Next PageVOLUME 4
Chapter 3: I Don’t Want To! I’d Rather Fall Into a Septic Tank.
Chapter 3: Part 1
As I walked through the hallway back to class, I passed by a few people who were rudely whispering under their breaths as they looked at me.
It almost seemed like they were chuckling at the sight of my face.
That didn’t make me feel all too good.
What was it? Did my face look weird or something? Or did someone tape something strange to my back?
My zipper was fine, and when I went into a bathroom and looked in the mirror, I didn’t see anything particularly off about my face.
But when I finally got back to my classroom, I realized why everyone had been laughing.
“Ah, it’s the man himself.” “He’s come!” “Uwah, it’s the guy himself!”
That mannequin that looks exactly like me… the one in that pose from that old comedy sketch… it was still standing outside our classroom door.
I had completely forgotten about this thing.
I wanted to get rid of it right away, but where exactly was I supposed to carry this huge thing? There were people everywhere in the school right now.
I heard more whispers around me and felt a bit ashamed as I headed for the door.
The door on the blackboard side of the room was shut tight, but the door in the rear was open wide.
I see. That mannequin was there to direct people to the right entrance.
But don’t take this zombie lightly. How many embarrassing experiences do you think I’ve been through up until now? Just a bit of embarrassment like this was nothing…
Is what I tried to tell myself… but no. These few days had been so embarrassing that I just wanted to erase these memories from all of existence.
But in the end, I also had to pat myself on the back for making a pretty damn good sign.
The inside of our room was splendidly decorated, and you could swear you had just walked into the middle of a Hollywood movie set. I’ll leave the details up your imagination, but I’ll just leave you with one adjective: three-dimensional.
As I gave myself a standing ovation, I headed for the other side of the door curtain, which had drawings of monsters on it.
The only customer was our homeroom teacher, nicknamed “Unconsciousness.” Perhaps it had been confiscated by the vice principal, but he was no longer drinking sake. And that was probably the reason he looked so grumpy.
It really looked like the café wasn’t doing too well.
When I was walking around the school festival, I had certainly seen plenty of other eye-catching and unique attractions.
And also, the food we were serving was pretty similar to the food at the food carts and the cosplay cafés, so why would people choose to go to a monster café? It was just bad on the eyes.
… I guess our monster café idea was a failure.
Or maybe all this was because that teacher, nicknamed “clueless,” was sitting there and sighing continuously like he was deep in thought about something?
Usually, our tiny room was filled with desks and chairs, but all that had been replaced by a few fashionable round tables and small round chairs with low backs. There was only one normal desk and chair next to the entranceway, and a girl dressed as a yuki onna (1) was sitting there selling meal tickets.
You could buy one of these tickets and sit down, and then exchange the ticket for some yakisoba.
“Aikawa-kun… welcome back.”
Hiramatsu, who was wearing a red skirt, welcomed me with a smile. She wore a nametag near her chest, on which was written “Hanako-san of the Toilet” (2). She was dressed in kiddy fashion, but maybe it was because she had such a gentle personality, or maybe it was because her breasts were so big…
I shook my head back and forth. If I had to sexually harass anyone, I’d keep it to Sera and Haruna.
More importantly, was “Hanako-san of the Toilet” really a monster? Well, whatever.
There were other people dressed as strange entities (I wouldn’t really call those things monsters though…), but everyone was wearing a nametag so even the uninitiated could understand what they were.
There was someone wearing a green outfit and a turtle shell, and his nametag said “kappa.”
There was someone with a padded sleeveless kimono jacket, and his nametag said “Kitarou.” (3)
There was someone wearing tights over his entire body, and his nametag read “Mojimoji-kun.” (4)
M-Mojimoji-kun? Mojimoji-kun wasn’t even a supernatural thing, let alone a monster…
“I thought it was time for the shift switch, but…”
As I gazed at everyone dressed in the room as monsters, I checked with Hiramatsu.
“Yeah… Aikawa-kun… should be switching with… with Orito-kun.”
For some reason, it seemed like she had a hard time getting that out…
Orito… Orito… I looked around the room for him.
There were three hotplates set up in a corner of the room. And Orito was cooking the yakisoba there.
Ah, so he was one of the chefs. That made sense… stuff like setting the table and collecting tickets were best left to girls like Hiramatsu.
Although, what exactly was up with Orito’s outfit? It looked like a wedding dress, but what kind of monster was he trying to imitate? He was wearing an apron, so I couldn’t see his nametag from here.
“Hey, Hiramatsu. What monster is Orito supposed to be? I can’t see his nametag.”
“A-… Aikawa-kun. Umm… that is…”
For some reason, Hiramatsu seemed flustered about something.
“Even an honors student like Hiramatsu doesn’t know?”
It’s not like being an honors student meant you knew about monsters and mythology and that kind of stuff… but I’d always thought that Hiramatsu just knew everything.
At those sudden sharp words, I burst out laughing before I could even feel any kind of shock.
Why was Hiramatsu calling him that…?
“… Orito-kun’s character… seems like… a hentai.”
“That’s not a monster at all!”
It’s certainly true that this was kind of expected from Orito, but it was seriously off-putting that he had come in a handmade wedding dress…
Well anyways, I was switching with him, so I headed over.
While I was doing that, I had to stop and ask our homeroom teacher one thing as he sat there sighing and clutching his head.
“Nnn, wha-?” He yawned and responded at the same time. He didn’t even pay me a single glance.
“Sensei, do you have any children?”
“I haven’t even been married. Are you trying to make fun of me, Aikawa?”
“Nah, I’m not…”
So he seriously didn’t have any children. Geez… what was up with that drunk little girl then?
Was it just a coincidence that they had the same name, and she was just some random little girl?
It didn’t seem like I would be able to get any more useful information out of him like this, so I just scratched my head and went over to Orito.
And as I had been told, his nametag certainly did read “hentai.”
“You’re seriously disgusting, you know that?”
“Ohh, Aikawa. I was waiting. I was getting so hot grilling all these noodles. I almost just couldn’t take it anymore.”
Rather than saying you were hot, isn’t there a certain human emotion you should be experiencing first?
It was never shameful to show a bit of shame, dammit!
“Well then, let’s switch.”
Orito took off his glasses, and then cheerfully began to strip out of his wedding dress.
Orito was now naked from the waist up, and he held out the wedding dress he had just taken off to me.
“Come on, hurry up and put it on. Before a customer gets here.”
“… You’re serious here?”
Switching with Orito. It seemed that this meant we also had to exchange the “hentai” role.
“Kappa! Switch with me! I can just be the kappa!”
I had to escape. I had to escape no matter what!
“Ehh, but I just change kappa~!”
Well, if he’s already so dedicated to the role, I guess it can’t be helped…
“Mojimoji-kun, you then! Change with me!”
“I don’t wanna… do the ‘a’ in that one.”
Well, if he’s already so dedicated to the role, I guess it can’t be helped…
“Aikawa, come on. Put it on already.”
Is it just me, or were his glasses sparkling?
… This was a nightmare. In the end, I ended up having to put on that wedding dress.
It was just a festival… so something like this wasn’t going to kill me.
The other staff taught me how to use the hotplate and make one portion of yakisoba. They also explained to me how much electricity I was allowed to use (as decided by our class representative). Meanwhile, I took off my uniform and put on the apron over my wedding dress, tears overflowing from my eyes.
“Oi, AIkawa. I can’t see your nametag.”
Orito took the “Hentai” nametag that was stuck to the wedding dress and attached it to the front of my apron.
You bastard, when you were wearing this that nametag definitely hadn’t been over the apron!
… Well, I guess I can’t do anything but pray that nobody will come.
I stood around nervously and waited, but nobody came. I didn’t know if I should be really happy or sad about that.
At that point, Mihara came in. Without saying a word, she took out her cell phone and faced me. I heard the sound of a camera shutter.
She took a damn photo! She better not send that to anybody or I’ll sue her ass for using my likeness without permission.
Next, Anderson-kun also came…
“Wow, good going,” he said, impressed. And then he took another photo!
Next came a pretty girl sporting a ponytail and wearing a knitted turtleneck under a cardigan.
She had a certain air about her, almost as if her footsteps alone would be enough to make flowers bloom, even along barren earth.
At the sudden appearance of this pretty girl, the classroom came alive with excitement.
She paid her three-hundred yen at the entrance, and then walked towards me holding her meal ticket.
“Umm, please take your seat first and wait kappa~.”
Almost as if she wanted to block the kappa guy’s words, Sera put her index finger on the kappa’s slightly thinned lips.
“Yes, I know.”
Seeing Sera’s beautiful smile was enough to put a fuzzy grin on the kappa’s face, almost as if he had been washed away by the Sanzu River. (6)
His heart probably skipped a beat because of that finger. Yeah, I understood all too well…
“Ah, everyone. I know this girl.”
Orito adjusted his glasses and spoke in a gentlemanly voice while raising his hand.
At that point, a shock ran through the classroom.
Nobody could have probably guessed that a ponytailed beauty like this would be someone Orito knew.
They were like a moon and a turtle shell. A whale and a sardine. She was Mt. Everest, and he was a molehill. They were just miles apart.
They didn’t go together at all.
Orito raised his hand and walked towards Sera. Sera shut her eyes, almost as if she didn’t even want to see the air around Orito (let alone his face), and she walked past him while lightly returning his greeting.
The shockwaves that were running through the classroom turned into looks of compassion that pierced through Orito’s soul.
The students here probably didn’t notice.
They had a genuine monster in their midst right now. Hmm… vampires counted as monsters, right?
“A hentai dressed up as a hentai monster… quite fitting, I have to say. How disgusting.”
That was the first thing Sera said upon seeing this zombie wearing a wedding dress.
“It’s actually a relief that that’s all you had to say.”
“Hm… as I thought, Aikawa Ayumu was a fake name, wasn’t it?”
Sera spoke coldly as she looked at the nametag on my chest.
“My real name isn’t ‘hentai,’ dammit!”
“Please keep your voice down, Aikawa Hentai-san.”
“Crap, it’s already catching on!”
Orito was standing at attention with his heels touching, as if he was a soldier with his superior officer in front of him. He sounded nervous.
What was wrong? It was rare to see Orito nervous like this.
His eyes from behind his glasses weren’t looking straight at Sera, but rather up at the ceiling. The sound of his voice almost made me think he was singing a song to support the J-League at top speed or something. (7)
And then, he took the plunge.
“Would you go with me and-” “I don’t want to.”
Orito was shot down, even before he could put all the tiny amount of courage he had mustered up on display.
“L-Let’s walk around the school fes-“ “I refuse.”
She was way too strong! What was up with this last boss?! At least let him finish his sentence, dammit!
“Orito, just give up for today.”
Sera didn’t even pay Orito a glance as he hobbled out of the room with his shoulders drooping, but instead glared at me.
“You’re pretty late.”
“I had work to do.”
Her voice came out of her dignified lips and pierced through me like sharp daggers. I felt the heat of her glare and felt I had no choice but to apologize.
She had defied her orders as a vampire ninja, so her commander (named Genkunrou or something) had decided to put her through a test. And that test was… umm… what was it?
“So what happened to that test you were supposed to do?”
“I have to defeat the most terrible of all the monsters, who’s said to be sleeping within this land.”
“Ah, so it did become that kind of mission in the end. Wait, something like that is sleeping here?”
“Yes. According to legend, no attacks can hurt it, it’s as strong as a demon, but its appearance is that of a young girl.”
When I heard that, I couldn’t help but think about Dai-sensei or Haruna, who had defeated that raccoon and gorilla.
… Could it be that her mission was to defeat a masou shoujo?
“So, did you find this thing? If you tell me I can help.”
At my question, Sera’s ponytail swished from side to side as she shook her head.
“No. This is my own test… more importantly, is Haruna with you?”
So Sera was worried about Haruna. Her relationship with Haruna was pretty close to that of two sisters.
“Ahh, Haruna is with Yuu and Tomonori right now.”
“Huh… as always, you know nothing at all, don’t you?”
“What don’t I know…?”
“Nothing… I’m trying to say that she most likely wants you to be there with her.”
“No no no no, she’s the one who threw me out of the room.”
“Even so, you are someone who’s good to have around when times are lonely.”
“What? … What’s up with that ‘I want to get my arms broken’ look on your face?”
“In all my sixteen years of life, I’ve never once had an ‘I want to get my arms broken’ look on my face. Anyways, I have to tend to the shop, so I can’t go keep Haruna company right now.”
“Well, if you have to work, then I suppose there’s no helping it. Can I place one order for yakisoba?”
“Hey hey, weren’t you going to go and look for Haruna?”
“Hellscythe-dono and Mael Strom are both there, are they not? So there’s no real point for me to be there anymore.”
After she had tried to force me to go back there… well, whatever. This could be good practice, so for now I’ll make her one order of yakisoba.
“Here you go.”
I passed Sera the yakisoba I had just finished making, and she took it to the seat near the door that was as far away from me as possible. She sat down and crossed her long legs, while everyone else in the room’s gazes were fixed on her enchanting face.
Hiramatsu called out to our homeroom teacher, who was there smoking and fidgeting around restlessly.
“What is it, Hiramatsu?”
He didn’t seem to be in a mood to listen. Stop being so depressed just because someone took your alcohol away from you, dammit.
“Umm… Saitou-san… isn’t coming…”
Saitou-san… who was that again? Oh, right, it was that girl who was supposed to have helped me make the sign. She really didn’t seem that interested in the school festival, so it’s not too surprising that she would skip out from her turn in the café like she had skipped out on the sign-making.
“We’re not too busy, so you can go, Hiramatsu.”
Having a pretty girl like Hiramatsu leave would be bad for business and for my mental state too… but I wanted her to have a chance to enjoy the school festival as well. She’s been a great help to me after all.
“Don’t worry. We’ll handle things down here.”
“Aikawa-kun… thank you… you’re so kind.”
Hiramatsu smiled and gave me a short, deep bow, and then went behind me. There a pile of cabbage, pork, and other yakisoba ingredients back there, as well as everyone’s schoolbags.
She took her uniform out of her schoolbag and began to exit the room, but before she reached the door a whole group of people came in.
The first person who stepped in looked just like an idol.
She was wearing a very fluffy skirt that was wider than her shoulders, and small wings were attached to her back. Her slender hands were clad in gloves with lace running all the way up to her elbows, and she was holding what almost looked like a baton.
An outfit like that would probably look pretty good on a loli like Haruna.
But, the girl in this outfit was a long-haired girl with proportions that would rival those of Sera’s.
She also had a fierce look on her face, almost as if you could expect her to come slashing at you at any moment.
I recognized this refined face.
“Is that… Saras?”
Sera’s face was stiff, and her chopsticks had stopped in midair.
She was probably pretty shocked. I mean, if anybody saw her superior cosplaying in an outfit like that, they would definitely be shocked, right?
“Seraphim. Do not call me by that name here. Are you an idiot?”
Saras gave Sera a sharp glare, and Sera narrowed her eyes in return.
“Do you not even understand why we have to take up fake names?”
“I humbly apologize… Kirara-san.”
Saras narrowed her eyes as well at the clearly forced way in which Sera had said her name.
Were these two on bad terms with each other?
In the entranceway, those two stood sending off sparks like the lit fuse of a stick of dynamite.
T-They were going to explode! Perhaps Hiramatsu also felt it in the air, but her legs began to shake.
This girl’s name was Sarasvati. She was in the same conservative faction of the vampire ninjas as Sera, but she was actually Sera’s superior. But they were talking to each other as if there was no rank difference between them.
I still had no idea whether they had a good or bad relationship with each other.
Of course, the existence of the vampire ninjas was a secret to normal people, and Saras was living under a false name.
In a similar vein, Tomonori’s real name was Mael Strom (which honestly sounded like some water-based attack from a video game).
Saras walked in my direction, and a group of guys followed her one after the other.
It was quite a strange sight to behold.
This group of guys with happi coats (8) and headbands crowded around, their eyeglasses glinting.
It seemed like the hallway was filled with people all the way to the end, and Hiramatsu was stuck standing at the entrance way, unable to move.
They kind of looked like an old bunch of idol groupies or something… like that group in the gym I had seen earlier.
… Don’t tell me… but maybe… did Saras put on a concert or something?
… I admit I would have liked to see that.
She was like a pretty older woman who was wearing a costume that would look pretty good on a small loli. She stood silently in front of the hotplate, looking down at it and crossing her arms.
“What do you want…? If you want yakisoba, go buy a ticket first and wait in your seat.”
“I came all the way here to see you, and you talk to me like that?”
Her sharp glare pierced through me like a blade. Honestly, I was more scared of her glare than Sera’s.
“Hey, Kirara. How hard exactly is this test that Sera has to go through? It doesn’t look like it’s getting anywhere, but is it something she can handle?”
“Hmm… the demon of legend. I challenged this monster around a century ago, but I couldn’t do a single thing. What a ferocious beast. But, to put it another way, it’s precisely because Seraphim is so strong that she was tasked to deal with a monster like this.”
Wait, exactly how old are you? … Hmm… how strong as Saras exactly…? I couldn’t remember it too well, but I at least could say that Saras was way stronger than Sera. She wasn’t the leader of her squad for nothing. And this monster was even stronger than that. I suddenly got the feeling that I really had to help Sera out in this test.
“But in any case, I guess you’ve finally accepted how strong Sera is.”
I couldn’t keep in a small chuckle, which made Saras’s face flush red.
“Y-You damn hentai!”
“You shouldn’t be calling anybody a hentai when you’re dressed like that!”
This boy in a wedding dress and this pretty girl in a loli costume glared at each other.
Why did Saras always have to be as fiery as this?
“Just grill it already.”
The rules were worthless here. In this world, the beautiful people made the rules.
“Yeah yeah. So, what’s with this lot hanging around?”
“You… I’m tempted to think that you’re mocking me.”
And what would happen then? Were you going to impale me with a sword in front of all these people or something? Hah hah hah. As if you could do something like-
Click. Like a ballpoint pen, the tip of her baton opened up and what looked like a sharp stake appeared from the end. It was a vampire using a damn stake as a weapon! Also, was she seriously planning to come at me with that thing in full public view?!
“Are you an idiot?!”
I guarded myself with my spatula and spoke in a panicked voice.
“D-Don’t make fun of our lovely Kirara-tan!”
Shouts of agreement rang out around me. These people were annoying. Just finish your damn noodles and get out of here, ugh.
“Although, this store doesn’t seem to be doing too well, does it?”
Saras gave me a condescending smirk.
“Well, we’re actually doing great business here thanks to you.”
“When you’re as popular as I am, then that’s an obvious result. What, are you saying that even someone like Seraphim couldn’t attract customers? Fufu.”
Saras gave a suggestive smile, which prompted Sera to stand up. Saras might have outranked her, but when she was called out by name like that it was impossible for her to just sit there quietly.
“You over there…”
Hiramatsu couldn’t hide her surprise when she was suddenly called on by Sera.
“You said earlier that the girl who had the next shift never came, correct?”
“I’ll take the next shift.”
“Ah, Hiramatsu. Just let her do it. After all… this could get interesting.”
“Really, it’s fine. Whatever.”
This teacher really just didn’t care about anything, did he?
“Ohh, so Seraphim has a mind to challenge me?”
Saras beckoned to one of her groupies with her finger, and one person broke from the pack, crawling to her on all fours.
Saras took one of her bewitching legs, wrapped in a high kneesock, and placed it on her follower’s back.
When she did that, all her groupies fell to the floor and kowtowed in front of her.
“You think to challenge me? Fuhahahaha!”
The corners of Saras’s mouth turned slightly upwards and she let out a satisfied laugh.
“Saras-” “Don’t call me by that name.”
Saras glared at me with angry, wide-open eyes, so I corrected myself while I was piling yakisoba down on her plate.
“What is it?”
“These people aren’t pledging their loyalty to you or anything… they just want to look at your underwear, you know?”
It was like she was trying to say “why” in English, or trying to imitate what Bruce Lee might sound like if he had a question. Either way, Saras looked at me with a doubtful expression.
As I sprinkled dried bonito flakes and green seaweed on her plate, I gestured for her to take a look down. But suddenly, the groupie who had been so intently staring up her skirt turned his face towards the ground.
“It looks to me like everyone has their foreheads plastered to the ground?”
Saras shook her head resignedly. Meanwhile, her groupies looked right up her skirt.
I gestured for her to look down again, but everyone looked right at the floor again, with almost perfectly synched timing.
“Look, I do sympathize with your jealousy of my charisma. However, lying is not good. If you try to hide your lies with another lie, then it begins to affect my trust in you.”
“And really… even if they were looking at my underwear, exactly why should I care?”
“Well… that’s… because it’s embarrassing or something…?”
“Ridiculous. Do you really think someone in an outfit like this would get embarrassed at having her underwear seen? Do I look like some flimsy child?”
“Well, show me your underwear then.”
“You hentai! Go die! You should go spill salt water on that electrical outlet and get electrocuted!”
Make up your damn mind. Ugh, this girl was annoying.
“So, in other words, you’re just trying to act tough-“
Saras put her index finger softly on my lips. It was the same thing I had seen Sera do time and time again.
“Are you really so narrow-minded that you can’t forgive one girl trying to act tough?”
Oh geez… when she said it like that to me, I really couldn’t say anything in response.
At some point, Sera had finished changing and walked over to us.
Her skirt was a bit too small, and it had become a very short miniskirt. Her suspenders hung tight from her shoulders, and her blouse was pushed up by her two bountiful mounds.
I saw a ponytailed Hanako-san standing right in front of me.
Crap. She was really sexy. All we had done was put a “Hanako-san of the Toilet” outfit on someone with the physique of a model, but why was it so sexy?
Saras’s groupies also looked up at Sera in blank amazement.
These groupies were sprinkled all around Saras like flower petals, but Sera treated them as if they were nothing but a piece of carpet as she stepped on them to walk towards Saras.
Was she supposed to be Raoh’s horse or something?! (9)
There were footprints appearing in their happi coats, but this lot was satisfied. It was, after all, worth it for the other blessing they were receiving.
“Ugh! I’m not an M. I’m the Lovely Kirara-tan’s-“
“I’ll be the one who decides if you’re S or M. And you are just a little M pig.”
“Yes. I’m a little M pig.”
Before I knew it, after their happi coats had become stained completely black by Sera’s footprints, this crowd of groupies had fallen under Sera’s control.
“Well well, Seraphim. Looks like you’ve got some fight left in you.”
“Those who call themselves vampire ninjas must fight without fear no matter what enemy appears before them. I’m just obeying the law.”
“it’s strange to hear someone who once turned her back on the law saying that. Well, fine. This should be amusing enough.”
“Well then… whoever attracts the most customers wins.”
“Just remember that you’ve never won against me.”
Saras let out a loud laugh and gallantly took the yakisoba from me.
“Let’s start the match at six then.”
“Agreed. I’ll be taking my yakisoba with me now.”
At my words, Saras took out three hundred yen. But I didn’t take her money and just pointed towards the door.
“The register is that way.”
Saras gave me a hmph and walked out of the classroom, taking her groupies with her. We don’t allow takeout, you know…
Sera turned to look at me, her eyes showing a ferocity that told me she was ready for battle.
“Hentai-dono, do you have any bright ideas?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“I have plenty of confidence and pride in my own abilities. But… I cannot win against Saras on my own.”
“Why? You were stealing her groupies from her just now, weren’t you?”
“Never… I’ve never been able to beat her.”
Sera didn’t seem frustrated. Rather, her jade-colored eyes were filled with the drive to win.
I was at a loss. What advice should I give her? And would my advice really be okay?
But then, a light bulb flashed atop my head.
“What is it? You look like you just thought of something.”
She smiled at me, a brilliant smile I almost never got to see. I gave her a serious look in return and told her my plan.
“… Go look for Orito.”
At that point, Sera went from a fully blooming smile right back to her usual expression, as if she was looking at something dirty.
(1) Literally “snow girl.” Famous Japanese youkai/monster which freezes its victims.
(2) Based on an urban legend, that if you go to a school’s bathroom alone at night you can call forth some apparition of a girl with bobbed hair, red skirt and white shirt. Her name is “Hanako-san of the Toilet.”
(3) A reference to the titular character of the manga “Gegege no Kitarou.”
(4) A reference to a set of characters in a comedy sketch by the Tunnels (a famous comedy duo, although I get the feeling that the Korezon author is dating himself a bit here…)
(5) Moji literally means “words” – in this sketch the actors try to form their body into the shape of words.
(6) A river with some religious history – basically the Japanese equivalent to the River Styx.
(7) The J-League is Japan’s soccer league. I’m not sure if they’re referring to a specific song here or not.
(8) Traditional Japanese light coat, usually either blue or brown.
(9) Reference to Fist of the North Star.