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Chapter 4: Right on The Heels of Yesterday

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Author: Tsukishiro Rin Original Source: Syosetu Character Count: 4386 characters
Translator: Richie English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1995 words
Editor(s): Richie

It was the day after yesterday, another day at school. While everyone’s nerves were still stirred or excited from the new semester, my heart was still in turmoil. This morning, I tried to talk to Karen, but she blatantly disregarded me. It had only been two days, but any more, and my heart would break.

I walked to school dispiritedly, hung up on the thought that this kind of days might continue. The worst of all was that Karen’s ignorance was painful. Previously, she replied to me with an icy tone, but at least she replied. I didn’t know what Karen thought of me, but I thought of her as my precious little sister. Our parents were absent from home, so I wanted to make up with her. After all, I couldn’t bear the idea of living in a home with just the two of us, surrounded by an icy atmosphere.

Moreover, we used to get along, so I thought, no, wanted to fix our relationship. I wanted us to spend time together amicably and livelily. If we could achieve that, I felt like every day would be cheerful.

That’s why the current situation was too painful for me. At the very least, I had to restore our relationship to its previous state. To that end, today’s consultation was very important. She was a girl, like Karen, so I wanted to hear her opinion. It could serve as a reference for my current problem.

However, this consultation was hard for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want this conversation. It was just that my conversation partner was a little hard to deal with, dampening my mood to meet her.

“Haa…”

I sighed involuntarily.

“I have heard that pain will go away every time you sigh, Mep.”
“I’m in my unhappiest period, so I would very much like for it to go away if it can…”

Right now, there wasn’t a balance between happiness and unhappiness. It was pure unhappiness inside of me.

“How long are you going to lament over what has happened, Mep? Isn’t it better to just confess everything to her, Mep?”
“That’s not good. I would do it if I were still small, but now it’s definitely off-limits.”

When we were young, I frequently transformed into a magical girl and invited Karen to play together. I can’t do that anymore. I’m a boy, both in soul and body. Not to mention, I don’t know what Karen would think of it if she knew. I looked androgynous back then, so it felt okay to be a magical girl, but now, if Karen knew that a boy with evil-looking eyes like me was a magical girl, she would definitely look at me with disgust1.

“She definitely wouldn’t accept the fact that a boy is a magical girl.”
“There isn’t any difference in aesthetics though, Mep.”
“Jeez, that’s the exact same thing Shin said!”

I felt a little rattled by Maple’s regrettable evaluation. Previously, I had told Shin about why I hadn’t filled Karen in about being a magical girl, but his comment was the same as Maple’s. Well, he had explained it in more words, though.

“No matter how you look at me, you can’t see me as a girl.”
“Kurona, you should stare long and hard into a mirror sometimes, Mep.”
“I stare at it every morning, though…”
“In that case, you are selling yourself short, Mep.”
“I think it’s already appropriate, though.”
“That’s what I’m saying, you aren’t—Mep!”

Maple shouted in the middle of his words.

“What’s wrong?”
“It’s a Phantom, Mep!”
“Two days in a row!?”
“It isn’t unprecedented, Mep! Same as yesterday, there’s no other hero detected in the area, Mep!”
“So it’s up to me alone again! How unlucky I am!”

I complained as I broke into a run. Someone had to do it, but if there was no one else, then I just had to do it myself.

“Maple!”
“Yes, Mep!”

Maple flew right behind me and gave me the bracelet, which I immediately put on my right hand.

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“Is there anyone nearby!?”
“There’s none, Mep!”
“In that case… Magical Flower, Black Rose!!”

I chanted my transformation phrase as I ran. The transformation was over in just one step. At that step, Kisaragi Kurona was gone, and only Magical Girl: Magical Flower, Black Rose could be seen there.

“Maple, guide me!”
“Affirmative, Mep!”

Maple flew ahead of me. I chased after him at full speed. I took a shortcut through the roofs and vaulting over walls. I could have flown through the sky like yesterday, but Maple was flying low, so it was faster to run than to fly.

Before long, a scream could be heard. I saw the person not long after. I saw a Phantom that looked like a black goat plushie, and a female student from Kasaki High School under attack. While feeling a sense of déjà vu with the situation, I kicked the ground hard, homing in on the enemy.

“Seiyaaa!!”
“Hebufu!?”

There was no use arguing with it, so I used violence instead. I hit it as hard as I liked without letting it make excuses or explanations.

“Another attack like yesterday. What, did that white goat ask you to do this?”
“You hit me without greeting first, what a barbaric magical girl, Mé! By the way, my relationship with that person is like cats and dogs!!”
“Being barbaric is fine. The safety of civilians is the most important, after all. Oh right, so you two don’t get along…”

Even while thinking that I had received useless information, I ensured that the female student was protected behind me, and then I scowled at the Phantom.

“I extended this offer to the white goat yesterday too, but I will extend it to you too. Right now, you can still turn back and go home. How about it?”
“Mé! That won’t do, Mé! Mé have been ordered to attack that kid, Mé!”
“Hee, so you have a superior.”
“Crap, Mé! I’m not supposed to talk about that, Mé!”

The Phantom panicked.

Phantoms with the form of plushies are often dumb, I understood this from the countless battles I have had with them. And so, they sometimes let some information slip out of their tongues. That’s why when they are deployed, they are told the absolute minimum amount of information, so there’s little point in interrogating them.

However, the information this time was a little useful. This Phantom has either a lot of collaborators or a higher-up.

“Now, will you cough out more for me?”
“W, who’s coughing anything, Mé!”
“What’s the name of your superior?”
“It’s Master Ziege, Mé!”
“I see, thanks.”
“I did it again, Mé!?”

He really was stupid. The stupidest one I had ever seen.

“What else do you know?”
“It’s vexing, Mé, but I don’t know anything else, Mé!”

The Phantom triumphantly answered me. Yep, he truly was an idiot.

“So I now know that you don’t know anything. In other words, you have no more use to me.”
“……you’re right, Mé! You’re smart, Mé!”

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The Phantom nodded at me repeatedly as if I had given him a revelation. For some reason, he was admiring me terribly. This kid was really so stupid that I almost worried about his future. Anyhow, that person was a Phantom. If there was no more information to be extracted, then any further dialogue was useless. Besides, I was getting late for school.

“I feel bad for making you head over heels for me, but I have no time. Let me sort this out promptly.”
“I won’t let you, Mé! Mé have to accomplish my order, Mé!”

The Phantom leaped at me. He was met with my fist on the other side. I concentrated all my energy, pulled my right hand back, and extended my left hand forward to aim. Right now, he was leaping through the air. In other words, he couldn’t change course. Black light wrapped and condensed around my right hand.

“Punishment Fist!!”

After that, I released my punch. Using my left hand to aim, my punch flew accurately to the target’s abdomen.

“Megeee!?”

The Phantom was blown away, making a sound as if it was about to throw up. Maple, who was one step ahead, was in position, had completed his preparation, and opened the gate. The Phantom was thrown through the gate as he screamed “Mé!”. With this, my job was complete.

However, I wondered who Master Ziege, mentioned by the black goat Phantom, was. It’s not odd for Phantoms to work together, but this was the first time I had heard of them organizing on this scale. I might need to be on the lookout. I have to stay alert for now.

In any case, I could do nothing about it right now. I needed to prioritize the girl I was protecting behind me.

“Huu… are you all… right?”

I took a breather and turned around, speaking out to the girl. However, I stuttered at the end. The girl who was behind me was the same girl that I saved yesterday, the same girl that hung out at my house yesterday — in other words, it was Amasaki Sakura.

I thought that it was very miraculous timing. Coaxing my own panic, I put on the calmest voice I could muster.

“Umm, we last met yesterday, didn’t we?”
“Y, yes! We last met yesterday, Black Rose!”

Amasaki-san replied to me happily. Yesterday, she said that she was a fan of Black Rose, so it was obvious that she would be happy to meet me.

“It’s good that you look lively. So, are you alright? Are you injured?”
“I’m alright! Black Rose protected me, so there’s not even a scratch!”
“I see, that’s good.”

Sakura reported with excessive happiness.

…Are you really that happy to be able to meet Black Rose? I can’t say anything because I don’t know my own objective worth though. Well, I guess no one can answer the question of whether they would be happy to meet themselves.

“Just as a friendly reminder, isn’t it better to walk together with a friend to and from school? Walking alone is dangerous.”
“Yes, I will do so starting tomorrow! Ah, but, I would rather walk together with Black Rose, I, I wish…”

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She started off by saying that excitedly, but her face turned red on the second part of the sentence. This girl really liked Black Rose that much, huh…

Even as I involuntarily smiled bitterly, I stroked Amasaki-san’s head.

“I can’t do that. Even though it may seem like I’m unoccupied, I’m actually busy every day.”

Well, to be honest, I was mainly reducing the risk of my cover being blown.

“O, of course! It’s just a joke! I’m satisfied with the pats! Hu, huhehe…”

Amasaki-san’s face melted as she said that. I thought she was a kid who held herself together, but she turned too loose the moment she was in front of Black Rose.

I lastly tapped her head twice lightly before taking my hand off. A face of reluctance flashed in Amasaki-san’s, but I couldn’t keep patting her forever.

“Then, see you later. Be careful.”

I needed to start heading to school. I couldn’t be late so early into the semester, after all.

“Ah, wait!”

I immediately turned around, and Amasaki-san spoke flusteredly. I looked at her, wondering what happened. She embarrassingly, with her face red, pulled out her smartphone.

“Um, can we take a photo together?”

When she asked, I bitterly smiled, remembering what she said yesterday.



Footnotes:

  1. The main character’s eyes have been unveiled as slitted eyes. The “evil-looking eyes” remark is referring to this. Bad people has usually been depicted with this kind of eyes in manga/anime.
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