Seiji had seen movies, manga, anime, and stories, and played games about the topic of the end of the world. He felt that they were quite fun and even immersive.
The potential end of the world was scary, pitiful, tragic, and horrifying… Yet, why was this genre so popular and repeated so much in so many different forms?
Because it was a warning?
No. Although that would be a standard answer, it was too vague. In modern society where even entertainment was a form of business, the answer was far simpler.
As someone who enjoyed this genre himself, Seiji's answer to this question was: because it was interesting.
Yes, simply because it was interesting.
Seeing such a story with a "tragic" background setting, or playing such a "scary" game was quite interesting.
It wasn't that he was happy to see others' misfortune, even if it was only fictional… Yet, he couldn't deny that there was also some darkness in his own heart.
In this way, although by only a tiny percent, he was similar to Itsuki Kamitani. Seiji was just like everyone else here. He would also have negative emotions.
When he was in pain or feeling depressed, Seiji had also thought things like "everything should all be destroyed" before.
But now that he was running by himself on a dark and icy street, feeling like the end of the world had truly arrived, Seiji could only sigh.
Although he felt that Armageddon genre stories were interesting, this definitely didn't mean that he actually wanted to experience being in one!
Even though this wasn't exactly a true Armageddon yet, it still felt quite serious.
People had collapsed on the street. Cars were parked haphazardly in the streets. All drivers and passengers were slumped over in a deep sleep in their cars. Car accidents were everywhere… Fortunately, most of the accidents weren't serious.
Whenever Seiji came upon a serious car accident, he stopped to help the injured, treating their wounds with healing magic.
Although time and Mana were both precious right now, Seiji couldn't bring himself not to save someone in need right in front of him.
If he had to choose between random strangers or his friends, Seiji would naturally choose his friends. But, right now, he still had some time and Mana to spare. He believed that his friends wouldn't blame him for it.
Seiji wasn't cold or arrogant enough not to want to save these people just because he had the ability to save and load and go back in time to prevent this from happening in the first place.
The random strangers who received his healing were lucky enough to be on the way between his apartment and Natsuya's mansion. He wasn't going to go around the entire city and check on every single severe accident.
Neither was he able to care for those who were too seriously injured, or the corpses that he saw.
Some people he saw were so seriously injured that even healing magic couldn't save them. Naturally, the same went for corpses. Although Seiji now had the power to even revive the dead, that wasn't something he could use on everyone, especially when he needed to preserve power right now.
Even though Seiji saved whom he could, it was only a drop in the ocean compared to the havoc wreaked upon the entire city. He knew that he probably saved less than 1% of those who needed saving.
So, was it meaningless…? He didn't think so.
Saving even a single person had meaning. But, in front of such tremendous misfortune and tragedy… It truly made him feel tiny in the grand scope of things.
Damn it all!
Seiji suppressed his emotions as he continued onward.
Mayuzumi felt like she was floating in the middle of an icy, lonely darkness.
A chill permeated her entire body down to the bones.
She felt uncomfortable and scared… However, a gentle warmth remained in her head, protecting her mind.
'He'll come to save you,' a voice told her.
Although she didn't know who was saying this to her, she knew who would come to save her.
In this type of situation… he was the only one who would come save her.
He would definitely come. That was why she didn't need to be scared or worried. She simply needed to quietly wait.
Mayuzumi kept thinking this. But after quite a while, it seemed like something else was approaching, or maybe slowly appearing.
That something appeared to be just as dark as the darkness itself, but it was also different.
It was frightening, terrifying, and mysterious… it was something extraordinary.
As long as she reached out and touched it, accepting it, she could wake up instantly! Mayuzumi had such a feeling.
She didn't need to wait to be rescued. She could wake up immediately and gain immense power.
Come, come, come…
She didn't need to rely on anyone else. She only needed to reach out with her hand.
Hearing this summon, Mayuzumi slowly extended her arm and reached out.
That something suddenly became active as if it was excited, expectant, and eager…
But right before Mayuzumi was about to touch it, she stopped.
'No… I shouldn't do this.
'He'll be here soon to save me. There's no need for me to touch something like this.
'Rather than this mysterious existence, he's far more reliable.'
Mayuzumi thought this to herself as she slowly pulled back her hand.
That something fell silent for a moment, and then seemingly became frustrated!
"Come! Come! Come! Don't you want to wake up!?"
Mayuzumi's hand paused for a moment, but then she took her hand back completely and started hugging herself.
"You won't wake up! You'll die!! Come to me!!!"
The mysterious existence became even more frustrated. It made an ear-piercing sound that resembled countless people screaming together.
Hearing this sound, Mayuzumi had a faint realization as she hugged herself even tighter.
'I won't touch or accept you.
'I shall wait for him.
'He will be the one to wake me up, not you.'
The screeching sound became even louder.
Yet, Mayuzumi ignored it.
She ignored whatever that something was. She didn't think about what it could be, nor was she curious.
She only thought about him, waiting for him like a sleeping princess who awaited the prince who would wake her up.
And then, he arrived.
Her head was dizzy, and her vision was incredibly hazy. She couldn't hear anything clearly, and her body felt cold and stiff.
However, the bone-piercing chill was dissipating. Her vision and hearing were gradually restored. Her mind began to work again.
"It's wonderful that you woke up, Mayuzumi." She saw a handsome youth smiling and looking at her.
Mayuzumi blinked and smiled.
Seiji had now already rescued all of his companions and brought them to the Spirit House.
Due to the White Sakura Goddess's protection, everyone was alright. Everyone had woken up soon after being brought to the Spirit House. They all made full recovery.
It was good that everyone had been rescued. However, the situation still wasn't good… No, saying that it wasn't good would be an understatement.
"The current situation is highly dangerous."
Seiji took a serious tone as he explained the current situation to everyone. A giant bright red cherry blossom tree had appeared and covered the entire sky. Dense white mist was everywhere…
"The city is just like an Armageddon setting now. People in deep sleep collapsed everywhere. Even at my most conservative estimate, the number of people affected will be more than one million!"
More than one million victims… If this incident wasn't resolved quickly enough, then such a tremendous number of people would all die!
Just imagining this tragedy sent chills down everybody's spines. Not to mention, everyone here had friends and relatives who were in such a state in the city right now…
"This incident absolutely must be resolved!" Seiji looked at all his companions. "We must give it our all! The issue now is what we should do. I believe that the most direct method is to head to that giant tree. That should be the root of everything. Something will definitely be there. However, that will be no different from heading directly into the strongest boss monster's nest. It might be suicidal. So, maybe we shouldn't be so reckless. We should think of what else we could do… At the very least, we need some more information."
"We could try going to Soul Society," Natsuya suggested.