It's a short update this time due to real-life reasons. Next week's update may also be on the shorter side, depending on how things turn out.
It was a normal school day.
It was just before summer break, so Kino's gym class was just passing the time with things like basketball and volleyball since they had nothing else to do.
Kino, having changed into her gym uniform, ditched both her spirited red bandana and the annoying Hermes in the change room.
"It's nice to be able to forget about demons for a change and get some exercise." Kino muttered happily. She was soon dragged into the basketball court by one of her classmates.
From a slight distance, a pair of eyes were staring at her intently.
"Hmm… she looks quite good in her gym uniform, too."
The eyes were the only thing visible in the darkness. It was in this pitch-black space that these eyes were looking out towards Kino playing basketball.
"You… what are you doing here?" Someone asked the one who was peeping at Kino. It was a young, boyish voice.
"Aaaack! Don't scare me like that, Detective Wanwan. You shouldn't dress in black in dark places like this, as you blend into the surroundings too much. Make sure you always carry with you a reflector board, lest you get run over by a car."
The one watching Kino was Samoyed Mask α. He didn't look any different from usual. No dove this time, though.
"Hmph. Are you trying to pick a fight here, Detective Wanwan?"
"No, I merely happened to spot you coming this way, and suspected that you might be up to no good… but what is this place? Why does a school gymnasium have an attic?"
"That is a good question. Allow me to introduce you to the 'Peeping Room'."
"This gymnasium was recently demolished in an unfortunate incident and was rebuilt."
"I know that."
"I just made a few scribbles here and there to the floor plans while they were rebuilding the gym. The builders never suspected a thing. As a side note, there are cleverly disguised peeping holes scattered around this room."
"I believe this would be considered a crime…"
"Pay it no mind. As long as no one finds out. Also, this room is completely soundproof. No one can hear what goes on in this room, no matter how much of a ruckus you may cause."
"I am here on lookout for demons that may threaten the safety and peace of this institution. This is, after all, a duty of a Warrior of Justice. You should consider it an honour to be able to see me in action, Detective Wanwan."
"… and what would you be looking at now?"
"Thighs. And bloomers."
"Did you know, Detective Wanwan?"
"Bloomers were originally popularized by Amelia Bloomer, a women's rights activist. In those days, bloomers were baggy, with narrow ankles. Eventually they evolved to a much shorter style that could be worn under skirts, and became what they are today. Unfortunately, bloomers have been rendered nearly extinct in Japan because they were unpopular with women. It is a true shame."
"… I have nothing to say to you. If you'll excuse me."
"I see. Oh! The student called Kino has just fallen on her rear and rolled on the ground!"
"I daresay, you moved extraordinarily quickly just now, Detective Wanwan. Perhaps you would be able to fight me evenly if you were to use this level of speed during our battles."
"… if you'll excuse me!"
"I see. Oh! That student called Kino is now fixing a wedgie!"
"I daresay, you were very quick to peep through those holes just now, Detective Wanwan. Not even I may be able to match that speed in battle."
"… If you'll please excuse me!"
"I see. Ohhh! Is that even legal, young maiden? Suchablatantlysexypose--!"
"Made you look! Gotcha! I gotcha! What a perv~ look, everyone! Detective Wanwan is a pervert! He moves so quickly when he goes to look at dirty stuff~!"
"Hm? Have I angered you? It's merely a joke. A foreign(1) joke. Wait, those guns are--ack! Wait!"
"I'll kill you!"
Bang! Thud! Ratatatatat!
As the two idiots began a serious battle in the secret, completely soundproof room--
"Yeah! I got it!"
Kino scored a 3-pointer.
"What is is, Hermes?"
"Why isn't anyone here? Aren't pools supposed to be lively places?"
"It's 'cause it's summer break now. No one'd want to come to school on the first day of summer break--not even for the pool's opening day."
"I get it. But what about the dorm kids?"
"They all went home last night or this morning. The dorm's practically a ghost town."
"What about you, Kino?"
"Thing is, I've been so busy lately with the demons, Samoyed Mask, and Samoyed Mask α that I completely forgot to reserve bus and ferry tickets. I rushed at the last minute and made phone calls everywhere, but I couldn't get anything. I have to leave the day after tomorrow."
"That's why you have so much free time?
"Things would have been a lot easier if you'd transform into a large motorcycle, Hermes. Then I could just zoom along the highway--"
"I can't do that unless it's for fighting a demon. Besides, you don't have a license, or even a helmet, Kino."
"True. …I'm bored."
"Why don't you go swim around? You're in a pool, after all."
"Later. I don't wanna do anything right now. Oh yeah! Hermes, I lost track of you while I was changing. Where are you right now?"
"A dark place. No one'll find me as long as I'm here. You won't even look suspicious, even when you're talking to yourself. I jumped over here while you were changing just now. Thankfully, I can hide here because you're a girl.."
"Kyaa! Hermes, you pervert!"
"Huh? Where am I supposed to go, then?"
"Pervert! What's wrong with you?"
"Wait a sec, Kino. What's wrong?"
"You're disgusting! Insensitive!"
"Huh? Is it bad if I hide here?"
"O-of course it is!"
"But your hair's so thick, it's easy to hide here."
"… wait. What'd you just say?"
"Hermes? Where are you right now?"
"On your head. Near where you part your hair."
"Where did you think I was, Kino?"
"… look at those clouds, Hermes! Summer's finally here."
"Yeah. It's summertime."
Continued in Chapter 3.
Continued in Chapter 3.
(1) The Korean text originally said, "American joke". It's likely just a reference to foreign jokes that are lost on non-native speakers.