There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF!
Chapter 13: The Double Wings of Shade
Volume 5: † The Double Wings of Shade †
After hearing the full account from Mikyou-chan, Shige-jii nodded with a face stiff with apprehension.
“We could call the police… ah, the airwaves are jammed. If we escape to find them ourselves—”
Gunfire and screaming sounded not too far away. The terrorists were apparently making good progress taking over the campus.
“— it would clearly be too late. In the first place, they think the terrorists are merely actors who are part of the drill, yes? It would be of no help to us if they react the same way the teachers did. Hmm… So we are the only ones aware of the truth.”
That’s right. You two are the only ones who can save the school. We set things up to be that way.
So now it’s up to you two! You hold everyone’s fates in your hands!
“If the plan detailed on this paper is true, the terrorists are taking the place of the guards who were supposed to play the role. There were fifteen guards, so there should be fifteen terrorists. I defeated one, so now there are fourteen. If there are only fourteen of them, I’m sure that the two of us… I think that the two of us… uh, can we take care of them?”
Mikyou-chan sounded increasingly unsure of herself at the end of her analysis.
Even though Shige-jii’s hand was shaking violently as he brought his cup of pickled plum and powdered kelp tea to his mouth, he spoke in a voice filled with gravitas, as if he was a battle-hardened veteran.
“Hmph, looks like the battlefield is calling for me again. Back in my day, I faced off against an entire battalion by myself on the hellish battlefields of Saigon—”
“Okay, we don’t have time for that now. What do you actually think of this situation?”
“When the two of us work together, no enemy is our equal. Let’s do this the secret organization way, saving the innocent masses from the shadows. There is no need for the students and teachers to know the truth. This can stay a drill to them, with them being none the wiser. Wiping out threats to the world in secret is what we do, after all.”
Hell, man, that’s a nice line!
That’s right, that’s exactly what I wanted you two to learn from this event. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Shige-jii made a smug face after giving his impassioned speech but Mikyou-chan’s response was as thorny as ever.
“Putting on airs is fine and all, but if we lose and die, I’ll kill you.”
“Well… seeking backup is not an unwise choice. Have you tried contacting Amaterasu?”
Don’t chicken out a split second later, Shige-jii!
I do agree it’s better to be safe than sorry, but still!
The two of them tried calling with their smartphones another time, but no dice. The landline on the wall inside the janitor’s room also turned out to be disconnected.
Seeking help on foot was very likely out of the question.
Shouta-kun and Touka-chan did also attend Ashinohara Academy. However, they were in the high school wing, which was separated from the middle school wing. Making the journey over would not be easy.
What’s more, there was a large, open area between the two wings. The way Shige-jii moved covertly was by teleporting in between shadows, but that strategy was not going to work in this case.
I could usually be found in Ama-no-Iwato, but the bar was quite a distance from the school. And even if these two came looking for help, they would find me out in a cruel twist of fate.
If they went to the martial arts dojo that Kuma-san was helping out in, they would find all the instructors on a business trip to Hokkaido.
As always, Kaburagi-san was constantly on the move due to her packed schedule and could not be reached.
Or so the story went, even though she actually was in the hidden monitoring room right above the teachers’ office. It was her job to keep an eye on the entire school as a whole.
In case of an emergency, she was the one who would show up in person. She was on hand for situations such as the truth almost being exposed or in the one in a milli—no, one in a billion chance of one of the terrorists actually trying to kill a student.
I could have been the one on standby instead, but it would be painfully obvious that I had been observing and was simply letting things unfold. My reputation would sink like a rock.
It made much more sense for Kaburagi-san to pretend to have caught on to what was going on and show up in the nick of time.
In short, these two had to handle this by themselves!
That’s how we arranged everything, because that’s what this event was for in the first place!
The two of them hurried out of the janitor’s room, feeling a sense of urgency invoked by the sporadic bursts of gunfire in the distance.
They were heading for the gymnasium. According to what they could see through the windows on the classroom doors they passed in the corridors, most of the rooms were empty, indicating that the large majority of the students and teachers had been gathered at the gymnasium. All the gunshots and screams so far had also been coming from the direction of the gym.
Regardless of what he was feeling inside, Shige-jii looked dignified and confident as he led the way. But then he and Mikyou-chan turned a corner and bumped into a group of three terrorists who had also been walking softly.
Dear oh dear! Looks like someone’s out of luck!
Apparently a telekinetic had leaked their location to Kaburagi-san and Kaburagi-san had instructed the group to walk that way! What a terrible thing to do!
Shige-jii instinctively put his hands in the air when he saw the three guns pointed at him. However, when Mikyou-chan looked up and gave him the stink eye, he brought his hands behind his head and scratched it, sighing as if this was a situation that he was used to and had every confidence of overcoming.
Dude, you’re not fooling anybody. We could all see that you had been freaked out.
As soon as the click of the terrorists disengaging the safety on their guns rang out, Mikyou-chan threw up a wall of shadow to block their view and ran — which honestly wasn’t all that much faster than her pace of walking — to hide behind a nearby broom closet.
“Calm down! It’s a superpower! Retreat!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
The terrorists panicked for a second, but then calmed down and started to retreat.
However, after they threw a smoke grenade and turned around, they saw an old grandpa wearing the blue janitor uniform standing in their way as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
“That can’t be! We’re sur—”
Shige-jii, who had instantaneously teleported behind the terrorists, extended his black mist along the shadows and threw all three men into a hyperdimensional pocket. Their guns fell to the floor, clattering loudly upon contact.
It was an instant K.O.!
What’s more, he did it so skillfully he managed to exclude only the guns from his power!
“Eh…? Did you… You killed them?”
Mikyou-chan dispelled her shadow shield and fearfully peeked out from behind the closet.
When Shige-jii shrugged his shoulders, the three terrorists’ heads appeared further down the hallway. They were not dead.
“—rounded! Shoot them! Wait, what?”
“Captain! I can’t move!”
Apparently, the terrorists had been ejected from the hyperdimensional pocket directly inside the ground. Their loudly protesting mouths were summarily sealed by Shige-jii and Mikyou-chan using duct tape, then the two moved on.
That wasn’t even a fight. Shige-jii was just far too powerful.
He’s gotten to the point where he could resolve most situations just by throwing his opponents into a hyperdimensional pocket.
However, things were not going to be so easy at the gym.
When the two freedom fighters reached the gym, they used the emergency staircase to reach the viewing deck on the second floor and hid themselves behind the blackout curtains to peek at the situation below.
The students and teachers were gathered in the middle of the gym. The terrorists, in turn, were vigilantly keeping an eye on them from all directions, guns in hand. Whereas I’d expected the students and teachers to still be in a carefree mood, they instead had stiff looks on their faces. Some even looked blatantly frightened.
The silence in the hall made the occasional gunfire and screams outside sound all the more stark. I was simply rotating between several dozen tracks that I had recorded beforehand, but no one seemed to notice.
There were likely those who had started to suspect that this was happening for real.
It was now five or six minutes over the time originally planned for the end of the drill. Many of the teachers checked their watches again and again.
At this point, there were eleven terrorists remaining, with three of them roaming the hallways and the remaining eight standing guard here. All eight of them were standing the same distance away from each other and facing inwards so that they could see each other.
In other words, if something were to happen to any of them, the other seven would notice immediately. And because Shige-jii’s effective range was only five meters, he could not take care of all of them in one go.
The lights in the gym were turned off, and there wasn’t much sunlight coming in through the windows. Mikyou-chan’s powers weren’t all that strong in the first place, and now she couldn’t even use them to their full potential. It was really ironic that her darkness-based power was weaker in darkness.
While the two were confirming the situation, a student was forcibly dragged to the equipment shed by a terrorist.
A short while after the door was closed, gunshots and screaming rang out, then silence returned.
The student had only been put to sleep with drugs and the terrorist had fired a few blanks before playing a screaming track very loudly. However, to those on the outside, it was as if the prisoners were being isolated and killed one by one.
“W-W-We’ve got to save them!”
“No, no, no, hold on.”
Just as Mikyou-chan, whose face was pale with alarm, was about to leap out into the open, Shige-jii grabbed her hand to stop her.
“We cannot go out. They would make short work of us. We need a proper strategy.”
“Huh?! We don’t have time to sit around thinking up strategies! There are lives on the line! I’ll kill you!”
Mikyou-chan skillfully managed to scream in a small voice. Shige-jii smiled wryly in response.
She really was a good girl at heart, but she also really had the dirtiest mouth.
“Let’s go with the most basic strategy in the book. Namely, diversion. The fact that the terrorists can see each other’s positions means that if anything happens, all of their attention would be gathered in one place. If one of us shows ourselves first, that would leave the other free to incapacitate them from behind.”
“Hmm… But wouldn’t that be dangerous? The one who goes first would still end up being shot a lot.”
“Rest assured, I’ll go.”
“Why would I rest assured when it’s you going?”
Mikyou-chan looked irritated, but Shige-jii simply smiled at her.
If he took on the dangerous role of being the decoy, then she would be safe to act in the shadows. This was self-obvious. However, she just couldn’t bring herself to honestly admit, “I don’t want you to go because I’m worried about you.”
“Ha ha, no matter the world, it’s always the duty of us old veterans to die first. Even if the worst comes to pass, departing while entrusting hope to the next generation isn’t such a bad way to go.”
I thought he was just bluffing and his legs would be shaking just like before, but to my surprise, that was not the case. His back was straight and he was looking directly into Mikyou-chan’s eyes.
Wait, you’re serious?
You mean it?
You actually mean what you said?
What an incredible grandpa he is!
Now I actually feel bad! I’m sorry that everything’s just a setup. I’m so sorry to say this when you’ve shored up your resolve to make a noble sacrifice and all, but we’ve planned everything out very carefully so that no one’s actually in any danger.
Upon being hit with these earnest words from the old man who had discarded all pretenses, Mikyou-chan paused a while, then returned his gaze.
“Shige-jii… there’s a thing you always say, right?”
“In situations like these…”
Mikyou-chan backed up a step, then smiled impishly.
“It’s ‘ladies first.’”
Before Shige-jii could stop her, Mikyou-chan rushed out from behind the curtain, shouting loudly. The terrorists all turned to look at her as one.
Taking by surprise, Shige-jii froze for a beat before he shot out the activated smoke grenade that he had taken from the three terrorists earlier. Smoke billowed, hiding both of their figures, but my well-trained telekinesis could see right through it.
Mikyou-chan grabbed the railing and leaped over it. She clearly intended on jumping down from the second floor to the first floor.
However, she didn’t jump high enough and her foot got caught. Consequently, she ended up falling headfirst.
Of course this would happen!
You suck at athletics after all!
Of course it would fail when you suddenly try to pull off a stylish stunt move out of nowhere!
“I’m heading over.”
Suddenly, Kaburagi-san, who had remained quiet this whole time, sent me a short message through my headset.
She had decided this was now an emergency situation.
It was true that our whole secret organization setup was important. We couldn’t allow ourselves to be exposed.
However, neither could we allow anyone to die because of what we were doing. Even though it was only from the second floor, there was still a chance that Mikyou-chan could die if she fell on her head.
Mikyou-chan had already started falling. She would be hitting the ground in no time at all.
However, the phrase “no time” held no meaning to Kaburagi-san. If there was no time, then she could simply make more time. The surveillance room above the teacher’s room where she was located was a bit of a distance from the gym, but she could arrive with time to spare if she used her power in quick succession.
Shige-jii, who did not know about the absolute savior who was making her way over, stretched out a hand in a panic.
Unfortunately, Mikyou-chan’s action had taken Shige-jii by surprise, so he had reacted too late. His outstretched hand missed hers by mere centimeters, leaving her to continue her fall, shock plastered all over her face.
I caught Kaburagi-san suddenly appearing in the doorway of the gym.
She had been so fast, there was more than enough time to catch Mikyou-chan.
Her timing was so perfect it might raise suspicions, but I had every faith she could talk her way out of it.
However, I had forgotten that Kaburagi-san was also human.
She could make mistakes, and she could be taken by surprise.
Experienced espers used their powers as naturally as moving their limbs.
Just like how I maintained the defensive barrier around myself as naturally as breathing, Shouta-kun almost reflexively chilled every drink he put to his mouth.
During battle and emergencies, this normally worked in our favor. This time, however, was an exception. And in the worst possible way.
Who had the exclamation come from?
Perhaps everyone who understood what had happened.
If he couldn’t reach something with his hands, then he simply had to reach with his power.
This was likely what was “natural” for Shige-jii.
In order to save Mikyou-chan from falling to her death, Shige-jii extended his black mist and sucked her inside.
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT!!
The compatibility between Shige-jii and Mikyou-chan was way too high.
The results of the hyperdimensional experiments we previously conducted had strongly indicated that if Mikyou-chan entered a hyperdimensional pocket generated by Shige-jii, they would be fused together in a way that would prove fatal for the both of them.
When a PSI drive fueled with Mikyou-chan’s blood had been thrown into Shige-jii’s black mist, the machine had fused with his body in a distorted way that had threatened his life.
This was why he had been very careful to not let her anywhere near his black mist.
A cold sweat burst from all of my pores.
I used telekinesis to smash through one of the walls of Ama-no-Iwato and flew straight into the sewer system, heading straight for Ashinohara Academy. Even while twisting and turning through the complicated passages, leaving shockwaves in my wake, I made sure to continue surveilling the situation.
Oh, now we’re fucked. We’re royally fucked. Shit! SHIT!
What can we do? How’d they turn out? Can Ig heal them? IdontknowIdontknowIdontknowIdontknow! What if they got blasted into another dimension? What if their bodies merged together in a way that left them as mere lumps of meat?
Kaburagi-san, who had arrived just in time to witness the incident, stood shell-shocked.
Even she could not turn back time.
Prayer was the only recourse left to us.
A crash sounded, and something emerged from the cloud of dust.
It stood up, and walked forward.
It turned out to be a youthful woman.
She was wearing a janitor uniform and wasn’t very tall.
She had white hair like Shige-jii and unhealthy pale skin like Mikyou-chan.
Her straight back bore resemblance to Shige-jii, but her joyless, glassy eyes looked like Mikyou-chan’s.
The woman looked at her hands. Then she looked up at the second floor with an incredulous expression.
Then she covered her eyes and began to sob.
Both Shige-jii and Mikyou-chan were nowhere to be seen.
That could only mean…
The closest terrorist drew his combat knife and charged at her.
“What went wrong?”
The woman murmured softly to herself in a tearful voice, dropping the terrorist into a puddle of shadow without even looking at him.
A bottomless darkness spread outwards from underneath her feet.
“I did not wish for this.”
Pandemonium erupted inside the gym. Everyone screamed and ran about in a panic.
The darkness squirmed and exploded, devouring everything in its path.
Mere seconds later, the gym was covered in a pitch-black hemisphere.
At the same time, all the screams died down and the human presences within disappeared.
Even with my telekinesis, I could not see or hear anything.
Everything had been swallowed up by what seemed like an infinite emptiness.
“Ah, so you’ve come for me, Kaburagi-kun. But you’re too late. All I wanted was to save her. As long as she lived, I…!”
The darkness’s expansion accelerated. Before long, the entire school was shrouded in enigmatic shadow, despite it being daytime. But then the dome shrunk rapidly and disappeared.
Everything had been left the way it was, except that the terrorists roaming through the hallways had disappeared.
The shadow had kept only its enemies.
After shooting a glance at those looking on with dumbfounded expressions in the gym, the woman — no, the fused being walked out the door with a mournful expression. When she walked past Kaburagi-san, she dropped a single line.
“U-Uh… Are you… okay?”
“No. I am now neither Hinokage Mikyou nor Hazama Sorashige. If only one of me had disappeared, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“We can re—”
“There’s no returning. It’s not only our bodies — our souls have been fused as well. I can tell.”
At this moment, I finally arrived on scene, bursting up from a manhole.
The woman looked at me with eyes red and puffy from crying and smiled weakly.
“You’re here too, Master. I’m sorry, I failed to protect her.”
“No, you did protect her.”
“I don’t need your consolation. I failed. Now, she is neither alive nor dead. Him too. Who am I? What meaning is there? Why am I alive? We obtained great power, but all for nothing. Now I have two souls—”
“Okay, that’s enough of that. Don’t say any more cringy lines that you’ll regret.”
I grabbed the fused being with telekinesis and easily tore them apart.
The woman disappeared, leaving Shige-jii and Mikyou-chan sitting on their butts and staring at each other in shock. Right next to them, unconscious terrorists fell on top of each other, forming a small mountain.
Kaburagi-san was taken aback for a second, then burst into laughter.
Like hell that shit exists!
When I felt the fused being with telekinesis, I could tell immediately.
What had happened was simply that their superpower sources had become glued to each other.
What the two of them had thought were their souls had actually been their superpower sources.
Something as interesting and fantastical as souls did not exist in this world.
And my telekinesis could interfere with superpower sources. Even if they got glued together, I could easily separate them again.
GAH, way to go giving me a fright!
Don’t go turning this story into a freaking tragedy.
I almost thought this had turned into an irremediable accident!
“You two okay?”
“Huh? Uh, I guess?”
That’s the terrorist event done and over with!
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.
Wow, such empty.