Chapter 4: Part 7
Once things had been tidied up to a degree, we all left for home. Haruna hated cleaning, and Yuu had a variety show she wanted to catch, so they had gone home first and I found myself returning all by my lonesome.
A full moon was out tonight. Unlike sunlight, moonlight was my friend. If I was under moonlight, I could use all my zombie powers.
Maybe I was in the eye of the hurricane, or maybe the storm had already ended, but there was no more rain, and only a strong wind was blowing.
I parted ways with Orito at the school gate and looked up at the moon.
And then I began to walk down the wide path running along the four-lane street near our school.
There were no cars on the road, and there weren’t many other pedestrians either. There were still probably people cleaning up after the school festival. Because our homeroom teacher had suddenly disappeared, the Japanese teacher filled in for her, but ended up letting me and Orito go home early. And that was only because…
“… Aikawa-kun and Orito-kun… they worked really really hard.”
It was only because an honors student like Hiramatsu told the teacher that for us. I mean, it’s not like I wouldn’t have stayed and helped clean up, but I was so exhausted that I decided to take advantage of the offer.
Maybe I’d visit the cemetery for a bit and then head home. The school festival was pretty fun, but quite a few things had happened… I took a quick stop at a convenience store, but then…
“Hentai… dono.” I heard a pretty voice on this supposedly empty road.
It was a voice I had heard before… many times.
“What is it? … Sera.”
I turned around, and saw a single ponytailed beauty standing there.
She was wearing a knitted turtleneck and a cardigan. She wasn’t wearing that red Hanako-san of the Toilet skirt anymore, but instead had replaced it with a pair of jeans.
“I… After today, I find I don’t understand Hellscythe-dono anymore.”
Sera’s arms were crossed and resting on her soft bosom. She looked a bit lost.
“I understand Yuu perfectly though.”
“She’s supposed to be the kindest existence in the world. That’s why I sought her out. However… even though Haruna was in pain, she did nothing to help. Well, if she would be causing herself pain by helping, I suppose that was the correct decision, but…”
“It isn’t like Yuu, you mean?”
“Yes. As far as I know, Hellscythe-dono has always been extremely self-sacrificing.”
“So, do you hate Yuu now?”
The minute I asked that, Sera poked my eyes out.
“Who in the world said something like that?”
“Is it that unforgiveable that Yuu chose to not sacrifice herself this time? I don’t think so. She probably just wanted to be a bit selfish. Just for today… no, just for the school festival. Sera, let me be honest with you. I really wanted Yuu to take her emotions back. The Yuu of the past would probably never have been able to. But, the Yuu of the present… the Yuu that now has her own desires and wants… I think that the day will come when she will be able to do that. So-“
At that point, Sera once again put her long index finger against my lips.
“I understand. And I agree with your viewpoint completely. In other words, you want to say the following, correct? Hellscythe-dono and Haruna should do what they want to do, and you’ll just clean up after them… yes?”
“Exactly. That’s exactly it.”
“Will you allow me to join you in that, then?”
“Of course. If you ever have anything you want to do, go ahea-“
“Not that. I will join you for clean-up duty.”
That’s true. That kind of role definitely fit Sera better. Actually, doing something for the sake of someone else was probably what this girl wanted to do anyways.
“Got it. I’ll be counting on you then.”
“Of course. Hentai-san.”
“Give me back my first name, dammit!”
Sera and I laughed loudly together. It really was a rare opportunity for me to be able to laugh together with Sera like this.
At that point…
“You two are getting along as well as always. Makes me a bit jealous.”
It was Saras, in a sailor’s uniform and carrying her schoolbag in one hand.
Sera suddenly stopped laughing, and returned back to her dignified expression.
“Did you live around here?”
“Huh? Is there a problem with me wanting to go to a convenience store?”
Saras’s glare was as sharp as blades.
“Ah, okay. I’m sorry then.”
“Well, whatever. There’s also something I want to say to you.”
“Well then, if you’ll excuse me…”
Perhaps she felt awkward, but Sera gave us a quick bow and began walking away.
“I know that you are Mael Strom’s husband. So, I will… I will steal a kiss from you now. If you do not want to become my husband, you best protect yourself to the death.”
At her words, Sera turned around immediately, her ponytail whipping behind her. Her eyes were wide with shock.
“Saras, do you have any idea what you’re saying rightnow?!”
“Yes, naturally… Seraphim. Who do you take me for?”
“Wait wait wait wait! What the hell is going on?!”
“In other words… I am confessing my love to you.”
“Do not worry. You will enjoy it.”
Her lips came closer. And my body was shocked stiff.
Just seeing those soft lips of hers were enough to make my heart erupt in a frenzy of alarm bells.
“Saras!” Sera quickly grabbed Saras by the shoulder and held her back.
“Do you intend to stand in my way?”
“Saras, exactly what part of this person has you acting this way?”
“Yeah. You really don’t have any reason to love me.”
“You… do you really intend on making me say that the shape of your butt is so irresistible to me? What a pervert.”
“That’s the reason?!”
“People can fall in love for even the most trifling of reasons.”
“I really had no idea you were this much of an idiot.”
“This has nothing to do with Seraphim, does it? Now then, you will-“
At that point, Saras cut her sentence short.
And then, she took out a water bottle from her bag and tossed the bag away.
A black mantle appeared on her back, and her eyes bled red.
Don’t tell me… was she planning on fighting Sera here? But my prediction turned out to be off the mark.
Saras shouted that out. But before those words reached Sera, Sera had already leapt to the side.
The wind… was blowing. The wind again? Ugh, everything that’s gone wrong today has been because of the wind…
The wind gouged into the asphalt and twisted the roadside guardrails out of shape, heading straight for us.
And I… just couldn’t move.
“Don’t just stand there, idiot!”
But before Saras’s voice could reach me, I had already been thrown into the air. I heard the noise of my own bones being crushed. My innards were pulverized, and I spat out a mouthful of blood.
“Wow wooow~~. Two of you dodged that!”
Someone appeared clapping her hands… the person who had attacked us… and she was…
A petite, little girl wearing a white Gothic Lolita outfit.
Chris. The masou shoujo who had vanished just a few hours before. Why in the world was she here?
“Y-You! To think you really were here…”
Saras sounded shocked, and I frowned.
“Saras… do you… know this girl?”
I managed to wheeze that question out.
“I told you about her before, didn’t I? I’ve challenged this person before. This… is the demon of legend.”
This person? The demon of legend? … This was the person Sera had to defeat to complete her test?
Sera’s test… was to defeat who people were calling the strongest masou shoujo?!
Saras glared daggers at Chris, but Chris just laughed.
“Chris doesn’t remember at all~~. Have we played before? Well, whatever… let’s play again! You’re the strongest around here, right? Hoshikawa Kirara-san~~.”
Saras looked a bit shocked at getting called by her school alias.
Now that I thought about it, Chris had wanted to get back in form or something and wanted to kill the strongest person around here. That’s when she darted off. So… she was talking about Saras.
“Can you move?” I heard that mumble, but I couldn’t answer anything back. I had suffered so much damage that I couldn’t talk anymore. Saras clicked her tongue without taking her eyes off Chris.
“Seraphim… can you take him off somewhere? He’s an eyesore.”
The pretty girl who had just confessed her love to me a minute ago was now calling me an eyesore.
“I don’t want to touch him. He’s just too disgusting. Also, this is my test.”
Sera also manifested her black mantle, and her jade eyes turned red. After that, green leaves began to swirl around her. We might have been deep into autumn, but these leaves were as green as if it were the beginning of summer. Sera grabbed onto one of those leaves and turned it into a sword.
“You’re as insubordinate as ever. Nothing like the person you used to be.”
Saras turned her water bottle down towards the asphalt. The water that flowed to the ground became a sword in Saras’s hands.
“Here I go.”
The first one to move was Sera. With speed my zombie eyes couldn’t follow, she moved to Chris’s flank.
Alright, Chris didn’t seem to be following her. A masou shoujo who hadn’t transformed and didn’t have her masou renki should be no more dangerous than an ordinary girl. Haruna could just do normal pro-wrestling moves, so if she was only that strong…
But, Sera’s Tsubamegaeshi depended on a shallow first slash, followed by a finishing return strike. In this case, her blade was stopped cold at the first cut.
“I’ll give you 80 points for your speed, but everything else is around 40 points or so. Mnn, you’re pretty weak.”
Chris touched her hand to Sera’s shoulder. The next instant, Sera’s arm had been torn off.
Sera’s eyes opened wide and her scream reverberated all around us. Chris mercilessly pointed her palm towards Sera.
But faster than the wind from before, a water shuriken shot forth like a bullet and deflected Chris’s arm.
A crater formed right next to where Sera was. It was like someone had thrown a huge boulder down from the roof of a nearby building.
Sera grabbed her arm and attached it to her shoulder while getting away. It seemed that vampire ninjas could also reattach fallen body parts. As expected from the undead.
“Whoaa~~! Amazing! Even Chris couldn’t see that attack right now! As expected!”
It seemed like Chris hadn’t suffered any damage. She came a step towards us, a happy expression on her face.
“Yes! I understand!”
Sera stood up and shut her eyes. Maybe she wanted to put some distance between her and Chris, but Saras leapt over the guardrail and dashed for the opposite side of the street.
“The secret of my blade lay not in the blade that is hidden!”
Saras’s voice echoed from the other side of the street.
“Blades that fly as leaves on a tree, that is…”
I heard Sera’s quiet voice too. And then…
Their two voices became one. And then, countless leaves and water droplets attacked Chris. This wasn’t just a matter of hundreds. Thousands of blades screamed directly towards Chris.
Seeing that, Chris smiled and held out her hand. Those countless blades were just about to simultaneously assault this little girl.
The wind whipped up, and a few hundred blades crashed into the ground or a wall. However, that wasn’t enough.
This attack from all directions… that wasn’t enough to defend against it. Dai-sensei had defended against it once, but that was because Sera was the only person attacking. Sera’s leaves didn’t even make up a third of those thousands of blades. Saras’s Hyakkizensatsu was just on a completely different level.
A blade pierced into Chris’s left arm. She danced around nimbly and used her wind to defend, but the blades she couldn’t defend against all struck her left hand.
This girl… she knew she couldn’t defend against all of it so she sacrificed her own damn arm.
After the surging waves of leaves and water had subsided, Chris took her right arm and brushed off the mountain of blades in her left arm, like she was brushing off dust from a coat.
Her left hand… was completely unharmed.
What the hell was this?! She was way too strong!
“That was a good workout. Could I ask you kindly for some more?”
“You damn monster…” Saras ground her inner teeth painfully.
Alright. My body had mostly repaired itself.
As for Sera… it seems like she was going to need more time. I see. Vampire ninjas couldn’t reattach body parts so quickly like zombies could.
“Ayumu…” Sera called to me feebly.
“I… don’t have enough blood. At this rate… I will die.”
Something stirred in my chest. Was she serious?
“You can’t reattach that arm?”
“I no longer have enough blood to do that. I used most of my blood already on my Hyakkizenmetsu.”
“Vampire ninjas use their own blood for their attacks?”
“Yes. Saras also used quite a lot of her blood for that attack. She probably will not be able to fight for much longer.”
“So we’re in a desperate situation… you just need blood, right? Just drink. Drink my blood.”
“Drinking the blood from a male you are not married to is…”
It went against vampire ninja laws or something? I was a bit tired of hearing that, and I let out a single sigh.
“We’re family, right?”
“But, if I kiss you, that would mean-“
“We don’t have to kiss then.”
“Having your blood sucked without medicine… is extremely painful.”
I see. She kissed people before sucking their blood so she could administer painkilling drugs.
“In fact, I want to be in pain. I’m a pervert, remember?”
Sera shut her eyes and bit into my neck.
I felt the strength drain from my entire body… it really was quite pleasant, you know. I’ll definitely have to ask her to suck my blood again after this.
Saras was attacking Chris with her water swords.
But no matter how she cut her, Chris was unwounded. Or rather, the minute she was cut, the cut would heal.
She was more of a zombie than I was, that damn homeroom teacher.
Saras continued to avoid Chris’s attacks with a unique little dance, and then she took a small hop back. It was a bit high for a back step, and Chris wasn’t about to let that opportunity slip by her.
Before Saras got her feet back on the ground, Chris gripped Saras’s face with her small hands and slammed her into the ground.
And then, as if striking a match, Chris moved around at high speeds while dragging Saras with her.
Krchhhh… Saras’s body became horizontal, and waved around like she was being used in some new kind of ribbon gymnastics.
I heard the sound of childish laughter, along with a common not unlike what you’d hear at construction sites when they broke boulders. One of the four car lanes began to turn bright red.
Saras grabbed onto Chris’s small hand. Her water sword pierced into Chris’s body, but she didn’t get any response.
After Saras was pushed right into the asphalt, that wind once again formed a huge crater in the ground. With Saras at its center.
“Sera, can you fight?”
“I’m at my limit trying to heal my arm. Just give ma bit longer…”
Saras sent Chris flying with a kick and readied her water sword. Her sailor uniform was dripping with her blood.
I wanted to go and help her as soon as possible, but Saras shouted at us.
“You two, run away.”
“I will protect you two with my life. For the love of God, run away.”
We couldn’t win here. So… she would do it alone. I could understand her feelings all too well.
“No, let me take over. Saras and Sera, you two run away-“
“You fool… At least let me have my moment. Do you want me to kill you?”
I got it. If it were me, I wouldn’t even be able to buy us an extra second. Also, Chris was aiming only for Saras right now. It was possible she would kill Saras and then turn her attention to us.
“Twenty seconds. Just buy us twenty seconds. I’ll… leave it up to you, Saras.”
I turned my back to the now completely bloodied Saras… and holding Sera, I took off at a full sprint.
“Yes. You’ve made the right decision, Aikawa Ayumu.”
I pushed my zombie legs as far as I could while I ran towards home.
“Ayumu, why are we leaving Saras behind?! You’re the worst!”
But I didn’t have enough time to pay attention to Sera’s shouting.
Our house was around a five minute walk from the school. I ran that distance… in fifteen seconds. Well, granted, we were already on the way home, so the actual distance was a bit shorter than that.
I opened the front door and let go of Sera. And then… I reached out for the chainsaw that was standing in the entranceway like an umbrella.
“You… don’t tell me…”
Sera instantly could guess what I was about to do.
I began to chant.
“Nomobuyo, woshi, hashitawa, dokeda, gunmiicha, dei, ribura.”
My school uniform ripped off, to be replaced by a cute pink cosplay outfit. Never before had I wanted to transform into a masou shoujo more than today.
And then, I turned heal and went out of the house. Flying through the air, I went back to where Saras had been. Now that I had transformed, I managed to get back to where we were much faster. It took a bit longer than twenty seconds.
But… Saras was nowhere to be found.
“Thank you! You brought Chris a masou renki, didn’t you~?”
Chris burst out laughing. I saw that both her hands were dyed red with blood.
“Saras… what happened to Hoshikawa Kirara?”
I groaned that question out. But… I didn’t have to hear her response to know.
“She’s gone. Not a trace left, smashed to smithereens.”
Which is why before she could even finish that sentence, I had lifted my chainsaw over my head. The chainsaw blades whirled angrily, as if telling her of my rage.
The chainsaw cut down into Chris’s Gothic Lolita outfit. But… she was left unwounded.
Chris’s hand touched me on the stomach. I managed to twist away a bit, but even then some of the flesh from my side was stripped away.
“Wow woow~~! Chris was all wrong! The strongest around here is Aikawa!”
“Why, thank you…”
I took Chris’s hand, wanting to crush them, but…
The moment I touched her hand, the left side of my body exploded. Had my heart exploded along with that?
But I paid that no mind and continued to attack with my chainsaw. But Chris grabbed onto my weapon with just her thumb and index finger, and managed to stop my attack.
She kicked me away, and I ended up letting go of the chainsaw from the shock.
“Ah, that was fun. I’ll be taking Mystletainn, ‘kay?”
The little girl gave me a bold smile, and I stopped in my tracks.
“You’re not taking anything.”
“Ehhh, but Chris needs a masou renki for her revenngeee~~.”
“You’ve already taken one of Haruna’s precious belongings. I won’t give you anything more.”
“Ah, right. I have to call you oniichan when I ask you for something, yes~~?”
She chuckled and tossed the chainsaw up like a beanbag.
“I won’t hand it over! Definitely not!”
I took my right arm and once again grabbed onto the chainsaw.
She gave me an angelic smile, and ripped the chainsaw away from me forcibly.
“You’re pretty desperate there, oniichan. Annoying. Shall I send you back into two dimensions?”
That damn innocent smile of hers was annoying me to hell. What was up with this monster? What should I do? What would actually work on her? Could I… really not deal her one single wound?
“Bye bye… oniichan.”
I fell into a pitch black world.
Still in my masou shoujo outfit… with the left half of my body blown off… I found myself sinking into what felt like a black pool. Was this what space was like?
Huh? But… why was the chainsaw also there? Hadn’t it been snatched away?
Where was I? Where the hell was I?
I closed my eyes, and when I opened again… I found myself standing in front of my front door.
What the hell happened? I had no idea.
Did… somebody save me?
END CHAPTER 4