Prologue Part 2
Prologue: Part 2
I remember that it was around seven twelve in the evening.
That day, like always, I loitered around until the sun parted ways, and left the school through the gate come nightfall. You might ask why I had to wait until nightfall, but what other choice did I have? If I tried to walk outside in the sun, I would collapse.
After all, I may look like this, but I’m a zombie.
It took around five minutes to walk home from school. Of course, I didn’t have anyone I liked to walk home with, so I took this walk alone.
It should have only taken me five minutes to get home, but that day I felt like taking a detour.
There was a graveyard near my house. It was quite a big place, and naturally a very ordinary zombie like me loved hanging out there.
As if trying to oppose the heat that came in the last third of June, the wind that blew there was refreshing. There were no stars to be seen in the sky; only the moonlight shone down.
I shuffled comfortably into the center portion of the graveyard, and, perhaps disrespectfully, sat myself down on top of a tombstone. The coolness of the stone under me was irresistibly pleasant.
Feeling like gazing at the moon, I stuffed my cheeks with the onigiri (1) I had just bought. It was a moment of pure bliss. After I had become a zombie, I often found myself feeling awfully hungry.
I might appear lonely, but being able to survive by yourself is a sign of harmony, I think.
Wasting time alone. To me, this was the ideal way of living life.
Well, and in that moment of pure bliss…
My mood was improving greatly. With all my strength, I threw the now empty plastic bottle of green tea into the air. The plastic bottle went so high that it looked like a grain of flour.
Looking up into the night sky in anticipation of when the bottle would fall, I saw something else flash with a momentary burst of light.
A bird? No no, it was too big to be a bird. And there were two things. No matter how I looked at it, it was obviously not my plastic bottle.
I began to run from that place. It wasn’t because I was panicking or I was in a hurry. I had just calmly calculated the trajectory of the falling object, determined which areas would be safe, and was now moving over there.
BAAAAM!! I heard a huge commotion, and a hole formed in the place I had been just a few moments before.
The gravel ground rolled violently upwards, and a cloud of sand and pebbles rained down on the tombstone. I see, this is what they mean by “raining earth and sand” (2).
While I swore to God I would never litter again, against my better judgment I returned to the crater that had just formed. I mean, anybody would be curious, right? It had nothing to do with the fact that I was a zombie.
“Ow ow ow ow….”
A girl, in cosplay I had never seen other than at doujinshi markets, was there rubbing her back. From a quick estimate, her height seemed to be around 145 centimeters. (3)
Underneath the girl was a completely exhausted black bear wearing a Japanese school boy’s uniform. Also, for some strange reason, there was a chainsaw on the ground next to me.
When I picked up the chainsaw, it was lighter than I would have expected. It might be because I was a zombie that it felt so light… eh, this wasn’t the time to be thinking about that.
“Hey.” I spoke up to the girl who was rubbing her back. Her chestnut colored hair looked like it would be pleasant to touch and hung down to her shoulders. She messed with her hair a bit and glared at me.
Her eyes left quite an impression, as they were as big as a cat’s. I probably wouldn’t mind being looked at affectionately by those adorable eyes, but my attention was diverted to the area above them.
If you ask why, it’s because out of the top of her head sprung a tuft of hair that is commonly called an “ahoge.”
For some reason, the girl opened her mouth wide and pointed in my direction. Did she find something strange? Could she have realized that I was a zombie?
“My masou renki! (4) Give it back! Quickly! Hurry! Now, quickly, immediately, without delay, without a moment’s hesitation, right away, right now, in a flash, straight away, right this minute, give it back!”
Her footsteps thumping strongly on the gravel ground beneath us, she rapidly approached me.
“Wait. Wait wait. What’s a masou renki?”
Every time her feet thumped on the gravel in an incredibly menacing fashion, the ahoge sticking out of her head swayed from side to side. At any rate, what was with her getup? Her embarrassing cosplay outfit suddenly vanished, and before my eyes her white skin was exposed… s-she was naked?
“It’s what you’re holding! If I don’t have that, I can’t use attack magic!”
She seemed to be too angry to even notice that her clothing had vanished.
At any rate, what cute smallish breasts she had. This was great. Mother, I really feel alive at this moment… even though I’m dead.
I pointed to the chainsaw in my hand, and she tried to snatch it away.
The minute her pale hands came in contact with the chainsaw, static electricity-like sparks flared up and she wasn’t able to touch it.
No matter how many times she tried, she couldn’t touch the chainsaw. Every time, sparks flew off the chainsaw. When she tried to grip it forcefully, the sparks changed to a strong electric shock.
“Hey, but leaving that aside, do you have a change of clothes?”
My words seemed to take a bit of time to register. After around two seconds, far from only her ears and cheeks, but her entire face and then her entire body flushed a brilliant red.
“Don’t look at me! You hentai! This ero special…!”
“Ero special… don’t make it sound like Warsman’s special attack.” (5)
She forcefully sent a kick into my face, and ran off to hide in the shadow of a nearby tombstone.
But I didn’t even have enough time to think about whether I should follow her.
The three meter tall bear wearing a school boy’s uniform bent his knees and jumped into the air, kicking up a cloud of gravel. It was the bear that had fallen down together with the girl. And even though I’m a zombie, I was freaked out, you know? It was so sudden after all.
I recall that in less than a second, that bear came down from high in the sky and leap kicked me. He was incredibly swift.
But this isn’t the time or place to be sitting here in admiration. The bear kicked me hard in the cheek with his padded foot and sent me flying headfirst into a tombstone.
… Oh God, I’m glad I’m a zombie. It doesn’t hurt at all. For example, it wouldn’t hurt no matter what angle you bent my little toe to. After all, I’m dead.
I stood up and faced the bear. The chainsaw had flown out of my hand from that one attack and had landed a close by. When the naked girl timidly tried to touch the chainsaw, as expected it sent off sparks and rejected her.
“Let me just ask you one thing. What exactly is this bear thing?”
Looking at the girl out of the corner of my eye, my gaze then returned to the bear. I don’t know where the bear had learned it, but the bear took up a Chinese martial arts stance.
“That’s the evil high school girl Kumacchi! Run away! If you don’t, you’re going to get killed!”
Well that was surprising. Somehow, this bear was… a high school girl? He’s wearing a boy’s uniform though… well also, he’s a student? Alright, let’s say I believe that for a second…
“It doesn’t look evil though.”
The bear in front of me had big round eyes like a stuffed animal. His fur was also very pretty, so I thought he was pretty cute. If he couldn’t move, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between him and a high-quality stuffed animal.
“Idiot! You’re really an idiot! Can’t you see how strong he is?! This is why this world’s humans are so… ugh!”
The girl continued talking in a shocked fashion. You’re the one who can’t see how strong I am, you know.
The weak-looking stuffed animal-like cute bear opened his mouth. Baring his fangs, he faced the moon and howled. It was the cry of a beast.
In the face of that earth-shattering howl, both I and the girl stiffened. The bear let out a breath of what looked like purple, noxious smoke. Well, it was rude of me to call you cute, then.
I thinned my eyes and tightened my hands lightly into fists.
The bear took a deep breath and crouched. Blowing out the same kind of purple smoke he had before, he kicked the ground and quickly closed the distance between us.
Backhand chop. I caught it with a backhand attack of my own. It was a splendid attack with a lot of weight behind it. Next, a roundhouse kick, followed by a triple kick that rose from below, and a body blow with his shoulder. These attacks came swiftly and flowed one into the other… how the hell am I supposed to avoid that? This is impossible.
Quickly blown away by these attacks, I slammed into the tombstone the girl was hiding under, smashing it into pieces.
“Uwaah!” went the girl. It wasn’t me; I don’t feel pain after all.
“Why are you coming over here?! Don’t look, I said! You Eroro Gunsou! (6) Go die!”
Her red face became even redder and she began to beat on me. What a fresh attitude.
“Would a schoolboy’s uniform work?”
“As if I know! Huh? What are you talking about?”
She inclined her neck. Her huge round eyes blinked twice.
“For you to change into.”
Saying that, I stood up and kicked off of the gravel floor.
I extended a hand, aiming for his neck. The minute I reached my target, his furry padded hand twined around mine.
In the next moment, my legs were swept out from under me and my back hit the gravel.
This bear didn’t have any fingers but still could throw me, couldn’t he? Also, he elbowed me in the face while I lay there collapsed. This attack was once again with an amazing amount of force, and made a loud sound as if he had just struck me with an iron ball. I was sure that there was now a head-shaped hole in the ground.
When I tried to strike his fist, he quickly jumped away, once again taking up a Chinese martial arts stance with his hands stretched out horizontally, waiting for my next move.
I stood up slowly and brushed off the gravel, once again putting up my fists.
“Don’t you understand?! The likes of you could never defeat a Megalo! Run away quickly!”
I heard her heckling me from the shade of the tombstone… just shut up for a second.
There was a single tree that overlooked the graveyard, as if watching over it. The tree swayed in the wind, and its leaves rustled. To me, the sound seemed almost like a cheer.
Once again, I closed the distance between me and the bear. I approached him straight on this time, with the intention of grabbing onto his face.
Once again, the bear’s hand grabbed onto my zombie arm. But this time the bear couldn’t stop me. I grabbed onto his uniform sleeve and pulled the bear towards me, while the other hand grabbed onto his huge nose.
Then I took the howling bear’s head with both hands and twisted. I heard a huge satisfying Crack!. The bear sent a line of drool flying into the air and spun around a number of times before stopping. Then, that three-meter tall bear fell onto the floor with a thud.
Have you heard of the idea that humans cannot use 100% of their strength?
The body can’t tolerate it when you use 100% of your strength, so the brain deliberately locks up some of this power away. Sometimes, in great catastrophes, you can tap into this power. Like at a fire or something.
Well, my body can tolerate it. In fact, I wish my body could lock some of this strength away. I can put out not only 100% of my strength, but 120%. I mean, that’s what I just did. And I can do even more.
I mean, I’m a zombie after all.
My muscles might protest, but I feel no pain. What’s more, my body has definitely become sturdier and heals quickly. Granted, if I use too much strength, my arms might fly off or something in reaction.
While I was thinking about these things, I successfully disrobed the evil high school girl or whatever and handed the uniform to the naked girl.
The girl quickly snatched the huge uniform away from me.
She angrily issued that one command, and I obeyed. I quickly turned around, and stood there while listening to the rustling sounds of her changing.
“So, what exactly was that bear thing?”
“I told you already, didn’t I?! It was the evil demon baron Kumacchi!”
… Well, that name sure is different.
“But also, to think that a B-class Megalo could be wiped out in one strike…”
“Well, one strike or whatever, if you twist something’s neck around once it’ll die, right? I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t die from something like that.”
Of course, that’s only from personal experience.
It seemed that she had finished changing, and I felt a pull on my shirt.
When I turned around, I saw the girl wrapped around in the huge baggy uniform that was dragging on the floor and had its sleeves rolled up a large number of times.
She was glaring at me and her mouth was twisted into a frown. Her ahoge, as if it was receiving a signal from somewhere, violently swayed from side to side.
“Pick up my masou renki.”
It was right there, but she probably still couldn’t touch it. I listened to her desire and collected the weapon. Even though I was touching it, I didn’t get shocked.
“Geez. Why exactly am I being rejected by this thing?”
Even if she asks me that, all I can do is cock my neck in puzzlement.
“Alright… take me to your house. I have to make a phone call.”
“Phone? If you need a phone… I have one here.”
I took out my cell phone from my pants pocket. I had smashed hard into that tombstone earlier, but it seemed that my cell phone hadn’t broken.
“What kind of sorcery is that?”
Seeing the black cell phone, she took a step back and seemed to fall into a defensive stance. I don’t think she knew what a cell phone was. When I held it out at her, she dodged. Heh, amusing.
“It’s just a phone.”
“Really? If you’re lying to me, you’re going to become like Kumacchi over there.”
She pointed at the collapsed bear. The bear turned into sparkling white particles and rose in the wind, soon disintegrating… I wouldn’t want to become like that.
“Yeah yeah.” I responded nonchalantly, and began to explain to her how to use the phone. Quite unexpectedly, she sincerely listened to my explanation and nodded.
Whether she understood how to use the phone or not, with the quickness of a master of Hyakunin Isshu (7), she snatched the phone away from me and dialed a number.
Riiiiiing. Riiiiiing. Riiiiiing.
“Ah, is this Dai-sensei? It’s me. Haruna from the refrain year, rising class!”
It seemed she had gotten a hold of who she wanted.
From what she had said about “humans in this world” before, she was probably from another world. I guess phone signals could traverse worlds… and for some reason, the words “refrain year, rising class” had a bad ring to them.
“Eh? Ah, I haven’t found it yet… sorry about that. But there’s something else. I’m being rejected by Mystletainn.”
It seemed that the chainsaw had the fancy name of Mystletainn.
“Ah, yeah. It just shoots sparks at me. Yeah. My magic power dried up? I see… wait! There’s no way a human in this world could have that kind of magical power!”
Oh? For some reason, she seemed surprised at something. She began to pace around the area with a hand on her chin, and appeared to be thinking.
“I see. Certainly, that can be the only explanation. I understand. For now, I’ll do what I can in this world. As for how I’m going to get home… alright. Excuse me. Sorry for taking up your time. Yes. Alright, until later.”
I couldn’t really follow the logic of the conversation, but if you’re done with my phone, please give it back. When I held out my hand, she roughly thrust the phone back into my hands.
“You, you stole my magical power, didn’t you?”
She glared at me with upturned eyes. Why exactly is she looking at me like that?
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Sorry.”
“Who exactly are you? Dai-sensei told me that you’d have to have an impossible amount of magical power to be able to steal the magical power from me, the genius bishoujo demon baroness Haruna-chan!”
So now you’re a demon baroness? Is she obsessed with demon barons or something?
I have no idea about this magical power or whatever she’s talking about. But, I knew one person who was well-informed about this kind of thing. That person was probably at my house right now, leisurely watching comedies on TV.
Well, what should I do? The only two people who knew that I was a zombie were myself and the person who made me this way. Well, I guess it probably is fine if I told it to this “genius bishoujo demon baroness Haruna-chan” too.
“Hurry up and speak! Who are you?! Could it be, you’re one of this world’s wizards?! Y-You thinking of stabbing me to death or something?!”
… What kind of terrible wizards do you know?
“I’m a zombie.”
“Just a walking corpse. I’m dead.”
“The undead! Undead demon ba-… no, you’re not a demon baron, that’s for sure.”
She covered up her words mid-sentence. Does everything have to be a demon baron with you?!
“I see… hmm, I see. If you’re dead, it won’t matter if you’re impaled with a sword…”
Why exactly did she want to impale me with a sword that much? Hm? Wait a second. Could it be that she knew that I was stabbed to death?
Lately, there have been a series of bizarre serial murders in this town. I also got involved with that and died… and well, the reason I’m a zombie now is because the murderer stabbed me with a sword. And even if she knew about these murders, would she know that the murder weapon was a sword?
Perhaps… the one who killed me was… her? Her attitude is just too strange…
Exactly what does she know?
“Hey, are you connected to the serial murders?”
“… You’re going to take responsibility for your actions.”
She completely ignored me. Well, whatever. I’ll ask her later.
“My mission as a masou shoujo in this disgusting world was to look for artifacts. Also, to defeat the Megalo that appeared.”
“Ahh, a mahou shoujo. I thought that’s what you might have been.”
“Huh? I’m a masou shoujo! Don’t lump me together with those clichés!”
“I don’t know the difference. So, what are Megalo? Things like that bear?”
“Yes. That frightening thing before.”
“Why are you fighting with things like that?”
Even for a zombie like me, it was a tough opponent. For this cheeky little bishoujo, it was probably a matter of life or death.
“Megalo are little insects that are trying to destroy my world. So if we leave even one alive, there is no future for masou shoujo like me. And that’s why I’m a warrior. Hmph, pretty amazing, aren’t I?”
“I see, so they’re your natural enemies. If they want to destroy your world, why exactly are they appearing in this one?”
“Well, let me just ask you, do you really want to have a war at your own home?”
Well, don’t go and fight at someone else’s doorstep then! Although, if she’s getting rid of things that are also threats to humans, then I guess I’m grateful.
“Anyways, I can’t fight in this condition, so you do it!”
“From henceforth, you have become a masou shoujo! You should be honored!”
In a flash, she pointed at me with her index finger. What, was this an official decision or something?
“Wait wait. Those, umm… mahou… I mean masou shoujo… I’m a guy, not a girl. You should stop while you’re ahead.”
“As if I care! I told you to just do it!”
Eh, is she deaf or something? Now I know what they mean when they say “I’d like to see her parents’ faces.” (8)
“Please reconsider it. This really is an important point. It’s not like it’s that easy to-“
“And in that time… I’m super ultra mega reluctant but… you’re going to allow me to stay at your house.”
She muttered with a frustrated look on her face, and averted her gaze.
… Give me a break. What’s going to happen to my lonely, boring days if someone as noisy as this came over to stay? Just thinking about it frightened me.
“… You, what’s your name?”
“It’s Ayumu. Aikawa Ayumu… hey but seriously, just think about it a bit mo-“
“… Ayumu. I see. It’s Ayumu.”
How deaf can one person be? I get the feeling that I knew exactly what the inventor of the phrase “in one ear and out the other” must have felt. Even if I told her she couldn’t come over, anything I said that she didn’t want to hear would just not register, right?
And also… this situation was my fault in the first place…?
… Well, whatever. If it really is my fault, then I have no choice but to at least let her stay over. Yes. Life is about accepting things. So let’s not hesitate.
“I understand. I’ll… be a masou shoujo or whatever.”
She was probably waiting to hear my surrender. Her ahoge bounced up and down in a lively fashion and she nodded with a triumphant expression.
“If you’ve decided that, let’s begin practicing being a masou shoujo right away!”
I watched her with my head held between my hands as she pumped her fist in the air, and began to walk with a spring in her step.
“But, I have one condition.”
“What? If it’s something strange, I’m going to kick you.”
“I want you to call me oniichan.”
Ahh, geez, she really did kick me hard. It was a high kick in the style of Mirko Cro Cop. (9)
And well, that was how I was forced to become a masou shoujo.
Even though I’m a guy. And, well…
I’m also a zombie.
(1) Rice ball.
(2) This is the Japanese equivalent expression to the English “raining cats and dogs.” But I couldn’t use the English expression because then the joke here wouldn’t work.
(3) Around 4 feet 9 inches. Metric system rules!!
(4) Translates vaguely to “magical clothing tempered weapon.” Or something.
(5) Character in Kinnikuman, who has a special ability called the “Palo Special.” Now that I think about it, if you’re following my Oreimo translation, I feel that there was a reference to the same exact special ability to the same exact show… weird.
(6) Pun on Keroro Gunsou. I’m going to warn you that I’m probably bad at translating puns and might miss a few here and there.
(7) Refers to a card game I believe, in which you have to match stanzas of poetry as fast as possible.
(8) A Japanese idiom. Basically, expresses shock at bad behavior of a youngster. Sort of like “what must his/her parents be like?”
(9) Croatian heavyweight kickboxer.