This is before they had gone to the training camp.
Even a Saviour training school like Akane Academy had summer holidays. Most of the students were from other prefectures, so of course, went back to their hometowns.
However, the Strikers and the Reserve Corps were a separate matter.Taking advantage of the fact that there were no normal classes, they were worked hard for the entire day.“Baseball clubs and normal sports clubs do this too.”Those were the demon vice-captain’s words.
However, surely even famous baseball clubs wouldn’t cut at each other with swords, throw magic fire at each other until they weren’t just tired, but in pain.
Then, on a morning a few days into the holiday.The three of them, Haimura Moroha, Ranjou Satsuki and Urushibara Shizuno had changed into their combat gear and were heading to the arena together.
“I’d have at least like two days off during the weeks in the holiday.”
“I’m awfully jealous thinking of everyone else enjoying their holidays.”
“I can’t forget their pitying expressions at the closing ceremony.”
Moroha was complaining with Shizuno as they trudged onwards.Among the thirteen Strikers from across the entire school, only Moroha was selected from the first year.There were a few less than thirty in the reserves, but chosen from the first years, there were only Satsuki and Shizuno.
“We didn’t even get to go home for Golden Week. I hope my aunt and uncle are okay.”Moroha’s incessant grumbling was cut off by a thump to his back from Satsuki along with her yell.
“Look alive! Shizuno being slothful aside, you stop your whining.”
“At least let me complain, I’ll do the training properly.”
“Geez! You’re always like that. I don’t want to see your lame habits.”Satsuki angrily scolded him.
She and Moroha were blood related siblings in their past lives and she was happy to be adored, but it aggravating her brother complex was the fly in the ointment.
“First off, if we had two days off a week, your salary would decrease, wouldn’t it?”
“Ugh…” Moroha fell silent at that revelation. Rather than that waste, perhaps one day off per week was fine.
“You too, Urushibara! We’re the only three first years who can participate, so if anything, you should be proud.”
“What does it matter? If it will buy a day of skipping, I’ll sell however many grams of pride as I need to…” On the other hand, Shizuno seemed to show absolutely no impression from Satsuki’s words.
Just like that, with the lazy two being scolded by Satsuki, they entered the arena. They opened the double doors, walked along the corridor under the stands, and arrived in the arena in the hollowed out region under the building. As first years, they had a weak position and so had intended to get there first, but…
“I could hear your slacking from here!” A sharp cry split Moroha’s eardrums from the female upperclassman that was waiting inside. He cringed away from the ringing in his ears, closing an eye in pain. With his still open eye, he looked at the source of the loud voice.
It was a third year girl, but she was walking as strictly as the military as she approached. She had intelligent good looks, like a female scientist. Her thin and stylish glasses suited her well as they flashed in the light. Her name was Kanzaki Tokiko. She was said to be the best Black Mage within the school, and the vice-captain of the Strikers, feared as a demon.
As the ringing in his ears ceased, Moroha looked back the way he came. He could see a long passageway, and the thick and sturdy doors. “It’s a lie you could hear us from here, isn’t it?”
“Hmph. So you won’t fall for such a cheap trick?” Tokiko stood next to him and sniffed, still frowning.
“Why are you trying to catch me in a trick?”
“I thought I could give you a punishment if I caught you.” Tokiko informed him with an overbearing, military-like tone. Coupled with her clever beauty, it had an impressive pressure.
“What do you mean by punishment?” Moroha asked with a cold sweat.
“A foolish question, Haimura.” Tokiko’s eyes narrowed suddenly. At the same time, she took a deep breath. And then, she yelled once again, answering proudly.
“My favourite— obviously lewd punishments!”
She was yelling such foolish things with such a serious face, Moroha didn’t quite know where to begin.
“Cut it out please, Kanzaki-senpai!” Satsuki lost her temper in his place. “Before you give a punishment, don’t you have to wait for him to actually do something!?” She squared her shoulders and pointed.
Since she’d been standing next to him. Had been fondling Moroha’s ass with her right hand.
“A good ass as always, Haimura.” Her name, as she said it seriously, was Kanzaki Tokiko.
She was said to be the best Black Mage within the school, and the vice-captain of the Strikers, feared as a perverted demon…
“Being praised like that doesn’t make me happy.” Moroha covered his face with his hand.
“Senpai, why do you always, always go to sexual harassment the moment you see my Nii-sama!?”
“A foolish question, Ranjou. It’s obviously because Haimura is cute!”
“I told you, being praised like that doesn’t make me happy.” Moroha covered his face with his hand.
“Could you stop groping my ass now?” Because the mood was turning strange.
“I refuse. None shall oppose my sexual harassment. Even if I must use all the rights afforded to me as vice captain.”
“Filthy! You’re really filthy, senpai!” Satsuki took it seriously and grew angry, but.
“Indeed. Taking on the dirty jobs is a vice captain’s role. Your words are actually praising me.”
“You’re covering it with a cool line!?”
Tokiko unconcernedly continued enjoying the feel of Moroha’s backside.
“Argh, you say something too, Urushibara!”
“Well then. I want to grope it too?”
“T-t-that’s not what I mean!” Satsuki stamped her feet at Shizuno’s teasing words as dimples appeared at the sides of her mouth.
“Oi Ranjou. You’re really highly strung, aren’t you?”
Tokiko spoke calmly as her right hand continued to move like a separate being and continued to grope Moroha’s backside. “An irritable little girl like you can barely comprehend the vice captain’s judgements.”
“I-I-I’m the model of a Saviour, Isurugi-senpai said so.”
“We must have really been struggling for a model back then.”
“Your Japanese is odd, but I can tell you’re mocking me!” Satsuki yelled in confusion.
“Kanzaki-senpai, everyone will be here soon, so could you let us off here, please?” Moroha modestly requested. He’d been supported by Satsuki but was soon the one doing the supporting.
“Hmph, very well. I have things to notify you all of today. Especially you first years, I’ll tell you the details ahead of time.” Tokiko showed the proper consideration of a vice captain.
“Is something happening?” Moroha and Satsuki stared blankly and waited for her to speak. Shizuno seemed to have already guessed or something, but she didn’t seem interested. Tokiko stopped her sexual harassment and folded her arms before speaking in an oppressive voice.
“For one week from tomorrow, we shall be conducting a summer training camp.”
“That’s… awfully sudden.” They’d not been told anything beforehand, and they hadn’t prepared at all.
“It’s because the second and third years already knew. I apologise for the lack of care towards you newbies. My bad.” Tokiko said completely unapologetically, still being haughty.
“What exactly do you mean by training camp?” Asked Satsuki as she grew somewhat excited and fidgety. Moroha was also kind of interested. Travelling with everyone, staying overnight, even if they were training they could take breaks and have barbeques and stuff for food, just imagining it was fun.
“Yes, we seclude ourselves in the mountains and undergo asceticism.”
“That’s about the worst I could think of!” Satsuki held her forehead in apparent pain and Moroha drooped slightly.
“Is that it? Are you telling us everything?” Now hanging on to Tokiko, Satsuki didn’t want to believe her.
“We’re travelling with everyone right, we can have fun on the bus or train, right!?”
“We’ll arrive instantly via the headmistress’ Erratic Portal.”
“We can have sleepovers and stay up all night talking, right?”
“Everyone will sleep like the dead, they’ll be too tired.”
“We’ll have breaks in the training, right…?”
“Yeah, time is precious so we set aside time for you to sleep.”
“We’ll have them, for survival, hunting and preparing your own meals.”
The more they listened, the gloomier this training camp sounded. Satsuki was stricken, and all of Moroha’s hopes had been destroyed.
Looking at them, Tokiko forcibly cleared her throat. Both of them looked up at her, Moroha still slumped over, and Satsuki still on her knees. Tokiko’s face had twisted into a mean expression. It was that of having tormented her juniors enough. She then continued her explanation.
“Well, that’s how it was last year. There’s been a change of plans for this year. I’ve already sounded the captain out, then negotiated with the school and obtained permission.” A faint tinge of hope began to fill Moroha and Satsuki’s eyes. “We will be training by the sea this year, my relatives have a holiday house and private beach in the Yamaguchi prefecture. We Strikers work hard, so we need to de-stress sometimes, right?”
Moroha and Satsuki nodded vigorously to her question. Shizuno too seemed like this was the first time she had heard it, so she started listening to Tokiko’s words.
“The morning will be dedicated to training, but I came to an agreement with the captain that after that we could take a breather. The afternoon will be swimming, and the night will be a barbeque or whatever?”
“I always knew you weren’t a demon, senpaii…” Still on her knees, Satsuki sniffled and clung to Tokiko.
“Hmph, of course. I am a teenage girl, I’d rather go to the sea than seclude myself in the mountains. Aaah, I’m looking forward to it,” Tokiko closed her eyes and seemed like she was gazing upon a glorious spectacle behind her eyelids, “The blue sky, the white clouds, and Haimura’s captivating skin as he wears a single pair of shorts.”
“Would you stop your disturbing presentation?” Moroha shuddered and backed away. About five metres without noticing. “Silence. None shall oppose my sexual delusions.” Tokiko’s eyes shot open as she straightened in indignation.
“Why do you think I bowed my head to my relatives and made plans to borrow their holiday home? It’s obvious! So I can lick and admire your bare nipples and arse!” She wouldn’t stop, no one could stop her, Tokiko was on a roll. The doors to the arena opened and another member entered, ignoring her. She didn’t stop, not feeling any shame at being heard.
At the height of her triumph, she proclaimed.
“So then, Haimura. Are you free in the next day or two? If not, make yourself, it’s an order from your vice captain. You’re going swimsuit shopping with me.”
“I’ll choose your swimming trunks for you, disgustingly tight Speedos!”
“W-wait a minute please…”
“I won’t let you dress my Nii-sama up strangely!”
“I told you to be silent. Of course, in the interest of fairness, I’ll wear the swimsuit you want, that’s compensation. A brazilian swimsuit or a see through one, you can choose what you like, I don’t mind at all.”
That wasn’t their problem. Moroha and Satsuki cried together. However, Shizuno stepped smoothly forward, entering the conversation with a terrifying vigour..
“A splendid idea. I always knew you were truly a perverted person. Please, allow me to come shopping with you. I want to choose Moroha’s swimsuit with you.”
“Hmph, so you are a lecher too.” Shizuno had her usual expression and Tokiko had an amused expression, but the mood was like that of best friends that had been separated for the past ten years. They created a world of their own as they stared at each other. The only sound was the regular tapping footsteps from the corridor of the member that arrived earlier.
“Shizuno… you too?”
Betrayed by the one that seemed most reliable of all, Moroha covered his face with his hand.
“I’ll never let that happen! Moroha’s gonna go with me!” Satsuki’s yapping was ignored by both Tokiko and Shizuno. As if she didn’t have fangs.
“So then, got it!” With her arms crossed, Tokiko’s eyes gleamed.
Moroha worried what to do with that immoveable tone. He wanted to refuse right away, but he was scared of the consequences. His daily sexual harassment would probably grow tenfold. “I’ll go shopping and complain at the store to avoid the Speedos then.” He decided to go with a conservative plan. Moroha dropped his hand from his face and looked straight at Tokiko, and then… he saw it.
The member that arrived early had calmly walked up behind Tokiko and was standing there. He was skinny, but towered over you. His face was scary, yet he had an honest countenance. He had a firm personality that belied him being a third year. His name was Isurugi Jin. The Strikers’ captain. The king of monsters that unified them all.
“Hmph, let’s make some good memories this summer!” Tokiko hadn’t noticed anything as she adopted a solemn look and continued to rant. Isurugi glared at the crown of her head from behind, and then gripped hold of it with enough force to make a worrying creak.
“Myah!?” Tokiko cried out, perhaps in surprise, or in pain, or even both.
“Good morning, Kanzaki-kun.”
“T-th-that voice!? Captain?”
With her arms still crossed haughtily, Tokiko began to shake. Timidly she went to look back, but couldn’t. The creaking grip on her head wouldn’t relent.
“I am always telling you, Kanzaki-kun. Not to fool with the juniors too much.” Isurugi’s voice came, gravely. Tokiko’s shoulders shook as if something had thudded onto them.
“Y-y-y-you may be the captain…” She gulped. “B-b-b-but why e-e-e-e-exactly are you treating me like a stray cat you picked up?”
“I’m sure a stray cat would listen much better than you, wouldn’t it?”
She’d put on a show to complain, but Isurugi didn’t waver in the slightest. His quiet rage didn’t relent.
“My bad! I’ll change my behaviour, so don’t squish my head like a tomatooo!” Finally, Tokiko surrendered, and at that, Isurugi removed his hand from her head.
Overwhelmed with fear, Tokiko broke down crying. The ever present image of the demonic, high-handed vice-captain was ruined in front of Isurugi.
“Of course, going to the sea, you’d want to let your hair down, but keep it in moderation. Being the vice-captain, you are supposed to be an example, aren’t you?”
“G-got it. Understood, so please stop glaring at me with that scary face.”
“I know… let’s make it clear from the outset, males and females are forbidden from shopping for swimsuits together.”
Tokiko, and even Satsuki, looked like the world had ended in front of them.
“I’m sure I can have you inform everyone, correct?”
“What was your response, Kanzaki-kun?”
Isurugi put his hand on her head once more to make sure, and still in tears, Tokiko saluted.
“What a shame.”
Shizuno had taken refuge while Tokiko was being scolded, and now murmured disappointedly. Satsuki too was crying about not being able to pick swimsuits with Moroha, but was scared of Isurugi so couldn’t go against it. Only one of them, Moroha was relieved, praising Isurugi’s ‘warm and fair’ judiciary. And then thought, from the bottom of his heart, as he looked between the Sexual Harassment Demon Tokiko, and Isurugi, the one who made her behave so simply.
“This school… actually, the Strikers, are full of scary people.”
As soon as the day’s training was done, Satsuki dashed to the shower and then leapt out of the changing room.
“I’ve got stuff to do today, so I’m going ahead!” She shouted back to the seniors before shooting off like an arrow. Rushing like the wind across the courtyard, she checked her purse. Time to get money from the ATM and then get the bus and go!
“Awww, I wanted to go shopping and flirt with Moroha~ I wanted to choose swimsuits together~ Isurugi-senpai’s a hardhead~~~.” Satsuki grit her teeth as she looked out at the landscape through the bus window. But she sprang back from that sadness. “Well, if I can’t then I can’t, I gotta be optimistic!” She stopped looking out of the window, and glared the same way the bus was going for a little ways.
She was headed to a casual sporting store. It was a shop for young people that had a sense of fun, a sense of fashion and liked to move, famed as the shop that sold the cutest swimwear in this city. She’d had an eye on it since finding it on the internet.
She struck a daunting pose in front of the three-storey shop that shone with fashion.
“That’s right, I just have to think about it differently. Seeing my glorious swimsuit figure suddenly will surprise Moroha, and that’s my chance to catch him, fwo fwo fwo!” With a bold laugh, she charged into the store. A mere glance at the filled swimsuit corner was enough to tell you it was the season for it. Forcing her way through those gathered there like storm clouds, Satsuki determinedly dove in.
“I hate to admit it, but I don’t have breasts like Urushibara! I need the mooost sexy, yet cute swimsuit or I can’t hope to enchant Moroha. I can’t allow a single compromise.” Eyes sharpened like a hawk, she began searching. First she’d pick up at least a hundred that caught her eye. And of course, try them all on!
She had to narrow down the candidates with careful testing. After the preliminaries came the finals. She didn’t have enough time, they were leaving the day after tomorrow, and she had training tomorrow, so she had a limited amount of time, and was panicking. “But I won’t lose! Of course, Urushibara and Kanzaki-senpai and the others are swarming after him, but I’ll beat them all! That’s your beloved sister’s mission!”
A fire was lit in her eyes. Filled with her feelings towards Moroha, she readied her soul and looked for her swimsuit. Some gourmet chef once said that what moved people was their heart alone! “So rather than a witch like Urushibara, someone purehearted like me should crush them!”
Satsuki-chan would move Moroha and catch his heart! That was the universe’s providence!
“Wait for me Nii-samaa, fwoooo fwo fwo fwo!”
Laughing vigorously, Satsuki was filled with a bizarre drive. That’s right, even the veteran employees were scared to approach with the aura that flooded forth from her entire body.
At Akane Academy, a boarding school, Shizuno was the only one who commuted from home. So even if she went home with Moroha, they would soon part at the male dorms.
“What shall I do about my swimsuit?” As she made her way home alone, Shizuno thought vaguely. She remembered Satsuki running off like a shot. The seniors were dumbfounded, but Shizuno saw through her motives.
“It’d be boring if just Satsuki had a wonderful swimsuit.”
Just as she was wondering how and where she’d find one, a limousine pulled up from behind her, its engine purring softly and stopped right next to her before the rear window closest to her slid down.
“Get in, Shizuno.”
Facing forwards, her brother, Tadanori ordered without even a glance. His tone was impatient, almost saying that even the time taken for the chauffeur to open the door was a regrettable loss. According to the customs of the Urushibara household, Shizuno’s weak position meant she was not allowed to refuse.
Even as she readied herself for whatever he would talk about, she reluctantly entered next to him. The chauffeur departed with nary a sound.
“Have you already finished work for today?”
Shizuno opened, almost like testing the distance between them with a jab, asking her brother, who worked as the chairman at Akane Academy.
“Not yet. But this is an emergency, it’s not the time to be doing my work at the school.” He answered gravely, still facing straight forwards.
Just what was going on? Shizuno guarded herself further. After a short time of silence, her brother spoke.
“It was belated, but I heard from the headmistress,” he said with the countenance and gravity of an officer on the brink of war, “you will be going to the beach with Haimura-kun, will you not?” Shizuno couldn’t answer immediately. She dauntedly looked at her brother’s serious face.
“You heard… that the Strikers’ training camp was to be at the beach?”
“Who cares about such a trifling matter? You’ll be going to the beach with Haimura-kun, won’t you?” Her brother spoke heavily, as if that were the important part here.
“Yes, of course.”
Shizuno tiredly agreed. Silence reigned for a while in the car. Finally, her brother reluctantly asked.
“…Won’t you progress your relationship with Haimura-kun after that?”
“Don’t you think these things should be allowed to progress as they will?”
Her brother gave a flat denial after she tried to distract him with logic. It was one month since his eyes had landed on Moroha as useful to his ambitions. He would keep going on about how she would become his wife.
“I would have done even if you didn’t say, would you leave me alone.”
He was hard-headed and stubborn, and he often butted in at times like this without understanding the subtleties. Shizuno was internally disgusted. The strained atmosphere inside the car persisted until they reached their house, the luxury residence halfway up the mountain.
After waiting impatiently for the chauffeur to open the door, her brother rushed to the entranceway. Being slow would lead to a rebuke, so Shizuno followed soon after.
“I have already made preparations…”
Her brother informed her as he placed his hand on the door handle. Before she could ask for what, the door was opened. The wide entrance hall was revealed before Shizuno.
Then, something dumbfounded Shizuno, composed as she usually was. Inside, were swimsuits, swimsuits and swimsuits on display… and unfamiliar women waiting with smiles…
“They are all fashion designers and pro-stylists”
Her brother calmly explained.
“What is this, Nii-san?”
“It’s obvious. Choose the best and bewitch Haimura-kun.” Were those the words a brother should say to his sister?
“You could even have a child while you’re at it, you know? You may be worried about giving birth while at school, but just let your brother take care of everything.”
Shizuno swallowed the words ‘I’m more worried about your mind’. She knew he was the kind of person to use any means to his end, but to say this so plainly to his sister was shocking.
“Understood, Shizuno? You are to bring Haimura-kun into the Urushibara household. For that, you can even become a harlot.”
Her brother clapped his hands and the fashion designers and stylists approached with cold, mannequin-like smiles. They surrounded her in an instant and she had nowhere to run.
“H-hey, Nii-san.. Calm down? This isn’t like you, would you collect yourself?”
Shizuno’s pleas went unheard. The women with clinging smiles wordlessly dragged her away in a wave of swimsuits.
According to the customs of the Urushibara household, Shizuno’s weak position meant she was not allowed to refuse.
After going back to the dorms and changing, Moroha left unhurriedly to look for swimwear. If they were at least decent, he’d choose according to price. Spending a silly amount of money on something fashionable would be a waste, and worrying between this and that would waste time.
With that as a basis, he wasn’t particularly fussy over what shop he went to and headed to the closest, big chain sport shop. It was a huge, single floor building with a practical, single-minded atmosphere. He looked for the men’s swimwear section and headed right there as soon as he entered. Making a quick decision based on size and price, he picked up a pair of ordinary swimming shorts.
Suddenly, he saw an acquaintance that was dithering over a swimsuit in each hand, a senior in the Strikers, a second year girl. She had a short-cut hairstyle and her plain boy-ish atmosphere and body actually made her cute.
Moroha called out to her without hesitation. She was Momochi Haruka-senpai, so her nickname was ‘Momo-senpai’. She was the foremost expert at God Speed Link within the school, and a White Steel that boasted outstanding speed.
Haruka’s face took on a half surprised, half disappointed expression.
“Why ‘crap’, that hurts you know?”
“W-well I didn’t want to see anyone I know.”
“Then you shouldn’t have come somewhere so close.”
This shop was the closest you could think of to the school, of course you’d run into someone.
“W-well I don’t know anywhere else that sells swimsuits.”
It was an easily understood phrase for someone who didn’t have an interest in fashion. Yet seeing her worry over which swimsuit to go with was charming. Moroha inspected the swimsuits on their hangers in her hands. They were a blue bikini and a subdued coloured plain one-piece.
“I think this colour suits you better, don’t you?”
He pointed immediately to the blue bikini.
“You pervert, Moroha!”
“Why do you have to suddenly insult me…?”
“A-a-a-a daring swimsuit like this’d never suit me, would it!?”
Though it was a bikini, it was relatively conservative, and yet Haruka’s face had gone a bright red as she denied it.
“It will, because you’re cute.”
“Liar. Everyone’s always saying I’m like a boy.”
“Isn’t boyishness cute? If they were saying you were like a man it’d be a problem though.”
“First off, a girl like me with no chest in a b-b-b-b-bikini…!”
“Isn’t the stomach more important than the chest? You’re nice and slim so I think you can wear it with no worries.”
“P-p-pervert! You really are a pervert today, everything you’re saying is indecent…”
Haruka squared her shoulders and gripped her fists.
“Anyway, I can’t wear a bikini, I can’t!”
“Why are you hesitating then?”
Moroha had a strained smile. He really hadn’t said it perversely. He found Haruka hesitating like that, because she wanted to take up the challenge of the bikini but didn’t have the confidence to come to a decision, charming and wanted to spur her along. He thought it’d be a waste for her to give up because she didn’t think it would suit her.
“A-a-anyway, I’ll put this back.”
Jerkily, Haruka went to put the bikini back on the rail.
“It suits you, so it’d be a waste.”
Moroha caught her hand like a hawk.
Suddenly, Haruka yelled in disarray and slid backwards at full speed. She was so panicked, she flung both swimsuits away.
“Ah, don’t be mean, it’s like you think I’ve got germs or something.”
Moroha caught both out of the air as he sulked.
“It’s not germs!”
“Then why did you run away when I touched you? You’re normally fine.”
“Because you’re pervert Moroha today.”
“Another awful accusation…”
He didn’t see Haruka, looking down and curled up happily stroke where he touched her while he grumbled as he nonchalantly put the plain swimsuit back. He turned back to his cute senior holding only the blue bikini.
“Right, here you go, Momo-senpai.”
“Don’t just calmly give me that!”
She retreated again, now with the instantaneous movement of God Speed Link, so fast you would lose sight of her. But she didn’t look back, and ended up in the changing rooms.
Idiot, that’s a dead end. Moroha advanced, still smiling and holding out the bikini.
“Don’t come at me with that kind of faaaaacccee, idioooooot!”
Haruka hit the wall! Then flattened herself against it and shook.
“Go home already! Go home first, the captain said we couldn’t shop for swimsuits together, didn’t he!?”
“Ahaha, it was a chance meeting, so there’s no helping it.”
“Isn’t that sophistry!?”
“In the Haimura courtroom, that’s a ‘not guilty’, I won’t stop you changing, so don’t worry. Take your time.”
Moroha placed it on the shelves in the dressing room, and shut the curtain.
“D…do I really have… to wear it?”
He heard a faint voice from the other side of the curtain.
Standing guard with his back to the dressing room, Moroha gave his judgement without a care.
Haruka grumbled for a while, and then finally, he heard the rustle of clothes. And from the other side of the curtain, she seemed to be cheerfully changing clothes. Moroha chuckled, she really was interested in the bikini. She never saw her own charm, and was timid, so she needed others’ help.
Moroha relaxed and quietly moved away. Thinking of his cute senior without a stitch of clothing, separated by only a light curtain was a bit bad for his heart. The rustling of the clothes made him fall into an acutely excited mood. Haruka wasn’t aware of her own charm and so was defenceless against this, so if he didn’t move away, he really would be a pervert.
After a while, he could tell she was finished changing and moved back in front of the dressing room.
“Are you done yet?”
“No! Don’t open it! I ain’t gonna show you.”
There was no helping it then.
“Look yourself, carefully, and see if it suits you or not.”
There was no response, and he could feel her carefully looking over her reflection.
“…It won’t make everyone laugh?”
“It won’t, I’d bet on it.”
“H-how can you tell without seeing it!?”
“Then I can see it.”
“No! Absolutely not!”
He’d see it when they went to the beach, but she didn’t know when to give up. Well, that was his cute senior. After finishing in the dressing room, Haruka quietly took it to the cashier. Moroha’s mood lightened and he didn’t say a word.
The two finished their shopping and left the store when Haruka asked.
“Shall we stop for a bit? At a coffee shop or something, m-m-m-y treat,” she mumbled as she turned away, “as um… thanks.”
Even though Moroha wasn’t so impolite as to ask what for, she hurriedly rephrased herself.
“I mean as a celebration! You haven’t actually celebrated yet!”
Even as Moroha was charmed, he cocked his head.
“Has something happened that needs celebrating?”
“You got S rank the other day, right?”
He didn’t care about it so he didn’t think of it. It was back in August. Sir Edward from Britain was a nuisance, and after thoroughly pestering Moroha, said “You’re an S rank now.” as a crappy parting gift. All Saviours were assigned a rank by the White Knight Agency according to their abilities.
A student’s level was D. Even Satsuki and Shizuno, as reservists in the Strikers were in this category. ‘Full’ members and regular Saviours in the agency were Cs. Haruka was only a second year, but she was already a warrior who held that rank. Those that distinguished themselves in battle even further would be elevated to B. Towering above the others in the strikers, there were several third years with this rank, starting with Tokiko.
Above that was A rank, very few in each country had the ability for that level. The Strikers’ captain Isurugi was one of those A rankers.
And then, above that…
Were those that won one on one against an ‘undefeatable Metaphysical’. Balance Breakers, Overlords, Phenomena. Genuine Messiahs. There were just six of them in the world, S rankers.
Moroha was recognised as their seventh by Sir Edward.
“…But I don’t really think that much about it.”
Moroha mumbled as he scratched his head. He really thought that becoming S ranked would just lead to more problems. Shizuno and Maya had both thoroughly threatened it. There was an unpleasant silence.
He’d be told to show up at the Japanese branch, ordered this and that, told he didn’t need to go to school anymore, and never left alone. He didn’t want to have annoying things heaped on him, but it felt bad leaving it in limbo like this too, so he grumbled.
However, Momo-senpai misunderstood.
“Again with that relaxedness of yours, it makes me want to kill you sometimes, so have some self respect, yeah? Yeah?”
She smiled at him with a vein pulsing on her temple. Grumbling that she’d put so much effort in to get to C rank.
“Soo, for as long as you’re not killed, let’s have a celebration, yeah?”
“Well, if it’s you doing it, it makes me happy.”
While he was being left alone by the Japanese branch, the students’ reaction was all the more extreme. People were jealous, trying to get close to him, just looking up to him, treating him as a rare animal, trying to grope his ass, all sorts of things. Amongst them, Haruka hadn’t changed her attitude from before, so he was happy to have her.
“Let’s go then, is the normal place alright?”
Haruka lead them on to the favourite, slightly expensive, coffee shop of the girls in the Strikers. Moroha had been there several times too. It was stylish and chic, it was a proper shop that told tea and food too. Haruka arrived at a familiar table and Moroha cheerfully sat down too.
Actually… he had a vague memory of this being where he first encountered Edward, but didn’t say a word.
“What’ll I have then.”
Haruka picked up the menu.
“I’ll have the sandwich set.”
“Oka- hey, isn’t that the cheapest!?”
Haruka immediately hit the table and glared at him.
“It’s my treat, so you don’t have to hold back.”
“I’m not, this sandwich is plenty expensive for my tastes.”
“Right, I’ll choose for you too.”
“Who exactly was the one that was so pushy when choosing my swimsuit again?”
“Ugh, if you put it like that…”
While Moroha was lost for words, Haruka called the waiter over and quickly ordered.
“Umm… and one of the most expensive that’s on the menu as ‘The imperfect product boom is here too, with the owner’s recommended W Mashi Mashi DX Full Course with everything ~ It’s not an excuse to deal with ingredients we’d have to throw away tomorrow~’”
“Isn’t that a famously un-finishable item like a punishment game!?”
Moroha’s earlier resistance caused the problem and he complained, but.
“It’ll be a waste, so don’t leave any, yeah?”
He gave in at Haruka’s mean giggling and smile.
However, the Natto Milk they had Edward drink was also recommended, it seemed that while the actual restaurant had an adult mood, the recommendations were like something a child would come up with.
The kitchen must have been free as plate after plate was brought out. Rather than a full course, it was so overpowering it was like the Manchu Han Imperial Feast The ones that the manager brought out personally were accompanied by overflowing customer service and words like.
“We got a lot of good leftovers today, oh yeah we have some good ingredients so I came out with this myself.”
Moroha felt like his eyes would bleed.
“This was supposed to be a celebration… I was supposed to be happy…”
“Wellll, you can take your time with this much.”
Said Haruka to Moroha’s grumbling.
She probably intended to just tease her junior, but.
“Ah, I see, you want to take it slow, Momo-senpai.”
She left her guard down. Hearing her thoughts slip out like that, Moroha knew this wasn’t to pester him at all and suddenly had an appetite. Haruka herself was shocked at her slip of the tongue. Her skin flooded with red like a measuring cylinder filling.
At that point, Haruka’s order came, it certainly was an amount she couldn’t eat quickly.
“It’s fine, I’m free too, so let’s take it slow.”
“T-that’s not it. I-it’s not like I was asking you to spend time with me like this!”
She hurriedly tried to hide her plate, but two arms weren’t enough to cover it, she could only flail her arms above the plate.
“It that’s not it then there’s no need to get so serious about it.”
Moroha smiled easily.
She wasn’t honest, but she was bad at hiding things and careless… well, that’s what made her cute.
“Eating fast is fine, so eat before it gets cold or it’ll be a waste!”
“Right, let’s eat.”
Still smiling, he put his hands together with Haruka.
She started clearing her plate like she was binge eating. Lined up in front of her was a milkshake, milk pudding, milk catalana, milk gelatos, accompanied with strawberry condensed milk, and so on.
“It looks like you’ll drown in milk…”
“I-it’s my way.”
He accidentally let his impressions slip and Haruka glared at him. Then, she quietly looked down at her small chest while moving her knife and fork so Moroha wouldn’t see.
“…You really worry about Shizuno, don’t you.”
Her true intentions being spoken again, Haruka choked.
“I didn’t say it was about my chest!”
But it was embarrassing, so she couldn’t say it. Pretending she didn’t hear the slip of the tongue, she continued eating. Moroha and Haruka ate a lot, and talked a lot. Even though they could go slowly, and enjoy themselves, time seemed to pass so quickly. It really was a waste.
So when Moroha’s phone suddenly started ringing, it was grating on the ears.
While apologising, Moroha pressed the hold button.
“You can answer, I said you don’t need to hold back with me.”
“Nah, that ringtone is for an annoyance, so I don’t want to answer.”
“Ohh, you have someone you don’t get on with, who?”
“The British Head!? Answer it now!”
Being menaced by Haruka, Moroha reluctantly answered the call.
Answering in the restaurant would be the height of rudeness, so Moroha went outside. He was hoping that Edward would give up in that time, but he was a persistent caller so he put the phone to his ear.
“Hello, Jack, are you well?”
He heard clearly enunciated, Queen’s English, but the person speaking sounded happy and friendly.
“Have you got the wrong number? There is no Mr Jack here.”
Answered Moroha, without an ounce of friendliness. Incidentally, while it was awkward, Moroha was also speaking English.
“Don’t be so cold, it’s the nickname I bestowed on you, full of affection.”
“No matter what it is filled with. If it is a nuisance to the person you give it to, there is no meaning in it.”
Moroha was disappointed. Before, Edward had said that Moroha was like a Jack in the Box, and given him a nickname based on that.
“Didn’t I say not to call, because it is a nuisance.”
“Would you stop calling everything a nuisance? Let’s be frank.”
“It actually is a nuisance, so I cannot help it. I’m busy.”
“That’s rude, seeing as it’s you, you’re probably on a date with a cute girl, right?”
“What’s ‘as it’s me’ supposed to…”
Moroha was startled and started to complain.
“I heard, you know? That you weren’t satisfied just two-timing with Shizuno and another girl, that you’re a fiend seducing any lady you lay your eyes on.”
“Who spread such a false rumour to the head of the British branch?”
“Tadanori’s complaining that he’s not sure ‘his Shizuno-chan’ can win made its way to me.”
Moroha glared at the sky, he couldn’t forgive that chairman.
“False accusations have a limit, so please do not believe those kind of rumours…”
“Could it be my misunderstanding? Are you actually not with a girl right now?”
Moroha cast his eyes about frantically.
Of course, Edward wasn’t in front of him.
“A-anyway, I am busy now, what did you need to tell me?”
“Shizuno and the others will be going to swimming in the ocean the day after tomorrow, won’t they?”
“Why do you know that, how sharp are your ears?”
“I am honoured to receive your praise, Jack… or so I’d like to say, but it’s by chance. I arranged the programme for the meeting next with Mari over the phone. It was a while ago so I had to confirm things.”
“So the headmistress leaked it you you then…”
“How nice for you, I’ll be in a stuffy meeting, and you’ll be on holiday with the girls, don’t you think it’s unfair?”
“… Surely you didn’t call me to give me that worthless complaint?”
“How’s it worthless!? I can complain, after all, I’m putting myself out for you!”
Moroha grimaced, feeling uneasy for some reason.
“Want to hear the details?”
“No, not really.”
“Then, how about the important points…”
Edwards usual chattiness was replaced with a sincere tone. Thanks to that, Moroha stopped before he pressed the button to hang up. Thinking that it would be something irritating again, he listened attentively.
After their conversation finished, he went back to Haruka.
“What was it?”
Not hiding her curiosity, Haruka asked as she nibbled at her food.
“Nothing that important.”
Answered Moroha relaxedly as he sat down.
“Sir Edward calling for nothing important is all the more impressive!”
Haruka praised this peculiar aspect.
“If it’s private, I shouldn’t hear it.”
“Nah, I don’t really mind saying. It really wasn’t anything important.”
Haruka’s eyes shone in curiosity as she waited for him to speak.
“They’re deferring my S rank promotion,” her eyes died, “apparently the Russian Lightning Empress or something? Well, she was strongly opposed to it and Edward said she’s willing to fight if he intends to push it through,” her eyes shook in fear, “the Japanese branch isn’t going to leave it alone either. They probably know the Lightning Empress will be angry and are worried about how to treat me. I kinda understand, ha ha.”
“Are you senile!? That’s important!”
“But I don’t really care about the S rank…”
“It’s worse than that!”
Haruka bent forwards over the table, spitting.
“It is! If the Lighting Empress is willing to fight… that’s a stupidly scary person that has their eye on you, right? At worst, she might bypass Sir Edward and make you yourself her enemy.”
“It’ll be okay, Edward said he’d conduct himself properly too.”
Haruka’s eyebrows twitched as she ducked her head, but Moroha didn’t pay it any mind.
“We should be worried about the training camp the day after tomorrow, right? Come on, let’s eat and build up our strength.”
They started clearing away the remains of the full course.
The special burger made of beef, pork and chicken was well made, and even after cooling a little still hadn’t lost any of its taste. The manager really was skilled.
He absentmindedly began to hum as he moved his knife and fork. Haruka looked at him through half-lidded eyes.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t be able to eat any more now…”
“You’re exaggerating, Momo-senpai.”
“You’re just too much of a big shot.” She scowled reproachfully at him.
“Don’t worry so much, idiot.” He spoke as he chewed.
Moroha was grateful to even have her worry about him, and ate the entire meal. There was a huge amount, but it unexpectedly fit in his stomach.
Because it wasn’t just his stomach, it was nourishment that spread through his entire body and heart. More than enough provisions to work hard tomorrow.
He was grateful to Momo-senpai for congratulating him.