Kasuga Hikaru is class rep for class 2-A, and unbeknownst to anyone but herself and her tsukaima, a magical girl. As she passes out handouts in class, she detects a magical presence. Since youma have been the cause of several suicides recently, she investigates by walking the hallways. She bumps into Izumi Nakano, who she has a brief word with (and gives a strange glance).
Nakano, meanwhile, has been called to the office. A string of mysterious murders has had everyone in her family on edge. After her run-in of sorts with Kasuga Hikaru, she proceeds to the roof instead (while, unbeknownst to her, Hikaru follows and watches). She takes a moment to collect herself, and begins to head to the office when Hikaru confronts her. They banter for a moment, only to be interrupted by a policewoman, who has come looking for Nakano. Hikaru lies and says she hasn’t seen Nakano all day, and the policewoman leaves. While she confronts Nakano about the encounter, Hikaru notices a familiar, but still unsettling presence watching the two of them. Nakano is allowed to leave, and heads for the faculty office, where the policewoman was waiting for her. After a brief questioning, the policewoman lets her go, and Nakano returns to class.
(When Nakano left for the faculty office, Hikaru got a chance to confer with the presence — the tsukaima, Ireko. Ireko mentions that Nakano has the potential to become a maho shojo, and suggests to Hikaru the possibility of them becoming allies if she does. She also asks Hikaru to research the suicides of her classmates, which Hikaru does by talking to the school therapist.)
We don’t meet Tsubasa Suzume until after school, when she heads to the dog shelter she volunteers at. A loud commotion in the kennel catches her attention, and when she goes to investigate, a monster is attacking the head veterinarian. She notices it immediately and stands her ground, staring it down intently. This strategy buys her time, but even afforded the opportunity to leave, she refuses to back down. As an attack loomed, she found strength she didn’t know she had and called on a new power inside her – the power to command monsters. The abomination flees into the night. The only people who saw it were Suzume, the veterinarian (who is not handling the affair too well), and the vet tech – who now lays dead on the kennel floor. She is hauled away by EMTs that arrive following someone calling the police, and released into her parents care that evening.
Ueda-san’s first day of school is a jarring experience, considering it’s her first time ever at a school, period. She prepared as much as she could, but the experience was just terribly foreign. She listened as people talked about the career sheet in homeroom, but was too on edge to really strike up conversation and make a new friend. On her second day, after homeroom ends, she rushes on to her next class. Ascending the stairs, she feels something watching her, but ignores it and continues on. In math class, she makes a friend in Funayari Mio, a transfer student. When a pretest gets passed back, the student in front of her won’t hand her her test; she begins mumbling strange but familiar words. When Ayano-sensei tries to intervene, she grabs the teacher by the throat; Kasumi attempts to subdue her, but then she refocuses on Kasumi, nearly throwing her out the third story window. Luckily the girl is subdued by the teacher and Mio, all the while screaming “GO THROUGH THE FIRE”. Kasumi is sent home, Ayano is bruised but okay, and the student (named Sahara-san) has been committed — three of her friends are recent suicide victims, and her parents and counselors fear she presents a threat to herself and those around her. The next day, she is visited by Ireko, who tells her briefly about the nature of magic, and to seek out Kasuga Hikaru.
After the second day, we are introduced to Gengakki Neiro, a cellist and a somewhat reserved student. She has made friends with the more outgoing Nakano Izumi, and together they discuss the recent attack and go out to get frozen yogurt together. While they talk, unbeknownst to them something is happening – they are only made aware of it when they realize time has fully stopped – a bicyclist stuck in mid-air after crashing into a car drives this fact home. The girls realize they are not stuck in time, and one throws a pebble at a car to see how the time distortion works – it apparently has no effect, as the pebble bounces harmlessly off the car. They meet a small, bird-like figure that tells them that they are “in the space between the reality and the nightmare”, and that they are special, that everything is connected, and that they will meet again. It leaves before they can get more satisfactory answers out of the creature; time slowly resumes. The car window struck by the pebble shatters violently, and the bicyclist lands on the car, receiving a chest wound from a strange tail ornament. After emergency services takes over the scene, the two girls head for the school library to discuss the strange happenings. Before much discussion is had, Hikaru enters the library. The three beat around the bush about what each knows about the situation — none wanting to reveal their hand too quickly. But when Hikaru asks if something strange has happened – something no one would believe – they can’t help but tell her. After heading to the roof to find more privacy, Hikaru reveals she is a maho shojo and tells the two everything she knows about the experience. As dusk approaches, they exchange contact info and go their separate ways.
Esmeralda Zaragoza is a somewhat introverted girl who ends her first day bored. She’s always been ahead of the curve, and handles schoolwork with ease, but the flipside of that is that the days where no schoolwork even happens are extra boring, and the first day is all formalities. She’s a touch preoccupied today, though – her mother’s lost job has put extra financial strain on the family, and the financial strain in turn is making her home situation rather unpleasant. With not much to do – no homework, and no money to spend – she decides to head home anyway and listen to the radio. After tuning into the news, she realizes there is an encoded message in the program, that spells out her name and then a string of characters she doesn’t understand. She quickly switches to another program to see if the pattern continues there – it does not, but right as she’s about to write it off, the program presenter says “After the break – what to do when your mother loses her job at the local grocery store”. It can’t be just coincidence. The final piece falls into place while she’s listening to ads – she hears the words in one ad “the future is calling” and realizes “is calling” is part of the string of characters she hasn’t deciphered. Suddenly, she can’t think about anything else, and in a moment of unbelievable clarity, solves the puzzle – it reads “Ireko is calling”. She decides she needs a bit of fresh air and heads out to a local park as the sun is setting, but even there she finds no respite, as a drunkard salaryman approaches her, tells her Ireko is calling, and that the world itself is a code only she can break. She runs back home, bewildered.
Kobayashi Hitomi finishes her second day of school – the first two days have been nothing but formalities, syllabi and rules and forms to fill out. In short, they’ve been exceedingly boring. With Zaragoza-san nowhere in sight, she’s now struck with a dilemma – what is she going to do after school today? Heading straight home was never really her favorite thing, considering the somewhat oppressive atmosphere there enforced by her parents. Still, they’ve been cracking down on her excursions lately. She heads to the park. The pond there usually has ducks – well, strictly speaking, they’re called common pochards, but they look like any duck she’s ever seen. She stays and watches them for an hour or so when she hears a voice behind her. The man doesn’t sound quite right. His speech is slurred. She wonders whether he is drunk, but his voice lacks the emotionality that so often accompanies intoxication. What little she picks up of what he says is about fire, purity, and being burned. When she turns to face him, she realizes he is burned from head to toe. It is horrifying – his clothes are no longer on fire, but probably were recently. In some places, the fabric has melted onto his skin. Where his skin is showing, it seems there isn’t a place he doesn’t have 2nd or 3rd degree burns. He’s carrying something a metal fuel can with top handle, maybe enough to hold 2 gallons. From the way it appears to weigh him down, she imagines it is probably full. He is shouting at her about the fire, and how impure things are either purified or burned by it. She runs away – he tries to give chase, but collapses from the pain of his burns. She doesn’t see it ignite, but while running away she hears a scream, and turns to see him once again engulfed in flames from the fuel canister. People rush towards him, and she slips out through the crowd, heads home, and lies to her parents about where she’s been. She gets to her room and is left to deal with the emotional fallout from the day’s events.