Volume 5? That's probably a project for next summer. Baseball ahoy!
I'd also like to thank everyone for voting on the Allison poll. The chronological option won by a landslide, so that's what I'll be aiming for: The entire series, starting with Allison. Of course, keep in mind that it might take quite a bit of time for me to get my hands on the books--no earlier than September, and that's only if I'm lucky. But I'll do everything I can to start working on the translation as soon as possible.
Enjoy the update!
Chapter 7 - Finale: Demon
The days passed by in tranquil peace.
Finally, it was the first weekend after Culture Day.
Special features on the Anete Harami scandal were being broadcast today, and the deeds of the evil company president who was behind all of this were being exposed one by one.
Also on the news was the fact that the Anete Harami face—who had been so troubled by having to fool people through her work that she was hospitalized with a stomach ulcer—had recovered and returned to England for the time being to join her family.
[This incident highlights the fact that we Japanese are much too trusting! These poor girls have helped us understand the fact of our own weakness. Of course, I’ve always suspected that something was off about Anete Harami’s singing.]
Well, it’s not like anyone can prove this guy’s claim one way or another. Hindsight is 20/20.
The talk show host was speaking on behalf of the viewers. And of course, viewers would naturally want to say, ‘that’s what I was thinking the whole time’.
And the one person who really did notice ahead of time, our hero in the gym uniform, passed by the big TV and went from the common room to the entrance hall.
It was just before noon.
When Kino walked out, she happened to see a large black car parked just outside the doors.
The car was a super-luxurious Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan. Disembarking from it were several bodyguards. They looked quite similar to the men who had been turned into demons a few days ago.
Kino approached the car.
The men gently pushed her aside.
They suddenly stopped at the sound of the voice that came from the car.
Sara stepped out of the sedan, wearing her school uniform.
Although she had become a household name overnight, Sara was still young. So she declined the many interview requests from the media, and had taken the first steps towards becoming a normal singer.
“Hey, Sara! Fancy meeting you here.”
Sara was still the same as ever, with her hair in pigtails and freckles all over her face.
“Kino-senpai! I’m moving into the dorms today. Let’s get along!”
“All right! If you ever need any help, just ask!” Kino said, putting her fist over her chest. “Your stuff isn’t here yet, is it? Wanna go have lunch while you wait?”
“Yes!” Sara smiled. “Would you mind if I brought someone along?”
Kino tilted her head. Sara turned and pointed at someone hiding behind a lamppost a slight distance away.
There was no mistaking that head of golden hair. Elias shrank back slightly from his hiding place.
“Sure! But if he’s not living in the dorms, he’s gonna have to pay for his meal.” Kino said jokingly, but Sara grinned.
“It’s all right. I’m buying!”
Kino had heard everything from Chako-sensei several days earlier: Sara had gotten back all of the money that had been taken away from her. She had initially declined the sum, saying that she was also responsible as a part of the Anete Harami charade. However...
“You might as well take the money. Think of it as all of your fans’ encouragement to you!” Chako-sensei had said, eventually convincing Sara to accept it. And so, Sara was now very rich.
“Then let’s call him over. Hey, Elias! Let’s have lunch together!” Kino bellowed. Elias flinched for a moment.
He sheepishly emerged from behind the lamppost, not looking any different from the way he was before the demonic transformation. His hair was messy, and he was wearing a normal pair of jeans and a simple checkered shirt.
“Huh? He doesn’t look any different.” Kino said.
“That’s because Elias is always himself!” Sara replied with a smile.
Kino had thought that Elias’s experiences as a demon might have perhaps helped him grow more confident. But this was reality.
“Um... Sorry, Kino-senpai... were you talking to me?” Elias said feebly, approaching them.
‘Huh. So that transformation didn’t help him out at all.’ Kino thought, deflating.
“Yeah! I was! Elias, Sara and I are going to have lunch together at the cafeteria. Come eat with us! Sara’s buying, you know?”
“What? But I-”
“It’s okay, Elias! I’m buying today! Let’s go!”
Sara pushed him along.
“Whoa, wait! Okay! You don’t have to push!”
Elias entered the dormitory building. Kino nodded towards the bodyguards in a simple greeting and followed after her underclassmen. The bodyguards weren’t so rude that they would follow Sara into the building.
“All right! Time for a peaceful meal!”
Several minutes later.
“Thanks for the meal!”
“Thanks for the meal.”
“Thanks for the meal.”
The three students clasped their hands in prayer, sitting at a table in the still-empty cafeteria.
In front of Sara was an ordinary bowl of tempura udon.
In front of Elias and Kino were extra-large helpings of today’s meat-n’-veggies stir-fry combo.
Plus plates of Neapolitan Spaghetti.
And bowls of egg udon.
Sara the celebrity was quite the eye-catching sight in the cafeteria today. But standing out more than her was the amount of food piled before Kino and Elias.
“Come on! Dig in.” Kino said, reaching for her udon with her chopsticks.
“Elias, are you all right?” Sara asked Elias worriedly.
Sara’s concern was quite well-founded. When they were standing in line to place their orders earlier, Elias had, one by one, ordered the same foods as Kino.
For a moment, Elias held back the urge to dive into his food like his upperclassman.
“Don’t worry. I’m fine. Actually, ever since the concert, I’ve been really hungry all the time. So... I’ve started eating more and more. Don’t worry. I... I’ll make sure to finish it all.” He answered honestly.
Sara did not pry any further. Kino’s chopsticks froze mid-reach.
“Don’t worry about it, kiddo. You’re still young! You’re still growing! This much isn’t even breakfast for you, right? So I bet you’re going to start getting taller and taller!” She said, before returning to her battle with the bowl of udon.
Sara giggled at Kino’s fervent pace.
“Let’s eat, Elias!”
And so, he began to stuff food into his mouth almost quickly enough to shock Kino. It was starting to look like an eating contest.
Sara sat there in awe of their appetite for some time, before slowly starting on her own meal.
From Kino’s belt—in other words, under the table:
‘C’mon, Kino. Looks like you still need more training.’
Hermes was astonished. It was clear to him why Elias’s appetite had suddenly grown tremendously.
‘Of course someone with superhuman abilities would eat superhuman amounts of food.’ He thought.
“This udon hits the spot!”
Kino, however, seemed to be completely ignorant of the implications of this new development.
‘I guess there’s no rush for now.’ Hermes thought, ‘And it looks like I won’t be doing much for a while, so I guess I’ll take a nap.’
With that, he closed his eyes. (Editorial Dept.: Again with the eyes!)
Chapter 7 End
Chapter 6.5: The Story of a Certain Grenade Girl
~After School Tea Time~
Once upon a time, on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain school, there wandered a grenade girl.
‘Grenade girl’ did not mean that the girl was a grenade, nor did it mean that she was a supplier of industrial-use grenades.
She was just an adorable little girl who often made use of grenades.
She was between ten and twelve years of age, with short white hair and emerald-green eyes.
Did she have no emotions at all, or was she just good at hiding them? She was the kind of person whose photograph would come up first on a Google Images search of the word ‘stoic’.
Her stick-thin legs stuck out of a pair of white shorts, and she wore a brown long-sleeved shirt with a circular neck. Slung over her shoulder was a messenger bag that hung over her rear.
The girl quietly walked through the halls of the school.
It was after school, the very end of evening. Night was just beginning to fall.
The world outside the windows was almost pitch-black.
Because it was almost midterm season, club activities had been put on hold for the time. There were no students on the school grounds.
And yet this girl, who did not look at all like a student of this academy,
Looked round at the halls, the walls, and the floors, sometimes putting her hands on them,
As she slowly walked by.
The girl had been quietly walking by a particular classroom and had come to a stop before the door.
“—please—don’t want—cause trouble—Elias—”
She could hear fragments of a conversation from inside. The voice of a girl.
The grenade girl looked through the glass pane in the door.
She could not see inside. But she peered in anyway.
“—not at all—I swear—”
It was a different voice this time. The voice of a boy.
The girl’s tiny hand silently reached the door, sliding it open without so much as a warning.
Inside the classroom were two terrified, scared people.
One was a boy. A boy with blond hair.
The other was a girl. A girl with her hair in pigtails.
They were both in school uniforms, wearing indoor shoes that indicated that they were in their first year at the academy.
But more important than their surprised faces was the fact that they were both crying.
The grenade girl’s sudden entrance hadn’t jolted them into sobs. They were already crying before that. Their eyes were watery, and their faces were streaked with tears.
The grenade girl looked at them for nine seconds, saying nothing.
The two students, also very surprised at the white-haired girl’s sudden intrusion,
Also remained silent.
The pigtailed girl was the first to break the silence.
“Um... are you looking for something?”
The grenade girl responded as though the past several seconds of silence had never even happened.
“I was surveying. If the halls could take it. Chain explosions. If not, it throws them off. My calculations. It’s important. I want to survey. This classroom, too.”
Only trained readers of Gakuen Kino would be able to understand what she was saying.
The pigtailed girl and the blond boy were both looking at her with their jaws on the floor, just like the time they stepped into a convenience store and found that the clerk was an alien.
“Anyway.” The grenade girl said, this time questioning the students. “What are you doing here?”
The pigtailed girl tried to begin somehow, but she trailed off and went silent.
“You were crying.” The grenade girl said.
“Both of you.”
“You look sad.”
“Something must have happened.”
The question was so natural in the flow of the conversation that the pigtailed girl answered without even thinking.
“We’re both completely powerless...”
Such heavy words. She must have meant that the two of them had no way of changing things for the better, which had left both of them in tears.
“Whose problem is it?”
“Mine.” The pigtailed girl said firmly.
The boy hung his head.
“If... if only I was more grown up... if only I was stronger...” He mumbled, his nose stuffy. His tears fell onto the floor. One drop after another.
“Please! Please don’t cry for my sake anymore. I’m begging you!” The girl said. But the boy’s sobs continued.
“Please... if you cry, we’ll both be sad. So please...” The girl continued, her words perhaps intended more for herself, “Please... don’t cry.”
And so, even the pigtailed girl burst into sobs.
The grenade girl kept her eyes on the crying students, lost deep in thought in spite of appearances.
Oh! It looks like she’s thought of something good. In spite of appearances.
“Your problems. Tell me. I’ll help you.”
“H-how...?” Asked the pigtailed girl.
“With grenades, if I can.”
“If not, some other way.”
“So tell me.”
“...But what good is that going to do...?”
“None, maybe. But if it won’t make a difference anyway, tell me.”
Soon, both the pigtailed girl and the blond boy stopped crying. They both looked at the girl strangely.
It was five seconds later that the pigtailed girl finally revealed the source of her troubles.
Chapter 6.5 End