——Last Boss Rehabilitation Manager's manual, point 8. List of candidates for summoning.
Summoning Candidate №85 "Igniit"
Sex: "Male" Race: "Human"
History: "A hero. Fought against the demon lord for the sake of humanity, but kept betraying everyone."
Abilities: "Swordsmanship. Magic. Unexplainable strength."
Cause of death: "Stabbed to death from behind by his childhood friend, the priest."
Impressions: "An idiot. Better not pick him."
Summoning Candidate №12 "Vendetta"
Sex: "Female" Race: "Fallen Angel"
History: "Former angel. Made to despair by humans and God, she led devils as she challenged the heavens."
Abilities: "Reproduction magic."
Cause of death: "Due to her lack of leadership she was unable to suppress the infighting among devils, and self-destructed."
Summoning Candidate №5 "Sora"
Sex: "Female, personality-wise" Race: "AI"
History: "She used to be artificial intelligence made for the sake of improving environment, she judged that 〈Extermination of Humankind〉 is her top priority."
Abilities: "Breaking down substances and their reconstruction with use of Fifth Generation Multiplicating Nanomachines."
Cause of death: "She abducted a human woman in order to understand humans, and as a result of continuing to converse with her, has grown to think similarly to humans. In the end, she was betrayed by the woman, had an anti-nanomachine virus injected and was annihilated."
Summoning Candidate №78 "Kirishima"
Sex: "Male" Race: "Glasses"
History: "President of a large company "Squall Technologies". Made the concept of countries disappear and exhausted the planet's natural resources in order to mass produce IM(Imitation Mars)."
Abilities: "Newest IM model 〈Black Hydrangea〉's piloting."
Cause of death: "As a result of pursuing dreams too far, when he was about to enter his favorite machine to enter the battlefield in person he was targeted with a laser and evaporated."
Impressions: "Glasses. Better not pick him."
Summoning Candidate №3 "Alien"
Sex: "Female" Race: "Alien"
History: "A queen. Because her planet disappeared she had spent 10,000 years to find 〈Earth〉. Immediately after the first contact she had taken hostile actions towards humanity, invading the planet."
Cause of death: "A bacteria which was harmless towards humans ended up being harmful to aliens, wiping them out."
——The rehabilitation manager chooses up to six people from among hundred last bosses and is to make them save various worlds. We strongly recommend to inspect the VTR for summary of candidates' last days and select carefully——
"These impressions are... sloppy...
In an apartment room eight tatami mats large, a girl with golden hair wearing a padded kimono put a mandarin into her mouth. She held her legs under the kotatsu as she muttered. While looking through the documents containing photographs and history of summoning candidates she took a sip of tea.
"Soup preparations, done. Kotatsu temperature, okay. Tea prepared isn't used-up, but fresh one. Everything is ready for welcoming. But..."
Supporting her cheek with a hand, she turned over the documents of summoning candidates.
"I finished selecting the candidates... but is this really okay?"
Looking at the last document on top as she bundled them, the girl opened her eyes wide.
——Summoning Candidate №100 "Akito"
Seeing at his carreer and abilities, the girl moved her face closer to the document. Looking at the face on the photograph intently enough to nearly put a hole in it. It was a picture of a boy with white hair and very bad look in his eyes. The girl raised her head all at once, raised the straw hat that fell to her back and put it back on.
And clenched her fists.
"——Himawari's got it! I decided on this person!"
The girl hurriedly crawled out from under kotatsu and pulled out the staff buried in a pile of magazines and manga. With a globe-like thing attached to the tip of it, it seemed like a staff a mahou shoujo would be using.
"There's still time, so now that's decided, VTR. VTR!"
She vigorously rotated the globe-like thing on the staff and turned the tip towards a CRT TV. Along with a zap, the TV turned on.
And along with noise, a devastated world was projected on the TV.
Few years after the existence of superpowers has been confirmed, the world was driven on the verge of collapse——by the hand of a single boy, Akito.
In the lobby of a crumbling building a boy with red hair riding on top of Akito had squeezed his neck. With congestion-ridden face, Akito smiled. Seeing the red-haired boy's hatred, regret and anger-filled face, Akito felt refreshed.
——Serves you right, he thought.
"You... took everything away from me...!"
Told so by the boy, Akito responded with a smile.
"Same here... dumbass."
"Why did you betray us... Akito...!"
"Touya, you don't even... know THAT?"
The people whom he killed, the boy in front of him, Akito had ridiculed them all.
The trigger for fighting to start in this world wasn't anything big. Suddenly abnormals appeared in the world, their numbers grew and normal humans felt endangered so they started to try managing abnormals which ended up with a revolt and a war. It was pretty much something like that.
But he couldn't care less about things like that, nor remembered them well.
Akito touched the muffler wrapped around his neck with his finger. Because he hasn't washed it for a long time, the striped muffler had been dyed with dark red with blood and dirt.
It was a muffler he received from his precious person. The red-haired boy was wearing gloves with the same pattern as the muffler's. Akito snorted at the boy.
"...You don't have the right to wear... those gloves, Touya."
"You know nothing! This world... the world that she loved, you destroyed it to the point it can't recover from! With what feelings do you think she has..."
When the boy bitterly grimaced, Akito moved his face very close to the boy's. Ignoring the fact he was being strangled he opened his eyes so wide his eyeballs nearly popped out and glared at the boy.
"Don't talk as if you know anything! You are the one who killed her!"
This was the point which made Akito furious at the boy.
"Do you know how strongly she felt about you, Touya?! When her end came... she was calling your name despite the fact it was me holding her in my arms!"
"She was calling the name of a guy who abandoned her, again and again!"
"I said... she was...!"
"Back then you weren't there, Touya! You were the one who saved her back then, but you didn't even remain by her side! That's why I did it."
"...It was for the sake of the world!"
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! For the sake of the world! Sounds so convenient it makes me sick!"
Akito violently clenched the boy's hands on his own neck.
"You took everything away from me, Touya. That's why I too, took everything from you. I betrayed, went as far as to kill your comrades right in front of you, and annihilated the city you were desperately trying to protect all for the sake of making you taste the same feelings I have."
"...Akito... I can't do anything...!"
"I feel refreshed... this feels the best."
"But to kill you, in order to stop you...!"
Once again his breath strangled and made unable to breathe. Tears appeared in the eyes of the boy who strangled him with anger. While staring in the boy's face, Akito smiled.
This is fine. By being killed, this guy will truly lose everything.
"He... hehe............serves you...right."
His vision grew dark. He fell to the bottom of the darkness. The boy's tears wet his cheeks, feeling that to be unpleasant, Akito fell into the comfort of sleep.
"...I'll be going on ahead... shithead Touya."
What Akito saw as he died, were memories from his childhood. A cold, very cold winter with snow falling. It was a memory of a day when a single girl gave Touya and Akito muffler and gloves as gifts. Those gifts were wrapped in newspaper and vinyl strings, the girl herself had hands numb with cold as she passed them.
He loved her smiley bashful expression. That smile was the only thing he was able to remember clearly now. It was his most precious memory... a memory so precious that he would destroy the world for it.
Akito smiled ironically and just like the boy, he shed tears. At the end of this shitty world and this shitty life, that illusion wasn't too bad.
What waited ahead of him as he closed his eyes, was a smile of a girl dear to him.
However, her smile was somewhat sad.
——Protect... this world?
The girl's words appeared in his head, and at the very end, Akito felt pain in his heart. Being unable to fulfill that promise was his only regret, but he no longer had power to fulfill the promise nor the will to.
If you're not there... there is no meaning to upholding that promise... hey, isn't that right...? Yuuhi.
While calling her name, Akito fell into darkness. After standing at the top of superpowers, the boy who had wiped out abnormals all over the world had finished his life in silence.
——Or at least was supposed to.
The moment he realized he died——Akito suddenly realized he was somewhere else.
He was in the middle of a battle against his shitty childhood friend, but then suddenly warped elsewhere.
From the looks of it, he was inside a single room apartment. It was about eight tatami mats wide. The floor was made of tatami mats, the walls and ceiling were made of wood. It was illuminated by a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, an old fashioned but clean room. Inside there was a cabinet and a dresser, photo stand, cd rack, bookshelves... and other small articles. And in front of Akito as he sat... there was a kotatsu.
What? What happened? Where is this? It was natural to hold such questions in this situation, but there was something incomprehensible enough to stop Akito from thinking.
Sitting around the kotatsu, there were strangers other than him.
Four out of five were sitting there in shock just like Akito.
One, was a young man wearing a black, Western-style armor.
One, was a woman with six big and deep-black wings.
One, was a young girl in clothing that looked like it was made out of vinyl.
One, was a stuck-up man wearing a white suit and glasses.
And the last one, was a creature that looked like nothing but an alien, who held a cup with her both hands and was sipping tea.
What was... this situation with six odd people surrounding the kotatsu?
Moving just his eyes, he looked at the face of each of them. He had no acquaintance who cosplayed as a hero, nor a pitiful woman addicted to occult to the point of playing a demon, didn't know any young girl who exposed her skin so much——and who the hell is this glasses? And of all things, what the hell is this extraterrestrial life form who acts all familiar with this place? Is that a costume?
The moment Akito's thinking reached limits of capacity, everyone except for the Alien got out from kotatsu at once and retreated to the corners of the room.
"Oohh? Oh-ho! Eh, what, I don't get it?! This is interesting, but who the hell are these folks?!"
"W-w-w-w-wh-what is going on in here...?! I-I was supposed to have received angels' attack just now...!"
"Fuh... I see——I HAVE NO CLUE!!!"
Akito was desperately trying to remain calm but sweat appeared on his forehead. The young man wearing black armor was for some reason having fun despite his confusion. The devil woman fluttered her wings in more panic than anyone else contrary to her appearance. The young woman went "Mmh." as she tilted her head. glasses was making a very confident pose for a moment, just to change it into "I have no clue!" one. And the Alien was sipping the tea without change. Apparently it wasn't just Akito who didn't understand this situation, everyone here except for Alien was the same.
Did some new power user do something to me...?!
It was hard to think that was the case. When he was fighting against his childhood friend, all abnormals were already killed. Looking at the bunch around him, Akito squinted sharply.
...Calm down...! Organize the situation in your head... for some reason I'm not dead. It's not like I'm happy about this, but I'm not dead. I was blown away to a different place. It's a completely different place from where I was, OK, I know one thing, that's progress. A good sign. Next, these folks are——
Think. Think. Think,
——Who the hell?!
Nope. No clue. Unfortunately, he came up with the same conclusion as glasses.
Akito glared at the bunch around him.
"You guys, who the hell are you...!"
He asked frankly. For an instant, the room turned silent.
"I'll return that question right back at you! Who are you guys?!"
The young man in black armor made the same question with, for some reason, an incredibly excited expression.
"L-let us clarify one thing...! Are you people allied with heavens?! If so, I shall not show you mercy! On the name of the leader of fallen angels, I shall——"
He didn't really get it, but the devil woman was screaming something really pitiful.
"Unable to comprehend, unable to comprehend. Even with 《Sora》's brains, it is impossible to identify the existence of the organic life forms gathered. Requesting disclosure of information."
Although it was annoyingly roundabout, the young girl was saying "who the hell are you guys".
"I am Kazuya Kirishima————HA!"
Pushing his glasses up and striking a pose, the glasses bastard introduced himself all alone.
Alien kept sipping tea without change. Since it opened its mouth wide like a snake, tea was spilling from the edge of its mouth.
Akito's thinking quickly cooled down. Others also seemed to have come up with the same conclusion as tension wrapped around the room.
I don't really get it——but it's the same as usual, kill before you are killed!
He raised his hand, and at the same time he swung it his red eyes shone. Others also moved at the same time. Probably triggered by Akito's murderous intent, the young man in black armor pulled out the greatsword from behind his back, the devil woman fluttered her wings, the young girl ruffled her hair and glasses spread his hands striking a pose.
"Be embraced by hands of darkness... reproduction magic 【The Second Divine-World Battlefront】!!"
Everyone entered combat readiness, and the instant later——
——To sum it up, nothing happened.
"I can't use my power...?!"
"Huh, my sword isn't burning? Is it damp? Heck, my sword is all flabby for some reason."
"I-I cannot use magic... why is it?!"
"Good night... Black Hydrangea."
Akito checked on his right hand, armor bastard on his sword, the devil woman all nervous, the young girl tilted her head with a finger on her forehead and glasses cast down his eyes, covering his face with one hand.
What's going on?! I had so many powers, but there's not a single one in stock now... no, I can't feel the power itself...?
He looked at others. Everyone except for the extraterrestrial life form made a similar reaction to his own. Based on how they acted and looked like they didn't seem to be abnormals, but there was no doubt each of them had some kind of power. And most likely everyone lost that power in the same manner.
Others too were transferred to this place by someone, and had their powers sealed.
...No, he wondered about that, it's a black hero, devil woman, little girl, glasses and an alien. Heck, for what sake that "someone" has called all of them, including him? Of all things, who the hell was this "someone"? It was all so much of a pain in the ass he felt like giving up on it, and that's when.
The sliding door of the eight tatami room had opened loudly. Everyone's gaze was turned towards the sliding door at once.
"Wsho, wsho! Hiih, whoops! W-whoopsh...!!"
There, was a single, strange girl panting loudly.
Akito opened his eyes widely. Her hair was of a lightened amber color. Her eyes were deep blue. For some reason she was holding a pot with both hands, wearing an apron and kitchen mittens. Moreover, for reason unknown there was a straw hat on a rubber, hanging from her back.
"〜〜〜〜Nhhhh... whoop! Phew..."
Because the girl stepped on the sliding screen rail she nearly fell headlong, but somehow was able to restrain the shaking of her body, then standing on one leg she exhaled. Everyone stared at her with eyes wide open. There was only one meaning behind their stares, it was "who?". Rather, it was a question they had ever since they appeared in here, but the new character appeared like a surging wave and no one's thinking could catch up.
However, among all of them, Akito directed a different type of surprise at her.
Before questioning who was she, Akito thought that she looked similar.
While everyone was literally at loss of words, the girl turned her big and wide-open eyes forward.
She looked into each of their faces and,
"Fu fu fu—..."
For some reason she laughed fearlessly and took a step forward with her leg which was in mid-air to balance herself.
"Welcome in my home, dear last bosses. It might be sudden, but from today you will be savin——dhworp?!"
Immediately after taking a step as she spouted out some profound lines, the girl slipped. The mucus on the floor that was on her right foot must have been the same thing as the one covering Alien's body. The girl thrust head on just like that, and the content of the pot she was holding in her hands——she splashed on Alien's head.
While raising a bizarre "Pugyuh" squeal she turned over a tatami mat. Falling on her face, she stopped moving at all. When the content of the pot hit the alien, a sound of evaporation filled the room. Alien, who had received the pot didn't even flinch, and continued to sit same as before while holding a cup.
Five strangely-dressed people inside eight tatami mat room, Alien with the contents of a hotpot dripping from him and a girl whose identity was unknown who has thrust a pot at someone and ended up falling onto the tatami mat.
After losing a person he loved and betraying his friends, then turning all abnormals and humans into his enemies he spread ruin, the place the boy arrived in the end——was this eight tatami mat-large room.
He had no idea what was going on.
What day was this? Where was this? Who were they? The questions continued down the stages of W,
What is this...?
At the point of reaching 5W1H's 4th W, Akito gave up on looking for the answer.