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E6 - 6 This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.

This is the Epilogue from Chapter 10 of the Toradora! Light Novel series. The text is from Baka-tsuki.

Transcript

There is something in this world which no one has ever seen.

"... Ooh, ooh, ooh..."

"Yin! Yin, Yin, Yin Yin Yin... Yin... Yiiiiin~~!"

"That's good, that's the way... It's very cute... Hey hey, stop it Inko-chan, that tickles."

"LING!"

Bathed in sunlight, the hideous looking bird bit on Ryuuji's thumb. Ryuuji pulled Inko-chan's beak away from his thumb, which had been bitten many times.

"OF JOY--"

"TOY!!!"

"Very good!"

Ryuuji blinked his eyes movingly, and patted the head of the ugly bird perched on his finger. Perhaps it felt good for him that way: Inko-chan drooled white foam from his beak, rolled his eyes upwards and shuddered all over. "Yes, yes, good boy...", Ryuuji couldn't resist kissing him on the head. He could actually swallow Inko-chan in one gulp. But since Inko-chan was so cute, he probably wouldn't deem himself human if he did that. That's it for today's chatting. Ryuuji thought and then gently placed Inko-chan back into his cage.

Right-- Ryuuji looked at the time. It was seven forty-five.

"... Damn!"

Time had passed so quickly. Ryuuji thought it was only seven thirty. How could he afford to be late for the school opening ceremony on his first day as a third year student?

"By the way, my hair!"

Ryuuji rushed into the bathroom and looked into the mirror. "Eeek--!" His hair had to be in such a weird shape today of all days. Maybe if I wear a baseball cap... No, I think I'll wear a wig! Hey, how come the hair at the back of my head is so fluffy!? He frantically combed his hair, trying to smooth it with his wet fingers.

"Dammit dammit dammit...!"

Wearing his socks, he came to the living room, pulling out Yasuko's hair accessories basket from the cupboard, he searched for a hairspray, mousse or wax that could help smooth out his messy hair. Anything will do, just think of something.

"Ryuu-chan, what'cha looking for?"

"My hair! I need to sort it out! Or I won't be able to go out like this!"

"Ah~~ that! Ryuu-chan, you're holding a special wax made for bed hair! Here, let Ya-chan put it on for you~~"

Yasuko, having woken up and changed after having breakfast with Ryuuji, went behind him and smeared a few doses of wax on his hair, she then combed a few wet strands before squeezing them tightly. Ryuuji looked anxiously at the clock,

"Oh man... I'm so gonna be late. What about you? When you leaving?"

"Ya-chan will be fine~~ It'll be okay long as I'm in the store before ten~~ Alright, now just blow the wet parts with a hair dryer and you're done."

Ryuuji quickly returned to the bathroom and hurriedly took out the hair dryer and plugged in the electric cord. "You okay?", said Yasuko, who had to cut her hair short since it was badly damaged before. She now resembled her mother Sonoko. Though she didn't seem to like it very much, and declared loudly that she's going to grow it long again.

Since that day, Sonoko had come to visit three times already, while Seiji had come once. Ryuuji and Yasuko also returned to visit them once. The days since that tearful reunion turned out to be rough, as there were occasionally some friction between the parents and the child that had run away from home for so long. Though Yasuko had been retired from Bishamonten Kuni since March, not because of her parents, but because of her boss, who had arranged for the second most popular hostess Shizuyo to take over as the new Mama-san, while Yasuko would be put in charge of their new store branch.

The branch was named "Okonomiyaki Benzaiten Kuni". Ryuuji heard there would be interviews for new recruits today.

"You done?"

"... I give up!"

Ryuuji pressed down his Inko-chan-like hair and stared at himself in the mirror. I'll be a third year high schooler from today, He tried to wrinkle his brow, and decided this look would do. I've done what I could do, it's better than being late anyway.

He then rushed into his room, in which the curtains were closed, and tore off the laundry wrapping on top of his uniform and threw it in the bin, and put on his gakuran uniform.

A young couple whom he'd never met before had moved into the apartment opposite from his window. As they didn't like the idea of having their neighbors looking at them all day, their Venetian blinds were always closed, hence Ryuuji too never bothered to open his curtains. No matter, since there's hardly any sunlight even if I do open it.

Ryuuji grabbed his cellphone, and then took his bag and ran out,

"I'm off!"

"Take care~~! Don't worry~~! Ryuuji's the most handsome man in the whole world!"

"..."

Is this what they call doting?

Ryuuji nearly tripped at his mother's affection, but he still managed to quickly put on his shiny shoes. He grabbed the door knob and opened it wide.

He was soon basking under the bright spring sunlight.

The light was blindingly dazzling, carrying the fragrance of the flowers and warm winds. Ryuuji opened his mouth and breathed in the outside air.

Making footstep sounds as he ran down the stairs, he shouted, "Morning!" "Whoa! Don't suddenly shout like that!" ... And nearly gave the landlord, who was sweeping his entrance, a heart attack.

A new life was about to begin.

A new semester, a new class, a new homeroom teacher, new classmates, all would begin on this brand new day. Walking step by step full of energy, he moved ever forward.

"Taiga."

Walking in great strides with his chest up.

"How would you move forward?"

Right now I am moving with all my stride. I believe I'm heading to where you are, I believe I will meet you once again on this path.

So you must also...


"Ugh!?"

"Wah!"

There is something in this world which no one has ever seen.

It is soft and sweet.

If it is spotted, I'm sure everyone will want to have it,

Which is why no one has ever seen it.

For this world has hidden it quite well, so that it is difficult to obtain.

But, there will come a day when it is discovered by somebody,

And only those who should obtain it will be able to find it.

If he opened his eyes, Ryuuji would also find it, as long as he moved firmly forward.

And so too would Taiga.


That is all.

"... Owwww.....! YOU! You, you, you, you, you!"

His words became incoherent due to his tongue being numb from the collision.

"Why have you...", he managed to speak, not noticing that the bag he slung over his shoulder had fallen to the ground.

The shock had overwhelmed his vision like a very strong glitter, as though everything had been taken away from him.

"... Why!? When'd you return!? How'd you come back!?"

Taiga sat right before Ryuuji, who was clutching his chin. She wore what seemed to be her usual old uniform, but in fact was brand new. She sat moaning clutching her head, which had collided into Ryuuji's chin, unable to get up.

"Whoa, hey... you okay!?"

"... I feel a bit dizzy... By. The. Way--"

Glare! Taiga opened her eyes, which had been hidden behind her tiny hands, and gave Ryuuji a very murderous glare. Even when she is small enough to fit in someone's palm, a Tiger was still a Tiger. She leaped over fiercely,

"I've been wa~~iting here all this time for you! What took you so long!? You're late, you know!? And you didn't even notice my presence when you walked right into me! Why haven't you-"

Ryuuji tightly embraced Taiga's tiny figure with all his strength without any hesitation.

"-Embraced me right away!?"

So fierce, so strong, so tiny, so soft, so bashful, so cute-- this was Taiga.

"Sorry."

Taiga was always so sudden.

Suddenly appearing, suddenly bumping into Ryuuji, suddenly taking his heart away completely. She was always like that from the beginning. He knew it would turn out like this as they embraced each other, breathing deeply, and shouted, You're back! You're back! I'm back! I'm back! They were glad that she was able to come back, both of their worlds were filled with joy.

Their embrace was full of love, slowly opening their eyes, which were slightly tearful, they looked at each other and spoke of their respective loneliness all this time before now while smiling all the way.

"It's Taiga! Taiga! Taiga! It really is you! ... It really is Taiga!"

"Yes, it's me, Ryuuji! My dear Ryuuji!"

"... How is it that you could come back!?"

"Mom withdrew my application to drop out, and changed it to me taking a leave instead, which was why I could come back. Though it's not like the school could agree right away, not to mention after causing such a huge commotion, everything's in such a mess that she didn't tell me until not long ago."

"What about your apartment!? Where're you living now!? You... dammit! What were you doing all this time!? Where have you been all along!? You didn't even contact me!"

"Right there..."

Taiga moved her wet eyes and motioned to the white apartment block by the side, her voice still full of laughter,

"I can't go back there anymore. But I still live nearby, just over there. You can all come visit my house! It's very near!"

"...Of course I'll be coming! Definitely!"

"Mom and my new Dad will be there... as well as my little brother! He's cute! They've all rented a house nearby just for me! Though on the condition that I take care of my brother when she's at work. But we'll be moving out as soon as I graduate, you know?"

"I see."

"Thought so."

According to Ryuuji, on the road that led to his future, he would marry Taiga and begin his dream of living together with her. Taiga would no doubt be dreaming the same dream. Everyone would be in that dream as well. It was because such a beautiful dream awaited them that they were able to smile so happily and ecstatically.

"Everyone's gonna be so surprised when they see me, right? I haven't told anyone else yet... not even Minorin, Bakachi or Kitamura-kun."

"Then let's give them a good surprise. Let's go! Or we're really gonna be late!"

"Okay!"

Ryuuji gently picked up his bag on the ground and turned. The two of them began running along the usual beech-laden road. Each of them took the other's hand, and they looked at each other and smiled.


A brand new life was about to begin.


(The End)

Light Novel
Main Series' Volumes

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