Chapter 38: Just one misplaced button.

“Hey, Ayana.”

“What is it?”

I can hear Ayana’s voice right beside me, in close proximity to my body.
I’m sitting deep in the sofa and Ayana is sitting in front of me, between my spread legs.

I had nothing much to do after I got home, so I decided to spoil Ayana as much as I could, as I had declared.
I just wanted to touch Ayana, so I hugged her from behind as she sat there like this.

“Aren’t you tired?”

“I’m not tired.
I mean, I feel like I’m being spoiled by you.”

Ayana being Ayana, and she’s completely surrendering her body to me.

“I guess we’re both spoiled.”

“Fufu, that’s right.
You can hug me tighter, Towa-kun.”

“Then I won’t hesitate.”

I tightened my embrace, holding her closer.
As I exerted more strength in my arms, our bodies pressed against each other, allowing me to feel her warmth and scent.
I scooped up her silky smooth hair with my hand, enjoying the pleasant texture and the glossy beauty of her black hair.

“Towa-kun, is something the matter?”


To be honest, my heart skipped a beat.
I’m not lying when I said I’d be willing to spoil her when we went out on the town, and that’s why I’m spoiling Ayana like this.
However…… to tell the truth, there was one more reason.

That strange scene I witnessed when I met Iori, it felt like a sudden glimpse of a scene from a different game.
That scene couldn’t possibly exist anymore.
It should be impossible after Ayana had overcome the darkness within her.

“…Ayana, you’re amazing.
You always notice things right away.”

“Of course.
I’ve been watching you… Towa-kun, all this time.
How could I not notice?”

She held my hand that was embracing her.
It was a gentle yet firm grasp, enveloping me with a sense of reassurance.
While holding Ayana in my arms, surrounded by her kindness, I continued speaking.

“I saw something I didn’t want to see.
Even though I know it’s impossible, I vividly imagined it happening.”

From Ayana’s perspective, she might not understand what I meant.
Even I… to be honest, I haven’t fully processed it in my mind.
I’m not even confident whether that scene was a misunderstanding or if it truly happened.

She took my hand in hers.
It was gentle yet strong and enveloping, and it brought me peace of mind.
While hugging Ayana and at the same time being enveloped by her tenderness, I continued to speak.

“I saw something I didn’t want to see… I knew it was impossible, but I still had a clear vision of what was going to happen.”

From Ayana’s point of view, she probably thinks, what I am talking about.
So would I.…… To be honest, I can’t really wrap my head around it.
I’m losing confidence in whether that scene was a misunderstanding or if I truly saw it.

[Sounds fun.]

The voice resonated directly in my mind.
I recognized that voice… more than just recognition.
It was a voice I had been hearing all along.
The voice belonged to the person I love, the person who is now in my arms—Ayana herself.
It was a voice filled with longing, as if enduring pain and burning with desire.

“You saw something you didn’t want to see… something that’s difficult to put into words.
That’s why you don’t know how to convey it to me.
Is that it?”


“I see…”

From Ayana’s words, I couldn’t sense any confusion.
On the contrary, she seemed somewhat understanding.
I wondered why.

“Towa-kun, I sometimes have dreams.”



Ayana, who had been sitting between my legs, stood up and changed her position to sit beside me.
She leaned against me and rested her head on my shoulder.

“In those dreams, there’s another version of me who suppressed my own heart and took revenge.”


It was the world that Ayana was supposed to traverse in the game.

“Beside that version of me in that world is you, Towa-kun.
The two of us are smiling and seemingly happy… but, I, the Ayana in that world, my heart isn’t smiling.
It’s a world where I constantly regret whether this was right, whether it was for the best, and I’m crushed under the weight of those regrets.”

In the fan disc depicting Ayana’s revenge, it was the final ending, with an illustration of Ayana and Towa-kun holding hands, signifying the end.
However, there was also a feature that left a message implying what would happen if Towa-kun found out about Ayana’s actions.

Among those who played the game, including myself, we only knew up until that ending.
What happened to Ayana and Towa-kun beyond that ending was unknown, and it would remain an untold story.
The world Ayana saw was likely the world beyond that.

“I am here because Towa-kun saved me.
But… the Ayana in that world is still suffering, trapped in the past.
It’s not just me; many people remain unhappy… It makes me realize how blessed I am in this world.”


To prevent that from happening, I faced Ayana … That’s why if she’s able to smile now, I should be happy about it.
But if things don’t go well and it turns out that way, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself.

“Towa-kun, I believe… It’s pointless to think about something like this, but… I think there was a future where the Ayana in that world could smile.
If you were to say that’s the Ayana I am now, then so be it, but I can’t help but think about it.”

“Ayana …”

Even if I indulge in revenge, all that remains is emptiness, and in the end, I’ll be the one who continues to suffer.

“Fufu, it’s a story about dreams, so there’s no need to worry.
I am me, this world is this world.
So I will live, making sure not to break this present moment where I can be with you, Towa-kun.
That’s what I believe is important.”

“…Yeah, you’re right.”

Sure, there are countless possibilities.
But the world we are living in is the present.
It’s the world where I spend time with Ayana, the world we fought through and overcame all grudges, hatred, and sadness.
Haha, what was I even worrying about?

“Towa-kun, your complexion has improved a bit.”

“Yeah… Ayana, you’re amazing after all.”

Ayana shakes her head, denying such a statement.

“At that time, you saved my heart, Towa-kun.
So if there’s darkness surrounding your heart, I’ll try to dispel it.
I think that’s what will lead to the words ‘let’s be happy together.'”


To be happy together… I did say that.

It’s not just one person supporting the other, but both of us helping and supporting each other… That’s the form of happiness that Ayana and I are aiming for.

Ah… I think about it over and over again, and at the same time, I feel it deeply.

“I truly love you, Ayana.”

The feelings for Ayana keep growing and will never fade away.

“I love you too, Towa-kun.”

And then, Ayana and I shared a gentle kiss.
Thanks to that, my heart felt lighter… Seeing my expression, Ayana seemed to think that I was okay and nodded with a satisfied look.
And she said something like this:

“Towa-kun, what if… what if the Ayana from that world was right in front of you?”

Well… I would probably want to do something.
No matter which version of Ayana, I want her to keep smiling forever.

“Ayana, are you forcing yourself in any way?”

“Huh? I didn’t mean to, but did it look that way?”

In response to Towa’s words, Ayana forced a smile.
Towa hugged her, saying it’s okay.
They then spent blissful time together, reaching the peak of happiness as the night fell.
While gazing at Towa sleeping next to her on the bed, Ayana’s heart lost its color once again.

“…Towa-kun… Do I… have the right to be by your side…?”

At night, there’s something that doesn’t stop… and that’s tears.
For whatever reason, this tainted self who brought despair to so many people feels filthy.
Ayana couldn’t help but wonder if she, in such a state, should be by the side of the one she loves.

“I’ll cooperate to the best of my ability.
But you should think it through.
Hurting others will eventually transform and come back to haunt you.
If you’re prepared to endure that suffering, then it’s fine to come back to me once more.”

Heeding that advice, Ayana made up her mind.
And this is the result… she now realizes just how weak of an existence she is.

And once again, today, she sleeps while shedding tears.
Gasping in agony, her heart wearing down with each passing day… How long can she endure this? Fearful of that, Ayana falls asleep tonight.
Yet, within those days, she sometimes has dreams.

“…This dream again.”

That world is a world that is infinitely similar to the world she exists in, yet somehow different.

“…Me and Towa-kun.”

In front of her, a different Ayana from herself and Towa shop happily, wearing genuine smiles.
Seeing that, Ayana can’t help but feel a slight hint of jealousy.
And there, by their side, is the figure of Iori, whom she shouldn’t meet again… They were truly enjoying their conversation.

“They seem so happy…”

She thought from the bottom of her heart.

In the end, the self who brought unhappiness upon others due to hatred can never attain happiness.
She is only being reminded of that fact.
This broken heart is the price she has invited upon herself, and Ayana wore a dry smile.

She turns her back on the three people who seem to be enjoying themselves.
There is no use in speaking enviously about how much fun they are having, no use in trying to endure this bitterness.
After all, she is the only one in this dream, and her own voice will never reach anyone’s ears, no matter what miracles may happen.

“That’s right… You won’t be saved… You shouldn’t be saved.”

Iori, who has been there for how long, sinking in a sea of white water, is looking up at Ayana.
…… Today, again, Ayana wakes up with a dream with regret.


In the dream, Towa, who was happily enjoying himself, suddenly looked in her direction without noticing.

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