Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Chapter 5: The Paradox Girl
That night at midnight. Mikoto decided to venture into the school on her own.
Yamato was yet to arrive on the scene and Takeru was still bedridden. It also seems that every other Exorcist affiliated with the Agency were out on their respective jobs for the moment.
Even though it as worrying, Mikoto was the only one in here who could still do something. Besides, “I would like your help with something.”, she asked Masumi for help, so she would probably be alright on her own.
Even if it was taking care of Takeru and as trivial of a thing as changing the cold towels on her forehead from time to time, for Mikoto it would be a great help. One that would allow her to fully devote herself to the task at hand.
(I wonder if you’re going to get angry at me once you get better, Takeru?)
She was adamant on not getting civillians involved, so she might be surprised once she learns that the Student Council President of the Seisen Girl’s Academy was on their side. However, Mikoto had a suitable excuse. If she didn’t ask her to take care of Takeru for her, Masumi would surely tag along with her. So it was really an excuse to keep Masumi safe and sound inside of the dormitory.
However, that could even make her grow bored of helping Mikoto, causing her to give up on the idea.
“Oh well, that would be fine either way. I’m going to get rid of the danger in no time, after all.”
Mikoto says that to herself and she shakes her head, as if trying to get rid of a bitter taste that suddenly appeared inside of her mouth. A faint echo of her own words resonates in the dimly colored corridors.
The school during nighttime was so quiet and that it made chills run down her spine. Even though she knew that there were no ghosts in here, the spooky atmosphere felt as though one might very well jump out at her at any minute now.
(Uuugh, no, no, don’t think about it!)
She shakes her head again to get rid of the scary thoughts that begun to fill her mind. She had no trouble with dealing with youmas, but ghosts she absolutely couldn’t stand. Even though she was firmly holding her stuffed cat in her hand, where her Demon Slaying Sword [Raikou] was located, she couldn’t help it but to feel uneasy.
(It’s alright. I’m not up against ghosts this time around. My opponents are filthy youmas, nothing more……)
She spent the entire day telling herself that, and looked at her clenched right hand. There was no response from the simple detector she was holding in her palm. It was the size of the 5 yen coin, but was rather sensitive. If youmas were to appear, the coin would start to vibrate, but for now it was staying still.
Nevertheless, Mikoto proceeded through the school’s corridors that were illuminated with green emergency lights with utmost caution. She entered the special classroom building via a walkway, and headed towards the eastern staircase on the third floor.
“…… It’s not here yet.”
She climbed to the top of the staircase, but it looked exactly like it did during daytime. Even if she turned around and went down to repeat her climb, everything was staying the same and the roof was still inaccessible from this place. So Mikoto created a provisional barrier that would warn her if anyone was coming near, and waited for the infamous ‘Thirteenth stair’ to appear.
Around the same time at the dormitory room.
“Fuh, haah, nnh……!”
Breathing with difficulty, Takeru was clasping her hands on the corners of the bed, trying to stand up. Her sweaty pajamas were now laying in disarray on the messy futon.
She wore her shirt, fastened her tie and put her blazer on, and managed to stand up, although her legs felt all wobbly. Her whole body was burning hot and she felt as though her blood turned into boiling lead, but once she actually put her clothes on she felt a little bit better.
(This feeling, it’s the backlash…… I cannot , lose to, something… something like this……)
Even though her eyes were burning and she was on the verge of breaking into tears, she mustered all of her strength.
She didn’t have time to indulge herself in self-pity. Something terrible was about to happen to Mikoto –– she could feel it. Call it the sixth sense of the twins. She couldn’t explain it too well, but she understood that much.
Driven by remorse of her current condition, Mikoto was trying to storm the enemy’s stronghold completely on her own. If she won’t stop her from doing that, something terrible will happen to her. Of that she was sure.
Takeru’s vision was spinning, but she somehow managed to stand.
“Ara? Shouldn’t you be lying in bed and sleeping some more?”
Hearing a sudden voice calling to her, Takeru was surprised.
When she opened the door, she saw a little girl standing on the other side. She was wearing a dark-green blazer, a plaid mini-skirt, and black knee-high socks. It was a student of Seisen Girls’ Academy.
Even though she had trouble drawing her voice, her words sounded surprisingly strong. However, the girl didn’t seem to be intimidated in the slightest.
“I’m Fujisawa Masumi. I’m a classmate of your older sister.”
While saying that, she put her hand to her chest and then extended it towards Takeru.
Takeru quickly realized that Mikoto must have gotten this girl somewhat involved in their investigation. Even though she was an amateur who had nothing to do with all of this. Takeru’s face distorted in anger. Masumi must have misunderstood that grin as the grimace of pain, as she said ‘Ara, how terrible’ and got closer to her.
“Your older sister asked me to take care of you. You shouldn’t be standing and walking around. It’s alright, Mikoto-san went to defeat the bad youma. Now, please lie down.”
Masumi brushes her hair and approaches Takeru, gently placing her hand on her shoulder. The scent of deep forest tickles Takeru’s nose. Was that her perfumes? When she supported Takeru’s body, her vision instantly stabilized.
“I am so sorry that you had to take care of me. I’m really grateful, but…… I must go. Nee-san needs me.”
But instead of going back to bed, Takeru pushes Masumi away and tries to move forward. However, she couldn’t feel her feet touching the floor. She felt as though she was walking through clouds.
“And what are you going to do once you arrive there in such a state?”
Masumi cocked her head and went to intercept Takeru’s way, placing her small hands on her waist. The moment she thought Masumi was going to support her again,
A gust of hot wind blew throughout her body.
Before she could realize what was happening, she was already laying on the hard, cold floor. It seems that she fell down, but nothing hurt her.
However, she could clearly see the ceiling in front of her eyes.
He could clearly feel the heat spreading through her body, and at the same time a loud alarm sound went off inside of her head. Was that some sort of Western magic? This girl is dangerous, she must be the one who is controlling the youmas in here! She wanted to run away, but her body just wouldn’t move.
“I see, Flame beats Wind, indeed. I didn’t think it would be that effective, though.”
“Kuh!? Y, you……”
“Hm? Oh my. You may be twins, but you look nothing alike.”
Masumi entered Takeru’s field of vision, smiling as innocently as ever. Deep, black eyes, red lips similar to rose petals, fluffy cheeks that were slightly flushed –– Takeru couldn’t believe her eyes. To think that this cute girl was in fact their enemy all along.
But that was not the case in here.
“Sorry to disappoint you, Takeru-san, but we don’t have the time for idle chat. See? You have visitors.”
She said that in a cheerful tone, playing with her hair and answering Takeru’s question before she even had a chance to ask it. Then the door to the room opened.
“Ahh, it’s Shiratori-senpai……”
“She’s always so wonderful, no matter how many times I look at her. She’s making my heart beat faster!”
The door opens, and a group of excited girls come inside. Their faces full of delight, their eyes sparkling –– those were the same girls that were showering her with love letters every morning. They seem to have been hypnotized, as they slowly surrounded her while she was still laying on the floor.