Shizuku rushed with a worried look into a small park a slight distance away from the residential area from before. It seemed that Hajime was also nearby, because he arrived together with Shizuku.
「So she ended up causing a scene. What’s more, she did it by taking a really nasty method.」
Hajime said such thing with a cold voice when he saw the person sitting down beside Kaori. The voice without a shred of warmth in it and the straightforward words caused the person’s big body to twitch.
Shizuku thanked Kaori once more for contacting her and then she moved her gaze toward that person――Fudou Akari.
Fudou didn’t react and kept looking down. Her expression and eyes were dark. Not even the slightest bit of dominating aura could be felt from her large body. And above all else……the track of nosebleed Kaori-san’s face punch was terrible. The smashed mask put beside her indicated the gruesomeness of that punch.
「……Just quickly call the police or whatever.」
After some time of silence, Fudou whispered those words with faint volume. Self-abandonment could be felt from that voice. There were also resignation and weariness mixed in it. It was as though she was a tired old woman despite her youth.
Indeed, although it was only an attempt but what Fudou did was still a criminal act. She was completely a suspicious person. After all, she was Lord Vad○r in the middle of day. She had no way to make any excuse.
But, Shizuku really hesitated when Fudou mentioned about calling police.
As though sensing that hesitation of Shizuku, Kaori opened her mouth with an expression that looked worried for both Fudou and Shizuku.
「You see, Shizuku-chan. From the start it didn’t look like Fudou-san planned to actually hit me you know?」
Fudou looked at Kaori with a taken aback expression, and Shizuku also faced Kaori with a questioning look that wondered what she meant.
「The shinai sabe――cough-. The shinai you see, it suddenly lost momentum just before it was going to hit. Perhaps, she might be intending to stop just barely before it hit. Even in the case that it hit me, I think it would only hurt me somewhat without any injury. She was also aiming at the shoulder just in case.」
Shizuku understood that Fudou still hadn’t lost her rationality after hearing Kaori’s words and let out a sight of relieve. On the other hand, Fudou was looking at Kaori with a shocked expression for some reason, but right after that, she made a ridiculed face as though exposing her whole sense of inferiority.
While that happened, Hajime was directing an admiring gaze toward Kaori.
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「Even while understanding that it won’t be a problem, you snapped the opponent’s shinai, and in the end you even smashed her face…… Kaori-san, that’s lovely yes.」
「Tha, that couldn’t be helped! Because, it was Lord Vade○ right in the middle of town! Anyone would be shaken just like me! There was even the sound ‘SSSHHH, HOHHHH’!」
「I think that sound is unreated though……」
Kaori was speaking her justification with bright red face. In respond Hajime was looking at her with a gentle and understanding expression while glancing at the pulverized mask and Fudou’s face that was dyed with nosebleed, and then he snapped a thumb up at her.
Kaori-san rushed forward. She let out her protesting punches *poka poka* at Hajime.
Seeing such Kaori at the corner of her sight, Fudou raised a low laughing voice that was unmistakably self-deprecating this time.
「Just laugh at me, Yaegashi. My sword is completely seen through by a normal girl who doesn’t even do kendo. Hahahah, I’m really laughable. Anything and everything I did is just pointless. In the end, the kid who have it will go above the kid who is have-not even without doing anything.」
Actually Shizuku really wanted to make denial at the part when Fudou said normal girl. Depending on the situation, Kaori was stronger than Shizuku. After all, her specs were that of a god’s apostle. It was fine to even call it a foul play.
After laughing for a while, Fudou looked exhausted as though her soul had slipped out from her body, then she said one more time 「Just call the police already」. It was clear even without any words. She was broken right now. She had given up her own life as worthless.
Seeing such Fudou, Shizuku closed her eyes once and then whispered with a faint voice.
「――You are a woman?」
Fudou twitched and trembled. She thought that Shizuku was making fun of her. She thought that this was the payback for her trying to hurt Shizuku’s friend.
But, Shizuku’s next words caused her heart that should have been closed to unconsciously react.
「You see, at the past when I was in elementary school, I was once told that.」
It couldn’t be helped that her gaze turned unconsciously suspicious. There was no way Yaegashi Shizuku who was praised as a beautiful girl by everyone would be gotten told that.
Shizuku made a wry smile and she then talked about her appearance when she was a child and the series of events related to that.
Fudou snorted at that.
「What? Do you want to say that by working hard you can become beautiful like now? That’s only the talk if the person has a good base from the beginning. That kind of talk――」
「That’s not what I meant. I’m not talking about look. I’m talking about whether you like yourself or not.」
Fudou’s gaze turned even more suspicious from not getting what Shizuku was talking about, to which Shizuku nodded silently.
「I, hated myself. I wasn’t aware of it myself, but I stifled myself, ran around busily for other people’s sake, took only the role of protecting others…… Even though I actually didn’t want to do something like kenjutsu, even though I want to be more girly, I want to lament and complaint, get protected like a princess……… Even though it would be great if I could be like that, but everything was the polar opposite of that.」
The self she wanted to become, her ideal self, they all were the polar opposite of her current self――those words caused Fudou’s eyes to widen slightly. It was as though she was hearing about herself.
「Even my current self is fine, there is nothing wrong with it, that was how I persuaded myself and pretended that I was accepting it, but one day, the day when I needed to pay the price from continuing to deceive and hate myself came.」
「I almost died.」
Fudou gulped. She wanted to laugh Shizuku down from saying such absurd thing, but Shizuku’s expression and voice didn’t even have the slightest bit of humorous atmosphere in them.
「Really, I was beaten up so laughably pathetically. My whole body was chopped up, I was also humiliated with words, if he was late in coming to save me just by a hairbreadth, a blade would have already sticking into my head at that time.」
「No no no no no, just what the heck with that kind of situation huh!」
Shizuku let out a dry chuckle when she recalled that time, while Fudou spontaneously acted the straight-man. As expected, it was a situation that was unimaginable to happen to modern person of this ear. Fudou thought that it was a lie, but it was just too out there for a nonsense talk, and above all her instinct screamed at her that it wasn’t a lie.
「When I was at elementary school, I was saved by Kaori. During the time I disappeared, it was Hajime who saved me. Other than them, I was also always getting saved by someone. ……Fudou-san. You said that I’m someone like me is in the category of the have, but if I really have everything, then I wonder why is it that I’m always saved in the crucial time.」
The perfect and dignified girl who was recognized by everyone. Shizuku who Fudou thought as such person was now making an expression that looked pitiful from the bottom of her heart. Fudou’s expression turned into disbelief.
「It’s the fact that everyone has difference due to things like their birth and upbringing. But, surely it depends on themselves whether they can make use of it or not. I who Fudou-san said to be someone in the have, was really no good that I almost died. I finally could affirm that after really almost dying and then getting saved again.」
Shizuku cut off her words for a moment there, and then she turned a nostalgic gaze at Fudou who was staring at her in astonishment.
「The national meet when I was just entered middle school. I faced a first year like me. An athlete that unusually fought with upper stance. Her skill was obvious even when that was the first time I faced her. Even though her first move looked slow, when I noticed “the invisible face strike” was already swung down.」 (Note: Upper stance = a stance where the athlete held the shinai with both hands above their head.)
「Yaegashi, you, remember……」
Shizuku got a faraway look in her remembrance of that time, however she then shook her head.
「I don’t remember most of what happened in that match. My head became blank when I received the first face strike, I was simply losing myself in my thought. When, how did I get hit, how would I block it, how would I see through it! Those were all I could think. Your sword was really really scary……」
For Fudou, the first time she fought Shizuku, she could only see it as though Shizuku was perfectly handling her technique. It was a bolt from the blue for her to hear that unexpectedly, Shizuku at that time was fearing her.
「When the match was over, after I comprehended that I somehow won, when I looked back I couldn’t recall anything…… However, after my excitement passed, the strongest impression that remained inside me was only――what a beautiful sword that was.」
Shizuku nodded. Her gaze returned toward Fudou. It was difficult to describe the emotion that peeked out from deep inside her eyes. It was like envy, or respect, or perhaps fear, it was an emotion with such a mysterious color.
「It wasn’t a cheap trick. An attack of certain defeat that doesn’t need the second attack. Simply, swinging down the lifted up sword straightforwardly. It was direct, and resolute to the utmost. There were earnestness, sincerity, and resolve riding in it, it was a beautiful sword.」
Shizuku had never even dreamed that there was a girl the same age like her who could swing such sword.
Because Shizuku had done kenjutsu since she was little, the skill she had piled up led her to victory in the match, but Shizuku wasn’t able to be happy at all with her victory. She won the match, but lost the fight. That was how she felt.
「After that, I became conscious of your figure each time I participated in the national meet. At our second match, as expected your sword was beautiful, but that time I fought without getting swallowed, executed the technique I trained to face you, and I was able to win……I couldn’t do it in the match venue, so I secretly sneaked out ahead and made a guts pose outside.」
There was no conceit in those words. The athlete who was her objective was training hard the same like her in order to win. And she felt genuinely happy from being able to win against her.
Fudou’s sight became blurry after knowing that fact.
Shizuku picked up the snapped shinai of Fudou and she suddenly took a stance with in on her waist. It wasn’t a stance for kendo match, but a stance of sword drawing art. At the same time, a heavy aura burst out from her body. Fudou’s body froze spontaneously. The cause was because that aura was of killing intent. Even though a kendoka and a swordsman both wielded sword, but there was a decisive difference between the two sides.
Shizuku suddenly relaxed her stance and talked with a wry smile.
「I’ll leave it to you whether you will believe it or not, but I, during the time of my disappearance, had cut living things.」
「Yes. I cut down a living thing with real sword. Even now I remembered it. The sensation of cutting flesh, the smell of spurting blood. Doing that was necessary to survive, so I don’t regret it. But, I’m already unable to continue kendo. Whether in strength or the meaning of wielding sword, even though I’m a swordsman, but I’m not a kendoka.」
「Not a kendoka, but swordsman……」
She had heard the rumor about Shizuku and her classmates. It was a story that was so hard to believe so suddenly. It would be strange to believe the story of a war in another world.
The gaze of Shizuku that was staring at her, in the end was it something dishonest that could be washed away by “common sense”? Fudou didn’t think so.
「I won’t return back to being a kendoka anymore but……I want to keep watching it. That beautiful sword of yours. Perhaps this sound like sarcasm to you, but I think that you who swung that sword was also really beautiful.」
「……is that so.」
Fudou looked back at Shizuku, and then she looked down.
She clenched her fist tightly as though enduring something, and her body was a bit shaking. Tears were falling drop by drop on top of that fist.
It was unclear how much time passed.
Before long Fudou lifted up her face. Her expression was a refreshed one that looked as though something that haunted her had vanished away somewhere.
Fudou sat with seiza posture on that spot, and then her gaze met Shizuku and then Kaori straightforwardly. And then, she lowered her head hard and pressed her forehead on the ground.
「I had done something dreadful and caused trouble for all of you, I’m sorry. I’m really, sorry」
The words of apology of Fudou resounded inside the small park.
Shizuku’s gaze moved toward Kaori. Kaori immediately guessed Shizuku’s question to her whether it was okay to forgive Fudou, and she smiled while nodding.
Hajime moved his leg up and down. He was meaning to urge Shizuku to step on Fudou’s head to make her repented deeply. Shizuku immediately guessed his meaning and she smiled while ignoring him.
「Promise me, Fudou-san. Continue with your kendo. Polish your sword, without getting influenced by someone like me.」
「Yaegashi…… Yes, I promise. ……It will take time until I can like myself. I also cannot declare that my unjustified resentment will absolutely vanish. But, I won’t discard what I have piled up until now, that’s the only thing that I won’t do. I will work hard, so someday I can like myself.」
Seeing the clear eyes on the face that Fudou lifted up, Shizuku smiled and nodded happily.
Fudou also smiled seeing that expression. Even though her look was severe just like Fudou Myouou, her refreshed smiling expression looked somehow charming.
Surely, in a future that wouldn’t be so far away, she would be able to grow to like herself for sure. That smile caused Shizuku to be convinced of that.
Fudou grasped the hand that Shizuku presented and she stood up. Kaori tried to wipe up Fudou’s blood with her handkerchief, but Fudou hurriedly backed away. Kaori was unmindful of that and insisted, making the atmosphere to turn harmonious.
‘Well, the case is closed with this’, Hajime thought so leisurely. It was at that time,
「Uu~, what a nice story this iiis! Truly the springtime of youth! Onee-san is really moved!」
That deep but strangely charming voice suddenly resounded.
Hajime’s spine instantly got goosebumps. His instinct rang the warning alarm loudly!
「Ah, Chrystabel-san! I’m sorry, even though we have an appointment.」
「Don’t worry about it Kaori-chan. You had already contacted me beforehand after all, Onee-san doesn’t mind at all yahn?」
He couldn’t understand the reality. Why was the monster haunting that clothes shop in Brook was here? Why was that guy talking to Kaori so naturally like that? Why was that guy wearing frilly one piece made in earth!?
The impact felt was as though a monster inside a picture book was encroaching into reality.
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No, rather that was, an indescribable, blasphemous――
「Hajime-kyu~~n? I wonder if right now, you are thinking about something impoliteee?」
‘Be cool, be cool, me.’ Hajime desperately told himself.
「Why, are you here? How did you creep out from that world?」
「Nnmaa, how rude! It was like I am something that always crept out smilingly!」
The sudden invasion of monster――not, the appearance of the manager of clothes shop, Chrystabel, it caused Kaori to ignore Fudou who was flustered for the time being and she explained the situation with a wry smile.
It seemed Chrystabel was interested with the clothing and accessory of earth and he (Note: Or she? What should I use here?) consulted Liliana whether she could possibly learn about clothing and accessory in this side.
Liliana also took into account about the promotion of Tortus’s culture and gave her okay sign, however, thinking whether Hajime who really disliked Chrystabel would easily let him passed through the gate, in the end Liliana then consulted Yue first.
Yue had close relationship not with just Chrystabel, but rather with the manly women group too. But although she readily agreed to invite Chrystabel to earth, but she didn’t wish to give Hajime any worry.
There, when Hajime was busy and Yue took his place to periodically open the gate, she secretly called Chrystabel. After that Chrystabel’s livelihood in earth was secured mainly by Remia who from the beginning had work related with clothing and accessory, and recently she even created an office for that in earth, and now Chrystabel was working hard in his study.
The first thing that Hajime who heard the circumstance did was――
Performing quick draw with Donner.
Shop manager Chrystabel repelled away the bullet with his chest!
By the way, the loaded bullet was a rubber bullet.
「How fervent nn? I’m feeling Hajime-kyun’s love yahn!」
「Stop it! Don’t look at me with those eyes! Or rather, weren’t you taught that when someone is talking you should look at their eyes! You bastard, your gaze is shifting below each time you are looking at me!」
The gun fired continuously! The fired out bullets was repelled by the arms that shop manager Chrystabel crossed in front of his body. The gaze of the shop manager that peeked out from the arms’ gap was locked on at Hajime’s lower body!
Hajime’s SAN point was shaved down!
「I don’t understand what are you talking about hereee――fumu, that’s a nice tight……」
Hajime-san’s flying kick burst! The ground under shop manager Chrystabel who received that kick scattered around in radial shape from the impact.
「Ca, calm down, Hajime-kun! This is in the middle of residential area! A lot of families are right nearby! Aah, don’t fire your gun! Tha, that’s right, I have to lay out the barrier!」
Kaori was laying out the barrier for sound isolation and recognition obstruction in flusters while charging into the battle in the attempt to stop Hajime who lightly lost his senses from feeling the danger toward his ass.
「He, hey, Yae, Yaegashiii? Your boyfriend is holding gu――」
「That’s just a toy.」
「Eh, but, it’s making loud firing――」
「Just a toy.」
「The concrete is split――」
「Just a toy.」
The thing Shizuku’s boyfriend was holding was a toy gun. The final answer.
Though incidentally, the ground was smashed from his step and it also looked like he was stepping on the air and leaping around.
「It’s just magic trick and acrobatic there. My boyfriend, he want to be magician in a circus at the future.」
No matter what there was a limit in forcing that logic. Akari-chan thought so, but the face of Shizuku who was smiling while staring still at her with her forced explanation looked scary somehow, so she just nodded.
Surely, that was the correct choice.
Even if for example, that boyfriend-san was suppressed by Shizuku’s friend using extendable baton in two swords style while moving in a speed where her figure vanished. That too surely must be magic trick and acrobat. Surely.
When Kaori who hugged Hajime tightly and covered him from the sticky gaze of shop manager Chrystabel said 「If you don’t quit with it, I will get angry here」, as expected even shop manager Chrystabel also gave up on Hajime and turned around.
Hajime gasped with a weird voice 「Ubooa」 from his mouth due to insufficient sanity point while Kaori was embracing him with a face that didn’t look that dissatisfied as one would have others believe with her hands patting Hajime to calm him down. Shop manager Chrystabel glanced at that from the corner of his eyes while walking toward Akari-chan who was being dumbfounded.
Extremely thick eyebrows, arms, chest, torso, legs. Every part of his body was huge added with his thi~~ck face. No matter how one looked at him, he was a man of giga muscle lump, but his body was clad in frilly one piece clothes. His braided hair was fixed with a pink ribbon!
The shop manager who like usual was fiendish in various senses was pouring his gaze at Akari-chan.
A beat. Shop manager Chrystabel nodded as though he had comprehended something and his sparkling eyes turned at Akari-chan.
「You, it’s fine for you to temper the beauty of your sword, but tempering your female beauty is also fine isn’t it?」
Akari-chan was bewildered!
「Seeking beauty is something natural for human yahn. If it’s Onee-san here, I will be able to make you shine even more!!」
Arms and legs that looked like log. Thick chest. Muscles that were obvious even through the clothes…… But with frilly one piece and ribbon.
Just what in the world this person was saying? Fudou-san was even more confused.
But, shop manager Chrystabel didn’t stop. From his wriggling movement that looked like tentacle……
Fro~om~hi~is Front Double Biceps!~
Fro~om~hi~is Most Muscular!~
「Like me here!」
Shop manager Chrystabel was shining radiantly!
「Ah, no, I’m good.」
Akari-chan quickly prepared to go home. She politely said「Once more, I’m really sorry for all the trouble」 to Shizuku and walked away to exit the park. Her shoulder was gripped strongly.
「It’s fine, don’t be scared yahn.」
「No, you are scary.」
「It’s fine pyon☆ Leave everything to Onee-san! This Onee-san’s name is Chrystabel! The ally of every manly woman and maiden!」
「Ah, no, really, I’m already fine even if I stay like this so――wait, ah, don’t shoulder me! What’s with this person-, this dreadful strength!? Where are we going!? Helppp! Someoneee, Yaegashiii! Helpppp!!」
「Kaori-chaaan! Shizuku-chaaan! Please take care of the rest okaayy! Also Hajime-chaaan! Let’s meet again laterrr!」
When they came back to their senses, both Akari-chan and shop manager Chrystabel were nowhere in sight.
A week later at Sunday.
A contact came from Chrystabel who had been out of contact until now. He said that he would return Fudou Akari who he kidnapped.
「So, she is alive……」 Hajime who was tense in this one week whispered so with an expression that was showing respect to Akari-chan’s survival ability. Shizuku and Kaori glanced at such Hajime with their hands dragging him along because he was throwing tantrum 「I don’t wanna go」 because he was also a concerned party while heading toward that small park.
By the way, Shizuku and Kaori dealt with Akari-chan’s house and school. Their dealing method was by forceful suggestion using the demon king quality product artifact. The figure of Shizuku and Kaori nodding to each other with a desolate smile while saying 「We are completely infected huh」 might or might not happened.
And so they arrived at the public park like that. There wasn’t any sign of people. Other than Hajime who was strangely nervous, there were only Shizuku and Kaori there.
「Fudou-san, is she fine I wonder.」
「Well, honestly I have something to say with how he was suddenly taking Fudou-san away that even caused her to be absent from school but……this is Chrystabel-san we are talking about, so I think it won’t be anything bad.」
「I, guess. Chrystabel-san can be forceful sometimes but, he is a person with a good will.」
「Even though his gaze went toward my lower body each time we met?」
Hajime’s words were treated like nothing. Hajime silently looked up to the sky. Who ever thought that the sky was this blue.
After ten minutes from the appointment time, the appearance of that huge body appeared. It was shop manager Chrystabel. As always he was really frilly. And then his arms and legs were all lethal weapon.
There was no one beside him. It seemed he was alone.
「My? Have I made you all wait I wonder?」
「No, we also came only just now……rather than that, Chrystabel-san. What about Fudou-san?」
Shizuku asked representing all of them.
「My my, don’t be that impatient. Her remodel――cough-, beautifying was going really well yahn? It’s the result of her heart’s reformation! It’s just as I thought, whether woman or man, if they work hard to become a figure that they thought to be beautiful, then it will come trueee! I too is feeling honored that I can be of help with that yahn!」
‘Just now, did she say remodeling?’ Before anyone could cut in even while thinking so, shop manager Chrystabel circled his hand at behind him. And then, he pulled out someone. It seemed that Fudou was only hiding behind the large body of shop manager Chrystabel.
Like that, the person that came out was――
「Uu, long time no see, although it might not be that long that I can say that. It looks like I have troubled all of you, like taking care of my family, or my school……that, thank you.」
Tall body, and extraordinary body style. Hair in princess cut that reached until the waist. A color of bashfulness could be seen vaguely on the person’s well-featured face.
Really, just how was this? No, actually they already knew who. However, they simply didn’t want to recognize the reality. Of this abnormal situation, this bizarre phenomenon!
The girl with hair in princess cut thrust the reality before the stiffened Shizuku and others!
「Err, I am, Fudou Akari you know?」
It seemed that was how it was.
Just what in the world happened that the girl who even resembled the Fudou Myouou could become a yamato nadeshiko like this……
Anyway, putting aside the dumbfounded Shizuku and Kaori, Hajime was――
「As I thought, you bastard cannot be let to live!」
Shop manager Chrystabel repelled everything with his chest!
「What the hell is that!? That ain’t a problem of beautifying or anything anymore! Ain’t her bone structure changed there! Just what in the world did you damned do! Metamorphosis magic!? Is that metamorphosis magic!?」
「That’s a trade secret pyon? If you dee~epened your relationship with me, then I’ll-teach-you?」
Shop manager Chrystabel’s full power wink and kissy gesture were thrown!
A blood vein snapped to the surface of Hajime’s forehead. With a twirl the gun spin reload was carried on.
「I’m convinced right now. You cannot be left to do as you pleased in this world. If you are left as it is, this world will get infested with the bunches that received your demonic remodeling. This world, my birthplace, will be encroached!」
「My, speaking as though I am like a black bug in the kitchen! That’s rudeee. And? What will Hajime-kyun do I wonder?」
Hajime pressed Donner’s barrel on his forehead and yelled his oath.
「I’ll defeat you bastard-. Today, right here!」
「Fufu, fuhahahahah! Just try it if you can! My manly woman soul, is undying!」
The demon king-sama spoke something that sounded like what hero-sama would do, and then he charged toward the shop manager-san of clothing shop.
The result of the battle was……as could be easily guessed, Hajime received lap pillow from Shizuku in order to recover his scraped off SAN point. Anyway, Shizuku who was gently brushing Hajime who was making noise in his nightmare looked really happy.
By the way, about Fudou Akari-chan though, after that she made a name for herself in kendo world as a beautiful kendoka. Regarding the reaction of the surrounding about her transformation, so that the shop manager of the clothing store wouldn’t be demanded for by anyone who became interested with the before-after of the girl, Hajime might or might not ran around to follow up with that……
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