Chapter 4: Part 6
I didn’t know what to do.
Crossing swords with each other, Yuu and Kyouko had moved their battle in the direction of the big tree. I couldn’t forget the look Yuu had given me with those blue eyes. In the darkness, I was at a loss as to whether I should wait here or go over to where the battle was taking place.
Sera seemed to have regained consciousness, but her face was ghastly pale.
This was probably similar to what had happened before. She needed more blood.
“Haruna, give Sera some blood.”
“Fine… just this one time, alright?”
After seeing Sera lock lips with Haruna, I stood up. In the end, I really couldn’t just let Yuu fight alone. I didn’t know what her chances of victory were, but seeing how the battle had unfolded up to now, I couldn’t help but be worried.
The minute I stepped firmly onto the gravel, Sera caught me by my clothes.
“Wait.” With a grim expression, she wiped her mouth with her hands.
“Wait for what?!”
I shook off Sera’s hand and took a step forward. This time, Sera grabbed me by the shoulder.
“You would only become a hindrance. Hellscythe-dono’s words carry incredibly strong power in them.”
“I’ve heard about that ability.”
People who heard her words would become as just as she said. She carried that kind of frightening power, and when she used it her head would ache.
“People who hear her words… so, she can’t choose the target herself?”
“Precisely. Just watch.”
Sera said that to me, and I glanced in the direction of the large tree, where I saw Kyouko crumbling to the ground from her knees. She soon stood back up, but once again crumbled down. In response to that, Yuu dropped the chainsaw from her hands, and held her head in her gauntleted hands.
“Right now, Hellscythe-dono is saying the following.”
With just that one word, people would die?!
If I had gone to help her, and then had heard those words, what would become of me? I was being kept alive by Yuu’s power. If she then tried to kill me with the same power, I wonder which would take precedence…
That was why Yuu had not allowed me to fight with her.
If the people around her heard her say “Die,” they would all end up dying.
Her words were heavier than I had imagined…
“What are you laughing about? Gross… die! Idiot!”
Don’t use those words lightly. = “Geez! Don’t say bad things about oniichan!”
“Yuu, while I appreciate the sentiment, it’s not like Haruna was saying that seriously either.”
“No, seriously die. Die with that gloomy necromancer over there!”
Death is painful.
Her tears that time… her words that time… were filled with many emotions.
A strong light sparked for a moment in the graveyard. It was so bright that I had to close my eyes, and I felt the power drain from my body. As expected from a body that’s weak against light.
Something fell from the sky. It was a girl wearing a tattered-looking pair of gauntlets and a set of plate armor. Her beautiful, silver hair spread out in all directions, and she fell down to where I was.
I caught her, and saw that she had her eyes closed, as if she was sleeping. Her body was limp, and her head hung gently down. Her clothes dissolved into a faint light. The only things left were her plate armor and gauntlets.
“Are you alright?! Yuu! Hey! Yuu!”
Although I was bewildered at the sight of her exposed, almost transparently white skin, I continued to call out to her.
“I haven’t died yet… in order to obtain that person’s magical energy, I’ve been fighting in this form on purpose to lure her out…”
A certain twin-tailed girl with blood flowing from her ears readied her wooden sword and walked in our direction. Her eyes were filled with madness.
Could she seriously have poked out both her ears to get away from Yuu’s power? That’s going way too far!
Kyouko impaled herself with a sword. She probably wanted to heal her body that had been wounded during her fight with Yuu.
The blood streaming from her ears disappeared as if having been acted on by a rubber eraser, and her footsteps lightened.
“Well then, let’s continue this party.”
I lay Yuu’s body on top of the gravel, and tightened my fists as they shivered in fury.
Pooling all my hatred into my eyes, I glared at that bitch.
Her light smile pissed me off a lot. Suddenly, something else flew into my line of vision.
Haruna had appeared, holding a green sword.
Hearing my call, she turned her cute face in my direction. The ahoge coming out of the top of her head jumped from side to side.
“Hey, Ayumu. What’s this I’m feeling? It’s the first time I’ve felt this way. Even though I don’t care about the people in this world, seeing that gloomy necromancer (1) being done in like that… it’s enough to make my chest burn… I really want to punch that girl’s face in!”
“It’s probably because you actually do care a bit about Yuu.”
“… That… might be true. We never really talked that much though…”
“Otherwise, you want to do your best for my sake.”
At that suggestion, Haruna flushed apple red, and denied my statement vehemently. “I-It’s not like I’m doing this for you!” she spat out desperately.
“Ayumu, to be honest, the wound in my leg hasn’t healed yet. But, I thought of a new technique.”
Sera was standing by my side. Her composed, elegant face pointed straight forwards. She glanced for a moment in my direction,
“When we get home, won’t you help me think of a name for it?”
She gave me a small smile.
What is it with my life? Lately, the number of things I don’t want to lose just keeps increasing.
Laughing once out of my nose, I kicked off the ground. In the same way, the two next to me kicked off the ground, and we all simultaneously aimed for the masou shoujo in front of us.
First was a shuriken made of tree leaves. Kyouko took that straight on, and thinned her eyes, concentrating on our movements.
Kyouko crouched and avoided Haruna’s diagonal sword swipe. Sera, not being able to use one leg, kicked off a wall made from leaves with her usable leg, changed direction in midair, and headed straight for Kyouko. Kyouko put an end to that attack with a single swipe from her sword.
While she made a big swing with her sword, I went in for a punch and tried to catch her right in the face. But, she barely managed to dodge me, and I was blown away by a kick.
With incredible speed, Kyouko almost seemed to vanish and closed in on Sera. A clang! sound reverberated through the air several times, after which Sera had been cut from her chest to her stomach, and fresh blood flew from her wounds. She almost looked like a poor butterfly.
In the space of that attack, Haruna tried to impale Kyouko with her green sword, but she was thrown back by a tornado.
This wasn’t working. Like the dog had said, this was almost out of the question… she was just way too strong.
Leaves continued to fly around us. It seemed that Sera was still conscious. Haruna also seemed to have taken some serious damage, but she was scowling at me… pretty strong, these two were.
“Haruna, Sera, one more time!”
“OK!” “Here I go.”
This time as well, Sera took the lead and attacked. A poorly-planned, reckless attack.
Kyouko swiped her sword from low to high in a crescent arc, and cut Sera’s body into two… or so it seemed.
A body switching technique. Sera’s specialty ninjutsu, in which she replaced her body with a fake. I was astonished at her skillful deceit. Sera was really good at creating openings.
However, Kyouko had realized what was going on. There was no way Sera would just attack her straight on like that. She was just opening herself up and luring us in. Luring me in.
From a blind spot, I came throttling out with the intent to bring a kick down on her head. There was no other time which I wished as strongly as I did this moment that I had tried a punch instead. Because, if I attacked with my legs, I couldn’t dodge.
Kyouko went so far as to smile and cock her head to the side before deeply impaling me through. I had come out from a perfect blind spot. In situations like this where the difference in strength was so apparent, it was natural that we had no choice but to resort to those strategies. Of course, that’s precisely what we were doing. There was no other way. And Kyouko understood that too well.
In other words… Kyouko could anticipate from where and when we would try to attack her.
My legs were swept from under me, and my body was thrown into the air for a moment. The next moment, I was blown away by the tornado. Sera stood in the direction I was flying, looking like she was preparing to attack with a Tsubame Gaeshi. She couldn’t respond fast enough to my sudden appearance. I was impaled by Sera’s sword.
“Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t hurt at all.”
We couldn’t attack her straight on. And when you took into account the fact that she could read almost all of our surprise attacks, we really were in a hopeless situation.
What should we do?
… This was hopeless.
We couldn’t do anything but give up.
Yes. We had to give up.
Just one more time. That’s right, yeah. If we’re completely blown away and left on the ground looking up at the sky just one more time, let’s give up.
… And because of that, I wouldn’t be satisfied unless we put our absolute all into this attack.
I gave a backwards glance to Sera and Haruna, seeing them rush once more at Kyouko just to be swept away. Dragging my immobile leg along the ground and pounding my tightly closed fist on the ground, I slowly dragged myself forwards. In front of me was the chainsaw. I picked that up and began to chant.
“Nomobuyo, woshi, hashitawa, dokeda, gunmiicha, dei, ribura.”
The clothes I usually desperately tried to avoid wearing coordinated around me. The chainsaw emitted a ruby-colored light, as well as a shrill shriek. I unsteadily rose up, and stepped down hard on the gravel.
“Ah right, I forgot, but Aikawa-san is also a masou shoujo, isn’t he?”
Pulling out the sword with which she had just impaled Sera and kicking Haruna away, Kyouko faced this way.
I was suddenly slashed diagonally. But in return, I cut her down with the chainsaw.
“Eh?” Kyouko’s eyes opened wide. She probably wasn’t expecting me to be able to counterattack.
Kyouko’s wound closed right away. She had probably died once and then was revived.
Here it comes. A magic attack. Feeling as if I had been shot by a cannon, I shook violently and began to collapse.
No… not yet. I won’t collapse just from this.
I took a step back, and somehow managed to hold my ground. Ah, but it seemed she had broken my arm… well, whatever. If I still had my right hand, I could still punch her face in.
The sound of chaffed gravel filled the air, and I slowly advanced on sliding feet.
No matter what kind of attack she sent at me, no matter how many times she attacked me, I would slowly shuffle forwards.
Kyouko vehemently shook her head, and those large eyes shook in fear. It was almost as if she had seen a zombie and feared for her life.
No, I can’t stop. And no, I can’t die.
I still haven’t punched your face in.
Those annoying tornadoes came around again and tried to break my body into tiny pieces. Ah, if I get wedged between these two things, then it’s all over. I guess it really is hopeless.
That’s what I thought, but Haruna’s final barrier immobilized one of the tornadoes. However, the other tornado carved into me. If I just let things be, I would be ground into minced meat.
But, you know, that wasn’t enough.
Just because I was slowly being ground into minced beef was not a reason to give up.
“Fall! Kneel! Disappear!”
Kyouko gripped her wooden sword tight, and sent forth an attack with all her might.
“You… were strong. The strongest I’ve ever encountered. Freakishly strong.”
I grabbed her wooden sword with my hand, and crushed it in my grip.
“That’s…!! Breaking my masou renki… with your bare hands…”
“Sorry. Truth is, I’m also freakishly strong.”
“A human… by a mere human…”
“Haven’t I said it before? I might look like this, but I’m no human. I’m a zombie, and what’s more, a masou shoujo… well then, how many more times do I have to kill you? Although, I wouldn’t mind killing you ten times more.”
The masou shoujo costume under her black cloak vanished.
“A… Ahh… Uwaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!”
She shook her head from side to side, and the tears stored up in the corners of her eyes flowed out towards her cheeks.
Ahh, right. There was something I had wanted to tell the person who had killed me.
“They say that idiocy can only be cured by death. I was an idiot. Boredom might be a luxury, but it’s no fun. Loneliness might be peace, but then you cannot share your joy with others… thank you. My life changed because you killed me.”
My words probably took her completely by surprise. Kyouko even stopped shrieking.
I dropped the chainsaw on the ground, cleared the broken shards of her masou renki from my hands, crouched down, took a few deep breaths, and gathered my power. And then, I continued my words in a low voice.
“So, let me change your life this time.”
I took one step into my attack, forcing up all the power I had stored in my entire body, rolling that power up through my body’s rotation and sending it to my right arm. My fist tightened, my teeth clenched, and I concentrated that power into one spot. Trying to push all this power into a single attack, my fist drove full strength into that lovely face filled with so much hate. (2)
Taking dirt and various things with her, Kyouko was completely blown away.
And then, at last, Kyouko stopped moving. She lay there, looking, as Haruna did, like a gentle young girl.
“It’s finally over…”
Sera dragged her leg, and spoke while holding her chest dyed in red.
“You’re full of holes.”
I gave her a quick laugh, and she returned with a laugh as well.
“You’re disgusting. Seriously, if you were that strong, you should have fought in that form from the beginning. Even though it’s disgusting.”
Sarcasm filled her every word. There was no ill will in her words at all.
“Haruna, are you alive?”
“O-Of course… who the hell do you think I am?”
She didn’t seem to be able to move her legs, but Haruna was as cheeky as ever.
I gave both Haruna and Sera one of my shoulders, and with these two maidens on both sides of me, I walked towards Yuu.
“Hey, gloomy necromancer!”
At our calls, the silver-haired bishoujo hazily opened her eyes.
“Oh what, so you were alive?”
Haruna’s words almost seemed disappointed.
But, her ahoge seemed very happy as it jumped from side to side.
Yuu pressed on her head with one of her gauntleted hands, and sat up. She carved words in the gravel.
Is it over?
Sera answered Yuu’s question.
“Yes, Ayumu did it.”
Hearing those words, even though she was expressionless, Yuu seemed fully satisfied to me.
After seeing Sera pass Yuu her black cloak, I looked down on Kyouko’s naked body laying there. Her eyes were still lit scarlet. It seemed that she still hadn’t given up…
I tugged her up by her cloak, and raised my fist overhead.
“I have to make sure she’s dead.”
I began to send out another full-powered attack, but my right hand was firmly grasped. Even though I had become a masou shoujo and was using my full strength, my hand had been so firmly grasped that I couldn’t move.
“Hey, don’t stop me. There’s no way we can let this person li-“
When I turned around, a bishoujo I had never seen before was there. Her waist-length hair was tied into twin tails, and she was wearing a loose white lab coat. I could also see a blouse, a pleated skirt, and a necktie.
“You’re Ayumu-san, aren’t you~? What are you doing to one of my students?”
The girl gave me a smile. However, the hand that was grasping my right hand increased its strength.
“Dai-sensei! Um, you’re making a mistake! Ayumu might be an idiot, but you’re making a mistake!”
Haruna was more shaken than I had ever seen her before. Ahh, this was Dai-sensei.
“Ariel-sensei… help me…”
Kyouko shamelessly let out a feeble cry. Her eye color had also returned to normal.
“Dai-sensei, this person did something in this world that you can’t do. Let me go.”
“That’s a lie! I wouldn’t do something like that…”
Kyouko took advantage of the situation and huge tears fell from her eyes, making me want to punch her face in all the more.
“What are you trying-“
“I tried reasoning with them so many times… but they ganged up on me… Haruna too.”
She sobbed, speaking intermittently through her cries. What a brilliant actor she is.
“Dai-sensei, please believe us.”
“Even if you say that, this girl is a good girl, so above all… at the very least, what you were trying to do now was something you can’t do, wasn’t it~?”
While she said that, Dai-sensei flung me away. My skirt flapped in the wind, and I rolled heavily on the gravel. Dai-sensei helped Kyouko up, and put her hands in the pockets of her long white coat.
“Dai-sensei! Why won’t you believe Ayumu?! Ayumu… these people… they’re super good people!”
Dai-sensei did not lend an ear to Haruna’s desperate words.
“Hmm, there just aren’t enough ingredients for me to believe them~.”
When she took her hands out of her pockets, she was grasping onto what looked awfully like Japanese katanas.
Talking this over was hopeless. If that’s the case, the only choice we had was to settle this with our fists.
I was hesitant to fight with Dai-sensei. Was it really alright to fight just because my words weren’t getting through? Well, but… I would definitely not forgive Kyouko, so if she wanted to fight, I should fight her… before she transforms.
“Haruna, Sera, Yuu. Fall back.”
“Huh? You want to fight with Dai-sensei? You’re an idiot!”
Haruna expectedly objected to my idea, but Yuu tossed me the chainsaw, and Sera stood next to me, not heeding my words.
“Haruna, has she transformed yet?”
“Isn’t that obvious just from looking?! She hasn’t transformed yet. Could it be… you’re actually trying to win?”
That would be correct. I showed Haruna my determination, and her Ahoge waved around, almost as if calling me an idiot.
“That black-cloaked girl over there, you’re very strong, aren’t you~? Won’t you fight with me?”
I was surprised at her sudden proposal. What the hell was she saying all of a sudden…?
Clang. I had never heard such a strong sound of metal on metal before. Sera was gone from my side.
“Meet words you like with drinks, and words you don’t with swords… that is who we are, the vampire ninjas.”
More sounds rang out. Dai-sensei continued to guard against the dancing sword strikes.
“How wonderful~. To think that there would be people like this in this world.”
Sounding delighted, Dai-sensei waved her sword. Rather than say she guarded against the attack, Sera managed to dislodge the sword from its current course and dodged it.
I need to get into this fight too. I readied my chainsaw and crouched.
Right then, Sera was knocked away in my direction. I suddenly took my hands off the chainsaw and caught Sera. The considerable force she hurtled into me with also knocked me back. The chainsaw flew somewhere off from the impact.
“Are you alright?”
“… This is frustrating.”
Her red eyes stared straight forwards. She clenched her teeth.
“I wanted to beat her with speed… but she’s faster than I am.”
What’s more, she doesn’t seem to be fighting with her full strength either.
I wanted to say that, but I had no time. Because Dai-sensei came in with a slash. Sera and I flew off in different directions. Dai-sensei came attacking in my direction. I kicked off a gravestone, and sent out my fist.
My attack was dodged, and my arm was cut. Blood sprayed out and dyed the air red.
After that, the sky was covered in green.
“The secret of my blade lay not in the blade that is hidden. Blades that fly as leaves on a tree, that is… Flying Sword, Hyakkizensatsu!”
Large numbers of blades covered the air like grass, and all fell towards Dai-sensei. But somehow, she managed to hit them all down.
You’ve got to be kidding. I was dumbfounded. I’ve never seen a person who could avoid every bit of rain in a downpour.
“Here I go.”
“Not good enough!”
Sera rushed at Dai-sensei but was kicked away, and my leg was chopped off. She hadn’t even transformed, but she was this fast? She was a complete monster. A twin-tailed monster.
Falling onto the ground, I reached out for my leg nearby to reattach it, and slid towards it.
Krchh. The sound of chaffed gravel rose up, and a sword pushed its way through my hand. Before I could grab my leg, I had been pierced. Like some sort of biological specimen.
“You lot are quite interesting~. It really would be nice to study you~.”
The eyes that looked down on me were those of an innocent young girl. Dai-sensei raised her sword up to face-level. I couldn’t feel any intent from her to attack me.
In an instant, Sera’s flying kick ran into the sword. She had been able to sense Sera’s movements and guarded against them. From Dai-sensei’s standpoint, did Sera seem slow?
She was way too strong.
My palm seemed to be broken, but I didn’t mind and drew my hand back, reattaching my leg and launched a low kick. Of course, that was also avoided. Dai-sensei’s katana glowed red, and blew Sera and I away like scraps of paper.
“What did she just do?”
“I don’t know.”
Sera and I looked at each other.
“She just used something called ‘Air’ or something. It’s wind magic.”
Haruna explained the situation.
I took the chainsaw in my hands, and gathered my power.
If it came to this, I would store as much power as I could and use it all in an attack.
… 602… 703… 810.
At that point, Dai-sensei came charging at me, so I kicked off the gravel.
I felt like yelling out, but at the speed I was going at I felt like I was on a roller coaster and couldn’t let out a sound, so I silently crossed weapons with Dai-sensei.
Screeeeeeeech!! The chainsaw emitted a ruby-colored light and cut down on Dai-sensei’s katana. Or rather, it was cutting into the deep crimson light surrounding her sword.
“Fwah, amazing! Such power in a masou shoujo is incredibly rare!”
In the midst of battle, Dai-sensei gave me high praise and showed me a smile.
My chainsaw suddenly cut through thin air, and I found Dai-sensei’s katana at my throat.
“Ayumu-san, if you came and properly listened in my class, you could definitely become a top-class masou shoujo~.”
Seeming satisfied, she chuckled. Well I’m beat… there’s no way I could win against someone like this.
If it came to this, let me ignore Dai-sensei and go straight for Kyouko.
I gave the chainsaw a huge swing, and when I made Dai-sensei distance herself from me, I ran towards Kyouko. Having read my intentions, in the time it took me to make two steps towards Kyouko, Dai-sensei stood in front of her.
Fast. Way too fast. I couldn’t do anything against that speed.
I brought the chainsaw I held in both hands down from up high, aiming to crush her. It was a swing that I had put all my strength into. If she dodged… well, I would actually prefer that.
Dai-sensei’s smiling face vanished, replaced by the serious face of a warrior, and she caught my full-strength attack with her swords. The two katana surrounded by crimson light enveloped Dai-sensei, and waves reminiscent of the times when Haruna erected her barriers rippled in front of me.
Even so, my attack was heavier.
I could do this. I could beat her…. That’s what I thought as I gathered even more power into my attack, but all the strength suddenly went out from my shoulders.
Kyouko had skewered both Dai-sensei and myself.
“That was quite a fun dance.”
Kyouko’s eyes were cold and thinned, and her voice sounded like it belonged to a man. Her eyes, which had lost their previous light and all their focus, gazed past myself and Dai-sensei, looking somewhere behind us.
The one who had spoken up was Yuu. The changed Kyouko was looking straight at Yuu.
Sera, Haruna, and I all looked at Yuu. Yuu, who usually kept her silent, emotionless mask up no matter what, was grasping her head with a frightened expression.
“Ahh, but it’s good to see you’re healthy. Don’t look so frightened, Eucliwood. I don’t intend to do anything.”
The young man seemed to be enjoying himself, and his voice seemed to make the air around him tremble, causing a dark blue mist to settle in. When the mist touched me, my hairs stood on end and my body shivered at the disgusting feeling.
This person… was different. This wasn’t Kyouko.
Was the person we were talking to now the that person who had given Kyouko the power of a vampire ninja and a Megalo?
The mist gently wrapped around Kyouko’s body and lifted her up into the air.
“Well, then everyone. I look forward to our next meeting.”
“… Ayumu-san was telling the truth, wasn’t he? Tricking me is not allowed!”
Dai-sensei raised her voice while pressing on the part of her abdomen that had been impaled, but Kyouko didn’t even give her a glance. Wrapped in the dark mist, she vanished almost like a Megalo would vanish into the wind after they died.
“I won’t let you run away! Wait, please!”
Dai-sensei went chasing after Kyouko. I began to chase after them too, but Yuu had wrapped her arms around my waist, so I couldn’t move.
As if I could let them run away! But when I tried to shake her off, I touched one of her gauntlets.
Yuu’s hands were shaking.
And what’s more, Haruna elbowed me in the back of the head.
“Aren’t you amazing?! To think you could fight with Dai-sensei like that! This is good progress!”
She gave me a full-faced smile, almost as if she was talking about herself. I wasn’t even a match for her though…
And then… Sera wrapped her arms around my neck. I felt a happy sensation on my cheeks. They were pressed up right against me!
“I can’t walk very well right now. So I’ll be using you for crutches.”
Whatever happened to asking me first?
All in one go, I lost my will to chase after them. But for now…
“Yuu, what was that stuff earlier?”
How Yuu had reacted was weighing on my mind. I didn’t try to shake her off, but gently placed a hand on one of her gauntlets.
She opened her eyes wide, and while she covered her mouth with both hands, she carved words into the gravel.
That was, that mist was, something I should have already extinguished.
The power of a zombie.
(1) Same pun here. See Chapter 1-6, Note 1.
(2) He actually uses an idiom here. “Excessive loveliness becomes hatred hundredfold.” Not really easy to massage into an adjective.