The Book - Chapter 4
Lacrimosa is the fourth chapter of The Book: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure 4th Another Day, a light novel based on the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series.
Akari Hirai is reflecting on her life. After the fake-escape incident, she wonders how life could have gone differently. She comes to the conclusion that her life has no meaning, but her child's life might. Akari decides that even if she has to give her own life away, she would do everything she could to ensure that her baby leaves this alleyway.
Josuke Higashikata and Koichi Hirose are leaving Takuma Hasumi's former orphanage, with the knowledge of where he lives. The duo decides to pay him a visit tomorrow, and part ways. While Koichi was away, Yukako Yamagishi had called him, so he decides to return the call. After talking about what he and Josuke had accomplished at the orphanage, Yukako brings up the fact that Chiho Futaba's house is currently on fire. Koichi decides to call Josuke, but his mother, Tomoko Higashikata responds that she doesn't know where Josuke is. Koichi realizes how much of a fool he was for believing Josuke would leave Takuma alone until tomorrow.
Koichi uses his cell phone to call Josuke's cell phone (they had gotten cell phones in autumn). Josuke replies saying that Takuma's house is empty, and he asks Koichi if he knows any other places were Takuma might be at this hour. Koichi mentions the Thorn Building, and then hangs up the phone. Koichi left his bike at school, so he must walk to the Thorn Building. As he heads out of his home, he wonder which one of his allies lives closest to the Thorn Building.
With an hour left until the Thorn Building closes, Takuma is reading Chiho's transcript. It's about a love story set in Morioh, but he wasn't intrigued by it. As he looks out of the window, he sees an unusually bright light in the section of Morioh where Chiho's house is. Knowing that his job was finally done, he decides to leave Morioh as soon as he possibly could. Takuma reflects on how he didn't have to use his three knives hidden in his jacket. Thanks to his stand ability, he was able to perfectly throw a knife. Takuma hears a loud smattering of footsteps on the first floor of the library but eventually disregards it for the amount of fire engines traveling outside the building.
As Takuma looks outside, his chair suddenly moved as if it was being pulled by an invisible thread. Okuyasu Nijimura identifies Takuma, and Takuma provokes Okuyasu to success. Takuma throws a knife at Okuyasu, but Okuyasu uses his stand, The Hand, to remove it from existence. Takuma plays the event back in his mind, as he tries to evade Okuyasu's attacks.
No matter how far away Takuma got away from Okuyasu, he would end up at the same spot he started at. As Takuma runs away from Okuyasu trying to penetrate his defenses, he decides to name his own stand. Much like Okuyasu's "The Hand", a simple name for such a strong ability, he names his stand "The Book". The more Takuma is pulled by The Hand, the closer he gets to realizing the scope of its ability and how to defeat it. After provoking Okuyasu by bringing up Keicho Nijimura, he launches his attack.
On a perfect line of sight, Takuma throws a knife directly at Okuyasu. Okuyasu easily scrapes away this knife, but suddenly, another knife accelerates towards him rapidly. Takuma had counted on The Hand's "deletion" effect, and threw the first knife as a decoy for the second. Okuyasu notices this second knife just as soon as it's too late to bring The Hand back to delete it. Instead of having it fatally puncture his heart, he leans into the traveling knife, resulting in a mere cut on Okuyasu's skin. As Okuyasu races towards Takuma for another attack, Takuma uses a fire extinguisher to make another escape.
Takuma realizes that although he had not consciously tried to do it, he had vastly underestimated Okuyasu. Takuma's final knife had fallen to the ground, which was impossible for him to get to at this stage. He realizes the only weapon still in his arsenal is The Book, which had the same range of effect as The Hand: 2 Meters. Throughout the fight, Okuyasu reveals that he already knows 2 weaknesses of The Book (Range and Non-instantaneous Effect), but not the third weakness. This third weakness the fact that the user must perceive the book to feel the effect of Empathy.
After Okuyasu attacks him again, Takuma notices that Okuyasu has his knife in his hands. Okuyasu throws the knife at him, but very poorly, allowing Takuma to retrieve it. Takuma uses The Book to retrieve a "forbidden section", and baits Okuyasu near to him. As Takuma faces it towards Okuyasu, he is met with a small surprise. Okuyasu has closed his eyes, negating the effects of The Book's Empathy. Takuma makes a hasty retreat, and rewinds the events of the last minute in his memory.
He realizes that he must rethink his plan as soon as he figures out that Okuyasu had intentionally thrown the knife poorly, and rethink Okuyasu as well. Okuyasu walks over to where he threw the knife, and uses The Hand on the bookcase where it was lodged. The bookcase falls on top of Takuma, nearly crushing him. As Okuyasu starts to gloat about his apparent victory with Takuma trapped underneath the bookcase, he starts to cough. Takuma has given Okuyasu the effects of the Spanish Flu (influenza), and with Okuyasu delirious with fever, Takuma is easily able to escape from the bookcase.
Because Okuyasu had toppled over the bookcase, a massive flurry of books had overturned on both sides. One of those books was The Book, perfectly positioned so that the forbidden section would directly face Okuyasu. Since Okuyasu wasn't being careful with his eyes around several books, he gazed upon The Book while looking for Takuma, and Okuyasu was immediately affected by it.
As Takuma walks away from Okuyasu, he gathers his belongings as Okuyasu attempts to curse him out through his drooling. Takuma tries to leave the Thorn Building, but Okuyasu has blocked off all forms of escape by warping all the door frames and bending the window bars. Takuma knows of a secret path up to the roof of the building, and uses that in hopes of escaping. Takuma is not bleeding, but he has a lot of "heat" in the areas he was damaged in after the fight.
Akari Hirai has been stuck in the alleyway for at least 10 months. She wakes up to a sensation of pain, and realizes that her water has broken. After an hour of extreme pain, she went back to a state of relative normalcy. She realizes that Teruhiko only came around at night anyways, and she comes to the realization that she must give birth soon as the time between the waves of labor pain grows shorter.
As Takuma slowly climbs the staircase up to the roof, he reflects on his sister, Chiho. Although he had every emotion in the world for her, he was never able to provide the emotion of love for her. He had faked it until the very end, while holding back his own feelings of guilt and nausea throughout. He reaches the top of the building, and looks all throughout Morioh from this vantage point. Takuma can pick out Chiho Futaba's house burning down, realizing that Teruhiko Futaba is certainly burning up right now. However, a voice starts talking right behind him.
Josuke Higashikata talks about how he wasn't able to cure Okuyasu's symptoms, but called an ambulance for him. Takuma realizes that the largest mistake he had ever made in his life was fail to kill Josuke as he sees him standing right behind him. Josuke and Takuma trade words for a small amount of time, when Josuke summons his stand, Crazy Diamond, ready to fight.
Josuke and Takuma are on opposite points of the roof, with a distance of at least 20 meters between the two of them. Josuke starts punching a wall right behind him, leaving extreme clouds of dust in the air. He then throws a large piece of rubble directly at Takuma, with it missing and landing at Takuma's feet. With Takuma shortly realizing that this could shortly turn fatal, he hides behind a spire for cover. As Takuma hides from Josuke, who knows exactly where he is, Takuma uses The Book to figure out Crazy Diamond's attacks on him.
Takuma thinks that Josuke hasn't figured out as much as The Book as Okuyasu had during their fight, and decides to not make the same mistakes to finish the fight in one move. As Takuma thinks of his next move, the upper part of the spire is suddenly blown away by an extremely large piece of rubble which Crazy Diamond has just thrown. Takuma, realizing the deadliness of this situation, stuffs his mouth with snow to stop himself from talking into a grave. Josuke was also tracking the exhalations from Takuma's mouth, so having snow in his mouth would negate this effect.
Takuma then jumps out from behind the spire and turns a forbidden section of the book to Josuke's face. Josuke, who already knows the conditions of activating The Book's empathy, has his eyes closed. Takuma quickly throws a knife towards Josuke's heart, but his aim is led astray as several of his bones suddenly break. The knife leaves a cut on Josuke's cheek. The first piece of rubble that Josuke had thrown at Takuma suddenly slammed into Takuma's back.
Takuma is bleeding profusely with his insides extremely rattled. Josuke had used Crazy Diamond's restoration power to call a piece of rubble back to his location, angled so that it would strike Takuma in the back. Josuke reveals how he knew to close his eyes, which was because Okuyasu had gurgled "Don't Look" while stabbing his own eyes out with his own fingers. Okuyasu had lodged two fingers into his sockets, knowing perfectly well Josuke would heal him. Takuma notices that Josuke has not healed the cut on his cheek, and can deduce that Josuke can not use his own ability to heal himself.
Takuma decides to tell a short story before he launches any counter attack, and that is of the tale of Josuke's hair. Takuma starts talking about Josuke's mysterious savior, and Takuma talks about how he could find Josuke's savior using his ability. He had memorized every high schooler's face by that point in time, and he convinces Josuke to let him open up the book to look for it. As Takuma feigns looking for the savior, he takes a break to insinuate that Josuke had saved himself that night. As Josuke relaxes for a moment out of confusion, Takuma throws Crybaby Boy's Fountain Pen at him.
Josuke was able to smack the pen out of his way in time, with the ink in the pen splashing onto his face due to the amount of force. Josuke prevents the ink spray from getting into his eyes. As he immediately starts punching towards Takuma's, his eyelids accidentally slip open for a second, and he "empathizes" with Takuma's car accident. Takuma also quickly retrieves both suicide attempts and attempts them to Josuke, hoping to finish him off in the middle of his assault.
Even though Josuke has been hit with enough pain to cause any human to double over in extreme pain, Crazy Diamond's fists finally connect with Takuma's cheek due to his intense self-determination. Takuma's teeth spill out all over the roof as well as blood pouring out of his mouth. Josuke says that either way, he doesn't really care about changing his life, saying that he's found nothing cooler than his hairstyle. The Book spills out a great number of pages, a large amount of his memories scattering into the wind like a flock of birds.
With liquid drenching her thighs, Akari Hirai pushes with all of her strength on her abdominal muscles. As the cry echoes between the walls, to a very narrow strip of sky above it, a baby boy is born.
When Takuma Hasumi was 12 years old, he went to the exact alleyway to collect his mother's body. He throws down the rope and descends into the alley. As he looks around the rotting books and cardboard, he finds white things scattered on the ground. He had left the alley with a black necklace as well as a postcard, and vows to take revenge on his father.
Josuke Higashikata remains in the zone in which Takuma Hasumi can finish him off, yet Takuma's injuries left him unable to do a thing. Takuma realizes that he lost because he had just lived too long. Since he had too many memories, it took longer for the book to flip between the memories of his life. This time loss was the reason why Josuke was able to hit him before he could get the memory of suicide out. A pure test of speed is mutually agreed on, with the winner leaving with their life.
Since a good chunk of Takuma's memories have disappeared, he is able to get to the fatal car accident page a lot faster. Josuke readies his punch and the race starts. However as Takuma turns to the page, he is met with all of his past memories. Beautiful memories from larger points play back in his mind and it slows down his turning of the pages. As he nears the car accident, Crazy Diamond's punch strikes him, shattering his ribcage. He loses his foot on the roof and falls off, with Josuke catching him.
Takuma reflects on his very first memory, only one of a handful he could reflect on anyways. He reflects on the three days he spent near his mother in the alleyway, and he recalls his mother's wish for him. By instinct, he gained the ability to "not forget".
Josuke has used up the last of his energy and is grasping on Takuma's left jacket sleeve as Takuma dangles off the side of the Thorn Building. The jacket starts to rip as Takuma reflects on why Josuke is saving his life. Above him, all he can see is whatever remains of The Book scattering across the town like snow. Although broken bones are poking through his skin, he musters any strength he has left to unbutton his jacket with his left hand. The last of his memories are him descending down the side of the Thorn Building, pulled by gravity. Eventually, all of his pages dissolved into the wind.