Swish, swish, swish, swish…
The rotor spun slowly on the Kantou Agency helicopter that had just completed a long journey to Kansai and back.
Makoto who was worn out from laughing too much, and Saho worn out from playing too much, they were sound asleep huddled up with one another. Kikuhito and the pilot- E2 Chikage- hoisted them up and carried them out.
Shouki alone took an early leave, as they flew low to the ground, Takase had taken aim and kicked him into the Hasebe House pond. Suzuran had watched up to the point his grandfather gave him a smacking.
Released from the noise and the tightness of the helicopter, Suzuran took a large stretch. That surely wasn’t a wasted first half of golden week. Not bad at all.
“That’s one matter settled, right master!?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
His wounds from Ritsuko still throbbing, or perhaps his thoughts turning to what was to come, Takase scowled and bit his lip.
“… Meeko wasn’t there. Then I must search her out and make her fall. That was the contract I exchanged with her as the head of the Iori House…”
Right. The contract he bore akin to a curse had yet to come undone.
The back he showed as he walked with heavy steps was pitiful to watch. Like it was dragging along invisible fetters.
But the moment the woman appeared before his eyes, Takase chucked his glasses aside as if they were in the way. He showed his canines as if baring his fangs and clenched his fist.
His rending cry sent a chill down Suzuran’s spine. This was the first time she had ever seen him so angry. Takase kicked the earth, putting all his might into the fist he shot out at Meeko.
A blow that gouged out the ground below it.
With a bored look on her face and just one hand, Meeko stopped it without a sound. When the ground radiating behind her burst into clumps of earth, she alone was unharmed.
“… The contract is terminated.”
With Meeko’s words, Takase’s face suddenly lost its color.
“You have my thanks and apologies… Takase. You did your best. You were a good kid.”
“But in the end, I am… as you can see. Perhaps it was an impossible tale to make me fall to the sediment. Therefore, I ask you forgive my selfish acts. I’m sorry, Takase.”
Just like that, he crumbled down to his knees, sticking both his hands to the ground.
He muttered in a voice touched by tears.
“Am I… allowed…?”
“You needn’t pay it any more mind. I shall keep low. Therefore, you may go and do whatever you desire.”
After giving him a pat on the shoulder, Meeko went over to Suzuran. How to put it, she seemed like a completely different person, but,
“You’re Meeko… right?”
The kind smile she saw. For that moment alone, this was undoubtedly the smile of the Meeko she knew.
“Suzuran. Do you want to try your hand at Demon Lord”
After one moment of confusion, Suzuran naturally shook her head.
“… No, not particularly. As long as Meeko stays Meeko, there’s no need for me to be one. Oh right, and as long as I can live with my mother.”
“Is that so. You’re a kind girl. I adore kind girls like you.”
Once again naturally, a smile surfaced on Suzuran’s face. And Suzuran walked to Takase whose shoulders were quivering.
“Master… I don’t really get it but… isn’t this fine? It turned out fine, is what I think.”
And as she strained her ears, trying to console him, what she heard couldn’t even be mistaken as a stifled sob.
“Kukukuh…! Haha, fwahahahahahahah!!”
Feeling an extraordinary dread from the same villainous laugh she had heard from her past enemies, Randale, Belronde and Elsion, she quickly leapt back.
“You said it, Suzuran! This is perfect! GYAHAHAHAHAHAH, I’m free, I’m finally free…!! Now what do I do now? Get money? That’s right, I’ll need money either way! For I need the funding to make cat ears and apron dresses the standard equipment for all female members of the Kantou Agency! I’m free after all! Now Suzuran, we’re going to get busy!”
Picking up the glasses he had just thrown away, Takase angled them up so the lenses flashed.
“No… why am I going to be busy too…?”
“Why? Why, you ask? Ha ha hah. Suzuran, you really are a pleasant one… what company are you a part of? Why an evil organization, of course! We’ve got to demand offering from all those small time ruffians throughout Japan! We’re up against petty evil, the police and Sacred Assembly have nothing to complain about! We have me, the man called invincible, and you who showed snapshots of a demon lord, there’s nothing to fear!”
“… No, as I was saying, I’m going to live peacefully with…”
“Now once I have money to spare, what shall I buy? An RUF? That’s right, I always did want an RUF. Yellowbird, naturally! Should I splurge a bit and replace my Lamborghini? Gallardo? Murci? No, it has to be Diablo, Iota while I’m at it! PO.03, I’ll use that money to”
Smacked by Meeko’s usual hammer, Takase writhed in agony. For some reason,, it looked several times more painful than usual
“W… what are you doing! And wait, wench, don’t just go around bopping people with your sacred treaaaaaaaaaah!!”
“I remembered. When you’re no more than a lowly pet, you dared call me idiot and fool and kicked me you did.”
Was she perhaps referring to that Anti-Meeko jumping something or another?
Bopbop, with a scary face, Meeko continued her assault.
“Don’t misunderstand, simpleton. You have been freed from the task of making me fall, but that does not change the fact I am your lord. In the first place, this is my mansion. You call the master a wench?”
“Now if you get it, hurry and prepare a meal…”
“Umm, Meeko. He’s already showing the whites of his eyes…”
“… What’s this. How useless.”
Scary. From the depths of her heart, Suzuran knew she had to change how she thought of Meeko. She was developing a vague understanding of why Takase was so averse to Meeko’s revival.
It was at that moment that a single made raced out of the mansion.
“Lady Meeko! I prepared tea just as you asked…”
She was about to say when her eyes opened wide and she put down the emergency brakes. Suzuran dubiously narrowed her eyes. Did this mansion ever have a maid with a skirt that short?
No, it did not.
Then did the Kantou Agency have a girl with pigtails that long and fake glasses?
No, it did not.
But the school did.
After an awkward smile like time had frozen to a halt.
“Nyaaaah!? The cat’s already out of the baaaaaaaag!?”
Kakko was off in a mad dash. Suzuran sprinted with all her might. She caught up, they tumbled, she pinned her on the ground
“D-don’t look at me, Suzuran! Don’t look at what’s become of me!!”
“With those gaudy pink ribbons and glasses, I see you whether I want to or not.”
And after some yells and jeers. With some kicking mixed in.
They were panting. Quite heavily.
“Wha… what are you doing, here of all places…!? Are you working part-time!? If you want work, there are far safer places! Don’t be hasty, Kakko! If you want out of this world, this is your last chance!!”
“Urgh, hic, hic… sob. But you know Suzuran, this is going to be a long story but you know…?”
There she approached with a smile, Meeko did.
“I made her my maid. Isn’t she innocent?”
And Takase revived upon hearing those words.
“Gyahahahah! I see, I see, you stupid crazy Demon! So you’ve got the most heinous, evil woman’s eye on you too. Then I’ve got quite a bit to teach you as a senior in the business! I’ll gladly welcome your talent into my company without an interview! Ah hah hah hah!!”
And of course, Suzuran’s snowball that went by the name of misfortune was accelerating. And as if to chase after, Demon VZ… Kakko’s snowball was set into motion at a violent pace.
The grand temple. One kilometer underground. The white prison where only the greatest of sinners were kept.
With his treatment over, the one who climbed down from the surface world was an old man in nothing but a shabby robe.
“Hey… Randale. How are your wounds holding up?”
“Yes. That Hero called Shouki made quite the clean thrust… even the scar has disappeared by now.”
Speaking to the cell beside him, Randale lowered his hips onto the stone floor. The bars were shut, the sound of sentry footsteps faded into the distance.
“Today was the last day of my treatment. I was never allowed a trial before the Lord. I doubt I’m ever going to leave this place…”
“You’ve got my condolences.”
The other was a middle-aged voice, bitter as someone desperate for a drink and a smoke.
Randale shook his head left and right.
“I lived plenty. And in Tokyo, after the saint and the hero corrected my mistake, I’m still here alive. The Lord has left me with time to repent for my sins. That’s more than enough for me to speak my gratitude…”
“Hmm. I see… you’re a good guy. The real faithful sort.”
“I used to be a Cardinal”
Pyuu, he lightly brayed with a whistle.
“Oh, were you now? Now that’s amazing.”
Come to think of it, they had barely ever spoke about themselves. Just what could the man next door have done to be thrown down here? Randale asked on his trivial curiosity.
“You… must be far younger than me… what brings you here?”
“Who knows? I did my share… more importantly, is anything fun happening up there? I’d love me a good story.”
“Well let’s see… I hear Zephirum was annihilated a few days ago. That Demon Organization.”
“I see. So they’ve finally bit the dust.”
He spoke in a tone as if he knew them.
“Did you ever…”
“I’ve never personally locked blades with them, but I know who they are. So who did it?”
“… The hero and saint I mentioned were involved. And…”
The myriad series. Glutton demon.
Randale tried to put the phrase to mouth only to find himself shuddering. He rephrased himself
“Right… it was the godslayers. There was also the demon who serves the Iori House, Meeko.”
“Meeko… Glutton Demon Meeko, eh? Then they picked a fight with the wrong person.”
“So you know her too… but I wonder if that woman really was a demon lord’s aide. For such a fearsome existence, could there really be those who stood on par with her?”
“It’s myriad series… it’s a series, there isn’t just one.”
He spoke such terrifying words. But he had a point.
“… I see. But are there any still left in the current era?”
Course they are. His neighbor declared.
“According to the archangel with red hair. The blue haired Demon Lord boasted the peerless pair. There’s nothing in the world the glutton demon cannot eat. There’s nothing in the world the seeing demon cannot see…”
“… Nothing they can’t see…?”
As Randale turned with dread, the man let sound the innocent laugh of a child who had been saving the best secret for last.
“The white woman who sees through all… why, doesn’t that sound familiar?”