Chapter 2: Part 4
I searched for the Megalo with Haruna, who was full of energy and still holding the chainsaw in one hand.
Megalo were monsters that came to this world from the Underworld in order to defeat the masou shoujo.
They were creatures that were created for the sole purpose of killing masou shoujo, so the masou shoujo were intent on destroying them all.
Haruna had come to this world in order to hunt the Megalo, but now that Chris has stolen her magical energy away from her, she was currently nothing more than a girl with an ahoge.
Megalo were terrifyingly strong. If Haruna as she was right now tried to fight one, then I don’t think anything would prevent her from getting killed.
That’s why I had to get her magical energy back from Chris. The fact that just defeating her wasn’t enough was honestly a huge headache for me.
Well, granted, defeating her in and of itself was a huge problem.
“Ayumu, over there!”
Haruna was pointing at the park. It was a small park surrounded by lots of private homes.
“So it’s him?”
There weren’t any slides or jungle gyms in this park.
Instead, there were a set of swings and a horizontal bar and some benches. There was also a single rodeo bull kind of toy that was built to resemble a panda. It really was a small park.
“Hyahho~~! Fuwaaah aahhh~~.”
Boing boing boing boing. An animal in a school boy’s uniform was playing on that panda. A… deer?
“It doesn’t feel like he’s trying to hunt any masou shoujo, so I thought it might be better to leave him alone, but…”
Haruna began to explain her state of mind.
“Yeah, it doesn’t really feel like he’s trying to find the masou shoujo… doesn’t feel like he wants to fight at all, honestly.”
“Hyahho~~.” Boing boing boing boing.
This must be the first time in my life I’ve seen someone having so much fun on one of those rodeo toys.
It was interesting to find such a hot-headed simpleton out in the middle of such a cold winter night.
“He doesn’t seem very strong, so let’s get this over with quick.”
“… Ayumu, wait just a sec.”
“… I want to talk a bit.”
“What if… what if he’s not a bad guy? Like that other one…”
That other one. Haruna was probably referring to the owl. Haruna had become friends with an owl Megalo that she had met at a mixer just last week.
And she realized that there could even be good Megalo.
Up until now, Haruna had crushed every Megalo in her path as if they were bugs.
Megalo had been created purely for the purpose of killing masou shoujo, so this was a natural course of events.
I had also helped her with that, but coming here and choosing to talk instead of fight… it wasn’t something I could’ve ever expected from Haruna six months ago.
Back then, all Haruna could think about was beating every Megalo… wait. Wait just a minute. What about me?
All I could think about was defeating Chris.
Even Haruna… Haruna, the idiotic, selfish, violent, bratty girl who thought she was the center of the universe, had come to consider options other than just beating everything to a pulp. So, what did that say about me?
All I could think about was taking Chris out… Nene-san had gone through all that trouble to set up a negotiation table for us, but I had let that all go to waste.
“I got it, Haruna. Let’s talk to him first. But… what if he doesn’t turn out to be a good guy?”
“If we find that out… we’ll beat him to a pulp! That’s why I called Ayumu over here!”
I smiled at Haruna, who had clearly cheered back up. We both entered the park.
“Agh! This magic… it has to be a masou shoujo!”
Great. There were Megalo who could talk and Megalo who couldn’t, but this fellow was definitely in the former category.
“Ayumu. If it gets down to a battle, be careful. This is a double-A class Megalo… they call him the Wild Goat of the Underworld, the goat deer!”
What kind of crappy confusing name was that?! So he was actually a wild goat? Or was he a deer? Or maybe he was a deer that went “moo” and had a bit of cow in him? Certainly, wild goats were more closely related to cows than to deer…
“What’s the meaning of thissy? The one with the magical energy is the guy!”
The wild goat said that and dismounted from the panda rodeo toy.
“You. Have you killed any masou shoujo before?”
“Maybe I done have and maybe I have haven’t done that.”
I couldn’t understand this thing! He was insanely hard to understand!
“Haruna, do you think he has?”
I whispered that into Haruna’s ear, being careful that the goat didn’t hear me.
“Class AA means that a masou shoujo has been defeated by this Megalo. So, if he has that designation, then that means he’s at least strong enough to beat a masou shoujo. Probably… no, I definitely think there are masou shoujo who have been killed by this Megalo. Look at him, he’s not nervous at all.”
Haruna thinks that this Megalo has killed her companions, but she still wants to talk? Wow, the surprises just keep on coming.
Haruna put her hands on her hips and took a step forward.
“Hey, deer, do you like fighting?”
“Deer? You said ‘deer’ right? I guess I do look like a deer? Mmmmm.”
The goat seemed a bit embarrassed and a bit happy as he said that.
“If you promise to never ever attack masou shoujo again, then I’ll-”
“Can’t do that~~.”
The goat quickly cut down Haruna’s suggestion.
“It’s fun to torment masou shoujo, yup!”
I could’ve sworn I saw a touch of announce seep into the motions of Haruna’s ahoge.
“Torment? What do you mean?”
“All those girls who want so bad to kill Megalo, it’s so fun when they’re begging for their lives! Yup yup!”
Haruna looked like she was really trying to hold in her anger.
“… Well, if the masou shoujo don’t try to attack you either, then will you stop fighting?”
“Probably not. If the masou shoujo want to not fight, then I get to torment them more and more! Sounds super great to me.”
I could’ve sworn I heard something snap inside of Haruna right then. Or no, maybe that sound was coming from inside my own head.
“I see. Okay, Ayumu.”
“Yeah, I think with this one, we’ll have to…”
“Beat him to a pulp!”
The goat began to make a dash for me and Haruna, as if lured by our collective shout.
Haruna tried to pass me the chainsaw, but I didn’t take it and just met the goat head on.
I had to fight Chris. If I couldn’t beat this goat without the masou renki (1), then I wouldn’t be a match for Chris at all! Also, I really didn’t want to transform!
I planted my foot firmly in the sandy ground and sent my fist toward the goat’s face…
Zombies were strong. Normal people wouldn’t be able to maintain their bodies while making such fierce attacks, so their brains held them back, but I was a zombie. It was fine if I destroyed my body.
For example, I could gain more and more strength and push my limits as far as I wanted, even if I had to tear my muscle fibers to shreds in the process. That was the part of me that was no longer human.
360%! My punch had far more power in it than a human could ever hope to muster, and it slammed right into the goat’s face… or it should’ve but I felt my legs being swept up from under me.
The goat was attacking me while squatting.
Whaa~~? This was strange. I splendidly fell to the ground and cocked my neck to the side while lying on my side.
As I lie sprawled there, I saw a shadow loom over me. When I looked up, I saw the goat’s leg.
His heel came slamming down!
I managed to roll out of the way… but the goat kicked my body up as if he was playing with a soccer ball.
Ohh, he was really strong. My body flew up into the air as if I was suspended by the wire, and then the goat attacked again.
Whaaa~~? This seriously was strange. I managed to cross my arms and repel the goat’s legs.
I wanted to put some distance between us, but the goat was already moving into his next attack.
He sent a high kick at my forehead. I guarded with one of my hands. Ah, yup, I definitely broke a bone there.
“What’s wrong? What’s wronggg~~?”
He probably felt the break and showed me a look of superiority. Ugh, everything this guy did was so annoying.
The goat sent his leg at my flank, and I stopped him using both palms.
I heard something like a ringing sound before my hands went numb. The muscles in my arms ripped apart from the impact.
However, I was a zombie, so I felt no pain and my arms would regenerate quickly.
Still, I was now sure of one thing. This goat… he was stronger than I was.
If I thought about it, this much should’ve been obvious. Either way, I would never be absolutely confident that I could beat a masou shoujo, but this goat had enough strength to have that confidence.
So it was natural he would be stronger than I was.
But… he wasn’t overwhelmingly more powerful.
I grabbed onto the goat’s school uniform and judo threw him to the floor.
A cloud of dust rose up and the earth shook. I could hear Haruna’s voice.
“Ayumu! Hurry up and transform!”
I caught the chainsaw she threw to me with one hand and let out a single sigh.
Dammit. It seems like I really couldn’t escape from this particular fate.
“Nomobuyo, woshi, hashitawa, dokeda, gunmiicha, dei, ribura!”
I chanted that strangely long spell, and then oh my oh my.
A cute pink outfit appeared around my body. This fluffy skirt was so lovely that it seriously moved me to tears.
The goat readjusted his body posture, getting ready again. That’s the first thing he said that I could agree with. I thought this costume was pretty gross too. But…
“I’m pretty strong like this, you know?”
Krrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The chainsaw roared shrilly to life. This chainsaw wasn’t being powered by an engine, but by magical energy.
More specifically, it was being powered by the magical energy of the masou shoujo that rested within me.
Now that I’ve become a masou shoujo, an AA class goat wasn’t a big deal.
I ended up fighting a good, hard fight with that goat… but well, no matter how many times we clashed, I never felt like I was going to lose.
Soon, I was watching as the goat dissolved into sparkling white particles and disappeared into the air. I let out a sigh.
“Ayumu. Don’t I always tell you to not get too cocky?! Why didn’t you transform from the start?!”
“Isn’t it obvious? I really hate changing into this outfit.”
I tugged on this cute masou shoujo outfit. When I did that, the clothes slowly became see-through. It was like what had happened to Haruna the first time I had met her.
Wait, what? Why was this happening? It was… disappearing…
“A-Ayumu! Your magical energy is disappearing!”
“What?! But this means I’ll be naked… no!”
I couldn’t let this happen! I hurriedly gripped onto the chainsaw again and concentrated.
Masou shoujo had the ability to restore things that were once broken.
I used that power to recreate my original clothing.
Sparkling particles surrounded me, and around the time the pink outfit had completely disappeared, I found that only my jeans had appeared around me.
… Cold. I put a hand in my pocket and checked that my wallet and cell phone were indeed there. My pockets were almost bursting, but I was relieved that I had put those things in there.
After all, your wallet and your cell phone were essential for basic living.
“Gyaaahhh!! P-Pervert! It’s a pervert!”
Haruna’s ahoge bounced from side to side as she sent punch after punch at me.
“Haruna. Why is this happening? Why did my magical energy go away?”
“As if I know! Just get out of here already!”
What was the meaning of this? Wait, actually… how had I been able to transform in the first place?
Wasn’t all of Haruna’s magical energy in the hands of Chris?
Now that I thought about it, the one who had taken Haruna’s magical energy in the first place had been Yuu.
Then, because Yuu had shared magical energy with me, I gained the ability to transform into a masou shoujo.
Chris had snatched away the magical energy that was flowing between Yuu and Haruna. Could it be that that was a different pool of magical energy than the magical energy Yuu had shared with me?
But, now all of Haruna’s magical energy was over with Chris. So the pool of magical energy Yuu had been supplying me with had run dry.
To put it simply, I was out of fuel. Ugh, this was a problem… I held my head in my hands.
If possible, I would’ve preferred to notice this before that fuel had run out. Now I couldn’t even transform when I battled Chris. Becoming a masou shoujo was one of the minimum requirements for being able to defeat Chris. Hell, even then I might not be able to do it. I guess my only remaining option was to try and negotiate…
Also, I really hope nobody was going to see me and report me to the police like this. God, it was cold.
Well, Nene-san’s apartment was close by, so I guess it was fine. I also had left a change of clothes there.
“Okay, I’m going to head back to Nene-san’s apartment then.”
“Eh? Why?” Haruna’s eyes widened into saucers.
“Why? I mean, there’s still a lot of manuscript to work on.”
“… Do you really like being at her place that much?”
“Huh? What’s this all of a sudden? I mean, Nene-san is a really nice person, and I guess it’s pretty comfortable being around her…”
Haruna looked down and muttered without making eye contact with me.
“The deadline is the 24th, right?”
“Yeah. Don’t you forget it either, okay?”
Haruna’s face sprung up and she pointed right at me. She had gone back to her usual self.
“You better be back that night!”
Ahh, now that she mentioned it, it was Christmas Eve, wasn’t it? I’ve never really cared too much about Christmas Eve, so I had completely forgotten. It’s not like I have a girlfriend, and as for family… well, they weren’t around either.
“Santa comes on the twenty fourth! He’s gonna come give me a present!”
So Haruna still believed in Santa Claus.
It was the pure, childlike parts of her that made her seem cute sometimes.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at seeing Haruna standing there, her ahoge bouncing from side to side.
“Did you wish for something? If you don’t do that fast he won’t come.”
I teased Haruna a bit, causing her to blink a few times.
“Hueh? I already made my wish back in July.”
“… July?” Oh, at Tanabata! Yeah, I guess back then, Haruna had said something about Santa.
“Santa goes around granting all the wishes in the world! He’s a huge masochist!”
Don’t call him a masochist… he was a really good person.
“So I guess you want Santa to grant the wish you made at Tanabata?”
“Yeah! If you don’t give him half a year, he can’t get everything ready!”
W-Whoa… that was actually pretty convincing.
Come on, Ayumu, remember. What did Haruna wish for at Tanabata…?
She didn’t ask for anything weird, right? I mean, if it was something reasonable I could probably play Santa and grant her wish, but… umm… what was it…
Give us snow. Snow big enough that everyone here can see it. If it’s too small I’ll kill you.
Yeah, it was something like that, right? Haruna wanted snow.
Maybe there wasn’t any snow in the magical world Virie? But damn, that’s hard. That’s not something I could just make happen.
“By the way, Haruna. Did you have a second wish?”
“Sometimes Santa can’t grant every wish either. So the more choices you give him the better it is.”
“Hm, I guess that makes sense, but… it feels a bit too late to make a new wish.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. I know Santa, actually.”
“Eh? Even though you’re a smelly gross pervert?”
“Don’t you know? Santa is immortal, kind of like a zombie.”
“That’s so sketchy! … Well, fine. I want a stuffed animal. Of a horned owl.”
A stuffed animal of a horned owl… I felt my cheek muscles relax a bit at her words.
“I got it. I’ll ask him for you.”
Bounce bounce bounce bounce. Haruna’s ahoge wagged back and forth like a puppy’s tail. She was adorable, and I couldn’t help but put my hand on top of her head.
But I was still half naked, so of course she just called me gross and kicked me as hard as she could.
(1) The technical term for his magical weapon. I guess I haven’t footnoted this yet in this volume so I’ll do it this once.