I’m splitting this chapter into two parts this time. Part 2 of Chapter 5 should come out next weekend. Sorry. It’s just so long…
HEAVY SPOILERS IN THIS POST
Chapter 5 (Part 1)
Mina wakes up to find herself being hugged by Jessica, who had fallen asleep. The image shows otherwise, but that’s what the text says, alright?
Shortly after Mina thinks to herself that Jessica looks cute, Jessica wakes up, jumps out of bed, and is completely confused. She denies hugging Mina, which leads to Mina thinking that she totally did. As if sensing her thoughts, Jessica throws a pillow at Mina’s face. Still grumpy from lack of sleep, Mina glares at Jessica and thinks about how she’s a high school girl and Jessica is an elementary school student in Mina’s room. Never mind the fact that Jessica was showing Mina the ropes yesterday, of course.
After realizing that they still have time to sleep (the time was a little past 5 am) and that she felt really cold, Mina forcibly hugs Jessica and drags her back to the futon. Jessica protests briefly before Mina quiets her down. The two fall into a calm sleep.
Apparently it was also too deep of a sleep since Mina wakes up some time later and realizes that they’re going to be late. This time it’s Jessica who is groggy. Jessica wants to skip school altogether, but Mina forces her to go since Mina feels that elementary school students must go to school. There’s also the very minor fact that Mina had a math test today. Did she study at all? Probably not. Jessica has nothing nice to say to a girl who sucks at math but does well on Modern Japanese, Classics, and History.
Jessica manages to convince Mina that the two of them should have breakfast first. Mina in turn tells Jessica that they need to brush their teeth first. She hands a toothbrush to Jessica, who is dumbfounded after Mina said she’ll keep the toothbrush around in case Jessica sleeps over again. Jessica eventually grins and happily starts brushing her teeth once Mina pushes her to hurry. Mina also pokes fun at Jessica’s height.
Jessica is amazed that Mina’s mother was able to finish her night shift, go home, prepare breakfast for Mina, and then head back to the hopsital. And so am I.
After the two girls wolfed down the food, Mina tells Jessica that they’re running to the station. Jessica still wants to skip school, but Mina grabs her hand and forces her to come along. Before that happened, however, Jessica seemed to have been in a bit of a daze and was just looking back into the apartment. Perhaps Jessica has never experienced living like that before.
They manage to catch a train. Mina acknowledges that making it to school on time will be difficult, but at least the train is empty. Jessica and Mina have a small chat about school and Mina is left with the impression that Jessica experiences difficulty attending school as a foreigner and probably doesn’t blend in with other kids since she acts so mature for her age.
As Mina notices the nice weather outside, Jessica abruptly asks a question. This causes Mina to pause. We hear a clicking sound and Mina realizes that a few seconds had passed. Mina asks Jessica about what just happened. The blonde loli tells her to forget about it while forcing a smile.
Mina belatedly realizes that she didn’t know which school Jessica attends after she had dragged Jessica up the hill. It turns out she attends the international school that’s next-door to her high school. As Jessica leaves, Mina invites her to have lunch with Riko and herself on the rooftop (via yelling).
As Mina entered homeroom, Makoto began pestering her questions. It seems like she’s been trying to contact Mina yesterday over and over to no avail. Mina feels guilty as a result, but she tries to gloss things over by saying that things happened. Makoto glares and responds by asking her about what kind of things. Hoo boy.
Makoto’s sharp gaze and her confrontational behavior scares Mina, but Kana and Rika tried to make the usual jokes (with Kana subtly telling Mina to apologize for making Makoto worry) about how Makoto can’t live without Mina. Makoto slams her hand on the table and angrily screams that’s not it.
Everyone stares at Makoto. After Rika and Kana dismissively say they were saying the same lame jokes, Makoto slowly comes to her senses and apologizes. Mina realizes that she was the cause for Makoto’s outburst and tries to comfort her. Makoto smiles at Mina with moist eyes.
During class, Mina tries to draw and review the pyramid she learned from Jessica. Makoto, however, keeps sneaking glances at Mina and eventually asks what she’s doing. Mina was already prepared with a bogus answer and says she’s planning on writing a novel. Jeez, Mina, I get that you can’t really tell Makoto the truth, but this hurts even me.
Riko swings by Mina’s classroom at the beginning of breaktime. She acts cold and distant, caliming that the situation calls for it. Then she asks if Mina met Jessica yesterday (she did). Mina responds she still has a lot of questions to ask the both of them and reveals that Jessica slept over at her house. Riko does not like hearing that. Wow, a love triangle?! Mina ends up getting Riko to agree to have lunch with her (and Riko ends up turning a bit red).
Makoto observes all of this happening. As she thinks dark thoughts, she feels a sharp pain in her eyes. With her eyes closed, she sees a cloud of red and black and swears she hears the sound of a girl’s laughter. However, she sees that no one is near her upon opening her eyes.
Rika and Kana ask Makoto if she is okay since she looks really pale. Makoto lies about not getting enough sleep while noting her palms are sweaty and that something is definitely wrong.
Once the bell signifying lunch rings, Mina gets up with her notebook, determined to have lunch with Riko. Makoto calls out to her and Mina gives her a curt “Yeah?” Damn, that’s cold, Mina.
Mina starts trying to show that she cares about Makoto by asking about her well-being and by pointing out how she hasn’t been herself. Makoto, however, doesn’t meet her gaze and trembles before saying that Mina should go hang out with her new friend whom she seems to like. That is pretty passive-agressive, Makoto.
Mina tries one last time to say that they’re talking about Makoto right now, but Makoto dismisses her worries.Exasperated, Mina turns around and slowly starts walking out of the classroom. She hopes that Makoto would call out to her, but she didn’t. When Mina reaches the door, she turns around again and sees Makoto still staring at her. Makoto smiles a distant smile when their gazes met, which is something Mina didn’t want to see. She runs off.
We get to see Makoto’s perspective shortly afterwards. She had wanted to call out to Mina as she watched Mina leave, but she couldn’t open her mouth. A red pulse hammered at her vision. After Rika and Kana voice their concerns for Makoto, she opts to go to the nurse’s room by herself.
The scene then jumps to Mina seeing both Jessica and Riko on the roof. Since she had heard that Mina didn’t have a bento from Jessica (when did she contact Jessica? Perhaps she messaged her out of jealousy after hearing she heard that Jessica slept over?), she had her butler, Ayabe, prepare an exquisite bento. The girls share the feast while talking about this and that. It turns out Riko, Jessica, and Yang are all rich / come from rich families. Riko lives in the big mansion up the hill; Jessica’s parents are both aristocratic (and she mentions something about having a villa in Karuizawa they only visit during the summer season); and Yang owns 22 stores. At least the girls aren’t willing to bully plebians like Mina on the basis of their inherited wealth.
With the small talk over, they tell Mina to start asking questions. However, she starts off by asking them how they found the doll mansion. It’s an uncomfortable subject for both Jessica and Riko. Jessica in turn asks Mina how she found it. For Mina, it just happened and she felt summoned or called. In response, Jessica says how they came across the mansion wasn’t important and asks Mina if she has better things to ask. It’s clear that she’s strategically changing the topic.
Mina asks about all this information that Minawa is sending them via phone. Jessica explains that that they’re to take care of these targets (suspected dolls). In regards to today, Jay will take care of some nearby golems and Yang handles another Marionette. As a result, Riko and Jessica decide to work together to take care of this remaining Marionette (Mina had no choice in the matter to begin with). Mina notes that the girls are treating her nicer compared to two days ago and she realizes that being with them is fun, even if work isn’t.
Right before they started talking about strategy, however, Jessica seems to have Seen an aura that didn’t belong to the three of them. She dismisses this, however. Jessica and Riko also proceed to explain what an aura is. Just imagine that the girls are all connected to Ruka the doll via invisible lines and she sends them power to do things. Mina realizes that Yang was criticizing her for misusing her aura without even being contracted to Ruka back when they first met.
Mina then asks about Yang’s character. Jessica basically sums up her while making her sound terrible. However, Riko and Jessica both agree that she’s reliable and trustworthy. Riko then compares Jessica to Yang, saying they both act strong, don’t share their true feelings, have a lot of pride, and are actually lonely so they try to be considerate. I honestly don’t see that from Yang yet, but that seems to describe Jessica to a T.
As she laughs over how Jessica is embarassed at this conversational thread, Mina thinks back to Yang saying that “You’ve always been like that.” What did she mean? And those character deficits do not properly explain her spite towards Mina. The lunch bell rings and the girls part ways, promising to meet at the school entrance.
As the school day drew to a close, the skies grew grey and it began to rain. Mina make small talk with Kana and Rika, but she’s scared of having to kill another Puppet again despite the brave front she put on in front of Riko and Jessica. By the way, I’m not that happy that this game has characters named Rika, Riko, and Ruka. Hopefully y’all aren’t confused about who is who.
Mina finally realizes that Makoto wasn’t there and asks Kana and Rika, who tells her that Makoto left for the nurse’s room during lunch. Mina is upset with herself over how she was too preoccupied with her upcoming job to notice. She then remembers Yang’s harsh words and how Yang had told Mina that she takes others’ guidance and protection for granted, etc. Feeling guilty about how Yang had been right and how Makoto probably went to the sick room right after their convesation (“I should have stayed and talked with her,” thinks Mina), she opts to go check on Makoto.
The scene changes to Makoto. She’s lying down and her vision is tinged in red. Touko’s face is incredibly close to hers and Makoto is left wondering how Touko’s face got this close in the first place (don’t forget that Touko is the school nurse, folks). Touko says they’re now the same and draws even closer. Makoto wonders about what she means before she realizes that “that” was where it all began. I’ll keep this vague just like how the visual novel did so for now, but I’ll come back to it in a few chapters.
Makoto tries to say she’s scared, but Touko dismisses her fears, calls her perfect, and kisses her on the lips. I kid you not. Not very romantic, huh? It’s even a French kiss. Touko pulls back, tells her to release her inhibitions and be her true self, and continues deeply kissing Makoto while roughly massaging Makoto’s breasts. Such, uh, foreplay. Nevertheless, a white light floods Makoto’s head as she begins to hallucinate and sees Touko as Mina. She’s kissing Mina’s neck and tasting Mina’s salvia. Her hands are exploring Mina’s body. Her lower body is becoming damp like Mina’s. And Mina’s hands are wrapped around her throat. But she’s happy since now she and Mina will be together forever.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), Touko hears someone and calls out who’s there. Makoto ends up not getting strangled to death and wonders why she now sees Touko there instead of Mina.
It turns out that Mina was the one who saw them. However, she missed the danger signs and only saw them being like lovers and not as potential murderer and potential victim. She wonders if this was the reason why Makoto had been acting strangely.
She ends up bumping into Minawa in the hallway and she’s confused as to why he’s here. He fakes a wonderfully tender smile that convinces her to relax, though.
Minawa answers her question by saying that there’s something he needs to check on as he looks to the side. A personal matter, he elaborates. Mina thinks of Touko in the sick room. She then lies and says that Touko isn’t here.
At any rate, Mina’s words causes Minawa to suspect her and ask her why is she saying this. Mina tells the truth and replies that Touko had told her about Minawa a few days prior. Minawa relaxes, asks Mina once again if Touko is not there, and then retreats after she lies through her teeth once again. Mina sighs with relief. This is as far as I’m going this week, folks.
Makoto is growing more deranged, but it isn’t entirely her fault. There’s something else at play here.
I have to admit, I’m not a fan of how Mina interacts with Makoto. She’s dismissive and what Yang said of her was right. She also has a tendency to lie and this definitely backfires on her in this chapter. What she said to Minawa was a grave mistake that I’ll be sure to elaborate on later.
At least Jessica and Riko are becoming chummier with her by the second. But does she truly deserve their affection? Hm.