The usual scene as we headed to school, no different from yesterday. Two elementary-school girls crossed our path, humming to themselves. I guess it was Twoearle's confession that made me notice the dangerous look in her eyes as she stared at them.
Trying to distract her as she watched them safely leave out of the corner of her eye, Aika said,
“You know, I wonder what Elemera your mom has, Souji.”
“Hey, stupid, stop it.”
“No, I’m completely serious. I keep thinking about that as I see people walking, ever since I joined the Twintails. What kind of Elemera do they have? Is it a totally normal one, or do they have a really strange one they can’t tell people about? That kind of thing.”
Now that you say that, I think I might have been doing that too.
The empty world that Twoearle was from.
If you have a hairstyle you like, or an unusual kind of clothing, especially things that would make people who overhear it laugh in scorn and say "What the hell is that," there are many people who will tell you they cherish it.
You didn’t have to shout it at the top of your lungs, but even so―
“...Yeah, I think, the world where you can live loving the things you love is best.”
It’s fine if people’s minds are half full of nonsense. It’s fine to make a racket. If we can keep them so safe they're not even afraid of the invasion, isn't that best of all?
There were no witnesses to the greatest fight.
They were running the usual happy photos of TailRed on the morning news, with so little change it was like I was watching a videotape rewind. I was even starting to wonder if yesterday’s fight was a dream.
By the way, I saw Mom in the living room putting together a costume that had a touch of bondage to it and realized where Kamen Twintail’s mask had come from. I think she's going to wear that costume in the secret base and pretend to be a commander or something. There's no end to my tears of blood.
“Souji-sama, thank you, for striking at the enemy of my world...”
Drag Guildy had brought her world to ruin. So even if we did have a second Tailgear, she said it had been a fifty-fifty chance whether we would win the decisive battle she expected. A gamble.
There was probably still some of the force left, but with their boss gone from the control tower, I think it’s going to be all right even if we don’t take too much care with the rest.
“...Are you going to go back to your old world once the Ultima Guil has been completely annihilated, Twoearle?”
“I will not go back! It is terrible of you to use a person as stock for a good mood and then chase them out when they become inconvenient! Aika, you are ungrateful. As always!!”
“If you want to be stock that much, I can wring your juice out right here!”
...I think Aika was trying to hide how happy she was, rolling up her sleeves and putting on that threatening act.
You don’t want her to go back, do you? I don’t either, though.
“Heh... I will not be your victim as usual this time! I have developed a heat ray for the purpose of repelling you! Anti-Aika Mark 1! Fire!!”
“What is this, it’s weak.”
“What―!? An attack from Anti-Aika, stopped with just one hand!?”
“All right, let’s start breaking some bones.”
“And it’s me as usual―!!”
Don’t commit violations of the Firearms and Swords Law and respond with unjustifiable self-defense on the public roads, guys. Please give me a break.
I thought the place for the comeback should have been when Twoearle showed up in her school uniform, but...
“I don’t care anymore. You might as well transfer in if you want to. And tossing you into a place with a lot of boys might cure you of that urge to breed.”
“But I am not a bitch like Aika-san! Haha, watch me. Because in less than three days, the whole school will recognize me.”
“Ngh... that’s just fine! Do you think I’m going to lose to you?! I’ll break through too!!”
Recognize you... for what?
Do you mean the school suspicious-individual playoffs? Because when I imagine the things Twoearle will probably do right after she transfers in, I don’t think she needs three days, or even thirty minutes.
“But... sorry. I'll apologize again, properly.”
“What is going on, Aika-san? Being nice is out of character for you.”
“I'm talking about doubting you! I thought you were sneaking around behind our backs, planning something bad. And because of that, my comebacks were getting a little bit harsh...”
Right at the start of the day I’m hearing an amazing lie. That had nothing to do with how hard you were hitting her.
“But I was planning something! The stronger TailRed gets, the more the Little Girl Element buds along with the Twintail Element. The country is overflowing with cute little girls, exactly according to my calculations!”
...That’s a lie too, Twoearle.
It wasn’t because it was your hobby, or because it was effective against the enemy. It didn’t have anything to do with that.
TailRed becomes a little girl because you trusted me with one more part of your heart, also.
That’s why. ...Listen, that’s why, isn’t it? Please tell me that's true.
Aika coughed, and wiping her palm on her skirt, held her hand out to Twoearle.
“I’ll... take good care of the Tailgear. From now on, I’ll think of you as a real friend. But that has nothing to do with what we were talking about earlier, okay?”
“――――I understand. Which of us will be recognized first is still a fight!”
They shook hands, and Twoearle broke into easy, dancing steps and ran around in front of Aika. She turned, setting her hair and skirt fluttering, and smiled with the sunlight at her back.
...Why is she standing so still, fluttering in the wind.
The scene is starting to fade to white!
Original work: Twoearle
Mitsuka Souji: Mitsuka Souji
Bitch: Tsube Aika
...Hey, I’m hallucinating some kind of letters, the end of some kind of game is starting.
“Yes, the heroine’s dying, so it’s a BAD END.”
“Aagyaaaaaah the whiteout pastel CG ending of my dreams is becoming a black screen with white text―!!”
You do look like you’re having a lot of fun, you two...
I wonder if S and M have something to do with Elemera? Uh, no, that thought did not come from looking at these two. Absolutely.
As I think about such stupid things, in the world where I can I love the things I love, I savor my happiness deeply.
And that’s why we, the Twintails, are going to keep protecting it.
I raise my eyes to the sky with new resolution.
At some point a rectangle had been cut out of the absolutely cloudless blue sky.
It switched to a closeup of a grim animal face, so early in the morning.
<<Uwa―――hahahaha! Twintails! I imagine you feel a little hope now, but that will hardly do! The world where Drag Guildy-sama fell suits us for our graves too! We will fight to the death! We will take any Elemera anyone has of any kind! And we have been joined by strong reinforcements!!>>
“...Yeah, they weren’t gonna give up, I guess.”
“I won’t be surprised if they start coming every day...”
Aika put her hands on her hips and looked up wearily.
<<School Swimsuits!! The garments of water in which we trust ourselves to our Mother Earth! Let us call this Elemera the inheritor of the will of the planet! I am Tiger Guildy, the sworn brother of Drag Guildy, and I will be taking the Elemera of the school swimsuit!>>
“Every day... huh.”
I checked the time.
Twenty minutes until the first bell rings. To keep them from making fun of us as we all come in late at the same time, we have to finish this up in ten minutes.
“Hey, Aika, have you picked a club?”
“Twoearle, too. Do you have something you’re hoping for?”
“I haven’t decided yet... Cause there’s been all this trouble.”
“I want to be with Souji-sama. A young boy and girl, in a locked club room, after school... ufufu”
I stuck my right arm high into the air in answer to the declaration of war, aiming at the rough bunch blocking the blue sky.
“...Why don’t the three of us try and make the Twintail Club for real?”
“Hmmm. What are the club activities?”
Aika turned to check with the grinning Twoearle, nodded, and then turned an invincible smile on me.
On my raised right arm, the red bracelet glowed.