Translated : Wing
Edited : Skat
The passengers in the adjacent cars were gazing at Akatsuki with baffled expressions as he ran pass by.
Akatsuki paid no mind to all the attention that he was garnering, as he charged straight towards the next car. Since the bullet train was still traveling in high speed, almost no one in the cars had noticed the abnormality.
Just when Akatsuki was about to go through the automatic door that connected the 10th car and 11th car, a sweet aroma irritated his nose.
Akatsuki jumped back instinctively as he covered his face with his sleeve and stopped.
This is ---
His body reacted before he could think any further; he took out the SEPB’ goggle from inside his shirt and put it on. Raising his head, he turned around and gazed at the automatic door that he just passed through, as he reached his hand outwards.
(Hien)…! [TL: It’s kanji is 陽炎, which could be translate as Sun’s flame/blaze. Seriously Akatsuki, not only you had a cool name, alias, codename, and even your Mushi’s name is awesome. You’re just too awesome lol.]
An orange-colored mayfly, that appeared out of nowhere, flew onto the automatic door. After the tiny (Mushi) found the panel that controlled the automatic door, it stabbed its twin tails in. The automatic door gave a buzz as it malfunctioned, due to the severing of the wires. With this, the automatic doors around the area should cease to function.
Akatsuki covered his mouth as he gazed though the window of the automatic door to the next car. However, all he could hear was silence … it was just too quiet— to an extent where it began to feel weird. Surveying his surrounding more closely, he noticed the passengers were all moaning in their seats.
“Sleeping gas huh…”
It seemed like the passengers in the 11th car were all knocked out from the sleeping gas. Judging from this, the 12th car should probably be the same; only the passengers in the 10th car seemed normal.
Just then, Akatsuki’s vision suddenly distorted; he barely managed to maintain his consciousness from fading.
Akatsuki moved to the far end corner of the 10th car where people couldn't see and stopped as the mayfly began to swell up its body. It swung its tail that was divided into two, and from the holes of its abdomen, it shot out a sphere that was covered by a black shell.
The black-colored sphere struck the ceiling and emitted a white aura.
In an instant, a hole was blasted onto the car’s ceiling, causing a cold breeze to pour into the car.
Akatsuki took a deep breath of the fresh air to get rid of the sleepiness. Afterwards he jumped up and grabbed onto the edge of the hole on the ceiling, with a backflip, he flipped himself out of the car.
Woosh--- a strong gust stormed at Akatsuki from behind.
Although the bullet train had already slowed down, it was still traveling with a speed of more than a hundred miles per hour. Outside of the bullet train, the air was freezing to the bone; gray clouds could be seen covering the sky as if it was trying to summon the rain.
Enduring the fierce gale blowing from behind, Akatsuki raised his head.
Yet, the scene in front caused him to gasp.
Countless (Mushi) could be seen crawling on the ceilings of the 11th car and extended all the way to the end of the 12th car. Not only that, there were also dozens of (Mushi) flying behind, trying to catch up to the bullet train.
“How is this possible … Did they combine all of the South and East district’s forces…?!”
Just then, white smoke began to rise among the (Mushi) herd. It changed its path in midair and flew pass Akatsuki, intending on advancing towards the car ahead. In the center of the smoke, a small white-colored shell insect could be seen.
“So the sleeping gas… was released by the east district’s Mushitsuki…?!”
Meanwhile, the orange-colored mayfly was crawling onto the ceiling behind Akatsuki. Swinging its twin tails around as it shot out more black-shelled sphere from the holes of its abdomen.
White light began to explode in the midair, striking down (Mushi) that were releasing the sleeping gas one by one. Under the storming of the strong gale, the remaining smoke and (Mushi)’s debris were blown backward.
“(Kaguya), what’s the situation?”
Ishimaki’s voice came from the goggle.
“Enemies confirmed! It’s the (Mushibane)’s remnant! Estimated amount ranging from… a few dozen to over a hundred! Please immediately send reinforcement!”
Akatsuki shouted as he grabbed tightly onto the ceiling of the car, preventing himself from getting blown away.
He could hear Touko’s loud surprised voice: “A... H-Hundred…?!”
While Ishimaki was replying with a stiff tone:
“… Ishimaki copy, I’ll immediately request for more reinforcements from the Headquarters.”
A giant (Mushi), that was at the front of the (Mushi) herd, roared at Akatsuki. Its figure after swelling up its body and spread its wing seemed very similar to a bee hawk moth. Just then, a teenage boy appeared behind the bee hawk moth.
“Efemera! Why are you getting in our way?!”
He is the leader of east district leader of the (Mushibane), Vihookumosu. His blond hair was being blown into a mess by the furious wind, while the bee hawk moth was dancing its triangular antennae.
Akatsuki hurriedly disconnect the microphone of the goggle, and shouted:
“This is wrong! (Mushibane) is a rebel organization that exists in order to save more Mushitsuki! You guys shouldn’t be doing this for revenge!... … Even Rina wouldn’t allow this!”
“(Ladybird) is not here anymore!”
Akatsuki fell into silence from that.
“And it’s all because of you wouldn’t save her!”
Heart-piercing pain was throbbing through Akatsuki’s chest.
What Vihookumosu said was right; it was all Akatsuki’s fault for not helping her in that battle which resulted her death. Although later on he knew that it was Rina who personally refused him to join, and he clearly knew why she made such decision.
--- It was because Rina knew what Akatsuki’s dream was.
“Efemera, piss off! No one think of you as comrade anymore! You had never fought once in the past, and now, you’re intending on going against us in place of the SEPB?”
“I… I don’t want to fight.”
Akatsuki said that as his whole body was beat by the furious wind.
His words caused Vihookumosu’s expression to distort from anger.
“You… to this point… still thinking ---“
“That’s my dream…”
Akatsuki’s voice reached Vihookumosu’s ear along with the sound of wind. His words caused the teenage boy to stop his movement.
Ever since Akatsuki lost his parents due to the local disputes overseas when he was young, he had been thinking about it.
Why do people have to fight?
If there's a fight, someone will definitely get hurt, it was something very obvious and natural— an outcome that could never be escaped from.
--- I want to live a peaceful life where there’s no war or fighting.
I don’t want to see precious people get hurt.
Was it a sign of weakness? Or was it a sign of him trying to escape from the reality? Was it that impossible for it to come true?
Rina was the first person who Akatsuki revealed his dream to.
And that teenage girl, who lived in battle, smiled happily.
--- It’s a nice dream!
But then that teenage girl, who said those words with a smile, lost her life in a battle. In a war that Akatsuki hated the most, she was killed before she could even fulfill her dream, and disappeared in front of him just like that.
Akatsuki originally thought that Rina could make his dream comes true. If it was Rina, they would definitely able to create a place where people like him who hates war and fighting could belong.
“Why do we have to fight?! Senri is also a Mushitsuki! Not only that, her body is also very weak… Why must you guys involve her into this just so you can get revenge?!...”
The moment when he lost everything he believed in, it was Senri who saved him.
Senri’s gentle hands embraced him with warmth, and gave him the will to live on.
And around Senri, a lot of kind people gathered.
Iori, Azu, and Daisuke --- Living happy and peaceful lives without any sign of war, it was all he ever wanted.
“Why must we fight each other?!”
Riding along with the storm, Akatsuki’s roar echoed loudly against the fellow Mushitsuki’s ears.
(Mushibane)’s Mushitsuki were shaken.
“It’s because someone is getting in the way of our dream!”
Vihookumosu roared backed:
“It’s all because of the existence of the SEPB that we had to live in fear! For the sake of defeating them, (Ladybird) fought to her dying breath! We have to inherit her will!”
“… No… That’s not right…”
Akatsuki’s voice that was akin to begging was trembling non-stop.
“That’s not… That’s not it. Our enemies are not them…… Rina just wanted create a place where we could belong… She actually hated fighting more than anyone else… …”
“Make your choice, Efemera! Are you going to inherit (Ladybug)’s will with us? Or are you going to protect the enemy’s sister and join the SEPB?”
Akatsuki was unable to answer Vihookumosu’s question.
It was probably love at first sight…
When the first time Akatsuki saw the teenage girl named Tachibana Rina, he had the intention of protecting this person already. Even though she was getting involved in many battles, she was still able to smile happily.
What was Rina thinking when she fought until her last breath?
Was she gritting her teeth with regret? Or was she trembling her body from anger?
If those were the case, then Akatsuki would definitely inherit her will. In his mind, the killing desire that he had toward (Kakkou) who killed Rina had not once subside.
Then, what about his feeling toward Senri?...
The feeling that Akatsuki had toward Senri, was it a replacement for Rina? Just because he couldn’t save Rina, he overlapped Senri over Rina, just so he could lie to himself and feel better?
“… You can’t make your choice? Then you should just sit there obediently and don’t interfere. Your dream was to avoid fighting, wasn’t it?”
Rina, tell me… What should I do…?
Akatsuki huddled on the ceiling, getting beat by the furious wind while feeling lost.
He noticed that the (Mushibane)’s group began to advance once again.
The blond-haired teenage boy’s giant bee hawk mouth was slowly approaching Akatsuki.
--- It’s a nice dream!
--- Can you feel?
The two teenage girl’s smile slowly intercepted in his mind.
Rina, I ---
The mayfly behind Akatsuki roared loudly as it released numerous burning spheres; leaving white smoke in its path, the spheres flew toward the (Mushibane)’s group.
However, a dozen of Mushitsuki returned fire all at once and countered the burning spheres.
“Is that your answer? Efemera… No… SEPB’s Mushi…”
Vihookumosu said furiously.
Akatsuki slowly stood up as a rain drop fell onto his neck.
One after another, the rain droplets that fell from the sky were becoming needle due to the storm, beating against the new bullet that was speeding on the track.
“You think you can fight us just by yourself?”
Akatsuki apologized with a whisper.
Next to him, the mayfly slowly began to change. Its orange-colored shells were all cracking up from within; shortly after, it reached out its golden-colored antenna from inside the old shell and roared.
Vihookumosu’s expression took a dramatic change.
“What…! Is it… maturing…?”
Because of his word, the (Mushibane) that was marching immediately came to a stop.
Lifting his head, Akatsuki gazed at the gray-colored sky with his empty eyes.
“I’m going to betray you…”
When he was almost overwhelmed by sadness after losing Rina, it was Senri’s warmth that saved him.
--- If Akatsuki-kun is crying, I just can’t bring myself to smile...
Her surroundings were always filled with warmth.
And Iori and Azu were one of the warmth, if any one of them were missing, there would be no Akatsuki today.
Akatsuki held his hands together.
His clasped hands were still warm, and it was all thanks to the warmth that he received from Senri.
A droplet of liquid that was different from the rain fell on to the car’s ceiling.
After peeling away its orange-colored shell, the golden-colored mayfly howled at the sky, while whipping its meters long twin tails against the car ceiling.
Just then, countless light orbs were shot out from the mayfly’s abdomen. Obscuring the sky with their countless flashing tracks, the light orbs struck down the flying (Mushi) one by one.
Pre-maturation --- After a mayfly matures into adult, it only has a one day life span. However, it is one of the few insect that can grow into an adult directly from a larva, without experiencing the papal stage; a totally different kind of insect. [TL note: this part was explaining about the ecology of mayfly, don’t get confuse lol xD. More on Pre-maturation in the end]
As if they were trying to overwhelm Akatsuki, the rain continued to storm down coldly as furious wind blew against him.
No matter what, Akatsuki would definitely not forget the warmth Senri gave him. Unable to protect Rina --- the mistake of losing those precious to him because he was too afraid of fighting, that kind of mistake, he definitely won’t let it happen again.
Not only Senri, but Iori and Azu who gathered around her, and also Daisuke were all irreplaceable to him. When Akatsuki was with them, he could clearly feel the peaceful warmth that he dreamt of.
“Rina... I’m really glad that I was able to meet you … …”
Your smile… I’ll treasure them deeply… more precious than anything else in this world … in the deepest part of my memories…
“Good bye, I was unable to protect you until the end… Please forgive me … for fighting to protect someone else …”
The tears that Akatsuki shed disappeared in the storm without leaving a trace.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
Pre-maturation:Just like what the term means, its like a temporary stage before maturing. In exchange of the Mushi's enhanced strength and ability, the host would have to sacrifice their dream and energy in an unbelievable rate. You can say that it's a double-edged-sword ability and it doesn't last long. The next Akatsuki chapter would explain more on its new awesome ability.