Before she knew it, Haya was already awake.
What she saw in front of her with a dim vision, was a pure white ceiling. She heard a regular electronic beeping and the sound of pure white curtains swayed by the wind.
"...heaven's quite bleak isn't it."
"Leave sleep talk for when you're asleep. A woman like you won't die so easily."
When she turned her head in shock, she found Tenryo Taiga's figure in plain clothes seated on a folding chair. He held both of his hands behind his head and looked outside through the window as if he was in daze.
"Before you ask. This is Kiritou general hospital's VIP room. Want to know your condition?"
"Okay. Although there is no trauma, there seem to be quite a large psychological damage. In the worst case, you might have not awakened. It's great it took only a week."
"A week... so I slept that long."
She turned towards the opened window while still lying down. She marked this day as 'one week passed since that day'.
On that day——Haya hugged the disappeared Aoko as the Indra fell on them.
She determined herself to disappear along with that woman.
But immediately after the giant light hit the two, everything was filled with sky blue colour——and she lost her consciousness.
Here I thought I was invited to the other world... but I persistently survived haven't I.
In the end, Kiritou Haya let Asumi Aoko go there alone.
That was the conclusion. No one was saved, a futile ending.
"Now then. Haya, you might not be feeling the best after waking up, but listen to me."
And Taiga spoke to her about what she should know.
The ten thousand mental structures with composed 《Indra》 went back to their original bodies on the same day.
The 'Kiritou' was one of four major cyber-related corporations, were it become to be public the damage would be immeasurable. The negative effects of 《Jail》 caused Kiritou Kouya as well as the executives to have only vague memories of the incident and it was further buried in the darkness.
The world didn't change, Kiritou continued to be one corner of the four major corporations. It was as if the girl called Asumi Aoko didn't exist right from the beginning.
When Haya heard the story from Taiga she suffered from negative emotions and hug her head. Seeing the suicidal expression Taiga let out a small sigh.
"I saved you after going through a lot of trouble. Be more happy."
"...there's no way I can do that can I. In the end, I didn't give anything to neither Aoko nor Iora... maybe I should have acted differently."
If only she questioned Kouya earlier. If only she noticed that Aoko was inside of Iora earlier. If only she discovered 《Angel》's identity earlier. ——Such regrets occupied her mind.
"...it might sound cruel, but Asumi Aoko would reach happiness. She lost her life a year ago. Even if she turned into a ghost, the past wouldn't change."
The moment she turned herself into a Hologhost to have her revenge, she stepped on a road from which she couldn't be saved.
The only thing the two of them could do was to stop her by force. If not, it would have reached the worst conclusion.
Taiga opened the terminal window, and displayed data in front of Haya.
"It seems like Asumi Aoko's diary. Fuyuki found it in the server room."
Haya turned the pages around frantically.
From the day she was picked up by Kiritou until the day prior to her suicide. Her anguish, hatred as well as all the contents of the plan were written there in detail. She slowly read it all.
"It's just my selfish imagination but... she wanted someone to stop her. If she only cared about her objective, there would be no need to leave this diary behind. Moreover, were it to be found the plan would be ruined."
It was a wishful thinking that saved her, even if just a little bit.
Taiga himself knew very well that there was no basis for it.
"...yeah, I think so too."
However, Haya decided to believe his words.
Aoko suffered badly and decided to take revenge, and to this diary she entrusted her only hope. As she was about to take the final step, that's what she must have thought.
Time flowed in silence.
An uncomfortable atmosphere drifted in room, after five minutes passed with the two who didn't know what to say. Unexpectedly, a quiet electronic sound came from Taiga's terminal.
"Oh, it's finally here. Nice timing, Fuyuki."
"What, you look strangely happy. Got some good news?"
"Yeah. She says she finally found a hidden treasure in Kiritou."
When Haya tilted her head puzzled, Taiga executed a program he was sent by Fuyuki. The built-in projector in the terminal activated and displayed a girl in the hospital room.
She had refined and clean facial features, as well as long bluish-black hair.
Clad in a fantastic fluttering costume like a fairy from fairy tales, a girl who looked exactly like Asumi Aoko——AI ・Iolite was there.
"It's Iora's virtual body that Aoko was using. I asked them if it was possible to restore the body somehow. Fuyuki and the others recovered the wrecked data picking it up one by one. But we couldn't do much about her mind."
They dug through an enormous amount of data that was destroyed by Logic Bomb 《Indra》 and reconstructed the body by sorting the data, it was a tremendous amount of work. But the three agreed to do it without any complaints.
Haya raised her body and reached out to Iora who had her eyes closed and wouldn't budge. It was a three-dimensional image so it couldn't be touched. It was just an empty shell without a soul, so there was no reaction.
Even so, Haya continued to stroke her time after time. She pulled out a virtual personality from her own terminal and incorporated it in her.
She gave Iora a push with his fingertips.
After that, a few windows were expanded and an inorganic voice leaked from her mouth.
〈"Start-up code confirmed. Reading virtual personality start. Connecting information collection from five senses... complete. Memory database generation... complete. AI ・Iolite starting in initial state."〉
Slowly she opened her eyes.
It was the same as when they first met, cold eyes which didn't project any emotions found Haya, with a business tone completely unlike her she spun words.
〈"Nice to meet you. I am an AI program called 《Iolite》. I would like to proceed with master registration, will this miss become my master?"〉
"Nice to meet you, huh... I've been prepared for this, but it is quite hard."
The memory didn't return after inserting a new virtual personality. Aoko who created Iolite together with her wouldn't come back——she knew that. But the girl still had some hope, she could be called weak.
〈"I'm sorry... because of me being timid I have broke miss' heart... I'm really sorry."〉
She repeated repentance time after time, tears flowed quietly down Haya's cheeks. Iolite's inorganic eyes stared at her and——
〈"——I was happy being together with Master. Thank you very much."〉
She said words that should be impossible for her.
Haya, as well as Taiga have stared at her in disbelief.
Impossible. Iora's virtual personality disappeared completely. She shouldn't have remembered.
"I-Iolite... just now...?"
〈"...I do not know. For some reason. When I see Master shed tears, I absolutely need to convey it... that's the feeling I get. There's a possibility of a bug."〉
"...it's not... a bug."
Really not knowing, AI ・Iolite tilted her neck.
Haya wiped the teardrops which collected in the corner of her eyes, looked into her eyes and said as if praying.
"You're fine like that. You can remain as you are."
After confirming her state Iolite nodded and was sucked into Haya's terminal. While staring at the disappearing after glow, Haya declared.
"Taiga... I have decided. From now on I will forever pursue the dream I had with Aoko. I will develop an AI who can become friends with people. No matter how many years it will take, definitely."
There was a very difficult road in front of her.
But she will never give up. Even without any proof of that, Taiga was confident about it. One day, she will definitely achieve——
"Why are you talking as if it doesn't concern you? You're doing it with me."
He didn't understand what she meant, seeing him like that Haya made a grand smile.
"Because I'll be graduating starting from next year, you'll be my first employee. Congratulations, there isn't many people who get a job offer on their first year〜."
"Wait wait! The talk leaped far too forward!"
"But isn't it quite a good offer? With your grades it's impossible to enter cyber-related companies and you probably won't be able to stand working in a normal company will you. Impossible. Instead, I could use you well."
"And if I hire you then I'll be able to catch Fuyuki-san and Saionji-san as well. I'll get the top student of first year as well as the runner up? It's not easy to get such high quality staff."
"So that's your real aim!"
Taiga started panicking because of the sudden development, Haya looked at this with a happy smile on her face.
And then, she made a nasty teasing smile as if she came up with something. She outstretched her hand towards the fountain pen placed on the side-deck, picked it up and dropped it on the floor on purpose.
"Ah... sorry Taiga, can you pick it up?"
"Hey hey, you all right? Maybe you still feel——NMU?!!'
It was when Taiga looked up to pass her the fountain pen.
She suddenly pulled him by his collar towards the bed and pressed her soft lips against his.
Eh, wh, wai——wait WAIT?!
Not understanding the situation at all, Taiga's thinking overheated all at once.
Why was Haya's face so close to his, why were his and her lips stuck together.
The moment a quiet sound of a camera shutter filled the air, he separated from her.
Haya's terminal seemed to be the source of the sound, in there, was a photo of a boy and a girl kissing——
"Yup yup. It came out well."
"Y-Y-y-you what are you doing?!"
He didn't understand. Neither why would she suddenly kiss him, nor why would she take a picture of it.
Haya showed Taiga the photo's data and said.
"A trade. If you don't agree, I'll show this photo to your little sister."
"ARE YOU A DEVIL?!!"
He didn't even want to try imagining how Fuyuki would react after being shown such a thing.
To avoid that he would do anything——just when he thought that, with a strangely good timing a mail came from Fuyuki. It said 'hurry up and come down'. He checked the clock and realized it was past the meeting time they agreed on.
"Geh... sorry Haya, I'll come again! That photo, erase it properly!"
She tried to stop him as he jumped out in a hurry, he looked back at her.
"...thank you for everything. I'm really grateful."
She said it shyly, with a blush on her cheeks.
Involuntarily, he was fascinated by her beautiful figure combined with her black hair flowing in the wind.
Taiga left the hospital room.
Haya stared at the terminal Iolite has entered, she made a phone call to a certain person with a clear purpose and determination. After eight calls, the other recipient finally responded.
"...it's been a week since we last spoke, Father."
〈"What do you want. I'm busy so be quick."〉
Hearing the cold voice her heart almost broke.
She always followed his orders. Never thought about standing up to him, and lived as he ordered her to. That life was to end here and now.
Haya clenched the terminal tightly, as she did that she felt a courage well up inside her.
"Is that so. Well, in short it would be——"
She looked at the sky outside the window, and she announced both ending and the beginning.
"——I declare a war."
In order to continue the dream the girls pursued, she depicted it like that.
"Ah, Taigaaa! Over here!"
He rolled out of the hospital into the pleasant sunshine. Taiga looked towards where the energetic voice called him from and saw Rui waving her hands towards him. Fuyuki and Shio stood next to her.
"...it took you quite long. What were you doing?"
"Explaining what happened and such."
Taiga dodged the topic appropriately, Fuyuki entwined their arms as if it was natural and stared at him questioningly. Rui's and Shio's line of sight pierced his arm and was somehow uncomfortable.
In order to deceive them he spoke to all three.
"Sorry to make you do such a tedious work. Shio too in the end had to stay for a week in a hotel because of that."
"I don't mind at all. Thanks to that I could practice housework with Rui-chan and pass Hime-chan's test."
"Did you find a room for yourself?"
"Not yet, but I'll definitely live in this city. This city which Onii-san and Hime-chan lives in."
There was no hesitation in her pupils. Fuyuki noticed that Rui gently stared at her and she made a puzzled expression.
"Rucchan, you look somewhat happy?"
"Really? ...yup, I guess I am."
Rui said so and laughed, she hugged Taiga's other arm.
As her large and soft breasts pressed onto him he involuntarily tried to pull his arm out, but Rui firmly held it.
"Hey hey, Taiga. Rui-san wants a reward."
"Yup. I did my best this time right? So, I don't care when but let's go on a date."
"Please wait a moment Rucchan. If that's the case then Little Sister is the biggest contributor and she should go first."
Seeing Rui rub his body wanting to be spoiled, Fuyuki raised her eyebrows. She strongly embraced his arm as if to compete with Rui and raised her index finger to point at Taiga.
"Little Sister hasn't forgotten, the date she was promised two weeks ago still hasn't happened. That's right, with this it'll turn into a short trip, how about that?"
"Grr, that's not fair. What does Shio-chan think?"
"Eh, umm... I'm a bit envious..."
As the three happily chatted, Taiga looked up at the sky.
The world of light they were always aiming for.
Now he was standing in the place they always longed for, no matter how many sins they've piled up.
He desperately grabbed onto the light people like Asumi Aoko reached out to, but couldn't grasp.
"...God, I beg you. Please let days like these continue."
Taiga muttered a quiet prayer and continued to walk with the girls.
——In the pleasant and warm sunlight he will hold onto the happiness that was granted to him.