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Volume 10
Chapters 100 - 110
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Just as Punpun adjusts to living as a peppy alter ego, a reunion with Aiko pulls him back to baser, darker feelings. Things turn up for Sachi when her manga is accepted by a publisher, without Punpun's help, but when she winds up unexpectedly pregnant by her ex-husband, she asks Punpun for emotional support. However, the day he is supposed to accompany her to the abortion clinic is the day he finally, finally redeems his promise to run away with Aiko.

Chapter 100 Edit

Aiko asks Punpun if he remembers her. She jokes that since she's been taking driving classes for a few weeks, she's his sempai now. She tells them they should definitely hang out on a weekend, but right now, she has to go to work. Keep it on the down-low, but... she's a model! Looks like her childhood dream came true!

Chapter 101 Edit

Punpun meets Aiko for lunch, and she tells him how a classmate at her fashion school helped her luck into a modeling job, and she's taking acting lessons, as well. The networking might help her land a job in design. Punpun lies that he's a university student majoring in education and is in a rough patch with his girlfriend of a year and a half. She talks of her own boyfriend, who's older and smarter with a steady job and likes to hike while she goes shoppping. Punpun observes her easy demeaner and is somehow disappointed. Sachi meets with her editor, who accepts her new, cliche manga and tells her that Punpun's writing was dragging her down after all.

Aiko effortlessly changed her expressions, and at times, burst out a laugh. Laughing and talking just like any other normal girl. No... Just like any other stupid, vapid girl. This girl isn't... the Aiko I know.


Chapter 102 Edit

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Punpun spends the night with the girl he introduced himself to as Takashi. She says she'd love to come to come to one of his soccer games and meet his friends, and Punpun leaves abruptly. This is all wrong. His form changes into something dark. Everything wrong with his life can be traced back to Aiko. Aiko, who cursed him. Aiko, who he can't wait to see again. He meets her for lunch, and when she smiles, he can't help but brighten.

Chapter 103 Edit

He and Aiko go to a photobooth and then a movie, where it turns out they have similiar tastes. Although Punpun doesn't drink, he goes with Aiko to a cheap bar. They walk around under the moon, a little tipsy, and Aiko says she's glad they met today and smoothed over any hard feelings, but she's too busy with her job and boyfriend to waste whole days like this anymore. He mentally tells her to stop playing headgames. He holds her hand, and then they start walking. He suggests a karaoke bar, a manga cafe, a train ride... She becomes uncomfortable and starts making excuses to leave, but they wind up on a hotel bed. He's displeased she's become so different and such a slut, and as he undresses her, he decides he wants to ruin her.

Aiko... I have no idea what your intentions are with me, but... I'm extremely saddened. To think that after all this time, you've become just another slut that casually sleeps around with some guy you haven't even met since middle school... I know I'm being unfairly self-entitled, but... I want to make your life miserable.
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Chapter 104 Edit

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Punpun dips his fingers into Aiko's shorts. She tells him to stop, but he doesn't. She repeats herself, increasingly distressed, until he pulls away. She puts on her clothes and says they never should have reunited. Only when she leaves does Punpun finally snap back to normal. He goes about his next days numbly, daydreaming about packing his bags and moving far, far away. His feet bring him to Sachi's doorstep and he lets himself in. He reads her new manuscript, beautiful without his help, and lays down in her laundry. The door unlocks, and a man walks in.

Chapter 105 Edit

The man, Saotome, who is Sachi's ex-husband, eats at a diner with Sachi and Punpun. He tells Punpun not to get involved with a narccisist like Sachi but also deducts that Punpun is a useless dreg of society. Later, Sachi tells Punpun that she's pregnant with Saotome's baby, due to a moment of loneliness, although she plans to never see him again. She asks Punpun if he will go with her if she decides to get an abortion. He says yes.

Chapter 106 Edit

Sachi calls Punpun and tells him she's decided to get the abortion next week. He decides that after that's done and he gets his license, he will move far away. After his driver's ed class, he sees Aiko and asks if they can talk. He apologizes for what happened. In the distance, Pegasus announces the Great Despair is on July 7, one month from now, and his Ensemble performs a song Aiko recognizes from their elementary choir: "Tsubasa wo Kudasai". She still clearly remembers the day Punpun skipped choir practice. Ten years have passed since then, and what has changed in her life? Punpun tells her that he lied about everything, about being a student and having a girlfriend, and has spent ten years pining for her. To see that she became a well-adjusted person unlike him, he has mixed feelings but is grateful he got to see it. Aiko reminds him that he once promised that if he ever lied to her again, she could kill him.

The guilt from breaking the promise to go to Kagoshima with you on that day still remains with me and has stripped me of all my self-confidence, leaving just an empty, worthless husk that you see right now. No... It might be more accurate to say that I only conveniently blamed you for everything's that's gone wrong with my life so far... But my eyes have finally been opened now.

-Punpun


Chapter 107 Edit

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Aiko says she'll make an exception and forgive Punpun instead of killing him. After all, she lied, too. Punpun feels himself slipping back into darker feelings. Miyuki tells Sachi that it's low of her to take advantage of Punpun's pushover attitude by asking him to go to her abortion appointment. After all, she just wants Punpun to prove his love. Aiko invites herself to Punpun's apartment, and they lay down to talk. She notices that unlike last time, he makes no attempts to touch her. She tells him that she lied about having a boyfriend and being a fashion student and for years has only been buying clothes she thought he'd like. She did have a stint as a model, but she quit because it was unglamorous and it's been hard for her to smile lately. However, she can smile easily with Punpun. She has to leave before her mom gets angry, and Punpun walks her to the door. She gives him a kiss, both their hearts racing, and Punpun thinks how selfish she is to renew her curse on him.

Hey, Punpun... Thanks for waiting for me all this time... I've been... waiting for you too all this time.

-Aiko


Chapter 108 Edit

Aiko gazes through her black eye at her new driver's license. At her factory job, her new partner attempts friendly conversation, but an older coworker tells him that she's the niece of the manager and has barely spoken since her injured mother forced her to get a job here. He goes on that it's unsurprising she failed as a model since she's an idiot and never smiles. He makes vulgar comments to her, to prove his point that she won't talk back, and her partner chews him out. Aiko coldly tells him she doesn't need his concern. Aiko comes home, where the housewives section of Cosmos Health Center are chatting with her mother, Mitsuko, who shows her the bronze Mr. Cosmos statue she just bought and asks if Aiko can get an advance in her pay. Aiko asks if those statues will cure her injury because she can't take this shitty life any longer. Mitsuko tells the other women to leave and tells Aiko to step closer. Pegasus wakes up from a days-long dream and prophesizes that the world will still end July 7. They must exterminate the Dark Spot. There is still hope. Aiko cries quietly in her bed, bloody tissues littered around her, and thinks she'd be content with just a normal life of simple pleasures. Sachi phones Punpun and tells him he doesn't have to come to her abortion today if he doesn't want to. Punpun says he just wants to know what she wants, when Aiko knocks on his door.

Chapter 109 Edit

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Punpun answers the door and comments on Aiko's bruises. She apologizes for interrupting his call and begins to leave. He grabs her wrist, tells her if she has something to say, she ought to say it. God tells him the same, since he really only wants one thing right now. Punpun yanks Aiko's shirt, until her chest is bare, and then brings her inside. Punpun sinks lower and loses himself in the pleasure of their touch, and when all is said and done, Aiko is left bloody between her legs. She sits far away and asks Punpun if he likes her. When he answers yes, she says in that case, she likes him too. Punpun thinks he can't sink any lower.

...If there were a place lower than here, it would surely be Hell.


Chapter 110 Edit

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Yuuichi grows restless from this rainy day that reminds him too much of his encounter with Yagi. He returns home to a pregnant Midori. Aiko and Punpun rest together under the sheets. Aiko tells him she wants to run away; if she lives with her mother any longer, she will forget how to be herself. Miyuki and Azusa Kanie meet up to go to a mixer. Punpun tells Aiko that he's been thinking of moving far away and suggests they do so together. Mimura meets Gesumi for lunch to show off his new corporate suit. Punpun asks Aiko to notify her mother before they leave, since all mothers care for their children in the end. Misuzu chastises Manager for flirting with his nurses. Aiko sits up and says they should go tell her mother, right this moment. They get a taxi, and Punpun feels himself finally able to let go of that day in elementary school when he left Aiko waiting. Aiko, his one true soul mate... Alone and still waiting for Punpun, Sachi begins to cry. Aiko grabs his hand, tells him he's all she has now. Punpun feels the world fade away behind him and surrenders himself completely. There's no turning back now. Everything was for this moment.

I realize now that the world is not mine, but rather... My world is yours and yours alone.

-Punpun

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