Chapter 1: He and the Man Eater and the Transfer Student
[There was a transfer student.]
As usual, they gathered at the rooftop to have lunch. Mashiro said that just when they reached. Her expression was so bright. In other words, that incident seemed to have been a pleasant event for Mashiro…….maybe because of that, she didn’t seem to be aware of Tooya’s subtle state.
[Strange, isn’t it.]
In this period, moreover this time. Not in spring but summer, to transfer to this school at this timing which took place two weeks before the summer vacation, it was very unusual……and it was very strange. In general, one should transfer to another school after the end of summer vacation. Well, everyone has their own circumstances, so it couldn’t be concluded unconditionally.
[Yeah, it is said that there are all kinds of circumstances at home.]
An expected answer.
[Seemed like Mashiro and that girl got along.]
Suddenly Kuroe said that.
Mashiro nodded happily.
[Kuroe-senpai, you got it right.]
[Because Mashiro is easy to understand.]
Kuroe answered with a smile. Well, she was easy to understand. She talked about the topic of the transfer student with full interests, and it seemed that she heard of the circumstances of the transfer student directly from that person. This meant that not only she had the chance to talk with the transfer student,they seemed to get along as well.
Mashiro nodded happily again. For Mashiro who was isolated in class was able to make friend, Tooya was very happy with it……..well, though it was not just simply feeling happy. He was sure that transfer student didn’t know Mashiro was isolated by the others in class. Not sure if they would still get along after knowing that.
Suddenly, Mashiro stopped talking even though she wanted to say something.
[Could it be, you brought that girl over here?]
After hesitated for a moment, Mashiro nodded.
[I know it is very sudden, but because senpais took care of me so much so I want to introduce to her……that girl is now waiting at the door.]
Mashiro’s feeling was not incomprehensible. Tooya and Kuroe were the one lent a helping hand to Mashiro when she was being bullied, and getting close to her.It was natural for her wanting to introduce her friend directly to them.
[That, because in fact it is forbidden to enter here, so I know that I have to keep it in secret……but I still want to introduce her directly to senpais.]
[It’s fine. It’s not good for her to keep waiting, bring her over here.]
[I am really grateful!]
After Tooya replied, Mashiro nodded happily and walked to the door.
[Such an interesting kid ne.]
Tooya agreed with Kuroe that Mashiro has a lot of uneasiness before. So in any case it was worth to be happy that Mashiro was able to make friends.
[So master tries not to cause any trouble.]
Tooya was the same as Mashiro, a person being isolated in class. Furthermore Tooya was more well known compare to Mashiro. Maybe Mashiro would be avoided by others because she got along with such a messy person……..in order not to cause such a thing Tooya had to work hard to show his good side.
[Here they come.]
Followed by Kuroe’s words, Tooya looked at the door and saw Mashiro walking over here with a girl he had never seen before. That girl was taller than Mashiro, and had a very slim body. Her hair was long like Kuroe and the bangs were tied with a hair band which seemed to emphazise her little wide forehead.
[Nice to meet you, my name’s Inaba Aoi.]
She smiled and introduced herself.
[Nice, nice to meet you.]
Tooya blundered because they were too close. A half step closer than the ordinary distance. She was looking directly at Tooya like trying to seek out something from Tooya’s eyes.
[So you are Tooya-senpai.]
Aoi turned her gaze after a nod.
[So here is Kuroe-senpai.]
Kuroe responded as usual. Probably Aoi heard our names from Mashiro, but this child was kind of straightforward for calling our names directly……..although they were not that intimate, but Tooya didn’t feel unpleasant about it.
[Please take care of me after this!]
From the conversation during their lunch, Aoi was really a straightforward child as she had shown right from the beginning. Normally people would be cautious and asked things slowly for those they met for the first time, but she just went straight into the point. From the reason why they used the rooftop which was forbidden to enter, until why Tooya was isolated in school. She had inquired all of them.
It was the same for Mashiro, it seemed that Aoi heard everything from the girl sitting next to Mashiro in class. Even so, she didn’t look at Mashiro with strange gazes or even avoid Mashiro like the others, that was why she appeared here.
[Because Mashiro is not the one at fault from what I heard. Even if they don’t want to get involve with bullying, isn’t it too mean for keeping a distance with Msahiro just because of that? If you know that they will leave you alone at crucial times, then there’s not a need to be friends with them right from the beginning.]
Although it was a very extreme remark, but seemed like Aoi had given up to be friends with everyone in class to be close to Mashiro. Instead of making lots of friends which cannot be trusted, it was better to have just one trustworthy friend………but did Aoi really trust Mashiro whom she just met, it was a mystery.
[As long as we look to each other face to face, I still can know whether you are lying or not.]
Is that so.
[So I think Tooya-senpai doesn’t need to be concerned about it. Even if you are alone in school, you still have Kuroe-senpai such a great fiancee right?]
[……..Ah ah, yeah.]
Tooya nodded ambiguously. Although she may be a great fiancee on the surface, but Kuroe was a giant wolf monster, an existence that couldn’t be trust at all………however, it was impossible for Aoi to know about this.
Moreover, Tooya didn’t care much about the fact that he was isolated in school. Although he thought that Aoi’s idea was wrong at the beginning, but their conclusion were the same. It was just that in the end Tooya couldn’t make any trustworthy friend…….but for now it was better to say that he felt more relaxed that no one else was concerned about him.
[And from now on I also want to be closer to senpai.]
Aoi smiled sweetly.
[Ah, of course along with Mashiro.]
Then she got close to Mashiro and hugged her suddenly.
[Although it’s a little hot over here. But no one else is here so we don’t have to worry about anything. It’s a good place where you can take a nap or being lazy…….it will better if we have the copy of the key.]
[Aoi-chan, you have spoken your true feelings unintentionally.]
What Mashiro said was unintentional, but in fact Aoi just said it frankly.
[Well, if you use it in secret, then we can give you the key.]
For them to be dignified to this extent, Tooya couldn’t help but wanted to smile instead of feeling stunned.
Aoi showed a snobbish smile.
[I will make one for each of you next time.]
Indeed, it was inconvenient for Mashiro as she couldn’t enter when Tooya was not here.
Suddenly Kuroe’s voice sounded.
[[Don’t you have something want to inquire about?]]
What Kuroe trying to say was telling Tooya for reconfirmation. Although Tooya was a little confused because it was hard to explain Aoi’s similarity with that person…….he would just inquire about it.
Aoi said that she wanted Tooya and Kuroe to address her name directly.
[Ah—-I say Aoi……do you have an elder sister?]
Aoi in Inaba Aoi was her name. And that surname was familiar…….and Tooya didn’t think that such a rare surname could be seen casually. It was not surprising for him to think there was a relationship between Inaba Aoi and Inaba Akane.
Aoi answered immediately.
[My sister called Inaba Akane……I think she’s ten years older than me? But she ran away from home when I was still an elementary student.]
[Eh, I see…….]
What Tooya knew about Akane was she was the stuff of the Order of Black Magic. After all, they were not that close at the beginning. So it was the first time he heard that she ran away from home.
[My family lives in an ancient shrine…….and because of that my family is very strict. My sister seems to not able to accept it and ran away from home after a quarrel with my parents.]
It was kind of…….expected. Maybe this was the reason why Akane’s rhetoric would be so rude.
[Aoi-chan’s house is a shrine!]
Mashiro seemed to be interested on something different from what Tooya did.
[Yeah. But it is in a very remote country.]
[That, that means Aoi-chan is a priestess?]
Aoi nodded and smiled.
[So I know something bad was attached on Mashiro.]
Tooya forced himself not to show that he was wavered.
[Well, it’s not a good thing. Although it seems like it’s all right now, but I can see there still some fragments of it left in Mashiro’s body.]
Tooya’s mind began to grumble up and running up when Aoi spoke that confidently. Aoi’s words could be said to be directed at the core of the recent events happened to Mashiro. Did Aoi say this because she knew it, or she really felt it through the power of the priestess…….since Aoi was Akane’s sister, no matter which side it also could be accepted.
[Although the fragments don’t have any power, but in the end it is not a good thing…….therefore Mashiro need this!]
Aoi took something like talisman from her pocket.
[This is my family’s special demon talisman! With this, I can ensure that the evil spirits will gone and prevent diseases! Now it’s only twenty thousand yen! And as a concession, when it’s broken there are still two reserves at any time!]
[Ah ha ha, just like the sales program,Aoi-chan.]
[……..Eh eh, did I fail?]
Mashiro laughed—-but not to the extent of a laughter, and Kuroe just smiling while Tooya was in a shocked expression.
[Well, that’s just a joke……]
Aoi had a cough and tried to fool it over.
[I will give this to Mashiro as the proof of our friendship. Although I was joking, but it’s really useful, and wearing it can make you safe.]
[Well, thank you.]
Since it was a gift from her new friend, Mashiro happily accepted it. It seemed that she was thinking that what Aoi said before was just joking only…….however, Tooya was thinking, in the end where was the beginning of the joke.
[[What exactly is it, ne?]]
Kuroe’s voice sounded in his brain. Did she know what happened to Mashiro…….but this was not the important thing. Whether she knew about it, or she felt it because of her own power, both would lead to a common question.
Did she know about Tooya and Kuroe?
Or did she felt something?
This was the important one. And if it was one of them, then what was her standpoint in front of Tooya and Kuroe. Would she be like Akane, on the side of the Order of Black Magic……..or something else.
[[What master will do if she’s our enemy?]]
As always, she said something that Tooya didn’t want to think about. Aoi was Mashiro’s friend, and also Akane’s sister. Moreover a kouhai had good impression towards himself……..Tooya really didn’t want to imagine that they were going to be enemy.
[Ah, yeah! Do senpais have time after school today?]
Suddenly Mashiro asked.
[Eh…….there should be nothing to do.]
Tooya answered while looking at Kuroe.
[I’m okay too.]
[How about we go to the station after school? To make a welcome party for Aoi-chan……..let’s eat some desserts or play some games?]
Mashiro looked at Tooya and the others with expectation.
[Well, uh……there’s nothing bad with it.]
Tooya had no reason to refuse.
[Well, I think it’s a good idea.]
Kuroe smiled and nodded.
[For me it will be a great welcome! Thank you, Mashiro!]
Aoi nodded while clinging to Mashiro tightly.
[Then, let’s meet at the school front door after school ended.]
And so it was settled.
[Ah, well. He’s much more ordinary than what I thought.]
Aoi replied in such a tone, like she was having a conversation with a very close friend.
[Kuroe-senpai was a little terrifying……eh, don’t judge from the appearance?Okay, understood. Because I always believe what you said.
Aoi nodded as if she accepted the advice.
[Mashiro is a good girl. I have given the talisman to her just like you told me to, there shouldn’t be any effect, right? I think that girl should be happy………ah, yeah. I want to remain as her friend if possible.]
What she said doesn’t sounds like a lie.
[Eh, uh. It keeps staring over here. It seems to be very unhappy to me……..just leave it alone if it doesn’t do anything. If anything happens then I take it back along with Mashiro’s share…….no problem. I will definitely follow what you said.]
Vroom vroom vroom
Aoi’s pocket vibrated. There was a text message. She took out the phone to confirm, Mashiro’s name reflected on the screen. It seemed that Mashiro was telling her it was going to reach the agreed time.
[Well it’s time to leave……yeah, just going out for a while.]
After answering, Aoi opened the door of the toilets and went out. The other doors were open, except for the one that Aoi entered.
[Well, better hurry.]
Aoi walked quickly and left the empty woman toilet behind.
[Why desserts can be so delicious.]
While saying that Aoi’s front was filled with a lot of cake. Like they had agreed, the four of them met at the school front door and walked to the station. While walking they were discussing to go eat some desserts first. Since there was no objection, so they went to the coffee shop popular with its cake…….and the result was the table that they were sitting around was filled with cake.
[It’s so delicious.]
Aoi cut the cake with a large spoon and put it into her mouth, her face was filled with unparalleled smile.
[I’m really grateful, Tooya-senpai.]
[As as long you are happy……]
Tooya sighed. All the cake on the table were Tooya’s treat……..it always happened like this naturally. Since it was in the name of Aoi’s welcome party, of course Aoi would not be counted, and he couldn’t accept the other two treats…..although that was not the entire reason.
[Is it better for me to treat you guys?]
[Oh, it doesn’t matter.]
Tooya replied to Mashiro, who with a worried face. Yeah, it was no big deal. It was not like he opposed the idea of Mashiro treating. But she was his underclassman, the demon sword event was still vivid, he really didn’t want her to spend money. This way, it was natural for Kuroe not to treat them.
The problem was, the amount. Tooya could not help but to think what was going on with this amount. There were at least two dozen of cake on the table. Although each of them was not so big, but it was not the amount where four people can finish it……by the way one was enough for Tooya right now.
[[This extent is no big deal ne.]]
Kuroe’s voice sounded. Well probably, because Kuroe was not human. Tooya thought, it was nothing incredible even if she ate all the cake in the store. But what the matter was for Mashiro and Aoi who were normal people to choose the same amount of cake.
[[For girls, desserts are filled in another stomach.]]
But you are not a girl, Tooya refuted.
[[You are so rude ne.]]
A picture of Kuroe shrugging appeared in his brain. Tooya sighed regarding this.
[By the way Tooya-senpai.]
[It’s about during noon, why did you think I have an elder sister?]
Aoi asked while eating the cake.
[And your reaction……do you know my sister?]
How should he answer it, Tooya produced a moment of confusion.
[[Just answer it normally oh.]]
Kuroe’s voice sounded……well, let’s do that.
[Well,yeah. Because it is a very rare surname, so I can’t help but to think of the possibility……]
[Indeed it is a very surname ne, Inaba.]
Aoi nodded to show that she accepted the answer.
[Is the relationship between senpai and my sister very close?]
[No, well, not that close…….we just saw each other a few times, and I don’t even have the way to contact her.]
It should be the relationship of sworn enemies, if he must say it.
[But you two just met recently right?]
Though it was not at a good place.
[Is she still fine?]
[…….Well, very good.]
Good up to the point where she could kill someone just by using her gazes.
[Uhm, did Aoi not want to meet Akane.]
Aoi shook her head.
[No letters from her ever since she left home.]
[Is that so…..]
[So I felt shocked to meet someone who knew my sister in this kind of place.]
Although her words could not hear the taste of surprise, but she did not seem to be lying…….well, Tooya didn’t have the ability to see through a person whom he just met was lying or not anyway. At least he felt that was not a deliberately compiled lie.
If it was true, then the possibility of Aoi hearing the information regarding Mashiro from Akane would be a no…….then did she said that because of her own ability or it was really just a joke.
[How did Tooya-senpai knew my sister?]
[Eh, that is……well, because of all sorts of things.]
[All sorts of things?]
[Yes, all sorts of things.]
Tooya did not know whether he can fool Aoi, but Aoi did not ask more.
[Does my sister get a good job?]
[Eh, that…..it seems to be.]
[What kind of job.]
He was not lying…….although the Order of Black Magic was an informal organisation but it still belonged to the country.
[Civil servant heh, in the end she got a very solid job ne. Then it’s fine to tell my father they all…..but the atmosphere will become very bad if I said out her name.]
Aoi issued a [uh—-] voice, and a troubled look.
[Is their relationship that bad?]
She could always summarised everything with only one sentence.
[Because I knew about it so it doesn’t matter……but she seems not wanting to talk to me too because of that. Even though she will still concern about me when I was very young.]
Aoi said with a nostalgic tone, while sending the cake into her mouth.
[That, should I help you ask for her contact when I meet her next time?]
Even Akane would not be so ruthless to her own sister.
[Although she will be angry if she knows this…….but please.]
[By the way senpai.]
[What’s the matter?]
[Can I order for more?]
Tooya looked at the table surprisingly, the cake had been wiped out.
[Uhm, can I have it too?]
Mashiro looked at Tooya shyly.
Tooya had to nod.
It seemed that desserts were really filled in another stomach ah.
[……..My wallet got much more lighter.]
[Be a gentleman ne.]
[Well, although it doesn’t matter to me…..]
They went to have fun at karaoke for about two hours after came out from the coffee shop, then they said goodbye to Mashiro and Aoi. Because there was nothing else to do, so Tooya and Kuroe went home directly, and now they were in their own room. Although the cake and even the karaoke were also Tooya’s treat, but it was not a big problem. Although his purse did got lighter, but he had a lot of savings before this, and the reward from the demon sword incident also gave a lot of money.
[……..Kuroe, what do you think about Aoi?]
This was important. The sudden arrival of a transfer student. Mashiro’s friend. Akane’s younger sister.
[What do you mean?]
[That’s what I meant.]
Tooya forcefully turned the conversation back to the topic when Kuroe tried to turn it away.
[Then it’s just like what master has seen.]
[I ask you because I don’t understand about it.]
Tooya would not care about it if it was a transfer student in general and be friend with Mashiro, yet what Aoi said about what happened to Mashiro did hit the middle of the core. Did she actually know the details about it……since Aoi being Akane’s sister was a fact, then it was highly possible that Aoi had some special power. If so, did she also feel about what Kuroe was.
[We are basically no difference with human beings in this gesture.]
[……Wasn’t your identity exposed when we met Tanaka.]
[He might be speculated it from the situation.]
That meant even if Aoi had the power to perceive monsters, she also would not know about Kuroe. If the matter of she and Akane had no communication was true, then the possibility of getting information from there was very low. In conclusion, the possibility of her knowing about Tooya and Kuroe was…….very low?
[Is master really think that way?]
She always went into where people did not want to think of as always. Although he had accustomed that she could read his mind, but he ccouldn’t get used to her habits.
[……I don’t think so.]
In current situation, there was not enough conditions to give a proper judgement. What Tooya knew right now was the same as what he thought, he did not felt that Aoi was afraid of Kuroe. The two of them looked like normal friends.
However, Tooya didn’t think it had no problem at all.
Transfer school at this timing.
Talked like she knew about Mashiro’s thing.
Akane’s younger sister.
……..There were so many elements, it was impossible to think there was no problem. If she really was just getting close to them accidentally, Tooya would definitely punch the god that arranged this coincidence.
Tooya would not be surprised if there really was problem…..the important was.
[Is she our ally, or our enemy ne.]
This was it. When he was being asked at noon, Tooya really did not want to think about the situation. However, reality would always betray his expectation without hesitation, Tooya had been deeply experienced this kind of nasty things.
If Aoi got close to them because she knew about them, then what was her purpose of it…….did she have an eye on Tooya’s and Kuroe’s life like Akane?
[Maybe she wants to use us.]
[Our power is something extraordinary for this world. Since we are existence that cannot be placed anywhere casually, then naturally they have to put a collar on us……it’s not impossible for people who wants to use us appear right?]
It could not be denied. After looking at Tooya’s state, Kuroe smiled.
[Fortunately, the one holding the collar is master.]
[…….What do you mean.]
[That means you are easy to manipulate.]
Kuroe asserted……..yet Tooya couldn’t deny it. Kuroe’s power was indeed beyond ordinary, and the one who owned this power was both a cunning and man-eating monster. It was dangerous to consider how to use Kuroe directly, but it was another matter if Tooya was the opponent.
[I have to say that the order of black magic was quite naive ne. Well, maybe they think that minimise the risk will be better instead of use it randomly……..if it’s a person trying to manipulate master, then that fellow will definitely try more radical means.]
[But she doesn’t seems to be that kind of child.]
[Is master a person who can get through the nature of the other person with just one day?]
Of course it was impossible.
[And the person who wants to use master, doesn’t mean he or she is malicious ne?]
[………What do you mean.]
[For example. In general, murder is evil. But not every murder happens because of malice right?]
Indeed. Homicide was evil, but sometimes it was out of goodwill. Since there were people who killed other people out of their desire, naturally there were situation where people killed other people in order to protect the other people. The police shot a brutal murderer, but he could not be blamed for being evil in that situation.
[So there’s a situation where she uses me out of goodwill?]
[But it’s just something she thought it is.]
[……That kind of thing—-]
Tooya just cannot imagine.
[Well, the fact will not change no matter what her motive is.]
[Whether it is malicious or goodwill, killing is still killing, and using us is still using us ne.]
Kuroe looked at Tooya happily.
She was like seeking for agreement……..Tooya understood that. After all, Tooya himself had also killed people. But that was not out of malice. He knew that he was the worst for what he did, and understood that he himself had no goodwill at all, he even killed people not because he wanted to kill.
However,h e actually said that it did not matter.
……She purposely asked for confirmation even though she knew everything.
[That’s why I said human is very interesting ne.]
Kuroe was laughing happily from her heart.
[Ah—-I am exhausted……]
[Thanks for your hard work.]
Tanaka complimented Akane who entered his room and exuding a sense of fatigue like she said. Akane fell on the couch as usual after she waved her hand as a reply.
[My room is not a lounge.]
Tanaka was sitting in front of his table and shrugged his shoulders.
[It’s cooler here.]
[The lounge over there also have air-conditioned room.]
[It’s full of sweat smell.]
[They are your subordinates.]
[Even if they are, sweat is still sweat.]
This was already a custom,so Tanaka just accepted it.
[Well forget it…….just wanted to ask you something.]
[There are some information I concerned about in the surveillance report of that two fellow.]
[Do I have do that kind of thing again after this too?]
[The signs remains growing, so we can’t simply ignore it.]
Although they exchanged contract and can be trusted, but that was nothing more than a scene. A catastrophe might happen even if there were a little abnormality. So it was impossible to put it aside.
[Then, what to do with me? To be honest I’ve been working for the whole day.]
Because there were precedents so Akane could be considered under semi-surveillance.
[Actually, his school got a transfer student.]
[Is that so? It’s really rare in this timing, but it’s not like absolutely not possible.]
[Though it is……..I am a little concerned about her name.]
[Then, I did a brief investigation.]
Tanaka looked at something like information, then glanced at Akane.
[She seems to be your younger sister.]
Akane’s lazy eyes opened wide in a moment. She quickly got up and looked at Tanaka.
[Just now, what did u said?]
[You no need to ask again right, I don’t think your ears are that bad.]
[Okay please say it again.]
[Your younger sister went to the same high school with Kamisaki Tooya and Oogami Kuroe.]
[Inaba Aoi, she is your sister right?]
Akane nodded and looked away.
[As long as it’s not someone else with the same name.]
[Your name is in her family list, and the birthplace was the same as yours.]
[…….Is that so.]
Akane sighed and answered like trying to escape reality.
[So,what did that fellow do?]
She looked back at Tanaka once again and asked.
[No, there’s nothing for now. From the status quo, she befriended with Kuromine Mashiro, then knew Kamisaki-san and Oogami-san through her…….because she has the familiar surname so I made some investigation, just that.]
He confirmed again that she indeed was Akane’s younger sister through the answer from Akane.
[Do you not know about this?]
[……I have never contact with my family ever since I ran away from home. They shouldn’t know that I am working for the order of black magic.]
[I think so too.]
Tanaka did know something about Akane’s affair. Ran away from home because had a quarrel with her parents, then the order of black got interested in her when she was working as something like magician in her hometown. Because she would show explicit disgust, so the topic of her home can be considered as taboo between the staffs.
[Did that fellow come here alone?]
[Seems like it. She seems to be renting a room in the apartment based on the information given by the school.]
[Reason for transfer is?]
[It is because of family, the detailed situation is not documented.]
Akane clicked her tongue.
[It is only a matter of interest, I haven’t go through deep yet.]
Tanaka said with a wry smile.
[The order of black magic does not do anything?]
[There is no reason for action……..but even if she is not your sister, it’s kind of suspicious to have a transfer student in this timing and try to get near to those two.]
Maybe, Tanaka asked.
[You know the reason for us to take action?]
Akane looked away.
[Is that so.]
And so Tanaka stopped asking.
[Once again, in current situation there’s no reason for the order of black magic to take action. Since it’s a matter between the family, I advise you to solve it personally.]
[………Ah ah, I will do that.]
Akane replied, then muttered in soft voice.
[I will show you how I do it.]