InoBato: Volume 1 Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: I've Gained a Superpower[edit]

Part 1[edit]

"GUH, AAAAAAAAAH!"

In the middle of a dark closed space, I am alone, holding my right arm.

Holding it to suppress it.

"GUUH! GAAAH!"

I can only make a beast-like groan. I desperately grab on to my rampaging right arm with my barely controllable left arm, with the nails biting into it.

I am desperately trying to suppress the 「Power」 that is trying to get out from me.

"C, Cease it... You bastard!"

It is like I am drowning in a dark feeling. A dark voice from deep within. Destroy, destroy everything. My heart is filled with an urge to cause destruction.

The personality known as me is being overwritten.

Eaten by its own power.

A purgatory hellfire capable of burning even God.

Its name is ––– <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>.

"UOOOOOOH!"


"You are being kinda loud."


The electricity in the clubroom was suddenly turned on.

The lamps shone, our literature clubroom was made clear.

There is a well-used locker and a relatively new replacement table that was bought last year. There is also a huge steel shelf with a countless number of books narrowly lined up side-by-side that was given (forced on) to us from our upperclassmen.

"I could hear you from outside the room. What are you do... It's only you here Andou?"

"Sta, Stay back Kanzaki Tomoyo... Nay! <<Closed Clock永遠>>!"

"'Nay' is... And also, stop calling me by that name."

"Hurry up and flee from here! I... I won't be able to stay myself much longer!"

"..."

Tomoyo was staring at me with contempt as I was crouching on the floor while holding my right arm.

Staring at a pitiful person.

"...Tch. Maaan"

The fun had disappeared, so I got up. While scratching my head with my right arm (it wasn't actually aching), I stared back at the girl who was staring at me with a cold gaze.

Kanzaki Tomoyo.

Her hair reaches down to about the shoulders, hanging sparsely around the collar of her blazer. She has a neat and pretty face, but because of her rather harsh look and grumpy-looking lips, you get a strong-willed impression from her.

Well, she has a strong will at least.

Same as with me, she is a member of this literature club.

"You really don't know how to play along. Like, not at all."

"What is with that response? Could you not make it look like I am the one in the wrong? No matter how you look at it, you are the one being weird. Just what were you doing here in the dark?"

"My right arm was aching and my dark side was awakening."

"Ah, I got it, it was just your usual make-believe."

"Call it 'simulation', not 'make-believe'! How do you plan to fight your inner self when the day comes where your arm begins to ache?"

"I won't be fighting, and it won't be aching. Really, I don't know how you can be in full chuuni mode every day without getting tired of it."

She coldly brushed off my passionate persuasion and sat down at the table. She is treating me coldly as usual.

She is always calling me "chuuni" and making fun of me. Well, a tolerant guy like me wouldn't get mad over something like that. Besides, someday she will be attacked by "them" and when that time comes, my dark side will play an active role. Kuku.

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"Really. Even though you bear the last name 'Kanzaki', you still don't understand my view of the world."

"Ha? Hey you, stop making fun of other people's name."

"I wasn't making fun of it! On the contrary, you could say I am jealous."

"That's disgusting!"

The name "Kanzaki" is way too cool. It's God! God! If you have a name with God in it, you have already won at life.[1]

"Kanzaki" would place within the top 5 of my list of cool last names.

On the other hand, mine is... "Andou". Humph. It's ok. It's just a temporary name.

"It's your fault that I've begun to hate my last name a little."

Tomoyo said that with an annoyed look. Since I had been standing by myself the whole time, I sat down on a folding chair and faced her.

"And also, Andou."

She rested her chin on her hand while looking at me with a serious look.

"If you don't keep your chuuni simulation stuff under control, you'll turn into the boy who cried wolf. In the 1 in 10 000 chance that something does happen, it would be bad if no one believes you. We are all now part of that world after all."

"...Hmph. I know. That's the reason for these simulations."

"Ha... You don't get it..."

She dropped her shoulders disappointed. But I am well aware of what she wanted to say.

We, who have awakened to supernatural powers for real, are no longer normal people.


Half a year ago –––

All of us in the literature club lost consciousness when a mysterious light suddenly filled the club room.

And when we regained our consciousness, all five of us could use supernatural powers.

It was at that time that I awakened to my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>.

Obviously, we all fell into great confusion. Suddenly awakening to some unexplainable powers. Who could blame us?

What could have been responsible for awakening us to these powers? Even now, we don't know.

Could a supernatural entity worthy of being called a god have granted them to us? Or could it be that, there was some trigger that awakened these sleeping powers within us?

But, whatever the reason may be, I was honestly ––– happy.

I have always wanted to set foot into an extraordinary world. I was confused. I was scared. But I was far more rejoiced.

Yahoo!

Isn't it super awesome to be able to use supernatural powers?

Day after day, I have dreamt of having supernatural powers, and now, I finally have one.

Is there any guy who wouldn't get excited about this? The answer is nope!

Thus, we distanced ourselves from our everyday life and set foot onto a world of supernatural battles –––

"––– which we never did."

Tomoyo said this with a sigh mixed in while sipping tea from her cup.

"...Guess so, huuuuh."

I also drank my tea in the same way while making a deep sigh.

Yes.

Admittedly, ever since we awakened to our supernatural powers, nothing has happened.

Nothing at all.

At first, we lived in fear of not knowing what would happen from now on. But, after a month had passed, the atmosphere became like "Hey, nothing has happened has it?"

It went on like this, months passed and we reach the present time.

We, who have awakened to supernatural powers, reached the conclusion that nothing will be happening. As a result, we lead a very normal everyday life.

"Sure wish something would happen."

"Just give it up already. Hoping won't help. We have waited half a year and still nothing."

"No no. I bet that, in order to decide who the Mamodo king will be, 100 kids from the mamodo world will start a battle."

"Nothing out of Zatch will happen."

"Then, people from around the world who, similar to us, awaken to supernatural powers will be drawn to each other and have bizarre battles."

"Things out of Jojo won't happen either."

"...It's been on my mind for a while, but you are a pretty big otaku."

I brought up a deep topic. It came unexpectedly as well.

"Don't call me otaku. My brother likes shounen manga, so I just read them since we have them."

Hmph.

She denies being an otaku like this every time I point it out, but I am 100% sure she is an otaku. I mean, if you can understand the meaning of chuuni, you are already an otaku right?

And, at this point of the conversation, I had run out of tea. I got up from my chair and went to the teapot in the corner of the room.

"Andou. While you are at it, make some for me too."

"Hm?"

I turned around at her words. At that moment, my hand accidentally came in contact with the tea container. The green tube got knocked over and was falling off the table. Since the lid was also open, I was about to witness a big disaster. And even though I just bought the tea three days ago –––

"Geez. Be more careful."

And.

At the next moment, literally the next moment, Tomoyo, who was supposed to be sitting on her chair, appeared in front of me in an instant. The tea container I knocked over was being held in her hand.

I could not perceive her movement at all.

A movement which could not even be captured on video.

"...Did you just use your <<Closed Clock永遠>>?"

<<Closed Clock永遠>>

Kanzaki Tomoyo ––– She can manipulate time. While she can't turn back time, she can accelerate, stop, slow down and fast forward it at will.

What probably just occurred is that, when she saw me knock over the tea, she instantly stopped time, casually got up from her chair and caught the tea container.

It's a very basic explanation. It is a power that is like "The World"[2] and "Clock Up"[3] combined.

"...Well, yeah, I did use it, but could you do something about that chuuni naming?"

Tomoyo said this with an annoyed look when we got back to the table after having brewed more tea.

I am the one who has been coming up with all the names for all the members' superpowers. Everyone were like "It's not like we need a name for our superpowers", but I firmly opposed that kind of thinking and gave everyone's superpowers wonderful names as presents.

Honestly... All of them are the same...

They don't understand the importance of having a name for your superpower in a supernatural battle.

Well, since I was the one who named them, half of their powers are essentially mine.

"The relation between the characters and the readings makes no sense in Japanese."

"Hmph. If you have a problem with it, why don't you name it yourself? If it makes more sense than mine, I'll approve it."

"It's not like I need your approval."

"Everyone else seems fine with the names I gave them. You are the only one complaining."

"...It's not that they are fine with it. It's just that coming up with a name on our own would be painful, so we have just been putting up with the chuuni ones you came up with."

Tomoyo is such a tsundere.

She just can't be honest.

"By the way, your finishing line is 'Be plunged into the valleys of time and forever wander around'."

"I don't need something like that!"

"Fufu. In other words, you don't really care about your own power and, since it was such a long time ago, want to see mine instead?"

"I didn't say that! You just want to show off yours don't you!"

"Heheh. So be it. If you insist that much, feast your eyes on my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>!"

By the way, it's not "I'll show you", it's "feast your eyes on". It's an important point.[4]

I relaxedly clad myself in an atmosphere fit only for a king while standing up. Tomoyo had an extremely annoyed face, but that didn't bother me.

I removed the sealing shackles equipped to my right hand.

"Ehm. You have never worn that glove with "seal" written on it before have you? You obviously just took it out of your pocket and equipped it."

"I am the true ruler of all things chaotic! I beseech thee, chaotic hellfire slumbering within this body, born from the chaotic darkness! Devour mine flesh! Nourish on mine soul! The time is right, manifest thyself in this chaotic age!"

"The incantation is too long! And there is too much 'chaotic' in it."

"<<Dark ––– Eeeh, really? Maybe there was too much 'chaotic' in it after all.

"You're stopping there?! You might as well have finished saying everything after all that!"

Tomoyo leant forward and retorted, but I sat down on my chair broken-hearted. I see... Maybe my "Seal removal incantation" should only have up to two "chaotic" in it after all.

"You are picky about the dumbest things."

"Call it being eager to improve myself."

"You are fundamentally putting your efforts in the wrong things. Sigh... On the bright side, your power really seems to be making all your dreams come true."

"Hmph, sure."

Tomoyo was probably saying that sarcastically, but, in spite of that, I nodded exaggeratedly, and then I held up my hand and activated my power.

<<Dark and Dark黒焰>>

A black flame appeared from my right hand. Its burning fire spread itself throughout my palm, dancing like it is refusing to stay in one form.

While it is holy in nature, it is also dyed deep in sin. This contradictory aura is contained in this fire... is what it feels like.

A flame of the dark that burns as if scorching that very darkness itself.

So cool! This black flame is so cool! I, who lit this black flame, am so cool!

"<<Dark and Dark黒焰>>. All it does is produce a black flame from your body. This is like the most useless power ever."

As if to crush my dreams, Tomoyo coldly pointed that out.

That's right. My power is just being able to bring out a black flame. And also, this flame is not even hot and therefore, its offensive power is nil. It's as if it was illusionary, not even able to burn a newspaper.

Specifically, you could describe its temperature as a day where you would say "It's a little bit warm today isn't it?"

In reality, the hottest fire is a white fire, but in manga and anime, a black flame exceeding a white flame as the strongest flame is common fact.

But the hotness of my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>> is inferior even to a match.

...It really is a useless power, but I don't care much.

Because, it's cool!

"––– Ah! Damn it! I activated my power without chanting my seal removal incantation!"

"Not like it matters anyway!"

"That won't do! If I leave out my seal removal incantation, I will... uuh... uhm... yes, my existence will be erased!"

"You obviously thought that out just now didn't you!"

Damn it! I made a blunder there. <<Dark and Dark黒焰>> can't be activated without the seal removal incantation. At least that is the setting I am going with.

No. That just now didn't happen. It does not count.

"Also Tomoyo. Don't just retort to everything. Would it kill you to play along a little? Follow the others' example."

"How about no? And the others don't play along with your chuuni antics either."

"That's not true. The others generally play along with it."

"Hmm. Then, let's try it and see."

She challenged me with a glare.

"Interesting."

I glared back and said those words with the edges of my mouth raised.


Part 2[edit]

And with that said, let the experiment start.

Tomoyo hid near the door, while I was on standby in the middle of the clubroom.

If any of the other members are coming towards the clubroom, Tomoyo will give me the signal, I will do the "My arm is aching and my dark personality is awakening" simulation I did before and we will watch their reactions. This is our experiment.

The other members had various reasons for being late, but they should be coming anytime soon.

After a few minutes had passed, Tomoyo mouthed the words "Someone is coming" to me. I made the same "GUH, AAAAAAAAAH!" as I did earlier.

"Yoo-hoo! I ran a bit late because I was on cleaning duty and ––– Juu-kun?!"

After energetically opening the door and greeting everyone with a smile, Hatoko's expression was instantly filled with surprise.

She paniced and hurried to my side.

"Wh-Wh-Wh-What's the matter, Juu-kun? Are you okay? Do you have a tummy ache? Maybe it's appendicitis?! Is it appendicitis?!"

"Sta, Stay back, Ha, Hatoko... Nay! <<Over Element五帝>>!"

"Over...? You're wrong. I'm Hatoko."

"GUH, AAAAAAH! My right arm!!"

"Right arm?! Your right arm has appendicitis?!"

"I don't have appendicitis. There is no such thing as appendicitis in your right arm. And I don't have any problems with my internal organs. Uguaah!"

"Are you okay Juu-kun? Just hang on! I am calling an ambulance right now!"

"Don't do that! This joke is going too far ––– I mean, Japan's medical treatment won't be able to do anything about this."

"Then, how about treatment from outside Japan? Maybe organ transplantation? Do you need an appendix transplantation?"

"No. An appendix transplantation wont help. Urgh... So hot... My body is burning. Not literally, but from inside."[5]

"You feel hot?! Okay, just wait a bit."

After saying that, she raised both her hands. And then, a floating ball of water appeared above her head. By using her power, she manipulated the humidity of the air and controlled it.

Kushikawa Hatoko ––– <<Over Element五帝>>

"No! Wait! Hatoko...!"

"There!"

I returned to my normal self and stood there as the ball of water was dropped on me. "Gurglurglruglr". I tried struggling my way out of the water prison I have been locked in, with no effect.

Guh! The water got into my nose!

"Alright. That's enough."

And.

At the next moment ––– I was grabbed by Tomoyo and dragged out of the water prison. Because she could manipulate time, she did it all in an instant.

"To, Tomoyo. Thank you sooo much. It was sooo scary. I thought I was going to drown."

"Don't suddenly act like a weakling! Hey! Stay away from me! You are wet! Hatoko! Hurry up and dry up this idiot! And turn off that ball of water."

As Tomoyo yelled out that, Hatoko turned off the ball of water and dried up my clothes and hair and such. By manipulating the humidity, the air was returned to normal once more.

After that, we explained the situation to Hatoko.

"Ooooh. So Juu-kun was just playing pretend again. You really startled me."

"It's not pretending. It's a simulation."

"Sim, simula...? Yep. Pretending."

The carefree Hatoko. Is pretty bad when it comes to hard words in English.

Kushikawa Hatoko.

With gentle eyes and a talkative mouth. She has a warm and comfortable atmosphere. She gives off the image that she is always smiling.

She is a member of the literature club and my childhood friend. Because our homes are in the same neighborhood, we have been going to the same school since elementary school. You could say we have an inseparable bond.

I joined the literature club because Hatoko invited me.

In this high school, you are obliged to join a club. Since I didn't know which culture-related club to join (a sports club would be impossible for me), I just went along with Hatoko's invitation without thinking much about it.

"Hatoko. <<Over Element五帝>> is too demonic a superpower for you. I recall prohibiting you from using it without my permission."

"Oh right, I do remember you saying that. I completely forgot."

"Good. As long as you understand. Be careful from here on."

"Yep. I understand. Umm, O... What was it again?"

"<<Over Element五帝>>. Don't even dream about forgetting it."

"Yep. I won't forget even in a dream~."

...No, you got the meaning wrong.[6] Well, whatever.

<<Over Element五帝>>

Kushikawa Hatoko can control the five elements earth, water, fire, wind and light as she will.

The controlling of the humidity in the air was merely one end of her power.

Ruptured land, raging rapids, crimson hellfire, fierce storms, holy light.

All of that in her hands.

...Come on, five is a bit too many don't you think? It's cheating. I, who can only bring out one black flame, got nothing compared to that.

My power is not something an elementary schooler would think of when they talk about what would be strongest superpower.

Seriously, share some of it with me.

Furthermore, she can bring out flames with far higher offensive power than mine.

"Andou. Just because it's similar to your superpower doesn't mean you should prohibit her from using it."

"Y-You idiot. They are not similar at all. It doesn't bother me either."

"Well, just admit it. Your power is just a cheap version of hers. It's just a flame with zero offensive power."

"I wonder why Juu-kun's power is so dull~."

Tomoyo's sarcasm and Hatoko's innocent words were stabbing my heart.

Damn. I'll remember this. I'll leave you all speechless when the time comes where my power evolves and saves us from a pinch.

By the way, "Juu-kun" refers to me.

My first name is ––– Jurai. It's an exceedingly cool name. That's why I want everyone to start calling me by my first name, but it's not going too well.

"Tomoyo. Isn't it time you started calling me by my first name?"

"Don't want to. Because, your first name is hard to pronounce. Andou works fine."

And there you have it.

Hatoko has always called me "Juu-kun", so that's a bit hard to change.

"Even so, your name, Jurai, is a pretty unique name isn't it? What is its origin?"

"Kuku. A good question. If you insist that much, let me tell you. But, don't regret it later. There are not many who have heard the true meaning behind my true name and lived to..."

"You see... Juu-kun was actually scheduled to be born in June and his name would have been 'Jun'. But, the schedule was delayed to July and that's why it became 'Jurai' instead. Isn't that right, Juu-kun?"

"Aah, I see. <<JunJune>> and <<JuraiJuly>>"

"His name means 'Longevity is coming'.[7] It's a pretty fortune-filled name."

"..."

Damn you Hatoko. Saying unnecessary things.

My true name is "Guiltia Sin Jurai".

The name of my power may be <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>, but it is actually a cursed lightning.[8] Since ancient times, black flames have been known as accursed lightnings and have been loathed in the worlds of hell.

"Guiltia" derives from "guilty", meaning "sinful". "Sin" derives from an alternate reading of the Japanese character for God.[9] Furthermore, "Sin" is pronounced the same as the English "sin", giving it a double meaning.

That is to say, I naturally carry two times as much sin.

...Being sinful makes me so cool.

Ah~, I really atone for it.

"So what you are saying is, just because you have a slightly unique name, which you didn't even choose yourself, you made it mean a lot of other things it didn't and you became a chuuni."

Tomoyo looked at me with a pitying look. A gaze as cold as a blizzard. I averted my eyes. And then Hatoko cut in.

"By the way, are we still playing pretend?"

In response to those words, Tomoyo and I looked at each other. "Isn't this enough already?" is what I got from her eyes.

She had completely gotten tired of this.

Hmph. Well, since it's a good opportunity, I might as well try it on the remaining two.


Part 3[edit]

Tomoyo and Hatoko hid near the door, while I was on standby in the middle of the room.

After a few minutes, a new member visited us.

But it wasn't through the door. As always, she appeared ––– by creating space.

Through the warped space, a girl with a delicate atmosphere around her could be seen. With a well-shaped face and a petite body, you get the impression of a western doll. She was holding her beloved squirrel plush-doll in her small hands.

"GUH, AAAAAAAAAH!"

I pushed down my right arm the same way I did before.

"What's wrong, andou?"

The little girl Chifuyu-chan curiously said that while looking down at me with emotionless eyes.

"S-Stay back! Don't come any closer, Chifuyu-chan!"

"Okay."

She indifferently said that, let me be, walked away and sat down on her seat which had her favorite cushion laid out on it.

"Uguaaah! Don't come any closer! Forget about me!"

"I said okay."

"Don't come any closer no matter what!"

"You're so persistent."

She indifferently said that in a persistent manner.

Wait a minute. That's not right.

"Uguh... Maybe, just maybe... By 'Stay back!', I mean 'I want you to come here'..."

When I murmed that second part, Chifuyu-chan tilted her head stupefied.

"You see, when the protagonist is about to be devoured by the dark forces, he will scream 'Stay back!' to not get his comrades involved as well, but they will certainly come to him anyway. That's what comrades do. If they really didn't come, the protagonist would probably get irritated... Uguaaaah!"

"It's too complicated and I can't understand what you are saying."

"You see, this situation is like what a comedian means when he says 'Absolutely do not press this button' when doing the opening to a sketch. I actually want you to come over here, but I can't say that as the protagonist... Guaaaah..."

"andou... Is your head okay?"

"It's not my head, it's my right arm..."

"Alright. That's enough."

Tomoyo and Hatoko revealed themselves from the corner of the room. Tomoyo spiritlessly clapped her hands and gave a signal saying it was over. She then spoke to Chifuyu-chan with a friendly voice.

"Sorry about that, Chifuyu-chan. You had to play along with that dummy."

"No problem. andou is always weird."

"You're so good, Chifuyu-chan. Playing along with Juu-kun and such. Good girl."

As Hatoko stroke her head, she smiled a little while looking happy.

Himeki Chifuyu.

She is not a student in this school. She is a fourth grader at a nearby elementary school. She is the club adviser Satomi-sensei's niece. Previously, she came here once in a while to play.

Half a year ago, the day we awakened to supernatural powers, she had, by chance, come to our literature club to play. At that time, she awakened to supernatural powers together with us. Since then, the times we have been together have been many and she always comes here to play after school.

There is some distance between here and her elementary school, but since she has <<World Create創世>>, the walking distance doesn't matter at all.

"Move a little. Tomoyo. Hatoko. I'm sleepy so I'm going to bed."

The two girls girls got up from their chairs and walked to the corner of the room.

Chifuyu-chan held up her hand.

And with only that, a luxurious bed appeared.

Being frilly here and there, it was a bed fit for a princess. There were many plush-dolls on the bed. She went into the bed, hugging the squirrel plush-doll (By the way, its name seems to be 'Lissun'. A unique naming sense I must say) she has been holding all the time and went to sleep.

Her sleeping face is like that of an angel.

<<World Create創世>>

Himeki Chifuyu's power is that of creation. Any sort of material or even space can be created as long as she wills it.

The space distortion from before was a "gate" for warping. Since she can freely create space, she is able to travel around via warping.

She can basically create anything. And if she calls upon the planet's memory, it seems like she would be able to create anything, even things she hasn't seen for herself.

...What in the world is planet's memory? That is the feeling you get, but that is something only Chifuyu-chan would know.

"Isn't it about time you understand, Andou?"

Tomoyo said that triumphantly.

"No one is going to seriously play along with you."

At the sight of that triumphant satisfaction, I grind my teeth. Damn it. Having come this far, I can't back down now.

"It's too soon to give up, Tomoyo! There is still <<Root of Origin始原>> left."


Part 4[edit]

Once again, the three others hid in the corner of this room (Chifuyu-chan was still sleeping, so we let her be). I stood in the middle of the room, preparing myself.

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I'm feeling it.

The atmosphere filled with mana, life force, aura, ki and things alike.

This time, it will be different.

Because this time, Chifuyu-chan has, with her <<World Create創世>>, made the room completely soundproof. Before, I were not allowed to be too loud.

I am not an idiot who is a nuisance to others. I am a person who bears time, place and occasion in mind.

Buuut.

Now that I have asked Chifuyu-chan to make this room soundproof before going to sleep, I have nothing to fear.

No matter how loud I am, it won't be heard from outside.

In other words, no matter how much my right arm aches, it won't be a problem.

"Kuku. My arm is roaring. No, maybe I'm mistaking it for aching?"

...In the corner of the room, Tomoyo and Hatoko are whispering while looking at me, not caring much. Well, that's fine. If you care, you lose.

And, after having completely lost interest in this, Tomoyo waved with her hand, signaling to me that it is time. I've been waiting for this!

I screamed with all my might!

"UGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

"SHUT UP!"

The moment the door opened, a woman flew forward to me and grabbed my aching right arm. I said something like "Stop it! You will regret it if you touch my arm", but shortly after, she splendidly threw me over her shoulder.

"Really! What is it now, Andou-kun? Suddenly making such a weird scream! Don't be a nuisance to others!"

This room is soundproofed, so it's okay, is what I wanted to say, but I couldn't and instead, I let out a "Uguoooh..." while holding my back. This time, it's not a fake scream, but a real one.

I was lying on the floor with cramps and twitching, while our club president, Takanashi Sayumi-san looked down on me and was angry.

"You never know how to control yourself. Only little kids are allowed to be rowdy and get away with it."

Takanashi Sayumi.

It is not the popular last name "Takanashi" that has been recently appearing in mangas and light novels because of it being unusual and interesting, but the "Takanashi" which means "Expensive pear".[10]

She has glossy hair and the face of a grown-up. In combination with a good style, she emits an atmosphere of an adult. Her posture and her polite way of talking don't give off a shard of vulgarity, but show her intellect instead.

She is a third grader, one year above me and the club president of this literature club. She is usually pretty soft, but she gets angry easily, making her scary.

She has been practicing Judo, Aikido and such things with her father since she was a child and mastered the power called the "Whip of Love". Though the shoulder throw she used on me just now could be withstood even by someone like me, who knows nothing about Judo.

Well, it doesn't change the fact that it still hurts.

"Y-you're wrong, Sayumi-san... Just now, my right hand was aching."

"Then it should be ok if I mark it out for you."

"Mark it... No, that's not it. My other personality..."

"What relation does that personality and your right arm have?"

"No, that's thinking a bit deep... No, it's a casual relation..."

"Then clearly explain this relation. If it is convincing enough, i'll apologize."

"...Sorry. There is no relation."

Standing firmly while staring at me, I lost to her pressure and said that. This is bad. This is Sayumi-san's scolding mode. In front of her overwhelming aura, I reflexively ended up sitting in a straight up posture.

InoBatoVol1 035.png

"Andou-kun. Do plan to be a chuuni forever? Are you not already a high school second-grader?"

"No, it's not like I am a chuuni. So, I would appreciate it if you stopped making me out as one..."

"..." A silent pressure.

"...No, I'm sorry. I am a chuuni."

"Really... Oh, and I heard from Satomi-sensei. Andou-kun. When she warned you about about not paying attention in class, you answered back with 'But can't you hear it, miss? The voice of the wind calling.', which made her punch you."

"Guh!"

"There was also that time where you acted strangely and said 'What?! Can't you see it, miss?!'."

This is bad.

Sayumi-san is an honor student. She being all cute and such around Satomi-sensei = she gets to hear all those stories.

"And that time where you yelled 'This is bad! Everybody, take cover!' and hid under your table."

That time, not even one person followed me. I felt so lonely.

"And that time where you said 'Hooh? You dare give me orders?' and almost got killed."

...Just thinking about the punch Satomi-sensei gave me that time sends a chill up my spine.

"And that time where you said 'Oh, I'm sorry, Mommy' and everyone just laughed their sides off at you."

"That has nothing to do with being a chuuni!"

She lectured me in that way.

"Hatoko. Has Andou always been like this? Even like during class?"

"Yes. He has always been like this. Ah, but, he is usually obedient in front of a scary person. In high school, it looks like he only fools around in Satomi-sensei's classes."

"...You are really an idiot. No common sense at all."

While saying sad things, Tomoyo and Hatoko got out from the corner of the room.

"Oh, Tomoyo-san, Hatoko-san. And also, Chifuyu-san."

Tomoyo briefly explained the situation. After hearing it, Sayumi-san said "Well, I did thhink it was something like that anyway." while being a little bit surprised.

"Ugh. My back is killing me. Could you use your <<Root of Origin始原>> to fix it up, Sayumi-san?"

"No, you will have to endure it like a man. I threw you in a way that wouldn't cause any serious injuries."

While I was rubbing my back and asking her, she flatly declined.

<<Root of Origin始原>>

Takanashi Sayumi ––– Is able to return things to their original form.

It doesn't matter if it's a living creature or an inanimate object. Someone could be wounded, ill or have a wrecked body. It would only take her a moment to return them to their "original form".

An easier explanation could be to think of it as "Crazy Diamond"[11] or Inoue Orihime's "Phenomena Rejection"[12]. Something like that.

Anyway, all five members have now been assembled.

<<Dark and Dark黒焰>> Jurai Andou.

<<Closed Clock永遠>> Tomoyo Kanzaki.

<<Over Element五帝>> Hatoko Kushikawa.

<<World Create創世>> Chifuyu Himeki.

<<Root of Origin始原>> Sayumi Takanashi.

"...All members have been assembled. We are the literature club... No, it's more fitting to call us <<The SoldierThe Chosen Ones>>".

"More fitting my ass! Don't come up with a setting as if it had already been decided long ago!"

Tomoyo denied it with all her might. Hmph. Oh well. <<The SoldierThe Chosen Ones>> lacks a twist and isn't really good enough according to my standards anyway.

After being so noisy...

"Mmmm... You're all too loud. I can't sleep."

Chifuyu-chan rubbed her eyes with both her hands while getting up from the bed.

"Our bad, Chifuyu-chan. That dummy Andou was being noisy."

"Sorry. Juu-kun is just really excited."

"I apologize. Andou-kun got too riled up."

Hey! Everything is my fault? Well, I think so too actually.

But, I, Jurai... no, Guiltia Sin Jurai, am a grown up. You think I would be able to save the world if things like these made me angry?

I, who am an adult, apologizes for my mistakes.

"Sorry about that, Chifuyu-chan"

"Hm, it's okay. I forgive you."

Chifuyu-chan said that while she straightened up herself.

"You're an idiot, so these things happen."

"...Haha, you don't have to force yourself to be some foul-mouthed character."

This is bad. I was about to cry when she said that to me with that innocent expressionless face.

"But I was told the other day that the 'An' in 'Andou' stands for 'An idiot'."[13]

"Hey! Just who taught her that crap?!"

When I turned around and yelled that, Tomoyo, Hatoko, Sayumi, all three of them looked away.

All of you, huh?!

I knelt down on the floor and became deeply depressed, but they didn't care much and went to mind their own business.

...Since everyone didn't seem to care, I stood up and also started minding my own business.

With that said, with all of us gathered, we could start doing our club activities, is what I would like to say. We have never done much as a club to begin with.

About our club activities, there is really just that yearly literary magazine we publish for the cultural festival, but for now, there is nothing to do.

So we all just do our own thing. Tomoyo is fiddling with her laptop, Hatoko is reading a shoujo manga, Chifuyu-chan is hugging her Lissun squirrel, Sayumi-san is reading a book that looks complicated and I'm reading a light novel.

Sayumi-san and I took our books from the bookshelf.

There are a mountain of books in the bookshelf. Books that have been left by upperclassmen for the underclassmen and mangas and novels that have been given as presents. Over the years, the number of books has become an outrageous amount.

It's scary how varied the books are.

The first edition of Slayers for example. There is also Dragonball, Slam Dunk, Yu Yu Hakusho, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3, Sakigake!! Otokojuku, Jump magazines from the golden age all resting in this bookshelf. These would go for a good price on Yahoo auctions, dont you think?

To show my respect for this bookshelf, I have named it 「God OffThe Divine Discount Bookstore」.[14] I'm trying to establish a name for it, but no one wants to use it.

"By the way, Sayumi-san"

Tomoyo turned her focus from her computer and called out to Sayumi-san.

"You were pretty late today. Did something happen?"

"Ah, yes. I actually got stopped by Kudou-san, the student council president."

"What?!"

I suddenly closed my book and started talking.

"So 'they' have finally begun taking action... 'They', who have been observing us after making us awaken to superpowers. Be careful, Sayumi-san. The student council president is most likely one of 'their' minions"

"Sure. Cool story, chuuni. So, Sayumi-san. What did the student council president want with you?"

Tomoyo coldly pushed aside my explanation about the truth of this world and continued the conversation from before.

"It was the same bothersome business as always. How our club's budget is too big considering how few members we have and that our club should technically be abolished."

She made a weary sigh.

Kudou-san, the student council president, often comes with complaints about the literature club. I haven't met her in person, but she sounds like a person who is fully committed to things she do. It doesn't look like she has any interest in us besides checking if the room may be too big for the few members we have.

I predict that she will be an enemy we will have to fight. I always try to warn the others about it, but nobody listens.

You never know when your in a pinch.

"Well, It's not like I don't understand how Kudou-san is thinking, since none of us wants to do any club activities and everybody just does their own thing."

Sayumi-san said that in a little self-tormenting way. Incidentally, it looks like she joined this club becuase she was attracted to 「God OffThe Divine Secondhand Bookstore」. Because she is a person with many hobbies, 「God OffThe Divine Secondhand Bookstore」 was a pretty appealing to her, since it had popular literature that you couldn't find in the library.

Tomoyo groaned and crossed her arms.

"Makes sense. There are only four of us, but we have this huge clubroom all to ourselves. Chifuyu-chan is not a student here either."

Chifuyu-chan has been coming here since half a year ago. When I asked her why, she answered with a frank "It's nice here", so I don't know the real reason. If she wants to be here, there is no reason to refuse her.

"That's why, we need to gather more members. I'm feeling sluggish though."

"Kuku. Worry not, Tomoyo --- Nay, <<Closed Clock永遠>>. If there are other chosen ones out there, we need not look for them. They will come to us. All are bound by the chains of fate. Escape is not possible."

"Shut your face, chuuni!"

"You really are quite the chuuni."

I got interrupted by Tomoyo and Sayumi-san. Suddenly, Hatoko cut in with "Hey, guys".

"So what does 'chuuni' actually mean?"

"Ehm, Ah..."

I started thinking. What is chuuni? Hmm...

"That's quite the difficult question to answer. An explanation of our goals...? Doesn't sit well with me. How strange, or maybe I should say, the key to understanding myself could lie in this answer..."

"That's enough of quoting the Phantom Troupe's leader."[15]

A cold retort was made by Tomoyo.

...She really got that, even though the reference wasn't all that obvious. She really has a gift for getting these things.

"But it is hard to give a good explanation about the chuuni syndrome. I feel like I would only be able to come up with some vague explanation. Well, it's obvious that someone like Andou sort of represents it."

"Hey! Hold on! Me having chuuni syndrome? As if!"

"Wait, what? You honestly think you don't?"

"That's not it! That's not... it. Like would it be ok to call someone who is a little plump a fatass? Or would it be ok to go up to a plain looking person and call them ugly? It wouldn't be, right? It's exactly like that!"

"I don't really get it. Are you aware you have it or not?"

I didn't know what to answer. If I am aware that I have it or not? It was harder to answer than I thought.

When it comes to people who make fun of people with chuuni syndrome... Well, I am a bit aware, but it feels wrong to say I have it.

"Aware? Hmph. What a pointless thing. The thoughts running through my mind... They cannot be comprehended. That's right. Not by anyone in this world."

"Yep. There we have it. The chuuni talk."

Tomoyo was making fun of me. I got frustrated and talked back.

"Quit being all uppity and categorizing every single damn thing. You're the type of person that would be all 'L`Arc is just a visual kei band' or 'Nisio is just a light novel author' or 'There is nothing to read in Jump except Hunter' and go posting your uninformed shit all over the internet with that smug attitude! Don't fuck with me!"

"You're the one that's uninformed!"

Tomoyo also shouted "I send in the questionnaire every week when I buy Jump!"[16]

That's a lot of Jump letters.

"Ha! I bet that's just because you read 'Bakuman'! You mainstreamer!"

"Guh...!"

Looks like I hit the bull's-eye. A mortified expression appeared on Tomoyo and she stayed quiet. Well, I understand how she feels. When reading 'Bakuman', it makes you want to send in the questionnaire.

...Though I don't send in the questionnaires myself, so I'm not the one to talk.

"Well, never mind that." I went back on topic.

"Ok, Those here who have an idea of what chuuni syndrome is, raise your hands."

Suddenly, out of the four people here, Tomoyo and Sayumi-san raised their hands.

Hatoko and Chifuyu-chan did not raise their hands.

"So you get it, Sayumi-san?"

"Yes. Well, more or less."

As expected of the Sayumi-san who knows a lot about different types of hobbies. She is also familiar with the worlds main cultures and sub-cultures.

"But, as Tomoyo-san said, it is hard to give a good explanation. I can also only come up with a vague explanation."

"Chuuni sure is a hard thing to understand. Isn't it, Chifuyu-chan?"

"Chuuni, difficult."

Hatoko and Chifuyu-chan, the pair who doesn't understand chuuni, are comforting each other.

"I just took a look online."

Tomoyo said that while fiddling with her laptop.

"No one really has anything definite. 'It is a normal way for boys and girls to act when they go through puberty' doesn't help a lot."

"This is a tough one, all right."

"Also, there are different types of chuuni syndrome too. Like the ones that try to be cool by staying away from mainstream stuff or the ones who try to act tough, all 'Man, it was a while since I had a fight'. And then there are those like Andou who has an evil eyes and stuff and loves to create their own background story."

Damn you, just running your mouth.

"There are many types of internet slang that would be hard to explain in a dictionary. 'Tsundere' for example."

"Ah, I see."

That was an easy to understand example.

A tsundere is at first acting cold to someone when being with everyone, but when they are alone with that person, they start to warm up to that person. I think it had this meaning, but now the meaning has changed.

You can interpret in a broad sense, but using an illustration to explain it to a person who doesn't know is not possible, right?

"Going back on topic, I can in a way understand what Andou-kun said about being aware if you have the chuuni syndrome."

Sayumi-san said that in a calm manner while being deep in thought.

"I wonder if there are something like fujoshi."

"Fujoshi?"

I reflexively asked back. Hatoko beside me said "Hey, hey. What is fujoshi? Another word I don't understand has appeared." with tears in her eyes, but I didn't want to break the conversation, so I left her alone.

"Yes. Actually, I happen to be a fujoshi."

"Wait a minute!"

"What is it?"

Sayumi-san tilted her head. No no, wait a minute! Something big just came out.

"Sa- Sayumi-san... You are a fujoshi?"

"I am."

"Not the fujoshi as in elegant woman, but the fujoshi who likes seeing guy-on-guy stuff?"[17]

"Yes."

She made a big smile. A smile fresh like the water lilies growing in the waterfront.

"Boys' love is a delicacy for the ladies."

"..."

I made a "Really?" like gaze at Tomoyo, who should understand the meaning of fujoshi. Tomoyo shaked her head, giving of a "No no".

But really? So Sayumi-san is a fujoshi. I haven't seen a single hint of that from her though. Well, it's this person we are talking about, so it could definitely be one of here many hobbies. That's what I think.

"Though because I regcognize myself as a fujoshi, getting called insults like 'rotten' or 'fujoshits' is a thing I don't like. The word 'fujoshi' being used as a derogatory term can't be overlooked."

"I see! I can totally relate."

That's right. I get it.

In my case, I don't want to admit that I am aware of having the chuuni syndrome, but I do have it after all.

But, I can't forgive those who mockingly scorn the 'chuuni syndrome' because of that.

"Wow, Sayumi-san. I didn't think you would understand a chuuni so well. And yet, when I am with Tomoyo, I get treated so coldly."

"I can indeed understand when it comes to the chuuni syndrome. That said, when it comes to you, I don't sympathize with you one bit."

Grin. Sayumi-san grined as she ran her sharp-tongue.

I could feel my heart break.

"Well, there's a lot to think about. I really don't think you should say someone has the chuuni syndrome. It's not like it's an actual disease."

"Well, there are people in the world who says it's not an actual disease, but you are most definitely sick with something."

Tomoyo continues with her never ending retorts, but I don't care.

"There should be a better name for it, like 「Fate BreakerOne who challenges destiny」!"

"...For once, I thought you had a good idea. Someone who would be happy calling himself 「Fate BreakerOne who challenges destiny」 obviously has the chuuni syndrome."

Tomoyo sighed after saying that. When I saw her doing that gesture, I started pondering. Hmm. Maybe 「Fate BreakerOne who challenges destiny」 is a little bit to straightforward and subtle. I was improvising, so it couldn't be helped.

Names are no good unless you take at least a day to think about it.

When I was coming up with the names for everyone's powers, I thought hard about it for a very long time.

I have put very much thought into them. Among them, I am especially proud of my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>. No, This is bad. My own naming sense scares even me.

"Hey, guys. So can you tell us what a 'chuuni' is yet? Chifuyu-chan is going to fall asleep if you don't hurry."

As I was soaking my self in narcissism, Hatoko started talking. Chifuyu-chan was at her knees, moving back and forth like rowing a boat. She was about to fall asleep.

It's not like it would be bad if you let her sleep, but since I had managed to come up with an answer, I started talking.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, Hatoko, Chifuyu-chan. I will tell you what the truth of this world is."

"Yep. We have been waiting."

"Hurry up. Shreepy."

"Someone with chuuni syndrome feels they are special in some way. They dress up and love dark backstories and lingo. They have a little excess in self-consciousness and sometimes, they are looked poorly upon, even by their colleagues... Well you could say they are like me ––– Basically,"

I said.

Full with confidence and also loudly.


"Having the chuuni syndrome means that, even if you lie to the rest of the world, you won't ever lie to yourself."


Chuuni syndrome patients lie to the world. They are the type that can't find it in themselves to accept this overly boring world. By fabricating and twisting things, by adding in small lies, they make it bearable. Therefore, they speak nonsense and cause trouble around them.

They spew lies and absurd remarks.

Even still ––– They can never betray the feelings they hold deep down.

I love being branded a chuuni by my peers.

Words like "Jet Black", "Bloody" and "Catastrophe" are irresistible!

Phrases like "A conspiracy by an unknown organization" and "A higher being watches over you" just get my blood pumping!

Adding different readings to terms are the defaultbasics! Having an alias is an absolute must! Bring on all the ridiculous names!

Right now, I just wanna save the world and rescue cute girls!

My <<Dark and Dark黒焰>> may be a bit of a useless superpower, but I love it anyway!

If you enjoy somehing from the bottom of your heart, then no way is it something wrong.

"He said some nice things there."

"Not just society or those around him, but the entire world. THere he goes being chuuni again."

Tomoyo and Sayumi-san, being amazed, smiled bitterly. Little bit sharp, but soft bitter smiles. Any sense of insult or ridicule couldn't be sensed from them.

"Never lying to yourself..."

Hatoko said.

"Chuunis seem kind of cool."

"Yeah, chuunis are the coolest."

"I seeee... Then, you really are a chuuni."

She smiled with a smile like a flower blooming and said that with a livley voice.

Even though we have been together for so long, she still can't understand my sense, but I still feel that it's my childhood friend that understands me the best after all.

Suddenly, from the nonchalantly smiling Hatoko's knees, Chifuyu-chan got up and slowly walked to me.

"So chuunis are cool?"

"Yeah, Chifuyu-chan. They are cool all right."

Chifuyu-chan tilted her head curiously.

"But andou, you are a big loser."

"..."

For a few seconds, silence took over the room and then, big laughters filled the room. While the room was enveloped in laughing voices, I squatted down and put my hand on Chifuyu-chan's head and said "That's not true" and sighed.


Part 5[edit]

Nothing special happened afterwards. When it got late, we ended our club activities and were on our way home.

Some of us take the train home while some of us walk home, but we all go the same way until then. Chifuyu-chan can, if she feels like it, just activate her power to get home in an instant, but today she decided to go with us until we split.

While having some idle conversations, we exited through school gate and walked down the road illuminated by the sunset. Since we ended our club activities at a strange time compared to other clubs, there were not many people around us.

While looking at the burning red sunset, I squinted my eyes.

"So the twilight zone has come. We may chance an encounter with inhuman creatures around this time..."

"Cool story, chuuni."

"I bet you just thought 'Hmm, since twilight zone has twilight in it, I'll just point out that now is a time something strange could happen', and wanted to show off that you knew some chuuni trivia, didn't you?"

"Ah, Juu-kun. My mom said that she has made meat and potato stew, so I'll bring you some tonight."

"Sleepy, so sleepy."

As usual, we have these kinds of conversations while walking home the usual road ––– when suddenly.

"Ah."

Chifuyu-chan let out a sound and pointed forward with her small finger.

Over there was ––– a cat.

It was lying beside a telegraph pole. It had pitch black fur, but its back legs was dyed in deep red. The asphalt around the back legs was covered in a red liquid. The cat moved a little bit while making a small meow, like it was about to die.

Without saying anything, Chifuyu-chan walked up to the cat. We all followed her.

"The kitty... It's hurt."

As Chifuyu-chan said, it looked awfully miserable with the lower part of its body filled with blood.

Was it run over by a car? Or was it attacked by a stray dog? We don't know the cause, but some unfortunate accident must have happened.

I usually use the word 'bloody' a lot, but something being bloody for real is not cool at all. It's awfully miserable and looking at it makes the mood become dark.

"sayumi..."

Chifuyu-chan looked at Sayumi-san with clingy eyes. By looking at her eyes, we understood immediately.

<<Root of Origin始原>>

The power to return things to their original form.

It doesn't matter if it is a living thing or not.

By using Sayumi-san's power, it would be no exaggeration to say that restoring the dying cat in front of us to its original form would be possible.

But –––

"..."

From her face, I could see that a hint of hesitation. Her usually firm attitude was wavering, the internal struggle showing itself.

I knew she was struggling.

That's why, I said this.

"Don't worry, Sayumi-san."

"Andou-kun..."

"Go ahead. A mere wounded cat is fine."

I purposely said "mere".

"...Okay."

With a small nod, Sayumi-san walked up to the dying cat. She gently touched its black furred body with her hand.

<<Root of Origin始原>>

Just like that, the cat's wounds healed and the blood around it disappeared.

It went back to its original form.

Meow.

The black cat made meowed happily and disappeared to somewhere.

"It was saying thank you."

Chifuyu-chan turned around and looked at Sayumi-san.

"Appears so."

Sayumi-san nodded slowly. From her profile, you could see a gloominess.

It's a gloominess we all probably have. Even Chifuyu-chan, the youngest of us, didn't smile brightly.

What we feel right now is ––– a struggle.

A struggle from having superpowers.

Q1. Just now, was using a superpower to help the cat really the correct thing to do?

This question is tormenting us.

We have... Well, aside from myself, everyone has awakened to superpowers that should not be taken lightly. It would be no exaggeration to say that they are on the divine level.

Therefore, we can easily save the world ––– We are able to.

For example, if Sayumi-san used her <<Root of Origin始原>>, she could save anyone suffering from an incurable disease. If she were to go and search for those people and save them, countless of people would be able to be happy.

The other three could be of as much use as well. If Tomoyo and Hatoko used their <<Closed Clock永遠>> and <<Over Element五帝>>, they could destroy terrorist organizations, stop wars and such. If <<World Create創世>> were used, you could maybe build schools in underdeveloped countries.

But, would that be okay?

Of course not.

If we did such things, the balance of the world would collapse. The delicate balance of this world. It may be a vague representation, but it's a legit representation.

Going ahead and healing all sick people would cause the hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies to become useless. There is also the problem with knowing at which age a person no longer needs to be saved. Eighty years? Hundred years? Furthermore, in this world, there is also a disease that can be described as "lifespan".

The balance of these lives is too much for us to shoulder.

The same goes for the other three. In the end, there is no way doing what we want with the world would be okay.

But.

But, while that may be true, would it have been better to just leave the cat back there as it was?

For a life that is fading away ––– A life that you could save, would just saying "Sorry, I can't handle the responsibility" and abandoning it be the right choice?

The answer is no. Of course it's not okay.

In the end ––– I don't know what would be the best.

「I don't know」

Half a year –––

We suddenly awakened to our powers half a year ago.

We haven't been playing around. We have had to think hard over situations like the one just now.

We have had many worries and many times of agony. There have been great conflicts, great sorrows. While talking about this, we have had many arguments and conflicts.

The results of all that being ––– 「I don't know」.

What is right and what we should do. We do not know at all. Could we really say "I saved the world" if we did something? We have no clue.

There will never be an answer to Q1.

We have been thinking like crazy about this.

The result, "There is no answer" is the answer that came out.

The result, "I don't know" is what we know.

That's why, we just act however we want.

We didn't help the cat out of benevolence or obligation. We just helped it because we wanted to. That's all there is to it. An action with no sense of responibility.

But, what's so bad about that?

Ultimately, the world is brutally big. If kids like us were to also get near-divine superpowers, the world would change in an unimaginable way.

If the balance were to collapse by some mischief, it would be impossible to say what would change.

That's why, we just act as we want without really doing anything.

Using our superpowers on extremely meaningless things, reversely saving a life that's about to fade away in front of us. It's a bit of a contradiction, but that's the path we have chosen.

Over half a year ––– We finally arrived at this point.

"This kind of problem exists in most shounen mangas."

With her cheek dyed with the light from the sunset, Tomoyo spoke.

"The hero pretty much only saves the people that are around him. They don't abandon anyone in need, but they don't go out of their way to search for those in need of help either."

Even though it looks like they could find many if they just tried a little.

Tomoyo made a cynical smile and added that part.

"Even Power ranger types and Rider are no different. Those guys are easy to understand. They just beat up bad guys. They don't help the needy or starving, or try to stop any wars. Even superheroes can't do much about sorrow that people bring on themselves."

When it comes to that, from the perspective of the right, there first needs to be a bad guy in order for there to be a hero.

Well, it is fiction after all. Kamen Rider also has this. In Ryuuki and Faiz, not all riders are good people.

I look up at the crimson red sky and sigh deeply.

"Sure is ironic. When we received divine powers, it just made us realize more then ever how insignificant we are."

A self-deprecating recall of events. We all became silent for a short period.

But directly afterwards, Tomoyo made a forced smile.

"Don't worry, your power isn't divine or anything."

She made fun of me. I played along and answered back cheerfully.

"Say what? Are you looking down on my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>>?"

"What? You wanna go? Just so you know, if all of us fought for real, you would be the first to die for sure. Five seconds or less."

"Hah! You just don't know at all. When on the verge of death, my <<Dark and Dark黒焰>> has a hidden 'next stage', the setting I came up with ––– No! I mean, when my dark side and I finally come to terms and it lends me it's strength, my power ascends to an entirely new level. It becomes <<Dark and Dark黒焰 ––– Of The End終止符を打つ者>>!"

"Don't name your awakened power before you actually awaken it! That's just painfully stupid!"

"By the way, all of you have a 'next stage' too."

"Don't need it!"

Tomoyo retorted with all her might and shaked her head wearily.

While looking at us, Hatoko is smiling happily, Chifuyu-chan is spacing out and Sayumi-san is making an adult-like smile.

Thus, we continued walking.

Wherever we may be, we are just some normal high school students walking home from school.

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Translation Notes and References[edit]

  1. Tomoyo's last name is "神崎". "神" is the character for God.
  2. A power from JoJo's bizzare adventures that allows one to stop time.
  3. A power from Kamen Rider Kabuto that allows one to move at high speed.
  4. Andou uses "魅せる", which actually means "to charm". It is read the same as "見せる", which means "to show". In other words, a pun. I just went with "feast your eyes on" since it is impossible make a pun out of it in English.
  5. Andou uses "灼ける" to describe how he is burning. He then points out that it's not "焼ける", but "灼ける". They basically mean the same thing and are read the same way. In other words, another pun. Impossible to translate literally.
  6. Andou uses "ゆめゆめ", which means "by no means" and is read "yumeyume". Hatoko takes it as "夢", which is read "yume" and means "dream".
  7. The name Jurai uses these characters: "寿来". "寿" is the character for "longevity" and "来" is the character for "come".
  8. 黒焰 actually means "black flame".
  9. "神", which means God, can be read as "Shin". "Sin" and "Shin" are pronounced the same in Japanese.
  10. The popular one uses the characters "小鳥遊", while Sayumi's last name uses the characters "高梨". Both are read the same way.
  11. A power from JoJo's bizzare adventures that allows one to restore objects to their original form.
  12. A power from Bleach which Orihime can use. Through the combination of fairies, she can heal others.
  13. She actually says that the "An" in "Andou" is the same "An" as in "Anpontan", which means idiot, but more insulting.
  14. The name is a reference to a discount bookstore in Japan called "Book Off".
  15. Reference to Hunter x Hunter
  16. Books in Japan often have a questionnaire included that you can fill and send in to help support the publishers.
  17. "婦女子" and "腐女子" are both read "fujoshi" but with different meaning. 婦女子 is the former mentioned in the sentence, while 腐女子 is the latter.
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