An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

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kilopi505
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An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-06-17 11:18am

As I said in the last post of the previous version of this story ( s/3189505/1/An-Unlikely-Magical-Girl-and-an-Unlikely-World-War) I had done too many mistakes, plot-wise and technically, that if I ever tried to edit things away, this story will collapse. Also, I had felt, and been informed, that too many technical aspects of the story had turned off readers just from the first chapter alone.

So, without further ado...wait.

I should show what the different font types in this story stand for:

Normal font is Japanese being spoken by the characters, whether in narration or "in dialogue"

Italic is English being spoken by the characters

'Italic between apostrophes' are thoughts.

Bold is for words that had emphasis.

(The words)
"Ang mga salitang" inside the apostrophe's that are in different languages are meant to be read and pronounced as they are, since well...they are different languages

Now that's over with...without further ado here it is.
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Chapter 1

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:05 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


My four year old daughter tugged at my skirt as I was picking up the change from the counter.

“What is it Ao?”

“Mama, I want a YanYan.”

She quickly pointed at the candy rack beside the convenience store’s cash register.

“Ao, it’s dinner time,” I said while putting the change inside my beloved wallet. “There’s food at home. Why do you still want a snack?”

Ao beamed a cute smile at me.

“It’s for dessert.”

“…dessert? Really?”

She nodded.

I mentally shivered at the thought of biscuits for dessert. In my opinion the only proper desserts after dinner were ice cream, halo-halo or cold purin of either Japanese or Filipino style.

“You don’t like Yan Yan, Mama?”

“I never liked biscuits,” I said while picking up the two bags of groceries from the counter. After I did so, I faced Ao.

“Let’s go.”

She nodded glumly and followed me towards the door of the FamilyMart. Halfway there, I caught my reflection on the convex mirror above the door.

I looked sloppy and unmotherly because of my rumpled blue t-shirt and the visible grains of cooked rice sticking to the end of my jeans. Thankfully there weren’t any problems with my physical features; my shoulder length hair wasn't frazzled by the day’s activities, I had washed my face before going out to buy groceries and my naturally light brown skin looked nice whether dry or not.

"Ao, stay here for a little bit. I'm just going to fix my clothes."

"Ok Mama."

As I quickly fixed my shirt using the mirror, I saw the clerk shaking her head, and a pair of mothers who were directly behind me whispered to each other while giving off scandalized looks at me.

I sighed in exasperation, especially since it had already been three years since I was outed as a teenage mother in the neighborhood.

‘I wonder what it would take to make these people move past condemnation and start looking at me as a mother?’

After I fixed the shirt and brushed the grains of rice away, I turned around and stared back at the two gossips. The women quickly acted innocent and started putting their groceries on the cashier’s counter.

"Mama?" my daughter asked as I huffed and picked up the groceries.

"Let's go Ao," I said while a smile. I didn’t bother answering her implied question seeing as its too early to let my daughter discover people like those gossips exist.

We walked out of the FamilyMart store and onto the streetlamp lit sidewalks of Matsumoto.

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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:05 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


"Ichigo, you should be studying now," Mom said as I laid out the plates on the table.

“I’ll do that later on with Kurumi,” I said while putting down the last plate on the table.

I smiled to myself at seeing my handiwork; five sets of plates for the main dish, bowls for rice, bowls for miso soup, and chopsticks. All that remained to set the table was to put the food on their respective places.

Before I was able to move towards the rice cooker, Mom intervened.

“Really Ichigo, let me finish this. Go back to your room and start studying. I’ll call you when Ao and the brat gets here.”

I mentally sighed at Mom's continued refusal to call Kurumi by her name. On one hand, Ao was now almost five years old. She already understood enough words to know what Mom was calling my wife. On the other hand ‘brat’ was infinitely better than the early days, when Mom was calling her ‘whore’.

‘I should do something about that as soon as possible .Gotta tell Dad before I do that though.’

"Very well Mom. I'll go prepare our study materials upstairs."

After Mom waved me away with a smile, I walked out of the kitchen dining room, and into the hallway that connects the entrance, the stairs, the converted living room, and the bathroom.

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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:06 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


As we walked home, Ao asked a question.

"Mama, why are those old women looking at us like that?"

I blinked.

"Old women? What old women?"

If I recalled the scene earlier correctly, no one in that line was old enough to count as a senior citizen. At most, some might be forty years old, which still didn't count as a senior citizen.

"You know, the woman who you gave money to, and the two women who were whispering to each other while looking at us.”

I stared at my daughter and giggled at the hilarity of hearing my daughter call the cashier and those two gossips ‘old,’ when they were only a few years older than me. And then the ramifications hit me.

If Ao thought people the age of Ichigo's parents and my parents were old, then logically she would think that people become parents at my age. Which would be a very, very bad thing.

‘...is it time to tell her about our circumstances?’

"Mama?"

I shook those thoughts out of my head and answered.

"Ao, forget about those 'old women.' They're just people with too much time on their hands."

"But you feel angry when they look at you like that, Mama."

"I'm not angry."

Ao pouted.

"Mama, you're lying. I can feel you being angry at them when you looked back at the two whispering old women."

I was puzzled by Ao's statement. After all, I wasn't angry at the time I looked back.

'...or was I?’

I quickly changed the topic.

"Ao, tell me, what would you do if those 'old women' look badly at us again?"

"I would run up to them and them to stop picking a fight with you, Mama."

I felt a fuzzy feeling at the sight of Ao getting ready to protect me from the world...just like her father always did for me since we started going out. Unfortunately, I had to nip this in the bud.

"Don't do that Ao."

Ao blinked.

"Why Mama?" Ao asked as we sidestepped an old man walking his black haired dog.

"Because that would just create more trouble where there is none. See...those 'old women' probably had been taught to be like that to people who didn't conform to society's rules, like me."

I gave her a sad smile, when I saw her looking at me in puzzlement.

"Society?"

I smiled at my forgetfulness. Ao might be a smart child, but she was still four years old. There were still many words that she wouldn’t understand.

"A society is a group of people with a set of rules that they all follow. Still with me Ao?"

She nodded.

"Now, I did something outrageous by society's standards. Because of that, many people...would not be nice to me."

"That's mean. What does outrageous mean, mama? And what did you do?"

At hearing her ask about what I did that was so outrageous, I instantly decided to change the topic so she would get distracted away from her question.

"Outrageous is something so bad that people become angry upon learning what that was."

I hoped that Ao would forget the question that I didn’t want to answer anytime soon, however it was to no avail.

"Mama, you didn't answer everything. What did you do that is outrageous?"

‘Was I like this as a child? If so, I hate you karma. I hate you, hate you, hate you.’

"Ao, not now. Maybe when you grow up, ok?"

Ao pouted, and stopped walking.

I quickly looked around us for anyone who could see this tantrum.

After seeing that the nearest people around were the drivers of the occasional car, and the old man we passed by earlier, I looked down at my daughter.

"Ao, is this something that you really need to know now?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because you always feel angry when people look at you like those two old women did earlier. I'm just...worried for you, Mama."

I softly sighed and hugged my adorable daughter.

"Ao, the answer isn't something you will ever like. Trust me."

"Really Mama?"

"I, Ikeda Kurumi, your Mama, do swear that the reason why other people aren't nice to me is something that would make you sad."

"But if that is so, shouldn't you say sorry so those people would stop being not nice to you?"

I winced, since that hit a very sore spot with me.

"Mama?"

"I wish some things happened differently, but no. I'm not going to apologize."

‘I'm not apologizing for giving birth or for taking care of you. Never. I'm your mother, and mothers take care of their children.’

Ao looked up at me in confusion.

"So, you aren't sorry for the reason some people are not nice to you?"

I let go of Ao and started walking again, while she skipped at my right side.

"...most of the time."

There were moments in the past when I regretted becoming pregnant. Like when the ostracism at school became too much for me. Or when I had a very bad fight with my Monster in law...I mean Mother in law.But those were moments of weakness on my part.

There was one piece of advice that got me through all those times, alongside my daughter and my fiance's love. They were Mama's words when I left home to live with Ichigo and the Ohta family. She said "Firmly hold onto yourself, and stay resolute. The path you are walking is a righteous one."

From that point on I decided that I will be the mother of my child...no matter what others say.

We walked home in silence.
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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:06 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


After I finished putting all our notebooks, books, and writing materials on my desk, placing our school bags to one side of the desk, and arranging the seats for me and Kurumi, I was left with nothing else to do but wait for Kurumi and Ao to come home from the FamilyMart down the street.

However, I was bored. I couldn’t muster the energy to study when my wife wasn’t here. So instead of spending the time just staring out the window, I occupied myself with looking around our room.

At one side of the room were two cabinets, filled with all of our clothes. One cabinet, bought and given to us by Kurumi’s Dad for her and Ao’s use, was a beautifully decorated, pink wooden cabinet that came complete with a full body mirror, clothes racks, and drawers and some hangers inside it.

The other was made by Dad and me on one fine Sunday using plywood, nails, sandpaper, door hinges, screws and a cabin hook that he bought from a local hardware, and a hammer and screwdriver that he borrowed from Camp Matsumoto.

The futons were beside the cabinets, all rolled up and ready for use when it’s time to sleep.
Behind me was our desk and the windows and curtains, while the wall directly opposite me was where the door and the switch for the lights in the room were placed.

The last side of the room was a gallery of pictures, either put inside hanging picture frames by Mom or wrapped in plastic and attached to the wall with thumbtacks by Kurumi.

The pictures were about pretty much all the most important events of my life up to this day.
There was my first picture, where I was swaddled in a blanket and cradled in Mom's arms a few hours after birth. There’s when Mom started teaching me how to read and write, at age three. The first time I went to school at age six. My tenth birthday. My first picture with Kurumi. Our first date. First kiss. An innocuous selfie of us on the day we made Ao. The day Kurumi started living in with us. Our first picture as a family, my first picture with my daughter, and so on and so forth...

...I wasn’t bored anymore, not after seeing my life in pictures.

I stood up from my chair and started stretching.

If I couldn’t study without Kurumi, then I’m going to exercise. I couldn’t let my body get out of shape if I am to join the Self-defence forces, just like Dad.

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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:08 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


We were now almost back home, which was on the other side of the three way junction directly in front of us.

As I waited for the pedestrian lights to change, Ao started waving in the direction of Camp Matsumoto, on the other side of the street to my left. I quickly took a look.

The guard on duty was hesitantly waving back at Ao. Moments later he then stood back to attention. I didn’t know why, but I felt worried all of a sudden.

“Who are you waving to, Ao?”

“I’m waving to Mr. Moriya, Mama. He is Aya’s father. Do you remember when I told you about Aya?”

“I do.”

Ever since she had been able to walk, we always took Ao on bi-weekly outdoor excursions, since it’s sad if she’s always at home. During last week’s excursion, where she was accompanied by Mother, Ao made friends with a girl one year younger than her at the public park north of here. She then told us all about Aya at dinner…with no mention whatsoever of Aya’s papa being a soldier.

“How did you know Mr. Moriya was a soldier?”

“Because Aya’s Mama showed me and Grandma a picture of their family from her wallet.”

At this point I had a suspicion as to what this was all about.

“Why did she do that?”

“Because she recognized us when she saw us. She said ‘Oh. Aren’t you Sergeant First Class Ohta’s wife and granddaughter?’ And then she started talking to Grandma while Aya and I play near her.”

“…and I guess Mother told you to keep quiet about that from us, right?”

My suspicion was confirmed when Ao nodded. Basically, Mrs. Moriya was trying to gain favor with Father on behalf of her husband, by going through her daughter and my daughter.

I felt that it was a sad attempt, and wasn’t well thought out in the first place. Had she checked if Father was her husband’s commanding officer? Or if he’s the type of person who goes along with being buttered up? Did she check to see how Father was thought of by his fellow ranked officers? Or by his superiors?

I also had a feeling that her husband had no knowledge of what she’s doing, if that hesitant attempt at a wave was any indication…and that made me doubt the sincerity of Aya’s friendship with Ao.

‘Damn it Mother, why didn’t you finish things there and then?’

“Mama?”

Whatever she was thinking, I’m stopping this as soon as possible. I will not allow anyone to use my daughter for anything nefarious.

I kneeled down and made Ao turn towards me.

“Ao, Mr. Moriya’s on duty. Don’t distract him anymore from now on or Father would have to scold Mr. Moriya.”

Ao blinked.

“But why?”

“Because Mr. Moriya is supposed to be guarding the gate. And if he is to do that properly, he wasn’t supposed to be distracted by anyone. Now do you understand?”

I sighed in relief once she nodded.

Now that Ao won’t bother Mr Moriya, my next step was to meet Mrs. Moriya herself and ask her a few pointed questions.
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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:08 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


I had been doing the bent leg raise exercise for thirty seconds when the air suddenly felt unnaturally cold. I quickly took a look at the windows. After seeing that they’re shut close, I sat up from the floor and looked around.

The door was closed. And Dad and me fixed the roof above last year.

The curtains suddenly shut close, the lights turned off, and the door locked on its own.

In the unnaturally silent darkness, I got on the balls of my feet and into an unarmed stance, ready to fight inside our bedroom.
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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:08 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi

Moments after the pedestrian lights turned green, we finally got home.

Our home was two story building with unpainted wooden walls, a typical Japanese roof made of ceramic tiles, a very little garden that separates the house from the sidewalk in front of it and a little fence made of finger width sticks and heavy duty rope Father got from somewhere.

As I was about to turn the doorknob, something soft and sticky and wet hit the back of my head.

"Mama?"

‘I didn’t just get bird droppings on my hair, right?’

"Mama, is that jelly on your hair?"

I quickly wiped my hair with my left hand. As soon as I brought it to my face, I sniffed at it.

As Ao said, it was Konyaku. I stepped back, leaving the shopping bags at the door, and looked at the sky, wondering if someone dropped konyaku from a passing airplane.

The streetlights around our home suddenly flickered.

"Mama, what is that?" Ao nervously said while hugging my right side.

“It’s probably a power fluctuation.”

Across the street, I saw Moriya walking out of the guardhouse with a flashlight in hand.

The lights flickered again, the headlights of a passing car the only source of light for a second.

"Mama, I think someone is watching us."

I looked everywhere for this person who Ao thought was watching us.

The lights flickered once again, and I finally saw something that made me shiver.

It was a furry grey rat as big as my foot, with a blue ribbon tied around its neck. It was standing up on its hind legs, looking at us with intelligence that does not belong to an animal.

"Ohh. It’s a cute, scary feeling mouse.”

I stared down at my daughter.

Ao noticed me after a few more moments of weird baby talking.

“What’s wrong – “

The flickering streetlights interrupted her.

When the lights came on again, I saw the rat looking at us while standing on a…

‘Faded pink cotton wallet... nylon zipper whose paint has peeled off long ago...Hello Kitty keychain…isn't that my wallet?’

"Is that your wallet Mama?" Ao herself asked.

I quickly patted down my left pocket, to feel nothing inside it. I then looked down and pulled the pocket inside out.

Upon seeing that there was no wallet inside my pocket, I looked back at the rat while wondering how the wallet fell out. I quickly saw that it had in its teeth and paws a ten thousand yen note. And it looked like it will tear the money apart.

"No! Bad mousey! No biting Mama's money. Put it down, put it down now."

Ao walked nearer to the damn rat, lecturing it like it is a trained animal.

"Ao, stop–"

The rat suddenly tore the note apart.

"The money," I mumbled in shock.

Father’s salary as a Sergeant First Class was enough for three people, not for five. So ever since I moved in with Ichigo I had been using the money in my savings account to supplement his income.

"Don't you break the money card!" Ao suddenly shouted.

This time the rat held my JP Bank ATM card in its jaws.

“Oh no you don't!” I yelled.

I took a step forward and leapt, hands outstretched to catch the fucking rat.

Time slowed down enough for me to notice a bone-chilling detail.

The rat was looking at me with incredulity. Then it quickly jumped between my closing hands.

‘WaitwhydidIju – ‘

I belly flopped on the sidewalk hard enough that I spent a few moments trying to get air back into my lungs. Once the pain was gone I looked at my hands.

I had both the wallet and the torn paper bill in my hands. All that was left was to retrieve the ATM card.

“Give the card back!"

I looked at where Ao's –


=================================================================================

No, that sudden cut-off was intentional.

I truly, deeply thank everyone who had a hand in the reviews of this story, from Stardestroyer and Spacebattles to Xnxx and Fictionpress.
Last edited by kilopi505 on 2015-07-26 10:18am, edited 4 times in total.

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LadyTevar
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-06-22 06:03am

My main problem is the difficulty in deciphering what was said vs what was thought. You might want to put the thoughts in italics to set them off.
Image

Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-06-23 01:42am

LadyTevar wrote:My main problem is the difficulty in deciphering what was said vs what was thought. You might want to put the thoughts in italics to set them off.


Are the thoughts more distinguishable from the dialogue now?

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby Enigma » 2015-06-23 06:47am

May I recommend you add the name of the narrator whenever you're switching characters? Got confused for a moment.
ASVS('97)/SDN('03)

"You, m'lady are alike that spring rose."
"How so?"
"Unfuckable."
SMBC

ASSCRAVATS!

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-06-23 09:04am

^ What Enigma said.

But the voice vs thoughts is much clearer now.
Image

Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-06-25 12:37pm

Enigma wrote:May I recommend you add the name of the narrator whenever you're switching characters? Got confused for a moment.


Done.

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-07-25 12:36pm

Chapter 2

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:09 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


I cautiously stood straight after some time in a fighting stance.

Nothing else had happened after the strange activities earlier, and the mysterious cold subsided to manageable levels. However all was not well, for there was something else in the room with me. I could tell since I was feeling the same sensation as when our less open-minded schoolmates were gossiping and staring at us in the past.

A motorcycle suddenly roared outside, followed by someone faintly screaming ‘Ao.’ The next thing I knew I was hammering the door with one hand and yelling for Mom’s help, while frantically trying to twist the frozen doorknob open with the other hand and ignoring the sliding of my eyeglasses down my nose.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:09 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I saw everything in slow motion.

Ao was already halfway across the street, chasing the damn rat who stole my ATM card when light shone from one end of the street. And then a motorcycle came into view. Onward it came, nearer and nearer to Ao, who finally noticed the motorcycle and was getting out of the way.

She didn't completely succeed. The handlebar of the motorcycle hit her right shoulder, and made Ao twist in mid-air and slam face down on the hard asphalt. Then the motorcyclist sped off, without a backward glance at the young child that he or she had just hit.

I screamed Ao's name and started running, paying no attention to anything else but my poor daughter. Within moments, I was kneeling beside her and throttled my memories for any first aid advice. After a few seconds I finally decided to have a look at her shoulder. I had only started to move her right limb when she suddenly started crying.

I quickly removed my hands away.

“Oh my poor baby, I’m sorry. Ao, listen to Mama. Where else does it hurt? Can you tell Mama?”

Ao wasn’t able to reply. At a loss, I looked around, shouting for help. Half a minute later I saw a few soldiers rushing out from the base’s entrance. At the front of the group was Father, a tall, lean man who looked just like an older Ichigo but without the eyeglasses.

In a few seconds he and three of his comrades reached us. Father quickly talked to the others. One soldier he ordered to call the nearest hospital, another one was asked if he could give Ao first aid, and another was ordered to direct traffic away from the accident. After that, he turned to me and glared.

“Kurumi, how did my granddaughter get herself in the middle of the street?”

I was intimidated. The last time he was this angry was when Ichigo and I revealed my pregnancy to our parents four years ago, inside my parent’s house. Ichigo was holding my hand at the time, so I was still able to talk in the face of four angry parents. Now, I faced it alone, in full view of a slowly increasing crowd of soldiers and bystanders.

It was quite humiliating.

“Are you deaf, mute, or just plain irresponsible? Speak up!”

“I’m not any of those Father.”

It took a moment for me to realize that I had retorted back at Father in a firm voice. Another moment passed before I realized that I was not intimidated anymore. And a final moment went by before I realized that somehow, someway, my full rights as Ao’s mother was at stake on this very moment.

“Then talk!”

I gulped, and silently prayed.

‘Oh dear beloved ancestors, have mercy on me. I beg for wisdom in my mouth, and for understanding to be placed in the hearts of Father and Mother.’

After finishing, I opened my mouth and let words go out.

“A rat was behind Ao’s accident.”

For a few seconds, the only thing that could be heard in that place was Ao’s crying and the Medic comforting Ao as he and three more of Father's comrades carefully moved her onto a simple stretcher. Father, the soldiers and the bystanders were stunned by what I just spouted. As for me, I had total faith in my ancestors.

“The two of us were about to open the front door when Ao saw my wallet fall out of my pocket. The fall, in turn, had opened the wallet and somehow catapulted my JP bank card out of it and into the jaws of a big, white rat that instantly ran away. Naturally, I tried to stop it by jumping on it with my body, but it was too quick. It slid through my hands. When I recovered from that jump I saw Ao continuing the chase, right onto the street and into the path of that motorcycle.”

After I finished my explanation, I closed my mouth and waited for the outcome. It came a few seconds later.

“Kurumi, I’ve heard a lot of excuses in my time as a drill sergeant. Many were funny, many were not. But what you said just now was the most irritating and insulting one I had been given in my whole life. Do you think I’m a simple minded idiot who believes everything that was told to him?”

Before I was able to reply, an object suddenly hit my right temple. As I hissed and massaged the place, I heard someone speak from the right. At the same time I felt, in the manner of being the person who was experiencing it and not someone else, an astounding amount of anger, outrage and embarrassment coming from the same direction, and the stench of something burning.

“I deny any responsibility for your daughter’s accident, human. I am not to blame if that driver deliberately tried to hit your daughter. In fact, it’s more likely your mother in law’s father is to blame here; we both know that mad small time politician doesn’t care who he goes up against.”

Alarmed by the information that I just heard, and angered by the denial of responsibility, I looked for the mysterious speaker. Instead, I saw people, both soldiers and civilian bystanders, scrambling away from a spot on the road that was glowing red and bubbling from an unnatural heat. And on that spot, I saw the rat who stole my bank card, standing on its hind legs and glaring right at me.

And at the same time I had a brief hallucination, of a dark skinned Indian man dressed in a colorful outfit and golden ornaments and toting a musical instrument of some sort, standing at the same spot as where the rat was and glaring at me with malevolence and embarrassment.

It was then that my nerve broke, and I stepped back twice.

“Oh, and don’t blame me for your stupid card. I threw it at your head. It’s by your feet now.”

I looked down. As the rat said, it was by the side of my right foot.

“Now, what was I going to do again?” the rat suddenly muttered to itself.

I looked back at it. At the same time I quickly noted that most of the people on the street kept a big distance between the very unnatural rat and themselves. The only exceptions were Father, who interposed himself between Ao and the rat, Ao herself, who in between sniffles was looking on from the corner of her eyes, the medic, who though visibly shaking in fear had stayed put right by Ao's head, and me.

“Oh, the theater show. Well, the show’s dead thanks to that driver so…time to improvise.”

The rat suddenly –
Someone suddenly –

-clapped its paws together.
-grabbed my left foot.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:11 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“The lock just won’t move. What did you do to it, Ichigo?”

“Nothing,” I glumly replied.

Mom was currently trying to open the cold door lock with her key. But to her surprise and my despair, it was as if the thing was forged from a single piece of iron instead of an assembly of precisely machined brass pieces.

“Well then. Our only option now is to knock down this door. Just stay put while I call Hayato.”

As I listened to Mom’s receding footsteps, I slid down the wall beside the door until I was seated, and then slammed the wall with my hand.

I was quite sure that something happened to Ao, since the voice that shouted earlier on was Kurumi’s, and my instincts were telling me to protect my family. However, thanks to the door I wasn’t able to go out rushing to the aid of my daughter and my wife-to-be. I couldn’t even open the curtains to take a look at what happened on the street below, for they too were also making the ‘single piece of iron’ impersonation.

And as for the unnatural cold, it had shifted to the other side of the room, as if whatever was creating that cold was watching out the windows at the street below…

‘Wait. By now, it’s safe to assume that the cold is caused by the same something or someone who was watching me earlier, no?’

I was grasping at straws, but for Kurumi and Ao, I’m willing to make a fool of myself.

I stood up and tried to put myself in the proper mood. Moments later, I started.

“Excuse me.”

When I felt the sensation of being watched again, I bowed down until I was at the level where one gives another the highest of respects.

“To whoever is in our room, if I had offended you in any way…I apologize, though I don’t know what I did wrong. I swear that I will make amends, all I ask for is that I be let out of our room to see to my wife and daughter.”

For a few moments I waited. Then all of a sudden I felt the gaze move away from me. Feeling alarmed and slightly insulted by the snub, I bowed lower and repeated myself.

“Please. I know, I just know, that something happened to my daughter and wife down there in the street. I have to go down there. I need to. So please just open this door, or the window. I don’t care. I just have to be able to go down there.”

I snapped out of the bow after I felt it snub me again.

“What is it with this haunted house shit that you’re doing to me?! Is this amusing?! If so, then you had your fill of laughter! Can I go now?!”

All of a sudden a fist entered my field of vision. It hit me in the cheek and sent me reeling backwards against the wall. After a few moments of blinking the stars out of my vision and putting my eyeglasses back onto place, I finally saw what punched me.

It was the ghost of a middle age looking man, dressed in a dark colored kimono consisted of nothing but patches, and armed with a yari.

“Mind your manners, kid. Your elders are still deciding what to do.”

I had already made two attempts at grabbing his collar when I noticed I was failing, him being a ghost in the first place, so I stood up, failing the first time from the lingering dizziness and succeeding the second, and went off right in his face.

Look me in the eyes and tell me that you can show proper manners when you are in my position. Tell me, can you?!

The dead man’s eyes looked straight at mine for a few moments, and then they broke contact with me, full of shame.

“No, I can’t.”

It was only when I backed away from him that I realized I had cornered the ghost at the windows. And when I took a look at my sides, I saw that there were more ghosts in the room than the one I just confronted.

There was one ghost dressed almost like the one in front of me but with the addition of a headband with the famous ‘Namu Amida Butsu’ chant. There was one wearing what I recognize to be armor from the times of the Warring states. Another one was wearing a uniform that I think was that of the Shogunate army during the Boshin war. Yet another one was wearing the dark blue uniform once used by the IJA. And then there were three ghosts wearing costumes that I was sure weren’t culturally Japanese.

Except for the ones wearing the army uniforms, who were armed with bayonet tipped rifles, all of them were armed with various kinds of spears. However, I didn’t let the weapons and their numbers intimidate me. I had the upper moral ground over all of these trespassers.

“Look, is there any reason to keep me imprisoned in my room, much less without any knowledge on what happened to my wife and daughter?”

The ghosts spent a few moments looking at each other. Then the ghost wearing the IJA uniform suddenly spoke up, looking from one fellow ghost to another.

“Honored ancestors, I don’t know about all of you but I say this foolish plan is ruined, and that foreign kami is going to do something more foolish.”

One of the ghosts wearing the non-Japanese costume gruffly asked him something, in a language that I didn’t understand.

“Why, what else?” the ghost replied with a smile, “Give my four times great-grandson a lift downstairs.”

He quickly clapped me on the shoulder before I was able to react to his statement. The next moment I found myself in front of my home, watching a crowd of self defense personnel and civilian bystanders loosely gathered in the middle of the street. And in the middle I saw Kurumi being shouted at by Dad.

I forgot my questions about this self proclaimed ancestor. I was about to run forward when he suddenly pulled me back.

“Ichigo, listen to me. When you reach Kurumi, grab a part of her body and don’t let – damn! Run!

I ran. I shouldered past some people, I saw some people moving away from a spot on the ground, I saw my daughter on the ground, I saw Kurumi and Dad staring at something, I felt a premonition of not seeing Kurumi and Ao for some time.

And then I tripped, fell down at Kurumi’s feet. And then I grabbed one.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:12 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I yanked my foot away from whatever grabbed it, shrieking in surprise. A moment later I calmed down upon seeing who it was.

“Sorry for scaring you love,” my husband-to-be sheepishly said from the ground.

Before I was able to respond, a certain tremulous voice brought my mind back to pressing matters.

“Ma, Pa, hurts. Hospital?”

Ao was laid on her back atop a stretcher, looking at us with a face full of tear tracks, dirty bleeding scratches and a bloody nose. Her torso was covered by her shirt so I couldn’t see any damage, but I just knew it was bad.

“Ao, what happened to you?” Ichigo asked as he got up on his feet and went to her. I quickly followed, worried that he might move her body without a medical personnel’s advice.

“Bad man hit…hit…huh?”

The woozy look on Ao's face and the slowly increasing speed of her breath was turning my worry into gibbering panic.

"Oh damn," Ichigo cursed as he kneeled beside her.

"What? What is it?!" I shrieked behind him.

"She has a concussion, and her ribs are cracked or broken. Her right shoulder has broken bones, torn muscles and damaged nerves. A lung is in the process of collapsing. Oh, and before I forget, something near her heart is about to bleed any moment now, and those kinds of bleeding are almost instantly lethal."

I slowly looked to my right, my entire being filled with terror at the litany of my daughter's injuries, to see the rat, that cursed rat looking at me smugly.

"And how exactly do you know all that?" Ichigo hissed.

"Because I can look inside your daughter's body with the po~wer of ma~gic," the rat replied in an insulting and belittling way.

As Ichigo furiously stood up, the rat continued.

"Ah, ah, ah. Take a little look at your surroundings, the both of you."

Ichigo took a glance, which quickly turned into a stare filled with shock and dismay as he turned on the spot. Curious, I finally paid attention to my surroundings…and got rewarded with the sight of a fully lit and completely silent street.

"Where's everyone?" I asked as I looked around, desperately searching for the sight of soldiers who could protect my family from this rat.

The rat started chuckling.

"Wrong question, Kurumi. The right question is 'where are we'?"

'Where are we? Did that self proclaimed magical thing just say 'where are we'? Oh no. Oh no.'

"Kamikakushi," I muttered in horror as I looked at my fiance. A moment later he took hold of my left hand and squeezed it tight.

"That's right. Spirited away, just like the Studio Ghibli movie. And unless you do as I say, Ikeda Kurumi, I'll keep all of you here until your poor daughter dies."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many thanks to Atreidestrooper, Wuffles, ckk185, locki, and Nuts! of Spacebattles for beta-reading and information that I needed for this and the next chapter.

So, comments?

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby Enigma » 2015-07-25 04:47pm

Much better and MORE! :)
ASVS('97)/SDN('03)

"You, m'lady are alike that spring rose."
"How so?"
"Unfuckable."
SMBC

ASSCRAVATS!

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-07-28 09:40am

Chapter 3

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:13 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I shrieked. I stepped forward to kill the rat when Ichigo pulled me back and restrained me with a very tight hug.

I screamed curses as I struggled to try and kill that thing. I screamed and struggled and screamed and struggled until Ichigo yelled into my ear.

"Calm down Kurumi," Ichigo pleaded as I blinked the temporary deafness of one ear away. "Our daughter's life is at stake here. Calm down and let's talk with it. Please."
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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:13 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


I sighed in relief as my rampaging wife calmed down and settled for glaring at the…the magical rat.

It was a very close thing. Had I not been holding her hand, and had she not shrieked first before running, then I would not have had the opportunity to wrap my arms around her. If she had escaped, then a number of things could have happened. The rat could have used magic against her, injuring Kurumi or killing her. Kurumi might have hurt the rat, making it angry enough to curse all of us. Or Kurumi might have killed it and have trapped all of us here until we die.

No matter how I thought about it, we had no other choice but to talk with him.

“Now that my wife had calmed down, talk. What do you want with Kurumi?” I asked the rat.

“Tell me,” the rat said as he started walking around us, “What do you know about mercenaries?”

“We don’t have time for theatrics!” Kurumi yelled out from my still enclosed arms. “My daughter is fading away, right now!

“Oh? Then you’re agreeing without knowing what we want you to do?”

I suddenly had a horrible feeling about the way this conversation was going. It was the feeling that I could best describe as being stranded on an erupting volcanic island surrounded by a sea filled with man eating sharks, watching a cloud of superheated ash descend upon you.

“Yes!“

I quickly tried to rein in my wife.

“Kurumi, stop. Let’s talk this over – ”

“There’s no other choice! Our daughter is badly injured!“

“He could be lying. The only thing I see Ao having right now is a concussion and badly infected scratches.”

“And those alone are still dangerous! Also, don’t forget that rat is a magical one! He could make Ao suddenly have all those injuries if he wants to!”

I shut down my irritated reply to Kurumi as I pondered on the rat’s ability to make my daughter suddenly have those injuries. After a few moments I conceded that point.

“Alright, but I have to know first what he wants. Please.”

Kurumi looked at me for a second or two. And then she nodded. Having received what I want from my wife, I asked the rat a question.

“What precisely do you want my wife to do?”

“There’s a reason I asked if she knows anything about mercenaries, you know?”

It took me a moment to understand the rat’s answer, seeing as my wife and the word mercenary had absolutely no connection with each other in my mind. No, if anything, I had more of a connection with the word than Kurumi will ever have.

“You want me to work as a mercenary what?” Kurumi asked.

She had a point. Mercenary could refer not only to soldiers for hire, but any job where the employee is only there for the money that is being paid.

“What else does mercenary mean, you idiot? Of course I mean a soldier for hire. Want me to extol the benefits of working for my masters and allies?”

“Li~ar.”

Kurumi and I were instantly kneeling by Ao’s side.

She looked pale and weak. Despite that she was giving the rat the naughtiest and most defiant look I had ever seen her make, when she wasn’t even supposed to move her neck because of the accident.

“Oh, you sure you want to insult me when your life is in my hands?” the rat asked.

I quickly panicked upon realizing that Kurumi wasn’t the only belligerent person I had to rein in, and that the rat doesn’t care if Ao is a young child who doesn’t know any better.

“Ao, shush. Let me and Mama talk to the rat,” I said while exchanging worried looks with Kurumi.

“No talk. Rat – ”

Kurumi quickly laid a finger on Ao’s mouth.

“Dear, he will kill you if you say anymore. Let Mama and Papa talk him into letting you go to the hospital, ok Ao?”

Ao looked sullen, as usual when she doesn’t get her way. Upon seeing Kurumi nod to me, I looked back to the rat, who was now impatiently tapping its foot.

“What…what are your terms?”

“Ah. I knew you two are easy to talk to. Here are the terms for – “

“Magical Girl!” Ao suddenly shouted out in a pained manner.

I swung my head back to my daughter, who had moved her mouth away from Kurumi’s hands. Kurumi looked surprised and wary of touching our daughter, something that I agree with thanks to half remembered knowledge from the field manual about first aid.

Seeing that Kurumi and me were scared of making her move more, Ao continued forcing herself to shout out phrases of words that seemed to have no meaningful connection.

“Mr. Elephant-head angry! Cherry trees rustling! Frowning Jizo statues! Foxes and birds washing hands! Smiling ghost grandpas with big sticks! Poor, white, okonomiyaki rat!”

“Oh dear heavens, her concussion is really bad,” Kurumi choked out. Feeling the same, I looked back to the rat to apologize and give in to its demands so we can get Ao to the hospital when I saw it staring at my daughter with a stunned expression. A few moments later it slowly shook its head.

“I was told your family was special in a bad way, but this is ridiculous.”

After saying that the rat slumped down on the street, in the manner of a defeated person.

I was torn between demanding what the rat meant by that grave insult to my family, and attending to my daughter. After a moment, outrage lost to worry. Thus I turned my back on the little blackmailer and smiled at my Ao.

“I win!” Ao finally croaked out in a happy tone. I was about to humor her when she suddenly coughed, whimpered, and then fainted away.

“Ao!” Kurumi screamed then looked at me.”Ichigo? What happened to her?”

I was about to check when someone else spoke from out of nowhere.

“Both her lungs had collapsed, and there is a dissection, a tear between the layers of her aorta, the biggest artery we have. From the looks of it, the dissection could burst blood outside of the ascending aorta any moment now. If she isn’t operated on, she’s going to die.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
6:14 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I whipped my head at the voice’s direction, from behind us.

The speaker was a fox whose shoulders reached up to my hips, and was as long as I was tall from the tip of its nose to the end of the longest of its nine tails. It had also had fur that was as white as the clouds of a clear sunny sky, and the most pleasant rice scent that I had ever smelled. Behind it was a procession of ten or so normal sized foxes, coming in pure white or normal colored fur, all of them holding kama in their mouths and were all looking at me or my fiancé with the same eyes that military base guards give suspicious persons that lurked around the place.

Because of the scent of rice and the white colored fur, I guessed that this must be an inari, one of the messengers of the kami Inari. And that meant she must be a benevolent being, one who will help my daughter live.

“Honorable inari,” I said as I kneeled down and bowed my head all the way to the street. “My daughter is in dire need of medical help, so I beg of you. Please send me and my family back, to the nearest hospital possible.”

After a moment, I heard Ichigo move. And then I felt the sensation of someone rubbing shoulders with me. I presumed that like me, Ichigo was also doing a dogeza.

“Ma’am, please. My daughter…we love her. Please, just…please let us go to a hospital. Please.”

I heard the inari start to walk towards us. And in a few seconds, she was beside us, near Ao.

“We don’t need to go to the hospital. I can operate on her myself.”

“Thank you – operate?”

I sprung up from the dogeza and looked.

Instead of a huge fox, there was a beautiful woman with a waist length ponytail, surprisingly dressed in a tight, and thankfully thick, white shirt, and skinny jeans. She knelt beside Ao, murmuring to herself while inspecting my daughter’s body.

“Shouldn’t that be ‘heal’ instead of ‘operate’?” Ichigo muttered beside me.

For a moment I felt panic. That muttered phrase wasn’t too soft to be heard by a person who was just right beside us, just like the inari.

“I have magic but I do have limits,” the inari said while she placed her palms on top of Ao’s chest. “I cast illusions, possess, shape shift, and other things that your ancestors thought we foxes could do. I can’t naturally heal anything more than cuts, which I’m about to do to your daughter’s insides. I’m not a spirit of healing.”

“So what do you do if you can’t heal anything more than cuts?” I timidly asked as I watched her palms start glowing, quickly followed by her arms.

“Go to medical school.”

Her palms suddenly sank into Ao's chest, as if Ao was a basin of water. Naturally, I reacted with a half strangled scream while Ichigo put a trembling arm over my shoulders.

“Don't worry, you two. I'm a government registered doctor. Kyoto University, Faculty of Medicine batch 1980. I can do a magically assisted surgery.”

"But - palms! My daughter! Infection!" I managed to choke out despite my current state of mind.

The inari didn’t take her hands out of my daughter's chest, but she gave me a quick glance and a smile.

"Good point, but one I already took care of. Just leave things to me, ok? I'm a doctor."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I didn’t know how long the inari’s ‘surgery’ lasted, because I fainted when the inari finished healing Ao’s aorta and said that she was about to anesthetize Ao and make a cut in her chest to suck out the air.

When Ichigo woke me up, it was over. Ao was asleep before us, no longer on the simple stretcher from before but on a beach chair, with a plastic tube running out from under her shirt and ending in a basin of water. Her right shoulder was splinted with three stout, finger width sticks and a wrapping of silk extending from the shoulder down to her elbow.

Seated around Ao were the companions of the inari, who had dispensed with their weapons and were watching my daughter from all sides. The inari herself, now back in her original form, sat on the asphalt a short distance away, eating abuurage from a bowl in front of her that had a bottle of sweet chili sauce beside it.

“Is she alright now?” I asked him, torn between waking up Ao and asking her how she feels or to stay here in Ichigo’s arms and wait for her to wake up.

“The ‘doctor’ said after this talk we should go to a hospital as soon as we can. Get that improvised chest drain replaced with a real one, along with a better splint for her arm and the proper pain medications for a child.”

"How about the ribs?"

“That’s what the pain medications were for. Apparently, ribs heal by themselves. But it takes a month or so, so you have to bear with the pain.”

“Oh my poor daughter,” I moaned.

What I was told was horrible. Ao, a mere four year old girl, would have to bear with the pain of her broken ribs for more than a month, and the only relief we could give her were painkillers and mere words of comfort.

Ichigo kissed my lips, and hugged me tightly. Then he started stroking my hair while murmuring words of comfort and reason. After a minute or two of bathing in my fiance’s love and concern, I let go of my worries. It was then that a thought came to my mind; the best thing I could do once we return home with Ao would be to pray for help from our ancestors.

“So, everything’s alright now, yes?“

“No it isn’t!” I screamed as I turned around in Ichigo’s arms. “Whatever you want, fuck off rat!”

It was only after that sentence that I noticed that the one who spoke wasn’t the thing, but the Indian man that I hallucinated earlier. For a moment I was confused, and then I realized that the thing and the man were one and the same.

“Oh no I can’t,” the rat man replied. “I’m here to do my job, and that is – “

Ichigo smoothly took his arms off my shoulders and slowly stood up.

“What are you going to do Ichigo?”

I had a suspicion that he won’t take his own advice in regards to attacking the rat, and that thought was worrying me…and irritating me, after that yell he did into my ear earlier.

“I’m only going to talk to him love,” he said after a few moments of silently looking down at me.

“Just talk, dear?” I asked with a frown. The silence told me my suspicion was right. He was about to beat up that thing, after stopping me from doing the same with the dramatic act of rendering me temporarily deaf in one ear.

“Just talk. I swear it on our future together,” Ichigo said, after gulping in his throat.

“See to it that you follow your own advice.”

After nodding, he strode over towards the thing, who remained seated on the asphalt around twenty meters away from us.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
7:49 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“Now, now, you don’t want to make things violent. Trust me on that,” the shape shifting Indian man confidently said as I walked nearer to him.

I took no heed of his threat, not only because I had just promised my wife that I would only talk to this bastard but because of the frown. That only appears whenever Kurumi was about to give me grief over something stupid or unfair that I did or was about to do.

Some moments later I was casually standing in front of him. The Indian man, on the other hand, remained seated, clothed in a colorful cotton wraparound skirt, a white turban, golden bracelets and a thick, golden necklace. His hands rested on a musical instrument that that vaguely looked like a koto, had sculptured decorations, two ball shaped pieces of wood serving as a stand, and needed a cylindrical block of something held in the Indian man’s left hand to be softly pressed against the strings.

I had no doubt that it was not only a musical instrument, but also a weapon that he was ready to use on me. However I wasn’t worried. I was only there to talk, after all. But before I could do so, I had to take care of one thing that was bothering me.

“Stand up,” I ordered him.

“And why should I do that?” the man cockily asked me.

“Because I refuse to talk while looking like I’m bowing my head to you,” I said as I ignored the neck pain I’m getting because of how low I had to look down just to see this man’s face.

The man snickered and then slowly stood up while keeping his hands in the same position. At the same time the musical instrument went up with his hands, as if it was a very light object that was glued to his hands.

A moment later I was looking up at the man, who towered over me by three times my own height, by my estimate.

“This good enough for you?” the man’s voice boomed down at me.

I was momentarily intimidated by the sight of this giant suddenly towering over me with a musical instrument that was suddenly twice as large as I was tall. Then I quickly remembered I was dealing with a self proclaimed magic user.

“Why are you using your magic to appear bigger than me?” I growled, pissed off at the sheer disrespect this man was giving me by looking down on me literally.

“I’m not using magic. I was born – ”

“Knock it off!” the inari suddenly yelled from afar. There was an audible pop, and the giant was suddenly replaced by a man who was now only as tall as I was. The Indian man quickly blinked, and then looked around me with an open mouthed face filled with shock and anger.

“Did you forget the reason you dragged this innocent family into this strange place you made, rat?!”

“You idiot!” the man howled. “I was trying to do something! And then you messed up Plan U!”

“U?! What happened to all your other oh so precious plans?!”

“Plan A was destroyed by that mader chod motorcyclist! Plan I was killed by their daughter! And you just broke Plan U! What do you have to say for yourself!”

“You have any other plans?!”

I couldn’t help but be greatly amused by the sight of the man who just tried to blackmail me and my wife, the man who had just shown me a level of disrespect that I had never received before, getting apoplectic. And I was even more amused when his face was flushing dark with blood.

The man then started taking several deep breaths to calm himself down. Around a minute or so later, his face was back to its normal pallor. And then he looked at me.

“How much gold would it take for you to talk your wife into working for my master’s comrades as a mercenary?”

I gave him the middle finger of my left hand. Upon seeing that, the magical man looked over my shoulder again.

“This kid’s too principled to sell out his wife!”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
7:50 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


It was so sudden. One moment the thing was yelling, of all possible things, that Ichigo was too principled to sell me out. The next moment, the thing was sprawled out on the ground, unconscious, while Ichigo shook his right hand in pain.

Ichigo then walked back towards us. Moments later he stood beside me, looking his feet with a guilty and ashamed look on his face.

“You’re only going to talk to him,” I said in a deadpan.

I was conflicted on how to react to what Ichigo just did. Half of me was pissed that he broke his promise and unfairly denied me the satisfaction of tearing into that thing, while the other half wanted to hug him and give him a big kiss on the lips for showing just how much he loved me.

“I was only going to talk to him,” he said in a guilt ridden tone that softened my heart, and erased the part of me that was pissed off. I subsequently followed up on that by standing up and giving him a kiss on the lips.

As Ichigo blinked repeatedly, I smiled at him.

“Thanks. For knocking that thing out. I’m also sorry for feeling angry that you stopped me from doing that myself.”

“Ok…but I’m still sorry for breaking my promise.”

“It was for a very good reason,” I replied while slowly shaking my head. “Shall we all go home now?”

“Yes. Let’s go.”

I turned around, to ask the inari for assistance. However, she interrupted me before I managed to open my mouth.

“The only thing the rat did right this day was to show how much my masters need you and other girls like you, Ikeda Kurumi.”

“You mean that mercenary thing?” I asked incredulously, while trying hard to ignore the fact that the inari just called me by my full name.

I thought that with the thing knocked out, I could appeal to my daughter’s savior to help us get out of this place. I never thought that the kind inari and the thing were in league with each other.

“You call it a ‘mercenary thing.’ Your daughter called it ‘magical girl.’ I call it ‘working as a mercenary magical girl.’”

I exchanged looks with Ichigo. Judging by the look on his face, Ichigo had the same thought as me; that these people were insane.

“But since Krauncha had poisoned the well, so to speak, then there is no use trying to convince you to make a decision now. I shall now return you and your family back home.”

I sighed in relief and bowed down to the inari.

“I thank you for your understanding and your mercy, honorable inari.”

“It’s alright. I can’t force the mother of one of my patients to do anything she doesn’t want to. Now, let’s move your daughter to another place, shall we? It won’t do to have ourselves appear in the middle of the street and get hit by a passing vehicle.

“Ichigo,” I whispered after I stopped bowing.

“Right,” he replied. He then quickly strode towards Ao.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
7:59 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“Alright, put her down now,” Kurumi said to me and her bodyguards, who were carefully carrying the beach chair my daughter was seated on. Beside me, the inari carried the bowl of water where the other end of the chest drain was located, at a level that was lower than that of the beach chair that we carried.

Moments later, we carefully put the beach chair down in the middle of the room, quickly followed by the inari placing the bowl of water under Ao’s beach chair. She then quickly turned to Kurumi and gave her instructions.

“Now, after my girls and I bring your family back home, I'll call an ambulance to your home. When the paramedics arrive, I want you to leave all the talking to me until the moment I say that you two can talk. Understood?"

Kurumi and I gave our agreement, bearing in mind that we had no way to explain how Ao got a surgery without seriously calling into question our sanity or our competence as her parents. Worse comes to worst, we might have the Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau coming down on our heads for this, especially since Kurumi and me were…minors of special interest in the past, and maybe even up to the present day.

"Any more questions?"

"How about the thing?" My wife asked.

Even though I could explain her objectification of the Indian man as her motherly instincts working in the face of a lethal threat to our daughter, I still don't approve of it. It was just like how Mom used to be in regards to non-East Asian or First World foreigners…and their half-Japanese offspring.

"We'll leave him here," the inari said in a tone of voice that told me she wasn't amused by Kurumi's behavior. "Girls, let's go.”

She then suddenly snapped her fingers.

One moment it was only Kurumi, Ao, me and the foxes in there. The next, the ghosts were also in the room, crouched under the windows and to a single ghost were looking at us in…

'shock and dismay?'

"You idiots!" my self-proclaimed grandfather screamed at us. And then his head disappeared into a spray of white mist and wooden splinters.
===================================================================================================

As I said last time, many thanks to Atreidestrooper, Wuffles, ckk185, locki, and Nuts! of Spacebattles for beta-reading and information that I needed for this and the next chapter.

Any comments? Suggestions?

Oh, I forgot to mention. I edited chapter 1. Thoughts on the edit and the legend for how I use font styles?

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-08-07 04:30pm

Much better, much tighter. I like it so much more
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

kilopi505
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-08-12 02:02am

Chapter 4

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
7:59 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo

As the ghost’s body sank through the floor, I grabbed my wife and threw ourselves at the floor, and not a moment too soon. Bullets suddenly smashed holes in the walls, the windows, the pictures, the cabinets, and all the ghosts who were huddled by the walls.

“Ichigo! Ao!” Kurumi screamed in my ear.

I looked at her, not understanding what she was talking about, and then it hit me. Ao was still on the beach chair, which was high enough to be hit by the bullets. And I left her there.

I snapped my view to my right, to see the beach chair’s back get ripped apart by a bullet a finger’s length away from the top of her head. I instantly tried to get up when a partially transparent arm suddenly grabbed my right shoulder and yanked me back onto the floor. A moment later, the head of my self-proclaimed ancestor rose up through the floor.

“What are you doing?! Can’t you see that – “

“My daughter!” I yelled at him.

“I’m on it! Girls, barrier!” the inari yelled from the other side of the chair, while buried under three of her bodyguards.

A cold wind suddenly began to continuously blow from the direction of our door. A few moments later bullets started drastically slowing down the moment they cross over the walls, and then ended up falling to the floor by the time it reached the middle of the room. Of course that meant that bullets ended up dropping all over me, Kurumi and Ao.

Thankfully the bullets were cool when they dropped, otherwise all three of us would be suffering burns, especially Ao who was still unconscious and in a delicate situation.

“What is happening here, Ohta?! Who’s shooting at us?!” the inari screamed.

I thought she was talking to me, so I opened my mouth to yell back at her. However, the ghost who was holding my shoulder answered before I was able to do so.

“It’s the Outsider soldiers Lady inari! It’s those people not of this world!”

I felt time slow down in the seconds that followed those words. Disregarding the crazy words about their point of origin, this ghost…this deceased ancestor had just said that foreign soldiers were shooting at this house, which was right in front of an SDF base.

The fact that I can’t hear any Type 89 rifle or P9 pistol challenging the foreign sound of these particular rifles made me feel something that I only felt once before; when Kurumi almost died from giving birth to Ao.

“What happened to my parents?!” I yelled at my ancestor for fear that I had just been orphaned.

“The Outsiders,” he replied while giving me an approving smile, “made them and everyone in the district fall asleep with magic, irregardless of what they were doing at the time.”

“That is a bad thing to do,” Kurumi commented from beside me.

“Definitely! That single spell caused several lethal traffic accidents and would’ve turned this place into a sea of flames by now if I didn’t hadn’t remembered that gas stoves had become popular by the time I died. We had a frantic time turning off gas stoves – isn’t it quiet all of a sudden?”

It was only at that point that I noticed the shooting had stopped.

“Where are the others?” the inari’s voice cut through the unnerving silence.

“Lying in ambush at the first floor,” my ancestor grimly replied.

“Our poor house,” Kurumi whispered in a mournful tone that I completely agreed with, seeing as buying this house had exhausted our family’s personal bank account.

Only the combined financial generosity of Kurumi’s father, my great grandparents on Dad’s side and grandparents on Mom’s side, natural thriftiness on the part of Mom, Dad and I as well as practical advice from Kurumi’s mother regarding housekeeping back in her Third World homeland was what kept this family afloat.

All of a sudden a human shaped figure covered with glowing circles made of some written language suddenly leapt onto the windowsill, with a firearm of some sort in its arms pointed straight at Ao.

And then gunshots rang in the air.

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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:00 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I screamed as the flashes and the smoke of gunfire blinded me. When the gunfire ended moments later, I frantically pushed my fiancé’s arms away and in two steps had placed myself between Ao and the windows, ready to shield her from any bullets with my own body…if she was still alive.

I saw that Ao was sleeping untouched.

I sobbed in joy and sank down onto the floor, with my forehead resting on the beach chair itself. After a few seconds someone laid a hand on my shoulder. Upon looking up, I saw that it was the inari, toting a pistol that looked like those in One Piece in her right hand while facing the windows with a cold look in her eyes.

“What do we do?” I gasped out.

I had no idea as to what I should do in this ridiculous, ridiculous situation, where I and my loved ones were trapped in a shootout between ghosts and foxes on one hand, and mysterious magic using soldiers on the other hand.

“Stay here. This is the safest place to be in this battle.”

“We’re not moving away from here?” Ichigo asked as he knelt beside me.

“With your daughter in that state?” the inari scoffed. “Good luck making sure the ribs don’t puncture her lungs.”

Ichigo hissed angrily and then continued asking questions.

“How about…teleporting? You folks could do that, right?”

Before the inari could respond, the ghost who had yelled ‘fools’ at us spoke up.

“The ghosts from the castle relayed a message from the tengus. They said you foxes shouldn’t use any magic that might cross the barrier.”

“And why is that?” the inari challenged.

“The tengus said it was an esebe type.”

At first I thought I misheard the ghost, since what he said sounded like gibberish. It was only when the inari repeated the ghost’s words that I understood that it was an acronym that used the English language’s alphabets. SEB to be exact.

Understanding became worry when gasps of shock came from the lesser inari, and when the pistol dropped from the inari’s suddenly nerveless fingers.

“How big was the SEB again?” she whispered in a horrified tone that made me worry more and more.

“It’s as big as the exact boundaries of this district – why are you so horrified? What is this esebe?”

“It’s an acronym that uses the language of the Americans. It means ‘Spiteful Exploding Barrier,’ a barrier that would explode if someone who wasn’t the caster used magic on it.”

“You mean we’re inside a bomb?” I shrieked. “A bomb the size of a city district?”

The inari looked down at me and whispered the worst words that I could ever hear in this moment.

“Yes we are.”

The sounds of a violent struggle and a multicolored lightshow suddenly came from the ground floor.
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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:14 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“What just exploded?” Kurumi muttered as we watched a fireball rise from the ground some distance away from our home, through the damaged windows and the holes in the walls.

I looked at the nearest visible and intact landmark that I knew of close to that explosion, compared it with my mental map of Matsumoto, and came up with a depressing answer.

“It’s the factory behind the base,” I said as the tattered remains of the curtains fluttered because of the shockwave, temporarily drowning out the sounds of the battle outside.

“Don’t some of our classmates’ parents work there?”

“Yes they do.”

“…I hope that factory closes at five o clock.”

“Me too.”

Some time ago, when the fight restarted downstairs, the inari had managed to regain control of herself and yelled out orders that were immediately followed by everyone.

Except for two foxes, identical twins named Moe and Ran who both looked not one day past fourteen years, all the other foxes and my great grandfather went downstairs and drove them outside the house, incurring lots of smashed furniture and plates in the process of doing so.

As for my family, with Moe and Ran’s help we moved Ao’s beach chair to the least damaged corner of our room. After that Kurumi and me sat down in front of the beach chair, while Moe and Ran crouched at both sides of our thankfully still undamaged door, ready to attack anyone unfriendly who comes through it.

“Ms. Moe? Ms. Ran? Who’s winning the fight now?” I asked the two foxes.

Moe, the more polite one of the twins, answered me.

“I couldn’t tell you Mr. Ohta. There is so much magic in the air now that I couldn’t tell how many are still fighting or who is…still alive…”

Moe’s words trailed off as worry and nervousness washed over her, a sentiment that I also felt at that moment in regards to Dad and Mom.

“Oh cheer up Sis!” Ran chimed in. “Lady Shizuka is one of the most powerful messengers of Mistress Inari! And Mommy’s been alive for a hundred years now! They’ll be alright out there. And let’s not forget Mr. Ohta’s ancestors!”

I winced at the revelation that their mother was fighting out there, in a battlefield that was equal parts a war movie and Naruto; what with the balls and beams of light blowing up or burning everything solid that was hit, and the constant sound of metal hitting metal competing with gunshots and whatever it was that the foxes and the mysterious soldiers were shouting.

And then I had a horrible realization.

“Ichigo?” Kurumi asked me with a worried tone of voice.

“Mom and Dad are still out there.”

I don’t know where they are, but most likely they were on the street when these magical soldiers cast their magic. Therefore, my parents must be asleep somewhere on the streets, along with Heavens knows how many others, in the middle of this battlefield.

“Oh no. Ichigo, are you going to look for them?“

My wife had a really conflicted look on her face. I guessed that she was torn between wanting me safe and sound right here with her, and not wanting me to suffer the pain of losing my parents…like this.

“No,” I said while shaking my head. “As much as I want to, I don’t have any idea where they are now. And it’s irresponsible of me to just crawl into the middle of a fight that involved not only firearms but superhuman strength and speed, along with magical analogues of high explosives and anti-tank weaponry.”

My wife sighed in relief after my explanation.

“Madar Chod. All this because of a motorcycle accident."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:14 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I snapped my head towards the windows, where I saw the thing. It was looking out of them, one hand at its waist and the other hand massaging the two temples of its head.

“What do you want now?” I hissed at the thing.

The thing sighed, looked back at me and was about to speak when its head suddenly jerked. The thing then made several hops backwards as it tried to get back its balance. Moments later its head knocked against the wall, and its body rested against the wall.

“Mr. Krauncha?” Moe, the inari that wore a pink headband, asked it.

It raised a trembling left hand in a gesture of patience, and with its right hand it did something so horrifying I never managed to summon the will to look away.

Its fingers sank into the thing’s head, and audibly squelched around for several moments. Finally, the fingers went out of its head, stained in blood and clumps of something, holding a metallic object.

“Did you just pull a bullet out of your brain, with your fingers?” Ichigo whispered in a horrified tone of voice that I agree with.

The thing ignored my fiancé in favor of shaking its head, an action that splattered a lot of blood and something else onto the wall where we had our pictures hung on. Moments later, the splattering stopped even while the head was still shaking like a wet dog.

“Alright. That’s better,” it said as it stopped shaking its head, and dropped the bullet on our floor. Then it noticed me and Ichigo.

“Oh come on. Pulling a bullet from one’s brains, and then healing your head and brains by yourself wasn’t awe inspiring?”

Me and Ichigo slowly shook our heads.

“You foxes? You don’t think that’s uh…cool?”

“We prefer using illusions, thank you very much,” Ran, the inari with the violet headband replied.

“Critics,” it muttered to itself. An instant later it coughed into its right hand, which was now devoid of any blood and…brain material, and then straightened up.

“Back to what I was about to say, of course I still want Kurumi to – “

“No!” Ichigo interrupted the thing. “My wife is not going to be some mercenary of yours. And my wife is most certainly not going to go out there and get herself killed for your whims!”

“My whims?! Don’t you know that your parents are out there asleep, in the middle of a battlefield?”

“I know!” he screamed. “I know they’re out there, unprotected from all the things flying around out there. But whether I want to or not I have to prioritize!”

“Prioritize what? Your child and wife over your parents? Wow. Let me give you the some very old news kid. You can always have more wives and make more children, but you can’t make more parents. Are you really abandoning your Daddy and Mommy out there in that dark, cold and deadly night?”

I was stunned speechless by the sheer insensibility of the words that the thing had just said. And I got worried when Ichigo bit back at the rat, visibly affected by what the rat had said

“Damn you! Damn you bastard to the depths of hell! I know I might be leaving them to die out there just by waiting here, and I don’t need your lecturing to know that. But I prioritize the safety of people who still have so many years of life with me ahead of them over those whom I had already shown my love to…all my life!”

My fiancé’s voice choked up during those last few words, and then he slammed his fist onto the wall while looking down onto the floor.

For my part, I was touched and horrified at what he was prepared to do just for me and our daughter. I appreciated everything he went through for my sake, but I had no desire for him to have to sacrifice his own parent’s lives for us.

“Then let me give this trinket to her – “

“And risk losing everyone I love?!”

“If her fighting is what had you so concerned, then good news chutia! She doesn’t have to fight!”

“Oh really?” I managed to say during a minuscule pause in their conversation.

I counted my attempt at faking an interested tone a success when Ichigo snapped his head towards me, with a look of utmost surprise and shock.

‘I hate this thing for threatening my daughter’s life, but I love my man more. Therefore, I must know more about this thing’s proposal.’


“Yes, really!” the thing said. “It would be appreciated if you could become some walking weapon of magical mass destruction for Earth Kurumi, but that’s not the main function of these trinkets. Their main function is to drag the physical and magical abilities of most of the wannabe conquerors in a certain area down. In short, you wear this, your husband can punch out a guy who should normally be able to literally tear you apart like paper!”

“They have guns and numbers you idiot,” Ichigo countered. “I’m brave, but I know my limits.”

"That's just an expression chutia! I don't expect you to actually fight! I expect your father and his fellow soldiers to do that!"

"With what weapons?" Ran suddenly asked in a deadpan.

"The weapons at the armory of that base out there!" the thing screamed out in a frustrated tone that made me happy, not minding that it was spiteful and childish to do so.

"The armory that's exploding like fireworks right now?"

I stared at the young inari for a moment, wondering what she was talking about. And then I heard Ichigo and the thing groan at the same time. It was only at that point that I noticed that there was a blazing fire as big as this house inside Camp Matsumoto, and there was a constant crackling of gunshots and occasional bigger explosions from within that fire.

"Great. What's next?" the thing moaned as he gave a beseeching look up at the heavens.

His answer came in the form of two boots smashing into his face from above.
===============================================================

Many thanks to Atreidestrooper and PZLXQ of Spacebattles for beta-reading this chapter. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

So, comments?

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 204
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-09-17 12:38pm

Hello folks. Sorry it took me so long to update. I discovered Napoleon: Total War, and had a swell time playing as Granada in Europa Universalis 4. And then there's the research for some things...that got kinda out of hand. But still I'm fully confident of what I'm going to do next chapter.

Without further ado, here's the chapter.

===================================================================================================
Chapter 5

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:15 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


Things happened so fast that all I was able to do was to sit there and watch.

First, part of the roof caved in and someone dropped feet first towards the Indian man’s face. Then the Indian man was driven to the floor head first. After that he and the roof destroying asshole smashed a hole through our bedroom’s flooring, and finally the sound of a loud impact came through the floor.

The twins quickly reacted. One of them jumped through the hole in the floor so fast that I wasn’t able to recognize who that was. I only realized that was Ran when Moe shouted at us from the door.

“Mr. Ohta! Ms. Ikeda! Please stay here while we take care of the enemy!” After she said that she passed the threshold of our door with the same speed that Ran showed earlier. A few moments later gunshots and the sound of metal hitting metal came from the first floor, again.

I closed my eyes and slowly shook my head in despair at what was happening to our house.

‘At this rate, this house will be condemned by the city engineer. There’s no way anyone can fix a structure that might collapse at the slightest touch.’

“Ichigo?” Kurumi suddenly whimpered.

“What – “

I slammed my mouth shut and sat still, glaring at our desk where one of the enemy soldiers crouched while aiming a rifle that was like the ones used during the Pacific war, but shorter, at us. Within moments, he was joined by five more soldiers jumping through our windows.

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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:15 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I watched as half the soldiers menacingly advanced towards us in silence while the other half moved to secure all entrances to the room. Within moments, the three of them had surrounded us in the corner of the room, amidst the sound of battle coming from below.

I thought that I would have to engage with a game of charade. And that would be bad since I was so terrified I knew I would do a bad job of interpreting, at the worst time possible. So I was greatly relieved when the one in the middle spoke in strange accented, but understandable, Japanese.

“Slowly put your hands behind your heads. No funny actions or we’ll kill you.”

I slowly exchanged glances with my fiancé, and mentally asked him what I should do.

"Do it," he whispered. He then slowly turned his face towards the soldiers and put his hands behind his head. A moment later I followed suit.

When our hands were finally behind our heads, the one who spoke Japanese to us muttered something. The very moment his lips stopped moving something bounded our hands to each other, as if in an instant there was a cast made of steel on our hands. It was so surprising that I almost let out a squeak.

As the Japanese speaker stepped away from us and started talking to a bracelet on his wrist, Ichigo asked me if I was hurt.

“No. You?”

“The same.”

I felt some relief after receiving that reply, but it wasn’t enough to erase all the fear that was inside me. After a few moments I asked him about what he thinks would happen to us next.

“Kurumi…I don’t think you want to know the answer, to that” My love answered with a very serious tone, as he stared at the magical soldiers.

I slumped down and stared at the floor, silently praying to my ancestors for a miracle to happen.

A terrible howl of pain suddenly came from downstairs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was no miracle to be found.

Ran and Moe couldn’t do it. They had just been captured and were at the other side of the room from us.

Ran was gagged and her limbs were bound with several glowing magic rings. She was constantly alternating between murderous glares at the magical soldiers in the room and worried glances at her sister, who laid unconscious beside her.

Moe’s arms were also bound to her waist by rings, while her legs…simply ended at the knees. The only reason Moe wasn’t bleeding out from the amputation was because they were cauterized from some kind of attack from earlier.

There was also no hope to expect from the other inari who went outside our house. The fighting outside the house was dying down, since the explosions and clanging sounds had decreased and the number of soldiers in our bedroom increased to fifteen.

As a result of all these…I was scared, so very scared, for Ichigo, for Ao, and for myself. The things that ran in my mind at that moment, about what would happen to us if no one saves us…

…I once stupidly asked Mama about her family’s Pacific War experiences during dinner, while watching one of the yearly Pacific War specials that air in all Japanese TV stations the week or so before August 15.

The memories of Mama's four part story were now rampaging around my mind. The guns around us, the helplessness, memories gone in the blink. The strangers barging in, the battle cries, prayers for salvation, and the feeling of our imminent death…

‘Please, please, please. Someone save us.’


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Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:30 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


My wife whimpered when two more enemy soldiers jumped into our room.

I turned to my wife to see her staring at the latest arrivals with a look of despair. After several moments passed, she looked at me with a strange look in her eyes, and then moved closer to me.

My eyes quickly flicked to our captors, worried that they might take this action as a threat. Thankfully, they only continued what they were doing earlier; aiming at us with what I now recall was properly called a carbine. It was then that I saw an interesting sight behind them; however I ignored it to concentrate on more important matters.

“What wrong Kurumi?” I whispered.

“We’re going to die horribly, right?”

“…how did you get that idea?”

“Mama’s family during the Pacific war.”

I choked the groan that almost came out right in the cradle.

Magdalena, Kurumi’s Mom, was from the Philippines, one of the nations that Japan invaded back then. So if Magdalena’s stories were what Kurumi was thinking, then no wonder my wife would end up whimpering. Many members of the IJA had committed uncivilized acts to non-Japanese back then, especially to women.

Seeing Kurumi’s face now, I regretted not telling her that we would probably be forced to temporarily collaborate for our freedom.

“Love, don’t worry. They aren’t the Imperial Japanese Army, nor are they religious fanatics or poorly trained Third World conscripts. We would be treated properly.”

A sudden commotion from the middle of the room suddenly demanded my attention.

Upon looking I saw that it was the two newcomers.

One was dressed like the all the other soldiers here in our bedroom: A ski mask and skin tight black clothes that had these white, palm-sized glowing circles stitched at places like the head and chest, along with a belt that contained a scabbard and holster for a sword and revolver.

The other one was dressed in attire reminiscent of some military uniforms in Europe during the Pacific War: A cap of some sort, a long sleeved collared tunic and long pants that were tucked into shin high black boots. The only difference was that the uniform wasn’t grey; it was colored in black and white patterns that were so painful to see that I almost didn’t notice the carbine slung over its shoulder or the thigh holsters that contained the alien’s pistol and knife.

But thanks to the atrocious uniform, I finally saw the face of my first alien. It was a human one, if one changed the skin tone from a single color to all the colors of a rainbow. And it was one that was showing shock and incredulity.

For the next few minutes I watched the uniformed alien shout and gesticulate at the ski masked alien, who talked back to the uniformed alien in a condescending manner. All of a sudden the uniformed alien started talking in Japanese.

“You idiot! You realize that no human will know what your ‘example’ means when you haven’t even conquered this place, right?!”

Except for the ones who guarded us, the words made all the other black clothed soldiers stare at the uniformed soldier. Moments later, the one who was called an idiot said something in a very pissed off tone.

“Because I have something called moral decency – oh, you want to hit me? You want to hit me?” The uniformed alien suddenly asked as the right hand of the other soldier moved closer to the hilt of its sword. The question stilled ski masked alien’s hand, and upon seeing that, the uniformed alien continued.

“Go ahead Meria, hit me. But remember that our nations are only allies of convenience. I don’t fall under your command, and I certainly don’t have to condone things I find repugnant. And my nation most certainly doesn’t have to remain allied with yours and the aristocrats once you do start hitting me.”

The ski masked soldier’s tense posture relaxed, and then it also started talking in Japanese.

“Yes you’re right. We belong to different armies. I belong to the World Kingdom of the Lighteaters, and you are just an observing parasite from the misguided Skinchanger commoners. And that means whatever objections you raise, I can do whatever I want.”

The alien named Meria then promptly faced us, and then snapped its fingers.

One moment I was sitting on the floor with my hands behind my head, the other I was stuck to the wall feet down a meter or so above the floor. At the same time, I heard Kurumi yelp in surprise and -

I jerked my head to the side, to see my daughter awake, stuck to the wall between me and her mother and moaning in pain.

"Ao?!" I yelled. That moment was when Kurumi noticed our daughter beside us.

"Ao, where does it - oh no, the chest drain."

I hissed as I saw the chest drain was dangling in mid-air from under Ao's shirt. If I remember right, the chest drain was supposed to let air out from the body. That it was in mid-air meant that air was slowly going into my daughter's body and sooner or later her lungs will collapse again.

"Leave my daughter out of this!" I roared at Meria, who was organizing the other soldiers into a single line in the middle of the room. Behind Meria I saw Ran was frantically trying to tear apart the magical circles tying her down, while the Skinchanger stood near her, looking at Meria with clenched fists and a disapproving frown.

"Please! What do you want? We'll do anything, just leave my poor daughter alone!" my wife pleaded as Meria had finished the task of organizing the other Lighteater soldiers.

"Human, noble farce here won’t listen to you," the Skinchanger yelled across the room. As Meria glared at it, the Skinchanger continued. "He wants is to execute all three of you for the sin of collaborating against your betters."

I was stunned senseless at the Skinchanger’s words, while Kurumi reacted badly.

“No, NO, NO! We’re civilians! We didn’t do anything! We don’t know anything what’s happening! Please let us live, please! I’m willing to do anythingjustletus – “

It took a second before Kurumi noticed that her hysterical fit was suddenly muted, even though her mouth was still moving and she was starting to sob already.

“Why did you shut her up with a silence spell Meria? Afraid you might be convinced to let them live if you let her beg?” the Skinchanger asked in an angry tone of voice.

“I shut the animal up because it’s noisy,” Meria replied as if he was asked a stupid question. That answer convinced me that there was no pleading with Meria for our lives…and that everything is going to cruelly end here for our family.

As Meria started making a speech in an alien language, I looked at my family for…for the last time.

Ao was looking everywhere in confusion, from me and her mother to Ran and Moe and all the aliens in our room. Beside her, my wife was unashamedly crying her heart out, with all her personal dignity erased by snot, tears and muted sobbing.

“Kurumi,” I called out to her. Kurumi instantly looked at me, her body repeatedly jerking with sobs.

“Thank you for everything these past six years,” I said with a sad smile.

Kurumi stared. Then she slowly nodded with fresh tears in her eyes.

"There, that's good. Let's stop crying and…we'll be together, I promise."

I looked down to my daughter as my eyes started to get itchy.

"Ao, look at me. Look at me - good girl. Listen. In the next few moments you will feel more pain than you have felt before. But it will go away very, very quickly. I promise. Just close your eyes tight and think of the happiest moments you had with me and Mama ok?"

I watched as Ao nodded and did as I said. At the same time, Meria shouted the word 'ready.'

Kurumi and I shared then one final look at each other's faces, and then we stared at the faces of our murderers-to-be right as Meria shouted the word 'aim.'

"Are you going to watch this happen all over again?" Ao suddenly shouted. The next instant Meria dodged the forest of glowing spikes that impaled all the other Lighteater soldiers from out of mid-air.

“Treachery!” Meria roared the very moment his feet touched ground. The second after that he already had his sword in his right hand, while crackling balls of electricity started appearing all around him.

“Wrong. This is a preemptive court martial and execution, Meria,” the Skinchanger replied from somewhere behind the wall of dead, impaled Lighteaters.

“Why do you care so much about these animals, you low magic scum?” Meria yelled as the balls of electricity started swirling around him.

“I survived Eth-Pampf.”

Meria’s body went still for a moment. And then he scoffed.

“Everything is allowed in pursuit of victory, you idiot. Are you seriously going to let some little massacre affect your thinking thirty five years after?”

“There. That’s the attitude that’s still riling us up to this day. And that’s why…” the Skinchanger trailed off.

“What? You’re going to kill me? No low magic peon can defeat a high magic individual on their own, right?”

“Who said I’m going to kill you?”

The sound of a plucked string suddenly came from the hole in our floor, instantly followed by the explosion of the balls of electricity around Meria. Unfortunately, the electricity had no effect on Meria other than a moment of surprise.

Meria’s image blurred towards the doorway when a second string pluck sounded, and then in front of the impaled corpses during the third. He suddenly made a thick sheet of glowing light appear in mid-air and hopped on it as if it was for dear life, just in time for a rapid series of twangs.

I figured out why Meria was dodging when all the corpses in the middle of the room were suddenly blasted out the house at high speed, leaving behind magical spikes and wooden floor boards drenched in green colored liquid, sprinkled on top by the collapsing remnants of the roof over our room…and the sight of Ran tightly hugging her sister to her chest, while the Skinchanger was nowhere to be seen.

Moments later I heard the sound of the neighboring rooftops caving in from heavy objects dropping on them.

“Come out here, coward!” Meria shouted as he frantically looked everywhere while the music continued playing and his platform started rippling.

“And why should I? I’m only a mere musician, Outsider,” the Indian man yelled disdainfully through the hole with no effect on the beautiful music he was making.

Meria suddenly let out a hysterical laugh as balls and rods of magic continuously appeared around him and then firing through the floor, creating explosions that made the entire house creak around us and heated the air up here on the second floor. While this was happening the Indian man slowly floated through the floor behind him, seated in mid-air in a lotus position while playing his musical instrument which was inexplicably being heard not from here but from downstairs. After a few moments the man was floating at the same level as Meria. The Indian man stopped playing and then crossed his arms.

“Take that, filthy pantheon member!” Meria joyously barked out as the music stopped coming from downstairs. “Most powerful kinds of magical beings in existence my piss! My soldiers had slain most of the whores out there and I’ve just killed you! I shall now be henceforth known as ‘Meria, slayer of pantheon beings!’”

The Indian man lazily plucked one string in response to the insult.

Meria suddenly blurred through the air with a high pitched scream and reappeared beside Ran, who wasn’t able to move because of Moe. A ring of magic suddenly appeared around Ran’s neck, and then Meria pulled out his revolver.

“Don’t move or do anything! Or I swear I will kill her! I swear – “

A gunshot suddenly rang out. Meria’s head instantly tilted to the left and then green liquid started pouring through a hole in his left temple.

While Meria slowly started slumping down onto his knees, the Skinchanger phased out of thin air beside him, holding a revolver in a one handed shooting position.

To my horror, Meria suddenly gurgled something out of his throat when he was finally on his knees while his eyes were jerking around and around in panic.

“Of course I lied. I’m military intelligence,” the Skinchanger stated as it calmly took a step forward, pressed the revolver’s muzzle to the crook of Meria’s neck, and fired. Meria’s eyes finally stopped moving, and then he toppled face down on the floor. Dead.

The Skinchanger then calmly put the revolver back in its holster while Ran quickly put a hand on the ring around her neck and made it fade away in a few moments.

“What now, Skinchanger?” the Indian man asked it.

The Skinchanger looked the Indian man in the eyes.

“As you must have heard earlier, I am but a simple Low magic person. I can’t fight a High magic person by myself, let along one that belongs to a Pantheon. Especially one that helped me dispose of noble farce. Therefore, I’m going to do my job – “

A brilliant light suddenly appeared behind it, quickly faded into an open doorway, and revealed a scene of chaos as more Skinchanger soldiers scrambled, and in some cases blurred, behind concrete walls that were decorated all over with glowing patterns.

“And report everything back to my superiors.”

My eyes bulged in horror –
The Skinchanger –
The Indian Man –
The doorway –

-at realizing ‘everything’ included information about me and my family.
-blurred into the place beyond the doorway, and then blurred sideways.
-plucked the string and sent a magical ray that smashed magical spikes and flew to the doorway.
-closed behind the Skinchanger, and turned back into the wall, which promptly got destroyed.

“Chutia. He escaped,” the Indian man groaned. On my part, I sighed at being able to see the skyline of Matsumoto where I shouldn’t be able to.

“Forget about the Skinchanger and free the Ohta family!” Ran said while gently carrying her sister bridal style.

The Indian man promptly plucked a string. I felt my hands get freed, and a moment later And I started to float down slowly.

Once I got onto my feet, I looked to my left…to see my wife sitting on the floor, leaning my lightly gasping daughter against her chest.

“I think it’s happening again Ichigo,” she despaired as she tearfully looked at me.

I took a quick look between Ao, the improvised chest drain, and the bowl of water to my right. Then I gently dragged the bowl towards Ao and promptly stuck the chest drain’s end inside the water.

“There we go,” sighed in relief as Ao’s gasping slowly became deep, long and normal breaths.

“We’re not safe yet,” Ran said as she gently laid Moe in front of Ao.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:39 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“No more,” I wailed while a fresh set of tears started gathering in my eyes. “Please, find somebody else to take this burden you all want me to take. I don’t want die, I don’t want my family to die. Please, just go away.”

By the end, the tears started flowing and I sobbed again, rendering me unable to see properly.

“Mama, don’t cry,” Ao comforted me while patting my lap. Beyond her, a blurry outline I was sure was Ichigo stood up and went towards my other side.

“Ao, we…you got hit by a motorcycle, our house is ruined, and we almost died. Why shouldn’t I cry that all these bad things are happening to us?”

“I think what Ao wants to say was we should be thankful we’re alive,” Ichigo said while hugging me.

I blinked my tears away to clear my vision, and turned to say something when the thing’s musical instrument suddenly started giving off a catchy tune that I could not help but like, no matter how I hated the musician.

“I’m sorry to interrupt this family moment,” the thing said, “but a lot of Lighteaters bent on revenge are converging on this house right now. Right now I’m making barrier after barrier to surround this house, but they’ve got several High magic people down there. They’ll break barriers faster than I could make new ones.

“How is that possible? Mommy and the others are still fighting out there. They shouldn’t be able to converge here,” Ran worriedly said while sitting cross legged beside her unconscious sister.

The thing looked at her, sighed, and told her to listen.

For a few moments, all was silent as we listened. Ran suddenly started shaking her head.

“No, no, no. It can’t be. It can’t be – ”

“Ms. Ran, your mother might only be unconscious,” Ichigo quickly interjected to calm the panicking inari.

“Are you sure that Mommy is only unconscious? What if she’s wounded too, and bleeding to death? Or what if she is dead?”

Ichigo was rendered speechless. And I couldn’t help him since I was still reeling from this night’s emotional rollercoaster.

It was at that point that Ao suddenly intervened by kicking her slipper at Ran's shoulder.

"Ms. Ran, it's bad to think that your Mama is dead when you aren't even sure that she's dead. It's like you wish that she is dead. Do you really want her to be dead?"

I only reason I didn't give a light slap at my daughter's hand, and told her that kicking a shoe at someone was wrong, was because Ran listened and replied to Ao.

"I want Mommy to be alive. But - "

"No buts! Your Mama is alive until you see that she is dead. Then you can start crying. Right now, you have to keep yourself and your sister alive because that is what all Mama in the world want for their children!"

Ao ended her words by tightly hugging my arm, and then squeaking in pain.

As I lightly rubbed my daughter's side and murmured comforting words, the thing suddenly spoiled the uplifting mood that Ao had created.

"We're not all going to live what with the number of people out for our lives out there."

"And what do you propose to do?" Ichigo asked in a surprisingly defeated tone.

As I looked at my fiance and wondered why he looked so…exhausted and defeated, the thing replied.

"What I was here in the first place for."

It was at that point I realized what Ichigo was probably being down over; that the only way to save our family was for me to wear the magical trinket.

"As I said earlier," the rat continued, "she wears the ring, the quality of our enemies' magic get degraded. And that includes breaking spells like the SEB and the one that is keeping your father and his comrades asleep."

"They don't have any guns,” Ichigo quickly argued. “And they would be waking up, without any information on what's happening, within sight of armed opponents."

"Who said anything about your father and his comrades? A hundred of the Nagano tengu were hidden at Matsumoto castle as my secret backup just in case something happens. I bet that right now they’re flying around the SEB, waiting for it to go down.”

“And if the SEB doesn’t go down?”

“If the SEB refuses to go down… I can't do anything about the information. However, the weapons are simple. At the same moment that Kurumi here wears the ring, I'm raining down guns with attached bayonets and satchels full of magazines all over this area."

"And how are you giving them time to get armed?"

"Pardon?"

Ichigo explained that if the Lighteaters were around the house, all the soldiers who fell asleep, including Father, would be in sight of the magical aliens and would promptly get killed the moment they went for the thing's guns.

"How else? We get their attention on us."

Ichigo smacked his face and groaned.

"Please explain to me how getting their attention and keeping my family safe can be done at the same time. Please."

“I won’t. We just don’t have any other choice.”

“Kurumi, what do you think?” Ichigo asked as he looked at me. “Should we get the magical alien’s attention?”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and made what might be the worst decision of my life.

“Yes.”
===================================================================================================

Many thanks to those who helped me with information and beta-work. They are Atreidestrooper and General Schatten of Spacebattles.

Please comment!

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 204
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-10-19 02:20am

Hello folks!
Sorry it took me so long. It's because I seriously researched the fighting styles that I had partially used down there, namely MS I.33 for the Lighteater and a mixture of books for depicting bayonet combat, namely the U.S. Army's FM 21-150 (the 1992 version), the field manual for combatives and Alfred Hutton's "Fixed Bayonets," a book about how to bayonet fight from 1890.
So without further ado, enjoy reading! And please give me reviews and critiques!
===============================================================

Chapter 6

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:41 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“Finally,” the thing muttered. After that, it quickly paused its continuous strumming and then plucked a different string, and then resumed the tone from earlier.

A ring slowly appeared in front of me and started floating down.

“It’s so pretty,” Ao said as I caught it with my left hand and inspected it.

It was a plain gold ring with inscriptions on both the inside and the outside, just like the ring from Lord of the Rings. The only difference was that the inscriptions on this ring looked vaguely similar to some letters from the English alphabet. And they were moving around on the ring’s surface like an eel in water.

“What should I do once I wear this?”

It was petty, but I hoped I wasn’t required to shout some kind of silly, childish phrase to make this trinket work. I was now a wife to be and mother of one, after all.

“It’s your choice – wear it quick! They’re dispelling my barriers now!”

“Ao, I have to get up,” I quickly told my daughter. I was thinking that if this thing malfunctioned, I should make sure that only I would be harmed by the trinket.

As Ao leaned against the wall and asked me to make a pretty costume, I stood up from the floor, walked a few paces away and then slowly slid the ring onto my right index finger.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:42 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


Something about Kurumi changed when she wore the ring. It wasn't her clothes. It also wasn't anything about her physical features, nor her demeanor. It was...it was what I felt on the day that Kurumi woke up after the surgery that saved her from bleeding to death.

When Kurumi cradled Ao for the first time, crooned to her for the first time, fed her for the first time…I knelt by the bedside and worshipped them with my eyes and my heart.

It was greater this time. Back then, I knelt of my own free will. Now, I sat for my limbs were senseless, my eyes unable toblink, andmymouth wasgapinganddrying -

I flinched when my left arm was suddenly pinched hard.

"That hurt the eyes, Mr. rat," Ao complained while furiously rubbing her eyes with her left hand. A moment later, Ao suddenly stopped rubbing and had a horrified expression on her face.

At the same time I heard the Indian man's music stop, replaced by the sound of something falling hard on the floor.

"Madar Chod Yavanas!" the Indian man yelled in a terrified voice as he quickly stood up, staring at the two broken halves of his musical instrument.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:42 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


"Why us too!" Ran screamed as the thing quickly put the two halves of musical instrument together and made it glow.

"Don't ask me! Ask the Yavanas!" it yelled as it made the glow around the musical instrument brighter. At the same time, I can hear several people outside shouting 'Don't move or we'll shoot! Don't move or we'll kill you all!'

“What’s happening?!” I asked, looking from Ran to the thing in confusion.

“Friendly fire!” Ran yelled in a mix of anger and disbelief. “The damned ring affected us too!”

I stared; slack jawed, at Ran. A moment later the thing yelled out ‘done,’ sat down on the floor with his musical instrument and promptly started playing again. However there was a difference this time; wind started blowing out from him, his eyes rolled back into his head and started beaming gold colored light, and then he started singing.

“Sukhkarta Dukhharta Varta Vignachi!”

All of a sudden Ao slapped her hand over Ichigo’s eyeglasses, yelling that he can’t look at the thing or he will faint. At the same time, her eyes were closed tight.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:42 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo

“You’re joking!” I replied, trying to be heard above the reverberating din of the Indian man’s voice.

“Nurvi Purvi Prem Krupa Jayachi!”

“No Papa! That almost happened to you when Mama wore the ring!”

“Sarvangi Sundar Uti Shendurachi!”

I tried to take Ao’s hands off my eyeglasses, but she resisted while whimpering in pain.

“Kanti Jhalke Mal Mukataphalaanchi!”

“Papa! Please! Don’t look at Mr. rat!”

“Jai dev Jai dev Jai Mangal Murti!”

“Then how about you!?” I said as I sat against the wall, giving up on trying getting her hands off me.

“Darshan Maatre Man Kaamna Phurti!”

“My eyes are closed but Mr. Rat is still shining into my eyes like the sun,” Ao whimpered.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:43 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“Ran! The thing!” I yelled at her.

I wanted her to make the thing stop this magical show that was hurting my daughter’s eyes and could knock my fiancé unconscious. I also wanted him to stop singing and start doing something about our present situation.

“Jai dev Jai dev Jai Mangal Murti!”

“On it! And please stop calling Mr. Krauncha 'thing' in your thoughts. It's rude!” Ran reprimanded me.

I quickly nodded, for fear that being stubborn about this subject would spark an argument at the wrong time.

Once she saw my nod, Ran stopped Krauncha.

“I, Ran of the Yamada of Gifu, shall hide the image and soften the voice of Krauncha, servant driver of the foreign god Ganesha, from the eyes of humans!”

Krauncha’s voice suddenly lowered in volume, and his image blurred from sight by a…

I coughed as a mosaic straight from the Adult Videos that I saw a long time ago covered Krauncha’s face and lower half.

“Never mind the AV graphics!” Ran wailed with a blush on her face.

I quickly shook the silly thoughts out of my head and concentrated on the task at hand.

“Hey rat! What happened to the SEB and your tengu allies?!”

For a few moments Krauncha ignored me, so I was about to repeat my question. All of a sudden his voice came out of my surroundings while I can still hear him singing from where he sat.

“Hello. Hello. Can you guys hear me?”

“Did you hear Kurumi’s question?!” Ichigo said. He then focused his attention back to Ao, who had just let go of her father’s face and was leaning against the wall with a grimace.

As I moved towards my daughter, worried about what her brief burst of activity had done to her ribs and chest drain, Krauncha replied to both our questions.

“Yes I heard. The SEB dissolved, and the tengus are alive and unconscious and Madar Chod they are unconscious.”

It took a few moments for the words ‘tengu’ and ‘unconscious’ to join together in my mind. That was why Ichigo and Ran were able to yell their shock before I was able to do so.

“How come! What happened to the Nagano tengus?!” Ran asked.

“I’m not even going to guess. Hey kid! What kind of distraction are we going to do? I’m about to start dropping weapons here!”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:43 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“First, give me one of those guns Krauncha.” After that I turned towards Ran. “Ran, barricade the door. Don’t let anyone through.”

“You’re not going to start shooting at the aliens downstairs, right?”My wife worried as she stepped over Moe’s sleeping body, sat down beside our daughter and started inspecting her injuries with frequent glances at me. Behind her, Ran started barricading the doorway with sacks of rice.

“No such thing. The gun is just for insurance, dear.”

I did not mention that I needed to see what Krauncha was talking about when he said gun. There was a big possibility that he might just give everyone antique muzzleloading rifles, and that would just get my Dad and many Self defense personnel killed.

"Hold your hands out kid!"

I stood up from the floor and quickly did as Krauncha said. A moment later I staggered under the weight of the gun that instantly appeared in my arms.

A brief inspection was all it took to make me sigh in frustration.

"What is this?" I asked Krauncha, while trying to ignore the disturbing AV style mosaic covering his face.

The rifle I was holding in my hands was heavier and longer than the Type 89. It also had a bayonet, already attached to the bayonet lug, which was more a wakizashi than a tanto. And it was a damned bolt action rifle.

"That, kid, is the – “

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted. “What I meant to say was why are you going to give out bolt-action rifles with ridiculously long bayonets?”

“Because I sincerely doubt the JSDF teaches its soldiers how to shoot non-Japanese guns. And I don’t know how Japanese assault rifles work.”

I blinked, thought about it, and then realized he was almost right. Except for the Special Forces, the JGSDF had exclusively been using Japanese rifles ever since the Type 64 in the 60’s. And the 13th Infantry, 12th Brigade of Matsumoto were Alpine troops with Air Assault training, not Special Forces.

“Would Dad automatically know how to work a bolt action?”

A moment later I realized how stupid that question was. Anyone who watched war or action movies and dramas or played FPS games would know how to work and reload one. Even the problem with a lack of marksmanship training was solved by the reasonable guess that the sleeping Self Defense personnel were only on the other side of the street.

“See? See?” Krauncha said. When I reluctantly nodded, he grinned so wide I could discern it through the mosaic and continued.

“And that’s not the only thing I considered. The Smellie Mark Three has a very smooth bolt operation, so it fires faster than other bolt action rifles. And I put a 1907 sword bayonet on it for when an Outsider manages to get into sword range.”

In light of the things that he said, I mentally conceded that Krauncha did make a good decision with these ‘Smellie’ rifles.

“Alright, I think I’m fine with this rifle. Is it loaded? How many rounds for the magazine? And where’s the ammunition you said earlier?”

Immediately after I said that a satchel appeared at my waist, already slung around my neck and heavy with the weight of many clinking metal objects.

“Loaded and cocked with five rounds. Don’t try to load the full ten rounds, you’re not used to it.”

I nodded and replied.

“Good. As soon as Ran finishes barricading the door, I want you to pour smoking hot salad oil all over the walls of this house.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:43 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“No Papa. Great Grandma’s flowers will die,” Ao moaned.

I understood her reluctance, seeing as the garden downstairs was full of pleasant looking flowers that Grandmother had donated a week or so after we moved here. However, by now they must have been trampled or shredded apart by the battle happening outside. And even if they were still alive, our lives are more important.

“We can plant more flowers later – “

“Salad oil is not a good idea for other reasons Mr. Ohta,” Ran interrupted Ichigo as she sat down next to her sleeping sister and started stroking her face. Behind her, I could see that the door was completely blocked by a double layer stack of rice sacks.

“Why not?” Ichigo challenged.

“The temperature when wood starts to burn and the temperature when several kinds of salad oil start to smoke are uncomfortably close to each other," Ran replied defensively. "This damaged, wooden house might start burning down if Mr. Krauncha does as you wanted.”

"Then boiling water. Let's use that," I intervened when Ichigo was about to say something rude.

I recognized what was happening. Ichigo had finally lost all his patience, probably due to all the trivial and life changing problems of the last three hours. Whenever that happens, I always had to do the thinking for the both of us because Ichigo would turn less logical and more macho in his behavior.

"Ichigo, sit down. Please, sit down," I pleaded while pulling at his shirt over Ao's head. "Bullets are going to fly again when the boiling water starts falling. Come on dear."

"Papa, please sit down?" Ao backed me up with her own plea.

After a few moments of coaxing, he finally sat down beside Ao with his back resting against the wall, his eyes closed to the world, and the rifle rested against his shoulder. I then looked towards Krauncha.

"Go! Now!"

"Good evening, fellow citizens of the world!" Krauncha yelled in the manner of a radio host personality. "Let's cook and shoot some alien Madar Chod!"

A moment later the sound of water splashing against solid objects came upstairs almost simultaneously with multiple howls of terrible pain. Seconds later the smell of vegetables being cooked wafted up here, quickly followed by the sound of gunfire and shouts in Japanese.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:44 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


As I listened to the massacre downstairs, I was busy mentally flagellating myself for losing my patience.

It wasn't the right time for me to do so. We were in grave danger. It also wasn't right of me to snap at Ran. She had saved me the blunder of burning my own house down, due to my lack of knowledge. And it just wasn't right that my wife had to act, again, to save me from embarrassing myself.

'You are such a pathetic husband, Ichigo. Pathetic.'

"Mama, I'm scared."

"Shh. Just ignore the screaming dear. Don't listen to it."

My eyes snapped open, and then I looked to my left to see Kurumi holding Ao's hand while softly talking to her. I quickly figured that she was fearful that hugging Ao will move some of the broken ribs.

"No Mama. It's not the screaming."

A huge creaking sound went through the air, making me suddenly spring onto my feet and look all over our room for the source.

"The house just died."

We suddenly found ourselves and the house falling downwards through air.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everything was hurting.

My head was aching, so I won’t open my eyes. My back was hurt, so I wasn’t willing to move my body. But my ears weren’t hurt, so I could hear. And what I heard was my daughter wailing, and rifles shooting.

In a flash, all the pain was gone. I snapped my eyes open and sat up, while groping for the rifle. I quickly saw Kurumi leaning over our daughter to my left, wringing her hands in a panic. Ao herself was laid supine on –

I choked as I saw that it was one of the corrugated iron sheets that served as our house’s roof, laid flat on the ground. And more rubble laid just an arm’s length away from Ao’s head. That prompted me to take a look around us.

To my front were Ran and Moe. Ran was on her right side, unconscious while blood was slowly trickling from a wound at her right temple. At the same time Moe was asleep, her head safe from injuries because Ran was hugging her to her own chest.

Beyond them by two meters was Krauncha. He had stopped playing his musical instrument, no longer covered in mosaics. He was also slumping forward in exhaustion, breathing heavily as his arms rested on his crossed legs.

We were surrounded by a circular wall of debris as tall as me while standing up, composed of corrugated iron sheets, wooden beams and planks, and the remains of our worldly possessions. Above us, the remains of a small dome of golden light slowly dissipated away, revealing a picturesque nighttime sky from a rural city that was marred by the light and smoke of burning fires. And below us, the wooden flooring, at least those inside the circle of debris, was cracked in places but otherwise still level ground.

“Ichigo!”

I snapped my eyes back to my wife.

“What do we do? Ao’s saying her sides hurt badly.”

After a moment’s thought I answered her question as I stood up.

“Kurumi, keep Ao still. I’m going to call for help – ”

All of a sudden the wall of debris beyond Kurumi was violently smashed apart, revealing a Lighteater without his ski mask.

He had green colored skin covered in peach fuzz, from the crown of his head down to his neck and possibly further. He was glaring at us with eyes that glowed green, while holding a sword that glowed with the same color in his right hand.

As Kurumi threw her body over Ao, an act that made our daughter wail more in pain, I quickly aimed the rifle over her head but didn’t shoot because...because my instincts were strongly warning against it. Only after a few more moments of aiming did I notice what he had just accidentally done.

He gave me the chance to finally see the street in front of Camp Matsumoto at street level.

Behind him a glowing green, two story high wall of magic separated him and us from his other comrades. They were defenselessly getting shot to death as they contorted and screamed in pain on the asphalt full of steaming puddles of water.

Beyond the poor bastards, I saw Dad lying prone on the street, calmly aiming his rifle and shooting while beside him Mom was reloading a clip into another ‘Smellie’ rifle from the two pouches in front of her. Eight other two man teams did the same thing as Dad and Mom, keeping up a steady rate of fire while backlit by burning buildings.

To make things even better for us, I saw the team that was farthest away from us stop firing and make some gestures to someone further down the street that I couldn’t see. And I could also hear the sounds of multiple helicopters in the distance. I took those as a sign of incoming reinforcements.

The only things that were dismaying was the great number of unmoving bodies strewn on the street, in addition to an ambulance that was ripped apart in half and a police vehicle that was partly melted and burning. And the ineffectiveness of the bullets on the barrier behind him.

My eyes snapped back to the Lighteater, and tightened my finger's pull on the trigger, when he started to move slowly.

I watched as he went into a strange sword stance. His sword was tucked under his left armpit while his left hand was clenched in mid-air mere centimeters in front of his right hand, as if there was a shield present there.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:47 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


As I whispered apologies to Ao for hurting her with my body weight, I heard my love talk.

“It’s over Lighteater. You lost. Save your men and go home now.”

The Lighteater suddenly spat. A moment later I felt something splatter onto my neck, and quickly realized that I had just been spat upon.

“You think, after losing fellow nobles and most of our Permitted to weak pantheon members and filthy humans, I can just walk away without slaying the cause of our humiliations?”

“And who is the cause of your humiliations?” my fiancé asked in a dangerous tone.

A few moments of silence passed. As I nervously listened to what might happen next, Ao suddenly whispered 'Mama.'

When I looked down, she continued whispering with tearful eyes.

"You have to help Papa fight, or else we will all die."

"Ao, don't worry. Papa has a gun - "

"Mama, I can see the future," she suddenly interrupted.

I was about to scold her for joking at a time like this when a lot of curious things about Ao suddenly came to mind.

Ao always used the word 'feel' instead of 'look' when talking about people's emotions, and she would still say so when the people in concern weren't in the same room. Then there were times when Ao would suddenly say something strange to someone, and the person would be surprised or shocked…just like Krauncha earlier…

If Krauncha, a so called servant of some foreign god, acted like that, then Ao might be telling the truth.

"The bad alien will step on you and me and make Papa shoot, into the bad alien's invisible shield. Mr. Rat would smash a bat on the bad alien's head, but he would ignore it and run forward. Papa would try to poke the bad alien, but the bad alien would move Papa's gun to the side and then cut off his legs."

My blood barely had time to run cold when Ao dropped the mother of all shocks on me.

"And when Papa is on the ground, the bad alien would split Papa's head in half with his sword."

All of a sudden I got stepped on the back.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:47:25 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


I pulled the trigger the moment the bastard stepped on my wife and daughter. An instant later two things happened; I heard the sound of a small metal object , and my eyeglasses slid down my nose from the recoil. That turned my field of vision from a world of clear, distinct lines into a world of slightly blurred objects.

Normally I would immediately put my eyeglasses back where they were supposed to be, but the blurred figure of the Lighteater was still getting bigger in my vision even after Krauncha’s gold bedecked figure suddenly came from the side and broke something over the alien's head. So I immediately decided to use the bayonet.

I stepped my left foot forward and extended my arms for a thrust at the middle of the Lighteater’s oncoming figure.

The bayonet unexpectedly slid of something solid, and the Lighteater immediately pushed the tip of the rifle to the side.

I immediately backpedalled to gain distance –
The Lighteater started to swing his sword –

-and safely got out of harm’s way.
-and almost stumbled onto the ground.

I immediately slipped my glasses back into place, to see the Lighteater kneeling away from me, repeatedly swinging his sword at Kurumi’s head.

I saw red.

I ran forward, bayonet pointing downward so I could stab him dead. In a moment I was one step away from vengeance when he suddenly swung his sword into a circle over his head and parried the stock of the rifle away.

That parry put me in the perfect position to deliver a butt stroke to the head, but I wasn’t thinking straight. Instead, I kicked at his head with my left foot.

The Lighteater countered the kick by punching my foot with his left hand. And it was there, that I saw the secret to how my thrust was parried earlier. A small circular shield made of translucent yellow material flashed into view when my foot was in contact with it, and just as quickly disappeared when my foot got out of contact with it.

As I was getting my left foot down on the ground as quickly as possible, the alien bastard stabbed his sword straight at my stomach. And it would've made contact if Krauncha didn't tackle him from the side.

"Pin him down!" I yelled to Krauncha as I raised the rifle, looking for an opening to stab the murderer to death.

All of a sudden a bright light blinded me, and along with it came intense heat that made me take a few steps backwards. A moment later, I blinked the spots out of my eyes, to see the Lighteater standing up while brushing off ash from his outfit.

"Good to know there are technicalities with this spell," he said while glaring to my right, where all the ash in the air was for some reason streaming towards to by itself.

The alien bastard then assumed another strange sword pose. He put stretched both arms in front of him. The arm that was holding the sword was stretched straight out, with the sword pointing straight at my head. The other hand, the one that held that magical shield, was right beside the hand that held the sword.

A second later the Lighteater screamed, as a spear suddenly burst out of his right leg.

Then I screamed as suddenly the bastard twisted around, aimed his revolver at my wife's head and pulled the trigger nonstop while roaring in anger. The next moment I charged with the bayonet aimed at the alien's midsection.

Halfway there, he twisted around and aimed the gun at me.

It was a near thing. At the same time as I stabbed the bayonet to the hilt in his chest, his gun fired and my ear suddenly felt hot.

After his body slammed backwards on the floor, I withdrew the bayonet and stabbed him three more times in the chest for good measure.

I quickly threw the rifle to the side and rushed over to my wife, who was face down in a puddle of her own vomit.

"Kurumi!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matsumoto, Nagano
May 3, 2013
8:47:25 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


When the Lighteater stepped on me, I mentally panicked. I had no knowledge of how to use this ring other than wearing it.

All of a sudden the world was tinged in black and white colors, and a Start button straight from the computers of the 1990’s appeared in the middle of my field of vision. At first I was encouraged by this act…but the moment I thought of pressing it, I was dismayed by what appeared in the pop-up menu.

Words composed of a combination of letters that I didn’t know anything about and letters from the English alphabet filled the menu.

I wanted to wail, I wanted to scream, I wanted to meet whoever it was that was making my family suffer and scratch their eyes out. But that wasn’t going to save us, so I had to do things myself.

I willed the entire thing away, and immediately got onto the balls of my toes. I quickly saw Krauncha smashing a strange wooden paddle over the Lighteater’s head, to no avail. It was at that point that I suddenly knew what I had to do.

I jumped onto one of the Lighteater’s legs, grabbed it, and fell face down on the wooden planks.

The leg almost pulled itself out of my hands, but thanks the ancestors my grip held firm. A moment later the leg moved sideways, and before I could take a peek something hit my head hard.

I saw stars with that one blow, and the side of my head felt so painful. But I didn’t let go, I had to give my love time –

The second blow made my grip weaken, made me feel pain from the inside of my –

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don’t know how long I was unconscious. But my head hurts a lot, and I wanted to vomit.

I tried to open my eyes since I wanted to see what was happening.

The first try only let light shine through for an instant. The second try let me see some colors. The third time worked, although everything was blurry.

I saw the Lighteater from behind, facing Ichigo with a sword stance. Ichigo himself was in his own fighting stance.

“Kurumi, can you hear me?” the voice of a woman whispered into my ear.

I tried to speak, but surprisingly what came out was soft moan.

“Oh dear. That is a bad sign. What to do, what to do…"

I moaned my complaint, seeing as I had a very bad feeling that my beloved would die if nobody else did something.

"Right. Dear child, we're going to save your husband. However, it would end with your body being given mortal wounds, and you being separated from him for some time. But I swear, on my memories of my dearly departed husband, that I would keep you alive until you heal and learn everything you need to defend yourself. Do you agree to that?"

I didn't have to think about my answer.

"Very well. Let's see what your trinket can do."

The world turned black and white again, and that Start button floated in my view. Then it clicked all by itself, and the choices in the menu were highlighted one after the other.

"Spear, spear, spear - there. Kurumi, be a dear and lift one hand a little, yes like that - perfect."

One of the words was clicked. Something instantly appeared in my hand, and it moved at the same time as I heard the Lighteater scream in pain.

"Oh dear. Kurumi, close your eyes, he's going to hurt you now."

A glance was all it took to for me to follow the voice.
===============================================================

Thanks to everyone who helped me with beta-work and information. Namely Atreidestrooper, locki, Gen. Schatten, Vanquisher221, Rockhound, Kensai, and Falkenhayn of Spacebattles. I couldn't have done it without you folks.

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-10-20 03:46am

I've given this a chance, but it's gotten too chaotic to read properly. I can't follow who's who, I can't tell what they're doing, and I am more and more wishing you'd kept the old format of the story.

The main problem with the originial was you wrote yourself into a hole with the attack on the hospital. This time, you've jumped right into the action, but you're still seeming to go nowhere with it.
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-10-21 01:16am

LadyTevar wrote:I've given this a chance, but it's gotten too chaotic to read properly. I can't follow who's who, I can't tell what they're doing, and I am more and more wishing you'd kept the old format of the story.

The main problem with the originial was you wrote yourself into a hole with the attack on the hospital. This time, you've jumped right into the action, but you're still seeming to go nowhere with it.


LadyTevar, how do I fix the chaotic part of my story? Should I make the segments of one character longer instead of short switching POV's?

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: rebo

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-10-27 01:59pm

One "chapter", one voice usually works best
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-12-20 05:16am

Hello folks!

Sorry it took me some time. It was because I had to make revisions...and I met Fallout 4.

Anyways, on to the story!

===============================================================

Chapter 7

Unknown location
Unknown date
Unknown time
Ikeda Kurumi


I opened my eyes.

I saw a thatched roof supported by pillars, a big central one and a handful of smaller ones surrounding it.

When I sat up, the first things that I noticed were the pots. Lots of red colored, round bottomed pots of various sizes with leather coverings tied over the openings were placed at the sides of the dwelling I was in. The next thing I noticed was the scent and sound of the sea in the air, quickly followed by the door opening to my left, where sunlight was coming through.

The last thing I remembered was the mysterious woman's voice advising me to close my eyes, and the sight of that gun aimed straight at me.

'Where am I?'

"I'm outside the house, dear!" the woman's voice suddenly chimed out from outside, over the sound of the waves.

I didn't answer.

I was unsure of what to do. On one hand, I wasn't sure who this woman works for. She might be working with Krauncha and those inari. She might also be a third party that was an enemy of the Lighteaters and the Skinchanger. On the other hand she did help me save my family, so I owe her my deepest gratitude. And Mama taught me to always reciprocate kindness whenever I had been given kindness of any sort.

I finally stood up from my bed, a leather mattress that contained leaves from the feel and sound of it, and walked outside.

I stood on the grassy and nut strewn border of a dull yellow colored beach and a forest of broad leaved trees that smelled like nuts, looking out onto a small bay while being gently caressed by the sea breeze. The bay, in turn, was bordered by gentle looking hills full of lush, green trees. Beyond the sea, in the distance, was a hazy landmass composed of steep mountains.

To my growing despair, there were no boats, no roads, no piers or utility poles or any other sign of human civilization in sight other than the house I just went out of.

The only positive thing that I could find in that moment was that I could see the sun rising at my right. That meant I now had a bearing to the four directions, just in case I had to escape from here.

"This is a beautiful place, right Kurumi?"

I turned right and saw…

"…are you doing something to affect my mind?"

The speaker, who wasn't there when I was looking around before, shook her head.

"No. Why should I?"

"I'm sorry. It's just a silly thought," I lied with a smile.

'It was because the first thing I should be doing right now was to scream, quickly followed by running away from her.'

The first things I noticed about the European looking woman was that maggots crawled all over her hair and skin, and parts of her arms, legs, and her neck had gaping animal bites where I could see muscle and bones that were also being crawled on by maggots.

The next thing I noticed was that despite the maggots and the animal bites, she was beautiful. Her luxuriant, waist length hair was the kind that would take thousands of yen and several hours in a beauty salon to get at the level of. Her pale and shiny skin put the most popular J-Pop idols to shame. And her face needed no makeup whatsoever.

The final thing I noticed was her primitive attire and jewelry.

She wore a knee length, loose fitting red tunic. The belt was a simple red colored rope. Her footwear only animal skin with padding inside it. And her jewelry was composed of a crudely shaped jade pendant and two red colored earrings that were simply big rings that you squeeze your earlobe through.

"I…I apologize for how I look like," the woman said as she looked away from me with a downcast expression.

I blinked.

For several moments I was puzzled as to why she would apologize for her looks. And then I realized I must have somehow said my thought about screaming and running away out loud.

Shame flooded my entire being, at reciprocating the woman's kindness with insult.

"I deeply apologize for what I had said," I said as I deeply bowed towards her. "There are no excuses for what I just did."

"No, it's alright," the woman responded with a more depressed tone of voice. "Even my husband…"

Her words trailed off at the end. It was quickly followed by a sob.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I'm sorry about that," the woman sniffed beside me. "I – I thought I'm already over my husband's death."

"No, no. It's my fault Ma'am," I apologized as I rubbed her back and pretended there were no maggots on her.

As I understood from her rambling, she became estranged from her husband when this appearance was forced on her. After a few years, she reconciled with her husband with the help of their children. But when they were about to meet again for the first time since the estrangement, the husband tragically died in a fight, alongside some of the woman's sons.

"No, it's not. You didn't even have the same kind of reaction as Izanagi did when he saw me in Yomi."

I blinked, and immediately stopped rubbing her back.

"By Izanagi," I asked with uncertainty and trepidation in my tone, "are you referring to the myth of Izanagi and Izanami? One of the two gods involved with the creation of Onogoro and the islands of Japan?"

"…did I introduce myself to you earlier?" the woman asked as her face heated up in embrassment.

"No you didn't."

"Oh," the woman squeaked. She then quickly hid her face in her palms and tried to curl up into a ball.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"My name is Izanami no Mikoto - wait. I'm sorry, that's my title. I mean my name is Izanami, just Izanami. Please call me that instead of the earlier one. And I deeply apologize for not realizing that I never introduced myself to you," Izanami said as she bowed down to me.

I stood up from my seat and bowed back.

"And my name is Ikeda Kurumi, soon to be Ohta Kurumi. I'm extremely, extremely grateful for the help that you gave me earlier, Izanami. If there's – "

"I only did what was right dear," Izanami suddenly interrupted. "There's no need to be more than thankful."

I was surprised by the interruption. Usually the one who was being complimented would let the person finish their compliment, not rudely interrupt someone in the middle of their compliment. Thus, I stopped bowing and looked at Izanami from a need to know if I had made some kind of mistake somewhere.

Instead of a frown, I saw a nervous smile on her face. In place of a glare, she shyly looked down at the ground. She was even holding her left elbow with her right hand, as I do when I felt the need to reassure myself.

"I had to stop you from finishing those words Kurumi," she said softly. "What you were about to say would eventually indebt you or your family into doing things for me, whether I accept it or not. And frankly, I had seen many gods or magical beings and humans become embittered with each other over the results of such agreements."

The only thing I could do in reply to that was to stare at her. And I did so for a few more moments until she muttered something else.

"And I don't want that."

The air around felt awkward all of a sudden. On my part, I can't express the feelings of utter gratitude I have because of Izanami's warning. And my guess was that Izanami for her part was still embarrassed at doing something too rude for Japan.

In an effort to try and move things along, I asked what happened after I was...if I remember correctly, 'given mortal wounds.'

Izanami grabbed the opportunity as if it was a lifeline that I gave her.

"Your husband killed the Lighteater, at the cost of having half his right ear shot away - wait, wait, wait! Calm down Kurumi, calm down. His ear was restored back to normal. The Indian healed his ear back to normal."

I sat back down on the log, my face planted in my hands. A moment later I felt someone sit next to me.

"How about my daughter? My parents in law and the twins?"

"Your daughter is fine. She only had cracked ribs, so the doctor just ordered her to take a bed rest, imbibe some painkilling drugs and wait for a few weeks to completely heal. And your parents in law were also fine. Your mother in law was keeping a vigil in the hospital room that you and your daughter were brought to, alongside your husband. Your father in law, when he wasn't sleeping in the hospital room, was busy doing his job."

Izanami stopped there, and that gave me a sense of…unease. Thus, I lifted my head up to see her looking down at her feet.

"The twins. What happened to them?"

"They were in the same hospital as you and your daughter but…"

"What happened?" I prompted again as the sense of unease grew within me.

"Their mother died during the battle."



"Kurumi?"

...!

I blinked out of the shock I was in when all of a sudden Izanami pinched my arm. An instant later I saw the worried look Izanami was wearing on her face.

"I'm sorry for pinching you," she softly said.

"No. I…I needed that. Thank you," I answered while shaking my head. "Has any relative come forward to take care of them?"

My heart sank when she shook her head.

"None, for a variety of reasons which includes the two half inari being considered wards of the state. I suspect that they will be placed in an orphanage as soon as they completely heal."

Amidst the confusion I got at her answer, a memory came unbidden into my mind when Izanami said the word 'orphanage'. It was something Mother said to Mama the night Ichigo and I revealed my pregnancy to our parents. And it was so shocking that I still remember it word for word.

'You're considering putting the baby in an orphanage? Hah! Considering the perennial state of the Japanese orphanage system and its products, I would rather abort your slutty daughter's baby as an act of mercy!'

"Don't they have other relatives who can take them in?" I asked. "Like their father?"

Izanami looked up at me with a sad frown.

"The twins used to live in Miyagi prefecture's Minamisanriku, one of the towns ravaged by the tsunami two years ago. Their father, paternal grandparents and uncle died that day."

"How about more distantly related relatives?"

"…I think their once removed first cousins are living in Brazil."

I instantly gave up on the paternal side when she said that. Obviously differing nationalities would complicate things for Ran and Moe.

"How about their maternal relatives? Their mother is an inari so surely their relatives on that side are immortal."

"That's precisely the problem. They are immortal until someone kills them, so that means they have to manipulate and fake several documents if they want to live with humans. For example, their mother is on her third koseki when she died."

"And with lots of fake documentation…"

I trailed off as I slowly realized the Japanese government, famous for its bureaucracy, would definitely have problems with Moe and Ran's maternal relatives for that practice. Therefore, it would be wise to assume that Ran and Moe won't be released to their custody any time soon, if ever.

"Correct," Izanami said in a sad manner.

I ignored the demonstration of supernatural, mind reading powers and concentrated on what it was that I wanted to do for the twins.

The two had helped keep me and my family alive, suffering injuries and getting orphaned in the process. But can we afford to help them, now that we lost our home and belongings?

…can we?

"Kurumi, if I may?" Izanami asked me.

"Go ahead."

"You don't have to make a decision about the twins now, not when I can control time in this place. You also have to learn how to defend yourself before I bring you back to your family."

I pondered on what Izanami said, and moments later I realized she was right.

Making a decision that would affect both my family and their family was not something to be made in an instant. It would require time to think about it, and consultation with others.

"You're right Izanami. Thank you for the advice…come to think of it, where is this place?"

All I knew about this place was that it couldn't be on Earth, not only because of the lack of humans but because we had just been talking about another 'me' being placed in a hospital and watched over by my parents and parents in law.

Obviously, that meant the 'me' presently here in this place was my soul and the 'me' that was in the hospital was my body.

"This is my home nowadays. A reproduction of how Onogoro used to be when I was still worshipped as the Mother of all creatures by the pot makers, hundreds of years before my husband and his worshippers came to these islands."

I blinked. Then I started looking around, burning the sounds, smells and sights of Japan's legendary first island into my mind. In the meantime, Izanami started to show off her home with a smile.

"Mind you, it's not a perfect reproduction of Onogoro since the island changed over hundreds of years and I don't want to decide on which Onogoro I liked the most. So I used the current shorelines and hills for ease of mind. I also had problems keeping the plants and the animals I had created alive in a limited and enclosed space, when naturally they should be interacting with the world's ecosystem and climate. I not only had to be the Mother of all creatures, I also had to be the goddess of every weather phenomenon…"

I knew that it wasn't right, what with Izanami having the ability to read minds, but I started to blank out at her explanation. As a wife I was expecting her to show the location of things and explain why she decided on this or that color, size or shape. Not a technical explanation of what it took to make the home.

I think Izanami noticed what was happening because she stopped explaining about striking a balance between the seasons in her realm.

"And finally I anchored this reproduction to the shrine dedicated to me and my husband on the real island of Onogoro, or Nu as it called nowadays. So whenever I get out of here, I would appear near the place. And that's that."

Izanami then looked at me with a smile that was as awkward as the situation just became.

"Where is Nu island?" I asked, trying to make the awkwardness go away. Izanami quickly seized the lifeline I gave her.

"It's a small, thinly populated island just off the coast of Awaji."

I instantly remembered the relevant lessons from Social Studies classes. Awaji was in the Inland sea, serves as the bridge between Shikoku and Honshu and home of Japan's longest bridge. It's also a long way southwest from Matsumoto or Yokohama.

I felt relieved now that I knew my location. The only thing that remained now was to know when I could go home.

"Izanami, when would I be taught how to use the magical ring of the Yavanas?"

The awkward smile returned, accompanied by a blush and eyes that suddenly couldn't look straight at me.

"...Izanami?"

"I'll send a message right now."

She stretched her right hand. Moments later, a crane flew out from behind us and landed on it.

Izanami quickly whispered something to bird, followed by the bird repeatedly nodding its head and then flying up into the sky until it disappeared. After that, she looked down again and started twiddling her thumbs on top her lap.

After a few moments of this Izanami finally dared a peek at me, and promptly wilted at the look I was giving her.

"Is there something I should be aware of?" I hissed...but not at her. Not yet.

"Kurumi," Izanami quickly started to explain. "For you to understand my explanation, you must know two things. First, I had never been back to Takamagahara ever since I died giving birth to Kagutsuchi."

My eyebrows rose at this strange revelation. If I remembered correctly, Takamagahara was the home of the gods, which included Izanami last I read about her.

"I'm telling the truth Kurumi. I…I'm not welcome there. Please don't ask. It's personal."

"Go on," I conceded after seeing the grief on her face.

Izanami gulped and plunged ahead with her explanation.

"That meant I was never involved in the multi-pantheon plot against the Outsiders, I was never involved with the planning for the events in Matsumoto, and I...was never considered for anything."

"Then what were you doing in Matsumoto that night?"

"SUN TV interrupted the show I was watching and suddenly showed breaking news live from your city. I got curious about the magical barrier seen on TV, so I went there."

"…you watch TV?"

Izanami lost the grief stricken look and replaced it with a bewildered one.

"Yes I do. I watch it alongside the family members of my kannushi at Nu island."

I was so intrigued by the image that Izanami had just painted in my mind, that I almost asked how that kind of arrangement came about. A moment later I pinched my arm in an effort to refocus my attention.

Izanami's daily habits were none my business, nor has it any relation to the reason I'm not being given any training right now.

"So what was the second thing?"

"…there's no more plan."

My instinct suddenly rang alarm bells with those four words.

"To be more specific, whatever plan was in place got destroyed when the Greek ring affected every magical being within two hundred fifty five ri away from you. And because the Greek ring malfunctioned despite the assurances of the Greeks, added with the refusal of the omnipotent gods and the gods of prophecies and fates to say anything about how the future was going to happen…"

In my imagination, my instinct gave up and promptly committed suicide the moment Izanami paused in her explanation.

"Most of the pantheons gave up on the idea of a unified front and settled for co-belligerence."

"I'm sorry, but that still doesn't explain what that means for me learning."

"It sadly means that virtually all the gods of Japan are too busy thinking of other ways to fight the incoming war to pay attention to you."

"Damn it!"

I slammed a clenched left fist on the log I was sitting on because of so much anger. A moment later I cradled it to my chest, my mouth wide open in a silent moan.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What's going to happen to me now?" I asked after Izanami helped me think the hand back to normal, what with me currently being a soul out of its body.

Izanami laid her hands back on her lap and sighed.

"Kurumi, I made the offer of helping you learn to protect yourself because I thought that you are going to continue working for the gods. But now that your help wasn't needed...what do you want to do?"

I thought about it.

If I no longer had to work as a magical mercenary for the gods, then I'm no longer going to be in danger. My family no longer had to be in danger either. And we could go back home and forget...

Right. The house was destroyed.

That was supposed to be our permanent residence. That house was supposed to be where Mother and I would live with Ao and any other child we would give birth to while the men were at work.

That rickety, lovable, fifty year old house was what me and Ichigo thought of as both our Jisan Kin and Yui Nou, my dowry and his bride price, no matter the technicalities.

That house was bought with what was supposed to be my college tuition and all the Ohta family had in the bank! What do we do now? We were still partly dependent on regular deposits from Papa and both sets of Ichigo's grandparents for utility bills and everyday expenses four years after buying the house.

As my face sank down onto my hands, my mind started to wander around for solutions to this crisis.

I had just rejected the first thing to come to mind, asking Papa for more money, and started to entertain me dropping out of school to start working when Izanami broke my train of thought.

"Kurumi, all you need is a new home right? Maybe...I can help?"

I looked up from my palms to see Izanami looking at me with the hopefulness of a puppy that wanted to play.

"How?"

Izanami coughed.

"My home over there was made by me and some of my remaining children with our own hands. So, how about if we help you build new dwellings? I'm sure we can use material from the wreckage of your former house."

My gaze switched back and forth from Izanami to her pit house at my rear left. After several moments of this, I started to imagine the end result of her proposition, based on what I saw of her pit dwelling.

It would have to be two separate pit houses; one for me, Ichigo and Ao and the other for Mother and Father.

For cooking, heating and lighting, we would be using a fireplace. For storing foodstuff and water...coolers, jars and pots, lots of salt, and water containers. For the floor, well…a rug over a layer of compacted soil, I think. And for a door, a sheet of cloth and a clothes stand.

For bathing, we would have to go to a public bath. Toilet…oh dear heavens we would have to use a chamber pot. And then there's the laundry. We would have to wash them outside the house, in full view of pedestrians on the sidewalk.

And worst of all, now that there would be no thick inner partition to separate us from Ao…there's a reason why, whenever Ao was awake and outside the room, Ichigo always gags me with a French kiss or a hand when I reach heaven.

Izanami suddenly giggled, her face flushed as red as an angry pimple. It was at that moment that I remembered Izanami can hear my thoughts.

"I…I'm sorry Izanami. My family would become an object of pity if we settled down for a pit house."

I tried my best to keep my face straight, when all I wanted was to sink it into my hands and curl into a ball of embarassment.

Izanami responded by switching from giggles to outright, heartfelt laughter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By the time Izanami had completely calmed down, the sun of Izanami's reproduced Onogoro was already halfway hidden by the orange tinted horizon.

"Kurumi, thank you," she said while wiping tears away from her eyes. "I haven't laughed like that in a very, long time."

"You're welcome…I think."

"Alright, back to the matter at hand. Are you sure you don't want my family's help in building a new house? I could ask my children to lower their fees."

"Yes, I'm sure. I acknowledge that a pit house such as yours is cozy and warm but we live in a city. Certain minimum standards must be met."

While the house that we lived in was old, it was connected to the electric, water and sewage systems and had interior partitions. Those were things that Izanami's pit house didn't have.

"Oh. I see…"

Izanami lost the smile that was on her face. What replaced it was a thoughtful frown that lasted for some time.

She finally said something when I started to ruminate again on the housing crisis we were in.

"Kurumi, would you accept charity?"

I blinked.

"Charity? Well…I'm alright with it but my parents in law and Ichigo have pride. They won't easily accept charity."

"I see…Kurumi, what if I tell you I'm willing to help you out by making you precious stones to sell?"

At the words 'precious stones,' my mind conjured up memories of all the diamond and pearl jewelry that I saw on TV.

"Would your parents in law and your husband have any problem with that? I don't think it's charity if you have to exert the effort to sell what I'm about to give to you."

After a few seconds of thinking, I shook my head.

It was likely that selling enough precious stones to pay for the reconstruction of our home would bring an equal amount of headaches for our family. However, we must go through with that if we were to have a house as soon as possible.

"Good. As soon as we get back to your body and find a space big enough for it, I'm going to make so many uncut obsidian, jade and amber that their prices in Japan will drop by half."

Izanami then extended her hand towards me.

"Shall we?"

===============================================================

Many thanks to the following for helping me with things.

Atreidestrooper of Spacebattles.com

Lady Tevar of Stardestroyer.com

The owner of heritageofjapan.wordpress.com for specific details of things Jomon period Japan.

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LadyTevar
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-12-20 02:58pm

Jade and Amber would bring high prices throughout Asia, if they were striking enough. If the Amber had inclusions like Insects, the price could triple. Carved Amber and Jade would sell like hotcakes as well.
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2015-12-21 12:45am

LadyTevar wrote:Jade and Amber would bring high prices throughout Asia, if they were striking enough. If the Amber had inclusions like Insects, the price could triple. Carved Amber and Jade would sell like hotcakes as well.


How about obsidian?

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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2016-01-22 09:26am

Hello folks!

Sorry it took so long. It's because I discovered a few new interesting stories here on fictionpress and on spacebattles.com

Anyways, enjoy and review
=============================================================================================================

Chapter 8

JGSDF Camp Fuji, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 7, 2013

1:21 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


"Ichigo, what did you swear to me when I allowed Kurumi live with you and your parents?"

I was so ashamed of my failure that I wasn't able to look back at my Father in law. Nor was I able to reply to his question. Instead, I just stared down at the floor tiles of this sterile hospital room.

"Kid, I'm starting to lose my patience – "

"Stop it Kentaro," my Mother in law interrupted Kentaro. "Don't you see that he's already blaming himself for what happened to our child and grandchild?"

"And he should be blamed, Magdalena. He swore he would take care of our daughter and grandchildren for the rest of his life, that he would never make them sad. But now, Kurumi is in a coma and is attached to some kind of machine. Ao has cracked ribs and has to take painkilling drugs for weeks. Is that what you call 'taking care of'?"

"Mr. Ikeda, I assure you that my son did everything he possibly could to protect your daughter and our grandchild," Mom protested.

"Well of course you're going to say that. He's your son."

"Oh Mr. Ikeda, if only you had been there. You should have seen how magnificently my son and your daughter acted to protect our grandchild."

Those words of praise made me finally look up.

In front of me was Ikeda Kentaro, Kurumi's dad. He was a stout, short, middle aged man with a well groomed walrus like mustache who always wore dark colored clothes. Currently dressed in a blue jacket, with black shirt and pants, he was looking at Mom with a stunned expression.

Standing beside him was his wife, Ikeda Magdalena. She was a beautiful, light brown skinned Filipino in her late thirties who was most notable for mid-back length straight hair, tasty Filipino dishes, and for being as outspoken and combative as she was shorter than her already short husband. Wearing a floral patterned blouse, denim jeans and a jacket, she looked at Mom's direction with a very suspicious look on her face.

"Not that I'm complaining about you praising my daughter Yuki, but what happened to make you say something good about her?"

Mom was beside me, the both of us sitting on plastic chairs by the foot of both Kurumi and Ao's beds. The beds were placed beside each other by the helpful staff of JSDF Fuji regional hospital at both my and Dad's request despite the fact that this room was supposed to only contain a bed and a toilet.

Mom was dressed in the same clothes as me, charity from fellow JSDF members that Dad accepted by swallowing his pride. They were thin white shirts, patched up jeans, and new but cheap underwear.

"Didn't your daughter tell you stories about her and me?" Mom asked as she adjusted a tight shirt that drew eyes to one of the two reasons why Kurumi still tries to bore a hole through Mom with her eyes when she thinks no one was looking.

"And what's the relation between those and you saying good things about Kurumi?" Magdalena said in a guarded manner as she suddenly covered her husband's eyes. It was quickly followed by Mom crossing her arms over her chest.

I silently looked from one woman to the other, uncertain on how to react to this turn of events.

I knew the only thing Kurumi ever tells Magdalena regarding Mom were complaints, since she talks with her parents every Saturday night in our bedroom via cellphone. And I was always playing with Ao by that time, so I also end up talking with my parents in law about our lives.

There should be no reason for those complaints to have anything to do with Mom finally giving my wife a long overdue respect.

"Ever heard about the one when I told her what it would take for me to fully accept her as daughter in law?"

"No way," I instantly said to Mom with a glare.

"Bullshit," Magdalena growled in English. All of a sudden, Kentaro wrapped his arms around his wife's torso and held her tight.

Mom sighed and looked away from the both of us.

"I know. I regret what I said that day - "

"Before or after our juego todo?" Magdalena interrupted.

Mom winced, most probably from the memory of that insane martial arts match Magdalena tricked her into and its results. But she went on talking, not bothering to answer the question that had just been asked.

"I have to recognize the fact that your daughter almost died to save my son and granddaughter. That five nights ago she came as close as possible to doing what I once told her to do. And I am always a woman of my words."

"Mom, telling someone who just gave birth to your first grandchild that you will accept them as family only after they die for us is wrong, no matter how you try to interpret it."

"I know. That is why I'm waiting for…Kurumi…to wake up."

Mom gulped the moment before she said my wife's name. And when she finally said Kurumi's name for the first time I could remember, it inexplicably sounded like a baby trying to pronounce her first words.

"Mom…what are you going to do when she wakes up?"

"Stop smiling Ichigo," Mom suddenly complained. "I just made a flub in saying her name."

"That's not why I'm smiling Mom," I said as the smile on my face grew wider still. "Come on Mom. What will you do?"

I got an idea of how Mom was during her childhood, when she looked down at the floor and mumbled her answer.

"Say 'welcome back'."

"And what else will you do?" Magdalena asked, in the manner of a good teacher waiting for a slow learner to give the correct answer. Behind her, Kentaro looked at Mom with a hopeful face.

"…apologize."

"That's all?"

For a moment I was puzzled as to what Magdalena was waiting to hear from Mom. After all, Kurumi was finally going to receive an apology from Mom. The next instant I understood what was supposed to come next after one apologizes, and promptly started worrying.

"Yes. That's all."

I sighed and planted my face in my palm.

'Mom, I love you. But sometimes you are just…argh.'

"Hey Yuki, you do know that you can't make people feel obligated to forgive you just because you said 'sorry,' right?" Magdalena asked

"Are you implying I'm not sincere with my intention to reconcile with Kurumi?"

"Then why won't you ask for my daughter's forgiveness? I'm not exactly demanding you grovel in front of Kurumi and beg for forgiveness."

It took a few seconds for Mom to respond. During that time she kept her eyes shut while thinking deeply about Magdalena's question.

"I can't say it," Mom finally replied. "We'll just get into a fight, and then we would be thrown out of the hospital by the nurses and doctors."

"I don't want that to happen."

I twisted around in my seat, to see Ao awake and smiling cutely at us while covered by a white, fluffy blanket all the way up to her chin.

As Mom and Magdalena garbled their words by saying something at the same time, I made my way down the narrow space between Kurumi and Ao's beds to get near her.

"How long were you listening in on us?" I asked with a smile once I got beside her.

"Uhm...ever since Lolo and Lola came into the room," she replied, using the Filipino words that Magdalena taught her to distinguish between my parents and Kurumi's parents.

The room fell silent at her words.

On my part, I was struck speechless by the embarrassment of realizing my daughter witnessed my moment of weakness. Of how it fell upon my Mother in law and Mom to defend me from Father in law's anger, of how for a moment I was not her father but a kid being scolded for failing his responsibility.

"Did I do something bad?" Ao asked as she looked from me to Mom and the in laws, and back again with fear written all over her face.

"No. It's...it's our fault for fighting here. We're sorry about that, right Mom? Mother, Father?"

I looked back to see three fidgeting adults who were unable to look my daughter in the eyes for long due to reasons that only they know about. I quickly turned back to Ao and tried to spare them from more embarrassment.

"They're also sorry," I said sheepishly.

For a few moments she looked me straight in the eyes, with a cute pout on her face.

"Papa, when I grow up to be as old as you, will everyone still be fighting each other?" she asked out of nowhere.

I blinked, puzzled as to how apologizing for fighting in front of her and setting a bad example led to the idea that this state of affairs would continue into the future.

If it wasn't for the magical aliens, two years of effort trying to get along with Kentaro won't have gone down the drain as proven just now. And Mom and Magdalena weren't as antagonistic with each other nowadays as they were during Kurumi's first year living with us, especially after Magdalena gave Mom the fright of her life with her juego todo.

"Of course not, Ao," I replied. "What made you think that?"

"Mama and Grandma still don't like each other."

I saw in an instant how my daughter came to that conclusion, and it was enlightening.

As opposed to how I viewed it, which was that the discord was unavoidable because Mom and Kentaro still can't accept Kurumi cohabiting with me, and they respectively blame Magdalena or me for encouraging Kurumi to do so, from this new point of view it was the discord between Mom and Kurumi that was the very source of all other fights between our families.

Without Mom being continuously antagonistic towards Kurumi, Kentaro might have been more constructive with his criticism of me. Without Kurumi always venting out her complaints about Mom to Magdalena, Magdalena might have gradually ignored Mom as some loudmouthed bigot instead of engaging Mom in a perpetual cycle of catfights in every possible field.

"You heard Mom earlier, right? She's going to apologize to Mama, and then everything will be alright in our family. No more fighting between Mama and Mom, between me and Lolo, and Lola and Grandma," I reassured her with a smile.

That smile was wiped off my face by four words.

"Will Mama accept it?"

"...I hope so."
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JGSDF Camp Fuji, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 7, 2013

2:13 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


"What was that earlier?" Kentaro hissed from the opposite side of the cafeteria table, while stirring his cup of instant noodles.

"You don't believe Ao?" I asked after finishing my own cup of noodles, paid for by my father in law.

"Magical aliens? Talking rats? A college graduate, doctor inari?"

I nodded to concede the point.

If I hadn't experienced the events alongside my daughter and my wife I would also have been hard pressed to believe the story Ao just told us, especially when it was impossible to find corroborating proofs for it.

Mom, Dad and the rest of the Self Defense Forces personnel who survived the fight on the streets only saw us from afar, so all they could confirm was that I killed that Lighteater, that Kurumi saved me from death at almost the cost of her own, and that Krauncha was some kind of immortal being when his floating ashes compacted back into a human body and he asked them if they wanted an explanation for everything that happened this night.

Based from the newspapers that were delivered daily to the hospital lobby, the traditional media could only confirm that a barrier suddenly sprung up into being, that a battle took place in Matsumoto, and that beams and balls of light that instantly sets people on fire and melted metals on impact were coming out of it.

And the government won't confirm anything, if the seclusion that I and my family had been placed under was any indication...

"How did you two find us?" I asked.

Kentaro swallowed the mouthful of noodles he had just chewed on before answering me.

"I asked some of my clients for help."

I blinked, puzzled by his answer.

"Father, weren't your clients small family owned stores and professionals with few customers?"

Kentaro, a graduate of Hokkaido's Kushiro Public University of Economics, owned a small and independent accounting firm that he established the same year Kurumi was born. The firm's only employees were Magdalena, who serves as his secretary up to this day, and a team of two or three CPA exam passers that always changes every two or three years because they were only after the minimum practical experience needed to be registered as a CPA.

Nothing about that job description would give him the clients with the resources to track us down.

Kentaro grinned smugly at me.

"So Kurumi never told you what the professionals among my clientele exactly did for a living, did she?"

"She said that was confidential information, but that they were all in legal jobs."

An idea suddenly came to mind.

"Your clients are private investigators, aren't they?"

Kentaro shrugged and started finishing his noodles, the smug smile never going away from his face.

In my mind, finding us this quickly in the face of a possible government cover up made sense if Kentaro had several private investigators to ask for help from. At the same time my respect for him rose up.

"If your clients had few customers because they were the less skilled ones, then you must have had a horde of private investigators looking for us to get answers within days."

Kentaro blinked and then drank down a glassful of water.

"Ichigo it is the other way around," he said after putting the glass back on the table. "My clientele is a horde of small family stores and a few professionals who are very highly paid for each job they take."

That didn't make a difference in how I looked at him. Kentaro must be doing something right to get that many clients for a small accounting firm in a city like Yokohama.

"Can we now stop talking about my clients? Those things are supposed to be confidential."

Upon seeing me nod, Kentaro continued talking.

"Now Ichigo, is everything my granddaughter said earlier real?"

"They're as real as you and me, Father. I just can't think of any way to prove it."

"How about letting me meet one of these inari you were talking about?"

My memories were jolted by Kentaro's words.

That night, everyone who was wounded inside our house was loaded up in four different ambulances. I rode with Kurumi, Mom rode with Ao, and the twins...were loaded into two separate ambulances that followed after us. Dad had stayed behind to see to his men, since he was the most senior officer around at the time.

The next day, while I was taking a nap to compensate for the sleepless night I just had, Dad woke me up. With him in the room was the Colonel in command of the 13th infantry regiment, and a pretty flustered looking doctor.

I was then promptly informed we were to transfer hospitals to here at Camp Fuji, via helicopter. And if I remember the details of that morning right...there was a second helicopter landing on the helipad when the helicopter we were in was racing away to the south east.

"Father, I'm just going to check something with the hospital lobby."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was right. Moe and Ran were in the same hospital as us. Not only that, they were in the room directly above ours.

After I thanked the nurse at the reception, I led Kentaro onto the third floor to meet the inari that saved us and prove that my daughter was telling the truth. However, what we saw on that floor shocked us.

A waist high barricade of sand bags blocked the stair landing to the third floor. Behind it stood a sweaty and stern faced Self Defense Forces private that had his right hand wrapped around the handle of his PM-9 submachine gun. Behind him another private stood in pretty much the same pose, only he wasn't facing the stairs but down the hallway where Ran and Moe's room was located.

"I'm sorry. You two can't proceed any further," the stern faced man said to us.

"Why can't we?" Kentaro challenged him.

A quick look at his unit insignia, which was attached to his right shoulder, told me that he wasn't from 1st division, the unit tasked with defending for this part of Eastern army's assigned region. That, along with the fact that the PM-9 is only issued to non-frontline units, most probably meant that this man was either with the Eastern Army's engineers or the logistics support.

Which means chances are the sweat on their faces were from nervousness of finding themselves stuck in a role that they shouldn't have been stuck into. And nervous people meant twitchy trigger fingers.

"Father, I'm sure that's because he was ordered to. I'll just ask Dad when he comes back, ok?" I intervened, wanting to keep my father in law and myself safe from twitchy trigger fingers.

All of a sudden the private who was facing down the hallway stiffened to attention, saluted, and yelled 'sir.'

The one who was facing us also stiffened his back, but in an act that I would approve of when there wasn't the threat of me being shot at, he never took his eyes off us nor removed his fingers from his gun.

"What's going on here?" someone asked as they walked into view.

It was a skew eyed, thin Major with a confident bearing. A look at his unit insignia –

I froze up when I saw the Yatagarasu and the English words spelling 'Military Intelligence Command.'

"Sir, these two civilians just walked up the stairs," the private who faced us replied.

"Civilians, you say?"

The Major stepped aside to let a group of other people look on us.

There were two or three men in nondescript suits, someone in police uniform, someone from the Air Self Defense Forces, the Maritime Self Defense Forces, and finally a Colonel of the JGSDF's Military Intelligence Command

Judging from the presence of Military Intelligence Command members, I was looking at a group of representatives from pretty much every intelligence agency the Japanese government had.

"Well if it isn't Mr. 'When I grow up I want to be James Bond.'"

Everyone's eyes zeroed in on Kentaro, who had this impressed look on his face. A moment later he slowly started clapping with a sincere smile on his face.

"Congratulations, Suzumoto. You really did become a spy, just as you declared in class orientation in first grade elementary. Not only that but... a cherry blossom and two straight lines means colonel, right?"

"M-Major," the man Kentaro identified as Suzumoto instantly choked out in an embarrassed manner as his colleagues, all higher ranking than him, tried their hardest to stop grinning at the scene. "Pardon, but who are you?"

"Oh come on," Kentaro said with a roll of his eyes. "We were schoolmates until junior high. I even had a nickname that's famous at school."

Major Suzumoto stared at Kentaro for a few moments before his eyes glittered with the light of realization.

"'Fat Ainu' Ikeda - "

The moment Suzumoto said Kentaro's surname a cold wall of professionalism slammed down on his face.

"You're the father of Ikeda Kurumi," he finished.

"Yeah. Small world, right?" Kentaro said with a shrug.

The moment he admitted that, the Colonel from MIC and his colleagues lost their grins and replaced it with professionalism.

"How...how did you even get here?" Suzumoto asked.

Before I was able to think of the implications of those words, Kentaro replied in a sheepish way.

"The kind government official who got me and my wife inside here made me memorize a message to...well...in her words 'the top soldier in charge.' Here goes."

Kentaro coughed once, and then continued.

"We never tell you how to point your guns, or how to drive your tanks and ships. In turn, don't transfer patients from one hospital to another without our permission. That's the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's turf."

It took several moments of stunned silence before the recipients reacted, and it wasn't what I expected.

"I believe I speak for the National Police Agency when I say we're not getting involved in this," the policeman said while stepping away from his colleagues with two raised hands.

"Uh, we're only one branch of the Ministry of Justice. You guys are on your own," one of the men in suits informed everyone with a grin as he stepped away from the Self Defense Forces members.

"Naicho," another one of the suits said in a singsong manner before joining his colleague from Justice. That left one man in suit, the JASDF and JMSDF officer, and the Colonel from the MIC, all of them red faced and slack jawed with the message they just received.

On the side, the two JGSDF privates and Major Suzumoto tried their very best to become one with the wall.

"So, uh, now that I sent the message, can I go thank the two girls who helped save my daughter?"

"No," the Colonel instantly replied to Kentaro's question. "Major!"

Even as Suzumoto stepped forward and replied with a very professional bearing, I somehow felt from him the sentiment of one who was begging for mercy.

"If this man tries to enter the third floor, you are to escort him out of the hospital! Understood?!"

"Sir yes sir!"

The Colonel then rudely shoved Kentaro out of his way and stomped downstairs, quickly followed by the last suited man and the JASDF and JMSDF officers.

Kentaro glared at the man's back until we can't see him and his companions anymore. When that happened, he turned towards Suzumoto, who remained in his military posture, and the remaining spies, who were all smiling at what they just saw.

"I met Yakuza who were more mature than that," Kentaro commented snidely. That turned their smiles into outright laughter.
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JGSDF Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 7, 2013

2:40 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


"Suzumoto, not that I don't want to catch up with you, but why are you tagging along?" Kentaro asked Major Suzumoto as we walked down the hallway towards the room of my wife and daughter.

"You heard the Colonel's orders. I can't let you step on the third floor."

As Kentaro grumbled about immature professionals and Suzumoto chuckled at his antics, I trudged along right behind them, my mind bothered by what the spies had told us earlier.

After their laughter had faded away Kentaro had asked their permission to meet Ran and Moe, probably because he thought these guys liked him. To his surprise, and my dismay and guilt, the spies gently told him he can't meet with the twins any time soon because they had just delivered to the twins the sad news that their mother's body had been found among the rubble yesterday morning.

I blanked out after that, and only came to when Kentaro shook me by the shoulder and asked if I was alright or not. After mumbling something along the lines of it was my fault, I was suddenly subjected to a lengthy pep talk by none other than Major Suzumoto and the spy in police uniform.

The talk helped. From feeling guilt at causing someone's mother to die, I'm now thinking of how to help the twins move on from this tragedy that might be partially blamed on us.

"Well, we're here," Kentaro announced once we had reached our destination. "Before we enter, Suzumoto can we pretend we met at the cafeteria and not when I embarrassed some high ranking military men?"

"Oh? Are you afraid of something?" Suzumoto ribbed Kentaro with a grin on his face.

"Bad things happen when my wife feels threatened," Kentaro said with a shiver.

When I saw that Suzumoto was about to tease Kentaro for his well founded fear, I tried to tell him how serious Kentaro's words were.

"Mr. Suzumoto, Mrs. Ikeda is an expert at creating innocuous looking improvised weapons from ordinary household objects."

Kentaro joined me in emphasizing the seriousness with which a threatened, paranoid Magdalena should be taken with.

"Our mops could be used as spears, the brooms are improvised kanabo, there were arm length wooden sticks in every single room in the house, and worst of all are her stashes of soy sauce bottles filled with water and chopped ginkgo leaves and seeds."

I stared at Kentaro, shocked by the idea of someone actually using the skin irritating ginkgo extract as a chemical weapon of sorts.

"Ok, ok. I get it. Dangerous woman, don't make her feel threatened," Suzumoto conceded, his grin replaced by a mixture of disbelief aimed towards Kentaro.

"Thanks Suzumoto," Kentaro said as he twisted the doorknob and opened the door –

"What the hell?" Kentaro said one moment. The other he was sprawled on the floor, pushed there by Suzumoto who aimed an M9 pistol into the room.

"Don't move!"
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Many thanks to Atreidestrooper, Strypgia and Mjolnir66 of spacebattles.com I couldn't have done this chapter without you guys.

kilopi505
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2016-03-10 11:33am

Hello folks! Sorry I only finished this chapter well...last night. It’s because I was distracted by World of Warships, and then with several very good stories that updated recently, and finally I rewrote some parts of this chapter in accordance with suggestions from my beta.

So, without further ado, enjoy!
=============================================================================================================
Chapter 9

JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 7, 2013
2:38 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


I had barely begun to open my eyes when Ao swept away all my worries with a cheerful greeting from my right.

“Welcome back Mama! I missed you! See Lola, Grandma? I can read the future!”

I opened my eyes with a smile on my face…and immediately lost my good mood at what I saw in front of my bed.

A frowning Mama and a gagging Mother had a trembling Izanami raising her hands up in the air with the use of two sharp, white colored slats the length of two widths of my palm pressed against the front and the back of her neck.

"Mama! Mother! What are you doing to Ms. Izanami?!"

Mother, who stood behind Izanami, looked at me with a face filled with disbelief. On the other hand Mama never looked away from Izanami's face as she spoke.

"How else do you expect anyone to react when a real life zombie appears in your room?” Mama replied.

“Run away screaming,” Mother muttered while looking at Izanami in the manner of someone who was consulting an imaginary checklist.

"Mama, Mother, please stop that. Ichigo and I owe Ms. Izanami our lives," I insisted.

My dismay at seeing Izanami held hostage turned into heartfelt embarrassment as Mama's only reaction was to make a thoughtful hum.

"By Izanami…are you referring to the myth of Izanagi and Izanami, the creators of the islands of Japan?" Mother said in a tone filled to the brim with trepidation.

"Yes she is the goddess Izanami - "

Mama suddenly interrupted me with a venom filled voice that I had never, ever heard before in my life.

"Kurumi, there is no other god but God Almighty. All other gods being worshipped are either the answer that people who didn't know God but are truly and deeply searching for him came up with or minions of Satan and monsters misleading people into sin."

Heartfelt embarrassment became an intense desire to draw up the blanket over my head and pretend everything that just happened was a nightmare at Mama's next actions.

"Sa ngalan ng Ama, at ng Anak, at ng Espiritu Santo, amen," Mama said as she made the famous sign of the cross that Christians do before they pray.

"Mrs. Ikeda - "

Izanami's attempt at engaging Mama in a conversation instantly failed as Mama loudly sang over her words.

"Ama namin sumasalangit ka! Sambahin ang ngalan mo!"

"Magdalena - "

Even Mother was ignored by Mama while she was fervently saying her prayer.

"Mapasa-amin ang kaharian mo! Sundin ang loob mo!"

"Lola?"

This time it was Ao's turn to be ignored by Mama.

"Dito sa lupa! Para nang sa langit!"

At this point it was apparent to everyone in the room that we can do nothing else but let Mama…embarrass herself trying to pray for the exorcism of a goddess.

"Bigyan mo kami! Ng aming kakanin! Sa araw-araw!"

Mother had already lowered her slat and slowly shook her head at the sight that Mama was showing us. On my part, I looked away from Mama towards Ao to my right, both because it was too embarrassing and I want to see my daughter again.

It was then that I saw Ao looking at me and sporting a guilt ridden face.

"At patawarin mo kami! Sa aming mga sala!"

"What's wrong Ao?" I asked in a volume that was sufficient enough to let her hear them through Mama's prayer.

"Para nang pagpapatawad namin! Sa nagkakasala sa amin!"

"Mama, remember when I said that I can see the future?"

While they might not be as developed as that of a fully adult mother, my 'oh no my child did something naughty' instincts rang out like a fire alarm.

"At huwag mo kaming! Ipahintulot sa tukso!"

"Let me guess. You predicted I would wake up and Izanami would appear here. That was why Mama and Mother had weapons in their hands."

"At iadyat mo kami!"

"Yes Mama."

"Sa lahat!"

"Ikeda Ao, we will talk about how you use your abilities later on, understand?"

"Ng masama!"

As Mama ended her prayer with a bombastic 'Amen,' I finally gained the guts to look at the scene of the embarrassing accident.

Mama looked at Izanami as if she was expecting her suddenly start shrieking and start disappearing in a pillar of smoke or...or something.

No such thing happened.

"Hmm. Didn't work," Mama calmly muttered.

"Of course it wouldn't, you idiot. Izanami is a goddess," Mother said in an exasperated and embarrassed manner.

"No, I just did something wrong, so I - oh I get it. This is Japan so I should pray 'Our Father' in Japanese."

As Mama started singing the 'Our Father' in Japanese, I sighed and looked back at my daughter.

"What possessed you to do this to Mama?"

"Because if Lola isn't holding Ms. Izanami hostage, Lolo’s friend will instantly start shooting his gun at Ms. Izanami."

What?

It was at that moment that the door of the room suddenly opened, revealing Papa and a man in a military uniform looking on at Mama and Izanami.

Papa barely finished saying something I didn’t hear over Mama’s praying before the man shoved him away, aimed a pistol out of nowhere at Izanami and shouted ‘Don’t move.’
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District Shizuoka
May 7, 2013
2:40 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


I stood where I was, inspite of the overwhelming need to rush inside the room and see to my family’s safety. Doing that would only put me between Suzumoto’s pistol and whoever he was aiming it at.

My tension vanished when I heard Magdalena shout out that she had everything under control.

“Dear, what are you doing?! Move away from that thing!” Kentaro yelled out from where he was, on all fours and looking from behind Suzumoto’s legs.

“I said don’t worry! I’m exorcising this demon with prayer!”

‘Demon? Prayer?!’

I peeked in over Suzumoto’s shoulder, and instantly jerked at what I saw.

It was the zombie of a European woman.

Chunks of its pale, shiny skin was bitten away by something, showing the world raw, red flesh and hints of white bones.

Little maggots crawled all over the hair and skin, in such a way that the eye was drawn towards the remaining intact features of the zombie.

Unique was the kindest description I would use for the eyesores it wore. The dull red cloth makes one think of dirt, grease and sweat. The rope and the footwear reminders of the utter depths of poverty anyone who failed to find a job could fall into. And the pitiful things attempting to be jewelry evoked pity for the wearer.

“Mrs. Ikeda, please step away from the zombie – “

She isn’t a demon or a zombie! She is the goddess Izanami, the wife of Izanagi! Stop pointing weapons at her and start treating her like a normal person!”

Confusion, elation and submission warred for dominance as I beheld my wife sitting up on her bed and roaring out her opinion to the world.

“She’s...Izanami?” Suzumoto said as he lowered the muzzle of his M9 pistol by a slight amount.

“Yes she is!” Ao chirped anxiously from her bed.

As Kentaro stood up from the floor beside me, Suzumoto stood as still as a statue. And then he slowly lowered the pistol to his waist in a low and ready position.

“Oh, you work really fast, don’t you demon?” Magdalena suddenly said out loud, accompanied by a slight poke at...Izanami’s neck with a...

‘Is that a tanto made of bone?’

“I...don’t understand,” the so called goddess squeaked, breaking me out of pondering on the durability of sharpened bones.

“A few seconds was all it took to convince people you are a, quote unquote, goddess? You’re using magic on them.”

“But I am a goddess,” Izanami wailed.

“No you’re not. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
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“I’m so, so embarrassed Ichigo,” my wife muttered as she hid her face into my back.

“I feel for you, dear. Really, I do,” I said as I stared at...the absurdity in the center of the room from where I was sitting, at the foot of Kurumi’s bed.

“Papa?”

“Yes Ao?”

“...are you angry at me?”

I looked to my right, to see my daughter unable to look anywhere else but the blanket that covered her legs.

"How sorry are you for tricking your grandmother into…this."

I pointed to the absurd scene of Magdalena praying with a rosary on top of the head of a kneeling, sniffling and utterly humiliated goddess while spies, fully armed members of the Self Defense Forces, Mom and Kentaro watched with a variety of reactions.

Kentaro was glaring furiously at the ones who were bent over in half from laughter or snickering maliciously, chief among them the Colonel from the Military Intelligence Command. The others looked on the spectacle with a mix of wonder and disapproval, and others studiously kept the same neutral expression that Suzumoto was wearing.

Mom alone was the only one who was doing something about the scene, by patting Izanami's shoulder while glaring at an indefatigable Magdalena.

"I had to or Mrs. Izanami would have been shot by guns," Ao replied.

I took a deep breath and exhaled it with a sigh.

On one hand, this is a young girl who was still learning morality. She could abuse this ‘gift’ of hers for her own purposes. On the other hand, she could’ve just prevented a tragedy from happening since their beds were directly across from the door. If Suzumoto had opened fire in surprise, they would’ve been in the line of fire.

I have to know more.

"Ok. Ao, tell me how you see into the future."

‘If I find it reasonable, I’m not going to forbid sweets away from you for a month...if we even have any money for that.’

“Umm...remember Mama's old picture books? The ones Mama and Grandma used to teach me how to read hiragana and katakana?"

“Yes. What about them?” I asked as I felt Kurumi move her face towards Ao.

“I see the future and the past as a book with many, many pages of hiragana and katakana but no pictures whatsoever."

I raised an eyebrow, bugged by something about what she just said but with no idea as to what it was.

“And you understood every word written in your book of future events?” Kurumi asked.

“...no Mama.”

It was only after a blink that I felt the horror wash over me.

All this time that Ao was making life saving decisions based on her ability to see the future, she was doing so with a smart but less than ten year old child’s mastery of the Japanese language.

It was a wonder she didn’t make a mistake any time before now.

“Ao, as punishment for making my Mama act like this Papa and I will reduce your play time. Instead you will spend more time learning new words with us. Is that understood?” Kurumi declared to Ao in a tone that brooks no dissent.

I felt some relief when Ao agreed without any complaint whatsoever; however…it wasn't enough for me. I'd much rather that she never had this dangerous ability in the first place.

An instant later my ruminations were interrupted by a poke in the back.

"Ichigo, please be a dear and go stop Mama's harassment. This has gone on for long enough."
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 7, 2013
2:47 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


"On it, love," he said as he stood up from the bed and strode over to where Mama was praying on top of Izanami's head. Seeing this, Papa sighed and went over to Mama. As for Mama, her only reaction was a raised eyebrow at them.

Within moments, they stood on both sides of Mama. Papa then leaned over and started whispering into Mama's ear as Ichigo waited his turn to talk her into stopping.

After a few seconds it became apparent Ichigo won't have to take a turn, because Papa succeeded where everyone else failed. Mama slowly stopped praying and looked at Papa with a contemplative expression, while her fingers rolled a single bead between them.

A moment later she looked down at Izanami, who was starting to have a relieved expression on her face, and promptly wiped the relief off her face with her next words.

"A poor, little spirit brainwashed into thinking she is a goddess? Nah, that's too farfetched for me to believe in."

That proved too much for Izanami. She rubbed her nose with her hand, promptly stood up from underneath Mama’s rosary and walked three steps away from Mama.

“Kurumi I’m extremely sorry,” Izanami said in the manner of someone trying hard not to break down and cry. “It appears I’m unwelcome here. Let’s talk about the jade and amber some other time, please?”

Before I was able to say anything, someone intervened.

“Your holiness, you don’t have to leave,” the skew eyed Self Defense Forces member who was Papa’s friend appealed to her.

“But – “

Izanami was instantly drowned out by the voices of a group of men in business suits, police and military uniforms. Except for Papa’s friend, they all quickly flew to her sides and started cajoling her into staying for a while and having a friendly conversation.

The nervous goddess quickly shot me a pleading look. In response I quickly raised my left hand to direct her attention to the IV drip inserted into my wrist, which in turn was attached to a bottle of IV fluid hanging on a metal stand.

However, I wasn’t blind to her discomfort, so I shot my fiance a look. Thankfully Ichigo understood what I wanted him to do and promptly acted.

“Excuse me! Can everyone listen to me?!”

In the blink of an eye my love became the recipient of several baleful glares. Despite that, my love didn’t let the glares faze him. It even seemed to me that he only became more confident with their reaction.

“Its obvious that the holy Izanami – “

“She’s not holy!” Mama suddenly interrupted, quickly followed by Mother finally putting a finger on her mouth and shushing Mama up.

To his credit and my pride, Ichigo quickly rolled with the interruption.

“That Mrs. Izanami is already tired out by this day’s unique events. Therefore I propose that you all make an appointment with her at some other venue, for another time. How about it everyone?”

“And how do you propose we contact her, kid? Go to a temple, pray and hope she hears it?” A man in Ground Self Defense Forces uniform derided Ichigo. Behind him, by the doorway, some of the Self Defense Forces personnel coughed or bit their lips upon hearing his belittling words.

To everyone’s surprise, Izanami timidly answered his question.

“I have a cellphone. Do you want my number?”

For several moments all was quiet in the room, everyone preoccupied with staring at the goddess and, on my part at the very least, imagining her with a cellphone.

“Uhm...I bought it at Awaji? I have a subscription with Softbank? I'm paying with my salary as a miko?” she revealed in a flustered manner as the silence continued.

The first one to snap out of it was one of the business suited men.

“Oh no, no, no. We weren’t imputing you did something illegal, your holiness. We were just surprised, that’s all.”

As his co-workers agreed and started reassuring her, I continued staring at Izanami on account of the last thing she said.

‘She sidelines as a miko?’

I shook the thought away as Izanami pulled out…the famous Nokia 3310, an act that prompted the men to hesitantly bring out an assortment of iPhone, Razr and other cellphone models I'm not familiar with.

Izanami either ignored or never saw the contrast in technologies, and eagerly rattled off her own cellphone number while navigating her own cellphone. After that she started adding the numbers of the men around her to her contact list, never seeing the expressions of everyone around her.

Once she finished, Izanami turned towards me and gave me an expectant look on her face.

I quickly realized what she wanted, and…gave her the bad news that I realized just now.

"I don't think my cellphone survived our house. Ichigo, Mother, how about your cellphones?"

A quick shake of the head from Ichigo and a sigh from Mother told the both of us that they too lost theirs.

There was only one choice left, and it's not Mama.

"Papa, can you give her your cellphone number?"

Papa just looked at me with a raised eyebrow. A moment later Mama chimed in with her own question.

"Kurumi, why should he do that?"

"Because Izanami is willing to donate jade and amber I could sell for money to fix up our home."

An instant later Mama was in a headlock, courtesy of Mother. And before Mama could protest, Mother slapped her left palm over Mama's mouth.

"Your holiness I deeply, deeply apologize for her actions earlier," Mother said while maintaining the headlock as Mama struggled to get out of it. "She's one of them silly religious fanatics. You know, those people who froth at the mouth and rant at anything that says their beliefs weren't true."

Mama gave Mother an intense glare for that, while at the same time Papa woodenly took out his old Samsung Galaxy and started tapping.

“No, it was my fault,” Izanami replied in a depressed manner. “I should have hidden how I looked like.”

By the end of her reply she was holding her left elbow in a posture of self comforting and defensiveness, just like when we were in her reproduction of Onogoro. And the sight of this brought about different reactions.

Mother looked disappointed, most probably because Izanami was acting less like a goddess and more like a real person with their own personal problems. Mama thankfully had this guilty look on her face.

Behind them, Ichigo showed pity towards her while Papa had just finished tapping his cellphone. And finally the group of men and officers…I didn't like the way they were looking at Izanami.

Their stares were a very close relative of the look in Ichigo's eyes whenever he sees dinner after his daily afternoon exercise routine, and the glances that virgin idiots give any girl they thought must be an easy lay. That was why it was a relief when Papa finally asked Izanami her cellphone number.

After she finished exchanging contact numbers with Papa, Izanami looked up at me and waved with a smile. Then she started to slowly fade away from sight, without any sound.

A few moments later she was gone.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 7, 2013
4:03 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“Well, that was exhausting,” Kurumi sighed out as soon as the spies, Major Suzumoto included, had left the room.

"You alright?" I asked my wife as I rubbed her back in concern, while taking quick peeks at the bed next to us.

Ao was currently being hugged gently by both Mom and Magdalena. And Kentaro sat on one of the seats, scowling at the events that happened earlier.

Mere seconds after Izanami had returned to…somewhere around Awaji, if I remember what Kurumi said during the debriefing right, the spies huddled while Suzumoto started giving instructions to the privates who escorted his colleagues to this room. Once the privates were all dismissed, Suzumoto closed the door, walked over to me, and started to softly speak.

He lectured me about the importance of talking to Izanami, of attempting to create an agreement between her and the government. It had become a matter of national security, with the lives of the Japanese people possibly at stake. And I had just derailed their plans for securing Japan’s safety.

After he finished, I softly fired back with a question about common courtesy, with the expectation that he would take it seriously. What I got instead was a bemused silence from Suzumoto, which prompted me to rudely point out the gaping hole I saw in his argument about national security.

Izanami was claiming to be the Izanami of myth, the goddess who made the islands of Japan. Taking into consideration the portrayal of many gods as being as emotional as humans, how much damage could Izanami inflict on Japan if she completely snapped from anger? Wouldn't it be better to 'test the waters' when she had time to recover from her humiliation?

Suzumoto was grasping for words to counter that when we noticed that his superiors and fellow spies had started to talk to Kurumi. We mutually dropped the topic and went towards the beds, where I got included to the ongoing debriefing as well.

The debriefing itself left a sour taste in my mouth since we were asked to recall all the events that happened in our house, and in Kurumi’s case afterwards...while being constantly interrupted in mid-word with questions about this and that. Needless to say that the storytelling session brought back bad memories and irritation, it also horrified our parents and revealed that Krauncha had done my family one final injury.

He told them Ao could see the past and the future.

Kurumi and I did our best to hide Ao's supernatural power, by smoothly and shamelessly changing details of the story from how they really happened. Ao's mysterious words to Krauncha became Ao asking him if whoever his master was would be happy if he had hurt a child. Ao asking the Skinchanger if he would let another massacre happened became Ao screaming to him for help. And so on and so forth.

After we had finished telling our parts of the story, through all the interruption from our parents of the spies, the spies either looked at us with slight frowns or exchanged looks with one another while shaking their heads.

At first I was confused, because between Kurumi and me we had already given them plenty of information bar those regarding our daughter. Confusion became wariness when one of the business suited men, the one who walked with the Self Defense Forces members earlier, introduced himself as Mr. 'Mysterious' of the Defense Intelligence Headquarters to Ao.

Wariness turned into horror when Mr. 'Mysterious' followed up on Ao's hesitant reply by asking her to list down all her supernatural talents, including her ability to see the future.

Kurumi, our parents and I had barely started to react when he shushed all of us in an exceedingly denigrating fashion. We were told that Krauncha had given the Japanese government his version of the events that happened in our home. Furthermore, he also provided them a cassette tape that had recorded all the events of that night in audio. Then he finished his spiel by telling us the Japanese government will charge us with something criminal if we continued any obstruction.

My wife, mother, parents in law and me were rendered silent by his threat, and his colleagues alternated between giving us apologetic looks and giving him incredulous and disapproving stares.

As for Ao, she scowled and became extremely uncooperative in a way that made me very, very concerned.

Ao answered all of Mr. 'Mysterious' questions by performing demonstrations. However...I never wanted to know that the last time he peed on his bed was at the age of fifteen. Nor did I want to know his wife was at that very moment kissing some other man inside their living room. And worst of all I didn't want my daughter to announce his wife was doing so because she was not satisfied with his…penis!

By the end of it all, Kentaro and I were standing at the foot of Ao’s bed, placing ourselves between her and Mr. ‘Mysterious’ for fear he might attack her in anger. Fortunately the DIH spy had his anger under control, only settling for clenching his fists and gritting his teeth when he wasn’t talking.

The debriefing was finished then and there, seeing as not only did Ao prove her powers but she also made the entire situation too awkward to continue working in. Mr. ‘Mysterious’ grunted and walked out of the room, which started the exodus of the spies from our room.

“Ichigo?”

My attention went back to Kurumi upon hearing her troubled whisper.

“What is it?”

“What are we going to do? We already have so many problems to worry about now, and now this? Dear, what’s going to happen to Ao?”

“Kurumi,” I sighed. “Those guys are spies, high ranking ones based on the ranks of the JSDF intelligence officers...likely high enough that their bosses are the ones who give the Prime Minister and the cabinet their intelligence briefings.”

I almost stopped then and there when Kurumi’s nails dug into my left arm. However, I soldiered on because...there is only one inevitable outcome to this debriefing.

“Once Prime Minister Abe hears of Ao’s ability, its inevitable that the Japanese government would ask for our daughter’s cooperation in light of a possible invasion of Japan.”

“Would they separate her from us?”

“I don’t know but that’s not my greatest worry,” I sighed out.

“What is more worrisome than having our daughter separated from us?” Kurumi hissed at me.

“Assuming that the Lighteaters and Skinchangers do invade Japan and the world in an all out war, and that Ao that is helping the Japanese government as a fortune teller who never fails in her predictions – “

“No way.” Kurumi interrupted with a hoarse whisper. It appears she realized what I was about to say.

“I’m sorry, but Ao will become a legitimate target to kill when a war does come about.”

My wife responded to those words by closing her eyes and forcefully massaging her forehead with both hands, regardless of the catheter in her left hand.

“Kurumi, your left hand – “

Kurumi quickly laid her hands on her lap and looked at me with a very tired expression.

“What do we do to protect Ao from that?”

“...I think I got an idea.”
=============================================================================================================
Many thanks to Atreidestrooper, Mjolnir66 and Strypgia of Spacebattles. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 204
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
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Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2016-06-06 10:45am

Hello folks!

Sorry it took me so long to update. I was distracted by many things, like Kantai Collection and the Philippine Presidential Elections and then the business of researching things for the story and plotting out how I want the story to go.

So without further ado, read on! If you see any mistakes, please point it out in the review!

Thank you!

=================================================================================
Chapter 10

JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
10:12 A.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


'I hate her.'

"What kind of world do you think this is? Evangelion? Bokurano? Some other weird anime that had underaged protagonists as mankind's last hope of salvation?"

'Mama and Papa were liable for child neglect, she said. '

"Ma'am, I understand your concerns about the child but -"

'I should be placed in an orphanage for my own good, she said.'

"Oh did I say I'm only here because of Ikeda Ao, Colonel? No, I'm also here because of Yamada Ran and Yamada Moe."

'Ichigo and I should be forbidden from contacting each other until we are 18, she said.'

"Ma'am, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have no need to be concerned about them."

"They're children, one is crippled, and they're Japanese citizens too with genuine koseki in Minamisanriku, Miyagi. Why should we not be concerned about their captivity in this hospital?"

'I should be permanently separated from Ao for both her and my own good, she said.'

"'Captivity' is a very inaccurate term for what we were doing in regards to them."

"Oh? So what does the Defense Intelligence Headquarters call it then, sir?"

'I wished I had seen the last of her two years ago. But now...'

"Temporary detention."

"For what crime?!"

'Now, she might be our daughter's only hope.'

"Well, we can charge them with the Firearms and Sword control law."

The admittedly handsome, yet unlikeable man from four days ago smirked down at the woman I hate most in the world, Mrs. Taro of the Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Education and Welfare.

"And in the briefing given to me and my junior by the Minister of Health himself, they can create firearms and melee weapons with their inherent magic."

"I don't understand where you wanted to go with this," 'Mr. Mysterious' said, while exuding a rakish charm from where he stood in the doorway of Ao’s hospital room.

It had no effect on the homely woman filled with the raging zealotry of an expected incoming reward from her superiors. Nor had it an effect on me, Mama, Mother or Ao, who was at that point sleeping from the painkillers the doctor medicated her with and most assuredly would be too young to be affected were she awake this very moment. Not after he bashed in the heads of almost our entire family with the threat of criminal charges for the sin of daring to protect Ao from him.

"The Ministry of Education is vouching for the good moral character of these girls, and they have the records for it. If they haven’t created or used weapons before Matsumoto happened, they won’t in the future."

'Mr. Mysterious' hissed upon hearing Taro's words.

"You idiots! Don’t you realize that Japan is in the middle of preparations for possible war?! Japan can't afford having the normal bureaucratic scuffles at this critical moment!"

“Oh yes it can, when the Ministry of Defense is proposing the recruitment of child soldiers.”

My attention was redirected away from the arguing duo by the doorway when Mother lightly tapped my right shoulder.

“Kurumi...where’s my son? I...I want to talk with him.”

I looked at Mother, to see her looking just as awkward as when she apologized four days ago and started to treat me better.

“He...Ichigo went to fetch the person he said could help us. Then...she came in without him,” I timidly answered back.

When I accepted the long awaited apology that I had been dreaming for, for some reason I wasn’t full of vindication and relief. Instead, uncertainty and awkwardness was what ruled my emotions, and had been doing so ever since then whenever I had to talk with Mother.

“So, basically Ichigo is hiding from us?” Mama deadpanned from my left. A quick look in that direction revealed her frowning at the two arguing government workers, by the door.

“I don't believe so, Mama.”

Ichigo might be someone who tries to solve his problems with words rather than force; however he wasn't a pacifist or an easily cowed person. He was someone who will argue and shout his belief to the bitter end until convinced otherwise, as I first learned during the time I revealed my pregnancy.

My fiance won't hide away because he asked the help of a woman he knew was hated by me, Mama and Mother. He would be here in this room, preparing counterarguments for everything that we could throw at him for this stunt.

"The only way my son wouldn't be here in this room right now was if he was doing something else that he doesn't want us to know about, or if something suddenly came up," Mother added in defense of Ichigo.

"Well then, what is he doing right this moment?"
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
10:14 A.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“It’s good to see you Dad,” I said as I hugged him tightly in the hospital lobby.

“Me too son. Me too,” Dad replied as he patted me on the back.

After we finished doing this manly ritual, I looked towards Kentaro with a grateful smile.

“Thank you for pulling this off, Father.”

After I told Kurumi that I had an idea, I mentally elaborated on my idea since at that point it was still quite rough. It took me around three and a half hours to finally polish the idea, a full thirty minutes after the daily seven o clock dinner that came into our hospital courtesy of the JSDF.

I quietly asked Kentaro to follow me into the corridor, and explained my idea once we got there.

I told him that the problem we, and by extension the inari twins, faced was that we were plucked out of our socio-political community and placed in an unfamiliar one. As a result friendly people who could intervene on our behalf would have to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy, both horizontally and vertically at the same time, just to get in contact with us.

In that way we can't ask the city governments of Matsumoto or Yokohama, nor the Nagano or Kanagawa prefectural police for help. We were simply out of their jurisdiction. Therefore the best way to obtain assistance in our situation would be to go through different channels. To ask for help from people who were the most unlikely to get asked help from.

Thus enter Taro Miyuki, the social worker who tried to break up my family, father from mother and parents from child. Taro was a star employee of the Equal Employment, Children and Families bureau, having the ear of its top officials for tackling cases too sensitive or dangerous for others. Aside from the authority of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare she also brought with her a colleague from the same government ministry, who would tackle the case of the Yamada twins.

As additional backup to her, I also suggested to Mrs. Taro to bring in the school teachers of the Yamada twins. As a result of that action, the twin’s homeroom teacher came here along with people from the Gifu Prefectural Board of Education, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Technology.

To ensure that we were also covered from the Self Defense Forces side of things, we contacted Dad, Sergeant First Class Ohta Hayato, and told him everything that happened. He quickly started using the Self Defense Forces’ official channels of complaint, along with calling up all his friends in Western Army.

And finally, for when everything else fails, I personally and secretly contacted my maternal grandfather Aratetsu Kisho. He was the current mayor of Nishiwaga, Iwate Prefecture, disavowed by most yakuza and right wing groups in Japan for views and actions that were inherently inconsistent with their tenets and disliked by the Japanese Communist Party and other leftist groups for the exact same reasons.

“Don’t mention it kid. Hayato, how are things on your end? What did your friends say?”

Dad sighed in response to Kentaro’s question.

“They said they are unsure what effect a flurry of reports from mere second lieutenant to colonel ranked officers from a completely separate army unit would do to my official complaint against the DIH. Some of them pointed out that those reports might prejudice superiors against my official complaint.”

“So they’re not going to do anything?”

“They didn’t say that Kentaro. They suggested it’s better to wait for the official channels to respond to my complaint.”

"And while we wait, our families keep getting harassed."

"Father," I quickly interjected to prevent an argument, "that's what Taro was for, remember?"

"I know. It's just I prefer never seeing her face again for the rest of my life."

"Oh come on. She was only doing her job," Dad protested.

"Seriously Dad?" I asked in surprise at his words. "You’re going to defend Taro even after she accused Mom of child abuse?"

The only people in our families that Mrs. Taro didn't antagonize were Ao and Dad. Mom she accused of abusing Kurumi, Kentaro and Magdalena child neglect. Kurumi and me, she insisted we had no right to raise our child because of our age.

In Ao's case, it was because she was a two year old baby when Mrs. Taro was finally convinced Kurumi and I were responsible enough to raise our child. As for Dad, he was like a Buddhist monk.

Nothing Mrs. Taro reprimanded him on made him angry, from letting Kurumi live in with us at the age of twelve to punishing me with physical training alongside bemused Self Defense Forces recruits he was in charge of back in Camp Takeyama at Yokosuka.

'It was as if she was trying to turn back time through sheer willpower, when she only started haunting our lives eight months after my daughter's birth.'

"Forgiveness is a virtue, as Magdalena always says,” Dad replied after giving my question a few moments of intense thought.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
10:16 A.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“Well, I’m glad that’s over for now,” Mrs. Taro told us after she closed the door on the heels of an extremely frustrated Mr. ‘Mysterious.’

Nobody bothered to stand up from Ao's bed, whose end we were sitting on, and none of the three of us bothered to give her anything else but a silent, wary stare. In turn, Mrs. Taro answered our reaction with a raised eyebrow.

For several moments we all kept on doing the same thing, silently willing the other side into breaking down and talking first. As a result, everyone jumped in surprise when my daughter suddenly broke the silence.

"Hello. Who are you?"

Mrs. Taro quickly coughed and smiled at our direction, doing her best to look over the heads of Mama, Mother and I and have eye to eye contact with my daughter.

“My name is Taro Miyuki. I work for the Equal Employment, Children and Families bureau. And you must be Ikeda Ao.”

As Mrs. Taro quickly walked towards the side of the bed, I was tempted to block her way to my daughter. The only reason I didn't do so was because I knew, from the bottom of my heart, that the woman would interpret such an action in the worst possible light.

Therefore, I settled for turning my head to follow her with my stare as she reached Ao's bedside, sat on it and started to converse with my daughter in earnest.

"How do you know my name Ma'am? Did Mama and Papa tell you?"

"No. My job in the Equal Employment, Children and Families bureau is to help kids who are in difficult situations."

Ao suddenly beamed up with a smile, and asked a question that caught everyone off guard.

"Does that mean you will help us fix our house?"

I almost let a loud 'No' come out of my mouth, aghast at the thought of having to owe this woman anything at all. Thankfully I managed to control myself at the last moment.

"Good heavens," Mrs. Taro said after a cough. "That's not my job. That's the job of your parents – no, your grandparents. Still, that's a very smart thought from someone your age."

As I wondered whether what she had just said was a compliment or an insult to my daughter, Ao blushed and smiled from the social worker’s words. Evidently my child interpreted Mrs. Taro’s words as a compliment.

“So Ao, may I ask a question?”

Upon seeing Ao’s eager nod, the social worker delicately delivered a question that instantly made me see red.

“Have your parents made you happy all this time?”

Ao's response preempted the vitriol I was about to spew at the woman.

"Why shouldn't I be happy with Mama and Papa?"

"Well," Taro said while blinking at the unexpected question. “Because they’re still too young to know how to take care of a child or to live with each other, no matter how much they insist otherwise.”

The confused stare that Ao gave Taro amused me for some reason I can’t figure out. And the amusement only increased when Ao started talking again.

“If that’s true, then why are Papa and Mama good at taking care of me and living with each other?”

I smiled in vindication as Ao delivered her judgement on the competence of me and my fiance regarding parenthood and domestic life. But it was quickly replaced by a frown thanks to the next few words to come out of Taro’s mouth.

“Because all your grandparents were coaching them all the way up to now.”

Mother instantly jumped onto her feet in complete indignation and complained.

“Coaching – I’m sorry but are you insinuating I accepted this state of affairs back then? Especially during the time you accused me of abusing Kurumi?”

An instant later she looked at me and added she meant no offense whatsoever towards me. I quickly nodded in response.

When I looked back at the social worker, I saw her staring at the both of us in naked surprise. At a guess it might be because Taro thought Mother and I will never reconcile, an argument that she had repeatedly used to try and evict me from my home with my love.

'Then again, that was also what I thought until four days ago.'


That was the point in time that Mama verbally stabbed her with a few select...vicious words that sent me and Mother into a coughing fit.

"Mrs. Taro, I'm shocked that you're suggesting we abandon our parental duties just because our children had their own children. Perhaps that handsome spymaster has filled your mind with James Bond fantasies?"

"Preposterous! I didn’t say that!"

"But you just implied teaching our children how to parent and be a couple is bad."

"No I - stop making a fool out of me Ikeda!” Taro then paused, took a quick peek at my utterly confused daughter, and then back at Mama to continue talking. “We both know why I’m taking that stance.”

"Their childhood is already over! It won't come back by banishing their child away from their sight you crazy woman!"

"Just like you banished your own - "

"Enough! Stop that right now!" I finally yelled at Mama and Taro. Once I had gained their complete attention, I continued to vent my anger at the secrets they were candidly spouting around my daughter.

"Look, I know we all have frustrations with each other." I suddenly realized something and turned to Mother. "No offense to you Mother. I really, truly do forgive you for everything."

I looked back at Mama and Taro once I saw my damage control was a smashing success and continued on.

"But can you two please not argue in front of my impressionable four year old daughter?! You're showing her a bad example! And Ao?"

"Yes Mama?" she timidly replied as she gave Taro brief, fearful glances, something that made me sigh and rub my forehead.

'Looks like I have to add 'Reassure Ao she won't be taken away from us' to my list of things to do this day.'

"Can you promise me that when you grow up you will never, ever argue with anyone in front of children? No, I don't want a nod. I want a verbal promise. Please?"

"Ok Mama. I promise that when I grow up I won't argue with anyone in front of children."

"Good girl. Now Mrs. Taro, can you answer a few questions for me?"
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Higashi-Guchi Fuji-Sengen shrine, Sunto District, Shizuoka Prefecture
May 11, 2013
10:30 A.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“Thank you for agreeing to meet with us,” I said while paying the proper respect to my guest, just beside the haiden of the shrine where we couldn’t be easily seen by the worshippers...

“Oh no, no. I should be the one thanking you right now Ichigo,” Izanami cheerfully replied.

As I unbowed, I took a moment to look at the goddess in disguise.

Her appearance now was as different from her earlier one as candlelight was from a fluorescent lamp. Her European looking, no makeup face had been replaced by an unremarkable Japanese one with carefully applied lipstick, foundation and a mole at her cheek. Her black hair, once stretching down to her waist, was now gathered into a tight bun with the use of two hair sticks.

Her clothes, a tight red camisole and slim fitting blue denim pants, defiantly announced to the world an athletic body figure that any straight man would appreciate for a moment or two at the very least.

“Pardon me, but who are you?” Dad, clad in slightly wrinkled JGSDF fatigues and sporting crew cut hair he had Mom do just last week, asked from my right.

I quickly started introducing the two to each other.

"Dad, this is Mrs. Izanami. She was the goddess who helped save the lives of me, Kurumi and Ao eight days ago."

"I-it's a pleasure to meet you, Kurumi's Father in law. As I asked of Kurumi and everyone I meet, please call me Izanami," Izanami said as she nodded to Dad.

Dad nodded back with a thoughtful look on his face.

“Izanami, this is my father. Sergeant First Class Ohta Hayato of the Ground Self Defense Forces.”

Dad quickly did away with the thoughtful face and replaced it with a grateful smile.

“Thank you for saving my son and his family, Izanami." He replied. "If it wasn’t for your intervention my wife and I would be mourning my son, his fiance and my granddaughter.”

“You’re welcome,” Izanami answered with a pleasant smile. That was quickly followed by a lull, wherein the both of them waited to see if the other had anything more to say.

When it became clear that there was nothing more to be said, I took the initiative and started the meeting.

"So, let's start the discussion on the donation that had been offered to my wife. Izanami...I don’t want to sound like I’m rejecting the goodness of your heart, but could we have a long term loan paid through annual installments instead of a donation of gemstones?"

"…pardon me but I don’t follow,” Izanami said in a mystified tone. “Why would you reject a donation?"

“It is because of the so called gift tax,” Dad sighed out.

Kentaro, before he went off to fetch Dad three days ago, informed me that the National Tax Agency would certainly impose taxes on the proceeds of anything we did with Izanami’s donated gemstones in addition to the gift tax, a tax levied on any property with a monetary value of more than 1.1 million yen whose ownership is given by a still living person to another person. In addition to that, we also have to find an explanation to give to the tax men when they inevitably ask where the jade and amber came from.

“A tax on gifts?” Izanami exclaimed at us. “I know that the government needs taxes to continue performing much needed services, but...a tax on one of the most sacred acts a being can do towards another? That’s too much!”

“Nevertheless,” Dad glumly replied. “that is the law of the land, so we have no choice but to either follow it or choose to do something else that’s just as simple as giving it to us. And that is taking a loan from you.”

Izanami stared at us with a crestfallen expression, for long enough that I started to feel worried. Then all of a sudden she said something that dashed our hopes for an easy financial remedy from her.

“Are fake coins acceptable to you? The only cash I have is whatever I get paid for working as a miko. And it’s not enough to rent an apartment room for a month.”
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
10:22 A.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


"And that's how we are going to protect Ao," Taro ended her explanation.

As Mama and Mother started asking clarifications, my thoughts finally started moving again, towards a completely different topic.

‘Ichigo, Papa, why did you two go behind my back? And especially in this way?’

After asking if Ichigo was the one to contact her, I asked where Ichigo, Papa and Father went after meeting her in the hospital lobby. At that moment in time I was only covering my bases, I didn’t expect them to tell her their plans.

Therefore I was shocked when she informed me Ichigo said he and the other two will meet with a creditor, from whom they will borrow money for rebuilding the house. And worse...Taro asked the following words: ‘Why are you asking that question? Didn’t he tell you?’

So from that point in time until just now, I...blanked out from the embarrassment and the sense of betrayal I felt from two of the people I love.

A poke at my back brought my thoughts back to the present. Another poke made me turn around and see the eyes of a girl who had just learned the fear of being taken away permanently from everyone they loved.

In a flash I felt shame at the blunder I had just committed.

'What have I done? Ao needed me, and yet I brooded around. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Ok...let’s make it up to her now.'

“I’m really, really sorry Ao,” I whispered as I scooted over to where Taro was sitting earlier before she started walking and explaining around the room. “I got distracted earlier. Will you forgive me?”

“...ok. But please don’t fight with Papa?” she whispered back at me.

I managed to stop my lips from pursing up. But since Ao was looking at my face, she noticed the movement and frowned at me.

"Mama, are you going to fight with Papa?"

I sighed and pondered on how to explain things to a semi-innocent daughter with psychic powers. A moment later I gave up and just said whatever came to mind.

"If he doesn't give me a proper explanation, then yes we're going to have a fight."

A quick look at the other women in the room showed me that they were still deep in discussion about the plan on how to keep my child, and by extension the Yamada twins, out of the line of fire between the Japanese government and allies on one hand and extraterrestrial magical armies on the other.

"Mama, why must you fight Papa? Don't you only need to make him say sorry?"

I raised a finger and opened my mouth to explain my side…when I slowly realized that she was right. Fighting Ichigo was nothing more than a band-aid placed on my wounded pride, it's not going to make me happy in the long run.

What would make me happy was my dear idiot sincerely apologizing and swearing he will never again cut me out of the decision making process for our family.

I gave Ao a bright, relieved smile and whispered an answer that made Ao smile back at me.

"You're right Ao. Thanks."
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Higashi-Guchi Fuji-Sengen shrine, Sunto District, Shizuoka Prefecture
May 11, 2013
10:50 A.M.
Ohta Ichigo


"Things weren't like this in my time," Izanami said as she wrote her on yet another sheet of paper filled with legalese.

"I find it hard to believe that you had never dealt with paperwork before, Izanami," I replied as I watched Dad stamp his seal on the legalese paper that Izanami had just finished before the one she was currently writing on.
"I-it’s not that I had never done any paperwork before. It’s...I can only read and write in hiragana and manyogana.”

A quick look at both the paper that Dad had on his lap and the papers Kentaro, sitting right beside Dad, was compiling in a clear folder on his lap revealed that at the very least the hiragana part was true. She had written her full title, 'Izanami no Mikoto,' completely in modern hiragana.

After a moment of thought, I shrugged and accepted the fact for what it was. After all, only knowing how to read and write in hiragana and manyogana was far better than being completely illiterate.

"Then what do you mean by 'things not being like this in your time,' Izanami?" Kentaro asked in curiosity after finishing with the paper he was just given by Dad.

"What I meant was that in my time, agreements made in the presence of respectable witnesses and sworn in the name of the gods was enough to make them valid. None of these…glaring signs of mistrust," she said while frowning down at the papers on her lap.

"While what you have just described sounds like an unfortunate change in human society,” Dad quickly replied. “There is no point in complaining since the change has already happened. All you can do now is to learn how humans do things nowadays.”

After sighing, Izanami proceeded to continue writing her full title on Kentaro’s papers.

As the seconds went by, my mind went back to what had just happened earlier.

Dad was in the middle of lecturing Izanami when Kentaro walked up from behind all of us and announced that he had a great and very profitable idea for how we were to get around the gift tax.

We would found a company that supplies rare earth and non-abundant elements through, and without any hint of irony on Kentaro's part when he said it, magical means. Izanami would be the company head while Kurumi and Mom would be her employees. And our house would be the location of the business.

After several moments of exchanging incredulous stares, the three of us there asked further details from Kentaro.

Apparently, Kentaro hopes that through the auspices of Mrs. Taro and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Employment, the proposed company could apply for a loan in exchange for delivering resources that were very, very important to Japan’s economy and national defense. And that loan was what we would use to rebuild the home.

It was a plan that solves every problem that we, including Izanami and the Yamada twins, might have with the government with an act that at heart was nothing more than bribery.

“Say Kentaro, there’s one thing that I still don’t get about this plan of yours,” Dad suddenly asked.

“What is it?”

“Why go through the effort of making a company for all of us? You can just make a deal with the government that essentially does the same thing as the hopeful scenario you outlined earlier, no?”

Kentaro looked at Dad and smirked.

“Why not?"

"Kentaro, aren't we friends?"

I barely had time to process this revelation before when Kentaro replied to Dad's question.

"Sure we are. It's just Ichigo here won't be too happy with my reasons."

And that was when I realized what Kentaro was thinking about when he proposed this company.

"You're still unsatisfied about my aspirations, Father in law?"

Before now I thought Kentaro had given up on making me search for a job in the civilian corporate sector, ever since he had quit badgering me about that topic around the time I turned 15.

'Is he going to start again now? In front of Izanami?!'

"Ichigo, I'm not arguing that you can't raise a family on the salary of a private. Hayato here has already enlightened me on the details years ago."

'Thank you Dad. Thank you, thank you, thank you.'

"The problem is that your family is flat out broke right now and will be for years to come - no offense to you Hayato."

"None taken," Dad said with a shrug. "It is the truth I'm now dealing with."

Kentaro quickly continued talking after that.

"And it will still be the same even if you combine your salary as a private with his salary as a Sergeant First Class. Worse, Hayato will retire in around seven years time, just when Ao will enter middle school and would need the money. And of course there's no telling when your grandparents might die."

I winced at his analysis of my family's financial situation, not only because it was distressing but…he's doing it in front of Izanami. Fortunately Izanami was covering her ears and looking away from us while the discussion was ongoing.

"So, now that you see why I'm enthusiastic about this company…want to help me convince Kurumi about this plan?"
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
11:26 A.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


“Where are we going Kurumi?” My beloved idiot asked as I led him by the hand outside the hospital’s doors.

“Anywhere that’s private,” I firmly replied while looking around for such a place.

The parking lot in front of the hospital wasn’t one. Too few cars to hide us from sight, not to mention its noon. We would get skinburn if we had our talk there.

At that moment a gentle, warm breeze brought to my attention the smell and sound of the evergreen trees lining the boundary between highway and hospital fences.

After a brief look I smiled at my luck, seeing as not only were the fences and the tree shade going to block us from sight in the direction of the hospital. There was also the lack of passing vehicles on the highway.

“Dear let’s go there. Under the trees.”

“...are we also going to sit on the grass?” Ichigo asked me carefully, as if...no. He was evidently trying his best to not to make me angrier than I am.

I gave my man a tired and suffering look.

“Ichigo, I told you yesterday. Each of us only have three changes of clothes, and we have to look for temporary residence and food first before even thinking about buying new clothes. That’s why we can’t afford to dirty them that quickly.”

“Sorry love.”

"…it's ok. As long as you remember. Let’s go."

We strolled past the gates, where an armed soldier stood watch. Moments after that we finally reached a good spot, one that wasn't only hidden by the shade of the trees and the fence from plain sight but was also where the trees turned a gentle breeze into a continuous stream of wind as strong as that of an electric fan’s.

Judging the time to be quite right, I let go of my fiance's hand and asked him a simple question.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
11:27 A.M.
Ohta Ichigo


"Why didn't you tell me anything?"

There. The words that I knew would come my way since I concocted this plan four days ago had finally roosted on me. And it was delivered while she was giving me the frown.

Hopefully my explanation doesn't further anger her.

"It's because I don't want to add more things for you to worry – "

“Well you added more to my list of worries,” Kurumi suddenly interrupted.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
11:27 A.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


‘Ok, stop girl. Stop. You’re here to make your love apologize, not to have a fight with him. Again, apology. Not a fight. Apology, not a fight.’

“I...I’m sorry. I’m not in a good mood,” I lamely added when I saw the shocked look on Ichigo’s face.

The conversation stuttered to a halt immediately after my apology.

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It took some time for me to regain the self confidence...the self assurance that I won’t spit out anger at my love. I didn’t know how long but it was enough that my feet started to hurt from standing still for that time.

“Ichigo, isn’t there something that you have to say to me now?”

He took a breath and replied.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
12:00 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo


“I'm very, very sorry for not informing you about my plans.”

It was official. Kurumi was angry – no. It was worse than that.

Kurumi had never been this angry with me before. She had never cut me off in midsentence before...come to think of it she had never interrupted anyone she was angry with, in midsentence, before now.

Not Mom during the days before the juego todo with Magdalena, not Taro when the social worker was casting dark clouds on our life as a family, and not even Krauncha when he held Ao’s life over our heads.

Therefore, my only option now was to apologize. Again and again and again until she forgives me, and was in the mood for my explanations.

“And what else?”

"…please forgive me?"

I instantly knew I fucked up when my wife slowly shook her head.

"Ichigo, I'll be blunt. Will you cut me off from the decision making process, again, whenever you find it necessary?"

'…oh. Damn. That's how she saw this?'


JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
12:01 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


The silent wince my fiancé gave off hurt me.

I didn't like this. Not having a say in decisions that would affect our family...affect myself. It was like…I'm back to being a kid, but worse since I already had a taste of making responsible choices for myself.

I didn't like it.

"Kurumi - "

"Stop. Think more about what you're about to say next, okay? I'm already feeling angry and hurt and I don’t to misunderstand – "

"That's what this is all about Kurumi. A huge misunderstanding – “

“On whose part?” I challenged.

Ichigo let out a sigh and looked away from me. At the same time his right hand rose up to head level, in the manner of a student who wanted to answer a question given by their teacher during class.

“...sorry. Go on."

My love quickly put the hand down and looked back at me.

“Kurumi, I just wanted to free you from the worries and stresses of the past few days. And I wanted to do so as a surprise present for you. Same thing goes for Dad and Father in law for their partners. That’s why we kept our dealings secret from all of you.”


JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
12:03 P.M.
Ohta Ichigo

Kurumi remained silent for some time after my explanation, doing nothing else but breathing and looking me in the eyes.

"Ichigo," my wife spoke all of a sudden.

"Yes dear?"

"Our blood pressure spiked up when Taro stepped through that doorway instead of you."

"I'm sorry dear."

"I was humiliated when she asked me why I didn't know anything about what you were doing."

'Oh for the love of…damn you Taro. Damn you.'

"I'm sorry dear."

"Ao discovered that Taro had tried to take her away from us for quite some time and is now afraid of her."

'Fuck you Taro. Fuck you.'

"I'm sorry dear. I had no idea that could happen."

Kurumi took a deep breath and exhaled the following words.

"And now I'm going to assume that there is something else you and the men did that's going to give me more headaches. Can you tell me now so we could deal with all of them in one day?"
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka
May 11, 2013
12:07 P.M.
Ikeda Kurumi


"…I already made a deal with Izanami," I hissed indignantly.

"A deal that's going to attract the scrutiny of the National Tax Agency no matter what you do. Kentaro's plan is not only quite legal but is going to make sure you, Ao and Mom won't starve in case whatever salary Dad and I bring home doesn't cover all the expenses."

"And Izanami is a goddess, not a…a mine or factory or something!"

"Well, she said she also wanted more spending money. And she was happy with the possibility of finally getting to use her real name all the time, thanks to this company."

I had to close my eyes and take several deep breaths to calm myself down, since I was feeling tempted to give in to the bubbling hot emotions of embarrassment and anger.

"Kurumi…"

Ichigo trailed off when I looked back into his own set of eyes.

"Go ahead Ichigo," I encouraged him. "Say everything you want to say so we can finish this argument here because I refuse to bring our problems near our psychic daughter."

"…earlier I said that there had been a huge misunderstanding. Then you asked on whose part was that misunderstanding about."

"Go on."

"The misunderstanding was on my part. I thought that I must solve everything by myself, and bring home one perfect solution that would do away with all your worries, like a...good husband should."

“Like a what?!”

What he said was stunning, especially when he was already doing a wonderful job as Ao’s dad and my lover and partner and future husband.

“A good husband.”

“What on earth brought that on?”

An instant later a stray thought froze my blood, and prompted me to continue talking before Ichigo had even started to open his mouth.

“Wait, answer this first. What definition of good husband are we talking about here?”

My beloved husband to be opened his mouth to answer, only to slam face first into my own face as a wall of hot wind suddenly blasted into us from the south.

=================================================================================

Many thanks to Strypgia, Atreidestrooper, General Schatten, Mjolnir66, rm928 of Spacebattles.com

madd0ct0r of Stardestroyer.net.

I couldn't have done this without you folks.

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 204
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War: reboot

Postby kilopi505 » 2016-11-02 09:21am

Hello folks! I'm sorry I only managed to update now.

It's because I discovered Stellaris and Far Cry Primal, along with creating an extensive background history of the Ohta family so that I could finalize the details about the new characters that I had introduced below.

So without further ado, enjoy!
===================================================================================================
Chapter 11

JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:08 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


My back stung, my ears were ringing. My forehead was in hot pain, my lungs were trying to get some air. And I didn't know what just happened.

I had to find out.

The first thing I noticed after opening my eyes and blinking the blurriness away was that my glasses, my favorite and only remaining pair of glasses, was broken.

The right lens of my rimless glasses was snapped in half, leaving me with a left lens that might stay where it was supposed to be if the nosepads at the bridge and the remaining temple could still do their job.

The second thing I noticed was that Kurumi was feebly clutching her head, her mouth that was half hidden by grass opening and closing as if she was saying something.

I asked her which parts of her body were in pain when I realized I can't hear my voice over the ringing in my ears. And if I can't hear my own voice it was certain she can't hear me as well, so I ended up waiting for both our hearing to clear up.
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By the time my hearing had somewhat returned to normal Kurumi and I worriedly looked at each other in the eyes, listening to the muffled sound of explosions, gunfire, helicopters and jets in the distance while lying on our sides and hiding in the grasses and tree shadows.

"Well, looks like the war had started," I commented as a particularly loud explosion shook the ground from the south.

Kurumi let out an exhausted and despairing sigh in response.

"And we're going to need grandfather Kisho's help after we escape this battlefield."

"Shall we start that by getting inside the hospital now?"

"Wait. Let me take a look around first."

My poor eyeglasses fell off my nose when I had barely even started to raise my head off the ground, leaving me with a slightly blurred vision of everything near me.

"...after I solve some technical difficulties."
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:16 P.M.

Ikeda Kurumi


As I watched my fiancé do his best to make his glasses stay on his face by using his handkerchief as a strap, I began to have an inkling regarding what we were talking about earlier. And I didn't like it.

"Ichigo, do you really need to place a piece of broken glass near your eye?"

The question made Ichigo stop fiddling with the eyeglasses and look at me.

"Kurumi, I already went to the effort of placing the handkerchief between my eye and the broken right lens. And even if I didn't do that, the lens snapped cleanly in half. There's nothing there that will poke my right eye out."

"Even so," I interjected before Ichigo could go back to work. "It's not only dangerous; it makes you look like a terrible One Piece cosplayer."

"Looking ridiculous is much better than stumbling into you or the ground because I can't clearly see what's in front of me."

"If that's what you're worried about, then I'll do the looking and guide you into the hospital. Just stop that. You'll blind yourself dear. Please."

The stunned look my love gave off made me finally call out the problem.

"Ichigo, I know this isn't the time or the place for it but I want to remind you that we're partners. Lovers. This is what we're supposed to do for each other in time of need. Please, please let me help you."

I had never noticed it before now, because in the past I was benefitting from being on the other side of it, but Ichigo was a budding…patriarch. A gentle and loving patriarch I admit, but one who would want the women in his family to conform to whatever standard he subscribes and subjects himself to.

And I don't like that.

For several moments, Ichigo just stared. Then he looked down at his eyeglass and frowned.

"Kurumi, it's my responsibility - "

"I'm also doing my responsibility as your wife by stopping you from making stupid decisions! And this is one of them!" I hissed at him.

A moment later I realized that there was some anger in those words, so I tried to take away the sting of my rebuke.

"Please Ichigo? Me and Ao, we don't want you to get blinded because of us. Please?"

I hate the fact that this is the only idea I could think to start changing my beloved, but if I have to use words that reinforce the idea of male superiority to do so…so be it.

After a stare off that lasted several moments, Ichigo reluctantly conceded with a frustrated sigh.

"Walk low to the ground and in the shadows of these trees," he lectured as he stubbornly put his broken eyeglasses into his pants' pocket.

"Ok," I muttered as I started to brush the dirt and leaves off my clothes while getting onto my knees.

"If you see anyone of those Lighteaters or Skinchangers or anyone, squeeze my hand," he said as he himself got onto his knees.

"Understood," I replied when I got onto my haunches as I finished brushing off the leaves out of my hair.

"Ok. Lead on, love."
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:17 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


As I slowly followed Kurumi's blurry outline by holding her right hand with my left, I can't help but think about the last question my wife asked earlier despite now not being a good time for it.

My definition of a good father, and husband, was a man who could give his family the assurance of safety in its various forms. And of those the only ones I was able to give my family, all by myself, was physical and emotional safety because of my age.

The loss of those two forms of safety because of recent events, and the traumatic manner of how they were lost, was why I called Taro and renegotiated with Izanami without informing Kurumi. Because it was my responsibility to do something about it, because I don't want to saddle Kurumi with more problems after the trauma of the past few days, and because I wanted to surprise my wife and child and have them happy and praising me...

...

Moments after that last thought crossed my mind, I mentally shrugged with the reasoning that no one was a completely perfect person. And I most assuredly wasn't a perfect person, because if I was one then Kurumi, Ao and I and maybe one or two more kids would be living in our own house right now and I would be employed with a decent job that can support our growing family right now, and we would all spend the rest of our lives in happiness.

A sudden squeeze on my hand snapped my attention back to the present, and made me look around us.

To my right were the hospital and the parking lot, thankfully recognizable to my farsighted eyes even through the blur of the chain link fence. At the same time I could see several Self Defense Forces personnel armed with PM-9 submachine guns rushing out of the hospital's entranceway and taking up defensive positions around it.

To the front, several meters past Kurumi's blurry figure and half hidden by the trees we were using for cover, was a huge and steep crater that inexplicably had big, arm sized roots coming out of the center where there was once a wide concrete roadway with sliding metal gates manned by...

...I could only hope the Self Defense Forces member died instantly.

And finally, to my left, was the National road that ran beside the hospital and JGSDF Camp Fuji and the pharmacy on the other side of the road.

The pharmacy was as it was when I left the hospital earlier along with Dad and Kentaro and when I returned with them and Izanami. But the National road, on the other hand, was destroyed by an impenetrable field of lush bamboo shoots that only come up to my chest in height.

An instant later I realized that the roots in the crater most probably belonged to the bamboo forest that sprouted in the middle of the road, and that the projectile that created the crater and the forest...was most likely a magical bamboo seed.

The soft hiss of my name coming from Kurumi's lips brought my attention back to her.

"Ichigo, any ideas on how to get into the hospital? That crater is too large for us to jump over," her blurry face said to me.

I needed a moment to recall my mental map of the area before I could answer Kurumi.

"If I recall right there were some other gates down the road, to the east. As long as there's a space of solid passable ground between the crater and the bamboo shoots, we should be able to go there."

"That's east?" Kurumi perplexedly asked as she pointed down the road.

"Yes. Why?"

"...no reason. And also, we can't pass that way. The rim of the crater and the bamboo shoots are too close to each other. How about if we climb – no. The fence might collapse."

Since my eyesight was currently out of commission due to a lack of eyeglasses, I took her at her word even though my gut feeling was telling me we can crawl over it if we took off our shoes and socks.

"Well then, let's go west. If I recall things correctly, the main road into the base proper is down there."

"So we'll enter the hospital from the back?"

"We'll try."

It was at that moment that I heard Izanami shouting our names from far behind us.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:18 P.M.

Ikeda Kurumi


As I looked back I saw Izanami in disguise, stalking towards us as fast as possible with a group of three armed Self Defense Forces personnel at her back. After quickly taking a look back to the East and North and seeing them clear of magical alien soldiers, I started to lead Ichigo in a stalk towards Izanami and the soldiers.

While we were getting near them, Ichigo mumbled a question that suddenly had my feeling of paranoia ringing alarm bells.

"Why are they using those rifles?"

"Ichigo?"

"Those are M1 Garand rifles, Pacific War vintage rifles from America. Used to be the service rifle of the JSDF but phased out in the 60's and used nowadays only for ceremo...No. They're bolt actions. Where did they get bolt action rifles?"

In a flash several thoughts passed through my mind.

First, Ichigo was confused by the fact that these three people were holding guns that the Self Defense Forces had never used in its history. Second, Camp Fuji and the military bases to the South were currently under attack, presumably by the Lighteaters and Skinchangers. And third, the last people that I saw using these so called bolt action rifles were the Skinchangers, Lighteaters and Krauncha.

As I stopped and quickly grabbed a piece of wood to defend ourselves, I yelled out a challenge to the men who were following Izanami.

"Who are you three and what do you want with us! You might have fooled poor Izanami here but you aren't fooling us!"

"Kurumi? At least wait until they're in stick range." Ichigo hissed at me as he started patting the soil, in search of something to use as a weapon.

As Izanami and two of the three men exchanged confused looks with each other, the last member of the three armed impostors directed a smile at me and gave off an unexpected comment.

"Smart and brave. Well done. You have my approval as my four times great grand-daughter in law."

"I know that voice," Ichigo said, prompting me to look back and forth between Ichigo and this lunatic.

"You do?" I asked my fiance.

"Yeah. He's one of the ghosts during that night, the one who let me out of the room and got me on the street before Krauncha disappeared us away. He claimed to be my four times great grand-father but...honored ancestor, why aren't you a ghost?"

Izanami raised her right hand and then firmly stated the words 'Goddess of Yomi no kuni.'

An instant later she slapped her hand –

The ancestors whirled to my left –

Several cracks of gunfire sounded out –

Ichigo tackled me –

- on the grass with a shriek.

- and fired their rifles.

- instantly followed by several loud smacks and the smell of fireworks.

- leftwards onto the grass and shielded me with his body.

After a moment's disorientation, my vision cleared up enough to view the whole scene through the grass I was laying sideways on.

On top of the bamboo shoots around the other side of the road, past several refrigerator sized, sand leaking, red colored vases floating in mid-air and overlapping rectangles of green colored light beyond the vases, three of which were quickly dissolving into motes of light, was a large group of Skinchangers armed with bolt action rifles that had blades attached at the front.

As their eyes started looking back and forth from our direction to three bodies that lay crumpled on the bamboo shoots with slowly growing horror, I took the opportunity to study them.

Unlike the Skinchanger who killed the Lighteater soldiers at our home, these ones weren't wearing that atrocious black and white cotton uniform.

All of them wore bowl shaped metal helmets with a pair of holes for a rope serving as a chin strap. They also had a vest and a pair each of armguards and shin guards made up of rectangular pieces of metal laced to each other, which were all worn over rough spun brown colored shirts and pants.

A moment later they jerked into action as short chatters of gunfire came from behind us.

As bullets hit the magical shields and bounced off them like marbles lightly tossed by a child, they quickly formed into a single line of men on top of the bamboo shoots. The shields also moved with them, and formed a wall of overlapping magic shields.

The Lighteaters worked the bolts of their rifles, and then…seemed uncertain at whom to aim at, judging by how their eyes were moving and their guns not being aimed at any particular target. Some of them were looking at Izanami. Others were looking at the Self Defense Personnel whose gunfire had quickly petered off, probably because they saw how ineffective their firearms were. And the remaining were looking at the three resurrected ancestors, who had already finished their reload and were aiming at their own targets but for some reason weren't firing. And then the next moment their eyes would move to another one of the three targets.

At that point, as much as I don't want to think of it because of the sheer silliness and unfairness, the whole place was so utterly choked with testosterone that I can't help but think this skirmish would be won by the side with a more intimidating posturing.

That was why it was such a surprise when Izanami finally ended the standoff, in a very feminine manner.

"Y-you evil, rude people! Go away!"

With a backhand slap into the air the Entire. Street. Disappeared.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:19 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


Ever since the moment I jumped on my wife and shielded her with my body I had my eyes closed, girding myself for the moment that bullets inevitably start hitting me. That was why I only heard several solid sounding gunshots from behind and to my right, followed a flurry of lighter sounding gunshots from the hospital's direction that quickly petered out after a few seconds of firing.

I only opened my eyes when I heard Izanami's yell, quickly followed by an almighty crack, which was in turn followed by yells of surprise. When I raised my head from Kurumi's neck and looked back, I had to blink a few times to comprehend the blurry yet awesome devastation.

The National Road…the entire stretch of the National Road that was in front or beside the hospital had turned into a black gash in the skin of the earth.

"Izanami, what did you do?" I asked as I got onto my feet and helped my wife stand up. A moment later, I noticed multiple black specks falling from the sky in the far distance, to the northeast.

"I made them fall to their deaths over there," Izanami's blurry figure replied while pointing in the direction of the black specks.

That was the moment that my mental image of Izanami changed from that of a clumsy, naïve and shy widow to a friendly, wild black bear that you had a mutual understanding with.

"Is anyone living over there?" Kurumi quickly asked in a concerned tone of voice.

"No one is living there. It's a golf course," Izanami replied.

Kurumi had barely finished sighing in relief when a familiar voice yelled a challenge from behind us.

"Arms in the air! Nobody move! State your names or we will shoot!"

I couldn't properly explain how or why, but at that moment I knew my ancestors won't deign to follow that order. And if they refuse...this event will instantly turn into a friendly fire incident.

"Is that you, Major Suzumoto?!" I yelled out in an effort to lower the tension in the air.

"Just go along with it Ichigo!" Suzumoto yelled back a few seconds later. "We're in a warzone!"

I smiled as I felt the tension in the air lessen from the revelation that Suzumoto and I knew each other. Now, I just have to start the ball rolling.

"I'm Ohta Ichigo! Just an ordinary civilian!"

I then looked at the blurry figures of the others around me and gave off my best pleading impression.

"Ikeda Kurumi! Ichigo's fiance!"

"Izanami no Mikoto! Goddess of Yomi-no-kuni and friend to Ms. Kurumi and Mr. Ichigo!"

An instant later I heard gasps of shock and surprise from behind us, which was quickly smothered by a dumbfounded and disbelieving silence as my ancestors gave their own introductions.

"Ohta Yasuhiko! Imperial Japanese Army, the Bright Division!" My four times great-grandfather announced in a voice so loud and commanding I knew then and there that this man was who Dad inherited his own 'Sergeant' voice from.

"I fought the Qing at the fort of Weihawei! Dodged Russian bullets at Shaho river and the hills of Mukden! All for love of my country!"

I looked at the blurry figure from where Yasuhiko's voice was coming from with a mix of pride at the achievements of this ancestor and worry from the feeling that he was announcing all of that to belittle the Self Defense Forces personnel behind me.

"And my reward for all that is to be unfairly kicked out of the Imperial Army and denied the salary that I was to receive that month, for the sin of helping the poor, abused wife of an insecure, ridiculously jealous Colonel bring her heavy bag of groceries to their home!" Yasuhiko snarled out, splashing the feelings of betrayal and resentment all over everyone in hearing range.

I had barely started to react to this revelation when another one of my ancestors started snarling his words out.

"Ohta Hisashi! Member of the Denshutai, and loyal soldier of the Shogunate from Toba-Fushimi all the way to Hakodate!"

It was at that moment that I started to sense a pattern here.

"Ohta Akio! Loyal retainer of the Kimotsuki and a member of the Ikko Ikki!" shouted the final one of the three, in the manner of someone treating with his mortal enemy.

I groaned at the confirmation that these three men, and possibly all my other ancestors for that matter, had grievances against the government of Japan. This explained why they were so antagonistic against the Self Defense Forces personnel behind me.

"Are these guys for real, Ichigo?" Suzumoto yelled incredulously several seconds after Akio shouted out his name and credentials.

"I don't know about the others but the last time I saw Yasuhiko he was a ghost!"

"And them being related to you?"

I looked back at him and shrugged.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:41 P.M.

Ikeda Kurumi


"Kurumi, could you please explain again who these guys are?" Papa asked me, leaning towards my left ear and keeping his voice low so the ancestors won't hear it.

Mother, Ao, Papa, Mama and I sat, or laid in Ao's case, on the two beds in the hospital room while watching Ichigo interact with his self-proclaimed ancestors at the other side of the room, just beside the doorway.

"They claimed to be Ichigo's ancestors, from several different time periods. The one who looks angry claimed to be a member of the Ikko Ikki and a samurai of a family called the Kimotsuki. The one who was calming the samurai claimed to be a Shogunate soldier from the Boshin war. And the one standing beside Ichigo right now is supposedly his four times great grandfather from the time of the Japan-Qing War and the Russo-Japanese War."

"And they're here because?"

"Apparently the three of them followed us all the way from Matsumoto, and had been here ever since. When the gunfire and the explosions happened they followed Izanami as she went outside the hospital to fetch me and Ichigo."

"And that's when they asked her to give them…flesh and blood bodies to use?" Mama asked in a disgruntled tone from the foot of Ao's bed.

"Can't you just say they got raised from the dead?" Mother whispered in an exasperated tone to Mama, while Papa rolled his eyes.

"Yuki, you know why I reject that idea."

Mother sighed in reply, shaking her head at Mama's stubbornness.

"So, why ask her to…uh…give them flesh and blood bodies to use? Didn't they fight magical alien soldiers while they were ghosts?" Papa then asked in an effort to move the conversation along.

I shrugged.

I myself didn't know why they did so. I didn't ask, since stuff happened after Major Suzumoto brought us into the safety of the hospital. And I most certainly don't care about it.

"Do you know why, Ao?" Mama suddenly turned around and asked my daughter.

"Ma?" I hissed.

Here we all were, trying to find a way to keep Ao out of danger because of her ability to see the future and the past. And now, all of a sudden, Mama wanted Ao to use her power?

"Kurumi, what if this is really important? It could be something that will save your lives."

After a moment or two of thinking about it, I gave in because Mama had a point.

A ghost would most certainly be far harder to fight than a living person, and yet these three ancestors asked for resurrection. That…didn't bode well for us.

"Ok. Ao, do it."

Ao nodded, and then closed her eyes.

After a minute had passed, she opened her eyes and pouted.

"Mama. Bad news. Magic can make ghosts go away very easily."

"But they fought against the Lighteaters back home, right?" I asked, not liking where this is going.

"Uhm…by…it says they hit them and ran, again and again until the Lighteaters managed to...seal them into things. What does seal mean, Mama?"

"It means putting something in one place and then closing the opening to the place after," I replied while feeling the mood at our side of the room drop.
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JGSDF Camp Fuji Regional Hospital, Sunto District, Shizuoka

May 11, 2013

12:43 P.M.

Ohta Ichigo


"Do you understand our problem now, young man?" Akio, the Ikko Ikki member and samurai of a clan I had never heard of before, asked me with a frown.

"I do, Honored Ancestor. And I thank you and the other ancestors for fighting to protect the lives of me and my family. However, I must also agree with Major Suzumoto's reluctance to allow people who were not members of the Self Defense Forces or the Police force to bring weapons into the hospital."

This time it was Hisashi, the soldier of the Tokugawa Shogunate, who spoke up for their right to bring weapons into the hospital.

"Young man, I ask again. What is the point of being raised back from the dead for the purpose of protecting our descendants, if we're going to quickly become dead because we don't have any weapons to fight with?"

Yasuhiko, my four times great grandfather, spoke up before I was able to do so.

"Maybe if you guys listened to me, we would not be in this situation."

I blinked and remained silent as a brewing argument started between my great grandfather and my more distant ancestors.

"You want us to fight with axes and revolvers against soldiers armed with rifles, bayonets, and an innate ability to use magic? Are you crazy, grandson?" Hisashi asked Yasuhiko.

"The Murata rifles scared the soldiers, grandfather. Now, as it was in the past, rifles are...you were a soldier too. You should understand what they were thinking when we came inside the hospital with the Murata."

"But that is why I insisted on rifles. Rifles are lethality, accuracy, range and intimidation all in one package. You're not going to get much of those from revolvers. Also, why do you want axes?"

"What's wrong with axes? Do you have a problem with one of the three weapons that the Ohta family had been using ever since the time of our earliest known ancestor, the younger Kumaso Takeru?" Akio challenged Hisashi.

I blinked at hearing those words from Akio's mouth.

If I remembered my history lessons right, Kumaso Takeru was supposed to be someone who was slain by Yamato Takeru, a famous mythological figure who might have been historical. And the time that Yamato Takeru was said to have lived was…well it was definitely during the Yamato period.

Before I was able to ponder more on what he just said, Hisashi interrupted my train of thought.

"Because we're not going to need them? It's all about guns nowadays. Guns, guns and more guns. And if we had to fight in a melee then sticking a bayonet on your rifle is all you need. I learned that from my days with the Denshutai and the entire Boshin War. Even the Outsiders know that by the looks of their weapons. Can't you move on with the times too, Honored Ancestor?"

Akio's lips twitched, he looked down at his hands and then he looked away towards the wall.

"Now, why axes?" Hisashi continued, ignoring the depressed state he had just left our more distant ancestor in.

"Because I fought in two separate wars where I was forced to fight in a melee, and I watched my great grandson, young Ichigo's great grandfather, and his comrades as they fought the Americans in Okinawa. And what I can tell you is that rifles on bayonets are the worst spears ever made, and I wished we had axes with us during those times."

"Maybe you're just not used to bayonet fighting."

As the three ancestors looked at me, I realized that I was the one who said those last words.

"Yeah right. Ichigo, trust me on this. A spear is so much better at stabbing someone dead from a safe distance compared to a rifle with bayonet. I'm telling you this as someone with practical experience at war."

"I killed a Lighteater with a bayonet and rifle. And I practice Jukendo under Mom's supervision at Camp Matsumoto every Saturday, when it offers its grounds for weekly sessions to anyone who wishes to train Jukendo."

"And what does your Mom knowing the sport Jukenjutsu had turned into have anything to do with the art of killing people?"

"She was the prefectural champion of Iwate in Jukendo and served as Iwate's representative for Jukendo in the Kokutai, the National Sports Festival of Japan, for seven years straight, starting from her first year in high school up to her last year in college." I said in a tone bristling in defense of my Mother. "To make it simple she is one of the best jukendoka alive in Japan nowadays."

What I didn't mention was that I knew Jukendo was a sporterized, toned down version of the bayonet fighting that Yasuhiko and Hisashi had been taught by their instructors. I just compensated for that fact with sheer murderous anger at what the Lighteater did to my wife.

After a few seconds of silence from the ancestors, Hisashi beamed a smile at Yasuhiko and Akio and said that I agree with him. The smile died when I quickly added that I didn't agree with him, but only partly with my four times great grandfather.

"Great grandfather Yasuhiko is right. Rifles are too intimidating to allow in the hands of non-members of the Japanese Self Defense Forces or the Police. You should have instead asked for pistols and knives, which are less threatening."

The three ancestors scoffed at my suggestion at the same time. And when I asked what was wrong with my idea, Akio answered me with something informative.

"You can't parry anything with a knife young man. That's one of the things I learned from all the years of war I spent as a retainer of the Kimotsuki and a member of the Ikko Ikki. You need something bigger, you need something sturdier. The perfect thing for that role is a one handed axe."

Before Akio was about to pontificate further on the qualities of a one handed axe, the walls suddenly shook and the light died out.
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Many thanks to Atreidestrooper, Strypgia, Mjolnir66, locki and rm928 of Spacebattles.com for advice regarding many topics in this chapter. I couldn't have done this without you folks.


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