There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF!
Chapter 1: Mommy, I Picked up a Demon Lord! May I Keep Him?
Volume 3: Tsukiyomi, the Dark Secret Organization
Even though the Super Water Sphere Incident had been more than a year and two months ago, it still remained an extremely popular topic among all occult mania around the world. Similarly, it also remained a very high priority for ocean research organizations and the Japan Meteorological Agency, as evidenced by the fact that there were research ships anchored within the Bay of Ireland and Tokyo Bay twenty-four seven. Around-the-clock live feeds of these two locations continued seeing ridiculous numbers of viewers.
Unfortunately, despite the Incident’s continued popularity, the effects that it had caused were not all mere laughs and excitement.
If I was to name the most prominent issue that was a direct effect of the Incident, it would be the issue of illegal immigrants.
Immediately after the Super Water Sphere Incident occurred, occult mania, as well as those who saw the news and got caught up in the fever of “Japan, the country of mystery and fascination,” all rushed into Tokyo en masse.
Within the year after the Incident, the city of Tokyo saw roughly 80 million foreign tourists. That was an astonishing 610% increase from the previous year. Thanks to all the money being spent by these tourists, Tokyo and its suburbs experienced a period of extreme economic prosperity, and the place bustled as if a prolonged festival was taking place. Within the blink of an eye, the “Super☆Water Manju” that was modeled after the Super Water Sphere shot to international fame as the must-buy confectionary souvenir when visiting the area.
And as such, the backlash was proportionately extreme.
Foreign tourists were not necessarily all very well-mannered. Difficulty in communication due to language barriers was, in and of itself, not that terrible a problem. When they don’t understand common sense; well, that brings things to a whole other level. Crime in Tokyo rose to 320% year-on-year to a total of around 65,000 cases. At the start were the light and heavy crimes by bad-natured foreigners, but then soon after, there was an explosion of crimes committed by Japanese people scamming or kidnapping tourists. It was not long until the police went over their handling capacity and Tokyo became the most dangerous city in all of Japan. It took Ireland, which experienced the same thing that Tokyo had, only three months for the initial shouts of joy from the increase of tourists to similarly turn into real shouts of dismay.
Even so, humans were adaptable creatures.
Squeakily, creakily, and yet steadily, Tokyo plodded on, never quite crumbling completely. This place that had turned into a yaminabe1 melting pot of races and cultures chugged on, managing one day at a time.
As one could imagine, although Tokyo as a whole had become marred by chaos, certain areas were especially hard-hit in terms of public order. It just so happened that Adachi Ward was one of them. Baba and I were currently wandering about at night along a bustling street in the Kita-Senju neighborhood of that very ward.
The smells of sizzling chicken skewers and grilled squid arose from the stores that lined the road, mixing and floating heavily in the air. Bright neon signs illuminated the throngs with the brightness of daylight. Despite it being the middle of May, the street was packed with so many people that the accumulative body heat made the place feel as hot as summer.
“Don’t get lost in the crowd, all right?”
Baba, who was walking ahead while pulling me along, shot a quick look behind at me in worry. I nodded meekly in reply. The sight of a little girl pulling a middle-aged man along might have made a strange composition, but well… age-wise, the order was correct.
Within this flow of people that seemed to be composed of more foreigners than Japanese, Baba and I blended in extremely well.
I had taken off my blood-stained suit and changed into a white dress shirt and a pair of navy blue pants. I hadn’t had the time to take a bath yet, so there were still traces of blood that I couldn’t get out from simply rinsing my hair in a toilet sink, but these days, something like this wouldn’t draw any attention at all in Tokyo.
Baba had on a chartreuse green dress, which she wore under a thin white coat that looked almost like a lab coat. Her silver braided hair floated in the night wind as she walked on at a brisk pace. Her jade-green eyes, pointy ears, and the tulip tree branch stuck in her hair were all out of the ordinary, but again, was hardly something that would draw attention in present-day Tokyo.
Even more eccentric guys with even more eye-catching appearances were a dime a dozen here.
What a strange city this really has become, I thought while using telekinesis to smash the little toe of a would-be kidnapper who was looking at Baba with eyes tainted by vulgarity and was just about to approach her. Clearly annoyed and yet used to it, a passersby pulled the man, who had suddenly collapsed with the whites of his eyes showing, to the side of the road with practiced movements, then simply moved on. I didn’t really do anything else to the guy, and Baba also merely shot me a quick look and said a simple word of thanks.
Things had already gotten to the point where nobody would report incidents of this degree, and neither would anyone call an ambulance. Every day and every night, emergency services had their hands full handling much bigger incidents. In actual fact, the local government of Tokyo had even made a public announcement exhorting people to take care of their own problems as best as they could, in an effort to lessen the load on overstretched public services. Something so outrageous would have been absolutely unthinkable just one and a half years ago. And truly, there were few indicators of the current state of affairs more striking than how self-protection goods would be sold out almost as soon as a new shipment hit the shelves.
“Should we find a place to stay for tonight? I’m sure we can afford to wait until tomorrow before considering our next step,” suggested Baba in a bright voice, without a touch of a sense of danger in her demeanor. The little girl who was equipped with the world’s most powerful self-protection (me) fluttered toward a florist, her eyes fixated on a potted plant that was on display outside.
“Hmm, sure, why not, I guess. It’s not like we’re in a hurry for anything. But at this time of night, hotels on the main roads are mostly all filled. We’ll have to go a few streets in.”
“Perhaps we might bump into someone appropriate.”
“It would be great if we do.”
We exchanged meaningful smiles with each other, then headed into a side street together. Very soon, we found ourselves quite removed from the blinding illumination of neon signs and ruckus so loud that one would have to shout to hear oneself.
Baba and I had temporarily withdrawn from Amaterasu with the aim of creating a dark secret organization. During that time, the running of Amaterasu was left entirely in Kaburagi-san’s capable hands. Thanks to the betrayal event, Baba and I were in a weird limbo state where it wasn’t clear whether we were dead or alive, so we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to make inroads into the underside of society.
As Amaterasu was an organization that fought against shadows of the world and not shadows of society, it was inappropriate for breaking into the underworld. Forcing teenagers enjoying an adventure-filled adolescence to suddenly come face to face with the darkness of society was cruel and at odds with the original premise. That said, however, a dark secret organization that would fight against the shadows of society was indispensable. There were three main reasons why.
First off, if there was no dark secret organization, we wouldn’t be able to have supernatural battle events. Members of Amaterasu had only been fighting World Shadows so far, as it was very difficult to set up a true esper vs. esper fight like probably 150% of all humankind had dreamed of at some point in time. To put it bluntly, we would need a civil war to make it happen with Amaterasu alone. So that’s where a dark secret organization would come in. By setting up a shadowy secret organization that would exist in opposition to Amaterasu, the two could easily be pitted against each other. It would be super easy to set up supernatural battles then. Therefore, not setting one up was absolutely out of the question.
Secondly, this was to be a route of salvation for romanticists in the underworld. Regardless of how far someone has fallen or how smeared with dirt someone was, regardless of whether they were a mere hoodlum or a yakuza or even a criminal behind bars, everyone has dreamed of owning a superpower. Or perhaps should I say, it was because they had fallen that they dreamed of owning superpowers. “If I had more strength, perhaps things would have ended up differently.” “If I just had a superpower, I can make a comeback no matter how far I’ve fallen.” “Surely there sleeps a superpower even in such a piece of trash as myself.” Guys like this were definitely around, and I wanted to give them a chance at realizing their otherwise impossible dreams. I wanted to be a Dark★Santa Claus who would give presents even to the naughty kids. However, I couldn’t very well pit the members of Amaterasu, living under the bright light of the sun as they were, against someone like a guy with tattoos all over and a severe alcoholism problem who sported tongue piercings and was missing a pinky from having been made to take responsibility for something once2 with one divorce and three priors and one prison escape under his belt. “Awkward” wouldn’t even begin to describe such a face-off.
Therefore, this dark secret organization was going to be a place to belong for such residents of the underworld.
Lastly, this organization was to be tasked with erasing the underworld in Tokyo. The Super Water Sphere Incident that Kaburagi-san and I orchestrated was what triggered Tokyo’s descent into chaos, and so part of the responsibility for both the large profits brought to Tokyo’s economy as well as the plunging public order in the city laid on our shoulders. Of course, it wasn’t as if we were the ones who called all the tourists, and we most certainly did not provoke anybody into committing crimes. The Super Water Sphere Incident was but the trigger that gathered the bad apples that already existed and created the opportunity for the worms in those apples to crawl out. Those currently actively harming the public order in Tokyo would have been doing the same thing anyways, just in a different place and at the expense of other victims.
That said, the Super Water Sphere Incident having been a catalyst was an undeniable fact, and Tokyo was my — our — city too. Shouta-kun and Touka-chan both put their lives at stake to protect Tokyo from the Super Water Sphere. It would be far too tragic if all there was to show for their efforts was a city in shambles.
To this end, a dark secret organization was needed. It was an impossible feat to clear Tokyo of all the criminals running rampant, all the good-for-nothings, and all the people whose lives have crumbled to ruins. Rehabilitating them was also similarly hopeless. Therefore, it was essential that there existed an organization that would consolidate and thus control them all. Evil was evil, but even evil had its rules. That was to be part of the purpose of a dark secret organization.
Specifics regarding this dark secret organization were as yet undecided, including what form it would take and what kind of members it would have. Baba and I planned on taking some time to observe Tokyo’s underworld and experience it for ourselves before drawing up anything more solid.
Because of this, I gifted my parents a one-year cruise around the world as a “retirement present” and sent them sailing off into the big, wide ocean. After all, I couldn’t very well tell them “your son died once but came back to life albeit without his memories and is now entangled with Tokyo’s underworld trying to establish a secret organization.” I would die from the embarrassment and guilt. At least while I was keeping up the whole amnesia front, it would be a problem if they suddenly felt like dropping in or whatever out of the blue.
As I was going to be busy running around setting up this new organization, the World Shadows were going to be inactive for a while. My memory loss, resurrection, and weakening had feedbacked into them and caused them to become dormant, or so went the cover story. Amaterasu was going to continue running though, with the focus of its activities now directed toward preparing for the inevitable return of the World Shadows, which involved keeping an eye out for stray espers and giving them protection and training upon discovery. Us upper echelons of Amaterasu were going to be moving separately as two teams consisting of Kaburagi-san on one side and Baba and me as a pair on the other side for a while.
The two of us proceeded down the narrow, dimly lit street, sparing only a glance for the suspicious-looking group who had been huddled in a group snorting a suspicious-looking powder with blood-shot eyes who had suddenly fallen into a nearby ditch as if they had been pushed by some invisible superpower. When we finally found a capsule hotel, the lit up electric noticeboard outside indicated that all the rooms were occupied, in spite of the unbelievably high prices on display.
“¥3,000 per night to stay a night in a capsule hotel, and without meals even?! That’s freaking expensive!”
“I am not familiar with the usual market price of hotels. Is this price really that expensive? It’s not like we cannot pay it, right?” asked Baba while looking up at the wall with peeling paint, her head tilted to the side and her ears twitching inquisitively.
“I stayed in one before when I was still working at my previous job, and back then, it was like, ¥1,700 or ¥1,800 for a night. Which means it’s…an increase by a factor is 1.8?! Dayum!”
“I see. And seeing as how all their rooms are filled, they must be making quite the profit.”
“If we’re going to be paying this kind of price, then I’d rather we find somewhere better.”
“Umu. Let’s. But before that, we’ve got company.”
Baba indicated toward the depths of the street we were on with a jerk of her chin. Several dozen seconds later, footsteps could be heard approaching us. I extended the range of my five senses through telekinesis to get a grasp of the situation.
A girl around high school age with blue eyes and blond hair done up in a ponytail wearing a ragged tracksuit was running in our direction, half on the verge of tears. Three men were chasing after her with ropes and metal pipes in their hands, constantly showering her with curses and insults.
Ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah~ah, another event? How many times does that make tonight? What is it this time? I see, a kidnapping, huh. What’s that, the girl’s running away after having stolen money from the men?
I just want to go to bed already tonight! But I can’t very well ignore this, now can I?
“Judging by her heartbeat, breathing, and cries, the girl is most likely innocent. The men are simply targeting her, plain and simple.”
“You can tell all that with your ears? Just how absurd is your sense of hearing?”
“Haaah? Did you just say something? Oh dearie me, must be my age catching up to me. I get quite faint of hearing sometimes, truly.”
“Lol. Playing dumb, huh, you BBA3.”
“Well, the structure of my ears is different from that of you humans. Ah, here they come.”
While still chatting nonchalantly, I assumed a random martial arts-looking pose. Then I covered my entire body in telekinesis with the intention of using it to move my body. When I’m in this state, I have the most powerful fists (telekinesis) in the world!
Soon after, the blond girl drew close enough to notice our figures in the dark. Wheezing heavily, she shouted, “Take that girl with you and… run away! …Kidnappers! There are kidnappers…behind me!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll blow them away when they come! And hey, your Japanese is very good4!”
“Who the hell…cares about that…right now! Just run away already… haah… ouee… there are three of them chasing me so you can’t win — ahhh screw it! It’s too late! Baka!”
With her running pace having been disrupted by all the shouting, the blond girl shot a quick look behind her. Realizing that the men were almost upon her, she made an abrupt brake and whirled around. At the same time, she took out a lighter and a bottle of alcohol from her tracksuit’s pockets.
I was entirely confused as to what she meant to do with all that, but I didn’t have to wait long to find out. She quickly took a swig from the bottle, then spat the contents at the man closest to her, with the lighter lighting up all the alcohol she was spitting. Hoodlum #1 screamed and, in the process of flailing about trying to put out the fire, fell into a nearby ditch.
What the hell?! That’s such an interesting counterattack!
“That’s amazing! Are you a ninja? You’ve got to be a ninja, right?!”
“What?! She’s a ku-noi-ichi?!”
Just as our excitement was about to shoot through the roof, the blond girl suddenly started choking and coughing. It took almost no effort for the two remaining men to knock her down and mount her.
“If she’s a ku-noi-ichi, she’s a rather bad one…”
Thinking about it, of course she would choke from doing that fire breathing trick immediately after running at top speed. The ninja impression was gone, and now she looked only like a member of Omoshiro-Girls5.
Hoodlum #2 was just about to tie the blond girl up, having pinned her down with his legs, when I threw a telepathic kick at him. He flew into midair and whirled three times like a scene from a gag manga before also falling into a ditch.
“Take this, asshole!”
“Ughh, that hurts~”
Perhaps not having properly seen what had become of Hoodlum #2, Hoodlum #3 recklessly came at me with his iron pipe. It was actually a pretty good strike precisely aimed at my head.
I raised the most realistic scream ever, then, as Hoodlum #3 was confusedly looking at the iron pipe that had gotten all bent out of shape upon impact with my telekinetic barrier, I gave him the honor of experiencing a telekinetic punch. He flew into midair and whirled four times like a scene from a gag manga before, of course, falling into a ditch.
You hoodlums, make sure you properly thank the benevolent Ditch-senpai who accepts and washes everything away.
Everything was over, so I moved to help up the blond girl who was still cowering and bawling her eyes out with her face all scrunched up.
“Eguh… What? Please stop… please don’t hurt me…”
“We aren’t going to hurt you. I told you I’d blow them away, didn’t I? Just as I said, there they are, all blown away.”
“You can rest easy now, girl.”
The blond girl looked all around, looked at us, then smiled through her tears. Due to having actually been crying just now, messy couldn’t even begin to describe her face, what with the tear stains and smudged dirt and bloodshot eyes. Even so, it was a smile as bright as the sun.
Wait, could it be that she’s actually really pretty?
“Thank you! Thank you, thank you! Thanks for saving me! I was so scared!”
Baba and I still hadn’t any clue exactly which country she was from, but the blond girl hugged the two of us with the friendliness of a Westerner and planted big kisses on both our cheeks.
“You cheater, you~”
“Whatever could you be talking about~?”
Baba poked my sides while smirking teasingly, but I had temporarily lost my memories and therefore did not remember anything about Kaburagi-san. As such, I hadn’t the faintest clue why she was calling me a cheater.
As the blond girl continued keeping us in a bear hug and wetting our outfits with snot and tears even while trying to laugh, I reflexively found myself patting her back like I often did with Ig. In situations like these, I just couldn’t help feeling protective. She felt like a daughter — well, ok, our ages aren’t that far apart — a little sister to me.
Just as I thought that, the blond girl who’d finally gotten her tears and dripping nose under control stepped away abashedly.
“Uhehe… Onii-san is so warm and kind. It almost feels as if you’re a real brother to me.”
“You can call me ‘Aniki’ if you like.”
“Eh, really?! Anikiiii!”
“And you can call me ‘Baba.’”
“Baba! Wait… ‘Baba’? Eh? Baba? Why…?”
“And what are we to call you, girl?”
“Oh right, my name is Christina Najin, but I’d love it if you could call me Chris!”
“Umu. Nice to meet you, Chris.”
“Ah, um, nice to meet you too.”
Baba and Chris exchanged a handshake while smiling at each other. While heartwarmingly watching over their exchange, a thought suddenly occurred to me.
Could it be that I’ve just experienced a “Save a pretty girl as she’s in the middle of being chased by bad guys” event?!
Oh my god, did the shitty reality known for its shittiness in never actually bestowing events on people actually just smile on me?!
Right before I was about to break out into a jig, I heard the sound of screaming and cursing far off in the distance, and my excitement drained away. Oh, that’s right, Tokyo’s now a city of chaos. Hoodlums chasing down children happen so frequently that they aren’t even out of the ordinary anymore. In other words, I had simply come upon and stopped an everyday scene of tragedy. Reality’s still shit after all.
The screams and shouts were audible to both girls as well, as evidenced by Chris starting to look around in fear. Then she turned to look up at me with upturned eyes, fidgeting all the while.
“Umm, I actually don’t have a place to stay tonight. If you guys don’t mind helping me out just a bit more…”
“Neither do we.”
“The two of us don’t have a home.”
“We don’t have any memories either.”
“Rather, we were hoping that you could help us instead.”
“Ehh…? You gotta be kidding me, right? Wait, what? What’s going on?”
Baba and my tag-teaming left Chris clutching her head in utter bewilderment.
Sorry, we actually do have a home and all our memories, but the setting is that we don’t. There’s nothing we can do, really.
“What should we do then…? I don’t have any money to stay at a hotel…”
“We have no memories, but we have money. When we came to, we had wallets on us, and there was money inside. We can pay, but at least this hotel is all full. Wanna join us in finding another one?”
“Umu. But before that, we have more company.”
Baba looked into the depths of the street again with ears twitching. Again?
“Can they give it a rest already? Nobody asked for such a full course of events, all right?”
“Eh? What’re you two talking about?”
Baba and I had had more than our fill of events tonight, both ones orchestrated by us and ones that happened to us. Wait, no, the ones that happened spontaneously were not so special as to be worthy of being called ‘event’s, but still… when can we have a breather, seriously.
As we waited while feeling all fed up, this time four guys appeared from our front and another four from our back. Hoodlums, once again equipped with rope and pipe, now had us surrounded.
“E-Eight peopleeee?! It’s impossible, we’re done for! A-Anikiii…!!”
Chris clung to me, quivering violently as if she was a machine that came equipped with a vibrating option.
Let alone eight people, I can handle eight hundred million people. But I guess Telekinetic-Style Martial Arts would look unnatural against eight people, huh.
I had zero experience learning martial arts. Two or three opponents were still fine. But I couldn’t fight eight people all while protecting both Baba and Chris without resorting to supernatural movements that couldn’t be fully explained by martial arts. To be frank, it wasn’t like I intended to hide my powers at all costs, but neither did I intend on blatantly flaunting them all around. If possible, I wanted to keep things to a level where I could explain it away with lines like “I train” or “It was a trick” or “Just a coincidence.”
So then, eight people, huh. It’s gonna be tough if I’m to keep my powers fully concealed. Should I create a World Shadow and have it attack these guys? Oh wait, no, the setting is that the World Shadows are currently dormant, right.
As I stood in place, still lost in my thoughts, two guys from the front and back each rushed forward and swung their iron pipes at me. Perhaps due to being used to fighting, their coordination actually wasn’t too bad.
Ehh… what should I do? Taking the attacks and yet looking unscathed would be really unnatural, right? But that said, if I dodge, some of it is going to hit Chris.
“Gyahh… I got hit~”
In the end, I decided to take the attacks, then fell while screaming realistically. Baba was on the verge of laughing out loud, while Chris screamed as if the end of the world had come.
Hoodlums #1~4 were standing stock still, looking in surprise and confusion at their bent iron pipes. It had probably felt like hitting the ground, if I was to venture a guess. Sorry, pipes, but I don’t want to feel pain either, so it was either you or me.
Having grown tired of the whole charade, I was just about to raise a sudden gust to blow everyone away as I fell to the ground when suddenly, a can rolled out of nowhere and stopped by my feet. Then white smoke suddenly exploded from it.
What is it now?!
I scanned my surroundings with telekinesis, and found a man jumping down to ground level from the rooftop of one of the residences that bordered the street we were on. He was a man in his thirties with a rugged face wearing a t-shirt and shorts. His black hair was shaved to a crop cut.
Shouting loud enough to drown out Chris’s scream, the man crash-landed onto one of the hoodlums. Then he punched the stomach of two of the hoodlums with what looked like the entire weight of his thick, log-like arms.
“I’ve come to help! Run!”
After barking out instructions in a throaty voice, the man gently picked me up in a princess carry, then darted off. Chris and Baba hurried after him, the former in a fluster and the latter in enjoyment.
Easily weaving through the hoodlums who were confusedly stumbling about from the white smoke and the shouting and the surprise attack, the man barrelled down the narrow street. The shaking was so bad that I found myself soon on the verge of throwing up, but understood that apparently we had just been saved by this man.
It was my first experience being saved, and I got it. This feels really good!
When one tries so hard to do something, tries so hard because the thing must be done, but then gives up and loses all hope, only to suddenly be saved out of the blue as if to illustrate the word ‘godsend’!
Oh man, I think I might fall in love.
…Oh man, I think I really am going to throw up!
In this situation, can I say “Please stop and let me down, I feel like I’m going to throw up” even while knowing doing so might allow our pursuers to catch up with us? As the one being saved, would it be too shameless for me to make such a request?
…No, I don’t think I can make myself say it after all. Gotta just bear it. Just bear it!
While remaining entirely clueless to my inner struggle, our unidentified savior continued speeding down the street, followed closely behind by a blond-haired and a silver-haired bishoujo.
Hey there, thanks for reading!
If you’re enjoying the series, please consider buying Volumes 1 and 2 in Japanese and English to support Kurodome-sensei and me!
All details in the Table of Contents page.
1 Yaminabe is like a surprise nabe (hotpot) party where everyone brings one or more ingredients that they put into the pot without anyone else knowing what it is, then the group turns off the lights to cook and eat the pot in the dark.
2 In a ritual called “yubitsume,” yakuza members are ordered to chop off their own digits as atonement for serious offenses, usually starting with the left pinky.
3 “BBA” is a common way Japanese netizens type out “babaa”.
6 “Seibai!” (for you tokusatsu fans)