Hope you enjoy this what skat had commented "Mind-blowing" chapter. I honestly didn't see this coming when i was reading it for the first time as well =P
********************************************Translated : Wing
Edited : Skat, Keito
On the southern end of Housawa Town, Akatsuki could be seen running along a paved road next to the river.
It seemed like Iori had probably gone searching the buildings around the train station, while Daisuke might have went to places where (Church) was witnessed. And judging from the place where Daisuke had stopped, the chances of (Shinpu) appearing near Akatsuki would be very high.
He stopped to take a break, while surveying his surrounding on a hill.
However, there wasn't any sign of any figure that matched (Shinpu)'s profile.
A sudden dizziness caused him to press his hand against his forehead. It seemed like the amount of dream that Senri's (Mushi) devoured was more than expected.
Within Akatsuki, who was giving a painful expression, many memories began to awaken like a flash.
Under the care of his gentle and prudent parents, he had lived a peaceful and happy childhood. However, that sort of life style had completely changed after a certain incident happened when Akatsuki was still in elementary school.
--- The forest had completely turned into a sea of flame.
The young Akatsuki at that time was speechlessly dumbfounded, gazing straight at the view that was colored by the golden sunset in before him. His body was dyed blood-red as his pupils reflected the human debris scattered around him.
The accident happened at a tropical rainforest that his family was passing through for their family trip.
For the purpose of plundering supplies from the traveling group that Akatsuki's family was with, an anti-government guerrilla organization had started a unilateral massacre. Most of the members from the travel group fell victim to the mines and grenades that was set up in advance, and was killed instantly on the spot and blown into pieces. The only one who survived through the incident was Akatsuki who was sheltered by his parents.
This incident was instantly reported and received a huge uproar from the public, which caused Akatsuki to become the focus of media attention. However, the public had become tired with such a topic, and soon forgot the incident. Meanwhile, Akatsuki was picked up and raised by his grandfather.
--- I hate war.
While living a peaceful life, a certain thought emerged in his heart.
Why does the life of those good people have to get mercilessly taken away?
Akatsuki had never told anyone about his past, simply because he felt that there was no point in talking about it. Not to mention he had already forgot the pain of losing his parents.
No actually, Akatsuki had only told his dream and thoughts to this one person before.
A face of a teenage girl flashed through Akatsuki's mind.
It was about one year ago on the day of the Moira high school's entrance exam. Right after Akatsuki finished taking the exam; he took a bus to head home. But on the way, the bus almost collided into an out-of-control truck. Under such emergency, Akatsuki could only use his (Mushi) to prevent the accident from occurring. However, due to the resulting blockage caused by the truck lying to its side in the middle of the road, the bus could not move at all.
--- Hey, could you tell me, what is your dream?
Sitting in the farthest seat at the back of the bus, a teenage girl who was sitting across from Akatsuki suddenly asked.
It was a moment that Akatsuki could never forget in his life.
Under the gaze of the sunset, the unprecedented beautiful girl was smiling at Akatsuki. While on her shoulder, an out-of-season ladybug could be seen. It was the first time that Akatsuki was attracted to the opposite sex.
The teenage girl explained that she came from afar to take the entrance exam of Moira high school. She also said that she had originally intended to take the bus heading to the Housawa train station, but accidentally took the wrong one. And since there was plenty of time, the teenage girl chatted with Akatsuki for a while.
--- Your dream is pretty good!
The teenage girl praised with a frivolous tone, and revealed a bright smile.
--- It's a nice dream!
After knowing the teenage girls's dream, Akatsuki smiled as well.
And after taking a break from the chatting, the two of them shifted their gaze at the sunset that was giving off a golden glow from within the bus.
--- If I could enjoy the sunset like this every day, how nice would it be.
Yet compared to the sunset itself, the glow of this teenage girl was more attractive to Akatsuki. Just by staring at her profile, it would make him feel that; if her dream was to come true, it would definitely not because of other's help. She was the complete opposite of Akatsuki. Filled a strong will, she seemed like the type of person that would go against a fierce gale, and still able to overcome it. Akatsuki believed that someday, she would definitely fulfill her dream.
Akatsuki wanted to offer his help on fulfilling the teenage girl's dream, yet was turned down. The teenage girl said that her dream would go against Akatsuki's dream. However, Akatsuki still forcefully made a promise with her.
--- Being able to meet you, was truly wonderful.
Facing the teenage girl who was shaking his hand while saying that, Akatsuki revealed a wry smile because those were the words he wanted to say as well.
He wanted to protect this person.
Akatsuki was very sure that, this teenage girl would definitely fulfill her dream one day. Her dream is his own dream, so Akatsuki had vowed to protect her at all cost.
Not so long ago, Akatsuki heard the news of her passing away in a battle.
Ever since his parents died, he had never cried so miserably.
And that day, since Iori and Azu had things to do, Akatsuki had to walk Senri home. Before that, Akatsuki couldn't feel any sense of realism of the teenage girl passing away. However, when he caught a glimpse of the sunset on the way of walking Senri home, he subconsciously expressed the suppressed feelings that was stored within him.
--- Akatsuki-kun, are you crying?
Senri noticed Akatsuki's hand, which was holding onto hers, was trembling and so she asked. Yet Akatsuki didn't respond, and just merely shed silent tears.
Before he finished crying, Senri didn't speak at all, she just merely held tightly onto his hand.
Yet when he felt a teardrop fall onto his hand, he stopped crying. As he raised his head and turned around, he saw a trace of tear of Senri's face.
--- Sorry, I was thinking about comforting you with a smile... but if Akatsuk-kun is crying, I just can't do it...
And so Akatsuki had vowed again within his heart.
He would never bear this pain again. Just merely crying without doing anything else, would not solve anything.
No matter what--- this time he would definitely protect... this teenage girl that couldn't reflect anything in her eyes despite her being shined upon by the sunset.
He would definitely protect this girl who’s kinder than anyone else.
Akatsuki finally restored parts of his consciousness. After seeing a droplet of water near his feet, he then realized that he was weeping, and quickly used his sleeve to wipe his face.
Shaking his head left and right to awaken himself more, Akatsuki began his search for (Shinpu).
--- I will definitely protect Senri
Even now, Akatsuki could feel his hands were very warm. The warmth that he received from those two teenage girls would never fade from him, no matter what happens.
Akatsuki began to run once again, heading straight towards a certain place.
He soon arrived at an abandoned factory near the river bank, and charged in without hesitation. Gliding down the hill and passing through the rusted giant gate, he entered the ruined factory.
Judging from within, it seemed like it was once a vehicle repair factory, even though it had already been abandoned, many rusted cars could still be seen around. Akatsuki then passed through a chest-high iron-wire fence and walked deeper into the factory.
Just then, several (Mushi) that were larger than Akatsuki, appeared out of nowhere, and blocked his path. Wiggling their mouth parts, they were all groaning lightly as if they wanted to devour Akatsuki alive.
"What business does SEPB's dog have to do here? Have you come to arrest us?"
A voice filled with sarcasm came from behind the (Mushi).
Looking carefully, one could see that there were more than a dozen figures appearing all over within the factory. They were teenagers that had no uniform relationship to each other in regards of their appearance and age.
--- The number has increased?
After seeing some new faces, Akatsuki's expression immediately became serious.
"I have something I want to ask everyone. It doesn't matter how small the details are, if you know anything, please tell me."
Akatsuki said that after hesitated for a while.
However, the (Mushi) in front immediately sounded an angry roar as the teenagers surrounded Akatsuki in a semi-circle. After seeing a blonde haired teenage boy walked out among them, Akatsuki gave a distorted expression in shock.
"Why are you still acting like you're the boss? I thought that after (Ladybird) died, you... had already defected to the SEPB like a traitor!"
"Vihookumosu...! Why is the western district leader… you… here?!" [TL note: Vihookumosu is the Jap word for Bee hawk moth, a moth that looks like a humming bird.]
"It's all because you, the southern leader, are being so useless that I had to come here for your disturbed underlings."
The blonde haired teenage boy --- Vihookumosu stared at Akatsuki. He was a teenage boy taller than Akatsuki by a head, and had a strong body figure.
Akatsuki then muttered with a low voice:
"... I'm sure you have already known, the reason of why I'm in SEPB right now is because of Rina's order. It's not like I volunteered to do it."
"Oui, Efemera!" [TL note: Efemera is the Jap word for Mayfly/Ephemera.]
Vihookumosu strengthened his tone as he tugged Akatsuki's collar.
"It's not "Rina", right? Our leader is the (Ladybird)... It’s all because of you, the southern leader, had no will to fight that our west division couldn't go assist her, and that's why she...!"
After hearing that, everyone began to distort their expression painfully due to remorse; as a strong pain pierced through Akatsuki's heart.
Just like what Vihookumosu said, he didn't save Rina. However, there was actually a reason behind it. It may sound like an excuse, but he did indeed follow the promise between him and Rina, that's why he didn’t go.
"... The reason why I didn't go to Ouka City was also because of Rina's order ---"
Before Akatsuki could finish, his face received a strong impact.
Vihookumosu punched Akatsuki against the wall, and furthermore choked his neck. Their comrades immediately tried to break them off, yet due to the teenager's ridiculous strength; no one was able to stop him.
"Don't make me repeat myself! She's (Ladybird), not Rina!"
“A figure clothed in a black ragged robe with his face covered by a hood, a petite body, a crooked back… and he should be wearing a broken rosary...”
"If anyone... ... has seen this person in this town, please tell me..."
This time, Akatsuki's stomach received an even stronger impact, causing him to groan before falling forward onto the floor.
"No one will listen to your shit!"
"Please tell me... has anyone seen...? Anyone?---"
Even though Akatsuki held his pain and raised his head to see, no one responded nor moved an inch. Just then, Vihookumosu stepped on Akatsuki's profile.
"You're really pissing me off...!"
The blonde haired boy then added few more kicks to Akatsuki who was on the ground before saying:
"After joining (Mushibane), you had never once fought in any battle! And even when (Ladybird) was going for her final battle, you didn't even think about saving her! Why does a coward person like you get to be the southern district leader?! It's all because of you... all because of you that (Ladybird) was killed by (Kakkou)...!"
Enduring the pain, Akatsuki shot a glance at Vihookumosu and noticed that he was crying while kicking him harshly. On the side, other comrades could be seen crying as well.
Akatsuki squeezed out that line forcefully, which caused the teenage boy who was expressing his anger to stop.
"I'm definitely going to kill that guy... No matter whom he is, no matter how strong he is... I’m definitely going to get revenge... using my own hands."
Akatsuki said with a suppressed low tone, before raising his head to look at Vihookumosu and noticed that shoulders were trembling from shock. Akatsuki didn't know what expression was he putting up, but those words were exactly his feelings from the bottom of his heart. No matter what reason that guy might have, he will never forgive (Kakkou), whose face that he had never seen before, for killing Rina.
Akatsuki slowly stood up and surveyed the surroundings. A silence began to embrace the whole factory, it seemed like no one had the Intel that Akatsuki wanted.
With a mouth filled with the taste and smell of blood, Akatsuki turned around and planned on leaving. Yet suddenly, Vihookumosu spoke:
"Someone like you can defeat (Kakkou)? Don't make me laugh. According to the Intel, aren't you the lowest ranked level in SEPB? I guess you're trying to hide the fact that you're weak as hell just so you don't have to fight right?"
Akatsuki didn't answer. Beside himself, there were many others within (Mushibane) that collected Intel on the SEPB.
"My west division will take all your southern division's members under our control from now on, and also decided to put this town under our territory. No one is going to follow you anymore."
"What?! Who gave you the permission to ---"
"And I heard that the SEPB's East Central Division branch director's younger sister is here as well. We're going to catch her as a hostage, and then take (Fuyuhotaru) back. Well of course, that's after we finished with that annoying branch director and (Kakkou).
Akatsuki widened his eyes.
"How did you know such thing...?!"
"It's not like you're the only one that's lurking within the SEPB, you know? It was just an Intel that someone obtained by chance."
How can that be...!
Akatsuki shouted within his mind.
The fact that the younger sister of Haji Keigo, the East Central Division's branch director, was a Mushitsuki— was top secret Intel that none other than: Haji Keigo, the West Southwest director, and Akatsuki himself, who was the watcher for the mission, should know of. This sort of Intel could never be obtained just by "chance". However it didn't seem as if Vihookumosu was lying.
Then How... Who is it that ---
An indescribable foreboding rose within Akatsuki’s heart, causing him to shout:
Seeing the sudden change in Akatsuki's expression, everyone else was shocked.
"I won't allow you guys to do such thing!"
"We don't need your consent on this! The members of West district division had already gathered in town. Beside, why are you so fussed over this?"
"Because... because it would be unilaterally threatening and that would cause us troubles! We had only been protecting others Mushitsuki in the past, that's why SEPB are being loose with us. If we were to do that, the SEPB would definitely go all out and destroy the (Mushibane)!"
"Our leader has already died! Are we just going to hide in our corners and cry like cowards?! The death of (Ladybird) has not moved you any bit?! Not only did you not protect (Ladybird), are you going defend for the enemies as well?!"
The teenage boy's words caused an indescribable pain to throb against Akatsuki's chest.
I --- I couldn't protect Rina...
He couldn't protect that teenage girl whom he met one year ago.
--- I wanted to create a place where Mushitsuki belong.
He really wanted to help her with her dream that she said with such a strong will, and that feeling hadn't changed a bit, even now. But after knowing she passed away, he could feel that everything he had believed in had collapsed.
The teenage girl named Tachibana Rina was a very important figure that should never have died. Her goal contained many Mushitsukis' hopes. Not only did Akatsuki respect her, he could feel that he was developing some special feelings for her as well.
However, a death god known as war used (Kakkou) as his sickle to mercilessly take her life away from them.
In this world, the thing that Akatsuki hated the most was war. And Rina, who was trying to free others from pain, was a victim of it. This fact caused Akatsuki to grieve dramatically, as if he was betrayed by everything in this world.
Just then, a teenage girl cried for him, saving his soul from being overwhelmed by sadness and anger. A person that was not related to the SEPB, or (Mushibane). But just as a friend, she cried along with Akatsuki.
"In short...... You can't, I definitely won't allow such a thing to happen."
Akatsuki said as he stared at Vihookumosu, while the feeling of uncertainty began to expand within.
"I'm not going to listen to your orders! If you treasure SEPB more than (Mushibane), then why don't you just go join them?! So that way, we can defeat you without hesitating."
After he exchanged glares with Vihookumosu, Akatsuki bit his lip and turned away from his former comrades.
"Efemera! Don't forget, it’s you that killed (Ladybird)!"
Vihookumosu shouted behind Akatsuki's back, causing him to clench his fist tightly.
--- Your dream is pretty good!
He then recalled Rina's smile.
Remembering the moment when Rina praised his dream and her words:
--- You're really kind... If someone like you could become the leader of (Mushibane). (Mushibane) would probably able to stay the way it is. As long as you continued to protect your dream...
Rina trusted Akatsuki. Yet he was unable to return that trust and further protect her dream.
And even now, he had thought of protecting someone else.
"That's right... It was my dream... that killed Rina..."
The confusion emerged from within Akatsuki's heart began to expand wider and wider without a slightest sign of weakening.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
Stay tuned for the moment when Akatsuki realized that Daisuke is (Kakkou) =D.
By the way, Rina mentioned Akatsuki before in volume 1. When Shiika was staying at Rina's house, the person who Rina ordered to stay still for the time being on the phone was actually Akatsuki.
Oh and P.S, i just got more hours added to my work shift(quite a lot >.>). So I'll probably be slower on releasing the following chapters, + I have to work on my own fan fiction as well. Just a head up~