Chapter 2 – Don’t Worry! Don’t Mind Me and Just Fry It Already!
Chapter 2: Part 1
Perhaps she had been overly shocked by the cold words she had gotten from her fellow vampire ninjas, but Sera had shut herself in her room.
I couldn’t think of anything to say to Sera to cheer her up when she was like that, and I couldn’t even peek into her room to see how she was doing either.
I had recently gotten into the habit of running around looking for the fake Megalo after school, but I couldn’t get myself motivated that day and ended up just lying on my bed.
The King of the Night was trying to kill us, even though he was just half-playing with us.
It was pretty clear to me that he probably could have easily killed us even without using his full strength. That’s probably precisely why he let us go that time, but there was no mistaking it:
I’m sure that he would be able to crush us like bugs if he wanted to. That also explained why he was so brazenly working in the open, going to his part-time job without trying to hide it at all.
Geez, if we were facing someone like that… How in the world could we beat him?
For instance, suppose that I continued chasing after the fake Megalo, and eventually found both Kyouko and the King of the Night.
What could I do from there? Just get drunk from the sense of accomplishment, be proud that I had managed to find them?
I wouldn’t be able to do anything, would I? God dammit!
Once again, I felt a throbbing inside my chest. It was a sickening feeling that was hard to describe. Yuu. Yuu. Yuu! Before I knew it, I found myself calling out Yuu’s name in quick succession.
I see… Maybe that was it! Maybe that was the reason Yuu had run away from us! I was too weak and I couldn’t protect Yuu. She couldn’t stand being with someone as weak as me, someone who couldn’t brush away the sparks that fell on us.
There was something I lacked. Something which Yuu couldn’t put faith in. That was… power.
At the very least, if I didn’t have enough power to beat the King of the Night, there was no way she would believe me if I told her I would be able to fix things. At some point, she would just probably run away from me again.
I lay there sprawled on my bed for a long time, and eventually Haruna came into my room.
“What are you doing?”
“Can’t you tell just by looking? Also, seriously, knock before you come in.”
“Don’t you have lots of other things to do other than this?”
Haruna probably wanted to tell me to go look for the King of the Night, for Dai-sensei’s sake.
“Yeah… Yeah, I know. But Haruna… You probably saw it when we fought him. Even if we catch up to the King of the Night, we’re no match for him.”
“I know! But who cares! All you have to do is get stronger!”
That’s easier said than done… it’s not like I could just go and…
“Hey Haruna, didn’t you say you couldn’t do anything other than make barriers?”
Hold on. There could be another possibility there.
“Hm? Well, sooner or later I’ll get all my magical power back, and-“
“What did you say back then? You know, when we first met.”
Ah right. If I remember correctly…
“My masou renki! 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!”
“Wait. Wait, wait. What’s a masou renki?”
“It’s what you’re holding! If I don’t have that, I can’t use attack magic!”
Wouldn’t that mean…?
“So, if I had a masou renki, would I be able to use attack magic too?”
Right? I didn’t need something as flashy as the magic that Dai-sensei had used. Even without that, zombies were weak to fire and light. If I could attack with fire, then I might have a chance of beating even the King of the Night.
“Obviously you could. Don’t underestimate Mystletainn.”
“Yeah, I mean… You’re a masou shoujo, after all.”
Yes… That’s true. I felt like I saw a ray of light breaking through the clouds. Or, well, rays of light are bad for zombies, so instead let’s just say that a ray of hope had appeared.
“All right then, Haruna. Teach me… Please.”
“Hueh? …Okay! Just leave everything to me! I’ll make you into a perfect demon baron!”
All right, let’s not leave everything to her then. Suddenly I felt motivated. I was going to master this stuff as fast as possible! But first, I really had to help Sera get her confidence back…
“Haruna, have you talked with Sera?”
“Hueh? Well… Just a bit.”
“How was it?”
“She was really down in the dumps.”
“I see… I’m going to go check on her a bit. Haruna, can you just do anything you need to get ready?”
“Got it! Leave it to me!”
Haruna’s energy washed over me. If it wasn’t for her, I’d still probably be sulking…
I left the room, took a deep breath, and knocked on Sera’s door.
I didn’t get a response, so I just went in. Sera was sitting in the middle of the room with her eyes closed. Her black hair cascaded straight down like a waterfall, and she was the very picture of purity. I gulped, thinking that Sera also looked quite nice with her hair down like that.
“Sera, do you have a minute?”
Her eyes opened, piercing through me like blades. They weren’t the same scornful eyes I was used to; they just looked lonely.
“Well, umm… I… understand how you must feel.”
It would have been nice if I could break the ice with that, but I couldn’t force anything out of my mouth, so we just remained there in silence. However, I knew I had to say something, so I just spoke without any real plan.
“You know, during elementary school, I went with my parents on an overseas trip and I wasn’t in Japan for two years. When I came back, all my friends had found other friends, I didn’t really know what was ‘cool’ anymore, and even when people came to talk with me, I couldn’t really keep up a conversation. So during that time… when I was in fifth grade, I didn’t really talk much to people.”
I didn’t know whether Sera was listening to me or not; she didn’t give me any response.
“And at that time, my parents told me they were going on another trip. Well, they’re still not back from that trip even now, but I decided… that I wouldn’t go with them. Do you know why?”
Even I didn’t really know why I was talking about all this.
The words just came out of my mouth before my brain could think of what to say.
“No. Why… didn’t you go with them? It’s not like there could have been anybody here that actually needed you.”
That was quite a Sera-like response… It felt like she was digging a knife into an open wound… Well, I was pretty used to that by now.
“I had always been alone, so I convinced myself that being alone was fine and ran away. I convinced myself that being alone wasn’t so bad.”
“So you came here to tell me to get over it? To tell me that it’s fine I was abandoned by my colleagues, that I was looked at with disdain?”
“No, that’s not it. You know, talking about it like this is the only reason I realized it, but I had friends. Well, actually, not people I’d want to call ‘friends,’ but people who, even when I wanted to be left alone, kept coming up to me day after day after day. I have those kinds of people in my life even now. So maybe… Maybe I chose to stay in Japan because I had people like that.”
“I… no longer have friends like that.”
“But we’re here. For now… what I want to say… is that even if you can’t do something by yourself, if you have someone there who’s helping drag you along, then it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself back on the right track…”
“Fufu, Ayumu is pretty terrible at explaining things. What you’re trying to say isn’t coming across at all.”
“But, I think that what you’re trying to say is the same as what Haruna told me.”
“Haruna? What did she say to you?”
”Failure isn’t falling down, it’s falling down and failing to get back up! You’re still alive, aren’t you?! I don’t know what you did, but stop acting so worn out and feel better already! Even if you can’t do it, I’ll do it for you, so don’t worry!”
“That’s what she said.”
“Well, she’s as patronizing as ever…”
“But you agree with her, don’t you?”
“…Well, yeah, more or less.”
“Fufu… it’s alright. I’m fine…”
Drip. Drop. Tears began to fall from Sera’s eyes.
“But… I’m not longer accepted as a vampire ninja. I made a decision for myself, chose to put friends above honor… But even then, I still want to continue living as a vampire ninja. My own decisions and my own determination… I was still too weak… That’s what frustrates me the most!”
I put my hand on Sera’s head and began to stroke her hair, but…
“Ayumu, that’s sexual harassment.”
Sera glared at me through teary eyes, and I let go of her.
But then, Sera suddenly jumped straight into my chest.
“Hey, hey, that’s sexual harassment, you know.”
“No… This is what people call ‘service,’ isn’t it?”
Sera stifled her voice, and just cried while she held on tightly to my shirt.
And in the end, I went back to stroking her hair.