New project everyone! ^_^
I was thinking of starting it for a pretty long time now, and I finally got to do it. Long story short, it’s a low fantasy novel (modern world setting) with an anti-hero main character. Chapters are long (2-3 times longer than Stranger’s Handbook chapters) so don’t expect regular updates for now. The story is pretty much interesting, as I read the first book in one go, and I can only expect it getting better. The main characters are pleasant too, if not more than that.
Well, I really hope you’ll like this novel at least as much as I did! xD
Enjoy the first chapter!
Chapter 1: The Sound of the Beginning
I let out a sentimental sigh and continued walking with heavy steps on my way to school.
It was only natural. Today was Monday after all.
For some reason, I looked up at the sky and caught sight of another student who was flying towards school. I immediately turned away and looked at something else.
Ah! It’s such a good thing to have a floating ability.
While thinking about these things, I quickened my pace a little bit.
At that moment, I heard someone call my name from behind.
“Today you look even worse than usual.”
“Because it’s Monday.”
He’s an old friend of mine. One of the reasons we got along was the fact that both of us were normals, a very small group of people who haven’t manifested any ability.
However, there was a fundamental difference between us.
“Tsu – rugi ~!”
A girl called out and started running towards us.
Her name is Oohashi Hitomi 3.
She is a beauty, to such a degree that she is believed to be able to make anyone fall for her at first sight. She’s also the school’s madonna.
This girl is Tsurugi’s childhood friend. He doesn’t realize…….or maybe he doesn’t want to (at least that’s what I’d like to think), but she is in love with him.
After she ran all the way here, Oohashi immediately started to cling onto Tsurugi’s arm.
Watching these flirty scenes so early in the morning was bitter, to be honest.
“Oh! Morning to you too, Kamiya-kun.”
She said to me, like she just realized I was there as well.
I answered. Just after that, I heard someone calling out from behind us again.
I turned around and, at the same time, I saw Furuya Rin 4, who was already clinging onto Tsurugi’s free arm.
Instantly, the Tsurugi contest started to unfold right in front of my eyes.
Rin is actually my childhood friend, but she is in love with Tsurugi.
I’d like to tell her that she should be more devoted to me, since I’m her childhood friend, but unfortunately, Rin and I don’t get along that well.
It’s like an undesirable but inseparable relationship.
“Hey Kazato, you were here?”
Rin asked me as well, as if she just realized I was around.
Yes, this is the difference between me and him. The popular one and the unpopular one.
Tsurugi is extremely popular.
The two girls are in fact only a small fraction of Tsurugi’s followers – called the Tsurugi Harem.
During these moments I really want him to rot away, but it actually can’t be helped.
Ah! Only if I was also blessed with good looks…
When I think about this, I always get the urge of punching some holes in my old friend’s face.
“If we don’t hurry, we’ll be late.”
I was looking outside the far away window, from my lonely seat in the middle of the classroom.
I caught sight of a Self-Defense Force soldier who was flying about in the sky; he was patrolling.
The Self-Defense Force is the so-called supporter of justice.
It’s an organization mainly composed of ability users.
From a normal’s point of view like myself, their existence is much appreciated. They are the ones who always eliminate the demonic beasts that show up in our city from time to time.
And, they also protect us from the evil organization “Anonymous”, the SDF’s main opposing force.
Even though I called it an evil organization, I actually have no idea what their objective is. According to rumors, it’s something about world domination.
There are all sorts of groups that think about stupid things, but with the SDF around, everyone feels safe.
“Eh, abilities are divided into two major categories, namely the manipulation type and the enhancement type; however there are many abilities that don’t fit in any of the two groups. The ones that don’t match any type of categorization are………..”
I ignored the lesson.
It’s no use to listen to stories about abilities I’ll never be able to use anyway, and this common knowledge level story is annoying to begin with. That’s because the possibility that I will manifest an ability now is already zero.
Most people manifest their abilities until the age of 10; 15 at most, in case one has a late manifestation.
I’ll be 17 soon. I already surpassed the period when I thought about how cool it’d be to control the wind or such.
To be honest, I do have an inferiority complex.
I will obediently aspire to become a government worker; that’s what I’ve decided.
“So, about Kazato’s birthday party……”
“Yeah, we should leave it to Tsurugi. Uhihi, I’m sure Kamiya-kun will be surprised.”
“However, throwing a party for that guy sure is annoying.”
“Rin, it was you who suggested it after all.”
Despite their conversation was taking place during the lesson, I heard it as if they were talking right behind me, so I looked over my shoulder.
Having done that, I caught sight of Tsurugi and his followers whispering in the back of the classroom. They even brought their desks together.
However, they somehow realized I turned around and stopped talking.
Come to think of it, tomorrow is my birthday.
Are they throwing a party for me? If that’s the case, isn’t it bad for me to hear about it?
Anyway, I’ll just make sure to be free tomorrow after school.
I decided and turned to look again outside the window.
The next morning, I left home earlier than usual.
It didn’t really mean anything, I just woke up early.
I thought that the road leading to my school might have fewer people than usual, if it’s this early in the morning.
So I left the house and walked towards school, choosing the streets that had as low a pedestrian traffic as possible.
Mornings are rather chilly.
I was about to return home for my blazer, but it’ll get warmer around noon, so I changed my mind.
I left the shopping district and crossed the main road.
And then, I chose another empty street and continued on my way.
A detour isn’t really that bad, right? I thought about it and turned the next corner only to find myself bumping into someone.
I was pushed away. It was a man.
“…….. Be careful.”
It was the only thing the tall man said to me, and I continued on my way.
There was another person behind (her face was covered by food, but probably a woman), accompanying that man.
This pair was giving off a very bizarre aura.
I looked at their retreating figures for a moment, but the man turned around and glared back, so I panicked and averted my eyes.
“It could be. However, it can also be wrong. The Observer doesn’t always get it right, after all.”
What? Why are they talking so loud?
Was it about me……? I don’t really get it, but I shouldn’t get involved in this.
I started walking faster.
I was planning to take a detour and arrive at school at the usual time, but in the end, after this incident I abandoned my initial plan and hurried straight to school, until I got inside the classroom.
I placed my bag on my desk and sat down.
I like it when it’s quiet.
The only present sound was the creaking of my chair.
In a few dozen minutes, however, it will get pretty noisy.
I looked up at the ceiling. I heard someone’s steps down the corridor.
And then the classroom door opened.
I turned around, but the door was still closed.
It seems that the sound came from the next classroom.
Hmm. I really felt it like the sound was pretty close though.
Well, it doesn’t matter.
I felt somewhat sleepy. I was not made for early mornings.
So, I rested my head on the desk and closed my eyes.
Before one knew, I fell asleep.
Some noise made me jump up to my feet.
It was so sudden, my heart was beating violently.
What is this? What kind of sound is this?
It was far from loud. I felt I was at a concert or something.
Sweating, I turned to look around me restlessly, but nothing was out of the ordinary. The same old classroom.
Almost everyone was present now since the lesson was due to start any minute.
The noise started to settle down gradually.
“Ah, Tsurugi? Morning.”
“What’s wrong? You’re drenched in sweat, you know?.”
I wiped away the sweat on my forehead and told him it was nothing. It happened because I was half asleep, maybe?
That or my ears behaved buggily.
“By the way, are you free today after school?
Everyone is gathering at my place. Feel like joining us?”
Such an awful way to invite someone over.
“Who’s everyone? It’s only Hitomi and Rin after all, am I right?”
“W…well, you are. Want to invite someone else?”
“Nope, it’s okay. I’m coming since I’m free anyway.”
“……All right. Then, see you after school.”
“Right. Still, I wanna go back home for a moment first.”
“Yea. That’s great for us too actually.”
Tsurugi returned to his seat right when the door opened and the home room teacher entered.
The classroom fell silent and everyone took their seats.
“Rise. Bow. Good morning!”
With this, another peaceful day at school began.
I went straight home after the classes ended.
For some reason, I was feeling more tired than usual today.
I threw myself down on the sofa in the living room.
Not a single member of my family was at home. They said something about being late today, if I remember correctly.
Since I’ll go to Tsurugi’s place, my house will be empty.
I checked the email I got on my phone. It was from Rin.
‘Don’t come until 7. Having said so, you would’ve been late anyway.’
That’s what she said. I’ll be there earlier.
I thought, and after I drank a glass of water, I laid down on the sofa again.
I fell asleep the next minute.
The sound of a ringtone woke me up.
“Too damn noisy.”
The sound of the ringtone was reverberating inside my head so much that it annoyed me. I grabbed my phone roughly and looked at its screen.
I was too late to answer.
However, I was startled to see I had 32 missed calls.
……..What time is it?
It was 8.
I hurriedly changed my clothes. I grabbed my phone that started to ring again. It was Rin.
‘Hello? What the heck are you doing?’
“Sorry, I slept!”
‘What? Come here already!’
She let me hear her long sigh then hung up.
I hurriedly changed my school uniform for some random plain clothes and rushed out of my house.
It’s been a long time since I was in such a hurry. I never imagined I would fall asleep. Precisely when they prepared a birthday party for me, how comes I did such a thing…
I stepped strongly on my bicycle’s pedals.
Tsurugi’s house is at a 5 minute distance from mine.
I’ll be there soon.
At that moment, I heard a loud buzzing in my ears.
I tumbled down vigorously.
“It hurts……What the….”
I was used to ear buzzings, but this time was different. It was the first time they got this loud.
…….Leaving this aside, I must hurry!
I grabbed my bike and started pedaling again.
“I’m really sorry.”
“Really now, it’s not normal for the main guest to be this late.”
After Rin scolded me for an entire year’s share, my birthday party was about to start, even though I was already feeling exhausted.
“The food got cold……”
Still, you both made this food for Tsurugi anyway. Why should I even bother?
I put these thoughts away and lowered my head.
“Well, it’s all right. I was worried he got himself in an accident or something.
Now, let’s eat.”
You little bastard……You chose to display your good guy abilities with such a nice timing……
“Yea, let’s eat.”
As I looked at the three of them starting eating, I stretched my hand and grabbed something too.
“Oh, it’s actually good.”
“How is it, Tsurugi?”
“What about mine!?”
“Yea. A bit disappointing.”
It seems it’d be okay for me not to express my thoughts.
I was eating silently while trying to digest all these flirty scenes spreading around me.
This is my birthday party, right?
After a short time, we finished all the food and ate some cake together.
“So, what about presents?”
“There aren’t any.”
So it seems.
Well, this is already good enough.
After that, we played some TV games and, before one knew, the clock was pointing towards 11.
“It’s already this late?”
“Seems so. We should probably go, Hitomi and Rin are here too, so…..”
“Should I stay for the night?”
“Then I’ll stay too.”
“What are you two talking about?”
Actually, it’s the same as usual.
“After all, it’s dangerous for normal girls to go out at such a late hour.”
By the way, everyone here was a normal. We have no special abilities whatsoever.
No, actually Rin is not a normal.
However, she has such a useless ability that calling her a normal would not make for a big difference.
“Then, I’ll send you both off.”
“ “Heee?” “
Just do it somewhere else.
I restrained my feelings and put on my jacket.
“Well, I’ll be going home ahead then. Thanks for today. It made me happy.”
I thanked them and quickly left Tsurugi’s house behind.
On the way back home, I ended up dragging my bicycle along.
Yes, I got a flat tire.
Even though it was my birthday, I was pretty unlucky today.
Inside my head, I was using all sorts of abusive words against the gods, but kept on dragging my bicycle along nonetheless.
However, this evening was awfully noisy.
And it happened right at that moment.
A sound so loud, that made my head feel like breaking apart, was shaking my brains.
“Ha……! Ugh…….What……the…..hell…….is this?”
I couldn’t put up with it, so I cowered down on the grown pressing onto my ears with my both hands.
I felt something dripping from my ears.
What’s this? Blood?
A painful noise that didn’t go away.
My eyeballs felt like jumping out.
‘That bakery looks rather tasty.’ ‘That’s right.’ ‘Yes, I’m sorry……Yes……Yes, I’ll make sure to finish by tomorrow……’ ‘I want another ramen!’ ‘Sure thing!’ ‘Ah, I don’t wanna do my homework.’ ‘I wanna die.’ ‘Because you are here.’ ‘Listen to me.’ ‘Go to sleep!’ ‘The bath is ready.’ ‘Don’t you wanna eat!?’
Too loud, TOO LOUD. What’s going on? Shut up……..!
“……..Hey you, are you alright?”
A middle-aged man poked my shoulder lightly.
“SHUT UP ALREADY!!”
An echoing sound.
All the glass windows in the area broke apart in an instant.
The guy touching my shoulder fell on the ground, blood oozing from his ears.
Then, the sound of a siren echoed.
‘Emergency manifestation warning. Emergency manifestation warning.
The manifestation of an ability user is confirmed at point B-56.
Danger level = Above the norm. Therefore, the target is to be eliminated.
Self-Defense Force sub-lieutenants and above are requested to promptly exterminate the target and rescue the citizens.
To the citizens living here, please don’t go out of your houses no matter the reason.
Other stuff: Mockii
- 神谷風人; 神 kami means god, deity; 谷 tani/ya means valley; 風 kaze means wind; 人 hito means human, man, person ↩
- 御堂弦気; 御堂 midou means temple, enshrinement hall; 弦 gen/tsuru means bowstring, string (of shamisen, guitar etc.); 気 ki means spirit, mind heart ↩
- 大橋瞳; 大 oo/ookii means large, big; 橋 hashi means bridge; 瞳 hitomi means pupil, eye ↩
- 古谷凛; 古 furu means old, used; 谷 tani/ya means valley; 凛 rin means cold, frigid, dignified ↩
- Expression of gratitude before meals ↩