Main Story (Normal): 14-20

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Script

Dialogue

The spiraling stairs kept going up, seemingly without end.
The open space of steel and glass reflected the sunlight from the rooftop, like an amber-colored glass castle.
The crisscrossing steel giving off light and shadow formed a bewildering image.
The spiral-shaped steps wound upwards around the wall, like an endless stairway to heaven.
The sound of footsteps rang out particularly clearly in this quiet space.
*Thud--*
A sound suddenly came from lower down, echoing as if something broke and fell from high up.
These sounds kept coming, reverberating ceaselessly as their echoes slowly faded out. It made my feeling of uneasiness stronger.
MC: What is that noise?
Kiro: ...!!
Kiro didn't respond. After a bit, he pulled on me and suddenly picked up the pace.
Kiro: Run! Quick!
A crashing sound grew closer, and I looked back as I ran. What I saw almost took my breath away.
As far as I could see, the stairs below us were gradually collapsing level by level.
As if affected by some heavy force, they warped and snapped at the base. The steel and stones fell with a huge crash.
MC: What is happening? Why are the stairs...
Kiro: It's that guy's power!
This is an Evolver? The one that was weighing me down back there has this much destructive power?
The noise kept drawing nearer, and nearer. I didn't dare look back anymore.
My feet were getting heavier, and it was getting harder and harder to breathe.
The collapsing stairs and crashing noises were like inexorable death. A heavy shadow shrouded the entire space, and the pressure mounted in my chest.
The distance to the top was despairingly far. We seemed to be sprinting down an endless hall, seeing the same thing over and over again.
My body was almost at its limit. My lungs stung, my muscles burned, but my feet didn't dare stop.
The hand that was holding mine and the warmth of another person gave me the greatest support.
Kiro: Hang in there, MC.
The closer we got to the roof, the closer we got to the emitter, and the greater its effect. I hadn't felt anything before, but now I started to feel discomfort.
Kiro, who was running ahead of me, suddenly staggered, almost losing his balance. Luckily he was holding the handrail.
MC: Kiro! You okay?
Kiro: I'm fine. My foot just slipped. Did I scare you?
Kiro tried to sound as casual as possible, but I could feel his hand trembling in mine.
MC: Are you sure? We're...
Kiro: We're fine. We're definitely gonna be fine.
Kiro squeezed tight on my hand. He looked back and gave me a reassuring smile.
His eyes in the moment held something I didn't understand, but I didn't have any energy to think about that.
Make it to the top and turn off the emitter. After that, I had no idea.
I could already feel the wind being kicked up by the stairs collapsing behind me. Our every step was a race with death.
My only thought was to just keep moving forward.
Kiro: Almost there.
Even the longest journey has an end. It felt like an age had passed.
I looked up and saw the half-open rooftop door, an "Under Maintenance" sign standing in front of it. Through the door, I could see the metal structure on the rooftop.
It was just like in my dream.
MC: We made it!
My voice cracked with excitement, but neither of us noticed. That door was like the dawn after a long night. I felt like crying tears of joy.
Kiro: He's here.
MC: What?
One step from the rooftop, Kiro halted.
He let go of his hand from mine, and the sudden loss of warmth sent me into a tailspin.
MC: What's wrong?
He turned and looked at me, his face a pallid white. His smile was still gentle.
Suddenly I felt intensely uneasy.
MC: We're going in, right?
Kiro didn't answer. He eyes intent on me gleamed with a flash of golden light from above.
When I looked carefully, I discovered his eyes had turned into this exquisite gold, like the purest amber, or crystallized time.
Within the gold were constant little flashes, one line after another of tiny code, just like text flying across a screen.
Kiro: I command you--
I had never heard him sound like this before: stiff, stern, and solemn.
Kiro: All within my range of control belongs to me. Now walk onto the rooftop, lock the door, and don't let anyone in.
Kiro: ...including me.
As he spoke, I realized in a panic that I was unable to speak. I couldn't move, as if I'd lost control over my body.
Kiro: Don't be afraid, MC.
My body started moving on its own, not listening to my commands. Step by step, I walked past Kiro.
When I brushed past him, I heard him say:
Kiro: You'll be okay. I said before, I will definitely succeed this time. I will always protect you.
His voice was soft, as soft as the wind, drifting away all at once.
I stepped through the door and onto the rooftop.
My soul felt imprisoned in an empty container. I'd lost the ability to think.
I turned and slowly shut the door.
Don't! Don't! Kiro hasn't come in yet!
I shouted silently, praying, but my body kept doing as it was controlled to do.
Only my tears loyally followed the wishes of my thoughts, gushing outward and blurring my vision.
I saw the stairs collapsing level by level, and a black figure suspended in the air behind Kiro, just like scythe-toting Death himself.
*Bang--* I closed the door.
Through the haze of my tears, the last thing I saw was Kiro's familiar old smile.
His smile was warm and dazzling, as if we were facing not boundless danger and darkness, but a dream, a dream that we'd agreed to explore together.
Before the door closed, I heard him say one last sentence:
Kiro: Miss Chips, wait for me!
The step under his foot disappeared.
*Click*-- I locked the door.
The whole scene disappeared, and the only thing before me was a cold, grey metal door.
I couldn't hear anything as I stood alone on the closest place in this city to the heavens, a huge wind sweeping over my face with bitter cold.
I seemed to see a golden-winged bird fly by, like a ray of light crossing the sky, leaving a temporary light trail in my vision.

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