Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Chapter 2: A Crooked School
Early in the morning –– Seisen Academy had been shrouded in thick fog. Being this close to the sea, such things occurred every morning and evening. The Academy was surrounded by a dim and gloomy forest covered with fog, where big trees twisted their way upwards with leaves and branches looking like devil’s fingers.
“No matter how you look at it, this location looks somewhere where you can get molested.”
Mikoto said that in amazement, while walking on moss-covered stones. Aside from her young voice filled with tension, you could only hear the chirping of the birds.
“Shh! Your voice is too loud.”
Takeru scolded her careless sister, walking slightly behind her.
“We are not the only ones who go to school first thing in the morning. Everyone in this Academy is a serious Christian…… Look, there is one just right ahead.”
Mikoto stopped in her tracks, turning her face towards where the finger of her sister was pointing. In the distance, they could see the Academy’s gate emerging from the fog, with a long-haired girl standing right behind it. The exact appearance of that unknown person was obscured by white mist, but it looks like it was a petite girl. Wearing dark-green blazer and a plaid skirt, together with black knee-socks perfectly fitting thin, slender legs. Her fair skin was shining in the grey fog.
A small silhouette went through the gate and then proceeded towards the Academy, making a cross sign with her hand. Although there was a chapel in here, no one was obliged to do this at this time of a day.
“Doing something like this at this hour?”
“Prayer maybe, or maybe confession…… No, the first thing that you need to do in the morning is definitely cleaning.”
Mikoto showed an expression of puzzlement, while Takeru’s comment seemed very probable. Sometimes Mikoto was amazed by the amount of knowledge her study-serious sister held. And since the occurrence of Western demons during previous jobs got more and more common, lately she seemed to be studying especially diligently.
“Voluntary service is of most importance in the Protestant Church, but it does not mean that Catholic Church is all about prayers. God is watching all people, even if they are not aware of that, so you must always behave good, or so their teachings go.”
“Hmm? So in short, it means that being good all the time has it’s advantages?”
Contrary to her younger sister’s elaborate speech, the older sister was somewhat vague. One could say that Takeru’s way of dealing with things was to get to the very core of the problem, while Mikoto’s was to simply barely scratch the surface. You couldn’t clearly say which one of those methods was good or bad, and besides, in Mikoto’s eyes there were so many types of demons out there that studying all of them was a total waste of time.
“But, such information are becoming essential in times like this.”
While walking side by side with her sister, Takeru speaks in a low voice. Mikoto’s step was usually huge, and she could easily get carried away with it, so in order to listen to her sister, she needed to adjust her pace.
“Before the commotion occurred, many of the rich volunteer students remained in the school building even if there was no extra lessons, doing all sorts of activates which I looked into, among them there were ghost searching and other strange things.”
“The devil, eh? Could it be that this the Boss we are looking for?”
To this blatant question, Takeru showed an unpleasant expression, shaking her head with a wry smile.
“No, it’s nothing like that. To the princesses of this place, those are the things that far exceeds the realm of their understanding. But if the have the likes of angels, it wouldn’t be hard for them to conjure the appearance of a demon.”
Young demons, just like snakes and some plants, have a spooky appearance. Not being even close to normal flora our fauna, they are rather hard to find. Ordinary Japanese people will easily mistake them for a ghosts or youkai, whilst the students here will say that they are devils. But it looks like Mikoto was able to grasp the general idea, as she cocks her head in a cute way.
“But isn’t that strange? Aren’t demons always attacking the first person they come across after spawning? Isn’t that just the same as simple sexual harassment?”
“What are you saying, Mikoto…… Did you even heard what the Principal was saying?”
Under the sharp glasses, Takeru’s green eyes gleamed. Faced with that look of outright condemnation, Mikoto could only scratch her head apologetically.
“I’m sorry. I was sure that you would hear everything, so……”
“I’m astonished. Just when will you learn to stand on your own, hm?”
The two continue to speak in a low voice while passing through the school gate guarded by a gargoyle with curse-casting eyes, with the girl from earlier walking on their left, looking at the baroque-like school building. Although the school grounds were surrounded by high wall, the dormitory was not far away from them, a short walk was needed to reach the building. The gate was on the northern side of the western wall, leading right to the entrance to the southern school building.
“It’s been a while since the first time the demons appeared, and there wasn’t any real damage done. “
Northern school building, at the eastern end of special classroom, Takeru proceeds to explain.
“Speaking of damage, it looks like someone was peeking into the changing room, taking underwear and gym clothes from there……”
“Eh? What’s up with that? Are demons even capable of doing such things?”
To Mikoto’s knowledge, demons are sort of like a mass of impure desires, that would attack any female in order to grant those desires. To be more accurate –– If they were mouth, things like fear and despair would be their food, and they would commit acts of insulting behavior to procure that food, so it seemed highly unlikely for demons to turn to peeping and simple underwear thievery.
“This looks exactly like sexual harassment…… Ah, so it’s like that.”
“That’s right. I seems that you have finally caught up.”
Unaware of Takeru’s bitter smile, Mikoto nods her head one single time.
“But, it was one of them. Someone had been attacked. That’s why we’ve been requested to help in such a hurry……”
Demon Extermination Brigade specializes in getting rid of ghosts, demons, monsters and all such things, as well as providing exorcising support. Mikoto and Takeru belonged to the Black Cat Demon Extermination Brigade Branch Office. It was an unusual branch, managed by Yoru –– a black Nekomata that suffered a deep wound to one of it’s eyes. Aside from Shiratori sisters, there was also a young boy of the same age as them. There is more to Exorcists than age alone, if the incident such as this one occurred for example, when it was necessary to face with a lot of students, they would be send out. They came to this school in mountainous area just the other day.
“But don’t you think we are taking too long? More and more demons keep coming, and we are yet to find their boss. Isn’t the situation here a bit twisted for a simple harassment?”
“It is supposed to be confusing, actually.”
Mikoto grumbles with a sour expression, and Takeru also nods. Her sister is usually speaking without thinking too deeply, while she likes to choose her words carefully.
“At first it was thought to be harassment, so the commotion calmed down, but I have heard that the girl who witnessed the demon said that the thing looked like a human. It’s thanks to my hard-earned information.”
Unlike Mikoto, who uses her Exorcist sword Raikou and just swings it around, Takeru’s job was to investigate the possible weaknesses of their opponents. The preliminary investigation was of utmost priority, but since the students and teachers here did not understood the situation correctly, it was kind of bogged down.
Hmm, said Mikoto who liked to hear about other people’s affairs,
“Ah! I have a good lead!”
Smiling broadly and looking as if she came up with something, she started to rummage through the contents of her skirt’s pockets. White cloth flutters, dances, and lifts on her thighs, sometimes even showing a glimpse of something pale-pink colored. Since it was an all-girls school she didn’t have to worry about that, even with her rampant personality.
Making sure that no one else was present at the school’s entrance, red haired girl beckoned at her sister with a large gesture, to which she frown her brows in puzzlement, and opened their shoebox vigorously.
–– Pasa, pasa!
Sliding out of it with a faint sound, a number of envelopes in cute pastel colors came out. On them, there was [To Shiratori Mikoto-sama] written in a cute, round characters, and they were sealed with a small heart sticker on the other side.