Chapter 1-1

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VOLUME 4

Chapter 1: Waaaaah~~! How Could I Loooooossse~~~?!

Chapter 1: Part 1

October fifth, a Thursday. The school festival was this upcoming Saturday.

I was a zombie, so after school I would always hang around until the sun set. Usually it was by myself, but sometimes I also spent it with Orito when he was free or Tomonori from next door.

But lately the classroom had gotten much more lively after school. Everyone was hard at work on the preparations for the school festival.

“Alright, Aikawa, try your best.”

“Sorry about this. I have plans.”

“Ahh, it’s fine, I’m pretty free anyways.”

Well, it hadn’t been long since school had ended. We were eagerly making an elaborate colored paper collage for the festival, but the other students seemed to have gotten bored with it midway, and since they knew I stayed late every day, they just left the rest to me and went home early.

I found myself alone in making this flashy sign for our monster café. Hiramatsu and Orito were assigned to do the costumes, and Tomonori was in another class so of course she wasn’t here.

So indeed… I found myself working on this completely alone.

To be frank, this was just annoying. All I had to do was paint red letters on this thing, right? And as I worked with that idea in mind, I soon found myself beyond the point of no return.

Let me just say it one more time. This was just annoying.

There were other students who seemed to be simply enjoying the fact that they were making something. They chatted merrily about life as their hands moved deftly to complete their tasks.

“Aikawaaa~~.”

A student who sounded like she was having way too much fun came my way.

Her eyes were filled to bursting with energy and her lips were curved up into a happy smile. This short-haired girl had both her hands on her hips.

“Ahh… Tomonori. You look way really happy for some reason.”

“Someone bought a cell phone for me! Tell me your number~~.”

Tomonori took out the newest model of cell phone and gave me a smile. I’ve always thought that a cell phone is just a cell phone regardless of the model, but for some reason I really wanted a new cell phone when I saw that thing.

“Ah, sure… your parents buy you that?”

Tomonori shook her head.

“Nyah. I got it so I could carry out my missions smoothly~.”

I got Tomonori’s mail address and number using the IR receivers on our cell phones.

“Yay! Got it~~.”

Tomonori smiled and hugged her cell phone happily to herself.

“Aren’t you also preparing for the school festival? Is it really alright to be loafing around like this?”

“Yeah! I got that done already! Is Aikawa done too?”

Tomonori leaned in to take a peek, but then let out a sad-sounding groan.

After all, I was nowhere close to finished. Even though the school festival was in two days.

“Hey, Tomonori.”

“D-Don’t call me Tomonori! I’m a girl!” (1)

“Why exactly am I here making this thing?”

“M-Maybe for a sense of accomplishment…? You know, it’s like when you climb a mountain.”

“I see, I guess that might be true.”

“Right? Just think about that fresh feeling you get when you finish making that. It would sound just like the startup sounds of a Sega Saturn.”

“Your idea of ‘fresh’ is way too hard to understand!”

“Aikawa should try his best to make a sign that will feel as good as hitting a huge single-run home run.”

I probably looked incredibly bored. Tomonori poked my forehead. Of course, I couldn’t feel any pain because I was a zombie, so I didn’t really care about getting poked, but I rubbed the area where she had poked me.

It was probably her way of telling me to stop complaining. Yeah yeah, I got it.

“So, show your stuff to me.”

“Huh?”

“You’re satisfied with whatever you made, right?”

“Yeah! Over here, come with me!”

Tomonori pulled me by the hand like an excited child. Geez, she didn’t even wait for me to get up out of my seat.

I resignedly shook my head and let myself be led to the class next door, when another girl rushed over to us.

“Yuki-chaaan, where did you go?”

She had brown, long hair and perfect makeup. She was Tomonori’s classmate and a member of the basketball team, Mihara Kanami.

Tomonori’s class seemed like it was putting on an artwork exhibit. Everyone had a set of paints ready and had drawing paper spread out on his or her desk.

From what Tomonori had told me before, all of the students in Tomonori’s class were in a club or some kind, so they were all really busy with their club’s preparations for the school festival too. That’s why they chose to just do an art exhibit as a class.

“Tadaaa~~.” Tomonori pointed to a painting. It was a painting of the sun, the sea, and some sunflowers. It was a painting that you could say was a direct representation of Tomonori herself.

“Looks like something a kid would do.”

“But doesn’t it suit Yuki-chan perfectly?”

Mihara stroked Tomonori’s head.

“Hehehh~~.” Tomonori chuckled and looked at Mihara, when something seemed to spark in her eyes.

“Did you know, Aikawa?!”

Tomonori grabbed me firmly by the shoulders. What was this all of a sudden?

“Know what?”

“The name ‘Bruce Lee,’ you know?! It’s because foreigners made a mistake with the name ‘Aoi-san’!”

What the hell was up with that obviously false piece of trivia? Is she trying to say that it’s because Bruce Lee sound like Blue Three, and the Japanese words for “blue” and “three” are “aoi” and “san”?

Tomonori gave me a triumphant look, obviously thinking that I didn’t know. And then she continued in rapid succession.

“And freeze-dried tofu comes from how wives would ask ‘what about tonight?’ to their husbands and serve them tofu!” (2)

“You’re an idiot, aren’t you?”

“Japanese is amazing, isn’t it?!”

Tomonori looked up at the ceiling, almost as if she was praying to God. Exactly what was Tomonori thanking God for right now? I glanced to the side, and saw that Mihara was desperately trying to hold in a laugh.

Was it her? Was she the one who was feeding Tomonori these strange lies?

“Ahahaha! I can’t take it anymore! Yuki-chan is so cute!”

“Tomonori. I’m sorry, but all that information is false.”

“Eh? But… Kanami told me…”

Tomonori turned to Mihara, her eyes sparkling like those of an innocent young boy.

“Yuki-chan is such a smart girl. She remembered eeeeverything I told her~~.”

Mihara was completely making fun of Tomonori.

“And the phrase ‘mendokusai’ comes from because the ‘men’ and ‘dou’ moves from kendo stink, right?! (3) That one’s totally true, right?! It’s true… right?”

“I’d really like to believe that, but sorry. Anyways, the kanji are different.” (4)

Tomonori suddenly hung her head.

“Sorry, Yuki-chan. Ahh, you were so cute back there.”

Mihara hugged Tomonori tight, and seemed to still be trying hard not to laugh.

“Geez, why did you have to go and tell her all those random things…”

“Yuki-chan asked me for something interesting to talk with Aikawa about.”

Well, I did talk a lot with Tomonori every day. She probably wanted more topics to talk about.

“Haha, Yuki-chan believes anything and everything. That’s so funny and cute.”

“Kanami you idiot! Which middle you from?!”

Tomonori put both her hands in the air and protested. Which middle you from… she could have at least said it all out and asked “which middle school are you from?” (5) But Mihara seemed to like it when Tomonori acted this way, and she just kept on smiling.

“By the way, which painting did Mihara make?”

“You gonna look at mine too?”

Mihara never stopped smiling as she hugged herself. Her suggestive, wriggling motions were getting on my nerves, so I decided to ignore her, but…

“Wait! Please look! I’ll show you my everything~~!”

She firmly grabbed me by the arms… I really couldn’t keep up with her energy.

Mihara’s painting… was of a city. It was a top-down view of the city, like the ones you would expect from Sim City. And of course, it was bustling. Wally also seemed to be hiding in her city. (6)

“But it’s a pretty good painting.”

“I know right?”

“Anderson’s is also amazing!”

She had been depressed up until now, but Tomonori suddenly perked back up.

A handsome guy in the corner of the room holding a brush and ink looked our way. “You called?” he seemed to be saying.

He was the tallest person our year, and he had blue eyes and silky hair. His name was Shimomura, but because he was handsome and didn’t look Japanese at all, everyone called him Anderson. Anderson had a palette that was smeared with black ink.

Why was he using ink instead of paint…?

I walked over to Anderson-kun, wondering what he could have painted…

And I saw that he had drawn Maitreya. (6) He was resting one of his cheeks in his hands, and had only one of his legs crossed… but seriously, why the hell did he draw a Maitreya in a half-lotus position?

“The title is ‘The Thinking Man.’”

“He certainly seems to be completely lost in thought! But isn’t there a more appropriate statue you could have chosen to draw with that title?!”

“But it’s amazing, isn’t it?!”

“Well, certainly, the painting is really good.”

“Huh…?” Mihara seemed to have noticed something.

“Hm?” I didn’t know what she had noticed, so I repeated her question back at her.

“Where is that super noisy guy? You know, with the spiky hair.”

“… Orito, you mean? Now that you mention it, I still haven’t seen him today. He was making the costumes with Hiramatsu up until yesterday though…”

“If you’re looking for Orito… he’s been staring at Kanami for a while now.”

Tomonori pointed towards the middle of the room… why was Orito in Tomonori’s class right now?

“Huh?”

Mihara’s body trembled. It was pretty clear she was disgusted.

Now that I took a good look, I saw that Orito was standing in front of a canvas with a brush palette in hand. He had the intense look of a boy in cram school and was staring right at Mihara… or should I rather say, at her breasts.

You… what in the world were you doing in here? And just when I thought our class felt more quiet than usual…

“Does he like her?”

Anderson-kun said that with a serious look on his face.

Tomonori’s eyes glittered with the excitement of a young maiden.

“Orito does? He likes Kanami? Seriously?! That’s amazing! Yeah! Those eyes are definitely the eyes of love.”

No, those eyes weren’t the eyes of love. They were the eyes of a pervert.

Tomonori seemed resolved to find out the truth, and leapt over to where Orito was.

Everyone else shuffled over after her.

“W-What do you all want?”

Orito was flustered, and Tomonori asked him directly.

“Does Orito like Kanami?”

“Huhhhh?”

That was probably the biggest ‘huh’ that Orito has ever given.

“But but, you’ve just been staring all this time at Kanami… ehehehe.”

Tomonori put a hand to her mouth and giggled.

“No no, the only thing I was looking at were the boooooooooooobs!!”

As I thought.

“Ew, gross.” Mihara hid behind Tomonori.

“… Why Mihara’s?”

Anderson-kun cocked his head to the side. It was a rude thing to say… but indeed, Mihara’s breasts were fairly average, and I didn’t see how they were good enough to catch Master Orito’s attention.

“Have you all not realized yet? Mihara isn’t wearing a bra.”

“Groooooooosss~~~!!!”

Mihara let out a screech and took a long running jump from Tomonori’s side, punching right into Orito’s shoulder.

“Gueh… but when you have as much experience as I do, you can see the bra strap even through that camisole under that sailor uniform.”

Well… I admit that was pretty amazing…

“No no, this is a bra top! The camisole has cups that come with it and it’s the same as wearing a bra…”

Mihara pulled at her clothes and protested.

“Impossible! To think humanity has already invented such things…”

Anderson-kun gulped. Why the hell did he look so shocked by this?

“This is a con! It’s a complete con!”

“Everything can just go to hell, dammit.”

Was I the only person who thought even a bra top was plenty attractive…?

“But isn’t it still true that you’re not wearing a bra?”

Uwah! Tomonori betrayed her!

“There’s definitely a bra cup attached, and there’s even pads in there.”

“Wait, wait! That sounds exactly like a bra, doesn’t it?!”

Anderson-kun frowned. ‘As if this situation weren’t crazy enough…’ he seemed to be thinking.

“That’s what I’ve been saying all along!”

“What the hell… I’m relieved… so she’s not wearing no bra… and I thought we had a national crisis on our hands. But it was just me getting tricked… geez, what a great life I’ve had!”

Stop it! Stop tarnishing the name of the good Dr. Hiriluk that I respect so much! (8)

“By the way, what did Orito draw?”

When Anderson-kun changed the subject, Orito stood up from his chair.

“Ahh, it’s not actually done yet though…”

Oh? What was it? We all moved to a place where we could get a good look at the painting.

Orito had drawn what looked like a lightly-dressed girl reaching up with both her hands to put something on a shelf. She had no face, but she had the soft body of what was definitely a female from the neck down to the thighs.

“This is Kanami, isn’t it?”

Tomonori whispered to Mihara.

“This is seriously grossing me out though.”

“I see, if you don’t draw the face, you can accentuate the breasts and the figure, and in this way emphasize the fetishistic qualities of-“

Anderson-kun began to give commentary!

“This is amazing!”

“Wait just a second! Why is everyone praising it?! It’s just gross. It’s just gross gross gross~~.”

“I have to agree with Mihara. Also, why exactly is Orito in this class joining in on their school festival display?”

“Isn’t it better to have more paintings?”

It might be better, but you’re not even in this damn class.

“The teacher told me that it doesn’t matter who draws the paintings.”

Anderson-kun recalled the teacher’s words. It seemed the principal’s policy of letting students freely explore their interests lived on even in this classroom.

“… And that reminds me. Aikawa, did you finish the sign?”

“Hm? Well…”

“W-Wait wait! Let’s forget about Aikawa for a second!”

Tomonori waved her hands back and forth.

“Hey you, Aikawa.”

I heard a deep voice that obviously didn’t belong to a high schooler calling me from behind, and I turned around to see who it was. And I saw our homeroom teacher, nicknamed “Shapeless,” was standing there with a scowl.

I knew all too well what he wanted to say.

“You haven’t gotten anything done, so what are you doing? Come now, you all should stop talking and get back to work too.”

Yes, ever since the second semester began, I had gotten no work done.

And there were a few reasons why I hadn’t gotten any work done.

Among those reasons, the biggest reason was…

“Ayumu!”

Oh look. Here we go again. Each and every time, this chestnut-haired girl Haruna would come barging in with a chainsaw, her ahoge bouncing back and forth joyfully…

“I found a Megalo!”

And she would spout out some cryptic message like that and pull me by the hand.

Haruna came from the magical world Virie, and she had moved to this world in order to exterminate monsters called Megalo.

Megalo were the natural enemies of the masou shoujo, and they came from the Underworld where the souls of the dead gathered to kill the masou shoujo in this world. I wanted to tell them to go to Virie instead, but it was pointless and for some reason they decided to fight each other day and night in the world I happened to live in.

That might have been a lot of boring exposition, but in short…

The Megalo came to this world to kill the masou shoujo.

And the masou shoujo wanted to exterminate the Megalo.

That’s the kind of relationship they had with each other.

There was also Yuu, the Necromancer from the Underworld who was freeloading off me at my house. On the one hand, I’m glad that we managed to resolve the situation when Yuu decided to run away from home. But on the other hand, this meant that our Megalo exterminating sessions began again.

Haruna pulled me by the hand and we exited the classroom. To be honest, exterminating Megalo was annoying and I didn’t like doing it, but it’s not like I could just tell Haruna to go by herself.

Originally, Haruna was able to transform into a strange masou shoujo outfit and beat Megalo with the power of magic, but Yuu had sucked out all her magical energy and so she could no longer do that. And Megalo were not easy creatures to beat, even for a zombie. So there was no way a stupid idiot who couldn’t even transform could fight them and defeat them.

But despite all that, even if she knew she might be killed, even if she knew she was no match for them, this girl continued to challenge the Megalo.

In the end, the task of defeating the Megalo fell to poor zombie me.

When we got out of the school building, I took a look up at the sky. The autum sky was dyed orange, and the sun was just about to disappear over the horizon.

Now, if it really did disappear over the horizon, I would be able to head towards it with a skip in my step, but even in the face of this small sliver of sunlight my body felt sluggish.

I was close to collapsing, but because Haruna was pulling me forwards so energetically, I managed to stay on my feet and advance forwards.

Haruna’s ahoge wagged back and forth like a dog’s tail. We headed for the station area, my hands getting pulled the entire way.

And so, I ran along that busy National highway with this young girl holding a chainsaw.

Haruna stopped when we were just about at the station.

“He should be somewhere around here!”

Her ahoge bent into a right angle, almost as if she was dowsing… what a convenient little thing. (9)

“You know, I’ve always wanted to ask, but how exactly are you finding the Megalo? It always seems pretty random…”

“I can’t really use magic to detect them right now, but I can feel it when the Megalo are looking for masou shoujo.”

“So it’s like… reverse tracing?”

“Yeah, like that! Well, it’s not as great as people who can just use magic to detect them… but it’s better to find high-class Megalo who want to fight than to just look for the small-fry, am I right?!”

I see. Certainly, if it’s a Megalo who’s actively looking for masou shoujo to fight, then those Megalo have to be pretty strong. So that’s why every time we have to exterminate a Megalo it’s some stupidly strong Class AA thing. Geez, give me a break.

“So, does that mean… the normal masou shoujo are finding weaker Megalo to fight…?”

“Yeah. Normal students only hunt C or B rank Megalo! But…”

“But?”

“But I’m a genius!”

Ah I see. This girl’s insane pride is really a bother sometimes…

“It’s that one over there! Let’s go beat it, Ayumu!”

She pointed the chainsaw at a gyuudon (10) shop. A banner announcing that the shop was having a special discount was flapping in the wind outside the shop entrance. Haruna was pointing past that banner…

Huh? The Megalo was inside the shop?

I crouched a bit and looked beyond the glass door… and I saw that the Megalo was indeed in there.

Today’s Megalo was a raccoon Megalo. He was a huge raccoon wearing a boy’s school uniform. He was a complete size larger than Haruna, and he gazed at us from beyond the glass door with his cute eyes.

When he saw me and Haruna, he seemed to get pretty geared up for battle and began to come hurrying out of the shop.

Could it be that he was in the middle of eating? Well, I guess if a huge raccoon wearing a school uniform like that came into a shop, the shop employees would think it was some kind of dare or TV program or something…

The raccoon seemed to be in a hurry, but he just stood behind the shop door looking around restlessly.

He didn’t seem to realize that the shop door was an automatic door that opened when you touched it in the right spot. He took a step back and looked up, obviously bewildered.

“It doesn’t open…”

His small fingers pawed at the door and he let out a sad-sounding groan.

… Well ain’t that cute.

“That one…” Haruna watched the raccoon with a look in her eyes as if she was looking at something dirty. “He’s planning on eating me.”

I wanted to mention that it really didn’t look like the raccoon had any idea of the kind, but Haruna continued before I could interject.

“You know, character-wise.”

… What the hell did “character-wise” mean?

The raccoon got a shop employee to open the door for him, and finally managed to escape from the shop. He probably got the shop employee to help when he was going in too… geez, that’s damn cute.

“In any case, we have to get somewhere without so many people. We’re going to cause trouble if we stay here in front of the station.”

There were way too many people around here. The people around here right now probably thought the raccoon was some kind of stunt, but if we started fighting they might start panicking.

“Huh? Once we find him we have to kill him! It’s search and destronn!”

Why the hell was she acting like some evil villain out of Transformers or Kamen Rider V3? And did she mean search and destroy?

“Come on, if I keep staying out in the sun I’m going to collapse, so let’s at least go where there are shadows so I can fight.”

“Geez… Ayumu is such a wimp. Alright, fine, I guess we gotta do what we gotta do!”

Why, thank you very much. This overly-energetic Haruna once again grabbed me by the hands, and I was hurriedly dragged away.

“Hah!” As Haruna ran ahead of me, her mouth narrowed into a triangle and she showed me a smile.

“Looks like there’s another one!”

She really sounded like she was enjoying herself.

Geez, give me a break… today looked like it was shaping up to be a bad day.

“Wait… huh? Haruna, are you sure you’re alright?”

When Haruna felt the strong magical energy of the Megalo, she should have lost the strength from her body and fallen to the floor. That was the case up until yesterday.

But right now, Haruna seemed to be in her usual mischievous mood, and just gave me a full-fledged smile with her ahoge bouncing back and forth happily.

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TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

(1) The funny thing is that Tomonori says the line “I’m a girl!” using completely male pronouns and sentence endings.

(2) Freeze-dried tofu is “kouya doufu.” The phrase “how about tonight?” is “konya dou?” “Fu” can also be the word for husband.

(3) Mendoukusai means annoying, while “kusai” means “stinky.”

(4) Indeed, the kanji for the “men” in “mendoukusai” and the “men” as a kendo term are different. Similarly with the “dou.”

(5) The phrase “which middle school are you from?!” is actually an insult in Japanese. Not a super common one, but it exists.

(6) I believe this is a less popular version of “Where’s Waldo?”

(7) A deity in the Buddhist religion.

(8) A One Piece character. These were apparently his last words? Not too sure.

(9) Dowsing is a rather archaic form of divination used to locate water or buried gems, where someone uses a bent stick.

(10) Beef rice bowl. Pretty much the cheapest restaurants you can go to in Japan.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 1-1

    • And while I’m on it, (8) is not the literal words. Dr. Hirluck was a quack doctor-dash-former pirate that acted as a parent for the crew’s internal doctor-dash-pet. The scene referenced was very emotive: he suffered a terminal illness and hi “son” tryed to cure him with a “miracle medicine” that was in fact a poison mushrrom that killed in 24 hours, but even knowing that, he took it. While he was at it, he received word that all the doctors under the king (all doctors in the kingdom but him and a witch) had fallen ill, so he went to the castle to save them. Once he reached there, it ended up being a trap and he was put before a firing squad, but upon learning that all the doctors where healthy, he said “What the hell… I’m relieved… so they are fine… and I thought we had a national crisis on our hands. But it was just me getting tricked… geez, what a great life I’ve had!”, drunk some explosive and blew himself up (so as not to be killed neither by his ‘son”s poison nor by his king).

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