Chapter 3: He Works with the Man Eater -> The bullied child
Tooya and Kuroe went out from home on Monday as usual. Tooya contacted Tanaka and told him that he would accept the request at yesterday. Therefore, he intended to be in touch with the suspect on recess today. Although he thought of spending a day to peak on the suspect… but Tooya didn’t want to be indecisive if possible.
Therefore they still went to the school—-If nothing happened.
“Why are you here?”
“Is there a problem standing on the road built by the country?”
He met Akane after few steps away from home. She was wearing the white camo attire as before, carrying something like a golf bag on her shoulder.
“… No, no problem with that.”
Despite there was no problem, her appearance was worthy of questioning the reason.
“I smell iron ne.”
She snorted with a look to show that she got a sensitive nose.
“… Don’t notice it if you can bastard.”
Akane gave up with a sigh and continued.
“This is a tool use for surveillance.”
“To monitor us?”
She answered frankly.
“Although you two became the external collaborators but that doesn’t mean we will let you away. The top has decided that we will monitor you two until you two gained the trust from us… and I took over this mission specifically, be grateful.”
“It is strange that the watchdog will greet us frankly ne.”
“Because I’ll act as the advisor too.”
“Even the order of black magic won’t just leave the request to a newbie and do nothing.”
So that was what happening.
“Hmm… it’s difficult to have faith for her ne.”
“It’s fine if you were just a watchdog, but can you act as our advisor earnestly?”
“What you trying to say?”
“Wasn’t you hate us. It’s better for you if we screwed up this request right?”
What Kuroe said hit the point. Akane’s feeling to Tooya and Kuroe was obvious. They couldn’t really think that she would be earnest on being their advisor. She would be happy if they failed, instead she would be not happy if they success.
“… There’s no such thing.”
“Can’t be trust ne.”
Kuroe stared at Akane. The former licked her lip and looked very happy.
And Akane clicked her tongue, it was like what Kuroe said was right. Then she spoke.
“Indeed it’s not bad if you guys fail… but I also wish you guys will not fail at the same time.”
“Think about it, trouble will happen if you guys failed the request.”
“For the order of black magic?”
“It’s great if they bear the trouble… it’s another thing.”
Kuroe tilted her head intentionally.
“I don’t understand ne.”
She smiled while saying so.
“Tsk… it’s the normal people.”
Akane looked over Kuroe’s gaze unwillingly and answered.
“If you guys failed, the normal people who are not related to this case will probably get hurt. For example in this case, a new victim could appear if we settle it late… actually I am against leaving this case to you two.”
Akane said everything she had in her mind and stared at Tooya.
“Do it properly even if you die.”
“That is… yes.”
He could only nods.
“Then, you’re trying to follow us wearing like this?”
What Kuroe said was her white camo attire. Indeed it can camouflage in city with this attire… but normally it would cause attraction for sure. It should be weird if the passerby doesn’t looking over here.
“Seems like she applied an incognition spell.”
“It’s all written on your face.”
Kuroe could always read what Tooya thought in his heart… and said all his thoughts were written on his face.
Tooya caught the thing she threw to him with panic. A small size earphone and a microphone?
“It’s for contact between us, don’t lose it.”
“Because I can’t enter the school. I will monitor from outside. Contact me if there’s anything happen.”
That was what happened.
“I don’t have one?”
“It’s useless for you anyway.”
Kuroe answered with telepathy.
Akane clicked her tongue and looked at Tooya.
“Because I will also contact you so always wear it. Besides, the sensitivity is very high so speak softly is enough.”
Tooya nodded frankly, then he put on the earphone. For the microphone he hid it inside around the buttons of his uniform.
“That’s all… bye.”
Akane turned around and walked away.
Let’s send her back away with gaze first.
“What we do then?”
“Go to school first.”
The class started as usual after they went to school. Although Tooya accepted the request and began the investigation but he still had to attend class… besides, the suspect of the case, Kuromine Mashiro was also attending class so he couldn’t investigate even if he wanted to.
And there was no problem if Tooya attended classes seriously—-If he did.
『Tsk, it’s so boring here.』
He heard voices beside his ear. Crunching sound like biting something. It was from the earphone that he received this morning, certainly it was from Akane.
“… Is there something you want?”
He asked softly.
Then don’t contact me, Tooya thought so.
“I am bored.”
“… I see.”
If he thought calmly it was not something that couldn’t be understand. Tooya they all were just attending classes normally. Although he didn’t know Akane was monitoring at where, but kept looking over here was not something worth to be fun. Of course, this was nothing for someone who was on their duty… but Tooya couldn’t thought that Akane would do her duty properly.
『Can I fire?』
“What, what you talking suddenly.
He almost shouted.
『I got a telescope that can replace as the scope of the sniper rifle… and it’s aiming at your head just right.』
“Please don’t use something like that for surveillance.”
So that was what was inside the golf bag.
“Besides, if you fire with that thing it will cause a big commotion.”
『Of course I know that… it’s obvious that I am kidding. 』
But Tooya felt that she was serious.
『Oi, say something.』
“Please don’t joke anymore… I am in class now.”
『I want to disturb you.』
She said it immediately.
『Because I am bored here, so I want to disturb you from listening in class.』
“I can understand even if you don’t explain it.”
『Fur—-ther—-more, why you will listen class so earnestly?』
Her tone changed in a sudden.
『You want to study seriously and go to university? Just like a normal person.』
She was implying that Tooya was not normal… he knew that long time ago, but his chest felt tight.
『Taking exam normally.』
『Go to a university normally.』
『Get a job normally.』
『Then marry with someone normally?』
Akane asked lightly, then continued.
『You are disgusting.』
“… I am.”
Even then, he still can’t say anything… at this time.
『I want to go ne.』
Another voice inserted in.
『I want to go to university ne?』
She laughed, that happiness appeared in his mind along with her voice.
『Isn’t it fun, things like school life.』
『Saying that while you are just a monster.』
Seems like Akane can heard Kuroe’s voice.
『Monster can’t go to university?』
『That is for sure.』
『But I can go study at high school like now ne?』
A very ferocious reply.
“That means you want to go university right…”
Tooya heard that for the first time.
『It’s better to say that is my purpose ne.』
Stay together with human, that was Kuroe’s purpose.
『Although I hadn’t decide before this, but it seems fun to assume a post for permanent.』
“Who will hire you anyway.”
『You know that without saying right?』
Kuroe with her smirk face appeared on his mind.
Akane’s voice inserted in.
Overall, focus in the class first.
Nothing happened after that, all the classes before recess ended. Tooya took a bag filled with lunch box and walked out the classroom as usual with Kuroe on his side.
“Let’s go see her now?”
Tooya nodded. Basically they should investigate the evaluation of the counterpart from the others at first… but the order of black magic had done that before this. Therefore they intended to get in touch with her directly.
“It will be great if she’s being bully now ne.”
Tooya answered with an impression like swallowing worms. Looks like Kuromine Mashiro was being bullied by others in her class based on the information. It was normal to call the other side out during recess or after school to harass them everyday.
For Tooya who wanted to meet her, timing was what he worried about. If being greeted by someone that never met before, things would hard to go on… moreover Tooya’s reputation in school was not that good. Of course he also couldn’t tell the reason why he made conversation with her.
Next, like what he knew, it was a fact that Mashiro was being bullied. Then he just had to give a helping hand at that moment by standing by her side. In that situation, there would be no problem to start a conversation with her and made her open her heart… indeed it was something thought by someone with a bad character.
“So, just go to first year’s classrooms like this?”
“We are not going.”
“… You know why actually.”
If really based on what was said in information, there wouldn’t have obvious bullying behavior in the classroom. That meant if Mashiro was in the classroom then they couldn’t do anything. If she went somewhere then Tooya who passed by [by chance] can just go help her.
“So where we are going?”
“Wasn’t that your job to find that place.”
This was where her clairvoyance shone.
“I am fine with that, but I require some time?”
It was clairvoyance we were talking about.
“My clairvoyance is not what master thought of.”
“… What’s going on?”
“That means I can’t know where is it immediately if I wanted to find something. To put it simply, I am just letting my vision fly out. Although I can see from very far distance, but it has no difference with finding it down to earth.”
Sounds like there were some people mistook that as the same as clairvoyance before. She had to move few times before she could see the destination. It’s acceptable if it was like what Kuroe said……..although he thought that was absolutely harassment.
“Well, because there will be interference from obstacles so it will still faster than finding around by walking. As long as we found some place that have no people around.”
“Then hurry up and do it.”
In fact it was definitely better than making a blind turn… although he thought so.
『In the stadium.』
After about three hours, Akane’s voice came beside his ear.
『She’s being covered by few people in the stadium… hurry up.』
Looks like Akane had grasped where she was. Although her attitude was bad but seems like she did her job as an advisor well.
“That is… thank you.”
But the destination confirmed.
“We haven’t search in the stadium ne.”
“Well, the stadium will not in our searching range if it’s to find places where there’s no people in the school.”
She nodded lightly.
“If it’s that kind of place, there won’t be things like meet by chance right?”
“It’s not strange wanting to find a place where there are no people to calm down.”
It was recess after all.
“… You are so pervert ne.”
“Why did you say so.”
“That was a place where a boy and a girl can find to calm down oh?”
He imagined it… but did not blush at all.
“Help me think of another reason then.”
“It’s at the front after this turn.”
Kuroe’s clairvoyance would play its role well if she knew roughly where the place was. They heard noises after they confirmed they had reached the correct place. It was a voice that sounded very happy after insulting somebody. In the contrary, Tooya feeling the pain in his heart whom he couldn’t hear the sad uttering in this situation. Not sure if she was just purely can’t made any sound or she was thinking at least it can act as resistance.
“It’s the latter ne.”
Kuroe said towards here.
Tooya bite his lip unconsciously because of the nasty memories appeared in his mind.
“What should we do ne?”
“We just have to appear directly from the front.”
Although it was not something worth to be proud of, Tooya was not that good in acting. It was easier to just do it directly instead of making tricks. Although it can be solved by using spells from Kuroe, but the details about the demon sword was not clear so it’d be better to not rely on Kuroe’s power for now.
“What are you doing!”
Tooya shouted after jumped out from the corner. The situation in there reflected in his eyes immediately. A girl that got the same face from the photo in the information and two school girls that were pressing her on the ground. Besides, three person were standing far away watching everything and mocking at the girl. Tooya who understood the current situation felt heat spread out from his chest at the same time… and something black was mixed in there.
“Tsk, let’s go.”
A school girl that looked like the leader turn around after clicked her tongue. The school girls that were pressing the girl released her and followed the leader. They just left without even turning their heads over here.
“So disappointed ne.”
Actually he expected conflict to occur between them… what they did was something like giving up after meeting some trouble. If they thought that incident like this would happen often then that might be the right decision.
What should he do if they started to cause troubles. Tooya didn’t know that because that kind of things didn’t happen… things that couldn’t be known best leave it aside. Compared to that, there was something that should be done now.
“Are you alright?”
Tooya reached his hand to her to pull her up and asked.
She did not reject Tooya’s helping hand and stood up frankly. Dirts can be seen around the uniform but no apparent wounds… there wouldn’t be at the face even if there were wounds. Therefore Tooya looked at Kuroe.
『There are small wounds at some places that can’t be seen, nothing serious.』
Seems like Tooya’s intention had transmitted properly.
“That is… thank you very much.”
The girl beat the dust around her body, then thanked with an unexpectedly clear voice and bowed to show her gratitude. Although that couldn’t be called bright, but the girl didn’t have the atmosphere of someone that being bullied. Instead, that pair of sharp and strong eyes gave others a cheerful impression.
“So, you’re not hurt?”
“Yes, I am just being kicked lightly.”
She said it directly. Although he thought of the possibility of she denying that she was being bullied, but this kind of reply was unexpected.
“… Looks like you are being bullied?”
“Yea, I think so?”
The girl asked curiously, I should be the one who was curious.
“You don’t hate it?”
“I hate oh?”
Wasn’t that of course, the face of the girl that was looking on Tooya seemed like saying that.
“However, if I put out a sad look, won’t that made me look even more pathetic?”
“So you’re trying to act cheerful?”
“Yeah, although this way pissed those people off.”
『What a strange girl ne.』
Tooya thought so too… there was still something that didn’t have in the information.
“Anyway, this can consider as some kind of fate… can you listen to what I want to say?”
“Sure can. Because I am getting bored with those idiots.”
She looked very arrogant.
“Wa, so this is how the rooftop looks like.”
After that, they three went to the rooftop. Although they could talk at the place where they were before, but rooftop would be the place to calm down and have a conversation. Half of the recess had passed when they reached here… looked like they had to skip the classes at the afternoon.
“It feels excited to skip classes and went to a prohibited place.”
“That is, I hope that you can keep secret about here.”
“Yes, I understand.”
She replied happily… he can’t relate her to the girl that was being bullied just now at all.
“Then, uh… first is self-introduction.”
Tooya suggested after sitting down.
“I am Kamisaki Tooya, a second year.”
He introduced himself first.
“Oogami Kuroe, a second year too.”
Kuroe continued with her hypocritical as usual.
“I am Kuromine Mashiro,a first year… you two are seniors ne.”
“Looks like it ne.”
“Then, I will call you two as Kamisaki-senpai and Oogami-senpai. Call me Mashiro is enough.”
She talked endlessly.
“That is, okay.”
Tooya nodded after thinking for a while.
“Then, Mashiro… can I hear what happened just now?”
“It’s like what you two saw, I am being bullied by five people.”
No one took over the conversation.
‘… That’s all?”
“That’s it oh?”
She looked over here curiously.
“Nothing more specific about that fact already oh?”
“I know that too… that’s not what I am asking.”
“When did it started, and the reason for it… wasn’t there were things like that?”
“Ah ah, yeah. Indeed, there was.”
She nodded to show that she agreed what he said.
『What a strange girl ne.』
She really was.
“I had been targeted since I enrolled to this school. I think because I refused to replace them for cleaning? Although I refused in the normal way, but seems like they hated me because of this and picked me as the target to bully. Friends who went to the same middle school with me were not in the same class with me, but unlike me they had formed formidable groups… they didn’t talked to me other than during on duty. Although there were some wanted to talk with me, but we were not that close… and then I am isolated without knowing it.”
What Mashiro said was not much difference from the information given… but her indifferent tone was totally different from the impression he got from the information. Generally speaking, her attitude should be a little gloomy when speaking about it.
“Although I was just being ignored at first, but then they started to harass me… their actions stepped up after that .As for use of violence was happened recently ,it’s a great help that you two came over here.”
“Well, it’s good that you are fine.”
To be honest, he felt relieved. A big mistake will be made if something happened.
A laugh can be heard… shut up, he answered.
“Although it’s just a common suggestion, but why don’t you talk to teacher?”
“Even the teachers won’t do anything if there’s no obvious evidence provided. Because they didn’t do anything that causes attraction in class. It’s just to the extent of being isolated in the class, even leave it aside will be fine for them… maybe they are thinking something blunt like building good relationships.”
Tooya remembered something the same… although not all teachers were like that, but at least Tooya and Mashiro hadn’t met that kind of teacher.
“But, they had started violent abuse?”
“Ah,it really happened just recently.”
“… Is that so?”
‘Yeah, it started few days ago.”
“Have you got any idea on it?”
Tooya asked. Even if the bully actions stepped up, there was a big gap between pure harassment and direct violence. There may be some clues in it.
“I guess they want to vent their anger.”
“Yeah, because one of their friends had been killed recently.”
The second victim of the serial killer incident. He just remembered that forgotten fact.
“Looks like it was done by the serial killer… and that killer hasn’t being caught. They made a move on me to forget their sadness and anger.”
“… Is that so.”
That was strange, Tooya thought so. Mashiro analyzed the situation really well. It was way too calm for a bullied litigant.
“It’s not like she was killed by Mashiro, it’s so troublesome.”
Because of Kuroe’s sudden comment, Tooya’s heart beat vigorously. As he thought she had left the conversation to him but suddenly she said something incredible in the end.
“That’s right. Although it was not like I never hate them… but I also feel pity since someone was dead.”
Mashiro showed a complicated impression. That was not a sad impression, instead it was a lonely impression that have to show its sadness… Tooya couldn’t judge that was based on what kind of feelings.
“That is, if it is possible for you.”
“There may happen something even worse than today… can you come here tomorrow as well if you don’t mind?”
“That means having lunch together?”
“Normal students won’t come if it’s here… they can’t do something if you stay with us. We will go to your classroom and fetch you at tomorrow.”
“I am glad if it’s like that… but are you really fine with it?”
She looked at Tooya. Tooya nodded heavily to her, then looked at Kuroe.
“Kuroe is fine right?”
“Yeah, since we had been involved, we can’t really ignore it ne.”
She nodded gracefully. Then she smiled at Mashiro… still looked hypocritically as usual.
Mashiro showed a cheerful smile for this.
Anyway, it seemed like they had successfully got close to her.
“I am back.”
Time past without anything happened after that, and Tooya went back home. He skipped all the classes at the afternoon, just having innocent conversations with Mashiro. They said goodbye to Mashiro after school. For the sake of Mashiro who wanted to went back to get her things, they suggested to go with her to the classroom, but Mashiro rejected… actually it was fine to not worry to that extent.
“… So tired.”
He went to his room, took out the earphone in his ear and the microphone in his uniform and put them on the table. Then he lied down on his bed. Not only the fatigue from physical body, but also the fatigue from doing something that was not used to.
“It’s not like master ne.”
Kuroe who was looking at Tooya shrugged her shoulders.
“I am saying what happened in school.”
Although they said goodbye to Mashiro, but after all the request they accepted was to investigate on her. It should be better to follow her around after that. But then Akane contacted over here, saying left the surveillance outside the school to officers from the order of black magic, so they went back home. Looks like they didn’t need to do anything other than got in touch with her.
“Well, even if you said so… it’s better that we don’t need to do more than that.”
“Master was so serious ne.”
She looked at Tooya with smile.
“Because you feel sorry for lying to her right?”
“Well, we did lie to her actually.”
Kukuku, she continued laughing.
“Shut up… compare to that, what did you get from it?”
“She’s a strange girl ne.”
“… It’s not that.”
Tooya sighed. Kuroe was intentional for sure.
“I am talking about demon sword. Can’t you feel anything from Mashiro?”
She nodded frankly.
“Yeah, that means… ”
“I can’t feel anything?”
“You don’t trust me… ”
Kuroe lowered her shoulders like she had lost, but her lip bent up slightly, looking at Tooya in secret. That was why she couldn’t be trusted.
“You can inquire me by giving an order?”
“… I trust you.”
After thinking for a while, there wasn’t a need to lie on this.
“That means Mashiro didn’t hold the demon sword?”
“Is that so… holding it and owning it are two different things ne.”
“That means there is a possibility that she was just not bringing it around her.”
That meant no progress at all.
“Assume that she didn’t bring it around and hid it somewhere, where will she hide it?”
“Most possibly will be at her house.”
“The order of black magic had found it already if that’s the case.”
Because they couldn’t found it, that was why they entrusted it to Tooya.
“Then it would be in the body of the owner ne.”
“… In the body?”
He couldn’t understand what she said.
“Like what I said. It’s not buried in the body by physical means, instead it differentiates and melts into the body. It can be reconstructed when the owner wanted to use it. After differentiation, it becomes mere fragments so it doesn’t contain any power. That’s why I can’t sense it.”
“Where did that technology come from eh.”
“The exorcists in that era love to use this.It can be used to assassinate someone.”
It’s just a common occurrence for Kuroe… ah.
“That’s right, the sword in this incident was a thing from that era ne.”
Moreover, that sword had disappeared suddenly before. If that sword contained technology of what Kuroe said, then it’s possible that it was inside Mashiro’s body at that time.
“But if that’s the case then… ”
“The sword in this incident will not make people frenzy like what the information stated, it’s just a sword that causes the owner to have strong power.”
If that was the case, then the cause of the incidents were not because of the sword… but the will of the owner.
“That kind of thing…”
“Can’t affirm there’s none I guess?”
He couldn’t refute her statement. Although it was just the impression from first meeting, but Tooya felt that Mashiro was not a bad girl… however there were suspicious points indeed.
“That may not be the case.”
Akane’s voice appeared suddenly. Tooya looked around panicky and noticed Akane opened the door standing over there.
“Why are you here?”
“Are you dissatisfied that the adviser provides suggestion?”
“No,There’s none… though.”
Over the topic all of a sudden.
“How did you enter here…”
“I just press the doorbell normally, then greeted with your mother and came up here.”
So normal… but how did the girl can come in. She was wearing camo suit and much older than Tooya obviously… didn’t felt like there was any connection between her and Tooya.
“Eh, back to the topic before.”
“Why you can interrupt us naturally even though you just appeared suddenly.”
She said something incredible.
“Just back to the topic before, it’s not sure that it was like what you said. It’s highly possible that it was just a sword with strong power indeed, but the possibility of it was not hasn’t eliminated completely.”
“A sword with power is just a weapon. There was no spell that could interfere other people on it. That sword was kept properly before this happened… how can someone who hadn’t touch this sword before can use it naturally like her own thing? I say this first, I had investigated that Kuromine Mashiro has no ability or skills regarding this.”
“Is that so ne.”
What Kuroe said should have a good thought about it, but now the tides had turned.
“Then what do you think?”
“That demon sword contains that kind of power.”
A demon sword that had the power as what Kuroe said and the effect as described in the information at the same time. If that was the case, that meant it could bewitch and stay on that person.
“Is there something like that in your era?”
“There was ne.”
“Then it’s confirmed.”
“I think it’s still too early to say that.”
Kuroe said so.
“There is a possibility that it doesn’t have any special ability ne.”
“… There is.”
He could only agree with it.
“Anyway, it’s better to observe for a little bit longer first ne.”
In the end, they still had to continue on investigating Mashiro.
Because the discussion finished already, she wasn’t going back?
“There’s still problem from me.”
Akane stared at Tooya.
“You, if Kuromine really is the criminal then what will you do?”
“I want to listen that if Kuromine Mashiro killed people by her own will then what will you do.”
“If that’s the case…”
Tooya can’t answer at that moment.
“Don’t think of letting her away because you pity of her.”
She turned around after left some powerful sentences.
“You came here to say this purposely?”
Kuroe said towards that figure.
“Do you have any problem?”
She just turned around her head to answer.
Kuroe shrugged her shoulders.
“Can I ask a question?”
“I am thinking, what are you think of that actually.”
“Have you thought that it will be great if that girl is the criminal?”
“How was that possible.”
She just blurted out something like talking nonsense.
“For me, it will be the best if you two are assisting that girl in secret… then I can crush you all to pieces beautifully.”
“That was quite an interesting expectation ne.”
Akane left for real after clicked her tongue. And her greeting with Tooya’s mother from down floor can be heard slightly… a little surprising.
“Then, what is master going to do ne?”
“About that question, you can answer now right?”
Kuroe still asked despite the person who asked that was not here already.
“… I don’t know.”
There was no other answer in Tooya’s mind now.
Akane visited Tanaka who was working in his own room. He confirmed the time, it’d already past evening. If considering Akane went back home after monitoring Tooya then only came here, it was not strange that she appeared now.
“How was the surveillance?”
Akane answered and lied down on the sofa in front of Tanaka’s desk without hesitation.
“… You are the one who desired that.”
He sighed. Akane who ignored that asked.
“Don’t you think that I was trying to fire or something?”
“Surveillance and sniping are two different things, like cat and sea cat.”
(TN Note: I just do direct translate from the words so I not sure if this comparison correct or not.)
“Both sides are cats so it will be fine.”
Tanaka can’t take it and held his head.
“You came here just to say something like this? Don’t you think it’s weird to use a sniper rifle for surveillance?”
“Nothing is bad about it.”
“Tsk, Tanaka is still lousy like usual.”
“Your thoughts are still very extreme like usual… so, how are they two?”
“Look over the report.”
“… You can just answer me since you are just right here.”
Tanaka sighed again. So troublesome, Akane’s thoughts were written on her face but she still answered.
“Living a student life normally.”
“Is that so.”
“Ah—-that monster was actually acting honest. I really want to shoot her.”
“Please don’t do that.”
“That’s why I didn’t shoot.”
“If it’s you, then it’s possible you will shoot.”
Akane clicked her tongue. Tanaka thought of something and changed the topic.
“Speaking of which, a rocket launcher in the reserve room was missing…”
“Time to go back.”
Like all of the indiscretion until now was a lie, Akane stood up hurriedly.
“Ah, please wait.”
Before Tanaka finished his words, Akane went out from the room.