Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai:Volume5 Amusement Park ~ Astaroth Chapter ~
The Amusement Park ~Astaroth Chapter~
"Haha... S-see...? ......I told you, didn't I...?"
After those hellish three minutes ended, and we'd finally returned to the ground where we could safely walk on two feet again, we all flopped down onto a bench near The Black Dragon's exit.
Yozora and Sena simply sat there as though they didn't even have the energy to answer my question.
Even those two must be regretting how stupid they were to pick that roller coaster of all things as their first one to ride.
"Uu... My head hurts... I can't, I can't remember anything... I feel like I just saw an incredibly scary dream..."
Rika moaned as she held her head in her hands.
"...You really don't remember? You were seriously freaking out when we were still on The Black Dragon. You kept going fuck this and fucking that..."
"T-There's no way Rika would ever say something so vulgar!"
"Uh, no, it wasn't that much worse than what you usually say."
Hell, you're acting kinda weird right now.
"...Although, what you were saying was definitely worse than just 'vulgar'..."
"Oh, is that so? I do not have any memory of such events. Rika is, as you can see, a clean, pure, and beautiful maiden. It makes no sense for me to say 'fuck' or 'son of a bitch' or anything similar. That was all the fault of both Newton and Einstein."
"So you do remember it!"
...Sheesh, I swear, she's so...
"Ahaha, that roller coaster went so high! That was fun! It went vwoosh, and swoosh, and gagaaa! Also also, the top was all vaswoosh, and it went up so high in the sky! That was so awesome~ Ahahaha!"
Maria was the only one jumping around in front of me full of energy.
She's fine after riding that thing...? I can't believe it.
"Hey~ Hey~ Onii-chan, wanna ride it again?"
"Ehh!? N-no, I'm good..."
"Go ride with somebody else..."
Maria seemed unsatisfied as she looked over the rest of the club members sitting on the bench.
Yozora and Sena were sitting there, totally out of it.
Yukimura was standing behind me, pale as a ghost, still chanting the Heart Sutra.
There was Kobato, going "Hic... Hic..." as she stared at the ground, trying to hold back her tears.
No way they can do it again...
Rika looked better than the rest of them, but I don't want her riding The Black Dragon again and getting any weirder than she already is.
"Hey Maria, why don't we try the other stuff? Isn't there anything else you want to ride?"
I took out a map of the park, and showed it to Maria.
"Hmmmmmmm~...... All of it!"
She answered, after having thought about it with her arms crossed for a while.
"A-all of it, huh..."
I don't think it'd be impossible to hit every attraction before closing time on an uncrowded day like this, but I've no doubt my body and willpower would give out before that.
There are plenty of other crazy thrill rides besides The Black Dragon.
As I was thinking that, an announcement started playing from the speakers nearby.
"We have an announcement for all of our guests today. Our 'Kurogane no Necromancer' costume show will be starting in the multipurpose stage area at 10:45 a.m. There will be opportunities to shake hands with the characters, and purchase limited edition goods, so please come watch if you have the time."
After hearing the broadcast, Kobato's face jumped up in an instant.
"Gooo~ Baaa~ Dohh~ Jaannn~~♥"
Sena got up, and wobbled her way over to Kobato like some kind of zombie.
Her face was still pale, probably because she hadn't recovered from The Black Dragon yet, and the way only her eyes were shining with energy was incredibly disgusting.
"Ufu, ufu, ubfufufu~ Let's go to the costume show together, ok~? I'll buy you aaaanything you want, byufufu..."
A look of anguish rose to Kobato's face.
She wants the limited edition stuff, but doesn't want to go with Sena... is what her face was saying.
"...We can't let her keep treating us all day, so how about I go too, Kobato?"
I said, causing Kobato's face to light up like a light bulb.
"You mean you'll buy me the limited edition goods!?"
"Well, we did come all the way out here and all. Buying you one or two things wouldn't hurt."
"Yay~! Come on, let's go An-chan!"
Kobato jumped off the bench and started dragging me along.
"H-hold it Kodaka! I'm going with you too!"
Kobato didn't look happy about it, but we couldn't just stop her from coming with us, so we ended up going as a group of three.
Forcing the rest of the club to watch a costume show about an anime they don't care about would be a little awkward, so we decided to meet up again once the show was over.
I left Maria in Yukimura's hands for the time being.
I wasn't sure if he was good or bad with those thrill rides, but I have faith that if anyone can handle her, it's Yukimura. Having faith is important.
Once we got closer to the multipurpose stage, we could hear the theme song of "Kurogane no Necromancer" season three playing. (Technically it has a subtitle that reads "The 3rd Necromancy")
According to what I saw on the web yesterday, "Kurogane no Necromancer" (Fans of the series apparently shorten it to "Kuroneku") is an original TV series that started airing about two years ago. It was pretty popular and got a good reception, so after the first series ended they made a sequel, which also did well, resulting in the creation of the current, third, season.
It was originally a so-called "Magical Girl" anime that was aimed at young girls, but the main characters use the power of darkness as well as control corpses, the story has lots of heavy elements like betrayals and war, the characters are all designed to be cute and likable, and the battle scenes are all pretty detailed. Hence, due to those factors, the audience widened up to middle and high school girls, as well as adult anime fans, and apparently the story's had a heavier atmosphere to it ever since the second season.
There are also lots of similar works that were likely influenced by the show, like the doujin game "Shinku no Elemental Master", which has the same core elements of Kuroneku, with its own original ideas and ero scenes added in. Most hardcore Kuroneku fans say that they're all just rip-offs, but there are some that got popular enough for their own anime.
Kobato's been into this anime ever since she saw season two in 7th grade, and ended up being affected by it so much she started wearing frilly dresses, a color contact in her right eye, and using that exaggerated way of talking.
"Hehehe, aren't you excited~? Kobato-chan~"
Kobato wore a frown on her face as she completely ignored Sena every time she tried to talk to her.
However, that seemed to make Sena happy too, so no matter how cold Kobato was, Sena only liked her more and more.
The whole reason Sena got interested in Kobato was the aforementioned series "Shinku no Elemental Master", and apparently, on top of looking similar, the way Kobato always ignores her is exactly the way Iris, Sena's favorite character from that game, acts towards others.
I've also heard that there are lots of characters in other games who wear frilly dresses like Kobato's and talk in an exaggerated manner, and that they're usually tsundere characters whose cold attitude is just to hide their affection.
...I know that Kobato's acting like those made-up characters because she wants to, but I still want to tell Sena to stop acting like she really is one.
We reached the multipurpose stage a short while after that.
It wasn't all that big, and barely one fourth of the seats were filled.
It was mostly parents with their kids, most of whom looked to be about five or six.
The show's fans' actual age range should be wider, but I guess this is what you get when you go to a costume show.
Anyway, we picked some seats in the middle a little ways up where we had a good view of the whole stage as we waited for the show to begin.
Sena kept trying to talk to Kobato, even now.
"Kobato-chan, you know, I bought all the 'Kuroneku' blu-rays the other day. I gotta say, it was really interesting!"
"Hehehe, surprised? I'm actually a pretty hardcore fan of Kuroneku you know~"
"Hey, Kobato-chan, who's your favorite character? I~ thi~nk for me, it'd be, umm, Meru-chan who shows up in season two. She only showed up for one episode, but she was super cute, and strong, and――"
Kobato cut off Sena, saying just that one word.
"......Meriru... She showed up in season two episode eight, and got in Gernica-chan's way. Her full name is 'The Phoenix User' Emeraude Mireille von Livalacia Ootori, and her nickname is Meriru...! It's not Meru...!"
Sena's face went completely stiff.
"O-oh, right! Y-yeah, it's Meriru-chan, that's it! Big sis made a little mistake!"
"...You said she was your favorite too..."
Sena winced after having Kobato point that fact out to her in a cold voice.
She was probably trying to make Kobato think she was really into Kuroneku by picking a minor character as her favorite instead of one of the main ones, but... Forgetting her name just made it all backfire.
".........And on top of that, Meriru-chan showed up again in episode five of season three..."
"Hau! T-the blu-rays for that aren't out yet, so I..."
...Oh man, now Kobato knows she doesn't watch the TV broadcasts every week either...
"U-uhh... Umm, yeah, well, let's put that aside! Kuroneku has some really cool battle scenes, doesn't it~!? I get so excited every time I see Gernica-chan use her special attack, 'Hell Blaze Buster'! That's the only scene I always end up rewinding and watching over and over!"
One of Kobato's eyebrows moved slightly.
Now that I think about it, Kobato always re-watches that special attack scene too.
"Hell Blaze Buster is so cool~! I love it!"
".........What about the mode?"
"...What's your favorite Hell Blaze Buster Mode?"
Kobato started looking at Sena with a look of disgust in her eyes.
"...Hell Blaze Buster has twelve different modes it can activate depending on which familiar is summoned when it's cast..."
"Eh!? ...Ah, o-oh yeah! Ummm~ M-my favorite mode is, umm~......... D... Dragon Mode...?"
"There ain't no such mode...!!"
Kobato said in a voice filled with her anger.
"B-But... Modes...? Eh, w-were those even in the anime!?"
"...It's not fully explained in the main story... But, it's written in the official story data book, they're in 'Magical Hyper Battle', and it's common knowledge for any real fan that the modes change throughout the episodes...!"
"How impertinent of you to declare yourself a hardcore fan with such pathetic knowledge about Kuroneku, you utter imbecile...!"
Kobato spat out her insults and then promptly turned away.
"Ah, o-oh, I know, Kobato-chan――"
I decided to give Sena a warning as she was about to try talking to Kobato again.
"...Sena, she knows just about everything there is to know about Kurogane no Necromancer. If you're not careful with what you say, you're just gonna be pouring oil onto the fire."
Kobato's a hardcore fan who can't stand people who try to act like they know what they're talking about, hence, everything Sena had done so far was only working against her.
Sena seemed intimidated, but still went on, and said,
"A-ahaha, s-still, that's pretty amazing of you Kobato-chan~ You must be pretty smart to know hard words like 'utter imbecile'~"
She gave up on using Kuroneku and started trying to flatter her instead.
But, Kobato looked just as upset about what Sena just said.
"...'Utter imbecile' is Gernica-chan's master, 'The Iris Witch' Shenhua's catchphrase... How can you not even know one of the main character's catchphrases... you utter imbecile...!"
Looks like Kobato totally hates her now.
It was totally obvious she wasn't interested in Kuroneku itself, and only bought the blu-rays and games so she could get closer to Kobato.
After that, Kobato ignored everything Sena said, and didn't offer even a single word in response.
Sena looked at me with tears in her eyes.
"...Why don't you get to pick from premade choices and make save points in real conversations...?"
That sublimely pathetic utterance of hers creeped even me out.
Then, all of a sudden, the Kuroneku theme song playing through the stage speakers stopped, and a young girl dressed like a race queen got up on stage.
Looks like the costume show is finally getting started.
"Hey all you good boys and girls out there~! Thank you very much for coming to play at Yokoshima Wonderland today! We've got a wonderful guest here for all of you today! I bet you all know her, don't you? That's right, it's Gernica-chan from 'Kurogane no Necromancer'!!"
"Yayyy~" went the kids in the stands.
But, unfortunately, it felt a little sad due to how few people were here.
"C-come on Kobato-chan, Gernica-chan is here!"
Kobato was more or less looking over at the stage, but she stayed silent, and still didn't look happy.
The young girl acting as the MC then called out to the audience again.
"Ok everyone, let's all call Gernica-chan together! On my mark, everyone yell 'Gernica-cha~n' as loud as you can, ok! Get ready, here we go~! Oneee, twooo, three!"
The owner of the voice who'd just yelled louder than everyone else combined, was Sena.
I looked over at Sena, dumbfounded, but all she did was go "Eh? What?" and made a puzzled look on her face.
Just then, eerie music to make things feel more tense started playing from the speakers.
"Eh, what!? What's going on!?"
The young girl on stage started looking all over the place in a hurry.
What rose to the stage along with a big laugh, was a strange person wearing a black robe and horse mask.
"Oh, is that Gernica-chan? She looks pretty different than she did before..."
Sena smacked my head with the palm of her hand all of a sudden.
"As if that could be Gernica-chan, you idiot. That's obviously a bad guy."
...I was only kidding around...
I don't watch the anime all that closely, but I can at least tell what the main character looks like, sheesh.
The monster standing on the stage then started laughing loudly again.
"Guhahaha, my name is Astaroth the Demon!"
"What's going on!? What did you do to Gernica-chan!?"
"Guhahaha, she'll be a little late after falling into my trap!"
"What!? How could you!? You fiend! You're pure evil!"
The girl was yelling at him pretty strongly, but it kind of fell flat since we didn't know exactly what Astaroth had done.
If all his trap did was make her a little late, did he just slash the tires on her bike or something?
"Guhahaha, I'll take you all as my hostages before Gernica-chan gets here!"
So said Astaroth before quickly reaching out to grab the MC's hand, and then grabbing it gently.
"Kyaaa! Save meee!"
"Guhahaha, one little girl like you is hardly enough! We need more hostages! Now then, are there any of you out there brave enough to be a hostage with this little MC girl up here!? Raise your hand if you are!" yelled Astaroth out at the audience.
However, not a single one of the kids raised their hands.
"Guhahaha, looks like you're all so scared of me you can't raise your hands! However, you may rest easy! I'm not violent with my hostages! Also, I've got special 'Kurogane no Necromancer' prizes for anyone who becomes my hostage!"
"Pretty polite for a kidnapper..."
I quietly retorted, unsure what part of being a hostage includes getting presents.
There was someone near me who was apparently lured in by the special prizes.
What an eager little kid~ Hahaha...
"Pick me pick me! I'll be your hostage!"
When I said near me, I actually meant sitting right next to me.
In other words, Sena.
"W-what the heck are you doing!?"
"Heh heh, I'm gonna go get that special prize! Just you wait for me, Kobato-chan!"
Sena was all smiles, but Kobato simply looked away as if to say "I have no idea who this person is."
"...I have no need for a special prize from such a shoddy show..."
Murmured Kobato in a tiny voice.
"Guhahaha... No, well, um..."
Astaroth the Demon and the MC girl onstage looked unsure of what to do next.
"...Umm, I think it'd be best if we didn't get any mothers involved..."
Sena made a confused face after hearing the girl's words.
"Guhahaha! I can see you must love your daughter very much! But sadly, I'm only interested in children!"
"...What is that horse talking about? Is he a lolicon?"
"He'd be pretty pathetic if that were the case, but somehow I don't think that's what he meant."
Hrmm... I don't really want to admit it, but if my guess is correct...
"Do you think he's mistaking you for Kobato's mom?"
She probably couldn't see Sena very well from the stage, only being able to tell that she was "a young girl with blond hair", so it wouldn't be strange for the MC girl to see Kobato sitting next to her and think that they're mother and daughter.
There was even a young man that looked like her husband, aka me, sitting next to her.
She might be thinking that we're a blond-haired delinquent-ish husband and wife, with a little girl in grade school...
"Haa!? W-why would I be Kobato's mom!? I'm her sister!"
"No, you're not her sister either!"
I quickly yelled back at Sena who just blurted out a huge lie like it was nothing.
"...She's nothin' like Mom."
Kobato quietly murmured to herself with a sullen expression on her face.
"Guhahaha! I'll take the daughter as hostage instead of the mother! Go, my servants! Go and bring me that girl and some other children as well!"
Astaroth gave his order, and about five skeleton mask wearing guys dressed in full black came out from the sides, and went up into the audience's seats.
The little kids were all yelling, some happy and some not.
"...B-besides, if I was Kobato's mom, then that'd mean my h-husband would be Kodaka! That's a terrible joke, I mean, come on..."
Sena said while blushing and fidgeting with her hair.
My face started to get a little warm too.
At the same time, I remembered my phone call with Dad. That whole getting married to Sena thing flashed through my mind.
"I-I don't like it either!"
"Haa!? What do you mean you don't like it!?"
Sena puffed out her cheeks in anger for some reason.
Right as she did, one of Astaroth's skeleton masked servants called out to Kobato.
"Um, excuse me little girl, would you mind coming with me?"
Kobato let out a sigh of displeasure, and stood up.
Kobato ignored Sena, who called out to her worryingly.
"Do your best out there, Kobato."
I said, to which Kobato replied, looking back at me over her shoulder,
"Kukuku... But of course..."
She was then escorted by the incredibly gentleman-like skeleton mask man, and brought up to the stage with the rest of the little kids.
"Guhahaha! You've done well to come to me, young ones! I'll have you all be my hostages!"
Kobato and the other kids all lined up on stage, and aside from Kobato, the rest of the kids looked like they were in preschool or just starting grade school.
Kobato was actually the tallest one there, for once.
"Guhahaha! I think I'll have you all introduce yourselves first! MC girl, hand me your mic!"
The MC girl handed Astaroth the mic, and he then pointed it at Kobato.
"Guhahaha! What might your name be, little girl!?"
Kobato answered with an irritated look on her face.
"Guhahaha, Leysis-chan is it? Does that mean you came from overseas?"
"...Kukuku... My name is Leysis vi Felicity Sumeragi... I am the Queen of the Exalted Night that has lived for ten thousand years..."
Sheesh, she's acting out that made-up character, even on stage like that?
Mr. Astaroth the Demon seemed lost for words.
"Guhahaha... U-umm, so Leysis-chan, how old are you?"
"How foolish... Did you not hear me...? I do believe I said I have lived for ten thousand years..."
"Guhaha, well isn't that something! Ok, let's move on to you over h――"
Kobato interrupted Astaroth as he tried to quickly move to the next kid after realizing Kobato was going to be a handful.
"There is a question I have for you as well..."
"Guhahaha... A-and what might that be, Leysis-chan?"
"...Astaroth the Demon should have been annihilated by the Holy Knight Carol... How did you manage to come here..."
"Guhahaha! Isn't it obvious? I was revived with the power of darkness!"
Astaroth smoothly dodged the issue.
Or so I thought, but Kobato continued.
"...Kukuku... That would be impossible... It was written in the official story data book that any clansman of the darkness whose core has been broken by Holy Knight Carol's Divine Saber is completely destroyed, unable to revive ever again..."
"You... You are not the true Astaroth, are you...?"
"U-umm... Guhahaha! You've done well to see through my disguise! You're exactly right, I am actually Astaroth's long lost twin brother! I've come from the world of demons to take revenge on Gernica!"
Ohh, not bad.
That was clearly an ad-lib, but the guy in the Astaroth costume really gave it his all.
"Ok, now then, onto the next o――"
"I-is there still something on your mind? Guhaha!"
"Kukuku... The picture of Gernica drawn on the costume show's pamphlet shows her in her costume from season three... However, in episode four of season two, The Abyss Gate was shut. Thus, monster enemies like Astaroth, the main antagonist from season one, stopped appearing after that... Director Kaidou even confirmed in last month's issue of 'Animajor' that there would be no demon enemies in season three... So why would a show about season three have a demon as the enemy...? Also, Carol was the one who defeated Astaroth. Why do you want revenge on Gernica instead of her...?"
Astaroth let out a voice that was the epitome of having no clue what to do next... Then, after about ten or so seconds of silence,
"W-we adults have our reasons, guhahaha!"
Ah, he gave up on playing along with her.
Astaroth awkwardly(?) averted his eyes from Kobato, who was staring at him with a look of disdain, and said,
"O-ok, time to question the next one! Guhahaha!"
...After that exchange, even the other kids were going "Hey~ hey~ Why is Astaroth here? Didn't he die?" and "What are adult reasons~?" and such. The show started to fall apart, but somehow the cast managed to move it along.
After Astaroth handed out the prizes to his hostages, Gernica-chan finally showed up (in a costume that was pretty deformed, to the point that it barely resembled the anime's detailed design). She saved all the children, and then used her special attack at the end of a long battle with Astaroth, causing him to explode.
Kobato, who'd come back to our seats after watching that, look unsatisfied as she said, "Hell Blaze Buster doesn't make enemies explode..."
You could go up and shake hands with Gernica-chan after the show was over, but Kobato, Sena, and I paid it no attention, and instead headed to the spot where they were selling stuff.
The limited edition goods we heard about turned out to be pretty shabby. They had postcards with characters from the anime on them that had the Yokoshima Wonderland logo on the bottom, stuffed animal versions of the show's mascot character holding a Yokoshima flag, and other similar stuff.
Kobato left the area shortly after, saying, "I don't need any of this junk..."
I tried to cheer Kobato up as we walked towards the spot we all promised to meet up at, and along the way I decided to ask her,
"Hey Kobato, what'd you end up getting from that horse anyway?"
The "special prize" all the hostages got was square-shaped, with sides about 20 centimeters long.
"...Hmph... I doubt it is anything of merit..."
Kobato said, tearing away at the wrapping paper.
What lay under it was a single sheet of colored paper, with someone's name and a drawing of Gernica-chan's face so bad you couldn't call it good no matter how hard you tried on it.
"Wow, what a piece of crap!"
Sena gave her honest impression of it after taking a peek, but then looked like she regret it, and said,
"I'm sorry, Kobato-chan... All you got was that piece of garbage... If only I would've done more research about the show..."
Kobato screamed all of a sudden.
She then said, trembling as she stared at the colored paper,
"T-this is an illustration made and signed by the 'Creative God' of Kuroneku, Director Masashi Kaidou...!"
"Eh, seriously? Doesn't that mean this thing is pretty valuable?"
Kobato rapidly nodded her head up and down.
"I-it's way more than just 'pretty valuable'! This is a priceless treasure!"
"Oh...? But that drawing is pretty bad, and that looks more like normal handwriting than an actual signature, don't you think?"
"I've seen it in a magazine before... Kukuku... This kind of rough drawing is just like Director Kaidou... Kukuku... And that incredibly plain signature is simply yet another part of the Creative God's style..."
"Is that so... Well, good for you, Kobato."
I lightly patted Kobato on the head, causing her to go "Yeah!" and nod at me with a big smile on her face as she lovingly hugged the colored paper.
"You know, now that I think about it, you only managed to get that because Sena raised her hand before, right?"
Kobato groaned, full of displeasure, and Sena's face lit up like a light bulb.
Kobato started to blush, and kept taking peeks at Sena.
"Hehehe, what is it, Kobato-chan~♥"
Sena was grinning from ear to ear, waiting for Kobato to say something.
"A... Au... T... Thank... you..."
Kobato murmured, her mouth looking as though she'd just eaten something really sour.
"Eh, what was that, Kobato-chan?"
"N-nothing, you moronnnn!"
Kobato yelled, with her face scrunched up, before running away from us.
"Ahhh, embarrassed Kobato-chan is so c~u~t~e~♥"
I then told Sena, who had a creepy smile on her face,
"I guess I owe you some thanks as well. So, thanks."
After I did, Sena's face went all red for some reason.
"I-it's not like I did it for you! I did it for Kobato-chan! And I mean, what was the deal with that old hag and that horse guy! W-w-w-who are they calling married!? Just remembering it pisses me off!"
"They never said we were married..."
"What was that!?"
"...Nothing at all ma'am."
I said, trying to appease Sena, who'd gotten mad all of a sudden.
"Seriously, married...? That's so stupid... We have to go out together first..."
"? Did you say something?"
I asked Sena, whose mumbling was trailing off, but that just made her puff out her cheeks and turn her face away from me for some reason.
What the heck is up with her...
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