Prologue – K-Kyah-. Haruna-san is Such a Perv~~~.
I had been soaking in the bathtub for around twenty minutes.
Getting into the tub when the sun was up sure made me feel spoiled.
But ever since those people moved in, I could never take a bath when I wanted to.
All right, how about I stay and stew in this tub today, like a nice piece of pork in a slow cooker?
But whenever I took a bath like this, my mind started turning to various things.
Kyouko, who murdered me. The King of the Night, who pulled the strings. Dai-sensei, who chased after them.
And then, the girl who had turned me into a zombie, Yuu.
Yuu had left after apologizing for causing us trouble, and only a few days had passed since then. But the situation hadn’t really changed. The fake Megalo created by the King of the Night were still frequently appearing.
The news suggested that not many people had realized what was going on yet, so it seemed that the demon-exterminating vampire ninjas and the Megalo-hunting masou shoujo were doing a pretty good job.
“Ugh… So tired…”
I heard a sluggish female voice approaching me. This voice was… It was definitely Haruna. So she had come back from the magical world Virie?
I could see a small, Haruna-like “aho-shadow” on the other side of the frosted glass. By the way, by “aho-shadow,” I meant the shadow of the aho-like tuft of hair that stuck out of the top of her head.
I heard the rustling sound of clothes. From how her aho-shadow was moving… I gathered that she was tossing her skirt into the laundry hamper.
Haruna had gone to Virie to gather information for me. She had grumbled quite a bit about not wanting to go to school, but I had begged her to do something for me just this once, and she had finally gone off to her school in Virie. I really wanted to know if she had been able to learn anything useful, but I couldn’t call out to her.
If I called out, she would probably just start yelling at me. And she should have been able to guess that I was here in the bath, since I had laid out my change of clothes in the changing room. However…
“Ah, but let’s heat up a bath.”
And Haruna opened the damn door without realizing I was inside.
Haruna, what hast thou done?! Yes, I was so shaken that I began talking funny. (1)
But of course I was shaken. Even if I was a zombie, I didn’t want to be seen naked! …Even if it was okay for people to see my innards.
“Hyah~!” Haruna gave out a small, short shriek. And then she stood rooted to the spot, unable to move.
But first, I tried to do something about this chilling atmosphere, covering my chest with my hands.
“–K-Kyah-. Haruna-san is Such a Perv~~~”
The situation demanded it, so I let out a forced yell, almost as if I was reading some script from a school’s art festival.
“Ayumu, what are you doing?”
Haruna’s huge eyes narrowed. Her half-removed white blouse was quite cute.
“Even if you ask me that… Well, I’m taking a bath.”
“Don’t I always tell you to never get in before me?! Get out!”
Her lips thinned into a frown and her chestnut-colored ahoge bounced from side to side.
How unreasonable. And she sure was pretty cheeky for someone freeloading off me.
“You too, go back to Virie and take a bath there or something!”
“Shut up! Idiot! Don’t tell me to go back!”
Haruna, seeming pretty energetic in her white blouse and polka-dotted panties, threw her towel at me.
“It was obviously a joke! Hey, come on! Sto-“
“Hentai! Hentai! Hentai!”
Haruna completely ignored me, throwing the skirt she had just taken off and some laundry detergent at me. Normally, wouldn’t things be thrown from the bath instead of the other way around?
“More importantly, Haruna! Did you learn anything?”
Haruna had hoisted up the laundry hamper, but her expression suddenly darkened and she looked away from me.
I hadn’t hoped for much, but it was clear she hadn’t learned much at all.
“My only friends are love and courage.”
Haruna mumbled out words that I might have expected to hear from Sweetened Bun Man. (2)
Haruna was very selfish and proud, and that might be why she had no friends back in her home world of Virie. Well, rather, there wasn’t anyone she could call a friend other than Dai-sensei.
So there really wasn’t a reason to expect that someone like Haruna would be able to ask anybody over there for information.
And yet, I thought that there might be a chance she could learn something useful, so I sent her out on this task, but… Ugh, I guess it didn’t really go too well.
“Did you ask Els-san or any of the teachers other than Dai-sensei?”
“Those people are useless. They’re completely out of touch. We have a duty to make reports to them, but they never report any concrete details back to us. They should seriously just go die.”
Although it was probably Haruna’s attitude that made them reluctant to pass information to her. Even though schools were places where information circulated pretty easily…
“Well, there’s no helping that. But there’s one thing I’d like to correct…”
“Your only friends aren’t love and courage. Sera and Yuu, and me, and maybe even Orito, we’re your friends too.”
Whether she was happy or not, Haruna flushed a deep red and a complicated expression rose to her face.
“I never remembered… making you all my friends, though.”
“Friends are not something you decide to ‘make’ someone into.”
Indeed. They just suddenly become like that when you aren’t paying attention. That was what friendship was all about.
I wanted to say that out loud, but I couldn’t manage it.
“What kind of bizarre phenomenon is that… Plus, being friends with Ayumu is just a bit…”
Ah, suddenly I felt a bit offended.
“I see. Why haven’t you closed the door already? You hentai.”
“Wha-?! What’s wrong with you?! You erobakka!”
Don’t you mean erogappa? (3) Why are you going and randomly upgrading the insult?
Haruna quickly left the changing room, and I sunk into the tub until the water almost reached my eyes.
Fuu… Should I get out?
It was no longer pleasant to be in the bath. Geez… who did she think was going to clean up after her? I tidied up the things that Haruna had thrown around, roughly toweled my face off, and was about to go back to my room when I stopped in my house’s entranceway.
A chainsaw was leaning against the wall there.
That was the masou renki that Haruna needed to transform into a masou shoujo. (4)
Standing there, it almost looked like a shoehorn… Except not really. (5)
And in the umbrella stand were two Japanese katanas.
Standing there, they almost looked like umbrellas… Except not really.
They didn’t even have scabbards, and their blades were exposed like they were kitchen knives. Those two katanas were the masou renki of Haruna’s frighteningly strong homeroom teacher. I wonder if Dai-sensei was safe? She didn’t seem to be the type to be easily killed, but she didn’t have her masou renki, so… Sigh.
I had expected Haruna to at least try and take care of these swords a bit more, but then this happened. Well, they did seem like they would be useful in warding of demons like that, so it was fine, but if Dai-sensei found them like this she would probably be shocked.
I was staring at those two swords earnestly when the front door opened.
A woman with black hair, the kind that would make people all over the world jealous, leapt into the room.
I caught Sera as she leapt right at me. She would usually brush me aside as if I was some vermin stuck to her shirt, but today she did no such thing.
Rather, she couldn’t.
I had just gotten out of the bath, but I saw sticky, red blood stuck to my hand.
Blood was gushing from Sera’s body, and not only from one place. It flowed from her slim abdomen, from her thin shoulders, from her luscious breasts… Everything was dyed in red.
Any normal human with those wounds would have died instantly. She was a vampire ninja, so even those seemingly fatal wounds wouldn’t kill her, but losing all that blood couldn’t be good.
“Haruna!!” I called out so loudly that I was afraid I would disturb our neighbors.
On the second floor, Haruna seemed pretty displeased to have me call her, and poked only her head out.
“What the hell do you want, hentai?” After she insulted me, her eyes opened wide as she saw Sera, and she almost tumbled down the stairs.
“Ayumu! What the hell are you doing?! Apply first aid!”
“A-Ahh…” But even if she said that, it’s not like I knew much about first aid. I was a zombie, so I always left my wounds as they were. But there was no time for excuses. For now, I had to focus on stopping the bleeding.
This… and that… and this. How did this go now? Ugh, dammit! I really wished I had taken a first aid class. I had no idea what to do.
“Ugh, dammit! Out of the way!”
Haruna brushed me aside and began to administer first aid to Sera.
“It’s no use! What the hell is this?! The blood isn’t stopping at all!”
Haruna’s t-shirt became soaked in blood as she tried to stop the bleeding, and all I could do was watch.
“I need… more blood.”
“Haruna, give her some blood.”
Just as their name implied, vampire ninjas sucked other people’s blood. If they did that, they could heal wounds just like zombies could. But Haruna didn’t seem too pleased.
“Eh? I have to… do that again?”
“Please. That’s the best way to deal with this.”
“……If that’s…… the only way……”
Haruna looked resigned, and she locked lips with Sera.
If we weren’t in a tense situation, then I would have grinned and made some inane comment, but there was a reason that was happening, so I kept my mouth shut and just stared at that scene silently.
Haruna’s eyes opened in surprise, and Sera bit into her neck.
Haruna’s cheeks were flushed red as she yelled out.
“Wha-… No… This is…”
Haruna gripped Sera by the shoulders and tried to get her off, but there was no strength in her fingers.
“No… I don’t want…… H-Help me.”
Haruna’s eyes were glazed over as she grabbed my clothes. She had resolved herself to sharing her blood, but in the end, it seemed that she didn’t want to.
“Haruna, please… Let her.”
“Gngngggg… I-I guess there’s… there’s no other way…”
Red blood trickled down from the edges of Sera’s bewitching lips. She must have been really thirsty.
That spectacle continued for quite a few seconds. Haruna seemed to lose strength and collapsed while Sera stood up and wiped her mouth, her eyes gleaming red.
“Thank you very much. You saved my life.”
Hadn’t she looked like she was on the edge of death just a second ago? As expected of a vampire ninja. Just sucking blood was enough to return them to such good health.
“I’m… never doing that again, all right…?”
Haruna’s shoulders were heaving as she breathed heavily and looked up at Sera.
“Haruna, are you all right?”
“Y-yeah. Just a bit faint from the blood loss.”
Haruna was flushed red from ear to ear, and she held her neck with one hand.
“So, Sera. What happened? To think that you could be done in like this… Don’t tell me… This was Kyouko’s doing?”
“No… These wounds were…”
Sera gripped her red-stained shirt, and showed me a lonely-looking expression I was not used to seeing from her.
“… I’m going to go change.”
Sera quickly stood up, but I pointed towards the bathroom with a befuddled look on my face.
“The bath… It’s heated already, if you want.”
She should get all that blood washed off. It didn’t make me happy to see girls drenched in blood. I was a zombie, not a vampire ninja.
“I see. Then I will gladly take a bath.”
She spoke with a commanding tone, as if nothing had happened. Sera then headed for the bathroom, limping a bit.
Sera had been checking on the movement patterns of the fake Megalo for me.
After all, if we wanted to find Kyouko, the easiest way was to look for the fake Megalo she was creating.
I had told her not to fight the Megalo even if she found some, but… It looked like she had pushed herself too hard.
It seemed Haruna had returned to her own room on the second floor. I went to the kitchen to grab some barley tea from the refrigerator and brought it, along with two teacups, to the living room. Then I watched television while I waited for Sera.
After around half an hour, Sera came to the living room with her hair out of her usual ponytail. I passed her one of the teacups filled with tea.
“So, what happened?”
“While I was soaking in the bathtub, I desperately thought about how I could lie to you about this. However, I do not know how to lie, so I will tell you the truth.”
After that incredibly ominous introduction, Sera spoke with a serious expression.
“The one who attacked me was a vampire ninja in the same conservative faction as myself. A vampire ninja… A fellow vampire ninja attacked me.”
“Why?” I couldn’t say anything else. These vampire ninjas really did things sometimes that were just completely beyond my comprehension.
“Because I had defied my orders.”
“When they told you to kill Yuu?”
Sera had received an order to kill Yuu. She had defied those orders, and now her life was in danger?
“To vampire ninjas, the orders we are given take priority over everything. Even I would want to kill those who defy their orders.”
“… If you understood that, then why did you make a report?”
“What do you mean?”
“Wouldn’t it have worked out if you just never said anything? If you didn’t tell them that you disobeyed orders, then they wouldn’t be after your life either, right? Just accept the mission but don’t act on it. Wouldn’t that work?”
“……Am I right?”
“I never thought about it that way.”
Ah, so it’s not that she just couldn’t tell lies, but she also wasn’t able to hide the truth.
“Although that’s one of your good traits.”
“In any case. I can no longer act as a vampire ninja. I humbly apologize.”
Sera lowered her head. Seeing her looking up at me with upturned eyes like that, I had to say that she looked more cute than pretty.
“Nah, it’s not like you could have done anything about that…”
“But onto another topic…”
Her sharp jade eyes stared right at me. Sera drank just a bit of the barley tea.
“Have you thought of exactly why Hellscythe-dono would leave us?”
Why she would leave us? Well, Yuu showing emotions was enough to cause bad things to happen to the people around her. That’s why she was always emotionless, and that’s why she left, so as to avoid any negative impact on us. Right? Sera should also have known that Yuu was a nice girl. She should have also known that Yuu was afraid of hurting others with her own powers. So why was she bringing this up…?
“Do you think we were the ones who caused her to leave then?”
“Yes… I have a feeling that Hellscythe-dono left because of us. But I still just cannot figure out the reason why. So I wanted to ask you for your opinion.”
“Well… It’s not like I know either.”
However… There must have been a reason. A reason that Yuu had left. Well, I was already pretty convinced that she just couldn’t stay with us anymore.
But Yuu was the only person with the answer to that question… Dammit.
“By the way, was the temperature of the bath all right? I was in there for pretty long, so the bath might have cooled a bit.”
“…Are you telling me that you made me take a bath in water that you had already used?”
In a hundred-eighty-degree turn, I suddenly felt as if I was being stared down from the top of Mount Everest. Rather than pretty, I had to say she looked more like… Well, like a demon.
… Why exactly did I tell her that when I knew it was going to end up like this?
(1) He actually starts talking in Kansai-ben, but of course this is impossible to put into English.
(2) A clear reference to anpanman (anpan is a type of dessert consisting of bread filled with red bean paste), which was a popular old anime. The line about love and courage is from his theme song.
(3) The phrase is erogappa, which literally means “perverted kappa,” since apparently kappas are perverted (at least this is the joke). But here it’s been modified for more effect.
(4) I figure it’s been long enough so footnoting this again isn’t bad. Masou is a play on words on mahou (magic), and the sou literally means “clothes,” so this translates roughly to magical clothing girl. Renki is also not really a Japanese word, but the “ren” is written with the kanji that roughly means metal, so Renki translates roughly to “metallic weapon.” These are all words created for the sake of this light novel.
(5) A shoehorn is a tool used to help people put on shoes.