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Chapter 1: Magical Girl

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If I were to be asked why I chose this path, the only answer would be—for the sake of my beloved sister.

I have no regrets for embarking on this journey, but sometimes, just sometimes, I ponder if another way might have been acceptable. However, whenever I see my sister’s radiant smile, such fleeting thoughts vanish into the ether.

—My big brother is both cool and cute! I love him!—

When greeted with such an innocent smile and statement, all doubts dissipate instantly. It’s a natural law, a truth of this world. Absolutely.

That’s why, indeed, I don’t regret choosing this path.

…Though, that was only the initial sentiment.

As years rolled by, I couldn’t help but wonder if another path would have been better.

In retrospect, my younger self was just as naive.

I chose this path without thinking, without questioning—just to fulfill my sister’s wish. A result of my own pure, untainted emotions.

However, I can’t deny that it was a hasty decision. If I’d been a little more thoughtful, I would have seen this coming.

Purity and imprudence are but two sides of the same coin.

In any case, now I believe that I’ve made a mistake in my choices.

Ah, why did I ever choose this path?

It’s probably time to tell the tale of the path I chose.

—Beep Beep Beep—

I grimace at the annoying electronic noise, reaching for its source.

The source of the sound is, obviously, my room’s alarm clock.

I wave my hand around, trying to stop the unbearable noise, but no matter where I hit, I don’t seem to touch the alarm clock.

“Hm, huh?”

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I sense something odd.

I don’t usually toss and turn in my sleep, and the alarm clock is always on a shelf attached to the headboard of my bed. It’s peculiar that I can’t seem to turn it off despite waving my hand all around.

Slowly sitting up and rubbing my sleepy eyes, the electronic noise finally sounds a bit closer.

“You’re finally awake.”


With a light click, the electronic noise stops. In its place is the slightly annoyed voice of a young girl.

Hearing that voice, I realize why I couldn’t find the alarm clock.

“…Good morning, Karen.”

“Morning, big brother. Breakfast is ready, so come downstairs.”

Responding curtly to my greeting is my lovely sister—Kisaragi Karen.

Sharp, elongated eyes, a perfectly straight nose, and lush lips. Her beautiful black hair reaches her waist, giving her an aura of high-class elegance.

Karen returns the alarm clock to the shelf and promptly leaves the room. Her straightforwardness might be perceived as cold, pushing people away, but her aloof attitude is part of her allure.

So, Karen had my alarm clock? Why did she wake me up? She usually doesn’t care whether I’m asleep or awake…

Questions arise, but I find no answers and decide to let it go.

Even if I don’t have answers to my questions, at least the alarm clock’s location is now clear. I stretch to shake off the sleepiness.

“I’m still sleepy…”

Stretching didn’t help; the sleepiness lingers.

I give up on dispelling my sleepiness and get out of bed.

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Being in bed makes me sleepy. Time to change clothes.

Decided, I reach for my high school uniform, but then remember school is closed today. And remembering that, I realize why Karen woke me up today.

“Ah, it’s Karen’s entrance ceremony today.”

Yes, today is Karen’s entrance ceremony, and she’ll be attending the same high school as me starting today.

Regardless, I still have to change. I extend my arm again toward the uniform and start getting dressed.

Today is the entrance ceremony, but it’s a holiday for current students. Only new students and their guardians are required to attend.

Our parents are both overseas, so as her brother, I will be attending as her guardian.

I asked my parents through an international call if they could come home just for this day, but apparently, their work is at a critical juncture. I don’t know what they do, but I wish they could at least meet Karen today.

Well, I understand that’s my selfishness. I won’t say it out loud. We each have our own circumstances, and sometimes it just can’t be helped.

“Big brother, hurry!”

While I’m lost in thought, I hear Karen’s impatient voice from downstairs.

“I’m coming!”

I raise my voice in reply and finish dressing quickly.

I grab my tie and leave the room, heading to the bathroom.

Looking in the mirror while tying my tie, I straighten my bed hair.

When I look closely into the mirror, there’s a face I’ve seen countless times before.

With slightly long hair and slanted eyes, I have a gaze that might be described as intense. Though some might consider it hostile, my friends often commend me for my beautiful eyes. I’ve been told that my tear mole adds a touch of sexiness, but I doubt saying that to a guy would serve any purpose.

Anyway, my usual face is right there.

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“Alright, perfect.”

After getting my appearance in order, I head towards the living room where Karen is waiting.

“You’re slow; eat up already.”

“Sorry, sorry.”

As soon as I enter the living room, Karen shoots me a grumpy comment. I respond with a wry smile.

I take a seat, put my hands together, and say, “Itadakimasu.”

Today’s meal consists of toast, fried eggs, salad, and miso soup.

In our house, the soup is always miso, unless it’s a special occasion. And I don’t mind—miso soup is delicious, after all.

I eat my meal a bit faster than usual.

“I’m leaving now.”

“Eh, you’re not coming with me?”

“No way. Going to school as siblings is lame. Besides, our parents leave later.”

Karen points out, and I look at the orientation printout for the entrance ceremony on the table.

“Ah, true…”

“Well, there you go.”

With that said, Karen hastily leaves the house.

Slam—I hear the front door close and can’t help but sigh.

Why did she rush me with breakfast if she was going to leave first?

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“Same as always, such a tsundere sister, Mepo.”

A voice suddenly rings out as soon as Karen leaves. Normally, this would be shocking, but I’m used to it.

“It’s a difficult age; can’t be helped.”

“You seem disappointed, Mepo.”

“Of course, I am. I thought we’d go to school together…”

“Haah… Your siscon levels are off the charts, Mepo.”

Annoyed by the mocking tone, I retort.

“You wouldn’t understand, Mepo. You’re an only child.”

“I wish I had a beautiful sister, Mepo!”

“Don’t care.”

My petty remark doesn’t faze Mepo, who likely sees it as a natural topic change.

I’ve heard Mepo wish for a sister before, and the reasoning was absurd, so I have no intention of asking again.

I pick up the TV remote and turn it on. I still have some time, so I’ll watch the news.

The news is on, so I leave the channel and continue eating my breakfast.

“The Phantom that appeared last night was defeated by an unknown hero passing by. Praise is coming from the local residents,” the cheerful announcer reports.

The topic includes an intriguing term—Phantom.

For decades, Phantoms have been causing unrest. They seem to be beings from a dark world, attracted to negative energy like hate, jealousy, anger, and so on.

You might think that them taking away negative emotions is a good thing, but that’s not the case.

Imagine human emotions as a scale with pans labeled “Anger” and “Tolerance.” If a Phantom takes away your anger, it also takes away your tolerance.

Emotions are two sides of the same coin; taking one removes the other as well. You lose that emotion entirely.

That’s why humans and Phantoms are enemies.

Initially, the police and the Self-Defense Forces would respond to Phantoms, but their negative energy made any efforts futile, exacerbating the negativity instead.

However, not long after, beings capable of defeating Phantoms appeared.

Unlike Phantoms, who draw power from negative emotions, these beings harness positive emotions. People called them by various names: “Heroes,” “Psychics,” “Magical Girls,” “Holders,” “ESPers,” and so on. There’s no agreed-upon term, but “Heroes” is probably the most common. As they become more famous, they’re often called by their alias, or their “nickname,” following their transformation.

In cases like this one, where the hero is not well-known, they’re simply called a hero.

“Pretty close, Mepo.”

“Yes, indeed.”

The scene of the incident was not too far from home.

“We have to be careful…”

“Exactly, Mepo. You, Kurona, should be especially cautious.”

“I know, I know. I don’t want to get into any trouble either.”

At any rate, it’s best not to get involved. That’s the safest route and ensures no harm comes to anyone.

“More importantly, do we have time, Mepo?”

Prompted by Mepo, I check my watch. The hands indicated that it was fine for me to leave the house.

“Huh? Ah!”

I hurriedly shove breakfast into my mouth and wash it down with miso soup.

Stacking the dishes in the sink, I grab my wallet, phone, and keys and head out. I don’t need a bag today since I’m only going as a guardian.

“You were too focused on the news, Mepo.”

“Can’t help it! It’s like an occupational hazard!”

“Well, it’s good to be mindful of your rivals, Mepo.”

“It’s not about rivals; I just don’t want to bump into them… and don’t talk to me in public. We never know who’s listening.”

“Right, Mepo.”

Mepo shuts up, and I keep walking while checking the time.

At this pace, I’ll easily make it to school. I was in a rush before leaving the house, but unless something drastic happens, I shouldn’t be late for the entrance ceremony.

Was it because I thought that, or just bad timing? Either way, things like this seem to happen when you least expect them.

“Kurona! I’m sensing a Phantom, Mepo!”


Why now?!

“It’s close but not an immediate threat, Mepo!”

“Any other heroes around?”

“No one nearby, Mepo!”

In other words, I’m the only one here capable of fighting it.

I weigh my options. If I go on like this, I won’t make it to the entrance ceremony on time. However, I can’t ignore the Phantom either.


I growl, wrestling with my thoughts.

Do I attend Karen’s entrance ceremony or deal with the Phantom?

“Kurona, hurry up, Mepo!”

Mepo’s urgent voice hurries my indecision.

“Fine, got it! I’ll sort this out in five minutes!”

I decide to deal with it quickly and head off. My answer is a time trial.

“Then transform quickly, Mepo!”


“It’s okay, Mepo! No one’s around!”

Indeed, no one was around at this hour, and there was nowhere to hide. Plus, there wasn’t much time, and I didn’t have the luxury of choosing a location.

“Ugh, today is just one thing after another!”

Resigned, I yell and brace myself.


“Got it, Mepo!”

Mepo appears with a “pop,” resembling a plump white bear plushie—Mepo is the voice I’ve been hearing.

“Use it, Mepo!”

After a moment’s hesitation, I take the cute, decorative bracelet from Mepo.

I don’t want to wear it, but I have to if anything’s going to happen.

I fasten the bracelet on my right wrist and lift it to chest height.

“Now, transform, Mepo!”

Mepo’s enthusiastic words irk me.

If I could, I wouldn’t use this.

And so, regretfully, I admit I shouldn’t have chosen this path.

I, too, am among those the world calls heroes. However, I can’t proudly proclaim my heroics.

Because I’m not really a hero.

“Magical Flower, Blooming!”

As the incantation is spoken, my school uniform vanishes, replaced by a light glow of black that envelops me.

The black light coats and then reveals my body parts, each adorned with black clothing. “Pop, pop, pop,” one piece after another appears, finishing with large bows around my neck and waist.

My hair grows longer, held back by the newly appeared ribbons.

My body becomes more slender and feminine.

Once the transformation is complete, I open my eyes.

Standing there is an undeniable beauty—yet not just any girl.

Her outfit suggests both innocence and sensuality. She’s a girl on the verge of womanhood, wrapped in a Gothic Lolita costume.

Those who know her understand that she isn’t dressed this way on a whim.

I don’t need a mirror to know. The fact that I’ve become her is clear.

The reason I don’t want to transform, the reason I slightly regret choosing this path, is—

“Magical Girl: Magical Flower Black Rose!”

—because I am a magical girl.

After declaring my magical name, I strike a pose.

There, standing unmistakably, is a magical girl for anyone to see.

Yes, I am a magical girl.

This is the reason I don’t want to transform, the reason I slightly regret choosing this path.

A man, Kisaragi Kurona. The power I chose is that of a magical girl.

Even though I’m a man, I am a magical girl.


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