Chapter 3-1

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VOLUME 1

Chapter 3 – ……………Nyah.

Chapter 3: Part 1

Today I ended up going bowling with Orito. Maybe because of the rain yesterday, today’s weather was nice and cloudy, so I could go out during the day.

Oh right, after that incident yesterday Sera (of course) had to take a trip to the convenience store to buy some bento. And while we waited, Haruna whined incessantly about being hungry.

I met Orito in front of the station, and we went for a meal first. We headed for a fast-food shop near the station. The name of the shop was “Masked Nald.”

Sound like something you’ve heard before? You’re probably thinking of something different. This Masked Nald was managed by masked wrestlers, and was the only restaurant of its kind in the world.

“Welcome hello!!”

A masked wrestler was standing at the register.

We ordered the normal Masked Burger Set. Orito also ordered a Masked Shake (Mascaras (1) Vanilla) and a Masked Nugget (Beast God Thunder (2) Sauce). I was fine with just the set, so I didn’t say anything else. And then…

“Would you like a mask with your order?”

He said that to me with a pushy look, but I immediately responded with “I’m fine.” The set cost 536 yen (including tax), and if you added 1980 yen on top of that you could get a mask with the meal. There’s no reason I would need such a random, nonsensical service.

“Really? You really don’t want one?”

What a pushy shopkeeper. In that hot mask, his face closed in on mine, and he opened his eyes wide like a begging Chihuahua.

I gave a single sigh, and reluctantly bought the mask with my meal.

It was an absolutely ridiculous purchase, but those eyes were just too scary. I would much rather have been glared at. To think he would come at me with those teary eyes…

So, we finished eating lunch and carried ourselves to the bowling alley that we had been planning to go to. Orito held the Masked Shake (Mascaras Vanilla) that he hadn’t finished in his hand, and I held the mask I had bought in mine.

After finishing the registration, we borrowed shoes and chose the balls that suited each of us, beginning our various preparations. Lately, various things had been piling up in my life and the stress was building up. So let’s relax and let it all out here.

“Hey, Aikawa, look next to us. Those are some really cute girls, aren’t they?”

Orito was all smiles about it, so I took a glance in the direction he was looking at.

And then I quickly looked away.

“Come on!!”

Crack!

I heard a sound behind me. It was a voice I knew, along with the satisfying sound of pins falling.

“Alright! As I thought, I’m a genius. A genius bishoujo demon baroness!”

The lively girl with a swishing ahoge returned to her seat. Over there was also a girl with jade-colored eyes and an armored girl with no expression.

Yes… them.

Haruna was wearing my shirt and jeans as usual. Yuu was wearing her plate armor and gauntlets in spite of the terrible heat. Sera was in a denim skirt and a shirt with some logo on it. She was also donning accessories here and there. She really seemed like a modern girl.

Why was Haruna here? No, rather, why was Yuu here? To think that she would come to bowl… did Sera invite her?

“Oh? What’s wrong, Aikawa? You look pale.”

Well, my face gets pale sometimes. After all, I’m dead, remember? Well no, that’s not it. I just would be really bothered if it was found out that I knew the bishoujo squad over there.

Calm down. Should I count the prime numbers? One prime number, two prime numbers… was there some way I could prevent myself from getting noticed by them? Once it was my turn to bowl, I have a feeling I would get exposed in an instant.

My zombie mind was going at full speed. Then, I noticed that I was still holding the 1980 yen mask.

That was it! Without a moment’s delay, I put on the mask, and stroked down my chest in relief. With this, I was no longer “Aikawa Ayumu” but rather had become “Masked Ayumu”! Having become this Masked Ayumu, my hentai levels had tripled!

Not worried any longer that I would get exposed, I watched the three girls with Orito.

They had all bowled three frames, and Haruna had bowled strikes every time. Actually, everyone had perfect marks. They all had the same scores lined up neatly on the screen.

“Uwah, that’s an amazing score… are they pros? Those girls.”

Would pros really be practicing at a place like this? They were just not human, that’s all. Just a “masou shoujo who couldn’t transform into a masou shoujo,” just a “blood-seeking ninja,” and just a “mysterious necromancer.”

After Haruna, it was Sera’s turn. She stood straight up and picked up a ball.

“Hey Aikawa! Look at that girl, she really has style…”

Orito fixed his gaze on Sera’s hourglass figure. When I first had met Sera, I too was fascinated by her figure.

“Here I go. Hiken, Tsubame Gaeshi!”

With a beautiful form that almost stole my heart away, Sera released the ball straight and it struck the foremost pin, continuing forwards. Before long, the pins had all fallen. Alright, let me just say something here.

… That had nothing to do with Tsubame Gaeshi.

Sera turned back, and without the smallest sign of happiness returned to her seat. It was almost as if her getting a strike was the most obvious thing in the world.

And then it was Yuu’s turn. Yuu slowly swayed from side to side as she got up, and walked… no, it looked more like she was being drawn by some strong force and put her feet out to keep her balance. In that manner, Yuu tottered her way to the ball. Maybe because of her gauntlets, Yuu did not insert her fingers into the bowling ball holes, but instead held the ball with both hands. She tap tap taped her way forwards on tiptoe, and let go of the ball.

Thud! Roll roll roll roll roll roll roll….

The ball sloooowly rolled forwards. It tottered left and right, and struck the space in between the foremost pin and pin three. And then with a slow clackety clack, the pins fell. Before long, all the pins had fallen.

What was surprising was that Yuu then took up a small guts pose. (3) Nobody here probably noticed it, but that was definitely a guts pose. Trust me.

Relieving Yuu, Haruna flew out, and the minute the pins were set…

“Come on!!”

She threw it hard. The ball almost bounced as it easily knocked over all the pins. This was probably how the whole game had been going.

After everyone over there had finished throwing their strikes, we also began to play.

“Alright, Aikawa! We’re not going to lose to them!”

No way. They’re not normal humans, you know.

If I put too much strength into the throw, I might wreck the bowling alley, so I threw the ball softly.

The ball rolled forwards with considerable speed, and struck the pins with good force. But, one pin was left standing.

“Dammit.”

I glared at the one remaining pin. I definitely wouldn’t forgive it. I would show it who the boss was. The ball came out of the ball return and I promptly threw it again.

At my full power throw, the pin was knocked squarely away. It made an unpleasant Clang! sound, but I didn’t pay it any heed. It was a spare.

I took up a guts pose and returned to my seat. Orito welcomed me back with applause.

“That was terrible. Saying that you lack concentration would be an understatement.”

Orito wasn’t the one who had said that. The voice came from behind me.

When I turned around, I saw Haruna with a triumphant smile looking down at me.

“H-Hello…”

At the bishoujo who had suddenly spoken to us, Orito bewilderedly spoke back.

Haruna stared fixedly at Orito’s face like a cat that had spotted something moving, and thought for a bit while her ahoge jumped back and forth.

“Umm… was it… Kakouton Genjou-san…?” (4)

What the hell?! That’s some random historical figure! But I didn’t say anything, and without looking in her direction softly corrected her. “It’s Orito.”

“O… Oberstein?”

“Stop it with the Dry Ice Sword mania. (5) Also, who exactly are you?”

“Huh? What are you saying? Also, why the hell are you wearing that?”

I don’t want to make it seem like I know you group of superhumans over there. If it got out that I was living with you, terrible rumors would start circulating at school.

“Haruna. It’s your turn.”

Sera called out to Haruna. Nice. As I expected, Sera knows what’s going on.

Puzzled for a second, Haruna furrowed her brow and cocked her head to the side, but she soon leapt away with a smile. Phew. Thank you, ninja vampire-sama.

“She’s cute, but she’s pretty weird, isn’t she?”

Orito laughed happily next to me as he watched Haruna. Hey Orito, you were able to figure that out pretty quick. I’m really impressed.

“By the way, Ayumu. Why are you wearing that?”

Sera, I had thought that you understood the situation…

“Ha ha ha. I am not Aikawa Ayumu. I am Masked Ayumu!”

“… I see. Three times as disgusting as usual.”

Gwah!

And like that, my spirit was crushed. She didn’t say a single word after that, so the effect was doubled.

“Aikawa, did you know that girl?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Why would I know someone as pretty as that?”

“I guess. Uh, but… she called you by name, didn’t she?”

“Must have been your imagination. Ha ha ha.”

This was useless, wasn’t it? But Orito responded with a “Yeah, it must have been,” and began to laugh with me… I’m glad he’s such an idiot.

After finishing a game, I took a bathroom break, and when I came out of the bathroom Sera was waiting for me. She had her arms crossed and a quiet expression on her face. It seemed that she wanted to talk to me alone.

“What’s wrong? Did you want something?”

“… Ayumu, it’s about Hellscythe-dono, but…”

“Ahh, that was my bad. Do we still have to bring that up?”

I didn’t want to think about that right now. I responded to her somewhat lightheartedly.

“… Hellscythe-dono was quite saddened by what had happened. At that time, you had no faith in Hellscythe-dono… she said something like that. Why is that?”

“I gave my reasons already, didn’t I? It’s because there wasn’t enough information for me to believe her.”

“So, was there enough information for you to doubt her? Was the other information you had obtained reliable?”

“I also wanted some believable information in order to verify that.”

“The one saved cannot trust the one who saved him. I can’t understand that.”

“I know she’s a good person. So, I want to believe her. But… honestly, I have my doubts. Because she couldn’t tell me anything. Communication is the key to getting your thoughts across, right?”

I was probably making a very disagreeable face, and Sera’s beautiful hand slapped me across the cheek.

“To her, words are a serious matter. You should know at least that much, shouldn’t you?!”

“I don’t know anything.”

After I harshly spat out that response, Sera frowned, seeming confused.

“Really?”

“Yeah. I also have no idea what you’re being so serious about.”

“You really don’t know why she doesn’t speak, and why she has to make sure she kills all her emotions?”

… There was a reason? I thought it was just a preference.

“I don’t know anything, so it’s hard for me to think of her as trustworthy. If you know something, please tell me.”

“… It is not something for me to tell. But, please just remember one thing. That in this world, there is no-one kinder than Eucliwood Hellscythe.”

Sera turned her back on me, and quickly began to walk away.

You’re honestly going to leave after we’ve come this far in this conversation? Leaving me with all these hazy feelings…

And like that, our fun bowling trip came to an end. The score was: Orito 113, me 170. Well, I was stronger, so it was easier for me to hit strikes than for normal people like Orito.

Ah, also, next to us, the girls had scored four perfect games in a row. Of course, each and every one of them had. And what’s more, they were all pretty girls. So of course they drew a lot of attention. So it was fine for a ninja to stand out like this?

Also, how did they know it was me even under this mask? There was no longer any point, so I threw off the mask. If we were in a wrestling ring, this would have probably made for a pretty dramatic scene.

“Ahh, I lost. Aikawa, do you have anything you want?”

The prize was a volume of manga, was it…? Well, I don’t really have much I want right now. So I refused his offer, telling him that it was enough to have had fun like this. We returned our shoes, and paying our bill, left the bowling alley.

Geez… I was all ready to go straight home, but I passed by three people who were clearly delinquents, smiling and on the prowl for cute girls, and that made me feel incredibly uneasy.

Why, you ask?

The reason was simple. Because today, there were indeed cute girls here. And judging from the situation, they might decide to go and hit on those three girls.

Was I jealous? No no.

Was I worried? Correct.

I was worried for those three shady-looking guys who had just gone into the bowling alley. Sera and Haruna… no, Yuu was the most dangerous of the three. Seriously, just try hitting on them.

In the worst case scenario, the bowling alley may very well become no more.

Haruna’s high kick was at the level of a PRIDE contestant, you know? (6)

Sera’s sword could easily cleave a man into two, you know?

Yuu had enough power to bring people back to life, you know?

Don’t do it! You delinquents! Don’t go in there! That is something you cannot do!

As my mind screamed out, I chased after them.

“Aikawa!”

Seeing me suddenly turn heel and run, Orito yelled out after me with a confused expression, but I responded with “I’ll be back soon!” without even bothering to turn around.

Please make it in time! I sped up. Where are they?! Where are those guys right now?!

I ran around the bowling alley. But, perhaps because there was no school today, the bowling alley was filled with people. Unfortunately, I had lost sight of the delinquents. I really hope they hadn’t found the girls…

I swept the bowling alley from one end to the other, and finally returned to Orito who was waiting for me at the entrance. In the end, I couldn’t find them.

“Where were you going?”

“Ahh, just the bathroom.”

“Ha ha ha.” As I laughed dryly, I felt a strong attack come at me from the back that stopped my laugh cold.

“Ayumu! Buy me clothes!”

Haruna had suddenly hugged me from behind.

She seemed to be in a great mood after having bowled a perfect game. She dangled from my body heavily for a bit, and then made a quick landing. I noticed that the other two girls were also there.

“So you really did know these girls? Introduce me.”

Fiddling with his trademark pointy hair, Orito laughed. But the laugh didn’t reach his eyes. I knew that laugh. He was upset that I knew bishoujo like these. Well, there’s nothing that can be done about it anymore. Resigned, I began to explain the situation to him. As we left the bowling alley and headed for the department store, I carefully explained the situation to him.

As we left the bowling alley, we saw that an ambulance had arrived.

“Over here! Hurry! Those three aren’t breathing! Quick!”

The bewildered-looking bowling alley employees directed the paramedics.

Ahh… as I thought.

Just in case, I asked Sera “You didn’t kill them, right?” to which she responded “Of course. Vampire ninjas do not kill humans. Haruna just kicked them down.” Ahh, good good.

All’s well that ends well. You delinquents… you really got off easy with just having to deal with Haruna’s PRIDE-level high kick.

But… well… for some reason… it’s just… well, this was just a small feeling, but…

Just a small part of me wished that something much more terrible would have happened to them.

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TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

(1) Mexican masked wrestler.

(2) Japanese masked wrestler.

(3) I translated “guts pose” to something else when it came up earlier in this volume, but screw it. I’ll just link to a picture. Imagine this, but less… sumo-ey.

(4) I believe this was a general in Ancient China.

(5) Google claims that Oberstein is a character from Legend of Galactic Heroes, and one of his nicknames is Dry Ice Sword (Doraiaisu no Ken).

(6) Mixed martial arts tournament.

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