Chapter 3: Part 2
Yuu loosened her grip on the hand that was holding the scythe. Her eyes were filled with despair.
“Yuu… are you alright?”
I put one of my hand on her thin, frail shoulders and she slowly turned her face to look at mine. Tears threatened to fall from her eyes.
When I took my hand off her shoulder, I had the feeling that I had lost something.
Her eyes were wet with tears and her body was shaking. Her lips were stiffened, as if she were trying to hold something in.
I wanted to embrace her. I wanted to stroke her head. I wanted to do something for her. Rather, I knew that I had to do something for her.
Yuu transformed the scythe back into a ballpoint pen, and with her usual emotionless face, pretending like nothing had happened, she turned towards the Megalo that jammed the crosswalk.
No, that’s not true. But I couldn’t say even those simple words.
Well, crap. There was no possible way I could deal with this many Megalo without my masou renki.
Sera also seemed to feel the same way.
“Sera, let’s run.”
“As someone who calls herself a vampire ninja, I can’t back down and must fight no matter what kind of enemy-“
“Yeah, however. What about Haruna and Yuu? You can’t fight while you’re protecting them, right? So let me put it another way. Let’s at least get away from here. They’re going to come after me and Haruna or Yuu. At the very least, let’s try to move to a place where the normal humans won’t get involved.”
“Understood… I’ll take Hellscythe-dono, and you handle Haruna then.”
Sera held Yuu in her arms, and I carried Haruna on my back as we ran.
“Hey! D-Don’t touch me in weird places!”
Don’t say unreasonable things… hm? I suddenly realized that something didn’t quite make sense here, and turned my head back a bit as I ran.
“Haruna, you don’t feel anything wrong?”
“Hueh? No, why?”
Even though that many Megalo had appeared, Haruna looked just as she always did. What was the meaning of that? Why wasn’t she trembling like usual and screeching “ukyaa!” or something?
Those things are fake Megalo.
Yuu showed that memo to me. I see… so those Megalo that seemed more menacing and not at all as cute as they usually looked were fakes? So Haruna was unaffected because of that?
Wait just a second. Where exactly did all those Megalo come from? Didn’t they appear right when that man who spoke in that disgusting way vanished?
… Were these Megalo created by that man?
“Yuu, that guy from before, can he make Megalo?”
Megalo need the souls of masou shoujo, which come to the same underworld as the souls of dead humans. He cannot make genuine Megalo. However, he may be able to make fakes with just the souls of humans.
Yuu seemed to also have the same opinion. Why exactly was this person making fake Megalo in such huge numbers? Now that she mentions it, I do remember that you could make Megalo with the souls of the dead. So that person gathered souls in order to make these Megalo… using Kyouko to do that.
But, why exactly did he have to go out and make such annoying things?
“Ayumu, why did you stop running?”
I had gotten too distracted by thinking and had stopped.
Sera looked around for an escape route so that we wouldn’t get surrounded.
“Haruna, do you know what the safest way to go is?”
“There are too many Megalo around us, so I don’t know.”
Haruna held my bag for me and I chased after Sera. Haruna didn’t seem to be able to hold the entire bag with all the stuffed animals in it, and the stuffed animals began to drop onto the ground. But I couldn’t spare enough attention to care about that.
The Megalo continued to leap after us in pursuit. A flock of ladybug Megalo flew after us. Seriously, stop it with the giant bugs. That’s really disgusting… it was like getting chased by a giant crowd of strawberries.
“Ayumu, that over there!”
Haruna faced the Megalo who were chasing after us and shouted. When I turned back, I saw a group of girls dressed in cute outfits. They were probably masou shoujo.
Did they come to exterminate the Megalo? That’s a relief. This would buy us some time.
That’s what I thought, but the masou shoujo also began to come towards us.
Huh? Why were they coming towards us?
They didn’t seem to be going after Yuu or Sera. Which meant…
They were all aiming for me?!
Give me a damn break. Why were the masou shoujo also chasing after me?
Hold on. Maybe there was a reason for that.
Could it be… could it be the thing I was entrusted with by Dai-sensei? If that was something I couldn’t even tell Haruna, then it would be something that masou shoujo would want, right?
So maybe that was also the cause of the Megalo headed in my direction.
If that were the case, I could at least understand why everyone was aiming for me.
“Haruna, don’t you dare lose that schoolbag. I don’t care what happens to the stuffed animals, but don’t lose that bag.”
“Hueh? … Leave it to me!”
Ducking into a panicking crowd of humans, we ran off. At the sudden appearance of this huge parade of monsters, the shopping district had fallen into chaos. Don’t panic that much. It’s going to make me panic too, you know? The masou shoujo are going to make it all better soon, so just be quiet and duck out of the way.
Well, leaving that very zombie-like way of thinking aside, the district had degraded into pure pandemonium and the people scattered about like baby spiders.
But among those humans, there was one group who resolutely stood against the Megalo, and I knew one of the people in that group.
“Tomonori! Ah, or is it Yuki?”
“Can’t you just call me Mael now?!”
“You’re helping us? Aren’t you fighting against Sera?”
“Well even if you say that… I’m… your bride, after all.”
Tomonori scratched the tip of her nose. For some reason, at that moment Haruna began to tighten her grip on my neck.
“Hey, Ayumu, what did that girl just say? That she doesn’t have too much longer to live?” (1)
“Mael Strom, you… hmm? What’s wrong, Hellscythe-dono?”
Sera looked at Tomonori with compassionate eyes, but then looked down her arms, at Yuu.
“Sera, what’s wrong?”
“Ah, nothing.” Taking a good look, I saw that Yuu was gripping strongly onto Sera’s clothes.
“Sera, for now let’s leave it to them and retreat.”
“If we fight together with the-“
“I have a reason. I can’t fight.”
If the cause of all this was my… or rather, the thing that Dai-sensei had given me, then there was no way I could let that be taken. So for now, the only way out was to run.
“…… I understand.” Looking at Yuu’s lonely-looking expression, Sera seemed to find her own reason not to fight. What a relief.
“Tomonori, I’ll leave the rest to you!”
“Yeah, get out of here fast, like you’re riding on a dreadnought-class ship made out of mud!” (2)
The tonkotsu-soup wielding girl who looked like a boy seemed very dependable at that moment. For instance, even if a boat were made of mud, if it were a huge dreadnought-class ship, it would be dependable too.
Carrying Yuu, Sera dashed towards that group of people clad in black mantles. The vampire ninjas quickly parted to the sides, opening up a path for us.
“Seraphim, you’ll owe me one for this.”
“Thank you for this.”
Even though Sera and Tomonori were supposed to be enemies, they smiled at each other. To vampire ninjas, the first priority was still probably the extermination of demons.
Tomonori and the other reform faction vampire ninjas were helping us out, so we got a bit more room to run away safely. We slipped into a narrow alleyway, and peeked back towards the road from the shadows.
Ahh, they’re starting.
The vampire ninjas and the crowd of Megalo collided. Black mixed with black into a single large mass. Red blood and white spheres flew into the air.
We turned our backs from that and tried to get a bit away from this place… but we stopped in our tracks.
Because we saw a single shadowy figure on the rooftop.
She looked like quite a cute girl.
She had a small body but a big chest. Her hair was tied back into twin tails, and she had red eyes with a black mantle. She gave us a mischievous, devilish grin. If we didn’t already know her true nature, we really might have thought that she was cute.
However, just seeing her smile disgusted me. After all, she was the person who had killed me.
Kyouko easily leapt down to us, and spread both her arms out as if trying to block our advance.
“It’s been a while, Aikawa-san. You seem healthy. That’s too bad.”
Was she also aiming for the thing Dai-sensei had given me?
“You people… what exactly are you trying to accomplish by making Megalo in huge quantities like this?”
At my question, Kyouko’s eyes widened. She let out a hum of admiration.
“We’re trying to look for a certain thing. Ahaha.”
She smiled. So she was going after what I had.
“I don’t have anything. Go look for it somewhere else.”
Kyouko laughed uproariously. She really didn’t have to laugh that hard…
“Aikawa-san. If you suddenly go and say that, then I can’t help but think that you do have it. I see, so Ariel-sensei entrusted it to Aikawa-san…”
Kyouko nodded a few times. I was really getting fed up with her pointless cute smiles.
“Ayumu, let’s go.”
“Ahh.” At Sera’s words, I began to put strength into my legs. I really wanted to get away from Kyouko as quickly as possible, but…
“So she couldn’t hand that weapon to a masou shoujo, could she? I see, I see. That’s why no matter how long we waited, things didn’t go as we planned.”
Weapon? I stopped moving when I heard that word I really didn’t want to hear.
“Ayumu, what did she give you? I didn’t hear anything about that!”
Still on my back, Haruna had yelled out right next to my ear, so I tilted my head away from her and scowled.
“What exactly do you plan to do if you get that weapon?!”
Kyouko seemed like she was in quite a good mood, and spoke in an almost sing-song tone.
“If we just get Ariel-sensei’s masou weapon, then we’ll be able to do aaaaany ridiculous thing we want to this world. We thought that if we made so many Megalo, she wouldn’t have a choice but to use it, but she didn’t use it at all and we were really puzzled~~.”
Granted, when Dai-sensei told me that she wanted to entrust me with something, it was when we were talking about the large amounts of Megalo appearing. So the reason that the Megalo were appearing was because of that dumb thing?
Ugh, this sort of pisses me off…
I heard Yuu’s soft mumbling. She was holding her head and looked like she was in pain. Maybe it was just because she had talked, or maybe it was because she was regretting something.
… When she had fun, the people we least wanted to meet appeared. For Yuu, that was that man. For Haruna, that was the huge crowd of Megalo. Although, even normal humans probably didn’t meet with those. As for me, the person I least wanted to meet was the person who had just appeared.
This was ridiculous. All these coincidences couldn’t possibly be Yuu’s fault.
At Sera’s panicked yell, I turned around and saw some black thing hurtling at me. I quickly dodged to the side.
I thought it was some attack coming at me, but it was a vampire ninja. Perhaps he or she had been sent flying, but the vampire ninja rolled along the ground and knocked into the wall.
That vampire ninja got up, at which point she yelled out “Nyaaah!!” and looked in my direction.
Her short hair had become disheveled, and almost looked like a pair of nekomimi.
“What the hell are up with those things?! They’re so incredibly strong!”
“Of course. After all, you look incredibly weak.”
Kyouko smiled. I felt my hatred increase a hundred-fold at the cute little guts pose she took up.
Being cute is great and all, but that didn’t mean that you could get away with anything.
Until the day I die, I would probably continue to hate this person.
… Although, I guess I’ve already died.
“Ah? And which middle school do you go to?!”
Tomonori grabbed Kyouko’s shoulder with a frown.
Sera called out Mael’s name. She probably meant to communicate to her how dangerous it was to touch Kyouko. I agreed. ¬¬¬
A tornado sprouted up, enveloping Tomonori. Compared with the tornadoes I had seen before, this one was absurdly big. The winds blew up dust everywhere. I turned my face away from the harsh winds. My hands were tied up holding Haruna up, so I had no choice but to look away.
In just a few moments, the tornado disappeared. Tomonori’s mantle and school uniform were torn to shreds, and she had lost consciousness. She crumbled to the ground.
I couldn’t do anything.
It was just a moment, and I couldn’t… dammit!
“Mael! Hey! Yuki! Tomonori!”
No matter what name I called, she did not show any signs of getting up. Was she dead?
“Ayumu! It’s coming!”
At Haruna’s shout, I turned around and saw a gorilla Megalo clinging to the wall, spewing out a foul-looking purple smoke.
Did the fake Megalo catch up with us? This was just getting worse and worse. I guess there’s no way out but to fight.
And without my masou renki? This is ricidulous.
I had broken her masou renki before, so Kyouko didn’t have hers, and she also couldn’t transform so I could probably do something about her… right? But as far as I could tell with that tornado, it almost seemed like she had gotten stronger.
But in either case, I couldn’t deal with the Megalo. Even fighting one was asking a lot, but here they just kept coming.
Anyone… anyone, just help us.
At that point, a chill ran through me. It wasn’t a chill that came through fear; it was honestly just a freezing chill.
Before my eyes, the road began to freeze over. The walls and buildings all froze.
What was this? Was this Kyouko’s doing?
“Ahah… so you did have it. Ariel-sensei’s masou weapon!”
Kyouko sounded surprised. There was frost falling at Kyouko’s feet as well. So it was an attack that didn’t discriminate between friend and foe?
Weapon? So this was the effect of the thing that Dai-sensei had entrusted to me, the thing that Kyouko was looking for?
Dai-sensei had entrusted this kind of weapon that just attacked anyone and everyone to me?
Give me a break. What exactly did I do? What exactly did I do to deserve such a…
Sera suddenly bound up onto the roof, and Kyouko soon followed after her. I just continued to feel the cold ground getting even colder, and panicked, not knowing what to do.
My shoes froze to the ground. The gorilla Megalo’s limbs also began to freeze over.
“Haruna, just save yourself.”
“What the hell are you saying?! Hurry up and run!”
Don’t pull on my hair like that. That’s exactly what I would have liked to do, but my ankles were already frozen.
What about Tomonori?
When I looked down to check, I saw that the ground around the collapsed form of Tomonori was already frozen.
At this rate, Tomonori was going to share the fate of those wooly mammoths encased in ice.
“Sera, save Mael!”
I called up onto the rooftop, but as if all the inorganic matter in the area had already frozen, her legs were already stuck to the roof.
So Sera couldn’t even get away. The ice swiftly began to envelope my lower body.
“Haruna, just save-“
A voice rang clearly through my mind.
(1) Untranslatable pun here. Bride is “yome” while your remaining time span is “yomei,” leading to Haruna’s statement here.
(2) Probably a reference to an old Japanese folk tale, where a raccoon makes a boat out of mud for a boat race, but the boat begins to dissolve in the middle of the race.