Evening. The time after school when the light of the sun was starting to be dyed orange bit by bit.
In a place a slight distance away from the school building, there was the spirited yells of the students resounding.
That place was a building that was separately built from the gymnasium and was exclusively used for martial arts type club activity. The students were calling the building as dojo building. Clubs like kendo, judo, karate, aikido, jeet kune do, ninjutsu, naginata, kodachi two sword style, wrestling, boxing, and so on did their activity here, its spaciousness was more than the gymnasium with three floor in total, the completion of the building was really rare even for a private school.
People said, that it was the result of the hobby of the first generation board chairman surging out……
At the place in the first floor of that dojo building that was allocated for the kendo club, unique spirited yells that sounded a bit different from other club were resounding. Surely, most likely, the club members were yelling 「MEE―NN」, but even when the yell went well「eE―NN」, when it went bad 「EAAAAAHNH」, and if things didn't go well 「ENDEEEEERR」. Like that it became an hour of mishearing. (TN: In kendo, the athlete would usually used 'men' in their yell)
Of course, that was the result of the gushing out fighting spirit.
Though about this kendo club, they were showered with a lot of attention from the karate club, judo club, and aikido club that were also allocated the first floor as the place for their club activity. It wasn't something blatant, but there were quite a lot of glances flying toward the kendo club.
The cause of course wasn't those yells, but a beautiful girl with a trademark of a black hair ponytail.
The excellent style that could be seen clearly even across the loose kendo uniform and the dignified atmosphere that also gave off kindness. She was someone who even before her disappearance was evaluated as a composed girl, but now she appeared like an adult woman from where a core far stronger than before could be felt from her.
「Haa~. Yaegashi-san, she is seriously amazing. I wonder if I should join kendo club even after this late.」
「What are you gonna do even if you join huh. Rather, if you try to do something, you are gonna get done in by her seriously scary boyfriend you know?」
「Right right. Taking glances from afar is just right toward that kind of person.」
The target of the glancing looks――Yeagashi Shizuku. When a boy of the judo club who was taking glances at her was whispering ecstatically, his friends retorted with expression and voice that were filled with resignation.
If one looked around, it could be somehow understood that even the karate club and aikido club were also making that kind of conversation. The extraordinary mystery of her one year disappearance and her atmosphere that changed for some reason were raising her charm and degree of attention by a lot.
「Aah, sheesh. How irritating. Even though the match will be soon.」
「Really. If I remember correctly, the karate club will also have their match next month though……. They are lacking spirit.」
When one member of the female kendo club grumbled that with a frown, another member also showed her agreement while wiping her sweat.
It was at that timing Shizuku came with a drink in one hand and an apologetic expression on her face.
「What should I say……I'm sorry. As I thought, isn't it better if I don't come here so much? I'm also not a club member anyway.」
「Eh!? Wai-, that's not it! We weren't saying that with that kind of meaning!」
「Yep yep! The bad one are those guys who aren't concentrating at their training, it's not Shizuku-chan's fault!」
「Or rather, we are the one begging you to come here, so you don't need to be that considerate I'm telling you!」
「That's right, Onee-sama! If Onee-sama like it, I'll ambush those peeping bastards later today from the darkness!」
Shizuku had quit the kendo club after her return to school. That was because her physical ability and kendo skill had became cheat level from her experience in another world.
She was literally unbeatable by anyone if she didn't hold back. Shizuku judged that if she faced students who were seriously putting their heart into kendo and participated passionately in a match, and won when she wasn't serious while holding back, she would only bring harm to those students, and that was why she resigned from the club.
However, the club members who thought that Shizuku who returned to school would naturally also returned to the club wanted to somehow stopped Shizuku from leaving the club, however, their persuasion ended up in vain and Shizuku still wouldn't return, that being the case, they consulted the club adviser and created a position of "manager that could also coached the members" to keep Shizuku in the club.
Long story short, 'it's fine even if you aren't a member, if you have time come playing her while also coaching!' it was something like that.
Shizuku was tearfully pleaded at by her juniors, and clung at by her friends of the same age as though they were konaki jijii, and even the seniors who already retired from the club were wordlessly pressuring her everyday with their sad gaze.
Regardless of how the society and also the students' parents were vaguely keeping distance from the "returnees", Shizuku's comrades from the kendo club who tried to maintain their connection with her as though to say 「Who gives a damn about something like that!」 made Shizuku felt bashful and tickled.
In the end it was Shizuku who yielded and like that she was coming to coach especially in the days before a competition.
Thinking that it would be terrible if such Shizuku stopped coming because she was considerate of her surrounding, the female club members simultaneously gathered toward Shizuku who was looking apologetic.
It was also because they were simply fond of Shizuku, but it was also because Shizuku's coaching was actually fruitful, the students who received her coaching were without a doubt growing in skill. At the following month the qualifier for the national kendo meet would start, so the kendo female students didn't want to let go of the greatest coach that was Shizuku for that reason too.
「Hm~m, I guess. It will be irresponsible for me to stop helping midway in this kind of period isn't it? That's why, stop it with the ambush when it's dark. Also, it will make me happy if you can also stop calling me Onee-sama.」
「No way-. Onee-sama is disqualifying me as your stepsister(soul sister)!?」
Kohai-chan staggered with an expression of despair. The kohai-chan's friends of the same grade supported her 「Get a hold of yourself!」「Hang in there!」. Furthermore, it seemed that all the juniors here were "soul sister". The soul sisters multiplied while Shizuku wasn't looking……. Consider there are thirty in the dark if you see one in the open! (TN: Japanese's saying that if you see one cockroach, you better consider there are thirty that you aren't seeing. And kohai mean junior.)
The soul sisters were looking at Shizuku. Their moist eyes were pleading, 'please grant mercy to our comrade soul sister who is connected by the bond of soul-'.
「……Geez, it's fine if you call me Onee-sama, that's why don't look at me with those eyes……」
It was always the Onee-sama who gave in. The crumbling kohai-chan recovered her posture with a bizarre movement like a video being rewound. Perhaps these girls were already something beyond stepsister already.
When the practice that was fairly hard even with those things happening was over, all the female club members other than Shizuku were dead tired while changing clothes in the changing room. At that time a club member asked something that had been asked almost every time.
「Then Shizuku. When will you return back to club?」
「No, that's why, I told you already I won't.」
While ignoring with all her strength how the moment she undressed from her kendo uniform the bloodshot gazes of all the kouhai-chan were stabbing all over her body, Shizuku replied to the question of her friend of the same grade with a wry smile.
「But still, even though you are that strong. You were the champion all those years even when you were in middle school and also in the first year.」
「It's really a waste.」
Because Shizuku showed up in practice to give them guidance, the club members were satisfied to a certain degree just from being able to be together with Shizuku. However, purely as a kendo practitioner, knowing the skill of Shizuku (only to the extent of common sense), they felt it was really a "waste" no matter what that she didn't participate in competition.
Shizuku's wry smile deepened while she quickly wore her clothes to hide her body. All the kouhai-chan leaked out 「Chih」 from clicking their tongue.
「'm already satisfied enough with kendo. Besides, even though I stop doing kendo, I'm still continuing kenjutsu. Rather, right now I'm busy with that, about various things.」(TN: Kenjutsu = sword art)
Shizuku couldn't say that it was because she now knew the truth about her family.
However, getting suspicious about various things from hearing that "various things" part was how girl worked.
「Various things, is it? I see, it must be something like trying to have your boyfriend getting recognized by your family.」
「I won't hand over my daughter as long as you cannot win against me! Something like that?」
「Ah, so it's as I thought, Nagumo-kun is training in the dojo of Shizuku's family then.」
It seemed such rumor was spreading. The eyes of the fellow club members in the same grade were shining bright with curiosity.
「And, recently, what's going on with the boyfriend in the rumor?」
「Our classrooms are separated after all, so it's hard to get any information. Or rather, Shizuku, are you okay? You aren't two-timed? From what I heard other than Kaori-chan, he is also getting served by other amazing members right?」
Concern could be glanced at inside their curiosity. The woman relationship of the man who Shizuku got close to wasn't normal at all, and it was a well known fact in this school. Someone who was laying his hand on two extraordinarily beautiful transfer students, was even getting served by Kaori who should be Shizuku's best friend, and he was even knitting love relationship with their important friend Shizuku……the kendo club members weren't holding a good feeling about such thing.
「Thank you for worrying about me. But I'm fine. Kaori, and also Yue and Shia, they are important people for me, and we are staying at his side fully comprehending how it look like. Though it's certainly not something commonplace. But, it can't be helped.」
The thing about a person in love was the loser, and Shizuku's happy expression without even a shred of bitterness in it, and how she spoke fondly of her love as though showing it off, while all these also happened every time, the expression of the club members still turned speechless every time.
Incidentally, there were sounds of grinding teeth *grit grit grit grit-* ringing. Everyone tried to not bother about it, but of course the source of the sounds were from all the kouhai-chan. Dark conversations which would make one wanted to retort 'You guys, just what kind of secret society this is huh' like 「As expected, we have to ambush that man in the dark is……」, or 「However, several people already had the table turned on them……」, or 「We need to draw up something, some kind of new strategy……」, and so on were secretly spoken among them.
「Well, if Shizu said that it's fine, then it's not also our place to say anything……」
「Just what is so great from Nagumo?」
Almost all the club members had finished changing, but there was no sign of the girls talk ending even while they were putting their appearance in order. This was something usual.
The cheeks of the questioned Shizuku faintly blushed red. It was a cute expression that she had never showed even once before her disappearance. The club members' expression turned even more complicated because whether they wanted it or not they were made to realize that was how serious her feeling toward Hajime was.
Several of the kohai-chan were starting to beat up their fist onto a doll they took out from somewhere. *zudon, zudon* The punches were making unpleasantly nice sound. Those were wonderful punches that would make anyone wondered if they were more talented in clenching their fist rather than swinging shinai. (TN: Shinai = bamboo sword used in kendo)
「Even if you ask that……there is a lot.」
「If you are forced to give one example?」
「uu………………like, how he always protect me at all times, I guess.」
Shizuku's answer that she spoke while acting bashful made her friends of the same grade said 「Aa~」 sounding like they understood but also didn't understand.
When speaking about Yaegashi Shizuku, she was "onee-sama" for all the kouhai-chan. For other girls, she was a reliable knight-sama that would protect them. Even for the boys, they evaluated her as a gallant beauty that would somehow manage by herself no matter in what kind of situation.
It was difficult for the boys and girls at the same grade to hold impression toward Shizuku as a target to be protected. After all she was actually an owner of specs far superior then all of them.
But, people who were especially close to Shizuku knew that Shizuku liked cute things and her personality was really girly. The female club members of kendo club were included in those close people category.
Therefore, they understood what Shizuku said. Although they absolutely didn't want to understand the disgusting man who wouldn't see Shizuku as his only one.
「Really, just what in the world happened while you disappeared? From everything before this, I thought that Shizuku might go out with Amanogawa-kun.」
Several girls looked startled hearing that question and they turned their gaze toward the girl who said it.
Asking the "returnees" about what happened during the time they disappeared was considered as taboo right now based on their tacit understanding. At the beginning, everyone was really curious about that and kept asking, but even through the commotion in the society and abrupt quieting down, the answer of the "returnees" was always the same, and because that answer sounded preposterous, a recognition that the topic was "something that mustn't be asked" was spreading.
Shizuku was firmly aware of the atmosphere that was containing slight nervousness while speaking an answer that was unchanging from before.
「I already said it before this right? We adventured in another world, and fought the underlings of an evil god.」
Sure enough, the schoolmates of the same grade were at loss for words in hesitation of what should they say. All the kouhai-chan were staring at Shizuku with worried gaze that looked vaguely pained.
'It depends on you whether to believe it or not……' Shizuku's relationship with the kendo club members were a bit too close for her to say that. She didn't want to deal with them the same like how she dealt with mass media, government officials, and outsiders who were only curious. Even if what she spoke was the unvarnished truth itself.
And so, Shizuku winked playfully and added her words.
「Also, I punched Kouki until he cried and apologized. Kouki who lost some teeth with his face swollen all over while sobbing 'I'm sorry, I'm reflecting, I won't do it anymore' was really a sight you know?」
「I, is that, true?」
「Just what happened there. I'm absurdly curious here!」
The small tension from before vanished somewhere. The female club members started going 'kya-kya'. What kind of situation that would make that perfect superhuman number one handsome boy in the school to apologize while crying? And then, what was the circumstance that would make the caring and gentle Shizuku to be that angry? Their girl's indefatigable love delusion power was tickled to rise up high.
Shizuku was calming down her exited friends while,
「This is also about Kouki's embarrassing past, so I cannot speak the detail but……at the very least, when I wished for help from the bottom of my heart, the one who responded to that wasn't Kouki, it was always――Hajime at those times.」
Shizuku was saying such suggestive thing with intensely charming expression looking like a dreaming girl, or perhaps more like an adult woman who knew what was the meaning of love. Even her friends who were the same sex unconsciously felt their heart jumped seeing that expression.
This time, a different silence descended. The expression of the female club members was somewhat dazed, as though they were charmed by Shizuku. There was 'buhah' sound. It was the sound of the feeling that thought about Onee-sama spurting out from the nose of kouhai-chan.
Shizuku who noticed the situation around her looked down in embarrassment from her own words and she attempted to change the topic.
「Ra, rather than that, the preliminary next month. Do your best you all. Everyone has shockingly become strong, so I'm looking forward not just at the group match, but also the individual match. Our kendo club will dominate the top ranking of the individual competition.」
「That's quite the pressure on us though.」
The figure of Shizuku who was plainly changing the topic while busily finishing her preparation for going home with bright red ears made the female club members to look at each other's face and exchanged small smile. And then, following their friend who had became far cuter compare to before she disappeared, they finished their girls talk.
Shizuku's figure could be seen at the spectator seat at the second floor of the joint gymnasium of a large city at the neighboring town.
Below the kendo club of her school was competing ruthlessly against the kendo club of other school. The loud yells that were filled with fighting spirit, and the sound of shinai striking the opponent, and then the cheering voices were echoing inside the spacious gymnasium.
「Our kendo club is strong huh. Especially the girls. Shizuku's influence on them is tremendous.」
Hajime who came together with Shizuku to watch whispered that with an admiring expression. Hajime personally wasn't interested with kendo match, but today was Shizuku's turn for the "holiday of just two people", so Hajime accompanied Shizuku in the form like rooting date (?).
The competition had progressed almost to the end, the group competition left only the final, and the members of the group competition were also mostly undefeated through all the matches until that stage.
Even in the individual competition, the third place had already clinched by a student of their school, Shizuku's schoolmate was also going out to the final match that would start after this. Even all the kouhai-chan won their first match without anyone losing, that was why this was actually something big.
「This is the fruit of their hard work.」
Shizuku said that not only from being humble but also because she really thought so. But, Hajime tilted his head and objected.
「Is that so? Sometimes my ears picked up words that sounded like 『Onee-sama is watching! With the title of soul sister in the line, I cannot show anything unsightly!』 though. It feels like it's only our kendo club whose morale is in different level.」
「……The, they are all cute kohai aren't they.」
「Cute, huh. After they looked at you Shizuku, they then looked at me and a lot of them were making yakuza face that seemed to say 『Sitting beside Onee-sama with a smug face like it's only natural-. You bastard-. I'MMA KILL YOUUUUUUUUU-』 though……. I think it's not a face a girl should make you know? Look there, that girl's opponent, she is trembling even before the match begin.」
Onee-sama averted her gaze.
But, her averted gaze suddenly met the eyes of another. The final of the individual competition would begin after this, but the opponent athlete was looking at Shizuku. The person was already wearing the protector mask, so it wasn't like their eyes were exactly meeting, but it was clear that the person was focusing on Shizuku.
That was how strong the emotion that was filling that gaze. In addition, if pushed to say, it wasn't a positive emotion like the respectful and affectionate gaze of the soul sisters, but the opposite――an emotion of denial.
(That build……also that school……)
The referee called out to the athletes and the opponent athlete's strong gaze moved away from Shizuku. Shizuku tilted her head and pondered whether she had done something, but she couldn't think of anything.
The match began while she was doing that.
At that moment,
The gymnasium shook. It was a roar so loud that made one hallucinated so. The loud yell of fighting spirit surged and electrified the skin. The audience seat became deathly silent.
Right after that, a sharp sound *paan-* rang.
While everyone was dazed, the referee suddenly returned to his sense with a 'hah' and gave his verdict 「Clean hit」. Yes, in just an instant, Shizuku's friend who was unmistakably top class even within the school got one point taken from her. (TN: Here the referee said 'Men ari', which mean a clean hit on the face I guess. Tell me if anyone know a better translation for it.)
Both sides immediately returned to their original position and then the match resumed. A loud yell of fighting spirit surged once more.
This time Shizuku's friend barely blocked the vertical slash from above aiming at her mask protector. However, that one attack must possessed sharpness and weight that didn't betray its appearance. The blocking shinai almost fell off from the hands holding it.
Without overlooking that opening, the opponent athlete began to hammer in with a flowing motion. Shizuku's friend was also a top class as expected that she continued to defend only just barely, but the opening she showed at the beginning became a big shackle that made her unable to stop the consecutive attacks, she wasn't able to return even a single counterstrike.
「Oi oi, that girl, is she really a girl?」
「He, hey. That's just too rude.」
The opponent athlete that was cornering the athlete of their school with an intense pressure caused Hajime to reflexively say such thing, which was chided by Shizuku in respond even while her cheeks were twitching.
Indeed, the yelling voice sounded deep, and the volume could even shake the gymnasium, it was really unthinkable that such voice came from a girl.
In addition, the body build of the opponent athlete was also out of norm. Her height must be over 180 cm. Her big boned body that could be clearly seen even across the protector was just like a heavy weight class judoka, muscle fibers were jutting out from both her hands that were holding shinai.
Looking objectively, that body build was something splendid that would make anyone couldn't help but ask 'that's really a high school girl?'.
While Hajime was blinking in surprise and Shizuku was drawing out her memory regarding the opponent athlete, the match showed the end.
Finally the athlete of their school couldn't endure the fierce attack, and the moment her shinai strayed away, *pashiiin* such clear striking sound rang along with the shinai striking the mask protector.
Shizuku was looking worriedly at her friend who was standing still looking dumbfounded. When the referee urged on the girl she seemed to return to her senses and bowed once before quietly returning to her own area. She took off her mask and clenched her fist tightly in frustration with her faced still looking down.
The kendo club members gathered around her one after another and talked to her.
「She got dealt with a bad match there. If the opponent was merely pushing on with brute force the would be able to still manage somehow but……」
「Yes. Indeed, the opponent……isn't simply like that. But, why is she in the qualifier here……」
It seemed Shizuku knew something about the opponent athlete.
「Nn? Looks like they are quarreling there. Is it all right there?」
Shizuku who was pondering something returned her attention to the match venue from Hajime's words, and there certainly the opponent athlete just now seemed to be in some kind of argument with the female club members of her school.
「……What, is she your acquaintance just as I thought? I'm hearing Shizuku's name mentioned from there.」
「As, as I thought it looks like she has some kind of business with me.」
Hajime's inhuman ear wasn't as amazing as the rabbit ear of the rabbit clan, but it had really high performance in its hearing ability. Using that, he could hear that it seemed the opponent player was questioning the female club members about why Shizuku didn't appear in the competition.
The female club members looked really nervous against the really dangerous atmosphere, but when they saw the opponent athlete who still hadn't taken off her face protector lowered her voice tone and asked if by any chance Shizuku was seriously injured, they calmed down a bit and managed to somehow answer.
But even though they now could answer back, there wasn't a lot that they could say. It seemed they told the opponent that Shizuku simply quit kendo club because of personal reason and not because of injury or anything.
Surely the female club members were thinking that this person was an acquaintance of Shizuku who was a regular at the national meet, and she was worried why Shizuku didn't participate in the competition. They said to her that Shizuku wasn't injured so there was no need to worry, however, the opponent athlete then showed an unexpected reaction.
She suddenly took off her mask as though tearing it off, and then her gaze turned toward Shizuku with a glint as though saying that she would kill her. No matter how anyone looked, that expression was of anger, like a volcano in the verge of erupting. It was also an appearance with extreme intensity.
Hajime unconsciously got reminded of a certain guy haunting a certain clothes store in the other world to the degree he put himself on guard.
The square features, thick eyebrows and beastly eyes, large nose split chin, they were all impressive.
After the opponent athlete glared at Shizuku, she moved looking like she was going toward her. The female club members who guessed that tried to stop her, but she pushed them aside and moved to exit the venue.
Feeling the dangerous atmosphere, even the teammates of the opponent athlete came to stop her, but perhaps she already had lost all her cool that she couldn't even hear their words. She was advancing while dragging her teammates clinging on her body with her.
「……Looks like she couldn't get talked with unless I go there. I'll head there for a bit.」
「Okay. Just in case, I'll be nearby.」
Hajime also stood up following Shizuku who stood up from her seat.
No matter how abnormally big the body build that person had, it was impossible for a high school girl of the present day Japan to do anything at Shizuku.
However, what could hurt a person wasn't just simply violence. Looking from the other party's abnormal state, she might throw "words" that could hurt Shizuku.
Words were magic. Depending on the situation, it could be greatly powerful even compared to the highest level of magic from another world.
From the standpoint of a "returnee", they already heard a lot of inconsiderate words until now, if they could finish this business without hearing anything from the other party then that would be the best.
Because Shizuku possessed a strong heart she could endure a lot more than most people, but because of that her heart was easy to be wounded. Therefore, depending on the situation, Hajime was prepared to release "Pressure' that would make the other party fainted while foaming on their mouth without any hesitation.
The demon king-sama was increasingly getting indulgent toward his relatives since he returned back to earth.
「Err, I'll really be fine you know? That's why, don't do anything too reckless okay?」
「……I'll consider it optimistically.」
The extremely unreliable words of the overprotective Hajime tickled Shizuku and also troubled her.
Like that, when the two got down to the first floor and approached the entrance toward the venue, the aforementioned opponent athlete appeared while dragging behind her teammates and Shizuku's friends.
Even the tumult around her that was trying to stop was only trivial matter. With a look that caused a hallucination as though the Fudou Myouou had descended, the opponent athlete ran her gaze fiercely and caught the appearance of Shizuku. (TN: Fudou Myouou = Acala; Acalanatha Vidya-raja; The Immovable, a manifestation of Mahavairocana)
While somewhat desperate yells like 「Run awaayy! Shizukuu, super run awayyyyyy!」, or 「Onee-sama! Please leave this place to me and go on ahead!」could be heard from the female club members, the female opponent who was emitting an intensity that even resembled Ashura……
「Yaegashiii! You-, you are calling yourself a samurai like that!?」
Said such thing with unexpectedly cute voice that would make anyone wondered just what with the war cry at the middle of the match.
「I'm not a samurai.」
Toward the girl who surely was at the same grade with her, Shizuku returned back words of correction with a serious face and polite language.
Shizuku component was insufficient, so I wrote her just now.
When this is over, I'm thinking if I should write the 'Kouki get summoned too muchh'.
When I saw the thought column or the messages, unexpectedly there are a lot who said they want to read it, Shirakome who when flattered will indulgently get on board, as expected, feel like doing it.
But seeee, this is Kouki after allll. Anxiety whether I'm going to have fun writing it is coming and going…
But when I write, there is also the feeling of wanting to write properly too……
If the writing of the 'get summoned too muchhh' arc feel like it become slovenly, surely I will be revived if I can receive yell 'Shirakomeee get a hold of yourself!' from you all.
Please take care of me.
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