Owari no Chronicle:Volume14 Chapter 29
Final Chapter: The Ending Chronicle
I have realized it
Two rows of cherry trees blossomed below the blue sky.
The road between the trees led to a cement wall surrounding a vast area of land. The open entrance on the western end was surrounded by stone gateposts engraved with the words “Taka-Akita Academy”.
A sign on the gate said classes were out for spring break and the gate itself was open with no one passing through it.
If one did pass through the gate, they would reach a central road also lined by cherry trees.
A faculty building was located directly ahead from the entrance and the second year general education building was located to the north of that. A single figure was visible there.
A young man in a suit stood on the second floor emergency staircase landing with a small boar-like animal on his head.
As he rested his elbows on the railing and looked out across the campus, the wind blew and cherry blossoms scattered.
Then the emergency exit behind him opened.
A woman in a white dress stepped out with a black binder in one hand.
The woman held her skirt down with the hand she held the binder in lest it blow too far up in the gentle wind.
“Wow, it’s pretty windy, Sayama-kun. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn a skirt.”
“Please do not suggest things that would kill my motivation, Shinjou-kun. Panty shots at school are a valuable thing.”
“I did wear a girl’s uniform a lot during our third year, you know?”
“It feels completely different with personal clothes.”
“Is that how it works?” asked Shinjou as she lined up next to Sayama.
When she viewed the blowing cherry blossoms below the blue sky, she realized she had seen this same scene in the past.
Today, Sayama had invited her to visit some graves, stop by some familiar places, and then go to UCAT.
The idea had likely started with an email from Izumo and Kazami: “We’ll be back for a bit, so if you have nothing better to do, we could keep you company.”
The message had only arrived one day in advance, so those two were the same as always.
The school was the first place Sayama had brought Shinjou.
…He hasn’t forgotten.
He then turned toward her and asked a question.
“How were things inside, Shinjou-kun?”
“Hm? …I think the interior’s changed a little. Also there was a painting from the art club and some photos in front of the Kinugasa Library. There was a photo of the National Defense Department, of Old UCAT, of our parents, and…of us.”
The photo of them was from two years ago when the student council went on a going-away trip for Izumo and Kazami.
They had gone to the mountains around Mt. Ikoma and found the spot at which their parents and the others had taken their photo.
“I never thought I would once more find myself standing in the same place as that lecherous old man after we finished all that. It was sad that I was not able to hang up any posters in the mountain cabin during that trip.”
“You were supposed to be in charge of food, so you really need to stop making jokes where you open up your bag to reveal it’s all goods modeled after me. Also…”
Shinjou pointed at the neighboring school building to change the subject.
Three people were walking along the hallway on the first floor.
“I passed by them earlier.”
The one in the lead was a girl in a girl’s uniform who had long black hair. She occasionally touched the red cloisonné pendant hanging from her neck as she showed the other two around the academy.
“She’s apparently going to be the next student council president.”
“Does this school have some kind of rule about the president being someone who repeated a year?”
The two walking behind her were a boy and a girl.
The girl wore personal clothing and held a cat. She also had a white IAI musical instrument case hanging from her shoulder.
The boy also in personal clothing seemed to know the girl and seemed confused why the girl and president were speaking like they knew each other.
“Do you think they will inherit what we left behind in this school?”
“I don’t know. But did you hear what Ooshiro-san’s been saying? Just like your grandfather, someone apparently had an orphanage made after the Great Kansai Earthquake.”
“I certainly would not know anything about that.”
Yes, you do, she thought, but she said something else instead.
“Whoever it was apparently gave it the strange named of the Hero House.”
Sayama said nothing, so Shinjou said nothing more either.
But she seemed satisfied with that as she held her hair against the wind and leaned her back against the railing.
She looked to the wall in front of her.
Perhaps due to the angle of the sun, she saw writing on the wall. Someone had used their finger to write in the sand and dust there.
There were twelve rows of writing and the middle ten were as follows:
1st-Gear: Fafnir Custom
5th-Gear: Black Sun – White Creation
7th-Gear: Four Dragon Brothers
Those ten had faded a good bit, but the two rows above and below them were brand new, as if they had only just been written.
Above 10th was the following:
And below 1st, the following words supported all the others:
After seeing that writing, Shinjou slowly turned toward Sayama.
But he gave no explanation and simply looked back at her.
“What is it?”
His slight smile kept her from saying anything.
After all, his completion of those twelve lines meant something.
…His Leviathan Road has ended.
Two years had passed since it had ended. Being in this familiar place during the same season as its beginning may have helped him make up his mind about something.
She wondered what he would do now.
A sudden gust of wind reached them.
The source of the wind was two objects passing by at extremely low altitude.
After kicking Sayama as he crouched down to peek up her fluttering skirt, she looked up and saw two forms there.
One was a blue and white mechanical dragon and the other was a black winged god of war.
As those two winds stretched high into the sky, they left behind the low sound of a sonic boom.
Down below, Sayama had pulled out a digital camera at some point.
“Are they training? Honestly, they still act like a biker gang or something. What are they thinking?”
“There’s a lot I’d like to say to you, but I’m guessing they’re all on their way to UCAT.”
“So were they showing off to us just now?”
He sounded exasperated and Shinjou fixed her hair while facing forward again.
“What is it, Shinjou-kun?”
The wind had completely blown away the writing on the wall.
Should she have given it a better look or was this for the best? She did not know.
“We should be going, too.”
He suddenly pulled on her hand.
He led her down the stairs and to the familiar space below.
Cherry blossoms were scattering everywhere.
It felt so nostalgic even though they had been here as recently as a year ago.
“Over there is where you pulled down my track suit, isn’t it?”
“Yes. And you are wearing a skirt today.”
“You can’t,” she said while turning around to find him right there.
She realized anew that he was by her side and breathed a sigh of relief.
Perhaps due to being in such a familiar place, she recalled the fight that had begun during the spring two years before.
A lot had been lost, but they had definitely gained the past, a new future, and…
“The fact that you’ll be with me.”
They walked side by side toward the dormitories and they pressed against each other.
It was a strange thing. Two years before, she had never imagined this was where she would be now.
“We’re together, aren’t we?”
“You keep saying that, Shinjou-kun.”
Sayama also smiled as he looked around and then at her.
“Well, you do remember what I said when I picked up Gram, don’t you? I said I wanted to have you with me.”
She did remember. He had saved her life, so she had faced his true self, taken his hand, and…
“And I…and I said that I did too, didn’t I?”
“Yes, but that was not the first time I thought that. The first time was when I met you working so desperately hard in that Okutama forest.”
Suddenly, he faced her directly and cleared his throat.
“I have no proof from a writing concept, but I will still say it, Shinjou-kun. Although it is such a common thing I do not know if it has any meaning.”
“…Eh? What is this? Nothing weird, okay?”
She then heard his kind words.
“I love you, Shinjou-kun.”
He took a breath and more words reached her ears.
“I want to go out with you, Shinjou-kun. Because I want to be with you.”
He gave her a direct confession.
He confessed with no one else around.
This may have been one of his emotions he did not like showing people.
But it was so sudden that Shinjou did not know how to respond.
It felt like being hit by everything he had previously told her all at once.
She had thought saying “I love you” was a simple thing that one could easily say if they wanted to.
But he had only now said it after everything they had experienced together and it had come so suddenly.
Had he chosen today’s itinerary in order to say this?
Because he never spoke his innermost thoughts, she had gone out of her way to not say those words either.
And that left her flustered now that he had said them.
“S-so is this another one of those dynamite Sayama statements…or something?”
He responded quietly.
“Shinjou-kun… Please do not make light of this.”
She panicked when she noticed the weakness of his voice, his lowered eyebrows, and his hanging head.
His head shot up, as did Baku’s on top of his head.
“You mean! After everything we have been through! I am being rejected!?”
“W-wah! Th-that isn’t what I meant! It really isn’t! I wanted to say thank you because I feel the same way! I um…n-never want to leave you either!”
She breathed in and formed the words that her heart brought to her. She also grabbed both his hands.
“You’re the only one I want to spend the rest of my life with!! Because…”
She did her very best to shout the words she could only say if their hearts were connected.
“I love you too! I love you just as much as you do me!”
She breathed in and looked to him.
She was a little bothered by the chilly silence created by her breath.
…I said it.
Those words seemed to gather together and reset all of the previous expressions of her feelings.
She had said it not because Sayama had but because she had felt that was what she needed to say now.
By summing up her feelings, she felt like they could begin anew.
By gathering together all of the awkward words from the past, they could work their way toward even greater words in the future.
This was just a dividing line, designating a new beginning.
“I love you…so let’s be together, Sayama-kun.”
As they pressed their bodies and cheeks together, she saw a tear in the corner of his eye.
It was so sudden that she froze up, but then she heard a somewhat trembling breath.
He then embraced her, pulled her close, and gathered his strength.
She felt her heart warm at the fact that their hearts were connected by those words.
So she responded in kind. Without letting go, she clung to him and longingly embraced him.
Her binder had fallen to the ground, but she could pick it up later.
After she confirmed the presence in Sayama’s chest, she heard him inhale.
“I have someone to be by my side. And they will be there always.”
Her heart skipped a beat.
She had least seen this side of him when they had been reunited on Christmas Eve two years before.
Just like now, he had embraced her and she had embraced him back.
She realized this was the reverse side of his pain and it was something he had never let anyone see.
After confirming they would never be apart, he had allowed this to be seen only by the one who supported his pain. He showed her just what feelings had existed behind the pain she had supported him through.
…What a complicated person.
She understood that only she could touch his heart now.
So she asked a soothing question while lightly patting his back.
“Were you lonely? Were you lonely after so many people left you behind for so long?”
He moved his head in a nod, so she nodded back.
“I was too. We’re opposites, but we were the same when it comes to that.”
She found her vision blurring, but she knew she had to respond to him.
She nodded again, moved her head back a bit, and blushed at how late it was to be discussing this.
“I never forgot that I was told someone was coming for me eleven years ago.”
“And I never forgot that I was told I was on my way to see someone precious.”
“We won’t be lonely anymore, will we?”
Their lips met. They seemed to be both desiring and answering each other. They seemed to be exchanging themselves.
But finally, they parted in satisfaction and exchanged heated breaths.
Shinjou held out her right hand and he held out his left.
He took and squeezed her hand, so she squeezed back.
They sensed each other’s pulse, warmth, and dampness.
“I’m so happy.”
She looked at him with a smile and found his usual expressionless look.
But she knew he was happy too.
The rings on their clasped hands gave a quiet clink.
She felt like their hands would never part again.
“So we’ll be visiting the graves after this?”
“And then we can go see that forest in Okutama. We need to thank that werewolf that allowed us to meet. Then we can meet those idiots at UCAT and the two of us can discuss something on the way home.”
“Yes.” He cleared his throat and averted his gaze. “About our future. …It has to do with your novels.”
“Eh?” She was surprised. “D-do you mean you’ve decided what you’re going to get serious about and what you’re going to do for the world?”
He did not answer, but he did give a small smile of anticipation.
Her heart skipped a beat when she saw that smile and he squeezed her hand again.
He had probably noticed the pulse, sweat, and heat on her hand.
The wind was blowing and it carried the spring cherry blossoms.
Those blossoms almost looked like snow. It reminded her of the snow and concept light from that night two years ago.
And behind them, she heard the piano playing in the school building’s music room.
It played Silent Night.
That was the one song she had remembered and now she remembered so much more.
Still, she sang along with the song her mother had taught her and that connected her to someone precious.
As they walked hand-in-hand, Sayama also opened his mouth.
And they sang.
As they sang, Shinjou suddenly realized something about the writing on the emergency exit wall.
The wind had wiped it clean, but that had chronicled the twelve worlds that had risen into the heights.
Those words of those various endings had vanished so no one could see them anymore.
That was the Ending Chronicle.
Everything that connected the past and the future was with them, so where would they end up as they continued on ahead?
She only knew two things for sure: Sayama was smiling her way, and…
“I will always be with you, Shinjou-kun.”
She nodded at his words.
“So will I.”
She raised her voice while squeezing his hand even tighter.
“So will I!”
The words of their promise rang into the sky of the new spring season.
Their voices rang loud with that song of promise in the background.
We’ll always be together, Sayama-kun!!
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