Chapter 1: Part 5
Yuu and I relaxed in the flowing pool together, lazily lying on our inner tubes while gazing up at the refreshingly cloudy sky. The sunlight was being sucked completely by the clouds, and it even looked like it might rain. But the full heat of the summer was still there.
Orito had not shown up yet. Geez, was that guy off loitering in some random place or something?
At that point, Haruna came excitedly bounding back.
“Ayumu! I’ve acquired the target!”
Haruna’s ahoge was jumping back and forth, probably meaning that she was having quite a lot of fun.
So what thing had she confused with Nessie this time? I mean, in terms of living things, the only living things around a pool like this were humans…
… Wait, don’t tell me she had locked onto a human?!
“Haruna. Nessie isn’t human. You know that, right?”
“Huh? Are you an idiot? Of course Nessie isn’t human! Let’s go!”
Good good. It seemed like she wasn’t causing trouble for other people… well, no, she probably was.
“Just go by yourself.”
“Why why why?! Ayumu, you idiot!”
Haruna ran off, her shoulders swinging hugely back and forth. Geez, that girl…
“Let’s go, gloomy necromancer!”
Hey, what are you doing?! Why are you trying to take Yuu with you?! Something was seriously weird about Haruna today. Why was she so hell bent on getting Yuu involved?
Also, seriously, Nessie wasn’t here.
It seemed that something with a long neck just passed by me on the side…
I looked around, but I found nothing.
Maybe something was wrong with me today too? I was hallucinating…
Yeah, that had to be it. Nessie would never be in a place like this.
I strained my eyes and tried to follow the direction of motion of whatever I had seen, and I saw something huge with a long neck flowing along with the flowing pool. I rubbed my eyes and squinted.
Was that really Nessie? I watched as Nessie began to move out of view and cocked my head to the side. No, something was off here. Sure, that looked like Nessie, but… there was something that felt too “homemade” about the whole thing. It was like somebody was doing a Nessie cosplay…
Ah, yeah! That was the best way to describe it! Or rather, it looked like some kind of stuffed animal or floating toy or something…
Was Haruna trying to go for that thing? … Wait, was Haruna trying to go for that thing?!
While I stood there completely amazed by all this, Haruna had already taken Yuu by the hand and was running by the poolside.
Crap! Haruna wasn’t someone you could just stop by words alone. This was bad!
I began to try and get myself out of the pool.
“Ayumu, would you like to swim with me?”
I heard a gentle voice that tickled my ears. I saw Sera there in her nurse’s outfit, smoothly taking off her captivating stockings while she whispered to me.
“Eh? Ahh… umm…”
This was once again a rare event. Sera wanted to swim with me? God must be on my side today.
There was a sense of duty burning inside me right now, telling me that I had to go and chase after Haruna.
But there was also a girl of unmatched beauty in front of me, stripping off her nurse’s outfit…
“Am I not good enough for you?”
Sera spoke to me, a tinge of loneliness in her voice. And I felt the flame of duty inside me get extinguished immediately.
Well, Yuu was with Haruna, so I’m sure Haruna wouldn’t be able to just do whatever she wanted… yeah.
“Nah, not that. Yeah, let’s swim together.”
I held out my hand towards Sera, and she put her beautiful, pale hand in mine. Just by taking her hand like this, my brain cells felt like they were about to explode. She was the very definition of “enchanting” (1). Even before I got turned into a zombie and was just a normal high school student, would I have any means to refuse an older woman with a nice body like this? No way.
Sera and I moved to the next pool over. I could feel glares of envy hitting me from all around just because I was walking hand-in-hand with Sera.
“Let us compete, then. If you can catch me…”
Her lips moved seductively. I was about to ask her if she was going to give me a reward or something, but she seemed to know what I was going to say and rested her index finger on my lips. She then gave me a teasing smile.
“Well then, here I go.”
Saying that, Sera dove into the pool. Was she trying to get my hopes up or something…?
I no longer was worried about Haruna, but instead dove into the pool right after her. Every bit of my high-schooler sexual appetite was fully on display right now.
However, I couldn’t catch her at all. She was really fast in the water too… as expected from a ninja.
I glanced over at the flowing pool. I saw Haruna and Yuu working together to try and pull Nessie out from the water.
But just as they were about to succeed, Yuu’s hands slipped and Nessie went right back into the pool with a splash. It didn’t seem that Nessie even cared that she had been returned to the water; she just continued thrashing about like she was drowning. Was she alright over there…?
I watched them with a baffled look on my face, when Sera came back over to me.
“Is something the matter?”
“Ah, nah, it’s just Haruna-“
“So I suppose I really am not good enough for you.”
Sera was acting strange. Why was she being so cute right now? Was she plotting something? I found it really hard to think when looking at her voluptuous limbs, but I was a zombie so it seemed all the brain cells that were exploding were also regenerating.
“Yeah, I think I have to head over to where Yuu is.”
“I see. Well, I will go for another swim.”
Sera looked a bit lonely. But when turned her back on me, I noticed that her swimsuit straps were in a dangerous situation. One of the little butterfly knots that were tying her swimsuit up was already completely loose. Just a little bit, and her entire swimsuit top would come off.
This was sending up a bad red flag.
I mean, say her swimsuit comes loose and floats gently down from her body. Of course, everyone in here would immediately stare. And if that happened… there would be enough blood to paint the entire Aegis Sea red.
And when you saw a flag with so much potential for tragedy, you had to go and squash that flag.
“Sera, wait just a second.”
“Hm? What is it?”
“Ah, it’s nothing. Just don’t move.”
If I told her that her swimsuit was about to come off, then she’d probably get embarrassed. I had to be a gentleman here and fix her strap without saying anything.
You might not expect it, but I had a lot of confidence in the dexterity of my fingers. I’ll show you I can fix up a butterfly knot in a single second. As long as nothing awful happens, I’ll be able to patch this situation and Sera will be none for the wiser.
But the minute I grabbed onto the string, I heard something.
“I got her! I got her!”
When I looked in Haruna’s direction, I saw that she was thrusting her fist high into the air.
I could only stare at her with my mouth wide open.
Nyahahaha. Haruna laughed loudly as she put Nessie into a headlock.
But I really didn’t care.
There were other pressing concerns here…
“This is a striped Nessie. She comes from Ohio!”
Wait, why the hell would something from Ohio be all the way over here?
Wait, no. Seriously, I didn’t care at all.
Right now, I was more interested in the face that was now exposed where this striped Nessie’s long neck was.
That face belonged to my classmate, Orito. I thought Orito had disappeared, so why was he wearing a stuffed Nessie costume and hanging out in the flowing pool?
Was he just trying to make Haruna happy?
Nah, that couldn’t be. When I saw him wriggling like that in Haruna’s headlock, I could tell that he wasn’t happy about being caught.
“Ayumu, are you done yet?”
Hey, Sera! Don’t move so suddenly! The strap nearly just came off!
Wait, just wait a second! Ugh, I’ll be done soon! Come on, me! Hurry up!
“Sera, I’ll be done in a second!”
Maybe it was because there were way too many things going through my head, but I was taking way longer with this than I had expected.
Wait wait wait wait, don’t panic. Calm down. Right! Maybe I should take a leaf out of Ikkyuu-san’s book and roll my fingers around a bit on my head. Plop, plop, ding! (2)
Why… did I let go of the strap?
At that point, Stan Hansen’s entrance theme, Sunrise, began to play in my head. It was the song you heard often on variety shows when he barged in.
The bikini consisting of only bra cups and string was now floating lazily on top of the water.
“Wait, Sera! This was…” Cough cough cough!
In the next second, my head was sinking far beneath the water’s surface. I tried to crawl my way back up, but an immense force stomped me back down, and despite my struggles I sank right to the bottom of the pool. And the minute I thought I was floating up again, I was just stomped back down.
“You’re about as useful as a bent staple! Please squirm like a moth and then go die like a cicada!”
As I felt my head continue to be ground against the pool floor, I… ahh, oxygen please…
(1) Enchanting is writing as “nousatsu,” which if you decompose into its kanji literally means “head killing.”
(2) A reference to an anime about a Zen Buddhist monk. The sound effects correspond to what happens when the titular character does the motions that Ayumu are describing.