Chapter 4 – Jessica and Her Best Friend
Fires were rising from here and there, and I could hear wails and roars. While watching the bright flames from the window, Tilea-san and I stood still in a daze.
Tilea-san exclaimed like she suddenly remembered. Right, Timu-chan should have been by the gate. In this huge disaster, there might have been vampires gathering by the gate.
“Aaah, how could this happen! She’s definitely trembling somewhere in fear.”
We began to run, but my legs wouldn’t hold out. And so I collapsed to the ground.
It’s no good. Maybe because of the accumulated damage, but I can’t move as I like. Even though Timu-chan is in a race against time…
At this rate, I’ll just slow Tilea-san down.
“Sorry. Please pay me no mind and go ahead.”
Tilea-san bent down, and took a piggy-backing pose.
“Is it really fine?”
“Hurry! There’s no time!”
Threatened by Tilea-san’s attitude, I stood up and leant onto her back. The very moment that she picked me up, she began dashing all the way to the main gate.
Tilea-san’s speed really is amazing.
We arrived at the gate with the speed of a gale.
But still, Tilea-san’s waist is so slender. I could feel from my position on her back that she was toned. She’s powerful and quick in her judgements and reactions, and even compared to an expert adventurer, she isn’t any worse off. And what’s more, she has a chest too, and she’s a beauty, and if she became and adventurer, I’m sure she’d be popular just like Maira-san. Even though she has this much ability, she’s a chef?
“Aahh, dammit. I messed up. If I knew this was going to happen, I should have left Myuu as Timu’s guard.”
Myuu? Who’s that? I could hear her mumbles as she ran.
“Urgh, I shouldn’t have left her with (a) Pervert(Nielsen).”
A-, A pervert? Should I take that at face value? Tilea-san’s words and behaviour are cryptic as usual, but I could at least tell that she was feeling regretful about something.
“U-, Umm, Tilea-san, Myuu-san――”
“Tsk, at a time like this.”
For the first time, Tilea-san’s speed eased. Why? I looked over her shoulder.
Something like hundreds of vampirised former-humans were prowling for prey.
“What should we do?”
“Jessica-chan, do you have any kukanomi?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yeah. Of course you wouldn’t so conveniently have any.”
“Ah-, but if you threw some rocks instead, then,”
“I told you! It doesn’t work like that!”
“Jessica-chan, sorry. Close your mouth for a little? It won’t do if you bite your tongue.”
“Hold on tight.”
Tilea-san ran back into the academy at an incredible velocity.
I-, I can’t breathe. T-, Too fast!
I didn’t see her use any body reinforcement magic. Or rather, even if you used reinforcement magic, these speeds would still be impossible.
C-, Can a human really run at these speeds?
Aah, I’m going to fall.
I clung desperately to her, but I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. And eventually, my hands parts from Tilea-san.
I’m going to crash to the ground.
Aa-, aah, I’m done for.
The moment I thought that――
“Oop, be careful, okay?”
With one hand, Tilea-san caught me, and then pulled me in tight. I could finally breathe again. And then in an instant, we arrived back at the dining hall.
“-wheeze- Hahh, hahh, hahh, hahh…”
I collapsed to the ground, gasping for breath.
Haha, to think that the person being carried would be the one with rougher breathing…
While I was resting, Tilea-san headed into the storage room and began stuffing kukanomi into a huge sack.
E-, EH!? There’s enough going into that sack for the entire school. While I was watching, the sack got bigger and bigger, and turned into a weight that would take a few strong men to carry.
“T-, Tilea-san, no matter how much you need them, that’s too much!”
“Don’t be so stiff! This is an emergency, right! Timu’s life is at stake, so give me a break about the money.”
“No, that’s not what I――”
“I’ll compensate the nation later, okay?”
With a slightly off-kilter reply as always, Tilea-san picked up the entire sack.
S-, She managed to lift it!? And she makes it look so easy. Really, just who is Tilea-san?
“Now then, let’s go.”
With the sack in one hand, Tilea-san gave me a piggy-back. And then just like that, she started running for the main gate. The moment we left the west exit, a crowd of vampires came to attack us.
Glancing around, I counted one, two… more than ten now.
With the kukanomi sack in one hand, she started pelting vampires with the other.
“Take this, HADOOOOKYUUU!”
Hit with a kukanomi, the vampire was sent flying.
“One more! HADOOOKYUUUUUU!”
Amazing. She was making weird cries, but each kukanomi sent dozens of vampires flying. But still, does Tilea-san have endless stamina or something? She duelled with a demon, and even now she’s running around while attacking vampires without losing a single breath.
“Aahh, there are too many! At this rate the kukanomi won’t last!”
“Tilea-san, you’ve been saying kukanomi this, kukanomi that, but I think you’ll be fine even without them, you know?”
“Y-, You’re right. I’ve been a bit too fixated on the kukanomi haven’t I.”
Tilea-san, do you finally understand me?
“Right. Amongst the weaknesses of the vampire, there are also crosses and wooden stakes, aren’t there.”
Crosses? Wuu Densteiks? I’m really not getting through to her.
“Jessica-chan, do you have a rosary with you?”
“A rosary? No, I don’t. Only priests or really religious people would have something that expensive on them.”
“Eh-, really? Damn.”
“If you’re okay with a wooden imitation, I do have one though.”
I handed over the thing I bought at a market stall.
“Mn, mn. This’ll do. It looks just like a cross.”
“Is that so. Although I still don’t quite understand what you want to do, how is this thing used?”
“You use it like this. HAHHHH!”
Tilea-san held up the wooden cross to the vampire. But there wasn’t any change.
“It doesn’t look like anything is happening, you know.”
“That’s weirdd~ Hmmm…”
Tilea-san folded her arms in thought. It’s probable, no, it’s almost certain that Tilea-san is misunderstanding something.
“Tilea-san, you won’t be able to beat a vampire with a toy like that.”
“That shouldn’t be the… I know! I’ve got it, Jessica-chan. I don’t have any holy powers, so even if I hold it out from afar, nothing will happen.”
“I-, I think that there’s a more fundamental issue here, but…”
“Just watch me. It should be fine as long as you use it close-up, like this.”
Gripping the cross, she punched a vampire, hard.
“It really does just look like you’re hitting it.”
Vampires were being mown down left and right. But rather than the power of the cross, I could only see it as the force of her fist doing the job.
“Umm, what if you forgot about the cross, and just hit them normally?”
“No way. My punches wouldn’t work on a vampire, you know? It’s only because of this cross that I can fight them.”
Aren’t you just gripping a cross? It’s the same as punching normally. I don’t get it. Why did Tilea-san come to these conclusions? Anyway, Tilea-san isn’t an ordinary person. If she’s not an adventurer, then she’s probably a hero’s descendent.
“Tilea-san, could it be that you’re a hero’s descendent?”
“What the heck are you saying? Geez, I told you that I was a chef.”
“But, a chef who can do something like this…”
“Jessica-chan, you can’t make tasty food unless you train your body every day, you know?
“Jessica-chan, we don’t have time to chat. We have to hurry to Timu.”
“I-, I’m sorry.”
Why is it common sense for her that her strength comes from being a chef? There are a mountain of things I want to comment on, but it’s true that Timu-chan’s wellbeing comes first. Swallowing what I wanted to say, I zipped my mouth shut.
And so, while vampires were being mown left and right, in a short time, we made to to the gate. But even though I didn’t think we took long, Timu-chan was nowhere to be seen.
“…Timu isn’t here.”
“Perhaps she ran away somewhere?”
“Aahh, it’s all my fault. If only I quickly came back here.”
Tilea-san held her head in agony.
I wonder where Timu-chan went.
I don’t think the time loss was as big as Tilea-san is saying, but…
Maybe because of all the vampires popping up, she’s running around somewhere?
“Wahhhhh… hic-, where did you go, Timu?”
Even though she was so reliable before, large tears started to run from her face as she sobbed. It was painfully obvious just how important Timu-chan was to her.
“Tilea-san, it’s okay. We have the Public Safety Force, and we have adventurers as well. Timu-chan is definitely being sheltered somewhere.”
“Hic… Ghh… Ngh… Timu. Timu. Where are you? Where are you?”
While shedding tears, Tilea-san ran off, half-crazed.
“W-, Wait, Tilea-san.”
It’s no good. I don’t think she could hear me. I’ll bet she’s crazy worried about Timu-chan. Without hearing my words, in a blink of time, she had run far off.
“Tilea-san, running about by yourself is dange――”
No, Tilea-san will be fine. With such monstrous strength, even adventurers would be weaker than her. The one in trouble right now is actually me.
This is bad. I’ve separated from Tilea-san. And my stamina is at my limit.
Should I return to the dorm for now?
No, the situation won’t permit it. I can’t tell what place is safe and what place isn’t. It’d be good if I could meet up with somebody in the academy, but…
While I was considering my future measures, I heard footsteps from behind me.
Is somebody there?
When I turned around in reflex,
standing right there was my former best friend.
“Jessica, you were in a place like this? I’ve been looking for you, you know.”
Edim started closing in, step by step. Unlike the soulless expression from earlier, I could see anger on her face now.
“S-, Stay away.”
“Even though I even thought of making you one of us…”
“No. No. Help-”
I turned around to run, but Edim grabbed my arm.
“I know, you know? While looking for you, I went to the dining room after all.”
“Then, it can’t be…”
“Yeah. I saw him. Arcyune-sama! Aahh… So pitiful… To be left in such a tragic state…”
“W-, Wait, Edim.”
“HOW DARE YOU HOW DARE YOU HOW DARE YOUUU! HOW DARE YOU KILL ARCYUNE-SAMAAA!”
Her face warped with rage, Edim bore her fangs and attacked me.
“S-, Stop, Edim!”
“I’ll kill you! I’ll take every last drop and kill you!”
It’s no good. With this incredible strength, it’s impossible for my arm to even budge. So Edim really did gain more strength. And I basically have no strength left in me.
“Y-, You’re wrong, I didn’t――”
“That’s right. With your strength, you couldn’t have killed Arcyune-sama. But your companion did. Am I wrong?”
“P-, Please. We’re best friends. Even you don’t really want to be doing this, right!?”
“Best friends? Are you still spouting that garbage? I’m not a human anymore. I’m a demon. A vampire.”
“Don’t say that. We’ll look for a way to change you back.”
“Hmph. The good girl as always, aren’t you.”
“Please, go back to the old you…”
Edim’s grip slackened. Could it be that she remembers our friendship!? A faint hope rose in my chest.
“Jessica… You know, I’ve always, always… HATED YOUUUUU!”
With inhuman strength, Edim gripped me by the collar.
“H-, How come? Why? …Why are you doing something so cruel?”
“Jessica, with her indiscriminate kindness, and her adorable appearance. The favourite of our class, and the girl who even Mark and John were obsessed with.”
“Huhu, even though you’re always so sharp, it’s only in this area that you’re slow. Is that also one of the secrets to your popularity?”
Mark and John… Aren’t those the names of the boys that Edim told me she liked!?
“I-, I’m sorry. I, didn’t know…”
“Well, that doesn’t matter now. At this point, I don’t have any attachments to humans anymore.”
“I-, It can’t be.”
“Huhu, do you understand now? We’re not friends. I’ve hated you all this time!”
After saying that, Edim started to squeeze my neck. It hurts. My throat was being constricted, and my consciousness was starting to fade.
“Ka-, huu-, E-, E… dim…”
“Anyhow, I’ll kill all of Arcyune-sama’s murderers!”
W-, Was that really how Edim felt? Or was it because her heart went mad from becoming a vampire?
I don’t know. But I don’t want to believe, that she always hated me.
Aahh, but… what I do know…
Is that the best friend that I loved doesn’t exist anymore…
It might be better that I die.
As Edim did as she pleased to me, my consciousness slipped away.
“Take this, HADOOOOKYUUU!”
Reference to Hadoukyuu.
Hadouken（波動拳） means ‘wave fist’ and hadoukyuu（波動球） means ‘wave ball’.