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Chapter 2

DAKINI #2

7)
1: Hieeee!!

Ayuko O's Free Talk (1)

When spring comes, and the world warms up, I get in a better mood. I'm not exactly in a bad mood during winter, but being cold brings me down. It becomes a pain just to move around. Basically I become a fossil.

What makes me want to move again is when my little plum tree, my pride and joy, finally starts to bloom.

I haven't been pruning it, so the branches have been growing all over the place.

Oooh! Wonderful!

SFX: snap snap

You bloomed beautifully again this year!

8)
1: A monster?!
3: There's a monster behind the spirit?!
4: That's the one
5: who's lending power to Tagawa's spirit.

When that happens, I just can't wait for the cherry blossoms to bloom next. And it really makes me want to go outside a lot. I force my friends to come with me and plan mini-vacations.

6: Hey! Hey! Let's go on a trip to a hot spring!
7: Let's go, let's go! Eheheh!
8: OK... But I still haven't drawn my storyboards yet...
book: Nikko

I go on a normal uneventful hot spring trip every year, and as long as I get to go outside, see the spring scenery, and eat good food, I'm satisfied.

9)
1: Otherwise, how could a powerless restligeist kill two people so easily?
2: Right, Tagawa?
3: It just happened to be nearby
4: the spot where she fell and died.
5: I think if you give it your blood and soul,
6: it'll get revenge on the people who made you suffer. Or at least, that must be what it told her.

10)
1: Then
2: she did
3: as she was told.
4: Tagawa?

11)
SFX: BWAHHH
1: Wauuggh...
2: She still isn't back yet?

12)
1: Yeah... And school's been out for a while...
2: That's strange. Even if she stopped somewhere on her way home, Natsuki usually never comes home this late.
3: Natsuki...
4: It couldn't be...
5: Aoi?
6: I'll be right back.

13)
1: School is turning into such a danger.
2: There are always people watching... I can only guard Natsuki so much there.
3: Don't try anything funny,
4: Natsuki... I want to let you live a free life.
5: Why can't you understand that?!
SFX: CLANG
SFX: FWOOM
6: Blech!

14)
1: Run...
2: Can't you hear me? Now's your chance! Run!!
3: Aren't you the one who should be running?

15)
1: Or maybe it's too late.
2: Seem like you have more power than I thought.
3: But since all you really know is how to send it out, you're basically useless.
SFX: thud
4: You...

16)
1: What are you?
2: I said that the monster just happened to be on the ground when she died...
3: But why do you think such an evil being would choose to lurk about this school?
4: This isn't some cursed site... As least, as far as I know.
5: Everything started getting strange two years ago.
6: And not just the school. This whole area...
7: The very color of the air itself... started changing day by day.

17)
1: The balance between light and dark also began to crumble... and more of those creatures in the darkness have been slipping through...
2: Do you know something about it?
3: Kamishiro Natsuki...
4: Just what are you?!

18)
1: What
2: am I?!
3: I'll tell you!
4: I'm the one who wants to know the answer to that most of all!!

19)
1: That's right...
2: Gggh... gh...
3: I want to know
4: what I really am!
5: Why am I here?
6: Why am I doing this?
7: I don't care what it is. Any hint will work...
8: I just want to find osmething!
9: Haaaa!

20)
SFX: BWOOSH
SFX: HAA...
SFX: THUD

21)
1: Dakini...
2: Why are you here?
3: Stop getting in my way!
4: I'm not getting in your way.
5: Just for the record... he and I have nothing to do with each other.
6: Step aside.
7: Leave this place.
8: I am going to feast
9: on these souls!
SFX: SMACK

22)
1: Who do you think you're talking to?
2: I can do whatever I want, wherever I want.
3: Begone!
4: This is all mine!
SFX: FWOOSH
5: I'm not going to let you steal it!
SFX: tok

23)
1: You're really greedy.
2: I don't like you.
3: Forget about Tagawa's soul... I'm the one who hit the mark regarding the other three girls.
4: Usually, when I shorten lives, the souls become mine after death.
5: But I decided I'd just sit back and watch what happened.
6: Dakini...?

24)
1: Now, I've changed my mind.
2: Time for you to give back
SFX: GWEEEHHHHHH
3: all the souls you've eaten.

25)
SFX: snicker

26)
1: She's...
2: a monster!
3: Just like Takejo and Umejo said...
4: She's a fickle monster
5: who rules other monsters, and possesses the body of a girl...

27)
1: I've already gotten your soul back too, Tagawa.
2: You don't need to be afraid. Just tell me what you want.
3: I answer the wishes of all humans who give me their souls.

28)
1: Do you want me to push her off the edge and kill her?
SFX: TWITCH
SFX: STAGGER
2: What...
3: What is she thinking?!
4: If that happens, nothing will have changed!
5: Stop it, Dakini! Stop letting that spirit kill!!

29)
SFX: throb
1: You don't need to worry about him.
2: He doesn't have any energy left to move.

30)
1: Stop it!
2: No!
3: It's fine...
4: You don't need to stop her.

31)
1: I won't run...
2: Even if I did,
3: I know you'd always be here waiting for me. It's pointless to run, isn't it, Tagawa...
4: Your face is just the same as it was back then.
5: When we bullied you...

32)
1: We're idiots... So we never even considered the fact
2: that it might have been painful enough for you to want to kill yourself. Even after you died.
3: We were too afraid to consider
4: that it might have been our faults...
5: I'm sorry.
6: I know it's too late...
7: That no manner of apology will help. I can't believe we made you die with that expression on your face...

33)
1: I don't mind dying here,
2: if that will make you feel even a little bit better.
3: But come with me, Tagawa!
4: I'm afraid to fall all by myself!

34)
1: Aahh...

35)
1: Tagawa...
2: I'm
3: sorry...

36)
1-3: Dakini...
4: Please come...
5: Lend me your hand...

37)
1: Please!!

38)
SFX: yank

39)
1: Dakini!
2: Why...
3: Ask Tagawa's spirit.

40)
1: I simply did
2: as she wished.
3: As boring as it was, I restored that girl's life back to normal.
4: I can't predict a death unless it's going to happen within half a year, so I can tell you that she's going to live on longer than that now.
5: And in exchange, I lost another soul...

41)
1: Tagawa...
2: was it?
3: You're smiling.
4: Is this what you wanted? Are you satisfied now?
5: I guess I should send you upward now.
6: As you can see, I'm still kind of a newbie... so I don't exactly know how to do it.

42)
1: You just need to touch her.
2: Close your eyes
3: and pray that she can go upward.

43)
1: Kashima...
2: I...
3: heard a voice...
4: Huh?
5: A voice calling Natsuki...
6: I don't know who it was,
7: but it keeps calling for her... and I don't think she can hear it.

44)
1: I want you to tell her...
2: This is what it's saying...

45)
SFX: CRACK

Ayuko's Free Talk (2)
Last winter, I went to India. It was winter there too, but no matter where I went, there was a slight change in temperature, and I was actually kind of hot.

I found red flowers blooming next to the Ellora caves.

It was a really interesting country, but if someone told me I had to live here for a year, I'd probably cry and say no. It doesn't have the winter I hate, but there isn't any spring here either. And I could hardly see any flowers. (Maybe I just missed them, though.)

46)
1: Hey...
2: What was that? Don't tell me
SFX: tok
3: something's wrong with you again.

47)
1: Oh well.
SFX: I'm just
SFX: going to leave you alone
2: I don't know what's going on, but I'm going home. Tagawa's spirit has gone upward, after all.
3: ...kini...
4-5: Dakini...

48)
1: Here.
2: I'm
3: right here.
4: Ahh....
5: This voice... can't you hear it?!
6: Who is it?
7: That isn't his voice...
8: Dakini...
9: It's...

49)
1: Dakini!
2: Who is that?!
3: I can hear you! I'm right here!
4: Who
5: are you?!
SFX: crack

50)
1: Dakini...
2: Dakini!
3: Find me...
4: What?
5: Please,
6: find me...
7: This voice...

51)
1: It's me.
2: Dakini, it's me.
3: I won't move. I don't even know where I am.
4: Just try to remember me... You're the only one who can find me.

52)
1: If this voice has reached you before it disappears...
2: then you've remembered me.
SFX: twitch
3: Sh..
4: What's wrong?

53)
1: That hasn't told me
2: anything!
3: Hey! Tell me more!
4: Let me hear your voice some more!
5: Oh no...
6: Why am I
7: crying?

54)
1: Huh?
2: Natsuki...
3: Aoi!
4: Tengenji...
5: We're going home. It's gotten late, so mom's gotten worried.
6: I'm sorry to interrupt such a nice scene, though...

55)
1: Huh?
2: We weren't..
3: What WERE we doing?
SFX: yank
4: Aoi!
5: We're going home.
6: Wait!
7: Aoi... Hey...
8: Kashima...

56)
1: See you later.

57)
1: I'm not mad or anything.
2: I just don't see why you had to come and retrieve me like you're my father just because I was a little late!
3: Haha! So you are mad.
4: Natsuki... Aoi was just worried about you.
5: I mean, lately... you've been acting a little bit different, you know?

58)
1: It's me.
2: Dakini...
3: Find me.
4: Who's voice was that?
5: My heart's beating so hard... And it won't stop.

59)
1: It wasn't a spirit... It was something different.
2: I knew
3: that voice...
4: Natsuki.

60)
1: Katsumi
2: is my classmate.
3: He's a good guy, but he's kind of weird.
4: Do you want me to steer clear of him? Just like with those bad kids?
5: No...
6: I'm not going to say anything. It only seems to make you want to do the opposite, after all.
7: Like today.

61)
1: So you knew?
2: Hey...
3: Aoi...
4: Is it possible for someone to forget the name and everything else
5: about another person who's really important to them?
6: You probably only forgot because they aren't really important.
7: No, that can't be it!

62)
SFX: tok
1: This person is important to me! To an unforgettable degree!
2: So important!
3: That's all I know...
4: Yet I still can't remember.
5: No matter what I try.
6: I feel like... something's wrong with me.
7: That reminds me... I said something like this to you a while back, didn't I?
8: Natsuki...
9: What's been
10: going on with you?

63)
SFX: SMACK

64)
1: A...
2: Aoi...
SFX: pitter patter...
3: I'm sorry...
SFX: pitter patter

65)
SFX: pitter patter x2
1: What am I doing?
2: What's wrong with me?
3: Why did I do that to Aoi?
4: I don't understand. But my heart is screaming to me that I need to hurry and remember, or...
SFX: twitch

66)
SFX: pitter patter
1: Hurry...
2: Hurry!!

67)
1: Aoi?

68)
SFX: WHAM

69)
SFX: stomp x3

70)
1: Aoi...
SIGN: 42nd Culture Festival
SIGN: 1-B Haunted House
SIGN: Theater Club Derminator 2
SIGN: Sumo Club
SIGN: Coffee Shop 2-D
SIGN: 2-C Takoyaki
SIGN: 2-A Fortuneteller

71)
SIGN: Fortuneteller - Clear Light Kashima
1: So anyway... the guy who was supposed to be the fortuneteller got sick all of a sudden...
2: And everyone voted you to fill in for him. They say you can see ghosts and stuff, right? So we thought you might know something about this too...
3: Eeeek!
4: Let's get his costume together!
5: He's going to wear these clothes now!
6: Know what?
7: Uhh..
8: I think you're being really prejudiced.

72)
SIGN: Entrance - One person at a time please
1: What kind of a costume is this?
2: If Takejo and Umejo saw me now... They'd laugh and say my previous lives are crying.
SFX: Oooh! Look!
3: He's going to tell our fortunes? That sounds like fun! I'm going in!
4: Me too! Me too!
5: OK, OK... One at a time, in order, please.
6: Whatever...
7: I'm just going to make stuff up.
BOOK: All Round Fortunetelling

73)
1: Urk!
SIGN: Basketball Club
SIGN: Okonomiyaki
2: Fortunetelling?

74)
1: The class that your brother's in is doing it! And I heard they're really popular! Let's go check it out!
2: Some guy named Kashima is the fortuneteller, and I heard what he says is surprisingly on the mark!
3: Kashima?
4: I'd skip it if I were you. There's no way what he says could be right.

75)
SFX: THUD...
SFX: CLINK...
1: Hoo...

76)
1: Ahhh...
2: Sorry, but I'm on my lunch break.

77)
1: Tengenji...
2: Hey.

Ayuko O's Free Talk (3)

Mangaka who draw mystery manga don't have much time to go on trips during the summer holidays. (The same's actually true for New Year's and Golden Week as well, and I'm especially slow, even without holidays... I'm the one who's minimizing all my free time in the end, though.)

In summers like these, I just stare out at my garden. I rarely ever weed the thing, so because of my laziness, a ton of pokeweed has grown all over the place. I hate pokeweed.

Pokeweed - It keeps growing no matter how much I cut.

3: What kind of plant is that?
4: It's a weed!!

78)
1: Good work.
2: What are you still doing here?
3: Everyone else went to go eat.
4: We should get a move on too.
5: The truth is...
6: Apparently, your fortunetelling has been pretty on the mark.
7: So I thought I'd get mine read as well.
8: You've got to be kidding.
9: Nope. And...
10: Even if you make most of it up...
11: Apparently, your eyes are capable of seeing things that others can't...

79)
1: So I bet you'll be able to come up with some kind of truth.
2: ...It just looks that way.
3: Doesn't mean I can really do anything.
4: Kashima...
5: Let's just go to lunch.
6: Trust me, things will be better that way.
7: It looks like you really...
8: still can't use all the power you possessed in your past life.

80)
SFX: waver...
1: For now, that is.
2: You're
3: a nuisance, Kashima.

81)
1: I want to hear that voice...

82)
1: Once more... The voice that keeps calling to me...
SIGN: Fortuneteller
2: There are still traces of it in my ears... and deep in my heart... calling for me...
SIGN: Fortuneteller
3: Kashima's gone?!

83)
1: Gone?! Where could he be?! Lunch has been over for a while now!
2: That's strange... Everyone's been searching all over the school...
3: And no one's seen him!
4: What should we do? People are already lining up for the afternoon session!
SIGN: Entrance - One person at a time please
5: Oh well. I'll try to find him one more time.
6: Until then, Yamada...
SFX: FWUMP
7: Fill in for the fill-in!
8: Huh?
9: Mouse Man
SFX: snicker x5
10: Tengenji...

84)
1: Stop laughing and help me find Kashima!
2: Oh...
3: Sorry.

85)
1: Ah...
2: Natsuki.
3: Kashima isn't here.
4: What?

86)
1: Yeah... Where did he go?
2: Good question.
3: I'd like to know myself.
4: I was just looking for him.
5: Tengenji...
6: Anyway...
7: he isn't here,
8: that's for sure.
9: Try looking somewhere else.
10: You're really interested in him, aren't you?

87)
1: Aoi...
2: Yesterday... Why did you do that?
SIGN: Fortuneteller
SIGN: Just shut up, sit down, and we'll tell you your future!
3: Oh... So he really isn't here...

88)
SFX: CRACKLE
1: That's the end of the trash, Natsuki.
2: OK.

89)
SFX: CRACKLE
1: Again?
2: It feels like something's moving...
3: I should just ignore it...
SFX: FSSSH

90)
SFX: WHAM
1: Waahhh...

91)
SFX: SLIDE

92)
1: Hey!
2: Hh...
3: Ggh

93)
1: What were you doing
2: out there?
SFX: TWITCH...

94)
SFX: fsssh x3
1: Natsuki...

95)
1: What the...
2: Is that Kashima?
3: Aoi...
4: Geez.
5: Just when I thought we'd never see him again...
6: So this is where he was slacking off.
7: Hey! Kashima!
SFX: whap

96)
1: Is he sick?
2: We should let the nurse look at him. Let me take him.
3: No.
4: It's nothing that serious. He's strong, so I'm sure he'll wake up soon.
5: Natsuki...
6: Come on.
7: I'm sorry for what happened today. I won't try to force him away from you again...
8: But you really should take him to the nurse.
9: He doesn't look good. Honestly.

97)
1: Ggh...
2: Urgh...
3: Ahhh!
4: Kashima!
5: Kashima! What's wrong?!
6: What happened to you?!
7: Natsuki...
8: Out of the way.

98)
SFX: GWOOM
1: hack
2: wheeze
3: blech...
4: Kashima!
5: Uu... Aaahhh!
6: Kashima!

99)
SFX: twitch
1: Kashima!!
2: He's going to die...
3: He's
4: going to die!!

100)
1: Aoi?
2: Stay back...
3: Are you doing this?!
4: No!
5: Don't kill him! Don't kill him!!
6: Don't kill him...
7: Huh?

101)
SFX: crackle

102)
1: Are these
2: my
3: memories?
4: Stop!!
5: Yama...
6: Don't kill him...
7: Don't kill
8: Sugaru...

104)
1: Yama!!

105)
1: Was that...
2: you?

106)
1: You
2: killed him...
SFX: TREMBLE
3: Uaahhh...
4: Ahh
5: Yama!

107)
1: Stop it!!
SFX: WHAM
SFX: fwoosh
2: This...
SFX: heh x3
3: isn't my cousin!

108)
1: He's an enemy!
2: He killed
3: Sugaru!

109-110)
SFX: FWOOOOOSH
1: He's my enemy!

111)
1: Natsuki...
2: Natsuki!!
3: Fine...
4: So what if you remembered? Just try and run...

112)
1: It doesn't matter where you go. I'll always be able to find you...
2: I'll bring you back... Before you can find out where Sugaru is...

113)
1: No matter what...

114)
1: Sugaru...
2: I'm going to find you...
3: I promise!

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