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10 Next Stage

 Several days after Iwasawa's last concert. Kanade resigned from student council. When she was asked by teachers, she said that she wanted to be a normal student without bothered by student council job before her graduation. As her record and conduct was excellent, the teachers weren't so much against her decision. To fill in the president position, she recommended Naoi Ayato as her replacement. Thus Naoi became new student council president.

After she was released from student council job, she was spending most of her times with Rafi. Some times she could be seen gardening with him, some times they would have doing schoolworks together, another times they could be seen strolling around the Afterlife together. They really looked like a normal highschool couple to most SSS members, as Yuri was still wary to Kanade.

One day Rafi and Kanade met Saitou when they walked at riverside. When they first met, Saitou was shocked seeing a supposed Tenshi walked around with a boy. After they chatted a bit, Saitou invited them to fish with him. He thought Kanade should be able to catch the King of River, though it resulted in failure. Even if Kanade was able to fish it, the combined strength of three people was unable pulling it from river. Saitou promised to invite them to fish it again when SSS did another fishing mission later.


While Kanade and Rafi were strolling around the Afterlife, Naoi started to show his fierce side. Now that Kanade had resigned, his control of NPCs was more unrestrained, as he could not blatantly hypnotized people when Kanade was around. It peaked when Naoi claimed to be 'God' and started war with SSS for disobeying his rule.

The war was fierce as Naoi controlled NPCs to fight SSS members. It was a known fact that Yuri forbade SSS members to attack NPC in their rebellion against God. Because it went against their moral code as human when they injured 'innocent people' in their fight. As the SSS members couldn't fought NPCs harshly, they could only knocked them out. However, it costed them a lot of effort, cause controlled NPCs were harder to be knocked out, while NPCs fought them using guns and other advanced weapons. After a bitter battle, both sides were so much exhausted. Many NPCs and SSS members were laying down on the ground bloodied, while Yuri was captured by Naoi.

As a demonstration of his 'God' power, Naoi tried to hypnotized Yuri to forcefully accept her past life. He would have succeeded hypnotized Yuri had Otonashi not quickly saved her and seized him down to the ground. As both Otonashi and Naoi were much exhausted from earlier battle, they brawled a bit while arguing their respective lives. Naoi felt that his life was meaningless as he was only living either in his brother's shadow or his father's. For that, after arriving in Afterlife, he tried became a 'God' to live his own life and to walk past their shadows.

Otonashi finally redeemed him as he acknowledged and accepted Naoi as a person. He stated firmly that Naoi's life was his own's and not his brother's, as it was his own hardwork that finally was acknowledged by his father. Their fight ended as both of them laying weakly on the ground.

After the war, SSS were back to their usual lives while Naoi was still student council president. The NPCs were back to school as usual as they were respawned. Touched by someone that accepted him and his own past life, Naoi respected Otonashi greatly. He admired Otonashi as a younger brother admired his older brother. Though he was still disrespecting everyone in SSS as a self-claimed 'God' to others.


"So, that was happened while you were having a fun tour around the Afterlife with you little girlfriend, Rafi", Otonashi said with resentment. After Rafi and Kanade were back, Otonashi met them in an empty classroom. He told them all what happened when they were gone.

"Mm", Kanade shook her head while blushing a bit.

"Ugh,,I am sorry, Otonashi-san. I don't think he was that eager to control everyone here. Though, I think it was you that got all the benefits weren't you?", Rafi smiled apologetically as he was sorry to Otonashi.

"Huh, what do you mean benefits? I was almost dead there, it was a hard battle for us", Otonashi exclaimed.

"Well, I think you got yourself a little brother now", joked Rafi.


"Besides, I think you might get yourself a girlfriend now. Yuri-san seems has become closer with you now. So, how far have you gone with her?", Rafi smiled pervertedly at him.

"Ugh..", Otonashi choked as he blushed hard like a tomato at his words.

"Don't worry about the protection, she can't be pregnant in Afterlife", joked Rafi.

"Cough..cough..we haven't gone that far yet as she was still shadowed by her guilts. Though she has allowed our feelings to be more open as she announced it to all SSS members. It was when we were having a meeting about next Operation. That really shocked me, I thought she would continue to hide it until we almost passed on", remembering her ashamed-while-happy face when she announced it, Otonashi couldn't help revealing a warm smile on his face.

"That event with Naoi has sparked her past regrets, as she thought more of it now. On the bright side, she has started to accept her past life more, making her at peace with her feelings", Otonashi said with a happy smile.

"Happy to you huh, Otonashi", Rafi said in sour voice.

"Huh, what about you and Kanade-chan? Don't tell me you cheated on her? I believe it was Iwasawa-san, isn't it?", Otonashi said as he smiled lowly at him. 'This is the payback', as his gaze seemed telling Rafi that meaning.

"{Handsonic} version 1. Mm, cheater needs to be punished", said Kanade coldly. She stabbed him a few times before she calmed down.

" was hurt a bit, Kanade-chan. Though I don't mind being hurt if I can be with you two after all", Rafi said as he stood up with a bloodied clothes.

"Hey. Is it true? You really cheated on her?", Otonashi asked dumbfounded.

"Nah, it can't be considered cheating on her, Otonashi. I properly told her about it. Well, she seems pretty much against it at first, though", Rafi scratced his cheek in embarrassment.

"Of course she was. Eh, at first?", Otonashi exclaimed.

"He he, after my persistent persuasion('it was dogeza though'), Kanade promised to give me a chance. As Iwasawa-san has passed on the next life, we promised to find her in our next life later", Rafi said in cheerful tone.

"Un", Kanade nodded at Otonashi.

"Ugh, well, that is your matter. Now, how about our next plan? We promised to help everyone pass on peacefully after all." Otonashi asked him seriously.


"Eventhough Naoi's hypnotism can help us achieve our goal quickly, in the end it is not their own choice. It is a forced choice given by hypnotism." Otonashi added.

"If there are any that asked to be hypnotized, what will you do, Otonashi? Will you prevent them?", Rafi suddenly asked.

"Of course, I will..."

"Even if that is their own choice, their own will?", pressed Rafi.


"Our goal is to help everyone accept their own past life, to make them at peace with their past regrets."


"I am not saying we will force them using hypnotism, I am saying it just to keep the choice using hypnotism open. As we can't predict what other's wish, whether we can fulfill it in Afterlife. We would not promote it, but we also will not strongly opposed if it is their own choice", Rafi explained.

"Fuuh, well, then it will be like that." Otonashi lightly exhaled as he agreed.

"For next step, try to ask Yui's wish. We can try fulfiling her wish. For her, we will ask Hinata's help." Rafi added.

"Why asking Hinata, do we need more people?", Otonashi asked in confusion.

"It is not that. Don't you think their interaction is more than a friend. Though they have not realized it themselves, but I feel they have feelings for each other. I believe Hinata will help us realizing Yui's wish."

"Besides, as a new vocalist of GirlDeMo, if she also was redeemed, the band will realize that their time here was enough. As even both of their vocalist has found peace in Afterlife, Iwasawa and Yui would be the best example of what everyone should do in Afterlife. Which is fulfiling our past regrets and be at peace with it." Rafi explained.

"Ok. I will talk with Hinata about this. You are better not deceiving me again. While I was fighting a hard battle, you were having fun touring with Kanade-chan huh." Otonashi snorted in annoyance.

"He he he, I said I am sorry aren't I. I will be in school if you need my help, so don't worry about it too much. Now that we have begun our next stage of plan. We only need to wait for the appearance of shadows. As they will exist when Love Parameter in Afterlife exceeding certain limit." Rafi said to him as he smiled lightly.

Otonashi departed after they finished their discussion. In the room there were only Kanade and Rafi. Watching the sun set in the horizon, Rafi faced Kanade as he said lightly to her.

"Kanade, you will still be here until the end, wouldn't you?"

"Un", she nodded lightly.

"You will not leave me alone right?"


"Thank you for accompanying me here, Kanade." Rafi suddenly embrace Kanade tightly.


"I am really grateful meeting you when I first arrived here."

"Thank you for being with me, Kanade."

"Un. I will always with you, Rafi. Even in our next life, I would not leave you alone there." Kanade nodded as she was blushing slightly. They both tightly embrace each other until the day turned dark completely. Rafi then flew them both to his dorm.