Arisa Kahara died in the hallway of the fifth floor of Hinashiro High's north building.
The cause of death was a heart attack. As always, it doesn't matter what the school or the police say. Aside from the fact that she is dead, we know nothing. She was at the school that night searching for Mika Kishii.
Had she sensed that Mika Kishii had returned?
Arisa Kahara was hope. She was the one who held the power to break through this closed-off world. She was young, knew of another world she should open up, and was able to sympathise with those around her. She didn't yet know of corruption or exhaustion or resignation.
Had she not been trapped within this space where something devilish lurks, she would surely have lived and used her power in a more proper way. But she didn't choose to run. She confronted something inhuman, and even still, she didn't stop believing in herself and the others.
Arisa Kahara's death doesn't mean that her path has been closed. Just like hope and despair, it is always just there.
(From research notes)
Yukari Hasegawa died near the shoe rack at the entrance door to the first floor of the south building. It seems as though she was attempting to flee to the outside and made it as far as the entrance, where she perished.
Her internal organs were ruptured, and a large amount of blood from a head wound was splashed across the floor and the glass entrance door. The state she was in makes it difficult to imagine that this was the work of a human being, but nothing suggests that it should be treated as an accident, either.
Yukari Hasegawa was a symbol of will. She had the strength to tell the difference between what she should accept and save, and what she should reject and push aside. At the same time, however, she had a weakness. She was simply attached to living.
It would have been only natural for her to run if she encountered something beyond human comprehension and sensed that it was a danger to her. Maybe it was her strength of will to save Mika Kishii alone that kept her shut away in that warped space.
And in the end, she was cornered. I can't help but feel as though Yukari Hasegawa was the final victim to die in this world after the series of so many others who have done the same before her.
(From research notes)
The body of Chisato Itsushima was discovered inside the headmaster's office on the fifth floor of the north building. Although she had external wounds, they were not particularly severe. According to the autopsy report, however, her brain cells were completely shredded. No one has yet come up with a satisfying explanation for what sort of power could cause such destruction.
Furthermore, several bloodstains believed to be hers were found on the stairs leading to the fifth floor of the north building. A pool of blood was also found on the floor of the reception in the first floor of the north building, which appears to be the result of haematemesis.
Did she collapse on the first floor for a time, then later appear on the fifth floor? Did she walk there herself, or did someone carry her there?
Chisato Itsushima was probably the only person capable of fighting on the same level as their foe. Her abilities were likely akin to those of an angel - just like those of her little sister, Yayoi Itsushima. But Yayoi Itsushima always takes a neutral stance, never directly becoming involved with the incidents, whereas Chisato Itsushima had something she wanted to protect. That is why she fought back.
I wonder what the true form was of the enemy she saw.
(From research notes)
Many stories are told in the form of a circle. Their conclusion gives some form of answer for the problem raised at the start, and the world closes as it ends.
The many events that took place in this world took this same course, the path trodden by those girls creating a single story that has come to its end.
The aftertaste is quite a bitter one, though. I leapt into this world as an irritated and bored man, sharing my time with it, but it seems as though the world hasn't closed off completely.
I still feel like someone is peeking through those dim cracks, watching us. I get a shiver down my spine, like I've left something behind.
I met a man who dropped out of high school and is living like an outsider. His name is Ryo. He isn't the sort of man to start up a conversation. I thought of him as almost like the protagonist of some comic strip. An old-fashioned, straightforward and naive man.
He looks to me like someone who can't find contentment within this world, who doesn't properly understand how to communicate, who has lost his reason for living. There's a pitifulness about him, and a familiarity, and a sense of reliability.
Is he another of the ones who was thrown into this world, and then became caught up in the incident? Did he really just become caught up in it, though?
"They were all my own problems..."
I can't get those words of his out of my head. Maybe everyone's the same. Irritated people, people seeking pleasure, malicious people, people who harbour hatred. The giant enemy that finally blocks everyone's paths is the person themselves.
Where did Mika Kishii go?
Ryo said it was the edge of our world, beyond the light. A place where everything is empty and pure.
Is that place a world that's the complete opposite of Hinashiro, the one where we're all trapped? Does such a location exist within people's hearts, too?
Rather than poking my nose into what sort of place that is, though, I think it's more important to consider the reason why Mika Kishii had to disappear.
Mika Kishii was a human sacrifice in the truest sense. For that, she had to encounter a frustrating number of unpleasant experiences in her everyday life.
Finally, that everyday life itself began to warp. This was to stop her, the sacrifice herself, from being killed.
The air around her began to twist and bend form, and when it reached critical mass from which it could not recover, she vanished.
A human sacrifice is something that exists to sate the desires of the gods. The gods of this world are we ourselves, the ones who stare at and watch over it.
From the moment she went missing and disappeared, the absence of the being known as Mika Kishii became a symbol - a symbol of something precious lost, a lost heart, wandering soul.
Are we sated by the deaths of those caused as reparations for Mika Kishii?
The three friends Mika Kishii believed in - Yukari Hasegawa, Chisato Itsushima and Arisa Kahara - return to the school at night again in order to save her.
If Mika Kishii is the sacrifice, then the other three girls are like martyrs. In the end, that is exactly what they became.
But theirs was the ultimate team. They complemented each other, all bringing something different to the table: will, emotion, intuition.
Mika Kishii was being protected. Perhaps the three's want to save Mika was also the wish of we who watched over this world.
It can't be the right thing for people to be toyed with by fate for the same of someone else. But this world killed even them. Hope was lost.
It's almost like this is some sort of hint that another set of rules exists that goes beyond even the object of values the of good and evil. Like someone is whispering that Mika Kishii and the other girls were objects of a mistaken desire.
That is why they never stood a chance from the start. At its conclusion, no answer exists. The man called Ryo is the only one with the power to put an end to it.
Just like Mika Kishii, Ryo is being protected - although the ones protecting him are all the dead or something like angels. And he himself acts in order to protect others.
I don't know whether or not he was able to save Mika Kishii. The answer probably changes depending on how we view the world. No matter the conclusion, even if all of the answers were presented to us, I doubt we would be satisfied with them. The answers have been carried over into our world.
Finally, let me write about angels. Here, I will refer to those devilish beings ho are omnipresent in this world, originally a neutral party who led humans astray before finally turning into our enemies, as angels.
Generally speaking, angels are higher beings that reside within the land of spirits. According to literature on the subject, angels sit between gods and humans within the hierarchy of the cosmos.
A higher being, upon descending upon this world, was drawn in by pulses released by accumulated human thoughts and feelings. Its true identity is said to be Mithra, the god of covenants, who has most adapted to the devilishness that progresses in the modern day, not limited to Hinashiro alone. In the end, then, what did the angels do?
Maybe the most adequate answer is that they did nothing at all. The angels observed their position of neutrality. It was not they who shook the world. It wasn't even madness.
What we needed was the totally commonplace hopes of humanity, as well as the despair of humanity that became the subject of those desires.
Yukari Hasegawa, Chisato Itsushima and Arisa Kahara, too, were killed by a creature born of the relationship between people's hope and despair.
And now, it's time for me to return to the world of my own daily life.
I don't think I'll be writing any more articles about Hinashiro a while. I haven't managed to write about everything that has occurred here, but maybe a time will come on a night when the moon's out when I remember something else and start to talk.
Is Mika Kishii walking down a path lit by the moon again tonight? Is someone walking along with her, shoulder to shoulder?
My cat must be waiting for me, hungry, at my apartment.
I've heard that the body of a young boy was found on the rooftop of Hinashiro High.
Apparently, the boy was about six years old and had white hair. Nobody noticed it on the morning the bodies of the three female students were discovered, but someone who sneaked into the sealed-off school is said to have called the police to report it on the day following the incident.
However, both the police and the school, however, pointedly deny the very event of the body's discovery ever having occurred. Consequently, there is a high likelihood of this being a baseless rumour.
Speaking of a young boy, though, I frequently hear a rumour claiming that a boy's creepy laugh is often heard at a different school within Hinashiro City as of late. Even a theory is flying around that the ghost of a child ho died at Hinashiro High is visiting the school because of this, but it is probably the after-effect of the loss of so many young lives.
It seems as though Hinashiro syndrome isn't over just yet.
(Supplemental Rumour Review)