Chapter 3: Part 5
The graveyard was just a bit away. After we had dodged and gotten past the Megalo, we got back to the narrow roadway.
It was a roadway that was so narrow that cars would have trouble passing through it. And if we went a bit on that roadway, we would arrive at the cemetery.
However, luck would have it that our greatest obstacle would be waiting for us on that final stretch to our goal.
“Good evening, Aikawa-san. What may you be doing in a place like this?”
A cute, long-haired, twin-tailed girl with a young face and largish breasts stood right in the middle of that narrow road with a full-fledged smile across her face.
“I should be asking you the same question.”
Haruna hid behind my back, and I looked around. Kyouko was the only enemy I could see.
“Let’s go, Haruna.”
I had paused for a moment, but I began to brazenly move forwards.
“You have Ariel-sensei’s secret weapon, don’t you? I also checked, and she’s waiting for you up ahead.”
I didn’t have time to talk. I swung the chainsaw downwards.
Even for Kyouko, the attack of a masou renki was still probably a threat. She had lost to me once before, so I expected her to dodge. And just as I had expected, Kyouko stepped to the side, giving Haruna an opportunity to slip past her.
However, a Megalo came and pinned Haruna down. That Megalo hadn’t been there before either…
So did the Megalo catch up with us? That’s not good… there was no way I could fight with the Megalo while dealing with Kyouko.
I flung Kyouko towards the Megalo that was holding onto Haruna. The Megalo took his hands off Haruna and caught Kyouko as she flew towards him. He held gently onto Kyouko in his arms and let her down.
That Megalo seemed like one of the fake ones.
At that opportunity, with the quick-wittedness of a cat, Haruna came back to me on all fours. She didn’t look frightened at all.
“I have to thank Aikawa-san.”
Kyouko chuckled like Dai-sensei, and summoned up a tornado.
“That time, you destroyed my wooden sword, and because of that I came to learn how to control these tornados.”
Kyouko turned the tornado into a sword. It wasn’t straight, and it wasn’t the same length as a sword, but she was holding the tornado like one would hold a sword.
I held my chainsaw aloft. If I wanted to cut her down, I had to get a bit closer.
Kyouko lightly swung the tornado to the side.
No matter how I looked at it, there was no way that swing could reach me. However, I felt a chunk of my flesh got gouged out of my side.
Could that sword stretch out?
Like a whip, the tornado came at me with very irregular motions. When it touched me, it didn’t leave a cut. Rather, it gouged me out as if something had taken a bite out of me. They were attacks I really couldn’t defend against.
I could say that I really wouldn’t recommend a tornado diet.
Kyouko hadn’t transformed into a masou shoujo, and her movements seemed different and slower than they were before.
I took one step closer, and Kyouko took one step back. When I took another step forward, the Megalo came at me with an attack.
What a bother. I repelled the Megalo back, and searched around for a way out of this situation.
“Ayumu, if we stay around here the situation is just going to get worse.”
“I know that.”
“I have an idea. Ayumu, you distract those two.”
“As usual, you’re just asking a lot… by the way, aren’t you scared?”
“Well, that thing… he feels sort of like a Megalo… but he also feels sort of different.”
She still didn’t realize that? It seemed that Haruna hadn’t listened to a single word of the conversation that Kyouko and I had a few days ago. She seriously just ignored anything that she wasn’t interested in.
“I see. But having to fight both Kyouko and that Megalo…”
“What are you saying? You can’t do it?”
“Well, having to deal with them both…”
“Even if it’s for me?”
“… Suddenly I feel like I can do it.”
“Right?” Haruna gave me a satisfied smile.
“… Ayumu, there’s something I want to say to you.”
Haruna muttered quietly.
“This is pretty embarrassing and I really didn’t want to say this….”
Stop playing it up. I kept my eyes looking straight and only half-listened.
“But if I don’t say it now, I feel like I’ll never say it.”
It did seem like it was more important than I had expected, so I glanced at Haruna.
“You know, I…”
Her cheeks were flushed and she averted her gaze. She looked quite embarrassed and I could feel her breath on my skin. My heart began to beat faster and faster.
What are you thinking, looking like that? It really makes me feel weird.
And then, she resolved herself and spoke without any regret.
“… I want to go to the bathroom.”
“Ah, I feel the same way.”
This was definitely not the first time I’ve felt so relieved and so disappointed all at once.
I launched into a blind charge at Kyouko. Another Megalo had shown up and was blocking our path, but I ignored him.
Kyouko leapt backwards while sending tornado attacks at me, so I threw my chainsaw at Kyouko. And then, without chasing the chainsaw down, I pushed the Megalo up against the wall.
Throwing that chainsaw probably got Kyouko nervous. She suddenly flew upwards to dodge the chainsaw, but she didn’t realize that Haruna was right there behind her.
Haruna threw something at her from the back. Kyouko instinctively tried to cut the projectile down with her tornado.
The orange lightly danced in the air.
Kyouko’s eyes opened wide, and her mouth hung open in a silent surprise.
She was a masou shoujo, so she probably knew.
Knew that this orange… was a bomb.
An explosion rang through the air. Covering my eyes to shield them from the flash, I ran to take back my chainsaw.
The explosion was smaller than I had expected. I doubt Kyouko had suffered any major damage from something like that. However, it was a chance. We had to use this gap in her attention.
I took Haruna’s hand, wove my way through the Megalo, and broke through. Like that, we finally arrived at the graveyard.
And in that graveyard which acted as a second home to zombies, the usual silence was broken by huge number of Megalo and monsters. What kind of monster show was this?!
There were enough Megalo over the place that the scene reminded me of what a video game shop looked like on the day a new Dragon Quest went for sale.
Perhaps it was true that spiritual entities like Megalo would like spiritual places like graveyards? They came from the underworld, so were they undead monsters like me?
Well, whatever. Let’s just move forwards.
I eluded a Megalo who swung his arms down at us, using the back of a dog Megalo as a stepping stone to leap into the air. Haruna’s leg was caught by a Megalo who reached his arms out in front of him, almost like a zombie would.
I landed back down on the gravel and punched the Megalo flying. I grabbed Haruna and held her in my arms, leaping back up into air… when I passed by her.
A girl wearing a torn-up black mantle.
One of her two twin-tails was loose. Kyouko gave me a bold smile and snatched the plastic bag that Haruna was holding onto.
“It’s this, isn’t it? Ariel-sensei’s trump card. Well then, Aikawa-san. Goodbye.”
Kyouko looked very satisfied as she went off.
I stared in blank amazement at her. Words like “shit” and “dammit” didn’t come to mind.
If I recall correctly, the thing left in that plastic bag was…
… It was the ero book, wasn’t it?
“Ayumu! Over there!”
I looked where she pointed and saw a twin-tailed girl wearing a white, laced coat holding swords in both hands and dancing about. Well, it might have looked like a dance, but she was actually fighting.
It was a very rhythmical-looking dance of swords.
Everyone around her, as if they were just mannequins or extras in a sword-fight movie scene, just got easily cut down. White particles flew in the air constantly in the area around Dai-sensei.
“She’s pretty amazing.”
“Obviously. She’s Dai-sensei, after all.”
I called out to her, and Dai-sensei turned in our direction.
“Oh my, is that Ayumu-san~~? Did you come to help me fight~?”
She was surrounded by enemies, but her arms continued to dance and she laughed without running out of breath.
“Yeah, for now, before we talk.”
“We need to take out the garbage, ya know?!”
“Haruna, you picked just the right time to come~. Could I ask you to erect a barrier~? This is getting quite annoying here.”
Dai-sensei chuckled as she waved her swords about. At Dai-sesnei’s words, Haruna hopped up and down in excitement.
“You’re going to use that?! Yeah?! That’s great!”
What? What is she going to use?
“Ayumu, stay behind me.”
“You sure seem really happy.”
“I’m excited! Dai-sensei is going to show us her magic! This is probably the first time she’s used her magic in this world.”
Magic, huh? Haruna put both her hands in front of her, and they emitted a ruby-colored light. More light came from her hands than I had ever seen before… was she planning to erect that big of a barrier?
“Neyo, Dashima, Gauhonokaugo, Nokugoja, Jireko, Isadakute, Nanimizu, Shikegan, Semaiza, Gokewashi, Umoni, Tokomayo, Modonomoka, Roonote, Besenzenga.” (1)
Dai-sensei mumbled what almost sounded like a song. Haruna synchronized with her and erected a huge barrier. What a long chant that was. Was her magic really that amazing?
“Burn to ashes! Dragon’s Crimson!”
At that second, I saw a flame. Like a tornado, like a pillar of fire, that flame rose up into the heavens from the ground and burned the Megalo up.
The sky was lit up as if it was midday. This was no boy scout’s campfire.
I heard an explosion of sound from that hard-to-describe fire. Like sand castles being battered down, the Megalo crumbled to the ground.
“Soooo pretty~~.” Haruna’s eyes were sparkling. The Megalo began to turn to white particles one after another, and a few even tried to run away.
In just a few seconds, what had looked like a school-wide assembly of uniform-wearing Megalo had been reduced to nothing at all. I couldn’t see a single Megalo left.
……………… Wait wait wait wait. She seriously did it in one attack?
She’s way too strong. To the point where it was ridiculous to even think about fighting her with my bare hands.
Was this the real power of masou shoujo? Please don’t ever use that again. At least not in this world.
“… So what was the barrier all about?”
“That magic just noooow~~ things get hot and other people could have died~. And I can’t erect a barrier and use attack magic at the same time.”
Well, I guess if that much fire ignited close by, anybody would have died from the heat. I see, so that’s why Megalo that didn’t even come into contact with the fire ended up burning up.
“As expected from Dai-sensei! I should just start calling you Chou-sensei! Yeah!” (2)
Haruna’s ahoge jumped back and forth. She seemed just brimming with admiration.
“Ah, thank you thank you~~.”
“Oh, right. Dai-sensei, this… huh?”
I tried to take the glasses out, but I realized that I was still in my masou shoujo outfit. The things that I had wanted to hand over were in my trousers. If I didn’t dispel my transformation, I wouldn’t be able to take them out.
Well, the Megalo were dealt with and Dai-sensei was also here, so I guess it’s alright if I did that.
I tried again, taking the glasses and the envelope out of my pocket and looking at Dai-sensei with questioning eyes.
“What are those?”
Whaaa~~? So the ero book was the right one? … No, there’s no way that’s true.
“Well, I wanted to come here to hand you the things you had entrusted to me…”
“Where is it~? I don’t see it anywhere~. My my, Ayumu-san~~.”
Dai-sensei waved her hands at me, as if telling me to stop with the joking.
“But Kyouko was going after me up until a little while ago… don’t tell me the weapon was really the ero book?”
“Ayumu-san. How exactly did you plan to use a dirty book as a weaponnn~~? Ayumu-san is so ecchiii~~.”
Dai-sensei covered her lips with her hand and laughed. I felt my face heating up and I tried desperately to explain.
“Kyouko was after the weapon, you see. And then, you see, she stole the ero book I had a bit ago.”
Flustered, I tried to explain the situation, when Dai-sensei suddenly began to look serious.
“Could it beeee… that all these fake Megalo appearing is Kyouko’s doing~~?”
I could hear a hint of fierce anger beneath her otherwise carefree tone.
“Yes. She told me herself. So you realized they were all fake?”
“Yes. Megalo, you knooow, they aren’t that weak~~. There were people in Virie who said that this was happening because our Megalo extermination plans were found out by the enemy~. But you knooow, just running wild like that to stop our experimentation plans, that’s just not like the Megalo at all~~. I really just couldn’t convince myself that the higher-ups were right~~.”
“So if Kyouko was the cause of it all, that would convince you?”
“That girl knows my pla- *ahem*… I could see that girl thinking that I would use the masou weapon, so if she was aiming for that then I would be convinced~~.”
Haruna, who had been patiently listening up until that point, picked that point to speak up.
“Hey! What are you talking about?! You’re not allowed to talk about things I don’t know!”
Haruna waved her hands around almost as if she was doing squats, and then repeatedly made a cross with her arms.
“Haruna, we’re talking about something imp-“ “Shut up!”
“Haruna-“ “I told you to shut up, didn’t I?!”
… Just great.
“Dai-sensei, why did you not tell me and give Ayumu the mission?!”
Haruna was indignant. However, Dai-sensei responded with a nonchalant expression.
“I didn’t want anybody from Virie to know about it~.”
“Why?! And why Ayumu?!”
“Even if Ayumu-san knew it was a weapon, he wouldn’t use it. Also~~, he’s easy to contact. And more than anything… he’s the person who put Haruna under a spell, so I thought he would be dependable~~~.”
“Start talking in a way I understand!”
“You’re a genius, but you still don’t understaaaand~~?”
Dai-sensei chuckled. “Hnngg….” Haruna groaned and couldn’t say anything back. Dai-sensei seemed to really know how to deal with Haruna.
“Dai-sensei is an idiot! She’s a genius idiot!”
If the phrase “genius idiot” really existed, then I can’t imagine anyone fitting that better than Haruna.
“You cool idiot! Strong idiot! Amazing idiot!”
“They say that the weakest dogs howl the loudest, don’t they~~?”
Haruna looked like she was struck by lightning. Ahh, she seriously looks shocked.
I tried to restrain myself but couldn’t help but laugh, and Haruna’s face flushed deep red.
“Well then, I’ll be on my way baaack~~. Ayumu-san, thank you for your hard work~~. Is there anything you want from me before I gooo~??”
“Ah, please just stand there for a second.”
I felt like I was speaking a line from a bad movie chase scene, but I wanted to reward myself for the terrible ordeal I had been through that day… so I put on those black-rimmed glasses.
(1) If you actually have the patience to parse this and read it backwards, it translates to “All the fools before my eyes, I apologize, but please burn to cinders. This is worse than the fires of hell, isn’t it?”
(2) Dai means “big” or “grand,” and chou is a more exaggerated form of big, like “super.”