And so, the first book of Ototsukai ends with this chapter. Hope you like it! ^^
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Chapter 16: The Sound of Continuation
I woke up in a bed inside the headquarter’s medical facility.
The room was filled with the smell of drugs.
I stood there absent-minded for a few moments, then I raised my body.
What first came into my mind was questions about Roll’s well-being.
What happened to Roll after that?
I quickly got out of bed and left the room.
The corridors of the medical facility were pure white. Since the air conditioning was used everywhere in the organization, it felt pretty refreshing.
I listened carefully, searching for Roll’s presence.
I heard two sounds in the next room on the right.
All the other rooms were empty.
I stood in front of that room.
Is it all right to simply enter, I wonder……?
When I thought about that, the door in front of me opened and Chiyaku-san showed up.
Chiyaku-san is a tall woman with brown hair.
She’s always clad in a white rob. Her glasses are always slightly off, and she has a terrible bed hair today as well.
“Oh, Shion-kun. You woke up.
Do you feel any pain?”
I just realized that all my wounds were healed. Did Chiyaku-san heal me?
My clothes were changed too and I was wearing now something that looked like white pajamas.
“Thanks to you, Chiyaku-san, I don’t feel any pain.”
“Because there was an emergency with Roll, I only treated you lightly. If there are places I didn’t heal properly, please tell me.”
“It’s all right. Nothing hurts now anymore. Thank you.
……Leaving this aside, is Roll inside?”
Chiyaku-san looked at me as I tried to peek inside the room, she smiled and repositioned her glasses.
“Yeah, she is inside. I somehow managed to save her life. It was a truly dangerous situation.
She’s already awake so you can go see her. All she did was worry about you too.
Then, I’ll be off since I got work to do.
Tell Roll to earnestly rest her body.”
Chiyaku-san only said this much, then turned her back at me and started walking.
Without seeing her off, I quickly opened the door in front of me.
There was a bed in a corner of the room.
Roll was sitting in it, reading a book.
“Oh, it’s you, Shion. Is your body all right now?”
Roll closed the book and said this, as I approached her with unsteady feet.
“What about you, Roll, are you all right…….?”
“All my external wounds are healed. I’m quite lively now.
But my spinal cord was damaged and the lower half of my body is currently paralyzed.
Even with Chiyaku-san’s powers, it will take a month to completely recover.”
Then, this means her life is not in danger anymore…… The paralysis will heal too in a month.
“No, it’s not. This way our summer vacation will come to nothing.
*sigh* And there were so many things I wanted to do with you, Shion…….”
As I watched the lively Roll in front of me, I almost started crying because of relief.
I somehow managed to stop the tears, which accumulated in the corner of my eyes, from overflowing.
“Why are you about to cry now!?
Geez. Someday, you’ll receive this sort of injury too, so this overreaction is kind of bothering me.”
Roll said this, trying to pretend to be tough, but I reflexively embraced her.
I couldn’t hold back, no matter how deplorable this looked.
Because all she did was to save me, Roll ended up in this awful situation.
“I’m sorry……, I’m so sorry……Because of me……”
Roll gently brushed my hair. Her hands showed kindness.
And she smelled really good.
“……It was inevitable. It wasn’t your fault, Shion.”
I had the impression that Roll’s heart was beating faster than usual.
Did I surprise her with my sudden embrace?
Because not letting her go for such a long time was kind of embarrassing, a short time later I separated from her.
Since I did it reflexively, now that I thought about this embrace, I felt a little embarrassed and my face became hot.
Roll too, maybe in a lack of prudence, showed a slightly red face.
Roll coughed once, then started to talk again.
“For the time being, while I’m not around, we can’t have you do nothing as well, so, if you receive any shade requests, you can take them.
Also, you can’t ignore your training just because I can’t see you.
As foe me, I’ll devote myself to getting better.”
“Also, I’ll have a lot of free time, so come visit me once in a while.”
Roll joked a little with her last words, but I answered her with a serious expression.
“I’ll visit you every day.”
“Still, you don’t have to visit every single day.”
She laughed as she replied to me, but I, nonetheless, decided to visit her on a daily basis.
I was also hospitalized in the past, so I know that staying in a hospital is really boring.
All you can do is watch TV or read books.
Anyway, I have a debt to Roll that is impossible to pay back.
After that, I chatted a little longer with Roll, and she also told me about our mission’s report.
The mission ended in failure, but the Boss didn’t blame us. Moreover, he personally came to Roll to apologize.
It seems that he completely miscalculated the SDF’s reinforcements.
The box was collected by the SDF, but because we reduced their battle potential quite a bit, the Boss said we were even.
I don’t really know whether we were even or not though.
I must become stronger.
This time, I was nothing but a burden.
Supposing that Roll did this mission alone, she would’ve finished it successfully as always.
Now this Roll can’t move for an entire month.
There are many challenges I must pass.
For now, since I got permission for shade missions, I will do as many of them as I can.
I looked at my Anonymous phone terminal.
There were more than 100 mails in my inbox, inviting me for shade missions.
Until now, I refused all of them because Roll ordered me to, but I’ll accept as many of them as I can from now on.
I must gather actual combat experience.
As Roll told me, I won’t neglect my training, but I also want to get used to actual fighting.
Also, this user-unfriendly ability of mine.
I must learn to properly control it.
I left Roll’s hospital room, and I started to walk towards the training quarters.
The time indicated on my phone terminal was 9pm.
I decided to go train for a while.
My motivation pierced through the ceiling.
I must at least become strong enough not to hold Roll back, I won’t even consider otherwise.
I thought about this, as I walked towards the training room.
That’s when my phone terminal’s ringtone resounded.
I thought about who could’ve sent it, and I looked at the sender’s name.
Doing so, the screen showed the characters for ‘Tameiki’ next to the sender. The subject box was left empty.
A message from Tameiki-san?
I was first surprised by this, but, then, I opened it.
All that was written in the body of the message was the word ‘Come’.
The end of the first book.