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Chapter 1: Magical Girl

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Author: Tsukishiro Rin Original Source: Syosetu Character Count: 6149 characters
Translator: Richie English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2759 words
Editor(s): Richie

If you ask me why I chose this path, my answer can’t be anything other than for the sake of my lovable little sister.

‘I don’t regret choosing this path, but perhaps I should have considered other paths, even briefly?’ so I have occasionally wondered. However, whenever I see my cute little sister’s face, my heart jumps out of my chest. Whenever I have second thoughts, that sight alone is enough to dispel my doubt.

—I love my cool and cute big brother!!—

When she says that innocently, all my doubts are blown far away. That’s the law of nature in my world. It’s inviolable.
That’s why I don’t regret choosing this path.
…but that only lasted for a while.

As years went by, I kept thinking that I should have chosen a different path.
In hindsight, the past me was unsophisticated.
I gave no thought when it came to granting my little sister’s wish. That’s how the pure and innocent me acted.

However, I can’t refute the fact that I was thoughtless. If I had thought it through even a little, I might have foreseen this.
There’s a thin line in the sand between simplicity and imprudence.
In any case, the current me thinks that I have chosen poorly.

Yes, why did I choose this path, I wonder.
I shouldn’t keep you in the dark any longer. You must be wondering about the path I’ve been talking about.
The path that I chose was—

Pi-pi-pi. Pi-pi-pi.

An unpleasant electronic sound assaulted my ears. As I knitted my eyebrows, my hand searched for the source of the noise.
The source, it went without saying, was my alarm clock.
Trying to turn it off, my hand grasped everywhere, but I couldn’t find the alarm clock at all.

“Hm, hmm?”

After a while, I noticed something odd.
I’m not a particularly rough sleeper. Besides, the clock should be where it has always been, on top of my table behind my bed.
Even considering that I was moving my hand randomly, it would be odd if it didn’t touch the clock even once.
While pondering this oddity, I sat up while rubbing my eyes. When I did that, the sound rang a little closer to me.

“You are finally awake.”

“Nn?”
With a light tone, the annoying sound died. But in its place, there was the little odd voice of a young girl.

When I heard that voice, I figured out why my alarm clock wasn’t there.

“…Good morning, Karen.”
“Morning, big brother. Breakfast is ready, so go down already.”
The one who replied to my greeting curtly was my lovely little sister, Kisaragi Karen.

She has long eyelashes and pretty eyes, and a pretty nose too. Her lips were also damp. She also has beautiful black hair that flows all the way to her waist. She looked like a fair young lady that would attract your attention on the street.

Karen returned the alarm clock to its place and exited the room. This kind of easygoing response makes her seem cold and keeps people away from her, but her highbrow attitude and atmosphere are also part of her charm.

Wait, Karen held the alarm clock, didn’t she? Why did she come to wake me up? Usually, she couldn’t care less whether I woke up or not…
I thought about this curious question, but I gave up after coming up with nothing.
Even though I couldn’t figure out the answer, I could find the alarm clock now, so to psych myself up, I stretched my body.

“I can’t. Too sleepy…”

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My drowsiness wouldn’t even come off after stretching.
Giving up on getting rid of it, I got down from my bed.
At a time like this, being in bed would make me sleepy. Let’s dress up.

After deciding upon that course of action, I immediately changed into my high school uniform, however, I suddenly remembered that my high school was temporarily suspended today. Why was the school closed today? The moment I remembered the reason, the answer to my earlier question also arrived with it.

“I see, today is her school entrance ceremony day…”

Yes, today was Karen’s school entrance ceremony day. My sister would go to the same school as I do starting from today.

In that case, I have to change into the uniform anyway. I continued moving my hand that stopped when I grabbed the uniform, and started changing.

It was the school entrance ceremony, so all students were let go today. It would only be the newly admitted students and their guardians who would go to school today.

Both of our parents were overseas, so as her big brother, I would be her guardian for the ceremony.

I did call my parents, despite the international call fare, to ask if they would return, at least for her school entrance ceremony. However, they said their workplace was swamped with work right now and couldn’t be left behind, so they wouldn’t be returning home. I didn’t know what kind of work they had, but I wished they would at least come and see Karen during her entrance ceremony.

Well, that’s my ego talking, but I won’t admit it. I have my own feelings, but my parents also have their own circumstances. Some things are just not possible.

“Big brother, hurry up!”

While I was thinking and changing, Karen impatiently called me from the first floor.

“I’m coming!”

I shouted back and changed hastily.

With my necktie in hand, I walked out of my room and then to the washroom.
I stood in front of the mirror to put on my necktie and to fix my bed hair.
Reflected in the mirror was the face that I’ve seen countless times.

My hair was a little long, and my eyes were long and slit. Some people said that my eyes were a sight for sore eyes, but my friends praised my eyes, saying they were pretty. They said that the mole under my eyes was sexy, but I didn’t think that a man would be happy with that compliment.

In any case, my usual face was reflected in the mirror.

“Okay, it’s done.”

After checking my looks, I moved towards my sister, waiting in the living room.

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“You’re slow. Eat quickly.”
“Sorry, sorry.”

The displeased Karen said, and I answered with a pained smile.
I sat down and clasped my hands, ‘thank you for the meal.’
Today’s breakfast was toast bread topped with a sunny-side-up egg, salad, and miso soup.
In my house, the soup on the menu is always miso soup. No exceptions, even for a special day.
I’m not unhappy with this arrangement. Miso soup is delicious, after all.

I felt like I ate breakfast earlier than usual.

“Then, I’m leaving.”
“Eeh, why not go together?”
“No way, it’s embarrassing. Besides, the guardian’s arrival time cutoff is a little later.”

Karen showed me the guide brochure of the entrance ceremony.

“Ah, you’re right…”
“Then, see you later.”

After she said that, she immediately left the house.
After I heard the slam of the front door, I sighed.
If she was going ahead anyway, why did she rush me to eat the breakfast…

“She is a tsuntsun little sister as usual, Mep.”

That voice reverberated as soon as Karen left. Anyone would jump out of their skin in this situation. Unfortunately, I was used to it.

“She is at that difficult age. It can’t be helped.”
“Despite that, your feeling of rejection is plain to see, Mep.”
“Of course, I still feel rejected. We could have walked together to school…”
“Haa… you, Kurona, are a bonafide siscon, Mep.”

Said the hopeless voice, sounding a little annoyed.

“Maple, you don’t get it. You’re a single child after all.”
“I wish I had a pretty big sister myself!”
“I don’t care…”

I replied a little harshly, but Maple wasn’t bothered by it. Instead, he changed the topic of conversation as if nothing had happened.

Maple had told me about its desire to have a big sister. His reason was outrageously stupid though, so I didn’t feel like listening to it again.

I took a TV remote and pressed its button. There was time, so I wanted to watch the news.
Coincidentally, the news program was rolling. I continued to eat as the news program progressed.
The news reporter energetically opened the program by introducing the day’s topic.

“A phantom, which appeared last night, has been dispatched by an unknown hero passing by. The hero is praised and thanked by the nearby residents.”

I heard a very interesting word from the script the news caster read.

A few decades ago, a disturbing existence appeared in the world: the Phantom.

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The Phantom, likely residents of the world of darkness, came to this world to collect negative energy: hatred, jealousy, anger, and so on. All types of negative energy are apparently a source of power for the Phantom.

If you hear that they snatched away these negative energies, you might think it’s a good thing, but in practice, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s say hypothetically, human emotions exist on a scale. On that scale, “hatred” and “generosity” balance each other. Then, sometimes, the scale tips in favor of “hatred”. At that time, a Phantom will snatch away that “hatred”.
When that happens, a Phantom actually snatches both “hatred” and “generosity”.
When it comes to emotion, both the positive and negative feelings are two opposite faces of the same coin; you can’t snatch one without also snatching the other.
In other words, the Phantom actually takes the whole scale with them.

When that happens, that human will lose that emotion. That person will forget how that emotion feels.
On that basis, the Phantom are threatening humanity.

At first, when the Phantom appeared, police or JSDF were dispatched, but they were helpless against the negative energy techniques the Phantom used, and the dispatched law enforcement and armed forces had their emotions robbed, turning into husks of flesh.

However, not long after, beings capable of taking down the Phantom appeared.
These beings use a different type of energy from the Phantom. They use the power of positive emotion. People call them “hero”, “supernatural user”, “magical girl”, “the Holder”, “ESP”, and so on. There isn’t a consensus on how to call them, but they are most commonly called “heroes”. They soon became popular, and they call themselves by different names after transformation. Each of them is known by their ‘alias’.

“That was really close, Mep.”
“Yeah.”

The incident covered wasn’t that far from home.

“If we aren’t careful…”
“You’re right, Mep. That applies especially to you, Mep.”
“I get it. I’m sorry for being a bother.”

Anyhow, it’s best not to get involved. It’s the best way not to get hurt.

“That aside, do you still have enough time, Mep?”
When Maple said that, I checked the clock. The time on the clock indicated that I would barely make it in time for the ceremony.

“Eh? Ah!”

I panicly stuffed my breakfast into my mouth and pushed it all in with the miso soup.
I put all the tableware into the sink, grabbed my wallet, phone, and keys, and then left the house. This time, I came only as a guardian, so I didn’t need to bring my bag or any other school stuff.

“Geez, you got too absorbed in the news, Mep.”
“It can’t be helped! It’s a habit that comes with the profession!”
“Well, it is good that you care about your rivals, Mep.”
“You say that we are rivals, but we don’t butt heads with each other… that aside, don’t talk outside. We won’t know if anyone is listening.”
“Alright, Mep.”

Maple became as quiet as a rock.
I checked the time again as I walked.
Alright, if I maintain this speed, I should be able to reach the school in time. I left the house barely in time, but if there’s no accident, then I will make it for the ceremony.

Maybe I shouldn’t have raised the flag. This timing was horrible. What I meant was, now just had to be the time for an incident to happen. It just has to be now.

“Kurona! A Phantom is detected, Mep!”
“—kh!”

Why now!!

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“It’s close, but you won’t see each other right away, Mep!”
“What about other heroes?”
“There are none around, Mep!”

In other words, I’m the only one on location who can fight right now.
I thought for a second. At this rate, I won’t make it to the ceremony. However, I can’t leave the Phantom unchecked.

“Ugigig…!”

A groan could be heard while I was thinking.
Which was more important, Karen’s school entrance ceremony, or the Phantom?

“Kurona, hurry, Mep!” Maple called out to me with urgency.
“Aah, I know! I know! I will end this in five minutes!” I quickly moved to the scene to sort it out quickly, yelling out my time limit.

“Then, transform, Mep, quick!”
“Can I do it here?”
“It’s fine, Mep! There’s no one around, Mep!”

He was right; the surroundings were oddly deserted, not even a shadow to be seen. Besides, there was nowhere to hide nearby. There was no time to find one. I had no luxury to find a spot.

“Arrgh! Today is just one misfortune after another!!”

I yelled out my desperation and resolved myself.

“Maple!”
“Understood, Mep!”

When I called for him, Maple, who had been hiding until now, showed himself.
With a light clap, a curious creature that looked like a small, but quite wide, polar bear plushie appeared.
This creature was the true form of the voice I had been talking to, Maple.

“Here, Mep!”

Maple handed over a cute ornamental bracelet, which I accepted without hesitation.
I actually felt repulsed wearing it, but if I didn’t wear it, nothing would begin, and nothing would end.
Feeling resigned, I put on the bracelet on my right wrist, and then brought it close to my chest.

“Now, transform, Mep!”

Maple energetically yelled.
I didn’t want to use this if possible.
Aah, I thought again, I shouldn’t have picked this path.

You should have noticed this by now, but I’m also one of the heroes in this world. However, I can’t proudly perform this hero activity.
Why? I’m not a hero after all.

“Magical Flower—! Blooming—!!!”

Immediately after the activation keywords, my high school’s rule-compliant uniform vanished mysteriously, and a pale black light wrapped around my body.

At the parts of my body covered by the black light, it burst open with a clap at its conclusion. Black clothes appeared on those locations with a ‘pon’.
Next, clothes appeared on my tummy with a ‘pon’, and then the last to appear was the ribbon on my neck, with a ‘pon’ too.
My hair’s length grew to my ribbon’s position.
My body, which was slender to begin with, slimmed even more, taking on a more feminine figure.

After the transformation ended, I opened my eyes.
There, a beautiful young girl whose looks no one could complain about stood. However, she wasn’t just any girl.

Her clothes, while giving the impression of gentleness and tenderness, with her belly button and shoulder exposed, also gave the impression of allure. A girl on the verge of becoming a lady. The dangerously charming girl was wearing Gothic Lolita clothing.

It might be a sight that you might see at an event, but those who knew her understood that she wasn’t merely dressing up for shows.

I didn’t need a mirror to find out. The truth was that I had turned into a her.
This was the reason I hesitated to transform, the source of my slight regret for choosing this path. Because—

“Magical girl! Magical Flower! Black Rose!”

—I’m a magical girl, that’s why.

I announced my alias, and then I struck my pose.
The one who stood there was unmistakably a magical girl.
Yes, I’m a magical girl.

This was the reason I didn’t want to transform.1 
Male, Kisaragi Kurona. My chosen power is a magical girl.
While I’m a boy, I’m also a magical girl.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Editor: This line gets a bit too repetitive now so I’m having a conundrum on whether to delete it for the longest time. In the end, I decided to delete the latter part and changed the previous line a bit.
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