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12 Graduation and New Beginning

 Several days after Yui's disappearance, Shadows started appearing. Takamatsu was swallowed by a Shadow and to their shock, SSS members found him the next day going to school like a normal highschooler. As panic started to spread, Yuri decided to brought all SSS members for a meeting, discussing their way out of current situation.

After thinking it through, Yuri decided to tell them the truths. About Tenshi real identity, Iwasawa and Yui's disappearance, that there was no God in Afterlife, people becoming NPCs forcefully and most importantly their true purpose appearing in Afterlife.

Like what Rafi told her, as proved by Iwasawa's and Yui's disappearance, their original purpose in Afterlife should be fulfilling their past regrets and be at peace with their past lives. Most of SSS members objected to pass on, as they still had lingering regrets. When they objected, Otonashi walked in front of them, accompanied by Hinata and Naoi. He explained them about Iwasawa and Yui that had found their acceptance and happiness in Afterlife.

When they asked Yuri what would she do, Yuri replied that she would do as she liked and so should they. Much to their shock, Yuri announced the Shinda Sekai Sensen was disbanded, as it served no purpose anymore.

Yuri told them that even if she still felt resentment over her past life, she tried to accept it and moving on her next life. She didn't want spending all her time in Afterlife without a future. That decision was made by considering their current situation. Though she didn't refute the influence Otonashi and Yui's wedding had on her.

After the meeting, Yuri was trying to spend more of her times with Otonashi. Hinata was having fun with her bestfriend Ooyama, while hiding his grief over Yui. Some members were still in shock about the revelation, and pondered over it deeply.

Three days later, Yui, Otonashi, Hinata, Naoi, Rafi and Kanade were preparing to go to new Guild headquarter. While they were battling the shadows, some core members of SSS appeared to help them.

Yuri was shocked and happy seeing her old friends were still together with her until the end. When she asked them why they didn't quickly passed on to avoid the Shadows, they said that even if SSS was disbanded, she was still their friends.

There was no way they would ignore their friends to safety, while their friends were still fighting hard. They also said that even if most of SSS members had passed on first, their spirits were still with them until the end. They worried that they might become a burden, as they didn't have battle strength to take on Shadows. Surprised at their answer, she smiled joyfully. Thus, they began a new fierce battle against the Shadows, now with full core members of SSS.

They blazed through every Shadows they met. Kanade and Rafi were taking vanguard position due to their skillsets, while others were killing Shadows that seeped through the crack. Kanade was flying with her {Angel Wings} and used her {Handsonic} to slash any Shadows. She looked like a Valkyrie even if she did a carnage. While Rafi also unfurled his {Devil Wings} as he swept through the Shadows using his spear of darkness {Gungnir}. To the onlookers, that two person seemed like a harmony of Angel and Devil as they battled the Shadows.

As they reached deeper, Shadows were increasing so much that only by holding them could others passed through. Kanade, Rafi and other SSS members opted to hold the Shadows at the junction, while Otonashi and Yuri was entrusted their hope to eliminate Shadows by destroying their programming source.

They felt that time passed slowly as they held Shadows from passing through them. After some times passed, As they were immersed in battling Shadows, they suddenly felt Shadows suddenly was gone. Realized Otonashi and Yuri was successful, they looked at each other before they were running to pick the two. Upon nearing there, they found Otonashi was walking with Yuri on his back. Otonashi said that Yuri was so relieved that she passed out after they finished destroying the Shadows source. Then they went back to school ground together after successfully eliminating the Shadows.

...

Two days passed just like that. After Yuri woke up, there was only a sleeping Otonashi beside her bed, accompanying her in infirmary.

Remebering her dream when she passed out, she couldn't help smiled peacefully. As she dreamed of her siblings giving her a forgiveness and telling her to move on living. Thinking about it, she couldn't help looking at the sleeping Otonashi beside her bed. That was the face a man she had fallen for. Imagining a future they could have after they passed on world of living, she couldn't help blushed lightly.

Looking around, she couldn't find another person beside her and Otonashi in infirmary. Thinking that others had passed on first, she couldn't help to feel some sour-whilst-happy relieved feelings. Drops of tears were leaking as she remembered her times with everyone in Afterlife. Times when she first founded SSS with Hinata, their adventure while meeting new friends, their usual Operations and their fight against Tenshi. She was still crying as Otonashi woke up and was looking at her worriedly.

Woken up by her tears, Otonashi looked at her worriedly. He couldn't be more worried as she was the one he loved. If somethings happened after their fight against Shadows, he couldn't help feeling an incoming headache hit him. Remembering that others were still waiting for him and Yuri, he tapped her shoulders lightly.

"Yuri, are you alright?", Otonashi asked worriedly.

"Wha..wha..you are waking up, Otonashi?", Yuri was startled by his sudden question.

"Hmm?? What's happening to you, Yuri? You seems strange..", Otonashi was confused seeing her reaction slightly different than her usual.

"Strange?! Don't joke around. I..I am Shinda Sekai Sensen's leader. How..how can I be strange, Otonashi." Yuri stuttered as she ansewered.

"Mm, maybe it is just my feeling. Then let's go to school hall, Yuri. Everyone is still waiting there he he." Otonashi laughing lightly said.

"Nn", Yuri nodded meekly.

'There is definitely something wrong with her', Otonashi couldn't help thinking, looking at her reaction.

After arriving at school hall, Yuri found all core members of SSS were still waiting there. They looked like normal highschoolers, with no strange accessories they usually worn.

"Ehh?! What is this, Otonashi?", Yuri asked in confusion.

"We decided to held a graduation, Yuri. Seeing that we would leave this place, we opted to hold graduation. It was Rafi and Kanade-chan's idea at beginning, but we decided to leave the memories of us here together for a last time." Otonashi explained while smiling.

"Nn."

And so they hold the graduation together. Hinata was acting as the school principal. Yuri was chosen as the student's representative. At her end of speech, she prayed, hoped that they would meet again in their next life later. As the graduation was finished, some of them was crying slightly as they said their farewell. In the end, there were only Otonashi, Hinata, Yuri, Kanade and Rafi still remaining in Afterlife.

"So, this is it then. It was a fun things founding SSS and doing various Operations with everyone. Now Yui might be waiting for me, I will be going first. Take care you four." Hinata was smiling longingly as he remembered Yui. He was waving to them as he disappeared.

"Uhh, this is rather awkward now. Then, we will be going first. Let's go, Yuri." Otonashi said as he hold Yuri's hand.

"Nn."

"But you are not permitted to forget me, Yuzuru. If you dare, I will find you and kick your ass later." Yuri said as she was pinching his ear while her other hand hold his hand tightly.

"Yes..yes..of course isn't it." Otonashi and Yuri were holding hands as they disappeared, leaving Kanade and Rafi alone.

"We become the last huh. Sure they like to show off aren't they, Kanade?"

"Un. It is our time to go, Rafi."

"The preparation are completed. Later if there are anyone come here, they should have seen the things we left behind. Hope they can realize it sooner, the purpose of Afterlife."

"Un."

"We will definifely meet again later, Kanade." Rafi said with conviction as he embraced her lightly.

"Un. We will." Kanade blushed slightly as he took her to his embrace.

She looked up at his face, gazing at him silently. She looked worriedly at him and her eyes was full of love and reluctance, as she felt that they might be separated for a long time. She was afraid that she would forget him and their times together in Afterlife when she passed on next life.

Seeing her worried face, her reluctance eyes, Rafi took her in his arm like carrying a princess. Gazing at her calmly, Rafi kissed her deeply as though reassuring her feelings. Being kissed by him suddenly, Kanade was shocked at first. Then, she started to return his kiss deeply, like she wanted to imprint their kiss in her heart.

After some times, their lips finally separated as Rafi and Kanade were gazing at each other. In their final moments, they were embracing each other as they disappeared from Afterlife.

~~~