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Chapter 2: Phantom

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The reason I became a magical girl is terrifyingly simple.

To become a hero or a magical girl, you have to make a contract with a strange creature like Meporu—although they insist they’re fairies.

Why we have to make contracts, I never bothered to find out. I just took it as a given.

Anyway, I met Meporu when I was in elementary school.

Meporu told me that I had the talent to gain power.

At that time, I saw Meporu as nothing more than a talking stuffed animal, and I thought their words were some kind of joke.

So I didn’t think too deeply about what Meporu said. That’s why, without much thought, I carelessly gave my answer.

“If you could gain power, what kind of power would you like, Mepo?”

Little did I know, Meporu’s question would shape the course of my life.

Remembering that Karen loved magical girls, I spoke without thinking, just wanting to make her happy.

“I want to become a magical girl!”

And thus, the contract was made.

I acquired the powers of a magical girl.

In short, the current situation is entirely my fault, a result of my own ignorance and carelessness.

Putting aside why I became a magical girl, I feel utterly dispirited as I transform into Black Rose.

“Anyway, no time to sulk! Meporu, guide the way!”

“Understood, Mepo!”

Remembering why I transformed in the first place, I hurry to the scene following Meporu’s directions.

Although the scene is quite a distance away, it takes only a matter of seconds to get there with the agility of Black Rose.

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Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, I take a shortcut across rooftops, startling a napping cat along the way. I apologize with a quick “sorry.”

Soon enough, the Phantom about to attack a passerby comes into view.

“Black Rose, hurry up, Mepo!”

“I get it!”

I leap into the air and gather strength in the soles of my feet before releasing it.

Using the inertia of my strength, I close in on the Phantom midair. I could have flown, but at this distance, this is more than enough.

Before the Phantom notices, I kick it away.



The Phantom, resembling a white goat in a costume, goes flying.

Though my eyes are on the Phantom, I also turn my attention to the person I shielded.

“Are you alright?”

“Y-yes, I’m f-fine.”

The woman responds, seemingly shaken but coherent.

Good, it seems her emotions haven’t been stolen.

“Step back, I’ll take care of this quickly.”


Though flustered, she obeys and distances herself. Now, I can fight without any qualms.

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“Guu! That hurt, meh! Who are you, meh! Who kicked me, meh!”

The Phantom rises to its feet, infuriated.

“Muh! You’re a magical girl, meh?! How dare you, meh!”

“Quiet. You, on the other hand, were planning on attacking people, so you’re the one at fault here.”

“Meh meh meh! Negative human energy is delicious, meh! Food should be tasty, meh! I’ve done nothing wrong, meh!”

“Attacking people is assault, a proper crime. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. You should obey the rules of this land.”

“Meh! None of that matters to us, meh! We’ll do as we like, meh!”

This guy’s brain is truly scrambled—living in some sort of fairyland.

I’ve tried reasoning with Phantoms before, but it never works; they’re just too stubborn.

Being faithful to their own instincts and utterly self-centered is the nature of Phantoms.

I don’t have the time or the means to reason with them long-term, and there are no facilities to contain them.

That leaves me no option but to take them down.

And time is of the essence right now, so I’ll have to cut the negotiations short here.

“Ah, you need to be punished, don’t you?”

“It’s not my name, Me! I am—Whack!?”

Seizing the opportunity while Phantom is talking angrily, I close the distance and punch him in the face. At the same time, I don’t forget to coat my hand with a black light.

“Me, Me, Me, Me, annoying!”

“Me, Me… I was still talking, Me…”

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“No questions asked. If you’re going to leave, now’s the time, you know?”

“Who said I’m leaving, Me! You won’t get the last laugh—”

“NO QUESTIONS! Forced Return!”

“—What the!?”

Seeing no intention to leave, I strike with my fist coated in black light.

Phantom is sent flying, tumbling through the air. Waiting at his destination is Mepor, who opens a gate to send Phantom back to the world of darkness.

“Me, Meeeeeee! I haven’t had my energy meal yet, Meeeeeee!”

“That’s a relief.”

And so, Phantom, who was sent flying, goes through the gate and is forcibly returned to the world of darkness.

Mission accomplished. Phantom extermination complete.

This is the job of Magical Girl Black Rose.

Beating up Phantom and sending him back to the world of darkness is our role. Well, some of us are also active as idols, but given my circumstances, I neither can nor want to do that.

“Um, excuse me!”

“Hm? Oh, are you okay?”

Just as I catch my breath after the battle, a voice calls out to me. Looking up, a woman who had been attacked by Phantom earlier is standing there. I hadn’t noticed before, but she’s wearing the uniform of my high school. Her red ribbon indicates she’s a freshman.

Her hair is a beautiful chestnut color, and her features are well-proportioned. More than pretty, her face suits the word ‘cute’. She is, by all means, a beautiful young girl.

“Ye, yes! Um, thank you so much!”

I give her a warm smile.

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“I’m glad you’re safe.”


“Something wrong?”

“No, no! Nothing!”

She suddenly clutches her chest and blushes. At first, I worry that something might be wrong, but she seems fine as she briskly salutes.

“Recently, Phantoms have been appearing more frequently, so please be careful.”


She vigorously nods, clearly relieved to have been saved.

I gently place my hand on her head to calm her down.

“Eh, eh?”

“It must have been scary. It’s okay now.”

I stroke her head gently.


When I touch her, she blushes and becomes flustered.

Hmm, perhaps at this age, having your head patted is embarrassing?

Feeling as if I’ve done something wrong, I quickly remove my hand.


“Hm? What’s wrong?”

“No, nothing at all!”

“Is that so?”

I was a bit concerned by her regretful tone, but if it’s nothing, then it’s nothing.

“Black Rose, is the timing good, Mepor?”

“Time? Oh!?”

I had forgotten! I was on my way to the entrance ceremony!

“Sorry, I’ve got to hurry…”

I suddenly remember that she’s wearing the uniform of Hanasaki High School, which I also attend. And given the color of her ribbon, she’s a freshman too…

“Isn’t today your entrance ceremony?”

“Eh? Oh, what?!”

When I point it out, she clutches her head in panic.

Hmm, this could work. Even if I stand out, I have a good excuse, so it should be fine.

As a magical girl, I can’t afford to let my true identity be revealed. Especially as a male, the risk after being exposed is substantially higher. So, I try my best to avoid any situation that could identify me personally.

However, if the pretext is that I’m taking her to school, there would be no problem with me going there in this form. Once I get to the school, I can simply find a secluded area to revert back. Ah, perfect if I do say so myself.

No time to dawdle now.

“Alright, in that case, let me take you to school.”

“Really? But Black Rose, aren’t you in a hurry?”

“Yes, I am, but there’s still time, so it’s fine.”

I am in a hurry, but we’re going to the same destination and I have a surefire way to get us there on time, so it’s not an issue.

“But, it would be really troublesome for you…”

“No time for debate. Let’s move.”

“Eh, what?!”

“Excuse me for a moment.”

Before she can protest, I scoop her up in a princess carry.

“W-what is happening?!”

“Hold on tight!”

Ignoring her astonished cries, I focus my power into my legs and leap into the air.


Ignoring her shrieks, I cloak my feet in black light and maintain a steady propulsion. This allows me to soar freely through the sky.

During combat, I usually focus energy around my wrists for stability, but for mere travel, just my feet suffice.

Soaring through the air, I head straight for the school.

At this moment, preoccupied with time, I don’t notice the gaze watching me, nor the malice it carries.

I am unaware of the enemy’s ill intent.

Flying in the sky, I can quickly see the school, our destination, appearing before us. Even though I’m decelerating, flying is overwhelmingly faster than walking, especially since there are no obstacles in the air.

Gradually slowing down, I land gently in front of the school gate. She could’ve been dropped off right in front of the gym, but it’s her first day at high school. She would want to walk through the gate herself.

Gently, I put her down.

“Um, thank you very much!”

She bows her head politely in gratitude.

“Don’t mention it. Besides, I’m coming with you. Even if we say we were attacked by a phantom, the school might not find it believable. So, I, as a somewhat publicly recognized magical girl, will accompany you to explain to the teachers. That should suffice as proof.”

We made it on time this time, but if we’d arrived just in time for the start of the entrance ceremony, it would have left a bad impression on the teachers as well.

“Y-Yes! Thank you!”

“Alright, let’s go.”


We hurry toward the gymnasium at a brisk pace.

The surroundings are deserted; it’s obvious that everyone has already gathered in the gym.

Knowing the school’s layout, I casually lead the way to the gym.

When we reach the gym’s entrance, a teacher is waiting in front of the door.

Good, the door hasn’t closed yet.

Given that the ceremony was about to begin in a few minutes, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the door had already been closed. They must’ve waited until the last moment for us.

“I’m sorry, we’re late!”

Upon hearing her, the teacher—who had been scrutinizing the list of new students—looks up.

That teacher is someone I know too, Ayame Nanri, the Modern Japanese teacher.

“Ah, you’re here—Wait, Black Rose!?”

First, her eyes catch sight of her, then they shift to me, and Ms. Ayame lets out a cry of astonishment. Her voice echoes surprisingly loud in the gym, which is enveloped in the unique quietude and moderate hustle and bustle right before the ceremony starts.

From inside the gym, voices rise: “Black Rose?” “Eh, the Black Rose?” “No way, it’s the real deal!” Clearly, I’m the topic of animated discussion.

Curious eyes focus on us.

Doing my best to ignore the attention, I explain the situation to Ms. Ayame.

“I helped her when she was being attacked by a Phantom. She wouldn’t have made it to the ceremony otherwise, so I brought her along.”

I state this succinctly, yet precisely.

“I see. Thank you very much.”

Ms. Ayame bows deeply and respectfully.

“It’s merely a duty fulfilled.”

“Even so, you protected one of our valuable students. Thank you.”

I find her non-presumptuous gratitude quite appealing.

“Then I’ll gratefully accept your thanks.”

“Would you? Also, are you alright? No injuries?”

“I’m fine. Black Rose protected me.”

“Good to hear.”

Upon confirming her well-being, Ms. Ayame breathes a sigh of relief and smiles softly.

“Let’s get inside quickly; there’s no time to waste.”

“Understood. Black Rose, thank you so much! Today will be a memory for a lifetime!”

“Haha, you’re exaggerating.”

I can’t help but smile at her words. While I don’t expect anything in return for helping, it’s nice to hear such sentiments.

“By the way, Black Rose, may I make a proposal?”

“? What is it?”

“I’d like you to participate in the entrance ceremony as well, if you don’t mind.”


Caught off guard by Ms. Ayame’s words, I let out a bewildered exclamation.

“Your presence would make this a wonderful memory for everyone.”

“That sounds amazing! Black Rose, let’s do it!”

She joins in, her eyes sparkling in agreement.

“Of course, there will be a small stipend. Though it’s out of my own pocket, so it won’t be much.”

“No, I don’t need any payment!”

Accepting payment would be outrageous! I have no intention of making a job out of this. Once I take a job like that, it would be difficult to turn down similar offers later.

“Oh, but, Black Rose, you have other commitments, right?”

“Do you?”

“Eh, well, uh…”

I can’t very well say that my ‘commitment’ is to attend my sister’s entrance ceremony as a guardian. My home situation is rather unique; revealing that would expose my true identity.

“Then we can’t insist you stay…”

“Aww, Black Rose…”

The two of them somehow look sad.

Even though I have some level of recognition, I shouldn’t be popular. And yet, both of them look sad. Seeing their faces, I can’t help but feel guilty.

…I shouldn’t be making them feel this way.

“Alright, I’ll participate.”


“Yes. The ‘business’ I had is not particularly urgent.”

Although I’ll be attending the entrance ceremony in a different form, I’ll still be there for Karen’s entrance. And it was written in the letter to the guardians that joining the ceremony midway isn’t allowed. There’s no way I can find an empty place to revert back to my original form and still make it in time.

Above all, Karen probably won’t care whether I’m there or not…

Ever since she started middle school, Karen has been distant towards me. While I’m happy that she’s becoming more independent, part of me feels a little lonely.

“In that case, we’ll prepare a seat for you in the guest section.”

“Thank you, Black Rose!”

“No problem. Might as well.”

“You should go sit down. It’s about to start.”

“Understood! Black Rose, please watch!”

“Of course, I’ll be watching.”

As she waves at me and heads towards the seat reserved for new students, I give her a small wave back.

“Shall we go then?”


We step inside the gymnasium and are directed to the guest seats.

The moment we enter the gymnasium, the surrounding buzz noticeably intensifies.

In a room filled with people in uniforms and suits, exuding an air of formal politeness, I stand out like a sore thumb in my slightly over-the-top Gothic Lolita fashion.

Yep, I stick out—a lot. The sense of being out of place is overwhelming.

Guided to the guest seats in this atmosphere, I feel even more out of place.

Wondering if I’ve perhaps jumped the gun, I glance at the new students. I’m slightly taken aback by the intrigued gazes from the boys and girls who are curiously looking in my direction.

In the midst of this, I spot her from earlier. She gives me a small wave from her chest level. It’s such a charming gesture that I unconsciously relax my expression and wave back.

And then, the murmuring among the boys and girls noticeably intensifies.

Voices ring out: “She waved at me!” “Idiot! As if it’s you! She waved at me!” “No way! Obviously, she waved at me!” “Wow, Black Rose is smiling and waving!” “Big sister, you’re so lovely…” “Ah, I want to be pampered with that smile,” “Actually, I want her to step on me!” and so on. There were some rather abnormal comments mixed in, but it seemed like they were all taking it positively, which was good.

But still, maybe it’s because this is my hometown? Quite a few people seem to know about me.

…I wonder, could Karen possibly be pleased as well?

Karen loved magical girls. I’m not sure if she still does, but if she’s happy, that would make me happy too.

Thinking so, I begin searching for Karen among the new students. It doesn’t take me long to find her.

Karen is sitting two rows behind the girl I spotted earlier.

I feel relieved to see that she has arrived at school, but something about Karen’s demeanor seems off.

She keeps looking back, and each time she does, her adorable face clouds over.

Wondering what’s wrong, I’m about to observe her more carefully when the announcement for the start of the entrance ceremony comes on.

After that, I decide to focus on the entrance ceremony.

I’m still concerned about Karen, but I have a job to do, and I need to do it properly.


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