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Volume 08
Chapters 79 - 89
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After an awkward encounter, Sachi and Punpun begin work on their children's book. After they grow close, he invites her on a date which ends on a bittersweet note, but he finally finds his happy place through their relationship. One year later, Pegasus reminds the world of the looming apocalypse while Aiko floats just beyond Punpun's reach.

Chapter 79 Edit

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Sachi is asleep on the floor, skirt hiked and legs sprawled. Punpun can see her pubes and reaches out to poke the seam of her panties, but when she stirs, he pretends to still be asleep. She gets into the shower, and he writes a note claiming that he's late meeting a friend, then leaves. He berates himself for his nonexistant social skills but ends up deciding that next time he sees a girl exposed like that, he ought to just stick it in her regardless. He sees a high school girl sitting on the concrete, underwear showing between her legs, and goes home.

Chapter 80 Edit

Punpun walks around town numbly the next day, almost forgetting what he's supposed to be looking for. Sachi calls out to him from behind and invites him home for a meal. When she kneels down to look for tea in the pantry, her lacey underwear rides up past her waistband, and Punpun thinks fate brought him back here. He reaches out but jumps back when she turns around. Over food, Punpun's awkward conversational skills show, and Sachi tells him to be more confident and say whatever's on his mind. He ends up babbling that he lied about meeting a friend and had to leave because the sight of her panties got him overexcited, and he went home to masturbate for the first time in three years.

Chapter 81 Edit

Punpun elaborates that for ten hours, he did nothing but masturbate, which he's forbade himself of since high school. Sachi bursts out laughing that he didn't have to be that honest with her and asks if he wants more tea. She gets her notebook and asks if he remembers her offer to colaborate on a children's book, but Punpun's hesitant. She tells him he has talent and he can't keep isolating himself. He explains that he's busy trying to reunite with a girl from his past, but Sachi recognizes he's talking about the girl from his story and says he's just making excuses to pity himself. He could find her within three days if he simply looked up her name or asked around, so he should just go ahead and die if he wants to. Punpun gets up to leave, and Sachi gives him her number and tells him to call if he writes any stories. The next day, Punpun does not leave his house.

I'm willing to bet that deep inside your heart, you don't actually want to see her again.

-Sachi


Chapter 82 Edit

In the teacher's lounge at cram school, Sweet Lonely Heart Fluffybro, or Wada, tells Sachi how he met Pegasus then proceeds to ask her out. She rejects him and tells him to stop waiting outside for her after work, lest she report him for stalking. Outside, she spots Punpun and takes him to a restaraunt to review his new story, which she deems terrible and more fit for a manga than a picture book. Miyuki Kanie meets up with them, and when Sachi gets up for a refill, tells Punpun that Sachi's childhood dream was to be a manga artist, but when she stopped winning awards after middle school and then barely missed having a manga serialized as an adult, she felt like a failure and turned to children's books. Miyuki hopes he can help her feel confident again. Later, Punpun tells Sachi he will go home and rework the story.

Chapter 83 Edit

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Punpun accompanies Sachi to look at one of Manager's apartments, since a stalker now has her address. She explores the nice bathroom excitedly, but slips on the tile and reopens a scar on her forehead. She bandages it back at Manager's office, where Manager offers Punpun a job transferring paper files onto a computer. Punpun says he doesn't know much about computers, but when Sachi tells him to stop being negative, especially when being offered a job during a recession, he takes the offer. Manager's daughter, Misuzu, interrupts that they can't afford to pay a part-timer and rants at Punpun for waiting around for hand-outs like a bum. Sachi yells back that she has no right to judge Punpun, and Manager has to break up the argument when it gets too heated. On the way to the train station, Punpun apologizes for causing trouble, and Sachi says she wasn't defending him, but a previous version of herself. Unlike Punpun, though, she's learned to stop giving up. Punpun tells her it's unfair for someone as pretty and gifted as her to expect the same amount of confidence from him. Her pretty face, though, Sachi tells him, is the product of plastic surgery.

Chapter 84 Edit

Sachi says her step-family would criticize her relentlessly, so she threw up her food, studied hard, and worked her ass off to pay for cosmetic surgeries; every part of her looks and lifestyle was deliberately chosen. Thus, she relates to Punpun's hopelessness, is irritated by it, but also feels obligated to help him. She turns to leave, and Punpun's tetrahedron form snaps back into a bird. He calls out that he will write her a manga script, and rewrite it a hundred times if he has to, until he makes her proud. A rainbow greets them outside. Sachi says that back in school, she won an award for a drawing of a rainbow. Her art was the only thing that made her mother proud back then. She tells Punpun she's counting on him and shakes his hand with a grin. Punpun's not sure who, but her rough hands remind him of someone else.

Chapter 85 Edit

Sachi reviews Punpun's newest manuscript at the dock and tells him he's improving. On the way out, Punpun feeds her one of his cream puffs. They meet Miyuki and Mimura at the restaraunt, where Mimura gives him a stack of his old manga to read. When the girls get up to pay, Mimura nudgewinks Punpun. Later at the bar, Sachi drunkenly tries to collect her thoughts about the kind of manga she wants to write - one with a message and a meaning. He piggybacks Sachi to her home and looks forward to seeing her tomorrow. The next day, Manager thanks him for his help with the computers and asks him to throw out the poster for the fireworks festival. He phones Sachi to invite her to the festival, and Manager teases that he should surprise her by picking her up from work. Punpun goes and waits beside Wada. However, a young man meets Sachi as she exits and carries her bag as they walk away.

What I really wanna draw is not a story with emotional impact only valid for at that place and time, but something that can speak for and affect life itself. It's not a manga you read to escape from reality, but a manga you read to fight reality!!

-Sachi


Chapter 86 Edit

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Sachi leaves a voicemail telling Punpun that she's only going to wait for him a little longer. Punpun sulks at home. When Sachi slams through his front door, he hides under the covers and tells her he has a bad cough, so she should go to the festival with her boyfriend instead. Sachi explains with a furrowed brow that that man is actually her ex-husband, who has been picking her up from work because she's frightened of her stalker. She drags Punpun out. He tells her from beind that she's a wonderful girl who can treat people kindly without reason. He, on the other hand, always gets the wrong idea. So if she continues being kind, he will seriously fall in love with her. She turns around slowly... and tells him that's okay.

Chapter 87 Edit

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Sachi finds Manager's key to the apartment he showed her, and she and Punpun watch fireworks from the balcony instead of going to the festival. He tells her that something about her personality reminds him of his mother. The fireworks die out, and the two get intimate on the living room floor. Mentally, Punpun lets go of Midori, Kanie, and Aiko as he undresses. Sachi winds up on her back, and when she asks for a kiss, Punpun balks at the memory of his first kiss with Aiko. The sun rises on the two, sprawled on opposite ends of the room. Leaving, Punpun kneels on the sidewalk and asks Sachi to call him a coward. She pulls him up and tells him it's alright if he can't forget about that girl, because she will remain his friend. She tells him to close his eyes and leaves him a single kiss.

Goodbye Midori. Goodbye Kanie. Goodbye Aiko.... I'm alright now.

I'm now...
-Punpun


Chapter 88 Edit

Sachi and Punpun have a snowball fight then play games at Mimura's house. Miyuki greets them, birthday cake in hand, and the boys throw streamers. Sachi and Punpun go home together, and while she's in the bath, he leaves out her birthday present - an expensive watch. She sits him down and sketches out a portrait of his face. He falls asleep peacefully in the futon beside her bed, when a voice wakes him. He follows it to the living room, where the portrait tells him that nothing lasts forever.

Punpun! Hey, over here! Don't go and be all happy like you're some normal, well-adjusted person, you worthless trash. Just how long do you think this little fairytale of yours will continue on for?

-Portrait

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Chapter 89 Edit

One year later. Sachi greets Punpun and Mimura at their new video store job and asks Punpun to help her touch up her manga before she brings it to the editor. Miyuki and her fiance send out New Year's cards. Shimizu greets Seki at his recycling job, and the two go out for lunch. Leaving, Seki says Shimizu ought to make more friends and be more independent, which earns a sad look in response, before Seki says he wasn't being serious. While Sachi nervously waits with Punpun before their meeting, a man on the sidewalk grabs a microphone. He introduces himself as Pegasus and warns that the world will end half a year from now. Seki sees a young woman behind Shimizu and recognizes the face of Aiko.

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