TEORA 5: Oy, Eda
At the sudden intruder, even the Guardians hesitated a bit.
“Who are you!? What is your intent!?”
But Manaka displayed a fearless smile, and answered in a subdued voice.
“Well you see, I’m… Metallica. Do you think Metallica needs a reason to do bad things?”
What!!?? Neito was much more surprised than the Guardians could ever be. He couldn’t think it sane to name yourself a member of a famous evil organization before the enforcers of justice.
“W-what!? What did you just say!?”
As expected, the Guardians held up their batons, and entered a vigilant formation. They likely weren’t any amateurs. Could a member of that Miscellaneous Division, Manaka, really do anything against them?
He had barely been in contact with the man, but Neito couldn’t help but worry for his safety. He was aware of the shaking of his own legs. That person definitely isn’t a bad person. No, perhaps he is, but I can’t feel that way about him. Even so…!
“Yeah, quite your shouting. If you’re going to do it, then come at me already!”
Quite separated from Neito’s worries, Manaka strongly provoked the armed Guardians.
They came down on him all at once. He’ll be taken in at once, at this rate… or so Neito thought, but the result was different.
Manaka kicked the park’s sandbox with all his might, pouring its sand down on the men.
Perhaps it had entered his eyes. One of the guardians faltered a bit, and Manaka proceeded to deliver a bit boot to his body before pinning his arms to his back.
“Oh, don’t move! Want me to snap his neck?”
The remaining two Guardians halted at his words.
“Bastard… using sand and hostages… how cowardly!! Have you no shame!!?”
“What? I said it the very start, right? I’m a villain.”
He was quite quick to say it. He pushed the pinned man out towards his two friends, and when their stances crumbled to catch him, he got in another blow. A dull sound resounded through the dark park.
“H-he’s strong! …And wait…”
Horrible. Thought Neito, but he didn’t say it aloud. Yes it was cowardly, and terrible, but so what, he thought.
“The young Guardians they put on night patrol, you think those guys that just flocked in from college can lay a hand on my twenty years of fighting?”
Manaka left it that, left them aside, and proceeded towards the homeless again.
“E-eek!! It’s Metallica!!”
They were scared of him, shrinking away while seated on the ground.
“Oy, you. Keep your mouth shut, go to that oden shop over there, and eat a meal. Well, the taste isn’t anything special, though. For now, it’ll be something to fill your stomach.”
The homeless man hesitated on how to reply to the mismatched statements of the villain who had suddenly made his entrance. Looking upon the scene, Neito felt just a little warmth in his chest.
“… Manaka… -san… ah!”
Far away as he was, there was something only Neito could have noticed. One of the guardians that had been beaten down before was unsteadily rising to his feet, taking his gun from its holster.
And its muzzle was fixing on Manaka.
“U… u… uwaaaaaaaaah!!!!!”
His legs moved faster than his head. Raising a strange battle cry, Neito ran.
Defying a Guardian wasn’t something any sane man would do. More so when the opponent had a gun in hand. No decent person would even think to try it. I mean, the enemy was justice, and an existence that carried it out. Unless you were an outlaw with some built up experience, everyone would do the same. Yes, that’s why I’ll run. Right. Run, and run…
I was sure my legs were supposed to be pointed to flee, but…
Neito was running straight towards the Guardian holding up the gun.
It was a pitiful body blow without the least bit of training or theory behind it. But its effects were massive on a Guardian who could barely stand on his feet. The Guardian let off a strange, ‘kyuu’ sound before falling to the floor.
Because he had sone something so unfamiliar, Neito himself fell as well.
But Manaka soon came to extend his hand, and help him up.
“See, you do have it in you, Neito. You saved me there. Though normally, you should hesitate a bit more. You know, there might be more bad in you than your appearance suggests.”
Manaka said that with a grin.
Two villains had beaten down some allies of justice in the park that night. Neito felt a little strange himself, and he ended up laughing. Just for a little longer, I’ll try and stay with this job, with Metallica. That night, Neito thought that as he successfully returned to his house.
From the next day, his training began. His current goal was the practice battle with the one charged with training him, Eda.
The one who had gotten along well with him since that night, Manaka, would offer him advice during lunch and other break times. There wasn’t nearly enough time for him to put any real martial arts to heart, so he was only training a usable move or two.
According to Manaka, Eda was apparently a former sumo. He didn’t accomplish anything that great in the field, but still, that was some dreadful news to Neito.
There’s no way he would win going about it normally.
“Well, just put your all into it. It’s not like a loss’ll get you instantly fired or anything. It’s enough to show off some of your good parts. I’ll put in a word too.”
Manaka tried calling out during lunch break, but…
“What should I do… conceal a knife, and stab him with the element of surprise…? Or maybe poison… no, that’s wrong. Something… isn’t there’s something…?”
It seems he was lost in thought.
“I’m sorry, Manaka-san. What were you saying?”
“N-no. It’s nothing,”
For some reason, Maka was staring fixatedly into Neito’s face. He looked a little surprised.
“What is it?”
“Hey, you. You really have never been in another organization or something before, right? What’s your criminal record?”
Just what could Manaka-san be saying? Do I, who’s never gotten into a fight, who’s never even broken a school regulation, who’s– if I really had to say– been on the bullied side of things, really look like such a villain to you? Neito’s thoughts turned a little strange as he looked at Manaka’s exaggerated expression.
“Surely you jest. There’s no way I have anything like that. More importantly, Manaka-san, can you teach me a little bit more about Eda-sn?”
“Y-yeah. Right… then…”
He altered his training, and carried out all the preparations he could. For now, that’s all he could do.
And the days passed all too fast, the day of their bout at hand. Weapons and poisons banned, knocking down the opponent once is their loss. No killing. With those rules in place, all prior preparations are fare game. Fight like a member of Metallica, was all that was announced.
“Neito… can you do it?”
Manaka was making a worried expression. But if we were talking anxiety, Neito had far surpassed him.
“Oy, oy, fresh meat! I hope you’ve trained at least a bit like I told ya’. If yer too weak, ah may end up beatin’ ya’ too far, okay? Not that there’s any helpin’ how useless you are. We don’t wanna have you drop the evaluation of the one in charge a trainin’ you, me, as well, do we?”
His opponent, Eda, was messily chewing on gum, with a leisurely expression.
Damn, what an irritating fellow. The only thing I’ve ever learned from you is the variety of juices at the vending machine down the street. Go get diabetes, and die. Neito was half full of such anger.
Crap, I’m screwed. If that fatty hits me for real, I’ll die. Our weight classes are too different, if you think about it logically. The other half was such fear.
He had prepared. But would he be able to carry it out?
“Are~ You~ All~ Right~? Did ya’ go take care of yer’ business? You don’ wanna piss yerself when I’m beatin’ you.”
He raised a vulgar laughing voice.
This bastard… no, I’m still scared after all.
“Then let the match begin!”
With that mixed sentiment, the match’s start was announced. The signal came from the supervisor, of whom you could never really tell if he was there or not, or if he even existed, but his voice was surprisingly eminent.
Eda’s jab. I can’t dodge. For a fatty, he’s fast! What’s more, as he wasn’t ready for it, the impact of a single jab was considerable.
“… Uuh… kuh…!”
Even now, a stream of jabs. Without being able to raise a limb, Neito was beaten black and blue. He knew he could fall at any moment.
“I won’t… I don’t want to lose…! I… don’t want to… lose!!”
But the difference in ability was ruthless. Even if he wrung out the guts he rarely ever used, that gap wasn’t filled in! Overwhelming offense. He was receiving enough damage that even Neito himself was surprised he could remain standing, but still, he didn’t fall over.
It no longer looked like a match, but simple violence. Only one onlooker, Manaka, seemed to be waiting for something as he looked over Neito.
“I’ve had enough. Yer too weak. Let’s just pin you already.”
Perhaps he wasn’t blessed with much stamina, as before long, Eda came to grasp at Neito. It was a bear hug. But he would squeezing with ample force, in an attempt to drop his opponent. That’s all there was to it, but that move was Eda’s specialty.
The moment before he could be grabbed. In Neito’s hazy mind, the words of the recruitment ad abruptly played back.
Do you want to change the world? YES
Continuing on to the interviewer’s question at the interview.
Even if that means to destroy the current one? YES
I answered yes to those questions. Did I take them too lightly? I mean, of course I did at first. But I’ve given it a bit of thought since then. Since the time I answered it online. By the time the interview came around, I could answer it quite normally. But those were my real thoughts. They’re what I believe. My life up to now, and the current society. I want to change it, and it will change. That’s what I answered. And yet, you think it will end here?
No. It’s always been like that. I was weak. The world was harsh. And I didn’t change. I kept running. The world didn’t change. The world cornered me. That’s why I was a NEET. Without any aspirations, just a NEET.
But not this time. I felt there was something special. Here in Metallica. I don’t get what that something is yet, but I won’t let it all end here.
If I answered I wanted to change the world, then world aside, what do you think it’ll mean if I can’t even manage the fatty before my eyes?
I… I… I I…!!!!
Neito fel a black tainted water begin to pour into his heart.
He was in his grasp, and it was the moment before any power was put into the hold. Neito addressed Eda in a low voice.