Chapter VI: Tea Minutes To Midnight
"B-but..." Azusa couldn't believe that. Once again everything was going exactly as adult Azusa planned - a plan she didn't want to make part of. "...you're going to reveal it to the world tomorrow, right ? Why do you want to tell me now ?" she said.
"That's the fun part, Kitty !! Tomorrow, when I'll show it to everyone, I want you to pretend to be happy and surprised as if you knew nothing about it." she explained excited "Nobody will know that I told you before everyone else: it's going to be a secret between you and me !!" she concluded giggling, proud of the brilliant idea she just had.
Before Azusa could reply, Yui opened the door of her own room. "Here we are !! Wait here a second, okay ?" She then moved a book from a shelf nearby. At that point, a piece of the wall moved to the side revealing a secret door.
Azusa could easily see that there was a small, ten numbered panel on the right side of the metal door. Yui seemed lost as she was trying to remember the code, then she just looked at the left side of the door where the code itself was written.
"A genius, huh ?" Azusa thought in disbelief.
When the metal door opened, Yui entered alone. There was any kind of identification system to overcome to proceed: eyes, voice and fingerprints. After a while, Yui finally came back with a single sheet of paper in her hand, which she gave to Azusa with a prideful expression on her face.
"This is it, Kitty: my final, Super Secret Project". Azusa watched the paper: the drawing of a pink tower was in it. The tip of the tower was in the shape of a heart, and in the middle of the heart lied a clock. The drawing seemed to be made by the hands of an elementary student, and the paper itself looked like it was from years ago.
"The Fuwa Fuwa Clock Tower" the Moempress said with a dreamy voice. "Instead of having boring numbers indicating the different hours, the clock contains the word "Fuwa" in their place" she explained. "The Fuwa Fuwa Clock Tower is not like any other clock tower: it's pure, never-ending happiness."
In that very moment, Azusa realized that that was the chance she was waiting for: it was now or never. "You, see, Yui... that's really what I wanted to talk you about..." she said as her voice was slightly trembling. "I know how much you really want to make everyone happy, and that's beautiful. But don't you think that maybe now everyone is... happy enough ?"
The Moempress stared at young Azusa as if she was an alien. The words she just spoke didn't make her angry: from her point of view, they just made no sense at all.
She smiled back to her with a tender smile, as a mother who just heard her child say something stupid but sweet at the same time. "How could such a sweet, little head like yours come up with something so silly, Kitty !? There is no limit to happiness, everybody knows that !!" she said then with her lovely voice with the same smile on her face.
"B-but..." Azusa didn't really know what to say.
"Don't worry, Kitty." she patted her head "Tomorrow, you will understand." She then kindly took the drawing from her hand and as she watched it, she added with a dreamy voice "Everybody will."
A few hours later, Azusa was standing in front of her future self in her secret base. This time, she met her outside of Pink Heart Castle of her own volition.
"What did you choose, then ?" the adult Azusa asked her.
"Nothing... not yet. I know what the Super Secret Project, even if I never asked for that." She replied coldly.
"And you don't want to tell me ?"
"It depends. If you want to know, I want you to promise me one thing."
"I didn't know you were in the position to make demands" the adult Azusa replied sarcastically "but as I said before, I like your style. What do you want ?"
"Whatever your plan is, you must speak with her one last time. No matter what the risks are, I want you to stop hiding and tell her how you really feel."
Adult Azusa took a few seconds, then she answered firmly: "Agreed. You have my word." As she said that, her glare pierced again teen Azusa like a knife: this time it was no lie, but a promise she was ready to fulfill at any cost. "I owe you that, and I owe it to her as well."
"Let's get it over with, then." teen Azusa replied without great emphasis. "It's a clock tower. "Fuwa Fuwa Clock Tower", as she calls it. Honestly, I don't really see how ruining its debut would change anything."
"A clock tower !? Impossible... it can't be." adult Azusa lost all of her composure. "How... how could I not imagine that..."
Her eyes were staring in the void, as if she just realized that the answer was always in front of her but she didn't notice.
"Is it really that serious ?" teen Azusa asked puzzled.
"One day, not so distant from your present, Yui will come up with such a weird fantasy as you and the others chit chat in the club's room." adult Azusa replied with a grave tone in her voice, then she continued "That was... that will be the beginning of everything..." she then said, as if she came to that realization as the words were coming out from her mouth.
"But that..." teen Azusa replied "...that means that all I have to do it's to let her realize how silly such idea is, and nothing of this madness will..."
"NO !! ...NO !!" adult Azusa screamed in terror "You can't see !? That's exactly what I said back then !!" She explained with rage in her voice "...and can you guess what she answered me ?"
"I guess it was something like "Awwww.." " teen Azusa replied, imitating Yui when she felt underestimated.
"Yes, but not just that. Not this time." adult Azusa answered back "She said: "Don't worry, Azu-nyan: I will build a bigger one, and when you'll see it, you... you will..." " then she stopped, her eyes going back to stare the void again.
" "You will" what ?!" teen Azusa pressed her "If I have to stop all of this, I must know exactly what happened back then !!"
"No, you don't. In fact, you know already too much." adult Azusa was definitive.
"But !!" teen Azusa replied desperate.
"There are no "buts" this time, missy !!" adult Azusa replied: she was furious. "And I have no time to lose. I have to get you back to the past and do what I must to save the present. My present."
"Are you sure it's going to work ?" teen Azusa asked confused.
"Of course not, but this is the only thing I could think of." adult Azusa said handing a sleeping pill to her younger self.
They were at the very same place where teen Azusa awoke for the first time. Luckily for them, the street was empty and nobody was there.
"You'll do the sleeping as I'll do the praying."
Teen Azusa took her pill and slowly laid down on the middle of the street.
"Before you go, granted that it works of course, I have one last thing to tell you." adult Azusa said.
"What is it ?" teen Azusa asked her.
"Thank you. Thank you for all you did for me... no. For all of us." Adult Azusa finally said, as her younger self closed her eyes.
In a few seconds, adult Azusa could see her past self fade away. "I'm glad it worked" she muttered. "No one has to cry needlessly."
Ok, guys. From this point things are going to get pretty serious. The last chapters are going, or at least, are meant to be on the emotional side.
Even this time around, you could even skip right to the Epilogue (the section below Chapter VIII) but Chapter VII and VIII are the ones that I really consider the most meaningful (together with V, but I already covered that).
K-on (c) belongs to Kakifly