Chapter 1 – Full Speed, Full Throttle! Starlight~! Cheers!!
Chapter 1: Part 1
After I got back home, I set about the usual daily chore of making dinner.
Sera always made sure to keep our fridge stocked, so I found a mountain of ingredients in there. What kinds of food we had in there would determine what I made, but… I saw that the wieners, potatoes, and cabbage were nearing their expiration dates. Okay, how ‘bout some French beef stew? I see some bacon in there too, after all.
I liked to take the juices from the meat and mix it with some rice, egg, and grated cheese and make it into a risotto. (1)
I sighed at how smoothly I could do all this, probably since I was cooking everyday now. I began to toss prepped ingredients into the pot.
Now I just had to wait for things to boil, so I washed my hands and headed for the living room.
There were two pretty girls in the living room.
The first was a black-haired girl with a ponytail, Sera. She was also the one who had picked up my phone call earlier. Like Tomonori and Saras, she was a vampire ninja, and Saras was also her boss. Her body, which was so nice that I could never get tired of staring at it, was enveloped in a plain-white t-shirt with something written on it in English.
Her heavily-laden breasts were pushing up on her shirt, and the fabric on her shirt might’ve been a bit thin, since I could hazily make out her bra. It was like she was wearing a dressing gown. Her legs weren’t under our kotatsu (2), but rather she was sitting in the formal Japanese seiza style with her knees tucked under her while she watched television.
When her jade-colored eyes caught sight of me, she didn’t say a single word but just went back to watching the television.
I could hear laughs coming off the comedy variety show being shown on the television, but Sera didn’t laugh.
There was another girl, her legs stretched under the kotatsu as she faced the television and sipped at her teacup.
She was silent and had no expression on her face. Her hair was silver and her skin was almost transparently pale. She was a sublimely pretty girl.
Her small hands were enveloped by a pair of gauntlets.
And a set of Western armor was wrapped around her small body.
Her name was Eucliwood Hellscythe, and she was the necromancer who had brought me back to life after I had died. She also didn’t laugh at all while she watched the television.
Her gauntleted hand picked up a ballpoint pen and tapped twice on the table. When I looked down, I saw a single memo there.
It was only one word, but inside my head…
Oniichan, Yuu’s tummy is growling~~! Is dinner ready? Is it ready yet~~?
The little-sister-like Yuu in my head translated her words for me.
“I’m cooking some beef stew right now. Just wait a bit longer.”
Her huge, blue, crystal-like eyes gazed at me, and she gave me a petite nod.
Each and every one of her actions was just so damn cute… I couldn’t help but smile.
Sera began to glare at me as I grinned, looking at me like she would look at some dirty rag.
If you told me last year I would be able to live under the same roof with a beauty like this, I might’ve cried with happiness. But now after experiencing it for real, not only did I have a free enough moment to even try and be happy about it, but I found myself meeting with tragedy time and time again.
Honestly, how did these girls think of me in the first place?
“You know, we’ve been living together for half a year already. Shouldn’t your affection points for me be a bit higher than this?”
I said that as I held my head in frustration. If this were a video game, it wouldn’t take longer than a week before I got better results than this.
“Oh? Have you not noticed?”
Her eyes blinked, causing her long eyelashes to move up and down.
“When it comes to you, my affection points have already been maxed out.”
She spat that out, her expression so cold that you could probably build an ice-skating rink over it.
“It’s maxed out… like this…?”
“Yes. These points won’t ever get any higher. Ugh, stop asking me strange questions, if you’d please. You’re disgusting.”
I really couldn’t say anything anymore. That max was way too damn low.
“What is it?”
“Could you call Haruna over here? This kotatsu is so amazingly comfy that I really don’t want to get out.”
I really think that kotatsus are magical. It was a devilish little table that sapped your will to leave once you got under it.
“… Disgusting. Just looking at your face makes me nauseous, so could you please go off somewhere?”
Shall I go?
“Nah, I’ll go and call her.”
Sera’s gaze was much more threatening than the cold outside this kotatsu, so I myself began to go up the stairs to the second floor in search for Haruna.
Sera’s room and my room were on the second floor. And Haruna’s room was also there. Well, Sera was using what used to be my parent’s room, and Haruna was using my little brother’s room, but my family was traveling so much and sending so little news home that I was just letting them use those rooms.
I found the room with a plate reading “Genius!” hanging from the door and knocked twice. “I’m coming in!” I announced before opening the door.
The heater was clearly doing its job, as the room was very warm. And in the middle of that room was one girl.
She was less than 145cm tall, and her chest was nice and soft even though they weren’t ripe at all.
She had huge, round cat-like eyes, while a perky, trademark ahoge stretched out from her head of shoulder-length chestnut hair. This spunky girl was wearing nothing but a t-shirt and polka-dotted panties, and sitting on her bed without a care in the world.
Her name was Haruna. She came to this world from the magical world Virie to exterminate monsters.
If she had the right item, she could chant a spell and transform into a masou shoujo, but after Yuu and then Chris had snatched away her magical energy, she couldn’t transform anymore. What a sad masou shoujo she was…
I took a peek to see what she was doing…
“Ahaa~~. Waah~~. Mnnnrr. OK OK. Of course I’ll go! Nyahaha~~…”
She was using my cell phone without my permission. I ignored the fact that she was making weird noises during the phone call and called out to her.
“Dinner’s almost ready, so come downstairs.”
“How many times I gotta tell you to not come into my room like that?! Ayumu’s seriously an idiot, ugh!”
Her ahoge bounced angrily back and forth, but I was used to this side of her so I just didn’t really pay her too much heed. I tried to close my door, but before I could do that she tossed me my cell phone.
Hey hey, don’t treat someone else’s cell phone that coarsely. Ugh, this damn masou shoujo…
I was a bit curious to know who she was talking to though, so I picked up the phone.
And she had been calling… Orito?
What could that damn living deity of Eros want with Haruna? But this was a bit too awkward for me to just ask Haruna outright.
I went back to the living room and again tucked myself under that truly devilish kotatsu, and after a while a girl with an ahoge wearing short pants began coming down the stairs. At the same time, I heard a desperate beeping noise coming from the kitchen… the timer I had set for the beef stew was going off.
But, I couldn’t move.
The kotatsu was so damn comfy that I just couldn’t move. But cut me some slack here. I really couldn’t help it.
“Ayumu…” Sera sent me an imposing, cold look. But… this kotatsu was just so splendid… so I ignored Sera. Seeing that, she stood up, her ponytail swishing behind her, and headed for the kitchen.
Ahh, Sera sure was reliable…
Haruna dashed down the cold hallway, slid into the living room, and plopped herself down right next to me. She began to pull the kotatsu towards her.
“Hey Haruna. Don’t pull.”
“But it’s cold…”
The word “cooperation” didn’t seem to be part of this girl’s vocabulary, and she continued to be selfish. Granted, I was pretty used to this behavior already, so I wouldn’t really scold her too harshly for this.
Sera carried our dinner into the living room, and as we all enjoyed the delicious beef stew I had made from scratch, Haruna began to glare at me.
“These pretty ears of mine recently heard a rumor…”
Do you really have to specify that your ears are pretty?
“What’s wrong, Haruna?”
Sera seemed slightly confused as to why Haruna was getting a bit worked up.
“Ayumu, there’s going to a party or something.”
“Who did you hear that from…?”
“That Origami guy or whatever.”
She meant Orito, didn’t she? As always, she didn’t remember the names of anybody she found uninteresting. That damned four-eyes. I see. That phone call back there was him inviting Haruna to the mixer, wasn’t it?
“So, is Haruna going?”
“Of course! Don’t underestimate how much masou shoujo love parties!”
Now that she mentioned it, Haruna did really seem to like events. She was always getting things wrong, but if I looked back on this year, she sure had done a lot. So, that wasn’t just Haruna, but was something that all masou shoujo liked to do…?
“Ahh, this is the event that Ayumu spoke about on the phone earlier?”
Sera sounded bored and sent me a glare.
I was also invited. Is Ayumu not going?
Ugh! Yuu was also invited? What if some creep started hitting on her?
“Of course, for someone like this party-master Haruna-chan, the number of new friends I’ll be able to make will be endless!”
“Haruna, Orito’s not just talking about a normal party… this is a mixer. It’s a truly hellish place.”
Of course, I didn’t want Haruna or Yuu to go to something like this, so I just came up with a random lie.
“Hueh? It’s not a party? Ah, okay okay. It’s that. I know about that.”
Haruna believed that there wasn’t a single thing she didn’t know. When she nodded like that, it was a sign that she was completely pretending to undersetand.
… I seriously didn’t understand why people pretended to know things they really didn’t.
“Mixers are places where guys and girls who don’t know each other try to fish for a date.”
“Ayumu, I do believe that’s a bit of an incorrect way to put it.”
Certainly, Sera was right, and I had exaggerated a bit. I guess it’d be more appropriate to say that it was a place where friends of friends were introduced to each other. I scratched my head and sighed deeply.
I was starting to regret having spoken out strongly like that earlier.
“Ah, that! They’re like marriage interviews! Hmm, marriage interviews…”
Haruna began to think about something as she chewed on a nice flaky piece of potato. Yuu showed her a memo.
It’s fine. If we practice.
A mixer practice? I’ve never heard of something like that. I couldn’t help but smile at that ridiculous suggestion, but…
“Yes! That’s it! Okay then, from this minute on we’re at a mixer! Begin!”
Haruna clapped her hands loudly. Huh? We’re already starting? Well, fine then. I guess I’ll play along.
“W-What kind of hobbies do you have?”
You’re asking Sera the first question?! Not me?! Also, why the hell do you look so nervous?!
“My hobby is Hiken, Tsubamegaeshi.”
And there it is! The conversation is dead! Seriously, just lie or something, but come up with an answer that can lead to more conversation! What kind of practice was this supposed to be?!
“Hmm, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to put cheese on curry…”
Haruna’s ahoge bounced from side to side and she nodded, a bit of a nervous expression on her face.
“Stop right there! Haruna! You aren’t doing it right there. Who exactly was asking you to talk about cheese curry?”
“What do you mean?! That’s how the conversation feels, doesn’t it?!”
“You can’t go based on ‘feels’ alone! That wasn’t a conversation at all!”
“Huh? What are you trying to say?”
“Come on Sera, let’s give her a better example. Listen up, Haruna. The important thing is for you to learn about the other person and see how many things you have in common.”
“Well then, Ayumu… why exactly did you fail to tell me that our old chief had come back to life?”
Hnnnnnnnn… An indescribable aura began to emanate from Sera’s entire body.
To fill you in, my class had changed its homeroom teacher recently. We went from a masou shoujo from Haruna’s world to a vampire ninja from Sera’s world. To be more specific, the chief of the vampire ninjas.
I hadn’t really told Sera about that, but… ugh, she’s suddenly bringing that up now?
“Well, umm… if I told you, that would mean your mission would be over… how in the world did you know about that?”
Yes, the entire reason that Sera was in this house is because she wanted Yuu to turn her old chief into a zombie like me. Once Sera realiezd that her old chief had already revived, then this way of life I had been living would break down. Just thinking about that made me…
“Saras reported… that our chief was revived with Hellscythe-dono’s power. But when I asked Hellscythe-dono earlier, she told me that she had done nothing like that… what could be the meaning of this?”
This wasn’t a marriage interview or a mixer or anything. This was just a damn interrogation.
The beef stew suddenly seemed like a bowl of cold gruel (3), the living room was now an interrogation room, and Yuu with her memo pad and ballpoint pen was the clerk taking notes.
I had already had a few opportunities to speak with the chief of the vampire ninjas, and I learned that he was actually the demon baron who started the coup d’état in Virie, and was also Dai-sensei’s childhood friend. But I was told to keep all of that a secret from Saras.
I see, so he had told them that he was brought back to life. I stared Sera straight into her jade-colored eyes… and decided to tell the truth.
“Well, the truth is that he had never died.”
“He was alive?! That’s…”
Sera’s eyes widened in shock. Well, he had been thought to have died for over a century, so I guess this was a natural reaction. And, like a criminal cornered by a famous detective, I continued to spill my guts out.
“Well, seems like he made a big mistake. Maybe he didn’t want to reveal himself because he thought his presence could start a war in this world?”
Once the coup d’état had failed, the chief had hid himself so as to not alert the Queen of Virie to his presence.
In other words, if people knew that he was alive, the Queen of Virie would come to kill him. After all, he might be planning another coup even now with the help of Dai-sensei.
If I were her, if I knew someone like that was alive in this world I would run out of the palace and come here to kill him right away.
But now, we also had to deal with Chris, the strongest masou shoujo who also took part in the coup. So it seemed he had shown himself in order to rally all the vampire ninjas together. Ugh, what a mess.
“In other words… he pretended to be dead to protect this world. Is that what you’re saying?”
“I think so. But you’ll really have to ask him yourself to be sure of that.”
Why didn’t you tell me any of this before? Sera’s eyes seemed to be entreating me. It’s really… because I had gotten too comfortable with how life was going.
Haruna was nodding next to me, and then in the middle of the conversation suddenly licked her plate clean and thrust her empty plate out at Sera.
“Seconds! Also, I know what to do now! Just sit back and watch!”
Haruna sat on her knees and faced her large, round eyes at Sera.
“Please… give me your daughter’s hand in marriage!”
My God, that was way too direct! I could feel snot just shooting right from my nose!
Sera continued to ladle beef stew out onto the plate…
“What if I don’t want to?”
Gyah! I could feel a magnitude eight fissure cracking through my psyche from that. Maybe Sera was in a bad mood now from our conversation… but that one attack should’ve weighed pretty heavily on Haruna as well.
Tap tap. Yuu tapped the table twice.
It’s too soon for that. = “Wait ‘til after the mixer and a bunch of other twists and turns before asking that~~!”
“Hueh? What am I supposed to do then? This is so annoying.”
“You have to try to find topics that everyone can join in on, and look for common interests and stuff.”
“Ohh! You should’ve said that earlier!”
Geez, this girl. I’m glad we had this practice. Better here than doing this at the mixer itself and getting everyone around her completely confused.
“If you ask me, I don’t think there’ll ever be a pilot that’s better than Rock Iwasaki!”
Who the hell was that?! (4)
His barrel roll corkscrews were works of art.
“Yes, he sure put on a brilliant air show. He could move those airplanes through the air however he wanted, just like they were his own hands and feet. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.”
… They’re really getting into this. And being the only person who couldn’t get into this conversation, I…
“A-Ahh. Rock Iwasaki was pretty amazing. Yeah.”
I ate my beef stew while pretending to know what I was talking about.
… I guess I kinda see now why people pretended to know things they didn’t.
(1) Am I the only person annoyed by the fact that you never ever put egg or Japanese rice into a risotto?
(2) A heated table with a blanket draped over it. Cozy.
(3) He uses “gyudon,” which is a beef rice bowl. I localized this a bit though since it’s not really clear that a beef rice bowl is kind of considered to be bleh fast food in Japan.
(4) Just for your reference, Rock Iwasaki is an airshow pilot who died in 2005.