Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai:Volume 02
These are novel illustrations that were included in Volume 2
Hasegawa Kodaka, 16 years old.
Saint-Chronica Academy, 2nd year Class 5.
Son of a Japanese father and an English mother.
Although my hair is blond, there are plenty of places tainted with a tea color.
I have a fierce look, which normally causes me to be misunderstood by others.
This past May, I moved to that city (it's correct to say that I returned), and have been living with my younger sister.
That was my personal information.
......Ah - I cannot not say it.
......I don't have friends.
Because I look like a bully, and many things happened, I have been entirely left out by my classmates.
But, that's why I, anyhow, decided to join a club.
After school, I basically have to go to the club's classroom.
In a beautiful chapel at the academy, ‘meeting room #4’.
It is also the clubroom of the club in which I belong, the 'Neighbor's Club'.
'Neighbor's Club - just by hearing the name you know that these club people surely don't exist. Even people who listen to the explanations won't know what kind of activities are going on there.
This is the goal of our 'Neighbor's Club'
To play games, act, write books, and simply hang around.
Today I also walked to the clubroom.
Went out of the school building, walked on the green grass in the academy, entered the chapel and opened the door to meeting room #4.
Inside stood a beautiful blond-haired girl wearing a bald cap.
I stopped to think for a moment.
“……Sorry, I entered the wrong door.”
“Hey, wait a minute Kodaka!”
As I thought of leaving as if I didn’t see something, the young beautiful girl (with a bald cap) suddenly stopped me.
In desperation, I could only re-enter the room.
Wearing a bald cap, the young beautiful girl - Sena Kashiwazaki, lowered her head while blushing, and glanced at me secretly. “This, h-how is it?” she asked me.
I thought for a moment.
“……it really, really suits you, eh?”
I hesitated before answering.
“Is, is that so? Thanks……”
After Sena smiled a little bit, she suddenly stared at me forcefully.
“---what, that's not what I meant, stupid! How can this thing suit me! This is bald, BALD!?”
It seems that she’s very angry.
“Then, what should I say?”
“It wasn't meant to be a question of whether I looked okay or not, it was to ask you if it was funny!”
It was that thing from yesterday.
In the Neighbor's Club’s room, our leader (it should be) Yozora Mikadzuki suddenly said.
“To make friends, there is something which is indispensable - that is ‘laughter’”.
The other people in the room - me, Sena and also first year Yukimura Kusunoki, were all surprised.
“Yep, it is ‘laughter’”
Yozora lifts her head with high spirits.
“Yesterday, while I was surfing on the net, there was a news article that said that the people who are the most popular aren’t the ones with good looks, nor those with good grades or athleticism, but the ones who are ‘funny’ ”
“Maybe it’s like this……”
I showed my approval.
“In my previous school there was a guy like that, even though he was nonathletic and terrible at studying, he was very humorous and could always make people laugh a lot. That’s why there were always people hanging around him.”
In my previous school, he coincidentally shared the same desk with me.
The day before I transferred, we had a farewell party in a family restaurant (AA System), and after I transferred, the link was gone, and my fate, like that, was broken……
Now that I think about it, from the moment we entered the family restaurant, until the very end, this guy always called me Hasegawa……
……Did he ever really……become my friend……
“Hey, why are you crying?”
Sena asked me, with a surprised expression.
"I, I am not crying! Why would I cry......"
I quickly swept the corner of my eyes.
"A-after all, I also agree with Yozora's point, humorous people are popular among everyone."
"Huh......even though I don't really understand, is it true that there's something like that?"
Sena, surprised, leaned her head to the side, thought for a moment, and then said.
"Someone ugly, with bad grades and bad athletics, can become popular just by being funny. If someone very beautiful, is good in letters and military strategies, and can be described as 'being loved by God' like I am, if that person can be humorous, wouldn't that person be the best in the world? That way I can have godlike charisma!"
Yozora slapped the nose of the radiant Sena who was boasting and praising herself.
"~Ah! What are you doing!"
Yozora, while watching Sena's teary face, coldly said with an uncool face.
"That is a part of being funny, it's what's known as tsukkomi."
"Of course I know what tsukkomi is, but I wasn't acting as the boke!"
Yozora again attacked with what she called tsukkomi, causing Sena to try and evade the hit.
But the movement was too exaggerated, so she ended up hitting the table.
"~-~-~-~-~ ! Whaaa......"
Yozora said to Sena, who was containing her tears and on the ground.
"......Oh, you are using your body language to try to make everyone laugh, you're pretty good."
Sena forcefully laughed while trying not to cry.
"Hu, huhuhu, because I'm perfect......bow down before my charisma!"
"It's charisma!" (T/L : Charisma and residue have a near pronunciation in Japanese, I presume.)
"To call you residue is enough, meat!"
Yozora coldly screams.
That time, Yukimura seemed to have thought of something, opened his mouth and asked me.
"Though I don't really understand, Aniki wants to make others laugh, correct?"
"Mhmm. That way you can be more popular."
While showing a warm smile, Yukimura said.
"If it's like that then it's too simple."
"Aniki only needs to say 'laugh' as a command and it shall be done. If Aniki wishes so, then I would laugh in front of you even if I were on the cliff of a mountain with a sea of flames below.
"No, making someone laugh doesn't mean that."
Yukimura doesn't seem to have understood after pondering, and inclines his head towards the side while looking at me who had developed a cold sweat.
Anyways, everyone decided that in order to learn how to make people laugh, each person would prepare a 'something which causes laughter', and perform it.
'Causing laughter'......I didn't think that Yozora would propose a proper method.
In fact, comedians and idols, beautiful girls performing marriage are often heard.
The Shiguchimoto series comedian, George Toriki, looks as scary as a gangster, but is still popular among everyone. Although he looks very beautiful, the musician GYACKT gives off a fearful impression that makes him hard to approach, but since he participates in a talk show to showcase his humorous side, his popularity has increased and caused his fanbase to expand from young women to a wider audience.
That is to say, if I can learn how to make people laugh, maybe I will be as popular as George Toriki or GYACKT.
Compared to these people physically attiring, “It clearly appears like that, but I didn’t think that he would be humorous” that kind of contrast, the results would have more results.
Perfect…… ‘making people laugh’ is a skill that suits me.
I tried to avoid the attention from passengers on the tram, and started to laugh in my corner.
End of the reminiscence.
And thus, today.
“Hey, funny isn’t it? Very funny!? Don’t be courteous and burst out laughing to your heart’s content!”
Wearing a bald wig, Sena said that loudly while holding her arms arrogantly.
“You say that it’s funny, but I don’t know where it’s funny……”
No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t laugh at all.
“Why don’t you understand that kind of joke? Isn’t your sense of humor too weird?”
“……By the way, why did you choose to be bald?”
“It was in the comedy corner of a toy store. And it’s written on the packaging that it’s guaranteed to make people burst into laughter at parties.”
“You actually believed that…”
“Hn, even that kind of humour you can’t understand. Kodaka, you and Yozora’s sense of humour is making people unhappy.”
“The one who has a weird sense of humour is you, meat! As expected, being a stack of meat, it’s hard for you to understand that high-level skill.”
Yozora’s lightly laughed while saying……eh, Yozora?
Sitting on the sofa where I could only see her back, her hair became blond.
That face, it’s indeed Yozora.
“Why is it blond hair……!?”
“It’s only a blond wig.”
Actually, on the blond hair, there were many places which showed black hair.
Yozora’s hair was long from the beginning, but now the volume of hair is scary.
“Why is it a blond wig?”
“This is the ‘humour’ I’ll perform.”
Yozora said those kind of weird words.
“This is the funniest cosplay in the world. How is it, Kodaka, it’s funny isn’t it. Now, laugh.”
I don’t understand what you are saying.
“Huh, what’s funny about that.”
Sena gave a short snort of contempt.
Yozora seems to be unsatisfied with our reactions, and her facial expression returned to the same unhappy one as normal.
“Huh……I see that you still can’t understand, so how about this!”
While saying that, Yozora suddenly lifted her chin, and gave a supercilious look. (T/L: Not sure about this one.)
What a tragic face……you……your face counted clearly as your only strong point……!
“I, have a lot of money, and am also a beautiful young woman.”
Yozora showed a tragic face, and used a tragic tone to say these tragic words.
Since it was too weird, I felt myself unconsciously chuckle.
“You see, it’s very funny, isn’t it?”
After seeing my reaction, Yozora was slightly happy.
“Well, even though it’s a bit funny……what’s the reason for the blond hair?”
“Haa--……you still don’t understand……so I’ll use my last resort!”
Yozora said that in dissatisfaction, and turned her back against us.
After that she took a mirror and pen from her bag.
Sena and I stared at each other (the bald-capped Sena).
“Okay, it’s finished~”
Yozora, who did something unknown to me, turned herself towards us.
On Yozora’s forehead there was a perfectly square “meat” written on it. (T/L: You see, ‘meat’ is written like this; 肉 .)
……someone writing ‘meat’ on their own forehead, it was my first time seeing this.
“ ‘Meat’……don’t tell me that you’re trying to imitate me!”
Sena’s face started to convulse.
“Hm, you finally understand, you mentally-ill meat. Okay, facing that funny existence, laugh out loud to your hearts’ content.”
“Why am I a funny existence!”
“Why, am I, a funny existence.”
Yozora continued to show a tragic face, and used a tragic tone to repeat Sena’s words.
“I didn’t use that manner of speech!”
“I didn’t use that manner of speech! I have a lot of money, and am also a beautiful young woman.”
“When did I say those lines!”
“Daddy told me to say that~”
“If, if it’s like this, he indeed told me that……wuuu, damn……”
Sena said in tears:
“That, that kind of thing, would only make people angry. Why would people laugh!”
Yozora restored her face.
“Yeah, but when I see you angry and crying, I’m very delighted.”
“That’s too mean!”
“……I don’t want to interrupt you two in that heated moment, but, Yozora, don’t you think that this costume is kinda embarrassing?”
After hearing my question, Yozora tilted her head and started thinking.
“……As you are right now, wouldn't it be bad if you’re seen by someone who doesn't know what’s going on?”
Yozora suddenly realized it, took the mirror on the table, and stared at herself here and there.
Wearing an unusually heavy wig on the top of her head, with a ‘meat’ character written on her forehead, and once again she made to the mirror the tragic expression from just a moment ago.
……As she thought that she looked more miserable than she thought, Yozora was shocked and stood there blushing for a moment.
Yozora slowly took off the wig, and stuffed it back in her bag.
“……what you just saw, forget all of it.”
Yozora said, without looking at us.
On the other side, Sena also took a mirror from her bag and looked at herself.
Her face slightly moved a bit, and speechlessly took her wig off and fiercely threw it in the thrash can.
“Well, ruining your image to make others laugh isn’t bad, but to abruptly wear a wig is a bit stupid, so it’s very difficult to laugh out. Especially Yozora, your problem is more serious, to be humorous isn’t making yourself laugh, but to make others laugh!”
Thus, Sena and Yozora’s faces turned gently red, and with slightly intimidating eye expressions looked at me.
“Kodaka you actually use that kind of high tone to speak.”
“Also, Kodaka, what did you prepare as comedy props?”
I laughed a bit and answered.
“Actually, I will perform stand-up comedy. No matter what you say I still have lived in Osaka.”
For some reason, Yozora and Sena both snickered.
“That’s great Kodaka!”
“Because you 'have lived in Osaka' so you 'will perform stand-up comedy', to think that kind of nonsense, that’s the funny thing, isn’t it? Indeed it’s a bit funny.” (!)
“……Actually I didn’t mean it that way……in the past, when I was living in Osaka, every afternoon at 4 o’clock, I would always watch the comedy shows in the Kansai department, this was a hobby I had. That’s why I did some research into making people laugh.”
“4 o’clock in the afternoon, that means if you didn’t immediately rush home you couldn’t watch it.”
“Of course I immediately went home……I didn’t have friends at school……”
Yozora and Sena’s glares softened and their gazes suddenly started drifting.
“Well, in summary, to make people laugh isn’t in fact done by relying on cheap accessories, I rather think that the basic is really dialogue.”
“Ha, so Kodaka can tell jokes?”
I said towards Sena, who spoke those chilly words.
“You shouldn’t look down at me. Don’t blame me if in a few moments you're laughing to the point that your stomach hurts.”
As I could finally express what I watched in the comedy shows, I finally thought out a joke of my own!
I rode the momentum and began to speak.
“*cough*. That……the title is ‘the scary steamed buns’. (!)
Yozora and Sena glared at me.
“I know that you two are in a bad mood, but to listening to me until the end should be okay, right?”
And thus, I continued to talk in front of these two, who were skeptical.
“In the Heian period (T/L note: a peaceful period in the history of Japan), there were a bunch of young people hanging together, and were talking about what they were afraid of, but in the bunch, there was a man who said ‘There isn't anything of which I’m afraid of’……let’s call him A-san. But with the others pressuring him to speak, he finally admitted ‘In fact I’m scared of steamed buns’. By simply mentioning steamed buns he felt sick, and thus ran to the neighbor's house. And so, the remaining people, in order to scare A-san, went to buy a lot of steamed buns, and threw them in A-san’s house. As expected, they could quickly hear his miserable screams, and the young people secretly looked at the situation in the room. There, what they saw was, ‘so scary, so scary, since it’s too scary, I need to quickly eat them’, and A-san said this while happily eating the steamed buns. After realizing that they had been fooled, the young people angrily burst in and asked ‘What the heck are you actually scared of!’. Thus, A-san answered like this——”
I took a deep breath, because I couldn’t help myself to burst laughing.
“——‘Now, I’m scared of hot coffee’”
Yozora and Sena watched me, and looked chilly.
……Why don’t they burst out laughing?
“Ah……is it the punch line which you don’t understand? It’s obviously settled in the Heian period, so how can he mention coffee?”
“Cold…way too cold…” (T/L note: Cold joke --> lame joke)
Sena looked at me with a entirely fearful eye expression.
“Cold, it’s actually cold……? Impossible! Apart from this answer there’s also, while being obviously in the Heian period, why is that guy’s name ‘A-san’, this is also a joke, while obviously eating steamed buns, and then wanting to drink coffee, isn’t that food & drink combination very weird? And by gathering all the things which people know, and to express it in a unimaginable form, and to imagine to which point this could be random, you need to look at the acting——”
“Enough……it’s enough, Kodaka……”
Yozora suddenly warmly interrupted me, and tended to me with a cup of coffee.
“Hey, it’s till hot, so be careful when you drink it.”
For Yozora to again turn into the ‘beautiful Yozora’ form, does it mean that what I said was that miserable……
“Ah, cold……I also want to drink coffee.”
Sena stared at us, and also served a cup for herself.
“Ghh……since you can’t understand the punchline of the story, then how about this! It’s totally hilarious.”
I drank the coffee in one gulp, and recovered my energy.
“The title is ‘the scary steamed dumplings’!” (!)
Ignoring Yozora’s and Sena’s cold glares, I continued saying.
“In a certain place, there was a man who loved steamed dumplings. On a certain day, that man, as usual, went to buy steamed dumplings to eat it back home. When he lifted the cover, there weren’t actually steamed dumplings in it. In fact, it was sticky below the box. That man was scared to death by this, and thus, his body was put to rest inside a coffin. The day of the funerals, when the people opened the coffin’s cover, the body had disappeared.”
“It was glued under, wasn’t it?” Sena recalled the original story’s ending.
“Too naive. Inside the coffin wasn’t a body——it was a steamed dumpling. The man’s real form was a actually a steamed dumpling monster!”
To tell an ending other than the one expected, it should make people burst out laughing!
Since it was so funny, even I burst out laughing!
……But, Yozora and Sena were looking at me with an expression as if they were looking at a pitiful insect.
……NO, it shouldn’t be this reaction.
The reaction should be ‘What the heck is a steamed dumpling monster!’ and laughing while acting like a tsukkomi, right? (!)
“I really don’t see what’s funny in there…”
“I’m really worried about your sense of humour……”
The pure fear in both of their eyes showed as if they had just seen an unknown animal.
“Ggh……next, the next one! That……’the scary miso soup’!”
Yozora and Sena deeply sighed.
“Why do you always want to inflict pain to yourself……did you get some heart illness?”
“My sanity can’t be more normal! ……In a certain place there was a kid who loved to drink a lot of miso soup. On a certain day he asked her mother ‘What miso soup is it today?’, and her mother answered ‘It is kyoufu miso soup’ ” (T/L note: If I’m not wrong, this is read as, in Japanese, ‘scary’. It’s important for the joke here.)
“When it was dinner time, the kid, trembling of fear, lifted the miso soup cover——inside was a painting of Augustine.” (T/L note: Long explanation, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine . Short explanation: an important Christian during the Roman empire.)
The two of them were all surprised.
“……Augustine……aha, ‘father’, is it……” (T/L note: kyoufu can also be read as ‘father’, the one of the church.)
“It’s way too difficult to understand!”
“We should be like a Christian school students, even jokes need to have elements of Christianity. It's not only funny, but educational as well. To be funny while adding to your knowledge, that is the final goal!”
Sena faced the self-confident me and said,
“……Why would there be an Augustin painting in miso soup. It is much too bizarre a thought, how can you understand it?”
“Haa……!? Th-then, what if the Augustin painting is made from wheat bran?”
“ ‘Today, wheat bran’ and ‘father’, that kind of pun is even better!” (T/L note: Dang, kyoufu can also be read as ‘today, wheat bran’. My head hurts…)
“How can it be!”
With Yozora and Sena’s protestations, coming from different mouths at the same time, I felt dejected.
“How, how can it be……the……”
After that I continued telling different jokes like ‘Meguro’s pacific saury’ (T/L note: a fish) or ‘The cherry snapper’ these kind of original stories with a different ending, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make Yozora or Sena laugh, these two staring with a look of compassion in their eyes.
……These two, they don’t have any sense of humour, it’s really sad.
I, who already finished making jokes, was also exhausted, and let myself down on the sofa.
Yozora and Sena respectively took out some library books and a PSP, and it looks like that no one wants to bring up the ‘Making laugh’ topic.
Thus, at that moment.
The clubroom’s door opened, and Yukimura entered.
“Sorry I’m late, Aniki, Anego…"(!)
“It’s really great to escape from it.”
Sena muttered some unclear words under her breath.
“Since I was studying how to make people laugh, I was a bit late. But with the knowledge gained from my studies, I learned some very funny jokes.”
Yozora and Sena both looked at Yukimura with great interest.
“Well, we don’t have a lot of expectations, only for a change of taste, please tell us.”
“Yes, so below will venture himself.”
Yukimura’s face showed some self-confidence.
“Steamed buns are scary.”
“ “I’VE ENOUGH OF IT” ”
Yozora and Sena screamed from the bottom of their hearts as Yukimura looked on with a perplexed expression.
Takayama Maria (& Kobato Joining Flag ①)
On entering the clubroom of Neighbor's Club, there was a little girl curled up sleeping on the sofa.
Silver colored hair and snow white skin --- a foreigner.
Kuu kuu, cute light snores could be heard from the innocent face.
From her height and the appearance of her face, she looks like an elementary school girl.
...... Why was there a little foreigner girl in the clubroom?
I tilted my head,
Anyway, I have to wake her up, and I tried poking at her cheek with my finger.
Even as the little girl frowned slightly, she did not awake.
Poke poke poke poke.
I went on to poke further.
Somehow, it felt like it was turning into a habit.
After letting out a soft utterance, she went back to her slumber.
And at that moment, I finally noticed that she was wearing a Sister's clothes.
Then, it means that this child is a Sister?
In this Saint Kuronika catholic missionary school, there are a number of Sisters sent by the church to teach Theology and Morals.
But even so, for such a little child......
I thought as I continued poking at her cheek.
On hearing that shuttering sound, I turned around frantically, and standing at the entrance of the clubroom, were Yozora, Sena, and Yukimura.
In Yozora's hand was a mobile phone.
"...... I've just taken the picture of a Yankee playing a prank on a sleeping little girl......"
"Kodaka...... are you a lolicon?"
Both Yozora and Sena's faces appeared drawn.
Playing a prank on a sleeping little girl --- no, indeed, the words might be taken to mean that literally, but somehow, a strong sense of indecency reverberated from within those words!
"That, that's not it! I didn't really have that kind of intention......"
"That shall be judged by the people who are going to see this photo...... anyway for now, I shall upload this to a suitable picture bulletin board."
It was scary that Yozora seemed serious in doing what she said.
"As expected of Aniki. Even the young ones can't escape your clutches."
"I wasn't going to do anything to her!"
I yelled at Yukimura who was looking at me with a respectful gaze and had just said something unthinkable.
I got the feeling that it would be really bad if I don't fix his view on what a "True Man" should be......
Hmph, seemingly in a bad mood, Yozora snorted through her nose.
"Well, the thing about uploading the photo was a joke. However, it's not funny when a club member is engaging in acts of indecency that could cause the repealing of our club. Kodaka's unique inclinations is a secret among us......"
"As I was saying, that's not it!"
And, at that moment.
The little girl's eyes opened, perhaps as a result of the commotion.
Our eyes met.
"Who, who are you!?"
Possessing a pair of beautiful blue eyes that had opened wide in astonishment, the silver hair little girl sat up with a start.
Following that, as she looked in the direction of Yozora and the rest behind me, her expression turned to one of fear.
"Gyaaa! Mi, Mikadzuki Yozora......!"
"Long time no see, Maria. Welcome to my clubroom."
Maria......? Seems like I've heard the name from somewhere before?
"Fugugugug......", with a pair of defiant eyes resembling that of a cat that had been provoked, the little girl called Maria glared at Yozora.
"What, what's with 'my clubroom'! In the first place, this was my afternoon nap room and you were the one who has stolen it from me by trickery!"
"Stealing by trickery sounds so bad. Didn't I acquire the room as my clubroom formally through proper methods with your agreement?"
Yozora said with an evil thin smile that displayed all her inner feelings.
"...... hey Yozora. Do you know this kid?"
"I told you before right. Takayama Maria. A Sister working at this school, the advisor of the Neighbor's Club."
"Advisor!? This little kid!?"
Reacting to my surprise, Maria puffed up her cute cheeks in anger.
"Don't, don't call me little! I'm a fully qualified teacher, you know!"
"No, but you're little...... by the way, how old are you?"
I asked her while holding the thought of perhaps, just like some characters in novels and manga, she could be a person with an excessively childish face.
"Ten years old!"
"You look just like your age, hey."
Maria puffed out her totally flat chest proudly,
"But because of my high intellect, I could become a teacher even at the age of ten. I'm much greater than the likes of you, who are just some uselessly big, rotten mandarin oranges, you know! Prostrate and give praise to me, you trash!"
A little girl with a surprisingly abusive tongue.
Yozora approached Maria...... sensei? and flicked her finger against her forehead.
The silver hair little girl's eyes turned teary.
"Uwuuu~, to think you dare raise a hand against a teacher, you damn delinquent! Trash of society! Faeces! Bird-brain!"
"Woah, as a teacher, don't you know? The following was written in section 1 of rule 37 of the Saint Kuronika rules, 'An older person is allowed to deal out corporeal punishment in the course of providing educational guidance to a younger person, even if that person is a teacher or a Sister'."
"Eh, is that so?"
The teary Maria asked back.
On hearing that, Sena sighed,
"...... there's no way such a stupid rule will exist right. Don't go about saying irresponsible things like that."
"Mi, Mikadzuki Yozora, ahh...... I was tricked by you again!"
Maria said hatefully.
"...... again?" I said.
"During the time when I was made the advisor! This woman suddenly appeared before me and demanded me to hand over this room for her clubroom, and that if I refuse, she will, she will slap my right cheek!"
"And, and then, God said so. If the right cheek is slapped, offer your left cheek as well --- and thus, the left cheek will be slapped as well!, and as she said that, my left cheek got slapped...... it was painful! And even though I haven't offered it yet! Even though I haven't offered my left cheek yet!"
Mikadzuki Yozora...... an audacious one who fears not even God.
"And then, on top of that, God even went on further to say. After the left cheek is slapped, the next thing to do is to hand over the room. Furthermore, you need to sign on the club creation form and hand over the seal, she said, and since I'm a servant of God, God's words are absolute to me, so I have no choice but to become the advisor and even go as far as to prepare the room! Afterwards, I went to look up the Bible, but no such things were written in it; they were all lies! Thief! Faeces!"
"No, you shouldn't be deceived by that......"
With reproachful eyes, I made a jab at her,
"I, I thought it was strange! But, but, I was scared...... if I resist, I might get beaten again...... sob...... sniff......"
"Ah...... well, that's really a calamitous thing......"
I patted the head of Maria who had burst into tears.
To first use brute force to suppress the will to resist, then make an unreasonable demand.
It was like a Yakuza's behavior.
"Maria. God had said --- it's the fault of the one who was deceived."
However, with a serious face, she said plainly.
"I'm not lying. It was written in the sixteenth verse of the Gospels of Ru-su-pu-i-re. Since it's from the Apocrypha, you can't find it in the Bible."
"Is, is that so?"
"Yeah. As expected, the Apocrypha is still too much for even a genius Sister to completely grasp, isn't it?"
Maria moaned in mortification.
"Are you saying something irresponsible again......"
"Eh? Am I being tricked again!?"
On hearing Sena's words, at last, Maria realized she was deceived.
"What an accursed fellow who fabricates the words of God!"
"Because God himself is a product of fabrication, it's fine if I fabricate the words of God right. Rather, you can even say that I'm God."
"You, you...... why did you come to this school in the first place!?"
"Because it's close to my home and the fees are cheap."
Yozora replied promptly to the Maria who was shuddering in fear.
...... even though this is largely a missionary school, you don't need to be a Christian to be accepted into this school.
I don't have a religion as well, and probably more than half the students here aren't Christians.
But even so, there are few who would actually call themselves God, I guess.
And two of those few were, in a distasteful way, in our very own club.
"Well, in any case, I don't think it's a good thing for a God to hit children."
As I said that,
"Rest assured, Kodaka. As a kind person, I made sure not to use too much force that will leave neither a physical nor emotional scar on the child."
"A self-righteous line akin to the one in 'Being kind to the earth' huh......"
Sena said with wry sarcasm.
"Uwuu ~ damn damn damn! Fall into hell, you piece of shit, Yozora!"
"Now, calm down. A holy person shouldn't say such words."
As I patted her head to calm her down, Maria became quiet.
And then she looked up at me,
"By the way, who are you guys? That blond hair girl is the daughter of the chairman, if I remember right."
"I'm Hasegawa Kodaka. That person is Kusunoki Yukimura."
"...... are you all club members?"
As I nodded, with a jerk, Maria pulled away from me and groaned like a cat.
"Uwuuu, I see, you are all pawns of Yozora......"
She was acting totally antagonistic.
"How rude. I'm no pawn of such a person."
Sena said with dismay, and,
"Ah, that's right. This piece of Meat is someone totally unrelated to me, in fact, she is not a club member but an outsider....... ah-reh, who are you? Why are you here?"
"Eeehh!? I'm a club member duh!"
As she seemed about to be ostracized, Sena amended frantically.
"Anyway, this room is mine! The sofa is the best for afternoon naps! I resign from the post of advisor of this dubious club! All of you get out!"
"Just because you are the person in charge doesn't make this room yours though......"
Maria seemed not to hear the retort from Sena.
"...... hm, in the end, the burden is too heavy for a child huh......"
Yozora said with a sigh.
"What, what did you......!?"
Maria asked challengingly.
Yozora looked towards her and sighed out,
"Haah...... as I thought, it's impossible for a child to be the advisor of a club. Though it's a pity, we shall give up this clubroom. It's my folly to have pushed the heavy responsibility of a club advisor unto a child. I should have made my request to a more proper adult teacher. If it's an adult, he wouldn't be so irresponsible to the point of ditching the duties he had taken on......"
On hearing the words of Yozora, "Gununu......", Maria groaned out,
"I, I'm a splendid adult."
"Don't force yourself, little girl. You are free to use this room for your afternoon naps. Leave the difficult duties of a club advisor to an adult. ............hm, but I've thought that the genius Sister Maria-sensei would have been able to cope with it...... was I expecting too much...... Aahh, ignore what I just said. Since this is merely a result of my oversight in thinking that the Maria-sensei who puts adults to shame would have the time to be an advisor."
"AR --------- GH ------ H!!"
"Be, becoming an advisor is like taking a walk in the park to me! And besides, I'm an adult, so I won't ditch the duties that I've taken on! Just now...... it was merely a slip of the tongue!"
"You don't really need to force yourself, you know?"
"I, I'm not forcing myself!"
Maria said that as she turned serious without realizing that Yozora was leading her by the nose.
"I know about it, you know. The truth is you don't want to become an advisor right?"
"I, I want to do it!"
Yozora, with a wicked gleam reflected from the depths of her eyes, continued asking.
"Hm...... then, you'll continue to be our advisor?"
"Of, of course!"
"Then lower your head and ask me to let you become the advisor."
"Please let me become your advisor."
Maria lowered her head spiritedly.
"Then I shall use this room as I see fit."
.... what's with the "I"?
"Will you swear to God?"
"If you say something about quitting the job of advisor again, you wouldn't mind going nude and having your photographs taken and spread around on the web?"
"I wouldn't mind!"
Are you a demon?
"In order not to interfere with our club activities, you shall sit in the corner quietly, get it?"
"I see. Then you shall become the advisor of the Neighbor's Club. You can be thankful, Takayama Maria."
"Uhn, thank you Yozora............ eh, ah-reh......? Eehh!? Ah-reh ah-reh!?"
Noticing that something was wrong here, the confused Maria was racking her head.
"Then let's applaud for the reappointment of Maria-sensei as our advisor. We shall continue to depend on you to manage this club room. Your main job would be to clean up the room after we go home. It's a big responsibility but I feel reassured to be able to count on sensei for that."
As Yozora said that, the applause started blandly.
"Hey, you guys as well."
On being told that, Sena, Yukimura, and I delivered our sparse claps to Maria as well.
Clap clap clap clap clap......
"Eh, eh hehe...... this is embarrassing~"
Maria smiled with embarrassment.
"Well, well, leave everything to me, you trash! Ahhahahaha, ahhahahahahaha!"
"Alright, well, I'm a little thirsty, so bring me some tea."
...... a stupid kid.
And that's how the little girl Sister Maria became the alleviator of the discord within the Neighbor's Club. Is this is a good thing, or a bad thing, I have no idea.
On that night.
On returning home, as I was having dinner with my little sister Kobato, I told her about the events in school today.
"...... so, there really exists ten year old teachers. That's a pretty big deal."
Her mental age remains that of a ten year old though.
"...... isn't An-chan recently very involved in club activities?"
Kobato murmured something in a soft voice.
"Hn? Did you say something?"
"Hm, nothing important...... kukuku...... to cause such a disturbance to the heart of Leysis Vi Felicity Sumeragi...... impossible......"
Kobato replied with some strange dramatic line.
Hasegawa Kobato --- junior high second year.
A golden hair, blue eyes, bishoujo, always in gothic lolita fashion.
Due to the influence of a certain anime, for some reason, she had adopted a speech and conduct pattern that made her appear as if she was pitying the other party.
"...... but a Sister...... a holy worker...... an underling of the church...... my eternal enemy...... an abominable existence. Kukuku...... my other half...... it is not very admirable for thou to get involved with someone like that......"
I responded with an appropriate indifferent reply as I tucked in.
Kobato puffed up her cheeks in a slightly sulky manner.
Translator's Notes and References
- Ru-su-pu-i-re: Read it backwards and it becomes Reipu-suru, which means "to rape". This is one of Yozora's favorite word, first highlighted in chapter 10 of volume 1. (thanks to Doraneko for pointing out the backward reading ☺)
- means eat-up
It was something that happened in the third period of a certain day.
I was walking, alone, in the corridor which had special classrooms such as the Home Economics one or the Audio-visual one.
Since it wasn't time for these special classes, there was no one in the corridor.
Yesterday when the English class had ended, my teacher indeed said "Tomorrow's third period will be in the language classroom."
Thus I, since I want to prove that I'm not a delinquent, after the second period ended, I've gone quicker than anyone to prepare the third period.
But even though the recess has almost ended, there was no student who came here. And unwittingly, I heard the bell ring for next class.
In the past, these kind of situations often happened.
Since there was an issue, and we had to change classroom, but as the loner I am who doesn't have any friends, I wouldn't be warned—something like this.
And by the way, the opposite also happened a lot of times. I didn't know that I had to go in another classroom for the next period, and ended up lying on the desk sleeping without knowing anything. As a result, the people in the classroom have all gone without leaving a trace.
......Though it happened many times, I still couldn't adapt to that reality.
I, alone, walked in the empty corridor.
I could only hear the sound of my feet.
And inconveniently, the special classrooms weren't on the same floor as my classroom, 2-5, so I need to get across the whole corridor so I can return.
The distance between the language classroom of the third floor and classroom 2-5, wasn't considered as a short distance.
Passing through the language classroom, the computer room, and the clothes storage room, as well as what it seemed like the reference room, then finally arrived to the stairs leading to the second floor.
After going through many places which looked like reference rooms, as I just ended up aside the door to the science room, at that time.
Something similar to the sound of an explosion came from the science room.
I got scared to death, and put my attention on the science room.
Is it some class that is doing some experiment?
But if it was an experience that would cause an explosion, wouldn't the students make a fuss?
However, inside the classroom wasn't noisy at all......rather, it was completely silent.
It means that, it wasn't some experience done because there was a course.
I was very bothered by it, so cautiously opened the door silently and peeked inside.
The classroom was empty.
I completely opened the door, and walked in.
At that time, a strange kind of bad-smelling odour suddenly attacked my nose.
I quickly stopped my breath, covered my nose with my hand and looked throughout the classroom.
Then, on the largest table in the room——which should be the stand where the teacher gives her lesson, there was a girl lying there.
On the table were a tube and a beaker, and inside there was a strange-coloured liquid.
Smoke was still coming out of the beaker.
That should be the cause of this bad odour.
......but let's first take that girl out!
I continued holding my breath, and plunged towards the girl lying on the ground, and quickly took her out of the science room.
At the same time I was holding her, I examined a bit her appearance.
Her black hair was attached behind her head, and aside her uniform, she had a big lab coat over it. She was also wearing glasses.
That beautiful face of hers, was softly whirring serenely.
......could it be......that she's simply asleep?
But I can't think it like this, if that smoke from the beaker was poisonous, it'd be bad.
I should take her first to the infirmary.
Like this, I held the girl, and ran towards the infirmary.
The nurse kept the girl in the lab coat with her (asked me a lot of thing, seems that this nurse was thinking that I might have done something to her), and I returned back in the classroom, while my classmates were doing homework during self-study.
It has already been half an hour since the class started.
I heavily let myself on my seat, as my classmates were glancing weirdly at me.
And when I met Yozora's glance, she naturally adverted her eyes.
...... There will probably be another rumour, I thought depressingly while taking my seat, then started to write my English homework.
After the third and fourth periods were finished, it was the lunch break.
“Aniki, I’ve bought lunch.”
Yukimura, as usual, entered my classroom and handed me the rice cakes, the juice and a pari-den manga.
Everyone in the class was already used to it, so there was nearly no one who noticed.
“No, no, since working for aniki is my honour.”
Yukimura’s beautiful girly face let out a warm smile, and then got out of the classroom.
I opened the rice cakes bag, and started flipping through the pari-den.
《Legend of the strongest delinquent》, volume 13.
......Though the theme and the story look very stupid, the contents are quite interesting, and before I realized it, reading this has become a hobby of mine.
I was eating the rice cakes while reading it.
This time, Onigawara Godaigo, (the protagonist, who has the hot blood and the soul of a real man already forgotten by today’s Japanese high-school students) with his two fists of steel, crushed the despicable trap of his enemies.
At that time, the classroom suddenly started to wrangle.
Just like the first time Yukimura came to my classroom, I felt the confused atmosphere throughout the classroom.
......I somehow felt a kind of bad presage, lifted my head, and saw a girl standing in the entrance.
A young girl with a ponytail was there, with a lab coat over her school uniform.
Her face clueless, she seemed looking for something.
At the same time I noticed her, she also saw me.
The girl slightly narrowed her eyes, and walked straight to me as if she didn’t feel the glances from the other students.
As she arrived in front of me, she threw at me a cold investigating glance.
"...Dry gold hair, mean looking eyes, medium sized stature, second year student. Just as sensei described alright..."
The girl said in a low voice.
"Senpai was the one who brought Rika to the infirmary?"
I asked back.
"Rika is Rika's name, Shiguma Rika. "Shi" as in ambition, "guma" for bear, "Rika" as in "Science". First year student."
"Ahh I see, it was indeed I who sent you to the infirmary."
Hearing my reply, this young girl whose looks befitted her name suddenly bowed down her head.
"Thank you so much for your help."
I was slightly taken aback by her display of gratitude.
"One should always repay acts of kindness from others..."
This is the first time something like this has happened to me after transferring here!
Tilting her head slightly, she looked at me through her glasses.
Even though her lab coat looked out of place, and she had no make up on, upon closer inspection, she was actually quite cute.
"I-it's fine, don't worry about it."
But Rika still shook her head.
"That's not it. Acts of kindness must be equally repaid, thus says the laws of equivalent exchange. Equilibrium should also apply to everyday scenarios..."
... She started mumbling something I had no idea about.
From the start, she gave me a sort of vibe... Kinda like the same vibe I got off Yozora, Sena, Yukimura and Kobato. I guess calling it a "strange person vibe" would be the most fitting.
"Senpai is Rika's savior, Rika must repay Senpai with something equivalent to my life."
"No, it's not that serious..."
Before I could finish my sentence, I suddenly thought, maybe being a savior wasn't so bad after all.
"So the liquid in the beaker was really dangerous after all?"
Rika looked at me with an astonished look.
"No, it was just fast-acting sleeping gas. It contains no threatening side effects either, I suppose you could call it a very safe medication. It's one of Rika's proudest assets."
"...Then I wouldn't exactly be a savior now would I?"
Rika thought about it for a moment.
"Even though Rika's life wasn't in danger, but if Senpai hadn't sent Rika to the infirmary, Rika would have continued laying there sleeping."
"And then Rika would be discovered by boys passing by, and unable to contain their beastial urges, they would do something terrible to Rika while Rika was still asleep, and then Rika's life would really be in danger."
I involuntarily yelled, and I felt my classmates gaze fall upon me.
"Did he say violation...?" "I can't believe it..." "How was that girl violated?"
I turned and looked at the people whispering, and they quickly turned away.
"...More weird rumors are going to spread again huh..."
"That's right, violation! That's how things always happen in the books Rika always reads. Boys controlled by their physical urges would violently rip off Rika's clothes, and then they would take turns fiercely inserting something into Rika's delicate body..."
"W-wait, let's talk about this somewhere else!"
Seeing Rika about to go into detail, I hurriedly stopped her.
Under the gaze of my classmates, Rika and I left the classroom.
It was then that I confirmed it, here was another strange person alright.
We ended up at an empty landing.
"...Here should be fine I guess."
"Hmm true, that wasn't something we should be discussing in public."
Rika said plainly.
"Well then, continuing from where we left off, the boys would..."
"That topic ends here!"
I yelled. Rika looked at me in surprise.
"Then lets talk about how Rika should repay Senpai."
"Like I said, you don't need to repay me."
"But Rika would feel guilty that way... After all Senpai saved Rika's virginity..."
Rika's face suddenly flared up red.
"Senpai, how about this... Rika knows about it in theory, and also from research on bagworm moths and slugs before, but Rika doesn't have any practical experiences..."
"Wait wait wait!! What conversation is this!?"
"As repayment for saving Rika's virginity, Rika wonder if offering senpai Rika's virginity is enough."
"As if I would want that!"
"...As a maiden, that was really huge blow."
Rika bit her bottom lip.
"Furthermore, wicked boys who would do such things to a sleeping girl do not exist in this school."
"Really? Rika's research indicate that most male high school students are dominated by their lower half and constantly have dirty thoughts."
"How did you conduct such research?"
I suddenly realized something.
"...Speaking of which, why were you in the science room alone during class hours?"
I asked her the question which had been troubling me ever since I returned from third period class.
"Because Rika takes lessons in the science room."
"...That's the first time I've heard of such things."
"You have infirmary students, no? Rika would be a science-room student then."
Infirmary students - Students who took lessons in the infirmary instead of the classroom, being separated from their classmates. It was a highly debated topic in school, but I still think it's a good policy.
Being part of a class and having the same lessons together, most people would accept that fact voluntarily. But there were also others who didn't think too highly of it.
Calling them "weak" or "naive" would be simple, but they might have done the right thing - to them it might have been a form of salvation; to me it was something always out of my reach.
"How do I put it... You have lots of fantasies don't you."
"Please don't look at Rika with such gentle eyes Senpai, it's embarassing."
Rika's face blushed red again.
"Speaking of which, what were you doing along in the corridors during class hours Senpai?"
"... It's a bit difficult to explain..."
I explained to Rika about me not having friends and thus not knowing about the class switch. I even explained to her that due to my hair and eyes I was constantly misunderstood as a delinquent.
A infirmary... Nay, a science room student should be able to understand my feelings alright.
"Err... About your hair, how about this Senpai?"
"Rika will help Senpai dye his hair back black. It's simple to mix a chemical that will bleach off hair dye without damaging your hair or scalp."
"No, this isn't dyed."
Rika look at me in disbelief.
"It's true, my hair color's natural, even though it appears to be a failed hair dye experiment."
Rika stared at me, as if inspecting my hair.
"Your father's Japanese?"
"My mum's British, dad's Japanese."
"Ahh, so you're of mixed heritage. Rika always thought mixed bloods were all bishounen..."
"Don't mention it!"
I said in disappointment.
Rika stretched out her hand, as if trying to pull out my hair.
"It really is natural... Oh the great mysteries of life..."
"That's the first time someone's said that about my hair."
I smiled bitterly.
Seeing Rika all full of curiosity, I couldn't help but smile.
Rika suddenly pulled out three strands of my hair.
"Ahh sorry, before Rika knew it Rika was already collecting samples."
"Samples to help solve even the mysteries of life?"
I said as I wrinkled my eyebrows.
"So now Rika has to repay Senpai for his hair. Rika has to give Senpai something equivalent for helping Rika solve the mysteries of life. How about something concerning the origins of life that starts with an 's' and ends with an 'x'?"
"I just said I don't want such repayment."
"The answer is SOX."
"You mean socks."
"No, not socks, SOx as in sulfur oxides."
"Why would you repay me with noxious gases? And what does that have to do with the origins of life anyway!?"
"They say life and death are actually different sides of the same coin..."
"It's obvious you just made that up."
"So Senpai realized huh. Actually Rika meant SEX, Rika was about to offer her important thing to Senpai~"
My faced burned up.
"Yes, Rika's precious baby... A video collection of invertebrate mating. Around 58 hours of total footage, that's worth even more than the mysteries of life."
I never thought merely conversing would be so tiring.
Just then, the bell signaling the end of the lunch period rang.
"Crap, I gotta go..."
I hurriedly said as the science-room student Rika looked at me disappointingly.
"Is that so, then let's discuss the matter of repayment some other time."
"I just told you its fine. Well goodbye now."
Rika suddenly called out to me, just as I had turned to leave.
"Rika still hasn't gotten your name yet."
Introducing one to another, it was a sign of "getting close" to someone wasn't it? I thought as I told her my name.
"Hasegawa Kodaka-senpai, right?"
I really needed to go back to class soon.
Rika said as she played with her hair.
"This is the first time Rika's been interested in a mammal."
...... That expression was really captivating.
"...... Long story short, she was a weird one alright."
After school, I was in the club room.
I told Yozora, Sena and Yukimura about what happened today with the first-year student Shiguma Rika.
... Of course, I skipped the part about Rika offering me her virginity.
"Hmm... So she really is as weird as they say."
Sena said after listening to my story.
"You know her?"
"I guess. In order to get her to enroll here, papa had to go to her house repeatedly."
Sena looked at me coolly and said.
"Even though she's never been on television or on magazine, she seems to be really famous in her field. 'Genius inventor girl' Shiguma Rika. Even while she was in elementary school, she made all sorts of electronics, medicine and computer software, you could say she directly aided the growth of the industry. She seems perfectly set to become a famous person in life, should such a genius graduate from our school, our reputation would surely go up. That's why papa even offered to let her enroll without needing to take any classes at all."
When she told me about being a science-room student back then, I sort of sympathized with her. Seems like she doesn't need my sympathy after all.
How is that similar to infirmary students I wonder.
"Speaking of which, the lab which you rescued her from was specially built for her."
"Think about it, don't we already have chemistry, biology and physics labs? The science room was newly built this year after modifying an existing information room."
"Now that you mention it, the science room did seem a bit smaller than usual classrooms..."
"That means that it's not a Science room, it's a room specifically built for Shiguma Rika, a Rika room."
She was literally a super VIP!
"Is it really wise giving a student such special treatment?"
"Huh? Geniuses getting special treatment is only natural isn't it? They should get me my own private room too."
Sena said a matter-of-factly.
"We are a private academy, so its easier making exceptions like these compared to public schools. Since it might incur complains from students, the school never publicized it either."
"Well, remember not to anger Shiguma Rika. If she says something like 'I'm not coming to school anymore because a little delinquent pissed me off~~~~', you'll be in trouble."
Sena mentioned a horrifying possibility.
"... I should forget about this while I still can..."
I said as cold sweat trickled down my brow.
The club room door opened and a girl walked in.
"Ah, Kodaka-senpai's really here."
... It was none other than Shiguma Rika, who we were busy discussing.
"... How can I help you?"
"Rika heard that Senpai joined a club called the 'Neighbor's Club', Rika would like to join too."
Yozora, Sena and I shouted simultaneously.
"I even filled in the application form."
Rika took out a form from her lab coat pocket.
"... You're Shiguma Rika aren't you."
Yozora said with a displeased look on her face.
"Yes, that would be Rika."
"This club was formed for a higher motive, in order to join you need to fulfill these requirements."
... No I don't think we're that honorable a club.
"By higher motive you mean 'making friends', isn't it?"
Yozora gasped when she heard Rika's reply.
I was equally shocked.
"How did you know...?"
"Rika saw the recruitment poster when Rika passed by. If you read it diagonally from above, you get the phrase 'We are looking for friends', so Rika deduced that that was the club's motive."
"... Just like Sena, even you managed to discover the meaning hidden in that poster...?"
I said as cold sweat trickled down my head again.
The recruitment poster was designed by Yozora herself, to a normal onlooker it resembled nothing but garbled text. Only someone who didn't have any friends could understand its true meaning... Or something like that.
Even though I didn't manage to decipher the hidden meaning myself, Sena surprised me by being able to see through it. Today someone else managed to do the same.
"So Rika was right? Not to show off or anything, but Rika is proud of having no friends."
"That's boasting all right."
Because she's always been in the Rika room, she never got a chance to make friends, I guess.
"...Hmm... I guess that fulfills the requirements for joining..."
Even though she didn't look happy about it, Yozora still accepted the application form.
"... I understand, from this day on you're a member of the neighbor's club."
Rika's eyes closed slightly as she smiled.
"Yeah, this way Rika will get to meet Kodaka-senpai every day after school. Let's do all kinds of stuff together okay, Senpai?"
Rika said as she suddenly clung to my arm.
"All kinds of stuff... What are you planning?"
I almost flung her off my arm instinctively, but Sena's warning to "not anger Shiguma Rika" rang out clear in my mind. I had no choice but to accept it.
"While Rika's at it, please take care of Rika everyone. Don't get in the way of Rika and Kodaka-senpai~"
Rika called to Yozora and the others while still clinging onto my arm.
Faced with Rika whose faced seemed full of bliss, Yozora, Sena and even Yukimura looked postiviely indignant.
"...... What is this prickly feeling in my chest."
Seeing Yukimura's distressed face, I had no choice but to look away.
"...... You too Meat, how would you be able to understand that kind of rubbish poster anyway?"
"What's this kid doing! Why is she sticking to Kodaka?"
Yozora and Sena mumbled softly under their breath, but I could hear everything clearly,
No matter what.
The Neighbor's Club had a new member, Shiguma Rika had officially joined.
Translator's Notes and References
- 'Science' room can also be read as 'Rika' room
The day after Rika joined our club.
"By the way you guys, What exactly does this club do again?"
Asked Rika after looking around and then tilting her head.
Yozora and I were on the sofa reading.
Sena was busy playing some new galge made by NiNTeNdO, and once in a while she'd start talking to the screen saying stuff like "Let's be together forever" and "I love you!" Honestly it's kinda scary.
Yukimura was in his usual spot spacing out next to the coffee pot.
Whenever there's nothing special to do, the members of the Neighbor's Club usually spend their time like this doing whatever they feel like.
"Well, we don't really have any specific stuff we do right now. Whenever someone comes up with a good idea for making friends we usually just go with that and see what happens."
As I answered her, Rika replied with a "Hmm" while looking like she was giving it some thought, and then
"Well then Senpai, why don't you try having intercourse with Rika?"
I spit a little after hearing her say that so casually all of a sudden.
"W-w-w-w-w-what the hell are you talking about!? Have you no shame!?"
Yelled Yozora with a beet red face. To which Rika replied with a puzzled look on her face
"No, I just thought it'd be a good idea for making friends."
Sena, who's face was also beet red, yelled at Rika
"That's called making babies not making friends!"
"Was that supposed to be clever or something!?"
Said Yozora as she smacked Sena on the head.
"Well, of course half of that was just a joke."
...Only half of it?
"But depending where you go, lots of places in the world have people that are just sex friends you know."
Said Rika with an indifferent tone.
"No! There's no such thing!"
"You're surprisingly pure-minded aren't you? Yozora-senpai."
Yozora let out a small groan at Rika's teasing.
Ohh, I hardly ever see Yozora be the one getting teased.
"A-anyway I won't allow it! We don't need any friends who only want se-... and stuff."
"But Senpai, normally males and females are unable to maintain a "just friends" status."
"That's not true!"
Yelled Yozora, her voice even louder than before.
Rika also looked a bit surprised at that one.
"W-what's the matter Yozora...?"
Asked Sena with a bewildered look on her face.
Yozora returned to reading her book, albeit with an uncomfortable look on her face.
Wonder what's up with her...
"...It would appear that I have stepped on a landmine wouldn't it."
Rika whispered to me.
"By the way, making babies aside I am really interested in your genes Senpai. I want to study them."
"Like I'd let you!"
"Hehe, you're one step too late. I've got a piece of your hair already."
Rika laughed mischievously.
"...Now then, Rika supposes she'll join you in reading a book."
Rika sat down next to me and opened up her bag.
...What kind of books does a genius girl like her read anyway?
Yozora and Sena are watching Rika, I guess they must be interested too.
The book Rika took out was surprisingly small.
"Oh stop it you guys. Please don't stare at me so much. Reading porn in front of people is embarrassing even for Rika."
Said Rika without the slightest hint of embarrassment.
Yozora and Sena's faces both turned bright red, and then soon after a confused look found its way to their faces.
Two robots were drawn on the cover of the book Rika took out.
One of them was from that series "Super Black Magician Gamudan" that was made 10 years ago and has new material coming out to this day. However there are a lot of different Gamudan robots, so for someone like me who doesn't know much about it I can't really tell which one it is specifically.
The other one was from the smash hit robot anime "Lost Century Ovangelion". I don't know much about anime, but even I know about Gamudan and Ovangelion.
"Are those manga?"
Asked Sena, still looking confused.
"Yes. This is what you'd call BL doujinshi."
If I remember right BL means Boys Love... basically it's a guy on guy manga.
And doujinshi is basically a magazine that's published by yourself instead of through an official publishing company, I think.
"Ohh... so that's a doujinshi... this is the first time I've seen the real thing."
Sena seems to be pretty interested in it for some reason.
"Are you interested in doujinshi Sena-senpai?"
"I-It's not like I'm all that interested! It's just, I heard that "Tokimemo" and "Love Minus" have their
own doujinshi, so I was just wondering what doujinshi are like is all."
Said Sena with a beet red face.
"Would you like to read it?"
"W-well I guess a little bit can't hurt."
Said Sena has Rika handed her the doujinshi.
I'm interested too, so I decided to give it a read.
"...Wow, this is pretty good."
I'm actually kinda impressed.
The whole thing was a long scene of the two robots battling it out.
The drawings were very detailed, and the story wasn't half bad either.
"The drawings really are good. I thought it'd be a lot more shabby looking since it's self-published."
Said Sena, approving of the doujinshi, to which Rika replied with a slight tint of happiness in her voice.
"Of course there are lots of crappy ones out there, but there are lots of pros that make doujinshi too.
Rika was really happy when she found this artist in particular, because it's so rare to find such a good artist making doujinshi for such a niche genre like this."
"...Niche?" I tilt my head.
"Gamudan and Ovagenlion are crazy popular aren't they? The fan-made material for them has to be just as popular doesn't it?"
"To be specific, this doujin is about the game "The Second Great Ultra Mecha Battle: Alpha". It's the only game in which the first generation movie versions of ZZ Gamudan and Ova's 02 Unit fight each other."
I have no idea what she's going on about.
I have heard of that Ultra Mecha Battle game before though.
"To be honest you're exactly right, there are tons of Gamudan and Ova doujin out there, but the coupling
that Rika wants is pretty hard to find..."
"Ah, I know what a coupling is! It's like those "Person A x Person B" type deals right?"
Said Sena jumping into the conversation.
"You multiply them?"
Looks like Yozora doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.
"It refers to the main pair in a doujinshi. It's like, if it were Akari Fujibayashi x Yukiko Nagata, then the book would be about a pairing between Akari and Yukiko."
"...? The protagonist in "Tokimemo" is Semoponume isn't it? Why would Akari and Yukiko be paired with each other?"
Said Yozora getting more confused by the minute.
"There's doujinshi where the protagonist and a heroine are paired up too, but there are also doujinshi with pairings not present in the original work as well. It's sort of like a 'what if' situation."
"That's about right Sena-senpai. Fan-made works are largely for expressing those "what if" situations that people think up but weren't a part of the original work. Another important part of it is determining who the Seme and Uke are. If you go by what Sena-senpai said before and pair Akari x Yukiko, then Akari is the Seme and Yukiko is the Uke. On the other hand if you set it up Yukiko x Akari then Yukiko is the Seme and Akari is the Uke."
"Seme... Uke...? ...I have absolutely no clue what you two are going on about."
Said Yozora with an annoyed look on her face.
"The one who puts it in when they fuck is the Seme, and the one who gets it put into them is the Uke."
Yozora's face turned bright red in contrast to Rika's indifferent explanation.
"S... so that's what you meant by 'pairing'!? J-just what kind of obscene books are you two talking about...!?"
"I-I don't know that much about them either you know!? I've only heard bits and pieces about them!"
"Silence you pervert! Whore! Slut! Rotten Bitch!"
Yelled a flustered Yozora flinging insults at Sena.
"Yes, Rika is a pervert. Rika is thinking perverted things 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Rika's brain is now completely rotten due to the number of perverted thoughts she has. What about it?"
"Don't start trying to provoke her even more than you have!"
I yelled at the calm as ever Rika.
"Kodaka-senpai do you hate lewd women?"
"I hate them."
"Ohh, so you say but your body is being honest you know."
"What are you? A fujoshi? Or are you actually some nasty old geezer?"
"Do you think anyone will ever make Rika x Kodaka-senpai doujins?"
"I-I'm the one getting something put into him!? Where and what!?
"Hmm, let's see, I suppose I'd take a volumetric flask and shove it..."
"Forget I asked!"
I yelled with all my strength. And then
Yukimura's cheerful sounding voice surprised me after having him stand there without saying a word this whole time.
"Oh, hey. What's up Yukimura?"
"I believe that you would make a fine Uke Aniki."
"Well don't because it's not happening!"
Every single one of these people is insane I swear.
"Well, let's leave aside the issue of the Rika x Kodaka-senpai doujinshi for now."
"Don't leave it aside. Get rid of it completely."
Ignoring my words completely, Rika continued talking.
"Rika's favorite genre is very rare so I always have trouble finding them. Even though Rika is very tolerant for a fujoshi and doesn't really care who ends up being the Seme or Uke, it's still quite hard to find..."
"Are the books you want really that rare?"
Sena asked while tilting her head and flipping through the pages of the doujinshi again.
Each page is pretty high quality, and each scene is just Gamudan and Ova's robots fighting.
There's not a single scene in there besides them fighting.
With a doubtful look on her face, Sena started reading the book again, but this time much more carefully.
As I thought, it's just a robot fight the whole time.
"Haa... Having Rika's Senpai re-read her porn over and over... Having Rika's strange tastes put on display for all to see...
Ah, Rika is starting to feel strange..."
I don't get her at all.
"...Hey, what part of this is supposed to be dirty? There aren't even people in it."
...That's right, far from having any adult scenes in it, I didn't even see a single human in the whole thing. The only drawings are of the two robots, there isn't even a single drawing of either of the two robot's pilots.
"Huh? Of course there's no people in it. This is a ZZ Gamudan x Ova 02 Unit doujin."
Said Rika as though what she's saying is completely obvious.
"There aren't a whole lot of Mecha x Mecha circles out there~ Everyone only wants to draw the pilots. I was excited because the 'Gamudan 00' protagonist was crazy about his Gamudan... but it was no good. Everybody just made Sogeki x Shun doujins. I wish more people would've focused on Cherudim Gamudan x 00 Gamudan."
What the hell are you talking about?
"M-Mecha x Mecha...?"
Sena flipped open a page with a look of total confusion on her face.
It's the scene where Gamudan is firing it's bazooka at the back of the Ova from point blank range.
I'll try reading it again.
"Gehehe, how do you like my High Mega Bazooka, 02 Unit?"
"Uuu... ZZ you're so big and hard, y-you're so far inside me! I-it feels so good! Having your huge bazooka ram me feels so good!"
"Haa Haa... How was that... I know that's your weak spot! I'm not done yet either, I'm gonna smash through your DT field!"
"Ahh, stop itt! Be gentle, it's my first timeee! N-No! That's not an entry duct! There's no way your double barrel mega beam canon will fit! Ahh, you tore it! You tore my DT field wide opennn!"
"Kh, I-It's tight... That's some power you've got back here! Kh, I-I can't hold it in... E-energy levels fully charged at 170%... T-this is it, I-I'm firing!!"
"Ahh, stop, y-you'll break mee! Ah! Ahh! Ah! Y-your warm discharge is in side me... Ah! Ahh! Ahhh! UNIVERSSSSSSSSSSSSE!!"
The Ova exploded.
But on the next page it's back to normal.
I guess the explosion was just for show.
"...? ? ? ? ?"
Sena's face looks utterly shocked, she's just sitting there.
Then Rika said with a face that says she's in her own little world
"...Haa... I still love it no matter how many times I read it. The look on the ZZ's and Ova's faces when they climax together is especially good. You don't find guys who can draw an ahegao like this everyday you know."
T-they have faces...?
"...You're definitely insane."
Declared Yozora with a cold sweat running down her face.
As she did, Rika said with a distant look in her eyes
"Fufu... I've known that all along... I know nobody will ever understand me... but Rika won't lose. Rika will become even stronger all while shouldering this cruel fate she was born with."
"Yeah whatever, do what you want. Preferably as far away as possible."
I said with a look of disgust to the lone wolf wannabe Rika.
Kodaka's Romance of the Three Kingdoms Talk (& Kobato Joining Flag ②)
I went to the library to study instead of going to the clubroom.
Part of it was me wanting to get rid of the bad image I have around school, but part of it was also me just wanting to get some of my classwork done.
Not that I'm bad at studying, in fact I generally end up a bit above average on tests, but since I did transfer in and all, there's a little gap between me and the rest of the students.
At my previous school we got farther than my current classes are in math, so that's easy.
The Japanese and English textbooks here are completely different from the ones I used to use though, so that took a little getting used to.
Biology is basically the same as it was at my other school so I'm fine there too.
The real problem is world history. Since this is a missionary school they've been learning about a ton of major stuff in the European Middle Ages, but the level here is absolutely insane. They expect me to know ridiculously specific details about this stuff that was never so much as mentioned at any of my other schools.
And it's not just history. The same kind of thing happens once in a while in theology and religious studies too, and when it does I can't follow what's going on in class at all.
It's crazy they expect us to memorize the names of every single Pope there's ever been.
It's not just this school either really, no two history teachers are alike. Some spend more than three months on the Jomon period, some do nothing but talk about the Heian period even though it's supposed to be a world history class, some randomly go off on a stupidly detailed rant about 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' (this kind of teacher is most common), and some do nothing but talk about Nazi Germany. Well, I can't say it's all boring, but being forced to go along with whatever a particular teacher likes is a pain.
Anyway, no matter how much I complain it won't change anything, hence why I come to the library once in a while to study some history.
I grab a thick book whose contents would never in a million years show up on one of our tests and start flipping through it.
This academy works on a semester system, so the first of our scheduled tests is in September.
Right now it's the beginning of July.
If I do a little studying once in a while from now until the end of summer vacation I should be able to at least pull off a decent score on the tests.
As I was thinking that, I heard a "geh" from behind in a disgusted sounding voice.
I turned around and was met with a silver haired and blue eyed young girl in a nun outfit. It was Maria Takayama.
I was a little lost on how I should talk to her since she is a teacher and all, but being formal with a 10 year old girl would feel weird so I went with a casual greeting.
Yozora talks to her normally so it should be fine if I do too.
"Why is one of Yozora's henchmen in the library..."
Said Maria with a tone full of resentment.
"Studying? Don't you think that's a little much for a rotten orange like you? Hahaha, no matter how much a piece of garbage studies it'll still always be garbage. Hurry up and get expelled already you worthless piece of trash!"
Still the same old little nun with a bad mouth on her I see.
"By the way, how come you're here Maria?"
"Isn't it obvious? I'm killing time while Yozora uses my room for her club."
Replied Maria, seemingly pouting about it.
"Why can't you just stay in the room with her..."
"Because she'll tease me."
She sure doesn't like you Yozora... not that it's anything unexpected.
"Do you always come here after school?"
"I don't think I've ever seen you in here before though..."
"That's because I'm always hiding on a seat further inside so nobody notices that I'm in here."
"Why are you trying to hide? I really doubt Yozora would chase you all the way into the library."
To which Maria arrogantly replied
"You can't even figure that out you idiot? It's because if any of the other sisters find me they'll tell me 'Stop slacking off and to get back to work.'"
"Stop slacking off and get back to work."
Said Maria as she sat down in the seat across from me, and then started reading the book she brought with her while swinging her legs.
The book she was reading was the 47th volume of Yaminibu Tatekawa's manga version of "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (60 Volumes total).
"Tatekawa's 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' huh? That brings back some good memories."
I said, to which Maria replied
"Have you read it too Kodaka?"
"More times than I can count. No matter what school you go to they all have Tatekawa's 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms'."
The amount of manga and light novels and that kind of stuff really varies between each school, but the one thing you can always count of them having is Tatekawa's "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".
I'm not really a fan of difficult to read books, so whenever I was in a school that didn't have much manga I spent a lot of my time reading and re-reading "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".
"I see. Not bad for you to have read 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' despite being a piece of shit."
Said Maria happily.
"I've read this a lot too, about 30 times now."
"You've read it that much?"
"Yeah. 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' is the only manga I can read without the old hag getting mad at me."
"Mother Kate. She's like my... boss I guess. She's a super scary old hag."
Said Maria in somewhat a distant tone.
I don't really get it, but I guess Sisters have a lot of different rules they have to follow compared to a normal teacher or businessman.
"So, I guess that means you like it?"
"Yeah, I love it."
Said Maria happily with a little nod.
"Oh really... by the way who's your favorite commander?"
Answered Maria, full of energy.
"Ohh... Zhuge Liang, huh."
"I like Zhuge Liang because he's smart. He slaughters all his stupid enemies with his brilliant plans. He's smart just like I am."
If I had to say I'd say Maria's also one of those "stupid enemies" who'd fall for Zhuge Liang's traps, but I'll just keep that to myself.
"Who do you like Kodaka?"
"Hmm... I like a lot of them, but my favorite is probably Zhang Liao."
Maria laughed at my answer while making a face that looked like it was asking "Is this guy an idiot?"
"You've got no taste, how can you like such a boring guy!? Zhang Liao doesn't even do anything besides that one scene where he talks to Guan Yu!"
Mu... that one kinda irked me.
"Yeah, since Tatekawa's 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' is focused on the Wei side a lot of Cao Cao scenes were cut so Zhang Liao doesn't show up much, but he was really amazing. In other adaptations of 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' he plays a much bigger role and is one of the wisest and best commanders there is."
"Mu... I haven't read any other versions... W-Well who's stronger? Zhang Liao or Zhuge Liang?"
"Zhang Liao mainly shows up in battles with the Wu, so he's never fought with Zhuge Liang head on... but Zhang Liao really is amazing. Back when Zhang Liao was still young he was one of Lü Bu's subordinates, and..."
I began telling Maria all about the amazing feats of Zhang and his men.
15 minutes later.
"A...Awesome! Zhang Liao is awesome!"
Said Maria as I finished talking, whose eyes were practically shining.
"Zhang Liao is so strong and so cool! Compared to Zhang Liao, Zhuge Liang is just a loser piece of poop!"
"You think so?"
Well, Zhuge Liang has his own merits, but I can't say I like him very much.
I'm just glad that Maria likes Zhang Liao now.
"Kodaka you know all kinds of stuff huh. Who else do you like besides Zhang Liao!?"
Asked Maria, eyes still shining.
"My second favorite is probably Wei Yan."
"Ehhh~ Wei Yan~!?"
Maria made a face that looked like she just saw something disgusting at my answer.
"Wei Yan was just a pathetic traitor who got himself killed. Zhuge Liang is way better than Wei Yan because he even predicted Wei Yan's betrayal!"
Hmmm... if you've only read Tatekawa's version then I guess that is how you'd see him.
"It's true that Wei Yan was really hated in China, but that was only a bad image they gave him to make Zhuge Liang look good. It was because of his bad relations with Zhuge Liang that he was hated so much. He was actually just a really unfortunate commander.
In reality, Liu Bei put a lot of faith in Wei Yan and Wei Yan always proved he was worth that trust. There's been a lot of works recently that focus on the tragedy of Wei Yan and his downfall."
I began telling Maria about how Wei Yan was furiously devoted to Liu Bei, and how because of his lack of people skills he eventually met his tragic end.
Not trusting the guy just because "he looks like he might betray you" is just too unfair.
You and I are one and the same, Wei Yan...
...... 15 minutes later.
I finished my story, and Maria was overflowing with tears of compassion for Wei Yan.
"Uuu, p-poor Wei Yan! Wei Yan did his best! He gave it all he had! Zhuge Liang is the worst! That piece of shit can just fall into hell and never come back!"
Well, Zhuge Liang put a lot of work into his plans too, but I just can't like him because of what he did to Wei Yan.
"Okay Kodaka! Tell me what manga Zhang Liao and Wei Yan show up in a lot!"
"Hmm, let's see..."
I listed off a few other 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' manga adaptations.
Maria nodded and wrote down each title I listed off on her arm with magic marker, and then
"Okay, now I just need to pester the old hag to get these for me!"
Maria jumped out of her seat full of energy, and ran out of the library making a loud clip clopping sound as she did.
...Later, after I had finished studying and was on my way to the clubroom, I passed by the confessionals inside the chapel, and saw Maria sitting in front of them with a sign around her neck that read "I didn't do my work like I should have. I'm sorry."
It would seem that her pestering was a failure.
"And that's how I made a new Zhang Liao and Wei Yan fan today."
I told Kobato about my talk with Maria later that night while we were eating dinner.
"......I do not find 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' to be enjoyable. The kanji are too hard to read."
Kobato said after listening to my story, with a pouting face for some reason.
"I think I'll bring Maria a bunch of my 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' manga tomorrow. I wonder which ones I should bring."
"......If you have the time to think of such things put some more thought into your offerings to me instead."
Said Kobato, obviously displeased.
Lately with my offerings... that is to say, with dinner, I haven't had much time so the quality's been dropping and there hasn't been much variety either.
I can't help it since I have club stuff to do now, but I doubt that matters to Kobato.
Maybe that's why she's been in a bad mood so often lately.
Humans are creatures that aren't happy if they don't have good food, so I can see where she's coming from.
"Well, I'll try to put as much effort as I can into it......"
I said, trying to avoid the issue for now.
I went to the clubroom as usual, where I found Yozora, Sena, Yukimura, Rika, and even Maria.
Yozora and Rika were reading and Yukimura was on standby in front of the teapot.
Sena was busy playing one of her galge on her PS.
I asked her about it before, and from what I understand in this game the main character gets sucked into the world of one of his games and tries to get back to his own world with the help of some of the girls he meets in that world.
Maria was lazing on the sofa enjoying her potato chips.
"Kodaka Kodaka! Yozora gave me some potato chips!" Maria reported happily to me.
"Ohh... Yozora did huh..."
I gave Yozora a suspicious look, to which Yozora nonchalantly replied
"It's my thanks for Maria always helping me out."
"Hah, so you've finally realized how amazing I am have you!?"
"Yeah, I owe you Maria. Just don't forget your end of the deal."
I knew there had to be a catch.
"Leave it to me! I'll make sure they give this club a good budget!"
"Good, I hope you do. If you fail I'll have to take your panties and sell them off to some blue sailor shop."
Yet another one of her crazy deals.
"...Can the school even give a club like ours that doesn't have any real activities any funding in the first place?"
I asked, to which Yozora quickly nodded back.
"I doubt it, but if it only cost me a cheap bag of potato chips to get some funding for our club I'm not complaining."
"So then what about you selling Maria's panties to a blue sailor shop?"
"I was mostly just joking about that, but it really all depends on my mood when she tells me if she did it or not."
It was then that I realized something.
"...You know, you say that doujinshi and eroge and stuff are all shameless, but you don't seem to have any trouble talking about rape or selling people's panties off to a blue sailor shop, do you."
"Rape is just rape and selling panties is just business, isn't it?"
While wondering about how she could think either of those is no big deal, I asked
"Then what's wrong with doujinshi and eroge?"
I'm not sure why, but Yozora started to blush and said
Yozora's voice was practically a whisper and so quiet that I couldn't hear what she said.
"? What'd you say?"
"N-nothing! Anyway those kinds of thing are all shameless!"
Said Yozora, getting flustered about my question for some reason. I really don't get her.
"How ridiculous... why do those kinds of games even exist in this world..."
Complained Yozora while looking over at Sena.
As for Sena, she was in a trance holding her controller in one hand and staring at the TV screen.
The game was playing a sweet song while the staff credits rolled by, and at the same time showing what I assume to be various scenes from the game one at a time.
I guess she finished the game. Finally the credits ended and showed "FIN" on the screen. After it did, Sena quietly whispered
"...Why wouldn't you just stay inside the game world..."
Said Yozora with a face that looked like she was looking at a pile of raw sewage.
I have to admit, even I had a bit of that feeling after hearing what she said.
If it was just a joke fine, but it was obvious that Sena accidentally blurted out what she was really thinking while she was completely absorbed in the game.
Sena finally came back to her senses and started blushing after seeing our faces.
"T-that's not it, okay!? I was just joking, it's like, I just wanted to try saying it, okay!? I'm not so bad that I can't keep reality and fiction separate!!"
And then, Rika asked
"Sena-senpai, do you like games?"
"W-well yeah I guess so."
Said Sena, seemingly trying to hide what she really thinks.
"...What the hell do you mean 'I guess so'?" said Yozora.
"It can't actually take you into a game world, but I have game that can do something pretty close to that."
Sena's eyes were sparkling at what Rika said.
"Yes. It's still in development, but I think you can play part of it."
"Why do you have a game like that?"
"Because it's a beta version that I helped develop. I had planned on doing some testing on it, but it's really more of a multiplayer game so I never got around to it. You guys wanna give it a shot?"
"Let's do it!"
Replied Sena immediately, and Yozora also approved with a "Why not, it'll help kill some time."
"Okay, wait here then while I go get it from the Rika room."
Rika brought a cardboard box full of weird goggle-type headsets.
"So we can see the game world through these things?
"Exactly, Kodaka-senpai. They're called head-mounted displays."
"You see a lot of this kinda thing in SF manga and games and stuff, but this is my first time seeing it for real."
"It's not like this is some super-advanced futuristic game you know. The technology to make something like this has been around way before we were even born, it's just that it's never really been put to use in games."
"Why not? Because of the cost?"
"Isn't it because of how stupid it looks?" said Sena.
"I don't know either, but my guess is that Sena's answer is probably correct." Rika quickly replied.
...They do have a point. Wearing this helmet/visor looking thing and playing a game that only you can see might look a little ridiculous to people watching you.
"Anyway, this is the latest model from "Large Hardware Inc." who keeps working on things like this in the hopes that one day they'll be able to make them look better and start getting adapted by game developers. It's called the 'VR Boy'."
Rika then pulled out a laptop from her bag, put it on the table, and then said
"And here on this laptop I have a fantasy RPG game called 'Romancing Saga' that was developed to be released alongside the 'VR Boy' system. This is the game I was talking about that we can all play together."
"...Why Saga?" I asked.
"Because the company who made it is from Saga. Heh heh heh, don't you think it sounds just like one of a certain little company's games?"
"...You know sometimes I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."
Anyway, we all put on a VR Boy headset and grabbed a game-pad style controller.
The VR Boy was big enough that it covered up most of my head, but it wasn't nearly as heavy as it looked so I bet someone could play with it for a long time without getting tired out.
"It's pitch black! I can't see anything!" said Maria.
"I'm gonna start up the program now so just wait a bit." said Rika.
Both the VR Boy and the game-pad are wireless, so I guess Rika's PC is what's taking the place of the console.
After waiting a little while, everything got much brighter and "Large Hardware" company logo was displayed by the goggles along with a beautiful mountain scenery.
This is way better than a movie screen, we all cheered at how it was almost as if we were really in the mountains.
Then, from the VR Boy's headphones I could hear the sound of a narrator along with some serious sounding music.
"Saga, the final frontier."
"Like hell it is!" I yelled, unable to stay quiet after hearing such a ridiculous statement...
"If you ask anyone in Tokyo 'Where is Saga located?" over 90% of them will be unable to answer or tell you something like 'Saga? Is there even a prefecture named Saga? Ah I get it, this is a trick question isn't it? You're actually talking about Shiga!'"
"Hey. Isn't this just some people from Saga complaining!?"
"Assholes... You're all a bunch of assholes! Your prefecture is only one letter off from ours! Who gives a shit if you have Lake Biwa, god damn Shiga!"
"Now the narrator is yelling at us!?" And it looks like he totally forgot about Tokyo...
"Once upon a time, a certain governor of Saga said 'There are 7 prefectures in Kyuushuu: Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ooita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and... wait, was there really a 7th? Ah, I know, Okinawa!' In order to end this sad state of affairs and make Saga prefecture more well known, the Demon King was summoned to our world."
I can't say anything...! It's so stupid I don't even know what to say...!
The game changed scenes and an eerie looking castle appeared. On the bottom part of the screen its name was displayed.
"Ahh, this opening is kinda long so let's just skip it!"
All of a sudden I heard Rika's voice from my headphones, followed by the game screen going black again.
"Eh!? Wait, I wanted to watch it! Saga's Valhalla Castle looked so cool!"
I heard Sena's voice through the headphones too.
Looks like whenever another player starts talking the VR Boy will transmit it to all the other players.
Ah but besides that, I was kinda interested in that Valhalla Castle too.
"To make a long story short, your goal as the players is to work together to defeat the Demon King of Valhalla Castle. The story continues on after that too and has you go out and conquer other prefectures, but we can't play that part without an internet connection."
Explained Rika, ignoring Valhalla Castle.
"Now then, next up is where you'd all design your characters, but that'd take a while to do so this time Rika will just have you all use some character designs I made to look like you ahead of time. All you have to do is choose your class. You can change your class during the game so just go with whatever looks good to you for now."
"Hmm..." said Yozora.
"Not a problem. I was going to make a character that looked just like me anyway." said Sena.
The character design menu popped up on the screen.
It was a dark room with a single mirror in front of me, and in the mirror a fantasy-esque villager-looking version of me was shown.
Aside from the clothes this character looks pretty much exactly like me. It's almost like I'm looking into a real mirror.
A menu popped up next to the window, and in it were a list of classes for me to choose from.
I guess I use the game-pad here to choose what I want to be.
There were over 100 classes or so for me to choose from so I was a little lost at first, but in the end I just went with "Wizard".
Can't go wrong with a what's basically one of the staples of any RPG fantasy game.
After choosing my class, the mirror filled the entire screen and after a while I was standing in the mountain scenery I saw just a few minutes ago.
This thing really has some crazy production values...
As I was busy admiring the scenery I heard a voice call out to me from behind.
I turned around (using the game-pad to move my character) and saw Rika standing there.
"...What's with those clothes?"
I said, dumbfounded.
Rika's clothes consisted of a pair of denim short shorts so short I could almost see her butt, and a tube top that barely covered about as much skin as a piece of underwear would. To put it simply, her outfit was incredibly skimpy.
She had a gun belt on her waist with a holster holding a gun on each side.
"I picked the Gunner class and this is what I turned out like."
"That's a pretty crazy outfit you've got there..."
"I could say the same about you, Senpai."
"You think so?"
No matter how much I fiddle with my character's view I can't see how I look.
"If you open up the start menu and go to 'Equipment' you can see what you look like."
I did exactly as Rika said, and another mirror came down in front of me just like when I chose my class.
"What the hell is this!?"
I was completely dumbfounded (and amazed at how well the game recreated my facial expression).
My character in the mirror was wearing a pair of acid wash jeans, a shirt with large picture of an anime girl on it, and a bandana tied up like a headband. How should I say this, I look just like that kind of stereotypical Akihabara otaku that doesn't actually exist, even in Akihabara itself.
"I-I chose Wizard as my class, what the heck!?"
I went and double-checked to be sure, and all of my armor did indeed say "Wizard Shirt", "Wizard Pants", and "Wizard Bandana". Why the hell does a Wizard look like this!?
"There's a little legend on the web about Wizards."
Rika said with an indifferent tone to her voice.
"It goes something like: 'A man who is able to protect his chastity for 30 years will become a Wizard." I'd say those clothes you're wearing right now are quite fitting for a 30 year old virgin Wizard."
"Who'd want to be a Wizard like this... Why couldn't it just be your typical Wizard with a robe and staff or something..."
"It's basically just a joke from the developers. I told them they should cut it out with all those internet memes, but those people are a pain to deal with."
"Uh-huh... well whatever, I can just change my equipment I guess..."
I sighed, and trying to stay positive I looked over what kinds of magic I can use.
...There wasn't a single spell.
"Hey, why can't I use magic!? I'm a Wizard aren't I!?"
"It's just a legend after all. 'Wizard' is just a fancy title that people call 30 year old virgins."
"Then this isn't even a real class, is it!?
"Just because this is a world in which magic exists doesn't mean that being a Wizard is actually possible. I think it's more important to think about what you want to do with your magic rather than being fixated on simply being able to use it."
"No matter how you try to spin it I'm still not a real Wizard damn it!!"
I yelled, and then three balls of light appeared in front of us with Sena, Yozora(?), and Yukimura(?) coming out of them.
"Pft, what are you wearing Kodaka?"
Sena laughed at my clothes without the slightest delay.
"...Just so you know, you're not exactly in a position to make fun of people's clothes."
Sena made a confused faced and then yelled in astonishment after seeing what she looked like the way I did.
"What is this!?"
Sena was wearing a "shirt" which was just a few strips of cloth wrapped around her chest, and a pair of shabby looking work pants. I'm not sure if you could say it was sexy or not, but it was definitely weird.
In addition to her clothes, she was holding a huge hammer in her right hand.
"Why am I wearing this!? I picked Blacksmith as my class!"
"Ahh, now that you mention it you do kinda look like a blacksmith..."
I said, to which Sena complained
"No I don't! Blacksmiths are supposed to wear more refined clothes and use magic to summon swords that they elegantly defeat their enemies with...!"
"On what planet to blacksmiths wear fancy clothes and 'elegantly' defeat their enemies?"
Rika said, astonished.
"Lucas, The protagonist in 'The Sacred Black Star' does!"
"Please don't confuse your games for reality."
This is a game too though isn't it...
"By the way, in RomaSaga the Blacksmith is just as you'd expect. They're a class focused on damage dealing that uses their hammers to crush their enemies. They can't use any magic at all, and their magic resistance is weak so they die pretty quickly if they get hit by any magic. Also, they're very susceptible to status-altering magic like Sleep and Confusion so watch out for them."
"...Did one of the developers have something against blacksmiths...?"
"Ahh, I messed up... This is totally the class that least suits me..."
Said Sena moping about her choice.
"...You're not that bad off." I said, and then pointed at Yozora.
Sena laughed after seeing Yozora's outfit.
Yozora, obviously annoyed about her clothes, was wearing a giant rose costume with her hands, legs, and face all sticking out from the stem.
"...W-what are you?"
"......A 'Rose Girl'."
She looks more like a Demon Rose than a Rose Girl to me.
"I've heard of an anime called 'Rose Girl' before, is this like that?" I asked.
A little while ago I saw Kobato watching it, it was basically an anime about young girls in goth-loli clothes fighting each other.
"...I'm the same. I'd heard the name before and that it was supposed to be pretty popular. There was apparently a politician who was seen reading the original 'Rose Girl' at an airport and started getting called 'The Rose King' and stuff like that so I figured the 'Rose Girl' class would be a perfect fit for me, the president of the Neighbors Club, but..."
Yozora said with a disappointed look on her face.
"Ah that class got added after Rika mentioned to the developers one day 'That Rose Girl anime is pretty popular these days isn't it?' They added it without knowing much about the anime so they based the class off of the name despite the fact that it doesn't really fit in with the game's setting at all. It's primarily a tank class that has very high attack and defense against both physical and magical attacks."
"...Hmph. I guess it's fine as long as it's strong."
Said Yozora, who then tried hopping in a few circles.
"...Do you actually like that costume?""...Not really."
Yozora's voice gave off a slight feeling that she was lying.
"Aniki. What do you think of my clothes?"
Yukimura walked over to me and did a little turn in place.
"...Uhh, well, you definitely look strong."
Yukimura's class was obviously Armored Warrior.
His armor was bright red and he was wearing a kabuto helmet that covered his entire face except for his eyes.
"So it looks like you picked 'Samurai' huh Yukimura. As you can see it's a class made for fighting on the frontlines."
"Hmm... wait, what?"
I just realized all of a sudden.
"Sena, Yozora, and Yukimura are all on the frontlines, Rika's a long-range fighter, and I'm-"
"...I'm useless, and we don't have a healer in our party."
I better hope I don't take any serious damage.
"Maria didn't make a Priest? She's a nun and all." said Yozora.
We all grouped up and waited for Maria, but she didn't show up.
"I'll go take a look."
Rika took off her VR Boy headset, and a few minutes later...
"Maria-sensei is asleep."
"...So she fell asleep after eating that bag of potato chips... What a useless girl."
"We'll just have to go with the 5 of us then."
Sena said, walking off ahead.
"Where are we going?"
"Over there, right?"
Sena pointed to the, kinda cheap, love hotel looking, western-style castle in the distance .
"That's right. That's the Demon King's Valhalla Castle." said Rika.
"We're going for the Demon King right off the bat!?"
"Everything's in offline mode until you beat him, so it's mostly like a tutorial. The real game is the online mode you unlock after beating him."
"It's pretty harsh that they make you go up against the Demon King in the tutorial."
"It's okay, this guy's just the Demon King of Saga after all."
"That's harsh too!"
The second I yelled that at Rika
A bunch of monsters started coming out of the ground along with an ear-piercing roar.
Yozora and Sena both screamed. It's pretty rare to see Yozora make that reaction to something.
"It would seem some evil spirits have appeared."
Said Yukimura, totally unfazed by what just happened.
"What the heck are these things... they're totally disgusting..."
Sena said, openly showing her disgust.
The monsters that showed up were just a little bit shorter than we are.
They looked like fish that grew arms and legs and were able to walk upright, essentially Mermen, and each of them was holding a spear in their hands.
At a glance they did look just like aliens with their round oval shaped heads. They had no eyes and their mouths were filled with fierce looking fangs.
Also, even though they're fish they didn't have any scales so they looked just like a weird grayish colored amphibian that gave off a disgusting looking faint blue glow.
I recognized that unique face of theirs.
"Warasubo... These look just like Warasubo...!"
"You know about them? You're quite knowledgeable Kodaka-senpai."
"What the heck is a Warasubo... a deep-sea fish?"
Asked Yozora, creeped out by the Warasubo.
"They're not a deep-sea fish. Warasubo are... members of the Gobiidae family that live in the Ariake Sea around Kyuushuu's coast. I used to eat them back when I lived in Kyuushuu."
"...You ate that? I'd expect no less from a real man like you, Aniki."
Yukimura also seemed a bit lost for words.
"These guys are called 'Warasubo Soldiers' and they're easiest enemy to beat. All the enemies in this game are centered around Warasubo, there's also enemies like the 'Warasubo Knight', 'Warasubo Mage', and so on. They look exactly like aliens out the outside so they were an easy choice to base all the enemies off of."
"They only look like aliens huh..."
I got a little depressed after hearing Rika say that.
"Hmph... Anyway let's get out there and obliterate them."
Sena tightened her grip on her hammer.
Rika pulled out her guns, Yukimura pulled out his sword, and Yozora grew thorns out of her arms.
I jumped out in front of everyone who was about the charge at the Warasubo.
"How can you treat them like monsters just because they look like one!? The Warasubo didn't choose to be born looking like that!"
Even I could tell that I was getting too emotional over this.
These guys are just made-up monsters in a game made for the players to defeat.
But ever since I moved to Kyuushuu (Fukuoka Prefecture) back in grade school and first saw a Warasubo, I've always felt that we were sort of similar.
I could see myself in the Warasubo, everyone treats them like they're an utterly repulsive alien just because their face looks scary.
"I'm asking you... can't you let these guys go...?"
To my begging, Rika and Yozora gave me a kind smile and said
"...You really are a nice person aren't you, Kodaka-senpai."
Sena also chimed in, and said along with a little laugh
"...Well, that's just like you to say that I guess."
And then ---
BOOOOOM!! SLASH!! SPLAT!!
Rika's bullet went right through Warasubo Soldier A's head, Sena's hammer smashed Warasubo Soldier B's head in one hit, and Yozora's thorns stretched out like a spear, piercing Warasubo soldier C's heart.
The Warasubo Soldiers all died shouting a blood-curdling scream while shooting their purple blood gushed out of them.
Their dead bodies were sucked into the ground and disappeared.
I let out a yell.
"Why!? Why did you kill them!?"
"Eh? 'Cuz they're disgusting."
Sena quickly replied to my protests.
"Isn't this like one of those scene where you listen to me and let them go!?"
"I know how you feel Kodaka-senpai, but we can't go on if we don't raise our EXP."
Rika said, unconcernedly.
Was that kind smile you showed me earlier all a lie?
"Kodaka. Their lives were not wasted. They live on in all of us as EXP."
Said Yozora, who obviously couldn't care less about the Warasubo, while attacking the remaining Warasubo Soldiers with her thorns.
Sena and Rika joined her in slaughtering each and every Warasubo Soldier they saw.
"Ah, Yukimura! That one's still alive, finish it off for me!"
Yukimura decapitated the Warasubo Soldier whose torso had been crushed by Sena's hammer and was still twitching without even the slightest hint of hesitation.
"It's my way of showing respect for a fellow warrior."
Said Yukimura with a strange sense of happiness in his voice while joining the battle and becoming soaked in the blood of the Warasubo Soldiers he was cutting down one by one.
The Warasubo Soldiers continued to be slaughtered with no resistance whatsoever.
"...By the way, why aren't these guys attacking us?"
"The game is still unfinished, so their attack AI's haven't been completed yet."
Answered Rika, shooting her gun next to me.
Too much... This is too much, Warasubo my friend...
"...Masako... Yoshio... Sorry... Daddy won't be making it back home..."
"Sorry... little bro, it doesn't look like I'll be able to keep that promise we made..."
"I don't want to die... I have to live... I have to make it back home so I can see her..."
Some of the slain Warasubo started talking all of a sudden.
Sena stopped moving.
"It's probably meant to show that the enemies have a reason for fighting too and to get the player to think about whether their actions are justified or not. I guess it's trying to give it more depth than a simple good beats evil story."
Said Yozora giving her explanation for it while piercing a Warasubo Soldier's head with her thorns.
"...Mercilessly killing your enemies even though you perfectly understand the designer's intents... Yozora you're seriously cold-blooded."
"No need to compliment me so much Kodaka."
"Don't worry I wasn't!!"
"I shall give you a swift death, this is my mercy to you as a fellow warrior."
Yukimura continued to emotionlessly decapitate the Warasubo saying things like "My wife is giving birth next month...!" and "I hope if I get to be a shellfish in my next life."
...About five minutes after the fight started the Warasubo Soldiers were completely annihilated.
"Having a five minute long battle right away with so many enemies is a little overboard isn't it. This game's balance really needs some adjusting." said Rika.
At the same time, a short fanfare echoed in my headphones and the text "You Leveled Up!" was displayed on the screen.
"I didn't do any fighting and it still gave me experience..."
I took a quick look at my status menu and found that my HP went up a little bit.
Just in case I actually learned a spell I checked the skill menu as well, and there was one new skill listed.
Excited, I quickly read through the description.
"Skill: 'Believe in Tomorrow'
Effects: Just believing isn't good enough. If you don't actually go out and do anything nothing will change."
We continued our trek towards Valhalla Castle.
Thanks to this game being different from 'Monster Hunting' in that you can't attack your own allies, Yozora and Sena didn't start fighting each other and so far it's been smooth sailing.
We had a few battles with some more Warasubo Soldiers in addition to a few Warasubo Knights and Warasubo Mages, but since they only show up and never attack us it'd be more fitting to call them lumps of free EXP than real enemies.
We all kept leveling up, and everyone else kept learning new magic and special skills.
As for me, all I learned was a bunch of annoying skills like "Don't listen to the story about how your classmate had a baby" and "I think I'll really give it my all tomorrow, maybe" and "Hey old woman, I'm going to the pachinko parlor so gimmie some money" and "Your life is over because of your debt in the black market".
Since I had nothing else to do I kept casting the only remotely good sounding spell "Believe in Tomorrow" but it never did anything.
While watching my allies continue their slaughter, I thought about the Warasubo.
Back when I lived in Kyuushuu I was still in grade school and couldn't cook for myself, but I remember that the Warasubo I always ate at my Dad's friend's restaurant was really good.
I even ate the Fried Warasubo and Warasubo Tempura that Kobato wouldn't eat because she was too scared of the Warasubo.
I wonder if I can get some good Warasubo in this town too.
I'd like to give cooking some Warasubo on my own a try sometime.
Grilled Warasubo, Warasubo Tempura, Warasubo Sashimi, Warasubo Kabayaki, Warasubo Pasta, Warasubo Curry, Warasubo Hamburger, Warasubo Fish Paste... there are so many things I could do.
We kept moving on while I was thinking about the Warasubo and eventually reached the Demon King.
The Demon King was a Warasubo too.
Since he's supposed to be the king and all, he was 10 times the size of a Warasubo Soldier, and was wearing very Demon King-esque armor while holding a giant axe and shield.
The Warasubo Demon King suddenly attacked us.
"What the heck, why is he attacking us all of a sudden!?"
Yelled Sena who was standing at the front of our party while dodging the Demon King's attack.
"I guess they never got around to finishing his pre-battle script."
Said Rika, shooting at the Demon King with her guns.
They all hit the Demon King, but it didn't have any effect at all.
"No surprises there, the Demon King is tough..."
Sena let out a war cry and charged at the Demon King holding her hammer over her head.
But the Demon King blocked the attack with his shield.
He then raised his axe and counterattacked, leaving Sena with a gaping cut on her right arm.
Realistic looking blood was gushing out of her wound.
"A-are you okay!?"
"It... doesn't hurt, but it feels nasty... That one attack took out almost half my HP too..."
Said Sena with a slightly contorted face.
"But this is how a fight should be. The stronger your enemy is the better it feels when you defeat him."
Said Sena, sounding kind of cool while raising her hammer for a second time.
"I just need to aim for the opening of his right after my first attack hits...!"
The Demon King launched another attack at Sena who was charging at him.
Despite his huge body he was able to do a non-stop barrage of quick attacks, leaving Sena unable to do anything but dodge.
"Ahh come on! How am I supposed to attack him like this!?"
"Meat! I can use my 'Rose Guard' to nullify his decapitating strike once! Charge in there with everything you've got!" Yelled Yozora.
"! So you mean even if I get hit I'll be okay!? In that case I'll go all out and use my 'Blast Hammer' on him!"
Sena made a temporary retreat from the Demon King, enough room for her to unleash her special skill.
The 'Blast Hammer' is Sena' strongest skill she's learned so far and it has a lot of destructive power, but it leaves her wide open when preparing it so using it is actually pretty hard.
But with Yozora's 'Rose Guard' blocking the Demon King's attack, she should be able to hit him with it for sure.
Alright! This is gonna work...!
The hammer tripled its size and became wrapped in a fiery blaze.
The Demon King swung his axe at Sena charging at him. The Demon King's attack was faster than Sena's, but this is when we can use Yozora's 'Rose Guard'!
I yelled for Yozora to use her skill.
"Hmph... This wall's graphics are pretty realistic too."
...Yozora wasn't paying attention.
Those were Sena's final words.
The Demon King's attack cleaved Sena's body in two, and her body dripping with blood was sucked into the ground.
I stared at Yozora a bit, and she then said with a smirk on her face
"All I said was 'I can use my 'Rose Guard' to nullify his decapitating strike once!' Not once did I say I'd use it."
"Then what about your 'Charge in there with everything you've got!'?"
"I meant I wanted her to hurry up and get killed by the Demon King already."
She's as evil as ever.
She can even kill her allies in a game where you can't attack them directly...
"Y-you! What are you doing!? Who cares about a stupid wall!?"
A light-blue colored transparent ghost version of Sena appeared from where her body disappeared and swung her hammer at Yozora over and over.
But each time the hammer just passed right through her.
"Hmph, it's useless! Dead characters can't do anything in this game. To put it in terms you can understand, you lost to me you stupid piece of ghost meat!"
Sena groaned at Yozora's harassment.
"Ghhh...! Don't we have any resurrection magic!?"
"Unfortunately not." Said Rika, shaking her head.
"Now then, we've lost one of our front-line guards so we're in real trouble here. What should we do?"
"I shall handle it."
Said Yukimura, and then charged at the Demon King.
His sword became wrapped in lightning and unleashed a high-speed attack.
It hit the Demon King's arm, and it looks like it did some damage too.
However, the Demon King's counterattack still blew Yukimura away.
"I'll back you up, Yukimura."
Rika shot a few bullets at the Demon King in rapid succession to stop him from finishing Yukimura off.
Seemingly annoyed, the Demon King turned and charged at Rika instead, and launched a fearsome attack after closing the distance in no time at all.
I doubt Rika will be able to survive that attack with how low her defense skill is.
"Hmph. 'Rose Guard'."
Yozora's skill formed a barrier of roses in front of Rika and repelled the Demon King's attack. The barrier was destroyed in one hit, but it gave Rika enough time to get away.
"Thanks for the help, Yozora-senpai."
"That's a pretty amazing skill. Can't we win if you just keep using that on Yukimura?"
Yozora shook her head at my suggestion.
"It takes too much MP to use. At best I can use it 3 more times."
The Demon King seemed to notice Yozora's skill, so it changed targets and moved in to attack her instead.
But Yozora, cool as always said
"You guys sneak around behind and attack while I've got his attention."
So that means she's gonna make herself the bait for us huh.
I guess even Yozora can work with others if she really wants to...
Rika and Yukimura did exactly as Yozora said and used the opening she gave them to sneak around behind the Demon King.
The Demon King was about to launch an attack at Yozora, but she stayed calm and cast Rose Guard on hersel-
All of a sudden Yozora stopped moving and let out an unusually cute yell.
"Kh, W-What!? H-Hyahh!?"
Yozora let out another strange yell that sounded like she was laughing, and was sliced in half by the Demon King's axe before she could use her Rose Guard.
Rika and Yukimura's attacks did manage to damage the Demon King, but as a result Yozora died.
Now we're really screwed.
"Hey what happened Yozora!?"
I asked, and then Yozora's ghost appeared with a face twisted in anger.
"Y-You god damn piece of meat...!!"
"Ahaha, I~diot I~diot! Don't underestimate me!"
I heard Sena's voice not from my headphones, but from her normal voice outside the game.
I'm guessing Sena took off her VR Boy and started tickling Yozora.
Tickling someone while they're in the middle of a game... she's just as bad as Yozora...
The Demon King attacked Yukimura with a roar.
Yukimura's body disappeared just like that, while spurting blood from all of his wounds.
"My wish was always to die on the battlefield..."
"...The Demon King's attack strength seems a little too high. I should tell them to fix that later."
The Demon King then charged after Rika who had been jumping around firing shots at him.
...This is the end for us isn't it...
The only ones still alive are me and Rika, and I'm useless.
Oh well, I might as well keep trying to cast "Believe in Tomorrow".
The Demon King's attacks finally hit Rika, and thus Rika died as well.
The Demon King slowly drew near me, the last surviving party member, to deal the finishing blow.
I stood firm and continued casting "Believe in Tomorrow".
We came here by slaughtering all of those Warasubo.
This might be what we deserve for that.
The Demon King swung his axe down at my head-- ...and at that moment!!
The final "Believe in Tomorrow" that I cast started making my body glow all of a sudden and sent the Demon King flying! A new "Skill Up! 'Believe in Tomorrow' has become 'God's Breath'" message popped up in front of me. I quickly went to check "God's Breath" in my skill menu, and it said: "The ultimate attack magic capable of defeating the Demon King granted only to those who never give up hope." Alright, we can still win! I selected "God's Breath" and unleashed its power on the Demon King completely obliterating him with a giant sword of light--...
--...is what I wish had happened, but unfortunately I died like everyone else.
"After that battle, nobody ever saw them again."
Announced the solemn narrator, followed by the screen going black.
The words "GAME OVER" were then displayed in big bloody letters.
After our game over nobody felt like trying again (and we didn't save either) so we decided to give up on RomaSaga.
"...Sheesh, if you would've just guarded me when I charged in we could've beaten the Demon King."
"Who cares, we never needed you in the first place. If you would've just shut up and been a good little ghost we would've won easily."
I put away the VR Boy I was wearing while watching Sena and Yozora have another one of their usual fights.
And while I was, I met eyes with Rika who was also putting her VR Boy away.
"Hmm, I'm not sure how to say it, but... I guess it's like, you should avoid playing games with those two."
I said with a wry smile, and then Rika tilted her head in confusion for some reason.
"You think so? Rika had a lot of fun though."
Rika gave a tender smile to my surprise.
"It was only my first time playing a game with everyone, but it was really fun."
While feeling as though I'd lost somehow by being captivated by her smile, I remembered all the other times we'd played games together.
...If I really think about it, I guess they were actually pretty fun.
"To think that you could still get in my way even after dying. You're even worse than a rotten piece of meat. Why don't you try being useful and turn yourself into the ingredients for a meat bun. That's the only value you have to society."
"As if a lowly plant like you has any right to complain about a human like me. Know your place. Also why were you wearing that stupid rose costume, a rose is practically the exact opposite of what you are."
Yozora and Sena were still fighting.
It sounds weird, but maybe those two really did enjoy playing that game.
...Not that either of them would ever admit it.
"Hmph. A primitive ape like you who only knows how to swing a hammer around like a Neanderthal would never understand the beauty of a Rose Girl like me. You know, that uncivilized look really suits you quite well."
"I was a Blacksmith! A splendid and cultured member of society!"
"So you think a cultured person goes around hitting people on the head with a hammer, you god damn troglodyte?"
"That's just what a Blacksmith does in that game, I can't help it!"
"Hm? Ah sorry, I don't speak monkey. Please pick a human language if you wish to talk with me."
"...! Y-you little...!"
Yozora's face went beet red after having Sena make the same voice she made when Sena tickled her.
"...Meat... Someday I'll pay you back 1000 times over for that... I'll make you regret doing that to me so much you'll wish you were dead... I'll disgrace you so thoroughly you'll wish you were never born..."
"H-hmph, j-just try it why don't you?"
Sena was clearly scared of Yozora's voice full of murderous intent.
"But still, that yell of yours was very cute Yozora-senpai. It was totally moe."
Even I had to laugh at that.
"You've got a point there. I wish I could've seen how her face actually looked when it happened though."
"D-don't call me cute!"
Seeing Yozora turn away from us in embarrassment was, how should I put it, just as cute as her voice from earlier.
I don't know why, but Sena was glaring at me.
Sometimes I don't have a clue what she's thinking.
Well anyway, that's how our first time playing a game together since Rika and Yukimura joined the Neighbors Club ended.
Translator's Notes and References
- Saga here refers to a small prefecture in Japan, not the English word Saga.
- Romancing Saga (with Saga being the actual English word) is a series of games by Square/Square Enix
- In case it isn't clear, Saga is the 7th prefecture in Kyuushuu. Okinawa is a whole separate island farther south.
- dont die dateless dummy.
- Anego is the female version of Aniki, both of which are formal ways to refer to siblings or people you see as close as siblings.
Comedy King Kodaka (& Kobato Joining Flag ③)
One day after school, I borrowed a book from the library.
"The Path to Mastering The Art of Joke Telling ~ Now You Too Can Become a Comedy King" was the title of that book.
For some reason it was stuffed in the world history section, and when I happened to catch a glimpse of it I checked it out on impulse.
Yozora's and Sena's reactions to my joke I told the other day were still... only very slightly, bugging me.
Well, it's not like I really care what those two who have no sense of humor say or anything, but it couldn't hurt to get better at telling jokes.
After I checked out the book from the library I took it with me back to the clubroom.
Reading a book on how to tell jokes out in public would be kind of embarrassing, and people might get an even worse impression of me than they already have.
When I reached the clubroom and opened the door, I saw Maria sitting inside.
"Huh? Nobody else came today?"
"Yozora is poop."
Said Maria all of a sudden while munching on her potato chips.
"You really hate Yozora don't you..."
Maria quickly shook her head back and forth.
"That's not what I meant! Yozora is really poop!"
"Girls shouldn't go around saying poop all the time, it's indecent."
"I-Am-Tell-ing-you that Yozora went to take a poop!"
Now that she mentions it I can see Yozora's bag on top of the table.
"...Ah-...O-Ohh, I see, she went to the toilet."
...Uh-huh, well, everybody has to use the toilet every now and then. Then all of a sudden Maria gasped and made a shocked face.
"Crap! I wasn't supposed to tell anyone she went to take a poop! Yozora's gonna get mad at me..."
"What, did she force you not to tell anyone about it?"
"Yeah... If I tell anyone then I have to run a lap around the school naked..."
Yozora's as evil as ever.
"...I won't tell anyone you told me so don't worry about it."
Maria's face instantly lit up.
"You're a pretty good guy Kodaka! For a rotten orange anyway!"
"...Maybe I should tell Yozora after all."
"D-don't! I'll do anything, just don't tell Yozora!"
"...I won't tell her, relax. Also, don't go around telling people you'll do anything for them."
This little girl is way too naive about this kinda stuff, it makes me worry.
"But Yozora told me that if I say 'I'll do anything' Kodaka will listen to anything I say."
"W-what the hell is she teaching you...!?"
"You won't listen to anything I say!?"
Maria pursed her lips.
"Muu, I let that Yozora trick me again..."
"...Yozora's ability to spin lies like it's nothing to her is one thing, but Maria, you shouldn't accept what other people say so easily."
"Then does that mean I shouldn't trust what you say either?"
"Eh... Well, it's okay if you trust what I say."
"Okay! I'll trust you!"
Maria made a cute little innocent smile.
She can be a little too blunt at times, but she's actually a good kid isn't she...
I decided to give Maria's head a little rub.
Maria happily gave me a bright smile and let out a long breath.
After rubbing Maria's head for a few seconds, I sat down on the sofa and took out the book I borrowed from the library earlier from my bag.
"What book is that? Romance of the Three Kingdoms?"
Maria plopped down next to me and peeked over at my book.
"No, it's a book about comedy."
"Like jokes and stuff."
"Ohhh, it's a book about jokes, is it funny?"
"The book isn't made up of jokes, but about how to tell jokes so I doubt it's very funny..."
"So it's not funny...?"
I quickly tried saying something to lift Maria's spirits.
"Then why don't I try telling you my own joke?"
Maria's eyes started sparkling again, and I cleared my throat while feeling a little embarrassed.
"Yeah. I don't know why Yozora and Sena didn't get it, but it's really funny. The title is 'Manjuu are Scary'."
"Huh!? Why is a manjuu scary!?"
"You'll just have to wait and see. Once upon a time, in the Heian era..."
I told the story of "Manjuu are Scary (my version)" to Maria.
"Ahahahahahahaha! Coffee! Why do they have coffee back in the Heian era, hyahyahyahya! I-I can't breathe, a-and Mr. A! Mr. A hyahaha why can Mr. A speak English even though it's the Heian era!? Ahyahyahyahya! And those guys all got fooled by Mr. A! Ahaha what a bunch of idiots! H-he actually lovesh manjuu, ahahahahaha! They all got completely tricked!!"
Maria was holding her stomach while exploding with laughter.
This is the reaction I was looking for!
"Okay, next I have an even funnier story. The title is 'The Terrifying Shuumai'."
"A terrifying shuumai!? Ahahaha, that's so stupid, how could a shuumai be scary!? Is Mr. A gonna say he's scared of shuumai now!? Ahaha, they'll all fall for it again! Those idiots will all fall for it!"
I begin to tell the story of "The Terrifying Shuumai (my version) to Maria, who was already exploding with laughter before I even started.
"Ahahahahaha- i-i-it was stuck on the lid! The shuumai was stuck on the lid! Ahahahyahyahya! And he died too! He died of shock from the shuumai! Ahahahahahaha!"
This time she didn't laugh at the part I was going for, but even so Maria kept on exploding with laughter.
It feels so good to have people laugh at your jokes!
"Okay, then the next one is-"
I told the story of "The Terrifying Miso Soup (my version)".
"Fuahyahyahyahya, c-can't breathe, w-w-why was Augustine, why was he, pfffft, fyahyahyahya! W-w-w-why was his mom in it!? Why was Augustine's mom in his picture!? Ahyahyahyahya! Did he grab her and shove her in there!? Ahyahahahaha, haha, c-can't breathe, ueh, uhehyehya!"
After that I went on to tell a few more funny stories like "The Black Eyed Mackerel Pike (my version)" and "The Cherry Anthias (my version)" to Maria who was laughing so hard after each one she could barely breathe.
"Haa, Ha.... Haa... Ngah... Ahaa... Haa... Fuahaa..."
Maria's cheeks were completely red from all the laughing she did as she lay exhausted on the sofa.
I guess I got carried away and made her laugh too much.
"Here, have a drink and chill out for a while."
I gave Maria my bottle of tea that I drank half of after 6th period's Gym class.
Maria gulped down the tea with her tiny mouth.
"Feel better now?"
Maria smiled, still looking a little tired.
"This is the first time I've ever laughed so much. You're a funny guy Kodaka!"
Said Maria, who then got up off the sofa and opened our clubroom's closet.
There were a ton of bags of potato chips inside. Maria happily took one out, came back to sit on the sofa with me and then happily opened the bag.
"Since when did you have so many bags of potato chips in there?"
"Yozora gives me one every time I do some work for her!"
"Like shining her shoes, sweeping the floor, buying her juice, and doing her homework!"
...She's trained you well hasn't she...
"Wait, you said homework? You know how to do a high school junior's homework?"
"Did you forget I'm a teacher? I'm way wiser than any of you guys!"
I really don't think she's all that wise, but I guess she does have a lot of academic ability.
"Here Kodaka! I'll let you have some as a special thanks for telling me those funny stories!"
While saying that and enjoying her potato chips, Maria held the bag of them out to me.
Well, it's not like I don't like them so I might as well take a few.
While we were eating potato chips together, I asked
"Didn't you just eat a bag of potato chips when I came in here?"
Maria happily nodded at my question.
"Yeah, because potato chips are tasty!"
"No, even if they are tasty... if you eat all these snacks you won't have room for dinner, you know?"
"I don't need dinner so it's fine!"
"No, it's not fine!"
"But the food here tastes so bad."
Said Maria with a clear tone of displeasure in her voice.
"I think that the cafeteria and ala carte stuff they have here is pretty good though, don't you?"
"Sisters of the church aren't allowed to eat that. We all eat three times a day in the chapel's kitchen, but every single day all they make is potato salad and vegetables with a little bacon in them that tastes like poop. I want to eat meat, not that poop! Eating potato chips is way better than eating dinner!"
"Even so, eating potato chips instead of real food isn't good for you..."
Maria ended our conversation there and continued eating her potato chips.
After finishing the whole bag of them she must've been full, because she quickly stretched out on the sofa and fell asleep.
"Don't fall asleep right after eating..."
Sighing, I got up looking for a blanket or something to put over her.
But, I noticed the door to the clubroom was slightly open and I could see that someone was peeking in here.
I asked while glaring at the door, which then slowly opened up.
The people who entered were Yozora, Sena, Rika, and Yukimura. The other members of the neighbors club.
"Eh...? Why were you guys out there?"
"I-it was too hard to come in while you were flirting with Maria!"
Sena said, while blushing for some reason.
"...I never would have thought that you were a lolicon, Kodaka-senpai." said Rika.
"Yozora-anego told me not to interrupt your rape time, Aniki." added Yukimura.
"Yozora... what kind of crap are you making up..."
As I said that, Yozora gave me a look full of pity for some reason.
"...Even I can show people some compassion."
"Even I'd feel bad for getting in your way when you're trying to comfort yourself by telling those stories so awful only someone like Maria would laugh at them... It's like that awkward feeling when you walk in on someone talking to their 'NiNTeNDogs' or 'LoVePlus' because they think nobody's around to see them..."
"I don't wanna hear that from someone who talks to their air friend!"
And besides, those jokes I told were really funny... right?
Later at dinner time that night.
I tried telling Kobato the same jokes that sent Maria into a fit of laughter.
When I did, Kobato made a couple weird faces. One looked like she was about to cry, one looked like she just drank a bottle of vinegar, one looked like she was pitying me, and in addition to that she kept saying
"Kukuku... Going along with my family's merrymaking is yet another one of my duties as the Queen of the Exalted Night I see..."
and other stuff like that while ignoring basically all of my jokes.
"...That's weird... Maria laughed at them so why doesn't anyone else..."
Upon hearing me bring up Maria's name, Kobato's instantly made an angry face.
"...I've told you this before, but you are one who shares his blood with my own of the Exalted Night... Playing around with that abominable pawn of the church will only bring catastrophe unto you..."
Kobato gulped down her tomato juice with a displeased look on her face.
The day after I made Maria explode with laughter.
I got up an hour earlier than usual, and began making our lunches for today.
Bell peppers and meat, asparagus rolls with bacon, hamburger patties with cheese, tamagoyaki, wieners, and apples.
I cut the wieners up to look like octopuses, and cut the apples to look like rabbits.
"...Kukuku, fuahhh... I smell a lovely scent filled with the blood and screams of your offerings to me..."
Kobato came downstairs while yawning and wearing her black see-through negligee.
"Hey, you're up early today. Did I wake you up?"
"Fuahh... Kukuku... Upon sensing my other half had arisen, I too awoke from my lengthy slumber, fuahhh..."
"You definitely were asleep for a while. You went to bed early at around 9 last night."
"...Kukuku... We had swimming class yesterday so I ended up moving around too much and expended all of my magical power..."
The middle school section of Saint Chronica Academy has swimming classes.
The pool was only completed just last year, and that's why Sena had never swam before when she was in it two years ago.
Kobato's always loved swimming so any day they have swimming class she sets her engine to full throttle and as a result she always falls asleep early those days.
"So you like to go swimming even though you're a vampire?"
"Kukuku... I am one of the great True Ancestors who have conquered the substance known as water... Playing around in it is no trouble at all for me, kukuku..."
"Uh-huh. It'll take me a little bit longer to finish making breakfast so wait for a while."
While brushing off Kobato's usual banter, I continued making our food.
"Hmm... Today's offering seems to be especially extravagant... *slurp*"
Kobato was peeking into the kitchen.
"Hey, Kobato. You're drooling. This isn't all for breakfast, part of it's for lunch."
Kobato exclaimed, eyes sparkling.
Back when we lived closer to school I used to make us lunch all the time, but after moving here we had to make more time for our commute and as a result today's the first day I've bothered to make each of us a lunch.
Some middle schools don't have a cafeteria, but some do, and seeing as how Saint Chronica falls into the latter category I've just been having her eat at school.
"Kukuku, What's the occasion An-cha... My fellow clansman... Have you finally realized that you should respect the greatness of a True Ancestor such as myself...?"
"Ah, did I not tell you about it yesterday? That girl Maria never eats anything other than junk food and never eats her dinner so I figured it wouldn't hurt to make her a lunch. Ah, I made you one too of course."
I might be giving her too much food, but Yozora always gives her those potato chips so it'll probably be fine.
If it does turn out to be too much I can always give it to Yukimura.
She said that she wanted to eat meat so I focused the lunch around that, but I think I managed to keep it pretty balanced too.
It's just not good if you're not getting the nutrition you need.
It's been a while since I last made a lunch, but cooking them is as fun as I remember it.
"...So you're giving part of your offering to me to that Maria girl too...?"
I could tell that Kobato said something, but I couldn't quite hear it over the frying sound the hamburger patties were making.
"What'd you say?"
"Nothing! An-chan you moron!"
Yelled Kobato, leaving the kitchen.
Whether it was when we were eating or while we were on our way to school, Kobato kept pouting the whole time.
Hmmm... I thought by making a good lunch like this I'd be able to make Kobato and Maria happy, but I guess I need to up the quality of my cooking even more...
After second period I used our break time to bring the lunch I made down to Lounge #4 in the chapel that we're currently using as the Neighbor's Club's club room.
Maria is the one in charge of the room, and it seems like whenever she has free time she spends it sleeping in there.
I was worried about whether or not she'd be in there, but when I got there I saw Maria eating another one of her bags of potato chips.
When I entered the room Maria made a surprised face.
"Ohh!? Why are you here so early!?"
"I made you some food so eat it for lunch. You can't eat potato chips all the time."
I handed her the lunch, and Maria took it with a suspicious look on her face.
"C-can I look at it!?"
I nodded, and Maria slowly unwrapped the lunch box and then took off the lid.
Half of it was a seaweed dish, and the rest of it was a bunch of side-dishes. All in all it was a very standard lunch.
Maria's eyes began to sparkle upon seeking the lunch.
"D-did you make this Kodaka!?"
"And you're giving it to me!?"
"W-what are you after!? Status!? Power!?"
"No, I'm not Yozora... you don't have to give me anything for it."
"Y-you're giving me this for free!? Are you the messiah!? Giving me this... and asking nothing in return... ohhh~..."
Maria held the box above her and started inspecting it from all over.
"It's not really anything that great though. Although you have to give me the box back."
I made a little grin. Maria was staring at the wieners as if they were some kind of priceless treasure with her eyes wide.
"I-it's an octopus... C-can I really eat this Mr. Kodaka!?"
"Why the 'Mr.' all of a sudden? Well, if you want to eat some of it right now I guess that's okay."
"You're letting me eat it... even though it's not lunchtime yet! Are you God!?"
Maria, brimming with excitement, slowly brought the octopus shaped wiener to her mouth. The moment she went "chomp" and put the wiener in her mouth, her face was filled with extreme bliss.
All I did was cut and fry them, but seeing her enjoying it so much makes me happy too.
"I want to eat more... but I'll restrain myself! There's still four more so I'll eat the rest of them one a day!"
"No, don't. They'll go bad so eat them all by the end of the day. I'll make you some more tomorrow."
"Ohhh~! You're a pretty good guy Kodaka!"
Seeing her stare at me with that happy look on her face made me a little embarrassed.
"And you're a good girl, Maria."
I started rubbing her head to hide my embarrassment.
"Why are you being so nice to me Kodaka? Are you actually one of God's apostles?"
"It's like whenever I see you it reminds me of how my little sister was when she was younger and I can't just leave you alone."
Although, that's not to say I don't have to take care of Kobato even now.
"You have a little sister Kodaka?"
"I see... Kodaka's an Onii-chan huh~? You did always look like one to me."
"How does someone 'look like' an Onii-chan?"
As I was letting out a little smile
"Well then, I need to get back to class. Don't eat too many of those potato chips, okay?"
While carrying an uneasy feeling, I headed back to my classroom.
Later, a rumor about how Kodaka Hasegawa skips out of class to eat his lunch early spread through the school, but for better or worse, after all that's happened nobody seemed to mind.
After school I went over to the clubroom.
On the way there I happened to meet Yozora, Sena, and Rika so we all went into the chapel together.
In it, we found Yukimura who was walking over to us from the clubroom.
"Aniki. A guest has come to visit you."
I asked, suspicious of who it could be. Yukimura answered with his typical solemn face.
"She quite rudely insisted that she was your master and such. Should I decapitate her?"
I hurriedly yelled at Yukimura's dangerous statement.
"Master? Did you have another master other than me?"
"I'm Kodaka's owner, but.. it would seem there are others besides Meat who do not know the rules of society."
"Rika would quite enjoy seeing Kodaka being repeatedly assaulted by his three masters."
Sena, Yozora, and Rika all added their own little comments, which I promptly ignored.
Master... It's not like I work as a part-time servant for someone so there's no way a normal high school student like me could have a clue who my "master" would be.
"...Who the heck is it...?"
"Ah, he ignored us. Don't get all full of yourself Kodaka."
"It seems I'll have to show you all who Kodaka's true owner is..."
"Rika doesn't know why, but having Kodaka-senpai completely ignore me set my body on fire."
I opened the door to the clubroom while pretending I couldn't hear them.
Kobato was there waiting for me.
The person sitting there with a displeased look on her face was without a doubt, my little sister Kobato Hasegawa.
She was in her usual goth loli clothes and was holding a kind of creepy looking stuffed rabbit doll.
The middle school section allows students to wear their normal clothes, so Kobato always comes to school like that.
"W-why are you here!?"
"Kukuku... It is not as though there is some rule restricting members of the middle school section to come to the high school section's building... Furthermore, even if there were, the laws of mere humans are of little consequence to me..."
It's true that people are free to enter and leave the campus as they please, and because there's a nice little walkway filled with greenery, a lot of the old ladies from around the neighborhood come here around evening to walk around.
Also, I don't know about the entrance to the actual school building, but the Chapel is also open to anyone and people even have weddings here from time to time.
"No you're right, there's not a problem with it, but why..."
"Hey hey, what's with this super cute girl who looks just like Iris, do you know her Kodaka!?"
Sena asked, eyes sparkling.
Though I can probably guess, I asked anyway.
"Obviously I'm talking about Iris from 'Shinku no Element Master'!!"
"...and that's an eroge?"
"It's a visual novel for adults that got an anime adaption!"
So it's an eroge.
Kobato's shoulders twitched slightly at Sena's remark.
"Hmph, 'Shinku no Element Master'...? Being lumped together with that worthless rip-off of 'Kurogane no Necromancer' is the epitome of shame... My name is Leysis Vi Felicity Sumeragi... I have lived for ten thousand years and carry the blood of the night within me... You would do well do carve my name into your soul..."
"Oh my god she's so cute! She's just like BokuAne's** Dark Cat!"
Sena grew more and more excited.
"...H-Hmph... So the eyes of a mere commoner are unable to see my true power after all..."
"So, Kodaka. What is this thing exactly?"
Yozora asked in a tone showing her displeasure with the situation.
I sighed and gave her an answer.
"...My little sister. She's my little sister Kobato Hasegawa."
After I did, Sena burst into laughter.
"Ahahaha- There's no way your little sister could be this cute!"
"You're pretty good at telling jokes, Kodaka-senpai." said Rika, laughing.
"It's the truth, what do you want me to do about it!?"
I know that we don't look alike at all, and I'll admit that Kobato is pretty cute, but having them think I was lying without any hesitation what so ever was a shock.
"...Kukuku...It is true, that man carries the same blood in his veins as I..."
"Eh... so you're really Kodaka's little sister?"
"That's what I said didn't I?"
"...What is going on with the Hasegawa family's gene pool? Rika is very curious about it. Senpai, would it be okay if I take this girl home with me? You can come too of course."
To Rika who asked me that with a straight face I replied "Like hell we're going home with you."
"So, Kobato. What did you come here for?"
"Isn't that obvious..."
Kobato said that and then glanced at everyone other than me in the clubroom.
"...It's nothing. You, my fellow clansman have been letting the quality of your offerings to me slip as of late due to your frolicking with these humans. I came to give you a warning about it.
"I see. Basically you didn't like how Kodaka-senpai was putting his club before you so you came to see what he's doing here, is that it?"
"T-that ain't it!"
Kobato's face turned beet red after hearing Rika's translation.
And then realizing she went out of character she quickly recomposed herself and said
"...M-My word... You inferior beings are so quick to resort to such vulgar manners of speech... It would seem not a single one of you is able to understand the depth of my greatness..."
"Oh my god, is she like, a brocon...!? What am I gonna do, she's as cute as Rikka-chan from 'Mofu? MOFU!'!"
"That way you put everything in terms of eroge is disgusting..."
"Hmph, not so smart are you Yozora! 'Mofu? MOFU!" is an all-ages galge from the PS!"
"And? So what...?"
Said Yozora disgusted from the bottom of her heart to the elated Sena.
Well, aside from that brocon stuff, the fact that Kobato's been unhappy lately because I've been making lower quality meals than before is the truth..
But I never would've thought she was so annoyed about it that she'd come to the clubroom...
What can I do to make her feel better?
"...Well, I do think it's bad that I've been getting home later these days, but just put up with it for me. Ah, I know, how about I make you pork ramen every Sunday from now on?"
"Pork ramen!? Every week!?"
Kobato's face lit up instantly.
Okay, this just might work!
Kobato's loved pork ramen ever since we lived in Kyuushuu.
"Will you put lots of garlic in it?"
Kobato exclaimed with a big smile on her face.
"...Eh, is that okay?"
"...Garlic... didn't she say she was a vampire...?"
Sena, Yozora, and the rest all wore a look of doubt on their faces.
The ramen thing was just something I thought up on the spot, but I'm glad it looks like it worked.
And besides, I like pork ramen too.
"Anyway, when I've got more free time I can make us even better stuff than pork ramen, and I'll make you a lunch from now on too, okay?"
I'm not sure why, but Kobato's expression clouded over.
And, as it did
Maria flung the door open and entered the clubroom.
She ran over and grabbed my arm, and started telling me about something with a smile on her face.
"Hey Hey, you know! Your lunch was really good Onii-chan! That was the first time I'd ever eating anything that good! Compared to that Yozora's potato chips are like poop! Yozora you big idio~t, you only give me poop you idio~t!"
"What'd you just say to me you little squirt?"
Maria hid from Yozora's glare behind my back.
"Okay! I lied! Your potato chips are good too!"
Yozora unhappily let out a "hmph".
"Hey, Kodaka... what's going on here?"
Sena said with a terrified expression on her face for some reason.
"Ahh, I told Maria I'd make her lunches from now on since she was always eating those potato chips instead of her dinner."
"That's not what I meant! I mean how she called you O... Onii-chan..."
"Making a little girl call you "Onii-chan"... Kodaka-senpai are you into little sister moe? Would you prefer it if I call you Onii-chan from now on as well?"
"It's not like I made her call me that."
I stared at Sena and Rika, who were obviously taking this the wrong way. Then Maria opened her mouth.
"Kodaka's a real Onii-chan so that's why I call him Onii-chan!"
"And there you have your answer."
"How does that make any sense!?"
All of a sudden Kobato yelled.
You could tell she was getting teary eyed and was glaring at Maria with her body shaking.
"Moron!! Moron!! Moron!! MoronMoronMoronMoronMoronMoronnnnnn!!!"
Maria made an annoyed face after being repeatedly called a moron by Kobato.
"W-who're you calling a moron!? The one who calls others a moron is the real moron!"
"...Then that means people who call others poop are the real poop, doesn't it Maria."
Yozora mentioned, trying to tease Maria.
"I-I'm not poop! Umm... then, uhh, angel! Yozora the angel! I called you an angel so that makes me the real angel!"
"Shut up you moron!!"
Kobato yelled at Maria again.
"W-what's your deal!?"
"This is my little sister Kobato."
"Oh, I see! She's Onii-chan's little sister!"
"Uuuu~ You called him Onii-chan again...!"
Whined Kobato while chewing her lips.
"...I-I am... not his little sister..."
"Eh!? You're not!?"
Maria turned to me for confirmation with a shocked look on her face
"She is." I told her.
"He says you are!"
Maria turned back towards Kobato.
"I have lived for ten thousand years and carry the great blood of the night within me... I have done battle with you dogs of the church for centuries, and am a fearsome existence known as a Vampire to you lowly humans..."
Maria yelled, absolutely stunned.
"I know what that is! Vampires are scary!"
"Kukuku... Precisely... Abominable pawn of the church... You would do well to fear me..."
"I-I'm not scared of you! I've got this!"
Said Maria, who then took out the cross hanging from her neck and pointed it at Kobato.
"I'm smart so I know! Vampires are weak against crosses! You're a piece of shit that's no match for God's holy power!"
"Kukuku... I am a true ancestor who has far surpassed those normal vampires you speak of... I have long overcome the measly power of the cross..."
Kobato slowly stood up, and walked over to Maria.
"Ehh!? That's not fair! Take this! And this! And this!"
Maria swung her cross all over the place in a flurry.
One edge of the cross hit Kobato square in the head.
Kobato let out a very quiet voice.
She looked like she was about to cry, but she held back her tears and said
"Ku... Kukuku... I told it's useless against me did I not... Cease this foolish resistance of yours... Quit swinging your pathetic lump of metal around and accept your fate... It has absolutely no effect on me so you should just..."
"I TOLD YOU IT DOESN'T WORK ON ME!"
Kobato yelled full of anger and knocked the cross out of Maria's hand and onto the floor.
"...Kukuku... I'll make you regret baring your fangs at the ruler of the night. I'll annex you into an eternity of darkness..."
"Annex!? Annexing is when one country places another one under its rule!"
Maria pointed out Kobato's mistake, and Kobato let out a short "Uu-".
...This is what you get for using hard words you don't know the meaning of...
"...I-I've lived for a thousand years so it's become my tradition to look at things on an international scale... I've no need to pay so much attention to the trivial details in your human languages..."
"!? That doesn't make any sense! It's exactly because we live in a world where people of all kinds of languages have to communicate that we need to carefully define the meaning our words carry! Also, you just said you've lived a thousand years, but earlier you said it was ten thousand! Which is it!? Oh oh, and, tradition is almost always used to refer to things in a cultural sense so wouldn't it be better to say it's your habit instead!?"
"Eh... Ah, uu..."
Kobato started to break down after being showered in questions by Maria.
It looks like Maria was only asking because she was genuinely curious, but it was hard to watch Kobato who gets so into her character try to give a straight answer.
"Hey~ Hey~! Come on, tell me!"
"Uu, Uuuu... A-An-chan! She's annoying!"
Unable to think of an answer, Kobato turned back into her normal self and got mad at Maria.
"A lil' brat 'ike you 'ouldn't ever geddit!"
"What did you just say!? What language was that!?"
Maria's eyes widened.
"...I-it means trying to talk to a child like you is a waste of my time..."
"I'm not a kid! I'm a wonderful adult!"
"H...Hmph, you look like nothing more than a child from my point of view... you're practically a baby."
"Same to you! You look like you're still in elementary school!"
"I'm in 8th grade!!"
"Eh?" "Eh..." "...I totally thought she was in 4th or 5th grade."
Yozora, Sena, and Rika all wore shocked expressions on their faces.
Well it is true that Kobato looks a lot smaller than other girls her age...
"...S-so you're in middle school. You're just a little bit older than me... but but, I'm still more mature than you! I know all kinds of adult things!"
Sena asked, full of suspicion.
A daring smile covered Maria's face as she happily exclaimed
Hearing a little girl like her say that threw me into a frenzy.
Maria made a triumphant looking face and said
"I've heard the other sisters talking about it! People who know about sex are adults!"
"...D-do you even know what sex is?"
Sena asked with a slight tinge of red in her cheeks.
"Of course I know! It's when you get in bed together right?"
"It's not exactly limited to being in a bed... Wait, that doesn't even matter here does it..."
"E... E-e-e-e-even I... know that much... Hmph, b-besides I bet you only know about it and haven't ever done it."
"Mu... Y-yeah I haven't ever done it, but I could go and do it any time I want! I wouldn't even mind having sex with Onii-chan right now!"
Unsurprisingly, everyone was floored by her statement.
"Hah, all I have to do is hop in bed with a guy I like and count the stains on the ceiling right? I'm ready for sex anytime as long as it's with Onii-chan!"
How should I explain this to her?
Yozora, Sena, and even Yukimura's staring at me is really painful...
"Maria, come here for a moment."
Rika took Maria over to a corner of the clubroom with her, and started whispering some stuff to her.
"The thing about sex is, it's... murmur murmur murmur... murmur murmur..."
"And on top of that, murmur murmur..."
"!? What's a dick!?"
I can't believe she just yelled that out loud!
"Ahaha, you're lying! There's no way Onii-chan has something like that growing out of him!"
Rika took her laptop out of her bag and started fiddling with it and then showed Maria the screen.
Maria's face turned bright red.
"Eh... N-no way! O-Onii-chan has something like this attached to him!? ...Eh, i-it got bigger!? Why why why!?"
"Murmur murmur... Kodaka-senpai would take his and put it in your murmur murmur murmur murmur..."
"Eeeeeeeeekkk! I-I can't do that! Sex is scary~!"
Maria ran over to me looking like she was about to cry.
Following behind her Rika came back as well.
"...What did you tell her? Well I mean, I can kinda guess, but..."
"That was simply Rika-chan's Tell-All Sex Ed Lecture. Would you like me to teach you as well Kodaka-senpai? I'll make sure I teach you all kinds of fun things."
"You seriously are just like some weird old perv, you know that...!?"
While making the normal reaction of being creeped out by Rika, I rubbed Maria's head to help stop her shaking as she continued to cling onto my arm.
"...Quit clinging all over my An-cha... my fellow clansman..."
I figured I should try to soothe Kobato, who was still pouting, as well.
"Well you are like an older sister compared to her and all, so let it slide this time, okay?"
"An older sister..."
After seeing Kobato make a happy face for the slightest of instants
"...H-hmph... I too acted immaturely in my dealing with a young girl like her... I've lost my interest... I shall take my leave for the evening..."
Said Kobato, exiting the clubroom.
When I got home Kobato was there and we ate dinner together like we always do.
I did my homework and read a bit to kill time, prepared our lunches for tomorrow, took a bath and went to bed as usual.
When I got into bed, the door to my room opened and Kobato came in, much to my surprise.
"...Kukuku... My other half... I shall allow us to share our sleeping quarters this evening..."
"...Hmm? You wanna sleep together?"
I was tired, so I just flopped over a bit to make space for one more person.
Kobato slowly came into my bed.
Anyway I'm sleepy so...
While I was barely still awake and fading into sleep, I thought I heard Kobato say something.
"...An-chan is my An-chan..."
The next day, after school.
I went to the clubroom, and for some reason Kobato was there again.
"Kobato!? Why are you here again...?"
"kukuku... In order to prevent my other half from being poisoned by the fangs of that pawn of the church, I've decided to keep a closer eye on you... I will be joining this club of yours, perhaps it will amuse me..."
She just said something utterly ridiculous.
"No, even if you want to join, you're not in the high school section here, right?"
"I don't recall there being any rule that says someone from the middle school section can't join our club. It's not like we're playing in any tournaments or anything either."
Sena, who seems to be in favor of Kobato joining, came to her rescue.
Yozora did the same.
"...I suppose there's no problem if she's your little sister..."
"It's nothing. I just don't have any real reason to oppose it... It doesn't look like she has many friends either..."
"Kukuku... The darkness of the night is my one and only friend..."
Kobato said with a little smile on her face.
I see. So I was right, you don't have any friends do you...
As I thought that.
Maria came flying into the clubroom and started jumping all over me.
"Hey hey you know! Today's lunch was super good too! What was that!? It was like, a little sweet and a little spicy and it had bones in it!"
"Ahh, the chicken wing?"
"Yeah the chicken wing! That was super good, I wanna eat it again!"
"Got it. I'll make it again."
"Yahoo! I love you Onii-chan!"
Kobato yelled, and tore Maria off of me.
"Owah!? Why is the vampire here again!?"
"...I'm here to watch over my clansman to ensure he is not deceived by the likes of you..."
"What was that!? Onii-chan and I walk on the path of God! Onii-chan has a heart of justice and is one of God's apostles!"
"Kodaka, are you one of God's apostles or a vampire's clansman?"
Sena asked, seemingly enjoying herself.
"I'm neither of 'em."
"Ugaa! Die you! I'll judge you in the name of god!"
"Kukuku... You may as well give in to my power of darkness already... Behold the technique of darkness which one shook the walls of my classroom... Hasegawa Cooties Touch!"
"Eh? I... I block it! Cross Barrier!"
"It's futile! I've mastered the hyper barrier so it has no effect!"
"That's not fair!"
Maria and Kobato's little fight began.
I better stop them before one of them gets hurt...
But still, I wish she'd stop with that cootie thing... It brings back bad memories. (By the way, Yozora and Sena also cringed. I'm guessing they've got memories similar to mine.)
...Anyway, that's how the Neighbor's Club gained another member.
Kobato Hasegawa, my cute but hopeless little sister.
Translator's Notes and References
- The Japanese here is a form of teasing usually done by little boys to girls if you're not familiar with what cooties are.
Short Story Relay "Saint☆Aniki"
One day after school.
Yozora, Sena, Yukimura, Rika, Kobato, Maria, and I, that is to say, all members of the Neighbors Club were gathered in our clubroom.
I was doing homework, Yozora was reading, Sena was playing galge on her PS, Yukimura was just standing around, Rika was doing something on her PSP, and Maria and Kobato were reading manga.
"...It kinda feels like, we're all just here doing our own thing doesn't it."
I blurted out after stopping my hand from writing.
"And? This is what we usually do isn't it?" Yozora said without raising her head.
"Yeah that's true, but... we've got everyone together for once so I was thinking it might not be bad to do something like a real club."
"Aniki. Being by your side is more than enough for me."
Yukimura softly said with the usual spaced out look on his face.
"How bold Yukimura. Maybe I should learn from you."
"Learn what exactly..."
"Rika has a keen interest in you Kodaka-senpai. Please allow me to study your hair, your facial features, your muscles, your organs, your brain, and everything else about you. Ah! Could this be... love?"
"It's not even close!"
"I'll go on the offensive to get your body and then your heart will be mine too."
"You're supposed to get someone's heart first! And I don't want you anywhere near my body!"
"What's the big deal, the heart and your emotions are just chemical reactions. All it takes is a little messing around in your brain to manipulate them."
"What are you, a mad scientist!?"
"What did you think I was?"
"Don't agree with me about that!"
I gave it to Rika good for spewing out all kinds of nonsense in rapid-fire.
Rika made a tiny smile.
"You always do such a good job of giving it to me good right away Senpai... By the way, don't you think 'giving it to me good' actually sounds rather dirty?"
"I'm begging you, please just stop talking!"
"Kodaka yelled, and then all of a sudden he wildly embraced Rika as he stole her lips-"
"I'm not stealing anything!"
"...Now that I think about it, I have a lot of bad memories about kissing."
Rika stunned me by saying that with a serious face all of a sudden.
"Y-you've kissed before...? And more than once..."
"Heh heh. Rika may not look like it but she has a lot of experience you know. A long time ago I gave a passionate kiss to a jellyfish but it stung me and I spent 3 days teetering on the border of life and death. For about a month after that my lips were swollen more than you'd ever imagine and hurt like you wouldn't believe."
"...Thank you for that wonderful story."
"I've got plenty of other stories about my troubles after losing myself and kissing a stag beetle, a crayfish, a squid, a snake, and a bunch of other animals."
...It hurts just to imagine it.
"There's also the time I went to kiss my planarian Punya, but I made a mistake when I moved down to the Petri dish to kiss him and accidentally ate him. I can still remember that tragedy as clear as day. Of course I did learn from my mistakes and haven't done it in a while, but... Rika would very much like her first kiss with a mammal to be you Kodaka-senpai. ...By the way, that was my secret weapon for seducing people. How did I do? Did your heart skip a beat?"
"...Umm, might you by chance actually be an Ultra-grade idiot?"
I asked, and for some reason Rika's cheeks turned red.
"You're the first one to ask Rika that Senpai. Senpai all you seem to do is steal Rika's firsts from her..."
"What other firsts have I ever taken from you!?"
"You were the first one to talk to me since I came to this school Kodaka-senpai."
I can't believe it... There should be limits on how bad someone can have things... as I thought that
"Ugahhh! Another bad end!!"
Sena threw her PS controller down on the ground.
"This is the fifth time! What the hell is wrong with this game!?"
"Shut up Meat..."
Yozora cringed, annoyed at Sena's complaining.
"Oh? Sena-senpai, might that be 'The Fragrant Demon King!' you're playing?"
Rika asked after looking at the screen.
"It is, but what about it?"
"If I remember right, there's a bug in that game where if you use any name other than the default you always get a bad end."
Sena's expression sunk into despair.
"So you mean I'll forever be unable to be friends with Kaguyama!?"
"No, if you change the name back to the default right before the event that triggers the bug you can avoid it."
Despite what Rika said, Sena still shook her head as though she were mourning.
"...I can't do that. I will not allow Kaguyama and my relationship to be tainted by another man even for an instant... I'll just have to-!!"
Sena took the disk out of the PS, hit the reset button, and whispered in an incredibly sad voice "Farewell... Kaguyama..." before breaking the disk in two.
After that, she went on to delete all the save data.
"Did you have to go that far!?"
Yozora and I were dumbfounded.
Sena then murmur while staring off into the distance
"Hmph... There are only two kinds of women in the world. The kind that get along with me and the rest are all bitches. Any bitch who won't be my friend can just die..."
"That's very impressive of you to stick to your ideals like that Sena-senpai. If you had just given Rika the disk, fixing a little bug like that would've been easy."
"Why didn't you say so sooner!?"
Sena let out a scream and started trembling looking at the now broken disk.
"Uu... Kaguyama... Haa... I don't really feel like playing any more games today..."
A heartbroken Sena sat down on the couch hanging her head down.
"So, Kodaka, you wanna do something today? If you do I wouldn't mind joining you."
I guess she heard what I said earlier when she was playing her game.
"...Well, I suppose listening to your idea couldn't hurt." said Yozora.
"Rika's never done any club activities before so she's very interested in how one does something 'like a real club'."
"I shall do whatever it is Aniki wishes."
Said Rika and Yukimura.
Even though I brought it up it's not like I had anything specific in mind...
After thinking for a little bit.
"...How about a short story relay?"
That was my idea.
"What's a short story relay?" asked Sena.
"Everyone takes turns writing part of a story. After you write a certain amount you give it to the next person and they pick up where you left off."
"Why do you want to do something like that Kodaka?"
"Ah, there was a chapter about how a club did the same thing in this light novel I read so that's what came to mind first, but it sounds pretty fun and sounds like something a normal would do."
"Ohh...? Well, it sounds like it might be interesting."
"Hmph... then let's give it a try. Not like we've got anything else to do."
Sena and Yozora gave their approval.
"Senpai. Rika hasn't ever written a novel before though."
"The same can be said of me."
Rika, Yukimura, and Maria all said.
Kobato made a small chuckle.
"Kukuku... I once spend an hour a day recording my memories... It was my one and only salvation from the solitary life I lived..."
"Ahh, so that thing was a story you were writing? It looked like a bunch of scribbles to me..."
"A-an-chan! Don't read my diary without asking!"
"I just glanced at it because it was sitting there out in the open. It's your fault for passing out under the kotatsu. Hell, I couldn't even read it, did you really write something in there?"
"Muu... T-those were the ancient magic incantations of the Melkanians..."
Kobato blushed and pursed her lips.
"Well, even I haven't ever really written anything before, but can't we all just write whatever?"
"I've never written a story, but I have done screenplays. They're pretty much the same thing, right?"
I gave a vague answer as I recalled the Momotarou screenplay Yozora wrote for us before.
Anyhow, we're all beginners here but I don't think anyone is opposed to doing the writing itself.
"Okay, then let's do it. We'll each write a single page in standard MLA format. When you reach the end of the page, even if you're in the middle of a sentence you have to stop and give it to the next person, that okay?"
Nobody voiced any complaints.
Thus, we decided what order we'd go in with rock paper scissors.
The order we ended up in is as you can see below.
First ------ Yukimura Kusunoki
Second ------ Yozora Mikadzuki
Third ------ Kodaka Hasegawa
Fourth ------ Sena Kashiwazaki
Fifth ------ Kobato Hasegawa
Sixth ------ Rika Shiguma
Seventh ------ Maria Takayama
Rika pulled up a word processor on her laptop. And so the Neighbors Club short story relay began...
【Yukimura Kusunoki's Part】
Once upon a time, Kodaka-aniki was walking around town.
I couldn't get past the first line of the script Yukimura wrote without yelling at how ridiculous it was.
When I found out Yukimura was going first I was worried and thought "This might be bad. Isn't this just like how Fumika Soga went first in the short story relay in 'The Literature Club'?" and it seems as though my worries were right on the money.
You're certainly one to be feared Yukimura...
Aniki was a very great person, excelled in both the literary and military arts, was a warrior who crushed the strong and saved the weak, was overflowing with charisma, and was loved by people around the nation.
One day, Aniki headed to town for his rape time as he always did.
"What the hell kind of warrior who crushes the strong and saves the weak goes and rapes people!? And he always does this!? He's a god damn criminal!"
Damn it... I yelled at how stupid it was again...
Even though I know how stupid it makes me look to start yelling out of nowhere when I'm reading something to myself!
"Kodaka. You look incredibly stupid yelling at the top of your lungs with your face all red like that." said Yozora.
"Ugh, a sex offender. You're the worst." said Sena.
...I continued reading all the while feeling as though my heart was about to be crushed by sadness.
Aniki went to put on his zori, but noticed that they were unusually warm considering it was winter.
Aniki became enraged and called over me, his servant.
"Hey Yukimura! You had my zori up your ass didn't you, you insolent dog!"
"I did not. I held your zori by my chest in order to warm them."
I took off my kimono and showed the marks from where I had the zori pressed on my chest to Aniki.
It was embarrassing, but I don't mind showing anything to my Aniki.
After I showed him my chest, Aniki praised my efforts.
"Your loyalty to me is admirable. Continue to serve me as you have."
Thus I swore eternal loyalty to Aniki, and we lived happily ever after.
I let out a moan, unsure what to yell at first.
"Onii-chan you're scary..."
I calmed myself down after seeing Maria nearly in tears.
"...F-first things first, Yukimura."
Yukimura lightly nodded (seemingly satisfied with his work).
"First is: Don't end the story when you're the first person up."
"My goodness, I apologize for my lack of prudence."
Yukimura said, slightly surprised.
"Also... uhh, don't plagiarize. This is uh, just like that short story about when Hideyoshi Toyotomi was working as Nobunaga Oda's servant, isn't it?"
"You knew about it? I'd expect no less from my Aniki."
"Well, it's a pretty famous story and all."
"Is that so..."
Yukimura looked a little sad.
"Also, well...no, nevermind..."
"W-w-wait a second, Senpai."
Rika asked in an unusually flustered voice.
"Aren't you forgetting to yell at the biggest issue here!?"
"...Ah! Could it be that Senpai and Yukimura are already in that kind of relationship, and thus there's no need to correct it...!?"
"...What are you talking about?"
"This part, right here!"
"Rika pointed at the computer screen.
"The part about Hideyoshi and Nobunaga? I just pointed that out didn't I?"
"Who cares about them! I-I'm talking about this part here! T-the part about taking off the clothes and showing the chest to you! Isn't Yukimura being a little too bold here!?"
I wasn't very sure what Rika was getting at so I tilted my head in confusion.
"Ah, I get it." said Yozora.
"You think Yukimura's a girl don't you."
This time it was Rika's turn to tilt her head in confusion.
"? What do you mean Yozora-senpai?"
Ahh.... I finally saw what Yozora meant.
"Rika. Yukimura is a guy."
The face she made when I told her that was easily the stupidest looking one I've seen yet
"You're really a guy?"
This time Rika asked Yukimura.
"? As you can see I'm a man, what about it?"
Yukimura looked truly perplexed.
"Even though you're wearing a maid outfit?"
"...Well, I can see where you're coming from."
I offered Rika a wry smile.
Yukimura's appearance was the same as a lovely young girl's down to the last detail, and on top of that he wears a maid outfit.
I doubt you'd find anyone on the planet who could tell he was a guy without being told in advance.
And now that I really think about it, nobody ever told Rika about that.
"So it'd be... Mr. Yukimura...?"
"That about sums it up."
"So you mean Yukimura says those kinds of lines and these kinds of lines to Kodaka-senpai despite being a guy..."
Rika was trembling slightly.
I put my hand on Rika's shoulder, and as I did
Rika let out a weird yell all of a sudden.
Rika, wildly panting, said to me, who was utterly confused
"I mean he's a guy! A guy you know! Guy x Guy! The world of boy's love is right here! Rika is seriously horny right now! My head is going blank!"
"Have you already had sex with this wonderful gi... boy!?"
"As if I would!"
"Ehhh. Homosexuality is something lots of warriors did, and even Nobunaga did it with his fellow sexy general Shingen."
"Yeah, but I'm not a warrior."
Rika looked disappointed from the bottom of her heart.
Yukimura with his cheeks red for some reason, started talking too and said
"If you wish for it Aniki, I do not mind if you do as you please with me."
"OHH MYYYY GODDDDDD!"
Rika yelled while making a victory pose with bloodshot eyes.
What I saw there was not a slightly broken image of a cool genius girl, but a complete pervert.
"I want to materialize this throbbing in my heart immediately! Yozora-senpai!"
"Would you please change spots with me in the short story relay!?"
Yozora, who was up next, quickly refused.
"Because you're creeping me out..."
"Is that so... too bad. Now that it's come to this Rika will just have to let her imagination run wild until it's her turn."
I get the feeling it would've been better if Yozora switched with her.
I stared at Rika as she continued to pant wildly.
"Haa Haa... Kodaka-senpai. Right now, you're naked in my mind Kodaka-senpai."
"Stop imagining that!"
...That was the first time I've ever jabbed a girl in the head.
"Hmph... What a hassle that woman is..."
Yozora let out a sigh as she turned to face the laptop and began typing her story.
【Yozora Mikadzuki Part】
Kodaka set out with his underling Yukimura.
When he arrived at the town, he noticed a woman surrounded by a large group of men who were raping her.
The woman being raped had blonde hair and blue eyes, an annoying look to her face, grotesquely huge breasts, and in general looked like a total dumbass.
"ARE YOU RETARDEDDDDDD!?"
Sena yelled in anger as she was reading.
"W-why am I getting raped in the middle of town!?"
"Shut it Meat. Nobody said it was you did they? Or are you aware that you are a blonde haired and blue eyed stupid looking woman with grotesquely huge breasts?"
Yozora retorted coolly with a slight hint of aggravation in her voice.
"Ghhh... The grotesque and stupid parts are completely wrong...!"
Sena begrudgingly continued reading while grinding her teeth.
The woman sought help from Kodaka passing by without any hint of shame.
"Oink oink, please I beg you to save the unsightly pig that I am. The name of the pathetic sow you see here is Sena Kashiwazaki oink!"
"You just wrote it! You wrote my name!!"
Sena yelled, teary eyed.
"She just happens to have the same name. At least keep reality and fiction separate Sena Kashiwazaki."
"Don't use my real name only for stuff like this! Wait, wasn't that the first time you've ever even called me by my full name!?"
I sort of respected Sena for remembering something like that.
"Was it? Well then you should be thankful I used your name, Sena Kashiwazaki."
Sena brought her eyes back to the short story while blushing for some reason.
The disgusting sow Sena Kashiwazaki begged Kodaka for help in a most pathetic manner.
"Oink oink, Please save me oink! Please save this woman named Sena Kashiwazaki whose existence has less value than that of a German cockroach oink!"
The men were raping Sena Kashiwazaki relentlessly.
"Gyahaha, your cries for help are wasted Sena Kashiwazaki! Besides, you're an annoying woman who thinks she's great just because she's rich and can study a little when in reality you're just a whore that plays eroge in your clubroom!"
"That's totally me!! There's no way you can think this is anyone other than me! Couldn't you at least be a little nicer to me!?"
Sena yelled, half in tears.
Even I was getting put off by how far Yozora was going with this.
Even if it's just a novel I guess I'm not good with harsh scenes like this...
"...I suppose I did go a little too far. Therefore, I will stop describing your rape scene right here."
"You said 'your'! You just said 'your'! It really was me all along!!"
"Don't sweat the small stuff."
Yozora cleanly swept away Sena's complaints.
"...but at least now that scene is over... He'll definitely come save her now won't he?"
"Help me! Help me! Get over here and help me, Sena Kashiwazaki!"
Sena Kashiwazaki continued her shameful screaming for help.
"I refuse. After all, I'm only interested in little girls."
Kodaka was only interested in little girls, thus he abandoned Sena Kashiwazaki and went on his way to search for other prey.
"Kodaka! Why didn't you save me!?"
"Eh!? I didn't write it!!"
I panicked when for some reason Sena glared at me with tears in her eyes.
"Wait, forget that, Yozora! Why did you say that I'm only interested in little girls!?"
As I asked, Yozora gave me a glare and said
"Can you not tell the difference between reality and fiction either? This is just a piece of fiction. It has nothing to do with the real Kodaka."
"That's true, but... Muu..."
While not feeling fully satisfied, I turned to face the laptop.
I'll just have to fight fire with fire then.
【Kodaka Hasegawa Part】
Slash! Fwoosh! Bang!
"Gyaaa, he got us!"
I had only pretended to abandon Sena, and quickly turned around to finish off the thugs assaulting Sena.
"T-thank you... for saving me. I-I guess I let you have my thanks!"
Sena(real) said while blushing.
"It's just, abandoning you would leave a bad taste in my mouth so..."
Yozora made an unhappy looking face.
According to the thugs, their hideout was in a cave to the west.
In order to make a world safe for the townspeople to live in, I embarked on my journey to the hideout of the thugs terrorizing the town.
Of course, I never intended to rape anyway, and me only being interested in little girls was also a lie.
Those were merely strategies to deceive my enemies' eyes.
Upon reaching the thugs' hideout a bunch of the started coming out from all over the place.
"I have no need to give you my name."
I kicked the thugs around.
People may think I looked scary, but they all know that I'm a good man with a strong sense of justice and a kind heart who doesn't abandon those in need.
"Onii-chan you're so cool!"
"Kukuku... Ruffians of that level are no trouble for my other half..."
"That's Aniki for you. Aniki truly is a man among men."
Maria, Kobato, and Yukimura all gave me their praise.
...Huh, I wonder why Yozora's eyes look so cold.
Yozora looked like she wanted to say something, but ended up sighing and said
"...Well, as long as you enjoyed it..."
"W-what's that supposed to mean!?"
Yozora averted her eyes with a sad look on her face and didn't give me an answer.
...Damn it... What's wrong with making yourself look a little good in a short story...
"I'm next right? Hehe... I'll get you back now."
【Sena Kashiwazaki Part】
Just then, the boss of the thugs appeared. She was a black haired woman with an evil look in her eyes, and absolutely everything about her was like a lowly worm that could never hope to compare to me.
"Gububu, Ahm Yozora Mikadzuki, the incarnation of evil itself." "I'll take you down!" "Gehehe, it's useless."
Yozora pulled a fly swatter out of nowhere and hit Sena on the head.
"Oww! What's you do that for!?"
"There were flies swarming around the meat. You have to be careful since meat spoils easily in the summer."
Yozora answered as though nothing had happened to Sena who was complaining in tears.
Although Yozora Mikadzuki's power was pathetically weak, she still gave Kodaka a good fight.
Kodaka easily fell into one of Yozora's cowardly traps due to him not being very smart.
"Buhyahya, time to finish you off." "Damn it, is this the end? God..."
Maybe Kodaka's prayers did reach the heavens. All of a sudden the black clouds parted and a divine light shone down from the heavens as a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed woman one could easily mistake for a goddess descended upon them.
"...By the way, they're in a cave." I pointed out.
"Who cares, don't worry about the details!"
Amazingly the goddess was none other than the sublimely perfect beauty Kodaka had saved earlier, Sena Kashiwazaki.
"As you can see, I am a god. Me being raped in the streets was merely a test for humanity, and truthfully I could have easily eliminated those thugs. Wicked beings, begone!"
As she yelled, Yozora was destroyed by God's thunder, and turned into a form as disgusting as a used dust rag.
Yozora hit Sena with the flyswatter without saying a word.
"C-cut it out!"
Get on your knees and beg for your life Yozora. If you do I shall save you, for I am a merciful god."
"Eeek, Sena-sama, I'll never do anything evil ever again buu. Please spare me!"
Yozora wailed in an unsightly manner, and shameless licked the bottom of my shoes like a dog.
Kodaka also offered his thanks to god, and as a reward I stepped on his head. Kodaka's face melted into ecstasy and begged "Please find it in your heart to allow me to lick your legs." I made a special exception and took of my socks so Kodaka could put his mouth on my bare-
"You god damn pervert!" "Are you retarded!?"
Yozora and I both yelled.
Yozora whacked Sena on the head with her flyswatter at the same time.
"W-what are you doing!? You should be thankful I let you get away with licking my feet when I could've easily killed you!"
I started to get a headache from her seriously thinking we should thank her.
"...You think that I would ever lick the shoes of a piece of Meat like you...? This is first time I've ever been so humiliated..."
"D-don't act all innocent, you had me raped!"
Sena tried arguing against Yozora while being overpowered by her anger, but of course Yozora didn't care.
Those two words were shot out with a coldness that'd freeze your spine.
"W-why do I have to apologize..."
"Uuu~... F-fine... I'm sorry... I might have gone a little overboard..."
Sena mumbled with a face that looked like she was about to cry.
"I don't think you really meant it..."
Then, I don't know why, but Yozora stuck out one of her legs in front of Sena.
"W-what do you want now?"
"You don't get it...? Isn't this how you had them show their thanks in your part of the short story...?"
"T-there's no way I could ever do something like that... Uuu..."
Sena lowered herself while receiving Yozora's ice cold stare, and slowly placed her hand on Yozora's shoe, opened her mouth and
"--Like hell I'd ever lick your shoe retard! Dumbass!"
Sena stood up all of a sudden, took the flyswatter from Yozora's hand, and hit her on the head with it. After hitting her once she dashed out of the clubroom in record speed.
"STU~PID STU~PID YOZORA'S A PIECE OF POOP!!"
"......that damn Meat...!"
Yozora stared at the closed door while trembling with anger.
"...Sena left, but will we continue anyway?"
"Hmph, Meat's turn is over. There's no problem."
"...Fufufu... I shall display a small fragment of my overflowing wisdom to you lower beings..."
Kobato spat out that line that rendered me unable to expect any real wisdom and then turned to face the laptop.
【Kobato Hasegawa Part】
I drew near...
Just as the other part of my soul was about to press his lips to the shoes of that abominable god who led him astray...
All of a sudden a sweet voice echoed through the mind of Loga Wilheim Zeirys...
"Who the heck is Loga!?"
I yelled confused at having a new name come out of nowhere, to which Kobato replied
"It can't be... have you forgotten? That is thine true name... No matter how many times you are reincarnated, that name should be engraved on your very soul itse-"
"What are you, Teisushimaro from the 6th century?"
"I'm not some stupid joke teller!"
Ohh, a brilliant retort my little sister.
Awaken... Blood of the darkness.
To the sweet and somehow nostalgic voice, Loga's mind was freed from the God's grasp and once again returned to its true self.
It was the voice of his fellow clansman of the exalted night who was always watching over him, Leysis Vi Felicity Sumeragi, crossing time and space and the moment my other half, Loga, awakened to his true self.
It was revived during the climax of that. That bittersweet memory.
Leysis and Loga's chance meeting went back all the way to 13th century Transilvania.
"...It's like some great epic just started."
"Kukuku... the path my soul has walked upon cannot possibly fit onto a single page such as this..."
"...By the way Kobato, this is probably just a typo you missed, but it's spelled 'Transylvania' with a y, not 'Transilvania'."
Kobato's face went beet red.
Wilheim Zeirys, the son of a feudal lord at the time, chanced upon a beautiful woman bathing in the lake one day when he went out hunting.
Wilheim and the girl's eyes met and were tied together by a mutual attraction.
"...It feels like you kinda just glossed over that part just now."
"Kukuku... the son of man would never understand no matter how many hundreds of times I explain it... that resonance they felt between each other that was enough their souls..."
The girl who held a pair of heterochromatic eyes, proof that she was a clansman of the night, was named Leysis Vi Felicity Sumeragi. She was as Queen of the Night who lived in solitude.
A being of the night and one of the day.
Their love would not be allowed by the world itself and at last tragedy struck.
"...This story gives me a really weird feeling."
Yozora made a strange face after finishing reading.
"Kukuku... This is no more than the prologue to an epic saga... it would take at least a hundred pages to convey the story of our journey through the cycle of death and rebirth..."
"Keep that saga of yours to your notebook at home for me..."
I wearily said.
"Kukuku... it's finally Rika's turn now."
Said Rika while re-adjusting her glasses, who up till now was in delusion mode making weird noises like "Ah ♥" and "Stoppp ♥" while rolling around on the floor (Yozora and I pretended not to see anything).
I started getting a really bad feeling, but just now the story went into the Loga and Leysis' past arc.
She shouldn't have any room to write a crazy story about me and Yukimura this way... I hope.
【Rika Shiguma Part】 This and that happened allowing Kodaka to awaken to the power of darkness and defeat the God and then set his sights on the world.
"""This and that!?"""
Kobato, Yozora, and I all yelled at once.
T-that Rika, she finished the past arc with just those 13 characters...!
The one to stop Kodaka was none other than his faithful servant Yukimura.
"Let's stop trying to destroy the world. You'll always have me Aniki."
"I see... that's right isn't it, Yukimura."
Kodaka, having had his power of darkness been soothed by the power of love, wildly embraced Yukimura.
"Gyaaa! Don't do it, stoppppp!!! (<-- my scream)"
"Aniki, it's so big..." Yukimura took Kodaka's rod that was standing tall like a Yalseiten's Revolving Stake and put his mouth around it.
"Ahh-" Kodaka let out a pant that sounded like a Guntanker's caterpillar tracks.
While making a lewd splashing noise like when one of the Zeon army's Aigga refuels, Yukimura used his tongue like a Daf Heatweave to tease Kodaka's charged particle canon.
"I-I can't take anymore!" "That's it, please stay like that, Aniki." "UNIVERSE!"
Kodaka let his lust out all over the inside of Yukimura's mouth with such force it could rival the Mazunger X's Breast Flare.
"Haa haa..." Kodaka wildly panted with the same powerful allure that Gamudan Exia has when it goes into TransEM mode.
"Aniki's rod, is still so energetic..."
Yes, despite having just fired, Kodaka's Giga Bazooka wasn't weakened in the slightest.
"I want to become one with you Aniki..." "Alright, now it's my turn to make you feel good!"
Kodaka took his rod, overflowing with energy just like Genesic GaoSaiGar's mega drill, and violently rammed it into Yukimura's stern forming a combination unit.
"Ahh-!" Yukimura let a sweet moan escape that sounded just like when Marua got hit with Death Eve's Nerve Crack and-
"Uu~ I already filled the whole page... It's not enough."
Rika regretfully said after frantically filling up an entire page.
"...What the hell is this..."
"Muu... It feels like I read something that was both unbelievably amazing and unbelievably worthless at the same time... Seriously... what is this..."
Yozora rubbed her temples while making a tired face.
I'm not sure why, but Yukimura was looking at me an absentminded look on his face.
"...I can mostly tell what's written here. But if I try to visualize it in my mind it's like my brain's processing power can't keep up or everything's covered in mosaics and it feels like things are exploding every now and then..."
"...I've got the same feeling."
It might be better to not be able to imagine it at all in this case though.
"Umm Senpai, please don't read it over so carefully. Rika is embarrassed... I'm the one who wrote it, but even I think it's too erotic. Rika didn't know she was such a naughty girl..."
Rika covered her beet red face, but I honestly had no clue what she was thinking.
"Haa haa... Rika needs to go to the Rika room and use a desk to relieve herself..."
Rika stumbled out of the classroom in a trance-like state.
"Relieve yourself"? Are you really going to...
"N-Next is Maria, right?"
Yozora and I looked over at Maria trying to hide our awkwardness.
...Except Maria was rolled up into a ball on the sofa and was sleeping peacefully.
"Kukuku... That girl was put to sleep and swept away by nightmares midway through reading my noble writings... After all, God's power is no match for the power of darkness..." said Kobato.
I guess she got bored and fell asleep.
I let out a sigh and then asked
"What do you wanna do? I think we should just let her sleep. Sena and Rika are gone too..."
Yozora sighed with a tired look still on her face.
"...It's late now so we'll finish this next time... if there is a next time that is."
"...Yeah, good idea."
While predicting that we would never again continue writing this short story, I nodded my head.
Thus, the curtains closed on the Neighbors Club's first short story relay.
Yozora, Sena, Yukimura, Rika, and I were all in the clubroom.
Sena was playing galge on her PS as usual.
The rest of us were all doing what we normally do.
And then, all of a sudden, I heard a singing voice from the T.V.
It came from the galge Sena was playing.
Wonder if she got to the end just now... I gave a little glance over at the screen, and saw the image of a blonde haired girl singing a song.
Judging by the background art, I'm guessing she was at a karaoke box.
Sena was sitting there, spacing out without even moving her hands, and listening to the song.
After the song ended, Sena turned around and said,
"Hey, I figured I might as well ask, but... Have any of you guys ever done karaoke before?"
To Sena, who looked somewhat embarrassed after asking her question I replied
"Well, I went a few times back at my other schools."
Not that I made it a habit or anything though.
"So have I," said Yozora.
Sena and I were so shocked we both yelled at the same time, to which Yozora said, "...Why are you so surprised?" with an unhappy look on her face.
"Well, it's like, you don't seem to be the type for karaoke so..."
"Mu... I may not look it, but I've been to every single karaoke box in this city."
"That's pretty amazing..."
"I wonder about that."
Yozora looked just a little bit proud of herself.
"Of course it is, mastering all the karaoke boxes in town by yourself can't be easy to do."
Normal people wouldn't ever even think to do it.
"...Why are you assuming I did it alone?"
Yozora asked with a pout on her face.
"Obviously if you go to karaoke it's with your friends."
I let out a yell of disbelief at what Yozora uttered just now.
Yozora made a tiny grin and said,
"Singing karaoke with your friends is a lot of fun you know. Tomo-chan can't sing well, but she's a good listener and knows how to have a good time, so time just flies by when I'm with her."
"...Oh. Tomo-chan huh..."
Tomo-chan is Yozora's air friend's name.
"Kodaka. Why are you making that face?"
"No real reason."
I couldn't look her straight in the eye.
"......To think that Kodaka and even Yozora have gone before..."
Sena said with a disappointed face while slightly shaking.
"Have you never gone to Karaoke before Sena?"
I asked, and then Sena's face when bright red as she yelled back,
"No, I haven't! What's wrong with that!? As if a high class lady like me would ever bother with you vulgar commoners' games! I don't have the slightest bit of interest! I wasn't sad at all when those annoying bitches from middle school told me, 'Let's go do some karaoke after school~ Oh right, Sena you probably like playing with guys more than karaoke don't you? Gyahaha!' I have never, not even once, thought of wanting to go to some stupid karaoke box!!"
"O-okay I get it. Just calm down will you..."
I tried soothing Sena, who apparently just had her trauma switch flipped on.
As I did, Rika opened her mouth and said,
"Senpai. Rika hasn't even sung karaoke either."
"Yes. I've been interested for some time now, but I just couldn't stand going into a place like that all alone."
"Ahh, I know exactly what you mean."
"So on that note, would you be so kind as to go with me Kodaka-senpai?"
"Hmm... sure, why not. It's been a while since I've gone too."
"Thank you very much."
Rika happily smiled.
It's times like these that Rika is seriously cute.
"H-hold on Kodaka."
"If you're going to sing some karaoke just leave it to me. I know a good place."
"Will you show it to us?"
"That'll be a big help. I don't know any of the places around here."
I was still a kid back when I lived here, so I have no idea about karaoke and other stuff that costs money.
And even if I did, it's been a whole 10 years so it's probably changed a lot by now.
Rika quietly clicked her tongue.
"Aniki. I too have never gone to a karaoke establishment," said Yukimura.
"Then why don't you come too?"
"It would be my pleasure."
Yukimura happily gave me a soft smile.
"Okay, so when do we wanna go? Tomorrow's Saturday, but..."
"I'm fine with tomorrow afternoon."
"Rika can go whenever."
"I have no problems with that arrangement."
"Okay, then tomorrow it is. Where should we meet up?"
"My favorite place is about 10 minutes from West Tohya Station by foot."
West Tohya Station is the stop just before Tohya Station, the one I take to school every day.
"Okay, then we'll meet in front of the entrance to Tohya Station."
"Okay." "Roger." "Understood."
"Then all that's left is the time-"
"H-hold it right there!"
Sena yelled while making a face like an abandoned puppy.
"What do you want, Meat?"
Yozora made a tiny grin and an evil smile rose on her face as she said,
"Oh Great Meat-sama, we are talking about karaoke, that vulgar commoners' game that you don't have the slightest interest in and have never, not even once, thought about wanting to do, so what do you want?"
Yozora was as ruthless as ever with Sena. Seriously, "Great Meat-sama"?
"Did you have something you wanted to say Meat? If you don't then please leave us alone so we can continue our plans for tomorrow which have absolutely nothing to do with you."
"The store I go to doesn't start free time until 1 o'clock, so why don't we all meet up at 1 in the afternoon? That way we don't have to worry about lunch. Also-"
"Don't ignore me!"
Sena said with tears in her eyes.
"What is it this time Meat? You have nothing to do with this so go play your games by yourself or something. Or are you really trying to say that you want to come sing karaoke, that vulgar commoners' game, with us?"
Sena's face turned beet red.
"I-I don't want to go at all! But, you know, I'm the daughter of this school's principal! I have to let papa know where the school's students are going on the weekends and stuff! I-it's my job so I figure I have to go along with your vulgar commoners' games, or something like that...!"
"I see. Then I'll let you know about a bunch of karaoke boxes in the city you'll want to look at for your work."
"One place students from here go to a lot is 'Echo Echo' on Yanagawa street. It's close to school, looks nice, has good equipment, doesn't cost much, and has a lot of places to eat and go shopping near it so it's very popular among Saint Chronica students. However, the place we're going to tomorrow is 'Screams From the Abyss' which is rather plain looking and doesn't get many high school customers, so I doubt you'd want to go there for your job. Therefore, you should go to 'Echo Echo'. By yourself, of course!"
"Eh, ah... b-but..."
"No need to thank me for the info. I'm happy just knowing I could help you with your work. Give it your best for the school okay! By yourself, of course!"
"...Hey, if you want to come with us then just say so."
I offered a helping hand to Sena who was quickly running out of options.
"What, so you want to come with us? Why didn't you just say so then?"
"......I-I want to... go with," mumbled Sena.
"I couldn't hear you!"
Yozora's face was covered in a sadistic smile.
"...I-I want to go with."
"Eh? What was that?"
"I want to go sing karaoke with you!"
"I see, I now know what it is you want to do."
Sena's face lit up for a second...... but,
"I know what you want to do, but I don't want to go with you."
Sena was speechless at Yozora's cold words.
"...Hmph... If you really want to come with us, then try begging me."
"I want you to wholeheartedly say 'Please take me with you' and beg me to take you with."
Sena's face twisted with humiliation, and then, as if she were squeezing it out with all her might she said,
".........P-please... t-take me... w... with you..."
"I'm sorry, I couldn't really hear you. Maybe it's because you don't really want to go?"
"Please take me with you!"
"What happened to the begging me part?"
"Beg...!? Ghh... I-I-I... I... Be... g... y... ou."
"Put your heart into it!"
"I beg you, please take me with you!"
Sena screamed with a face twisted by both humiliation and anger.
"Hmph... well said."
Yozora said with a tender tone to her voice.
"But, I refuse."
She's a demon...
"What the heck do you want me to do, you idiot!?"
"Ahh, forget this! I'm going with tomorrow and that's that! Besides, why do I have to beg for your permission to go with in the first place!? At first it was just Kodaka and Rika going, and you just happened to join them!!"
"So you finally noticed? You are seriously slow in the head."
Yozora said without any hint of hesitation.
A look as though Sena regretted what she'd just done from the bottom of her heart rose to her face.
"Idiot! Retard! Die, stupid Yozora!"
Sena threw out a few childish insults and ran out of the clubroom.
After she did, Yozora said,
"Now then, let's decide on our real meeting place. How about over at the Tsuyama book store by Nishi Station around noon?"
"How much of a demon are you!?"
"It was just a joke."
I let out a deep sigh.
These two are seriously hopeless.
Why do they have to fight over something as trivial as going to sing karaoke together...?
I brought Kobato with me since she said she wanted to come too, and headed for West Tohya Station.
When we arrived at the station, it was 12:50, exactly 10 minutes before when we said we'd meet up.
There I saw an odd looking group of people.
It goes without saying that the people in question were all from the Neighbors Club, all of who were there waiting for us.
Yukimura in his maid outfit.
Rika wearing her white robe over her school uniform.
...Why the heck are they wearing the same clothes they wear at school?
Sena was in a mini-skirt and camisole, and although they were normal looking, for someone like Sena who already grabs a lot of people's attention they only served to make her stand out even more.
Yozora was, umm... I guess boyish would be the best way to describe it.
She was wearing jeans, a tank top, and a casquette.
Although Yozora normally has more of a "traditional Japanese beauty" look with her long black hair, those casual clothes fit her surprisingly well.
The way she looked with one hand in her pocket leaning against a pole and a nonchalant look on her face made her look like she fit right in with the city.
It was the first time I'd ever seen Yozora in her casual clothes, so I ended up staring at her for a while.
Two cute girls with blond and black hair, a maid, a white robe wearing girl, and Kobato in her goth loli outfit. This is one hell of a ridiculous looking group.
The fact that hardly anyone was inside the station was my one saving grace.
"Now then, we're all here so let's go," said Yozora, so we all started walking.
"You guys were all here pretty early. We've still got 10 minutes before we were supposed to be here."
"I came here 5 minutes after Rika."
"I arrived 20 minutes prior to you, Aniki."
"Rika came 15 minutes after Sena-senpai."
"I got here 5 minutes before Yukimura."
"...Why are you all phrasing it like some kinda math problem?"
As I said that I thought of something, so I turned and faced Kobato.
"Kobato. Try figuring out when everyone got here based on what they said. By the way, we got here at exactly 12:50. You have until we get to the karaoke place."
"Fueh!? Umm...... K-kukuku... solving a problem like that is no problem at all if I access the Akashic Records... You need only wait a short while..."
Uh, this shouldn't be that hard of a problem...
I started worrying about my little sister just a tiny bit.
After following Yozora for about 10 minutes, we reached "Screams From the Abyss" (by the way Kobato couldn't solve the problem).
The karaoke box was isolated in a nearly empty alley in a run-down looking part of the shopping district.
Just as Yozora told us, it was a plain looking one-story building with a gaudy looking sign, that didn't match the building's appearance at all, which read "Karaoke Box, Screams From the Abyss". If that sign wasn't there I doubt anyone would be able to tell it was a karaoke box.
With Yozora leading the way we entered the store, and were greeted by a timid-looking 30 something year old man who made a face that looked like he just saw something very odd.
"Ohhh? So this is a karaoke shop is it?"
Rika, Yukimura, and Sena were all looking around the karaoke shop.
Yozora took a quick look at them before walking up to the counter and showing her card to the clerk, as if she'd done it many times before.
"Free time. Drink bar."
She finished her order with the fewest words possible.
She sounded very natural when she said it too, it made me think that this is how she always does it.
However, the clerk made a troubled face and said "Umm..." for a second or so as he looked over at the rest of us and then said,
"A room for 6?"
Yozora let out a slightly confused voice and then said,
"One moment please."
I'm guessing this place makes you pay first, since the clerk starting messing with the register.
"For 6 people with the free time discount and drink bar, your total comes to 5400 yen."
Yozora had taken out a 1,000 yen bill, but for some reason let out a yell in disbelief.
The clerk made a confused look on his face.
"5400 yen? Why is it so expensive?" Yozora questioned.
Sena and the rest came up to the counter. The clerk made a troubled face and said,
"Umm, for one person free time costs 650 yen, and the drink bar is 250, so for one person the total is 900 yen..."
"What... did you..."
Yozora had a look of utter shock on her face.
"...Just to be sure, all 6 of us are in the same room, aren't we?"
"...Wait a second."
So she said to the clerk, and then walked back to us.
I raised an eyebrow at Yozora's mysterious actions.
"Something's wrong with the bill..."
"What do you mean?" asked Sena.
"The part about charging for the drink bar 6 times is fine, but why do we have to pay 6 times for one room...!?"
"...Is that weird?"
"Meat. What do you do in a karaoke box?"
"...? You sing songs, don't you?"
Yozora gave a small nod.
"Exactly. If you're using one machine in one room, it doesn't matter if one person sings 30 songs or six people sing five each. It's the same amount of money going into RASJAC, so why do we have to pay for the same room six times?"
"So it's a scam!?"
Uwa, idiot! Keep your voice down...!
The clerk gave us a nasty look.
Of course, Yozora paid it no mind and said,
"Yes, it's practically a scam. I've never had this happen when I came with Tomo-chan... I never guessed this would happen..."
Yozora seemed to be seriously surprised.
"It's not really a scam... This is just how karaoke shops work, isn't it?"
I have heard of some karaoke shops only having you pay a set fee per room, but there are lots of shops that don't do that too. This store isn't really all that odd at all.
"Kodaka. Even if this is the standardized way of doing things, that doesn't make it any less odd."
"Hmph, for once I agree. Papa always tells me that those on top must not overlook wasteful uses of money."
Said Sena right after Yozora.
"I know, why don't we do this?"
"It's like this..."
Sena came up with a certain plan and Yozora gave her a rare comment saying, "Hmph... Not bad for a lump of meat."
And so, Yozora headed to the counter for a second time.
The clerk was startled, and then appeared to be a little scared as he showed us a vague smile.
"I said 6 people just now, but I take that back. I'll be going by myself as usual. Free time, drink bar, 900 yen."
The clerk made a troubled looking face at Yozora's declaration, and then looked back and forth at Yozora and us.
"I do know those people, but I didn't take them here with me. We merely happened to come to the same shop."
The clerk was flustered by Yozora's new statement, and after stuttering over his words going "Eh, Uh, Umm..." he finally gave in and said, "U-understood... One person comes to 900 yen..." and thus ended his transaction with Yozora.
After being handed her room number plate, drink bar cup, and remote controller, Yozora gave us a quick glance before heading into her room.
The next one who went up to the counter was Sena.
"Umm, this is my first time, but I'll be alone. Free time and drink bar please."
The clerk made yet another troubled looking face and his eyes started swimming again, but in the end he said,
"...New users have to register a card with us, so please fill out this form..."
He handed Sena the blank form while trying to hide the emotion in his voice.
Sena's idea was to go with "6 individual karaoke customers" instead of "A group of 6 customers".
That way we'd still pay the same amount, but get 6 times as many rooms.
...Of course, she's right, but it's definitely a huge pain for the shop.
On top of that, it means we have to sing in a room by ourselves, completely defeating the point of coming here together.
I was really looking forward to hearing everyone else sing too...
Yozora and Sena have really good voices.
As Sena was filling out the form, the clerk continued to look back and forth between us looking like he was seriously about to cry.
Sena finished paying, and went into a different room than Yozora.
I figured I might as well go up next.
"...HoW mAnY iN yOuR gRoUp SiR?"
Now his voice sounded like he was about to cry along with his face.
"...Ahh...... 4 of us. It's out first time here."
I didn't have the nerve to tell him "by myself" after seeing that look on his face.
Well, basically that's how Yukimura, Rika, Kobato, and I paid 3600 yen and went into a room together.
"If it means being in the same room as Aniki, I would not have minded paying 10 times that sum."
"If you told the clerk that they'd probably burst into tears of joy."
"Rika wanted to sing with Senpai too. Let's sing the Gamudan theme song as a duet."
"...I think it was called... SEED? If we do that one I probably know it. I have no clue about the others though."
"Kukuku... then I shall sing for you the dark requiem which extols this world's demise... Mumu... Where is it...? Where's 'Yuke Yuke Gernica-chan!'..."
"What part of that song is a requiem?"
We went on like that, with Yukimura and the rest not saying a single word of complaint about the room fee.
By the way, "Yuke Yuke Gernica-chan!" = a denpa-type character song from the "Kurogane no Necromancer" anime.
"Now then Kodaka-senpai, please go ahead."
Rika handed me the mic.
"You want me to go first? Let's see... what should I sing..."
While pretending to be worried, I looked up a song using the remote control's touch panel.
...The fact that I spent all of last night thinking about this is a secret.
Beep beep beep... I selected my song, and a few seconds later it started playing...
"Flower~♪ That flower's smile will make you strong~♪"
"Aniki... you're so cool."
"Senpai you've got such a good voice!"
"Hmph... Hearing that song takes me back 7,000 years to that night I spent running through a snowy field with Loga..."
The song I spent all night worrying about and chose, was the famous Japanese singer-songwriter Akinari's hit single "Flower" which sent the room into a frenzy.
Next was Rika who chose a famous female singer, Utada Hikki's theme song from the Ovangelion movie which she sung incredibly well. Kobato went with a popular rock band, L'rarc-an-Shiel's "Kurogane no Necromancer" theme song and sung it very energetically. Yukimura chose an enka piece titled "A Man's Way of Life" and sung it with all his might, which made Rika ecstatic causing her to yell out "Moe~♥"
After that we each sung to our heart's content. We sang songs we all knew together, and even added our own tambourine and maracas playing to the songs.
Up until five minutes before 7 p.m. when free time was supposed to end and the clerk called our room, we had so much fun we lost track of time.
"Ahh, my throat hurts from all that singing..."
"Senpai, your voice is kind of scary, but it seems being abused by that voice of yours has awoken Rika to her true M nature."
"Your voice sent shivers up my spine, Aniki. I wish to have a voice like that too."
While talking about random stuff like that, we headed to the front of the shop.
There we found Yozora and Sena, who both looked like they were about to pass out sitting on a couple of chairs.
"...What happened to you two?"
"...It's this damn Meat's fault."
"...It's stupid Yozora's fault..."
They both said, with hoarse voices.
It seems like both of them are having a hard time talking.
"Just how nuts did you go with the singing in there..."
"...I saw there was a score mode... so I did it the whole time... without even taking a drink and barely taking breaks..." said Sena.
"...Then the rankings came up... this whole karaoke box's..." said Yozora.
"...After I started the scored mode I saw an annoying person called NIGHT on the top... and I thought, 'ah, this must be Yozora'..."
"...When I had started thinking about filling the top 50 with my name, all of a sudden I saw an annoying set of letters that read ＳＥＮＡ in my way..."
Yozora and Sena both glared at each other, and then turned their faces away with a "Hmph." and "Kh." respectively.
...T-these two even fight when they're in different rooms...!?
They went on like that for nearly 6 hours... I'm tired just from singing with the four of us together.
Honestly I'm more amazed than anything that they went so far.
"You guys can't even get along with songs, can you..."
It was probably a pain for the store, but keeping them in separate rooms might've been the right choice.
"By the way, who won?"
"I did." "Me."
They both answered at the same time, and then I saw some fireworks go off.
"I was on top with my 99 point song damn Meat...!"
"That was just luck. 2nd to 11th were all my 98 point songs damn it."
"Hmph, there's no point if you can't get first place. And if you want to go there, I had way more 97 pointers."
"Liar. I had more 97 pointers than you."
"Don't lie, Meat."
"It's not a lie, tone-deaf Yozora."
"...I'll slaughter you."
"I'll kill you..."
They both went on insulting each other with their hoarse voices.
"That was a lot of fun, wasn't it Senpai? Let's come again."
Rika and the rest of our group who were happy, and the pissed off Sena+Yozora combo.
The difference between the two was so much I couldn't help but let out a deep sigh.
...The moral of today's story:
Karaoke is something you have fun singing with everyone.
"...So, our first term ended rather quickly, but..."
We were in the clubroom as Yozora said that with her usual sullen voice.
Yozora, Sena, Yukimura, Rika, Kobato, Maria, and I (aka all of us) were in the clubroom.
"That's not the end of the year for us yet, since we're on a two term system and all."
Today is the 12th of July and summer break starts tomorrow.
Just as Sena said, Saint Chronica is on a semester system in which the first term runs from April until early October, and the second term runs for the rest of the year.
We didn't have any big tests or ceremonies in July, just like how trimester schools do, and even today, the day before summer break, classes were held normally after which we all assembled here in the clubroom.
"Who cares about that."
Yozora said, with a frown on her face.
"...As you should know, the goal of our Neighbors Club is 'to make friends'."
She looked around at us, and then said,
"...So, who in here made a friend? Is there anyone who has plans to have a normal summer with their friends?"
Nobody said a word.
"......Actually... forget making friends, I'm pretty sure my reputation got even worse."
I said along with a small sigh.
There's all kinds of rumors like how I supposedly raped Yozora and Sena, forced Yukimura to be my errand boy, raped Rika too, made a move on a sister, and even that I make a little girl walk around school in goth loli clothes...
"...I had the same thing happen just a little while ago where I overheard some girls in my class saying 'You know that Kashiwazaki from class 5? I heard she's going out with that yankee guy, gyahaha!' I'm going to... kill them."
Said Sena with a heavy look to her eyes.
"Ahh... um, sorry, I guess..."
I gave a little apology and then,
"I-it's not like it's something you have to apologize for, god damn it!"
Yelled Sena whose face was red for some reason.
"I have also noticed the taunting from my peers has gotten worse than before."
I was stunned at what Yukimura said.
The 'taunting' Yukimura is talking about is from the boys in his class not knowing how to treat him, who looks exactly like a girl on the outside, and deciding to just avoid him, but... that's gotten worse?
"Once in a while when I go to bring food and yankee manga to Aniki, they'll try to get in my way saying 'You don't have to do that anymore you know' and other stuff like that. Serving as Aniki's errand boy is my true purpose in life. Getting in my way is rather cruel of them."
"Please do not be alarmed. I have a firm will and will not give in to such cowardly threats. In order to become a true man, I intend on serving you for the rest of my life, Aniki."
"Uh-huh... Well, keep up the good work..."
I get the feeling it'd be a waste of time to try and convince him otherwise at this point.
"...Kukuku... I never intended on colluding with humans anyway... A solitary noble of the night, whose only friend is the darkness... that is who I am..."
"Haa, we did a bunch of stuff too..."
Sena ignored Kobato's chuckling, and let out a sigh.
"...Wait, we did something?" I asked.
"Of course, we did tons of stuff. You know, like... we played that game... we played another game... did that acting practice... played another game... had that short story relay, went to karaoke..."
"Basically it was all just playing around, wasn't it?"
Rika said, without a moment's hesitation.
"Ahaha. You guys really are just a bunch of trash!"
Maria laughed while munching on her potato chips.
Yozora smacked Maria on the head with her flyswatter without saying a word.
Maria then ran over to me while crying.
"O-Onii-chan! Yozora hit me!! She's just a fly covered in poop, but she hit my wise head with her flyswatter! Stupid fly Yozora hit me with her flyswatter!"
"Maria, the one who calls others a fly is the real fly."
Yozora coolly retorted.
"Eh!? T-then poop! That piece of poop Yozora hit me, a wise fly, with her shit-swatter, and- W-wait, huhh!? I can't keep track of it anymore!"
Maria grabbed her head in confusion.
Unfortunately, I can't say you look all that wise, Maria.
"Hmph, I'm not giving an annoying brat like you potato chips anymore. And to think, I even brought some special consommé flavored ones today too..."
"C-Consommé!? You mean it's not like those ones with just a little salt on them!?"
Maria opened her eyes wide in shock.
Yozora took the consommé flavored potato chips out of her bag.
"Indeed. However, it appears as though you don't want them. Too bad, I guess I'll have to eat them myself."
"I do! I want them!!"
"You want them that bad? So greedy... If you want them that badly, then get on your knees and pray to me. If you do, then I shall allow you to bask in their glory."
"Please give me those Consommé flavored potato chips, Yozora-sama!"
Maria did as she was told, and prayed to Yozora on her knees.
"Very well. Then as I said you may now bask in their glory."
To Maria's sparkling eyes, Yozora replied,
"...Here you go. Feel free to bask all you want."
Yozora raised the bag of potato chips she was holding above her head.
"...How old are you?"
"Fueh? Ha? Heh? ???????"
Maria had a completely stupefied look on her face, and then after about 10 seconds she snapped out of it.
Then she made a shocked face and said,
"Ahh! Bask! I can definitely bask in them like this! So that's what you meant! You're pretty smart, aren't you!"
"...She makes some really weird reactions sometimes doesn't she..."
Yozora made a slightly awkward face after holding the potato chips up for 10 seconds.
"Yozora, is tricking little girls like her fun for you?"
Sena asked while giving Yozora a little glare, who then went "Hmph." and said,
"It was just a joke. Here, take them."
She threw the bag of consommé flavored potato chips at Maria.
Maria happily opened the bag of potato chips, then stopped her hands all of a sudden and said,
"...I shouldn't have opened them... I won't be able to get potato chips during summer break, so I should've saved them for a while longer..."
Maria said, depressed, causing the rest of our faces to cloud over.
"Now that I think about it, you're right. Kodaka-senpai and I won't be able to flirt for 40 whole days..."
"I won't be able to be Aniki's errand boy will I..."
Rika and Yukimura said, both with a lonely tone to their voice.
"...Wait, hold it Rika! Don't make it sound like we've been flirting before!"
"Our fun little dissection, drug testing, and body remodeling will all have to be postponed..."
"No, not postponed, none of that is ever going to happen!!"
Rika ignored my comment and let out a bored sigh.
"...Geez... I was trying not to think about it too..."
Sena pursed her lips.
As she did, Yozora made a puzzled look on her face and tilted her head.
"...What are you all talking about? We're having club activities in the summer too."
"...We're still doing stuff? In the summer?"
"Of course we are."
Said Yozora in her usual casual manner to the rest of us staring blankly at her.
"The track and field club, band club, theatre club, and a bunch of others all have club activities in the summer, don't they? Why would only we take a break?"
"No, well... There's no tournament or anything like that we need to prepare for, and we don't even have set activities, so I just figured we wouldn't do anything over the break..."
"Hmph, how naive Kodaka. Do you think we'll be able to reach our goal like that?"
"Ugeh! Then does that mean you're all coming here in the summer too!? I thought I'd be able to nap in peace with the A.C. on!"
Maria did a 180 from her sad face to a look of utter disgust.
Then Yozora said,
"Besides, summer is the season normals really go out and do things. If we don't practice for when we manage to make friends and become normal, their level of normalcy will be too high for any of us to handle. It might even kill you depending on the situation."
"Now I get it. It's the same as putting a hot liquid into a glass cup, and having it shatter because of rapid expansion from the heat."
"Yes, that's exactly right."
I wasn't quite sure what Rika and Yozora were going on about.
But, in any case, we'll be holding club activities over the summer as well.
I'll be seeing this hopeless bunch all summer too I guess.
...I surprised myself when I realized that made me feel a little bit relieved.
"But, well, we can end things here for today. We were unable to make friends before summer break. Let's think about why we couldn't, and work to improve our club activities in the future."
Yozora said, to which Sena replied "Hold on." and raised her hand.
"What do you want, Meat?"
"I think it's because Yozora is too incompetent~"
Yozora's eyebrow twitched for a second, and then,
"...I see. To tell you the truth, I have a few ideas about why we failed as well. One is because you're too stupid, another is because you're too much of a retard, another is because you're too annoying, and another is because you, Meat, are such an incredibly incompetent imbecile whose very existence has no value whatsoever to our club or the world at large."
"D-did you have to go that far!?"
Sena started getting teary-eyed.
"...You're right, I guess that was a bit much."
Yozora coolly nodded her head.
After looking like she was deeply reflecting on her actions for a while, she then said,
"Yes... That was a bit much for me... Even though I know it'd be impossible to perfectly explain just how pathetic of an existence you are to this world no matter how hard I try, I still wasted my time with my earlier remarks. Saying you're an idiot, or a retard, or annoying, or an imbecile, or a worthless existence, or a half-wit, trash, or lower than a fly, or a maggot, or a piece of shit, or a walking shit factory, or a disposable Dutch Wife is truly a waste of time. Wasting precious oxygen insulting you is an extremely inexcusable act to our planet. It is the most sinful use of oxygen in the world. Amen."
Sena's face twisted with anger, and then,
Sena gave us her usual childish insults, and ran out of the clubroom crying.
"...Hmph, always a hopeless case isn't she..."
I noticed that Yozora, who said that line as though spitting it out, actually had a faint but gentle looking smile on her face.
After Sena left, we all killed time as usual doing whatever we felt like in the clubroom.
While wondering whether or not we should do something special for our last club activity before summer break, I remembered all the things we'd done up until now.
It's been just over a month since I ran into Yozora talking to her air friend.
It hasn't been that long, but... in that time I met Sena, Yukimura, Rika, and Maria. We did all sorts of pathetic things, and... somehow it feels like we've spent a lot of time together already.
I wonder if it'll stay like this for a while longer.
I casually called out to Yozora, who was reading her book in front of me.
"Hm?" she replied without lifting her head from her book.
"It's been a fun month. Thanks."
...... ............Yozora didn't say anything back, though she did raise her book a bit making it seem like she was trying to hide her face.
I noticed that her ears were red, and I unintentionally let out a chuckle.
As I did, the door to the clubroom flew open and Sena re-entered the clubroom.
Sena quickly walked over to me and said,
"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you Kodaka."
"What is it?"
"You said something about coming over to meet Papa before, didn't you?"
I did say that when we went to the pool together.
I heard that when Kobato and I enrolled in Saint Chronica Academy, Sena's father, who is also our dad's old friend and the headmaster of this school, pulled some strings for us, so I've been thinking I should stop by and at least say thanks to him.
"I told Papa about it the other day, and he said you should come over since we'll have free time over summer break. I think he's been wanting to meet you too."
"Oh, he does?"
"Yeah. So just let me know when you want to come over."
I gave my quick reply to Sena, but as I did,
"H-hold it right there!"
Yozora let out an incredibly panicked sounding voice.
"W-why is Kodaka going to Meat's house t-to, m-meet her father!?"
I was confused as to why Yozora was so curious about me going to Sena's house.
Sena then said, "Hmmm...?" in a tone that made it sound like there was some deeper meaning to it.
"Nah, it's just that when we-"
"Kodaka, keep it a secret. It could cause problems and all."
I tried to explain the situation while still confused about Yozora and Sena's behavior, but Sena quickly stopped me mid-sentence.
"Ah, you're right..."
She's definitely got a point. Going around telling people her father pulled some strings for us when we came to enroll here probably isn't the best idea.
"Mu... A secret...?"
Yozora made an unhappy look on her face, to which Sena curtly replied,
"It's got nothing to do with you, Yozora."
I could see a little smile creep up on her face as she said that.
"Heh heh, Kodaka coming to my house and meeting my papa has absolutely nothing to do with you Yozora~ This is something between me and Kodaka."
I tilted my head in confusion at Yozora who was upset for some reason, and Sena who looked triumphant for some reason.
"Anyway Kodaka, that's all I wanted to tell you so just call me later, okay?"
Sena walked out of the clubroom happily waving her hand at us.
Yozora watched her from behind with an upset look still on her face.
...In any case, that's how I, who now had a bad premonition of the near future, reached a turning point in my life at Saint Chronica Academy along with the start of summer break.
Long time no see, this is Hirasaka Yomi.
To everyone who had bought this novel, thank you for supporting it as it allowed volume 2 to be released.
The little girl who barely appears in volume 1 and the weird kouhai joins in this volume, making the sorrowful Neighbors Club livelier every day. If you think this is fun I’m very happy.
This time Yozora and Sena didn't do much, some might angrily say "Why didn't they?” Well, they will certainly do so later. What am I talking about? I'm talking about vomiting!
...now, let's continue with apologizing.
In the first and second edition of volume 1 "Past" chapter, “11 years ago” is a mistake. The correct one is "10 years ago". 11 years ago they weren't in elementary school yet... The third edition has corrected this mistake, so I have to apologize to those who bought the first or second editions here.
From now on, if you find the mistake, be it typographical errors or inconsistency in the story. Please tell me by putting it on the mail form on my website (searching for "Hirasaka Yomi" should bring you there)
Next is also an apology.
This time (yes, this time too), I troubled Buriki-san and everyone in charge of this novel by sending the manuscript later than scheduled. I'm really sorry.
In the volume 1 afterword, I wrote "the easiest style to write". I realized after writing volume 2 that it wasn't that easy to write at all.
But the part about "The most interesting story" is still true. I'd be very glad if the readers feel the same way.
This novel is just this author's hobby, but Buriki-san and all the people in charge helped made it possible for this volume 2 to be released, thank you very much!
All those thoughts lead to this afterword.
Volume 3, as you might be able to expect, is about everyone's summer break. Imagine beautiful illustrations of wonderful young girls (only in appearance though) wearing swimsuits or yukata, wouldn't it be exciting?
Lastly, please continue your support for volume 3 too!
End of October 2009, Hirasaka Yomi