Chapter 1: Part 2
When we had gone a bit past the line of restaurants in front of the station, we arrived at a relatively deserted residential district. At that point, Haruna turned around.
Behind us was the raccoon, who had finally caught up to us and whose shoulders were heaving up and down in exhaustion.
“… It’s not whatcha think…”
What wasn’t? The raccoon waved his hand back and forth and continued.
“I knew how dat thing opened, kay?”
“Huh?” Haruna responded to his question with a question of her own.
“That door and me just don’t get along. Seriously.”
Was he embarrassed about not being able to get that door open? Damn his excuses were cute! What the hell was this raccoon?! If he wasn’t a raccoon this would be seriously annoying, but damn was this cute!
When we finally got somewhere without many people, we turned around to face the raccoon like some Wild West gun showdown.
“That’s the A-Class Megalo, Araichuu!” (1)
“Sounds like one of the original Drifters.” (1)
So he was A-class… that meant we could still get completely done in if we weren’t careful.
There was a time in the past when I didn’t take a horse Megalo seriously enough and got beaten. So I should try to be careful here…
The raccoon was still far enough away from us that whatever attack he sent at us I was pretty confident I could react quickly enough… but then…
The raccoon took out a handgun.
What the hell?! He had a gun?!
But if he had a gun, why hadn’t he used it until now? He could have shot at us while he was chasing us.
I suddenly found the barrel of a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson Schofield pointed right at me.
The raccoon went for the trigger with his cute little fingers, when…
“Oooo can’t reach the triggerrrr~~…”
I see I see! The raccoon couldn’t get to the trigger with his fingers!
And when the raccoon tried really hard to somehow shoot the gun with his hands… the gun dropped to the floor. “Ahh…” the raccoon sounded pretty sad and picked the gun back up…
“Sorry… can I go wash this and come back?”
S-So damn cute! I wanted to see him wash that!!
Crap! This would have been a good chance to beat him!
“Ayumu what are you doing? Hurry up and beat him!”
“Ugh, gimme a sec… I’m taking psychological damage here…”
“Ayumu is seriously useless. You probably haven’t even noticed the guy above us.”
“Above?” I looked up… and saw a gorilla there.
Compared to the raccoon, he was not cute at all, and because he had a red ribbon tied to his head but was wearing a boy’s school uniform, it was initially hard to tell what his gender was.
But anyways, there was a gorilla with the bulging muscles of a bodybuilder clinging to the top of the telephone pole next to me. H-he seriously wasn’t cute at all.
But I didn’t have time to just stand there analyzing the situation. The gorilla came at me like a pro wrestler jumping off the corner of a wrestling ring to slam his opponent.
I began to leap to the side, but Haruna didn’t budge an inch.
She didn’t even ready her chainsaw, but just stared up at the gorilla with a slight smile.
She lifted her hands up, almost as if welcoming the gorilla… what an idiot! I quickly rushed over and held her small body to mine.
I suddenly felt my back being split apart. The gorilla’s fat fingers had torn right into my back. As a zombie, I felt no pain, but it still wasn’t the best feeling getting torn apart like this.
As expected from a Megalo. What amazing power. I held Haruna’s childlike body to me and rolled along the asphalt.
“Hey, dammit! Right now, you definitely, definitely touched my breasts, didn’t you?! You damn pervert! Geroge Eromero!”
Was I a horror movie master or something?! Instead of Eromero, don’t you mean director George A. Romero?!
“Well sorry! It’s not like I felt much, but I’m sorry!”
“You’re picking a fight with me, aren’t you?! Fondling someone’s soft and fluffy chest like that, don’t screw with me!!”
“That’s why I’m apologizing… I’m sorry! Geez, what the hell are you thinking?! Hurry up and run!”
“You telling me to run from small fry like that?!”
Ahh, so that’s what she had been thinking.
“Well fine, then just wait over there.”
Maybe Tokyo’s buildings were just insanely high, but I suddenly found myself in an area that was shaded, and felt like I could actually fight. I let go of Haruna and turned towards the ribbon-wearing gorilla…
Kyah… well, there go my ribs.
As I was turning around, the Gorilla swung his huge arms around like a lariat and dug them into my side.
My feet lifted off the ground. Ah, this was bad. This gorilla was seriously strong.
I crashed into the wall of some house, but I immediately countered with a kick. I wanted to try a jump kick this time, but my full-force kick was blocked by some invisible barrier.
What looked almost like a purple pane of glass appeared, protecting the gorilla. Was this like the barriers that Haruna always used? Megalo could do those too?
Ah… this wasn’t working. I couldn’t beat this guy just as a zombie. I guess I have to transform now.
I tried to launch a kick one more time but rejected again, and so I returned back to where Haruna was.
If I wanted to transform into a masou shoujo, I needed the chainsaw that Haruna had.
“Haruna, give me the chainsaw.”
“It’s got a name! Call it Mystletainn!”
Haruna, I really want to humor you here, but I’m not a big enough idiot to do something like that in the middle of battle.
“Ah, you don’t have to say anything. It’s already really obvious you want to put a ‘super’ in front of the name too.”
“Fine fine, just hand it over.” I reached out, but…
“Ahh, ha ha ha ha…” Haruna gave me a strained smile and denied me.
“Come on now. Give it to me, come on…” I stood firm, but…
“Ahh, ha ha ha ha…”
Why wasn’t she giving it to me? Was she telling me to stay untransformed and get beaten to pieces? What kind of grudge did she have against me?
“By the way, Ayumu. They’re teaming up right now.”
“That barrier was made by that guy.”
Haruna pointed at the raccoon.
“So… are you saying that I can’t beat the gorilla if I don’t beat him first?”
“Isn’t that obvious?! Well, I guess if it was me it’d be a bit different though!”
“So anyways, I guess I’ll deal with that raccoon…”
I just… had to beat him…
At some point, I had become lost for words.
Why, you ask? Because that damn raccoon had dropped his gun in the middle of wiping it off with a handkerchief and looked really ad now!
“As if I could kill something that cute!!”
I yelled, and the gorilla once again came at me, aiming a punch for my face.
I lowered my head and dodged, and sent a punch right into his body… however, as expected, the barrier blocked me.
What should I do?! What should I do here?!
The gorilla’s body blurred. I rubbed my eyes, trying to make sense of what I was seeing, and when I took another look at the gorilla… the gorilla had become four gorillas.
Gyahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I wanted more raccoons!!!
Why were there more gorillas?! Who the hell profited from that!? Make them raccoons! If something has to multiply, make it be a raccoon!!
“So either one of them is the real one, or this is the Four-Body Fist technique… (2)”
“They’re all real! Isn’t it obvious?! Sometimes Ayumu is just completely hopeless…”
I caught Haruna by the hand as she tried to take a step forward.
“Are you an idiot?! Let’s run! This isn’t going to work! We can’t beat that raccoon!”
“Huh? But it’s impossible for us to run away now!”
I’d really like you to explain to me why we can’t run away…
As Haruna whined, I picked her up and ran away with all my strength.
But there was one miscalculation on my part… and that was that the gorilla’s speed had gone way up. What the hell?! Shouldn’t they have been weaker now that they’ve split into four?!
One of them tackled me with his head, almost like a headbutt. Another dropkicked me with his short legs, and the others sent attacks at me that would put pro wrestlers to shame.
Trying to prevent Haruna from getting hit, I occasionally let go of her and got a bit away from her, using myself as a cushion… in general, I was pretty busy.
After getting tossed around like a volleyball and torn to shreds by these gorillas, I finally collapsed.
Those damn gorillas… even if they waited for me to recover…
I tried to get myself up off the ground, but one of the gorillas suddenly came at me with a super heavy body press as I lay there on the floor.
If I got hit by that, I had the feeling that my bones would reform in weird ways.
I somehow got up and dodged the attack, and then sent a strong roundhouse kick at the gorilla using 432% human strength. With this much force, I should be able to break straight through that barrier.
… Is what I thought, but I was wrong.
I could feel the bones in my leg getting broken into tiny splinters from the impact of kicking that barrier.
This would definitely take a bit of time to heal… and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
I was already did, so I didn’t care no matter how much I got beaten up. However, in Haruna’s case…
“Hurry up and get away! Just run away by yourself!”
“I’m saying that there’s no point in running away here!”
She laughed scornfully at me. She had witnessed me getting beaten to a pulp, and yet she still wanted to fight the Megalo?
I pulled Haruna back as she tried to head for the gorilla.
“Wait, dammit! I’m begging you, just listen to me and run away!”
“Ayumu, you were beaten that badly so easily, aren’t you angry at all?”
“Ahh, unfortunately, I’m used to dying. As long as you’re safe… I’m fine with dying.”
Ugh, not good. The lower half of my body had died. I felt myself collapsing to the ground.
Looking up at the sky, I saw that it was still early in the evening. If it could just get to nighttime…
If it got to nighttime… I could get up pretty quickly… god dammit.
“Anywyas, Ayumu you just roll around over there for now!”
This idiot, I really wanted to punch her down. Just cut it out and realize how dangerous this situation is.
I tried to get up again, but it seemed like there was some weird fracture in my ankle and I couldn’t really manage it.
In fact, I wanted to congratulate my leg for being able to make it this far like this.
“Nomobuyo, woshi, hashitawa, dokeda, gunmiicha, dei, ribura!”
That was a spell. A spell that I personally was more familiar with than “bippidy boppidy boo,” “tekumaku mayakon,” or “expecto patronum.” It was the chant to transform into a masou shoujo.
It was a chant that I was always forced to say in Haruna’s place.
The clothes Haruna was wearing flew off, and after a moment when she was naked, a cute pink cosplay outfit appeared. As expected, this type of transformation was best done by girls. When I thought about myself transforming like that… it was hard to stop laughing.
“Feast your eyes on this!”
The chainsaw she was holding made a shrill grinding noise as it kicked into gear and gave off a ruby glow.
“Why can I transform, you ask?”
“Why did you call me out here?! If you could transform again then go by yourself, dammit!”
“Ehh… b-be happy! What is wrong with you?!”
So the reason she hadn’t given me the chainsaw, and the reason she seemed so happy, was because her magical energy had gone back to normal.
That’s why she had called me all the way out here and was just standing there observing… how could I be happy with that?
“At any rate, you just wanted to show me how much of a genius you are, right?”
Haruna seemed to have fallen into a bad mood, so I figured that it would be pointless to keep arguing with her. Before Haruna could argue back with me, I continued.
“Then show me. Show me how much of a genius you are.”
Haruna gave me the cute smile of a young girl, and then…
“Oh healing wind, go forth and heal! Earth Glaive!”
She chanted something like that and pointed her chainsaw at the gorilla. When she did that, the ruby-glowing chainsaw emitted a fireball larger than a basketball, and sent that fireball crashing into one of the gorillas. In the next moment, that gorilla had burnt to ash.
As I watched the gorilla get turned to white particles, I desperately moved my immobile legs, inhaled deeply through my nose, and with all my might on the next exhale…
“Where the hell did fire come into that?!”
I just had to say it. I couldn’t just keep that bottled up forever.
Because seriously, wasn’t that weird?! She said healing, and wind, and earth… what the hell?!
I mean… wait, huh? What happened to the barrier?
“Listen up, Ayumu! Barriers have their limits. So if they’re being protected by a barrier, you just need to attack with more force than the barrier can protect from. That’s all!”
What the hell… are you saying that Haruna’s attack was stronger than my zombie strength?
Just by becoming a masou shoujo, Haruna was stronger than me… for some reason, that made me feel a bit lonely. Next, a gorilla came right at us, but…
“Fly forth… blades of light!”
She completely ripped that off! She completely ripped that off, without even emailing that venerable author and asking for permission! (3)
A fireball erupted from the chainsaw and attacked the gorilla.
I saw the gorilla manage to dodge the attack, and then suddenly Haruna’s small body vanished. At the same time, I saw a flash of her skirt as she sent her feet crashing into the raccoon in a flying kick.
I couldn’t even see that sequence of events. No, these eyes which had trained with that strongest warrior Dai-sensei, which had witnessed the attacks of that ridiculously strong King of the Night, which were living with that swift, ponytailed vampire ninja, and which spoke each day with that track star… even they couldn’t hope to follow that attack.
All I saw was a sweet girl silently falling down to the ground like dandelion fluff, and from that I just guessed that she had probably hit the raccoon with a flying kick.
What did she do? I had no idea. Haruna had beaten the raccoon, and I had no idea how.
“Waaaaah~~! How Could I Loooooossse~~~?!”
This raccoon…!! He didn’t seem to even be able to believe he had lost as he turned to white particles. Ugh, I had wanted to keep him as a pet…
“They think defense is important. In other words, that is just proof that their defense is weak!”
Saying that with a proud look on her face, Haruna slammed into one of the gorillas with her chainsaw. And just like I had done a few minutes ago, the gorilla was sent sliding back on the asphalt.
“If there is evil in this world… then that evil lies within the heart of man! Indignation!”
Haruna-san, that’s not a chant! That’s just an old saying!
One of the gorillas tried to grab Haruna. For a small girl like that, such a sight should have been terrifying.
However… the gorilla’s body was enveloped by flames. And indeed, in the next moment he had been burnt to ash.
The gorilla also no longer seemed to know what was going on. He was getting overwhelmed by a girl one… no, three sizes smaller, and he took a step back.
“Darker than dusk more crimson than a stream of blood I stand here today in thine venerable name buried in the flow of time pledging an oath to darkness and for all those foolish beings standing in our way we combine our powers and destroihnn-“ (4)
She screwed it up! She was so close too! She was so damn close!
A fireball appeared from the chainsaw.
I guess I’m glad there wasn’t a chant there.
The last gorilla turned into white particles, and Haruna came back to me with a happy expression on her face.
“How was that?! Amazing, right?!”
She was grinning from ear to ear.
I was seriously trembling. There was no point in me trying to protect her.
Now that Haruna had recovered her masou shoujo powers… compared to a zombie like me…
She was overwhelmingly stronger.
Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh. I had been treating this saucy little girl like a kid all this time… and it turned out I didn’t need to protect her at all. I felt like a mother bird watching her young leave the nest. I felt lonely, and yet aso happy.
Haruna took a arrogant pose and looked down at me.
“But Ayumu tried hard up until now, so I’ll at least praise you for that!”
She put her hand on me and patted my head a few times.
“Geez… I really was acting like a huge clown back there…”
She probably agreed. “Nyahaha!” she laughed with her arms crossed.
“Well, when a genius like me begins to use attack magic, even A-class Megalo are no sweat!”
“How long have you had your powers back?”
“From today, of course! I suddenly figured everything out!”
After saying that and dispelling her transformation, Haruna reached inside her shirt and showed me a pendant that had been hanging from her neck.
“Look at this! I used some random stuff I found at Ayumu’s school and invented a magical energy suction device! I just have to hang this around my neck and all the magical energy around me gets sucked into this thing!”
So that’s how Haruna got back the magical energy that Yuu had taken from her? It really seemed like this girl was a genius.
“You made that all by yourself?”
“Nyah. There are some people in this world who know about the magical arts, so I got a bit of help.”
Wait, there were people like Dai-sensei in this world?
Who was it? Who was the weirdo who actually could help someone like Haruna out? If they used stuff from our school… then could this be someone who was at school?
“Well, anyways, I’m happy for you.”
“Yeah! I’m really strong right now! I’m a million times stronger than I was before I met such an idiot like you!”
“A million times stronger…”
“Listen up Ayumu! A-class Megalo are supposed to be so tough that it’s hard for masou shoujo to defeat them! And with just one attack, with as much magical energy as Dai-sensei had… yeah. I’m the only person in the world who could have beaten that Megalo with just a single fireball! In other words…”
“In other words?”
“Right now, I’ve become te strongest! I’m not even talking about AAA-class Megalo, which need lots of masou shoujo to defeat! I feel like I can even beat S-class Megalo alone! Those are the Megalo that don’t go down no matter how many masou shoujo are there, ya know!”
Seeing Haruna declare that so proudly, I felt that eventually Haruna would…
(1) Get too cocky and get done in by a Megalo.
(2) Break her magical energy suction device or whatever.
(3) Would stop finding Megalo to fight with.
(4) Would break her masou weapon.
Yeah, I got the feeling that one of those four things would happen and she would get pretty depressed by it. When you declared to the world that you were the strongest, there was no way some bad fate wasn’t waiting for you at the end of it all.
But at the same time, I could feel myself growing a bit curious as to what would happen to Haruna after this.
Oh… actually, before that, I really should get back to school and finish that sign.
(1) The Drifters were a Japanese band and comedic group. Arai Chuu (Chuu being his first name) was one of the original group members. However, the kanji that Haruna uses for the name of the Megalo actually translate to something like “In the middle of being washed.” So there is an untranslatable pun going on.
(2) A reference to a skill in the Dragonball series.
(3) She ripped off an attack from Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, another light novel series.
(4) An over-the-top chant from Slayers.