Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha:Volume 1 Chapter 3

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Chapter 3: At the Threshold of Trust and Reunion[edit]

Part 1[edit]

The Master and Servant Contract immediately activated the curse when the Servant betrayed the Master.

After almost a month--- On the next full moon, it was possible to annul it.

At first they believed it to be hopeless, but they somehow managed to overcome the first week.

---Regardless of how it came to be, the contract was bound, so they had to deal with the situation.

To successfully avoid the curse from activating, they persuaded Mio now and little by little they confirmed the activation conditions for the curse and other effects.

And as of now, they had a good understanding about the contract magic.

First--- The servant wasn't forced into absolute obedience and could defy an unreasonable order. Apparently it was done, so that the contract wouldn't be used one-sided, but interactive.

Consequently, the master needed to reward his servant with an adequate attitude as a master. It was close to the "Reward & Service" relationship between the Shogun and Samurai, which takes it origin during the Kamakura period.

That said, even if the Master makes an unreasonable order, the curse will not activate for him due to the superior stance in the contract. Still, the fact that the servant could disobey a strange order was a salvation for Basara and Mio.

---Then what determined a betrayal from the servant, leading to the activation to the curse?

It was a bit complicated, as the condition for the curse's activation was "a mental betrayal".

That said, the servant wasn't forced into absolute obedience. He had the right to "oppose" an unreasonable order.

Also, actions that appeared like a "rebellion" or "betrayal", but were for example to "correct" a mistake, meaning an action for the sake of the master, were apparently forgiven.

But on the other hand, if the Servant disobeyed a legit order or took an unreasonable attitude, the curse activated without mercy.

And it seemed that the power of the curse was determined on the Servant's feeling of "guilt"--- in other words, his "mental betrayal".

When the curse activated, a mark appeared on Mio's neck like a collar as proof.

But--- Basically the curse wouldn't activate as long as she trusted and believed him.

Because the contract between Basara and Mio was conducted uncommonly, there had been confusion in the beginning, but originally it was a magic that strengthened the trust between Master and Servant, allowing them to keep track of each other's positions.

Therefore there was no problem. A week passed while desperately convincing themselves like that.

And then--- summer vacation came to an end.


That said, even with summer vacation ending, it was not the end of summer.

On sunny days, the temperature easily crossed 30°C.

A day with boiling heat from the morning on. Toujou Basara walked the street to school for the first time.

The second term from today onward. The start of his new school life.

"Aw, so hot… Damn."

He was wearing the summer uniform, but that didn't mean that his trousers were shorts. Additionally the surroundings were full of students with the same uniform. He hated crowds.

"Girls have it good… They get to wear short skirts."

"---Hey, could you stop being so egoistic? In exchange for that, it's cold in the winter."

A cold voice beside him answered the grumbling Basara. It was Mio, wearing the same school uniform.

Since they had mostly made sure of the activation boundaries of the curse, making an impudent remark in the middle of a normal conversation was no problem.

Malice or a guilty conscious were the problematic ones.

"But, in winter you can easily wear shorts or at worst tracksuit pants under your skirt, right?"

Each of them cold-blooded spoiled a boy's pure heart. Upon that,

"That goes without saying. What's the point of letting yourself freeze?"

"Then, in the end, you're warm in winter!"

Not good. He inadvertently retorted, but what good was it to even get hot-blooded himself? There,

"Right, please calm down, Basara-san."

A young voice was heard from behind. When he turned around, Maria was following behind them.

Needless to say she didn't wear a school uniform, but a refreshing dress.

"It's hot, because you think it is hot. At time like these, just look at me."

Saying so, Maria searched through the convenience store bag in her hand.

Then she pulled out a pet bottle, drinking it down with big gulps.

Next she ripped open a popsicle wrapping, taking a mouthful. Narrowing her eyes, pleased, she faced him with a smile.

"How is it? When watching a refreshing scenery, you feel refreshed yourself, right?"

"As if!"

"Muh, I just wanted to cheer you up a bit, since I am asking you to guard Mio-sama at school."

While feeling despondent, Maria licked her popsicle. That appearance looked unnecessarily erotic.

In casual moments like this, he was reminded that she was a succubus.

"…I'll just be grateful for the thought."

Basara wearily faced forward again. Upon that, his gaze fell on the wave of students wearing the same school uniform that was flowing through the gate. Shortly thereafter, Basara and the girls arrived there as well.

"Oh, so this is it."

Basara stopped in front of the gate and looked up at the big building.

Private [Hijirigasaka Academy]. That was the school Mio attended and which Basara would also attend from today onwards.

"Well then, Mio-sama, I will be on standby nearby."

"Yeah, thanks."

On the night of the screwed up Master and Servant Contract, she had been filled with rage, but after a week, Mio's anger had certainly subdued. Mio and Maria had returned to their quite close sister-like relationship.

When Maria showed a smile on Mio's "Yes", she suddenly looked at Basara.

"Okay, Basara-san, I leave Mio-sama to you. Though I doubt there will be any troubles in a place with so many people."

"Yeah, if anything comes up, I'll let you know right away."

However, suddenly doubt arose in him.

"But… You said you would be on standby nearby, but it's a weekday, you know? Won't it be troublesome if the police find you loitering around here?"

Upon that, "Fufufu. Do not worry. It will be completely fine."

Maria laughed with 'Fufufu' and pulled out a single card from the pouch she was carrying over her shoulder.

"Look, in preparation for such cases, I have a fake ID that testifies me as 18 years old. 18 years, you hear? With that I can loiter around during noon all I want."

"Oh really…"

Basara lost his strength. Just because she was 18 didn't mean she could loiter around all she wanted.

Or rather, normally anyone would doubt that age from her appearance--- even when she was smiling so radiantly.

Part 2[edit]

Upon entering the school grounds, the flood of students got to it's peak and the hallways were crowded with students.

Basara, a transfer student, parted from Mio and headed to the staff room first. When he told them at the door that he was the new transfer student , he was told to wait for a bit in the waiting room next door. And after the chime rang a few times, a young male teacher came to pick him up with a class register in his hands. He held out his hand with a brilliant smile.

"I'm Sakasaki Mamoru, your homeroom teacher. Nice to meet you, Toujou."

"Yes, hello…"

Even while being overwhelmed by the unnecessarily refreshing aura, Basara replied to the handshake.

Since the morning homeroom followed right after the staff meeting, they moved to the class room right away.

"Well, we often get transfers due to family circumstances, but your case seems a bit more complicated, Toujou."

"Yes, kind of…"

Nothing would come from hiding the fact that he was living with Mio. Therefore Basara just told the school that they were currently living together to see if they could be a family before the remarriage, when he was asked at the beginning. That said, he wouldn't announce that to their classmates though.

"But making a trial period like that shows that your parents are good people, who properly consider the feelings of their children."

Basara replied with the vague answer "Sure". He couldn't tell him that all of it was made up.

Although, it all happened from Jin's considerations, so Sakasaki's words weren't wrong.

…Ah, that reminds me.

Basara asked Sakasaki what he suddenly remembered.

"Uhm… I heard that a friend of my father is at this school, but do you know anything of it?"

Jin might have received a favor from that person when he took care of the transfer papers.

Then it would be better to express gratitude to that person. However,

"Is that so? Well, I haven't heard anything in particular about that. Should I look into it later?"

"Ah, no, thank you."

If the homeroom teacher Sakasaki didn't hear about it, it might be better not to pry into it.

As he politely turned him down, they arrived in front of the classroom.

"This is our class. A new family and a new school might bring various hardships, but you'll get used to it in no time. Besides, we have Naruse in our class."

Ohh...

Basara was a bit surprised. It was rare that siblings or relatives were put in the same class. He thought for sure he would end up in a different class than Mio. They must have been considerate.

"Moreover there is our serious class rep and me as your homeroom teacher. If there's anything you don't understand, just ask without reservation. Okay, let's go in."

Saying so, Sakasaki moved into the classroom and Basara followed after him. The news of a transfer student coming must have spread already. When he stood in front of the blackboard, he could look over the whole class.

…Geez.

Basara made a sigh at heart. All gazes in the classroom were focused on him and all at once they started to evaluate Basara. That was the unavoidable fate of a transfer student.

First of all, he saw everyone get discouraged, boys and girls alike, just by the fact that he was a boy. He was prepared for it, but before his self-introduction it already felt like a lost battle, which truly depressed him. He believed his looks to be average, but there were still a few girls that hadn't lost interest in Basara yet.

…Ah.

Amongst them was Mio sitting by the window in the back.

…She really stands out after all.

Seeing her like that, he once more realized Mio's cuteness. In the classroom space, everyone wore the same uniform and sat at the systematic ordered desks. The conditions were the same. Due to that, one's characteristics stood out excessively. When he stared at her, she averted her eyes towards the window.

He lost another interested one. Who remained was,

…Mh?

In the same window-row as Mio--- the girl at the very front was looking at him.

It was a pretty girl. Contrary to her vivid presence, similar to Mio's, she had an aura like clear water.

Their types were different, but she was a beautiful girl on par with Mio.

Seeing as the desk next to her was empty, it most likely was going to be Basara's.

Indeed, it was understandable that she was interested in him when he was going to sit next to her. But,

…Ehm, what to do about this?

He considered her a cute girl, but if she stared at him so directly it certainly was a bit awkward.

At that time, Sakasaki, standing beside the teacher's desk, eloquently wrote his name on the blackboard,

"Okay, as you can see, we have a transfer student. ---Toujou, introduce yourself."

"Ah, yes…"

coming to his aid in the silence.

"Ehm, I'm Toujou Basara. My name is a bit showy, but as you can see, I'm an average guy. Please take care of me."

Since they would inquire about it anyway, he made a self-deriding introduction, whereupon the expressions of the guys softened a bit. The atmosphere became somewhat welcoming and Basara made a sigh of relief.

Then it was time for questions and with the silly questions and answers repeating numerous times, the chime tolled the end of the homeroom soon enough. Sakasaki clapped his hands together.

"---Okay, that's it for now. Save the rest for after the opening ceremony. Toujou, your desk is the empty one over there. Nonaka, you're the class rep, so look after Toujou."

"…Yes."

The beautiful girl from earlier stood up and nodded short. Apparently she was the class representative.

"Well then, everyone line up in the hallway. We're going to the gym."

On Sakasaki's words, everyone started to stand up from their seats.

"He tells us to line up… but in what order?"

Amidst the students pouring out of the classroom, Basara just stood there with no idea what to do. Whereupon,

"---Basara."

Suddenly his name was called, and Basara faced the direction it was called from, startled.

"Ehm, what is it, class rep…?"

Before he had noticed it, the girl was standing right beside him. He was surprised due to suddenly being called by name, but for Basara, the transfer student, she was the one to take care of him. Therefore,

"I hope we get along, class rep. I'll try not to cause any---"

troubles… was what he wanted to say, but couldn't. Because she suddenly hugged him.

"Eh---?"

For a moment, he didn't understand what was happening.

But the soft touch of a girl and the faint, sweet fragrance told him that it was reality.

"W- Wh- What are you two doing!"

Mio, who had noticed the two of them before anyone else, pushed the dumbfounded classmates aside and came over with a bright red face. Her eyes were slightly bloodshot.

"Ohh!? Class rep, can you get away? Otherwise I think it'll be dangerous!"

Mostly for my own body though.

"Moreover, you call me by my first name and hug me... could it be you lived overseas?"

"…No."

On that question, Nonaka raised her face while still hugging onto Basara.

"Basara… have you really forgotten?"

Then she showed him a little sulking expression.

"Mh? That reminds me, the name Nonaka… Don't tell me---"

Basara remembered the last name of the class rep, which the homeroom teacher had called, very well.

"You're… Yuki?"

Upon saying the name of his childhood friend after a few years, the girl in front of his eyes nodded short with "Mm".

"Basara, it's been a while…"

Shinmai Vol1 0086.jpg

Saying so happily, Nonaka Yuki showed a smile. Then,

"Get off him already!"

Mio forcefully got between them. As she pulled Basara and Yuki apart,

"H- Hugging him out of nowhere… A- Are you nuts?"

She flared up at Yuki with a bright red face. However Yuki stayed composed.

"Not really. This is normal between Basara and me."

"N- Normal…? H- Hey, Basara, what does she mean?"

Basara was troubled by Mio's ogre-like glare.

"Well, Yuki's my childhood friend… She was quite attached to me."

"Attached… You aren't a dog or a cat!"

"Well yeah…"

But the fact remained that it was true. They were of the same age and lived nearby, so they grew up like siblings. Actually, it hurt. The gazes of his classmates, Mio's included, that is. Specially the ones from the boys.

Well, obviously. For a bystander, it looked like Mio and Yuki were fighting over Basara.

…Not good. At this rate, the friendly atmosphere I created with my introduction will…

But how to explain it? While he was like that, the situation kept getting worse.

"…It doesn't concern you, Naruse-san."

At last, Yuki declared coldly--- But it provoked Mio's emotions.

"It- It does concern me!"

Before Basara could stop her, Mio shouted with a voice that reached down the hallway. The all decisive sentence.

"I'm… living together with him after all!"

Part 3[edit]

The opening ceremony ended and it was lunch break after a couple of classes.

A happy lunch-time atmosphere spread over the school.

Basara sat bored and alone at his own seat in the classroom. Inadvertently he mumbled.

"……For real?"

Wow. This was beyond his expectations. Could a person on his first day of transfer become this isolated?

First of all, it seemed like he had made an enemy out of every boy. Just getting hugged by Yuki was bad enough, but Mio's declaration of their living together totally ruined everything.

For example, the girls showered Basara with question after question without mercy once they returned to the classroom from the opening ceremony. He got no information about Mio or Yuki, but they sucked out all the information they wanted from him, then left satisfied and never spoke to him again.

Therefore Basara no longer had anyone to speak with, except Mio and Yuki.

---However these last two rays of hope weren't here either, right now. Yuki had left after being called by the teacher for some class representative work. When he then invited Mio to eat lunch together, she said "You finally reunited with your childhood friend, so go eat with her for all I care" and then left with the girls from class to someplace. Probably because it was a suggestion that was considerate to him in a way, the curse of the Master and Servant Contract didn't activate in particular.

And this--- led to his current solitude. Basara sighed wearily.

"Guess I should get going…"

There was no point in staying here. As he didn't have a lunch box with him, his choices were limited to either the cafeteria or the school store. And when he stood up from his seat and left the classroom, Basara was suddenly called out to.

"Yo. Making most of the boys in class your enemy in an instant, you have some tough luck, Mr. Transfer Student."

When he turned around, there stood a boy, showing a friendly smile. One of his classmates.

"Ehm… Takigawa, was it?"

"Oh, you could tell? Have we met before somewhere or what?"

Takigawa made a puzzled face. Only Basara had introduced himself in front of the class. Needless to say, the other classmates, Takigawa included, didn't name themselves.

"Well, it's thanks to this from Sakasaki-sensei."

Basara pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and held it out. It was a copy of the seating chart that his homeroom teacher Sakasaki prepared from him, so that he could memorize his classmates' names as soon as possible.

"Hee, Sakasaki is perceptive as ever."

Takigawa nodded once expressing his understanding, then placed his hand on Basara's shoulder in an over-familiar manner.

"For that reason, let's grab a bite together, Mr. Transfer Student. You didn't have lunch yet, right?"

"Yeah… but how do you get to 'For that reason' from our conversation?"

"Because the transfer student, who's all alone after making an enemy out of all the guys in class on his first day, was hanging his head super depressed. It was just too pitiful, so I inadvertently had to call out to you. Besides, I moved here just last year. So I can understand a bit the troubles and melancholy of a transfer student."

He appreciated the concern, but couldn't he have said it better?

Well, he didn't seem like a bad guy.

"Just call me Basara then… I'll call you Takigawa too."

"Kay. So Basara, cafeteria or school store?"

"Let's see… The school store today, I guess."

Not to forget the incident during class break. It was unlikely he could calm down in the crowded cafeteria.

He wanted to buy something at random and eat it at an isolated place.

"Then we better hurry. If we don't, there won't be anything decent left."

Saying so, Takigawa started walking. When Basara caught up next to him,

"Still, to be the brother-in-law with our Princess Mio and childhood friends with our Princess Yuki… Raising flags with both idols that our school is so proud of, that's one damn King position."

"Princess…? They are called like that?"

He thought that their appearances certainly stood out.

"Yeah, that's why I think you made other classes and seniors your enemy too. I mean, these two are really popular here and they seem to have a lot of passionate fans."

Takigawa shrugged his shoulders while smiling.

"Surprisingly a man's jealously is even greater than a woman's. And to be honest, it's quite lasting."

Indeed. No wonder then that the boys of the other classes glared at him with hostility when he left the classroom to go drink some water and that he felt a vague killing intent in the toilet.

"Aw, we're too late after all."

When they arrived at the school store, there was already a long line before the food.

Along with Takigawa, whose expression had turned bitter, Basara lined up at the end of the line, where he casually probed.

"Hey… About these passionate fans, has there ever been some kind of incident so far with them involved?"

"Woah, creepy… So, for example like what?"

Said Takigawa while looking at the beginning of the line. "Let's see" said Basara as a prelude.

"For example, someone tried to aggressively get at them… Or contrary, a girl, jealous of their popularity, did some kind of harassment?"

"No way. To begin with, the other fans wouldn't keep quiet if anyone tried to steal a march. Even the girls know of Naruse and Nonaka's popularity. They're aware that they would make the boys angry if they were to pull some kind of careless harassment."

"I see…"

In other words, Mio was the center of attention to some extent at this school.

There was been a risk of an enemy being present in the school, but it was unlikely that any flashy measures would be taken in that situation.

…Well, the first term actually did go by normally.

Of course it couldn't be asserted that the school was perfectly safe because of that, but at least it narrowed down the places and times, where they had to be wary.

As Basara pondered that, Takigawa, next to him, suddenly showed a nasty smile.

"Well, there was once a sophomore boy who tried to steal a march, but was put through the mill by a couple of seniors… Going by that, you're probably in the most danger."

"Guess so…"

He got the feeling that it was true. After all, ever since he showed up at the school store, some guys had been glaring at him. It was good that Mio was relatively safe, but it made him worry about his own school life.

"But are you going to be fine, Takigawa? Won't the passionate fans have an eye on you too when you hang out with me?"

On Basara's question, Takigawa smiled.

"Don't fret it. I have fast legs. If it comes down to it, I'll abandon you and run away."

Such a reliable classmate. Then Takigawa added happily--

"Besides, raising flags with our school's two beauties is quite the feast. The so called protagonist potential? If I hang out with a guy that has such 'luck' or 'invisible power', I think my school life will get quite lively. Let's get along from now on."

"Same here. But… I'm afraid I don't have such luck or power."

Basara made a wry smile. He had already--- lost his qualifications to be a hero and was nothing more than a side-character.

Part 4[edit]

After school.

Mio, who had been silent ever since leaving the classroom, finally opened her mouth when they left the entrance hall.

"…Why are you following me?"

"Well, I'm just trying to go home…"

A sullen voice. Apparently the incident from after this morning's homeroom still had after-effects.

Well, it had certainly surprised him too.

---However, couldn't she fix her mood already? He was already at the verge of being all alone at school, yet even on the way home it seemed that he wouldn't get a proper conversation.

In his opinion, it was time to remind her again about idea behind the Kanji 人.[1]

Supporting each other.

"Hey Mio… What do you think about the Kanji '人'?"

"It looks like Nonaka and you hugging."

Not good. Impossible. He couldn't count on her. Like this, he could only hope for the meddling of a third person.

Walking towards the school gate, Basara shifted his gaze far in front of them. Upon that,

"Mio-chaan, Basara-saan."

Maria, waiting outside the gate, waved her hand greatly. Apparently she was carrying out their setting as sisters in public. Well, it certainly would be weird if she called her "Mio-sama".

"Good job on sitting out your time… you two."

"Thanks for waiting for us, but your remark is a bit wrong."

Don't make it sound like we came out of prison. The counselling teacher is looking.

Then Maria noticed Mio's bad mood and alternated looked between Mio and Basara's expression. Then,

"Basara-san, Basara-san…"

Pulling on his sleeve and taking him a bit of a distance away from Mio, she whispered into his ear.

"What is up with Mio-sama? It appears that her mood is kind of foul."

"Well, stuff happened…"

"? …Ah, I see. So that is how it is. That is not good, you have to use contraception."

"Hey… what did you think of in these mere seconds just now?"

Seemed it wasn't good to rely on someone else. He should do something about it himself. At that time,

…Mh?

Suddenly he noticed Mio looking at him.

"……….."

Her expression looked like she was waiting for Basara's words.

…Figures.

Of course it worried her when the one who promised to protect her, showed an expression she didn't know.

It was nothing to be surprised about. Trust between Mio and him hadn't been properly established yet.

Neither as a family--- nor as comrades.

…Worrying my little sister, I fail as a big brother…

As he thought so self-instructingly, Basara returned to Mio's side.

"…….What?"

Mio faced sideways sulking and gave him a side-glance.

At the time he tried to find words to reassure her then.

"---Basara."

A quiet voice called his name from the side interrupting. Before he had noticed, Nonaka Yuki was standing right beside him. And ignoring Mio, whose expression instantly turned sour, she declared.

"I have something important to discuss… just between us two."

Part 5[edit]

Basara decided to accept Yuki's request to talk with just the two of them.

As expected, the bad-tempered Mio had left Basara behind and went home, but she had Maria with her.

Befitting the season, the sun was still up high and there were a lot of students, since it was time to go home.

It should be safe to leave the two of them alone for a bit.

Basara and Yuki moved to a café in front of the station. It was all fine up to the point where they got guided to an empty table at the back, but

"…Hey, Yuki. We're sitting at a table, not at the counter, so wouldn't you normally sit down across?"

Regardless of the table for four people, Yuki sat down besides Basara for some reason. Upon that,

"No. It's better if no one hears what we're discussing now."

There wasn't much of a distance to begin with, yet Yuki shifted her chair even closer to Basara.

A thin distance, where their arms could touch. The soft sensation from smooth bare skin and the sweet fragrance of a girl coming from Yuki.

…Ugh. This is bad…

During the time they had been apart, their intimacy had vanished and Basara was strangely conscious of the closeness of his matured & feminine childhood friend. But in contrast, Yuki took the menu card with a cool face and looked at it.

Then they both simply ordered drinks and after they had dampened their dry throats,

"…Thanks, for coming."

Yuki slowly opened her mouth.

"No prob. I wanted to talk to you too anyway."

The glares at school had been so heavy that he couldn't get a decent conversation going in the end.

"Good…"

Yuki made a sigh of relief.

"I thought for sure, you were angry, Basara."

"Mh? Why?"

"I mean… You didn't look all that happy, even though I hugged you."

"No, I just didn't realize it was you at that time…"

It had been already five years since he had seen Yuki last at the age of ten. They were both in their growing periods right now. It was understandable he wouldn't recognize her at once. And anyone would be troubled if a girl on the supposed first meeting hugged onto them. Besides,

"…You sure have changed."

What he thought first was, how surprisingly pretty she had got. The Yuki Basara he had known had the smallest and most childish body amongst their old playmates, but now she looked more mature than her age.

Yuki said that it might be due to the change of her hairstyle. Surely, the old Yuki had grown out her hair.

But--- That wasn't the reason Basara didn't notice it right away that it was Yuki on their reunion.

He thought back.

…She wasn't the type to make such a face…

She had been sparing with words since forever, but had a great variety of expressions. But, Yuki's face as she looked at him from the side, waiting, looked completely inexpressive.

…Five years, huh.

Most likely she had changed in Basara's absence. The current Yuki might no longer be the Yuki he used to know. Just like the current Basara was different from his self five years ago now.

"…Actually, did I look happy in the past?"

Basara felt his thoughts going into a bad direction, so he got back on the previous topic.

Upon that, Yuki nodded a "Mm".

"When I hugged you, you would tightly hug me back."

"Mhm, is that so…"

"---Also, you often took advantage of the situation to touch my butt."

"Eh, seriously!?"

He didn't remember that at all, but he was just a perverted kid then. What was his younger self doing?

…Ah.

Looking at his flustered self, Yuki finally brightened her expression.

That faint smile matched the Yuki in his memories.

It finally felt real to him--- That he got reunited with his childhood friend Nonaka Yuki.

He was quite happy about that. But, that specially was the reason why he couldn't avert his eyes now.

"…So? What did you want to talk about?"

Yuki didn't answer Basara's question right away.

And the faint smile she was showing reverted back to the cold expression before.

"…It's about Naruse Mio."

She said whispering. Those were the words he had expected.

"Basara… Don't get involved with her any more."

"So it's you after all… Her observer sent by the <Village>."

Yes. Originally, it was strange for Yuki to be here.

For Basara's childhood friend--- a girl from the Hero tribe to be here, away from the Village.

"Well she did get a surveillance rank S-…"

"…You knew?"

"My dad told me. I believe I know most of their circumstances too."

"Then I'll cut to the chase. Leave Naruse Mio at once."

Yuki overlapped her hand with Basara's, which rested on the table.

Then she softly leaned over and looked at him.

"She's being sought by the current Devil Lord--- At this rate you and Jin-san will be dragged into it."

---There were two people secretly watching Basara and Yuki from a few seats afar.

They were Mio and Maria. They had wanted to go home ahead of him, but followed him after all because they were worried. They could barely hear their conversation.

"…It seems she is from the Hero Tribe just like Basara-san after all."

"Y- Yes… Looks like it."

On Maria's words, Mio nodded a bit awkwardly.

She was Basara's childhood friend. With a bit of thought she could have figured it out, but agitated by the hug in front of her eyes this morning, where she ended up blowing up and revealing their living together, she just couldn't muster any sober thoughts.

Even now, she had thought for sure that they were having a date.

But--- Now that she thought back on it, she got the feeling that Nonaka Yuki had always kind of avoided her.

Of course everyone had their own interests. If she was avoiding her, there was no need for Mio to forcefully befriend her. So she had kept her distance too.

…So that's the reason I felt her eyes on me despite that.

That said, there was no need for Mio to act as long as she wasn't challenged.

At any rate, her enemies were the ones who killed her parents. Making an enemy out of the Hero Tribe could really foil her plans.

"Mio-sama, what do we do? It seems she is trying to separate Basara-san from us…"

"…Mhm, let's watch for a bit longer."

If all went well, they might get to know about the intentions of the Hero Tribe.

…Besides, it could be that… She might get to hear Basara's true feelings. How he, who said he would protect her, felt at heart. It was an unforeseen chance, but the perfect one for Naruse Mio to make sure of the boy called Toujou Basara. Therefore Mio tried to perk up her ears to the conversation between them.

"---Mm."

The eavesdropping behaviour probably made her feel a bit guilty. Due to that, Mio trembled her body with a shiver on the sweet sensation that arose from inside her body. The curse of the Master and Servant Contract.

"…Mio-sama?"

Maria, next to her, was puzzled, whereas Mio repeated "I'm not eavesdropping" in her heart while turning red. Convincing herself that she wasn't betraying her Master, but only worrying about him. Upon that, the sweet sensation faded soon enough and Mio made a sigh of relief.

While observing Basara and Yuki again,

…Still,

Suddenly hugging onto him regardless of the place and now even leaning over and holding his hand, this girl--- even for a childhood friend, she was being way too clingy.

Don't get involved with Mio any more--- To these words from Yuki that resembled a request,

"Too late… I'm afraid I'm already dragged into it."

Basara slowly shook his head and declared his resolve.

"Both my dad and I have already decided to protect them."

"---But!"

Yuki raised an unusual loud voice. After gulping briefly, she squeezed out.

"In the incident five years ago, you…"

"……Yeah."

He knew what Yuki wanted to say. Due to that incident five years ago, Basara had to leave the Village. Toujou Basara hadn't forgotten what he did back then, nor what he had lost. But,

"Still… I want to protect Mio. Mio didn't wish for the power she holds. She just wanted to live as a normal human, a normal girl. It led to the death of her parents due to the ulterior motives of the devils and right now--- she herself is in danger of being killed for her power."

He couldn't overlook that. He had a reason not to.

"She's innocent. If you guys, the <Village> is willing to protect her---"

"…That alone is impossible. You should know that."

"Yeah…"

Basara gave Yuki, who darkened her expression, a wry smile.

The Hero Tribe existed to protect the peace in the human world from the devils.

That doctrine took priority over everything else--- Even at the cost of whatever sacrifices.

---The Heroes of this world weren't the kind of fantasy heroes that protected everyone.

Keeping their own existence secret, they only protected the world itself. For that sake sacrifices were necessary. Basara understood that as well--- That precisely was the reason for the happenings after the incident five years ago.

Basara had lost his qualification as a Hero and since Jin couldn't keep protecting him as a Hero, he quit too--- both of them leaving the Village.

And Mio's life being in danger was at best an internal quarrel between devils. The Heroes had no reason to help her.

Therefore. Basara and Jin were the only ones who could protect Mio.

"I understand your worry, Yuki. Five years ago, I couldn't undertake the consequences of my actions to the last."

"No. That wasn't your fault… I mean-"

Basara cut into the words Yuki wanted to say by shaking his head with "No".

"Still, it doesn't undo what I have done."

Upon that, there was a change in Yuki, who had stayed silent so far. Looking down, her face still looked like she was close to tears.

"…'Dat ain't true."

She said so with a dialect. It was her bad habit that showed up when she couldn't control her emotions anymore.

"Wha'ever anyone says, ya saved me, Basara…"

"…Yeah, thanks."

It was a little salvation for him to have Yuki say that to him, even though what he did was unforgivable.

For him, who had committed a huge mistake and lost a great deal of people, to have protected someone despite all that.

"But I couldn't bear the responsibility for my actions… and I still can't, even now. I have no idea how to face it yet."

But, said Basara and declared.

Like addressing Toujou Basara's unwavering feelings to Yuki and to himself.

"But Mio is… She's different from me. Facing her sad past, she still desperately tries to live on provident. She's trying to fight. And then we happened to meet. Of course there's the stuff with my dad's scheme and my initial anger about getting deceived. But--- The moment I came to know everything about it, I wanted to protect her. It's not just sympathy or a whim. I seriously want to protect her. Like you said, I certainly don't have the same power I had in the past anymore. And given my five years without training, I don't know how much of a help I can be. But you know, if the Heroes still can't protect her, can't fight for her, then I believe it's my role to do so. You see, therefore---"

At the time he got this far, a loud noise echoed through the café.

When Basara and Yuki looked towards the source of the noise, curious,

"M- My apologies."

Near the entrance of the café, a flustered waitress crouched on the floor.

Most likely she had bumped into a customer and dropped her stainless tray with the cups.

As the customer hastily left the café, the door was still open.

Mio, who had rushed out of the café, desperately continued to run.

Running, running and running until she was out of breath. Before long, she suddenly rushed into a back alley. Right afterwards, Maria came after her hastily.

"M- Mio-samaa, do not run away so suddenly. It is dangerous to be separated outsi--- Mio-sama?"

Maria rebuked her while still out of breath, but Mio didn't hear her voice.

Who could blame her? She had been at her limit.

If she had heard any more of Basara's words--- Mio would have cried without doubt.

She could tell that her face was red. It wasn't due to the curse of the Master and Servant Contract, nor due to her full-power sprint.

"What now, Maria… How should I act towards Basara from now on?"

Her body trembled from agitation. She couldn't suppress her soaring emotions. Even though Mio was kind of a burden to Basara, he had made such a strong resolve.

She hadn't known. That Basara--- tried to protect her with such strong feelings.

"It is a good thing… Now we know that Basara-san is truly a kind person."

"But…"

Like this, she felt uneasy about involving Basara. But Maria shook her head.

"You do not need to worry. Basara-san's feelings are his own. What you need to do, Mio-sama, is not to show a strange reservation, but properly respond to Basara-san's feelings."

"Respond to… But how?"

"That is obvious. Open up your heart to him and trust him."

"J- Just that? Only something so simple?"

"Yes, indeed. Also, if you feel like doing something for him, I believe it is appropriate to do it."

"Me, doing something for him…"

What would it be? As expected, it was better to somehow express gratitude in such a case?

If so, what could she do? Inadvertently Mio lapsed into deep thoughts.

"---Ah, but"

Suddenly knitting her eyebrows as she remembered something, Maria brooded.

"His childhood friend at least could be a bit troublesome… We do not know what happened after we left the café, but Basara-san is generally a good person. Earlier, they were holding hands and looking into each other's eyes. If she cries, or approaches him a bit more daringly, Basara-san might unexpectedly fall under her spell…"

"M- More daring-- she couldn't be… They're in public."

She tried to deny the possibility, but Mio remembered the incident from this morning in class.

Right. Thinking back on it, Yuki was the kind of girl that would openly hug him in public. Her greeting on their reunion... It wouldn't be strange for her to do even more to keep Basara.

…M- More than just hugging him… N- No way.

Not good. That didn't leave room for many possibilities.

"O- Oh no… What do we do, Maria?"

When Mio asked with her wanton imagination, Maria showed an over-confident expression again.

"Mio-sama, do not be intimidated. You have to go on the attack."

"H- How?"

Maria laughed with a 'Fufu' to Mio's question for a solution.

"Please leave it to me--- I know a very good method!"

Part 6[edit]

In the end, Basara and Yuki never got on the same wavelength afterwards.

No matter what Basara said, Yuki wouldn't accept it. No matter how much Yuki persuaded him, Basara wouldn't back off from his standpoint. The sun had completely set when they left the café and a last quarter moon hung in the sky. Just like the other people hurrying home, Basara and Yuki started walking too.

"…I hope this cheers her up even a little bit."

Basara mumbled while dropping his gaze upon the cake that he had bought at the café as a present.

Later, when he got home, he would have to explain to Mio and Maria without doubt. He likely would get a lecture too. When he inadvertently felt dejected, the figure that should be next to him had suddenly vanished.

"…Mh? What's up, Yuki?"

When he turned around, Yuki had stopped a few steps behind.

"…It's no use. Both Jin-san and you are no longer part of the village… I don't think you can win against the current Devil Lord faction by yourself."

"Maybe… But we're fine as long as we don't lose. The enemy isn't after Mio's life, but after the power sleeping inside of her."

"Besides," said Basara.

"They're currently keeping it an internal struggle, since they don't want things to get out of hand. Thus my dad and I become Jokers. We certainly might no longer be Heroes, but we still have the power to fight. I imagine the enemy will think twice before acting. It's possible that they think the Hero Tribe would act for revenge once they laid hands on us."

If so, then it was more than likely that they could manage by themselves.

"But…"

"Yeah, of course that won't actually happen. The Village treats my dad and me as non-existent after chasing us out."

For the Village, his dad and him were no longer comrades, nor humans worth of their protection. Even if they were to die, the Village would surely just keep observing.

"But I don't really care. I don't intend to drag you or the Village into our fight."

Either way, he had to protect Mio right now. Even if it was only temporarily or to buy time.

Meanwhile, Jin would have to stop the enemy. And if that wasn't possible, then he would group up with Jin and think of a new plan. ---But.

"…That's impossible."

Yuki's quiet voice denied Basara's words. Why--- was what Basara wanted to ask, but before that Basara saw the brimming aura around Yuki's body that appeared when a Hero released their power.

And then, a shrill noise echoed. Yuki had instantly quick-drawn her materialized spirit sword. Just like Basara's magic sword Brynhildr, the spirit sword armoured Yuki's arm up to her elbow. Using the spirit sword, which couldn't be seen by human eyes, Yuki brought forth an invisible slashing blade.

Basara saw it cutting through "something" that was hidden in empty space.

"Just now…"

"A low-class stray devil. You haven't noticed it, Basara, but the Devil Lord's power in Naruse Mio slowly attracts them more and more. Currently it's not grave, but in time it might attract ones that hurt people."

While Yuki quietly cancelled her aura and spirit sword,

"If Naruse Mio's existence brings harm to those around her--- the Village will immediately make her an Termination Target. I believe, it won't be that far off."

"Yuki…"

Basara inadvertently reached out his hand, but Yuki softly avoided it.

Her sad-looking eyes looked straight at Basara.

"If that happens, I won't hold back--- Even if you'll hate me for it."

Then Yuki turned on her heels and went away like that.

Leaving Basara behind, who just stood there saying nothing.

Part 7[edit]

When Basara returned home, he called for Mio and Maria right away and explained his relation to Yuki.

From Yuki being a Hero and their reunion after five years to the fact that he turned down her request of leaving Mio at the café, he told them everything thoroughly.

He was worried if she would listen to him due to her bad mood, but surprisingly Mio, as well as Maria, listened obediently to him. And then ten-odd minutes passed with only Basara telling the story in order.

"Ehm… so, this is a cake that I bought at the café."

Basara, finishing his explanation faster than he had thought, timidly examined their expressions.

"…………………."

"…………………."

The two girls remained silent in regards.

…Aw- Awkward…

The silence was too oppressive. Just like back then when they had revealed their true identities and told Basara to leave the house.

"Uh- Uhm…"

Unable to withstand the silent pressure, Basara tried to get a reaction from them, whereupon,

"…… Yes, I understand."

Finally Maria opened her mouth. Basara made a sigh of relief.

Mio, next to him, still stayed quiet, but he wouldn't ask for more.

"Y- You do? Good. Then let's have dinn---"

"---No, can you spare some time before that?"

With that, Maria cut into Basara's words.

"Actually, while you were talking with Nonaka-san, Mio-sama and myself were extremely worried. We thought you might get persuaded by Nonaka-san and abandon us… Right, Mio-sama?"

"---Eh? Yes, right."

When the conversation suddenly turned to her, Mio, who had remained silent so far, hastily nodded.

"My bad… But, I properly came back, see?"

"Indeed. But, when the date lasts until this late, I get worried if you maybe have been convinced by her… What about you, Mio-sama?"

"Y- Yes… right."

Mio agreed.

"No, it wasn't a date, but just a normal conversation…"

"---Can you prove it?"

"? Proof… what?"

"You need to ask? Proof that you have not betrayed us."

Don't ask for the impossible with a smug face. As if there's such a thing.

"You can only believe in me for that…"

"Please do not misunderstand. We do trust you, Basara-san. Yes, indeed we do," said Maria with a slightly exaggerated tone.

"The thing is, we would like to have more faith in you, Basara-san. As comrades in arms, we would like to deepen our bonds of trust. That is all… Right, Mio-sama?"

"Y- Yes… As she said."

Really? For a while now, it sounded like a third-rate play though.

…Still.

Over the course of things, they had formed a Master and Servant Contract, but Basara too was concerned about their mutual trust. With Jin out of the house, he would like to reduce possible worries as much as possible with regard to the future. It seemed Mio and Maria wanted Basara to do something for them. The absurd request of showing proof that he didn't betray them was most likely leading up to that.

…Mhm.

It would be favorable if something he did could reassure them. Then,

"I somehow get your point. ---So? What do you want me to do?"

Upon that, Maria smiled. And then she slowly beckoned Basara.

"I am glad you say that. Well then, Basara-san, please come over here."


"…How did it come to this?"

At the place Maria took him to, Basara mumbled in pure incomprehension.

Right now, Basara was in a space with white steam--- The bath. With only a towel around his waist, Basara was sitting on the plastic chair with his elbows on his lap while resting his chin on his hands. There,

"Is that not obvious?"

A bright voice came from the bathtub. It was Maria, the mastermind behind this, while she looked at him with her chin resting on her hands that were on the edge of the bathtub.

"The only way to deepen one's bonds in this world is to get naked together."

"That's only for the same gender. Why would you do it co-ed?"

When the opposites sexes got naked together, it was just an erotic situation.

"What is the problem? Cramped together nearly completely naked in a small room--- sharing the same shame will bring results even if you are against it. You can treat another person kindly once you know his pain."

"What's with this licking each other's wounds mentality! Or rather, there's no point in forced results!"

"Not quite, Basara-san. A girl's 'No' means 'Yes'."

Or, said Maria.

"Could it be you dislike taking a bath with a girl?"

"No, I wouldn't say dislike…"

There was no way he would dislike it as a healthy high school boy. Still, even boys needed to mentally prepare themselves at times.

---Earlier, Maria had taken Basara to the anteroom of the bath.

There she had taken off her clothes and said to the bewildered Basara.

"---Now then, let us all take a bath together."

He had no clue what was going on. It was just too out of context. Basara instantly tried to decline, but she told him "I cannot trust you when we do not take a bath together". Moreover, he had thought for sure that Mio would oppose, but she locked the door of the anteroom and sealed his escape route, telling him "…Please, go in with us". It looked like they would strip him down, so Basara resigned. He agreed to go in with them and reluctantly took off his clothes by himself.

Back-to-back and the towel covering his precious part, he had thought they wouldn't see it, but the shame of it still wasn't to be underestimated. His accelerated heartbeat surely wasn't just from the hot air in the bath. And opposite to the composed Maria, Mio seemed to be feeling the same as Basara.

"…….."

In the bathtub--- next to Maria, she flushed her cheeks in shame. A natural reaction.

She was still clad in a bath towel, but her big breasts would surely float in the water. The knot of the towel had been on the verge to come untied right away, so she had held up the towel with her hands at first, but in time she had given up and rested her breasts on the edge of the bathtub. In a posture that emphasized the volume of her breasts to the limit.

…That was foul play…

Even under normal circumstances it was already a trial for the reasoning of a boy in his teens to take a bath together with a girl, yet these breasts were tempting him even more. After all, Basara had already felt them up directly.

---The incredible soft sensation that drove a boy crazy.

Not to forget her embarrassed expression of biting down on her lips and her skin colored in a faint pink. Everything about Mio right now was erotic. Against his will, Basara ended up remembering the night when the contract was formed.

"Now then--- How about you wash Basara-san's back, Mio-sama?"

Maria, in the bathtub, suggested the unbelievable.

"---Eh? No need. I can wash myself."

"That will not do. It would defy the meaning of taking a bath together."

Basara tried to decline, but Maria declared decisively.

"Of course you can wash your back by yourself. However, here you should dare to openly expose your back to us--- That is precisely what trust is about, just like entrusting your backs to each other in a fight."

Shinmai Vol1 0104.jpg

And then,

"Mio-sama and myself will properly wash your back for you--- But not only will we wash it, we will also respond to the trust of exposing your back to us. You can only trust someone, who openly exposes his back. Getting naked together in the bath, precisely a situation where you defenselessly bare your lives to each other builds up a mutual trust, would you not agree?"

"Uhh…"

After being told something reasonable, Basara was at a loss for words and sighed a 'HAH' before long.

"…Okay. If it makes you trust me, go ahead."

He was already sitting on the chair anyway. When he agreed and left his back to them,

"Y- Yeah… Got it."

Mio slowly got out of the bathtub and moved behind Basara.

After moving behind Basara, Mio sat down on the bath floor with her knees bent, her legs neatly side by side.

Then she soaked the sponge with the body soap.

"I, I'll start now…"

With a nervous expression, she started to wash Basara's back. It was her first time washing a boy's back. She already thought so to herself when she rode the bicycle behind him, but

…This is what a boy's back feels like.

It was broader than her own and more than anything it was sturdy from the muscles. Basara's body, which could still bring out incredible fighting skills in actual combat as he was a Hero in the past, was scarred all over. He most likely got them from training and actual combats. Each of the wounds were old.

Even Mio's eyes, inexperienced in that prospect, could tell that this body of his was well trained. Therefore she could comprehend that he cut down the enemy with one swing of his huge magic sword.

Naruse Mio realized once more. That she was saved by this person without doubt.

"…What's up?"

"Eh? N- No, nothing."

Asked by Basara doubtfully, Mio hastily started to move her stopped hand.

---Upon that, there suddenly was something in the edge of Mio's vision. It was Maria's expression as she was looking over from the bathtub. That expression clearly was criticizing her.

…I, I get it…

Mio remembered the words that Maria had told her before Basara came home.

It was an idea so that Yuki wouldn't steal Basara--- Maria's secret plan.

---At the café, Basara declared strongly that he would protect Mio. that surely were his true feelings.

And even now, he was openly entrusting his back to Mio. This showed that Basara trusted Mio. Then, she herself had to respond to that.

"…."

Mio cleared her throat with a gulp and unravelled the knot of the towel she was wearing. What if he turned around now--- While thinking like that, Mio got completely naked and brought her body closer to Basara's back. What first touched it was the part of Mio's body that inevitably stood out the most.

Her breasts.

"? H- Hey!?"

"---D- Don't move!!"

Basara raised a surprised voice and tried to get away, whereas Mio stopped him with an even louder voice.

"Please, stay like that… If you move, I'll kill you a hundred times."

Mio declared with a frail voice to the completely petrified Basara.

It was incredible embarrassing for her as well. Still, if this prevented Yuki from stealing Basara, then she could somehow withstand this level of embarrassment.

---Mio was told by Maria that her breasts were an effective weapon against Basara.

And indeed. Compared to girls her age, Mio's breasts were rather--- no, quite big.

At school or on the streets, she often felt the gazes of men not only to her face, but on her breasts too.

She never thought of that as a happy circumstance, but at least now it was different.

These breasts certainly were a weapon that Yuki lacked.

…Basara…

Mio looked. At the petrified Basara's upper body, which had become bright red from a rush of blood.

Basara was conscious of her--- For some reason that made her incredibly happy. Mio took the body soap bottle, poured the contents amply onto her breasts and made it foam.

"…."

She pressed her breasts determined onto him again, then started to sliding wash his back.

Upon that, Mio's voluminous breasts filled the muscle cavities on Basara's back with their movements, surprisingly lewdly changing shape. Gaining an unexpected shame, soon enough there started to be a change in Mio's body. What slowly welled up from inside her body was a sweet tickling heat.

…Mm, Ah…

Suddenly Mio noticed that the tip of her breasts were tense. She ended up feeling it herself.

That embarrassment flared up Mio's whole body with heat, colouring her body in a bright red very fast.

---But, Mio didn't remove her breasts from Basara's back. Because Basara was behaving embarrassed. Albeit not voicing it out, his body was clearly hot. Without doubt, Basara was only feeling conscious of Mio right now. That fact made Mio feel unsurpassable bliss.

…Basara…Basaraa…

Was this an effect from the Master and Servant Contract too? Normally, she absolutely wouldn't do something so indecent. Yet she was proud of herself of going this far for Basara--- for her Master.

"Mm… Fuh, Ah… Mm"

At some point, Mio entwined her arms around Basara's front and pressed onto him from behind as much as possible, immersing herself in sliding her breasts on the back in front of her eyes. Each time Mio moved, the foaming bubbles made a lewd and sticky sound. And when Mio's breasts had went all over Basara's back,

"…I, I think it's all clean now…"

Basara said flustered at his limits. Mio raised her drowsy face.

"W- Well… I just got a bit hungry. We hadn't had dinner yet. And I bought the cake and all."

So it's about time we go out--- was what Basara was trying to say.

"---Ah, no problem. I thought this might happen, so I brought your cake with me."

Wherever she pulled it out from, Maria held up the white paper box with the cake in it.

Then she swiftly opened the box, took a short cake and got out of the bathtub.

"Here, Basara-san… Say 'Ah'."

"W- Wait! Why did you bring the cake into the bath!?"

That's too novel, screamed Basara to stop Maria and their hands collided.

"Aw…"

The cake fell from Maria's hand onto Basara's shoulder, then dropped down from his upper arm to his elbow, lastly landing on the floor. The white fresh cream and sponge cake stained Basara's skin sticky.

"S- See, eating cake in the bath is too high level!"

So let's wash up quickly and get out, said Basara.

"---No, please wait. This is the cake you specially bought for us."

Maria stopped Basara and sat down on the floor next to him. Then,

"Wh- What are you doing?"

"You need to ask? ---I will gladly eat it up."

Maria told the bewildered Basara so without hesitation and started to lick up the fresh cream on his arm.

"UWAAAAH!?"

"Please stay still. I have to at least eat the portion that did not drop to the floor, or I would feel sorry for the cake."

Maria said nonchalant and licked over her lips like saying "Well done". Then,

"It is delicious, Mio-sama--- If you like, could you take care of the portion on his shoulder?"

"Eh…?"

Being told that, Mio looked at Basara's shoulder in front of her. It was the first place the cake fell onto, so it had plenty of fresh cream on it. Mio stared at it, like sucking it in.

"Hey, Mio… Don't tell me, you too…"

Basara was saying something, but it didn't reach Mio's ears right now.

---Before she noticed it, Mio had brought her lips closer to Basara and let her tongue roam.

The fresh cream with Basara's body temperature was surprisingly sweet. After tasting it plentiful on her tongue, she mixed it with accumulated thick saliva in her mouth and swallowed it down at once.

When she cleared her throat with gulp, she felt bewitching sensation slowly slipping down in her body. It was like tickling her body from the inside. Mio let her body tremble in a shiver to this pleasure and soon enough leaked a passionate "Ahh…" moan.

---And then, she couldn't stop herself anymore.

Entering a delirium, Mio continued to lick up the fresh cream on Basara. It was delicious. Above all, while she licked Basara, her skin pressed onto him, making everything, her breasts, her stomach and her arms even more sensitive than before.

Shinmai Vol1 0007.jpg

Even after all the fresh cream was gone, Mio licked Basara's body and rubbed her own body against his.

A switch had completely been switched inside of Mio and she called Basara "Brother, Brother" numerous times.

At that time--- Basara suddenly stood up there and then.

"…You two."

Toujou Basara said with a low voice while looking down on Mio and Maria, who sat on the floor of the bath.

He didn't know if they were teasing him or testing his trust, but--- Mio and Maria were cute girls while Basara was a boy. Even under normal circumstances he often ended up seeing them as normal girls instead of family members while living together and had suppressed his feelings so far. Yet when they pulled a stunt like this that completely ignored his troubles, he certainly hit his limit.

Along with anger, his reasoning blew away.

"Fine… If that's what you want, then don't come crying to me later."

As soon as declaring so, Basara hung over Mio and Maria.

"Yahn… Basara, Broth-, Noo." "B- Basara-san, c- calm down."

Both of them hastily raised flustered voice, but it was too late. While holding them down, Basara squashed the remaining cakes in his hands and besmeared it over their bodies. Starting with their soft breasts, bottoms and thighs, he smeared the fresh cream, chocolate and strawberry mousse all over their bodies, then started to taste their sweet-painted skin with his tongue. Mio and Maria protest with damp voices, but Basara paid it no mind. In the bath, which was filled with a suffocating sweet fragrance, he licked Maria's body while fondling Mio's breasts or fiercely sucked on Mio's whole body while grabbing Maria's bottom.

Upon that, they initially showed a bit of resistance, but after a while they accepted Basara and raised alluring voices. Naturally. Basara was Mio's Master and Maria was Mio's subordinate. When Basara felt like doing so, the two of them had no right to protest.

And then--- laying the two of them with completely spellbound expressions next to each other on the floor,

"So that you never do such lascivious things again, I'll subjugate you thoroughly."

Basara reached out his hand slowly and tried to perfectly make them his.

There--- He awakened.

It was not like he returned to his senses. He simply woke up from a dream now.

He wasn't in the bath, but on his bed.

"Eh? It… was a… dream…?"

Basara was inadvertently dumbfounded and made a big sigh before long.

Good. If that had been reality, Basara would have been a real brute.

"Ahh… Good. It was all a dream."

Saying so, he made a sigh of relief. At that time.

"No, Basara-san--- It was reality until halfway."

Basara was startled by that voice. Then he finally realized that he was laying while embracing Maria. But, it was softer and warmer than any hugging pillow.

"Eh…? That just now, was reality until halfway?"

On his nervous question, Maria laughed with Fufu.

"Have you forgotten it? It really surprised me, when you suddenly stood up and then collapsed with an incredible nosebleed. The CSI would get an unbelievable luminal reaction in our bath."

"…I, I see."

That it was only reality halfway was a bit nagging in itself, but it meant that Basara didn't really do anything to Mio and Maria. Apparently he escaped from the worst case.

"Uhm--- By the way, Basara-san."

Maria said with a renewed tone.

"Could you remove your hand from my bottom now?"

"Eh? …--- Uwaah!?"

Basara's hands entwined around Maria's back and grabbing her cute bottom. Moreover, when he hastily tried to remove his hands, he noticed that his hands were touching her bottom directly under her underwear. Basara hastily pulled out his hands from her shorts, then took a distance by leaping back on the bed.

"S- Sorry…"

"No, it was my fault for crawling into your bed, Basara-san."

After Maria said so to the flustered Basara, she showed a roguish smile.

"But, unconsciously putting your hands into a girl's underwear while you sleep… This assertive side of you surprised me. But well, you were having such a dream after all."

"Eh… That earlier dream wasn't your doing?"

A succubus was a female devil that trapped males in a cage of pleasure by showing them lewd dream.

She seemed to know the contents of it and even said that she crawled into his bed by herself. So he had thought for sure that dream was shown to him by her magic, but

"By no means. That was your own dream, Basara-san. I only took a little peek at it. Besides, if it had been a dream from my magic power, you would not have subjugated Mio-sama and myself, but would have been made to listen to our every word by seducing you mercilessly."

"Ugh… Right."

"No, no, I was surprised as well. Dreams represent one's desire or deep psyche, but to think your dream would look like that… You might have a surprisingly brutish sadist side to you."

"As if…"

He didn't even want to imagine it. Basara became weary, then

"…Reminds me, where's Mio?"

"She was worried about you after your collapse, but she has already gone to bed by now."

On his question, Maria told him outright. When he suddenly looked at the clock on the wall, it was already the middle of the night, 2 a.m.. Apparently quite some time had passed since he collapsed in the bath.

"I see… But good timing, I guess."

He was concerned about what had been reality and what a dream earlier, but Basara decided to ignore that for now. Because there was something he wanted to talk about with Maria without Mio hearing it.

"Maria… There's something I want to discuss with you."

"? What is the matter?"

Maria asked back puzzled, whereas Basara slowly opened his mouth.

It was the matter that he skipped when he told the two the whole story about Yuki after his return home.

A matter he didn't want Mio to hear. While talking to Maria, Basara ended up clenching his fists at some point.

He remembered Yuki's words on their separation.

…Like hell will I let that happen.

The Devils after the Devil Lord power sleeping inside of Mio were plenty enough for enemies.

To make an enemy even out of Yuki--- out of the Hero Tribe, he wouldn't let that happen.

Part 8[edit]

On the school grounds of Hijirigasaka Academy, the bell chimed, ending of the fourth period.

On her seat by the window, Mio sighed in relief.

…Now it's lunch break.

Just a bit longer, she said to herself. When she got through today, a Friday, tomorrow would be Saturday, a holiday. Thinking so, she felt a bit better.

---The curse of the Master and Servant Contract activates from guilty feelings towards the Master. However, the condition for it's activation were rather disadvantage for Mio. She knew that Basara seriously tried to protect her, but despite that, some part of Mio still couldn't be honest with him.

Moreover, she unbelievably acted out character in front of Basara the other day in the bath.

Together with the shame from that, she sometimes ended up behaving cranky on reflex.

…Still.

At home, it was not a problem. Because the three of them knew the circumstances and could act with not activating the curse in mind.

---However, it was different for the school, where there were others that didn't know of their circumstances.

If she carelessly acted unnatural or awkward, others would doubt her. Ideally it would be best to not get involved with Basara at school, but that said, when it looked like she was unnaturally avoiding him or cold to him, it just so happened that she would get a guilty consciousness.

And in that moment--- the curse would already activate. The mark that appeared on her neck then was magical and thus couldn't be seen by normal humans, but she couldn't count the times she nevertheless hid in the toilet or infirmary in the last few days anymore. The sole ray of hope would be that her dishonest behaviour didn't activate such a strong curse. If she patiently waited for the surges to pass, it would cease after a few minutes.

"---Hey Basacchi~ Let's go grab some food."

Suddenly she saw her classmate Takigawa approach Basara in her field of vision.

"Sure, gimme a sec."

Basara gave a reply, then put away his textbook and notebook inside his deck and stood up.

"Where to today?" "Cafeteria, I say. The A-Set will be richer than usual since it's the end of week."

While having a natural talk, Basara and Takigawa left the classroom.

On the first day of his transfer, Basara didn't make an enemy out of just his classmates, but out of half of the boys in school. Mio was partly responsibility for that, so she was a bit worried, but apparently he managed to make a friend just fine.

Well--- That nickname was dubious though

…The problem is.

Mio shifted her gaze to the other reason of Basara's isolation. The foremost seat in the same window row as Mio. The girl sitting there watched Basara leaving the classroom.

A beautiful girl with a cold aura. It was Nonaka Yuki, Basara's childhood friend and a Hero.

Yuki, watching Basara's back with longing eyes, suddenly noticed Mio's look.

"------"

Turning her expression into a cold one without emotions, she left the classroom like that.

…Completely opposite from before.

On Basara's transfer, Yuki had hugged onto Basara on their reunion. A bold action that surprised anyone nearby. Even doing something like that, Yuki stayed composed. Therefore--- She had thought for sure that Yuki would make more passes at Basara the next day, but against her expectations, Yuki didn't get involved with Basara anymore. Their seats were next to each other, but they hardly ever talked.

---She heard that Basara and Yuki didn't reach an agreement on their discussion at the café the other day.

That surely was the reason. The clueless others were confused by the sudden change.

…It's my fault, isn't it.

Basara, who tried to protect Mio, and Yuki, an outsider. The opinions of the close childhood friends stood in direct opposition to each other, which resulted in their current affair.

But. As her seat was behind theirs, Mio ended up seeing it. Even if Yuki didn't talk to him, even if she seemed to be cold. She was thinking of Basara. Occasionally, she looked at him.

And--- It was the same for Basara. Basara too was concerned about Yuki in some way.

…I wonder why it is.

That when she watched these two, it kind of hurt around her chest.

It was painful. Mio suddenly dropped her gaze to her desk.

"Naruse-san~ Let's have lunch." "If we don't hurry, all seats will be taken."

Bright voices called out to her. Therefore.

"…Yeah, I'm coming."

Mio stopped pondering further and slowly stood up from her seat.

In the end, school ended without the curse activating even once that day.

When Mio made a sigh of relief, Basara came over right after picking up his bag.

"Okay, let's go home." "Y- Yeah…"

Mio mumbled and stood up. At that time.

"---Nonaka, and Toujou, got a minute?"

Their homeroom teacher Sakasaki called the two to a stop. Basara asked "What is it, Sensei?" by turning around.

"Sorry, but I want you two to help me organize the summer vacation assignments."

said Sakasaki with a refreshing smile.

"Wh- Why Basara too? That stuff is the class rep, Nonaka… -san's responsibility."

Mio uttered objection.

"Well, you have a point, but Toujou's transfer spared him from the assignment. So when he helps out with some odd jobs, it'll make it fair to the other students."

said Sakasaki. Basara scratched his head.

"Mhm… Yeah, guess so."

Therefore,

"---So, Mio, will you wait until we're done? Or…"

Call Maria and go home with her, huh.

Basara's words were reasonable. But--- the second choice somehow gave Mio a bitter feeling in her heart. The restless feeling from the lunch break when she saw Basara and Yuki resurfaced.

After all. Either way, it didn't change the fact that Basara would help out Yuki.

Waiting for them to finish would mean that she took a backseat to helping Yuki. And going home with Maria would look like Basara chose helping Yuki over her. She didn't want that.

"---Mio?"

Mio looked at Basara, who looked at her inquiring.

Originally there were only two choices. But if she were to propose going home alone.

Instead of Yuki, Basara would choose---

….No! What am I thinking…

Not good. She had a nasty idea just now.

This is just like--- I'm not trusting Basara. The moment she thought so,

""Ah---…"

The curse of the Master and Servant Contract activated. Self-loathing from jealousy. It was one of the most extreme guilty feelings. Feeling the heat raising inside her body--- Mio could no longer stand.

Like that she suddenly was about to collapse.

"Don't tell me--- Whoops!"

Basara, noticing her state, hastily supported Mio's body. With just that,

"----!"

Mio trembled her body with a shiver. Right after, her breathing got rough.

"H- Hey, are you okay, Naruse…? Are you anemic or something?"

"Yeah--- Excuse me, I'll take her to the infirmary."

Basara replied to Takigawa, then he lifted up Mio and said with a voice only she could hear.

"…Bear with it for a bit."

After mumbling so, he rushed out of the classroom at once.

Basara took Mio to the infirmary, but apparently the nurse was absent.

No helper was there either and all the beds were empty. It was completely deserted.

But that was convenient for Basara and he laid Mio onto one of the three beds.

"…Are you okay?"

On the curtained off bed, Mio replied by just nodding while seemingly having a hard time.

…Geez.

Something must have activated the curse, but at this point she could only endure it for a few minutes until the effect ceased. But,

"Ah… Mm, Fuh… Mmg…"

While enduring the riling up sensation, Mio bit down on her lips to prevent her moaning. Her cheeks got red and dampened. Her breasts, so big that they were recognizable over her clothes, moved up and down many times over.

…This is…

Not good. If he were to keep watching, he would get truly nasty thoughts.

"…Ehm, I'll go outside for a bit. It must be embarrassing for you to have me stay here."

Saying so, he turned his back to her, whereupon

"…P- Please… Don't leave… me…"

"No, but… …Okay. I'll stay. So stop looking at me like that."

'Cause it made him feel weird. It looked like the curse was stronger than usually. But,

"But sorry… At least let me keep my back to you."

If he were to look at the current Mio, it seemed that his reasoning would be blown away.

Without saying anything, Mio tightly grabbed Basara's clothes--- the sleeve of his left arm.

Basara, taking that as a sign of her approval, sat down on a chair besides the bed with his back to her.

In the infirmary with just the two of them, only Mio's erotic moaning sounded.

Then, Mio's breathing calm down before long. The effect of the curse seemed to be fading.

"…How's it? Feel better now?"

When he turned around, Mio let go of his sleeve she was grabbing and placed the back of her hand on her forehead.

"Mm… I think, it calmed down… a bit."

Saying so, she slowly straightened up her body.

"Still, how did this happen…?"

He recalled the conversation in the classroom earlier, but there was nothing that would make Mio have a guilty consciousness towards him. The curse was supposed to not activate as long as she didn't think bad of him. However, if there were other conditions for the curse activating,

…Then we need to think of a counter-measure.

When Basara was present like this time, he could back her up, but if the curse were to activate while Mio was alone or rather in the middle of a battle, Basara and Maria couldn't help her even if they were with her.

But on Basara's question,

"…Wh- Who knows. I suddenly got irritated by you… that's all."

Mio said so and averted her gaze, pouting.

"What the…"

Basara inadvertently lost his strength. There was nothing he could do about that.

That reason was too unreasonable. Of course the curse would activate strongly then. Basara made a sigh.

"If it has calmed down, you're alright now…? Then I'll go back first."

Since it was an emergency, he had abandoned the task from Sakasaki.

"Eh---…?"

Instantly, Mio made a surprised face. Then,

"…You're leaving?"

Mio's eyes, flickering with unrest, looked up to Basara.

Basara scratched his cheek with "Ehm" on the unexpected upturned gaze.

"Well… You know, I can't let Yuki do… the task from the teacher all by herself."

Besides,

"The curse has calmed down for now, right? Then---"

"…..Not yet."

Mio mumbled isolated.

"---Eh? Is that so?"

Not yet… but didn't she say it calmed down a bit a moment ago?

Ah, but the mark certainly was still on her neck. Though quite some time had already passed.

"…Hey, Basara. I'm… having a hard time."

She jerkily pulled on his sleeve again to check his intentions.

"Well… If you say so…"

Basara inadvertently turned red and spoke evasively. After all, he knew what Mio wanted to say.

---Truth be told, there was just one way to cancel the curse at once.

The curse of the Master and Servant Contract was activated from the Servant's mental betrayal of his Master.

In that case, if she was forcefully made to remember her loyalty--- if she was to be subjugated, the curse would lift.

In other words, he had to do the same thing he did as back then when he saved Mio, who rejected the contract at first.

"But, you don't want that again, right? Much less in the infirmary at school…"

"….Yeah. B- But… if you, Basara… Brother wants to do it, I'm… fine with it."

"Eh---?"

Basara inadvertently asked back. It shouldn't be his place to decide, since it was Mio, who was in pain.

He tried to say that, yet Mio called Basara "Brother" with wet eyes.

It was the sign that Mio wanted Basara to do a certain thing. Basara couldn't say anything more.

Mio thought for sure she would avert her eyes. Actually, her cheeks were red. She was embarrassed.

She clearly understood what she had said.

But--- despite that, Mio did not avert her eyes from Basara. Her engulfing eyes. Before she noticed it, Basara had slowly reached out his hand. When he softly touched her cheek,

"…..Mm."

Mio reacted with a shiver and closed her eyes. But, she brought her cheek closer like that to lean it into Basara's palm. When he felt Mio's warmth through his palm, Mio softly opened her eyes.

Even without words, her eyes were speaking volumes. Therefore he had to make his resolve.

"…Okay."

Basara said just that, then loosened the ribbon on Mio's uniform.

"Ah…"

Mio's voice filled with a bit of happiness in all the embarrassment.

"---I'll set you at ease right away."

Saying so to her, Basara reached out his hand for her body.

At the same time his fingertips touched her--- the door of the infirmary suddenly opened clattering.

""---!?"" Hastily jumping back, Basara and Mio took a distance from each other.

"…Mh? What are you guys doing?"

A woman in a white robe looked at them from the entrance. And then, she suddenly noticed Mio.

"Oh, Naruse… Anemic again?"

"Y- Yes, Hasegawa-sensei…"

While hastily covering her chest, Mio nodded, whereupon the woman came over. Apparently she was the nurse. He knew of the infirmary, but as he had never used it, it was his first meeting with her. Still,

…What a beauty.

Beautiful features, a good figure and a nice aura. A stunning beauty in all aspects. Her breasts were even bigger than Mio's and matched her sexy voice, albeit with a manly tone, her feminine charm stood out alluring. Her appearance of walking with her robe fluttering looked quite stunning as well.

"…Your chaperon? Though he isn't a first aid helper."

Upon that, the merciless gaze of the nurse called Hasegawa pierced Basara.

"No, I'm…" "Sensei, he's…"

Right away, Basara and Mio raised their voices in harmony.

"I know. Toujou, right? You transferred here just recently."

"You know me?"

Hasegawa nodded a "Yeah" to the surprised Basara, then pointed with her chin towards Mio.

"She and Nonaka in your class are quite popular with the boys… So I have heard a few rumours about you. How does it feel to make all boys your enemy on your first day, Mr. Lady-killer?"

"I knew it, such rumours were spreading…"

Like that, it would take quite some time to make friends besides Takigawa. There Hasegawa laughed.

"Be careful. Intentionally or not, when you stand out more than others, it naturally makes you a target. And not necessarily one of affection. People hate those who are greatly different from them or have what they lack. Also, different from physiologically neighbor-hate, instinctive feelings like jealousy or fear have an amplitude. Simple on one hand, but troublesome when compounding."

"….Right."

On Hasegawa's words, Basara nodded with a depressed tone. Basara painfully understood what she meant from experiences in the past. And right now, Hasegawa's words applied to Mio as well.

Because she was chased by the current Devil Lord for the Devil Lord's power that she inherited from her father.

"…What am I supposed to do when I make enemies unwanted?"

When he said so, along with a bitter smile that resembled self derision, Hasegawa said "It's easy" readily.

"If you made enemies, you just have to make even more allies. Then you can win against them and naturally the other party will avoid a conflict with you."

"Well… But all the boys in the school seem to be my enemy."

"The 'amount' isn't important for enemies or allies. The 'quality' is."

"Well, that might be true…"

Currently, the only one speaking to Basara was Takigawa. No matter how good his quality was, it certainly couldn't cover the overwhelming difference in numbers.

…Well, I don't care.

The problem was the situation involving Mio. Yuki also warned him about it, but it was difficult for them alone to oppose the current Devil Lord faction. According to Jin, there was a chance for Mio not getting chased, but there was no guarantee it would work out well.

Quality over quantity. That was certainly true, but at times it was just a mere consolation.

Right now, the enemy refrained from doing anything flashy to prevent the Hero Tribe from interfering, so they could manage a resistance for now. However, if they forcefully outnumbered them without thinking of the consequences, they couldn't hope to win. Even though he--- decided to protect her.

"---Don't misunderstand the meaning of 'quality',"

A voice that saw through his doubts sounded. When he raised his head,

"You don't get it? I'm saying you can't weigh the odds of 'amount' and 'quality'."

Saying so, Hasegawa laughed. But, then suddenly the school broadcast sounded.

"Hasegawa-sensei, please come to the staff room at once. I repeat---"

"…Oh, right."

Hasegawa said so wearily and headed for her own desk on the opposite wall from the beds.

Then she took out documents from the drawer.

"Sorry, I have to attend a meeting for a while. Naruse, I can't look after you, but if you want, you can rest here a bit longer--- Also, Toujou,"

Saying so, she threw something silver to him. Basara promptly caught it.

"It's the key for the infirmary. I'll tell the teachers about it, so lock the door and return the key later."

After saying so, Hasegawa left the room as gallant as she had come.

Then she suddenly stopped at the door with "Ah, I forgot…".

"You might not know since you transferred here, so I'll tell you--- I hate idiots, Toujou. I don't care if you can't study, but I don't like cleaning up after idiots. You're at that age, so I won't tell you to not screw around, but that's a sickbed. At least do it somewhere where we teachers don't see it. There are various spots around like behind the school building or the gym storeroom."

""Wha---""

They thought they had hid it, but it was completely exposed. Basara and Mio inadvertently turned red.

"Teachers aren't gods. There are things we can do, and things we can't. But you know, when you, our students, at least abide by the school rules to a minimum, then I'll properly protect you. I know you want to have a merry youth, but… don't do anything that makes us turn against you."

Saying so, Hasegawa left the room this time for sure.

"…….."

"…….."

Basara and Mio were dumbfounded for a while, then Basara's cell phone suddenly rang.

The name displayed on the screen was Takigawa. When he pressed the call button,

"Yo, Basacchi, still in the infirmary?"

He could hear a bright voice through the phone near his ear. When Basara replied with "Yeah",

"Really? The broadcast called for Hasegawa, but are you guys fine?"

"No problem. She lent us the key."

"I see. Good then… Ah, don't worry about Sakasaki's request. Nonaka and I will do it."

"Wait, that's my---"

Basara started to talk, when he suddenly met Mio's eyes. And then,

"-------"

He saw Mio cast down her eyes. With an expression of giving up on something.

Therefore, Basara turned his back to Mio.

"….Never mind. Sorry, can I ask you to do it?"

"---Eh?"

While hearing a voice filled with surprise behind him, Basara told Takigawa over the phone.

"Thanks… I'll treat you to whatever you want next time."

To the positive reply,

"Thanks a bunch. Tell Yuki and the teacher my apologies too…. Yeah, thanks."

Basara said so and hung up.

"…Are you sure?"

Mio said with a voice that she still couldn't believe it, whereas Basara turned around with "What else can I do".

"You said you're still in pain. Still, we can't continue from earlier, but I can't leave you alone now either. So I'll stay with you until you're all better."

"…Really?"

Mio asked worried.

"Yeah. The nurse lent us the key, so take the chance to get a good rest."

In addition to always being careful of an enemy attack, she also had to concentrate of not letting the curse activate here. The stress must have built up. Thus the symptoms were stronger too.

"Here, lie down… I'll call Maria and tell her that we'll come home a bit later."

"O- Okay…"

Obeying his words, Mio laid down on the bed. While pulling the blanket over her,

"I'll stay by your side, so don't get irritated for no reason anymore."

"I, I get it!"

When Basara told her so, Mio turned red and pulled the blanket over her face.


Part 9[edit]

The atmosphere in the infirmary was unique. A soft, pleasant and most comfortable atmosphere in the school.

Next to Mio sleeping on the bed, Basara dozed off too at some point.

"….Mm."

When Basara suddenly woke up, the sun had already set and it was night. When he checked the time,

"8 o'clock… I slept quite a while."

He scratched his cheek. However, on a look, Mio was still sleeping soundly on the bed.

…A bit longer shouldn't hurt.

Hasegawa said she would tell the teachers about it. Seeing as no teacher came to look for them so far, it wasn't a problem that they still stayed on the school grounds.

Thus, Basara quietly left the infirmary as not to wake up Mio. Then he took out his cell phone and called Maria, where he told her that they would be coming home late. Upon that,

"---I understand. Then I will come to pick you up in a while."

She would come pick them up in an hour.

"Now then…"

Basara twisted his neck that was stiff from the sleep, then slowly walked down the hallway.

The school building at a summer night--- Amidst the tepid atmosphere, he headed for the school store. A human's body consumed water even when just sleeping. Specially in this season, it was easy to get a heatstroke or dehydration. Basara got thirsty, so he decided to buy some drinks, including for Mio for when she woke up.

When he arrived at the store, it had already closed long ago. Needless to say, there was no one around. But the lights were on. The lights of the vending machines in the corner faintly illuminated the dark store.

"That works…"

They must have been set up for the teachers that stayed behind until late in the night. Basara bought two sport drinks at the operational vending machines. At the moment he tried to drink his own.

"---Oh? That you, Basacchi?"

Suddenly his nickname was called from behind. There was only one person who called Basara like that. Therefore,

"Takigawa… you're still here?"

When Basara turned around, Takigawa entered the store by saying "Right back at you".

"I was doing the task from Sakasaki. We finished just a moment ago."

"It took you till now?"

If that was true, it occupied him for more than four hours.

Though Sakasaki said they would finish before it got dark with two people.

"No, the work itself was done pretty quick. After all, Nonaka worked without saying a single word. The silence was so awkward that I regret offering my help a bit."

Takigawa said.

"But when we finished the work, Sakasaki said he would treat us to some food, so we ordered without reservation, but it was unexpectedly much. You can't underestimate Rairaiken.[2] So, then I took a digestion nap."

So that how it was. Basara made a wry smile.

"Sorry, Takigawa. You really helped me out."

"No prob… Speaking of, was Naruse fine afterwards?"

"Well, kind of… She's still sleeping in the infirmary, but she's completely calmed down now."

"Glad to hear. It really surprised me that she suddenly collapsed."

But, said Takigawa.

"She looked a bit embarrassed with her cheeks red."

Ah, said Basara vaguely.

Her red face was due to the aphrodisiac effect, but she was embarrassed without doubt.

That said, he couldn't really tell Takigawa about that.

"Anyway, thank you. Like promised, I'll treat you next time--- Will Rairaiken be fine?"

"Ugh… Anything but that."

Takigawa said with a grimace.

"---Reminds me, Basacchi, have you seen Nonaka?"

"Yuki…? No, I haven't."

Takigawa stayed at school until now because he ate too much. Yuki wouldn't do something like that. Therefore he had thought for sure she had gone home already, but

"Huh? Strange… She was going to check up on you guys."

"Really?"

At least while Basara was in the infirmary, Yuki didn't come by… probably.

There was a possibility that she left without calling out to them out of consideration to their sleep, but--- No, even when Basara was sleeping, he wasn't so insensitive that he would keep sleeping soundly when someone entered the room. If so, then they missed each other on his way here?

But, he got the feeling that it wasn't a good idea to leave the two--- Mio and Yuki all alone at this point.

"Sorry, Takigawa. I gotta go back---"

Saying so, he started walking. At that time--- He suddenly couldn't see anything anymore due to the darkness of the night.

The light of the vending machines had vanished all of the sudden.

"---Uah? What, a blackout?"

Next to Takigawa, who made a bewildered voice, Basara darkened his expression. Don't tell me--- That feeling became reality. The faint emergency light showed Basara five shadows emerging from the darkness. Amongst them, one had a clearly non-human beast silhouette.

A devil.

"----"

To think the enemy would attack at school, a place that could easily into a scandal. Moreover,

"Wh- What are these…"

Shinmai Vol1 0123.jpg

Basara heard Takigawa's dumbfounded voice. Yes--- The enemy had exposed themselves to Takigawa, a normal human. But, Basara panicked over something other than that fact. That the enemy made a forceful move like this meant that the current situation was favorable to them.

After all--- Mio was sleeping all alone in the infirmary right now.

…What now!?

The enemy was undoubtedly after Mio. The enemies in front of him came to stall him. Them showing themselves in front of Takigawa just meant that they had to kill him off later. Unlike the moderate faction, average devils just considered humans as nothing but living trash.

---Of course a normal human couldn't see Basara's magic sword Brynhildr.

Even if he materialized it now, Takigawa wouldn't notice. But, even if he defeated the enemy with it here, Takigawa would witness the moment the "shadows" disappeared. That would drag him into their circumstances. And Takigawa would surely ask Basara. ---What's this?

He could ask Maria to erase his memories later. However, it would still take some time until she would be here. Right now he had to hurry over to Mio as fast as possible, but it was too dangerous to leave Takigawa alone with his confusion. He believed the enemy wouldn't do anything assertive against Takigawa to avoid letting things go out of hand, but on the hectic developing battlefield an unforeseen happening couldn't be ruled out.

…Then, what do I do?

Basara instantly came up with the answer to that. Then,

"---Sorry, Takigawa." "Eh…?"

Takigawa raised a puzzled voice--- And into his very torso, Basara suddenly slammed his elbow.

A blow to a vital point. It was a violent method, but most likely the least dangerous and fastest one.

Takigawa groaned a short "Ugh", then lost consciousness. Then Basara rested him on the floor.

"-----"

At the same time, the five shadows launched their attack at Basara.

---But Toujou Basara didn't panic. He immediately materialized Brynhildr.

Like that, he made a vertical slash, cutting the foremost human "shadow" into half. Then,

"Sorry, but I'm not playing along with your time-buying--- I'll make my way through."

At the same time he said so, he leaped forward at once.



Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. Hito, the kanji for person
  2. A restaurant chain http://www.rairaiken.com.ph/


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