Suzumiya Haruhi:Volume3 Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody

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Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody

The month of May was already hot enough, but July was just unbearable. The humidity was even worse, raising my unhappiness index to record high levels. There was no chance a cheap high school building like ours would be installed with such high class devices like air conditioning. The sizzling 1-5 classroom was like the waiting room for the bus to hell. I firmly believed the architect had no concept of what "comfortable living environment" meant.

To make things worse, this week was the first week of the July term-end exams, the joyfulness of my heart had gone on to linger around Brazil, not wanting to come back yet.

My mid-term exam results were already disastrous, so I can't imagine my term-end exam would ever have a satisfying result. This was most likely due to me spending too much time with the SOS Brigade, and not being able to concentrate on my studies as a result. I didn't want to have anything to do with that, but ever since spring this year, whenever Haruhi makes a suggestion, I would mysteriously follow her around. This has become part of my daily life, and I'm beginning to hate myself for getting used to this life.

It was after school when the sun shone in from the west into the classroom. The girl sitting behind me poked my back with her mechanical pencil.

"Do you know what day is today?"

Suzumiya Haruhi asked me with the delightful look of a kid on Christmas Eve. Whenever she reveals such a detailed expression, it was the sign that she was probably up to something mischievous. I pretended to think for about three seconds, and then said,

"Your birthday?"


"Asahina-san's birthday."


"Koizumi's or Nagato's birthday."

"How should I know when their birthdays are!?"

"By the way, my birthday's on......"

"Who cares about that? You really don't know what an important day this is?"

No matter how important you say it is, it's still a very hot, normal day for me.

"Tell me, what's the date today?"

"July 7th......I don't really want to think about it, but you're not thinking of the Tanabata festival, are you?"

"Of course I am! It's the Tanabata festival! You ought to remember if you even call yourself a Japanese."

This festival actually originated from China. And according to the Chinese calendar, Tanabata should be next month.

Haruhi held the mechanical pencil and waved it in front of my face,

"Asia ranges from the Red Sea all the way to here."

What kind of geographical concept is that?

"Don't they group all those places together for the World Cup Qualifiers? It's just like July and August, they're both summer months."

Oh, really?

"Whatever. Anyway we've got to hold a Tanabata activity as well. I insist that this festival be treated seriously."

I felt there were other things that deserved to be treated seriously more than this. But do you really have to tell me this? I don't really want to know what you're planning to do.

"It'll be more fun if we hold it together. I hereby announce, we shall organize something big for Tanabata every year from this year onwards."

"Don't decide this on your own."

Though I had said that, seeing that Haruhi was looking extraordinarily excited, I knew it was a stupid thing to try and refute her.

"Wait for me in the club room! Don't go home on your own!" She even said.

I didn't need her to tell me, I was planning to go to the club room anyway. Because there exists a person that I must at least look at once. Just that person alone.

The other members were already gathered in the club room, which was located on the second floor of the arts clubhouse. Instead of calling it the club room the SOS Brigade rented from the Literature Club, it would be a better description to call it the de-facto headquarters that the brigade has forcibly occupied.

"Oh, hello."

The one who smiled and greeted me cheerfully was Asahina-san. She is the source of my heart's comfort, without her, the SOS Brigade would be as meaningless as curry rice without any curry cubes added.

Since July, Asahina-san had changed to a summer maid costume. It was Haruhi that brought her the costume, I have absolutely no idea where she got all these colourful costumes from, while Asahina-san would always thank her intently, "Ah......t...thank you very much." Today she was still the SOS Brigade's reserve maid, diligently brewing wheat tea for me. I sipped my tea and studied the room surroundings.

"Hey, how're things going?"

Koizumi looked up and greeted me. He was sitting in front of a chess board, which was laid on the table, and was holding a chess book on one hand while moving the chess pieces with the other.

"Things have never been normal for me ever since I entered high school."

Koizumi said he was tired of Othello, so decided to bring a chess board last week. But since I nor anyone else knew how to play chess, he had to play all on his own. He sure looks relaxed even though the exams are coming up.

"Well, I'm not exactly that relaxed. I'm just making use of the time when I'm not studying to exercise my brain. For every problem solved, the blood circulation in the brain would flow faster. How about a game?"

No thanks, I don't feel like exercising my already exhausted brain right now. If I think of any more weird stuff, then all those English words that I've spent a hard time memorizing will be ejected from my brain.

"That's a pity. Maybe I should bring a Monopoly or Battleship board next time? Ah yes, how about something which all of us can play in? What do you have in mind?"

Whatever, or maybe not. This isn't the Board Game Study Group, this is the SOS Brigade. By the way, I'm still mystified as to what activities the SOS Brigade are involved in. I wasn't sure what this mysterious club should be doing. Neither did I want to know, since not knowing anything enhances my chances of survival. So I was not motivated to do anything, that is my perfect logic.

Koizumi shrugged his shoulders and went back to study his chess book. He picked up the black knight and moved it across the board.

Sitting beside Koizumi, with less emotions than a robot was Nagato Yuki, who was busy reading her book. This silent and cold alien has shifted her interests from translated novels to original foreign-language novels. Right now she was reading a book, whose cover was scribbled in a language I could not recognize, like one of those old, thick magical spell books. I guessed it must be written in ancient Etruscan or some other strange language. I'm sure Nagato would have no problem reading those Linear A stone tablets.

I pulled out a foldable chair and sat on it. Asahina-san quickly delivered a cup in front of me. Who would drink hot tea in such a hot day...... I have no intention of making a complaint which would incur the wrath of the heavens, and sipped my wheat tea with a sense of gratefulness. Hmm, it's boiling hot.

Standing in the corner of the room was an electric fan which Haruhi nicked from somewhere. Yet its cooling effects were like pouring hot water over a pile of sizzling hot rocks at best. If you can nick, why can't you nick one of those vertical air coolers from the staff room instead?

I turned my gaze away from the English textbook, whose pages flickered along the wind, arched my back on the foldable chair and stretched myself.

Knowing very well that I'm not going to study when I go home, I had wanted to see if it would be better for me to study in the club room after school, but I realized that as long as I wasn't interested in something, then there's no way I could ever get it done, no matter where I was. It won't be good physically or mentally to force myself to do something I don't want to do. In other words, it is healthier if you don't force yourself. That's it, I'm not studying. I spun my automatic pen and closed my book, and decided to have a look at my mental stabilizer. The stabilizer which could sooth my cynical heart was now dressed in a maid costume and sitting opposite of me, working out her math problems.

Looking intently at the questions, then scribbling away on the notebook; looking nonchalant while thinking, then suddenly writing like mad as though inspired by something - repeatedly performing these actions was none other than Asahina-san.

I felt so much more relaxed just by looking. I suddenly felt a great sense of pity, as if throwing all my money, apart from my allowance, into a charity box in the street wasn't that much of a problem. Asahina-san didn't notice I was looking at her, and concentrated on studying her math. Her every action was enough to make me smile, in fact, I was already smiling. I felt like I was looking at a baby seal.

Our eyes met.

"Ah, w, what is it? D, did I do something strange?"

Asahina-san frantically tidied herself all over, this made my heart melt even more. Just as I was about to sing my angelic praises......


The door was violently opened, in rushed the rough girl walking in strides.

"Sorry, I was late."

There's no need to apologize, since no one was waiting for you.

Haruhi appeared with a scene, carrying a piece of bamboo shoot on her shoulder. It was a long piece of live bamboo stick, with green bamboo leaves growing on it. What are you bringing this thing here for? To make a bamboo piggy-bank?

Haruhi puffed her chest and replied,

"Why, it's for hanging wishes, of course."

Why? What for?

"Nothing really, since I haven't hung these wishing bamboo sticks for a long time, so we might as well have one now, it's Tanabata today, after all!"

......As usual, this had no meaning whatsoever.

"Where'd you get this?"

"The bamboo forest at the back of the school."

If I remember correctly, that's private territory, you bamboo thief.

"Does it really matter? The bamboo roots are grown underground, they wouldn't be affected even if the top half of the shoot was cut off! It'd be an offense if I stole the whole shoot though. I got bitten by a few mosquitoes though, man it's so itchy. Mikuru-chan, can you put some anti-itching cream on my back?"

"Yes, right away!"

Asahina-san walked in small steps carrying a first aid kit, she looked just like a nurse trainee. She took out the ointment, then placed her hand into the collar of the sailor uniform and onto Haruhi's back. Haruhi bent forward and said,

"A bit to the right......too right. Yes, right there."

Haruhi now looked like a kitty cat whose chin was being cuddled and blinked her eyes in relaxation. She placed the bamboo shoot by the window side, and calmly stood on the commander's desk, then took out a few pieces of tanzaku from somewhere and smiled very happily,

"Now let's write down our wishes!"

Nagato slowly lifted her head, Koizumi smiled cautiously, and Asahina-san widened her eyes. What was she up to this time? Haruhi leaped from the desk, her skirt fluttering with the wind as she said,

"But there are conditions."

"What conditions?"

"Kyon, do you know who it is that grants people wishes on Tanabata?"

"Isn't it Orihime and Hikoboshi?"

"Correct. That's ten points. Then, do you know which stars Orihime and Hikoboshi are referring to?"


"Is it the Alpha Lyrae and Alpha Aquilae?"

Koizumi answered quickly.

"That's right! 85 points! That's the two stars! In other words, you must point the bamboo shoot carrying the tanzakus towards these two stars. Understood?"

What are you trying to say? And just which category did the remaining 15 points belong to?

Heh heh. Haruhi suddenly gave a sly expression for no reason.

"Let me explain. There's no way we could travel faster than the speed of light, according to the Special Theory of Relativity."

Is there a meaning in telling me this all of a sudden? Haruhi took out a note cue from her skirt pocket and said loudly while reading along it,

"Just to let you know. The distance between the Earth and the Alpha Lyrae and Alpha Aquila are twenty-five and sixteen light-years respectively. This means it would take twenty-five years and sixteen years to send a message from Earth to those stars. These are the facts - you get it?"

Then what? Speaking of which, you actually bothered to research such information?

"So this would equal the time required for a god to receive our wishes, right? We would have to wait for that long in order to get our wishes granted. So write down what you would wish for in twenty-five or sixteen years' time! Writing wishes like 'I wish to have a hunk of a boyfriend by next Christmas!' is not going to work, because the wish won't be granted on time!"

Haruhi waved her arms greatly and continued to explain.

"Hang on, if it takes twenty-odd years for the wish to reach there, wouldn't it take just as long for it to come back? Doesn't that mean we have to wait fifty years and thirty-two years respectively for our wishes to come true instead?"

"Well, they're gods. Of course they're going to come up with something in order to help us. There's always a 50% off auction sale once every year!"

Whenever it suited her, she would disregard the Laws of Relativity completely and throw them out of the window.

"Now, does everyone understand what I'm saying? There are two types of tanzakus, one for the Alpha Lyrae, and the other for Alpha Aquilae. So please write down what you would wish for in twenty-five years and sixteen years' time."

That's utterly ridiculous. Trying to pray for two wishes to be granted at the same time is just too shameless. Besides, there's no way we would know what we'll be doing in twenty-five years or sixteen years' time. How should we know what wishes we'll have by then now? The best one could do is wish that their retirement scheme or investment funds don't go wrong and are working properly by then, I guess.

If Orihime and Hikoboshi were to hear such wishes, I'm sure they'll suffer headaches. They can only meet each other once every year, and yet they're being asked to grant such silly wishes. Why don't you ask your own politicians to help instead? If I were them, I would definitely say that.

However, as always, this girl was thinking up all sorts of nonsensical stuff. I can't help but wonder if there's a white hole inside her head, since her common sense seems to come from a different universe altogether.

"Well, that's not entirely true."

Koizumi actually sounded like he was defending Haruhi. But he said it very softly which only I could hear.

"It's true that Suzumiya-san's speech and behaviour are unique, but judging from the present situation, it's clear that she knows what common sense is."

Koizumi revealed his usual cheerful smile to me and continued,

"If her thought patterns were abnormal, then this world wouldn't be so stable. If that were the case, this world would have already become a strange one dictated by very peculiar rules."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"Suzumiya-san wishes that the whole world would change a bit, and she herself possesses the power to reconstruct the world from scratch. You should know very well."

Of course I knew. Though I had doubts.

"Yet so far the world has not gone completely irrational, this is because she values common sense more than her own wishes."

"This may sound childish, but," Koizumi lifted his head and said,

"Let's take an example, she wishes for Santa Claus to exist. From common knowledge, Santa Claus doesn't exist. Because considering Japan alone, it's just not possible for someone to enter a locked house in the middle of the night, leave a present then leave without ever being detected. How does Santa Claus know what every child wants for Christmas? And there's no way he could leave a present in the house of every child around the world in the space of one night. It's physically impossible."

For someone to actually consider these things seriously, they must truly be mental.

"Exactly, so that is why Santa Claus could not exist."

The reason I rebutted him was because he was standing on Haruhi's side, and that really pisses me off. So I raised my question,

"If you're right, doesn't that mean it's impossible for aliens, time travelers and espers to exist? Then how come you're here?"

"Which is why I could imagine, Suzumiya-san feels very uncomfortable with the common sense that exists within her. Her common sense has once and again rejected her wish - that is to have a world where supernatural occurrences are the norm."

Does that mean her wild thoughts have a slight edge over her common sense?

"Perhaps she was unable to suppress those thoughts, which was why I, Asahina-san and Nagato-san were summoned to her side, and why I was granted supernatural powers. Though I'm not sure what you would think of it."

It's best to remain unsure. At least I'm not like you, I'm fully aware that I'm a normal human being.

But I have no way of knowing if that's a blessing or a curse.

"Hey you! No talking in private! I'm discussing something serious here!"

Not pleased that we were whispering among ourselves, Haruhi's eyes become triangular shaped as she glared and shouted at us. So we had to obediently receive the tanzakus and pencils from Haruhi and returned to our seats.

Haruhi hummed and begun writing; Nagato sat still and stared at the tanzaku; while Asahina-san had the troubled expression of encountering something harder than a difficult math problem. Koizumi said in a relaxed manner, "Hmm, now that's a bother", while tilting his head in deep thought. Do you three really need to think so seriously for such a matter? Wouldn't it be easier to just take it easy and write whatever you like?
It was full of what a spoilt mischievous kid would write. It would have been fine if it were meant as a joke, yet Haruhi looked so dead serious when she hung her tanzakus on the bamboo leaf.
It was full of what a spoilt mischievous kid would write. It would have been fine if it were meant as a joke, yet Haruhi looked so dead serious when she hung her tanzakus on the bamboo leaf.

......And don't tell me that the wishes you wrote are going to become true!

I spun the pencil around my fingers and looked aside. The bamboo shoot that Haruhi "stole" was lying out of the opened window, its leaves look messed up as a result. The occasional breeze made a ruffling noise among the leaves, making one feel cool and relaxed at once.

"Is everyone done?"

Haruhi's voice brought my soul back to reality. On the table in front of her were two notes that read:

  "Let the world revolve around me as its centre!"
  "I wish the earth would rotate backwards."

It was full of what a spoilt mischievous kid would write. It would have been fine if it were meant as a joke, yet Haruhi looked so dead serious when she hung her tanzakus on the bamboo leaf.

Asahina-san wrote in her cute and tidy handwriting:

  "I wish my sewing would improve"
  "I wish my cooking would improve"

The wishes Asahina-san made were just too adorable. She clasped her palms and prayed at the tanzakus that she hung on the bamboo leaf. I think she must have got something wrong.

There was nothing interesting on Nagato's tanzakus, writing in a very regular font, she wrote abstract monotonous words such as "harmonize" and "reorganize".

Koizumi was no different from Nagato, writing in a scribbled handwriting, he wrote simple phrases like "world peace" and "fraternal family".

What about me? Mine was simple as well. Since it's twenty-five and sixteen years in the future, I would be an old geezer by then, so I guess the future me would wish for the following:

  "I want money"
  "I want a detached house with a garden where I can give a dog a bath"

"Such boring wishes!"

Haruhi declared her thoughts looking astonished after seeing my notes. She was the least qualified to feel surprise by my wishes. In the long term, my wishes are far healthier than one that asking the earth to rotate backwards!

"Forget it! Everyone, make sure you remember the wishes that you've written down! The first key period would be sixteen years from now. Let's have a race to see whose wish the Alpha Aquilae would grant first!"

"Ah......sure, of course."

I looked as Asahina-san nodded her head with a serious expression as I sat on the foldable chair. When I looked carefully, Nagato had returned to her world of books already.

Haruhi stuck the long bamboo shoot out of the window and then put it in a firm position. She then pulled a chair besides the window and sat on it. She placed her elbow on the window frame and looked up at the sky. The side of her face looked a little bit melancholic, as though not knowing what to do next. She is the sort of person whose mood swings very rapidly, and she was yelling so excitedly a while ago.

I opened my text book, and began my attempt to tackle the exams once more. As I tried to memorize the different types of adjectives,

"......Sixteen years huh? That's a long time."

I heard Haruhi mutter under her breath behind me.

Nagato was silently reading her foreign language novel, Koizumi began to play chess on his own, while I was busy trying to memorize my English translations. All this time, Haruhi was sitting by the window and looking up at the sky. She was actually quite a beautiful view to behold if she keeps on sitting there and doesn't move. At first I thought that she had decided to take a leaf from Nagato's book, but somehow the sight of Haruhi sitting there behaving herself just made me even more uneasy. I suspect she was probably sitting there thinking of new things that would give us a major headache.

Meanwhile, for some reason, Haruhi looked particularly depressed today. Sometimes she would look into the sky and breathe a deep sigh. This made me shudder even more. This silence was probably the calm before the storm, it's just too terrifying. The Emperor Sutoku was like that for the first two to three days after being exiled to Sanuki.

Rustle I heard the sound of paper rustling and lifted my head. Sitting opposite of me and working hard on her math problems a while ago, Asahina-san placed a finger on her lips and closed her right eye, she then gave me an extra tanzaku which she took in advance a while ago. Peeping at Haruhi, Asahina-san then retracted her hand and lowered her head with the face of a little girl who had just successfully pulled a prank.

My urge to become an accomplice in crime has now fully awakened, I quickly pulled over the tanzaku Asahina-san gave me and read it carefully.

"Please stay in the club room after today's activity has ended. - Mikuru-chan"

The above message was written on the note in a small and round handwriting.

Of course I would comply.

"That's it for today."

Haruhi said and quickly picked her bag and left the room. She was behaving rather unusual for today. She was like a diesel engine truck that has suddenly become as tame as a solar powered car. Things sure are going fine for me today, I thought.

"Then I shall excuse myself as well."

Koizumi tidied up his chess board and stood up. After exchanging glances with me and Asahina-san, he too left the Literature Club room.

Nagato shut her thick book with a loud thud. Oh, so you're leaving as well? Thanks for understanding......Just as I was feeling grateful for her, Nagato walked towards me as silently as a cat.

"Take this."

She took out a piece of paper. It was another tanzaku. I can't help you send this to space even if you give it to me! I thought to myself as I looked at the tanzaku.

Strange geometric shapes were drawn on it. What on earth is this? Some sort of Sumerian language? I'm afraid not even the Enigma machine would be able to decipher the meaning of this message.

I frowned and studied these patterns, which were neither drawings nor words, with triangular, circular and wave-like shapes all over. By now Nagato had turned around to pack her bag, and had left the room already.

Forget it. I placed the piece of tanzaku into my jacket pocket, then turned to face Asahina-san.

"I, I'm sorry, but I hope you could come with me to a place."

This invitation didn't come from anyone else, but from Asahina-san herself. I'll be condemned by the heavens if I turn her down. I'd even jump down a molten iron pit as long as she commands me to.

"Sure, where're we going?"

"'s three years ago."

I asked for a location, and she answered with a time instead. But......

Not three years ago again? I thought to myself, yet I was suddenly interested. After all, Asahina-san claims to be a time-traveler from an unknown future, though I keep forgetting about that since she's just so cute. But three years ago? We're going to three years ago? Does that mean we have to travel through time?


"Sure, I'm more than happy to go, but why me? What're we going to do there?"

"'ll know when you get there......I think."


Maybe it was the confused look on my face, Asahina-san frantically shook her hands and pleaded with me with tears in her eyes,

"I beg you! Please don't ask anything and just agree for now! Or I'll be will become a problem."

"Well......alright, let's go."

"Really? Thank you!"

Asahina-san was glad and grabbed my hands joyously. Ah, Asahina-san's happiness is my happiness, hahaha!!!

Now that I think about it, when Asahina-san declared that she was from the future, there was no one else to verify her claim. It wasn't until I encountered another grown-up version of Asahina-san that I truly believed her story, yet I still can't deny having suspicions about some sort of conspiracy behind this. Then wouldn't this be a great chance to really prove that "Asahina-san comes from the future"?

"So, where's the time machine?"

I had thought we only needed to crawl into a drawer, but Asahina-san said there was no such device. Then how were we going to commence time travel? Asahina-san squirmed and clutched her apron, then said,

"From here."

Huh? Here? I turned and looked nonchalantly around the club room, which was empty besides the two of us.

"Yes, please sit down. And could you please close your eyes? Yes, relax your shoulders as well."

I did as she told me to. I hope I don't get struck on the back of my head suddenly.


Asahina-san's suppressed voice came in from behind my ear. Such a soft breath.

"I'm sorry."

I had a bad feeling about this. As I was about to open my eyes, suddenly everything went dark around me. I was knocked unconscious as I felt a strong nauseating feeling as though losing my balance. Before the darkness came, I thought to myself, I wouldn't have agreed to this if I had known.

When I regained my senses, my vision was inverted by 90 degrees. Everything that was supposed to be standing was now lying flat, when I saw the street lamps sticking out from my left side to my right, I realized I was lying down. It was then I felt a warm feeling by the left side of my head.

"Oh, you've awakened?"

An angelic voice said. I was fully awake now. What was that squirming under my left ear?

"Um......if you don't lift your head......then I would be......"

Asahina-san sounds troubled. I pulled myself upright and confirmed where I was.

A bench in the park at night.

What's going on here? I was sleeping on Asahina-san's knees, and because I was sleeping, I have absolutely no memory of it. This is such a pity.

"My legs are getting numb already, it's becoming tiring."

Asahina-san smiled with embarrassment and lowered her head. I don't know where she went to get changed, but her maid costume has now been replaced by her North High sailor uniform. There was more than enough time from dusk to late night for her to get changed, as I had fallen asleep for the whole time. But, why was I sleeping?

"That's because I can't let you know the methods of traveling through time, since that's classified information......are you angry?"

No, I'm not angry at all. If it were Haruhi, I'd have already beaten the crap out of her; but since this is Asahina-san, then I wouldn't mind at all.

Speaking of which, I was just closing my eyes and sitting on the chair in the club room a while ago, why was I suddenly in the park in the middle of the night now? And I feel like I've been to this park before. I remember Nagato also asked to meet me in this park the other day, is this some holy ground for queer people?

I scratched my head, there was something I needed to ask,

"What time plane is this?"

Sitting besides me, Asahina-san replied,

"From our time of origin, it is now July 7th three years ago. It's about nine at night, I guess?"

"Is that so?


She looked serious.

I never thought we would come here so easily. Of course, I wasn't naive enough to believe everything she tells me, I would have to confirm first. I'll try calling the time and weather hotline.

As I was about to tell Asahina-san what I planned to do, my left shoulder suddenly felt heavy. Huh? Asahina-san was now lying her head on my shoulder. An exhausted Asahina-san now leaned on me; what's the meaning behind this?


No response.




I leaned my head forward then turned 85 degrees to the left, and saw Asahina-san with her eyes closed, her lips half-opened as she made a quiet snore. What's going on here?


The bushes behind suddenly rustled. I felt my heart leaping out of my mouth, what was that?

"Is she asleep?"

Coming out of the bushes was none other than......another Asahina-san.

"Good evening, Kyon-kun."

It was the deluxe version of Asahina-san. A pretty young lady, though much older than the Asahina-san sleeping on my shoulder, this Asahina-san has grown fully in every part. While still looking cute, her charm has increased tenfold. I've met her before once, and like last time, she was wearing a white blouse and blue tight miniskirt. This Asahina-san now walked to our front.

"Hee hee, from this view,"

The adult Asahina-san pinched on the sleeping Asahina-san's cheeks and said,

"She looks just like a child."

Looking nostalgic, Asahina-san (big) caressed the sailor uniform of Asahina-san (small),

"So is this how I look in that age?"

Feeling the soft breaths of Asahina-san (small) on my arm, I couldn't move and sat still, looking in awe at Asahina-san (big).

"It was her mission to bring you here, yet from here onwards, it will be my mission to guide you."

Looking like an idiot, I asked Asahina-san, who gave a mature aura even when smiling,

"Um......just what is......"

"I can't explain in detail, since it's classified. All I can do now is guide you."

I turned to look at the Asahina-san sleeping on my shoulder.

"It was I who made her sleep, since I can't be seen by her."

"Why's that?"

"Because when I was her, I didn't see myself."

That reason sounded clear yet confusing at the same time. The charming Asahina-san closed one eye and said,

"Go south following the rail track over there, you'll come to a public junior high school. Could you please go help the person standing outside the school fence? Can you go right now? And I hope you don't mind carrying this me along as well, I shouldn't be too heavy."

She sounded like one of those villagers in those role-playing games. I wonder what treasure I would obtain as a reward?

"Reward? Well......"

The adult Asahina-san elegantly placed her hands under her chin and thought deeply, then she gave a mature smile,

"I have nothing to offer you, but you could kiss me while I'm sleeping softly. And make sure it's only when I'm sleeping."

Such an attractive deal! That's exactly what I've been wishing for. The sight of Asahina-san sleeping soundly was so cute I was tempted to do it, but......

"That's a bit......"

Whether it was my mood or the situation then, I just don't feel like it would be appropriate for me. Frankly, I was disgusted at myself for being so rational then.

"Time is running short, I must go now."

Is this the hint you're giving me this time?

"Oh, yes, please don't let her know that I was here. Let's hook our fingers and make a promise."

I automatically lifted my little finger and hooked it with Asahina-san's (big) little finger. Can I hook it for a minute longer?

"Goodbye then, Kyon-kun."

Asahina-san (big) said cheerfully and walked off into the darkness, she was out of sight in no time. She sure left slickly this time.

"Now then......" I muttered to myself. I wonder when I'll meet this adult Asahina-san again? I had a feeling she hasn't changed much since giving me that strange hint the last time we met. Maybe this Asahina-san who appeared came from an earlier time plane than the one I met before. I don't get it. There's no way I could. Judging from the mood just now, it was possible I would meet many more Asahina-sans from different time periods.

Asahina-san, who I carried on my back, wasn't light, but she wasn't exactly heavy either. It was natural that my pace has slowed down. Her angelic face breathed such soft breaths into my ear that it was almost criminal. My neck felt itchy from her breathing.

I avoided the glances of the pedestrians (though there was hardly anyone else on the street), and quickly headed in the direction the adult Asahina-san had pointed out for me. I think I walked for another ten minutes, the pedestrians on the road became less and less as I walked along. After turning around a corner, we finally arrived at our destination.

East Junior High. I've heard of this place. This was Taniguchi and Haruhi's junior high. Speaking of which, a familiar person was now standing in front of the school fence. I instantly recognized the small figure that was about to climb up the metal fence.


After yelling, I felt surprised. How did I know who this person was? This was too incredible. I looked at that person's back, the height was much shorter, while the dark straight hair was neither long nor short.

Of course, there was only one person who I knew would sneak out at night and scale the school fence.


It was now that I truly began to feel that I was now face to face with a past reality three years ago. No kidding, it seems like I've really traveled three years back in time.

Leaning by the fence, the face that turned and looked at me was indeed younger than the commander of the SOS Brigade that I know. Yet there was no mistaking that pair of glittering eyes, those were Haruhi's eyes. Even if she dressed casually in a T-shirt and pair of shorts, she still looked the same to me. Three years ago, Haruhi was in her first year of junior high. Could she be the person Asahina-san wanted me to help?

"Who are you? A sex criminal? Or a kidnapper? At any case, you look suspicious."

The blurry street lamps showered the street in a dim white light. I could not clearly make out Haruhi's expression, yet Haruhi, the first year junior high student, was now looking at me with eyes that has seen something suspicious. Who looked more suspicious? A girl trying to scale the school fence in the middle of the night? Or me who was loitering around carrying a sleeping girl? I really don't feel like giving this question any thought.

"You're the one looking suspicious instead. What're you doing here then?"

"What else would I be here for? To illegally enter the premises, of course."

Don't openly declare your criminal intentions like that, there's a limit to being shameless!

"You came just in time. I don't know you, but if you're free, then help me out a bit! Or I'll call the cops."

I should be the one calling the cops, but I've already promised the other Asahina-san. On the other hand, why do I always find the existence known as Suzumiya Haruhi clinging on to me? Even here in this time period?

Haruhi leaped to the inside of the fence and opened the lock on the fence with a key. Where'd you get those keys from?

"I stole them when no one was looking. It was too easy."

She was truly a pickpocket. Haruhi slowly slide open the metal fence and waved at me. I walked towards the little girl, who was one head shorter than her future self three years later, holding Asahina-san up properly.

Next to the entrance of East Junior High was the track field. The school complex was opposite us. Haruhi started to walk diagonally across the dark track field.

It's good that it was so dark, since she wasn't able to see clearly my face or Asahina-san's. In three years time, Haruhi would never have thought that she had met me and Asahina-san while she was in her first year of junior high. So it was good this way, or it'll become troublesome.

Haruhi went straight to the corner of the track field and led me to the back of the sports equipment storage. Inside was a rusty wagon, and a chalk-drawing machine hanging behind its wheels, as well as a few bags of chalk powder.
Leaning by the fence, the face that turned and looked at me was indeed younger than the commander of the SOS Brigade that I know.
Leaning by the fence, the face that turned and looked at me was indeed younger than the commander of the SOS Brigade that I know.

"I had these hidden beforehand in the storage house during the evening, pretty clever huh?"

Haruhi beamed, she then carried the bag of chalk powder, which was nearly as heavy as her, onto the wagon and pushed the handle. The way she slowly pushes the wagon made me realize how young she really was. I guess junior high students are still more or less kids in their first year.

I carefully placed the sleeping Asahina-san down and let her lean against the wall of the storage house, please sit here like a good girl for now.

"Let me do it! Give me that thing, you go carry the chalk-drawing machine."

Should I really be helping her? All this time I have been driven around like a slave by Haruhi, she was like a robot that went astray and won't stop until she has destroyed everything. She was still the same from the past all the way to the present. It seems a person's inherent nature won't change so easily in the space of three years.

"Follow my instructions and draw the lines. That's right, you there. Because I need to watch over you from somewhere afar and see if you've made any mistakes. Ah! You've drawn it wrong there! What're you doing!?"

To be able to order around a high school student she never met before without even flustering, there's no doubt this is indeed Haruhi. If I had met this sort of junior high schoolgirl for the first time, I probably would have thought she's mentally insane.

If I knew her before meeting Nagato, Asahina-san and Koizumi, that is.

Following Haruhi's instructions, I drew white lines along the left and right side of the track. For nearly thirty minutes, not a single night-shift teacher appeared, and neither did a police car come to investigate after receiving complaints from neighbours.

Could the strange symbolic patterns that Taniguchi said suddenly appeared on the track field be drawn by none other than myself?

I silently looked at the pattern that I worked so hard to draw out. Haruhi now came to my side and snatched the drawing machine from me. She then began to draw a few more lines and said,

"Hey, do you believe there are aliens?"

Now that was sudden.

"I guess there are."

The image of Nagato's face flashed in my head.

"Then what about time travellers?"

"Hmm, it's not surprising if they exist."

Right now, I'm a time traveller myself.

"Then what about espers?"

"They're everywhere, I guess?"

I suddenly thought of numerous red spots flying around.

"And sliders?"

"I haven't met them yet."


Haruhi threw aside the chalk-drawing machine and rubbed the chalk off her face with her shoulders.

"Hmm, this should do."

I began to feel uneasy, was it because I said something I shouldn't be saying? Haruhi looked up at me and said,

"Is that a North High uniform?"


"What's your name?"

"John Smith."

"......Are you an idiot?"

"Can't I use an alias for once?"

"And who's that girl?"

"That's my sister. She's suffering from a sleeping disorder called narcolepsy. She's been like that for some time now, suddenly falling asleep anywhere and anytime, which is why I need to carry her around."


Haruhi bit her lower lip and turned aside, revealing an expression of disbelief. I decided to change to subject.

"By the way, what is this for?"

"Can't you tell? It's a message."

"For whom? Don't tell me it's for Hikoboshi and Orihime?"

Haruhi looked surprised and asked me back,

"How did you know?"

"......Well, it is Tanabata today. I happen to know someone who does something like this as well."

"Really? I'd sure like to meet that person. Is there really such a person in North High?"


From now till then, the only person who would do such things is you.

"Hmm, North High huh......"

Haruhi muttered to herself as in deep thought. She was silent for some time like a salted vegetable, she then suddenly turned around the next moment.

"I'm going home now. I've achieved what I came here for. See ya."

She walked off in great strides. Not even a word of thanks? How rude, yet that sure is how Haruhi would behave. Besides, she never gave her name all this time. I had a feeling it's probably good that she never did.

We can't just stay here forever, so I decided to wake up Asahina-san. Of course, not before I returned the wagon and chalk-powder which Haruhi abandoned back into the storage house.

Sleeping like a kitty cat, Asahina-san looked so cute I was tempted to do something naughty to her, but in the end I resisted this urge and slowly shook her shoulders.

"Um......huh. Eh?......"

Opening her eyes, Asahina-san began to look around non-stop.


She shouted and stood up at once.

"W,w,w......where is this place? Why? What time is it now?"

How should I answer her? Just as I was about to look for an answer, Asahina-san suddenly yelled, "AH!!!" Even in the dark, I could tell that her white face was now paler than usual.

Asahina-san searched herself with both her hands,

"The's gone. I can't find it~~."

Asahina-san was on the verge of tears, then after a while she really started to cry. She looked just like a kid that got lost as she rubbed her hands on her eyes and wept. But now is not the time to adore her cuteness.

"What's a TPDD?"

"Sob~~......That's classified information, I'm not supposed to's something like a time machine. I used that to get us to this time plane......but I can't find it. Without that, we can't return to the time where we came from......"

"Then how did it go missing?"

"I don't know......I'm not supposed to lose it......but it's really gone."

I thought of the other Asahina-san, who was touching her a while ago.

"Wouldn't someone come and help......"

"It's impossible. Sob~~."

Asahina-san explained to me as she sniffed, that every event in a time plane has been decided, so if there exists a TPDD, then it should be with her. And right now she no longer has it with her, then that means it's already inevitable that she would lose it, so it has been decided that she "no longer carries it"......something like that. What's that supposed to mean?

"In other words, what's going to happen to us now?"

"Sob, sob. It means, if things remain this way, we'll be stuck on the time plane three years ago and won't be able to return to our original time."

Now that's serious! I thought to myself, yet somehow I don't feel alarmed. The adult Asahina-san never told me anything about this. I'm guessing she should be the one who took the TPDD away and created such a situation. I deduced that Asahina-san (big) came here to the past just for that purpose alone. For the Asahina-san who came from a further than this Asahina-san, this was inevitable.

I moved my eyes away from Asahina-san, who was sobbing sadly, and towards the track field. The mysterious pattern that Haruhi thought up and drawn by me looked very scrambled up. The teachers and students of East Junior High are probably going to get a shock when they see this next morning. I just hope that these scribbles are not some curses aimed at aliens......Just as I was wondering away, then it finally hit me.

It was dark everywhere, the school was only dimly lit by the blurry street lamps outside. As the white lines that I drew were so big, if I didn't stand back some distance, I wouldn't be able to see it all.

Which was why it took me so long to discover it.

I reached for my pocket and took out the tanzaku Nagato gave me. On it were drawn some mysterious geometric shapes.

"There may be a way out of this."

I said, Asahina-san looked at me blinking her eyes while I continued to study the tanzaku.

The symbolic patterns drawn on it was exactly the same as Haruhi's message for the stars, the graffiti that Haruhi and I drew on the school field not long ago.

We hastily left East Junior High and came to a high-class apartment complex near the station.

"Isn't this......Nagato-san's home?"

"Yeah. I didn't ask her specifically when she came to Earth, but I'm sure she was here three years ago......I guess."

I stood at the main entrance of the apartment complex and pushed the button for Room 708. A beep sound was heard through the intercom, I could feel the warmth of Asahina-san's nervous hands through my sleeves. I spoke into the speaker,

"Is this the residence of Nagato Yuki?"

"......" The intercom replied as such.

"Um, I don't know how to say this......"


"I'm a friend of Suzumiya Haruhi......does that make any sense to you?"

A frozen-like breath can be heard through the intercom. A brief pause, and then......

"Come in."

Beep The main gate opened. I led Asahina-san, who was looking terrified, into the elevator. We arrived at the seventh floor and came in front of Room 708, which I have visited once before. I pushed softly on the door, which then opened slowly.

There stood Nagato Yuki inside the door. Everything felt surreal to me. Was it really true that I and Asahina-san had travelled back in time?

Nagato looked exactly the same as I saw her before, which led me to doubt whether we even travelled through time. The way she wore her North high sailor uniform, looked at me with her emotionless eyes, and her seeming lack of body warmth and sense of existence was no different to the Nagato that I knew. Yet, the only difference was that Nagato had recently stopped wearing glasses, while the Nagato here wore one just as I had first met her.

This Nagato wore on her face a pair of glasses which I had no idea when the present Nagato stopped wearing.

"Hey!" I raised my arm and gave her a friendly smile. Nagato was as devoid of emotion as always. Asahina-san hid behind my back and trembled incessantly.

"Could we come in?"


Nagato silently turned inside towards her apartment. I took that she had given me and Asahina-san permission to enter. We took off our shoes and headed to the living room. It was the same as it was three years later, the place was still empty as usual. Nagato stood still and waited for us to come in. Left with no choice, I decided to continue standing and explain everything to her. Where should I begin? From the first day of school when I first met Haruhi? That's one hell of a long story.

Skipping through the details, I gave her a brief summary of what has happened. Her emotionless eyes continued to stare at me through her glasses. I think I spent about five minutes explaining, though personally I believed the summary for this Haruhi story was nonsensical to say the least.

"......And so, the you from three years later gave me this."

Nagato gazed at the tanzaku that I took out, her fingers hovering over the strange symbols as though reading a barcode.


Nagato simply nodded her head. Is that so? Wait, I've suddenly thought of something that's really bothering me.

I placed my hand on my temple and said,

"It's true that I've known Nagato for some time, but for you it was three years ago. That is, for you right now, this is the first time we have met, right?"

Even I didn't understand what I was talking about. Yet Nagato's glasses flashed as she calmly replied as though nothing had happened,



"Obtaining permission for memory sharing with alternate temporal disparity. Downloading reversible moving time plane data."

What the hell's that?

"The 'me' that exists in the time plane three years from now, and the 'me' that exists in this time period are one and the same person."

Then what? Isn't that supposed to be the case? But it can't be possible for Nagato three years ago to share the same memory as Nagato three years later.

"It is possible."

How'd you do it?


Um, I still don't get it.

Nagato stopped replying and slowly took off her glasses. Her emotionless eyes blinked at me. That was indeed the face of the bookish girl that I recognize. It was the Nagato Yuki that I knew.

"Why are you in the North High uniform? Have you already started school?"

"No, right now I'm on stand-by mode."

" intend to stand-by for three years?"


"That's really......"

Patient of you. Don't you find it boring? Nagato shook her head and said,

"This is a mission."

Her clear eyes looked straight at me,

"There is more than one way to move through time."

Nagato said with her blank expression,

"TPDD is only a tool for controlling spacetime, it contains uncertainties and inaccuracies. Many theories exist for movement through the spacetime continuum."

Asahina-san once again grabbed my hand tightly,

"Um.....what does that mean?"

"Using TPDD to transfer organic lifeforms through time is allowed, but it will generate noise. For us, that is not an ideal tool."

When you say "us" do you mean the Integrated Data Sentient Entity?

"Can Nagato-san perform leap through time planes in its complete form?"

"Form is not necessary. It is enough for time travel as long as it contains the same data."

Shuttling back and forth between past, present and future huh?

If Asahina-san can do it, then it wouldn't be hard at all for Nagato. Since Nagato possesses adequate powers to do so. I started to wonder, when compared with Nagato and Koizumi, wouldn't that make Asahina-san an outsider?

"Then it's fine."

I interrupted Asahina-san and Nagato's conversation, now is not to time to discuss the theories and workings on time travel. The question now is what we should do so that I and Asahina-san can return to the future three years later.

Yet, Nagato simply nodded her head again and said,

"It can be done."

She then stood up and opened the paper door to the room which was connected with the living room.


It was a Japanese style bedroom laid with tatami, there was nothing else besides tatami. It looked really lonely, as expected from Nagato's place. This I could understand, but why has she brought us here to this guest room? Is the time machine hidden inside this room? Just as I was about to ask all sorts of questions, Nagato took out a futon from the cupboard and started laying it flat. She even brought two blankets out.

"I hope it's just me thinking too much......but you aren't asking us to sleep here, are you?"

Nagato carried the blanket and looked at me. The figures of me and Asahina-san were clearly reflected in her crystal clear pupils.


"Here? With Asahina-san? The two of us?"


I stole a glance at my side and saw Asahina-san looking embarrassed, her face blushing red furiously. That reaction was expected, I guess.

But Nagato doesn't seemed concerned at all,

"Now sleep."

Don't be so direct!

"It's only sleeping."

Sigh......that's what I intend to do anyway. I exchanged glances with Asahina-san. She blushed while I shrugged my shoulders. It was us who came to Nagato for help, if she wants us to sleep, then let's sleep! If we wake up and find ourselves back to where we came from, then it's quite a simple solution.

Nagato switched off the lamp switch with her hand and began to mutter something. As I wondered, She can't be saying good night to us, could she? The lamp then flickered and went off.

Might as well sleep! I laid down and pulled the blanket over.

The next moment, the lights went on again. The fluorescent tube slowly flickered as the light became stabalized. Huh? What's this strange feeling? Outside the window was the same night sky as before.
 "I hope it's just me thinking too much......but you aren't asking us to sleep here, are you?"..."Yes."
"I hope it's just me thinking too much......but you aren't asking us to sleep here, are you?"..."Yes."

I sat upright, Asahina-san also sat up, clutching her blanket.

Her innocent, child-like face looked troubled, and she looked at me with a questioning glance, but of course I didn't know how to answer her questions.

Nagato stood there like before as she turned on the lamp switch.

I have a feeling that this wasn't Nagato's usual face, it's as though there's some emotion inside this one. I looked closely at that pale white face, it's as though she wanted to express something but was not able to due to some conflict within her heart. If I hadn't observed her face for quite some time, I would hardly have noticed it. Though I can't guarantee that it wasn't just be my imagination.

The sound of breathing in could be heard by my side, I turned and saw Asahina-san meddling around with the liquid display watch on her right wrist.

"Eh? It can't be? ......Eh? Is this true?"

I took a glance at her watch, could that thing be the so-called TPDD?

"No, this is just an automatic digital watch."

You mean those watches which automatically synchronizes with the standard time? Asahina-san smiled happily at me and said,

"We've returned. Our time of origin was July 7th......just after nine thirty at night. This is such a relief......Phew!"

She breathed a sigh of relief from the bottom of her heart.

Standing by the door was the Nagato we knew. If I have to distinguish besides whether she wears her glasses or not, then this Nagato Yuki was the one that has softened up a bit. Seeing her three years later, I finally understood. The Nagato before me has indeed changed a bit since I first saw her in the Literature Club room when Haruhi brought me there. The change was so small that she probably doesn't realize it herself.

"But, how did you do it?"

Nagato explained to Asahina-san without any emotion,

"Selective freezing of liquefied connected data within spacetime, preserving it until the known destination within the spacetime continuum, and finally unfreezing the data."

She said some very abstract terms, then paused and added,

"And that is now."

Asahina-san attempted to stand up, then her knees softened and she knelt down again,

"Could it be......impossible......Nagato-san, you......"

Nagato remained silent.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Nagato-san......has stopped time itself. She probably had the time in this space along with us frozen for three years, until today when she finally unfroze the time......right?"

"Yes." Nagato replied and nodded her head.

"This is unbelievable, to be able to stop time......wah~."

Asahina-san knelt exhaustedly and sighed.

I thought to myself, seems like we've safely returned to three years in the future. I was sure of it just by looking at Asahina-san's reaction, she was that sort who wears her thoughts on her face. No matter, I'll believe the reason for how we returned from three years ago and how time had been frozen for now. Right now I can tolerate almost anything, no matter what it is, I can basically accept it without any problems. It's all good......but,

This wasn't the first time I'd visited Nagato's home. She had invited me once, more than a month ago, but that time I only saw the living room and had not entered this guest room, which I wasn't even aware had existed., in other words, what's going on here?

I looked at Nagato, and Nagato looked at me.

......In other words, when I visited for the first time and heard her story concerning data explosions, there was another "me" sleeping in the room besides us.

What's going on? That was going on according to logical deduction.

"Yes." Nagato said. I suddenly felt dizzy.

"......Hey, does that mean back then you already knew what would happen? Including me and today's events?"


From my perspective, the first time I met Nagato was during the start of the school term when Haruhi thought of setting up the SOS Brigade. Yet Nagato had already met me in Tanabata three years ago. For me, that only happened not long ago, but she told me that was already three years ago. I think I'm going crazy already.

Both me and Asahina-san looked stunned and astonished at this turn of events. I always knew Nagato was capable, but I never thought she could even freeze time. In that case, doesn't that make her the amazing Wonder Woman?

"Not entirely true."

She flatly refuted my praises.

"This was a special exception. An emergency. Unless it is very important, this method is rarely used."

And we were considered "very important".

"Thank you, Nagato."

I decided to thank her first, though thanking her was the best I could do.

"It doesn't matter."

Nagato nodded her seemingly cold face, then handed me the tanzaku with geometric symbols drawn on it. I received it and noticed the paper quality had worn out a lot, as though it had been left for three years.

"Oh yeah, the symbols on this tanzaku, can you tell me what it's saying?"

I casually asked. I didn't think anyone could read some nonsensical symbols drawn by Haruhi, so I simply thought it would just be a joke.

"I am here,"

Nagato replied. I was exasperated.

"That is what's written on it."

I'm getting more and more confused now.

"Could these Nazca-like drawings or symbols be some sort of alien language?"

Nagato didn't answer that question.

Asahina-san and I left Nagato's home and walked under the moonlit sky.

"Asahina-san, was there any meaning for you to bring me to the past?"

Asahina-san tried her hardest to think, then lifted her head and said in a very soft voice,

"I'm sorry.'m not sure......I'm like......the end, the, I'm just like a trainee......"

"Yet you're by Haruhi's side."

"That's because, I never thought I would be caught by Suzumiya-san to join the club."

She pouted and said. Asahina-san, you look cute with that expression as well.

"I merely followed the orders......of my superiors, or higher up. So not even I know what meaning there is for the things that I do."

Looking at a blushing Asahina-san, I thought to myself, could that superior be none other than the adult Asahina-san? It was a baseless speculation, but since the only time travellers I know are her and the normal Asahina-san, I can't be blamed for thinking that.

"I see."

I tilted my head and muttered.

Yet, I still didn't understand. If that adult Asahina-san came to drop me a hint, then she would know what would happen to us. And it seems she never told this Asahina-san anything as well. Just what was going on?


It's no use getting a headache over this. If Asahina-san doesn't understand it, then there's no way I could understand. Nagato said that there's more than one way to travel through time. Future time travellers have their own set of rules I guess? I hope someone will explain these to me, when everything is settled.

I parted ways with Asahina-san at the station. Her small figure once again gave thanks to me, then left as though it was a great pity. After she was out of sight, I headed home as well, and it was now that I realized that I had left my bag in the club room.

The next day, which was July 8th; for my consciousness, it was indeed the next day, but for my body, it felt like three years and one day had passed since I last went to school. I went to school empty handed and headed straight for the club room, then went to the classroom after getting my bag. Asahina-san came earlier than me it seems, as her bag was nowhere to be seen.

Arriving in the classroom, I saw Haruhi sitting there, looking intently out of the window, as if fully expecting the arrival of aliens.

"What's wrong? You've been looking depressed since yesterday. Have you been picking and eating toxic mushrooms?"

I said and sat down. Haruhi gave a deliberate sigh and said,

"Nothing really. Just feeling melancholic thinking about something in the past. Some memories I had during Tanabata."

I shuddered at once. What memories were those......I didn't ask her.

"I see."

Haruhi turned her head and observed the changes in the clouds. I shrugged my shoulders. I have no intentions on lighting the fuse for this bomb. Anyone with common sense would do the same.

After school, the Literature Club room once again became the underground headquarters of the SOS Brigade.

Haruhi only said, "Throw the bamboo shoot away, it's useless now." Then left at once. The "commander" armband looked rather lonely after being left behind on the table. Sigh, tomorrow she'll return to being the eccentric girl, asking us to do impossibly unreasonable things. She's that sort of person.

Asahina-san wasn't here as well. Only Nagato Yuki was in the room, alongside with me playing chess with Koizumi. Unable to resist his "evangelistic" passion for chess, I agreed to let him teach me how to play the game.

I had thought Koizumi switched to playing chess because he was crap at Othello, but it seems I was wrong. He was just as crap at chess.

I took out one of Koizumi's pawns with my knight while glancing at Nagato, who was looking intently at the chess board with her blank face.

"Say, Nagato, I don't get it at all. Is Asahina-san really from the future?"

Nagato slowly tilted her head.


"But I just feel a sense of paradox between heading to the past and returning to the future."

That was expected. If there were no continuity between the past and the future - if we went back three years ago, went to sleep over there and reawakened in the present, then the "present" that we're in now should be a different world from the "yesterday" that we departed from. Yet from the outcome, I had given Haruhi an idea she shouldn't have, and that idea had brought Haruhi to North High, enhancing her interest in all non-human life......there exists this possibility.

If I didn't travel back to three years ago, maybe everything would never have happened. Judging from the tone of adult Asahina-san, she seems to know more than us. In other words, continuity does exist between the past and the future. This contradicts with what Asahina-san had told me earlier. I can still figure this out at least, no matter how dumb I am.

"As there is no conclusion to the paradox theory, there is no way to prove that there is no paradox."

Nagato said calmly, giving a strange expression that reads That should explain everything. That explanation may indeed be enough for you, but I completely do not understand at all. Nagato lifted her smooth white neck and looked at me,

"Soon you will understand."

She then went back to her usual seat and returned to her world of books. Koizumi now spoke,

"That's the case. Right now my king is being checked by your rook. This is sure a problem for me, where should I escape to?"

Koizumi said while picking up his black king, then casually placed the king into his jacket pocket. He then showed his palm like a magician revealing his tricks,

"Well, is there a paradox with me doing this?"

I toyed around the white rook with my fingers and thought, I'm not going to play some stupid Zen philosophy games with you, and I don't plan to satisfy myself with abstract topics. So I refuse to answer your question.

In any case - there's no doubt that Haruhi is a paradoxical existence, the same can be said for this world.

"Besides, a king means nothing to us, instead, it is the queen that plays a more important role."

I placed the white rook on the box where the black king was standing. Queen to Knight 8.

"......I don't know what's going to happen next, but I just hope it's not something that'll give me a major headache."

Nagato remained silent, while Koizumi smiled and said,

"I think it's best for things to remain peaceful, or would you prefer to have something happen?"

I snorted and drew a circle by my name on the score chart.

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