Chapter 1: Part 4
They were standing under the summer sky, on a road wedged between apartment buildings. Right in the middle of a road without any signs. And in this normal residential district, somewhere you would expect to find children playing catch, there stood a conspicuous monster wearing a boy’s school uniform and a chestnut-haired young girl. I had finally found them.
Haruna was wearing a dressing gown consisting of just a shirt and her underwear, and no matter how tattered her clothing had become, she wouldn’t stand down. She seemed to have been on the receiving end of a lot of blows, and was repeatedly launching her own ineffective attacks.
So the Megalo she had made her opponent looked like he was having a good time with it.
It was a huge, grey horse whose size easily exceeded three meters. It was wearing a boy’s school uniform, so it was easy for me to guess that this was a Megalo.
The horse didn’t neigh even once. It seemed to have mistaken “umaaa” as the sound a horse makes.
Haruna sent a huge swing at the horse, and just by pulling his body back a bit the horse was able to evade the attack.
The horse sneered at Haruna. Haruna’s face was warped with frustration.
The horse’s hands bore no fingers, but instead ended in hooves. With just a small push, Haruna was sent rolling away like a ball. Even then, the determined Haruna soon stood right back up, and swung the chainsaw once again. But the chainsaw in this state was nothing more than a normal blunt weapon, and the horse just took the attack right on.
He didn’t even flinch. Haruna seemed shocked and her eyes widened, but she didn’t give up and sent the chainsaw flying again and again into the horse.
The reason Haruna’s attacks were meaningless was not that she couldn’t transform into a masou shoujo.
Rather, when Haruna saw a Megalo in front of her, her strength would suddenly leave her. She became exhausted to the point where she couldn’t even stand, to the point where she clunked down onto the floor.
If she attacked in that condition, there’s no way her attacks would have any effect.
But, Haruna didn’t give up.
Her pride wouldn’t allow her to.
A purple aura burst out of his huge nostrils. Being hit with the poisonous air, Haruna began to shake.
Almost as if all the strength had left her lower half, Haruna tried to prop herself up with the chainsaw, but ended up plopping down onto the ground. Her cheeks were flushed, and a sweet breath escaped her lips.
At last, she let go of the chainsaw. She trembled and shook her head, desperately trying to retain her grip on consciousness, but her ahoge had already lost all its vitality.
The horse traced Haruna’s soft skin with his hooves. The horse’s eyes filled with lust, and his breathing became ragged. Circling around, the horse sent one of his hooves inside Haruna’s dress…
Well, at that point, I had managed to sneak up behind him, and with the intention of tearing it off, I latched onto and pulled on his mane. Clouds had finally covered the sun from view.
Haruna’s empty eyes seemed to have trouble grasping the situation. The weird aura that the horse had emitted might have had a thought-clouding effect.
I kicked the horse flying with all my might, and turning towards Haruna, I lightly lifted up my right arm.
“Hey, fancy seeing you here. I came to exterminate a Megalo, but what exactly are you doing here?”
“Hey, are you alright?”
I snatched the chainsaw away from Haruna, and with it, aimed around the face and cut upwards. Because right there was the hate-filled face of the horse, and my attack slammed upwards into his jaw. I elbowed him, and extended my hand as if I were performing a backhand chop. Waiting for the right time, I spun around once and again sent an attack up into his jaw.
With her hair completely disheveled and her ahoge suddenly bouncing up, Haruna suddenly took a deep breath.
“Ayumu! Get here faster next time!”
Well, she seems fine. That’s great.
“I seriously didn’t think you would really go off by yourself.”
“Even if I’m by myself… even if he’s no match for me… I have to do it. I…”
I was about to apologize to Haruna as she showed me a lonely expression, but the horse had put his hooves onto the asphalt and was rushing towards us, so there was no time.
The sun hadn’t set yet, so it didn’t seem my human-limit-breaking attacks were very effective. I had intended to kill him, but the horse still seemed quite sure of himself.
Alright, what should I do?
Did I really have to become a masou shoujo? Honestly, I never wanted to change into that outfit again.
“Hey! Come on, transform! Your opponent is an AA-class Megalo… the Terrifying Kneecap, Wanderlei Siuma! (2)”
When more purple smoke erupted from the horse’s nostrils, Haruna shivered in terror.
Ahh, I’m wasting time here… it really seemed that I had to transform.
Fine, fine. I have to transform. In a very slovenly way, I began to chant.
“Nomobuyo, woshi, hashitawa, dokeda, gunmiicha, dei, ribura!”
My school uniform flew off, and an embarrassing full-cosplay costume wrapped around my body. As if not wanting to wait for the transformation to finish, the horse came attacking with both his hooves thrust out in front of him.
While spinning, I flowed past him and took his back. I exited the shadows, entering a spot that was exposed to direct sunlight.
Alright, even under the sun, I could move around as expected. I couldn’t use my abilities as a zombie, but I had more than enough energy left to fight with. As expected from a masou shoujo. Like this, I couldn’t lo-
Suddenly expelling the entire contents of my lungs, I danced in midair with my mouth open.
There was a hoof mark carved into my chest. With a force stronger than anything I had ever experienced, the attack had crushed my lungs.
When I took a look, I saw the horse had his head raised, had his forelegs on the ground, and had kicked up with his hind legs.
I had been kicked with a horse’s kick.
That was an insane amount of power. If I were just a normal masou shoujo, I probably would have died.
Amongst strong warriors, it was common knowledge that you should move behind your enemy when you’re given the chance. He deliberately lured me into going behind him by launching such a magnificiently avoidable attack.
”What? You’re still alive? Well, whatever,” he seemed to be saying… or maybe…
”You’re a guy? Well, whatever.” That could have been the nuance he was going for. Whichever it was, this horse’s face was quite expressive.
He turned the left side of his body towards me, while lifting his right hoof towards his cheek. Coming closer, he feinted with a left jab. If I let down my guard even a bit, he would probably send a right straight punch my way. This was an unpleasant situation to be in.
But, because I still had the chainsaw, I had him on reach.
Lifting the chainsaw with both hands above my head, I shuffled around and looked for an opening.
The sunlight streaming down at us scorched the atmosphere. Collecting that light, the chainsaw began to glow a ruby color. The chainsaw teeth spontaneously began to turn, and rather than the sound of an engine, gave out a high-pitched shriek.
The horse went around me and cut in. I decided to ignore his left jab in this case. Together with his huge attack with his right hand, I’ll counterattack him with all my might.
And after that, I’ll just follow that up with more and more attacks.
As if I’d lose to you. If you want to compete with me, you should’ve brought half a dozen friends.
Granted, if I were at full strength right now, I would be able to pin him down with one attack. Dammit, why does it have to be noontime?
My wounds were also healing slower. It was hard to breath, probably because of the damage he had inflicted on my lungs, or maybe because of that suspicious purple aura the horse was giving off.
The horse closed the distance between us in one breath. I collected all of my strength and swung the chainsaw downwards. The chainsaw left a trail of ruby-colored light behind it.
It took a few seconds for Haruna’s voice to reach me.
Feeling strangely as if time had slowed down around me, I glared at the horse in front of me.
The horse’s huge body slipped to the side. I was expecting that. I had swung the chainsaw diagonally. The chainsaw gradually turned more and more sharply and followed the horse’s motions.
The horse, in a forward-bent posture, stretched out his hand as if preparing for a backhand chop. Too late. Before his attack could reach me, my chainsaw reached him.
The same time the chainsaw began to carve into the horse, his left jab collided with my right arm.
Is he seriously just going to go on attacking in this state?
As he was getting cut down by the chainsaw, the horse repeatedly attacked me with right straight punches. I let go of the chainsaw, and grasping his hoof with my left hand, elbowed that impertinent horse in the face with my right arm.
The horse’s jaw shook, and he collapsed.
Pretty simple. Should I play with him a bit?
I confidently let this opportunity pass me by.
I was stronger than this horse. As I was drowning in this sense of superiority, I finally heard what Haruna was saying.
“Ayumu! I’m telling you to look behind you, dammit! Idiot!”
Behind me? Well for now, before I turned around I looked down. I was taking into account the possibility that I was already being attacked with something.
In the next moment, my rounded back arched back into the shape of a bow. With the shock that I received from behind me, I had no other choice.
My zombie fresh blood flew out like shrapnel, and dyed the black uniform of the horse.
My body had been pierced by something. Pierced by a pipe-looking thing that was around as thick as a human finger.
And there wasn’t only one. The next one and the next one impaled through my body. A current of electricity ran through my body, and my hands and feet went numb.
My body was lifted up high, and slammed down into the ground. Dammit, I can’t really move my body very well.
Aiming for my face, the horse’s leg dropped down on top of me. My cheek scraped against the asphalt as I was trampled by that horse’s hooves.
Every fiber of my being was seething with anger, but I couldn’t shake off the numbness in my limbs and do anything about it.
Right next to the horse was a jellyfish. Or maybe I shouldn’t call it a jellyfish… it was a boy’s school uniform wearing cnidarian.
I see, that attack had come from the jellyfish.
Now that I got a good look at it, I saw that there wasn’t only one jellyfish. Five… or ten… there were still a large number of them. I remembered how I was told that Megalo had appeared in large numbers.
Not good. My consciousness was hazing over. Was it because I had taken in too much of that purple aura?
I was seriously an idiot. Why didn’t I deal the finishing blow when I had the chance? I wouldn’t lose anything if I gloated after I had won.
Crap. I couldn’t die, so I wasn’t worried about me, but Haruna was a different story. There’s no way she could run away from this many Megalo.
Sera…. Yuu… save us. No, I don’t care who it is… please, if there is a God!
I’m sure this image of a zombie begging God was pretty hilarious. Maybe God just really pitied me or something, but my prayers seemed to have been answered.
A mantle gently unfurled in front of me. It was the black mantle characteristic of vampire ninjas.
… Did Sera come to save us? She always shows up right when we’re in trouble.
The jellyfish that had impaled me lost all of its strength. The vampire ninja who had alighted in front of me was a young boy I had never seen before.
“Who… are you?”
“I came to meet you.”
He seemed to be more around the age of Haruna or Yuu than Sera, and there was youth left in his face. In his left hand there was… tonkotsu ramen.
Was I seeing things? Maybe it’s because my head is really spinning…
No, it’s pretty clear… it really was tonkotsu ramen. No matter how you looked at it, it was tonkotsu ramen.
The boy began to look around him. It seemed like he didn’t really have a solid grasp of the situation. However, when his glare fell on the jellyfish, he broke out into a run with an angry expression.
With a hearty shout, this vampire ninja… sloshed the tonkotsu ramen at the jellyfish.
When he did that, the pitch-black school uniform melted away, and the jellyfish began to squirm, finally dissolving into sparkling particles.
… This can’t be happening. Just by getting splashed with tonkotsu ramen…
I was seeing things, right? It wasn’t tonkotsu ramen, but acid ramen, right?
The horse Megalo tried to spring on him, but a green-colored sword impaled its body. And when that horse toppled forwards, a ponytailed beauty stood on top of him.
The beauty changed tree leaves into swords, and thrusting them into the horse’s face, caused the horse to writhe in agony and dispel into white particles.
Without even making sure the horse had been defeated, with her ponytail falling into disarray behind her, she began to cut down the Megalo one by one.
The ponytailed beauty changed tree leaves into shurikens and threw them.
The boy flung the tonkotsu ramen noodles that had fallen on the asphalt at the Megalo.
The ponytailed beauty cut through her enemies with her green sword.
The boy took the remaining tonkotsu soup in the bowl and splashed it at the enemies, melting them.
Like that, the Megalo were easily exterminated.
As expected from Sera. Unlike me, she was merciless even against enemies that were no match for her. As for the tonkotsu ramen thing… no comment.
“Seraphim! It’s been a while. How’ve you been?”
The boy confidently began to whack Sera on the back with a smile on his face. Perhaps because she was offended at how overly-familiar he was being, but Sera swept the boy’s feet from under him. He fell. Locking his arms in a chicken wing position, Sera spoke curtly.
“Don’t come near me please.”
“Ah! Hey! Seraphim! Uncle! Uncle dammit! Let go of me!!”
“Sera, you know this person?”
“Yeah. Well… Ayumu, are you alright?”
Sera spoke to me while holding the boy down. I stood up shakily, and dissolved my transformation.
“Thanks to that person… somehow or other. Haruna, you alright?”
I headed towards Haruna’s direction, as she didn’t seem to be able to stand yet, and gave her a hand. And this uncooperative masou shoujo didn’t even try to take that hand. She probably couldn’t stand being saved by anyone else.
I passed the chainsaw to her, and when I turned around, I saw Sera had locked arms with the boy as if she had caught an escaping prisoner… they looked like they were stuck to each other. I was a bit jealous.
“Who is that? Let go. That’s the person who saved us, you know.”
“This is Mael Strom. Another vampire ninja, but someone who belongs to an opposing faction.”
When she let go of Mael with a firm push, Mael tottered away from her unsteadily.
I see. They were in opposing factions, which is why she reacted the way she did.
“Hm, now that I think about it, vampire ninjas also fought each other…?”
I had completely forgotten, but the reason Sera was staying in my house was because she was trying to get Yuu to revive the vampire ninja chief. I only vaguely remembered this, but she did say something about a war breaking out over who would be the successor.
“Right now, there are two factions of vampire ninjas. I am part of the conservative faction, while Mael is part of the reform faction.”
Doves and hawks, then? That seemed sort of complicated. For now, I guess I’ll just think of it as there being two types of vampire ninjas? People who wanted to protect Yuu’s life, and those who were aiming for it.
“Owwww… Seraphim! You were seriously trying to break my arm, weren’t you?!”
“Well, you got to stick close to Sera, so it was worth it in the end, right?”
“Huh? What the hell was worth it?!”
Putting one of my arms around Mael, I whispered into his ear.
“Come on, when you were stuck to her earlier… and you could feel her breasts…”
The boy began to shudder and he drew his shoulders back.
“Uwaaah! D-Don’t whisper in my ear!”
He raised his hand and blushed. I caught his black mantle with the hand that had been wrapped around his shoulder.
Boys are really cowardly creatures, aren’t they? He was probably taking advantage of all the turmoil to stroke and go lovey-dovey over Sera’s breasts. For mammals like us, breasts were a necessity of life, after all.
But… if he did that, wouldn’t Sera have gotten angry?
No, for boys as young as him, there were less-defined boundaries when it came to touching girls.
Isn’t youth nice? I’m seriously jealous. I just really want to strangle him to death while we’re like this.
“That hurts… sto.. stop that…”
“Ayumu… the Megalo went down already, so let’s go home”
Haruna clutched at my clothes. Mael grabbed my face with his hand.
“W-What the hell… you… let go, dammit. You’re sick! Are you a middle schooler or something?!”
You too, are you a middle schooler? You’re about as tall as Haruna, so… maybe an elementary schooler?
“Hey! Ayumu, you asshole! Don’t ignore me!”
For some reason, Haruna, with her ahoge sticking straight up, pushed me from behind. It was pretty much a strong thrust, and I toppled down with my arms around Mael.
You are one noisy guy. I’m the one who should be yelling here.
At that moment, everyone at that scene was shocked.
Somehow, I had ended up locking lips with this boy.
It was just one moment. It was barely more than a passing touch, but I definitely could feel something soft. If I hadn’t gotten my hand on the ground before I fell completely, it wouldn’t have just been a kiss; our teeth would have crashed into each other.
This was the worst.
Sera naturally put on a shocked expression and drew away, while Haruna’s mouth formed a triangle and she went completely red… the boy, Mael… why exactly was he blushing too?
And to think that was my first kiss… no, this doesn’t count does it?
“I-It hurts, so get your hands off me!”
Ah, crap. The soft feeling hadn’t disappeared. Yes, right now I could feel it through my palm… something soft and light.
Hm? What was with this strange extra lump of fat on this guy’s chest…? I felt the blood draining from my face. Mael was near tears. I stood up and fell into thought.
Mael was squeezing his legs together tightly and hugging himself. Tears filled his eyes and he tried to avoid my gaze. Don’t tell me, that under that black mantle there was…
“Ayumu, you hentai! Yack Deculture!” (3)
“If you would allow me to also…”
Haruna and Sera’s kicks both ripped into my head.
(1) Uma is horse in Japanese.
(2) Play on Wanderlei Silva, a Brazilian mixed martial artist. Yes, his nickname really is the “Terrifying Kneecap” in Japan. Weird.
(3) According to a friend of mine, a super cereal Macross fanboy who is going to be pissed when he sees himself referred to like that, this line is something said by the Zentradi race in Macross to express surprise or disbelief.