An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

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kilopi505
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Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2014-09-26 11:44am

Chapter 1 editing done September 26.
Chapter 2 editing done September 28.
Chapter 3 editing done September 29.
Chapter 4 editing done October 1.
Chapter 5 editing done October 9.
Chapter 6 editing done October 12.
Chapter 7 editing done October 14.
Chapter 8 editing done October 18.
Chapter 9 editing done October 19.
Chapter 10 editing done October 19.

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

Ok. So, I noticed that inconsistent details, constantly changing formats, and multiple repeated words had cropped up in the process of writing “An Unlikely Magical Girl and an Unlikely World War.”

There are some backstory details that were just plain different from one chapter to the other. And there were things that were in one chapter but I had forgotten to mention in the next. And then there were the formats I made, like the bold lettered words and all caps words indicating the same thing (emphasis), fighting for numerical supremacy all over the story. And then there were sentences that seemed better off being a stand-alone sentence instead of being part of a paragraph.

And let’s not mention the repeated words.

So…here’s the list of what I edited out. The ones from chapter 1 to chapter 6 are mostly from memory, since I didn’t decide at first to list what I edited.

Chapter 1

Edited the description of the house. Not the same as that in chapter 9.

“Don’t worry about those old women” line. Earlier version not easily understood.

Finally fixing the bold/all caps problem. Bold is the normal emphasis. All caps is to be used for double emphasis.

Chapter 2

One additional scene partition at the beginning.

Italics will henceforth be used for words that were said or thought in English, not Japanese in-universe.

Added more details about her family’s financial situation.

Specified the principal of her grade school was not the same one as before she got pregnant.

Chapter 3

Changed the all caps to bold.

Toned down Yuki’s current dislike towards Kurumi.

Cleared up how Kurumi knows what the PLAN camouflage pattern from before 2007 was.

Changed kitsune to inari.

Chapter 4

Changed the words that were supposed to have been said or thought in English to italic font.

Changed a few words in the paragraph where Kurumi was thinking about why the jelly woman’s figure is weird.

Chapter 5

Changed some words to Bold font.

Cut a few words in the paragraph describing how helpless she was beyond 5 meters.

The “As it turned out” line is now shorter.
Split the paragraph describing the openings of the house the rear guard was in.

Deleted a line of internal thought that was in front of the line “That window…” and reworded it into the line of internal thought after the line “It looks safe”

Added more information on the location of the flashback.

Six months pregnant is rewritten to seven months pregnant.

Added ‘during our then recently…’ and removed some superfluous words in the paragraph about the reason why Kurumi got the idea to borrow novels and military manuals.

Added ‘in bed’ and ‘instantly’ to the paragraph with ‘killing two birds with one shot’

Added ‘our soon to be’ to Kurumi’s reply explaining why she borrowed books.

Capitalized all Father or Father in law that was in Kurumi’s voice.

Edited the paragraph ‘Anyways, I didn’t want to add another reason for her to make life burdensome, so I made an addendum,’ to ‘Anyways, I didn’t want to add another reason for her to make my life burdensome, so I quickly gave an addendum.’

Turned ‘I don’t know what Father did, but I hope that puts Monster in law down, at least for this day. Hopefully, she will only be as irritating as usual tomorrow’ to ‘I didn’t know what Father did, but Monster in law was mollified that night. And the next day she was only as irritating as usual’

Turned ‘I swore to myself right then and there that I’m teaching Ao English. Anything to avoid Ichigo’s…level. Also, I’m going to help him learn English. I refuse to leave my future husband an English illiterate person‘ to ‘At that moment I swore to myself that I’m teaching Ao English, to avoid Ichigo’s…level. I also decided to help Ichigo learn English, since I refuse to leave my future husband an English illiterate person’

Added ‘incidentally’ to ‘that means the thing that scratched...’

Two additional scene partitions.

Chapter 6

Changed “Not only that, but we have here...magical mascots with their own kill counts. Lethal mascots. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable” to “Not only that, but we have here...magical mascots with their own kill counts. Not cowardly, useless and weak mascots but lethal...soldiers.”

Italicized all words that are said in English.

Bolded all emphasized words.

Added ‘Why am I going along with his words’ to egads.

Changed ‘king’ to ‘uncle’

Erased ‘days before the expected delivery date’ from paragraph about where Kurumi learned her perseverance.

Turned ‘One million’ into ‘One hundred million’ in the conversation Meria had with a slave buyer.

Clarified why Ichigo was taught the contents of FM 3-25.150 in the paragraph saying that he and Hayato had shown the bayonet part of the exercises once in their place of residence.

Chapter 7 editing done October 14.

Added ‘on’ to line about sitting up on bed and looking for Izanami.

Contracted ‘I am’ to ‘I’m’ in Izanami’s line saying she’s outside.

Changed ‘Below the mountain was a coastal plain, and a sea’ to ‘below the mountain were a coastal plain and a sea’

Changed the direction the sun was rising from, from right to left.

Added ‘of the ring’ to ‘You are taking your opponents…’

Added ‘was’ to ‘Ao and Ichigo were dressed…’

Italicized what was meant to be said in English, not Japanese.

Added ‘scene’ to ‘If you fall into…’

Removed superfluous words.

Turned ‘it was a crane…’ into a line of its own.

Turned ‘trainers’ into ‘teachers’ in ‘I want you to go to my daughter…’

Added ‘in the first place’ to ‘nor are there any ‘light’ or dark’ kingdoms.’

Changed ‘was as’ to ‘used to be’ in ‘It’s because the warfare between the magical kingdoms…’

Edited ‘And then she ordered the colonization of theocracy’s lands’ to ‘And then she ordered the colonization of the theocracy’s lands’

Added ‘girl’ to ‘Suddenly a spark was lit by the pantheon of the theocracy…’

Added ‘in the multiverse’ to ‘On one corner was Earth, the place…’

Added ‘It was at this point in her story that Izanami paused for a moment, her face full of sorrow. That moment told me all I need to know about the whereabouts of Izanagi, Tsukiyomi and Susanoo’ in between ‘Of the gods and demons of Earth…’ and ‘The victor of the battle was…’

Added ‘simply’ to ‘But since the cost of regaining access to Earth…’

Changed ‘Look at the target. Left foot towards target, right foot pointing towards the right. Loose knees. Feel the balance of the akontio. Adjust for the wind’ to ‘Look at the target. Right foot towards target, left foot pointing towards the left. Loose knees. Feel the balance of the akontio. Adjust for the wind’

Changed ‘She quickly took the same position as I did, but adjusted for the longer and heavier length of the harpoon, and let loose’ to ‘She quickly took the right handed version of same position I did, but adjusted for the longer and heavier length of the harpoon, and let loose’

Added ‘He’s talking to me in English. I must answer him in the same way’ in between ‘Good evening…Kurumi, wasn’t it?’ and ‘Yes, my name is Kurumi. Good evening. Grandpa.’

Chapter 8

Italicized what was said or thought in English.

Added ‘trying to ignore that tiny part of me that was curious about how Izanami was able to understand English’ to ‘”Yes, he’s my grandpa,” I softly replied’

Edited ‘I...I was feeling overwhelmed at meeting one of the two people who makes Mama sad whenever she talked about them. The other person who makes Mama sad was my Grandma, who died of birth complications from giving birth to triplets’ to ‘It was an easy task since I was feeling overwhelmed at meeting one of the two people who makes Mama sad whenever she talked about them. The other person who makes Mama sad was my Grandma, who died of birth complications from giving birth to triplets’

Added line ‘Again, I ignored that curious part of me that was now asking how Grandpa can understand Japanese’ between ‘Grandpa smiled’ and ‘”Let’s say I’m on a mission from God”’

Added ‘and answered in Japanese, figuring that he would understand it thanks to whatever magic is doing the translation’ to ‘I stared at him in a deadpan’

Turned ‘ranges’ into ‘range’ in ‘Izanami was the one who made…’

Turned ‘father in law’ to ‘Father in law’

Chapter 9

Italicized what needed to be italicized.

Erased one ‘to’ from the line ‘Ichigo moved far enough from Ao…’

‘For letting spies enter the surprisingly very, very unsecured war chambers of your kingdom? For insisting that the pursuing assassination team must be the one headed by the…’ is edited to ‘For letting spies enter the surprisingly very, very unsecured war chambers of your kingdom? For allowing a subordinate to insist that the pursuing assassination team must be the one headed by the…’

Ambassador changed to emissary.

Added ‘that she’ in the paragraph ‘It was last year, when we tried to celebrate Dad’s birthday…’

Removed an ‘of’ from ‘The female being was a wrinkled woman…’

Added ‘like the Redscale cities?’ to ‘Weren’t there some interested lands from your world who want in on our venture, Gurititis?’

Chapter 10

Edited out the following lines:

‘That early? And a neighbour in the Philippines?’

‘...what is our embassy doing in the Philippines? Have they ever heard of this woman?’

‘Thank heavens she had a happy ending.’

Changed “If that’s so, why wasn’t she still in the Philippines? I thought all Japanese who lived abroad in Southeast Asia had been expelled from there after World War 2?” to “Why is she still in the Philippines? I thought all Japanese who lived abroad in Southeast Asia had been expelled after World War 2?”

Italicized what is said or thought in English, not Japanese.

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 220
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2014-11-20 10:58am

Chapter 11

2:21 P.M., May 5, 2013, Matsumoto, Nagano

“I can’t believe that such a silly political treaty was followed all these years,” Mom commented several moments after Ran the inari had finished answering all our questions regarding what was happening.

I tuned out the ensuing conversation about magical politics between Mom, a political science graduate, and Ran, who sounded very eager to talk to someone who wasn’t righteously irate at her.

What I, and Magdalena, did instead was to stay silent and digest all that Ran had said in our half hour interrogation.

Gods and ancestor spirits and demons were not only real, but were preparing their worshippers for a war with an alliance of magical political entities intent on conquering Earth for reasons that Ran doesn’t know.

Another organization of magical political entities, bigger than the warmongering alliance, had used Earth, and hundreds of girls from Earth, as an ingenious way to solve political and economic disputes between themselves, by means of...organized death matches as organized by literal children, for more than a thousand years.

Kurumi wasn't fooled by that magical rat. The deal was genuinely valid in the eyes of the various pantheons of Earth. I'm now the safest person in the JSDF when I join, Ao will be roomed with children who are too burdened with their own problems to ever bully her until college, and Kurumi will get a successful bakery.

My mind quailed at trying to conceive of the bigger problems. At most, what I can deal with for now was the revelations about Kurumi's deal. And it was…

It was…

…it's both disappointing and, surprisingly, somewhat emasculating.

I'm the man here, right?

I'm the one who's supposed to face the danger and the hardships first, right?

For what am I girding myself for these past few years if all of a sudden Kurumi would suddenly sell her safety away, to ensure that I don't die in the future profession I'm going into for a decade or two? That Ao doesn't get bullied ever? That she can make her bakery run?

Did she have doubts about my ability to support our family once we finally move out of the house? Doubts about me keeping up with Ao’s studies, or helping her in her bakery during weekends once I’m in the JSDF?

Doubts about me contributing more than money to our family?

Did she have doubts about our future?

Damn it! This is the reason why we have our nightly pillow talks! To put all our troubles out into the open and help each other!

Why didn't she go to me with these doubts?!

"Ichigo, you look quite furious there," Mom's voice suddenly intruded into my thoughts.

I blinked.

I looked up and noticed that everyone else was looking at me.

"What?"

"Your hand," Ran said.

I looked down to see that I had my right fist clenched tight.

I quickly unclenched it. And along with that act came a certain realization.

It doesn’t matter if Kurumi had those doubts or I’m just making interpretations out of thin air.

What matters is that I should do something so that she doesn’t have to be a…’magical girl’ anymore. What matters is that I should prove that whatever she had been fooled into worrying about, I can deal with it.

I can protect my family and keep myself in shape to do so for a long time, I can help them whenever they need me, emotionally or physically or financially...ok, maybe the financial part is going to be problematic until I make colonel or higher. But my point still stands.

I just have to prove it.

“Ran, is there anything I can do so that Kurumi doesn’t have to be a ‘magical girl’ for Japan anymore?” I asked her.

Magdalena perked up from her woolgathering after I said that.

“No. She accepted the terms of agreement with the Hindu rat. She has to fulfill the terms or else the other party is bound to punish her.”

Or else what?!

“Are you making a threat?” Magdalena growled.

“It’s not a threat. For most folks from the divine or the damned, when they make an oath they literally can’t break the contract no matter what. Didn’t your religion say something about that, Mrs. Ikeda?”

Magdalena blinked, and then looked furious at the inari.

“If you are implying that God is not all powerful because he did as he said and sent his son Jesus Christ to save humankind on the cross, you got another thing coming demon.”

“Ah, the fantasies of the cross worshippers,” Ran said as she sighed, making Magdalena seethe in more anger at the insult.

“So what can I do for her then?!” I almost yelled, partly to stop Magdalena from throttling the inari and partly because of my own anger.

Ran shrugged.

“I’m sorry to say but the best thing you can all do is to stay out of the way and put yourselves in a safe location. After all, our side of the deal says we aren’t letting her die. So rest assured that she’ll come back to you with all her body parts.”

“And her mind?” Mom asked.

The inari looked at Mom.

“It’s not obvious? If she kills as much as we need her to kill, she’ll come back less sane than she was before being a magical girl – ”

FUCK YOU!” I yelled in English.

Magdalena, on the other hand…

“Putang inang hayop ‘to, putang inang mga pekeng diyos na ito! Walang awa sa anak ng ibang tao, walang awa para sa nanay ng isang kawawang bata! Mga masasama loob! Parusahan sana kayo ng Diyos Amang makapangyarihan, mapunta sana kayo sa impierno – “

I tuned her stream of foreign words out in favor of shouting out my own expletives, both Japanese and English, at the inari.

The inari wilted in the face of our verbal onslaught.

Someone suddenly tapped my shoulder from behind, making me stop and look around.

It was Mom.

She suddenly stared at Magdalena, who wasn’t stopping with her tirade.

As a result, Mom lightly kicked Magdalena’s shins.

Magdalena turned her glare at Mom.

“Could we all stop yelling loud enough to be heard on the street and let the inari finish talking?” Mom asked in a calm and –

Heard on the street?

I rapidly looked left and right, fearing and wondering if some magical alien soldier heard our tirade.

“Shit. Shit, shit, shit,” the inari moaned as it laid on the concrete and covered its eyes with its paws, as if it wants to bury itself from its problems.

“Do you know where these enemy soldiers are, inari?” Magdalena asked in a mollified tone, doing the same thing as me and looking left and right.

“I only know about the designated magicians. I’m not sure about where or how many riflemen and melee men they have. They’re all hidden by the magicians.”

“That’s better than nothing,” I quickly replied, while I wondered at the implications of the enemy having dedicated melee fighters. And of the riflemen being hidden by magic.

Could someone be scoping out this bridge as of this moment?

“There’s a total of six mages. As of this moment one of them are located at the furthest north, east, west and south portions of this barrier and the remaining two are near the hospital. And as for how many…when the bombardment ended and the concealment magic momentarily faded, I counted no less than thirty beings.”

Mom hissed at the revelation, while I chewed my lower lip in worry.

No less than thirty. Let’s round it up to forty to be safe.

How many armed personnel are back in the hospital?

Three at the front…maybe include the Kannushi at the front. That’s four. Then there’s twelve in the lobby…another twelve on the other floors of the hospital…that’s exactly twenty seven.

Twenty seven against forty armed, invisible people with magic. That’s…bad odds for our side, no matter what the field manuals say about urban combat.

Someone should tell Dad about this. And bring down this barrier too. More reinforcements from outside are needed here.

“Mom, can you give Dad a call and tell him what Ran just told us?”

Mom quickly took out her cellphone and started calling Dad. At the same time, I saw Magdalena lean back against the concrete wall, glaring at the inari’s general direction.

That reminded me.

“What were you about to say when we interrupted you?” I asked Ran.

The inari peeked from under her paws.

“That was the part where I was about to say that we could treat any mental problems of hers, but it needs her conversion to one particular religion or another.”

That’s coercion, not –

“She’s going to be a Catholic,” Magdalena stated in a matter of factly tone.

…must I be surrounded by people I need to have a serious talk with?

“Thanks for the offer but no. I prefer to trust in the skills of the best psychiatrists and psychologists in the world, rather than religious zealots,” I said, trying to forget Magdalena’s earlier statement.

In every other aspect, I like her. But when it comes to religious beliefs, she is like an alien.

Besides, after this whole magical affair is over, I will milk the fact that Kurumi helped saved the world as much as it’s worth and try to make things better for our family. Among those things would be free healthcare all our lives.

The inari wagged its tail.

“It’s your choice. Don’t complain to me when the humans fail.”

…I hope the world’s best psychiatrists and psychologists don’t fail me.

“It’s no use,” Mom said while she walked towards me.

“What?” I asked.

“I can’t get in touch with your Dad. He had his cellphone turned off.”

“Damn,” I muttered.

Of course he would have it turned off. There’s an emergency situation happening right this moment. He can’t be distracted by phone calls from family at this moment.

Which means we’ve got to go to the hospi –

An explosion rang out from the hospital’s direction.

We all flinched from the noise and as we turned to look out from under the bridge, gunshots and explosions rang out in quick succession.

“It started,” Ran stated.

MywifemychilddamnitdamnitdamnitwhatdoIdowhatcanIdothinkthinkthink – shit!

“Ran, you’re an inari. You can make a lot of illusions, right?” I asked her while giving in to the only action I could think of in my panic.

“Yes.”

“You can also make me weapons, right?”

“What are you planning to do Ichigo?” Magdalena asked from where she stood.

I ignored her and listened to Ran’s reply instead.

“Well, yes I can. But what kind of – “

“I want thousands of illusions of Imperial Japanese soldiers running out from here and making a bayonet charge towards the north, along with the sounds of discharging firearms. Make them look and sound real enough to make the hidden soldiers fire at them. Make some of them stretch out tarpaulins, all of them written with what you just told me, on the rooftops. And then give me a Type 89 rifle that never runs out of bullets. And a Type 30 bayonet.”

I chose the Type 89 because it’s the only real gun I’ve had an occasion to practice with, thanks to some strings that Dad pulled. And as for the bayonet from the Pacific war? Well…I had a very bad feeling that I would get into hand-to-hand.

“Who do you think you are? That Russian from ‘Enemy at the Gates’?” Magdalena asked me in an incredulous tone.

“Who’s going to save Kurumi and Ao? And Father? The – “

An explosion suddenly hit the barrier from outside. It was a few tens of meters away from where we were standing, easily seen from under the bridge.

And easily seen was how much the explosion affected the barrier.

No effect whatsoever.

“That’s the JSDF. They can’t do anything with that in the way. But I could, because I’m inside the barrier.”

“Yes you could. But you’re not going anywhere without me, young man,” Mom admonished me.

“Same thing as her,” Magdalena added.

For a moment I was shocked that these two women were expressing the same sentiment, in public, and aren’t even taking note of the fact.

I quickly ignored it and replied.

“Mom, Nanay, no disrespect but you two don’t know how to use a gun. I’m not even going to entertain the notion that you two will fight them with martial arts.”

Magdalena wasn’t joking when she said earlier that she will kill the magic using enemies with a bolo. She not only knows the martial art called arnis or eskrima or kali but she has used what her grandfather taught her on several Yakuza, troublesome people, my grandfather on Mom’s side...and Mom.

Mom herself is no pushover. She constantly took aikido lessons from elementary up to college, and consequently is at the level between the kyu and dan. She also took jukendo lessons alongside grandfather during weekends. As a result of that varied experience, she stood a chance against Magdalena during that night.

But however accomplished they both are in –

“Who said I’m going to just run at someone armed with a gun? I’m not suicidal. I just need a submachine gun and a dagger.”

…what?

“Do you even know how to hold a simple revolver, let alone a submachine gun?” Magdalena asked with raised eyebrows and a slightly peeved tone.

That tone must be from Mom emphasizing the word suicidal while looking directly at Magdalena.

“I’ll have you know that I’m proficient with most of the firearms of the Imperial Japanese Army.”

Wh – Grandpa Kisho.

I shouldn’t be surprised that racist, unapologetic ex – Kwantung Army would be hiding things that could put him in jail. The question is, how many – never mind.

This isn’t the time for those questions.

“And you, Nanay?” I asked Magdalena, who suddenly looked very conflicted.

If Mom implies Grandpa trained her in the usage of firearms, I’m quite sure that he did it right. Whenever that man tries to educate someone on what he believes are the proper virtues and skills for a Japanese man or woman, he spares no effort in doing so.

But I doubt Magdalena –

“Just give me a cal.45 revolver with infinite bullets and two bolos.”

…not the time to ask anything. Not the time.

“What happened to not dealing with dev – “

Magdalena interrupted Mom.

“I know what I said! I’ll just confess this sin later and ask God for forgiveness. So shut up and let’s do this!”

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

“Everyone, run when I say run,” I told the others while the sounds of a firefight in progress, screams of terrified civilians and explosives hitting the barrier from outside emanated through the air.

It took us a minute or two that we don’t have to finalize what Ran was supposed to do, and to hammer some sane logic into my panic induced plan.

First was what we wanted her to make for us. Apparently, her knowledge of weapons technology stops at the time of the Shimabara rebellion. So we had to resort to having the image of what we want in our heads while she makes her magic.

It was easier said than done, since we are thinking of several weapons at the same time, and we had to think on them clearly, and intently.

Second was the timing. We have to make sure that the wave of illusions would cover our own emergence from under this bridge. Too fast and the enemies would see us and shoot at us, too slow and we’ll receive a magical artillery barrage such as earlier.

Third was the strategy and tactics. Whereas before, I was about to go towards the hospital on a pseudo-‘Special Attack’ on my own and without any more help from Ran, this time Mom and Magdalena insisted on several changes.

Ran will be working with us as a team. She will shield us from magic, we will take out the opponents with our guns. And the new strategy is instead of charging towards the hospital, we will sweep the barrier from the southeast corner to the southwest corner, ignoring the hospital that’s just west northwest of us because we are outnumbered and might botch our only chance due to lack of training, with the ultimate objective of killing the magician at the southern part of the barrier. Doing so will bring down the barrier and let the JSDF reinforcements from the south, who are still trying to blast the barrier open with explosives, go to the besieged hospital.

Lastly were more modifications to the illusions, again thanks to Mom and Magdalena.

The illusions were no longer that of the Japanese soldiers of the Pacific War, but of the soldiers of the Japan – Qing war. It was to take advantage of the fact that the rifles used in that war fire gunpowder ammunition, which means a lot of smoke in the air to give us additional cover while running between buildings. Also, when the illusions run into something magical that isn’t from Earth, the illusions would turn into kitsunebi, which to my pleasant surprise really would burn any object it touches.

After all those were dealt with, we’re now as ready as three armed civilians taking on soldiers could be.

“Go,” I told the nervous inari while concentrating on what I want.

A Type 89 rifle. A Type 30 bayonet. Grenades on a bandoleer. A Type 89 rifle. A Type 30 bayonet. Grenades on a bandoleer.

Ran took a deep breath, and then slapped the concrete floor with her tail.

Several things happened at the same time.

In front of us, where there was nothing else but a clear view of the river, several people suddenly appeared in such a way that it was as if I’m watching a movie, and the screen is the whole world a few meters in front of me.

Several weighted objects suddenly settled on several parts of my body.

I looked down to see a bandoleer with grenades hung like a sash across my left shoulder, a scabbard containing the bayonet hanging by my left hip, and the rifle hanging by its strap on my right shoulder.

I quickly took the rifle off my shoulder and looked at the fire selection on the right side of the rifle.

Ok. If I remember it right, it’s safe to auto to three round to semi. So…

I switched the selection all the way to the end. And only after doing that did I chance a look at the others.

Mom was holding a Type 100 submachine gun with both hands and was looking at the continuous stream of screaming, running and firing illusions in front of us. Like me, she also had a bandolier of grenades across her shoulders and a sheathed blade tied to her waist. The only difference was that her blade was a tanto and the scabbard was made of wood.

Magdalena was holding a revolver, of unknown make and presumably 45 caliber, in her right hand. Surprisingly, the gun had a half meter long rope cord lanyard that was tied at the other end to her right wrist. Her only other weapons were two bolos sheathed in wooden scabbards, hanging from the left and right sides of her waist by means of a thick cloth belt.

I didn’t make any comment about Magdalena’s choice of weapons, since someone had to deal with the melee men. And like it or not, Magdalena is the most lethal at hand to hand out of the three of us.

Instead, I took a look at the riverside to see if we have enough distractions.

The riverside is now just like a war movie. The air is thick with white smoke from the illusions firing in every direction except ours. The cacophony of Murata rifle shots and yelling soldiers is loud enough that I would have to shout near the others to be understood. And the number of the illusions…every five steps, there is an illusion of a Japanese soldier dressed in the blue uniforms of the pre-20th century Imperial Japanese Army, running to my right, the southwest. And while doing so, around half of them would fire into the air.

And the wave of soldiers was already over the riverbank.

“Run, run, run!” I yelled and ran out from under the bridge and into the mass of illusions –

The barrier suddenly shook with ripples coming from somewhere to the front. Along with the ripples came a shockwave that churned the water in the river, gave my eyeglasses little cracks, and made me and, to my shock, all the illusions stumble onto the concrete floor.

Except for the car alarms, the whole area instantly went quiet.

A moment later a female voice shouted, in a self-assured and regal tone of voice.

“My name is Ibuki no Ino-hime, the daughter of the great kami of Mt. Ibuki, he who slew Yamato Takeru with a curse! In the name of all the kami of Japan I shall slay all of you Outsiders!”

At the end of the little speech, the barrier rippled again another time. This time I shaded my eyeglasses in an attempt to protect them from more damage.

It worked.

“Who’s this Ino?” I asked the inari while trying to get onto my feet.

“She’s our backup!” The inari yelled in happi –

A bright green light suddenly showed up a few hundred meters to the front, at the barrier’s southeast portion. And then an instant later a gigantic explosion happened, outside the magical barrier.

“I think that’s near the train station!” Magdalena shouted from behind me.

Ok. The search area just got smaller.

“Ran – “

COWARDS! Get out of your hiding places and FIGHT ME!

The voice was so bloodthirsty, and paradoxically still regal, that I involuntarily shivered.

“Excitable girl, isn’t she?” Magdalena said as she crouched beside me, revolver in her right hand and a bolo in her left.

“I think I might take a liking to her,” Mom said as she did the same, the submachine gun held at port arms.

For a moment, I stared at the two women. And then I shook myself out of it.

This isn’t the time to comment on their bravery.

“Ran, make these illusions run again, now! I want them to sweep all the buildings to the southeast, and clear every room in each one of them!”

Ran nodded, stared towards the southeast, and slapped her tail on the concrete once.
The illusions all got onto their feet and started charging again.

I waited a few more seconds, and then turned to the others.

“We’re running up the embankment and across the road. Nanay, Mom, run low to the ground. That way we get covered by the illusions – “

A gunshot from the southwest, different in sound from the faux Muratas, suddenly interrupted me.

OUCH! That –

Another shot was fired.

MY TIT!

A barrage of gunfire started up.

Ino let out one last yelp and then shouted something that I didn’t recognize. At the same moment, a brown colored glow emanated from the southeast.

Seconds later she shouted, all traces of regality gone from her voice.

Ha! Let’s see you go through my barrier!

And after that she mumbled.

“Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. My tit. Need some ice – wait, am I still on loudspeaker?”

I sighed.

Just ignore this self-proclaimed princess. Kurumi acts more like a princess than Ino is, now that I think of it.

“Oh dear.”

After those two words, Ino went silent. Presumably, it’s because she had turned off whatever magic she was –

A gunshot suddenly cracked from somewhere beyond the embankment.

An instant later one of the illusionary soldiers outlined against the sky at the edge of the embankment was catapulted backwards. He then turned into a basketball sized ball of fire while in mid-air.

The fireball hit the concrete and turned into a burning, steaming puddle of rapeseed oil, if what I’m smelling is right.

“Now what do we do?!” Mom asked as she scanned the top of the embankment.

Things suddenly went crazy.

A male voice suddenly shouted out, with a volume that was no doubt magically amplified and a panicked tone of voice, a word that I didn’t understand.

Immediately after that, that someone opened fire at the illusions at full automatic. Along with the tracers that flew over the embankment came bolt after bolt of green colored light, those that can be seen through the smoke of the fake army’s rifles, which exploded upon hitting something.

“Ok. Where is that guy, Ran?!” I screamed while looking at a scene that came straight out of a war movie.

An endless wave of screaming soldiers charged over the embankment. Smoke made the scene hazy. Never ending gunshots sounded through the air. Soldiers dropped dead on the ground in groups of two or three, and many of them fell into two or more pieces before turning into burning rapeseed oil puddles.

This must be what a ‘Special Attack’ from the Pacific war looked like.

“He’s on the rooftop of one of the houses by the road!”

“Why is he panicking?! Aren’t these people supposed to be soldiers?!” I asked while thinking of what to do.

Going up there is suicide, especially with the...just what is the opponent using? It’s a curtain of tracers up there and yet I’m hearing only around five shots per second.

Is it a flechette round of some kind? But I digress.

The only thing we could do is to flank the shooter.

“Maybe he was on the other side of another illusion bomb charge some time before!” Mom suggested as she stared at the curtain of bullets above our heads…oh. She’s slightly shaking.

That sign of humanity shook me away from the humor of hearing something so anime sounding come from Mom’s mouth.

“If that’s true, then we have to move! There’s no telling when something heavier than a minigun and grenades get turned on us!” I shouted and looked at Ran.

“How far is he from us?!”

“Nineteen and a half jo!”

“A what?!”

Isn’t a jo a unit of area? Nineteen and a half times 1.5 square meters?

“She’s talking about the unit of length! A jo is three meters! Ran’s saying the shooter is fifty eight meters away from us!” Mom shouted.

“Ok. Let’s move. Remember – wait for me!“

I hurried after the low running figures of Magdalena, Mom and Ran.

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

“Ok. We’re here.”

I looked behind me and saw both Mom and Magdalena were panting and sweating heavily.

…ah damn. This was something that I was worried about.

I’ve got no choice but to take a minute long break or risk bringing Mom and Magdalena into a firefight tired and sluggish.

“Let’s take a – “

“I’m alright,” Mom and Magdalena hoarsely interrupted me at the same time.

I shook my head.

“Taking you two into a firefight while exhausted is asking for two funerals to take place in the future. And frankly, I don’t want any funerals in my family for a long time to come.”

“But that guy is still calling for help,” Ran timidly pointed out.

Besides me, only Ran wasn’t exhausted by the fifty plus meter dash earlier.

It must be her animal nature.

“We can’t help it Ran. Mom and Nanay here are exhausted.“

The sound of gunfire suddenly intensified in quantity.

“Ok. How many more people are there now?” I asked.

“One is on the rooftop of a house at the bridge intersection. Another one joined our panicking soldier and is talking with him.”

“Any of them a mage?”

“No. The mages haven’t moved from where they were. I’m also now counting uhh…if you include the mages, there’s eleven opponents here on the south side of the barrier and three at the east side. And at the hospital, twenty enemies are now down to fifteen.”

I couldn’t help but grin and make a fist pump at the news of enemy casualties.

Good job 13th infantry! Keep it up!

“How many humans died in the first assault?” Mom asked.

My smile instantly went away.

“I don’t know. You humans don’t have magic for me to feel and count.”

I hope that no one died on our side.

Ok. Let’s deal with the here and –

“You said there’s six mages, right?” Magdalena asked.

“Yes,” the inari replied.

“And then you said there’s twenty enemies at the hospital and eleven here at the south side. Tell me, did enemy number eleven go here from the east side?”

“Yes,” Ran said in a mystified tone.

I was also mystified – wait.

“Are you trying to say that one mage represents a squad of ten?” I asked Magdalena in horror.

That’s…shit.

Fifteen soldiers are bottling up the hospital. That leaves a grand total of forty more soldiers available to come down on our heads the moment we start shooting at the guys here.

I looked in the direction of the soldiers that were shooting near us and then at the west. And then I pondered my options.

Let them do as they want?

Out of the question. It's certain all this activity is for the purpose of killing Kurumi.

Ask Ran for more illusion bomb charges?

It sounds good but my gut feeling is strongly saying that is the wrong thing to do. And I don’t know why.

Wait for a better chance to do some damage?

…no, I can't.

To be honest with myself, if I don’t fight now I'll lose my nerve and be unable to get myself in the mindset of stopping my wife's impending murder.

That only leaves going ahead with what I planned to do earlier and kill the soldiers in front of me. But…

It was a good idea while I thought the majority of the enemy force is attacking the hospital while the only people left at the perimeter were a few sentries here and there. But now…

…what do I do?

All I have is book knowledge, a secret one-time session on operating a Type 89, the same amount of basic physical training as the genuine JGSDF trainees, and having more time with combatives than the regular JGSDF member.

Mom and Magdalena both have only martial arts training and still doubtful claims of being trained with firearms.

How does all that stack up compared with these unknown soldiers?

All I have on my side is surprise, and even that is chancy because so many of them still have unknown whereabouts thanks to magic.



…leave it to Heaven, as Kurumi had said in the past.

There’s nothing I can do but leave it to the faraway – wait.

Faraway?

…if there’s anyone listening, please give me that chance.

Please.

“How far away is this group we’re about to attack from all the others?” I asked.

“Uhh…well the revealed ones are pretty far from here.”

Yes!

“That’s good. Ok. Mom, Nanay, you two rested already?!”

“I’m fine now,” Magdalena answered.

“I’ve rested enough. What do you want to do, son?” Mom asked me.

“Hmmm…we’re going to sneak up to near the edge of the embankment. Once we’re there, you two stop while I take a peek over the edge – “

“That’s too dangerous, son.”

“Someone’s got to do it Mom. Now, I’m going to peek over the edge and scope out where the enemies are. I want you two and Ran to hide a little below me so they don’t get suspicious of three people suddenly peeking at them. Once I see their positions, I’ll tell you where they are standing, and then…uhh…”

“And then we take our own peeks over the embankment and decide which target we are taking?” Magdalena helpfully finished my sentence.

“Yes, Nanay.”

That sounded better than me telling them where to position themselves.

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

Magdalena, Mom and Ran prone on the embankment below me. Check.

Rifle hidden beside me. Check.

A silent prayer to my ancestors for luck…

Dear ancestors, I know you are all out there. I know that you exist because of this inari and all the things that happened to my daughter and wife. I beg of you, bring me luck. I’ll bring honor to the family name in return.

Prayer done.

Here we go.

I crawled one step forward and finally saw the street through the hazy smoke of gunpowder.

The street used to be a two lane, one way street. It was bounded by a series of road verges filled with evenly spaced shrubs on the non-river embankment side, and beyond those road verges was a wide sidewalk that also served as a parking space for some of the houses. And beyond the sidewalk was what serves as the boundary between sidewalk and private property, demarcated by various greenery, most of them full-fledged trees.

Now…

The shrubbery in the road verges, starting from the bridge to the one that’s in front of me was smoldering, sending more white smoke into the air.

The asphalt is full of burning rapeseed oil puddles and craters from all the shooting.

Two poor trees, between the sidewalk and the front of a two story building, had been cut cleanly in half, as if a laser was used on them.

Hundreds of magical illusions are charging down the road, a few groups of them holding ladders that I was sure I haven’t told Ran to make.

Sadly, all the illusions are being cut down by hundreds of what I think are flechette rounds, every one of them tracers for some mysterious reason, and singular green colored bolts of magic flying through the air from the top of a two story house directly in front of me, one that had two carefully trimmed hedges serving as the fence of a small lawn. And that, to my horror, was just beside the warehouse we were in front of earlier.

And standing on the rooftop, I finally saw the enemy.

He wasn’t fully visible. He was rapidly fading in and out of sight, in perfect synchronization with every shot he fires.

When he was least visible, it’s like looking through a glass window. You can’t tell that he’s there except for the reflection of bright light on his body. Thankfully the firing rate of his peculiar firearm is enough to show me what he looked like underneath the magic.

He was a green skinned humanoid being, wearing a skintight sleeveless shirt and cargo pants, both colored with alternating patches of green and brown. Several circles made of some kind of material were tied around the being’s body, presumably serving as some kind of armor.

As for his weapons, I see a holster at his waist with a revolver in it. A wooden sword that’s shaped like one of those swords from Europe, the ones associated with the Viking people, is in a scabbard on the other side of his waist. And the weapon he’s using to shoot at the illusions was…it was a thick staff, about one and a half meter in length. It had more than one barrel drilled into it, if the sequential firing is any indication, and is held in the same way as a shoulder fired weapon with the use of two strap-like handles. And for some very strange reason, the base of the firearm was bulbously shaped.

And seeing it in action finally gave the answer to the mystery of the unequal amount of tracers to gunshots.

That staff was firing off at five shots a second as I noted earlier, but thanks to a glowing magical circle in front of the muzzle, any shot that goes through it multiplies into hundreds of bullets spraying out of the other end in a cone shaped pattern.

And more dangerous to anyone on the other end of that staff is the fact that it’s a machine gun and grenade launcher in one, the green bolts of magic also flying from the magical circle at a rate of one bolt every second.

That automatic shotgun and grenade launcher staff makes me thankful that our charge had been interrupted earlier by Ino. That weapon also means that guy should die first.

Now…where’s the other one?

I looked around the rooftop he was on.

There’s no other reflection of light in the area. Neither is there any at the ground level.

“Ran!” I yelled without taking my eyes off that rooftop.

“Yes?!”

“Where’s the other guy? Is he still at the roof?”

“Yes. Why?”

Fuck.

Either the inari’s being fooled, or the only reason why the visible guy is visible in the first place is because his gunfire’s messing with the magic.

I took a look to the right.

My line of sight to the buildings at my right is blocked by more trees. That means I could reasonably expect no line of sight to us from the guy near the bridge.

“Ran, how about any of the others?”

“They’re still in a stare down with Ino and a lot of soldiers back at the…near the train station. The others haven’t moved from where they are.”

That’s good.

“Ok. Everyone, I see one guy with a shoulder fired machine gun on top of the house directly in front of me. It's the house behind two hedges. The other guy in the same location is still invisible. Mom, Nanay, please take positions that aren’t too far away from me.”

While Mom and Magdalena respectively moved to my left and right, I continued talking.

“When I say 'go', Mom, Nanay, all three of us will start firing at the people on that rooftop. Once they're down, all of us, including you Ran, will run across the street towards that sidewalk. As for you Ran, when I say 'go', I want you to dispel - no. I want you to make it rain ink in this whole block. Once they're dead, dispel the fires and make a spawning point for another illusion bomb charge right here."

If she dispels their magic right now, the enemy will just re-cast them quickly while hiding. So, the solution is to spray them with ink.

Who knows. It might even blind them.

"What?" she asked in a shocked tone.

"Can you do it?"

"I can't make it rain ink, I'm only a one tailed inari! At the very least I need to have five tails to do that. Instead, what I could do is to drop buckets of ink over them."

Drop buckets of ink?

That's good!

Falling buckets full of liquid could bludgeon someone.

"I want big, thin wooden buckets full to the brim with a mixture of ink and wasabi. I want everything within a hundred meters of us bombarded with a lot of buckets, repeatedly. Got it?"

That much wasabi in the eyes might count as a violation of the Geneva accord, but I don’t care.

They want to kill my wife, they suffer for it.

"I can do that….I'm ready."

Alright.

This is it.

"Go!"

I quickly grabbed the rifle and started to aim it.

At the same moment, no less than twenty buckets as big as a car tire and a meter in height fell onto the rooftop. One of them hit the being who was shooting right in the head. Another suddenly hit something invisible.

The running ink revealed the outline of most of the body of the being who was still cloaked, who was screaming something in pain while clutching his eyes. Beside him, his rifle was sliding down the roof.

By this time, I already had the rifle shouldered.

Aim through the sights.

Align the sights.

Gently pull the trigger.

The rifle fired.

One of the circles at the shooter's chest smashed into pieces, while the being himself staggered back one step.

Pull the trigger another time.

The shooter's head jerked back. His body suddenly tipped over the roof, and it fell onto the ground headfirst.

I switched targets, only to see the other guy's body jerking, circles all over his body smashing into pieces.

After a moment, the firing stopped, and the being's body dropped onto the roof and started rolling towards the edge.

“Let’s run!”

I stood up onto my knees and ran as fast as I can on the suddenly flameless street, trying to make sure I don’t slide on any loose asphalt or jagged crater rim.

Moments later I got behind the hedge of the house that we shot at.

The first one to come after me was Ran, who hid to my right, followed by Magdalena, hiding at the other hedge to my left, and lastly Mom, who hid to the right of Magdalena.

“What now?!” Magdalena asked as she hid behind the hedge, looking at the corpse of the being that I shot.

For some mysterious reason, the head, which was facing us, wasn’t crushed or even dented from the two story fall. It was completely intact except for the bullet hole in its forehead.

Speaking of bullet hole, shouldn’t there be an exit wound?

“Aren’t rifle headshots supposed to go through the head, not only make a hole?” Magdalena warily noted the same thing while pointing the revolver at the corpse and holding a bolo in her left hand.

Mom suddenly gave a brief burst of fire at the head of the being.

Shockingly, the bullets penetrated the face and neck so lightly that I think the distance between the bullet and the surface of the corpse’s skin is only a single digit of my finger.

“Shit. The one I shot is still alive!” Mom said as she aimed her gun at the house.

Before I was able to move my rifle up, Ran suddenly reassured us.

“Don’t worry! What kills them is not how deep the bullet goes, although it helps, but the magic that’s in the bullet! Your target is definitely de – “

Intense light suddenly shone from behind us. A moment later an explosion blasted the hedge into us.

For a few moments, I was disoriented.

Everything was hazy. My ears were ringing. And my back, the nape of my neck, and the backside of my upper arms was stinging from the leaves and sticks of wood that scratched them at high speed.

A bluish colored glow suddenly enveloped me and in moments all my discomfort went away.

“And that’s one of the things I’m actually good at. Healing,” Ran said in a cheerful way, her eyes glowing blue –

The sky above me suddenly glowed white.

I looked up to see a big circle of white glowing over us.

“Not a chance,” Ran muttered.

The circle shattered into pieces, only to reveal three smaller circles of light behind it, all of them steadily becoming brighter.

Fuck,” Ran muttered in shock.

At that very precise moment, I heard Ao’s voice, as if she’s yelling from afar, and yet the shout is coming from inside my head.

“Shoot the magic Papa!”

Maybe it’s panic, maybe it’s for lack of anything else to do, maybe it’s because I trust my daughter, but I instantly brought my rifle to bear on the circle.

It was unfortunately the same moment that Tachypsychia, the infamous slow motion perception that happens during an adrenaline rush, started working on me. And I instantly hated it because of all the times for it to kick in…

Why must it be when I’m looking at an eye-searingly bright object?

I also didn't enjoy the anxiety of watching my body and the magical attack racing each other in slow motion, along with several defeatist thoughts racing through my mind that I could’ve gone without.

The anxiety and the eye damage wasn't even needed in the first place. I could snap a shot and hit it in a second.

And I did so, firing my rifle moments before the circle started to look closer to me than before.

By the time I was lowering the rifle and started shading my eyes, I heard two different sounding guns taking their shots off. And then an instant later, at the same time, the magical circles exploded and the tachypsychia wore off.

And then the shockwave slapped me in the face, and then slammed me headfirst into the hedge behind me.

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

"Are you fine now?" Ran asked some time after that explosion.

"No I'm not."

My head felt woozy. And I think I would throw up if I had anything to…

"Is my Mom vomiting?"

"Yes she is."

Worry filled me. And then I thought about Magdalena.

I forced myself to sit and take a look at them.

Magdalena was laying on her back, head propped against the hedge and covering her eyes with her palm as many people do when they're drunk or have a bad headache. However, she was taking a peek at Mom next to her.

Mom was on her knees, vomiting onto the grass.

Before I was able to make a move, Magdalena was there, gently rubbing Mom's back.

Well, that's a very big step forwa -

"Oh shit."

"What now Ran?"

"Everyone not at the hospital is converging in onto us."

Shit.

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

Thanks to Atreidestrooper, Strypgia and Mjolnir66 of Spacebattles for the beta-reading and the information. I couldn't have done this chapter without you guys.
Last edited by kilopi505 on 2015-01-26 06:37am, edited 1 time in total.

kilopi505
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Posts: 220
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Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2015-01-15 05:25am

I'm back!

After writer's block and Christmas vacation to Baguio, after Europa Universalis 3:Divine Wind and indecisions about how long to make this chapter, I'm finally finished, thanks be to God.

So without further ado...here we go!

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

Chapter 12

2:32 P.M., May 5, 2013, Matsumoto

I acted quickly.

Despite my dizziness, I slung my rifle over my right shoulder and hobbled over to Mom.

"Mom, can you stand? We need to move. You too Nanay."

They both weakly stood up.

"Shit. I feel dizzy," Magdalena said.

"Dizzy or not we have to get out of plain view," I said while wondering where we could hide.

"Son, how about that house?" Mom asked me.

I looked to my right.

The two story house didn't fare well from the two explosions. The glass windows had cracked. The door was ajar because the latch assembly of the door lock…wasn't there, thanks to a hand sized piece of asphalt embedded where that was supposed to be.

"Too – "

"They're getting near," Ran reminded me in an agitated fashion.

"Let's go," I instantly decided.

Better to hide where one can hide than be caught in the open finding a perfect hiding place. I just hope this house's walls can stop the enemy's bullets.

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

"Get in, get in, get in!" I said as I held the door open.

Ran dashed through the doorway, quickly followed by Magdalena, and lastly Mom.

After Mom was through I closed the door, dragged an armchair to the door to block it, and then turned to face them.
Mom was leaning back against the wall beside a broken glass window, while Magdalena and Ran were seating on the floor.

"Ran, can you do the same thing that saved the hospital from the bombardment earlier?"

If those magical soldiers could just blast this house into ashes, we might as well commit suicide by 'Special Attack' for the sheer uselessness of the situation.

"Again, I'm a one tailed inari. I'm not that powerful."

We're doomed.

"But I can make this house strong enough to render the bombardment magic from earlier only as strong as one of the Dutch cannons."

Ok…

"Just clarifying. Instead of getting blown up, the magical beams will make holes in this house? From one end to the other?" Mom asked.

"No. I'm saying I can turn the beams into real cannonballs the moment they make contact with the walls of this house."

Turn them into cannonballs…

"How big?"

"Umm…I think the Portuguese called the cannons 'Falconete'"

I exchanged looks with Mom and Magdalena. And then I took a look at the walls.

The walls were concrete. But I need to know how thick it is.

I walked past Magdalena and Ran, looking around the room.

The room was the living room, as shown by the broken TV set at one side of the room, and the couch, armchair and coffee table at the other side, and a beautiful kakejiku that was now ruined by a piece of asphalt embedded right in the middle of the scroll.

And directly parallel to the entranceway was another door, leading further into the house.

I walked towards the door and ope –

I dodged a slashing kitchen knife.

While I heard noises of alarm behind me, I grabbed the retreating knife wielding hand with both hands and pulled with all my strength.

The unexpected action made the assailant fall flat onto the floor in front of me, letting out a gasp of air.

I quickly locked the armed hand between my legs, and pried the kitchen knife out of his hand –

A pillow suddenly hit my face.

"Let go of Grandpa! Let go! Let go! Let go!" a little girl's voice yelled while still doing the pillow bashing.

I looked away from the person I restrained, towards the pillow wielding assailant.

The girl looked like she was Ao's age. Dressed in a little shirt with pictures of that Spongebob character from America, and a pair of tight fitting, pink cotton pants, she looked stunningly cute especially with her twin tails.

"I said let go of Grandpa!" she yelled as she swung the pillow another time.

Horrified, I looked down to confirm that yes, the person I was restraining was a white haired and thin old man, dressed in a loose fitting white collared t-shirt and green colored cotton pants, who was still dazed from the impact with the floor.

I didn't let go of his arm, of course, but I relaxed my grip a little bit and asked a question, amidst the constant pillow attacks.

"Why did you try to kill – ouch, kill me with that – kid, I'm trying to talk to your grandfather."

"Let Grandpa go!" the girl yelled angrily.

I sighed and just let it go.

I didn't have the heart to make her stop, especially since the kid is obviously feeling the same exact thing as what I, Mom and Magdalena are feeling right now.

The grandfather had recovered his wits at that very moment and started glaring at me.

"So. Why did you try to kill my son, grandfather?" Mom quietly asked as she, Ran and Magdalena quickly crossed over to this side of the room, never taking their eyes off the front door and the windows.

That action quickly reminded me that we were expecting forty enemies anytime soon.

I twisted my head so that the girl's pillow would hammer the top of my head instead of my face.

"Grandfather, we are expecting forty alien beings armed with automatic weapons any moment now. If you can make your granddaughter stop shouting, and you can promise that you won't try to kill me again, I will let you go and keep you and your granddaughter safe."

The old man looked at me incredulously for one moment, and then glared at me the next moment.

"I tried to kill you because I thought you people are going to kill anyone inside the house. Instead, you people are now going to kill me and my granddaughter by putting us in the crossfire," he said in a very hateful tone.

"What do you want me to do?" I couldn't help but respond in a less understanding tone.

I understood that this is his home, and the gunfire was scary, but the shooting has been happening over a while now, and in only one direction. Why didn't he get himself and his granddaughter away from the shooting in all this time?

I would do that were I in his position.

"Get out of this house that you ruined. Die somewhere away from here and leave us alone."

…the sheer gall of this man.

"I can't do that old man. I have someone I want to return to." I spoke to him disrespectfully.

"Well I'm not going let myself and my granddaughter get killed by alien beings or by you people."

I must not think bad things. I must not think bad things. I must not –

"Would you let us impose on your household if we compensate you for all the resulting damages and ensure the safety of both you and your grandchild?" Ran asked quietly while looking at both the grandfather and grandchild.

The old man quickly shut up, his face filled with disbelief and fear. His granddaughter…

"It's a talking animal Grandpa. It's a talking animal," she squealed softly while still hitting me with the pillow.

What is it with this girl?!

"I'm not a talking animal. I'm a magical, talking animal and these three are the boyfriend, mother and future mother in law of the magical girl I'm in charge of."

"Here we go with the magical girl crap again," Magdalena muttered.

Ran ignored both Magdalena and the excited looking girl, who had thankfully stopped whacking me with her pillow, and looked at the old man directly.

"So. How much monetary compensation do you want in exchange for all the damages to this house, present and future that would be inflicted on this day?"

…that's a smart tactic to placate him.

"One hundred million yen."

What a greedy old man.

"Then I'll give you a hundred million fifty yen coins."

I blinked in –

"I'll give you a hundred million fifty yen coins gathered in – duck and crawl now!"

She suddenly slapped her tail on the floor.

The white colored walls of the house suddenly turned grey, at the same time yells came from outside the house and bright light streamed in from the windows of the living room.

At the same time, I let go of the grandfather's arm, scooped the kid to my chest, and then fell backwards onto the old man.

"Ouch!" the old man yelled.

The bright lights from the windows suddenly intensified, several spots on the walls suddenly had bulges and cracks, and the sound of several loud impacts came over to us.

As shocked and dismayed yells came from outside, I quickly evaluated our position while getting myself off the old man and started to get in a crouch, at the same time taking my rifle off my shoulder.

I'm not sending anyone upstairs. The only thing separating magical beams turned cannonballs coming from directly above and anyone on the second floor is a corrugated metal sheet and the ceiling of the second floor.

So we'll fight it out here in the first floor. But we sorely need some bar –

A green colored face suddenly peeked in one of the windows.

Before Mom or I were able to bring our guns to bear, Magdalena had aimed and fired in one smooth motion.

The being's head jerked back, and then it fell.

A magical circle suddenly appeared in the other window.

Mom let off a brief burst, making it explode.

Someone started screaming a moment after the explosion happened, while someone else yelled orders. The screams of the being then started to drift away from us, as if the casualty was being brought away from here.

"Go into my kitchen you idiots!" the old man yelled.

I whipped my head to glare at the old man.

"Crawl back to the hiding place Kasumi," he told the girl while he glared at me from his prone position, and then at Mom and Nanay, who were firing constantly at the windows of the living room.

"Why?!" I yelled.

"You've got no cover in the living room. One grenade, just one grenade, will clear all of you out of the room."
"And how'd you know that?" I retorted while tapping Mom and Magdalena's shoulders.

The old man's right but I'm not willing to let this rude, greedy person lecture me and make me look like an idiot to myself.

The old man replied without any hesitation.

"I was a private in the Imperial Army's 21st Division, and later on fought with the Viet Minh until 1954. Of course I would know what I'm talking about."

…oh. So he's one of those who deserted to the communists in Vietnam.

Figures.

"Well, what's beyond this doorway?!"

"There's a hallway right beyond this door. To the left is the stairs leading towards the second floor. Behind me is the combination kitchen dining room and to the left of the kitchen dining room is the bathroom."

"What's to the left of this – "

I was interrupted by a circle of green colored light suddenly appearing around my chest.

Before I was able to do anything else but look the circle yanked me through the air, past Mom and Magdalena, headfirst towards the door and the armchair, which were both catapulted outside in the same way as me.

"Undone!" I heard Ran yell while I was about to go past the doorway.

The circle suddenly disappeared, dropping me facedown onto the floor

"Roll!" I heard several voices scream, among them Ao's voice.

I rolled to my right, just in time to see a couple of gun barrels made of a yellow material stab through the floor tiles!?

Shit! They've got superhuman strength!

Once I was on my back, I saw the two beings wielding the guns in the process of pulling their rifles out of the ground.

Oh no you don't.

I raised the muzzle of my gun and fired.

The one directly in front of me dropped his rifle, clutched his neck and quickly crumpled to the ground.

I switched targets, to see the other one had extricated his rifle from the floor and was stabbing it towards my chest.

I wasn't in any position to fire. And for some reason, no bullets were flying through the despite the continuous burst of gunfire from Mom's Type 100.

So I did an act of desperation.

I rolled to my right again, hoping that he wasn't able to compensate for my movement.

As I was on my right shoulder, I heard an impact on the floor behind me, instantly followed by an unintelligible exclamation.

Ok – shit.

I forgot that I was going to be facedown again if I rolled to my right.

Ao suddenly yelled again.

"Sweep his feet with the rifle Papa!"

I instantly did as she yelled. I was rewarded by the sound of someone falling onto the floor to my right.

I rolled one last time, but this time I rolled into a crouch facing –

Another being had stepped over the guy I tripped, his rifle's muzzle heading straight towards my face.

I parried it to my left with my rifle's butt, however the force behind the thrust was so strong that not only did I lose my grip on the rifle, but my whole body was twisted leftwards.

Seeing the rifle skid on the floor and hit the wall of the living room three or so meters away, I went straight for my bayonet.

I had to look down for a moment so I could make sure that drawing the bayonet quickly wouldn't cut my left arm or leg, and then I looked up –

The being was sweeping the barrel leftwards, towards my head.

If that hits me, I'm dead. No question about it.

I didn't even try to make any stance; I ducked the swipe and responded with a slash from angle 8, the opponent's lower left –

My bayonet didn't stop at making a cut in the being's left leg. It went through the leg, through the stomach, and then just under its right armpit.

The corpse then split apart into two pieces, just like a samurai movie flick.

Wait. Don't get distracted, there's still another one! Where is –

Just beyond the upper half of the bisected being, who was making a death rattle, the other being was aiming his rifle at me, screaming with a terrified look on his face.

The being moved his finger –

A big wooden bucket suddenly dropped down onto his head at such a high speed that it was instantly decapitated from his body, and embedded itself halfway into the concrete floor and broke parts of itself.

The headless body then dropped onto one side of the bucket, breaking that part off and letting hundreds of fifty yen coins spill out from it onto the corpse.

A few shouts from the other side of the wall reminded me that there were still some other enemies. And I'm only armed with a bayonet.

I quickly placed the bayonet back in its sheathe and ran towards my rifle, finally noticing what it was that was stopping Mom's bullets from saving me earlier: what appears to have been a multilayered magical barrier.

And it was 'have been,' since beyond the final untouched barrier I saw the spider-web cracked remains of four other barriers.

I got to my rifle, turned around and aimed at the door, only to see someone dashing away.

I ran to the window and peeked.

I saw more than twenty beings running away from the house.

Some of them were still holding their rifles only because the rifles had lanyards connected to their arms, such was the terror shown by their movements. The others were making barrier after barrier while backpedalling away from the house, aiming their rifles here but still looking terrified.

And what looked like the commanding officers were hatefully glaring at me in the spare moments they have between trying to bring back order to their subordinates.

…we won.

We won. For now.

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

2:37 P.M., May 5, 2013, Governmental Palace of the Skinchangers

"That was so pathetic," No-akho said while he rubbed his forehead with his eyes closed.

Whereas before, No-akho was alone in his side of the room, he was now surrounded by several others, all dressed in business suits made of hemp, togas made of finely cured animal skins, or military uniforms made from the skin of locally domesticated animals with chromatophores.

His military generals, cabinet secretaries, and the senators who head the political parties were all silent, watching and mentally reviewing what they've just seen in the big rectangular mirror that had been brought into the room as the viewing screen.

No-akho wasn't the only one who had high ranking members of his government around him. In his mirror, Gurititis had something being explained to him by his minister of war while behind him his minister of spies was trying to calm down several generals demanding explanations. Caris was asking something from his lesser lords, who were summoned from their tents.

Da, Hesutu, and Politrika, on the other hand, didn't have any advisors with them.

In Politrika's case, it was because his advisers were hundreds of kilometers away, occupied with tasks that needed their personal presence elsewhere in his empire. In Da's case, it was because the present time was the exact middle of the election period for the court advisors, thus leaving the seats unoccupied for the moment. And in Hesutu's case, what she had weren't advisors but the best acknowledged matriarchs in this and that field, subordinates in writing but fellow matriarchs in reality. Thus she couldn't summon them but only send a message and wait.

"So. Any idea of what Frist is trying to do here?" No-akho asked the people around him as he pointed at the image of the routing Light eaters.

For a few seconds, the people around him looked at each other, trying to see if anyone is brave enough to go first.

Finally, someone took the plunge.

"If I'm going to go conspiracy theorist sir, I'll say that he's making a live fire test," said an old, short and bald Skinchanger who was dressed in a hemp business suit that managed to cover most of his old, faded scars except for the ones on his hands and his jaw.

"Live fire test…this is a live fire test, El-pas?" No-akho asked in a deadpan tone as he pointed at the big mirror. In it, most of the Light Eaters could be seen cowering at the river canal, at the same place that the human party attacked the house from.

Secretary of War El-pas coughed, surprised and intimidated by the sudden change in his superior's voice.

"It makes sense if you consider the equipment we're seeing," a female voice saved El-pas.

No-akho looked away from El-pas towards the speaker, allowing El-pas silently sigh in relief. He then quickly mouthed the words 'thank you' to the female being.

"Explain, Saris."

Secretary of Spies Saris, a chubby, dark haired female Skinchanger dressed in an animal skin toga, did as No-akho ordered.

"Please take note of their equipment. Ironwood mirror armors. Version One Rifled Spears. Bludgeon Staffs. 45 cal. revolvers and Ironwood swords. The only thing these items have in common were that they used to be the standard equipment of the Light eater household and royal troops, but have now been - "

"What? Are you saying, that this idiot is testing, the effectiveness of current levy equipment, which I have rendered obsolete after I wiped out the royal armies armed with them, and expected it to do something against modern human armaments?"No-akho interrupted, his tone becoming more and more incredulous with each word.

"Most probably yes, sir," Saris replied.

No-akho blinked repeatedly, and then threw his hands up.

"For the love of, what happened to taking out the magical girl? Is he trying to have her killed or is he conducting a cruel and useless weapons test…for what? Surely he isn't going to send levies for the invasion, right?"

"No-akho, may I remind you that Frist is a founding member of the Magic First Movement? He might've thought that the magical girl will die at the end of this day, no matter what since the humans don't have magic," said a tall, old male with glowing rainbow colored skin and hair dyed black, dressed in an very smooth and soft toga studded with pearls.

No-akho groaned.

"Thank you Herek for reminding me of the magical world's Hitler fans, just when I've succeeded in completely forgetting about them. So, is there anything else you have could give me a headache?"

Leader of the Senate Herek mused for a moment, nodded to himself, and then smiled in such a way that No-akho grimaced at his expression..

"Except for the mages and the sniper, I think the Light Eaters there are just random, low magic folks pulled off some street, village or prison."

No-akho stared blankly for a few moments, and then he face-palmed.

"...a penal unit. He sends a penal unit to do the job of Bersaglieri and Arditi. What an idiot."

"Something's happening sir," El-pas suddenly said.

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

2:41 P.M., May 5, 2013, Matsumoto, Nagano

"Shit!" I yelled as another bullet hit near the windowsill, sending concrete splinters into the air, one of which added another scratch on my eyeglasses, presently so damaged from all the day's events that I have to replace them tomorrow.

Despite the eyeglasses, I didn't stop aiming and firing at the riverside –

Another magical beam circle appeared in the middle of the street. And it blew up as fast as it appeared thanks to a burst of fire from the old man's Type 11 light machine gun at the doorway to my right, propped on top of one of the corpses I made earlier.

"That's very impressive!" Ran yelled from beside the old man.

Now, as for why the old man was fighting beside us…

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

It was directly after the rout, while I was quickly running back towards Mom and Magdalena, that I saw Ran talking to the old man. He looked extremely worried by what the inari was saying.

The very moment that I got there, Ran quickly informed us that her illusion bomb spell had been destroyed by the first beam attack, thus why these guys dared to step on ground level in the first place. And that she had no idea of the how, but the low ranked mages present had delivered a spell that hits on both the physical and conceptual level.

The old man quickly asked what was to stop his house and everything in it from being hit by the special spell Ran just mentioned, or the special spell in tandem with normal magical spells.

An instant later me, Mom, Magdalena and Ran raced back towards the front of the living room, screaming obscenities along the way, and instantly engaged the enemies upon getting into position.

By that time, they had regrouped by the river canal.

Around half a minute into the firefight, which shredded all the remains of the road verge’s shrubbery and destroyed more of the old man’s hedges, it became clear that despite their pathetic performance earlier, they had an advantage in firepower over us.

They got seven to nine of those shoulder fired machine guns. And everyone else was armed with rifles that operated like a single action revolver, much to my confusion and eternal thankfulness.

Us however…

Magdalena's revolver was, in my opinion, useless beyond six or seven meters, so I asked her to go back inside the home and try to get the old man and his granddaughter out of the house. She did so while frowning at me in such a way that I know she'll tell Kurumi about this later.

Mom's submachine gun wasn't intimidating them for some reason, despite Mom using it like a light machine gun, firing one-second long burst after another while the muzzle is propped against her windowsill.

And on my part, I continued firing the Type 89 on single shot mode because of inexperience with the three round and automatic fire modes. I tried to compensate for my rate of fire with more accuracy by propping the rifle's integrated bipod on the windowsill, but it wasn't enough.

When it looked like the enemies were about to make another charge, properly supported by machine guns, the old man suddenly propped what I recognized as a Type 11 light machine gun on top of the being I shot in the neck, with Ran just behind him.

With a yell that he's going to show us how professionals do it, he started firing.

In a few moments, he tore apart the impending charge and forced them to fire blindly and rely more on magical beams. And he did it with so much serenity and grace emanating from him that if he said he is the master of Light machine gun martial arts, I would believe him right away.

Mom asked the old man why he wasn't evacuating with his granddaughter, and what Magdalena was doing.

He didn't bother answering the question about Magdalena or his granddaughter. He only answered the first one, and his answer horrified me and Mom.

It turned out that his son had just recently purchased this place and was about to have it renovated eight days from now.

And the reason for the renovation is because the only exit in this house is the door beside me.

There's no kitchen door in this place. What's worse, all the windows that weren't in the front side of the house were barred. And these bars weren't Japanese style bars, which were only there to keep intruders out for long enough to ask for help from your neighbors and could be easily taken off by cat burglars.

These were iron bars as thick as a thumb that were embedded into the concrete itself, a legacy from when this house was the office of the warehouse next door, owned by an immigrant from the West.

That's why the old man and his granddaughter, who were here to check out their new home by unlucky chance, can't get out of this house when the shooting started.

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

"Can't you make another illusion bomb charge, Ran?!" Mom yelled as she quickly fired off another burst from the window to the right of the doorway.

"Do you want this house to burn down Mrs. Ohta?!" Ran retorted back as she dropped more high speed, coin filled buckets down on the riverside.

Some of the buckets were intercepted by barriers flashing over the general area where the enemy magical beings were, but all the others smashed into a crescent shaped area around where they were.

That was on purpose.

Ran's job was to dissuade them from making any kind of tactical maneuver. That meant showering all other avenues of approach to this house with buckets, leaving only the front side of the house unmolested by falling buckets.

It was working. Not a single one of them dared to get out into Ran's kill zone.

"Stop arguing and keep shooting them! Kill them all, ASAP! The poor little kid's getting scared here!" Magdalena yelled.
When I last looked at Magdalena she was inside the kitchen, crouching right in front of the sink. And behind her, the little girl was peeking out from the cabinet under the sink with a frightened look on her face.

Right now she sounded nearer to us than that.

"Nanay! Where's the little girl?!" I yelled as I sent another shot at the riverbank.

"Oh she's hiding behind me!"

The old man's serenity suddenly broke.

"What the – get her back under the sink you idiot!"

"Inside the cabinet with mosquitoes and spiders?! You mad? What if she gets malaria or dengue?! Or gets bitten by a poisonous spider?!"

Wait – spiders and mosquitoes?

Is that's what she's fri –

Something moved near the edge of the enemy barrier.

The two shots I sent drowned out whatever the old man said.

"And she doesn't want to do it again! She's got mosquito bites on her arms and neck!"

"We're a little busy here Magda – "

Mom suddenly ducked.

I saw the being who dared shoot at Mom.

"Die!"

I sent three shots at him.

He quickly ducked.

"Damn it!"

This is –

A bullet suddenly whizzed by my left ear and hit the other side of the room.

The sound made me flinch and jerk, sending my reply shot firing into the air.

Damn it! They're getting more accurate!

"Inari, could you please change the buckets into real bombs?! That would help thank you very much!" the old man yelled.

In the four minutes of this firefight, the old man was the only one of us to kill anyone. And all he got was one guy who peeked out at just the right time for a bullet to blow off the top of his head.

"No can do! The only bombs I know how to make are gunpowder ones! Surely you don't want smoke filling the battlefield, right?"

"Ah damn. If only someone knows how to use a grenade launcher."

"Mom, did – got one!"

I managed to shoot one of our enemies in the head.

"Nice shot!" the old man said.

'Good one, son!" Mom commented.

All of a sudden, the enemy stopped firing.

For a few more moments, we all continued firing. And then we stopped, because no one's trying to shoot at us anymore.

"Why did you guys stop firing?!" Magdalena asked.

"They stopped firing!" I yelled without taking my eyes off the battlefield.

Who knows what might happen to me if I did so?

"What do we do now?" Mom asked in her normal speaking volume, for the first time ever since we met Ran.

"Ran? Are they moving?"

"Uhm…I think only the mages and officers are moving. The others are just…lying on the ground."

"On the ground, you say? Sounds like they're now too scared," the old man commented.

"Don't assume anything, old man. They might get a second burst – "

The old man interrupted me.

"Of courage? Brat, I've seen this before during the Pacific war. When someone's morale breaks completely, it takes something exceptional to make someone fight again. I'm telling you, those aliens are broken."

"They're aliens."

"They seem human enough to me."

…yeah. There is that.

Ok. If the enemies won't be attacking anytime soon…

"Mom. Can you please hide below the window and call Dad? You too Nanay. Please call Father and ask him about what's happening in the hospital."

"And the three of us will cover these aliens?" the old man asked.

"Yes we will."

"Alright son. On three," Mom said.

"One," I said.

No change in their direction.

"Two."

Still no change.

"Three."

As I heard Mom move, a thought came into my head.

Why on earth didn't I have Magdalena call Kentaro earlier on?

I asked Magdalena if she could call Kentaro.

"Uh…Ichigo? Kentaro's inside the hospital. Cellphones aren't allowed to be turned on in there, remember?" Magdalena reminded me.

"There's no equipment to mess with now that there's a power outage. Father should be ok with calling outside."

"Ichigo, two words. Power generators."

…oh.

Now I'm feeling silly.

The barrier suddenly rang again.

I quickly shielded my glasses with my left hand, while my right hand still gripped the rifle's handle.

Upon following the source of the shockwave and ripples, I saw a feminine figure alongside the barrier, walking in the air itself.

A moment later she started walking, scratching her nails against the barrier and making the most hair-raising, displeasing sound I've ever heard echoing through the air with the help of Ino's loudspeaker magic.

The only reason why I didn't let go of my gun and covered my ears was my survival instincts saying not to do so.

"It hurts! Make it stop!" I heard the old man's granddaughter cry out far behind me.

"Someone tend to her! I can't leave this gun!" the old man yelled.

"I'll do it!" Magdalena yelled.

I heard a few steps, and then she said something from farther away that's unintelligible thanks to the scratching sound.

I watched Ino as she slowly walked and noticed a few things even though she was far away.

Ino, in direct contrast with her regal voice earlier, was wearing casual clothes. Blue jeans, a short sleeved white shirt and a brown colored vest over it to be specific.

Her waist length hair, braided in one long pigtail, was flying behind her. And she was carrying a…either that's an adze or a hoe in her right hand.

When she finally reached a spot in the air that was straight ahead of this house and behind the position where the magical soldiers were, she stopped walking and looked down at the enemies.

The area became silent, so I could now hear Magdalena comfort the little girl, who was loudly sniffing.

"If I get my hands on that girl," the old man muttered.

"She could hurt you in unimaginable ways Grandather – oh Hayato! Thank goodness you answered," Mom said into the cellphone.

"This is how it should be. I, a half-god, should be looking down on you outsiders," Ino said from where she was.

Now she's taunting them. Damn her.

And I hate her tone. Reminded me of those who tried to bully me and Kurumi before I shut their mouths up.

"And you can't complain since you are all pathetic warriors. Imagine, a group of thirty eight armed people can't defeat five people."

Oh fuck. She just gave away our numbers.

"Oh no, Lady Ino," Ran moaned.

"Superior in numbers of men and weapons, you managed to have six of your own killed and one of your own injured critically in this fight, not to mention the two killed at the house earlier."

It's nice of her to announce our kills to the world.

"And then there's the five that died at the hospital. Your group is now down to forty six from sixty, for no appreciable results whatsoever."

"Ran, can you send a message to that gaga to shut up?!" Magdalena asked.

"I'm already asking her, but she isn't listening!" Ran wailed.

"I'll slap her. I'll slap her if I get near her," the old man muttered.

"Me too," I agreed.

"Now that your level of incompetence has been laid obvious to the entire world and multiverse, what do you plan to do now?"

There's no movement from the enemies.

"Run? I don't think your superiors will like your performance. Surrender? You just attacked a hospital full of innocents. I am quite sure that the nation of Japan will have all of you executed."

"Lady Ino! What are you doing!" Ran screamed in shock.

"Dear heavens. She's backing them into the same mental place we were back in the Pacific War," the old man said in a horrified tone.

Same mental place in the Pacific War? He couldn't mean –

"Are you talking about the banzai charges?!" Magdalena asked from behind.

"Yeah."

Oh shit. Oh shit.

"So, it's just a matter of how you choose to die. Now, let me tell you of your options. You can die like rats against ordinary human soldiers and…commoners. Or you could die in glorious battle against me."

"She's insane," I muttered.

She's acting like one of those characters from historical dramas and movies.

"She's a battle maniac," Mom stated.

I took a quick peek at her, to see her staring through the door, holding her cell phone to her ear with one hand at the same time.

"It is your choice. Now, what do you pick?"

I felt nervous.

As the old man said, Ino had just made it look like that they have no other choice but to run or to die. If they choose to fight to the death…

"This is completely ironic," Magdalena said as I heard her walk over to the spot between me and the old man.

"What happened to my granddaughter?" the old man demanded.

"I flipped the kitchen table onto its side. She's now hiding between that and the kitchen sink," she replied.

"If she gets hurt in any way," he growled.

"If we hold the line here, she won't get hurt Grandfather," Mom suddenly interrupted.

"How's Dad?" I asked.

"He's been berating me for letting you drag all of us into this vigilante lunacy right from the start."

Sorry Dad. This is for a worthy – wait.

"How would he know that before you told him about what we're doing?"

"Because there's an American surveillance plane flying above Matsumoto's airspace right now. And his superiors, fellow officers and American counterparts were watching us ever since we had Ran unleash that illusion bomb spell," Mom said in an embarrassed tone.

"Oh."

So, I'm being watched right now by American spy planes, huh?

…I hope I didn't look funny at any time. I would hate it if anyone's going to distribute videos of me looking hilarious among the spy agencies and militaries of the world.

I might never live it down for the rest of my life.

"And what's his opinion of how his son performed?" Magdalena asked.

Mom quickly asked Dad the same question. A few moments later she relayed his reply.

"He's proud of us. But he's going to have a good long talk with us about this."

"And the Americans? His superiors and fellow officers?"

"To use the American phrase, they're going 'What the fuck' at him."

I snorted.

Of course they –

Hundreds of overlapping shields suddenly sprung into existence, from the riverbank up to a meter in front of the house.

"What did you say Hayato?" I suddenly heard Mom say.

I, on my part, watched the spot where the magical beings were, currently tinted green by all the shields that were present.

"Hey! Stop ignoring me and fight me!" Ino yelled.

The reply came in the form of a ball of light flying at high speed towards her.

The moment it came within arm's reach, she suddenly swung her weapon and hit it.

The ball suddenly exploded into a house sized fireball.

"Lady Ino!" Ran yelped.

"Dumb little girl," the old man said. "You always throw a grenade that you caught."

"Is that Ino girl dead?" Mom asked.

"I'm not sure. She is a self-proclaimed half god," I said while feeling horrified by the sudden immolation of a person.

My feeling was suddenly cut off when Ino's voice suddenly rang out in the air, its tone entirely filled with hate and anger.

"Ok. That's my fault. But I'm going to make you guys pay for my clothes and hair treatment with your lives."

The fireball suddenly winked out, revea…

I appreciated the sight for a moment, then I returned my attention back towards the enemy.

"Papa, it's not nice to look at someone other than Mama and think they look good," Ao's voice suddenly piped out into my mind.

I flinched in surprise, and then quickly brought myself under control…while trying to ignore the feeling of a baleful stare from beside me, and that one snort from Mom.

Obviously, Ao broadcasted that to all three of us.

"Ao, Papa is not cheating on Mama by looking at a suddenly naked woman who's not even bothering to cover herself for a short moment. Besides, I'll tell her about this after she wakes up," I whispered as soft as I can, so the old man wouldn't hear me.

Now that I think about it…

"Ao, I thought that you can only feel emotions. How come you're now telepathic and can see us from the hospital? And why did you become silent since my fight with the dark kingdom people?"

"Umm…because I woke up, Papa."

"What?" Magdalena and Mom both asked at the same time.

"Who are you people talking to?" the old man asked with a very confused tone.

"You went silent because you woke up?" I muttered loudly as I ignored what the old man said.

I suddenly had an extremely bad feeling about this, and that worried me very, very badly.

The only times I had a feeling like this was when Kurumi went into labor, and the day when that bastard in Junior high school pulled a knife out on me in class and managed expose me and Kurumi to our class as teenage parents.

Thankfully, our middle school classmates were more mature about it than the grade school bastards.

"Yes Papa. But don't worry about me. I'm going to live. The doctor said so."

I'm going to live. The doctor said so.

I'm going to live. The doctor said so?!

"What happened to you?" I squeaked.

I was half strangled by shock, outrage and panic at what she just said.

"Papa, the doctor said I'm going to live. There is no need to – "

"There's a wound on the right side of your head that looks like a bullet creased it. And the back of your head is also bleeding from what looks like blunt impact. Did you perhaps hit your head on the floor?" Ran interrupted Ao.

Those words broke my self-imposed discipline.

I sat down from the floor and stared at Ran in shock. At the same time I heard Magdalena and Mom move.

"And how do you know all that?" Ao petulantly asked the inari. The voice this time didn't come from within our heads but emanated through the air itself.

"What the – who's that?" the old man asked with a spooked tone, looking left and right at the same time.

We all ignored the old man.

"I can see your soul. Right now you're out of your body, right?

"WHAT?!" I shrieked like a woman.

"...that's what the man and woman dressed in the same clothes as Lolo's Papa sometimes wear said."

"Ah, so you met with Apasam Kamuy? Good, that couple is your guard so listen to what they say from now on. Going back to how… a soul, regardless of whether it's human or animal or plant, always reflect the condition of the body that it belongs or used to belong to."

…oh God.

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.


What am I going to tell Kurumi? That I let our daughter…oh…oh…

"Papa? Lola? Grandma? Everyone, please. I'm going to be ok. The wounds are already closed, the doctors gave me a lot of bandages and Lolo gave me some blood to make up for what I lost. It's ok. Mr. and Mrs. Apasam Kamuy said that they're not going to let me die."

They're not going to let me die.

They're not going to let me die.

It's that fucking phrase again.


It was used to bait Kurumi into a dangerous job, it was used to justify her remaining in that job, and it is now being used to make me accept the fact that my daughter had her head creased by a bullet and hit her head hard enough that a blood transfusion was needed?!

No!

No more!

I won't accept this anymore!

Kurumi will stop being a magical girl! Ao will not be in danger anymore!

If that means I have to drop 1st year high school and join the JSDF now then I will do it!

And I will make them accept me by showing off what I can do, starting with these sons of whores on the riverbank!

The old man suddenly started firing his Type 11.

I took a look through the door.

Through the green haze of the unbroken barriers and the spider web cracked barriers that the old man made I saw that the sons of whores were on street level again.

The officers and what must be the mages, judging by the staffs and bows that they were toting around, were shoving and kicking their subordinates into position, shouting and screaming their filthy language in their cringing and fearful faces.

"Damn it! They're setting up for a 'Special' attack! That's textbook formation for one if I remember my training right!" the old man said.

I saw what he meant, at the same time that Mom and Magdalena also started firing into the barriers in front of us.

The sons of whores were in a straight line, with equal spacing between each and every one of them.

After they had the gall to inspect the line, what I guess must be the commander started saying some speech.

"Damn it. Inari, do something about these plates of light!" the old man said in a frustrated tone.

"I'm trying, but this is something really new! I can't figure out how to unravel the magic of these ones!" Ran wailed in a panicked tone.

By now the commander was waving his sword around, and was grabbing the collars of his subordinates at random while screaming his speech in their faces.

"Hoy! Don't you ignore me!" Ino suddenly shouted, at the same time raising her weapon and then slamming it down onto the barrier.

I finally gave up on wearing my eyeglasses, took them off and then placed them under the window before the shockwave even hit the house.

I only have very slight myopia in the first place, and was wearing these to make sure it didn't get worse.

I looked up again while squinting, not because of the slight blurriness of distant objects but because of the winds that Ino's pounding was somehow producing.

Fortunately for me, the distance the sons of whores were at was inside the distance of things that I could see well enough to aim.

The commander had just finished haranguing his subordinates and pointed his sword at us.

The line of soldiers then stepped through the barriers?!

If all our bullets aren't breaking through the barriers, but they're walking through them…

I looked at everyone beside me.

"Everyone, stop firing and hide behind the walls! I'm going to do something that might be stupid!"

"What?" Everyone said incredulously while doing as I said at the same moment.

"Why would you do that, Ichigo?" Magdalena asked while staring at me from beside the door.

I ignored her and grabbed a grenade from my bandoleer, pulled the pin, and then rolled it through the door like a bowling ball.

"Idiot! Those barriers will bounce that bomb back to us!" Ran screamed.

The grenade rolled through the barriers and then exploded several moments later.

As expected, the shrapnel was sandwiched in by the barriers. But the fact that the grenade rolled through them told me one thing.

"Ok. Back to the kitchen – what are you doing?!" the old man screamed to me as I took off the bandoleer.

I ignored him, looked at Mom, Ran and Magdalena and smiled.

"I'll be done with these sons of whores in fifteen or twenty minutes," I said as I gently laid my rifle to the ground.

Magdalena slowly started chuckling, Ran looked amazed and approving, and Mom looked at me in confusion.

"Papa, what are you doing?" Ao asked me worriedly.

"They want a melee fight. So I'll give them one," I said in as bloodthirsty a way as I could while I drew my bayonet and stepped through the door.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many thanks to Atreidestrooper and Strypgia of for beta-ing this chapter.
Last edited by kilopi505 on 2015-03-20 08:58am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by LadyTevar » 2015-01-16 01:52am

YAY! It's Back!
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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

Post by kilopi505 » 2015-01-16 08:19am

LadyTevar wrote:YAY! It's Back!
The only thing going to stop me from finishing this is death. :)

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Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2015-03-20 09:05am

Ok. So I had to make another edit because of the pitfall that I wrote myself in
Well, here’s what I changed this time in chapter 12.

I cut everything after "They want a melee fight. So I'll give them one," I said in as bloodthirsty a way as I could while I drew my bayonet and stepped through the door,” pasted it in chapter 13, and then started editing it.

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Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2015-03-20 10:08am

Sorry it took me so long. I had to rewrite this chapter...four times.

Without further ado...here it is!

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

Chapter 13

“That’s it?!”

I asked in a very bewildered tone, while cooling down from the fight earlier.

“That’s all a magical being can do?!”

The eight remaining subordinates, their officers and mages, and even Ino were all staring at us. And they were showing a variety of facial expressions that frankly started to piss me off.

Those officers and mages looked stunned at what we just did? I’m stunned they only amounted to that much. Those subordinates were shaking in terror because of the corpses around us? What right do they have to shake in terror when they were so brave in trying to kill my fiancé and my daughter earlier on? And a half-goddess was looking at us like we walked straight out of a movie screen?
Wasn’t killing these guys your job, miss wannabe Dynasty Warriors character?

After a few more moments of silence on their part, I decided to express my anger out loud.

I picked up a decapitated head near me by its hair with my left hand.

“This 'professional' soldier of a magical dark kingdom straight from anime!”

I raised it high above my head.

“One of many that I, mom, and mother in law had massacred a while ago!”

I started waving the head around, ignoring the droplets that were splattering all over the left side of my body.

"This is why my fiancé is in a coma right now?! This is why my daughter got head injuries and a blood transfusion right this day?! Huuh?!

I threw the head as hard as I can at one of the officers.

What the hell do we need magical girls and invoking the security treaty with the Americans for when an ordinary high school student and two ordinary housewives can do this to your soldiers?! What the hell is with this whole farce in the first place then if the three of us can do a massacre this easily! And why did my family have to get dragged into it?!

It may sound unreasonable but I’m very, very furious that my wife to be and my daughter were hurt because of these weaklings.

Yes, weaklings. Idiots that couldn’t use their talents properly! Nincompoops that manage to hit each other when they’re supposed to be hitting me!

What a fucking disappointment!

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

Two footsteps after I said I’ll kill them in fifteen or twenty minutes, and a meter into the magical barrier studded area, Mom suddenly yelled.

"You aren't seriously planning to fight thirty one people by yourself, right Ichigo?"

I looked back.

Mom was leaning through the window, looking at me incredulously.

"I don't care! I – "

"Then we're coming with you," Magdalena declared while walking through the door, holding both bolos in her hands with her revolver nowhere to be found, and with a smile on her face.

"We are?" Mom asked her.

Magdalena stopped beside me and looked back.

"Yes! You noticed the discrepancies in the fight earlier and how they handle their rifles, right? If we take advantage of those, the three of us can kill all thirty one of them. We just have to be careful, that’s all." Magdalena then turned to me.

"You'll be careful and follow me and your Mom's instructions, right?"

Magdalena muttered that in a tone that didn't allow for any disobedience.

"…fine. I will, Nanay."

I recognize that Magdalena and Mom are the melee experts here, not me. I also recognize that the sooner I appease these two the faster I can start killing some sons of whores.

“You’re serious about this insanity, Magdalena?! Really?!”

“Yes!”

"Magdalena, you insane battle maniac! I care that we’re outnumbered thirty one to three and that we can only speculate as to what those discrepancies mean! You – look out!”

Jumpbackpapa!

I instantly followed Ao’s panicked yell, and just in time.

A blur went through where my torso was a while ago, and then things slowed down in my vision.

The blur was a rifle barrel, held by one of the subordinates.

His eyes were looking at me, his mouth was moving, and he was turning towards me.

Whatever he planned to do, I stopped it with a punch to his head using my left hand.

It made him stagger and lose his grip on the rifle.

That felt good. Thanks to me, he’s now weaponless and easy pickings for Magdalena, who had her bolos in position for a swing but was waiting for me to move out of danger. However, punching him wasn’t enough for my bloodlust, or my lingering sense of emasculation.

I grabbed hold of his hair with the same left hand I punched him with, and yanked his head backwards.

And then I decapitated him with one swing.

My time perception went back to normal after the body hit the ground.

“That’s a close one. Thanks Ao,” I muttered to myself, glaring at the group of subordinates who were now just by the road verges.

Several of them looked scared of me, but the others…those looks on their faces…they’re my next victims.

“Papa, Lola, please go back inside the house now! That was too dangerous!” Ao plead –

"I changed my mind."

I looked back to see Mom disappear from the window. A moment later, she appeared in the doorway, tanto held in her right hand.

"Grandma? What are you doing?"

"Don't worry Ao. Your father just showed me what the discrepancies meant," Mom comforted Ao in a soft voice.

Discrepancy this, discrepancy that. What is this discrepancy they’re talking about?

"But…but they are minions of the Dark kingdoms!” Ao continued. “They are super strong! And super fast! And..and…magic! You can't fight them with punches and kicks and knives! You all don't have magic! Stop it now Papa! Grandma! Lola! Please!"

Her panicked tone lowered my bloodlust and brought out my paternal side. And I could even understand why she’s panicking.

If I watched a lot of magical girl anime and then equated these sons of whores to the characters in it, I would also think that what I, Mom and Magdalena are going to do right now is an act of suicide.

However…oh. This would kill two birds in one shot.

"Mom, Nanay, what was this discrepancy that you two were talking about earlier? I think that would help her stop panicking.”

“They don’t have superhuman strength,” Mom stated. “Not if you can trip them, punch them or pull their heads back. And never if they had difficulty pulling out the rifles they stabbed into the ground.”

What…no. She’s mostly right.

The head being pulled back could be attributed to pain, but the punching and tripping? If someone has superhuman strength, I shouldn’t be able to stagger them. Or trip them while I’m flat on the ground.

“And before they made any strike with superhuman strength, they were moving their lips. Which meant they have to chant for one supercharged blow, or something else,” Magdalena added.

"Then that means – "

"That we can fight them with normal martial arts," I concluded with some happiness…and a huge amount of incredulous anger.

Who wouldn’t be happy to know that they can easily kill the people who hurt their fiancé and daughter? And who wouldn’t be angry that they were hurt not by people who could only be killed by your fiancé but could be easily be taken care of by the JSDF…and by you?

“Mmmph….”

Well this is a first for Ao. She never continued demurring when everyone else was saying something is so.

"Ran? Can you use please use magic that will make the bad people move slowly or disrupt their magic?" Ao suddenly asked.

Ran! Shit! I forgot about her!

I looked back.

She was peeking at us from the side of the door. Far behind her, the old man was standing at the entrance to the kitchen and stairs, looking at us like he was recalling a particularly bad nightmare...no.

It must be a memory from the Pacific war.

Ran suddenly spoke up.

"Ao, if I use any magic right now, all those beings will reciprocate and use their own magic. And when that happens…there's only one of me and thirty one – thirty of them. Your father and grandmothers will definitely die then."

Ao moaned.

"Ao, don't worry. We can take them on without magic," Magdalena firmly stated.

That's right, but thanks to Ao I'm now feeling some apprehension.

Better use a safety net.

"Ran, can you make what Ao was asking in a split second?"

"Yes I can."

"Good. The moment anyone of them started using magic, cast that slow motion magic as fast as you can."

"I will."

I smiled and then turned around.

Finally –

"Papa?"

"Yesss?"

I noticed that Ao's tone had changed, from worried and demurred into a determined one.

So, what did she determine?

"Papa, I want to help."

Ok. How do I turn her down – wait.

Telepathy. Can see what's happening to us. Melee battle. Her warning earlier.

Ah!

"Ao, help us by shouting the name of anyone who was about to get attacked from behind."

Between Me, Mom and Magdalena, we could watch each other's back. However anything could happen in a melee. So I might as well take advantage of my daughter's ability as a psychic surveillance drone.

"Good idea," Mom muttered.

"That's not enough Ichigo," Magdalena countered. "Ao, if they had let off a blow from behind us, shout the direction where it's coming from immediately after you call us. Like Lola left if something's coming from my left."

"Still not precise enough," Mom muttered.

"Your thoughts, Yuki?" Magdalena asked.

"Ao, remember in what direction a clock's hands move?"

Why did that sound familiar?

"Yes Grandma."

"Good. Remember this. If an attack is coming from above us, say one. If above and right, say two. Left is three. Below right, four. Below, five. Below left, six. Left, seven. Above left, eight. And directly behind is nine."

Ah, now I remember. That's a modified version of the diagram about the angles of attack, from FM 3-25.150.

Now, can Ao remember that?

"Directly behind is nine. Left above is eight. Left is seven. Left below is six. Below is five. Right below is four. Right is three. Right above is two, and Above is one."

"Good. If someone attacks Ichigo from behind and the blow is coming from below left, what do you say?"

"Papa six."

"Attack from above me?"

"Grandma one."

"Attack from Magdalena's right?"

"Lola three."

"Good girl," I muttered while committing Mom's instructions into my memory.

I could also hear Magdalena burning those into her own memory by audibly reciting what Ao said in a rhyme.

After a few moments, it looked like everyone has memorized that.

"Ok. No more objections anyone?" I asked them.

"None," Magdalena said in an eager tone.

"Me too," Mom said while looking at Magdalena in a puzzled way.

"Stay safe everyone,“ Ao chimed up.

"I'll be ready with the magical field in an instant," Ran added.

"Finally. Let's go," I said, dropping the head I was holding at the same time.

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

“Why so silent?! Did someone cut off your tongues?!”

It’s been a minute since I threw the head, and no one has moved from their places since then.

Me, Mom and Magdalena were still on the road verge, surrounded by the corpses of those we massacred and in the midst of the field of magical barriers. The eight remaining subordinates were still standing several meters away to my left, frozen in pathetic terror. Their officers and mages were in front of us, at the lip of the river embankment and still unmoving from their shock. And Ino…

Finally! She made a hole!

She got her arms and head through and was now slowly sliding her torso…ouch.

The edges of the hole were jagged, and yet she was sliding her unprotected chest past that without a squeak of pain?

I’m taking back that thought about Dynasty Warriors and her. She does belong to the game.

Ok, in respect of her determination to engage these sons of whores, I will keep their attentions on me.

Still speechless?! I don’t recall cutting off your tongues!

Nobody moved.

Well if no one’s going to say anything, then I suggest you all go back to whatever garbage dump or open latrine you call home and never come to my planet again!

“Papa!”

“Ichigo, that’s enough,” Mom hissed from the left. “Don’t be too provocative.”

“And don’t use vulgar words while your daughter’s listening,” Magdalena growled from my right.

“Pff…I get it, I get it,” I muttered.

How could one not be provocative or vulgar when they’re confronting the people who personally had a hand in the injuries of their loved ones?

“I don’t like your tone Ichigo,” Magdalena replied. “I’m telling on you to Kurumi.”

…argh.

“I’m very sorry for uttering vulgar and provocative words everyone. Especially you, Ao,” I softly said with all the humility I could muster at that moment.

It’s not easy switching from angry to humble, even when husbandly privileges for a month are at stake here.

“It’s ok Papa. As long as you don’t do it again, I’m happy.”

And with those words I can’t distract them any longer. Now what do I –

The officer who was haranguing the subordinates into a bayonet charge earlier, who still had a sword in hand, suddenly turned his head and said something to the mage beside him.

The mage looked at him and shrugged with an ‘I don’t know’ gesture.

The officer got this disgusted look on his face, and then he started asking, judging by the tone, something from the others there.

The subordinates were too catatonic with terror to answer. The other officers and mages shook their heads.

Up above them, Ino was now trying to wriggle her hips through the hole.

The officer then slammed his sword back into its scabbard, said something, snapped his fingers and made several circles in a counterclockwise direction.

My voice suddenly rang out in the air, complete with the emotions that were laden in it, but in their language.

“Papa, I have a bad feeling about this,” Ao squeaked in worry.

The subordinates who were still alive started frantically looking back and forth between me and the officer, in the manner of someone who finds themselves in between two different kinds of danger they could choose from.

The other officers and mages moved from shock and befuddlement to outrage and anger...but surprisingly, they were also watching him.

Everyone in the area stared when the officer who was replaying my words suddenly chuckled. A moment later he started laughing hysterically.

“Papa, Lola, Grandma, my bad feeling’s getting more and more bad now.”

“I’m feeling it too now,” Magdalena muttered.

“Son, maybe we should back away and leave things to the young Ino? She’s already almost inside the barrier.”

I heard their warnings, but I didn’t listen. I was fixated on that asshole’s laughter.

Just what was so funny in all that I said earlier?

The officer suddenly stopped laughing and glared at me. He snapped his fingers another time and then started speaking disdainfully, in plain Japanese.

“You seem to have misunderstood something here animal.”

Animal?

Animal?!

“And what did I misunderstand?”

“Papa, get out of there now!”

“Not now Ao,” I whispered.

“Item one. These guys?”

He pointed at the subordinates with his chin.

“They’re not Household Troops, Royal Troops, Spears of the Law or even newly trained Levies. They’re just some imprisoned vagrants, pickpockets, and tax evaders that had the luck to be chosen for this strange experiment of my liege.”

Imprisoned what?!

“Maawaing Diyos, patawarin niyo po ako sa aking nagawang kasalanan,” Magdalena muttered in a horrified tone just beside me.

I’ve been fighting penal troops all this time?! That’s the reason why they’ve been so pathetic?!

My sense of accomplishment evaporated in an instant, but I felt no guilt for killing them.

These prisoners committed a crime, so they should be punished for it. Agreeing to targeting my fiancé, and killing people, just to get out of jail? They deserved death.

“The only professionals here are me and my own knights,” the leader continued.

“You’re all very pathetic professionals then.”

I recalled everything they did earlier.

During the assault on the house, they weren’t there. They only appeared during the rout from the sides of the house

They got us flanked! Why the fuck didn’t they do anything that time?! And during the shootout…I couldn’t recall these particular faces rising up from the river embankment. And then the bayonet charge… they hung back by the embankment while the penal troops walked across the street...

Fucking cowards.

“We’re here as observers and parole officers. True, the barriers and the magic bombardment was all us. But everything else was their job to think about. Unfortunately, these low magic feces were all stupid and uneducated,” the leader said in a very dismissive manner.

…my bloodlust and anger was quickly replaced by a sense of duty.

I pointed the bayonet at him.

“I’m going to kill you now not only for the sake of Kurumi and Ao. I’m now going to kill you for the benefit of everyone who is living right now.”

The leader stopped glaring at me. He was now looking at me as if I’m a cockroach he’s going to squish dead.

His knights were also looking at me with stares that say they won’t let me get past them.

“That’s my son,” Mom muttered in a tone of mixed pride and uneasiness.

“And that’s my son in law. Now take back what you said and run back with us now,” Magdalena whispered.

At the same moment I heard her feet scrape across the asphalt.

“Papa, if only I’m not having a very bad feeling, I would say ‘Go Papa.’ But I am having a bad feeling, so please, please, please run now and leave it to Ms. Ino. I’m shivering Papa! Please!”

I took another glance at Ino.

She was now crouching in mid-air, making a gesture for silence while looking at us.

Ok. I could run away whenever I want to now, but not yet.

I still don’t see a reason to do so, especially after giving him a death threat.

“So, is that all?”

“No. There’s another thing you misunderstood. In the multiverse, there are two different kinds of magical beings, Low magic and High magic.”

Didn’t he call the penal troops ‘low magic’?

“Low magic beings, the lesser kind of magical beings, have a limited amount of magic they can use in a certain timespan. Once they run out of magic, they have to rest, eat or drink something to get back more magic.”

My bravado instantly deflated at those words.

That explained quite neatly the limited amount of magic the penal soldiers threw around earlier.

"High Magic beings on the other hand…the Noble, the Great, the Pure and the True wielders of magic are so much more than what your wretched electric shows for children portray. We fought your fairytales and gods blow for blow, and won.”

Mom and Magdalena suddenly screamed in surprise.

Two jerks of my head told me all that I needed to know: Mom and Magdalena had sunk up to their chins in the road, and the subordinates were running away from us.

Gusts of air then buffeted me from above.

I looked up to see Ino and the leader’s knights jumping around in the air in a high speed battle reminiscent of Nanoha…if the anime was moving in fast forward, and the spells were being shot and detonated at the firing rate of a machine gun at full auto.

I looked back at the leader, who was still maintaining the ‘You are a cockroach to squash dead’ look from earlier.

“You’re taking my Mom and Mother in law hostage?”

“Don’t mind us son! Run!”

“What Yuki said!”

“RUN!PLEASEPAPARUN!”

“Silence.”

The leader’s body started glowing green. His eyes flashed green light in the same way that a headlamp does.

“I am Count Klan. For the sin of equating me to the Low magic commoners and slaves, for the sin of lowering my status to an Enemy of all Light Eaters, I. Will. Kill. You. Animal.

…I can’t run away now, can I? Well, it’s a good thing Ran’s magic will somewhat even things out for me.

“…bring it on.”

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

“So, how should we do it?” I asked as we stopped between the burned out and shredded remains of the old man’s hedges and looked at the assholes.

By now, there were only thirty one of them left. Twenty three subordinates, four officers and four mages. The subordinates were still formed up in a single line, around ten meters away on the road’s white painted center line. The officers stood at the lip of the embankment behind them.

The road verge, the remains of the plants in it and the sidewalk served as the ‘no man’s land’ between the two sides.

“Ideally, we want them to attack us,” Mom explained, “since that’s how most of us have been trained. However that’s not going to happen when they’re looking at us like that.”

The looks on the faces of the subordinates were constantly shifting, from incredulity to hysteria, unease to terror. All emotions that kept them rooted to their spots, and were keeping them alive for longer than I would like.

“So we attack. Can we now call dibs on targets?” Magdalena complained.

“You’re such a battle maniac Magdalena. If we just run at them waving knives and bayonets, we’ll impale ourselves on their rifles in no time.”

“Then hit them from the sides of that line. Is that a problem?”

“It is if they’re going to move into a circle. We’re never going to get away unscathed if they do that.”

“Then one person attacks straight from here, another one attacks from the left at an angle and the same from the right. Now who’s center?”

I opened my mouth to speak when Mom suddenly beat me to it.

“I’ll do it. I’ll just get something from back there.”

I didn’t dare look away from the enemies, in case someone has the guts to attack us like earlier. So I just listened to Mom quickly walk away and return to my side after a few moments.

I took a very quick peek.

She was holding one of the rifles that were dropped earlier with both hands.

“Can you use that?” Magdalena asked.

“Of course, I was trained in an Iwama style dojo.”

“…I got no idea what that means, but don’t die, ok? I want to win more arguments with you.”

After saying that outrageous sentence, Magdalena walked away to the left.

”You too, Pinay idiot,” Mom said fondly.

Oh my God. Mom has never shown any positive emotion towards Magdalena before now.

“Ao, you heard that right?”

“It’s a miracle Papa!”

“Not only that. It’s a sign from the heavens that we will win.”

“Hurray to the heavens!”

“Hurray.”

“Shut up, you two. Ichigo, flank their left now,” Mom growled in an embarrassed tone.

I walked left, making sure to pass behind Mom so her view doesn’t get obstructed at any time, and so she can’t see my smile…

Damn that machine gunner I killed! Even dead, he’s troubling me!

The upper half of the trees that were bisected earlier was blocking the sidewalk several meters away, from road verge to the fences of the warehouse next to the old man’s house. And to make matters worse, the canopy was quite thick.

That means either of two things: Either I wade through the branches and leaves and give myself a moment of vulnerability. Or I go around it by going over the road verge, putting myself nearer to their line at the wrong time.

…why am I worrying about this? I want to kill –

Several people suddenly screamed battle cries far behind me. And among those voices was Magdalena’s.

“So much for her plan! Ichigo, I’m helping Magdalena out! You stop anyone from getting past you!”
Mom ran off before I could respond.

“What’s happening Ao?”

I could only do as Mom said, fight anyone from beyond the tree and to my right.

“Lola just dodged – Papa three!”

I backpedalled quickly, just in time as a rifle barrel smashed down on where I was from my left.

The enemy who just did that easily pulled their rifle out of the crushed asphalt and quickly went into a bayonet fighting stance.

Damn it. I was counting on the rifle being stuck for a moment.

I quickly went into the knife fighting stance I favored.

Feet shoulder-width apart, right foot to the rear, and standing on the balls of your feet. Knife in a straight grip, hold it close to your body, and the left hand close over the knife to help cover it.

And now I wait –

A person suddenly smashed through the leaves and branches and threw a red colored ball of magic…at where I was standing earlier.

As a result it hit the subordinate in front of me and instantly turned him into a screaming torch, desperately rolling on the street to put the flames out.

The perpetrator was left looking at his handiwork with an absolutely horrified expression.

“Idiot,” I muttered.

Seeing the idiot was too distracted, I took that opportunity to move.

I ran right, towards the road verge and straight at a group of three people who were trying to run past me.

One of them noticed me from the corner of his eyes and tried to stop, only to trip on his left foot and smash the left side of his head against the asphalt.

Smelling blood in the water, I turned my speed up a notch, leaped over the knee high road verge, and onto the helplessly stunned person – hsss.

My right foot stings! These guys are flesh and bone right? Ah never mind.

I quickly stabbed his throat and ripped half of it with a jerk –

“Papa three seven!”

Shit!

I rolled forward, and felt something wet continuously splatter on my back.

As I got into a crouch, I saw what made the splatter.

It was the corpse of the guy I just killed.

It was chopped into two and partially smashed into paste, thanks to two guys.

One of them was swinging around his shoulder fired machine gun, using both hands on the straps as a…a club. A very effective club judging by the fact that the right leg of the corpse was gruesomely squashed as flat as a piece of paper.

The other one had a large ring of magic revolving around the tip of his rifle’s barrel, turning it from a spear into a chainsaw, judging by how the corpse’s midsection was just…not there anymore.
That meant what’s on my shirt’s back used to belong to the corpse’s stomach and leg.

Ugh.

Ok. What do I do now? It’s two on one now, and wait. Isn’t this one of the road’s two lanes?

“Ao, please be a dear and tell me I’m not surrounded.”

“Yes you are Papa. But don’t worry! The bad guys to your right look more scared than I am during horror movies. The ones to your back were all staring at Lola and Grandma and the ones on the left are all occupied with – go Grandma! Go Lola!”

I took a very quick peek.

Mom was in the middle of stabbing someone in the throat. A little farther away, Magdalena was parrying a white colored rifle barrel with both bolos.

Good! Fantastic! My turn for glory!

The guy wielding the machine gun club was shouting something, as if he’s talking to someone behind – he was.

Friendly fire idiot was staring at the machine gunner with eyes that weren't seeing anything but the crime he just did. To his left, his victim was now dead and still burning

The chainsaw asshole shouted something while looking at the machine gunner. Then he looked back at me and slowly shuffled forward, his rifle at guard position.

The machine gunner shuffled at his side, while friendly fire idiot was left still staring in shock.

"Ao, can you ask Ran to do her job now? I need her magic, now."

I’m not afraid. Oh no, I’m not. But there’s one of me and two –

"But I already did Ichigo!" Ran suddenly chimed.

What?

"They are still moving – "

"They're all going to be skating and jumping in mid-air around all three of you if I didn't tie them down to the ground. As it is they're limited to walking and running as fast as a human being!"

Fuck you.

The two enemies suddenly ran at me, weapons ready to be swung.

Ok, two on one situation, no obstacles, so I should flank one. But who? Chainsaw asshole or machine gun clubman?

Chainsaw asshole has an easy to swing rifle, machine gunner clubman has a big machine gun with straps as a club.

Machine gunner it is!

I sprang forward right.

The machine gunner stopped his chant and swung his gun down in a panic, but it was too late.

I had already flanked him by the time it hit the street, and was in the process of whirling around to lunge at him when suddenly the machine gunner’s head, which was tilting towards me, was suddenly shredded apart.

As the headless corpse collapsed, it revealed the chainsaw asshole as the perpetrator.

"Oops," he said.

…this is pathetic!

I didn't give him the dignity of a fight. Instead, I just threw the bayonet at him, no spin style.

Index finger on the blade handle’s edge, thumb on the blade’s flat side, and make sure your grip is relaxed. Swing your arm, remember the slapping-like wrist action, and index finger slides on the knife handle’s back while being released.

He wasn’t expecting it, so the blade went through his nose and out the back of his head.

As chainsaw asshole collapsed –

A gunshot suddenly rang out to my right.

Oh shit. Did I get shot?

Heart beating in fear, I quickly looked there while expecting the pain…what on earth?

It was friendly fire idiot. He blew his head off with his revolver.

It was then that I felt stares at my back. Glaring in that direction I saw the last living subordinates. They weren't making a sound or movement. They were all frozen in terror.

"Papa, Grandma and Lola are finished."

I looked to my front.

Magdalena was patting Mom on the back and was saying something comforting to her, while Mom was mournfully inspecting her hair. It was now out of the bun that she had earlier…and considerably shorter. And on Magdalena's part the only casualty was her skirt, which got a big rip by her leg that made her modest skirt look something like those Chinese costume dresses used by cosplayers, waitresses and girlfriends making their partners horny.

Around them lay corpses upon corpses.

"Good work!" Ran chimed.

"…no. No it wasn't," I muttered as I walked towards the chainsaw asshole’s corpse, kicked it onto its back hard, jerked the bayonet out, spat on it, and went on my way towards Mom and Magdalena.

I was…disappointed…disbelieving…irritated…something else.

That's it?! That’s all these assholes amounted to?!

A suicide, someone with two left feet, friendly fire incidents and an idiot fit for a throwing knife target? All dying without leaving a mark on me?

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! At least have the decency to give me something to show off you pathetic weaklings!

I won’t accept the fact that Kurumi and Ao were hurt by bastards this weak!

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

“Bring it on.”

Klan –
The sound of breaking glass –
DU –

-disappeared.
- rang through the air.
-CKPA-NO!

I blanked out for a moment. And then the pain from the stomach blow woke – am I flying?

I could hear the air flying around me, and I could feel no solid ground under me. And my vision was a whirling landscape of buildings and the green tinged sky –

Something hit me again, this time from the back.

I felt bones break before I blacked out.

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

A voice woke me up.

“Do you understand the difference, animal?”

I was seeing double, triple the amount of eyes Klan had. And the image in my eyes was shifting and moving.

As for my body, I almost couldn’t feel the single hand holding me up by the neck due to the intense pain from my body.

My stomach hurt. Every breath I took gave me stabs of pain everywhere in my torso. I can’t feel my right shoulder, and I can’t see out of my left eye.

But all of that was nothing compared to the emotional pain of hearing Ao wail.

…I’m really sorry Ao. I shouldn’t have given in to my anger.

“I said do you understand the difference now, animal?” Klan snarled.

“Does…it…matter?” I woozily replied.

I heard Klan grit his teeth, and then he let go off me.

I don’t know how, but I managed to stay on my feet despite the dizziness and the suddenly doubled amount of pain from my torso.

“You are without doubt the stupidest animal that I’ve ever met.”

“Where’s my…bayonet?” I vocally whispered.

I didn’t have the strength to get angry at his words, or his attitude. But…I still want to live. I want to make amends with Ao for this day, greet Kurumi back when she wakes from her induced coma, marry, more kids, live the whole family experience.

To do all that, I have to fight on.

“…unbelievable,” Klan replied in an amazed tone.

“Wasn’t…talking to…you,” I retorted.

Come on Ao. I need your help to live. Please.

“*Hick* It-it-*hick*right hand Pa. Paaaah. Waaaah.”

Good girl. Promise I’ll make it up to you with all the cuddles and playing that you want.

I slowly moved my left hand to where my right arm was, downwards to my right hand, slowly pried the bayonet off my unresponsive fingers, and returned the left hand to my side.

“Unbelievable,” he said, this time shaking his head along with those words.

“Unbelievably…determined?”

I couldn’t help but feel complimented by that, though...

“Unbelievably stupid. Even animals have a better sense self preservation than you have. It must run in your line.”



“Culling you and your family would be for the best. We can’t have your blood ruin more draft animals.”

As he said that, Klan suddenly glowed brighter and started swinging –
NOOO –
I raised my bayonet –

-flinched –
-OOO –
-sharp edge towards –

-and pointed a severed arm at my face.
-OOo.”
-where I guessed his arm would swing through.

And then he kicked me away from him.

I flew through the air, and skidded on the mysteriously smooth ground. But I didn’t notice those, instead all I noticed was the indescribable pain from my abdomen –

I suddenly felt vomit rushing through my throat as soon as I stopped skidding.

I managed to put my face sideways on the ground a moment before the vomit went through my mouth and nose.

The coughing, breathing and snorting aggravated the already indescribable –

Ao's bloodcurdling scream blasted through my mind.

I blinked my eyes open…

Oh. So that's why she's screaming.

I didn't just vomit digested food. I also vomited a lot of blood.

That answers the question of why my abdomen hurts so much.

And coincidentally, I saw that I was on top of the barrier covering all of Honjo district.

…I should go to a hospital –

Another surge of vomit went out of my mouth. My vision started going white, and I slowly started to lose all the feeling in my body at the same time.

Damn. I’m bleeding too fast.

"NononononoFightitPapaFightitFIGHTITPLEASE –Papa!Helpiscomingsostayawake!”

I only understood what she said when a helicopter flew into my field of view. But I don’t think that’s going to help.

No matter how fast that helicopter gets here, I need to be in a hospital now. And even if I do get in a hospital right this moment…I think Klan blew up all my intestines.

How can a doctor fix that?

A part of the barrier a few meters away from me suddenly bulged up and then snapped back to normal.

"One dead! Six to go! Hey Count 'Proud that I can beat up a helpless human!' come down here and join the fun!" Ino yelled.

I don't know what happened next, I didn't care what happened next.

All I was concerned with was that I'm bleeding to death, and that helicopter was still on its -

The scenery suddenly changed from a view of Matsumoto from several stories above ground level into a view of Matsumoto from the inside of a helicopter.

- way?

"Damn. We've got to get you to a hospital now," I barely heard someone speak.

"ThankyouthankyouthankyouforsavingPapaMr.Moriya!"

"…Ao?"

Moriya? From Camp Matsumoto's Base Defense Force? The one who always gets assigned to the gates' guard post? I wonder why I didn't recognize his voice…oh.

I'm weakening.

I could hear Moriya say something but I couldn't understand the words.

Everything was slowly going white, and the sensation of the cold metal floor had already faded away just a moment ago.

"Papa! Papa! Please don't give up!"

I think Moriya was shaking me. I think…



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

Day 281: around 523 minutes in the real world

This will be a no holds barred match which will only end when one of us gets knocked out. Is that understood Kurumi?” Lolo asked with a serious tone.

We were at one side of the mountaintop forest clearing in front of Izanami’s pit house, and had been using it as our practice ground. Izanami, as usual ever since we started practicing eskrima, was on the other side of the clearing. She always watched us while sitting on the log in front of her dwelling.

In the past one hundred and twenty five days, Lolo had started teaching me eskrima, the Filipino martial art that had been taught to Mama by Lolo, taught to Lolo by my Great grandfather Bernardo, who was taught by his own father, who in turn was started on it by an actor in a kind of theater called moro-moro…or at least our family’s version of eskrima.

Apparently, there were a great many different styles of the same martial art in the Philippines. Familial, provincial, regional, or the instructor’s own take on the style taught to them, or a deliberate mixing of several styles that an instructor learned.

So…learning that I'll be taught a martial art style that was passed only inside the family, just like in anime, manga and movies, was one of the most awesome moments of my life.

“Yes I do, Lolo,” I replied.

I’m the one who insisted on experiencing a Juego Todo, an anything goes, full contact match in eskrimador parlance, in the first place.

Alright. On the count of three, we start.”

Ok. Get ready girl. Get ready. This is as real as the time with Meria.

One.”

Lolo took up his stance around one and a half meters away from me.

He was holding two round rattan sticks, one palm’s length from the tip of their butts. His right hand was forward, his left near his side. His feet were in place, ready to move forward or backward in that peculiar footwork that has him stepping forward right or left or backward right or backward left.

Of course I also know it by now, but…he’s at this longer than I have. I only had one hundred days of experience, after all.

Two.”

I also took up the same stance as Lolo, but I was equipped quite differently.

In contrast to Lolo’s two sticks, I was only armed with a xiphos in my left hand.

Traditionally, eskrima practitioners use two sticks and it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century that the one stick style was developed in the Central Philippines. And accordingly with its age, the family style was a two handed one.

However, my right hand was clumsy with weapons so…Lolo changed some parts of the family style to accommodate me, using what he learned from other eskrima practitioners while in high school and in the military.

As a result I am now a proud beginner of a one handed version of the family eskrima style, mixed in with the unarmed portions of other styles.

"Three."

I stepped forward right while swinging the xiphos at Lolo’s right side.

Lolo instantly countered the strike by stepping forward to my left, and blocking my sword with both sticks in an X-formation, at a spot just above the hilt. As soon as he stopped it, he started sliding the left stick away from the xiphos, towards my head.

Nope.

I pivoted on the balls of my toes, and stopped it by grabbing the butt with my right hand and then wrenching it out of his hands –

My left leg was suddenly swept out from under me, at the same time as Lolo used his left stick to push me backwards.

My head hit the ground hard. Thankfully there’s grass – open your eyes girl!

I blinked them open, to see Lolo about to swing both sticks at my face.

Fuck!

I kicked Lolo – fuckthathurts!

“Shit!” I complained while nursing my foot with my right hand.

Lolo switched his target from my face to my left foot the moment I reared back to kick…

See, Kurumi? I told you, you’re simply not…Kurumi?

What is this feeling?

The closest thing I could describe this feeling to is…is if I slept naked on the bed without a blanket, and without pillows or an Ichigo to hug, while having a very bad nightmare.

Kurumi?

Lolo looked concerned for me.

“I…have a very, very bad feeling. And I don’t know why.”
================================================================

Thanks to Atreidestrooper, Strypgia, Aleph, and iofthebunny of Spacebattles.com for beta-ing this story.

I couldn't have done it without you folks.

kilopi505
Padawan Learner
Posts: 220
Joined: 2010-02-24 10:07pm
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: An unlikely magical girl, and an unlikely world war

Post by kilopi505 » 2015-06-17 10:55am

Ok. This is going to be the last post of this thread.

No, I'm not giving up on this story. In fact, what I'm going to do is to rewrite/reboot the story in a new thread.

I had done too many mistakes, plotwise 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...so...rewrite I shall do.

I truly hope that I get it right this time.

The new thread can be found here: http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=163335

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