Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata’s volume 13, the final volume of the light novel series, is set for release on October 20. Feel free to join the Discord channel (https://discord.gg/FZYTtNX) and share your excitement for the finale!
You can get your hands on the light novel here.
“I.. I love you, Megumi! I love the 3D (real) you!”
Overcoming the trials and tribulations of the “twist” and finally reaching the last spurt towards the completion of blessing software’s new work, I made one huge confession to Megumi.
“I’m going to make you a main heroine who sends people’s hearts pounding!”
Everything began on the day of that faithful encounter at the hill where cherry blossoms scatter.
Despite facing numerous difficulties, we managed to face our feelings thanks to our dear friends who are chasing that dream together.
“Have I become the main heroine that you desire, I wonder?”
You are no longer a boring heroine, you are the main heroine that sends our hearts pounding!
The love story with the boring girlfriend, complete!
“I.. I love you, Megumi! I love the 3D (furigana: real) you!”
“That ‘real’ part is kinda unnecessary, no?”
The chapter starts from where V12 and GS3 left off, so there is no prologue in this volume. After Tomoya’s confession, Megumi tells him that she is kind of troubled by his miserable expression while Tomoya feels even more awkward as she doesn’t even give her response. Megumi continues by saying she understands what he meant from the confession: that Tomoya loves her not as a main heroine or a circle member, but as a woman. Megumi continues teasing Tomoya, asking if there is anything else that he wants to say as he desperately waits for a reply. Tomoya questions why Megumi can remain flat like she always does in a situation like this. Megumi answers him by saying that any dramatic development like her suddenly drowning in tears and hugging him wouldn’t fit the situation since it’s Tomoya.
Megumi continues by noting how cliche it would be if she replies with a yes. Tomoya reminds her that a cliche is supposed to be used precisely because a lot of users find it interesting. Tomoya begs Megumi not to keep derailing the conversation and tells her that he actually has more confidence in “winning” this time. Megumi commends him for having such confidence when he just betrayed her and made her cry. Tomoya answers that it’s exactly the reasonーthe fact that Megumi still came back to his side even though he betrayed Megumi’s trust. Megumi tries to argue that she did it for Michiru and Izumi, but Tomoya says he was still happy regardless and he didn’t care if it was only a misunderstanding.
Megumi then asks Tomoya how high he thinks his confession’s success rate is; Tomoya replies with 50%. Megumi asks him what grounds he is basing that number on, and Tomoya points out that she is holding his hand right now. Megumi quickly lets go of his hand and feigns ignorance when Tomoya tells her not to do it so suddenly.
“Enough! Anyway, all I wanted to say is that I love you, Megumi. No running away or backing off now. What about you!?”
“…So you’re still thinking.”
“Well, I already have my answer, but I’m still thinking about the right timing to say it.”
“Well, if I said yes, it would be awkward if it ended up with ‘Wow, that’s nice. Anyway, the last train is coming soon, so bye,’ wouldn’t it?”
“It’s not like I am really saying yes, okay? It’s just an example, you know?”
Inside his head, Tomoya ponders about the other possibility of what happens if he gets rejected (which will naturally flow like Megumi’s example just now) and he starts thinking if Megumi’s actually going to accept his confession.
“If I said, err… ‘okay’, it would definitely become that kind of atmosphere, right?”
“Even if you stare at me like that…”
As Megumi throws her gaze towards Tomoya as if saying “you truly don’t get it, do you?”, Tomoya pities galge heroines for being dragged around by the main protagonist’s selfishness inside his mind.
“We-Well, that is… I don’t really have the self-control to guarantee that it wouldn’t turn into that kind of atmosphere…”
“Then, let’s go to Tomoya’s house first, shall we?”
“After going back there and taking a bath, let’s continue talking about this, okay?”
“WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!”
“…Just to make it clear, it’s not like we are taking a bath together, okay?”
“THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M WORRIED ABOUT!”
“You’re reading too deeply into this, Tomoya-kun. We haven’t taken a bath this whole day since last night, right?”
“Any problem with that!?”
“Well, in this state… To be having our first time would be a bit… Don’t you think?”
“THAT’S WHY I SAID WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! How far are you planning to go with this!? Err, only if you say yes, though!”
“Ah, err… Kissing is as far as I want to go… Only if I say yes, though.”
Megumi is holding Tomoya’s hands tightly as she says those words, entwining each one of her fingers with his.
“Ah, but it wouldn’t be your first (furigana: you already did it with Kasumigaoka-senpai) if we are only kissing, would it? It would only be my first time, wouldn’t it? Sorry for saying such a confusing thing.”
“Aaa~, aaa~, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah~”
And on top of that, she even adds that kind of sarcasm.
“No, no, no no no Megumi. If it’s only kissing, there is no need for us to take a bath…”
“We’re staying all night together, so it’s a bit… Well, I can just brush my teeth, but still…”
“In the first place, if you are heading to my place and taking bath there, doesn’t it mean you’re all set on staying over?”
“It’s only adding one extra night anyway. I can just go back early in the morning and change clothes before going to school.”
“Then at least tell me more about that, you bad girl!”
Tomoya questions the nature of their current conversation and that they are going overboard in a lot of ways.
“A-A-Anyway… If you’re really going to take a bath and stay at my house, not to mention… doing that, do you really think we are going to stop there? Err, only if you say yes, though.”
“Well, it’s Tomoya-kun, so there is a sense of security there. It only matters if I really say yes, anyway.”
“By the way, I will have to make up an excuse to my parents if we’re going back now.”
“There’s no helping it, isn’t there? It’s been all shady this time around. Kind of.”
“And if we are talking about shady, it’s the excuse that I need to come up with for my parents.”
“THAT! I have been meaning to ask this from the start, but are your parents really fine with this!?”
“Well, I think it will be better if I have you or your mom take over the phone midway when I call them later, Tomoya-kun.”
“Setting aside my mom, is it even okay for your family to have me prove your alibi…?”
“Well then, let’s go back.”
Megumi drags Tomoya home while holding his hands as their conversation ends. It’s not clear whose fault it is, but their entwined hands at that moment are hot, sweaty, and throbbing endlessly.
“So what excuse did you tell your parents in the end?”
“Hm~, ‘we found a major bug during the mastering process, so I need to pull an all-nighter to fix it’ or so…”
“Excuse me, the mastering is still more than a month ahead from us, so please stop making a heart-stopping excuse like that, Megumi-san.”
“What about you, Tomoya-kun?”
“Let’s see, ‘the train heading to Megumi’s house is currently stopping due to mechanical failure’…”
“Hm, it seems our excuses are really different, huh… We should have decided it beforehand after all.”
“Ah, you don’t have to worry about that, there is no need to be overly cautious for my parents.”
“Really? Okay then.”
“Yeah, no problem…”
The reason Tomoya is saying that to Megumi is because his parents don’t really believe his excuse this time around anyway.
“Putting that aside, don’t just leave the bathroom after soaking in the bath, okay? Wash your face, hair, and body first…”
“I wash them everyday!”
“Oh by the way, do you shave your mustaches, Tomoya-kun? Actually, have you even grown them yet?”
“…What’s the point of you asking me that right now?”
“Well, you see, I’m just wondering if the leftovers are going to feel grassy when it touches my cheek.”
“O-Okay then, it’s about time we…”
15 minutes have passed and both of them has finished taking a bath.
“Alright, now that all the preps are done, let’s go back and start from the playback of Tomoya-kun’s confession…”
“ENOUUUUUGH OF THIS~~~!”
“There are things I need to make sure from your confession, so…”
“Just sleep already! Don’t do anything and go to sleep right now! Good night!”
“Uh, that’s troubling. I am not letting you sleep tonight.”
“You planning to kill me with a heart attack or something!?”
“Ah, that’s not what I meant, it’s only until I am satisfied…”
Tomoya notes how annoying Megumi is right now, not allowing his heart rate to drop at any second.
“I love you, Megumi! Isn’t that enough!?”
“Well, I think I’m already convinced enough about that, but…”
“Then, what do you want to make sure?”
“That is… Tomoya-kun’s feelings. Not one, but all of the answers.”
Tomoya realizes he is now sitting with Megumi on the futon he prepared for her, facing each other.
“Your feelings toward Eriri and Kasumigaoka-senpai.”
“…Can I sleep now, after all?”
Holding Tomoya’s hands with both of hers, Megumi stares intently at them.
“You can’t… I have already prepared my resolve too.”
“What do you mean by, resolve…”
“It’s something you don’t need to know, Tomoya-kun.”
Megumi taps the back of Tomoya’s hands, as if inquiring something from him.
“Well, of course I like them.”
“…What do you mean by ‘like’?”
“Firstly, as creators that I can respect.”
“Other than that?”
“As companions who chase… chased our dreams together.”
“As charming characters who could become the greatest galge heroines.”
“……As girls that I could never reach.”
At the moment Tomoya utters those words, Megumi wears a painful expression.
“Why do you think you couldn’t reach them?”
But he couldn’t think of that response of hers as something that belongs to Megumi herself.
“Isn’t that just you deciding on things from the start? Aren’t you just convincing yourself to believe that they won’t answer your feelings?”
Tomoya holds Megumi’s hands tightly as he answers.
“Scary things are scary… Don’t you understand?”
“I don’t… Those people wouldn’t understand something like that…”
Yes, no one would normally understand these twisted feelings of mine.
But, precisely because no one gets it… Because I know that no one will be able to understand these feelings… it’s scary.
There is no way we are going to get along.
I don’t want to be in that kind of relationship, the way I am in the losing position right now.
I don’t want to end up breaking that amazing person.
I simply don’t want to be overlooked.
The lowest of feelings, that will probably never cross the minds of those girls…
Complex, fear, and all those kinds of similarly spiteful emotions, have long since been lurking inside of me.
“Kasumigaoka-senpai might be able to comprehend it, but she wouldn’t be able to accept it, you know?”
Yes, Utaha-senpai is… No, Utako Kasumi is a genius in reading emotions.
That’s why, she could definitely reach out to my stupid mentality.
On top of that, she would lament those wimpful thoughts of mine as that of a good-for-nothing protagonist’s.
But, that’s only as far as seeing me as a good-for-nothing guy.
“But, Eriri… Let alone accepting it, I think she wouldn’t even be able to understand it.”
“Is that so… Well, I guess.”
The feelings that I harbor toward Eriri… are something that even I can’t completely understand.
Even if she is a lot better than myself, I will always think that she is not good enough in my eyes.
Even if I wish for her to be better than anyone else, I always wanted her to stay under me.
Filled with worry as she fell into a slump, I found comfort in the fact that she stagnated.
As she escaped her shell and improved herself, I could only swallow my impatience at the sight of being left behind.
…I fell in love with someone for the first time since I’m born, and hated someone for the first time since I’m born.
“I think, I’ll have to put things in order and talk it out with Eriri one day…”
But now, even those distorted feelings.
Even the feelings that aren’t supposed to be shared to any other girl, I’m revealing them all.
Only to the girl named Megumi Katou in front of me.
Only to the girl who wraps my hands with both of hers, placing them on her cheeks…
Conveying the warmness of her face to me.
“One day as in, when?”
“You wouldn’t do it if there isn’t a due date, would you? Just like a deadline.”
“Well, that’s… How about within this year, maybe?”
“Yep, yep… Around that, I guess.”
That is around the time for Winter Comiket.
In other words, the moment when our work that we put our souls into is released.
And the time for the year-end sales battle.
In other words, the moment Eriri and Utaha-senpai’s work that they put their souls into is released.
“Are you convinced now?”
“For the time being… In regards to those two, at least.”
“Then… This is the last time, okay?”
In response to my “I know already” tone…
Megumi bumps my forehead with hers, telling me “yup, you’re right.”
“Megumi, you… weren’t scary.”
“Well, you’re really scary when you get angry, though. You’re also more annoying than anyone else when ticked off.”
“But, no matter how scary or annoying you become… If it’s you, I can always think ‘it’ll work out somehow if I try my best.'”
It’s always troublesome when she is ticked off, but there is definitely no such thing as “irrevocable” when it comes to her.
It’s not that she can understand right away, but she will definitely understand one day.
It’s not that she can comprehend everything, but I believe she will be able to do so in time.
We probably won’t get along that well, but we’ll be able pull through by effort. Maybe.
There were lots of times when I lost, but I’ve also got my fair share of victories too, right?
There is no way she is going down because of me, but it’s not like I couldn’t influence her either, at least a little.
That’s why, if I confess, I may fail once…
But if I don’t give up and keep retrying for the second time, third time, and so on, she will give up and accept it in the end.
…At the very least, it’s not that I can’t see it happening.
“That’s why I… can only confess to you, Megumi.”
“By that… Do you mean the available choice is ‘only me from the start’?”
“That’s right… You are my most precious heroine in this world, picked through elimination.”
Hearing that, Megumi clamored for a moment…
Though she also pinched my cheek strongly a bit.
“…Do you think there is a girl out there wjo will be happy by being told that?”
“I don’t think so…”
But, the words that came after a few seconds after that are…
“Even so, I’m confident that if it’s you, you will forgive me anyway, Megumi.”
“How simple do you think I am? The me inside your head, that is…”
Regardless of the content, the warmness of that sigh is properly conveyed to my face.
“So, what’s your answer?”
“I don’t feel like seriously answering anymore after listening to that just now…”
“That’s not what you promised.”
The distance in which we hold that exchange as we glare at each other is, more or less, three centimeters.
“Ah~, but with the conversation going on to this point, there is no need to answrr, right?”
“I still want to hear your answer.”
With our foreheads clinging tightly, and the tips of our noses slightly touching, we catch each other’s breaths.
“That’s why, see… I’m here right now, aren’t I?”
“I could have just left if I didn’t like it, but I went out of my way to keep coming backーand now I’m right here, aren’t I?”
“Your answer is?”
“Ah~ I wonder~”
“Enough of that, your answer.”
“Well, as you yourself put it, Tomoya-kun, I’m just that careless and slovenly anyway~”
“So if you keep confessing to me without giving up, I will feel annoyed and end up accepting it, won’t I?”
“…Is that your answer? I’ll take your words for it, you know?”
“I~ don’t know about that~”
“If you back on your words, I won’t be able to trust women for the rest of my life, you know?”
“That’s why, just test something like that out by yourself.”
“Then…… Shall I?”
“Do as you please~”
And then, the moment Megumi sticks out her lips as if to provoke me…
“What is it?”
“Just now, you…”
“They touched, a bit…”
Yes, Megumi’s jutting lips and my muttering lips touched for a moment.
Before the “keep confessing without giving up” happened, as if to fulfill it…
“That’s… not counted.”
But Megumi, albeit with her sweet voice, toughly denies that unforeseen accident.
“I, I see… No count, huh.”
“It can’t be called a kiss if the lips don’t touch a lot.”
She could have ended it right there if she hated it, but there is no sign of things ending there.
“A lot as in… How long?”
“Let’s see… More than three seconds, maybe?”
“You talking about a dropped food or what?”
“Ah~, I just remembered there is such a thing as three-second rule.”
Let alone that, she even raised the hurdle for our first ritual.
“W-Well… I will try it once again, okay?”
Right, so this time…
This time, until we reach the last destination for us today…
“Err, so, Megumi…”
“What is it?”
“I love you.”
“I~ don’t care~”
“I love you.”
“I said I love you.”
“I see~ Good for you~”
“How many times do I have to repeat this until you say yes?”
“If you don’t continue the confession, it’ll be reset, you know?”
“Seriously, I have to start from one again!?”
“Try your best~”
“That’s why I said, I love you~”
“Aren’t you getting tired of it? Tomoya-kun.”
“No way… I love you I love you!”
“…Well, that was safe just now. It’s properly counted.”
“Just enough already… I love you.”
“Come to think of it, Tomoya-kun, your mustaches still haven’t grown, have they? It’s all slippery.”
“Eh, why are you talking about that now… Aaah!?”
“Ah~ Too bad, that’s another reset~”
I couldn’t see the brazen look of Megumi who is feigning her ignorance anymore.
After all, the distance between me and Megumi is so close that she can directly tell that there is no mustache on my face.
“Uh, man, I said I love you, didn’t I?”
“Your words are really cheap, aren’t they?”
“I love you I love you I love you, I love you~”
“It doesn’t matter how many times you say it, does it?”
“I love you, Megumi.”
“It’s about time I’ve had enough of it, you know?”
“I really love you.”
“It’s not like I need you to say that to know whether it’s real or not, after all.”
“I love you.”
“……………………Uhn, I love you.”
That one moment of Megumi’s “I love you”… No, that one moment of “gap”.
There’s no way I’m missing it.
One second, two seconds…
And then, after more than ten times worth of that moment…
Without minding to let go of each other’s lips, we entwined on various places.
It somehow smells like… my shampoo and my toothpaste.
Tomoya does a monologue of how they plan about doing “what comes after that”, but being the wimpy otaku that he is, they end up not doing anything and continue sleeping afterwards after saying “good night” to each other.
…Ah, by the way, we kissed again twice before we went out.
One from me,
and another from Megumi.
November 2X (Friday) 09:00 AM.
Tomoya is holding a Skype call with Iori in his room before a three-day camp to finish the game. As Tomoya starts going on about the goal of the camp and is about to explain the game’s current progress, Megumi cuts him short and tells Iori to leave everything to the rest of the members so they can start working as she terminates the call. Megumi reminds Tomoya that they are going to be really busty in the next thee days and there is no time for greetings.
The discussion continues with the other members already present in his room. Megumi asks the illustration’s current progress to Izumi, to which she replies that all the previous CGs are done and that she is waiting for the new scenario to be added. Megumi inquires Michiru about her progress on the music, and she says all that’s left is to adjust the ending theme song for the main heroine’s scenario.
Megumi points out to Tomoya how everyone has been expecting his final scenario and he promptly tells her he has finished it this morning. Megumi asks Tomoya if he was pulling an all-nighter, to which he says it wouldn’t be okay if he lets everyone wait even longer for the scenario that has been delaying their work. Michiru butts in and notes it would indeed be a waste if she had skipped school while the final scenario hadn’t been finished. Tomoya tells her she didn’t really have to come since her job is done.
Megumi gets the discussion back on track and volunteers to check all the completed scenarios first, with the other two girls following suit to check their respective works. Tomoya apologizes again for the delayed scenario and Megumi tells him not to disturb them working. Tomoya retorts that she promised not to say something like that, to which Megumi tells him to sleep while he can since they are going to work hard in the next three days. Megumi then asks Michiru not to wake Tomoya up, tells her to use the headphone when playing her guitar, and forbids her for sneaking into his room. Michiru calls Megumi a “tyrant”, “dictator”, and “demonic wife”. Izumi comments how that way of addressing Megumi makes Michiru looks like a sore loser.
November 2X (Friday) 12:00 PM.
Megumi finishes checking the Meguri 27 scene and tells Tomoya to redo it since it’s not good enough. Tomoya asks Megumi what’s wrong with his scenario and Megumi says everything of it is and wonders why he didn’t notice something was wrong. Tomoya tells her that he put his soul to that scenario and cried all night when writing it, so of course he couldn’t tell what’s wrong. Tomoya asks for Michiru and Izumi’s opinions, but both of them think the scenario is good enough as-is.
Tomoya asks her if the problem is the “twist”, which she denies. Tomoya then asks her if it’s the part where Meguri quickly forgives the protagonist that she’s having a problem with. Megumi says she doesn’t really mind about that in a way convoluted enough to make Tomoya think she does dislike that part, at least a little bit.
Michiru and Izumi continue voicing their opinions, saying they still think the scenario is done pretty well already. Izumi admits the final reconciliation scene is very heart-pounding. Michiru adds that despite Tomoya’s creepy choice of words, the scenario has this creepiness that anyone can relate with. Tomoya cuts them off when they start talking about how the scenario resembles the way listening to an addicting song’s lyrics over and over reveals how messed up the songwriter’s brain really is.
As Megumi keeps refusing to voice her problem with the scenario, Tomoya tells that he personally believes that the Meguri 27 that he has written is the best scenario he could possibly come up with at this point because he has experienced the heart-pounding sensation of that scenario once in real life.
“See, this event really did happen after all.”
“Well, the person himself has already revealed it anyway~”
“I know nothing, nothing comes to mind. It’s all Tomoya-kun’s delusion…”
Tomoya and the other circle members ask Iori for an advice through Skype. Michiru wonders if Megumi dislikes the overly realistic depiction of the kiss scene, and Izumi expresses her disappointment since she has prepared a fitting CG for it. Megumi tells both of them to shut up.
Iori says he’s been reading the scenario and that there is a fundamental problem with it. Izumi is surprised that her big brother is backing up Megumi, but Iori then states the problem: the heroine is too selfish and arrogant that no players will be attracted to her. Iori continues by noting how the heroine becomes such a land mine near the end and it’s enough to make all the people who have been in love with her until now break the game disc and return it to the circle.
Tomoya tries to stop Iori while Megumi mutters that Iori doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Iori then mentions that the protagonist must be a huge masochist to put up with the heroine. Megumi says she’d like to know how Iori could have come to such a conclusion and questions his capability as the director, but no one can hardly recognize her voice since it’s overshadowed by the loud sound of her cutting things with a kitchen knife. As the girls wonder what that sound actually is, Iori says it’s probably the sound of a main heroine’s land mine exploding. Megumi starts grumbling unrecognizable words and Tomoya tells them all to stop.
November 2X (Friday) 03:00 PM.
Utaha comes in to look at Tomoya’s scenario and tells him it’s no good. Megumi asks why she went out of her way to come, and Utaha tells her she was going to Eriri’s house for Fields Chronicle’s DLC meeting, so she is just visiting on the way. After Izumi explains to Michiru what DLC is, she expresses her worry on them making a DLC so close to the game’s release date and wonders if it’s actually a patch for a bug in the game, but Utaha denies such a thing exists.
Tomoya then asks Utaha what’s the problem with his scenario so he can do it over, but Megumi reminds him that he just said it is the best scenario he could possibly come up with at this point. Megumi pouts, and Tomoya begs her to understand that he wants to make the scenario of his soul a masterpiece.
Utaha answers, saying the problem lies in the epilogue which starts half a year after. Utaha recites the phrase “a good ending makes a good story” and tells Tomoya that, while some people may consider the climax scene as the “ending”, the true ending of a story lies in the epilogue. She emphasizes that if one doesn’t conclude an epilogue properly, everything up until now will be a waste and the whole story will be affectedーas she puts it, “a bad ending makes a bad story.”
Tomoya argues that he wasn’t holding back when writing it and that he wrote it the way it was to provide a sense of security for the protagonist and the main heroine’s relationship. Utaha strongly rejects the idea, exclaiming that the lives of the characters will continue even after the ending and that his scenario lacks that depth. Her claim completely contradicts Tomoya’s concept of the ideal galge. She goes on to say that the main protagonist need to suffer more and propose to introduce another girl from the past in the epilogue, effectively turning the story into a love triangle.
It is Megumi who interjects their debate.
“How many times do I need to tell you that I don’t want any ‘twist’ until you get it, Kasumigaoka-senpai…?”
“How many times do I need to tell you too, Katou-san? A ‘twist’ is something the story’s god (furigana: Rinri-kun) decides on a whim.”
“Then, who do you think you are, trying to turn around the epilogue without a ‘twist’ that the god (furigana: Tomoya-kun) has decided on…?”
“O, oi, Megumi…?”
“Well, I wonder who. Maybe I’m the demon (furigana: woman from the past) who can even lead the god himself astray.”
“As an ex-circle member, I appreciate your advice… But in the end, it’s no more than an advice—no one asked you to meddle with the story’s direction (furigana: main heroine’s happiness).”
“Of course, I only intended it as an advice, you know? But the one who decides to adopt it and change the direction or not is, in the end, the god (furigana: protagonist), right?”
“Wait, wait, wait! Since when did those two become this awkward!?”
“Uhh… See, that’s… Right? Izumi-chan.”
“Well, that happened after all, Michiru-senpai…”
Tomoya contemplates on how something happened without him knowing (in Girls Side 3).
As the sun sets, Utaha finally goes to Eriri’s house as she planned after endless bickering with Megumi and the rest of the members resume their work. Megumi starts working on the script while mumbling. Sometimes she reads the dialogues in a low voice, bumps her head to the table, hits her cheeks lightly, and takes a break with dead fish-like eyes—a lot of gestures which challenge the border between scary and cute. Michiru continues working on the song composition, while Izumi holds her sketchbook as she closes her eyes without falling asleep, as if meditating or immersing herself in a delusion.
November 2X (Friday) 08:00 PM.
Izumi decides she’s doing seven pages for the final scenario’s illustration and the epilogue, divided into: one for the quarrel scene, one for the crying scene, three for reconciliation leading up to lovey-dovey scene, and two for the epilogue. The other members try to stop Izumi doing such an impossible task in a mere three days, but Izumi insists on having it done as she keeps going on and on about the lovey-dovey scene. Tomoya starts having a recollection about a similar situation (“seven more pages before the deadline”).
November 2X (Friday) 09:00 PM.
Eriri visits Tomoya’s house after Megumi filled her in on the details. Eriri says it’s impossible for Izumi to finish seven pages in three days and that Tomoya hasn’t learned anything from last year, being unable to stop Izumi himself. Eriri tries to scold Izumi but ends up projecting herself as she talks. Megumi tells Izumi that despite Eriri’s childish words, she’s got a point—it’s a stretch for her to complete seven pages in only three days.
As Izumi is confused on what to do with her built-up motivation, Eriri advises Izumi to cut three pages: the quarrel scene, one page from the lovey-dovey scene, and the group picture from the epilogue. Eriri says that Izumi is now blessing software’s lifeline and she doesn’t want to see her go down the same road as she did last year.
Izumi is left dumbfounded for a moment. Eriri asks her if she has any intention to use her. Izumi addresses Eriri as “Eri Kashiwagi-sensei” as she continues listening to what Eriri has to say. Eriri then offers to handle the cleanups and other parts that take time while Izumi focuses on the rest. Tomoya asks them why they are having a conversation as if they have strengthened their resolve. Eriri blames Tomoya’s scenario for focusing on the lovey-dovey part. Tomoya retorts by saying that is the game’s main concept. Eriri comments that she doesn’t like how cute Meguri is becoming all the way until the end while staring at Megumi. The conversation concludes with Izumi and Eriri deciding to work together.
As Friday comes to an end, Tomoya talks with Iori on a sofa about all the happenings in the first day of the camp. They talk about Izumi’s choice of doing seven pages of illustrations and Iori comments that they just have to do what they can for now. As he tells Tomoya to help with the game scripts, Megumi appears and asks Iori what he’s doing as a director. Tomoya notices that Megumi—who’s been the busiest person in the kitchen—has put some sandwiches, spaghetti, and coffee on the table.
Megumi complains that Iori is the only one not doing anything while everyone is working hard for the game. Iori says that his job is to “produce”. Megumi lashes back at Iori by saying she never sees him looking at the scripts despite him also being a director. Iori tells her that’s supposed to be the job of the scripter and the programmer, but since they are lacking in manpower, it’s left upon the sub-director and scenario writer to work on. Megumi retorts that anyone regardless of their position should contribute to help precisely because they are lacking in manpower. Iori answers that his job is to move his mouth, not his hands, which left Megumi at a loss for words.
Iori teases Megumi, saying she’s got the mannerism of “a young wife who tries to impress his husband with her homemade cooking despite being pissed off by an invited guest” down really well. That comment is enough to make Megumi retreat from the living room to the kitchen, and a loud sound of dishwashing can be heard right after.
As Tomoya is about to scold Iori, Iori tells him not to cover him in front of Megumi, since he can’t imagine how much Megumi will resent him if Tomoya keeps taking his side. Tomoya says his action just now earned him plenty of resentment already, and Iori can only sighing hearing that reply as he pats Tomoya’s shoulder with a pitiful expression.
Iori confirms that Tomoya has started going out with Megumi, to which Tomoya expresses his surprise. Iori notes that Tomoya seems to plan on keeping it a secret. Tomoya asks him if his secret has already been exposed to everyone, and Iori reminds him that he still need to properly come out with it regardless. Tomoya asks him if romantic relationships within a circle will cause a strain in the circle. Iori replies that only things like cheating or two-timing would cause such a strain and that it’s important for Tomoya not to become such a harem protagonist from here on out.
As Tomoya heaves a sigh of relief, Iori tells him that it can be a problem if they flirt more than necessary—for example, when both of them disappear into the shadow during an event to make out while she is cosplaying as the heroine, a photographer takes a picture of it by accident—threatening her to spread the image on the internet and forcing her to fulfill his desire without being able to consult to Tomoya. Tomoya makes it clear he won’t be making that kind of game with this circle and questions Iori if he had a history with a cosplayer or something.
November 2△ (Saturday) 06:00 AM.
Tomoya and Iori wake up from their sleep, not by the morning’s sunlight sneaking through the curtain’s gap, but by Michiru’s loud scream early in the morning. Michiru jumps right onto Tomoya after getting an inspiration for the new song while taking a shower. Tomoya asks for Iori’s help but he pretends like nothing happens, saying it’s not the job of a male character other than the protagonist. In the end, it is Megumi who dragged Michiru away from him, all the while glaring intently at him.
November 2△ (Saturday) 08:00 AM.
After having breakfast and calling up Eriri and Utaha, blessing software starts their second day meeting. Michiru tells everyone that she’s finished the ending theme song for the game, saying it took a while for her to come across an inspiration this time unlike her previous works. Tomoya questions Michiru if she plans to make him cry again and tells her to bring it on. Megumi asks Michiru where is the music sheet, but Michiru replies that there isn’t one since she’s figured everything inside her head.
Michiru starts playing the song. The intro is a rearrangement of the song used for the prologue when the protagonist and the heroine met. The first verse uses the melody from the music often used during the early events. The second verse borrows the BGM from the Meguri 15 event, when the main heroine fell in love with protagonist (referring to the events of V11). Pain starts running down the back of Tomoya’s nose.
As the song hits the chorus which is the original part of the song, Tomoya breaks down in tears as everyone stares at him. Izumi starts moving her pencil and works on the rough drawings for the illustrations. Eriri who looks at Izumi’s illustration can only make a seemingly frustrated face. Utaha stares at Michiru with a look filled with a sense of defeat. Iori takes out his smartphone to record Michiru’s peformance (and Tomoya’s crying voice). Megumi lowers her head enough so that no one’s able to discern her expression as her shoulders are shaking.
November 2△ (Saturday) 09:10 AM.
Izumi finishes the rough drawings for all the illustrations to the surprise of everyone. Eriri reveals that Izumi has also finished the line drawings for four of the illustrations since last night. Eriri comments that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with her working pace. Izumi asks Eriri to help her with the cleanups, but Eriri tells her that her own part’s not done yet. Izumi tells Eriri that she will help her finish it after the cleanups are done, to which Eriri tells her not to get ahead of herself.
The blessing software members spend the next ten hours focusing on each of their work. Izumi works on the illustrations as Eriri backs her up and tell her which parts to fix. Utaha rechecks all of Tomoya’s scenarios, with her amount of corrections surpassing four digits. Michiru keeps playing out new songs with her guitar.
Tomoya is taking his time checking Utaha’s corrections in the living room as Megumi tells him the bath is ready. Megumi asks Tomoya about his current progress and he tells her he’s about to finish the normal route. Megumi wonders if he’s going to make it tomorrow. Megumi then offers to split the work with Tomoya. Tomoya comments that Megumi’s part is unusually few, to which she says she’s got other things to do since she is the sub-director. Megumi takes on 20% of the work while Tomoya worked on the remaining 80%. After a while, Tomoya realizes that he is left with the scenarios of all the other heroines, while Megumi takes the main heroine’s scenario all for herself. Tomoya wonders if there are certain parts that she want to read from the scenario.
Things get really awkward between them as they keep working on the scenario since Utaha’s corrections basically force them to read the scenario right from the beginning. Midway through, Megumi lets out a weird voice and starts breathing heavily, covering her mouth as if holding a hiccup and going stiff all of the sudden. Megumi who keeps doing the same thing triggers Tomoya’s curiousity and he leans closer to Megumi to sneak a look at the scenario she’s currently working on.
Looking at her screen, Tomoya notices that Megumi’s working on the Meguri 27 scene where the protagonist made up and had lovey-dovey moments with Meguri, stopping at the part of the kiss scene where the dialogue went “Nn, chuu…” Without them realizing, the distance between the two has been reduced to the point that their shoulders are touching, with Megumi’s wet hair, bare neck, and sweaty skin dominating his line of sight. Tomoya monologues that while they have been in a similar situation many times in before, it was before they start thinking of each other as a couple instead of a heroine and an otaku who can’t do anything while being alone in a room with a girl. The living room remains silent as Tomoya wishes for someone to interrupt them. They ends up holding hands, but nothing beyond that since it’s during a camp after all.
And so, after three days of working, blessing software’s last spurt towards the completion of the game comes to an end.
December 31, second day of Winter Comiket.
Tomoya and Megumi arrive at the venue and start preparing their booth. Megumi looks at the tall pile of cardboard boxes containing 2000 copies of their game and comments that it’s hard to think they’ll be able to sell them all. Tomoya tells her not to say those numbers out loud. Megumi asks Tomoya to prepare the circle tag and sample. Izumi comes around 15 minutes later. Tomoya asks her where is Iori. Izumi says he’s already gone by the time she woke up so she thought he’s already arrived earlier. Megumi delivers her usual harsh commentary towards Eriri and Tomoya tells her they just have to do their best. Izumi says that Iori has always done nothing but speaking with someone else when attending his previous circle booths. Tomoya adds that it would be a lot more annoying if he did actually come.
Michiru arrives an hour later than Izumi. Tomoya tells her that she’s late, but Michiru defends herself by saying her house is far so it can’t be helped if she’s late despite waking up at the same time as Tomoya. Tomoya asks her to help putting up the posters. As Michiru comments how bad the atmosphere their circle is since last year, Iori suddenly comes in with a black suit to the surprise of everyone, saying that’s because their circle has been notorious since selling 100 copies (and another extra 500 copies later) and having the Fields Chronicle duo on board.
Tomoya tells Iori that those two are no longer members now. Iori says that doesn’t matter since their circle is one that has carved a legend and that fact won’t change. Iori then enters the circle booth and closely whispers in Tomoya’s ears (to his discomfort) that he has made arrangements so people will enter from the door next to their circle first before the venue opens. He has also asked his acquaintance to arrange some Comiket guides to be prepared for their circle and asks Tomoya to help with the arrangement. Tomoya comments that Iori’s working quickly as usual. Iori asks Tomoya to have Megumi replace him in the circle space; Megumi tells Iori to shut up already since she already knows without him saying it.
Tomoya begins a “speech” about ten minutes before the event starts. He starts by saying the circle has one big objective this time around. Michiru wonders if there was one and Izumi tells her it’s to “defeat the traitors who abandoned them”. Tomoya mutters that the result has actually been decided already since Fields Chronicle XIII has already gained a massive success on its release date a few days ago.
Tomoya continues that it’s now a matter of how far they can catch up since they wouldn’t be able to win anyway. Megumi tells him not to say such a thing with a happy face. Tomoya tells them to rejoice since their enemy is a legend. Izumi confirms he’s having a really smug face right now, while Michiru insists she is not losing in terms of music and Iori questions Tomoya on who he’s “not” fighting with. Tomoya ends his speech by telling everyone to work hard.
Ten minutes after the event starts, blessing software’s booth are already attracting a lot more customers than before as Tomoya compares the queue to that of a major circle’s that he has only attended as a customer previously. After around one hour passes, there are only around six boxes worth of copies left. Iori tells them to limit each purchase to two copies starting from the next box and limit it to one copy when only 300 copies are left. Megumi teases Iori that he actually know the amount of boxes left. Iori tells her that he also keeps in mind the number of copies on the table and the number of reserves they still have. Megumi goes silent as Iori says he’s able to judge the situation better since he’s not busy helping them selling the copies. Megumi starts getting angry, but Izumi and Michiru remind her to focus on the sales.
Eriri and Utaha visit blessing software’s booth. Tomoya asks what they are doing here as Eriri tells her not to call her out since she’s undercover and Utaha says Tomoya can’t read the mood. Tomoya tells them that there is no need to line up since he’ll just give them a copy for free. Eriri says she wants to see for herself if he’s already prepared a decent amount of copies for everyone who wants to buy it. Utaha adds that they have been queuing since 07:00 AM and that they would have condemned him without mercy if they still ended up not getting a copy.
Eriri comments that their circle is generating quite a heat on Twitter for being a shitty gyuuho circle (it’s a specific term for doujin circles that intentionally deals with the customers who specifically wants to buy their doujin products slowly to produce a long queue that will make people think “this doujin circle is popular enough to generate such a queue”). Utaha adds that the circle’s probably going to be even more infamous than last year since its previous reputation is high already. Tomoya calls them “bad guests”, and Utaha responds by saying that his way of thinking is rotten if he calls them guests. Tomoya tells her it’s only a figure of speech. Utaha replies that those words tell her that he only sees the customers that come to buy his game as sources of money. Tomoya tells them to go back to their booth.
After a couple of hours, blessing software finally sells out all copies of their game. As everyone congratulates each other for their success, Megumi who was just handing out the last copy to a customer remains silent for a while, as if she hasn’t come back to reality.
The circle is holding a party to celebrate them selling out at Comiket. Tomoya asks Iori to check the online reception for their game. The positive reviews are mostly about the characters. They find someone talking about the scenario which turns out to be said person bashing the game for being a complete moege and not having Utako Kasumi on board (even though this person doesn’t really buy the game) which triggers Tomoya.
Another person comments that they bought the game after looking at the poster. Izumi is relieved that the art doesn’t get compared to last year’s work and got bashed on while Tomoya apologizes for having his scenario getting said treatment. Eriri suggests Izumi to change the keyword to Eri Kashiwagi if she’s looking for that and she quickly refuses the offer. In response to Michiru who keeps asking about what people think about the music, Izumi complements her while seemingly getting drunk. Michiru asks Tomoya if her drink contains sake, to which Tomoya replies it’s probably because she pulled an all-nighter last night instead.
Tomoya brings out a futon to the living room for the “drunk” Izumi. As Michiru carries Izumi and places her on the futon, she starts resisting and it turns into a wrestling match. Tomoya who is about to leave the chaotic leaving room when he encounters Eriri. Tomyoa and Eriri then take a walk outside. Both of them talk about how everything is finally over for both of their games. Eriri tells him that Mars’s director Maekawa called her and Utaha over the phone and offered them to work in any new project.
Tomoya says that his circle hasn’t lost yet, but Eriri points out that Megumi told her that he already declared their defeat earlier. Tomoya says that everyone besides himself haven’t lost yet—be it Izumi, Michiru, Megumi, and Iori. Eriri admits that she is scared of Izumi. She wonders how that girl can manage to keep surpassing any obstacle, unlike her. Tomoya notes that it’s because she didn’t seek help from anyone last time. Eriri says that she thought that she wouldn’t be able to move on if she did. Eriri laments the fact that she needs to give up something to achieve what she wants, while Izumi can stay the way she is as her talents keep growing. Tomoya says Eriri should be grateful for having such a great rival; to which she replies that there’s nothing good about that.
“Even if you say that, there are so many things you should be apologizing for that come to mind that I can’t tell which one it is. Is this for losing to Fields Chronicle XIII? Or for getting me to work at the camp last month? Or for dragging me to your circle in the first place?”
“…Not all of them. In fact, I don’t think all of those things you mentioned are bad at all.”
“That selfishness of yours always ticks me off everytime.”
“I’m not talking about what happened in these recent years.”
“I’m sorry, Eriri… For not being able to become your rival ten years ago.”
“I’m sorry for being jealous when you keep improving yourself… and giving up on catching up to you.”
“I’m sorry, Eriri… For not being your ally ten years ago. I was too fixated on being an otaku that I prioritized my own pride over your feelings.”
“I’m sorry, Eriri… For not being able to become your best friend ten years ago. Sorry for blaming everything on you and leaving your side.”
“I said stop.”
Eriri is showing a painful expression as she looks at Tomoya.
“Why are you saying those things now…”
“Why are you apologizing?”
“The me at that time was an unsightly brat who couldn’t understand people’s feelings and didn’t care about my friend, a bad otaku in its own right…”
“I was also that way. Even though I understood people’s feelings, I was still a self-righteous and cowardly kid, a bad girl in its own right…”
“Even so, I should have tried my best… I should have tried my best in the right direction. That’s why, I’m really sorry after all.”
“…I can’t really stand that sort of self-satisfaction.”
“Well, you’ve got a point…”
Tomoya who has been crying all this time strangely has a refreshed look on his face, while Eriri wears a painful expression.
“Despite everything that has happened, thank you for becoming my friend again…
Thank you for joining my circle even after becoming this good.
Thank you, Eriri.”
“What are you going to do from here on out?”
“Well, at the very least, I have a job for a new light novel’s illustrations planned this year… I don’t really feel like doing it, though~”
“Anyway, there is no sign of Mars letting go of me soon, so I’ll probably continue doing Fields-related works.”
“Well, you’re right.”
“After that… Well, I want to do lots of things. Interesting jobs, long-lasting jobs, jobs that can earn me lots of popularity and money…”
“You started sounding like a sleazeball midway through, though?”
“That sleaziness is what defines a pro, you know?”
“…Ah, you’re right.”
Tomoya reflects on the difference of the paths they are going to take as he listens to Eriri’s answer.
“Do your best…”
“Well, I will do my best… But I’ll also have a lot more fun from now on, you know?”
“Didn’t you say one can’t grow without experiencing hell?”
“Of course I’ll be experiencing hell from now on too… But it’ll be an enjoyable one.”
“After all, for me right now… Drawing is not a matter of revenge or returning a grudge anymore.”
“That’s why, I want to get along with drawing from now on… I want to truly love the girls that I draw…”
“What about you, Tomoya? Are you continuing the circle?”
“…The event just came to an end earlier and we’re about to graduate soon, so I haven’t really thought about it. But…”
“I will catch up soon. In the same direction of you.”
“That’s why, please wait for me… Though I can’t really say it will be soon, one day I’ll definitely…”
“…………………Eh? A, a, a….. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!?”
Getting the direction of the conversation suddenly turned over from work to love by Eriri, Tomoya’s words come to a halt.
“E, Eriri, a-a-a-a-a-bout that! I, actually, to tell you the truth!”
“No, you don’t need to say it.”
“I perfectly get it.”
Eriri stops Tomoya as he was about to confess his relationship in front of her, as if to steal his part as a protagonist and to protect his weakness as an otaku.
“It’s getting cold, so I’m going back.”
Tomoya who is now at a loss for words can only stare at Eriri who has turned her back against him. Eriri’s body trembles, as if it just recalled the coldness of winter after forgetting about it all this time.
“Oh, right… Happy New Year, Tomoya.”
“A, ah… Please take care of me this year too..”
As they exchanges a New Year greeting, Tomoya notices that Eriri’s not replying to his “please take care of me”. He reflects that she’s probably doing it on purpose, since they are going to walk on the same path with different paces starting from this year.
While Tomoya’s accepting that fact, he thinks to himself that there is still something that he doesn’t wish to be over. Something that’s supposed to only be his ego, but also something he doesn’t wish to remain unsaid…
“Did you love me?”
But even that last remaining courage of him is stolen by the mischievous smile of Eriri who suddenly turns around.
“Did you love me ten years ago?”
And yet again, Tomoya’s weak self is saved.
“…L, like I care about that.”
Failing to say the words he had wanted to, all he can do is repeat the phrase caught in his heart over and over.
“I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t caaaaaare~!”
“Ahaha, your face gave it away.”
Looking at Tomoya’s face who is ruined by tears that simply won’t stop, Eriri puts on a refreshed smile one more time.
“You’re as stubborn as always, huh, Tomoya…”
Along with that smile, Eriri disappears into the house. And looking at that smile, all of Tomoya’s regrets which should have already disappeared come rushing back to him.
As she left, Tomoya thinks that maybe this was for best: that there is no point in him saying that “at that time, you’re the only one for me,” and that it would only hurt both the people who are living in the present and people who are looking back at the past. But in the end, he still couldn’t stop all the pain he’s feeling and his overflowing tears right now.
Around ten minutes after Eriri went back inside his house, Tomoya is sitting in front of the gate while holding his knees when Utaha suddenly calls out to him. She asks him if he’s crying, to which he denies. She mocks him that he sounds like an elementary schooler and offers to listen to his story. Tomoya refuses and Utaha asks why not even though it would make him feel better. Tomoya answers that it’s something he couldn’t consult with Utaha.
Utaha discerns that Tomoya has said his goodbye to Eriri. Tomoya tells him he doesn’t want to talk to her about it. Utaha says it’s too late since she’s already deeply involved in that matter. Tomoya realizes Utaha has been the one supporting Eriri all this time and start contemplating what he’s going to say to Utaha right now.
Three options come to his mind:
- Am I really good-for-nothing? Am I really a hopeless guy?
- A relationship between two people is complicated, isn’t it?
- What if I told you that I made a girlfriend…?
Tomoya starts simulating each option inside his mind. In the first option, he imagines Utaha telling him he is really a hopeless guy with nothing to make a girl fall for him, questioning if it’s probably his face. The second option gets him told off by Utaha for asking the person who hates dating the most in the world. Utaha tells him to die in the third option.
Tomoya then tells Utaha he’s got something important to talk about. Utaha answers that she already knows so he doesn’t need to say it. Utaha adds that she’s already had enough talks and fights with Megumi, and that she already promised her not to ever get close to Tomoya again. Tomoya says he can’t tell how much of what she’s saying is real but he’s sorry if it’s actually the truth.
“But still, I still have to say it anyway to you, Utaha-senpai.”
Is that because I was your first?”
“Yes! You’re right!”
Tomoya wonders if Utaha’s not continuing the conversation anymore out of kindness, in order to tease im, or because she really doesn’t want to listen to what comes after.
“I have been going out with Megumi… since last month.”
As Tomoya confesses his relationship to Utaha, he thinks to himself that Utaha was the first woman to treat him like a man and kiss him.
“….I guess I’m really playing a losing role.”
Utaha starts letting out all the lamentations that she has kept inside her heart all this time. Tomoya asks her if she shouldn’t have confessed to her. Utaha replies that she had hoped that he would hide it from her forever. Tomoya responds by saying it isn’t a good thing to keep secrets between friends. Utaha says that’s the logic of the winner, Megumi.
“Come to think of it… I can’t believe I would be worrying over something like this.”
“It’s certainly unbelievable, you shitty otaku.”
“Then treat me more like a shitty otaku..”
“It can’t be helped. I’m also a shitty otaku after all.”
Tomoya then tells Utaha that he had already decided to tell her everything anyway and that he has gone out with Megumi despite her not really becoming an otaku yet. Utaha says that Megumi is actually looking down on Tomoya and that she only looks at him as an ordinary man, but that’s precisely the reason why she fell in love with him.
Utaha continues by asking Tomoya if this means he’s going to forget her. Tomoya denies it and says that he will never forget her. Utaha is pissed off that Tomoya’s saying such a thing after dumping her. Tomoya apologizes and adds that he’s still going to remain a fan of Utako Kasumi and Utaha Kasumigaoka. Utaha asks him if that means he will keep supporting her works. Tomoya replies that he will, as long as she keeps creating masterpieces.
Utaha asks him what he would do if she produces a really bad work, and Tomoya simply responds by saying he would remain silent and wait for her next work. Tomoya emphasizes that no matter what happens, he will stay as someone who always expects her worksk, but is neither someone who will defend her nor bash her when she flops. Utaha thanks him and promises to do the best for both him and “TAKI”. Tomoya tells her to do her best for all her readers. Utaha says it’s fine as long as he remains the way he is since his evaluation reflects the world’s evaluation towards her works, as she pats Tomoya’s head gently.
After moving away her hands from Tomoya, Eriri slowly stands up and tell him she’s going to give him one more chance to cry. Utaha then wishes him a happy new year and Tomoya asks her to take care of Eriri. Utaha says she is the one in trouble for keeping up but says it’s going to work out somehow.
“Rinri-kun, did you love me?”
“Fufu, I’m just kidding… I won’t pull an out-of-place prank like Sawamura-san.”
“After all, I know very well.
You were undoubtedly in love with me.
Whether it was with Utako Kasumi or Koisuru Metronome, it doesn’t matter.
Because both are myself.
That’s why, you were in love with me.
No, even now, you are still in love with me.
……..Of course, forever more.”
“That’s why, Tomoya Aki…
You have to keep catching up after me from now on.
As a fan who keeps worshipping a great writer. And as a rival who will overtake that writer.”
“…Then, see you later.”
Utaha is smiling up until the very end.
Smiling confidently without wiping the tears that come falling down from her eyelids, with an expression that implies she had succeeded in stealing Tomoya’s tears.
Chapter 6 (Girls Side 3.5)
[This chapter is told in a third person PoV.]
“What is it? Megumi.”
“How is the water? Is it too hot, Eriri?”
“No, it’s just right.”
Megumi who welcomed Eriri back to Tomoya’s house had a staring game with her for a while, as if both of them have something to say to each other, before Michiru tells them the bath’s ready. Eriri then proposes to enter the bath together with Megumi and drags her to the bathroom. Putting their heads together, time passes awkwardly as silence dominates the atmosphere.
Megumi remarks that this is the first time they are in the same bath together since the last six months (referring to the events of GS2). Eriri notes that the bath they were in at that time was wide enough for them to extend their legs unlike now, but Megumi says it’s at least enough for the two of them to sit together like this. Eriri starts recalling that she used to swim in her bath when she was little. Megumi asks her if she has ever entered the bath with Tomoya. Eriri gets startled and return the question to Megumi. Megumi reminds her that she is talking about her childhood and tells her that she has never done something like that.
After being able to calm herself down a little, Megumi stares at the ceiling as she tells Eriri that she likes her, which surpised her. Megumi continues that she doesn’t mind if Eriri won’t forgive her despite that, and that she’s aware she had interfered with Eriri’s goal to “become the world’s greatest and happiest illustrator”. Megumi elaborates that she had wanted to cheer her from the start, but somewhere along the way, she had already started competing with her. Eriri asks Megumi what she’s talking about and argues that she has always competed with her since the start. Megumi realizes that Eriri—who Megumi thought was asleep when they were going back from the trip half a year ago in the train—had overheard Megumi’s words at that time: “If Eriri is aiming to become the world’s happiest illustrator, then I will become the world’s happiest main heroine.”
Eriri adds that Megumi has been going all out in approaching Tomoya since that time. Megumi says that her feelings were still 50:50 at that time, and that she had thought she wouldn’t mind backing down if it would make Eriri suffer. Eriri inquires Megumi if she is implying that she doesn’t mind if Eriri suffers from having Tomoya taken away from her, and Megumi confirms the fact. Eriri then sprays her water gun on Megumi.
Eriri tells Megumi that it’s not Megumi’s fault that Tomoya got together with her. Megumi tells Eriri to stop as she keeps trying to defend her face with both of her hands from Eriri. Megumi tries to counter Eriri’s continuous attacks by kicking some water towards Eriri as she argues that it’s really her fault. Eriri closes the distance between her and Megumi as they butt their heads and stick their foreheads together. Eriri then says that it’s all her and Tomoya’s fault that they couldn’t be together and that Megumi’s got nothing to do with it.
Megumi asks Eriri if it means that it doesn’t matter what Megumi did or whatever her feelings become, and that she would have never gotten together with Tomoya had Eriri’s resolve stayed firm. Eriri replies by telling Megumi to give it up and wonders why she insists on making it her fault. Megumi says that it doesn’t sit well with her when Eriri puts it as if only her choice had mattered. Eriri tells Megumi to at least let her be a sore loser and calls her stubborn. Megumi denies it and insists that she’s flat. Eriri questions Megumi if she wants to be forgiven. Megumi avoids answering the question and Eriri tells her to give a clear answer. Both of them then drown themselves inside the bathtub as Eriri tightly holds Megumi.
And then, a few minutes later.
“Can you swear that you will stay with Tomoya forever?”
“Uhm, I wonder.”
“What’s that… Are you even serious?”
“In the first place, is Tomoya-kun really a guy who is worth the two of us fighting over him?”
“It’s gonna be over if you say that, dummy…”
The two start talking again as they lean on the bathtub.
“Even so, despite saying Tomoya’s not really that great of a guy, you still chose him and definitely won’t hand him over to anyone else; just what is it that you really want to do, Megumi?”
“Uhm, how to put it… My own feelings and everything that has transpired up until now just don’t fit…”
“Is that basically you saying ‘W-w-why did I fall in love with such a douche…’ or something like that?”
“Uhh, actually listening to a tsundere phrase like that really tickles after all.”
“If anything, it’s your feelings toward Tomoya right now, Megumi.”
“…It really tickles, after all.”
“Enough to make you want to scratch my whole body, isn’t it?”
“Well, I’m not really embarrassed; you did feel the same after losing, Eriri.”
“I told you before, right? That feelings keep on changing.”
“…In short, despite you suddenly getting heated up like this, you’ll also cool down all of a sudden?”
“I didn’t suddenly get heated up, it took a lot of time, so stop putting it out like that.”
“Ah~ Okay, okay, move on.”
Megumi face upwards, closes her eyes for a while, and then stares at Eriri with the expression of a main heroine.
“But, if… if I really managed to become a main heroine…
If I really managed to become a love main heroine that will keep on cherishing the protagonist…
Will I be able to keep loving that protagonist, forever and ever?
That is what lies beyond the ending, beyond the epilogue.”
“Is that… in other words, the protagonist’s route?”
“So, as long as he keeps having you as the main heroine, your feelings will always stay unchanged…?”
“…Thinking about it that way, I guess it really tickles.”
“Enough to make me want to point it out and laugh at it.”
“But… it’s not embarrassing.”
Eriri glares at Megumi for the last time before sinking her head into the water. Megumi face upwards once again to avoid imagining how Eriri’s face looks like right now.
Around thirty minutes after Utaha went back, Tomoya stays in front of his house despite thinking of coming back inside several times already as Megumi goes outside and finds him. Tomoya notices that Megumi just went out of the bath and tells her not to come outside or she will catch a cold. Megumi returns his concern and reminds him that he’s been outside for over an hour already. Tomoya asks her how she knew he is outside, but Megumi refuses to answer. Megumi then stands beside Tomoya and gazes at the night sky.
Tomoya tells Megumi to return already, and Megumi teases him as if they are going to hug to keep him warm but keeps maintaining their distance in the end. Tomoya tells her to return once more, but this time Megumi holds his hand tightly. Megumi quickly complains that it’s freezing and that she doesn’t want to spend three days sleeping with a cold, but she tells Tomoya that she won’t return inside without him. They end up staying outside for a while.
“It’s over, isn’t it? Comiket.”
“It went off without hitch, didn’t it~?”
“We sold out, didn’t we?”
“I took a bit of money from the large sum left behind the box in the end, though~”
“But, the real showdown is still left.”
“You mean shop consignments? But I’m not sure what to feel about what comes after if we are only selling it to those people.”
“No, I’m not talking about something that far ahead. I’m talking about today.”
“Today? But, it’s only…”
“I have promised to hang out with you, haven’t I, Megumi?”
“I did promise to hang out with you until the end of the party, right?”
Tomoya thinks to himself that he wouldn’t want everything to return to nothing after the event ends.
“The party was fun, wasn’t it?”
“…It’s a bit painful too, though.”
“It’s fine, already…”
Tomoya monologues how a lot of things have changed in this two years.
“What is it?”
“What will you do, from now on…?”
“Let’ see, I’ll go back to the house, eat some tobakoshi soba, and do the New Year countdown with everyone…”
“No, I’m not talking about today. I’m talking about what lies ahead.”
“I’m talking about what lies after graduation, about your choice of course, about the circle… about your future.”
“Excuse me for saying this, but I’ll be troubled if you don’t become someone great, you know…”
“Is that so?”
Tomoya ponders that Megumi’s wish just now is something a bit different that what Megumi would wish for up until now.
“W, well, I guess I’ll do my best for the time being.”
“You won’t be a great creator just by doing your best, you know? You won’t be able to become someone like Eriri or Kasumigaoka-senpai, you know?”
“T, that’s, well…”
In fact, it feels like something she inherited from someone else.
“Aren’t we going to do it again someday? Another celebration party like today, with everyone gathered here?”
But, despite not knowing since when Megumi started embracing that wish…
Tomoya understands that such a trivial thing doesn’t matter.
After all, it’s the same wish that he has come to grasp today.
“Do your best from now on, okay?”
And more importantly, because it’s such a pleasant vow.
After all, Megumi specifically mentioned “everyone“.
Everyone, including herself.
The only person within the circle who, despite not being a creator, and not aiming to be one either—
—always stays inside everyone,
…and alongside me.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s nothing…”
As Tomoya was immersed by his own feelings, Megumi responds by putting her head next to his.
“Listen, it’s the New Year’s bell.”
“Oh~, such a cliche situation~”
“Definitely an event fit for a galge, right?”
“Well, this is not a galge event, though.”
“Then, let’s cut off the lovey-dovey scene and quickly head to everyone’s place.”
“…We are cutting it off right now?”
“You don’t like it?”
Tomoya avoids saying what happens three seconds afterwards since “someone might be looking at them”, but it’s implied to be a kiss.
“Well then, since the corresponding scene is over, time to go back and take out the soba-yu~”
“Me, Megu, Megu…!?”
“Come to think of it, putting soba-yu aside, I didn’t buy any mentsuyu, though? Do we enough left for seven people, I wonder?”
“Your change of pace is too fast, you know!! At least stay in the mood for a while!!”
“Eh~, what are you talking about?”
Welcoming the two as they come back inside the house is…
“Fueeeeeeeeeeeee~, Tomoyaaaaaaaaaaa~, MegumiiiiiiiiiI~”
“Ah, finally… You have come back to my side, Rinri-kun~”
“Ah~, it’s Homoya-senpaaaai~”
“Tomooooo~, come over here~, let’s play together~”
…the sight of four girls lying around on the futon placed at the living room.
There should have been another guy in the house, but he seemingly caught signs of the impending crisis and retreated beforehand.
“Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaan~n, I, I guess… in the end~”
“I can’t accept it after all… I won’t let you go, you are my property foreveeeeeeer~”
“Ahahahahahahahaha, my property, my property~”
“Oh~ Senpai, try your best~”
Tomoya notices there are a lot of silver wrapping papers lying on the futon—and on the table, bottle-shaped sweets wrapped in those silver papers.
“This… If I remember correctly, isn’t this Eriri’s father’s souvenir from England…”
“Then, isn’t this one of those things again?”
The snacks actually contain whiskey and bourbon, but Maruto censored the words to fit the “anime broadcasting regulation”.
“Waaaait, that’s not fair, Utaha Kasumigaoka~! Tomoya is mine, M, I, N, E~”
“Listen to me, a man, a man will definitely return to his first womaaaaaaan~”
“…Is that true?”
“RETURN ALL MY TEARS FROM BEFORE~!”
First part of the epilogue features Tomoya with the icy tail members at the live house in Akihabara. It is revealed that Tomoya flunked his entrance exam to Fushikawa University and the band members made fun of him. They also joke that he should focus on his work as their manager for getting them the major debut and ship him with Iori.
Second part is Tomoya meeting up with Sonoko. She asks him if he failed the exam because he was too focused on helping the completion of Fields Chronicle XIII, which he quickly brushed off. Sonoko offers Tomoya a job as an editor on Fushikawa Shoten for one of the new works, which he respectfully declines. Sonoko then extends the offer by saying she would like to work together with him one day, either as an author or an editor. Sonoko tells Tomoya that she has played “Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata”—mentioning that she would like to read a school life romantic comedy light novel version of the game and asks him to send his manuscript whenever he wants. She ends the talk by jokingly remarking how it would be great to debut the work as the light novel right now since his game has been gaining popularity and that recent light novels have gained more momentum by being previously released through Narou or other medium instead of winning light novel awards.
Tomoya meets up with Akane after that in order to sign the documents of his contract with Fields Chronicle XIII. Akane writes a seven digit number for Tomoya’s royalty check, which he profusely refuses until Akane ends up agreeing with his terms of cutting the sum of money to 20% of the original amount. Tomoya then notices the contract is strangely long and realizes it’s actually Akane forcing him to work under her after reading all the salaryman terms in the contract. Akane then switches the subject to his game and praises it to be the greatest work he has come up with that she would be to embarassed to write herself. The conversation ends with her offering him to “teach him the ropes of making a good story for free”. Of course, Tomoya declines.
Next part moves on to Megumi and Tomoya meeting at the usual log house style cafe. Megumi talks about him flunking the university exam and teases him about the fact that it actually gave him a lot of options in life. It is revealed that Megumi got accepted into Fushikawa University. They talk about how she could pass the test while he couldn’t and why she didn’t tell him anything about the guaranteed admission quota (she actually wanted to tell him, but it was during the whole V12-GS3 fiasco). Megumi tells Tomoya he needs to decide for himself what his next career path is since their circle activity will start in April. The talk goes on and Megumi mentions that she knows Tomoya actually has already figured what his choice is as she holds his hand tightly. Megumi says she knows Tomoya just want to be comforted by his girlfriend for her to do the “main heroine” thing. Tomoya tells her to comfort him if that’s what she thinks.
The reason why I chose my own path by myself was…
because I think I can’t keep up with you.
Even now, I can’t keep up with you, Tomoya-kun.
After all, whichever path you choose… No matter if it’s a slope or going back, I’ll always believe that it’s a road ahead.
That’s why, I decided to stop keeping up with you…
After all, I don’t know where you are going to.
…That’s why, no matter where you go, no matter where I go, it’s fine if nothing changes at all—that is my only resolve, see.
No matter what kind of goal Tomoya-kun is aiming for, no matter what choice you make as a result, I… Well, maybe I won’t physically be close to you. But I will always be alongside you. I will accept the path that you have chosen.
To that end, I will stay flat, the way I am.
No matter what happens, I have decided to be flat just like how I have always been.
I will keep these feelings I have now, no matter where you fly off to.
…I have decided to keep loving you.
So, how is it?
Have I become the main heroine that you desire, I wonder?
It’s not for the sake of all those users, but just for one person…
Have I become Tomoya Aki-kun’s only main heroine, I wonder…?”
My mind blew up midway through.
It’s simply too moe, too heart-pounding—it made my heart race so much I don’t even know what to do anymore.
It is by Megumi Katou;
it is by this… one person that I love so much;
that my heart got pierced so hard I couldn’t even fathom how much more heart-pounding it can get from here.
“I have decided… I will chase after it.”
Megumi who has remained in her flat expression then calls out Iori and Izumi, who have actually been watching them from behind just as Megumi told them to. They start the first circle meeting afterwards.
Final part of the epilogue starts from Megumi asking Tomoya if he is still mad as they walk home from the restaurant. He says he isn’t mad at all. As Megumi keeps trying to call up to him, he suddenly rings up with an idea of calling their circle’s games “The Slope Trilogy” and goes on to call the slope a “holy site” for the circle and the main heroine.
Tomoya then declares it’s time for another sleepover to come up with the plot for the third game at his house. Megumi says she’s got first day of college tomorrow, but Tomoya retorts by saying she can simply go from his house and her huge bag suggests she has been planning on staying at his house all along. Megumi notes how he shouldn’t have said such a thing out loud despite realizing it.
Tomoya talks about what kind of genre their newest game will be about. Megumi asks him to at least let her sleep. Tomoya replies that she won’t let her sleep since they won’t be high school students starting from tomorrow.
Tomoya halts his sentence midway and realizes that “their rating will change” in a few hours. Megumi tells him she is aware of that and he doesn’t need to point it out. Before Tomoya is able to inquire her about what she means by that, Megumi asks Tomoya to hold her bag and tells him to get going.