It will be winter soon after autumn.
Shinya Mamiya cowered as he walked alone in the city, clutching the collar of the pitch-black leather jacket he inherited from his father to combat the chill in the air.
On cloudy days like today, it was cold enough to make him shiver even in the early afternoon.
Shinya, who will be a high school student next year, took the train to the pension office behind the downtown area to submit the continuation documents for his survivor’s pension.
He tries to live as simple a life as possible and never passes through this downtown area except when he comes to this pension office. As a result, he feels a little flustered and soliloquy overflows from his mouth.
“I think I’ll go look at home appliances for a bit when I’m done with this.”
The reason Shinya occasionally muttered to himself like this was due to the length of time he has lived alone.
He walks, avoiding the hustle and bustle of people passing by, and arrives at the pension office.
A warm breeze brushed my cheeks as I hurried through the automatic doors. The heated indoor space was a welcome relief to my chilled body.
“Oh,…..did I bring my certificate of residence…..?”
Suddenly anxious about whether he had brought the necessary items for the document application he searches in his backpack for a copy of the certificate of residence (with his permanent address, he had been reminded over the phone), which is on the list.
It’s not here.
The green envelope he received at the municipal office was missing. The green envelope containing the copy of his certificate of residence with his permanent address was missing.
He sighs heavily and begins to do some simple calculations.
The train fare needed to get home and back here again.
The procedure fee to get a new copy of the certificate at the municipal office.
If you ask me which costs more, it’s the train fare. Fortunately, I have the necessary Identification for the issuance.
He takes out his phone and searches for the nearest municipal office.
“Do I have to go back towards the station ……”
I walk away disappointed, but I would’ve had to walk in the direction of the station even if I was going back home to get it, so it’s justified.
Shinya puts his phone away in his backpack and starts walking.
He crosses the automatic door and returns back into the cold air, breathing heavily through his nose to motivate himself.
His face is distorted from the tingling pain in his nose due to the cold.
“He … he …”
The urge to sneeze arises undeniably from the discomfort in his nose.
At that moment, Shinya was struck by a dizziness that he couldn’t believe it was just a sneeze.
“Ugh,…… I feel weird.”
The discomfort feels as if my head had swelled up.
I suppress my dizzy head and open my eyes.
There was a pile of rubble.
A thick black smoke was climbing up into the cloudy sky.
The intermittent rumbling of explosions in the distance, burning and broken buildings. The smell of smoke, burning debris, and unknown smells. Liquid, black stuff stretched out everywhere on the ground.
Shinya felt as if it were a battlefield he had seen on TV.
Looking back, he saw that the large building where the pension office he had just been in earlier had also been reduced to rubble.
He was greatly confused by the overwhelming destruction, which could not have happened during the sneeze.
However, his animal instincts moved his vision to ensure his own safety.
Anything particularly threatening, none.
Dangerous objects around, debris.
Buildings about to collapse, none around.
There’s something at my feet.
At first glance, he appears to just be sitting there, but his arms and legs are bent in a direction they shouldn’t be. The parts that should not be bent are bent.
His eyes are wide open, and his mouth is tied in a horizontal line as if in pain, but he doesn’t move at all.
“It’s a corpse. ……”
In modern Japan, where dead bodies are rarely seen, the strangeness that could be intuitively felt was compelling.
Then Shinya noticed something.
The backpack the corpse was carrying.
The black jacket the corpse was wearing.
The original face of the corpse, which was greatly distorted.
Shinya realizes, and a small sound escapes from his mouth.
The corpse was him. His arms and legs were broken, and he clearly died in agony.
Then, how am I looking at this?
“… Huh … Huh … Huh …?”
He almost fainted from the shock, he couldn’t speak or even take his eyes off him. All he could do was stand still.
If the mind were to lose its balance even a little, it would spit out everything from above and below, I’d sprawl out, screaming and making strange noises.
I compose myself.
I’m dead. Then did I become a ghost? Did I die in a major disaster, a terrorist attack, or something else? If I’m a ghost, what should I do from now on?
And if I am a ghost, will I be able to meet them?
Can I see my father, my mother, my sister?
Shinya’s eyes become moist at the thought.
The tears were not tears of fear that he had died, Somehow, they were soothing, sweet, tickling tears.
He was already tired of living alone, so much so that when he saw his own dead body, such thoughts overwhelmed him.
And it was then that he felt the end and calmed down a bit.
With a loud bang, something blew up right next to Shinya, blowing away the building across the street and sending debris flying.
Boom! Thud! The sound of a building being destroyed and the sound of something falling right next to him were two of the most thunderous sounds he had ever heard.
Shinya fell on his butt, his ears deafened and he felt as if he was underwater.
The pain in his cheek where he was hit by a small piece of flying debris and the pain in his buttocks when he fell brought him back to reality.
He got down on all fours and fearfully stretched his neck to see what in the world flew at him. Then, out of the rubble and dust, an arm reached out.
Surprised, Shinya again fell over and onto his butt.
An arm reaches out from the smoke and grabbed a handful of debris, revealing the owner of the arm.
It was a beautiful girl.
Her golden hair was tied in a messy bun, and her skin was white. She was clearly a foreigner.
It’s difficult for Japanese people to tell the age of a foreigner, but from Shinya’s perspective, it seems that she isn’t that different from him.
She had a slender figure that might have made her look like a model if she were wearing something appropriate for her age, such as a dress.
However, the girl was not dressed in such a fashionable manner, but was wearing a fitted body suit and a short military jacket over it.
At first glance, she looked like a costumed soldier, but her stance was so realistic, as if being in such a place in that attire was a regular occurrence for her.
Her blue eyes, beneath her long lashes, opened wide when she spotted Shinya.
The girl is saying something.
“——–? ——! ————!”
But it was neither Japanese nor English.
Shinya had no idea what the words meant, although he had heard them somewhere.
However, as usual, the girl kept on talking, pulling Shinya’s arm and making him stand up.
Their eyes meet. She had beautiful blue eyes that seemed to suck you in. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
After staring at each other for a while, the girl with tears in her eyes hugged him.
Shinya, on the other hand, could no longer believe that the reality brought back by the pain was real.
His head was short-circuited by the development, and his whole attention was focused on the softness of the girl’s body, but his brain was thinking about something else.
She was the one who had been blown away at a speed that I don’t think any human being could withstand, she appears to be intact, but is she human?
And why am I hugging myself?
This must be a dream.
Shinya was having a hard time accepting this reality, so much so that he even doubted the tingling sensation in his butt that he had felt earlier.
“Oh, um, hey, what’s going on? I mean, I’m sorry but…”
Shinya, embarrassed to be hugged by a stone, calls out to the girl, and the girl who was hugging him froze.
She releases the arm she had around Shinya’s back and grips his shoulder. The girl extends her arm as it is and looks into Shinya’s face.
It seemed to Shinya as if she had said so.
Shinya wondered why the beautiful girl in front of him knew his name, but could not respond in any way.
The girl grabbed Shinya’s left hand and made him open his palm.
He was left to his own devices by the girl’s unbelievable strength and the forceful way she held his hand.
When she saw Shinya’s left hand, she was startled and jumped away from him with a bang!
In one leap, she had jumped about 10 meters back. After all, the girl possessed physical abilities that could not be considered human.
And before he knew it, the girl had a black stick in her hand.
She held the stick, which was as tall as she was and pointed on one side, like a spear, and pointed the pointy end toward Shinya.
I can see the hostility in her blue eyes.
Shinya’s thoughts were extremely confused as he was confronted with the girl’s murderous intent, which was a complete change from her previous favoritism.
“ Hey, hey, hey, what do you mean !?”
Shinya opened his mouth to explain himself, but the girl’s angry voice drowned out his words.
Shinya, who was at a loss for what to say, opens his hands and raises them lightly to convey that he has no hostile intentions.
But even this action seemed to irritate the girl, and she gripped the black stick tighter.
But the staring contest between the girl and Shinya did not last long.
The explosion was incomparable to the one when the girl was blown away.
And It appeared right in the middle of Shinya and the girl. Dust was raised, and the force of the fall shattered the asphalt ground.
The “monster” appeared.