|Period 42: Best Friend Chocolate|
|Previous||Period 41: The Erasing Blackboard|
|Next||Period 43: Marionette's Lover|
Mari and Hina are the best of friends. But after accepting chocolate from the mysterious Chiyoko-san, Hina finds Mari becoming distant with her.
While observing the large variety of chocolate Yomi brings up that Valentines Day is approaching once again. She picks up one and says the story is inspired by friendship chocolate, then asks what kind the Readers like.
On Valentines Day, Mari and Hina -two best friends- exchange handmade chocolate. Mari compliments Hina's efforts and mentions that she put strawberry into hers because she knows how much Hina likes pink. But after they both hand out some chocolate to nearby classmates, Hina is left feeling grumpy when they suddenly start wondering why Mari would even be with someone like Hina due to how different they are. They point out how smart and kind she is, and how she's very talented and a good cook- it doesn't make sense.
Suddenly Mari begins to laugh, confusing Hina who claims it isn't funny. She explains that it's funny because they have been together since first grade. Even if they are different, they can't just forget a friendship that's stood strong all these years.
In narration Hina mentions how happy and proud she is to be friends with Mari. She would be very happy if she felt the same way about her.
Once school ends, Hina quickly makes her way home when she notices the time. She worriedly tries to hurry up, deciding to take a picture of the chocolate Mari gave her before she eats it when she nearly runs into a thin and withered, older girl with her face covered by her muffler and long hair. Hina is shaken by her sudden presence when the strange girl holds out a present box to her. She shoves it into HIna's hands and takes off, leaving her confused as she observes it. A few students walk by when Hina tosses the present into the garbage, feeling uneasy about accepting a strangers gift like this.
The following day at the shoe lockers, Hina tells Mari about how good the chocolate tasted. She grumpily points out that he barely acknowledged hers as she reaches up to find the present again. Mari curiously questions this and Hina admits not to knowing when she suggests opening it to see. Nervous, Hina looks to find chocolate inside, but she panics and throws it aside and runs off.
In class Mari brings this up and asks if she is okay, and Hina explains how she rushed to get home and cut through Aoyama Park when she bumped into a strange woman. She looked suspicious and she gave her the chocolate. As Mari anxiously asks if she got a good look at her- a male classmate joins them and recognizes the woman as Chiyoko-san. Seeing as the girls have no idea, he explains the rumor as a few friends join him. Around this time of year Chiyoko goes around delivering chocolate to girls. But they're only girls from their school. Confused, Hina asks why this is and he goes on to explain that ever since she was a child Chiyoko was unable to make friends. She had a dark personality and kept to herself, so she grew up very lonely. But now she dearly wants a friend and as such, she's began to make chocolate that she gives out.
It's said that if someone accepts her chocolate, she will follow them and eventually take them away.
With other students now listening in on them, several begin to grow uneasy and wonder if this is why a girl vanished sometime back; causing Hina further concern. She recalls technically she did accept the chocolate, because Chiyoko pushed it into her hands and fled. Even though she rejected the present, she later opened it.
Mari insists that Hina not worry about it and she accuses the boys of only poking fun at her. While nervous, Hina hesitantly agrees as their Teacher shows up and class begins. As she sits down, Hina panics upon spotting the re-wrapped gift now in her desk. Mari observes her upon noticing how worked up she suddenly is and she yells out, wondering how it got there. Mari tries to calm her down, with her classmates beginning to worry as the boy from earlier remarks upon this belonging to Chiyoko.
During lunch, Hina approaches a few girls and invites them to jump rope with her outside- but they quickly come up with an excuse saying they need to visit the restroom. She sadly realizes this probably has something to do with Chiyoko, but Mari approaches her and makes her feel better, holding up the rope and suggests they go out to play. She happily agrees and they head out, with Mari assuring her that she will be okay since she handed the chocolate over, and they have a patrol set up circling the school to make sure nothing happens.
However, Hina asks if she is really okay to be with her due to Chiyoko and all. This doesn't matter to Mari though, and she claims how how she would hate to be away from Hina. They'll always be best friends. Touched by Mari's kindness, Hina begins to cry when suddenly panicked students rush inside and they follow after them to spy on the teachers room. One of them had just been given chocolate and they are shocked, realizing Chiyoko must be in the school somewhere. Students suddenly begin to point fingers at her, causing Hina grief until Mari shouts at them and claims she isn't to blame. But as she is about to speak, she is suddenly overcome by fear and goes silent.
Confused by this, Hina questions Mari's sudden change when she notices her other classmates behaving weirdly. She turns towards the window to see Chiyoko standing there, silently gesturing for Hina to come over. Hina angrily rejects her though, and tells Mari to contact their Teachers. But she is stunned when Mari uneasily rejects and runs away from her.
As Hina sadly watches this and the remaining classmates take off, she remains silent as the teachers -having heard all the commotion- come out to see what is going on. But they find nobody, asking Hina as anxiety causes her to collapse.
By now it is pouring down rain, and once school ends Mari takes off with a few other girls, with Hina still in a gloomy mood as she watches her friend leave her behind. With what happened today, her teacher comes by and brings up that her parents will be picking her up and she brings her to the staff room. As she is about to head into the room she notices Mari and a few girls nearby, and her depression worsens as she hears them discuss their surprise that Mari would leave her so suddenly, and how they pity her due to losing all of her friends now. Mari claims that this is simply because she can't do anything more to help her- they have to rely on the adults to handle it.
Hurt and angered over her sudden abandonment, Hina mentally tells Mari off for being a cold, mean person. She trails Mari and the other girls and waits until they take off, leaving Mari alone on the stairs. She shows up from behind and reminds her of what she said earlier before coldly shoving her down the stairs.
Hearing the teacher, Hina quickly turns away and runs out of the school and straight for home. As she calms down realizing nobody saw this, she panics upon remembering her mother went to school to pick her up and quickly she locks the door. She approaches the nearby table and takes off her wet clothing while patiently waiting and reminding herself that she isn't to blame for what happened. She begins to check her phone when she sees that Mari sent her a text around lunch, apologizing for what happened and asking that Hina not to be so overwhelmed. She explains how she had a plan to catch Chiyoko set up with the Teachers; their plan was to keep Hina isolated and lure her somewhere that Chiyoko would show up so that they could get her. Although this plan is a little painful, she asks that she follows it and makes sure to stay with an adult at all times. She wants Chiyoko to be caught quickly so that they can resume playing together again.
As she suddenly realizes what happened, Hina is unable to hold back tears of remorse for what she did. She stands up and decides that she must find Mari and tell her that she's sorry for not trusting her, now feeling guilty for what she did. Her phone suddenly starts to ring but she ignores it; only to find Chiyoko standing at her doorway. Frozen in fear, Hina sees that she broke through the locks she set as Chiyoko approaches her and forces the chocolate into her mouth. She loses conciousness soon after, with her last thoughts being of Mari.
Time has passed, and Mari has been worried sick standing by the phone waiting for Hina to answer. She is shown to have her head bandaged but otherwise appears to be okay. A nurse approahes her and tells her that she should be resting, with Mari hesitantly agreeing and hanging up. But to her horror, the nurse holds up a present, saying that a strange woman showed up with it for her.
Yomi mentions that if one doubts their friend they could always contact Chiyoko-san and ask her to take them away. She asks if they trust their best friend and happily responds, saying that if Chiyoko-san approaches they won't have to worry; as long as they have true, good friends. As she wonders where she might appear next time, she is shown laying in a large wrapped present box full of melted chocolate.
- This is the third Valentines or Romantic holiday inspired chapter.
- However, this is the first and only one written in the platonic sense and takes place between two friends.
- This chapter shares various traits with Period 7:
- Both have a Protagonist who adores her best friend and is nothing like her, so others often question their relationship.
- Both deal with the Protagonist's friend seemingly turn on her.
- Mari and Megu share a passing resemblance and have similar personalities and traits. As well as four-letter names starting with an M.
- Both Mari and Megu call the Protagonist to explain the truth behind their behavior and how they genuinely care for the Protagonist after the Protagonist has done something to spite them.
- Both periods end with the Protagonist being taken away.