Chapter 3: Part 8
On the way back home, my cell phone began to vibrate. When I took it out, I saw that it was from an unknown number. I thought it was going to be someone soliciting money or something, but I had time before I got home, so I decided to pick up.
“Oh~? This isn’t Haruna, is it~?”
The voice that I heard from the other side of the line was the easygoing, cute voice of a girl.
“Haruna? Oh… could it be that this is Dai-sensei?”
There was only one person who could have had business with Haruna.
“Indeed~. And you are~?”
“I’m Aikawa Ayumu, the person who’s acting as a masou shoujo in Haruna’s place.”
“But, you aren’t a shoujo at all, are you~?”
I heard a chuckle from the other end. You’re absolutely right there.
“Trust me, I’ve been aware of how ridiculous it is for a while… no, from the very beginning. By the way, did you need Haruna for something? She’s not nearby right now, so would you like me to take a message?”
“Ahh~. Please do then~~. Could you tell her that she can stop looking for the kyoudoufu, (1) and for her to please just concentrate on recovering her magical power~?”
“Yes. It was the errand I tasked Haruna with~~. It really seems she can’t find any no matter what, so if that’s the case, I guess she can stop looking~~.”
At her words, I stopped walking, completely dumbfounded. The thing she had been looking for was “kyoudoufu.” Square and soft kyoudoufu. Not kyoufu, but kyoudoufu. I really could see Haruna making that mistake. She seriously can’t even do a simple errand like that? … Pretty cute.
“Ah, in that case, shall I get some for you?”
I began to walk again and proposed that idea.
If I recall correctly, Kyouko-chan’s grandfather lived in Kyoto. Why do I remember that, you ask? Because a cute girl had told me, of course. Also, why exactly did she send Haruna to Tokyo in search for Kyoudoufu? Shouldn’t she have gone to Kyoto?
“Ah, if that’s possible, please do. I really do love kyoudoufu~~.”
“Ahh. But then, why did Haruna come to Tokyo? Shouldn’t she have gone to Kyoto?”
“Oh oh~? You aren’t in Kyoto~? I told her to go to Kyoto though~?”
… Could she seriously have confused Kyoto with Tokyo? To… kyoto… (2)
“Ohh, that girl~… this is why she can’t keep up in school…”
I heard her sigh. I mean, even if you say that to me, it’s not like I can apologize for her.
“She says she’s a genius, though.”
I mumbled that while smiling. I had meant it as a joke, but…
“That’s certainly true. I’ll admit that she’s a genius~.”
Who the hell are we talking about?! … But you said she couldn’t keep up in school. She’s a genius?
“She’s a genius, so she can’t keep up in school~~.”
Dai-sensei spoke in a very laid-back tone.
“That girl is hiding quite a large amount of talent. She understands things very quickly, and can then put them into practice. But but~, everything came too easily for her, and she stopped taking interest in anything. She just didn’t seem to care anymore~, and at some point she even stopped coming to school. Ah, kyoudoufu definitely goes well with ginger, doesn’t it?”
Afterwards, Dai-sensei continued to talk in her laid-back fashion. At some points, she diverted the conversation to tofu, but here’s a summary of what she said:
Even if you’re a genius, if you don’t learn anything you’ll still have a hard time.
So, she was left behind. She was confident that if she wanted to, she could catch up, but that pride had the opposite effect, and even now she didn’t care about learning the basics.
Her attitude annoyed the people around her, and nobody got close to Haruna. If she had just one friend, if she had just one rival, she might have been more motivated and ambitious.
But, that girl took the path of loneliness.
Because she was a genius, she couldn’t keep up in school.
And then, her attendance numbers were lacking, so at this rate she would be held back a grade.
So Dai-sensei suggested that she hunt for Megalo, so that she could earn school credit without attending class. And while she was journeying to our world as a masou shoujo, she should take the opportunity to bring back some tofu from Kyoto.
Haruna couldn’t remember the name, not because she was an idiot, but just because she didn’t see the point. She wasn’t interested in it, so she didn’t feel the need to remember it.
For example, Zarii and Kumacchi, Shironaga etc… she had just made up those names, and those Megalo had a different set of names. In reality, the bear was Maeshiba, the crayfish was Manabe, the whale was Maesowa, the anteater was Doki… they all had had unconventional last names like that, the reason being that it made them easy to tell apart… but honestly, I thought it had the exact opposite effect and made things harder to understand. Ah, oh right. The AA-rank and whatever that Haruna had mentioned seemed to match each time. So she probably was interested in that aspect at least.
“It’s just that, lately there have been some reaaaaaally surprising things happening.”
“Yeah. She managed to remember one person’s name, it seems. Even though she can’t even remember my name.”
Now that I think about it, I’ve called her nothing but Dai-sensei up until now.
“Exactly what kind of spell did you cast on her? Ayumu-san?”
As she chuckled, Dai-sensei called my name.
“I may know all kinds of magic, but I know of no magic that can open that girl’s heart. You must be quite an amazing magician~.”
For some reason, receiving the half-joking compliment from the great Dai-sensei made me blush, and I found myself at a loss for words. Looking for a way to change the subject, I tried asking the question that had popped up just a little while ago.
“What exactly are the Megalo? I thought they were the enemies of mankind, but-“
“Megalo are the enemies of masou shoujo~. If we leave even one alive, our world won’t have a future~.”
Haruna also had said a similar thing earlier. So that wasn’t just her personal opinion, but was something all masou shoujo thought?
“Earlier, a Megalo was present, but Haruna didn’t realize it, and the Megalo also didn’t go for her. Why was that?”
“That’s quite unusual~… this is just a guess, but could it be that the Megalo was there for some other reason~? Megalo have an ability to detect masou shoujo~. And then, we have the ability to backwards detect when they use their ability. So if that Megalo wasn’t aiming to attack masou shoujo, Haruna wouldn’t be able to detect it… that’s quite plausible, yes~? Haruna never learned how to detect magical energy, so it is quite possible that she didn’t realize it even though the Megalo was right in front of her~.”
She chuckled half-jokingly. I see. That “other reason” was probably that he had come to see me.
After that, we talked a while more about what masou shoujo did, and we ended the phone call when I arrived in front of my house. It seemed that she had told me everything she had wanted to tell Haruna. Haruna sure seemed to have a good teacher back in her world.
Well then, let’s also send an email to Kyouko-chan. “Give me tofu, please,” or something like that.
(1) This is tofu. I think the Kyou means it’s tofu made in Kyoto or something.
(2) The full name of Tokyo is Tokyo Metropolis, or Tokyo-to. Take the first syllable away, and you have the exact kanji for Kyoto.