Chapter 2-2

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VOLUME 2

Chapter 2: Part 2

So, that’s how we ended up writing all our feelings down on tanzaku. (1)

Haruna’s version of Santa, for not one good reason whatsoever, seemed to limit his attention to people with ponytails, so everyone had tied up their hair.

Of course, Sera had a ponytail to begin with, so she didn’t have to change a thing.

Yuu, who had her waist-length hair done into a ponytail, did seem a bit more relaxed than usual.

Or rather, seeing her like that definitely made me more relaxed, so having the impression that she was as well was probably just an illusion.

Haruna had forced her shoulder-length chestnut hair into a small ponytail, and I’ll hand it to her that she was pretty cute too.

Even for Haruna, who was usually lacking in sex appeal, seeing the back of her neck exposed like that was quite charming.

As for me…

“Ayumu, that look really works for you.”

Why did she say that without even looking at me?

Sera looked a few times in my direction and snorted with laughter. Well, it’s not like I can do anything about it. I don’t have as much hair as you people.

Sera placed a felt-tipped pen on her elegant lips, and seemed to be thinking about what to write. Ugh, she laughed again.

“Ayumu, that look really works for you.”

“Ahh, thanks.”

It was a smile dripping with sarcasm.

“Alright, something like this!”

Haruna held up her tanzaku. However, she frowned and glared at it, and seeming not happy with it, soon crumpled it up and threw it into the trashcan. Over the past few minutes, she had already done that a few times.

I picked up one of her rejections and uncrumpled it. The wish that was written on it was…

A heart that loves peace… I guess?

That was pointlessly cool-sounding… why did she ask it like a question? Wishes were a more one-sided thing, weren’t they? Wasn’t she really good when it came to things like that? Did she not already have a heart that loved peace?!

As I was thinking that, I opened up another rejection. Yuu seemed to show some interest as well, and leaned both her body and her silver-haired ponytail over as she peeked at what was written.

The Monster Killer of Koshien (Long sword) (2)

What the hell was that? Something like the Dragon Killer? (3) Did Santa inherit that or something?

Yuu seemed to regret ever looking over, and returned both her body and her eyes to the television.

“Hey! What are you doing?! Don’t look! The wishes won’t come true if other people read them!”

There was a rule like that? Alright, if Haruna decided that, then let’s look through them all right away.

“Don’t wish for weird things. At least ask for something that exists in this-“

Two taps on the table interrupted my words, so while I still hadn’t finished my sentence with the word “world,” I took a look at Yuu’s memo.

Why does she want to kill the monster of Koshien?

I guess Yuu just couldn’t help having that on her mind.

“The gloomy necromancer doesn’t know? If you beat the monster that lives at Koshien, kouka (4) flows out, you know?”

Oh hoh, so instead of blood, a school song flows out… no, or was I getting the words for “school song” and “coin currency” mixed up? Ugh, this is getting complicated and I can’t keep things straight anymore. Who was it? Who the hell told you that?

Sera covered her mouth and seemed to be enjoying herself, letting out a single chuckle. Surely, the source of all this evil couldn’t be this vampire ninja, could it?

“Ugh, whatever! Enough about me! Hey, Ayumu, go faster! Everyone’s waiting for you right now!”

I see… waiting for me, huh… well then, I’ll just go with something half-assed, like “I wish that my nail-clippers will always stay sharp.”

Actually, wait. It’s not like that wish would come true. And then, I’m sure Haruna would make a fuss about it and go “That’s definitely not coming true! Are you screwing with me?!” or something.

Alright, then let’s make my wish this:

I wish that none of the wishes will come true.

Like this, even if Haruna made a fuss and yelled “It’s not coming true!” I can just respond sarcastically with “Well, mine would come true first.” Ahh, just thinking about how flustered Haruna is going to get is enough to make me smile.

“Ayumu, what’s wrong? That look really works for you, you know?”

What look?! The ponytail? Or rather, the fact that I’m smiling right now?

What is Ayumu wishing for? = “Hey hey, what did oniichan write? Show Yuu, show Yuu!”

Unlike her usual hairstyle, Yuu had done her silky silver hair up into a ponytail, but her expression was as emotionless as ever. But I could have sworn that I saw the depths of her eyes overflowing with curiosity. To understand what Yuu was thinking on the inside, it was enough to gaze into her eyes.

“It’s a secret. Well, I’m sure you’ll find out about it soon.”

I gave her a smile and tried to sound deep. It was already pretty set in stone that Haruna was going to complain about this.

I had finished writing what I wanted to write, and it seemed that I was being an eyesore to Sera, so I started to untie my ponytail.

“Hey Ayumu! The ceremony hasn’t even started yet!”

Wait… since when did Tanabata have a ceremony?

Sera also seemed to have finished writing, and was busy trying to watch the television with Yuu, but Haruna just kept on crying out things like uwah!, nyah!, gunyah!… almost as if she were having a nightmare.

“Just hurry up. I want to take a bath.”

“Just go when we finish the ceremony! You can’t even sit still for a second?! This is why the digital age is so…!”

“Yeah, yeah. So, what kind of ceremony is it?”

“Umm…”

Haruna glanced at Sera. You were just making up random things to say, weren’t you?

… And Sera was definitely the one who blew these crazy ideas about Santa and Tanabata into her head, wasn’t she? Well, Yuu didn’t seem very interested in events like this, so by process of elimination the only person who could have taught Haruna about Japanese customs was Sera.

“Sera, stop teaching Haruna weird things.”

“I didn’t teach her anything weird. Haruna just took what I said and altered them and confused them herself.”

Sera spoke in an indifferent tone with a stern expression. She probably didn’t want me to involve her.

“Then tell her she’s wrong when she starts doing that, dammit.”

“Isn’t it better this way? Changing things up a bit, rather than doing the same thing over and over again.”

“No, I think it’s best if we don’t touch things that have already been perfected. Wouldn’t you hate it if they used watermelon instead in strawberry shortcake? Or if the savory pancake you ordered only had mandarin oranges in it.”

“… And you’re comparing what Haruna is doing to something like that, which could start an outright war? How terrifying.”

“No, what’s actually terrifying is that you’d start a war over something like that.”

“Alright, I’m done! Let’s start the ceremony!”

Haruna collected all the tanzaku back-side up, but I saw her trying to peek at just mine, so I pulled on her ahoge. “Ugyaahh!!” she squealed, and her eyes filled with tears.

I didn’t pull on it that hard, but that squeal was incredibly cute.

Maybe her ahoge was her real body.

“D-Don’t pull on that…”

“I got it, just hurry up and start.”

Haruna held a candle in between her fingers, and for some reason crossed her arms in front of her chest like Wolverine, and started to chant.

Kaizard, Alzard, Ki, Sku, Hanz, Graz, Silc. Turn everything to ash, and-

Halloween… hey… (5)

“Wait just a second! Are you just ripping that off?! Shouldn’t you be waiting until Halloween to make that reference? Or rather, do you seriously think that’s a real chant?!”

“Hueh? It is. It’s magic. I did my best to practice it before too.”

“No no, that’s seriously baffling to me. Just stop it. Is that seriously something you can just practice and be able to do?”

“Ayumu, what exactly are you so afraid of?”

It seems that Ms. Vampire Ninja didn’t appreciate the terror that was Halloween. I should explain to her just how terrifying the magic that appears in manga can be.

Do not worry. Haruna has no magical power.

Well, that was certainly true. She still couldn’t transform into a masou shoujo, after all. Well, that’s a relief.

“I-I do have magical power! I’m pretty sure it’s returned! So if I don’t try, we won’t know, right?!”

“That’s why I’m telling you to stop it, isn’t it?”

By the way, what kind of ceremony is this?

Ah, I’m pretty grateful that Yuu is backing me up here.

I followed her up with a “Yeah, that’s right.” And I wanted to continue “Exactly what kind of ceremony are you doing here?” but I didn’t have the chance to get the words out.

“Doing an event like this together makes us seem like a family, doesn’t it?”

Sera gave a little chuckle.

Ah, indeed. I understood what she meant. I was thinking the same thing, in fact. I smiled just like Sera.

Yuu also seemed to agree. She gave a single nod.

But, as for Haruna…

“W-hat is this… these feelings… oogh…”

Haruna just glared at me with a frowning expression. She didn’t seem happy about something.

“Haruna?”

When I called out to her, Haruna’s face flushed red, almost as if it were being boiled.

“W-What do you want?! Don’t look at me!”

Hey, you were the one looking at me. What just happened? Did my smile annoy you that much? Well, alright, if she wanted to be like that, then I’ll tease her a bit.

“Haruna, you know…”

“Come on! Don’t look at-“

“That hairstyle looks really cute on you.”

“Nyahfth!!”

Haruna made a sound you might expect when you explode an egg in a microwave.

She stood up.

“Ayumu’s hairstyle doesn’t look good at all! Why do you have your hair like that?! You dumb idiot!”

Huh? The only reason I did my hair like this is because you wouldn’t shut up and told me to… but before I could retort with that, Haruna had already begun to come at me with a very clean spinning back kick.

“Yuu, help me.”

I reached out a hand towards the goddess that was sitting next to me. Yuu put on a somewhat lonely expression and just looked up at Haruna.

“Ah, Ayumu. Didn’t you want to ask me something?”

“No… nothing in particular comes to mind.”

“Well, then I don’t mind. Haruna, please continue.”

No, come on, please stop her.

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TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

(1) The strips of paper you write wishes on for Tanabata.

(2) Koshien is a baseball tournament. No, it’s really not supposed to make sense.

(3) Not sure if this is a specific reference to a video game sword or not.

(4) Have to leave this in Japanese in order for the next string of puns to work. What follows is a bunch of words that all are pronounced as “kouka” in Japanese.

(5) Reference to the Halloween chant from Bastard. Sappari.

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