white.
Just then, one of the machines that seemed like a CT scanner made a noise in front of Touko, while slowly sending out an object that appeared to be a bed board.
The figure that was released from CT scanner began to slowly lift her body up on the bed board.
“So that child is the Hishu level one ranked Mushitsuki…… (Fuyuhotaru)?”
Touko held her breath after she muttered.
The teenage girl that was dressed in white clothing turned and gazed at them. She was a petite girl that looked very good with short hair, and just by looking at her appearance, she seemed like a girl that could be seen everywhere.
However, she is a very important key figure on the research on why (Mushi) existed and their purpose. And the reason was because she was the only one that had managed to successfully reawaken from being a fallen, after losing the (Mushi) that was infesting her.
They originally thought that after becoming a fallen, Mushitsuki would lose every emotion they possessed, and could never reacquire their feelings ever again. Yet, Shiika had shattered this concept – her existence has proven that the fallen state wasn’t the absolute end for Mushitsuki.
“Excuse me… Can I talk to her for a bit?”
While asking that, Touko reached her hand towards the handle of the door that lead to the inside.
“W-Wait a minute! Who are you?!”
After noticing Touko’s presence, the white attired figures changed their expressions.
“Ah, my apologies, I’m Goromaru Touko, I was newly assigned as the deputy branch-director of the East Central Division.”
“Deputy branch-director…… Wait a second! I will immediately deploy guard members here…”
“Ah, it’s okay. She looks much better-behaved than I expected.”
After saying that, she turned the handle. Along with the sound of air being released, a muttered voice could be heard behind:
“A-Are you kidding me? That kid is a Hishu level one ---”
The door automatically opened, its heavy metal began to move back as if it was being pushed and revealed a pathway.
Looking out from within the room, she noticed that the original position of the glass wall was replaced by a seemingly normal wall. A few white attired people and the short-haired girl turned their heads and gazed at her through the crowdedly arranged machines.
“I want to talk to her, can I?”
Although the people dressed in white gave surprised looks, they still listened to her words and walked away. Meanwhile, the girl sitting on the bed board was gazing at Touko curiously.
“Ah, Hello. I’m Goromaru Touko, the newly assigned East Central Division’s deputy branch-director of the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau.”
Touko revealed a friendly smile, while holding out her hand.
Yet the teenage girl looked at her hand in surprise before whispering softly:
“But I’m a… Mushitsuki”
After she said that, Touko then suddenly recalled:
“Ah… That’s right! Could you please don’t call out your (Mushi) here? I just can’t get use to them. The first time is aw one, I even passed out! Embarrassing isn’t it?”
The teenage girl then looked at both Touko’s face and her hand for a bit.
“Ah! My hair is spiking up right? Uh, if you can, please ignore it!”
Looking at Touko’s flustered attitude, the teenage girl could not help but to giggle weakly. And since Touko didn’t know why the teenage girl was giggling, she grumbled slightly unhappy before the teenage girl said:
“Hello... I’m Anmnoto Shiika…”
The teenage girl’s smiling face seemed to be quite happy.
The two of them then shook each other’s hand.
Touko later spent around ten minutes asking Shiika some simple questions.
It was just a normal survey asking her if she had any dissatisfaction with her current status quo, or if she needed anything with her daily life, and so on.
Shiika then expressed that she didn't have any dissatisfaction with her treatment right now. In fact, she said that her treatment was much better than she expected, which made her felt at ease.
Touko thought to herself:
It can't be helped that others treated her well... Even though it is difficult to tell from the appearance alone, she is actually a level one ranked Mushitsuki just like (Kakkou) and (Ladybird) who passed away; someone that could easily destroy a city. Of course the others would treat her generously with caution just so it wouldn’t provoke her.
After going through the files, Touko heaved a sigh. It seems like all the questions that were on the file had been answered.
After Touko talked with Shiika in person, she felt that Shiika was actually no different from most adolescent girls.
Touko gazed at the teenage girl in front or her.
Shiika tilted her head perplexedly.
--- What exactly are Mushitsuki?
This sudden thought surfaced in Touko's mind.
Shiika is very well-behaved, and also cute to a point where one could not help but want to pat her head. If a girl like her who looked no different than any other normal teenage girl, one day suddenly obtained a power that could influence the fate of a country, what would she feel? If such thing was to happen to Touko, she would probably not be able to endure it, right? From inexplicably obtained power, to being inexplicably hunted down by unknown people, while her dream was inexplicably devoured by the (Mushi) ---
The Shiika in the past must have endured a lot of indescribable fears than Touko could imagine, right? And she must also bear a lot of pain as well right?
However, Shiika faced it with a smile...
How could such a small girl able to smile like that even after experiencing all of that?
"Don’t you feel... weary?”
Touko could not help but to ask, and her words caused Shiika to tremble her shoulder slightly.
“No matter how I look, you seem like a normal girl to me…… Yet in reality you have went through becoming a Mushitsuki… and then you were hunted down by many people because of it…… and now you’re imprisoned here……”
Shiika’s expression darkened as she looked down on the floor. Yet, she immediately raised her head up afterwards.
“I have a dream.”
The teenage girl said with a weak smile. Even though it was sort of bashful smile, it contained a strong will that Touko had never felt before.
“Even though it’s a dream so small… that it might be mocked by others… It’s still my most precious dream.”
Shiika’s words made Touko finally understand something.
The young man that is currently sleeping at someplace unknown, what was he trying to protect in the past? Touko finally understood a bit of his intentions now.
So these are Mushitsuki ---
Touko naturally revealed a smile, and very politely bowed while saying:
“Thank you very much. Umm… see you next time!”
Shiika stopped Touko, who was planning on leaving.
“Uh… asking you this kind of question might seem strange… but I would still like to know, do you know anyone named Kusuriya Daisuke?”
“Umm…… I’m sorry.”
Touko frowned. Shiika still didn’t know that Kusuriya Daisuke’s true identity was (Kakkou) yet. Touko felt that her acting this time was quite worthy of praise.
“Is that so… How about (Kakkou)-kun?”
Touko could not help but smile upon recalling that Daisuke had felt the same way as Shiika.
“Of course, he is a part of the East Central Division just like me.”
“Then… Can I please ask… How’s (Kakkou)-kun doing right now?”
“Mmm --- It’s a very confidential matter… But! Onee-san would be generous and tell you only a bit!”
Touko leaned closer to Shiika, and whispered lightly next to her ear.
“He is still fighting even now.”
--- In order to protect you.
She added that silently within her heart.
“Ah… Is that so…”
“(Kakkou)-kun is also trying his hardest huh…”
After bidding farewell to the teenage girl who lowered her head shyly, Touko left the room.
To the SEPB right now, (Fuyuhotaru) is an indispensable and important figure that is imperative for freeing Mushitsuki from the shackles of the (Mushi).
On one hand, (Mushibane) which had lost its leader (Ladybird), was gradually falling apart. While on the other hand, the third force that was led by Harukiyo had probably claimed Shiika as one of their intended targets. Perhaps they may have already had their eyes set on this facility.
The most important task for the East Central Division right now --- is to secure and protect (Fuyuhotaru) at all cost.
And in order to let Daisuke --- let (Kakkou) return to Ouka City as soon as possible, she must finish her piles of problems that stacked up like mountains.
She walked in a tunnel for a bit before arriving at the spot where two goggled figures were standing guard at. Both of them were staring silently at the pathway in front.
As Touko passed them by; she spoke as if she was talking to herself:
"Branch-director Haji will soon return to work."
However, when the female heard her words, she knitted her brows behind the goggles and asked:
"He... is still alive?"
Touko stopped at that instant.
She then widened her eyes at the female and watched as she turned her head away while biting her lips.
Touko felt embarrassed of herself for misunderstanding the female's question before, and left the place in a hurry.
That's right, to Mushitsuki in general, the organization known as SEPB was nothing more than an abominable opponent. Why would they worry for someone that forced them to fight? Well on other hand, to Touko who's an ordinary human, those Mushitsuki were merely dreadful monsters.
If we hate each other that much, then why are we still trying to protect each other?… If that's the case, what's her purpose of being here? Wouldn’t quitting this job and find a new career be perhaps a wiser choice?
"…… Ahhhhh!!! Annoying! So damn troublesome!"
Touko complained out loud while waiting for the elevator.
Many people that walking about, turned around to gaze at her in surprise. Touko could only smile wryly while apologizing: "Ah... uh, Umm... Sorry, it's nothing... Ahaha..."
"It's pointless to think about those issues now anyway... I'm an idiot after all."
After stepping into the elevator, she began to mutter to herself, as the self-disgust arise from within.
"It wouldn’t help to think about this any further anyway...… I guess I should just go get a cup of coffee first after getting upstairs."
Touko leaned herself against the elevator wall and continued her rambling.
(Fuyuhotaru) was accommodated at the 30th sub-floor of this underground facility. The floor indicator of the elevator was gradually moving toward ground level.
"They want me to do the same thing as Haji-senpai, that's just simply impossible..."
Touko then heaved a sigh as she shrugged her shoulders.
Thinking back at it, the first time when she saw that man named Haji Keigo was probably six years ago.
Haji Keigo was still a college student at that time, and the reason Touko knew about him was because he was her private tutor during high school. When they first met, his attitude and style was much more gentle and easy going than it was now.
However, their relationship still wasn’t particularly close because of it. And since Touko’s grades didn’t improve at all, Keigo was fired after teaching for around two months. (After that, Touko tried two more private tutors, but her grades had gotten even worse than the time when Keigo was teaching.)
Before the entrance exam season, Touko applied for the same university as Keigo. But it was not only because she recalled that one of her tutors had studied at this university; she had a sudden whim in her decision-making as well. But even so, she busted her ass studying for it.
After successfully being admitted into the university, Touko met Keigo again. Even though he had already graduated, he still came back from time to time for club activities and research papers; there were also Kohai looking for advice from him occasionally.
After they met several times, they started chatting about things in the past.
--- Of course I remember, it was the first time I encountered someone that was so hard to teach.
Keigo said with a wry smile, while Touko lowered her head in embarrassment.
Prior to the period of choosing a career, Touko thought of Keigo once again. After hearing that he worked for government agencies, Touko felt like she should give it a try; and so she busted her ass off studying for exams once again.
And shortly after she successfully enrolled in the new Internal Affairs of Ministry, Keigo came looking for her.
Even though they were both government officials, Touko had never thought that they would have the opportunity to meet each other again. The fact that Keigo came looking for her had made her really surprised, and not to mention when that he invited her to join an unknown organization to help him out, she was really stunned. When Touko asked him about the reason why, Keigo laughed with his usual shallow smile and said:
--- Well if I have to, I would rather work with someone that I know, so that way I wouldn’t have to worry too much right?
She thought that whoever could use that kind of reasoning to recruit someone would definitely be considered weird. But then again, someone like herself, who accepted without giving it a second thought, was probably the same right?
After that, Touko realized that Haji Keigo was actually a really talented person. No matter where he went, he would be feared and avoided by others. And just the fact alone, that he had few partners, should clearly show his superior ability.
Touko could only follow closely behind Keigo wherever he went. She could not help but wonder that, why would he need someone as useless as her to work for him?
--- You’re that type that would try to muddle and live through life right?
Keigo stated mercilessly while laughing.
--- Other than trying to dismiss things with a wry smile, you particularly had no other desire right?
He was right.
Touko had absolutely nothing. She has neither the capability, nor the will required to deny the things that she disliked… and nor did she have a dream of itself…
--- That’s what I like about you.
The young man said.
Yet Touko was confused by this.
The man known as Haji Keigo, what was he really planning? And why was he choosing her as his successor?
He even expected Touko to accept his invitation without thinking twice. Well, it was probably because he knew that she was the type that likes to muddle through life.
Touko suddenly recalled another matter.
Thinking back on it, there was actually another comment that Keigo had once said to her. However, when she lowered her head trying to remember it, she realized something was wrong.
The floor indicator of the elevator had stopped at the 20th sub-floor.
Touko then tried to press the buttons again, but the elevator didn’t move at all.
"Oui--- Blackout? But... the fluorescent light is still ---"
Before she could finish with her words, a strong impact suddenly struck against the elevator, causing the files in Touko's arms to scatter all over the place.
"O-Owee! Ahh, I bit... bit my tongue..."
An intense pain caused her to curl up her tongue in her mouth. At the same time, the red warning sign above the floor buttons flashed rapidly.
"[Beep! Warning! Warning! A suspicious figure has infiltrated through the ground floor-vent and is speculated to be still lurking inside the facility. All researchers please immediately head towards the designated shelter around you, while security guards and combatants should immediately search for the suspect within the facility! In addition, the possibility of the suspect being a Mushitsuki, is very high---]"
Touko widened her eyes.
After a short moment of silence, the sound of metal clashing could be heard above the elevator ceiling as the whole elevator began to shake violently, as if it was being struck by some unknown hard object.
Touko nervously attempted to stand up, but she immediately fell down due to the violent tremors, which caused her to bite her tongue again.
After the sound of a huge impact, a loud noise of something being crushed resounded from above.
Shifting her gaze to the ceiling, Touko immediately became speechless as her face began to turn pale.
An insect, with limbs that was as huge as human's arms and huge compound eyes, was staring straight at her from above.
Touko covered her mouth and smacked the emergency intercom before shouting:
"In here! There's a (Mushi)……! In the elevator...!"
Another strong impact struck against the elevator as the giant (Mushi) wiggled its mouthpart through the hole on the elevator ceiling.
Just by looking at the alien-like insect, Touko felt like she was going to pass out right on the spot. However, she bit her lips and reached her hand into her inner suit pocket.
"P-Please don’t move!"
After pulling out her personal handgun, Touko pointed it at the giant (Mushi).
Just then, (Mushi) stopped moving.
"…… Who are you?"
From somewhere above the elevator ceiling, the perplexed voice of a teenage boy rang through.
"I-I'm the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, East Central Division's deputy branch-director, Goromaru Touko! If you're a Mushitsuki of the SEPB, please state your codename! If you don’t answer ---"
"The East Central Division's...… branch-director?..."
"Report your codename at once... report...!"
"So it was you who killed (Ladybird)...…!"
A raging shouts sounded through the hole as the giant black (Mushi) crawled inside the elevator. This (Ladybird) that he mentioned, wasn't she the one who served as the leader of the (Mushibane)?
--- A (Mushibane)'s remnant!
Touko pulled the trigger with full force.
However, the bullet didn't fire, because she forgot to pull the safety lock...
Besides the training that she received when she first entered SEPB, this was actually her first time holding a handgun.
The (Mushi) jumped down from the ceiling and landed on Touko, causing her to fall to the floor helplessly. It then wiggled its mouthpiece in front her who couldn’t breathe from its overwhelming weight.
The teenage boy that stood on top of the (Mushi) was looking over at Touko, who dropped her handgun.
"Where is (Fuyuhotaru)? She's our comrade! If you don’t want to get killed then ---"
“Deputy branch-director Goromaru! Get down!"
A shout suddenly sounded from outside of the elevator.
"I-I'm already down! Wahhh!"
The elevator door exploded the moment when Touko replied.
She originally thought that a truck had charged in, but it was actually a giant Hercules beetle that was even larger than the (Mushi) that was on top of Touko.
The sharp horns on the giant Hercules beetle's head mercilessly pierced through the body of (Mushi) in the elevator.
The teenage boy that was standing on the (Mushi) immediately fell to his knees while holding his chest in pain.
The giant Hercules beetle that pierced the (Mushi) slowly moved out of the elevator, and did a 180 degree turn in the corridor, throwing the (Mushi) and the teenage boy on top of it towards the end of the corridor.
Under the instruction of the man that shouted, many goggled figures immediately charged toward the (Mushi) at once.
Touko laid on the ground, gazing dazedly at the upside-down view before her.
The teenage boy's (Mushi) was desperately defending itself from the frenzied attacks of the goggled figures' (Mushi).
"Deputy branch-director, are you okay?"
A figure wearing a black coat and goggles over his face spoke, while reaching out his hand. Touko had some impression of this person.
"Ah--- I-I'm fine..."
After regaining her consciousness, Touko tried to lift herself up with the teenage boy's aid, but immediately squatted back down from exhaustion.
"Aha...Ahaha... my legs feel weak..."
"Should I call the medical squad over?
"Ah, it’s fine... By the way... (Kabuto), aren't you still convalescing?"
The teenage boy named (Kabuto) replied with a calm voice to Touko's question:
"...I was dug out from the hospital under the branch-director assistant's order... It seems I am the strongest member of the East Central Division at the moment... Even though I am just a Kashu level six.”
"… Sorry, I was supposed to put in that order..."
Just then, the (Mushi) that invaded into the facility stopped struggling in front of them.
It seemed like the combatants had taken some casualties from the enemy (Mushi)'s encounter as well, many of goggled figures that were injured because of it were being shoulder carried by their comrades. The teenage boy that was glaring at Touko before, was now sitting lifelessly at the center of the corridor. The Mushitsuki that lost their (Mushi) would lose every emotion they had and become Fallen.
The teenage boy was gazing straight at Touko with his glass marble-like eyes that had neither sadness nor anger in it; just a pair of eyes that could no longer reflect anything with its pupils.
"So this is...… Mushitsuki..."
Touko muttered softly.
"Deputy branch-director, what's your order?"
(Kabuto) spoke right after.
"P-Please take him to the (Garden)…"
Touko felt that her voice was drifting to some place far away.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
Gonna study full time for real now, >.>... with that being said, idk when is the next chap coming. possibly within 2 weeks or so.