Chapter 4: Part 3
We were on the tree-lined boulevard running through Shiba Park. The road had lights and trees running along its side at regular intervals, and led right to Tokyo Tower.
Right in the middle of that road, Kyouko and the owl were battling.
The owl, wearing its boy’s school uniform, violently attacked Kyouko from the air, while Kyouko knocked the owl’s attacks aside.
“That big-breasted frea-“
I saw that Haruna was about to yell, so I restrained her, but I was too late. Kyouko seemed to notice us, and was clearly not happy about the situation.
This boulevard was great for walking, but Kyouko still ran down it. I had been running all night, so I really wanted to take a break on one of the park benches, but I couldn’t do that right now.
Ugh, she was always causing trouble, wasn’t she? That damn Kyouko.
“We caught up to you. You’re not getting away again!”
“Ugh! Nobody likes clingy guys, you know!”
The minute Kyouko saw my face, she began to run.
However, her motions seemed extremely slow.
“Ugh! This again… ugh!”
Kyouko seemed annoyed as she desperately tried to move her legs. However, her attempts were almost laughable. She almost looked like she was trying to drag a ten-ton truck with her.
Now that I looked around, I noticed that everything around us seemed to be moving in slow motion.
The trees waving in the wind were moving suspiciously slowly, while the leaves falling from their branches seemed to almost be floating in midair.
And then, I finally noticed.
My own body was also moving in slow motion.
My body felt heavy. It was almost like I was stuck in a swamp, but I just couldn’t move my body well at all.
A purple-colored wind coiled around my body. This was… the power of a Megalo.
Had this been the reason why Kyouko couldn’t run very far?
“Haruna, go and catch Kyouko.”
It seemed that time was only slowed in the places that were covered with the purple wind. All the leaves blowing over from far away would only slow down when they reached a certain distance from us.
Haruna was outside the boundary of that wind. I thought she could cut in and block Kyouko’s path, but…
“That… that can’t be… you were a Megalo…”
Haruna had squatted down on the floor and was stiff with shock. Her ahoge also drooped down, and her eyes began to fill with tears.
Megalo were the mortal enemies of the masou shoujo. They were entities the masou shoujo sought to destroy.
And the owl that Haruna had befriended… turned out to be one of those Megalo.
To Haruna, that probably came as quite a shock.
“Hoo?” The owl cocked her head in puzzlement at seeing Haruna’s reaction. But, she soon realized that Haruna was acting that way because of her own purple wind, so she cancelled out her power.
Both Kyouko and I were both trying desperately to move forwards, so the minute the purple wind disappeared, we tripped and fell forwards.
However, I managed to catch myself. I’ve already had way too much experience with tripping forwards from too much momentum when I was fighting with Dai-sensei.
Kyouko also quickly got up, but my fist was already catching her cheek.
My right hook hit thin air.
Tch! So close! If Kyouko hadn’t transformed, that would’ve definitely hit.
“… I suppose I have to do it like this!”
Kyouko gripped her Japnaese katana tightly and lifted the blade above her head.
My arm was cut off. I immediately went to collect that arm and reattached it.
I sent a spinning kick, and then a fist thrust right at Kyouko. But just like when I was fighting Dai-sensei, she lightly avoided my attacks.
Dammit! If Kyouko hadn’t transformed, or if I could’ve transformed…
All of these useless, counterproductive “what-ifs” just continued to run through my head.
Kyouko suddenly swung her blade grandly above her head, preparing for a big attack. This was my chance. I should attack while the enemy is trying to attack… I would use the timing I had learned from practicing with Dai-sensei over and over again.
At that moment… the world slowed down again. I saw Kyouko’s body twist in response to my fist. Ah, she got away again. That was a perfect punch too. Also, I could see tornados forming next to me.
This was Kyouko’s vampire ninja ability. The tornados were made of blades, and the King of the Night had granted Kyouko this power. I really didn’t relish the idea of those blades biting into me.
Haruna moaned loudly. Hearing that, the owl hooted and cancelled out her powers.
Suddenly, the tornadoes grew huge, and bored into my behind. I suddenly couldn’t put any more power into my legs, and fell flat on my ass. When I looked up, I saw Kyouko’s body vanish from my line of sight.
Crap! Did she get away?!
“Ugh, you need to just disappear!”
Kyouko’s assassin blade cut off one of the owl’s soft wings.
Kyouko probably really hated that slow-motion power. Fresh blood sprayed through the air and the owl plummeted down towards earth, feathers flying everywhere.
The owl’s eyes narrowed in pain, and she seemed to be saying something to Haruna.
Sorry. Sorry, Haruna-chan.
The owl couldn’t bear to see her own powers causing Haruna even the slightest bit of pain. And I wasn’t the only one who had realized that.
Haruna had also realized it.
“What the hell are you doing, you stupid bastaaaaaaaaaaaaaarddddd?!?!”
She flipped out.
Haruna’s legs were still shaking, but she ran towards Kyouko. Anybody could see that she was going to try to punch Kyouko right in the face with her right fist.
Kyouko could probably see that as well.
However, Kyouko let Haruna’s full-forced punch dig into her cheek.
And then, Haruna sent out her left fist.
But Kyouko caught Haruna’s fist in midair.
“You realize that owl is a Megalo, right?”
Kyouko pointed at the owl with her sword. The owl was on the ground, motionless. At Kyouko’s words, Haruna’s expression stiffened and she began to tremble.
Big tears began to leak one after the other out of Haruna’s eyes. Haruna wasn’t crying for herself… she was crying for the sake of another.
“We have to extinguish the Megalo until there’s not a single one left. You know that, right?”
Kyouko let out a teasing chuckle.
“No…. she’s… she’s just…”
“Actually, you should be thanking me. You probably wouldn’t be able to kill her as you are now-“
Haruna waved her arms and feet around, almost as if trying to interrupt Kyouko.
“She’s… she’s my friend, okay?!”
A satisfied grin rose up to Kyouko’s face, before she brought the hilt of her sword down strongly on the back of Haruna’s neck.
Haruna crumpled to the ground, like a puppet who just had her strings cut. Was it just a coincidence that when she collapsed, her hands seemed to be reaching out in the direction of the owl?
“Okay then. All of the annoying intrusions have been dealt with.”
“… I see. You were trying to get Haruna worked up on purpose, weren’t you?”
“Of course. Haruna is a genius who can predict my every move, after all! I can’t just leave her alone.”
Attacking the owl and teasing Haruna… those must’ve all also been plots to get Haruna to stop thinking.
It looked like I was the only person left who could stop Kyouko.
My legs had fully mended, so I moved towards Kyouko.
“Weren’t you the one who said that you would accept your punishment?”
Kyouko also slowly walked towards me. She readied Dai-sensei’s mahou renki for attack.
“… Yes, I did. But… it was just too fun.”
Three more steps… three more steps from both of us and she’d be in attack range.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“I didn’t know how many centuries they’d lock me up for. But during that time, the people who know me would disappear. There’s a possibility that this entire world would disappear. Now is the only time I can enjoy the present! And tomorrow is the only time I can enjoy tomorrow!”
We both took another step towards each other.
“I love this world, with all its excitement. I reaffirmed that for myself today.”
“Who was it exactly that already completely screwed this world up once before? And now, look at what you’re doing…”
We took another step towards each other. I put strength into my fist, and Kyouko also tightened her grip on her sword’s hilt.
“But… more than that, I began to like Orito-san and the others. How can this world can be so fun, and how did I grow to love it so much? I realized that it’s because the people living here are so wonderful. That’s why…”
“Could you… just let me go?”
540%! My fist rammed right into Kyouko’s sword.
But, the blade did not break. As expected from Dai-sensei’s mahou renki. That damn thing was tough.
“Of course I can’t. You already killed me once. And you harmed Haruna and the owl this time too.”
“Both of them are still alive. There’s also plenty of time to save that Megalo’s life. It’s not like I really want to kill them.”
The tornado blades gouged into my stomach. At the same time, my fist gouged into Kyouko’s cheek. Ahh, it looks like sexually harassing Dai-sensei really was worth it. The past me wouldn’t have been able to get that hit in so easily.
“Ow… Aikawa-san, have you gotten stronger? That’s rather annoying…”
“Thank you very much for the compliment. So, why don’t you want to kill them? All these wounds you’re giving me are fatal ones too.”
“I know that Aikawa-san won’t die no matter what I do, so I’ll show no mercy to him. But I don’t hate Haruna… she’s one person who I know won’t forget me.”
Her sword thrust into my arm. However, I ignored that and just hit Kyouko again.
“Sorry to break the news to you… but I’m pretty sure Haruna would end up forgetting you.”
“… Suddenly, I feel like I want to kill you now.”
I sent a kick at Kyouko, but Kyouko floated in the air like a piece of cotton fuzz. She danced on top of the leg I had thrust out, and then kicked me right in the face. Sure, I could see her pure white panties, but there wasn’t much else good about this state of affairs.
If I had to judge her strength using a human for comparison, I’d say that was a bit shy of 300%. My body rolled on the ground before hitting a nearby bench leg.
… So, what should I do here? My attacks haven’t been landing at all for a while.
In other words… I couldn’t stop Kyouko by myself.
Even if I had some kind of trump card to play here, even if I had more resolve and willpower, the difference in our power was just too great.
This was the difference between a masou shoujo and someone who wasn’t a masou shoujo.
Haruna… the owl… a lot of people had already suffered because of Kyouko. And if nobody paid her a nice solid punch, I’m sure she would just continue to be able to run from the punishment she deserved.
Wasn’t there anybody who could give her a firm beating?
No… I couldn’t rely on anybody here.
If I couldn’t even beat her, then I wouldn’t stand a chance against Chris.
I’ll do it… I’ll beat her!
I stood up, and faced Kyouko again.
“You sure are like a zombie, Aikawa-san… quite tough you are.”
Kyouko readied her sword, but I ran at her, planning to tackle her with my left shoulder.
And then, a jab with my left fist.
“Ahah, did you really think you could hit me with such slow attacks?”
Kyouko laughed, and sent a grand swing down at me with her sword. This was my chance.
This was the same thing I had practiced so many times with Dai-sensei.
You attack your opponent, drawing out their attack. And then, you counter them.
605%. I heard the air around me crackle as I pushed my muscles past their limits, and with explosive force sent an attack at Kyouko so fast that I’m sure even Dai-sensei wouldn’t be able to follow it. But, the attack was warded off by a barrier.
“Ah, as I thought, that’s what you would try. Did Ariel-sensei teach you that?”
… That was a failure. I guess I really couldn’t use that move on a transformed masou shoujo?
It seemed like the kind of pretty dodging and countering techniques that Dai-sensei had taught me wouldn’t fly with opponents who were just in a higher class.
The masou renki broke through my shoulder. It sliced right down to my heart like it was cutting a piece of cake, but then the blade stopped.
Kyouko tried to pull the blade out, but the blade wouldn’t budge.
“Let go! I… I have to run away. I have to… keep my memory alive…”
And then, I slapped Kyouko across her cute face.
I didn’t use my zombie powers to push my muscles past their limit or anything. This was just a hard slap from Aikawa Ayumu, ordinary high schooler… or from a friend.
I reached out again, and grabbed her by the collar of her cute masou shoujo costume.
“You’re just been blabbing the same exact thing for a while now. Haven’t you forgotten about someone?”
“A-Aikawa-san… please don’t touch my breasts.”
Kyouko put her hands over mine. However, a zombie’s full strength was comparable to that of a masou shoujo. As if I would let go now.
“I hate you. You’re the one who once killed me. So…”
Kyouko tried to muster strength in her arms to peel my hands off. But I just pulled her close to me, to a distance where I could probably kiss her if I wanted to, and…
“That’s why… I won’t forget you for as long as I live. Well, although I guess technically I’m already dead.”
I sent those insanely embarrassing words sailing right for her. So, how was that? Even effective against masou shoujo, right?
“Listen to me, Kyouko. It can be a hundred years, or two hundred years, but I’ll never forget about you. Neither will Yuu or Haruna, or Dai-sensei or Anderson-kun. Is that not enough for you?”
Kyouko suddenly burst out laughing.
“Are you trying to be cool or something? That’s so embarrassing, ugh…”
But I just doubled down and showed Kyouko an even more serious face.
“I don’t want to say embarrassing stuff like this either. But… that’s really how I feel. They might be embarrassing, but they’re exactly the words I want to tell you.”
Someone came up from behind Kyouko and embraced her.
It only took one look at that ahoge to realize that this was Haruna. Ah, she was awake? “Hoo. Hoo.” The owl perched on Haruna’s shoulder also was trying to say something.
To recover from such horrible wounds so quickly… as expected from a Megalo.
“He’s right! You not satisfied with us or something?! Don’t screw with us! You better say sorry! I won’t forgive you otherwise!”
Haruna put her arms around Kyouko’s neck, almost like she was trying a chokehold. Kyouko released the masou renki and put her hand on Haruna’s arm. Meanwhile, I took my hands off Kyouko and pulled her sword out from within me.
Kyouko blinked repeatedly at Haruna’s unexpected words.
“… Kyouko, I know what you’re trying to say. But think about the people you killed. Just like you, there were plenty of fun things in this world waiting for them… but you took that from them, and now you just want to have fun for yourself? Don’t act so spoiled!”
“… That’s… true. I… forgot what I had done.”
“You might not have understood this a while ago, but now that you’ve seen how fun this world can be, you understand, right? And you’re strong, right? You can face whatever life throws at you.”
“… I can’t keep running away from punishment for my crimes, can I?”
“Yeah, you can’t. Can you please just promise me this time?”
“Yes… I… I don’t feel any doubt anymore. I can promise you. I’ll properly accept my punishment this time.”
“Suffer through for all the things you’ve stolen from others… and if you get through that, then…”
“Then come and hang out with us. I still… I still haven’t asked you how you got those things that big.”
“Ahah, so Haruna thinks she’ll still be the same in a few hundred years?”
“Hoo hoo. Ohhh?”
The owl looked really interested right now!
“Ukyuu!! No! That’s not what I meant!”
Kyouko bowed her head to Haruna and the owl.
“I’m sorry for doing such horrible things. Please forgive me.”
“So you can give a proper apology.”
Haruna put her hands on her hips and gave a cocky smile.
“But… thank you very much. This feeling… just having one person waiting for you makes you feel so warm.”
Kyouko cancelled out her transformation and showed us a smile. It was a satisfied, happy smile, and her eyes began to slightly tear up.
“….” In contrast, Haruna looked just a bit down.
Someone was waiting for Kyouko.
Now that I thought about it, there might not be anybody back in Virie that was waiting for Haruna.
Maybe it was just my imagination, but that might explain why Haruna’s ahoge was drooping so much right now.
But, realizing what she was doing, Haruna suddenly waved her head from side to side.
“We’re going back! I don’t like the cold!”
Haruna grabbed Kyouko’s hand.
“Hoo hoo. Yea, let’s go, hoo.”
… That owl definitely just spoke perfect Japanese there.