Chapter 3: Part 3
When six rolled around on the clock, our monster café began to liven up quite a bit.
Five portions of yakisoba were sizzling on the hotplate as guys with glasses welled into the classroom one after the other.
Were these customers Saras had called over, or ones that had come with Sera in mind?
It was clearly the latter.
After all, everyone was gathered around this beauty dressed up as Hanako-san of the Toilet, trying to snap a cell-phone photo of her.
These all looked like they would be fans of Saras. But they had all come looking for Sera.
“What in the world… this is just…”
I really wish people could imagine what it was like being here in a wedding dress and being forced to just keep grilling yakisoba.
“Aikawa! The cabbage is running low kappa!”
The kappa and Mojimoji-kun were next to me, also grilling five portions of yakisoba apiece and raising a fuss.
“I’ll go buy some! Do the ‘y’ in that one!”
I get the feeling that if someone went shopping in a Mojimoji-kun outfit they might get arrested… and it’s not like it’s terrible if we sell out. But I was so busy that I didn’t even have enough time to think about stuff like that.
We had run out of seats, so all the guys were standing in line and eating. We had turned into a stand-and-eat soba shop.
Sera was the one handing out the yakisoba, and as she waited for my next batch to finish she gave Orito a dubious look.
“Exactly what did you do?”
“Quite simple. I just spread a rumor.”
Orito continued explaining with a fully fledged smile even as he slurped up his yakisoba.
… What a horribly annoying face he had. Hey asshole, stop eating and help out a bit, won’t you?
“The biggest advantage Sera has is her sexy figure. So I just made a part of that figure public, and also made it known that if you wanted a better look, this was the only chance you had. Instead of having the same pizza you’ve always had, isn’t it more enticing to have high-class sushi for the first time? It’s something like that. Well, it also helped that I posted a few comments to fan the flames a bit.”
I see. If you wanted to see the full picture, you had to come. Once you came, you would be swept away by how unexpectedly beautiful she was, and the rumors would spread even more. And really, when you were told that this was the only chance to see that… even I would’ve wanted to come.
Sera would seriously put professional models to shame, after all.
It also helped that there were a lot of people around who had come looking for idols, so they would be especially sensitive to that kind of information.
Wha-?! Sera-san! Don’t punch me!
I heard a commotion before the crowd split into two, and in came Saras with a fierce look on her face, still wearing her frilly skirt.
“What the hell did you do?!”
She suddenly gripped Sera by the collar, causing an uproar in the monster café.
“What do you mean?”
At Sera’s glare, Saras ground her inner teeth.
“Hey hey, don’t fight in here.”
I left the yakisoba alone and inserted myself in between the two of them. Orito took up my place, mixing the yakisoba with the spatula for me.
“I haven’t the faintest idea what you could be so angry about.”
“Invading and messing up someone’s territory like that…”
She was probably getting completely worked up over this silly online thing.
“Well, we just thought we would even the playing field a bit.”
I defended Sera, which caused Saras’s eyes to grow sharp.
“I can’t stand people who make a fuss just because someone has big breasts!”
I agreed with her there, but…
“Are your breasts so small that you would lose to someone based on that alone? My my, I have to say I’m disappointed.”
I raised both my hands to stop these two girls from getting closer.
“Hey hey, calm down. You were the one who came looking for a battle in the first place, weren’t you? And you already were popular, and had a lot of fans come to the school festival. If you won a landslide victory in a popularity contest under those conditions, you wouldn’t really be happy about it either, right? Also, sure, there were a lot of people snapping photos of Sera, but I’m sure there are people here who came here for you too. This time Sera-“
“What did you say?! Try saying it one more time!”
“From where?! That speech was already at four lines!”
“You two just don’t understand, do you? About the gravity of what Seraphim has done…”
“Gravity? She was just posted on the internet… did something happen because of that?”
“Yes. Right now, Seraphim has jumped to the top of the rankings. This is probably only temporary, but the situation has grown grave indeed.”
“I can’t follow you at all.”
“Well, it’s all because the person who was on the top of the net idol rankings before Seraphim showed up was-“
“Orito, who was number one in the net idol rankings?”
“Umm… a really really cute girl named Ayaka-san.”
“Ayaka… don’t tell me…”
“Yes, our master. Seraphim. You just picked a fight with Ayaka-sama and defeated her thoroughly.”
“Yes. Our chieftain’s… daughter.”
“She was a net idol…”
In other words, this was like a normal company employee shaming the company president’s daughter. And if that’s the case, this certainly was a dangerous situation. Even apart from all that, Sera had once committed a taboo as a vampire ninja.
“Even someone as gentle and famous as I am can feel the rage building over this.”
I couldn’t suppress a feeling of discomfort at what she had said.
A gentle person wouldn’t try to stick someone with a stake or grip someone by the collar before starting to talk, would she?
Sera’s face had turned pale. I really didn’t see how this situation was worth worrying so much over.
But for now, I really had to quell this other girl’s anger…
“W-Well… I personally think that Saras is prettier…”
Sera would probably be able to read the situation and figure out what I was trying to do.
“I-Idiot! Don’t say something like that straight to my face!”
She got shy when someone praised her?!
“I… what should I do…?”
“Hey, you. Your name was… Aikawa ‘Hentai’ Ayumu, was it?”
She just slipped that right into the middle like I was some K1 fighter (1) or something!
“Are you willing to risk your life for Seraphim?”
“… If you really think someone like me can make a difference, I’d risk my life at a moment’s notice.”
“Hm. Well then, Seraphim. Hurry up and embrace this man.”
At that point, it was as if all the negative feelings Sera had built up in her were being scraped out.
“I don’t want to! I’d rather fall into a septic tank.”
“Hentai Ayumu. Feel free to take her by force. Embrace her. Show the world exactly what the word ‘hentai’ means!”
Even if you tell me that…
Uwah! Sera’s glare is fierce! I could’ve sworn the air around Sera was shaking, like there were flames surrounding her.
Sometimes I mistook Sera for an Asura demon or something, but today there was no mistaking it.
It was an Asura! There was an Asura right here!
“I can’t! I just don’t have the courage!”
“Do it quickly. Don’t blame me if it’s too late.”
Sera placed her pale, long index finger on my lips.
“I understand the situation. Just hurry up. And then, hurry up and let me chop you to bits.”
Her jade-colored eyes were now dyed red. Wait, why was she preparing for battle…?
I was way too afraid to do this facing her, so I went behind her and wrapped my arms around her like the seatbelt in a roller coaster.
Sera grabbed onto my arms, holding them so that I wouldn’t be able to get them too close to her body.
“So, exactly what is the point of this?”
Her voice scared me.
“She has a boyfriend?!”
One of the groupies shouted that out.
Suddenly, all the buzz that had been in the air seemed to flow out the room.
I see. It was always assumed that an idol didn’t have a boyfriend. When you were attracted to a girl, you might think that it’s obvious such a cute girl would have a boyfriend, but witnessing it in person still made your heart throb in pain. I could definitely sympathize with that.
“What’s so special about that hentai?” “Hmph, he’s just a hentai too.” “Even though he’s a hentai…” “That hentai is so annoying…”
But… why was everyone staring at me?
It was as if… this was completely my fault. Ugh, harsh. The mood in this room was so harsh! And what’s more, Sera was going to chop me to pieces after this, you know? I’ll have to make sure I never hug her again.
But then, a voice echoed through the room, cutting right through that uneasy atmosphere.
“Aikawa Aikawa Aikawa! Not good not good!”
I was called repeatedly, almost like Haruna would have done, and the sea of guys parted to the side, allowing a single girl through.
It was a short-haired girl wearing a sailor’s uniform. I recognized her as Tomonori, even though she had been wearing a swimsuit and selling CDs just a bit ago.
What the hell did she want with us when we were so busy? Geez.
“Aikawa listen to me! W-What should I do?!”
She came over to me, looking completely confused. She even seemed to have mistaken the yakisoba we had just grilled for water, picking up some and sending it down her throat. She started to cough.
Was this girl a complete idiot?
Tomonori seemed shocked when she saw that Sera and I were holding onto each other.
Seeing that, Sera broke one of my fingers.
Just because I can’t feel any pain doesn’t mean you can just show no mercy whatsoever, dammit.
“A-As I thought… Seraphim and Aikawa…”
“Tomonori. It’s not what you think.”
Sera let out a deep sigh. She whispered something to Tomonori, and Tomonori seemed relieved.
“Oh… thank goodness. I completely thought… a-anyways! What should I do?!”
“Tomonori, what happened to the swimsuit?”
“I’m wearing it under my shirt! But more importantly! What should I do?!”
Tomonori rolled up her skirt. At that moment, the sounds of camera flashes echoed through the room.
“Uwah! Don’t take photos! Ugh… it sure is lively around here, isn’t it? W-Wait, no, this isn’t the time! What should I do, Aikawa?!”
“How many times are you going to ask me that-“
I got up to that point with irritation in my voice when I suddenly caught my breath.
Don’t tell me… had something happened to Haruna?
“Master? Master was putting ‘50% Off’ stickers onto the CDs. Why do you ask?”
Huh? So this had nothing to do with Haruna?
“So what do you want then? Even an idiot like you can probably tell, but we’re really busy right now.”
“I’m not an idiot! M-More importantly, take a look at this!”
Tomonori passed me a single letter.
The sender was anonymous, but “Yoshida Yuki-sama” was written skillfully on it, and the handwriting made me think it was definitely written by a guy.
What was this? Don’t tell me… a love letter for Tomonori?
It wasn’t impossible. Some guys might definitely be attracted to Tomonori’s energetic side.
“I just don’t know… what should I do? I just don’t know…”
Well, it’s not like I knew either.
To succinctly summarize what was in the letter, it came down to “I’ll be waiting for you under the tree by the pool.” It seemed like this was a serious love letter. The guy had developed feelings for Tomonori since a while ago, and probably was using the festive atmosphere of the school festival to try his hand at a confession.
… Just great.
“Just don’t go. I’ve always personally ignored things like this.”
I agreed with Sera. It wasn’t a big deal to just leave this stuff alone.
“B-But, if this came from a student, school life is gonna get really awkward from now on! I’ll be so worried about it that I won’t even be able to pay attention in class!”
Tomonori held onto her head with both hands and shook her head bashfully.
“Why did you come here to ask Aikawa? Go ask Mihara or something.”
Orito sighed even as he snapped photos up Tomonori’s skirt.
“I’m gonna punch you in the face. Also, Kanami told me that I should ask Aikawa.”
That girl just pushed something troublesome onto me, didn’t she…?
“Alright, I got it. I’ll go with you later…”
“No, please just go with me noooow~~.”
“He might’ve been waiting there forever. Wouldn’t that be bad?”
The most infuriating thing was that to me, it really wasn’t that bad.
“Well, there’s no other choice then. Aikawa, I’ll switch with you, so go ahead.”
Orito had gotten quite good at making the yakisoba. It was almost as if he was born to do this.
“O-Orito! I’m in your debt!”
Tomonori said that and offered Orito a handshake.
“It’s a single-panties debt then. In other words, give me your panties.”
“Eh? This is a swimsuit though.”
As I listened to this rather mismatched conversation, perhaps it was because the glares around me were getting even sharper, but I began to think that maybe it wasn’t a terrible idea to go with Tomonori.
“Well, anyways, Tomonori. At least let me change.”
I went to grab my uniform from my bag, but…
Tomonori pulled me by the hand. Ugh, geez! Maybe I should just go, get this over with, and then get back as fast as possible.
I tossed my most important items in my blazer and put it on, and then walked out of the classroom with Tomonori.
“I’m off then.”
“When you return… let’s continue with this.”
Continue with what?! Continuing with this mess where I’m hugging Sera… this is definitely going to end up with me getting chopped into bits, isn’t it?!
The minute we exited into the hallway…
“Ah, it’s the man himself.” “The man himself has come!” “So he is a hentai. As expected.”
I had abuse thrown at me from all directions.
“Seriously, just let me go back and change! For God’s sake!”
But Tomonori ignored my tantrum and just continued to pull me forwards.
(1) A kickboxing platform and martial arts brand.