Since explaining everything in a way that would even make remotely sense to any of the girls would take a lot of time and patience, Touma decided to finish the job by destroying the hat and the scarf that Constantine had used to teleport around, before fleeing the scene. Of course Mikoto didn't want to let him go that easily, but she was convinced by the others that staying behind to ensure the madman did no more damage was more important.
Finally Anti-Skill arrived, after Kazari called them and reported the destruction to the district. They took the man and his belongings into their van, and thanked the girls for assisting in capturing the criminal. They could also report that the strange incidents across town seemed to have stopped, though they had no explanation of their origin.
And so, the next day rolled around without much ado.
"I'm glad the incident ended with no lives lost!" Kazari sighed into her soda.
"The damages are big though." Ruiko said, looking over from their spot at a sidewalk café to the side entrance of Seventh Mist. It was under reconstruction, part of the street closed off due to the work with straightening out the road.
"As is the paperwork…" Kuroko muttered. She was lying with her chin on the table, gazing at her soda as if it was an unreachable oasis. She had bags under her eyes and looked pretty much beaten.
"Well, good luck with that." Mikoto said, supporting her head with one hand. "So who was that purple guy really?" She'd spent all night trying to find that moron, and in the end only found too little sleep. Her eyebrows twitched in annoyance.
"Obviously he is an Esper. There is no other explanation." Kuroko sighed, pulling herself up. "Anti-Skill has no more information regarding his identity either. He may have been equipped with utilities to enhance his power, or maybe he's part of a cyborg experiment."
"There are rumors he is the subject of some advanced technological research facility in District 23." Kazari said.
"I heard he was part of an American experiment and that they're trying to create a new type of Espers!" Ruiko said excitedly.
"Hm…" Mikoto looked thoughtful. There were a lot of things she felt was left unanswered here. But in the end, none of it really mattered. She sighed. "Well, at least those strange things stopped happening." She still felt awkward about everything that had happened, and would like to just forget it all.
"Right?" Kuroko slyly latched herself onto her arm. "But experiencing a day in Onee-sama's shoes has given me the opportunity to see us in a completely new light! From now on, Kuroko will make sure to make every day a living paradise for Onee-sama –"
"No, thank you."
"Then at least take up on my suggestion of some anger management lessons—"
"Why would I want to do that-?"
As the Tokiwadai students started arguing, Kazari looked over at Ruiko. She seemed thoughtful.
"What's wrong, Saten-san?"
"Huh?" Ruiko looked up at her. "Oh, nothing... I just… after everything that happened, I was thinking… I feel kind of content being a Level 0 for now." She smiled and rubbed her neck while reddening slightly.
"Aaah…" Kazari blinked.
"Ah, I don't mean that I think it's okay if I never gain an ability or anything!" Ruiko hurried to add. "But after going through all that, I think it's better to be like this…" She sighed. "It was amazing, but it was just too much for me. I feel better if I can stand back and watch." She smiled sheepishly.
Kazari smiled and looked over at Mikoto (currently grappling Kuroko in a chokehold). "Well, without Saten-san's help we would have been much worse off this time. I think you're right though; it's much easier to be on the sideline." She smiled at Ruiko. "Still, I'm sure Saten-san will gain an ability that is equally as amazing as anyone else's!"
Ruiko looked surprised, but then she smiled too.
And that's how it's wrapped up this time.
I'm sad to say I couldn't include all of my ideas at once in this story – like having Mikoto and Kuroko switch abilities as well, or having Ruiko and Kazari wake up with their abilities in chapter 1. As you might imagine, the story would be completely different in that case. Though I wish I could write it all, I had fun either way!
This story (or its underlying plot line) has potential for continuation, but if I ever do get the urge to continue, it'll be in a sequel.
Thanks to everyone who keeps reading my stories and reviews and favorites etc! Thanks to you, I am always apprehensive when posting a new chapter; "Will this be cool, or stupid?" "Will people get this joke or is it just lame?" "I hope nobody catches this attempt to wriggle out of a plot hole…" "Wait, maybe he should move to the left instead of to the right! …But what does it matter!"
(I said the epilogue would be boring. It's an epilogue! It's supposed to be read right after the superb last chapter to calm down your mind and go like 'aaah, that was an awesome ride.' Well, hopefully that's what'll happen.)
See you next story?