Chapter 2: Part 8
When I groggily opened my eyes, I saw the familiar ceiling of the infirmary spread out above me.
I messed up. To think, it wasn’t Sera this time; Haruna had failed at cooking…
I rose off of my back. When I did that, I saw Haruna, who was almost hanging over me as she slept.
“Hwah! Ayumu, when did you-?!”
Haruna suddenly woke up, eyes still half-lidded.
“You didn’t do anything strange to me while I was sleeping, right?”
“I should be asking you the same question.”
“Ah, I made a rabbit out of an apple, so eat up.”
And what a wonderful rabbit it was. It was a really well-made rabbit, and looked so good it could have been sculpted out of wood. As always, she was a genius when it came to cooking.
So why had a genius like that copied Sera and fed me poison?
I asked Haruna that, and her ahoge drooped.
“That… was Ayumu’s fault.”
“Did I do something?”
“Ayumu went out on a date with that person! And so I thought I would knock you out…”
“But you didn’t have to poison me. If you hate me that much, then you could deal with it like you always do and-“
“No, that’s wrong! Don’t get the wrong idea!”
“I got it, I got it. It’s not like you were jealous or anything.”
“…No, now I’m pretty sure you’re getting the wrong idea…”
“I couldn’t hear that. If you have something you want to say, make sure you say it clearly.”
Haruna fell into discontented silence.
Geez… Anyway, what time was it? I took out my cell phone and checked. It was… around the end of fifth period. I sure slept a while…
When I ate Sera’s cooking, I would be knocked out on the spot, but this time I could still move a bit after. Eating Sera’s cooking was even more dangerous than being poisoned, then. Noted.
Although… Haruna’s misunderstanding was also troubling.
“Haruna, if anybody else ate that, there would be no coming back from it, right? You should think a bit more before you act next time.”
She was being almost unpleasantly sincere. I had been sure she would cut me down with a quick “Shut up!” or try to change the subject…
“I’m… really sorry.”
“It’s really a good thing I’m a zombie.”
“Yeah. But… I really just wanted you to enjoy the food. That’s… all.”
Haruna was near tears, so I bopped her on the head.
“Ukyah~!” Haruna’s body stiffened and she let out a small shriek.
“There. I forgive you.”
I gave Haruna a slightly teasing smile and stroked her head.
“Okay… I’m sorry.”
Had I ever seen Haruna apologize so sincerely like this before?
I wasn’t a psychic, so I had no way of knowing what had happened to her or what she was thinking right now. However, I could say one thing:
At some point, Haruna had matured to the point where she could act like a normal person.
Amazing. I would never be able to do something like that.
Orito came in, and Haruna instantly turned away from me.
“W-well then… I have to go lecture the next class too.”
Haruna looked almost guilty as she passed by Orito and quickly left the infirmary. Orito watched her leave as he walked over to me and gave me a full smile.
I guess it was asking for too much to want Tomonori to come instead…
“Looks like you’re fine. Everyone was worried that you got sick and became a zombie or something.”
“No need to worry… I’m already one.”
“Your body really is way too weak, you know.”
Orito held out his fist.
“I’m really strong, actually. I’m just always holding back.”
In response, I bumped his fist with my own.
“Haruna-chan and Tomonori were both worried. They’re pretty cute when they get like that.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“But speaking of cute, I saw a reaaaally cute girl a bit earlier.”
“You always say that, though.”
“I think even a lolicon like Aikawa would agree. She has a pretty nice set of breasts too.”
I didn’t really care too much, so I just gave vague responses. I might have shown a bit more interest if she had small breasts, though.
“But I really didn’t know someone like that was a student here…”
Orito cocked his head to the side and casually uttered that one sentence. But that was enough to catch my interest.
Orito was a person who kept his head completely in the gutter. He always boasted that he had data on every single girl in the school, and that probably wasn’t a lie.
So, if there was a cute girl in the school that he didn’t recognize…?
For Orito… Yes, only for Orito… That was impossible.
“You’re sure she’s a student here?”
“Yeah, she was wearing a uniform.”
I couldn’t help but be interested after that. It could be a masou shoujo or a vampire ninja, but either way, it could be a clue to the location of Yuu or the King of the Night.
“What was she wearing?!” I was so worked up that I asked the question that he had just answered a minute ago.
“Huh? I told you, she was wearing our school’s uniform.”
Could it be a masou shoujo who could manipulate memories, or a vampire ninja who infiltrated the school?
“She had twin tails around shoulder-length like this, and she looked like a junior-high student… A loli, huge-breasted junior-high student.”
That description sounded familiar. I couldn’t be certain with just that, but… It sounded like Kyouko.
It definitely could have been Kyouko.
But why? Why would she come here? She should know that I go to this school.
Maybe I was thinking too much? Dammit. I couldn’t get it out of my mind now.
“Orito, where did you see that girl?”
“Where? Umm, in the hallway right before I came here.”
“I see. Thanks.”
I lightly raised my hand to him, got off the bed, and put on my shoes.
“The minute you hear about a loli character you go chasing after her. As expected of a lolicon.”
“I’m not a lolicon, dammit.”
The sound of people noisily chatting echoed nonstop through the hallway. I couldn’t recognize a single face. It wasn’t like I cared what kinds of students actually went to this school.
That meant I had no way to tell who Orito had been talking about. I went up and down the stairs and wandered around aimlessly.
Dammit. I should have brought Orito with me…
The sixth period bell rang, and the people in the hallways trudged back to their classrooms like prisoners returning to their jail cells. I followed suit.
The teachers and students all went back to their classrooms. And then only myself and one girl were left.
That girl was someone I knew.
It looked like my instincts were right. Maybe I should think about becoming a detective? Zombie detective… That has a nice ring to it. The girl I was looking at gave me a smile.
“Good afternoon, Aikawa-san. You seem healthy. That’s too bad.”
It was a smile that you found yourself wanting to look at more, but I just glared.
“What a coincidence it must be to meet you here. What exactly are you scheming?”
“Ah, but Aikawa-san should know exactly what I’m scheming.”
“…Don’t tell me… The masou weapon?”
“Yes. It’s complete. Aikawa-san, you wanted to see it, right? He told me you did.”
When she mentioned it, I did remember saying that I wanted to take a look at it.
“Personally, I also would like Aikawa-san to see it. I won’t ever forget the trick you played on me back then.”
“Trick? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“I won’t let you play dumb. That time when you switched a pornographic book with the weapon.”
Did something like that happen? I really couldn’t remember too well.
“So, because I wanted to see the despair on Aikawa-san’s face, I chose this place as the testing ground for the weapon.”
She chuckled. She really did seem happy.
“So, are you the vessel they’re using for the weapon?”
“Vessel? You make little sense. Are you sure you’re not confusing the weapon with a spirit or something like that?”
Hm? What did she mean? Wasn’t the masou weapon that man with half a body that lived inside Tomonori?
“The weapon has already been activated. There is around six minutes left.”
What? It was on a timer? So this was not the kind of weapon I had expected… I see. Maybe Kyouko didn’t even know what the masou weapon looked like? If she had known that the masou weapon looked like a spirit, she probably wouldn’t have taken off with that porn book.
“Fufufu, even if you go looking for it now, do you think you can find it within six minutes? Well, please do try your best.”
Kyouko put her arms up in a victory pose, looking like one of those cute manager kouhai characters in TV dramas that looked up to their senpai. (1)
But I took a step forward, suddenly rushing up to her.
“If you want a hint, I-“
Kyouko looked shocked and flew backwards. But I grabbed her uniform.
Kyouko’s plump breasts bounced up and down.
“Wha-“ Kyouko moved her lips and thrust me away from her.
“What are you thinking?! There’s not much time left to find the weapon! You shouldn’t be here worrying about me-“
“I definitely won’t let you get away. No matter what else ends up happening.”
“…You’re the worst.”
It’s not like I wanted the weapon to go off. I just decided to chase after Kyouko instead after thinking about it.
Kyouko probably didn’t want to be killed by the weapon either. If I could just keep Kyouko there for six minutes, I guessed that she would deactivate the weapon, even if she didn’t want to.
So I would continue chasing Kyouko. I didn’t have to beat her. I just had to catch her in the next six minutes.
Kyouko was leaping away, trying to get away from me.
I just continued following her, not making any kind of attack.
I thought that maybe I could just catch her by the arm, but…
No, that wasn’t enough.
If it wasn’t for her… If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have died and Yuu wouldn’t have left! It wasn’t enough just to catch her. I would punch her lights out!
I stepped out with my left leg, putting all my power into my right hand as I sent my first flying into her face.
Kyouko snapped her fingers and a small tornado wrapped around my right hand. The tornado was made of blades.
My skin was shredded and blood flew into the air, but I didn’t care. I just wanted my 600% attack to hit home.
I didn’t manage a direct hit, though. My fist grazed Kyouko’s cheek.
She sure dodged that well… Kyouko’s crimson eyes looked right at me as she ground her teeth.
A tornado gathered in her right hand, and she thrust it into my stomach like a drill.
This girl… She sure was strong.
But even if I hadn’t transformed into a masou shoujo, I should be on equal footing with her.
As her hand gouged my stomach, I used my right hand and reached to push Kyouko’s huge chest away from me.
Right-lower? I heard a voice from behind me, and I glanced to the right and down.
The air was whirling around there. Dust was dancing in the air, as if the school hadn’t been cleaned.
As soon as I noticed that, the air turned into tornadoes.
I had been completely taken in. Kyouko had used the blind spot I made when I thrust out my right arm to let an attack loose.
I was so unsure as to how I should deal with it that I even forgot that my name had just been combined with the word “baka.”
“She’s coming down from the left!”
Haruna’s desperate voice rang in my ears. And as she spoke, Kyouko stopped moving.
There was no attack that came from the left as Haruna said.
I jumped left, but Kyouko blocked my retreat.
Kyouko prepared to come at me with a tornado sword.
“She’s going to come in low from the right! Be careful!”
Haruna shouted at me. Kyouko glanced briefly at Haruna, and, for some reason, spun around. And then she, once again, looked at Haruna.
Next, Kyouko raised her right hand, when…
“Do it now, Ayumu! Punch her!”
I did as I was told, sending my fist flying through the air. Kyouko opened her mouth, as if she wanted to say something, but she didn’t even try to dodge.
Huh? Was I really going to get away with punching her like this? Was it really that easy?
My fist hit Kyouko’s cheek.
It was a surprisingly direct hit. I actually felt sort of anticlimactic. Perhaps because of that, I hadn’t actually put too much power into the punch.
“How…” Kyouko looked at Haruna with sharp eyes.
“How can you read what I’m going to do?!”
Haruna just smiled and spoke, her voice brimming with confidence.
“Did you forget how many times we’ve fought against you?! Hey, Ayumu! She’s going to try to run away to the right, so pay attention!”
Kyouko stopped in her tracks, a very sour look on her face.
“Sorry. But as it turns out, our Haruna is a genius.”
“How terrible. Well, in that case…”
Kyouko kicked off the hallway. She seemed to have decided to attack me straight on.
“Ayumu! Don’t use your right hand!”
Right hand? I looked, and so I saw that there was a tornado coming at me from the right.
If I used my right hand, I would be taken in by that tornado.
I see, so she didn’t care if Haruna could read her actions or not.
She just wanted to settle it with a direct confrontation. And I would only use my left hand.
All right, let’s go!
The tornado swirled up right in front of my eyes. But I didn’t mind it and sent out my left hand… Huh?
Kyouko wasn’t there!
Crap. She wasn’t coming to attack me, she was just trying to escape!
“I told you already! I can see through everything you do!”
When I turned around, I saw that Haruna had pinned Kyouko down.
Haruna-san, that was really cool, but I’m pretty sure that was the first time you said that!
“Beaten by Haruna… by the class dunce… by someone like you!”
“Nice one, Haruna. Looks like our battle with this one is finally coming to a close.”
I firmly put Kyouko’s arms behind her back and grabbed her hair. There were a mountain of things I wanted to ask her, but first I had to stop the weapon.
“So, deactivate the weapon. There’s not much time left, right?”
“What’s so funny?”
“I told you, didn’t I? The weapon is already activated. Did you think I could stop it? It’s pointless.”
“You’re going to die too, you know?”
“Do you know about the Gem of Life?”
I had completely forgotten. She had those Gems of Life that any human would love to have. They were ridiculous items that would make it fine even if she died, and if the weapon activated and everyone here was killed, only she would be able to revive.
Everyone was going to die… and it was my fault?
Mihara, Hiramatsu, Anderson-kun and Orito… and Tomonori.
And even Haruna?
I glanced at Haruna. Kyouko still had her arms behind her back, and Haruna wrapped her own hands around Kyouko’s. Haruna’s hands emitted a ruby light, and a halo of light appeared around Kyouko’s hands, locking them into place.
I guess those were like handcuffs for masou shoujo.
“Haruna, could we save the people here with those Gems of Life?”
“If you’re not a masou shoujo, you can’t even touch them, so Ayumu and I could use them, but…”
Haruna used the same spell on Kyouko’s legs, and Kyouko just lay on her side in the hallway, laughing all the while.
“All right, Haruna. Take all the Gems of Life from her.”
“Ahahaha! That won’t happen. Haruna doesn’t know how to do something like that. Don’t you understand? The Gems of Life aren’t physical objects-“
And then Kyouko’s expression went from a laugh to a look of shock.
“Gone… The Gems of Life… They’re all gone! I’ve been taken in! All of them were taken by that woman-“
And then, Kyouko fell silent. And gave us a bright smile.
In the school hallway, a pale mist appeared. So, had the King of the Night come to save Kyouko?
I began to put distance between us and the mist, trying to make sure that Kyouko didn’t get away.
I could hear a voice from the mist.
“I no longer have any use for you.”
It was the voice of the King of the Night, clearly mocking his subordinate.
“No way… Why…”
With her hands and feet bound, Kyouko wriggled around on the floor. However, the King of the Night didn’t respond.
It seemed that the mist had appeared only so the King of the Night could tell Kyouko that one thing. The mist soon disappeared and the air cleared.
Kyouko bit down on her lip tightly. “That damn woman!” she mumbled angrily.
“Well, it seems you’ve been abandoned.”
“…Ariel-sensei must have negotiated this.”
Kyouko was biting down on her lips so hard that I could see blood flowing out.
I see… So everything was Dai-sensei’s doing.
The classroom doors all opened at once. And then the students slowly began to come out.
What the hell?
Weren’t they supposed to be in the middle of class?
And… There was something strange about the students who came out.
They swayed from side to side, their arms hanging languidly at their sides. But once they were in the hallway, they were much more lively, beginning to bark like animals.
But the strangest thing of all was that a set of animal ears had sprouted from everyone’s head.
It wasn’t time for the school festival yet…
END CHAPTER 2
(1) I don’t think this has come up in this novel yet, but senpai is just a word for senior student and kouhai for junior student. But they carry a lot more cultural significance than that simple definition so I left them as is.