A/N: Still alive and kicking.
(What happened to all of the MaYuki writers while I was away???) This time the one-shot (really a two-shot) is based on the Japanese children’s game Kagome Kagome. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Cinderella Cage Dogma: Roundabout Feelings
Part I - “Everything you do is not meaningless.”
>>>MURAKUMO RECORDS : CENSORED
>> CASE FILE : HEAVEN’S FALL
>> ENTRY LOG No. XX5X
> REPORT : WATANABE M.
At that time when you saw your 'beloved,’ your expression had looked languish and hesitant. It was such a rare occurrence.
For you, who had a built wall around yourself, and was consider the keeper of her, she was the only one you had let in.
You were so demure in the face of that person, so foolish, despicable, and fragile—
Yet, you had also became so pure and innocent, it was sickening.
You always gave it your all to those who seek your help, never asking for any compensation in return. Yet, that person was the only one you had yearned for with all your existence. Wishing she gave you the salvation you seek.
At that time…
What were you thinking?
Amidst the sea of rubble sat a young girl cradling her fallen companion. Beneath them laid a pool of red water increasing ever so slightly. Its glossy crimson surface calmly reflected their muddy silhouettes in distorted ripples.
As waves of sadness continue to flow within the young girl, she simply asked her ceased to be friend, “Now that you have forsaken me, did you safely reach her? Tell me, what am I suppose say to your parents and Yuki now that you’re gone? Just why… Why did you have to choose me as your [scabbard]!!? It should’ve been her!! You and her… This wasn’t suppose to be how it ends!!!”
—only for her questions to remain unanswered.
Cradling the once warm body, the young girl continued on with her cries of sorrow, only for them to be drowned out by the evening’s rain.
Off to the side, the young girl’s commander quickly approaches her crying comrade; engulfing her in a warm embrace.
“I didn’t want to lose them both!! I… I…,” the young girl cried out.
The commander hugged the young girl tighter as she whispered words of encouragement, “It’s okay. Everything will be okay. You’ve done nothing wrong.”
“You’ve done nothing wrong!!! The one at fault here is the world we have been born into,” the leader stated angrily.
Crushed by her dear friend’s dispirited response, the commander continued, “From now on, I will protect you. We will protect you. Everything will be alright once we return.”
“That’s a lie and you know it!!!,” the young girl cried out once more.
“It’s enough!!! You’ve done more than enough!! You don’t have to fight anymore. Even if I’ve to pull some strings, I won’t let you fight anymore,” the commander promised.
But as fate would have it, the world wouldn’t allow such heresy to pass. It’s “will” demanded for the young girl to play out her role till the very end.
In the midst of a buzzingly school hallway, a youth casually asked her friend in a laid back manner, “Sometimes, I wonder what life would’ve been if we had been born on the mainland.”
Without looking away from the file in hand, the youth’s friend answered in mono-toned voice, “You know such a thing is—”
“Excuse me. You dropped this,” a voice as sweet as honey had cut in.
The youth’s friend, irritated as they were, unwilling turned towards the intruder in hopes of turning them down only to be greeted by the sight of a goddess, the owner of the intruding yet elegant and melodious voice. Her rich chocolate-colored hair flutter down to her side as her porcelain outstretched hand gripped onto a pair of dangling straps. A pair, comprised of a tattered crane and a chipped turtle dangling in mid-air.
Awe struck by the goddess before her, the youth’s friend could only awkwardly stared at her fallen straps held between the goddess’ fingers. As she extends her reach towards the goddess, a sense of deja vu washed over the youth’s friend the moment she clasped onto the pair of old straps. Without moving nor letting go, the youth’s friend continued to stared at the goddess before her with a morbid expression.
A quick jabbed and a small murmured, “Mayu?” from the youth, had jolted her friend awake from her daydreams. What seem to be an eternity for the youth’s friend was only a matter of minutes to the outside world. With holding her morbid expression at bay, Mayu sighed deeply as she replaced the fallen straps onto the goddess’ hand and coldly replied, “Thanks, but you keep it.”
Perplex by the outcome, the goddess was about to inquired her for the reason until Mayu quickly spun around and departed in quick haste. Her friend, the youth, quickly apologized for her friend’s sudden behavior and stated she would return the strap on her behalf.
Words of whispered could be heard in the background noise as Mayu quickly flee from the scene of the crime. Yet, Mayu couldn’t help it; she didn’t want to spend another waking minute in front of the goddess. After all, her very being would bring about unhappiness to the goddess. This was a fact she, herself have concluded.
Mayu could only inwardly groan in the back of her mind at how the world was truly merciless towards her. Without a doubt, rumors were bound to spread from the small scene she had caused several moments ago.
As the goddess’ eyes bore into the fleeing backs of the two commanding officers, she ponder upon what she had done wrong to mess up her first impression towards her seniors.
“You shouldn’t dwell upon it too much Yukirin. Assault Lieutenant Watanabe is always ice cold to everyone,” a gentle voice spoke from her left.
The surprised goddess nearly jumped out in fright until she saw who was addressing her. With a small smile crept on her face, the goddess asked her best friend, “Rena-chan!!? When did you get back?”
“This morning and I must say, that was quite the spectacular scene you displayed moments ago. I’ve always thought you could get away with anything with that good looks of your but even that couldn’t get you away unscathed from our dear cyborg.” Rena stated with an amused smile.
“And just what is it you are trying to imply, my-oh-so-called-best friend?”
“Nothing much. Just a word of advice from a friend and a comrade who have fought and lived through the front lines; it’s best if you stay away from Assault Lieutenant Watanabe. She will only bring you nothing but pain and sadness.”
“What do mean by that?”
“It’s best to take Rena’s advice on this Yukirin. Don’t dwell on it too much,” a voice called out.
““Miyuki!!”” the duo yelled out happily.
“That’s Medic Corporal Watanabe to you kiddo...” Miyuki sighed towards Yuki.
“But it’s feels weird addressing you by rank after all these years.” Yuki whined.
“Well, you better get use to it kid. In my eyes, you’re no longer the little squirt I would come and pay a friend visit too as my former comrade's little sister. ”
“Mou~ I’m not little anymore!! As of today, I’m finally an official Murakumo’s member.” Yuki replied happily.
“Not so fast Yukirin. Just because you graduated today doesn’t mean you are one of us. Not until you pass the entrance exam that is,” Rena chipped in.
“She’s right you know and I do hope you are ready for it,” Miyuki asked.
“Ehhhhhh!!! What entrance exam? I never heard of such a thing!!”. Yukon exclaimed.
“It's a well kept secret amongst the organization that all new members are to take it on the day of their inauguration. Think about, would you think Murakumo would automatically accept fresh recruits, recent graduates from the academy into our units so easily?,” asked Miyuki.
“Well you do have a point there. It would be a clash between the newbies and the veterans...”
“The point of the exam is to weed out those with potential and assigned them accordingly into our fighting force. Just because someone asked to be assigned to the 1st Unit doesn’t necessary mean they are good at combat,” added Rena.
“Is that so? But one of the requirements for graduating is to score a B in our combat classes.”
“But you had instructors to look after you in those classes, no? If anything, those classes were held for appearances’ sake.”
“Listen well Yukirin. Not everything you learn at the academy will be by the book. More often than not you will be forced to improvise on the battlefield. And, there are certain things you will come to know with due time…” Miyuki replied with a serious expression.
“Oh? Like what?” asked Yuki, piped with curiosity.
“Things not taught to you at the Academy. Things that forces new members to quit with a year’s time given they last that long tha is…”
“Eh!!!? Is it that serious? Is that why Murakumo is always welcoming new members regardless of their background?”
“Well part of it. The other part is our survivability rate is quite low as you know.”
“I see. But either way I won't quit no matter!! I promise!!” Yuki stated happily.
“You can only say that now because you are naive, Yukirin, but there will come a time where you’ll have to make a choice. A choice on whether or not you will want to continue in this line of work. We all had to and you are no exception. Those who stayed are now respected by those who left,” said Rena.
“Is it something that's truly troublesome that I will have to make the decision no matter what?”
“Yes. There is no correct choice either. It all depends on the individual. It’s a matter regarding life and death here,” answered Miyuki.
“Such a thing… Isn’t this a bit too heavy to think about?” Yuki asked with an overwhelmed expression.
“But did you not wish to become a Murakumo’s member? To live up to your parent’s expectations and follow in your older sister’s footstep as an oni slayer? Things such as life and death are no trivial matters. It’s kill or be killed,” warned Miyuki.
“Even so… Is there no other way to communicate with the onis and co-exist with one another in harmony?”
“Perhaps it’s best we end this discussion. Naive and innocent as you are now, you will learn in due time the real world isn’t as kind and fair as you had dreamed of. Unlike children’s fairy tales, we get no happy endings. Do keep in mind, it’s that kind of ideals and dreams that got your sister killed in the line of duty.”
“Don’t you think that was a bit too much, Miyuki?” Rena fired back.
“I was only looking after her well being...”
“By smoking her out?”
“Yes. I believed it’s better to be straight forward then to spoil—”
“Oh, really!!? Funny considering how you love to spoil her sil—”
“Stop!! It’s okay, Rena-chan...so don’t argue...the both of you!! I understand you guys are trying to protect me from harm. That you are afraid to lose me like how you lost my sister and I thank you for that; the both of you. So please don’t fight over something as trivial as this.” Yuki asked with a sad expression.
Miyuki and Rena could only look at Yuki for a few seconds before they declared a, ““Truce,”” towards one another.
Seeing the two friends fight over her and make up because of her brought about a small discomfort in Yuki’s heart. Everyone within the 48th platoon of the 3rd Unit would spoil her silly save for one person…
“Hey, speaking of my sister… I’m hated by the assault lieutenant aren’t I?” Yuki asked the two before her.
“To say you are hated by Mayu is an understatement,” replied Rena.
“As Rena have said a few moments before, it’s in your best interest to keep away from her. And as I’ve said before, don’t think about it so deeply. If anything I can say without a doubt your existence is very important to her yet at the same time Mayu would rather watch you from afar. If you take one step closer to her then she will take ten steps back; Mayu is just that kind of person I'm afraid.” Miyuki told Yuki with a sadden expression.
“Really? Hard to believe from all the stories Sae had told me. Things like ‘Mayuyu is just a misunderstood yet kind individual’ or ‘she’s a person I can happily call my best friend’ and so on. How was my sister able to befriend her then? ”
“Hahaha, is that so? Well, your sister is someone special on an entirely different level. The Mayu I know is a clumsy yet expressive individual. When she set her mind towards something, she will see it all the way till the end; all by her lonesome self. As her older sister, I wish she be more proactive and make more friends her age; not be a lone mouse secluding herself in who knows what and where,” sighed Miyuki.
“Then… is it alright for me to befriend her?” Yuki asked with great interest.
“Hm? You? A young girl of great beauty wants to be friends with someone 5 years their senior, who might I add have some form of communication issues?”
“Hey!! I'm friends with you and Rena-chan aren't I? And I'm more or less well acquainted with everyone in the 48th platoon save for a few individuals like Assault Lieutenant Watanabe. If anything, I consider some of you guys old in my books.”
“Touché I say but we were the one who offer our friendship to you in first place. If anything you should be thanking us for spending time with you during your childhood. After all it was made at the request of your sister’s selfish wish.”
“True as it may be, I could've but I didn’t refuse any of your guy's friendships. However, by my own free will I still desire to initiate some sort of friendship with the assault lieutenant.”
“And may I ask why you would desire such a thing? If my memory is correct, the two of you had never gotten along from the start. If anything it was either us or your sister being the mediator between you two. As for the cause of the those fights can be anyone’s guess but from my perspective I would say Mayu is the one being hated on, no?”
“That’s because...the things she says and does always infuriates me...” Yuki hesitated with downcast eyes.
“Please don’t give me such a sad puppy dog look. I had hope you would use this chance to confess your not so secretive love but alas I was hoping for too much,” sighed Miyuki with feign ignorance.
“I-Whaaa!! What nonsense are you talking about!!?” Yuki yelled in a bewild manner.
“I was lying you know? To say my sister was hated is far from the truth. With the exception to Mayu, anyone can see as plain as day those childish fights you initiated with Mayu was to get her wanted attention...”
“Now now, Yukirin. We all know you have been watching her from a distant for years. That your actions are contradicting your feelings towards Mayu.” Rena laughed lightly as she rest her hand on Yuki’s shoulder to console the poor girl.
Shrugging away the gesture and shoving Rena into Miyuki, Yuki bravely shouted in a clear voice for everyone to hear, “I DO NOT LOOK AT HER THAT WAY!!”
Surprised by the sudden loud outburst, those who frolic and lingered about in the busy hallway all turned towards the source of the commotion. Seeing all eyes directed at her, Yuki couldn’t help but shy away in embarrassment yet the laughing duo gave no room nor leeway towards Yuki’s excused actions.
“Oiiiii, Mayuuuuu!! Wait up!! Ooooiiii” the youth shouted as she chased after her best friend.
“Stop shouting already Jurina!!!” Mayu shouted in annoyance as she slow down her pace.
“What was that back there?”
“It was nothing...”
“Really? Didn’t seem like nothing to me.”
“And what would you know?”
“Well, I wouldn’t know unless you told me what it was about.”
“And I said it was nothing didn’t I?”
“And I said it didn’t seem like nothing to me,” Jurina retorted back.
Pinching the bridge of her nose, Mayu sighed deeply towards Jurina’s cheeky behavior and mannerisms. Despite being the older one of the two, she still have great difficulty in dealing with the younger woman walking besides her. Unable to endure the sideway glance, Mayu regretfully replied, “I was only returning it back to their rightful owner.”
“What do you mean to their ‘rightful owner’?” asked Jurina, confused by this statement as she looks at the straps settle within her palm.
“It’s as I said. Nothing more and nothing less of a fact,” replied Mayu as she snatch the straps from within Jurina’s grasp.
“But we both know the original owner was— Wait, don’t tell me she’s...!! Is that girl…?”
“Oh wow. But damn!! It’s been that long, huh. The last time I saw her was what 4-5 years ago?” Jurina asked, surprised by the turn of events.
“6 years as a matter of fact.”
“Is that so? It's no wonder I didn't recognize her. Never found the time to go see how she was doing compared to Rena-chan. But I must ask how did you even recognized she was Yuki-chan in the first place? You hardly visit the poor girl!!”
“...I keep tabs on her from time to time.”
“You mean through stalking. Or more precise you just ask your ‘informant’ to keep tabs on her”
“Well never mind that; so little Yuki-chan is already at that age, huh? Where young girls are deemed ripe and mature for the picking? But damn, just thinking about it is making me envious!!! Yet, at the same time I’m also anxious of all those hungry wolves out there trying to woe her. She’s like an innocent lamb right for the taking and once they have their way with her, she will just be toss to the curb as someone’s last night leftover!!“ stated a distressed Jurina.
“What nonsense are you going on about?” Mayu inquired.
“Why Yuki-chan of course!!”
“We’ve all known her since she was little. Now that she's grown up, there will be people out there courting her for being a Kashiwagi.”
“Hey, why are so quiet all of a sudden?” Jurina asked as she turned towards Mayu only to see the older woman’ attention elsewhere. A bit vex by her friend’s behavior, Jurina swiped the files at hand and proceed to peek at what was preoccupying her friend’s attention. Amongst the stack was a familiar face known to the both of them.
“So Yuki-chan really did join us. Rather than someone courting her, I should be on the lookout for those wanting to be her [scabbard] then...” Jurina spoke aloud as she hands the files back to Mayu.
“You do know courting and becoming someone’s [scabbard] are essentially the same things to the younger generations nowadays, correct? Also, she isn't officially one of us. At least not until she passed the entrance exam.”
“Is that what they are seriously defining the term [scabbard]? Isn’t it’s purpose a bit too romantic?”
“More or less. Nowadays it's common for those out of the loop to view the traditional practice of choosing a [scabbard] as a life partner. This is due to the fact the ratio of male to female [scabbard] pairing is much higher when compared with the same gender pairing. Plus the opposite gender pairing often start a family together after retirement.”
“Is that so…I didn’t know the percentage was that high.”
“Your parents are one of them you know.”
“Cough. Cough. Let’s not talk about my parents here and get back to Yuki-chan!! To think she would actually reach this place is no short than a miracle, yes?”
“Rather than a miracle isn't this due to her spoiled nature? It is not out of the ordinary for academy students to join us right out of graduation. I’m more appalled by the fact that she decided to join us out of a whim.”
“And why do you say that?”
“That’s because she’s a Kashiwagi. You and I both know that child had no interest in joining us from the beginning.”
“Oh? Just because she’s a Kashiwagi don’t you think she would have matured over these years and decide to turn over a new leaf?”
“Imposible. That brat was spoiled to a fault and refused to do what was expected of her as a child from a family of oni slayers. From the beginning she choose freedom over tradition. For her to join us just makes me suspect she has an ulterior motive.”
“Mahhh~ Can you blame the poor girl for wanting to be free? It’s not easy being a child from one of the four noble clans. My parents too were like Yuki-chan’s parents; they wanted Rena-chan and I to be free rather than to do what was expected of us as a Matsui.”
“And yet the both of you are here because?”
“Courting death is far more easier and enjoyable than to be chain up by our so called ‘freedom.’ I wouldn’t blame Yuki-chan for coming to this conclusion; after all being born into the four noble clans just means we are targets for others greed... ”
“While you do make a valid point here, I would still have to object that might not be the case for Kashiwagi.”
“Is that so...”
“That child wouldn’t give a care in the world if she was to be used as long as she was free. After all, that was Sae’s greatest wishes of her; for Kashiwagi to be free and happy. She is just that kind of girl.”
“You make it sound like Yuki-chan has a sister complex towards Sae...” Jurina jokingly stated.
Choosing to remain silent Mayu could only give Jurina a pointed gaze saying, “she is.” Taking the silence at face value, Jurina ended the discussion as is and continue onwards towards their next destination.
For these Murakumo’s aspiring youth, a week had passed since the Academy’s graduation. These so called youths were currently laundering about Murakumo’s training hall as they wait for the entrance to begin. Some would look about peaking towards the second floor. Some would casually chat with their friends from the Academy. While some would just stand there quietly scooping out their rivals.
To the platoon leaders and members residing on the second floor, the hussle and bussle of these youths only brought about a sense of nostalgia. The outcome of the exam would end in half of the crops going home in tears and frustration. From the other half that pass, only a quarter would remain within a month.
In a small open space to the side, Jurina lazily leaned behind the handrail as she waits for Rena and their platoon leader to arrive. Next to her stood Mayu, who is once again reading a fresh batch of files and reports.
“Stop working and relax yourself for a bit why don't you?” Jurina asked the ever workaholic Mayu.
Looking up from her place, Mayu could only direct a frown towards Jurina’s direction before answering, “These aren't going to get done themselves you know.”
“True but starting today you can forget about those boring old paperwork and leave it for the newbies to do.”
“The exam haven't even started yet… How do you even know this year we will pick someone from this batch?”
“That's because Yukirin is down there.” a happy voice intruded in as they forcefully stole the stack of papers from Mayu’s iron clad grip.
“Rena…” Mayu sighed aloud towards the newcomer.
“We can leave these for later. You on the hand should take it easy seeing how we are grantee a new member today.” Rena said as she handed the paper works over towards Jurina.
“How can you be so sure she will pass?” Mayu asked.
“Mmmm, because she’s Sae’s little sister?”
“That's not good enough… It's not your decision on who can and who can't join us.”
“Not a problem Shiriri-chan. I will definitely scout out little Yuki-chan!! Everyone else who gets in my way will have to talk to my fist.” a dignified voice cut in.
“That's an abuse of power Yuu-chan.” a feminine voice chided.
“Haruna is right, Oshiriko-chan. If by chance Kashiwagi does poorly in front of everyone then there is absolutely no way we can recruit her.” Mayu spoke out.
“B-but, if I get little Yuki-chan I would’ve completed the whole set!!!” Yuko cried out in anguish.
Rena, Mayu and Jurina gave a look of disdain towards their superior officer. The very fact their platoon leader had even spoke out such a ridiculous dream made them whole heartily regretted joining the 48th platoon.
During her early years as a young Murakumo cadet, Oshima Yuko established a name for herself. Through her strength and hard work, Yuko rose through the ranks as an ace. Having selfish rivalry battles with the future empress and befriending the current general gave her an edge over the other captains. Utilizing her assets and connection with them, Yuko was able to form a platoon of her own. This particular platoon was unique in a sense that it embodies all of Yuko’s dream; choosing only those she deemed as the narrowly gifted and the strong.
However to a normal innocent bystanders and the other Murakumo’s members, the 48th Platoon became commonly known as Oshima’s harem. This is due to the fact the platoon itself consisted of only females. The platoon leader, herself, was considered a perverted old man in nature due to her tenacious groping tendencies on her fellow members…
As Haruna was consoling her girlfriend at the side, Mayu peeked down at the soon to be fresh recruits down below. Her gaze settled down on one anxious looking recruit talking to her friend in near the entrance.
“I hope Kashiwagi fails.” Mayu spoke aloud as her gaze remains fixed on the flailing goddess.
“Don't be so cruel!! She worked hard over the years to get to where she is. For all of that to end just caused you wished for it, is depressing!!” Jurina fired back in Yuki’s defense.
“Hmmmmm, well I still don't want her to join us. What use can a spoiled rich brat passing due to their connections be of any help to us?” Mayu counter back, finally turning her gaze towards the Matsui siblings.
“You know it won't be like that. In fact I can guarantee you Yukirin is going to get scouted by the other platoon leaders. After all, I'm the one she's always going to for sparring practices.” Rena stated.
“Let me guess you fought her with a handicapped and her main weapon of choice is still an katana like her sister.”
“How did you know…?” Rena asked in surprised one.
“I would like to say intuition but this fact just proves she isn't serious enough about joining us. In any case she would just get herself kill in today’s match for being ignorant.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Without answering, Mayu looked back at the young fidgety Kashiwagi’s heir playfully attacking her friend with a flushed face. Her innocent yet embarrassed face brought about a slight irritation towards Mayu; for the young girl has yet to realize what a dangerous game she is playing here. The very idea of her fooling around with her friend was enough evidence to prove Mayu’s hypothesis of Yuki’s seriousness and preparation for the exam. With great speed and precision, Mayu took out a small white paper and pen, filling it with a message and letting the said paper fly out of her hand to their intended recipient. Behind her, the Matsui sisters curiously stared at the Mayu who had went back to watching the young Yuki from afar. The duo could only wonder in silence on why Mayu choose to use a kamidori at a time like this...
Having felt like she was being watched, Yuki shifted her line of sight from off her friend towards the direction she felt the heated gaze from. In a split second, she caught a glimpse of the assault lieutenant’s eyes gazing back at her before turning around towards Rena and the others. Whether the other party was aware of their eyes meeting or not could be anyone's guess. The young Kashiwagi’s heir quietly gaze back in silent at the assault lieutenant’s small back.
“What's the matter Yukirin?” her friend asked.
Having momentarily forgotten about her friend beside her, Yuki quickly replied back, “Sorry, I thought I saw someone waving at me. What were you saying before Paruru?”
“That I will ask Yui to become my [scabbard] when I pass!!”
“Eh!? You had thought that far ahead about your future already!!!?”
“It’s not that!! Even though we have been dating for 2 years, Yui still treats me as Haruka the childhood friend. I want her to treat me as Haruka, her girlfriend. Yui is too reserve with me and I’m frustrated about that, we haven’t even hold hands…!!” Paruru whined endlessly.
“Hehehee, well Yuihan is the reserve type. Maybe she’s just waiting for you to be a bit older to do couple things?” Yuki justified on Yui’s behave.
“But then it’s no different from before we started dating… Plus I’m already 16 this year...” Paruru fired back.
“I’m afraid of losing Yui… I feel she only agreed to go out with me cause I’m her childhood friend you know?”
“That’s…a bit terrible don’t you think? Why not have more faith in Yui? If you love her so much then instead of worrying about your stagnant relationship, why not go ahead and make the first move? I think you asking her to be your [scabbard] will answer everything. After all, the act of choosing our [scabbard] is a sacred pact.”
“That’s true. Plus, Yui still haven’t chosen anyone as her [scabbard] yet...maybe there’s hope for me after all?”
“Couldn’t you had said ‘maybe she was waiting for me all this time?’ Seeing you like this, I'm starting to understand how Yui feels most of time...”
“Hmmm~ Well, now that’s out of the way I feel much happier.”
“Since you are all psyched up now I won’t have to worry about you flunking for being depressed over Yui.”
“Hey!! If you found my love life to be annoying said so from the start.”
“It's not like I found you annoying coming to me for love advices but rather don't you think your priorities were a bit messed up to begin with? First, we are waiting for the exams to start and rather than be nervous about an unknown test you are worrying about your relationship with Yui… All this could have been avoided if you were the one who made the first move instead of waiting for Yui to act.”
“Maah~ I don't want to hear this from the very person who hadn't even made a move themselves. When are you going to go take the assault lieutenant for yourself?
“I-I..!!! Wha-what are you talking about Paruru!! Mayuyu and I…? There’s no such feelings!!!”
“But before you were staring at Assault lieutenant Watanabe were you not?”
“You sa— I mean lies!!! I was doing no such thing!!!”
“Really~? You had that far off look when you were staring at her. The same look I usually give to Yui when she isn’t looking.”
“Lies!!! Lies I say!!!”
“Suit yourself, but this isn't the first time I caught you in the act you know?”
“Don’t go all silent on me with that surprised look on your face… Where you not aware?”
“Aware of what? I haven’t been staring at Mayuyu at all!!!”
“Yukirin...whenever you get the chance, you gaze upon the assault lieutenant far longer than you could call it as merely looking. On average its about 10-12 times a day when we were still students. Whenever she pass by, you would stare at her until she was gone from the halls.”
“Ehhhh!!? No I don’t!!!”
“You rejected everyone who confessed to you...”
“That’s normal!! I wasn’t interested in any of them.”
“Half of those rejections were a no show by you due to you forgetting them as soon as the assault lieutenant pass by.”
“That’s...” At a loss for words, Yuki thought back if such a thing had actually occurred during her times as a student but before she could truly dig through her memories, Paruru cut her off with a question that made her embarrassed to the core.
“So when are you going to make the assault lieutenant your [scabbard]?”
“Y-you!! I do not desire that sort of relationship with Mayuyu, you understand!!!?” Yuki replied embarrassedly as she hit her friend to make a point.
“But you are already calling the assault lieutenant by her nickname… I heard the number of people who calls her by that nickname can be counted on one hand.”
“T-that’s an over exaggeration…!!”
Before Paruru could finish what she was saying, a voice projected by the loud speakers could be heard throughout the training hall.
“[Welcome and thank you for waiting young examinees to Murakumo. I’m Sashihara Rino and I will be your announcer for today’s exam. The participating platoon captains station on the second floor will be today’s proctor.
The rules are simple, pick a partner and duke it out. That’s the very reason we asked participants to bring their weapons! Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. The point of the exam is to exhibit your battle prowess!!
Killing is prohibited but if you accidentally killed your opponent because they were too weak then it can’t be helped~ We at Murakumo have no time to babysit the weak. Everyday we risk our lives to protect our friends and families. Living and dying is part of the job!! Now it’s your turn to do the same!! If you feel this isn’t for you then you are free to leave before we officially begin the test.
Inference from the audience once the duel has started is prohibited as well!! But if you feel your friends or family is about to die, inference is a OK in our books!! But then again who in their right mind would want to help out their competitions am I right? Oh but then again that would means they weren’t truly your friends to begin with and family bonds are non existent to them. However, our judges, our audience and me included would feel you aren’t needed then!! How can we trust our backs to backstabbers when we are out fighting in the front lines? Am I right or what?
Anyway, once all the rounds are finished, your number will be called up by yours truly and each of the participating platoon captains will raise their number sign if they want you or not. Each of their number sign represent the platoon their are from so choose wisely if you are chosen by two or more platoon leaders.
If not chosen by any of our magnificent captains then...Good luck next year!! This concludes the introduction. Everyone please find a partner in the next 5 minutes and queue up for the battle arena exam!!]”
Once the announcement was over, the youths residing in the training hall were restless by the flood of new information. Yuki and Paruru were no exception, in a matter of 3 seconds, the two processed the new acquired information and wished each luck. The two friends went their separate ways in looking for their sparring partner. The two knew if they fought each other they would be holding due to their friendship but because of this friendship, the two knew without saying, the other would have their backs if the situation ever grew dire.
Looking down, Mayu really wanted to run up to the audio room and smack Sasshi for her stupid commentary. Right off the bat a third of the testers had already left before the exam began. They were filled with a sense of self doubt and the fear of death. The remaining batch remained and scurry about looking for a weak partner. But this scene wasn’t the part that made Mayu irritated. This was a normal occurrence that happens every year during recruitment.
The moment the exam began, one after the other was what made Mayu wanted to bash her head. During each match Sasshi would make stupid and pointless commentaries. By the 12th match she gave up watching and just glare towards the audio room. Sensing the incoming death glare, Sasshi felt obligated to voice that out to the unknowing audience. Many of the young testers laugh at such a sight. The useless commentary had lighten up the mood around the depressed and anxious testers.
“[Number 101 just pulled an arc slash. Followed by a floor sweep. Something you wouldn't expect from a naginata user!! One move after the next, she doesn’t let up!! And right about now number 48 must be feeling immense regret for falling into number 101’s trap, one carefully hidden but skillfully crafted barrier, I must say. Even I would have trouble breaking free from such a barrier. I bet you even the toughest of all onis wouldn't be able to put a dent in it!!]”
Ignoring the ongoing comments, Mayu simply asked, “Who let this idiot be this year’s commenter?”
“Mmmm, Takamina asked me to pick someone from our side since no one wanted to do it this year. At that time Sasshi was with me and she just willing volunteer for the position.” Yuko replied back nonchalantly as she watched the match unfold while listening to Sasshi’s humorous commentary.
“Why did you even let her? You know how Sasshi is...” Rena trailed on.
“[This just in, number 101’s real name is Shimazaki Haruka. Wait...Shimazaki-san? Why does this name sound so familiar? Ah, Yuko-san!! We must recruit her at all cost. She’s Yui’s girlfriend!! Plus she’s quite the looker despite her salty personality. I’m impress by the way she fights. She’s not even phased by the personal information I had leaked out moments ago. Such a dirty fighter is good in my books!!]”
Giving a thumbs up towards Sasshi’s direction, Yuko happily replied back to the trio, “I thought it would make things more interesting!!”
Rena, Mayu and Jurina could only look appalled by the leak of personal information to the public. Seeing their captain laughing stupidly at the current predicament she had just created only made their head hurt ever more. Any further attempts in trying to salvage the situation would had been futile. Their only savior in trying to reign in their captain’s stupidity was currently standing beside them cheering for Yui’s girlfriend.
Seeing Paruru execute a brilliant match, it was a given her friend would pass. Backed by Sashihara-san’s commentary, Paruru would most definitely choose the 48th platoon to be with Yui.
Not wanting to be done in by her friend, Yuki was all the more eager to go out and display her full potential. As long as she left a memorable impression to Yuko-san, the captain of the 48th platoon, Yuki would be delighted at having achieved her desired goal.
With such thoughts in mind, Yuki didn't expected to be put into a predicament once her turn had come up. Being pushed right into a corner the moment her match began was embarrassing to say the least. Having chosen the first person to ask her, Yuki immediately regretted her decision.
Her opponent was a male of great build. A muscle head one would describe if they were to look at him. His weapon was also something one wouldn't expect to be wield, a giant guillotine blade attached to a chain. Long-ranged, close-ranged, mid-ranged, the distance didn't matter to her opponent. As long as he was able to gauge her next course of action he could easily adjust his erratic fighting style.
“[And our princess is once again being pushed back into a defensive position. Anymore and it looks like her weapon will give out!! What will she do till then?]”
It also didn't help Yuki’s predicament that Sashihara-san had leaked out her family lineage to the audience. By now, the expectations of being a child from one of the four noble clans added immense pressure to Yuki’s mentality.
All the platoon captains and the members they had brought along now had their full attention on Yuki. With the addition of her opponent knowing who she is, he became even more fervent and passionate in the match when compared to all of the examinees who had fought thus far. The very idea of defeating a Kashiwagi, a member from one of the four noble clan was enough to tell the spectators just how skilled they truly were.
After all, the four noble clans weren’t named the “four noble clans” for show. They were named so for their bloodline and history behind their lineage. Those not knowing about the the Itano clan, the Kashiwagi clan, the Kojima clan, and the Matsui clan, must have a been living under a rock.
It was common knowledge to know that these four clans, made up the “four noble clans” that serves directly under the royal family, the Maeda clan, whom governs their small inhabited island. In the past, these four clans’ ancestors were recognized for their nobility and prowess during the dark era; an era where human eating onis roam freely about and prey upon mankind with great ease.
Under the guidance and leadership of an ancestor from Maeda, these five individuals brought about a small glimmer of hope to humanity’s bleak future; an organization comprised of gifted individuals to due battle with the onis. An organization whose name and teachings survived the passage of time; continuing on with their will of ridden the world of onis. Murakumo became a symbol of their ancestor’s [sword] that would protect humanity.
However, their ancestors’ achievements also brought about a small curse to their descendants; seeds of jealousy and envy sewn within the populace just for being born as a member of the four noble clans. This was a fact Yuki and many others were not happy about; to be judged by others and assume from the start for being born highly gifted oni slayers. Such a thing was a perfect lie.
Having to watch her best friend’s little sister fight in a pathetic way was unbearable for Mayu; she wanted to go down and stop the match but refrain herself from doing so.
“Little Yuki-chan isn’t doing so well.” Yuko voiced out with concern.
“There’s still a chance for her to make a comeback. Her opponent had shown several opening she could have easily taken.” Rena commented.
“True but at this rate she’s going to fail...” Haruna sighed aloud.
“D-don’t say that Haruna-san!!! You’re going to jinx her.” Jurina yelled out defensively.
“No, Haruna is right Jurina. Yukirin had several opportunities presented to her yet she didn’t act upon it. As her sparring partner I’m a bit disappointed.”
“Sorry, Jurina but Rena-chan has spoken. If little Yuki-chan don’t turn this around it will be just as Shiriri-chan said, I can’t recruit her if she does poorly… even if I really want to...” Yuko spoke listlessly.
“Ugh...argggh… Well, aren’t you happy Mayu? You got your wish.” Jurina cried out in frustration. She was really looking forward to the young Kashiwagi joining them.
“Me? Happy? You must be joking Jurina. If anything I’m far from being happy. In fact, I’m infuriated. That brat isn’t taking the match seriously. If anything, this is a mockery for everyone performing their best.” Mayu replied in a cold manner.
“Erm...what do you mean by—?”
“[Would you look at that!!! Our princess’ weapon finally gave out as she deflected that brutish blow. With a broken blade, her distance to her target has just shorten!! What will she do next?]”
Before Jurina could finish asking what Mayu had meant, her and the rest of the 48th platoon directed their attention toward the ongoing match after hearing Sasshi’s abrupt commentary. Seeing Yuki’s katana’s blade broken in half was nothing new to these experienced veterans. Weapons breaking on the field was a rare occurrence but it does happen from time to time; it only meant their little Yuki would have to be even closer to her opponent’s striking range to deal a finishing blow. Yet, this was the exact problem their young friend was having the most difficulty with. To close in the gap and be on the offensive side.
“Really, this brat is just asking for a death wish...”
“And, isn’t that the reason you used a kamidori to call me here sister dearest?” a young woman answered back.
“I don’t know what you are talking about Miyuki-nee.” Mayu replied nonchalantly.
“Oh dear, I must have been mistaken then.” Miyuki answered back with an amuse tone.
“Ohhh, Milky!! Glad to see you could make it!! You’re just in time to see our little Yuki-chan in action”
“Yes, well a certain someone did asked me to come here in great haste...” Miyuki answered Yuko back while directing her glance to Mayu.
“...” Glaring at her older sister, Mayu promptly went back to ignoring her sister as if she wasn’t there a few moments ago.
Off to the side, the Matsui sister mentally piece the puzzle together and breathed a sigh of relief. Deep down their stoic friend truly did care for their young companion. Once again they had misinterpreted Mayu’s awkward display of affection for the young girl as being uncaring and loathing. A trauma that spark from a past incident, they assumed Mayu took the incident heavily to heart.
Wanting to apologize to their friend, the duo refrain from doing so in order to give their friend some face. Having known the shy assault lieutenant for a long time, they knew for a fact Mayu would not easily admit Yuki is an important person to her despite her action saying otherwise.
Happy by such a fact, Rena returned her attention back to the newly arrive friend, “Will you intervene if Yukirin is in danger?”
“Yea, yea!! Will you Miyuki?” Jurina added in.
“Hmmm, rather than asking me. Shouldn’t you guys be asking my little sister, no…?”
Before the Matsui sibling could ask their stoic friend, their once happy expression turned to surprise shock as their line of vision follow their falling friend all the while yelling, ““Ehhh!!!?””
Miyuki simply chuckle a small “Oh dear…,” as she watch her little sister jump off the handrail and into the blazing match.
Off to the side the KojiYuu couple were flabbergast by their quiet friend’s bold move.
With her blade broken, Yuki could only dodge the incoming attacks as she widens the distance between her opponent and herself, knowing full well how disadvantageous it would be for her. At the same time, Yuki had knew it was about time to bring her beloved katana into a shop for repair. Considering the amount of times she had used the treasured weapon to spar with Rena, it lasted a good life. But every time Yuki decided to bring it in for a repair job on her days off something would tied her up for the entire whole day, that something or rather someone by the name of Watanabe Mayu. Unconsciously, she would follow the young assault lieutenant like a young chick would follow after their mother hen. But who would had thought her beloved katana would meet its end today!! There was no one else to blame but herself.
Having her foot back against the end of the ring, Yuki calmly gather her thoughts as she steadily position herself to dodge the next incoming attack. But before she could invade the incoming attack, a black silhouette descended from the sky and rebounded the flying guillotine from whence it came. Stunned by such a scene, a cold yet snarky voice quickly snap Yuki from her stupor.
“I’m quite disappointed in you, Kashiwagi. I had thought you would be better than this by now but alas I was wrong. Why don’t you go pack your things and run along if you are going to continue with this childish farce?”
Anger by the words spoken from her uninvited crush, Yuki threw her only remaining weapon at her savior in resentment only for her to regret in doing so. With great ease and grace, Mayu skillfully caught the incoming weapon as she sighed in pity at Yuki’s childish behavior.
Meanwhile the remaining examiners and Yuki’s opponents were in a complete daze to see a Murakumo member jumping in towards Yuki’s rescue. Yet, one person was unfazed by such an action and that person was none other than—
“[Would you look at that folks!!! Our princess was saved just in the nick of time by her secret crush, Assault Lieutenant Watanabe!! Hey did you guys know, our princess here would follow our assault lieutenant here like a loyal puppy whenever she appears; this coming from a reliable source.]”
—the commentator, Sashihara Rino.
Appalled by the leak of personal information, Yuki channelled her remaining energy towards Mayu in a fit of rage and embarrassment. Ignoring the fact it was Sasshi and her loose lips at fault, Yuki furiously rain down a stream of kicks and punches towards Mayu, only for them to be perfectly evaded and block.
Mayu on the other hand wasn't so naive and inexperienced as Yuki was, the moment Yuki falter a step back from the rebound of the counter she had unknowingly let slip an opening. Mayu grabbed at this opportunity and closed the distance between Yuki and herself. From there, she wielded Yuki’s broken katana and aim towards a vital spot located on Yuki’s neck, going in for the kill.
Sensing such blood lust, Yuki quickly found her bearing and narrowly escaped death. She quickly flee back once more to put some distance between themselves. Yet, Mayu wouldn't allow such an occurrence to pass. She quickly pulled out her [Cursed Relic], a pair of jet black twin daggers connected by a long chain of equal color; with accuracy and precision Mayu aimed one of the daggers towards Yuki’s legs, rendering her falling to the ground and unable to escape.
In the eyes of the audience and the forgotten opponent, a faint thought crossed their minds, “What on earth is happening here?”
Presently before them, they see the young Yuki panicking as she desperately try to break free from the chain restricting her freedom. Meanwhile on the opposite side of the panicking youth, the cold and stoic assault lieutenant ruthlessly pull the chain and her prey closer to her. One word could describe the scene before them—
If one forget this was a mock exam, one could clearly say the current crying (scared) Yuki was currently being bully by the emotionless (murderous) Mayu. Yet, no one dare to voice out such an opinion. No one except for one brave (idiot) individual.
“[Oiiiii, Mayu!!! Isn’t this going a bit too much? Bullying our dear princess into tears. Don’t you feel any shame picking on the weak?]”
Ignoring Sasshi’s stupid commentary, Mayu unbound Yuki once the teenager was in front of her. She dropped her [Cursed Relic] next to the frightened teen and walked a few meters away from her.
“Stand up and fight me, Kashiwagi.” Mayu coldly spoke out as she raised her opponent's broken katana towards them.
Confused by the turn of event, Yuki timidly stood her ground with Mayu’s [Cursed Relic] in hand. A wave of nostalgia washed over her as she felt the once familiar weight held in between her hands. Seeing Yuki still in a daze, Mayu madly dash towards her distracted opponent and attacked; only for Yuki to skillfully block the incoming attack.
Slash. Swoosh. Clinck. Swish. Clank.
The two furiously exchange blows after blows with one another for 15 minutes straight. Yet, those 15 minutes seem much longer than it really was to the audience. They were awe and mesmerize by Yuki’s graceful movement in wielding Mayu’s [Cursed Relic].
A [Cursed Relic] is a weapons designed and made from the remains of Onis, enhance by magic circles and sorcery formulas. It’s forging method passed down from generations to generations by their great ancestors of old. No two [Cursed Relic] were alike.
A [Cursed Relic] was a weapon tailored to it’s wielder. They are a Murakumo’s member most trusted partner in battle. It was an extension of themselves. Any person other than the [Cursed Relic]’s wielder would have a much harder time using it and yet Yuki was using Mayu’s [Cursed Relic] as if it was her own.
With a quick flick of her wrist, Mayu sent one of her daggers flying out from Yuki’s hand. Anger by Yuki’s poor battle performance, Mayu angrily yelled out towards the poor goddess, “Stop playing around!! I already gave you enough handicaps!!”
Poor Yuki could only stand her ground panting with heavy breath and numb to the extent of exhaustion. She was unable to comprehend what Mayu was trying to say nor her actions in interrupting her exam. Yet, Yuki felt a sense of regret, frustration and humiliation as Mayu seized her [Cursed Relic] and walked out from their unfinished match.
“Fumu. So that’s what it was...our little Yuki-chan was a bad girl.” Yuko spoke aloud as her gaze swept across Mayu’s fleeing form to Yuki’s shrunken form.
“Indeed, it’s no wonder Mayu is mad at her. Even I’m a bit furious by her actions but as her best friend I will give her the benefit of the doubt. She must have had a reason for hiding her true strength.” Rena replied.
“Rather than a reason, she was being a childish brat. She is not her sister. No matter how much she tries to be, she will never be her sister’s replacement.” A cold voice answered from behind.
“Welcome back, Shiriri-chan So what do you think about little Yuki-chan?”
“Ehhhhh~ And, you guys?”
“Whatever Yuu-chan decides.” Haruna replied.
“Hmmm, I vote we get Yuki-chan.” Jurina decided.
“Please do and afterwards I request for permission to interrogate her for that sloppy display of sportsmanship.” Rena smiled coldly.
“Permission granted. And how about you, Miyuki?”
“As much as I want Yuki to join us, I will have to pass on this one. Can we really trust her with our life on the battlefield? As a friend the answer would be yes but as a comrade in arms I have my doubts. She is still far too inexperienced and childish.”
“Trust and experience can be gain with the passage of time, no?” Jurina inquired.
“Perhaps but Kashiwagi is still too easily swayed by her emotions.” Mayu replied back.
“Not everyone can be like you, sister dearest.”
“You know as much as I do, I don’t have much time left. I need Kashiwagi to hurry up and make her resolve. To grow stronger in my place and achieve the dreams the three of us failed to do so.”
“Oi!! Stop with this nonsense talk. Your last check up showed you can still be on active duty for the next 3 years if you don’t go all out.” Jurina complained.
“3 years can pass by in a blink of an eye, Jurina...” Rena whispered softly.
With a clap of her hands, Yuko ended the gloomy talk.
“It’s 4 vs 2, Shiriri-chan. Verdict dictates little Yuki-chan shall be a member of my harem. Any objection?”
“Do as you please, Oshiriko-chan...” sighed Mayu.
“Good as such, I hereby command you to make little Yuki-chan your [scabbard].”
“You can’t be serious...”
“Oh but I am. First, little Yuki-chan meets all of your requirements. Her burning gaze of hatred for your guts tell me so. Second, Sae wish it so in her will. And third, it’s so I can have little Yuki-chan monitor you 24/7. She will directly report back to me at the end of the day, regardless if it’s of any unusual activities you have been up to or day to day boring things. As such please give up and refrain yourself from self-inflicted harm.”
Off to the side, Jurina quietly whispered, “Haruna-san, does Yuko-san know she is always wrong when it comes to the matter of a choosing a [scabbard]?” With a deep knowing gaze, Haruna nonchalantly whispered back, “It’s fine. Yuu-chan’s idiocy is what makes her her.”
Meanwhile, Mayu is contemplating on her soon to be restricted freedom as she glared at Yuko.
“Now don’t give me that look, Shiriri-chan. You made your choice and I respect you for that, regardless of what the other may say. However, that doesn’t mean I will allow you to do as you please. I’m placing my hope in little Yuki-chan, that she can change you. A fail-safe you can call it.”
“Rather than her being a fail-safe, she’s a double-edge sword you can’t control.”
“I agree with Mayu on this one. Yuki is easily sway by her emotions.” Miyuki pitched.
“That is true. But this only applies to the ‘current’ Yuki. Don’t forget, ‘Who’ am I? And ‘What’ am I?”
“““...””” Everyone were render speechless by Yuko’s inflated big ego and her long to say conceited speech…
“‘I’ am Oshima Yuko, captain of Murakumo’s 48th platoon. ‘I’ am her highness’ right hand woman and rival. ‘I’ am the general captain’s best friend. ‘I’ choose those who have potential to serve by Acchan’s and Takamina’s side. As such, I will fully utilize little Yuki-chan as I deem fit.”
“Ah...I’m starting to feel sorry for Yukirin at this point.” sighed Rena.
“““Ditto.””” The remaining 4 retorted back.
Two weeks had passed since the initiation exam had transpired. To Mayu’s dismay and Yui’s joy, Trainee Kashiwagi Yuki and Trainee Shimazaki Haruka were indoctrinated into the 48th platoon. However, to Yuki’s horror and to Haruka’s delight the 48th platoon was everything and nothing they had dreamed off.
Everything went according to Yuko’s prediction, Yuki was made to be Mayu’s [scabbard] at the expensive of her freedom (being drown in mountain of paperworks). She assisted the stoic assault lieutenant with her duties (became her personal slave) and endure the harsh training menu given to her (beaten within the inch of her life). Everything she had dreamed off was crushed by her so called childhood friend. Yuki soon grew jealous of her friend’s envious position. In the mere two weeks the two friends had been here, Haruka had experience far more field work then Yuki had herself.
Contemplating on whether to voice her displeasure to Yuko-san, Yuki quietly shove those negatives thought into the crevices of her mind. Her reason being, Yuko-san must have had a reason for partnering her up with Mayuyu. If not then there was no reason to report to her daily at the end of the day with reports of Mayu and and her day.
“Mayuyu, I’m back from the workshop.” Yuki replied listlessly as she walked into her platoon’s home base that seem more like a recreation room. Empty as it was during this time of day, one lone figure could be found sleeping comfortably on a soft sofa located to the right side of the room. This person was none other than Assault Lieutenant Watanabe.
Seeing Mayuyu’s defenseless state irked Yuki even more than she already was. While she was out taking care of her superior officer’s work, the same said superior officer was taking an afternoon nap. It was moments like these that made Yuki really want to quit being a Murakumo member yet her pride and life goal dictates for her not to. As childish as she was, her older sister was everything she wanted to be, in a sense, her sister was Yuki’s “everything,” and as such, Yuki decided to follow after her sister’s footsteps.
It was because of Yuki’s “love” and “admiration” for her older sister that Yuki decided she can brave any hardship and difficulty dealt her way. After many years of training and waiting since her sister’s passing, Yuki had finally made it to the starting line. This starting line was none other than to get close to her superior officer. Seeing Mayuyu’s relaxed and defenseless state in front of her, truly brought about a small glimmer of happiness to Yuki’s face.
Locking the door behind her, Yuki quietly inch closer to her sleeping friend. With each steps she took, Yuki’s smile grew bigger and bigger. To think such a moment would present herself so soon after suffering at the hands of the evil assault lieutenant. Lady Luck must have taken pity on poor Yuki’s current working conditions and decided to lend Yuki a helping hand towards her revenge against the sleeping assault lieutenant.
Just as Yuki had finished positioning herself atop of Mayu’s sleeping figure, she was suddenly startled by a cold stoic voice, “What are you doin?”
Seeing Mayu staring right back at her with one eye open, Yuki could only mumble out a small, “Nothing…”
“If it's nothing, then do you mind getting off of me? Or do you want to continue with your act of homicide with temptation and seduction?”
“Wahhh...What are you saying?” stuttered Yuki.
“Clearly what I'm seeing… If you are going to murder me in my sleep, mind I advise you to do it more stealthy. You are currently oozing with blood lust that even a weak oni can sense from miles away.”
“I-I was doing no such thing!!!”
“Bold words coming from someone caught red handed. Have you seen your current state? If someone were to walk in on us they would undoubtedly assume the young Kashiwagi is preying on her defenseless superior office.”
“Eh…?” Confused by Mayuyu’s statement, Yuki looked down with realization dawning upon on her. She had completely forgotten about the hot and blazing humid climate outside she had experienced just a few moments ago. It was no wonder (her) Mayuyu would say such outrageous thing to Yuki. With her semi-see through sweat soaked white blouse and a few buttons unbuttoned down exposing just enough cleavage for the assault lieutenant to have a perfect view of; topped with their current position, any unwelcome third party would automatically come up with the same conclusion Mayu had spoken of.
Hastily covering herself up, Yuki screamed at Mayu with a flushed face, “Y-You Pervert!!! A-AHHH!!”
However, before Yuki could finished saying her comeback Mayu had already flip the flustered Yuki over, reversing their current position of Mayu being on top. After a few minutes of Yuki’s futile struggles and Mayu’s groping, Yuki exploded, “Unhand me already you pervert!!”
“Huuu~ Quite the temper you still have here… Do you not realize the situation you are in?” Mayu replied in a listless voice as she found what she was looking for. Pulling the hidden dagger from Yuki’s body, Mayu stabbed the prized weapon a few inches away from Yuki’s head.
“...How…?” asked the bewilder Yuki.
“It seems you are still lacking in technique and experience. May I suggest you continue your studies in the art of seduction with Medic Corporal Kasai? From what I hear, she’s quite the expert with matters concerning the bedroom.” Mayu jabbed as she got off of Yuki’s tall frame.
“...T-that’s not what I’m asking here and you know it!!”
“Did you honestly think you were fooling everyone here? Have you never stop to think on why you were picked by Yuko-san, considering your poor display at the mock exam?”
“It was not a coincidence you became my [scabbard], princess.”
“It just so happen your criteria for revenge fit my criteria of my life goal.”
“What are you talking about…Mayuyu?” asked Yuki with uncertaininty as she sat herself upright ontop of the sofa.
“Everyone in the 48th platoon is aware of it. Your vengeance that is… Because you work so hard and persevere after all these years, Yuko-san decided to give you a helping hand in avenging your sister’s death. She found it quite convenient to pair off her newly acquire unusable pawn with their sister’s killer for surveillance purposes.”
“How many of my partners do you think I have already killed so far? Your sister was but a dime in a dozen.”
“You bitch!!!” Yuki cried out as she lunged for Mayu’s throat, only to be stopped midway. Mayu skillfully knock Yuki off blance and subduing the young teen’s front onto the soft sofa.
“The way you are now, I can have my way with you and no one can stop me.” Mayu whispered softly into Yuki’s ear.
“...” Given their current position, wild images ran amok as Yuki tries to imagine all the perverted and sick things Mayu could enact onto her bound body.
“Well enough of that. Why don’t you cover yourself up with this?” Mayu ordered as she unhand Yuki and chuck her Murakumo’s blazer towards the puzzled teen.
“Why are you trying to pull here?” Yuki angrily asked as she covered herself up with Mayu’s small jacket.
“Nothing my ass. I find that hard to believe after that stunt you pull.”
“Ahhh...there’s the cheeky brat I know. I found it extremely creepy by how perfect and nice you were acting these past two weeks.”
“C-Creepy…!? Y-you, jackass…!!”
“Why thank you.”
“Don’t thank me you pervert!! Out with it!!! What are you planning? What is everyone planning!!?”
“Fumu… I’m not planning anything. Just like how everyone is not planning anything.”
“Our motto is to do as we please. As such, we are letting you do as you please.”
“That’s...blasphemy right here… Hostility towards a superior officers would already warrant me under house arrest...”
“This is the 48th platoon we are talking about it here. Under what normal circumstances would you be charge with house arrest?”
“You can continue you act of revenge against me. However, I have a few conditions you must abide by.”
“First, I will only be on active duty for 3 years. You must accomplish your revenge within that time frame.”
“Why don’t you just drop dead for me already?”
“With pleasure however I have unfinished things I must attend to first.”
“...” Yuki continue to scowl at Mayu’s unwanted teasing.
“Second, continue with your training regimine I have assign you. I need you to grow stronger. Much stronger.”
“And you are okay with this? Training someone to kill you?”
“I can’t exactly have you kicking the bucket before me now can I?”
“Did you forget we are oni slayers. Sooner or later you will have to join us on a expedition. It just so happens there is no available mission assigned to our platoon of the 1st Unit, the Retaliation team.”
“...” (So that’s why...) Yuki thought quietly to herself.
“And lastly, don’t forget about your feeling of hatred for me.”
“Why would you say that…?”
“My criteria for someone to become my [scabbard] is for me not to become important to them.”
“Then that would mean everyone in the 48th platoon was already disqualify from the get go.”
“Correct. I have acted in a group of 1 for 3 months already. Minus the fact Yuko-san would groupme up with a pair for long term expeditions.”
“...Why me though…?”
“Didn’t I say it before? Yuko-san found it convenient to pair us up together. Because you hate me with every fiber of your being, I will not become someone important to you.”
“Why would you want such a thing?”
“There are certain circumstances and things a brat like you won’t be able to understand.”
“I’m not a brat!!”
“Tell me that when you manage to defeat me, you brat.”
“You!!!” Yuki cried out as she stood up to swing her hand towards Mayu’s cheek. Aiming for the kill (anger slap), Yuki’s smooth delicate hand stopped a few millimeters away from Mayu’s left unblemish cheek. Her right hand strongly cupped into Mayu’s left hand.
“I stand corrected, you’re a temperamental brat.” Mayu gently spoke out as she kissed Yuki’s hand as a sign of mockery. Furious by Mayu’s teasing, Yuki retracted her hand from within Mayu’s grasp and glared at her coldly. If looks can kill, Yuki’s death glare would had killed Mayu 100 times and over.
“Why don’t you take the rest of the day off, princess?” Mayu suggested as she left the fuming Yuki all alone in the recreation room.
“Why do you do this to yourself?” A voice spoke out as Mayu closed the door behind her.
“Hmmm...I wonder why too...” Mayu chimed as she continue walking to her next destination.
“Mayu...” The voice sympathetically called out.
“Do take note that everything I’ve done so far have meaning. Just like how everything Kashiwagi has done so far has meaning. It might not have meaning to outsiders but it does hold a special meaning to the person acting upon it.”
“Say Yui, may I ask for a favor?”
“If it about Yuki then no.”
“Ah...guess I will have to go ask someone else.”
“Everyone else’s answer will be the same as I’ve told you.”
“You don’t know that...”
“Our platoon’s motto is to do as we please. As such we will only be on the sideline observing your screw up with our princess.”
“Why not be upfront with her? With time she let go of her grudge and forgive you.”
“That still doesn’t change the fact I’m still a murderer. Her sister’s killer.”
“...And what about me? What about the rest of everyone in Murakumo? What about our parents? Aren’t we the same as you then?”
“Yui...You...our parents and everyone in Murakumo are ‘Allies of Justice’ to me.”
“That’s not what I saying, Mayu.”
“You know...I like to be alone for a bit. Would you mind, Yui?”
“...We can finish this discussion at a later time. I will see you around.”
“With do pleasure.” Mayu replied as she veer off into town.
>>> MURAKUMO RECORDS : CENSORED
>> CASE FILE : SUMMER BLUES
>> ENTRY LOG No. 2XXX
> REPORT : OSHIMA Y.
At that time, you had already decided on the choice in your heart.
If there was anything unnecessary, you would show it in front of me.
But what I had wanted to see more was what you were unwilling to show, something you had cautiously hid deep within the crevices of your heart.
No matter how grotesque, bleak or harrowing it was.
As your sworn sister by oath, I had wanted you to rely on me, if only a little...
However, through your own effort of sadness and sorrow, you had still made the decision on your own.
Regardless of what everyone else may thinks and say, I will respect your choice.
The decision you had made—
To be continued...