2 PM was a relaxed time.
It was the interval between lunch and the 3 PM snack, so it tended to be extremely slow.
Jinnai Shinobu, who had turned 6 this year, ran around the thatch-roof house.
“Where are you, Nee-chan?”
“What is it, Shinobu? That’s the bucket for kitchen garbage.”
Shinobu shut the lid to the trash bucket in the corner of the kitchen and turned around.
The young boy grabbed onto the waist of a Zashiki Warashi who had long hair, wore a red yukata, and had an incredible figure.
“C’mon, we can’t get started without you, Nee-chan!”
“Come here. At Mach speed!”
He tugged on her hand, guiding her out of the kitchen, through the living room, and into the hallway. They were apparently on the way to the tea room.
Shinobu called out to some others as he marched along with the Zashiki Warashi in tow.
“You come too, giant pig.”
“Boo. Sure thing.”
“You come for a bit too, White Queen.”
“Eh heh heh. I’d do anything if it meant playing with my brother.”
The Zashiki Warashi’s eyebrows moved unnaturally. She had a bad feeling about this. It felt like something was beginning again. Her sixth sense was picking up on an atmosphere that told her she would later look back on this and realize there had been plenty of hints of it coming.
And once they reached the large tea room, 6-year-old Shinobu made an announcement to the people who had gathered there at some point.
“Okay! Since we’re all here, let’s do one of those group blind date things!!”
The Zashiki Warashi’s mind went entirely blank.
This was an unbelievable bombshell.
“Eh? Um? Wait!”
“Because a group blind date is apparently the latest way to have fun! I’ve got to check it out!!”
“What??? Sh-Shinobu? Could you explain what you’re talking about?”
“We all get together at the same table. I go on this side with the boys and you go on that side with the girls!”
She tried to protest some more, but she was entirely rejected.
And the warriors of love seated at the long table in the tea room were as follows.
…She had a bad feeling from the beginning.
This would probably take several devastating turns. Shinobu had most likely gotten the idea based on something he saw on TV or on an online video, but he had ended up violating some rules because he was simply emulating what he had seen without understanding.
Heivia trembled and spoke up.
“7 vs. 8. 7 vs. 8!? I came all the way to another world because I heard there was a group blind date going on, so why are there more guys than girls!? That means the guys can’t work together on this one. Our only option is a bloody fight to not be left out!!”
“Yes, yes. Heivia, you have a fiancée, so we can just count you out, right?”
“Look up from your mobile device when you say that, Quenser! Who are you emailing, anyway!? And don’t try to knock me out of the running right off the bat!! Aren’t we companions from the same world!?”
That was the first problem.
He had not followed the most basic of rules, but the problem ran deeper than that.
The answer came from the coaxing voice of the bunny girl.
“How many times are you going to come back to life?”
“Since we were summoned into another world as a pair, our souls must be linked on a level beyond our physical bodies. Eh heh heh.”
“Why!? Why did I show up to a group blind date just to find the worst person I know sitting across from me!? And Attraction Land might have been full of colorful death games, but it had plenty of cute girls too! Couldn’t I win over at least one of the people I worked with to get out of there alive!? Don’t I get any reward at all!?”
That was the second problem.
Some of the guys and girls knew each other, which was a recipe for chaos. And using her power to manipulate destiny, the Zashiki Warashi could sense that fate had already linked some of them as lovers or husband and wife.
“Hey, is it just me or is this turning into a death game version of a group blind date where getting along with anyone will drive a decisive wedge between you and someone else here?” said Quenser hesitantly. “Shuffling things up will only lead to bloodshed, so staying with the standard course seems like the only option.”
“And Frolaytia, I see you glaring at me from across the table there! I don’t know if our future is opening up or closing down here, but if I get carried away and go for a grope, you can shoot me!! I-I’ll allow anything up to a 9mm to the side. Hey, someone heat this knife up on the burner to disinfect it!”
Just think about it.
If you had nothing to do on a Sunday and some awful friend dragged you to a family restaurant at the last second just to fill out the numbers, what would happen if you looked across the table to find your own girlfriend who claimed to have been too busy at work to go on a date?
It would mean hell.
It might seem like a peaceful space with no swords or magic, but the gate to hell was approaching fast.
“Waltraute, what does all this mean?”
“Sigh. I cannot unsparingly blame the other side this time, but worry not. …As your guardian deity, I will cut down all who approach you.”
It was looking like swords could get involved depending on how this played out. The Zashiki Warashi made a mental note of that. It was time for a minefield where the slightest mistake would mean the end of your life!!
“Hee hee. Hee hee hee. Brooother?”
“I thought something seemed off about this, but now we’re back to normal: she’s locked onto me and the world is doomed. Heh heh heh. Ahhh ha ha ha ha goddammit!!”
The White Queen was the finishing blow.
Logic had nothing to do with it anymore. With her here, there was no way they could avoid some kind of psychedelic world. Their only chance was for sinful Shiroyama Kyousuke to restrain that ultimate joker as much as possible. If that breakwater failed, it would mean the beginning of Armageddon. In all seriousness, the timeline of a parallel world could be destroyed.
But Shinobu (Age 6) was swinging his arms around on the boys’ side. He seemed to want to climb the stairs to adulthood as soon as possible, so he announced the beginning of the party.
“Okay, let’s start the group blind date!”
“Ugh. Do we really have to start this game of human old maid with no way of knowing who’s a landmine to avoid!?”
Spiky-haired Kamijou Touma trembled in fear. He was still confused why they were having a group blind date, but he would make a small kid cry if he bluntly refused to participate. And since the White Queen had designated a clear target and was ready to go, forcing this in a different direction would not end well.
(It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t.)
Kamijou prepared himself for the worst, but much to his surprise, nothing at all happened.
With everyone’s focus on him, Shinobu tilted his head.
“What’s wrong? Hurry up and start.”
(This is our chance!!)
Everyone had the same thought. Shinobu wanted to have a group blind date, but he did not really know what one was. He would believe whatever they told him.
If they gave him a reason to think they were done here, they might be able to leave before any blood was spilled.
“You see, Boo Boo, the king game is where everyone draws chopsticks like these…”
“Squeal. I’m not sure what you mean by chopsticks. Why do you chop them? Are these wooden sticks some kind of fortunetelling tools?”
“That girl in red armor is doing her damnedest to get us all thrown into the abyss. Someone stop her!!”
When Beatrice made a suggestion with a smile, Higashikawa, someone who had experienced true death games, bristled and yelled a warning, but he was surprised to find that not everyone agreed with him. The clash between order and chaos had already begun.
Waltraute, woman of love and justice, spoke up with a troubled look.
“M-mhh. We can just leave now. We have no obligation to go along with this.”
“Ehhh? That’s no fun, Waltraute. Let’s have some fun.”
But the boy, who had carelessly fallen to the side of money and desire, began pestering her.
It was obvious this would never end well. Before even getting to the group blind date, the “for” group and the “against” group were going to start physically grappling. The problem was how many of them were from battle stories and were thus meatheads who truly believed they could communicate with someone’s soul by getting into a fight.
But those from a clever intellectual story were not going to stand for that. The Zashiki Warashi worked to convince the 6-year-old boy who was acting as the host.
“Shinobu. Hey, Shinobu.”
“What is it, Nee-chan? Are you going to hold chocolate candy in your mouth?”
“Six is way too young to learn about that game! What have you been teaching him, you dangerous bunny!! …Ahem. What I was trying to say is that you should probably call off this group blind date.”
“Why!? Quiet, please quiet down. A group blind date is the latest way to have fun, so it’s sure to make everyone smile. That’s what grampa said while he was staring up at the moon from the porch! If you have a problem with that, then out with it!”
“Well, let’s say this group blind date keeps going and the people here start to make friends with each other. Then the two of us might end up with other people. Are you sure you want me going with someone else?”
“Hmm?” Young Shinobu tilted his head like he did not really get it. And then, “Wouldn’t that just make our group bigger so we could all be friends? That sounds great! Yes, I was thinking you should get out more, Nee-chan.”
The Zashiki Warashi fell silent with an incredibly displeased look on her face.
The one who began panicking was Higashikawa Mamoru who had overcome some cruel death games and psychological battles. If he was not sensitive to this kind of thing, he never would have survived that hellish Attraction Land.
“Wait, let’s calm down. Okay, nonhuman-chan? Don’t pout your lips like that. He’s 6. He’s talking about being friends in the 6-year-old sense!!”
“The thing about Shinobu is, he’s reached the age where he suddenly says he’s going to marry the Nakrut lady who makes a delivery every morning. That means he knows what love is. And yet he can still make that judgment so easily. I see, I see. So he doesn’t care at all if I get with someone else and leave the house. Oh, I see.”
“Don’t tearfully put on headphones and start listening to rock to shut everything out!! You need to take another look at this first!! You’re acting more childish than the 6-year-old, so why is this silliness creating some ominous aura of impending doom around you!? It’s like your long hair is stirring or something! D-don’t tell me you knew this would happen when you egged on that little host, you black-hearted bunny!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. But I’m supposed to be unbeatable in any kind of gamble and even I’m feeling my fate being tugged at. What is this attraction? A goddess of fortune or something?”
Shinobu did not seem to have noticed the danger at all. He only tilted his head as the Zashiki Warashi puffed out her cheeks in the most dangerous sulking fit of the age.
“Leave me alone.”
“What’s wrong, Nee-chan?”
“I don’t want anything to do with you.”
Making no progress, Shinobu decided on a different tactic. He climbed up onto the low table and then made a landing right in the Zashiki Warashi’s lap. If he grappled and rolled around with her for about 5 minutes, she would be back in a good mood.
Meanwhile, the grinning bunny girl lined up drinks on the table: orange juice, soda, oolong tea, and some white drink made with lactic acid fermentation. She had clearly taken them from the Jinnai house’s fridge without asking, but that had placed her in the perfect position to serve the others.
“Okay, okay. Does everyone have a drink now? Tch. The only snacks are chips and chocolates. If there was a bowl of salad, I could have shown off how pretty and cute I am by demonstrating how well I can distribute it onto individual plates. Well, I guess I can show off my skill by opening the bag of chips in a special way…”
“The fact that you’re working actively toward something is scaring me, but who are you trying to show off to?”
“Eh heh. Jealous? …While it isn’t on the level of that Shinobu boy, there are a lot of people with some significant karma here. If I poke around a bit, I bet I can make something interesting happen. Something that surpasses the Absurd☆”
“Oh, yeah. You were an anti-Absurd scholar or something like that, weren’t you? But stop it. I have a feeling some of the people here are seriously dangerous. Like that white girl, that queen, or that murderous twintails. The atmosphere here tells me that messing with her would be a critical mistake, so seriously don’t do this. I said seriously twice, okay!?”
“Oh, is it time to shove you into the boiling bath already?”
“Ahh, why did I say that!?”
Higashikawa seriously held his head in his hands, but it was too late now. The bunny girl was already licking her lips and observing that white sun and Shiroyama Kyousuke who was most closely related to her.
But those two had already set up an inviolable space for themselves even though the group had not done a toast yet.
“Hee hee hee. Here, brother. Cheers☆ Let’s forget about fighting to the death and just enjoy ourselves. The white fermented milk drink is the only acceptable answer, isn’t it?”
“If it just needs to use lactic acid fermentation, does it really need to be white? …And it’s the same either way to you, isn’t it? Are you trying to get me to discuss the destruction of the world?”
All the pure love and killer intent forming a vortex around them created a heavy atmosphere indeed, so even Quenser and Heivia were discouraged from breathing heavily and shouting “Wahah! Twintail titties!”
Also, they had another pair of titties they wanted to try for first.
Those legendary Frolaytia Peaks had sent countless challengers to their doom with their avalanches and blizzards.
“(Hey, what are we supposed to do? She’s not saying anything. She was more or less forced into this situation and she can’t smoke with a few kids in here, so I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so irritated!!)”
“(That’s why I’m going to rely on technology here.)”
“(Hm? What’s that supposed to mean?)”
Heivia heard a quiet sound as Quenser placed something below the low table and on the tatami mat between the two of them.
“(Doesn’t a military tranquilizer gun seem to shine so bright at times like this?)”
“Wait, you son of a-…!?”
Heivia started to make a scene, but the power of compressed gas propelled a silent projectile into his thigh and he instantly fell asleep.
“Hm? What’s the matter, Quenser?”
“Huh, I guess his drink must have had alcohol in it. Come to think of it, they said this was a brewery, didn’t they? Ah ha ha ha.”
The smiling wolf pretended to smell the contents of the glass to hide the truth.
He was not going to waste Heivia’s “death” after coming this far.
He was going to grope someone. He had no other choice, really. When he took a closer look, he realized that the girls gathered here made for quite a mountain range if you excluded the white nun called Index. So he did not even need to try to break through Frolaytia’s impregnable defenses. That was the only thing on his mind. The odds were good he was going to die here, but he was not going to go down without a grope!!
And he had thrown another seed of chaos onto the board.
You can do anything if you have a tranquilizer gun!
When young Shinobu raised his glass, the scattered individual conversations finally shifted into a unified event.
It was time for the world’s most bizarre group blind date!!
“No one can eat and drink more than me!”
“Boo. But a challenger has arrived. And what are these crispy things? I’ve never tasted anything like them!”
Index and Boo Boo only seemed interested in the food, so they grabbed at the potato chips and chocolate candies spread out on the table.
Everyone’s Big Brother Kamijou Touma felt weary when he saw them eating.
“How can that small girl keep pace with a 4m pig? That’s what really surprises me.”
“And…wait. Speaking of small people, aren’t the two smallest ones missing?”
The bunny girl was right. He was supposed to be waving the flag in the lead, but Shinobu had vanished.
And they heard voices from below the low table.
“Ahh… These small spaces are so relaxing.”
“Yeah, it feels like a secret base!”
Waltraute cried out and jumped a bit.
There was something at her feet. The Norse boy was apparently under there as well.
“What do you two think you are doing…?”
It seemed innocent enough, but Waltraute and several of the other girls were wearing skirts. That made this a problem! Climbing under the table introduced some defense-related issues!!
“Yeah, but this is just the perfect spot!”
“You should climb under here too, Waltraute.”
When she peeked under the table, the kids were undeterred and would only say things like that.
But the bunny girl decided to drop a bombshell.
“Oh? Are you going to let them off scot-free, goddess?”
“While I am a legit goddess, what are you talking about?”
“Well, there are two boys underneath the table, but if you’re willing to overlook both of them just because they’re little…well, let’s just say it threatens to overshadow your core values. …Poo hoo hoo. It makes it look like you simply like little boys and not him in particular.”
The warrior woman groaned like she had been stabbed in the back, but…
“Hm? What’s wrong, blonde lady?”
6-year-old Shinobu tilted his head 120% defenselessly under the table.
Waltraute tilted her head as well, but she was sweating profusely at the same time.
“B-but if I beat him with the strength of a goddess, he could end up blossoming like a red flower and there is no real need to punish him so harshly, plus an impartial goddess really shouldn’t base her actions on her personal feelings. Heh heh. Eh heh heh.”
While attempting a Japanese seiza next to her, Frolaytia spoke up like it was perfectly normal.
“You two, come out from under there. And don’t drag the candy in there. The chocolate and sugar will melt.”
“Okay!” said the two scolded boys as they returned to the boys’ side.
Waltraute’s entire body froze when she saw it.
“Th-the correct answer was to punish them both!? Actually, my mistake was getting so lost in thought over it. What is wrong with me…!?”
“Oh, I can have a lot more fun with her,” said the bunny girl with eyes sparkling, so College Student Higashikawa Mamoru climbed right over the table barrier and tried to grab at her. Only a college-aged master of group blind dates could have pulled off that kind of airspace violation.
“Does messing with a god not scare you!? Have you already forgotten your horrifically dark past where you met a gruesome end after a higher lifeform punished you!?”
“Oh, don’t worry. …I mean, I’ve already been reborn as a Valkyrie in another space-time. Greek or Indian would be one thing, but there’s no reason to hold back when she’s got that Norse connection too. (Grin)”
“What have you been up to!? You’d better not have been hosting some kind of rigged death game again!”
He had to get some details on that out of her, but the bunny girl was called over by someone else and left.
The spiky-haired boy and the white nun were arguing.
“All the snacks in this zone belong to me!”
“I’ve given up on getting after you for your gluttony. But there’s no way I can stay silent about the way you eat those Noreo sandwich cookies, Index!! Why would you take them apart before eating them? Can’t you just eat them the way they are!?”
“Eh? I eat the leftover pieces afterwards, so it’s all the same in my stomach. …And Noreos are from the same line as those Mitz crackers, so they’re meant to be customized. That means they aren’t necessarily best if you eat them as is.”
“Okay, now you’ve angered the dragon, Index. How about we go for a rematch? Now’s the only chance I’m giving you to activate John’s Pen mode.”
“Umm,” said the bunny girl who they had called over. “What did you want me to do?”
“Think up a game! Something we can use to decide a winner!! I must become a raging dragon and prove that Noreos and Mitzes are treasures of the human race that are perfectly good eaten as is!!”
In that instant, something invisible gathered in the center of the bunny girl’s chest and she clasped her hands in front of that large chest. She looked like she was praising Kamijou upon the sacrificial altar that would offer him up to god and she leaned forward with her eyes sparkling.
“You really want me to do that!? Th-then l-l-l-l-l-let me grab this idea notebook from my cleavage and open it to the pink label. Um, um, yes, here we are. This is the new and revolutionary version of the king game I thought up using the idea of a group blind date as a starting point! I’ve held it in reserve for so long and, oh dear, what do I do now…!?”
“That sounds great.”
“Yes, it’s my time to shine again!!”
“Let’s settle this with a normal version of the king game.”
The bunny girl collapsed straight down with the look of someone who had gotten into a fight with their class’s useless homeroom teacher and had all the interesting parts removed from their cultural festival plan until only the most generic and boring parts remained. It was rare to see Karen turn to ashes quite so spectacularly.
Seeing Karen with her soul escaping her mouth, Higashikawa pulled out his phone and snapped a quick ghost photo. Then Beatrice and Boo Boo joined from their respective wings of the long table.
“Boo. We have chopsticks for the king game. I felt like playing this game with just Beatrice would have been pointless.”
“Ah!? B-but it would have been so much fun like that, Boo Boo. With just the two of us playing, every single order would be directed at just the two of us!!”
It sounded like another schemer had been foiled, but Kamijou tilted his head. The gray pig was one thing, but what category did this red-armored girl belong to? She did not seem very realistic. She looked human enough, but she fit right in next to Waltraute who was apparently a goddess, so he had to be careful. And given Othinus and these two, it seemed like goddesses really liked showing off skin.
(Well, whether they have divine strength or not, your orders are absolute in the king game.)
Without giving it too much though, Kamijou worked at gathering the participants.
“Okay, anyone who wants to play the king game, gather around here.”’
“Oh? This looks like fun. How about we join them, brother?”
The bunny girl liked to include execution rules in anything and everything, but this was an even more sinister omen. The waves of an ocean of blood were crashing on the beach of reality and the tide was quickly rising to swallow up this tea room.
It was the White Queen.
That true monster only smiled and gave no hint at what she was thinking, but now she would gain the absolute command of a king. Knowing her, her orders could easily be as nonsensical as “#5 has to spilt the earth in two☆”
Their only hope was the lightning rod named Shiroyama Kyousuke, but…
“(This is my chance. I don’t have to rely on strength or the supernatural. If all I need is one round of the king game, the odds and probability are actually pretty good. I just have to order the Queen to die and I can save the world. I’ll never have a better chance at this, so I need to put on a smile and keep her going with this…!!)”
Quenser and Higashikawa silently realized he was a goner. He was hanging his head with a dizzy look in his eyes and he had fallen into the thoughts of a gambler who was caught in a spiral of failure and had lost sight of his surroundings. For one thing, even if he was lucky enough to draw the king, how was he supposed to figure out which number the Queen had drawn? It was entirely possible his command to die would reach one of the others.
“I’ll play, I’ll play, I’ll definitely play!!”
“Yes, of course you will, brother. A genius like you should be able to twist everything to your will☆ I’ll be rooting for you from the next stage up.”
“Look down on me while you can, Queen! I’ll drag you down from there!!”
The twintail girl got him so worked up that the others began to suspect she was giving him a high-level education by encouraging him with praise. Relationships between boys and girls were complicated in any world, but it seemed clear he was quite loved.
“Who is the king!?”
“Who is the king!?”
“Who is the king!?”
It had finally begun.
Question: Someone was someone else’s wife. But those relationships meant nothing in the luck-based king game. In that case, what would happen if someone made an order like “#2 and #3 have to kiss☆”?
Answer: The glint of a bared blade could fill the room.
And the first command came from King Quenser as he held aloft the chopstick with a crude crown symbol drawn on it.
“Okay, #3 has to kiss the king.”
Higashikawa nearly yelled at him for having no restraint, but the rules were the rules.
Since he had included the king in his command, Quenser was the type to enjoy himself instead of making things more exciting for everyone else. In a way, that made him extremely honest. But the chopsticks had been distributed at random to both boys and girls here. Higashikawa had to admit the boy had guts to go with this when there was a spiky-haired boy to his right and a 4m pig to his left.
Higashikawa checked the number on the bottom of his chopstick. He was #6, so he was at least not a part of this.
(Well, the god of probability tends to punish people who go all out like that.)
As Higashikawa watched with an observer’s eye to see what would happen, there was movement.
Someone silently raised their hand.
The person with a look of extreme displeasure on her face was the busty silver-haired military officer named Frolaytia Capistrano.
“It can’t be…”
The person who nearly rose from their cushion was Gambler Higashikawa Mamoru.
“It can’t be. No, it just can’t! How can you have that kind of luck on your very first try!?”
But when Frolaytia clicked her tongue and revealed the bottom of her chopstick, there was indeed a number 3 written with a thin permanent marker.
“Eh heh heh. See, this is what happens without anyone here to trip me up! I was right to let Heivia have his naptime so early! Ah ha ha ha ha!!”
It was still unbelievable.
Simply drawing the king was hard enough. No, that may have been a complete coincidence, but what were the odds of choosing Frolaytia from his own world? It had to be something to the something power, didn’t it!?
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to work! When you get greedy on your first try, it’s supposed to end with #3 being Boo Boo or something!”
“Hey, you damn college boy! Don’t take Boo Boo’s one-and-only lips so lightly. Do I need to roast you with Magic!?”
But Higashikawa was not even listening to the red Holy Swordswoman.
(Wh-what was this? Some kind of trick? If so, what did he do?)
This Quenser boy was the cute type who could pass for a girl if he wore a skirt, but he would sometimes grin in a way that hinted at something horrific. He had the eyes of someone who had taken people’s lives. And as an everyday sort of thing.
(Thinking time! He has to have cheated somehow. It’s the only explanation. It’s wrong for everything good to happen to him alone!! …Does he have a way to see everyone’s number? Or did he guide her choice somehow? Or maybe he swapped out the chopsticks after making his command? Th-there has to be something!!)
As the college boy just about fried his mind and entered a light meditation mode, the bunny girl across the table poured a glass of oolong tea and spoke to him with a smile.
“I really don’t think there’s anything there.”
“But that can’t be.”
“No matter how much you prepare and no matter how much of a dead end you create, sometimes an unbelievable series of coincidences will cause it all to come crashing down. Aren’t you familiar with something like that happening, Higashikawa-san?”
“But no! It can’t be! It just can’t be!!”
Was he supposed to just let this happen?
Could he really sit idly by while the rules of the king game were used for some other guy to enjoy the lips of that silver-haired busty beauty? Higashikawa just about threw a tantrum over it, but there was no changing it now.
“Shinobu. I know this is sudden, but guess whoooo?”
“Wah! What is it, Nee-chan?”
Just beforehand, the sexy Zashiki Warashi circled around to the boys’ side and covered 6-year-old Shinobu’s eyes from behind. Beatrice grabbed an earthenware pot from the sunken hearth and placed it upside-down over giant Boo Boo’s head.
They were ready now.
“Ah wah, ah wah wah, ah wah wah wah wah…”
Waltraute, on the other hand, was so flustered that she forget to guard the boy.
With no further objections, it was finally time to begin.
The command: #3 has to kiss the king.
“Yes, Quenser. One thing first.”
“Oh, what might that be? Just so you know, I’m not going to retract the order even if you try using your family as a shield!!”
“I’m not going to fight this now. But give me a chance to freshen up first. For such an important experience, you want to be enveloped by the scent of a real adult, don’t you?”
“Ah! Woof woof!! Yes, yes. I don’t mind at all. I am very interested in how a girl like you freshens up. Gulp. And you’re serious right? You’re not just saying this to try to get out of it!?”
…Higashikawa seriously considered going to sleep and maybe letting out a fart to ruin the mood, but then something happened.
Someone put it in their mouth.
Who put what in their mouth?
Frolaytia put the long Japanese kiseru in her mouth after restraining herself this whole time.
“Yes. I’m going to light it, so keep those kids a little further away. They should be safe near the porch window. Sorry, guardians.”
The Zashiki Warashi, Waltraute, and even Beatrice and Kamijou began moving their respective partners away. But what was this?
“Ehhh!? You’re going to make your lips taste like tobacco, Frolaytia?”
“It’s sure to make for a stimulating experience. Yes, perhaps even painfully so. Can you forgive me, Quenser?”
“Gulp. I can live with that. Mwa ha ha. The world is such a wonderful place! Without Heivia screwing everything up, I hold the whole world in the palm of my hand! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!”
Quenser was getting quite carried away, but he should have made more of use his powers of observation that had allowed him to take on the nuke-resistant colossal weapons known as Objects.,
Specifically, he should have noticed that Frolaytia looked incredibly annoyed and did not have a hint of blush in her cheeks.
“There’s no point in putting this off. Let’s get started, Quenser.”
“What’s wrong, Quenser? It’s time to treat yourself to a hot kiss.”
A hint of doubt finally entered Quenser’s voice.
Yes, the silver-haired busty commander still had the kiseru in her mouth. She showed no sign of removing it even with a kiss imminent.
“Um, uh. Frolaytia?”
“W-we’re about to press our lips together, so, um, that long kiseru is going to be in the way…”
“I asked for permission first, didn’t I?”
Gamblers were sensitive to changes in luck. Higashikawa had started to take a sulky nap, but he immediately booted back up. Some kind of major reversal was coming. He could sense it.
As the college boy and bunny girl watched on, Frolaytia spoke coldly.
“Now let’s get started, Quenser. After all, the king’s orders are absolute. Honor and bloodline are everything in the Legitimacy Kingdom, so we can’t just ignore this. Now, do it. Exactly like this. I’m not going to run or hide, Quenser.”
“No, but, if I move my lips in, they’re going to hit the end of the kiseru before reaching your lips…”
“Wait, you’re staring at me like I’m an idiot… You planned this out from the beginning, didn’t you!? I won the game fair and square, so this isn’t fair! I didn’t cheat or anything! It was all my incredible luck, so you should be giving me some super manly nickname like The Emperor or something! This was as incredible as getting the thirteen orphans!!”
“Very well, Quenser. You want a super manly nickname, do you? Then I hereby dub thee Megadick. To be honest, this is all very silly, so can we just get it over with?”
“Megadick!? You really are trying to get me killed, aren’t you!? Wait, wait! That’s too hot! You’re going to burn me! I’m serious here, this is too much for a punishment! Wait, wait! Frolaytia, I apologize, so…vwah, byah, byah, ah bah bwahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?”
After everything that happened, they decided to ban the king game.
Hint: the stench of nicotine smoke and burned flesh.
Anyone who wanted to know more could hear all about it from Quenser Barbotage who was writhing on the tatami mats and covering his face with his hands. No one else wanted to end up like that. From a video game perspective, it would just barely keep a D rating. This was the problem with the Western military games that were fine with getting a Z rating from the get-go.
But this was an Intellectual Village full of Youkai, so there were plenty of people with excellent medicines. Like the third Kamaitachi.
Young Shinobu tugged on Kamijou’s clothing.
“Hey, spiky-haired guy. What do we do next for a group blind date? This is the latest way to have fun! So there has to be more than just this!!”
“Well, I’m not all that familiar with party games, but what about the Yamanote Line game?”
Just as he named the first thing that came to mind, he heard a pleasant little sound.
Everyone looked over in surprise and saw the small Norse boy holding a flyer to his mouth after rolling it into a long tube.
The giant gray pig’s giant eyes widened even further.
“B-boo!? What was that!? Some kind of incredible invention!?”
“It’s called blowgun and anyone can make one.”
He had apparently stuck a cone-shaped scrap of paper inside the rolled-up flier tube and launched it by blowing on the end like it was a pipe. By making notches in the paper, it could fit together tightly enough with no need for tape or glue. Some people might look down on it as mere paper, but the sharp point of the cone was quite solid. It functioned well enough as a dart.
But red-armored Beatrice surreptitiously poked at green-armored Waltraute’s side. Those two with fox and tanuki colorations began a whispered discussion.
“(Hey, did Norse culture even have blowguns?)”
“(H-hmm, I know I’ve never heard of a military god who specialized in them. But it’s a fairly primitive idea, so you can probably find weapons like it anywhere. Just like the humans down on the surface all use similar swords and spears even though no one ordered them to.)”
Beatrice herself did not actually know where on the planet blowguns had originated from or where they had traveled from there, so she ended the discussion. As a Japanese girl, she tended to just assume most of civilization either originated China or Korea and crossed the ocean or originated in India, the Near and Middle East, or Europe and traveled down the Silk Road.
But Waltraute had other things to worry about.
“Hey, don’t fill people’s homes with holes just for fun. Do that and you’ll end up like that bearded head god in Asgard.”
The boy’s casual reaction was actually impressive given the eyepatched and bearded person they were talking about. Waltraute wanted to believe he was not as bad as the extremely unfaithful head god of Greek mythology, but the Norse head god was also well known for being an unpopular bastard. After all, he was enough of an idiot to cheat on his wife Frigg with Freyja and end up having a third of Asgard’s army taken away. And when a giant had said he wanted that Freyja for his wife, the utter moron had tried to drive him away with some impossible tasks, but when it looked like the giant would complete them all, he panicked and ordered Loki to interfere. It ended with his cheating being revealed, so he had to order his son Thor to go kill the enraged giant. To sum up, he had forced the crime of murder onto his own son because he was afraid to give up a mistress.
“But I want to try out that blowgun thing,” said Boo Boo.
“Then how about we make a target? If we don’t hit the walls, Waltraute won’t be mad.”
The bunny girl lightly kicked Higashikawa’s leg below the table.
“Ow. What was that for?”
“Oh? Would you prefer I used these seeeexy feet to play footsie with you?”
“Nothing would scare me more, so please don’t! I never want to be even remotely indebted to you!!”
“Anyway, if they’re creating a blowgun target, can’t we use that for the next game? If we write commands on the target, we can turn it into a fun party game.”
Thanks to that suggestion, Higashikawa began by handing out card-sized pieces torn off of napkins and had everyone write a “command” on theirs.
Unlike the king game from before, the person who hit the target had to carry out the command themselves. So there were two strategies here:
“Hee hee. Hee hee hee. ‘Hit this and you become one with brother.’ Kyah☆ Now everything is set up for a happy ending.”
“That’s not a command; it’s your wish! C-can you not bet someone else’s life like that!? I feel like I’m being auctioned off at a slave market!!”
The worst part was how a few of the others were clearly inspired by her idea to write out a wish instead. The Queen’s mere presence really did have a way of contaminating everything around her.
For the target, they pasted together several flyers, used a rolled up flyer as a support pillar, and leaned the board back against that.
It was about the size of the drawing board in Shinobu’s drawing set. …And if you cannot picture that, think of it as a fully spread out piece of newspaper.
It was pretty big.
The “order” papers were pasted to the backside, so it was impossible to aim for a particular one. They would all have to run blindly out into the minefield and either laugh or cry at the results.
The blowguns themselves were simple enough for a child to make and they had plenty of flyers leftover, so there was no need to share them. Everyone had made their own.
“(Tch…)” (White Queen)
“(If only I could have worked out a way for an indirect kiss with Boo Boo…)” (Beatrice)
The main heroine known as Holy Swordswoman Beatrice was reaching the same dark depths as the Queen, but that was probably fine when the other person was an extra-extraordinary gray pig. The brother and the pig were so tough that the girl could take any approach they wanted without worrying, and that may have had a way of twisting something deep inside them.
After some arguing over the order they would fire the blowguns, they decided to fire them simultaneously after using highlighters to draw different colored lines on the cone-shaped darts so they could tell them apart.
And the White Queen, who could clearly see right through to the other side of the board, had a smile split across her face while her eyes sparkled brightly.
“Become one with brother, become one with brother.”
“Hm? White lady, is there something you want? Then you have my support. Good luck.”
6-year-old Shinobu had a way of tugging at the heartstrings of nonhumans, so there was no stopping the White Queen’s excitement now.
“Hee hee hee hee hee! Then I will give you a gift to thank you for your blessing, young boy. Have this White Professional-Grade Razor that can simultaneously slice through all four of the fundamental forces that make up the world☆”
Instead of a sword or a spear, she made it a large industrial razor that ignored any logic as a weapon…so Her Majesty clearly understood the chuuni heart.
“Hm? But I don’t have a beard???”
Shinobu tilted his head. He had been given an ultimate weapon on the same level as the holy sword that unified Britain, but it had happened so easily that he was not sure just how valuable it was.
…If the brother she kept mentioning had been this pure and dumb, the world might have been a much more love-filled and peaceful place, but that kind of thought experiment could wait until another time.
It was time for the blowgun tournament.
“Okay, let’s do this. Everyone get your blowguns ready. Fire it on my signal. You only get one shot at this, so it’ll be over real quick.”
“…Mutter, mutter. I have to take the Queen’s reward away from her. If I can hit the ‘become one with brother’ command myself, nothing should change…”
“Oh, c’mon. Do that and the world would be so boring and stagnant, brother! We need to stir up the world and cause change!!”
There was about as much chance of him agreeing with the Queen’s suggestion as amino acids suddenly appearing on the moon or Mars and creating a new ecosystem, but the time had arrived.
“Ready, set, go!” announced 6-year-old Shinobu.
They all fired their blowguns on the handmade target while lined up in front of it.
“Oh.” Kamijou sounded a bit impressed. “That worked better than I thought. It looks like we all hit the target.”
“Let’s see. What do the order sheets on the back say?”
The bunny girl tried to take a peek on the other side, but Shiroyama Kyousuke made a hurried suggestion.
“Ah! If that’s an option, then you needn’t bother! I can check on them myself…!!”
“Now, now, brother. Don’t even think about getting close and messing with the target. For example…yes, secretly swapping out the order sheets on the back to avoid an inconvenient order☆”
The White Queen made her presence all too known by approaching that beloved boy from behind, smiling as she restrained him, and pressing her far-from-small chest against his back. Shiroyama Kyousuke struggled like someone who had made it a step away from boarding Noah’s Ark before it left, but there was nothing he could do now. Especially when the other participants were now aware of that method of cheating.
For better or for worse, the bunny girl was excessively fair when it came to judging death games, so she flipped over the blowgun target and checked the back.
“Okay, okay. Time to announce the results.”
“What kind of orders did people write anyway? Gulp.”
Kamijou voiced what everyone was thinking, but that honestly did not help or hurt. Still, people like that were necessary to allow society to run smoothly. A sharp tongue was not the only type of talent. Which was fortunate since it was only his hair that was sharp.
Shiroyama Kyousuke gulped.
“B-by the way, what kind of wishes did you all write? This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance! So you all wrote ‘hit this and the Queen dies’, right? Final answer!?”
“Only you would be that bloodthirsty.”
“Squeal. I wrote that I wished everyone’s worries would go away.”
“Don’t you know that kind of vague request is the most dangerous of alllllllll!?”
Kyousuke began seriously holding his head in his hands, but even someone as skilled as him could not change the things the Queen got directly involved in.
Then Higashikawa hesitantly spoke up.
“To get back on topic, what kind of wishes did everyone write? It would be great if we knew that…”
“Eh?” continued Kamijou. “Do we have to say? I thought the surprise was half the fun. Although I only wrote that I hoped I could grow another 5cm…”
“That sounds nice at first, but did you not stop to think how someone might go about making it happen, you moron!? If you let the White Queen do it, she’d almost certainly grab you by the head and ass and stretch you until your spine cried out in protest! Ya ha hahhh!!”
Shiroyama Kyousuke was now tearfully laughing.
If he could tearfully laugh like this, everyone began wondering if theirs was actually a mutual love, but none of them said it out loud. They were afraid that might trigger Armageddon.
Anyway, these were the other “wishes”:
“I want to eat snacks until I’m full!!” (Index)
“I just want some useful experiment results.” (Bunny Girl)
“I want Boo Boo all to myself.” (Beatrice)
“I wish Shinobu wouldn’t make these ridiculous requests.” (Zashiki Warashi)
“I wanna be pop☆ular!!” (Higashikawa Mamoru)
“I want colored pencils in every color!” (Jinnai Shinobu)
“Can’t that bearded head god just die?” (Waltraute)
That was when Shiroyama Kyousuke, aka Alice (with) Rabbit, reached the end of his patience.
“You’re supposed to ask for the White Queen to die! Those aren’t the kinds of responses we need right now! Ahhh!!”
But no matter what he said, history was already on the move. No one knew what to do when he protested the result after the fact.
Meanwhile, the spiky-haired boy tilted his head.
“By the way, what did the White Queen hit?”
“Hee hee. Hee hee hee. Hee hee hee ha ha!! Did you really think a perfect being like me would hit anything other than ‘become one with brother’!? Ho ho ho ho!!”
“I-I need to find a way to turn back time and change the outcome…!”
“Oh, dear. But this would end the same even if you retried it a million times. Surely you know by now that my queenly decisions cannot be influenced by something as insignificant as fate. Right, brother?”
It was the Zashiki Warashi and not Shiroyama Kyousuke who felt a chill down her spine at that.
What was this?
As someone who manipulated destiny, she felt like her very purpose was in danger here. She felt like she could not ignore that comment. If they were all on a train, then those words had switched them over to a set of rails from which they could never return.
Waltraute pressed her index finger against her temple and spoke up with exasperation in her voice.
“Yeah. I did see one dart clearly turn at a right angle as it flew.”
That deafening scream rang out, but the result was absolute. They all needed to understand that the laws of the world all bent to the White Queen’s will.
Something like a giant white cocoon appeared in a corner of the tea room and two people were dragged inside it, but had anyone been able to see it happen? To keep up, you needed the eyes of the Queen who surpassed even a true goddess like Waltraute!
The spiky-haired boy did not pick up on the danger here, so he simply tilted his head.
“Wow. I hit ‘Can’t that bearded head god just die?’ What am I supposed to do about that?”
“Really!? Then go attack him! With your mysterious power, you can probably go around destroying all of his treasures without actually having to face him himself!!”
“…By the way, who is this bearded head god?”
“Touma, you can think of him as a full-power version of Othinus that never got distorted at all.”
“Wait, so how many millions or billions of times am I going to have to face certain doom this time!? Please, anything but that!!”
Several of them had been knocked out of the running.
So let us review that information.
The boy-girl ratio was 5 to 6.
With both Quenser and Heivia down, Frolaytia was the only one from her world left.
And there was a decision to be made now that Frolaytia was free: tremble in fear of what she might do now, or go for it because no one would get mad at you.
Then Gambler Higashikawa realized something.
(When you get down to it, that 6-year-old Shinobu and the Norse boy don’t really count for the group blind date. And that gray pig is probably the same. Does that mean what I think it does…?)
The college boy cautiously glanced to the side.
“See, Index? You’ve got a bunch of unpopped popcorn stuck to you.”
His target was the spiky-haired boy named Kamijou Touma.
(If I can get him on my side and set up a united front, won’t I have my choice of whoever I want!?)
That was right.
The biggest problem was bloody Bunny Girl Karen who had been summoned as a set with Higashikawa.
And the greatest trickster of them all, the White Queen, had already left after achieving her goal.
And the two idiots who would be most excited about this sort of thing had gotten themselves knocked out.
That meant this was his chance. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so he had to take complete advantage of it. The worst possibility for him would have been for everyone to pair up with the partner from their own world, say “Sticking to the basics really is the most relaxing☆”, and leave him trembling all alone. But instead, he had a chance at hitting the jackpot and taking them all for himself. Was this the karma of Higashikawa, death game survivor?
(I’ll do it.)
He straightened his back and put on a manly expression as he strengthened his resolve.
(I’ve gotta do it. I mean, look at all those nice bodies! There’s everything from a black-haired Yamato Nadeshiko to a platinum blonde international type!! I have a feeling the red-armored girl is using the armor to give the illusion of volume, but that’s a separate matter. I’d really like to get rid of the dangerous bunny girl first, but if I get too caught up in making this perfect, I’ll miss my chance. I need to take immediate action!!)
Higashikawa remained seated and moved just his hands to drag himself along the ground like a heavily-armored giant robot on treads. He did that to casually(?) approach Kamijou.
He kept his voice low so Index could not hear while the boy wiped off her mouth with a handkerchief.
“(Hey, boy. How about we team up to avoid any further trouble?)”
“Ahn? What are you talking about?”
“(You don’t want some guy you’ve never even met to get dibs on that white nun, do you? I’m saying I’ll help to ensure that doesn’t happen.)”
(That was easy!)
Higashikawa struck a victorious pose in his heart. Pure boys like that really did only ever think about the existing pairings. His thoughts were so simple that Higashikawa thought he might get scolded over what he was getting help with here, but it made the boy easy to manipulate.
This would keep that Kamijou boy focused on protecting Index. Meanwhile, Higashikawa could have his fun with the others!
(Gwa ha ha ha ha! My time has finally arrived!!)
That demon king laughter just about escaped his mouth.
And Kamijou’s eyes sparkled as he voiced his appreciation.
“(Th-that’s what this is about? Okay, got it! Then I’ll help you out too. You want to get closer to that bunny girl, right!?)”
“Eh? No, that’s not what I-…!”
“(No need to worry. We’re both trying to protect someone important to us, so there’s no need to hold back!)”
“Waaaaaiiiiiit!!” tearfully shouted Higashikawa as he desperately tried to course correct, but there was no escaping the powerful current now.
Meanwhile, 6-year-old Shinobu tilted his head and asked a question.
“What do you do to win a group blind date? This latest way to have fun is really confusing!”
The sexy ancient woman was not sure how to answer. She had lived a long life, but group blind dates had not been a thing in the Edo period. Yobai had been common back then and that could be seen as an even more aggressive way of meeting people, so the past had hardly been modest, but that knowledge was still of no use here.
So the Zashiki Warashi secretly tugged on the clothing of the person next to her.
She had chosen to rely on someone with modern-looking clothing, so that bunny girl placed her index finger on her chin and thought about it.
“Well, it would depend on your definition, but I guess the winners are the ones who get someone’s contact information? You generally don’t have people becoming a couple right then and there, so it’s what happens later that matters. Oh, but it can’t be something like PINE where you can casually accept or reject a link with someone. An email address from your ISP or a phone number would be best since those are hard to change.”
Shinobu only tilted his head further.
Which was hardly surprising since giving a cellphone or smartphone to a 6-year-old who had yet to enter elementary school would probably get you in trouble with his parents.
“Wait a second.” The Zashiki Warashi had a question as she viewed the group gathered here. “H-how many of you even have a cellphone or smartphone?”
That might sound silly, but think about who some of these people were again.
“I have pigeon deliveries! You can tie a letter to their leg!!” (←Boy)
“Squeal. The fairies apparently deliver letters.” (←Boo Boo)
“My devices are all monitored by the military and contacting an officer for no reason will probably get you monitored by the intelligence division as a possible spy. But if you’re fine with that.” (←Frolaytia)
“Well, I do have one. …But it uses Shinobu’s account, so anyone looking at the data will think you’re trying to hit on a 6-year-old.” (←Zashiki Warashi)
“I generally use prepaid foreign phones. And most of them are the kind that have the battery explode after the mission begins.” (←Bunny Girl)
“I accept both oracle and prophecy formats.” (←Waltraute)
“You can send it to my Shining Weapon.” (←Beatrice)
“My service was shut off because I couldn’t pay the bill…” (←Higashikawa)
“It’s just a normal cellphone.” (←Kamijou)
“It’s 0 yen!” (←Index)
And there you have it. More than half of them had at least one foot in the fantasy or the bizarre. In fact, you could tell things were bad when the spiky-haired boy and the glutton seemed like the most civilized.
Plus, there was a more fundamental problem.
“We were gathered from different worlds, weren’t we?”
“What about it?”
“So what good is swapping contact info!? Having to break through the barrier between worlds every time we want to meet is putting the difficulty way too high! The couple that meets once a year on Tanabata has it easier than that!!”
The only ones who could break through space-time to pursue their target were the Hounds of Tindalos or the twintailed girl who had fused with someone inside a white cocoon. That made the entire group blind date concept pointless, but then a demon gave a whisper.
And since it could not have been Hishigami Mai or the White Queen, there was only one possibility: Bunny Girl Karen.
“(Huh? Does that mean we could do anything we want with the people here and none of it counts since they can’t pursue us once we return to our original worlds???)”
Someone quickly sat up straight when they heard that. Higashikawa Mamoru hopped straight up, crossed the table, and leaped toward the girls like he was diving into a pool.
There would be no consequences.
He could do anything. And without anyone being mad at him!
Most any college student would have their rational mind fried by those words!!
“Ah ha ha. Eh heh heh. Let’s do this midday yobai style!! Japan has such a wonderful culture!!”
Frolaytia remained seated but reached a hand to her side. The college boy had already made his jump, so their conversation was held between their souls.
“Ho ho? So this is a real katana. Yes, it has so much more presence than a stainless steel blade.”
“What the hell!? Why does this Jinnai house have that hanging up atop some deer antlers…!?”
“And nothing we do here will have any consequences. Isn’t that right!?”
Kamijou Touma had a good heart, so he immediately pushed down Shinobu and the Norse boy and covered their eyes just before the diving boy was filleted from the head on down. (Note: Please enjoy an alternate visual instead.) And he flew in an unfortunate direction after that. He happened to touch the off-limits zone of the white cocoon and that meant toodle-oo. (Note: There may be some verbal oddities due to the extreme phenomena underway, but the product is not defective. The white stuff you see is merely sediment, so it is still good to eat.)
“Gisha, goshaaa, gurgle, gurgle, bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”
It was no longer human language.
After acquiring her tempting brother, the White Queen had obtained eternity and may have begun to create a new world or two.
“H-hey. Even the blood splattered across the table has vanished!”
“Let’s just pray the memories aren’t erased from our minds. And it looks like you were vertically bisected by a sword and then erased from existence, but are you okay, Higashikawa-saaaan?”
But this meant the excited college boy named Higashikawa Mamoru was out of the running.
Half of the boys were gone now. Only Kamijou, Shinobu, the boy, and Boo Boo remained.
Beatrice rested her head in her hand, tapped the table with her other hand, and voiced an idle thought.
“Hmm. If only that spiky-haired boy would die, I could probably rest easy and roll around with Boo Boo.”
“I heard that! I heard every last word of that, y’know!?”
The high school boy bristled and yelled at her, but Beatrice’s eyes were unfocused and her mind was elsewhere. She may have been imagining Kamijou bouncing around like a pinball and finally hitting that white cocoon.
“I-Index! You’re on the girl side, so you say something to that exclusionist…”
“Here, have a fish sausage,” said Waltraute to Index.
“Munch, munch, munch.”
“Nooooo!! They’re trying to turn her against me! And since when is more than one of them trying to eliminate me!?”
But no matter what he said, balance was crucial. No one would give it a second thought if there were 50 men and 50 women in a train car, but if there was 1 man and 99 women, the impression it gave people changed entirely. Even if it was not a women-only car, they would seem to own it.
But there was little that Kamijou Touma, 9th Dan, could do at this point.
(I have to find a way to win Index back to my side! I’m in check and I’ve lost my gold, silver, rook, and bishop, but I can still recover the gold!! But I don’t have enough snacks for that!!)
The spiky-haired boy loudly clapped his hands together and called out.
“D-does anyone have some extra snacks!? It’s time to do battle!!”
“Here you go.”
Someone squeezed out a low voice while setting down a large plate full of cheese and crackers. It was Perfect Othinus in her full-sized blonde girl form.
Waltraute sat up with more surprise than Kamijou. Her legs must have gone to sleep from sitting the Japanese way, so she leaned forward a bit as she stared at the blonde girl wearing an eyepatch, a witch hat, a cape, and a black leather outfit even more embarrassing than a swimsuit.
“Wh-wh-what are you doing here, you bearded head god!?”
“That’s my line. Why was the head god left out while a mere vanguard soldier got one of the limited seats?”
The small boy tilted his head and said “Bearded?”, but he could not be blamed for that. After all…
“I never expect anything good out of you, but this is a new low. Are you going to claim turning into a young girl and waltzing around half-naked – no, more like 7/8-naked – is fine as long as you win in the end!?”
It seemed they had to update a certain assumption. People who were not seated at the table could apparently wander into this group blind date.
“Boo? What’s wrong, Beatrice?”
“N-nothing. …I just felt a chill down my spine is all.”
She was afraid to check. But she could not relax until she did. That was the mental state that led the red-armored girl to check her surroundings.
“(C’mon, isn’t a group blind date supposed to be the time for a college girl to shine?)” (Filinion)
“(I already have a hard enough time meeting people as a police officer, and now this? I must be nice being the main heroine. Yes, the main one!!)” (Armelina)
…They were there.
Beatrice jumped straight up when she noticed who was spying on her from behind a column: the glasses cow, who seemed to have reverted to her ancestral state with how much her complaining voice sounded like mooing, and the flaaat one, who was getting a bit desperate due to her age.
And while Beatrice and Waltraute of the Kamijou Elimination Team were distracted, Kamijou himself worked to win back Index.
The key was the plate of sliced cheese and crackers that Othinus had reluctantly carried in.
“Here, Index. I have some new snacks.”
“What, just some Mitz? That’s so boring.”
“Okay, that’s it. Let’s take this outside.”
Not only did he fail to retake his gold general, but he just about started a serious battle between Academy City and the Anglican Church out in the yard. However, if he lost her here, he would be truly without backup. He had done nothing wrong, but his heart would be crushed from the same pressure as a man who carelessly wandered onto the women-only car.
“Wait. Can’t I just get Othinus on my side? H-help me, Othiemon! I trust in my understander to share my love of Mitz!!”
“(I don’t care, you fool. And how could you take part in this indecent gathering when you already have me? An unpleasant experience might make a good lesson for this human.)”
“Ah, ahhhhh!! Did you just cutely turn your head away while legitimately abandoning me!?”
She was the head god of an entire mythology, so (with the exception of the White Queen who had gone beyond the gods) she should have been the strongest of the current age. But now that the goddess had abandoned him, the spiky-haired boy’s fate was sealed.
Growing close to a powerful god had its downsides. Plenty of humans had met a terrible fate when the god’s favor turned to hatred or they became the target of another god’s jealousy. Although those stories were more commonly found in Greek mythology than Norse mythology.
Waltraute straightened her back while still seated.
“Now, then. I have been given permission by the head god to provide some divine punishment.”
“That is one hell of a broad interpretation of what she said!!”
“Forgive me, human. But this is my only chance to spread my wings with that boy without Lady Frigg or Lady Freyja interfering. So die.”
“Are all polytheistic gods like this!? Can’t you hide your personal motives a little better than that, you forceful moron!!!???”
The crackling Spear of Destroying Lightning looked like lightning itself condensed into a spear shape, so Kamijou bristled when he saw it.
(The other miniskirt armor girl, Beatrice, is busy dealing with that gloomy glasses girl and flat girl. So dealing with this Waltraute takes top priority!!)
But he could not get conceited. Simply clenching his right fist would be suicide here. After all, he was up against a 100% legit god, so it would probably take his arm off like Othinus’s lance.
But there were some mechanical aspects to Waltraute’s outfit. If common technology was mixed in with the mythical occult, then it was possible she was not simply immune to all modern technology as so often seen in light novels. That meant some tech would still work on her.
Kamijou-san’s skills of observation were what kept him alive, so he had not overlooked a certain something.
Namely, the military tranquilizer gun that Quenser had been fiddling with below the table!
“Die, you freak of a god!! This is what you get for looking like an angel who acts so scatterbrained she keeps getting marriage proposals!!”
Kamijou grabbed the toy-like item from below the table and fired it from less than a meter away.
With a short spraying sound, it fired a nonmetal transparent tranquilizer case with a needle on the end.
“Y-you didn’t even dodge!? You just held out your chest!?”
She had forgotten to mention it, but Waltraute’s lightweight miniskirt armor was made from concentrated aurora and could withstand attacks from any monster. It may have created some kind of repulsion field with electric energy, but she did not even need its full power here.
A normal breastplate was enough to deflect this.
There was nothing more he could do.
This was what happened when he disobeyed the main god who had insisted so much that he not rely on guns in the main series. Kamijou Touma sweated profusely as the divine Spear of Destroying Lightning aimed his way.
An odd voice interfered.
They all turned around to find that the tranquilizer case had somehow managed to ricochet such that it pierced right into the top of the white cocoon.
New Subquest: Kamijou-san interrupted the ultra-divine tryst between the White Queen and Shiroyama Kyousuke. Figure out some way to stay alive☆
“There’s no way that’s possible! Such misfortuuuuune!!”
The spiky-haired boy was really trembling now, but the white cocoon melted before his eyes all the same. They were now in the presence of true radiance. What stepped out was a new form of that white girl. It was a never-before-seen super evolved version that shined with a lamé-like light. This was the USMDSGMR (Ultimate Special Miracle Dangerous Sadistic Good Morning Rare) version. The White Queen gave a dark smile that seemed to ask just who had interrupted her slumber.
“Placing a crude object into the world meant for my brother and me is worthy of-…zzz.”
“The tranquilizer actually worked? But then I don’t see how all that energy compressed above her elegantly raised hand can be safely lowered to the ground! What’s going to happen now!?”
Even when she was caught off guard, that cute last boss was so perfect that she made sure just collapsing forward was enough to destroy the world.
When that white light was carelessly unleashed, it blew away the current universe in 10-44 seconds. And just 5 seconds after that, the spatial world formed from matter and antimatter cooled enough to create countless particles that acted as the cores of atoms.
The Zashiki Warashi in a red yukata woke up.
She had been nodding off and she vaguely recalled some kind of grand dream.
Young Shinobu was calling her from somewhere.
It was a sunny afternoon and she was in the thatch-roof house. She slowly stood up from where she had been leaning against a column near the porch and she approached the voice she heard in the kitchen.
This was odd.
There was something odd with the thread of fate.
“Where are you, Nee-chan?”
“What is it, Shinobu? That’s the bucket for kitchen garbage.”
She recognized that response. It was not that she had predicted it. She remembered it. Everything was feeling more and more off.
She felt like she had not just had a dream. But dreams faded and were forgotten within a few minutes of waking up. Only a vague sense of familiarity remained.
“C’mon, we can’t get started without you, Nee-chan!”
The Hyakki Yakou Prototype Ver. 39 Zashiki Warashi side of her was telling her something.
There was more than one thread of fate here. No, it was technically just one, but that long, long thread was folded back over itself so it looked like several threads running in parallel.
“Come here. At Mach speed!”
He tugged on her hand.
“You come too, giant pig.”
“Boo. Sure thing.”
“You come for a bit too, White Queen.”
“Eh heh heh. I’d do anything if it meant playing with my brother.”
They were of course(?) headed to the tea room. And a vague thought came to the Zashiki Warashi when she saw the people gathered there.
That hellish twintails girl was there with a knowing smile as if to say the Zashiki Warashi would understand what this meant later.
It went beyond a mere dream. It was possible this involved the creation of the universe itself. And was it possible this was not just the second loop?
“Okay! Since we’re all here, let’s do one of those group blind date things!!”
Mission: Stop the paradox.
An extreme rejection reaction may have triggered in destiny itself because those two had gotten together when the same had not happened in their main series. Just like the anaphylactic shock that was a malfunction of something meant to protect the body!!