The Six Year Sakura, Part 3
|Part of Volume 3|
|Title in Japanese:||六年桜③|
|Romaji Translation:||Rokunenzakura ③|
|Previous:||Chapter 09: The Six Year Sakura, Part 2|
|Next:||Chapter 11: Ghost of the Night Duty Room|
This chapter concludes the three-part story of The Six Year Sakura (六年桜, Rokunensakura), following the story from the previous chapter.
With the help of Momoe and the Third Newspaper Club, the Paranormal Investigation Club receives new insights on the mysterious girls involved in the "Six Year Sakura" case. Time runs out as the last day of the school term becomes the deadline until two students confront and claim their own lives.
The Paranormal Investigation Club brings the discussion about the "Six Year Sakura" case to its headquarters.
Momoe, who has been involved in this case just recently, has everything explained to her, and she arrives at the conclusion that Kiyomi Michidera is possessed by the Ghost of the Six Year Sakura. However, Teiichi suspects that there is something weird with Nao as well. In addition to that, Nao admitted that she does not know the story of the "Six Year Sakura", which makes things even more complicated.Kirie suggests giving up the case, but Momoe strongly rejects that idea, knowing that the girls might just be manipulated by the spirit. As Momoe stands up to give Kirie a piece of her mind, however, Kirie's clearly distracted with something else...
Trying to keep her cool, Kirie shoves Momoe back and leaves the discussion to the others and exits the clubroom. Unknown to them, Kirie's face is flushed red as she looks at the hand that she used to touch Momoe's breasts.
The discussion eventually returns to its serious mood. Momoe thinks that the fact that Nao has come to ask help to Teiichi implies that she has problems of her own as well. Teiichi then voices out his intention of not leaving the case behind. Yuuko then suggests something that can help in solving the case: knowing more about Nao and Kiyomi.
Momoe has an idea: since third year students are involved, the best way to know more about them would be asking other third year students as well. This eventually brings them to the Third Newspaper Club headquarters, where they would meet its president, Sasaha Sahara.
Sasaha is surprised to find out from Teiichi that Nao doesn't know about the story, as Sasaha remembers hearing about the story first-hand from Nao herself. She also points out that no one else knows throughout the third year students about the story — even girls, who are interested in ghost stories — so it was relegated into a rumor. Teiichi soon suspects that Nao's testimony has been a lie all along; Sasaha wanted to verify the facts herself, and even presents herself to ask Nao personally.
Sasaha then reveals that Nao has been lonely for a while until her friendship with Kiyomi. It turns out that Nao has been very close with a female upperclassman the year before, but she was heartbroken when the upperclassman got a boyfriend. According to Sasaha, Nao "was so heartbroken, she wouldn't have cared even if she died". Also, Sasaha says that even Kiyomi changed when she reached third year, starting to say things about dying together with Nao.
Soon, Teiichi receives a request from Sasaha: to help out Nao with her problems, as she knows Nao prefers to carry heavy burdens by herself. Although she considers it as just being too nosy, Momoe supports her decision. As Sasaha and Momoe embrace each other, Teiichi thinks that Sasaha is just doing what everyone else would do in her place. However, the thought just intensifies the urgency of stopping Nao and Kiyomi.
Later that day, Teiichi finds himself under the Six Year Sakura tree and is joined by Nao. Teiichi immediately asks Nao about how she made up the rumor of the "Six Year Sakura". Nao declares her intent on dying with Kiyomi and admits the reason behind her decision: she does not want to become the same people whose hearts are corrupted over time like cherry trees in summer. She also tells Teiichi that Kiyomi shares her sentiments.
Nao then reveals that the true story behind the "Six Year Sakura" was much more tragic. It was about a person who killed and buried the one-sided love they had, and that incident eventually evolves into a chain of murders. Using that story and twisting it into a romantic tale of two lovers' sacrifice, she manipulated Kiyomi into immersing herself into the story.
Nao eventually leaves Teiichi, reminding him that the deadline is just a day away, and she looks forward to Kiyomi killing her at the day of the graduation ceremony.
The next day, Teiichi is still uneasy after hearing the truth straight from Nao herself. What's worrying him even more is that Yuuko appears to be uninterested in helping. Teiichi then decides to act on his own, running away from the graduation ceremony to catch Nao before anything happens.
Meanwhile, after giving each other a passionate kiss, Kiyomi prepares the shears she will use to stab Nao with. Teiichi manages to arrive as Kiyomi points the shears to Nao's throat. He realizes that talking Nao through reconsidering her decision would not work, and he helplessly watches as Nao tells Kiyomi to continue.
Then, Kiyomi suddenly turns against Nao, telling her that they would not be the pair of the "Six Year Sakura" if such a thing happens. Suddenly, out from behind Kiyomi is a shadowy figure with long hair.
Teiichi quickly recognizes the spectre as Yuuko herself and he watches as Yuuko censures Nao's plan of using someone to relieve herself of her sadness. Kiyomi then declares to Nao that she had known Nao's plans from the beginning, and she tells Nao that she has already changed since. Nao denies it, but she receives a slap to her face from Kiyomi, followed by an embrace.
Kiyomi assures Nao that it is okay for her to change, as she will love her regardless. Nao then returns the embrace and Kiyomi finally smiles, praising Nao for being honest to herself after a long time of lying to herself.
Kiyomi soon turns to Yuuko, and holds on to the shears she has on her hands. With Nao's and Kiyomi's hand on the shears, they press the shears into the Six Year Sakura tree and Yuuko disappears immediately.
After the events that unfolded, Teiichi laments over the consequences of running away from the graduation ceremony, and he is soon joined by Yuuko. He asks her if her chest is uninjured after being pricked by Nao and Kiyomi, and Yuuko assures him that she was unhurt. Teiichi finds himself staring a second too long at Yuuko's chest and looks away, much to Yuuko's amusement.
Soon, Teiichi asks another question, and this time it is about Yuuko's decision of not letting Teiichi know about her own plan to resolve the case. Yuuko thinks that what might happen is uncertain, so she wanted Teiichi to keep himself from seeing the worst-case scenario; also, she knows that there are other people that would be worried.
Yuuko, using Teiichi's lap as a pillow, realizes that the summer break would start the day after. On the other hand, Teiichi thinks about what would happen to Kiyomi and Nao after the end of the day. Yuuko tells him that the "Six Year Sakura" story will live on, and to her, it's a good thing in the end.
By order of appearance
- Paranormal Investigation Club Headquarters
- Third Newspaper Club Headquarters
- The "Six Year Sakura" Tree, near Middle School Building
- "You get those kinds once in a while..." — Yuuko's response to Teiichi's shock over discovering girl-to-girl relationships in school
- "Do you want to die together as well, Niiya-kun?" — Nao's question to Teiichi upon finding him under the Six Year Sakura tree
- "I hate the sakura in summer. Even though they have such beatiful flowers in Spring, in Summer they become this ugly. Just like people's hearts... as time goes by, they become ugly. But... I don't want to change. I won't change." — Nao's statement about her true reason for dying with Kiyomi
- "It's okay... to change." — Kiyomi's reassuring remark to Nao