"So, are you still feeling troubled by having a hand in Milu's death?" Birdway asked Mikoto, who was taken off guard by the unexpected question—especially since she didn't tell her beforehand. "Oh come off it. I analyze charismatic people for a living. If I could figure out Aleister, what chance did you have?"
The girls were all at the beach, with the exception of Eight and Orsola. Kamijou was resting after he got out of surgery, performed by the frog face doctor—who came on a jet owned by Academy City. Index was sitting with Floris and Lancis, both of whom were staring in amazement at the sight of a small girl eating at least her own weight in food.
As for Lessar and Bayloupe…
"I," Bayloupe raised her hand and slapped it against her bikini covered butt. "Told you," she hit it again, and the white skin became peach colored as Lessar let out a whine. "About getting involved," she slapped it hard again, and the peach skin became crimson red. "With things like this!"
She continued to spank the girl, even with onlookers in the area, which added to the embarrassment of it all. She hoped that it would make the lesson stick, but that was too optimistic in all honesty—especially since she planted a kiss on Kamijou while he was asleep only an hour ago. Had she not walked in, Kamijou may have very well lost his purity without knowing it.
"I could tell you that it had to be done, but you know that already Misaka-san." Birdway said, drawing a magic circle in the sand that made everything a 3 meter diameter, but her voice, sound like static—to prevent anyone from hearing them. "What you fear the most is becoming a monster that kills indiscriminately, not feeling a thing."
Mikoto was silent, closing her eyes and replaying that moment when she first shot to kill Pel and struck Milu with lightning. She couldn't shake the immense regret she felt, even knowing it had to be done. It was just…so cold…
"In my experience, it was because you were caught up in the moment in the battlefield," she said, simplifying what she really thought. No need to confuse her more than she already was. "Once you get back home, that's when it will really hit you, so you should stay next to the boy. You'll need to discuss things with him and have him bring you peace of mind—after all, whose words would affect you better than those of the one you love."
Birdway looked up at the blue sky. "If you try to bottle those feeling up, you really will drown in the darkness and become what you fear."
Mark Space approached Birdway, who erased the circle with her foot, holding a phone. "Your sister is on the line, something about running into 'that man with the red hair.'"
Accelerator was resting on Yomikawa's couch after making it back on his own power. Worst was rubbing her butt, which was even redder than Lessar's after Yomikawa whooped it with a riot shield, while Last Order was sleeping on top of him, finally smiling.
He thought about how much trouble and pain he went through, redirecting that huge blast beyond escape velocity. But when he saw her smile, he only had one thought.
It was worth it.
Standing over a makeshift memorial for those who died in the facility attack, Eight placed the remaining tile from the M.E.S.D.O on top of it. With the core gone, and the rest of the tiles being reduced to slag from the last attack, there was no point in holding onto it. In time it could be rebuilt, but those who originally developed it wouldn't return from the afterlife.
"Good Evening," Orsola's voice came from over her shoulder. Eight turned to see the nun there, a somber smile on her face, with the owl perched on her shoulder. "Did you make this memorial?"
Eight nodded silently, her thoughts vividly flashing with memories of those who were her family. At first, she only saw the warm smiles on their faces. Then, those smiles and warm feelings became bitter and cold, as she saw each of them dying. It over took her, tears began flowing from her gray eyes and down her tanned face.
She kneeled in front of the grave and began crying. Orsola bent down and cradled her like a mother, not minding the dirt and tears staining her white, angelic clothes. Rocking the broken girl back and forth, she whispered in her ear words of comfort. The girl felt the same warmth from Orsola that her fallen companions held.
Later that night, Kamijou, Eight, Index, and Mikoto were all on board a plane that was flying towards Academy City at a ridiculous speed. Yet, they were all resting without any signs of interruption.
While GREMLIN had been defeated in Hawaii, that was only a small portion of the organization. Their insanity was only confirmed to be worse than everyone thought. Summoning a god was just plain crazy, all things considered. Luckily, Kanaloa had been benevolent once the ritual was destroyed by Mikoto's attack.
Still, the battle was not over. One day, Kamijou would be dragged into fighting again. When he goes, Index and Mikoto would follow him. He would not be fighting alone, but nevertheless, this only made the things he had to protect even harder to actually do so. They would be on the frontlines as well.
So the brave girls slept well, each clinging to him subconsciously. Their fight would continue another day.
But for now, they rest.
And we're done. For now. I might follow up after NT3 is completed, dealing with another group like the Freshmen in AC, and a short story about Stiyl and Patricia Birdway.
It took about 2 or 3 months, but it was worth it.