Chapter 2: Stalking
There were currently four students in Kanagawa’s student council room, a room widely considered to be the most important room in the city. Their heights were different, but they all had the same student council officer medal pinned to their chest. These medals shined brightly under the light.
A girl spoke up first. “So, have you all heard about what happened yesterday in the special mock battle?” she said with slightly muffled, yet commanding voice.
The rest of the officers nodded in response. “Yes… I mean, we did just have a report on it,” said one of them.
“Yeah, I guess so, huh…”
Another girl rattled on without a pause, “Why are you asking something so obvious can you please get to the real topic here I’m sure you didn’t gather us here to just talk about world news right?”
Upon hearing her, a tall girl nodded.
“Then everyone should be aware of it, then,” the first girl continued. “The student who fought Hime-sama…”
News of yesterday’s battle had already spread to the student council. Maihime traded even blows with a mysterious student who up to that point had not been seen before. He was able to damage Maihime’s uniform, and that already was no easy feat.
“What kind of person is he to be able to fight Hime-sama like that? And if he’s that strong, why haven’t we heard about him before?”
This time, another officer who had a mole below the left side of her lip chimed in. “Yeah… It’d be nice if he was just shy, but with his skills, he would have no problem getting real results on the battlefield.”
“If that’s the case, then just who is he?” said a girl with glasses.
The tall girl chimed in, “Well, what if he was a spy sent from another city?”
“It’s possible. Hime-sama has by far the best individual achievements in all the cities, after all.”
The final officer, a slim girl, was crouched on top of a chair. “But why would they send in their own student to harm Hime-sama in the first place it doesn’t make sense,” she said without pause.
“A-Aren’t we overthinking this…?”
“I don’t think so. It’s no secret that the Tokyo and Chiba city heads hate her.”
The four girls nodded simultaneously.
The slim girl started to speak again. “Well I would like to know more about this individual but more importantly…”
“Yeah,” nodded the tall girl. “The bigger issue now is that Hime-sama had been in a ridiculously good mood since yesterday. Of course, a happy Hime-sama makes me happy, but she’s been constantly saying stuff like, ‘I met a super strong person!’ and ‘I wonder if I can meet him again?’ so much that it really gives me a bad feeling.”
“Hmm, you’re right, she did say that, huh,” said the girl in glasses. Her eyes suddenly lit up. “Hey, you don’t think that maybe she… likes him…?”
The other three just stared back in silence. The girl in glasses stopped speaking in the face of their frightening gazes.
“… Anyways, let’s all be on the lookout. As the four divine pillars of Kanagawa, our mission is to protect her, after all.”
Two of the girls nodded in response, with the other one nodding slightly later.
“For the sake of Hime-sama!” they said in unison as they all fist pumped each other.
In a hidden room somewhere out there, Shino stated his conclusion very clearly:
“Really? Just like that?” said Hotaru, smiling bitterly while sweating a little bit. There wasn’t much she could do about it, and Shino’s head shake only strengthened that notion.
“I’ve tried Utsuhami on her three times after that mock battle.”
“H-How’d it go?”
“The first attack was repelled, the second was dodged, and the third she caught with her bare hands, all while doing her little grin.”
“Woah…” said Hotaru with a sullen face.
Shino seemed to want to make the same face as well. His <World> of being able to touch at any distance was the pride of the Administration Bureau’s 4th division, and it was said to be one of the strongest <Worlds> ever seen.
In the past, some people had <Worlds> that directly countered his, making it ineffective. Some also used their wits and ingenuity to fight successfully against him as well. There certainly weren’t many, but these people did exist.
However, that girl was just on a whole new level— Shino had never seen anyone like her before. She fought using pure brute force with only her intuition to guide her. Fighting her, Shino had to spend all his energy just to avoid getting killed. Going for an offensive was the furthest thing from his mind.
How could he do it? The fight in the arena seemed more and more like an illusion with each passing day. He felt as though he had just made the perfect move in chess, but a hammer came swinging down on the board.
Shino shook his head. He couldn’t get discouraged now, and right now he wasn’t acting like his usual self. There was no way he could give up, even if he was sure that Maihime Tenkawa was not like any other fighter he had fought before.
He could understand why the Administration Bureau viewed her as a problem. She had the power and charisma to become one of the strongest leaders of all time. If she were to take this and lead a rebellion against the Bureau or even Japan, she would become a huge threat.
“T-Then, what should we do?” anxiously said Hotaru. She raised her brow. “We just return back empty handed?”
Shino shook his head and said, “We will fulfill the mission one way or another. Besides, if not us, no one from the Bureau would be capable of killing her, I think.”
“Calm down. When I said it was impossible, I was referring to right now only.”
“Huh?” said Hotaru as her eyes widened. “Right now you say… so you got some sort of plan?”
“Well… I’ll go find one.”
“You’ll find one?” Hotaru was puzzled.
Shino nodded. He waved his arms around as to signify the room. “The first step to that… would be this room,” he said.
The room they were in right now was a dorm that Shino had just rented. In fact, he used to have a different dorm, but he applied to move to this one after the mock battle. As a result, the two’s secret meeting place had to be changed to this room.
“Uhh… Speaking of this room, why’d you change to it? Your previous dorm had fewer people, and I thought it was easier to stay low there, wasn’t it?”
What Hotaru said was indeed correct. However, there had to be some reason he would choose this room over his last.
Shino casually strolled across his room, and with a single pull, he opened the curtains. Hotaru had to squint as the bright sunlight pierced into the room.
He pointed to something outside the window and said, “Take a look at this.”
She blinked a few times and walked over to where he was. Her eyes widened as she looked outside. “Is that… the dorms? Wow, it’s pretty big, huh…” she said.
“Exactly. It’s a pretty big dorm building, but you see that room on the top floor? That’s Maihime Tenkawa’s room.”
Hotaru’s eyes were wide open now. “That’s it?!?! Then, does that mean…”
“Maihime is still a human being, so she must have some sort of weakness. Everything begins with observation,” said Shino. He clutched his fist. “I’m going to study her completely, and the results I get will lead to some sort of way to defeat her.”
For some reason, Hotaru just stared at him awkwardly after he said that.
“What is it?” he asked, looking at her.
“… Nothing… So in other words, you’re going to go peeking, huh?”
“It’s not peeking. It’s observing.”
Hotaru did not seem convinced, and her face showed it. “Sure…” she said sarcastically. “But if you’re ‘observing’ from here, you can’t really see things clearly, can you?”
“Well…” said Shino as he walked to the corner of the room and opened a box. Inside, a small telescope was neatly packed by some Styrofoam. He had bought this item yesterday from some store inside the city.
“Don’t worry, I got something for you too. Unfortunately, they only had this left, though. They’re binoculars made for bird-watching.”
“No, no, that’s not what I meant,” said Hotaru, concerned about how things were progressing. She raised her hand up to her forehead, but that went largely unnoticed by Shino as he quickly set up the telescope.
He aimed the telescope at Maihime’s room, and gave Hotaru a thumbs up.
But, she looked even more concerned. “… You aren’t peeking, right?”
“I am observing,” he stated very clearly and looked into the telescope. By pure coincidence, right as he did, Maihime walked into his field of view. She was wearing the same uniform as usual, but this time she wasn’t wearing her huge overcoat or gloves.
“There she is… It’s Maihime Tenkawa,” whispered Shino. He reached around for a chair while still looking intently through the telescope, though he couldn’t find one.
Instead, Hotaru brought him one and set it down next to him. He sat down, and continued to observe for a while.
Maihime unfastened the buttons on her uniform, took off her outer jacket, and threw it onto the bed. She then rolled up the sleeves on her inner shirt and started to stretch her back a little bit. Once she did that, she went to her desk near the window so she could use her laptop.
“… With this, I can get all possible intel on her,” said Shino.
Hotaru seemed a bit confused. “Umm… when you say ‘all possible intel,’ you mean intel just from observing from here?”
“Nope,” said Shino, as he raised his arm up and waved it around. “Have you forgotten about my <World>?”
Maihime started to view a file on her screen. Her shirt sleeves were rolled up, her top button was unfastened, and the tip of her loosened necktie was stuffed inside her front pocket.
“… Hmm, I guess it’s not here, huh?” she said as she finished scrolling all the way down. She couldn’t find the information she was looking for, so with a pout, she crossed her arms disappointingly and slumped back.
However, at that moment, she felt something touch her exposed forearms, making her yell out. Looking around, she bolted out of the chair and just stood there shaking her head. Of course, she didn’t see anything unusual, so she embraced herself for comfort.
“Uhh…. What was that…” she said, trembling. She looked at her forearms once again. What she felt wasn’t the wind blowing against it— it was something that felt much more concrete, like a person’s fingers.
She rubbed her arm nervously and said to herself, “I-It’s not a ghost, r-right…?”
At that very moment, someone knocked on her door.
“HOLY!” For a moment, she couldn’t breathe, but she quickly calmed herself down. She realized it was someone at the door, so she held her chest and said, “Yes?”
“… Sorry to interrupt you during your break, but it’s Yaegaki. Can I have a moment?”
Hearing such a familiar voice seemed to calm Maihime down a lot. “Ah, Aoi… go ahead,” she replied.
Aoi opened the door and walked in. Since she also lived in these dorms, if she needed anything from Maihime she would just knock on her door like this.
She looked a bit perplexed as she saw Maihime stand defensively in front of her desk. “Umm… were you in the middle of something?” she asked, noticing Maihime’s uneasiness.
“No, nothing like that,” said Maihime. “But something weird definitely happened just now…”
“Yeah… I felt like someone touched me, even though no one’s here…” she suddenly paused. Earlier she felt the invisible hand touch her arms and neck, but now that very hand was feeling around her thighs and butt.
“W-WOAAHHHHH?!” she shrieked as the invisible hand went up to her hips. It then slowly felt around her stomach and finally started to rub her breasts.
Maihime shrieked out once again.
“W-What is that?!?!?” shouted Aoi. Even though nothing was touching Maihime, she noticed that Maihime’s breasts were wiggling around uncontrollably. It was almost as if there was some sort of alien parasite beneath her shirt.
“AHH!!! Aoi!!! Get it off me!” she said in a panic.
Their screams echoed clearly across the room.