Leviathan:Volume 7 Chapter 1
Chapter 1 - September Revolution
Luna Francois Gregory sighed.
"The plan is proceeding smoothly without any impediments at all. And to think that I painstakingly prepared countermeasures ahead of time to win over various people involved with SAURU in the Kantou region, for the purposes of poaching, tempting, bribing, negotiating, intimidating, threatening or extorting personnel."
"Miss Gregory, I believe it is a good thing for the plan to be proceeding smoothly."
"Of the countermeasures you listed, isn't the latter half somewhat problematic in character?"
Hiiragi Yukari had responded with a cordial smile while Kenjou Genya chimed in casually from the side.
Hiiragi-san was an intellectual beauty with spectacles in her twenties and served as the chief of SAURU's Kantou branch in Japan. In charge of SAURU's Tokyo New Town office, Kenjou was a good-looking man with unkempt facial hair.
The three of them were meeting at Yokohama's Chinatown.
The trio was sitting at the open terrace section of a Chinese restaurant that was a brief walk from the train station.
The dishes on the table not only included staples of Japanese-adapted Chinese dishes like chilli shrimp and mapo doufu but also luxury delicacies such as shark fin soup and abalone steak.
These were ordered by Luna, the master-class witch commanding an extraordinary income.
Yokohama City was the heartland of SAURU's Kantou branch.
Hiiragi Yukari's office was also situated in the city. As an executive of SAURU, Luna Francois Gregory had come to this city to meet face-to-face with members of the organization—
Naturally, this was to discuss clandestine plans.
"Because everyone was so cooperative. 'Are you willing to join us...?' The new organization, the GUILD, formed around Tokyo New Town's witches and Haruga Haruomi, requiring them to quit SAURU depending on circumstances—I can't believe that currently 68% of the Kantou personnel have agreed at the first opportunity."
Luna Francois was holding several A4-size sheets of computer printouts.
Having curled up the stack of paper, she was fanning herself.
It was the name list of hundreds of SAURU members active in the Kantou region. Those who had answered "YES" were crossed out in red.
The papers were marked full of red lines.
In addition, those who consented were enchanted wtih oath magic, sworn to absolute secrecy.
"I am happy that time was not wasted, but it is rather boring."
"It's only natural for people to decide this way."
"Because everyone at SAURU knows... At this rate, mankind will only continue to suffer under the dragons' oppression, headed on a slow course for destruction."
The master-class witch at the tender age of seventeen—Luna Francois.
As representatives of ordinary people, the two adults, Hiiragi and Kenjou, responded to her tactless lament.
"Whatever, things will soon be getting hectic anyway." Luna pouted with displeasure and used magic.
The list she had been using as a fan suddenly started to burn. Within the blink of an eye, the paper was incinerated into ash by a mysterious flame, disappearing into oblivion.
At the same time, the flame vanished. This was Tinder magic.
The entire process only lasted but an instant, hence nearby people would not notice.
Even had someone noticed, they probably would have convinced themselves it was merely a fire started from a lighter.
Such was the magical power and stylishness of a Level 5 witch, whose skill in even the smallest of magic spells would still dwarf that of weaker witches.
"Looks like there are no issues in the first stage of our plan, 'in any case, let's take over the Kantou region first.' Could you two continue with advance preparations inside the Kantou branch?"
"By the way, don't we need to deal with that guy?" Kenjou nodded and asked after receiving orders from Luna.
"That elite dragon has been reported lurking at Tokyo New Town in human form. I remember the first time when he appeared before us Japanese, the location was..."
"In front of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, right?"
Hiiragi Yukari was referring to a super tall building standing at a height of 296m.
As long as the sky was clear, It was possible to see this majestic structure even from Chinatown.
"An entity named Pavel Galad, a false dragon king like Haruomi-kun."
"Leave him be. Or rather, given the current circumstances, we have no choice but to ignore him for now."
Luna showed a serious look on her face for the first time since sitting down in the open-air seating in Chinatown.
The silver dragon, successor to the Rune of the Sword, was a formidable foe who posed a threat to Harry, the boy of her love. He was very likely going to be their biggest obstacle apart from the few dragon kings.
"During the summer vacation, we had the Metropolitan Police Department search New Town but all that turned up were a few eyewitness accounts. If an elite dragon with high intelligence and magical power was truly serious about infiltrating human society, it would be very difficult to root him out... Our long-time worries have now been proven true."
During the summer, Hal and company had gone off on expeditions one after another to Izu, the American East Coast and other places.
With the turbulent vacation concluded a few days ago, September was now rolling around. For high school students like Luna Francois and Haruga Haruomi, it was also the beginning of the second school term.
After returning to Japan from New York, while drafting up plans for the GUILD, Luna and others have not lowered their guard against "the enemies."
The enemies. Countless dragons as well as Pavel Galad.
Most prominently, there was the queen who had declared Tokyo as her territory. The white dragon making her temporary residence at the Old Tokyo Concession, Princess Yukikaze—
President M, a wielder of mysterious powers whom even Luna could not ignore, had issued the following warning.
'I have been feeling uneasy the whole time recently.'
'There is a very strong premonition—Something huge will happen to the city in the near future and might need your party's power.'
Would the cause of a huge incident be Princess Yukikaze? Pavel Galad? Or a dragon previously unencountered?
Regardless, Tokyo New Town's current situation must be very dangerous.
"Uwah... This is weird after all~"
Funaki-san—Funaki Kyouka—looked at her hand and frowned.
She was sitting in a train, what would be known as commoner's locomotion, taking the New Town Loop Line which circled Tokyo New Town, gazing at the pocket watch she had taken out from her schoolbag.
"It's been like this all the time recently."
This was a old-fashioned pocket watch with a long hand, a short hand, and a hand for indicating seconds.
The watch was just big enough to hold in one's hand. Currently, the three hands were spinning nonstop, like a compass under interference.
This was not Funaki-san's own possession. Her classmate, Haruga Haruomi had lent it to her.
This classmate, reputedly a treasure hunter and a mage for two generations starting from his father, always looking sleepy, had cast a certain spell on his personal pocket watch before lending it to her.
This was Sense Magical Power.
"When something or someone possessing powerful magic is nearby... Or some kind of creature, the tip of the long hand will point directly at the source—I remember that's what Haruga-kun said."
He apparently used this spell for hunting treasure.
Before the summer vacation, Funaki-san had asked him to lend her a "searching tool" so that she would instantly know whenever the silver dragon in the guise of the super handsome guy was nearby.
His answer was "Stealth magic can counter it, so just remember this thing isn't infallible."
However, if the other party were using stealth magic, the hands on the watch would simply remain still'. Normally speaking, the hands would not spin nonstop like now.
This response had started appearing late August.
She had discovered it while strolling around New Town.
"So this means that something weird is going to happen all over Tokyo... Right?" Funaki-san murmured.
'Haruga-kun, are you there? I'm at Class F's homeroom.'
"I'm still in school, killing time on the roof right now," Hal's answer sounded even more lethargic than usual.
It was early September, during the second school term, on an afternoon after lessons were over.
The one calling Hal's cellphone was his classmate Mutou-san. Recently, she had been helping out as a part-time employee with business matters in the founding of the GUILD.
Also, in contrast to Hal, Mutou-san's tone was energetic as always and full of cheer.
'What? That's just upstairs. I'll go find you. Don't go anywhere.'
"You're going to make a special trip?"
'Yes, I need to return the report to you. The collection of dragon trivia that's usually treasured secretly at the Haruga residence.'
"You sure read fast. Didn't I lend it to you only three days ago?"
'Because it's interesting stuff. If possible, please bring me something else to read tomorrow. See you later.'
Mutou-san hung up, so Hal put his cellphone away.
It had probably been two months since he started providing knowledge about dragons and magic to Mutou-san. Extremely thirsting for "knowledge of that sort" to begin with, the classmate read the materials with unexpected speed, reaching a level of comprehension that would put even SAURU members to shame.
I must keep increasing the number of people famililar with this type of knowledge...
Leaning against the railing, Hal thought to himself absentmindedly.
Looking down at the sports field from a height of fifteen meters, he naturally noticed.
"As one might expect... Much fewer than before."
Hal was referring to the number of people hanging around on campus.
Students participating in club activities or on their way home seemed to be fewer than even during the first school term—
This was merely Hal's personal impression, so he could be mistaken. However, it was the truth that after suffering dragon attacks repeatedly, some of Tokyo New Town's residents had decided to "move away or evacuate temporarily."
"Oh, I found you at last. Hello, Haruga-kun."
A voice called out to him from behind.
The telephone conversation had ended less than ten minutes ago and Mutou-san was already here. She was a short-haired girl with plenty of energy in both mind and body.
"Here you go. This is what I need to return to you."
Receiving the documents she handed to him, Hal nodded. "I got it. Then I'll pick out something for you tomorrow."
"Sorry for troubling you all the time. Say, Haruga-kun, are you currently writing that GUILD proposal?"
"Yeah, I even used your opinion for reference, to make a revised version."
"Have you addressed the part that everyone was concerned about? Basically, it would be desirable to have a theme that could serve as the mission statement for the second stage of 'the first stage is establishing the new organization GUILD, while the second stage is to take control of Japan's Kantou region,' something that could represent the organization.""
"This aspect is still fluid, so there's currently no way to make an official announcement yet."
Hal was quite vague.
"But we have a number of plans prepared behind the scenes. While I was in America, I came up with many different ideas."
"Well, when the time comes, I'll ask you to help out."
"Understood~ Oh right, on an unrelated note..."
Mutou-san suddenly pointed behind her—The entrance to the school building's roof. The metal door had separated from its hinges and was lying on the floor.
"What's with that door?"
"Oh... During summer, it was malfunctioning a bit and couldn't be opend. I think someone broke it off by force."
"Oh~ And that door was so sturdy too."
Mutou-san widened her eyes, very impressed.
In fact, the hinges were made of metal too. If one were to look closely, they would discover that the hinges were ripped apart by brute force.
Fortunately, Mutou-san did not seem to have noticed.
Smiling, she bid Hal goodbye and left the roof.
"Kukukuku... Even you do not have the guts to admit that you were the perpetrator, huh?"
"Duh? I intend to finish my school life as 'an unassuming male student.' Besides, no one will believe that it was done by someone like me who looks like a weakling."
After Mutou-san left, a young girl in a kimono appeared.
Needless to say, this was the haughty and conceited former dragon king, Hinokagutsuchi. Laughing maliciously, she was looking at the top of Hal's head.
"The wisdom of Ruruk Soun—You are fairly experienced at using it now."
"So-so, I suppose. But this time, even I think I overdid it. This is beyond using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, it's using a sledgehammer to smash a speck of dust."
Someone with magical sight, such as a witch, probably would see five magic symbols on top of Hal's head, releasing potent magical power.
They were runes of Ruruk Soun, different from any language in the world.
The arrangement signified "telekinesis." This was magic for moving objects by emitting mental energy invisible to the naked eye.
—Thirty minutes earlier, Hal wanted to come to the roof but discovered that the door could not be opened. It looked like it had malfunctioned over the summer break.
Hal originally thought of giving up, then an idea occurred to him.
Could the telekinesis magic used by the first elite dragon he encountered, Raak Al Soth, be applied to this kind of situation?
...The reason why he had used such a mystic technique in this situation was ultimately due to his unease, probably.
Hal and his faction's current position was quite precarious. Even disregarding President M's warning, it was still necessary to be on maximum alert.
In that case, shouldn't Haruga Haruomi get used to "the wisdom of dragons" that he had yet to explore?
Since he did not know when he might need this power...
"Although I accidentally broke the door because I didn't control my strength with enough care—" Hal said quietly. "I feel like praising myself on a job well done, actually. As long as I master this magic, it's definitely possible to uproot the entire school building and suspend it in the air. The power of elite dragons is truly amazing..."
"Hmph. Compared to elites, your current power is closer to the dragon kings."
Hinokagutsuchi did not hide the smile of mockery on her face at all.
"Let alone suspending a building in the air, pulverizing it would undoubtedly be an easy task."
"Sheesh... Whatever, looks like there's no problem. It's time for me to leave. I still need to meet with Luna and the others."
Hal shrugged and the eyes of the former queen of dragons instantly brightened up.
"Will the little lass with the big appetite be there?"
"No, but one of either Juujouji or Shirasaka will come. Hii—the adults on good terms with us might be present too. What's it to you?"
"Nothing of consequence. Just do your work, brat."
Hal turned his back to the maliciously smiling Hinokagutsuchi and walked to the entrance that was missing a door.
His expression was lacking in motivation and passion, the same as usual. However, Hal was feeling quite anxious inside.
He could not recall the names of the two adults who were on very good terms with his group.
What a disgrace to be so forgetful at the young age of sixteen. Pretending nothing had happened, Hal took out his cellphone and swiftly operated the touchscreen to check his contact list.
Oh right. Hiiragi-san and Kenjou-san.
Hinokagutsuchi's sharp gaze was stabbing into Hal's back.
Just before leaving, Hal glanced back, only to see the self-styled devil in the guise of a young girl seeing him off, gazing at him gently as though she were observing the ecology of an exotic beast.
After Hal left the roof of the school building, three hours went by all at once.
The venue for his meeting with his companions was a suite in a luxury hotel. Luna Francois' room.
He came here from school, but—
"...So as things stand, Harry, SAURU's Kantou branch is practically standing on our side. Young and possessing the power of dragonbane, our ability to gather support is far higher than those conservative Grandmas at the Salem headquarters."
"I-I see. Yeah, not surprising..."
After listening to Luna's report, Hal replied stiffly.
He was lying on a bed so large that having just one person sleeping in it would be a waste.
He was not relaxed. In fact, it was the opposite. His voice was high-pitched and his entire body was stiff from tension.
"Although they contributed to SAURU in the past, those Grandmas' policy... 'Not letting commoners know of the existence of magic and witches' is far too behind the times."
"Yeah. It's only because they used to be irreplaceable."
In contrast, Luna was very calm.
"More importantly, Harry, how are you feeling right now?"
"A-Awkward, I guess, or maybe uncomfortable..."
"Just relax your body. Let yourself go and leave everything to me."
Luna Francois was speaking in a sultry yet calm voice.
She was sitting on the same bed that Hal was lying on, resting his head on top of her soft thighs.
Apart from that, Luna was using a wooden ear pick, gently cleaning Hal's ear canal.
"How is it? Is it getting more and more pleasurable?"
"Ah... Well... Yeah."
"Fufufufu. Harry, you're finally being honest♪"
Luna's service was not limited to ear cleaning.
She was dressed in a purple China dress, apparently bought from Yokohama's Chinatown.
Famous for the way it accentuated a woman's curves, it clung tightly to Luna Francois' magnificently well-developed body.
Hal thought back to thirty minutes agao.
'My apologies, but I cannot go today.'
'Sorry, Senpai, please send my regards to Luna-san.'
Soon after entering Luna's room, Hal received these two texts.
They came from Juujouji Orihime and Shirasaka Hazumi respectively. Hal dared to visit the room of the boldly affectionate Luna only because he heard they were coming along.
He had not expected to be alone with her.
Furthermore, Luna was dressed in an extremely seductive China dress.
Just as Hal felt his heart rate rise, Luna told him to sit on the bed. He obeyed on reflex then—
'By the way, Harry, I have a great idea!'
Thus, Luna started to clean his ears. Unable to refuse, he was stuck and the situation unfolded to this point.
Perhaps he should have acted like a man to refuse her with determination.
However, one could hardly blame him. Because Luna had tearfully begged him "if you don't let me clean your ears, my motivation to work might be gone irrevocably" in practically a threat. As a high school boy, trying to reject the temptation of a beauty in a China dress was truly a tough challenge...
"How are things on your end?" Luna suddenly inquired. "Haven't you been contacting people involved in Tokyo New Town's efforts to resist dragons?"
The gentle movements in his ear felt more and more comfortable.
More importantly, Luna's soft thighs were perfect in temperature. Savoring the indescribable sense of satisfaction, Hal said, "I asked Juujouji's grandfather for a favor... to let me contact some of the sponsors of witches in New Town and the Kantou region."
So-called sponsors made up the "committee" that funded witches and leviathan operations.
This included businesses, capitalists, religious organizations, NGOs, and local authorities based in these lands. In fact, as an important figure in certain publicly listed companies, Orihime's grandfather was also a member of this type of committee.
"It doesn't matter whether or not we're part of SAURU. The key point is our ability to assist in defending Tokyo and the Kantou region as before... That's what they said."
"In other words, we're not allowed to take Orihime-san and Hazumi-san away, is that right?"
"Yeah. As long as we agree to this stipulation, they basically don't care if SAURU turns into GUILD—Something like that."
"A verbal agreement alone isn't very reliable..."
"Maybe contract magic can be used for assurance..."
"Leave this to me to handle."
A seductive smile appeared on the corners of Luna's lips in stark contrast to her gentle motions in Hal's ear.
In this area, she and Haruga Haruomi were "birds of a feather" and so could quickly reach consensus. The two of them were not naive enough to easily trust in other people's benevolence and verbal promises.
"Say, Harry... Why are you shutting your eyes?"
Hal was lying on his side to let Luna clean his left ear.
His other ear and the right half of his face was buried in Luna Francois' thighs. He was keeping both his eyes tightly shut.
"Simply stated, it's so that I won't lose to my own cowardice..."
"What do you mean? Please explain concretely♪"
Luna was questioning Hal in a teasing manner. Her hand did not pause in her ear cleaning motions. Extremely high on the impish attribute, she must have seen right through Haruga Haruomi's mind.
However, Hal would rather die than admit defeat, so he tried to resist.
"Because I'd be at a bit of loss where to look if I opened my eyes."
"There is nothing in this room that you're not allowed to look at, you know? Even Luna Francois in the bath, fully nude, is a sight I will allow you to enjoy for free."
"Fufufufu. Harry, look into my eyes. Please."
Luna's voice was incomparably seductive.
She finally stopped her hand and gently caressed Hal's hair.
If he were to lose to this sweet temptation, he would have to offer his soul... These were the devil's whispers. Despite knowing that, Hal ultimately succumbed to temptation.
He opened his eyes and looked up.
This was to gaze upon Luna Francois' lovely face—But there was something obstructing his view.
Ostensibly G-cup by visual estimates, the magnificent bust was in front of him, preventing Hal from seeing the blonde beauty's eyes and face.
Due to Luna wearing a China dress, the size and shape of her bust was clear to see.
Speaking of which, he had experienced something similar before.
It was when he had fainted at an open-air bath in Izu and Orihime had used her lap as a pillow for him to lie on. However, he had closed his eyes instantly back then, so it was hard to say that he truly "saw."
But this time was different.
He stared intently and directly at the view before him, engraving it into his mind concretely.
"Do you know, Harry? If you look at me so passionately... It makes me nervous."
Hal jumped in surprise due to the suddenness.
Luna picked up Haruga Haruomi's left hand and guided him to touch her magnificent bust of cheating proportions.
Badump. Badump. Badump. Badump.
Her heartbeat could be felt through the palm of his left hand.
This was the same heartbeat he had felt a number of times so far when using the sun-shooting divine bow, a technique of assured annihilation.
"How is it? Can you feel... my heartbeat?"
"Perhaps this isn't bad after all. I could get addicted to this."
"W-What isn't bad?"
"Letting you touch me when it's not battle related. It feels so reassuring. Don't hold back, I allow you to touch me any time, okay?"
"I think I... need to hold back."
"Fufufufu. Harry, you're such a liar."
"W-Why do you say that?"
"Because it's clearly written on your face, 'I don't want to hold back'."
"Hey Harry, if possible, try to make me more nervous, okay? Also, I'd like to make your heart beat faster and faster so that we pass the same time together."
"We could... play a game or something?"
"Jeez, Harry, you're lying again. Look at your face, you know clearly what we need to do. There's a bed here, we're alone together, and night happens to be falling soon—There is so much time left. Don't you think it's an excellent opportunity?"
"U-Uh, well, what can I say!?"
Hal felt as though he was slowly getting caught in a spider's web.
Things would be bad at this rate. He might fail to resist. For some reason, Juujouji Orihime's face surfaced momentarily in Hal's mind, then he thought of his childhood friend's current residence. Yes, using this as an excuse would be more natural...
"I have an appointment with Asya later. Isn't she living in the suite next to yours? I was thinking now that I'm here already, I might as well discuss things with her too!"
"Oh dear, is that so? What a shame."
Unexpectedly, Luna did not push the issue.
Bringing her lips to Hal's ear, she spoke softly in a gentle voice contrary to her usual diabolical image, "But remember this well, Harry. The door to my room will remain open to you at all times. If you ever feel the need to make memories with Luna Francois, be it midnight, 3am or 4am, come over immediately. Got that?"
Rather than the devil, Luna's words seemed to evoke more of an image of a tender loving goddess.
Hal nodded subconsciously.
"Haruomi, did you take an afternoon nap? Your face looks all energized."
Asya's question made Hal jump in surprise.
He was certain that he had his expression suppressed calmly as usual with no signs of being subjected to temptation in Luna's room just now.
Recently, the silver-haired childhood friend had been quite sharp in unusual areas.
"I didn't take a nap. It's probably because I slept in later than usual today. Now that the plan has entered the execution stage, I have far fewer things to do as the one in charge."
"The color in your face definitely looks better than before the summer break."
Hal picked a safe reason and Asya did not press the matter.
The two of them were taking the New Town Loop Line towards Narihirabashi. This was the station closest to Hal's home. Instead of sitting down, they were standing, Gripping the overhead handhold rings.
It was 7pm on a weeknight but there were few passengers.
"By the way, you don't really need to send me all the way home."
"Why not? I happen to be free. You had a meeting with Luna before coming to find me, right?"
"Then let's chat until we reach your house."
"By the way, have you read Funaki-san's report? She said that the magical power detector has had mysterious responses all over New Town."
"Sure enough, it must be that Galad guy or some other dragon, right?"
"Could it be Princess Yukikaze?"
"I don't think the princess would stoop to such silliness."
Hal found it odd when conversing with Asya.
Was his childhood friend, whom he had known for so many years, ever the type to seize initiative when dealing with him?
Asya had been acting weird lately. Her bottomless abyss of a stomach had now become smaller than a normal person's capacity, while her behavior emanated a kind of subtle "femininity"—
When in her company, he could not stop thinking ridiculous thoughts.
Indeed, Asya even kissed him that time in New York.
This had been hanging on Hal's mind ever since. The same kind of "atmosphere" had not arisen again between the two of them, but somehow, he could not forget it just like that...
Hal suddenly thought of Orihime.
Undoubtedly, Orihime was a special member of the opposite sex from Haruga Haruomi's perspective. While reporting on work progress to his inseparable childhood friend, he would subconsciously think of Orihime. Just now when spending time with Luna too, and currently while talking to Asya—
Doing this sort of thing made him want to see Orihime badly.
At that moment, Asya launched a surprise attack as though she had read his mind.
"This is a goodnight kiss. See you tomorrow."
It happened just as he reached Narihirabashi, got off the train, and was walking along the street at night, chatting about all kinds of things.
Asya suddenly kissed Hal on the cheek.
Furthermore, she departed swiftly without looking back, leaving Hal rooted to the spot, so shaken that he could not utter a single word.
While Hal was staring blankly at his childhood friend walking away, the following thought occurred to him again.
I really want to see her face—Orihime's.
There should be a few pictures on his cellphone, taken by chance. Hal took out his phone, thinking of looking at Orihime's face, and discovered something.
There was a text from Shirasaka Hazumi.
'If you have time, Senpai, would you mind paying a visit to Nee-sama's house? Together with her, I will be waiting for you there.'
Not only Orihime but even her cousin Hazumi were there.
Hal rushed back home and took out the scooter parked in the yard. He had started riding it recently to travel more efficiently around the city.
Juujouji Orihime's home was situated at Monzen-Nakachō Station.
It was an ancient and magnificent samurai house and surrounded by a perimeter wall with glazed roof tiles.
Hal parked the scooter near the main entrance and took off his helmet. Then he heard the adorable junior student's voice. She happened to be walking from the opposite direction.
"Did you go out for some shopping?"
"Yes. The weather is still quite hot, so I bought some ice cream. I bought your share too, Senpai."
Carrying a small plastic bag, Hazumi was in her school uniform.
Displaying a smile of 100% purity towards him, Hazumi was even more like an angel than a real angel. Hal would not be surprised to see a holy glow behind her.
However, Hazumi suddenly looked serious.
Judging from her expression, Hal was confused to see that she had resolved herself in some way. At that moment, the adorable junior student took a few steps to approach him and did something unexpected.
"I-It's very hot outside! Let's hurry indoors!"
Hazumi hugged Hal's right arm.
And she hugged very tightly. The fourteen-year-old girl's delicate body was pressed firmly against his arm. Hal could feel the warmth and softness of Hazumi's body through her uniform.
During early September, the summer heat still had not left Tokyo New Town.
Pressing this tightly would feel even hotter—Even though Hal thought that, the sudden surprise and the sensation of Hazumi's body had made him lose composure, making him unable to say anything except "O-Okay."
"Nee-sama is waiting for you too. Come, please enter."
"N-No need to pull me. I can walk by myself!"
"I don't want you to get lost!
Hazumi took Hal's hand considerately and led him to the entrance.
Although the courtyard was comparable to a small Japanese garden in size, Hal had visited several times previously. There was essentially just one path, so there should not be any risk of getting lost no matter how you looked at it.
Still, he could not bring himself to reject Hazumi's hand and her benevolent wishes.
In the end, Hal obediently allowed Hazumi to lead him by the hand into the entrance. There, greeting him was another girl.
"Haruga-kun, welcome. Sorry for being busy in the afternoon and not going over to Luna-san's place. I suddenly had to take care of something."
"Don't worry about it. It didn't cause any problems anyway."
She had probably come to greet Hal and Hazumi after looking out the window and seeing them walking in the courtyard.
After answering Juujouji Orihime who had been waiting at the entrance, Hal suddenly felt alarmed. He was still holding hands with Hazumi.
He and Orihime had "that kind of relationship" going on, sort of.
Even though Hazumi was a second-year middle schooler, his junior and Orihime's cousin to boot, wouldn't it be bad to let her see him so close to another girl...?
Hal did not know if Orihime was feigning ignorance or actually unaware of Hal's worries, but she said cheerfully, "Have you had dinner yet? I cooked your share too, so if you don't mind, please join us."
"D-Don't worry. The only thing I've eaten today was that salt candy I had at noon."
"Good grief. You haven't changed the slightest, not eating your meals properly."
"I was too engrossed in my phone, so I forgot."
"In any case, you were reading work-related documents, weren't you? Don't push yourself too far, or you'll die of overexhaustion even before you start fighting dragons."
Hal smiled wryly as he listened to Orihime nagging at him with his best interests in mind.
"Say, what about your grandfather? I need to greet him."
"He isn't here. He will be back quite late tonight, which is why I wanted to have Hazumi—and you—over for dinner. Although my cooking is not as good as Asya-san's, please note that I made every dish myself."
"Senpai, I helped out too!" Hazumi smiled and added after listening to Orihime.
As a side note, Hal and Hazumi's hands were still together.
...After that, Hazumi only released his hand when she went towards what would presumably the kitchen, saying she had to put the ice cream away.
Hal's heart was still beating hard when Orihime led him to a spacious Japanese-style room.
Orihime's home was a Japanese mansion so there were no western living room or dining hall. A large table was on the tatami floor, covered with all kinds of dishes.
There was salad with bean curd and mashed yams, pickled eggplant, ratatouille made from a suitable selection of summer vegetables, a large amount of fried chicken, bitter melon stir fried with bean curd, etc. The dishes lacked a unifying theme, which contributed to a home-cooking flavor.
After a while, the trio began their meal.
Probably due to the excessively hot weather lately, Hal lacked appetite. But compared to the last few days, he ate quite a lot during dinner tonight.
Perhaps it was due to chatting with Orihime and Hazumi while eating.
Compared to eating rapidly within five minutes, spending one or two hours to slowly enjoy a full meal was better for digestion and allowed greater quantities to be eaten.
After the meal, they even ate the ice cream that Hazumi had just bought earlier.
Hal frequently ate alone, finishing his food in two or three seconds without talking to anyone. For Hal, eating like he did on this occasion was quite incredible.
Forget about eating out at shops, even at home, he could not possibly chat while eating.
Hal was aware that this was not his home but the Juujouji residence, yet he was still able to relax himself as though he were in his own territory.
This was evidence of how close he had become with Hazumi and Orihime.
The three of them spent their time peacefully. Hazumi left first to head for home before it was too dark, leaving Hal and Orihime alone in the house.
The dining table was already cleared. Also, night had only just begun.
However, Hal suggested he should leave for home earlier.
"It's time for me to go."
To be honest, he really wanted to enjoy this "alone time between the two of them."
However, Juujouji Orihime's grandfather was quite a hassle. He would mercilessly (or rather, childishly) repel all males who approached his granddaughter. Furthermore, Hal had done "that" previously, so meeting him would be very awkward...
"Oh my? Grandfather called."
Orihime's phone rang.
Her family conversation lasted merely three minutes.
"Early this morning, Grandfather went to Chiba to visit an old friend he had not seen for many years... He is not coming home tonight, apparently."
"Was there some kind of accident?"
"No, Grandfather said that he started drinking a lot before sundown because he hadn't seen his friend for so long. He sounded like he was in a good mood and said he was going to drink with his friend all the way until dawn."
"...Glad to hear that. It sounds like he's in good health."
"That's because Grandfather trains in martial arts. He nags a lot but has no ability to refuse alcohol at all. Every time he goes out drinking, he basically starts during the daytime."
"From what I've heard, athletic people drink like fish when they gather together."
"At gatherings organized by Grandfather and his friends, it's taken for granted that they will continue into the after-party and the after-after-party."
Orihime's grandfather gave off an intensely serious and stubborn image.
Recalling that extremely solemn face, Hal smiled wryly. Meanwhile, the conscientious and reliable granddaughter suddenly became restless and murmured, "So, Haruga-kun... Are you about to leave?"
The only obstacle standing in the way of unexpectedly good fortune had been eliminated.
Hal and Orihime made eye contact. In the next instant, they sprang into action like water from a ruptured dam. Walking towards each other, they embraced and kissed passionately.
Savoring each other's lips in the Juujouji living room, they remained lost in each other for a very long time.
Finally releasing their lips, Orihime murmured in rapture.
"I've always wanted to do this with you..."
"Me too, Juujouji..."
Of course, they did not resent Hazumi for being a third wheel.
Both of them loved the adorable junior and younger cousin, welcoming her presence any time.
However, this was a totally separate matter.
As a couple whose hearts and minds finally came together during midsummer in New York, wouldn't it be human nature to desire reaffirming "this kind of relationship" whenever an opportunity presented itself?
That was what Hal thought, and luckily, it was probably the same for Orihime.
Finally, they moved to the sofa, embracing each other tightly like two threads woven into a yarn. Rubbing their cheeks together playfully, they kept kissing each other nonstop.
"Sorry, I haven't had time to spend alone with you..."
"Don't worry, that's because you are very busy. And previously, we also decided not to tell everyone else about our relationship."
Generously accepting everything Orihime spoke softly then suddenly began to sulk.
"However, you were having a meeting alone with Luna-san, weren't you...?"
"I'm sorry to say this, but that's because you two canceled on me!"
"I-I know, but it couldn't be helped. B-But given Luna-san's proclivities, I am certain she must have shown her affections to you passionately... Right?"
"I know everything. Just now, you were holding hands with Hazumi too."
"Oh... I'm not scolding you. I understand too that we don't want to mess up the team atmosphere. Because everyone ____ you."
"? Juujouji, what did you say?"
"N-Nothing. Anyway... What did you do with Luna-san?"
"Oh!? By what did I do, you mean?"
"Like the way we kissed just now, or hugging her tightly, that sort of thing."
"Of course not. We totally didn't do anything that crossed the line so much..."
"...If anything, there was the lap pillow."
"I knew it."
Hal did not dare to reveal the ear cleaning part, so he simply gave a half truth.
Orihime was a little angry and turned her back to him. She got angry after all?—Just as Hal was surprised by the reaction from the girl he loved...
She leaned her back gently against him.
"I could let you lie on my lap too, but you already did that back in Izu, so even if I did that, it only makes me even with Luna-san—So, Haruga-kun, you will be my cushion. If you agree to this, all will be forgiven."
"Let alone a cushion, I'm fine with being your human chair!"
Sitting together with Orihime on the sofa, Hal made a slightly confused declaration.
Currently, he was using his whole body to support Orihime's back, feeling the weight and warmth of her body. Sitting on Hal's lap, she was definitely not light.
However, what Hal experienced was an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and bliss.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that he was pressed tightly together with the unguarded Juujouji Orihime, feeling her warmth with his entire body.
(Speaking of which, this posture...)
It suddenly occurred to Hal that this posture was identical to when using techniques of assured annihilation.
Every time so far, he had reaching around to Orihime's chest from behind, to inject magical power into her heart.
"Ah!? H-Haruga-kun, your hand—!"
"Eh? Oh, sorry!"
Hal's right hand had subconsciously grabbed Orihime's bust.
He was completely unaware of it. It looked like his hand had moved automatically just as he thought "it's a bit similar to those times."
Orihime's breast was quite massive and about to overflow from his palm.
The sensation of his five fingers sinking into her soft flesh was a little erotic. Simply touching Orihime's bust was already filling Hal's heart with an exhilarating sense of pleasure.
"Geez... Haruga-kun, you are so perverted."
"Sorry, my hand moved before I noticed."
Hal intentionally spoke in a serious tone of voice.
"I've never told you, Juujouji, but in truth, I really love your breasts. Of course, I really really love you as a person too. I promise you, even if your breasts weren't so large, my feelings for you still wouldn't change the slightest."
"No matter how serious you make your tone of voice, it still doesn't change the fact that you are a pervert..."
"I-I'm terribly sorry."
"...So, would you like to continue?"
"Since you already said, Haruga-kun, you love me so much, allowing you to touch more... isn't entirely out of the question. Because I love you too."
Hearing that from the girl he loved, Hal instantly felt his mind blank out.
By the time he realized, his hands and fingers were already grabbing Orihime's breasts forcefully. He hastily controlled his grip while gently squeezing the breasts that could not be held in one hand, trying to contain them in his palms.
Intimately pressed to Orihime, he placed his palms on top of her breasts—
At this very moment, Hal experienced the happiest moment of his life.
"Th-This seems to feel so calming."
"M-Me too, it seems. By doing this, my entire body feels like I am one with you. I feel—so very happy."
Just as Hal felt deeply that his body and mind were gradually relaxing, in the next instant—
He was struck by a sudden wave of drowsiness.
"Haruga-kun, did you fall asleep?"
Turned into a human cushion, Haruga Haruomi was supporting Orihime's body.
Becoming Orihime's most beloved existence over the past few months, this young man had started breathing slowly steadily at some point in time. He had fallen asleep. One could hardly blame him.
Although his hectic life had eased somewhat, he was still busy devising "the plan" and did not even have enough time to sleep.
Incidentally, after losing consciousness, Hal still did not let go of Orihime's bust.
While exasperated, Orihime could not help but feel impressed by the tenacity displayed by the self-proclaimed "closet pervert." After that, she also experienced a deep sense of happiness surging in her heart.
"Jeez... Seeing him so happy would make me feel an urge to indulge him and allow him to do even more. Luna-san had clearly reminded us earlier..."
Juujouji Orihime, Luna Francois, and Shirasaka Hazumi.
The three girls were jointly involved in a "secret mission."
The whole thing started since their return from New York, after her cousin Hazumi reported to them, 'At this rate, Senpai will lose his human memories and turn into a dragon!'
This was the trigger that prompted the trio to start comparing notes on Haruga Haruomi.
As a result, many things were laid out on the table. His transformation into a dragon was progressing without impediment, and his memories as a human were going to vanish while his powers increased—
Now, it was finally approaching a point of no return.
However, if he could experience intense pleasure as a human (such as satisfying his lust as a "closet pervert"), his memories and human qualities would show signs of recovery...
After learning of this fact, Luna Francois had been the first to speak.
'...I have decided. I shall do many things to make my dear perverted Harry happy, thereby delaying his transformation into a dragon for as long as possible.'
Surprisingly, even the obedient and gentle Hazumi declared immediately too.
Orihime was the only one left speechless, but Luna Francois made a suggestive look and said, 'I presume you will be doing the same, Orihime-san, hence all of us ought to join forces.'
Thus, the progressive American girl began to make suggestions.
'What worries me most is... whether we should allow "the final line" to be crossed easily or not. Personally, I would love to do it and I'm pretty certain Harry would gladly go along. However, humans tend to get used to and grow tired of happiness that is offered to them automatically. As such, we must set our boundaries in advance regarding how we please Harry.'
The two Japanese girls were dumbfounded by her upfront candor.
In the end, using Luna's suggestions as a foundation, the two girls joined in to form a united Japanese-American front.
They did more than secretly share information. For example, today, Orihime and Hazumi were "coincidentally" occupied and unable to join the meeting, allowing Haruomi to spend time alone with Luna Francois, facilitating her advances—
This was also part of their cooperation.
Furthermore, Asya was not a member in this. This too, was Luna's opinion.
'Let's leave her out. I worry that her feminine charm isn't enough, so Harry would only see her as family—like a sister—and dismiss her as that kind of prospect from the start. The key point is that I feel the situation would get very troublesome if Asya were to join in.'
Thus, the current situation emerged.
Juujouji Orihime and Haruga Haruomi were still in "that kind of relationship," sort of. This she had neither told Hazumi nor Luna. Joining the united front without revealing this placed her in a very complicated position.
With Haruga Haruomi grabbing her breasts, she murmured to herself, trying to sound the least furious possible.
"I do all this for Haruga-kun—for you. Were it not for the sake of the world, I would never allow you to do this."
This was something she originally found intolerable, but the thought of doing it for his sake made Orihime feel that she could now accept it. How unbelievable.
Juujouji Orihime was surprised by this.
At that very moment, the cellphone on the living room table blared with an ear-splitting siren.
Orihime hastily brushed away young Haruomi's hands and picked up the phone to check the message.
This cellphone was set up so that it would only sound this siren when receiving news about fighting dragons—a witch's mission. She swept the cellphone's touchscreen then immediately roused Haruga Haruomi from his slumber.
"Haruga-kun, this is bad! Dragons have appeared in Tokyo Bay!"
Inside Tokyo Bay, Raptors were heading towards the vicinity of Urayasu City. They numbered roughly a hundred—
Unbeknownst to Orihime and Haruomi at the time, this incident was caused by a long-absent old foe, and that Haruga Haruomi and his companions were about to face their greatest crisis yet...
|Back to Illustrations||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 2|