Chapter 3: Part 4
When we got to the live house, we saw a huge crowd of people packed into that dim place. They all had both their hands up and were lightly jumping to the music.
The person singing was… Genkunrou! He was standing up on stage half-naked with that Santa-like beard of his, gripping the microphone and belting out some hard rock.
Light danced all around the room, while the beat of the drums blasted out over us like a machine gun… hey, wasn’t that Tomonori on drums? Damn, could she play those drums fast…
And the guitarist was… Sera? So she could play an instrument other than the violin? Oh, right, she did mention that she played a lot of music back with the other vampire ninjas. And she didn’t just play the violin, but also played in a band like this.
There was also another guitarist and someone playing the bass, but I didn’t recognize either of them. Genkunrou’s old-fashioned, sophisticated voice echoed through the room.
… Was everyone in this place a vampire ninja?
“Well then, I will take my leave now.”
Saras parted the crowd and walked towards the stage.
Genkunrou seemed to see her, and raised his hand.
At that, the room fell silent. I could only hear occasional whispers going around the dark room.
Genkunrou reached out with one of his burly arms and pulled Saras up onto the stage.
The vampire ninja guitarist on stage handed Saras a red guitar, while Genkunrou switched to bass.
When Saras grabbed the microphone, all the whispers in the crowd also stopped.
Once she saw that everyone had gotten quiet, Saras looked towards Tomonori while still holding the mic.
“Sorry. I’m quite late.”
“It’s fine! We were just warming up!”
Tomonori, still in the same red dress, began twirling her drumsticks skillfully. Her legs were really spread out wide… you’re going to show the whole world your panties like that, you know?
“It’s difficult to trust a superior who can’t even be on time.”
“Oh, I didn’t know you trusted me in the first place, Seraphim. How surprising.”
Sera stood there in her revealing white dress, and Saras stood there in her rock outfit with her bellybutton showing. And then they both burst out laughing.
“Saras-chan, did you find the person you wanted to invite here?”
Genkunrou let out a good-natured smile and bowed.
I see. So Tomonori was on drums, Genkunrou on bass, and Sera on lead guitar. And then Saras took guitar and vocals.
Saras took in a deep breath, and then let it out.
“Today… I learned the meaning of love.”
There was a tinge of loneliness in Saras’s voice. Saras seemed to realize what she sounded like, and let out a laugh. Yeah. This really wasn’t like you.
“I realized that I was being a selfish, ugly girl. And because of that I caused a lot of people trouble. But there was someone who said they loved me even though they knew all that.”
Some people in the audience whistled.
“I told that person that I’d try hard to change for him… but he told me I didn’t have to. I was… happy.”
Saras closed her eyes and spoke from her heart. Maybe people realized how serious she was being, but nobody in the room said anything, just listening in rapt attention.
“Yes. Love is about how much you can forgive the other. How much you can let them get away with. That’s what I think… we have reform faction and conservative faction vampire ninjas here. And we’ve all caused plenty of trouble for each other in the past. But, even so, we are still all vampire ninjas. We’re a family! And if you love your family… then you will forgive that family! I forgive all of you for everything!”
“Those are quite unexpected words coming from someone everyone calls the Water Demon. Is this a joke?”
Genkunrou let out a loud, boisterous laugh.
“If you think I look like I’m joking, then I can introduce you to a good optometrist.”
Saras looked… really cute right now. She was clearly having fun, and she let out an innocent, feminine smile.
“Kah kah kah. You love us, so you’ll forgive everything, you say? There are people here who have been quarreling for a century… even killing each other. And yet, Saras-chan, you aren’t joking…?”
Saras gave a resolute nod at Genkunrou’s question.
Saras turned to look from Genkunrou to all the vampire ninjas in the crowd, and she spoke loudly and clearly.
“Yes, even then, I love you all! So, I want to become a woman who will forgive you for everything you’ve done, and for everything you will do!”
“Saras-chan sounds serious. What exactly caused Saras-chan to change that much?”
“It started with a friend.”
Saras held out her hand towards Sera.
“And I made this decision because… because of my darling!”
Stop pointing at me! I heard people all around me whispering “Darling? Who’s that?” Ugh…
“Yeah! It’s just like Saras said! This is seriously touching my heart!”
Tomonori was getting really emotional and she beat energetically on her drums.
“We are family. It may not feel that way right now, and it may be sudden just hearing that, but I’d like to become like that.”
Sera began to play a riff on her guitar.
“I agree with Saras-chan too, I think. Well, let’s just take it step by step.”
Genkunrou plucked the strings of his bass and Saras’s guitar also began to belt out an intense rock song.
“Alright, time for our first song! Rock and Roll Magic!”
Everyone in the audience began to scream as the up-tempo song began.
“If you want to die, step forwards!”
Saras’s shout threw the crowd almost into a frenzy, and then she began to sing.
The song was in English, so I didn’t really know what any of it meant, but I could hear the word “love” here and there, so it was probably a love song.
Saras seemed to be the kind of singer who felt the music with her entire body. She swung back and forth on stage, almost dance-like, as she played her guitar.
At that point, the two people who had been playing the guitar and bass for Genkunrou and Saras before came back on stage and brought a strange thing with them.
What was that? Why were they bringing that weird cloth on stage in the middle of a performance and covering the microphone stand with it?
Tomonori brought her drumsticks down on the cymbals, and with the resounding clang! Saras tore the cloth off, revealing a grenade!
Wait, this is what they meant by “Rock and Roll Magic”?
Now it was time for the guitar solo, it seemed. Sera plucked her guitar strings with great energy as Saras took out a deck of cards and let a person in the front row pick a card out.
The card picker then held up his card, showing it to the crowd. It was the ace of hearts. It’s lucky he got such an easily recognizable card, considering how dark it was in this room.
Saras set the deck of now fifty-one cards down by her side, and took out another deck of cards. She began to sing as she shuffled the deck.
Saras also began to use the new deck of cards to play her guitar, in place of a pick. Of course, the cards began to scatter and fall down to the stage floor.
Soon, Saras was only left with one card, and showed off her rapid-fire guitar technique with it. Just when the song was getting through its climax, she threw the one card up into the air.
It was the ace of hearts.
The vampire ninja from the front row who had drew the ace of hearts earlier caught the card, and now held up both his ace of hearts. The crowd went wild.
Next, a large stand was brought out on stage.
That was… wait, seriously? They were going to cut someone in half? While they were in the middle of a song?
I scrunched my face up at this way-too-surreal spectacle in front of me, but everyone else was already so into it that they didn’t seem to think anything was wrong.
“Okay, for our next song… Pop Magic!”
Sera’s guitar riffs became even more intense. Her ponytail flew from side to side, and she swayed her entire body to the rhythm. Dammit… her guitar was in the way, so I couldn’t get a good look at her breasts while she danced like that.
When Saras was just about to begin the next song, something was thrown at her from the crowd.
It was a plastic bottle. Saras noticed it flying at her and tried to dodge, but the plastic bottle’s cap was open, and the milk tea inside came raining down on her.
The people who were trying to pick a fight with Saras by throwing the bottle were none other than the same three girls with permed hair.
“You can forgive us for that, right?”
The three girls cackled, and Saras stopped the music.
This was bad… if this devolved into a huge brawl like it had back at the cheers war… where was that demon baron guy? Ah, right… Saras said he had already gone home.
God dammit… I really didn’t want to deal with a huge fight right now…
But Saras’s voice rang loud and clear around the room, shattering my fears.
“Of course! I love each and every one of you!”
It was a firm, strong declaration. Anybody in the world could tell that those words coming from Saras were absolutely sincere.
“Conservative faction vampire ninjas are just so gross.”
“Hey hey, let’s throw something else at her.”
The three of them parted the crowd and began to head towards the stage, perhaps planning to cause more trouble.
“Gross… certainly, that may be the case.”
Sera let out a small chuckle. Genkunrou also began to guffaw happily. They gave Saras warm looks, almost like two parents watching their kid grow up.
Saras reached out towards the girls.
“Come up on stage.”
The three girls smiled and went up on stage, probably thinking that their wish for a fight was about to get fulfilled.
“Well, let’s begin.”
Saras tossed the grenade that had been brought on stage earlier towards the three girls.
“Killing each other?”
“Kyahaha, how savage.”
The three girls continued to try and pick a fight, but Saras remained perfectly calm.
“I want you to sing. That’s just a microphone.”
“I’m saying that I’d like it if you helped me sing the chorus.”
Saras sent them a pearly-white smile, the kind I’d expect from Tomonori, and the three of them seemed to shrink back in awe.
They looked like they were about to talk back, but before they could…
“One two three four one two!”
Tomonori began to play her drums, kicking off the song.
The second song was Pop Magic.
It had a similar rhythm to the previous song, and they also did magic during the performance.
As they sang the intro, they successfully cut someone in half, and then the song entered into its highest point.
The three girls just stood on stage, completely still. Saras waved her hands at them though, and maybe they felt resigned or realized the situation they were in, but the one girl amongst them who had been the nastiest to Saras before began to add a great harmony to the song.
As expected from an internet idol… her voice was really cute.
The other two girls soon followed her lead and also began to sing the chorus.
Saras was a really intense singer, but the three girls had very pretty voices and mellowed out the song by quite a bit.
I felt myself enraptured by the song, listening until the very end.
After the song ended, unrelenting applause and cheers filled the live house.
The three girls on stage scowled, trying to figure out what was going to happen next.
“Our next song is…” Saras glanced at the three girls.
“Ah right… let’s sing your song!”
A few pink-colored guitars were brought up on stage, and the three girls picked them up.
“But you were making fun of our song before.”
“Yeah! Can you ever sing it?”
“Of course I can. Just like you three could sing my song… yes?”
Ah, I see. That perfect performance of the chorus before really didn’t sound improvised. These three girls knew Saras’s song. And, Saras also knew theirs.
Hmm… they sure fought a lot, and yet they also acknowledge each other’s skill.
Saras took a deep breath, and shouted her feelings into the microphone.
“I also… want to sing cute songs!”
Laughter poured out around the room. I really couldn’t imagine those words ever coming out of Saras’s mouth.
“… I really… can’t ever see that happening…”
The girls looked down at the ground and mumbled, but then lifted their heads again, seeming to have made up their minds.
They had clear, bright looks on their faces, as if the clouds had given way to the sunshine.
Hm, well look at that. It seems if they wanted to they could look like nice girls too.
The third song was a cute-sounding pop song.
After the song finished, Saras and the three girls looked at each other. They didn’t have any of the bare hostility that had been showing on their faces before. Rather, they were smiling, like they were old friends.
“I… really wanted to be like you! You’re so strong, so cool, always ahead in the rankings, and completely invincible! I wanted to be like Lovely Kirara… and I tried wearing the same clothes, acting the same way, but I couldn’t pull it off at all. I was so frustrated-“
“Well, doesn’t that mean that you love me too?”
Saras let out a girly smile of her own. This was probably the first time those three girls had seen her smile like that. The girl who was talking suddenly swallowed her words, bowled over by how beautiful Saras was.
And then, her face flushed completely red.
“I’ll forgive you. So, please forgive me too… and then, let’s take each other’s hands. We’re all vampire ninjas here.”
“One more song then!”
Saras held up her index finger and reached out to the crowd. I had thought the crowd couldn’t get any louder, but their frenzy suddenly heightened once more.
“But, that boyfriend of yours…”
“Yeah, he’s clearly just a perv.”
“I would never be with a guy like that. Not even if we were on a deserted island, just the two of us.”
Kyahaha, they laughed. And then, I heard the sound of the kindness circuit in Saras’s head short-circuiting and burning out.
“Why don’t you try saying that again?! You damn bastaaaaardsssssss!!”
A high-pitched ringing noise came from the microphone after Saras screeched into it, and she leapt to the side, throwing a punch at the three girls.
A fight was clearly about to break out, but the three girls just stood there smiling.
Geez… so it did end up like this. I prepared myself to intervene and try to stop the chaos, but suddenly I felt something vibrating in my pocket… a phone call?
The person calling me was… Orito. Whatever.
I put my phone away, and went back to Saras-… hm? My phone was still ringing.
I watched as Tomonori desperately held Saras back by the arms, and couldn’t help but smile a bit.
I think… everything should be okay now. I decided to put my faith in Saras, and picked up the phone while walking outside.
I lazily spoke into my receiver, when…
“Ayumu! Where are you right now?!”
Haruna’s grating shouting rang in my ears.
“Did something happen?”
“The gloomy necromancer and that girl with the weirdly huge boobs!”
Girl with… Kyouko?
What happened? I thought about it a bit… and then I opened my mouth wide in realization.
… I got tricked! I see… I see all too well now!
She came to the human world to go to a party in order to get Dai-sensei hooked on the idea. Dai-sensei loved parties, after all.
And then, she knew that Dai-sensei would get drunk off bubbly drinks, and would fall asleep because of it.
She even tricked me into being her accomplice, so everything would happen naturally.
Everything… was so she could escape.
I’m such a huge idiot! I might’ve asked Yuu to watch over Kyouko, but when Dai-sensei got completely drunk I should’ve stayed and watched her until the end!
“Haruna, wehre are you right now? I’ll be there soon.”
“Hueh? I’m in the bar.”
“Okay, just wait there. It was be really bad if you got taken away too.”
I hurriedly went back into the live house.
The live house seemed ready erupt into violence a few minutes ago, but everything seemed to now be under control.
“Well then… we will perform a love song for our final number. I dedicate this song to my beloved darling.”
… Suddenly, I felt it was a bit more difficult to rush out of here than I had expected.
I had no idea if she was looking at me or not, but I bowed in apology in Saras’s direction, and began to shuffle my way out of the room. But then, Saras stopped her song.
“Oi! Darling! Where exactly are you going in the middle of my song? Why are you leaving?”
Suddenly, everyone’s eyes were piercing through me. Of course, Sera and Tomonori were also both looking at me.
“There’s a bit of trouble back at the mixer I was at…”
Love means you forgive the other for anything. Saras had said that before, so I didn’t think there was any point in keeping the mixer a secret anymore. After all, she was-
“Huh? Hey, you piece of garbage darling. You have someone like me… and you dare to talk about a mixer? You damn good-for-nothing.”
…. Hmmmm? Hey, she was actually getting pretty pissed here…
Good-for-nothing! Good-for-nothing! The dense crowd of vampire ninjas began to chant that at me.
“Saras. You said that in love, you must forgive each other no matter-“
“I’m going to teach you… that forgiveness has its limits!”
I dashed out of the live house at full speed, with ear-shattering screams echoing behind me.
END CHAPTER 3