Chapter 4: Part 6
I felt like we were a couple as we walked along side by side, and I was filled with happiness. Anyone would agree that Sera was beautiful, so walking beside her like that must have made me look like a nobody tagalong.
Were we going to shop in the usual department store? Or maybe we would shop in the nearby supermarket…
I was pretty conscious of the staring people we passed by as we strolled around.
“So, where shall we go?”
Saying it like that made it sound like we were dating too.
“Why are you speaking in such a disgusting way like that?”
“Eh? I’m speaking like I always do…”
“It’s really disgusting, so please stop.”
“…I’m sorry. So?”
“There’s a place I’ve always wanted to go-“
“Let’s go there, then.”
“No, actually, it’s fine, really.”
“Hey, hey, you don’t have to hold back. After all, this is the first time I’ve been out with you alone.”
“That’s… true. Well, let’s go there, then.”
Sera didn’t tell me where we were headed as she simply continued to walk.
I just followed her. We boarded a train and advanced along the same road I had taken to go to the planetarium. We passed a bowling alley and an arcade. It had only been about a month, but I felt a twinge of nostalgia attack me.
When we arrived in a more crowded area, Sera suddenly began to speed up. I hurried, trying to catch up with her, when…
“I apologize, but I don’t want to be seen walking with you alone. Please stay behind me and to the side.”
“A-ahh… sorry. We’re not dating, after all.”
I was completely disheartened, so I satisfied myself by looking at Sera’s swishing ponytail and soft butt as she walked in front of me… Well, I thought, this isn’t bad either.
“How much longer do you think it’s going to be?”
It was an incredibly natural question to hear from someone who didn’t know where he was going.
“I am really sincerely sorry, but…”
Sera didn’t turn to look at me, simply letting out a sigh. Was it seriously that far away…?
“Please don’t stay within earshot of me.”
Kwah! That was way too harsh! Did she hate me that much?!
“………….I’m sorry. I see.”
I tried to keep myself from crying as we walked for a few minutes, until Sera called out to me from up ahead.
“I accidentally found this place when I was tailing Ayumu and Mael Strom…”
Just hearing her say that made me absurdly happy.
“Oh? What is it? Are we here?”
The place Sera had stopped in front of… was a maid café.
A-a-a maid café?! Why was Sera coming to a place like this?!
We walked inside and were greeted by a pretty cute girl.
“Welcome back, my masters! Shall I prepare a table for two?”
She gave us the soft, innocent, sparkling smile of a girl who couldn’t even hurt a fly.
Sera, meanwhile, had a look in her eyes that said she wanted to kill that fly right away, and she held up one finger.
“No, table for just one.”
“Wait! Wait a second! It’s for two! It’s for two, dammit! It should be for two!”
I desperately corrected her.
We went to one of the tables quite inside the shop and I sat across from Sera. I looked at the menu and shook my head in resignation. It was pretty expensive. Well, this kind of place was more for the pretty girls than the food, so this price was probably pretty appropriate.
“What are you smiling like that for? You’re disgusting.”
“Ah, I was just thinking that it’s a bit funny to see you wanting to come to a place like this.”
“Just seeing cute outfits like this is enough to leave me satisfied.”
Sera’s expression was as piercing as ever, but her cheeks flushed just slightly red as she gazed at the café employees.
“Now that you mention it, you’re always wearing trendy outfits, aren’t you? Even though you’re a ninja.”
“That’s just it!” Sera suddenly sounded a bit worked up. I was surprised.
“The vampire ninja outfits are all just too plain! We wore chainmail back in the village, you know? We didn’t even have bras on!”
Well, that’s great, isn’t it? But I didn’t have any time to get that comment in.
“And those mantles… If we don’t wear it, our powers are limited, so…”
Like a dam had just broken, Sera began to grumble on and on about the vampire ninja outfits.
“So, do you want to try on a maid uniform?”
“No. That’s disgusting.”
“So what in the world do you want to do, then?”
“The clothes are cute. However, I do not want to wear them. Isn’t that why we came all the way out here, to this shop?”
Sera sighed in exasperation at me.
“But listen to this: at the vampire ninja training institution, they don’t even let you wear skirts…”
I just listened and responded when necessary. I resolved to listen to each and every one of Sera’s complaints, and I would start by trying to sympathize with her.
The complaints just streamed out one by one. When she seemed to have finished and was taking a breath, I butt in.
“Hey, Sera. Do you think… that Yuu wants to be with us?”
“Yes, of course she does.”
It was an instant, unhesitating answer. Her piercing eyes felt like they were seeing right through my cowardly heart.
“But maybe that’s just what we think, and Yuu actually thinks we’re a bother-“
“Of course she doesn’t think that.”
“How can you be so sure? Didn’t you also think that Yuu went back to the Underworld because we did something wrong?”
“Why do you think I was able to find Hellscythe-dono?”
“Now that you mention it, how exactly did you find her?”
“She was watching. She was watching Ayumu’s… our home. In the end… she couldn’t just throw it all away. She made up her mind, but, just as I couldn’t throw away the vampire ninjas, her feelings of attachment have lingered.”
Our home, she said… As I heard that, I felt something welling up in my chest once again. But it wasn’t the same unpleasant feeling I had felt before; this time, it felt comforting.
“Oh… So Yuu does feel like I do. But you, weren’t you a bit too eager back there? If Yuu was near our house, then you could have let Haruna and me know.”
I laughed, but Sera glared at me with her jade-colored eyes.
“Unlike you, I was actually chasing after Hellscythe-dono seriously.”
“I don’t think I can let that comment pass.”
“Then, why exactly… Why didn’t you chase after Hellscythe-dono?”
She was talking about the time the King of the Night ran off with her, wasn’t she?
Hidden under long eyelashes, her slitted eyes pierced me through with their pressure.
Was that why she had been so hateful to me these past few hours?
“Are you… angry at me?”
“Of course. You… abandoned Hellscythe-dono, did you not? I find that honestly worthy of scorn.”
Well, she found everything I did worthy of scorn.
“…I was trying to save Haruna and Dai-sensei. So what? Are you saying I should have saved Yuu even if it meant they died? Plus, when Yuu was taken away, there was a very small chance she would actually get killed.”
“Those all just sound like excuses. Ayumu really looked completely lost.”
Sera’s voice hurt my ears. Something was itching in my chest. When I thought about Yuu…
“Ahh… To be honest… I was feeling pretty lost.”
“You’ll never get Hellscythe-dono back if you continue acting that way.”
“That’s probably true.”
“It is true. Sometimes being as forceful as Haruna is necessary. If it means I can take Hellscythe-dono by the hand, then… I will definitely follow her example.”
“To go to Haruna’s level… Well, if Yuu really wants to be with us… But, still…”
“See? You’re hesitating again. When you’re like that, you’re much more annoying than Haruna is.”
“So you really think Haruna is annoying, don’t you?”
“It’s better than being disgusting… like you are.”
Sera didn’t show any hint of hesitation as she smiled. But her smile was aimed at a girl in a maid outfit whose panties were almost showing. It seemed that that maid girl was more important than our conversation was.
Geez… So sometimes you had to be like Haruna, huh…?