The birds sang away, a song full of joy at life itself.
Takeya saw images of a place he thought he would never return to; images of his hometown. Wonderful rows of evenly spaced yellow magnolia, their leaves visible far in the distance. The lake amidst it all, and the glistening blue light of the sun shining onto its surface.
It’s not the kind of place that tourists flock to, but Takeya thought it was the most beautiful place on Earth. A special place where the plants, the fish, the occasional fox—and even himself—exist as equal life forms, none standing above the other.
I should be on the floor in that corpse-ridden corridor… so why am I seeing all this?
But this light, gentle air was unmistakeably from the hometown he remembered from his childhood.
Takeya felt something on his head, something hard yet flexible.
Someone’s… thigh? He was definitely resting his head on someone’s lap.
The scent of trees tickled his senses. The negativity that had been overflowing in his mind began slowly waning away.
The hands on his cheeks were the exact same temperate as his cheeks. It felt wonderful.
Muffled crying, but who?
Takeya opened his eyes.
Sniff… sniff… sniff…
He was greeted with a girl he didn’t know.
Tears streamed down her face as Takeya lay on her lap. They fell down on Takeya’s face and, continuing their descent, trickled down his cheeks.
It was like some kind of peaceful ritual.
There was no reason for her to apologize to him. The girl was free of any sin. Takeya could feel that. There was no way the faint light surrounding her could be so warming otherwise.
“My weakness caused you to lose the person closest to you. I know how painful it is to lose someone, but I couldn’t stop it.”
Her skin was almost transparent, like one’s fingers might go right through her if they tried to touch her.
Her blue eyes resembled the lake of Takeya’s hometown.
The girl stood up. Her legs looked thin and feeble as sticks, and that she might buckle under her own weight and fall over any time now.
At that moment, the silhouette of a familiar figure appeared and landed on her shoulder.
“It’s no good, Noi. If you keep taking in everyone’s feelings, your heart won’t be able to handle it! It’ll break!”
The girl patted his head before responding to him.
“But I need to hold everyone’s emotions. It’s my duty.”
“You can’t do it for everyone! You’ll disappear! Then there will be no hope at all! You can’t hold back anymore!, eat someone!”
“Usakoro, I already told you. I can’t eat people anymore. I can’t.”
“You’re at your limit, you can’t make it just using risk to strengthen your magic anymore! Your body can’t take it! Reki is stronger than you now! There’s no point anymore!”
“It’s… not that. I can’t do it, and that’s that.”
“You’ll disappear soon. Your body is withering way. You look like paper. You can’t win against other magical girls like this.”
The hazy- minded Takeya finally realized who she was.
It’s no surprise it took him so long, seeing how her appearance is almost the exact opposite of how she is usually portrayed. It would be unthinkable that the demon who confined them here as food would look this. He had never heard so much as an inkling that a magical girl as warm and kind as this existed.
A magical girl as white as snow, a magical girl as delicate and frail as cotton candy.
White Noisette slowly turned her head to face Takeya.
She spoke his name in a kind and affectionate tone.
She moved over to Takeya and squatted beside him.
“I think it’s you. You’re the one that can save this world.”
She wiped Takeya’s face clean of any tears that may have landed on him.
Me… save the world?
His drive had died along with Reika.
“You might not understand, but your special one is always by your side. She will never disappear as long as we remember her.”
Unbelievable. Death is death. Death is nothingness. Death is hopelessness.
“I’m not just saying that to comfort you. It should be possible since I’ve shared my magic with you. The emotions of everyone here, and everyone that ever was here, are all inside my chest. They’re there as long as we don’t forget them. You can come into my chest any time you want.”
White Noisette touched his chest as he tried to say that.
It was something that could not be put into words. Something that could not be put into images. But it was in there. That alone was enough to move him.
Tears started streaming down his face.
The idea that something like this existed in his world was unthinkable.
“So don’t despair.”
White Noisette took her hand off of Takeya.
“Never lose sight of what’s important to you.”
And with that, Takeya lost consciousness.
If Takeya were to believe what White Noisette has shown him, then the future would change completely.
But there was no way Takeya, who had never known a kind world, could bring himself to accept it.
Consequently, it could be nothing more than part of the dreams of an unconscious man.