I see two seas.
The first was the grand sea sitting still in between land claimed by man. The other just suddenly sprang up right before that one, a veritable sea of people.
We chose a spot close to our destination that looked devoid of people and arrived there using the gate. Within a few minutes of walking though, we came upon that epic sight and found myself at a loss for words.
"Wh-what's with this mountain of people... It's barely coming up to 8 o'clock isn't it!?"
You can't even put this on the level of just a gathering. How many hundreds, how many thousands... no, the numbers might go father than that. At the very least, I can tell that there's way more than the entirety of Yougetsu's mammothian student body. The human chain seems to go on and on and on. There's probably even more just out of sight behind the buildings extending it further.
The weather was as clear as weather can be clear. There wasn't a single cloud to be found in that blue sky. The sun symbolized the peace we had and it was at the top of its game. The thing is though, we didn't come here for sightseeing. The twintail club was here for club activities since we predicted that there would be a raid coming to throw that peace into disarray here at Japan's premier summer doujinshi event site.
"Twoearle. Are elemarians really going to show up here?"
It's not that I can't believe it, it's that I'd rather not. That's why I ask her.
"Yes. There's no mistaking that they will!"
Twoearle nods affirmatively, brimming with confidence in her assertion.
...I figured as much. I wondered if these peaceful days wouldn't go on for so long.
Just as we get right next to the station, people steadily flooded out of the station entrance and they fed into the seemingly undending human mountain. All these people here, if they packed themselves into one place inside then they'd definitely get caught up in the fight. We'll need to change locations when the elemarians decide to show up. The sea's right over there. I wonder if this will lead to a fight over the sea.
As I had that thought, Aika pokes in from Twoearle's side and presses her with a question.
"...why is today the only time you can predict them coming?"
"In my world, we also had doujinshi events comparable to this one and back then the elemarians showed up there too."
Aika continues on with her questioning.
"Okay, so then why are you carrying that stuff?"
"We will be participating as a circle on the premises so we can stand by ready there. This way we'll be able to intercept the enemy on-site."
Twoearle lifted up the huge tote bag she had with her to emphasize her point. Incidentally, she pulled it right out of her labcoat pocket earlier where no one else could see us.
"Participating as a circle? So I'll be doing more than just fighting there?"
"No no. This is just our camouflage. It's a shared space you see. We just need two people to be representatives. It's perfectly fine for you to sit right next to me if you want to Souji-sama. My hand may start getting restless under the table but please pay that no mind."
Aika pulls out the collapsible carrier from Twoearle's luggage and unfolds it out. Then she wraps Twoearle herself in the acommpanying elastic cord, tightly.
"Souji. I have some tidying up to do with all this luggage."
"Gyaaaaah! Stop that! If anything counts as luggage it's Aika-san with her cardboard box bottom of a chest!!"
Erina stared intently at the bound up Twoearle. For some reason she then shifted that wanting gaze over to me.
I clear my throat and pull out the event catalogue that was in the luggage. This massive doujinshi event is called Comic Market, or ComiKet for short it seems. That doesn't mean I have any foreknowledge what it'll be like though. I just know it from seeing it being featured extensively among all the Tail Red related magazines that my classmates gathered together at our closing ceremony.
"...but seriously... what the heck is up with all this fanfare that Tail Red gets!?"
In what way does Tail Red have anything to do with all this... for the same reason Aika just shouted, I flip through the thick catalog we had to see it for myself.
"Tail Red's an actual human to begin with so there's all kinds of designs in here, aren't there."
While I'm moved to point of being distracted, Aika fingers though several dozen pages and points out the extent of it.
"...from here... to here! It's all Tail Red, isn't it!? There's nothing of Blue!"
"Yellow isn't there either..."
Erina gets dejected as she takes a peek at the catalog too.
"I'll buy every last Tail Red book they put out! This is my chance to research the libido that the people of the world yearn for Tail Red with!!"
Twoearle takes out a tablet and goes through the electronic version of the catalog with some taps. Aika was stubbornly checking through the catalog when she suddenly slaps me on the shoulder on finding something.
"Souji! Look! Look! There is one! Blue's got art in here!!"
"Oh! She's right!"
It was somewhat hard making it out because of it being a monochrome illustration but there she was, with gallant eyes, in her gear and in her twintails. It was undeniably Tail Blue. She looked pretty cool in american comic style.
"Not only that, they also wrote down "I love Tail Blue" in there too!"
Positioned right where the bottom of her cardboard box would be, the writing brings out Aika's most notable feature.
"I knew that Tail Blue had to have fans out there too, right~. Yup. Unlike the Tail Red fans who get swept up so easily in the flow, those who go for the society spurned Blue just can't be the kind who flip on every new fad that comes! That's the kind of fans they are, no doubt about it!"
Erina desperately pored through it for Yellow when she heard that but in the end it doesn't seem like she managed to find anything. Her exaggerated dejection spoke for her.
"So, what will you do about it Aika-san? You were rather reluctant about participating only just a few moments before."
When we come about the venue entrance, Twoearle asks Aika that provokingly. Aika however just shakes her head with an awfully refreshed look on her face.
"Never mind. I'll be joining in too. I do want to go buy a copy from this person but it looks like there's some merit to participating after all."
Seems like the very existence of that "one lone fan" pleases her greatly.
"Hohoo! Doesn't that amount to them saying that even Aika-san is a good girl? That sort of motive stands at the epitome of reasons for participating in these events! Being able to find your "very own book" is very important."
"That's a pretty good idea coming out of you. My own book, huh... I'm looking forward to it."
The two of them are all smiles and share a rare peaceful moment between them. I go back to the circle cut with Tail Blue in it once more.
"This just might even be someone truly does love twintails too."
Lately it's gotten to the point that they're drawing Tail Blue in as the king of beasts in childrens' picture books instead of the lion. But if they just looked past the part of her that sends her off into a rampage and took off their prejudiced lenses then it'll come across perfectly clear that she's the owner of a wonderful pair of twintails. In other words, Tail Blue's die-hard fan managed not to shrink away at the terror of her savagery and came to love her for her twintails. Doesn't that make them purest sort of soul worthy of sainthood? That's image that I let flourish inside of me.
"Let's go meet him then. I want to hear what he has to say. I want to head on over to wherever this book's getting sold too."
"Yup. Let's go meet them!"
The circle cut had their website address included with it too. I wonder just what sort of book they made. Since they're going on sale today then it's possible that they already put their art out on their website too right? Guess I'll go look their site up myself with my Twoearlephone.
"Uwah, it's really hot in here. Do all these people really get in this early as participating circles just to pass out books and stuff? I really can't picture that at all."
I give her a tiny sigh-like nod. Unlike Aika's light airy sweeps of her legs, my own legs feel like they've got lead shoes on them. Each step I take has so much weight on them.
"In any case, as long as I get to buy that Tail Blue book then that's probably good enough for me!"
If there are any when we get there...
I looked up the website belonging to the circle that Aika's looking so forward to meeting with. I ended up seeing something I really shouldn't have. Why is it that I'm always picking up on the little inconvenient details that dig me in deeper for a self-destruct? If I just hadn't done my due diligence before getting there then I'd be pumped full of anticipation for my first event up too, at least until my feet carry me to this circle's spot...
"It's a joint circle so they get two spaces worth meaning that up to six members can join in. Make sure everyone hands over these tickets over when we get to the entrance."
Twoearle takes out the tickets from her envelope, tears off the stubs along the perforated lines and passes them to everyone.
"Yours is over here Souji-sama."
I retrieve the ticket from her within her cleavage and hand it over.
"...So-Souji-sama's reaction... was weak!? He's become desensitized to my boobs...!!"
She's right. I just pulled it out from there without the slightest bit of resistance.
"Am I evolving in other areas besides twintails too!?"
So this is a case of an organism adapting to its environment then...?
"Isn't just him getting tired of those boobs you're so proud of? You know how they say there can be too much of a good thing? That applies to overly huge boobs too you know."
Aika nags on Twoearle and scowls at her. Their positions may have swapped but their usual talk is playing out as always. She's giving off the feeling that she's got nothing to be afraid of anything anymore. Must be because she now knows that she has fans out there.
"A-Aika-san is making fun of boobs! That is not something that should ever happen! The universe would blow up before such a thing could ever happen!!"
"Then a new universe has just been created in this moment! Give it up, you worn out pair of boobs!!"
"That sure is something coming from the mouth of a pair that never drew eyes to themselves much less outgrow them."
While I fear for the Big Bang that these two girls going to war may just spark off with boobs, I turn to look over the catalog's guide of the premises with Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei.
"East. So that puts it over here then."
The one leading the way at times like these really does have to be Sakuragawa-sensei. We follow behind her and make our way through the venue. We avoid the complicated paths, go down the escalator and reach the floor at the stairwell. Huge halls stood on our left and right. This seemed to be the space that Twoearle applied for.
"This is... quite the sight..."
What was there were lines of several long tables linked end to end with another such arrangement opposite it to its rear. A block covered two lengths of one of these tables and there was space between them forming paths. This hall was big enough to snugly fit in a short distance racetrack and now it was all evenly divided between these tightly packed blocks. The people that have already arrived at their seats are unhurriedly laying out their items preparing for what's to come.
"Twoearle, you said that we're here as a participating circle so does that mean you made something?"
Exactly as Aika said, we didn't bring anything with us.
"I didn't send them off to the press people so they're homemade but... I made a song that I've listed down as a song for cheering the Twintails on. That's what I plan to be putting out there in circulation."
"A cheering song!? So you mean to say a theme song!? Please allow us to listen to it!!"
Erina's eyes were all sparkles.
"Fufufu. I'll pass them out to everyone later. Be sure to give it a listen."
What is this? Why is that even though I should be happy about having a song to cheer us on, I can't shake the feeling that something bad will come out of it.
Once we reach the space, we set up the displays the table as per Twoearle's instructions and get things ready.
I can't seem to see where Sakuragawa-sensei had gone off to even though she was the one who led the way. As soon as I think that though, I spot a woman jabbing a finger at her over by a space in between pathways.
"She's the one! She's been mixing in marriage registration forms together with the circle leaflets!!"
As I get there, I picked up a few of the leaflets arranged right in front me on the table to see if it was true... sure enough, there were marriage registration forms to be found.
"Please do not cause trouble with such pranks! It's forbidden to pass out any previously unregistered materials that have nothing to do with the event!!"
A woman wearing an armband that read "Event Staff" on it comes up to her running and warns Sakuragawa-sensei for her actions.
"No! It's no prank! They all come with a 'Marry me and get 99% off on your doujinshi coupon' stapled together with them don't they!!"
Sakuragawa-sensei's protest falls on deaf ears as she's seized by the two women staffers by the arms and gets taken away like an alien. That educator can start up these minor scandals just about wherever and whenever she can...
After we lay out the tablecloth and prop up the display stand, Twoearle stands up one of the aforementioned CDs a sample.
"This is homemade!? It looks like it's had plenty of work put into it!!"
Each one was packaged in caramel film and when you looked through it you could see that the label was printed on in full colour while the data side had a prismatic sheen to it. You'd be hard pressed to tell it apart from actual commercial goods. For something that was made to be passed out so we could be stand by on-site, this sure had a lot of effort go into it. I shouldn't expect anything less from Twoearle.
After we place a price tag saying "500 yen" written in cute rounded in front of it and put up a miniposter behind it, Twoearle's space was all ready to go. There was still another hour to go before the event starts too.
"Well then, Souji-sama and I will be fine remain here by ourselves. Aika-san, Erina-san and Mikoto-san, please feel free to walk around the premises and enjoy yourselves browsing and buying things until we contact you after the event begins."
"There's no way I'm leaving you alone with Souji! You're more dangerous than elemarians!!"
"I stand behind common sense as my guard when I return those words right back at you miss Class A Barbarian!!"
"Please don't go wild, you'll cause trouble for the people around us! And how are the two of you have the energy for your bantering with how how it is in here..."
The two of them pipe themselves right down at my behest for restraint. With the spaces set up back to back plus all them belongings and item boxes burying us all in, there really wasn't any room for any lively bits of action. If Aika were to go berserk here the potential number of casualties to be had all around us would be massive.
"There's no helping it then. In that case, let's all do roughly one hour long shifts so we can walk around the venue."
Twoearle quickly thinks up a schedule for us and our times get alloted. First up are me, Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei. Next up will be me and Aika. After that, me and Twoearle. We'll walk around in various one hour shifts while the remaining members stay here to man the space. Of course, standing by for elemarians is our number one priority here so we'll have to carry out our communications in secret.
"Still though... I'm not really sure if I should be happy about all this. It's giving me some mixed feelings."
Illustrations of Tail Red, everywhere all around me and as far as the eyes can see. Posters of all sizes and sorts stood propped up behind the chairs and tables for the express purpose of standing out. Actually, rather than standing out as storefronts they seemed more like flags raised by military commanders meant to show off their family crests. The air was thick with the tension found on the eve of battle as the world lay before them waiting to be conquered.
I'm definitely glad to have all these twintails around but, barring some individual standouts among them, they're all still me...
"Have you decided on a place you want to go to Erina?"
"I would very much like to see the "Tokusatsu" related circles here in these "Miscellaneous" spaces."
"Ok then. Lets swing by there then."
With Tail Red it's pretty much the same thing as drawing up illustrations of a live model and turning them all into a book. I look through the catalogue to be sure and as I do so I can't help but notice that quite a number of the illustrations shown have that girls' comic-ish feel to them with their feminine touches. It seems that the tokusatsu circles were all gathered over in the opposite hall sandwiched in between the main passages.
So as to make sure that Erina wouldn't get swept away in the crowd, me and Sakuragawa-sensei walk with Erina in between us to shield her from them as we go. Fidgeting silently as right next to me as we walk, Erina turns to me and smiles.
"Er-erm, Mitsuka-kun, this is the first time the two of us went shopping together isn't it..."
"I am here too, young mistress."
Sakuragawa-sensei points to herself making an appeal for her existence. Either way, it is rare for the three of us to go shopping.
That's when it hits me. I find myself sensing a powerful twintail presence all of a sudden and cast my gaze forwards. Erina is drawn to what lies ahead and squeaks in surprise at what she sees.
Advancing forwards in brisk mincing steps, Erina quickly heads over to that space as me and Sakuragawa rush after her.
"Could you be...!?"
Overcome with emotion, Erina clasps her hands together over her chest.
"Here, please have a look through..."
So calls out the circle head's voice as if it were a conditioned reflex as she raise her head up to see...
As soon as her eyes meet Erina's, her chair falls backwards with her in surprise. She's got a pair of permed wavy twintails. A rather skilled girl from the looks of it.
"So it was you! Mokusu-senpai!"
It looks like Erina is acquainted with the circle's head.
"Erina, who is she?"
"She is Mokusu Tomie-senpai, the person who previously served as Yougetsu Academy's Highschool branch's student council president last year."
Perhaps it was because she resigned herself to it at Erina's very prompt answer to my inquiry but that senior puts on an odd face and a strained smile as she lets her shoulders droop down. At any rate, with the sense of presence those twintails of hers have there's no way she'd be able to come up with anything to get out of this.
"Th-this is just something I dabble in. I guess I've just been putting it on the backburner since I'm off for university. Umm, I don't think that you would be familiar with the work that this book is based on so..."
"No. I am quite familiar with it. I watch it every week!"
Erina hasn't really been going out of her way to hide her love for Tokusatsu stuff but it seems she hasn't been broadcasting it out there or discussed it at length either. I guess even her senior who was on the student council with her didn't know.
"I didn't know you liked Tokusatsu shows too Mokusu-senpai! I would have loved to have discussed them with you while you were still attending school."
"Well no, it's not really Tokusatsu shows that I'm into but rather the drama actors on them that hold my interest..."
"This looks very well done! Please let me buy a copy!"
"I, err, that's...!!"
Mokusu-ssenpai only now comes to grips with the fact that Erina knows about the material her book's based on and starts acting so very obviously flustered once again.
"S-sorry but you're Shindou-san's boy... her friend, right!? Read this and please come up with a good way to convince her to give up on it!"
I'm begging you!, so her two hands gestured pleadingly put together and her twintails danced airily about in the air whipping their tips into each other. This was the pose for begging with one's twintails.
Mmm. I can't just ignore someone who asks for a favor in such a way, no matter how crazy the request may be. I take the book and begin flipping through it. I quickly came to regret taking on her request without hearing it out in full first.
I happen to watch this hero show too. It was the standard five color sentai show and while it was aimed at kids it had its share of complicated human relationships as well. Two guys, red and blue, competed with one another over a girl, pink, landing them all in a love triangle. Even as they tussled with each other, watching the masks develop a hot, fiery friendship form between them was the highlight during the middle leg of the show.
That's how it's supposed to go, however, this book took that aspect and pushed it over to an entirely different territory with the force of a gigantified enemy monster. The very first two pages start things off with fuck all respect for the story with them split between Red and Blue in all their naked glory, ready to do battle of a kind that mustn't ever be shown to little kids.
That wasn't all... their manhoods were drawn in with an unbelievably explicit amount of detail. For what little it hid, if it even had a point to it, there was a small black bar that lined the border between tip and appendage only just so much. Even blood vessels and the like were drawn in to realistic pro... uwah, uwaaaah.
I'd make sure Erina wouldn't see this even if I wasn't asked to do so. I took a long hard look at its creator as some bad thoughts filled my head. For someone with twintails like those to draw this...
"Ahh...oh no. What's with these shivers I'm feeling? Having a younger boy look down on me with such scornful eyes feels somehow feels kinda... good!!"
Crap! Erina's admirable senior is about to join her as a classmate in her conduct class!! I have think of a something that won't hurt Mokusu-san, and get Erina to accept things too on top of that!
"This book seems a bit adult oriented. The original story had some fairly complex romances too, right? It looks like she's drawn her take on 'being bachelors' in detail so... I'm with this person when she says that this might be a bit too much for you Erina."
Erina sulks and puffs up her cheeks.
"I am older one between the two of us Mitsuka-kun! I am perfectly fine with adult oriented materials!!"
Erm. I just ended up touching her 'being older' nerve. Erina's twintails were shaking in jitters out of anger.
Sorry but I can't stop her, so I try to tell Mokusu-san through eye contact. Mokusu-san's starts quaking in place again right after. Just what am I supposed to do for this person?
I shift my gaze to book's cover to avert my eyes from both parties of this trade and, in doing so, discover an adults only sticker at its edge.
"Erina, look! It says adults only! You're not 18 yet, right?"
She's been turned away for the same reason when she went to buy porn mags before so she has to just accept it if I point this out. Really now, we could have just avoided all this if Mokusu-san had refused on this basis from the start.
...I did end up seeing the contents though.
"Then I shall have Mikoto purchase it!"
The young mistress... the student council president is loopholing the rules...
Having exhausted all my options I look away as Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei opened their business negotiations.
"How much does this book cost Mokusu-senpai?"
As soon as Erina finished asking her the question Mokusu-senpai immediately retrieves the little business card sized pricetag that had 500 yen printed on it, leans her head back purposefully and laughs.
"You're going to need 5,000,000 yen for this you see~"
That's just so cliche...
Erina however continues on nonchalantly.
"Do you accept cheques?"
Sakuragawa-sensei adds further to that.
"Young mistress, we can accrue miles if we use the credit card."
Neither me nor Mokusu-san could find the words to respond to that.
"I'm sorry. That will be 500 yen..."
She managed to pass it off as the kind of gag an old lady would throw out playfully but Mokusu-san goes as far as to correct her manner of speaking like she had lived through a bitter experience. With a gloomy look on her face, she hands the book over to Sakuragawa-sensei.
"Thank you very much senpai! I shall definitely come to the next event to purchase another one of your books!!"
Mokusu-san screeches. At first, I thought the grimaces from the people of the circles around us were out of annoyance at her, however, I saw that their own bodies shook as if they had been inflicted by tragedy themselves. One way or another, these people knew the suffering she was going through.
This must be the same sort of risk that we ourselves face on the prospect of our identities being compromised. That is to say, the risk of running into an acquaintance at an event.
We quickly finished making our rounds around the Tokusatsu spaces but the way back from there turned out to be a tough one. In contrast to just before, there were lots of anime-related spaces here but there were also posters with illustrations of naked girls unapologeticly thrown up as posters. The poses and styles they were done in were, rather than look cute, looked overly suggestive. Obscene even.
Sakuragawa-sensei walked in front of Erina to shield her eyes from them but that only worked so well.
"Hmmm, this is a bit too extreme... Mitsuka, could you cover the young mistress' eyes until we get back to our own space...?"
To be sure, I was of the same mind as her on this.
"But how do we do that?"
"The Madam entrusted all sorts of things to me. She told that when the time came I was to let you use these on the young mistress."
What Sakuragawa-sensei handed over to me was an eyemask that felt silken to the touch. When the time came...? I see. It seems like these were meant for occassions like these where there sights that she shouldn't be shown.
"Erina. Sorry, but could you put these on while we walk?"
"Eeh? This? Isn't this an eyemask...? I will not be able to see anything."
"I'll pull you along while you walk... is that no good?"
"You'll what Mitsuka-kun!? Eh, eehh, then in that case..."
Her misgivings quickly give into understanding. I put the eyemask on Erina.
"Also, I don't understand why myself, but it seems that the eyemask is supposed to be used as part of a set along with these."
Sakuragawa-sensei hands me what appears to be, no matter how you looked at it, a pair of handcuffs. I didn't see what the need for these could have come from either.
"The inner surface appears to be lined with a sponge-like material as well. They won't hurt but..."
If the chairwoman says that they're to be used as set then that's what we had to do. I stuck Erina's wrists in the handcuffs.
Let's hurry back to our space. I grab Erina's delicate hand and pull her along with me.
"Haa, haa... M-Mitsuka-kun, please, hold my hand even tighter..."
"Alright. Let me know if I'm hurting you."
She must be scared. She's walking through a crowd blind and with both hands bound. Her brathing was in disarray and her body heat was slowly rising where I held her. The fear of running into anyone in a state like this must be unbearable. At the very least I'll do my best to make sure that won't happen.
Well, that was my intention, but as we moved along and entered the sights of these seemingly roused participants who were briskly marching forwards so intently, they all suddenly came to a halt one by by one and stood to the side to give us way. Did they somehow come to understand our circumstances? I'm grateful to them for that.
I didn't have the luxury to look at this situation from another perspective at this time. This situation where a man dragged along a blinded and bound girl behind him.
We made it back just in time for me and Aika to do our rounds together. The moment Aika changed shifts with Erina, she leapt over our table like she was in a hurdling race. And paying no mind what was around her, she made a beeline straight to the space that she set her sights on.
She must really want that Tail Blue book.
Slipping through the crowd and moving so fast that it seemed like she was making short bursts of teleportation in her mad dash to her destination, I desperately chased after her, yelling for her to stop.
"Aika! Wait! Please watch for others a little more an-"
My pleas for restraint went unheeded. Aika swiftly reaches the space that belonged to the circle that was supposed to be releasing their new Tail Blue publication and stood before them.
"A copy of your new publication please!!"
Holding out a 500 yen coin out for them, Aika speaks those words that one would not think could be familiar to a first time participant making her first time purchase.
The one that was there to meet her in that space was a man brimming with muscles that stretched the T-shirt wore on him to a tight fit. A foreign man.
It might just be my imagination but it feels like I've seen him somewhere before, where though...?
He also had these huge sunglasses on him as well as an overbearing air about him that may be the cause for the lack of customers at his table.
"New one. this."
The pile of books that he pointed to on the table with his broken Japanese were ones with Tail Red on the cover. Aika's smiling face stiffened up and she checked the circle's number to reconfirm it once again. And of course, they matched.
"Excuse me. Tail Blue's book. Where...?"
The coin that Aika held between her thumb and index finger looked like it was slowly bending inwards between them... I'm sure I'm just seeing things.
"Right now. I watch place for friend. Today's new book. Is Tail Red."
I see. The circle's representative isn't here right now so their friend is standing in to sell their stuff for them. In that case getting answers out of him is going to be difficult. Even so, Aika persists.
"Excuse me, but the cut had Tail Blue drawn in it... I saw that so I..."
He may just be standing in but he seems to have gotten that she came here for the Tail Blue book.
"Halfway in making book. They seem to change it to Tail Red. Red saved him from elemarian a little while ago. So he became her fan. You came all the way here for it too, I am sorry."
When faced with a soft spoken and concientious explanation like this even Aika had no other choice but to return the bent coin back to its proper shape. Her smiling face had a touch of lonesomeness to it now but she handed the coin over and bought the book. I bought a copy with her too.
"Is okay? It's not Tail Blue."
I was just courteous when I flipped through the pages but as I read through it I was drawn in by the pen strokes. The lines were in Japanese but the dynamic composition and lively lettering made it feel like an actual comic book from america. It looked to be an original story since Tail Red was fighting an elemarian that I have no memory of myself. It was clear that they put in a lot of their love for the Twintails as their heroes. Passion just burst out from each and every single panel.
"I wanted to draw Tail Blue really. I am a fan of Blue's."
When we gave our thanks and made to leave, the salesperson suddenly said that.
"That dynamic fighting style of hers. So cool, right!? I want to train my body more too and be strong like her!"
Seemingly saved by those encouraging words, Aika smiles at him and gives him a bow.
It didn't show in her step but the voice she called me in had a spring to it. I answered her back with a "Yeah".
"The things I did weren't wrong at all were they. No matter what society thinks of me there's still people out there who appreciate Blue."
"Erina told you the same thing before she became Yellow, remember? Believe in yourself more."
"I'll do that."
Just don't let that self-affirmation come from being praised for your "dynamic fighting style" though. I'm begging you here.
Aika and I have come to stop since we ran into a block in the form of a chain of people that ran along the passage way. They were all lining up for one circle's space in particular.
"That's one hell of a line."
"That it is."
Twoearle mentioned that really popular circles were set up along the exterior walls but that circle was set up right in the middle of the hall and it's formed la line long enough to need event staffers guide the line along so they don't block the path.
I take a closer look and see,
The one handing over books to the customers was someone in a Tail Red Kigurumi whole body costume that was deformed to look like a mascot character. And there wasn't just one of them but two. They were selling books while moving around in a cutesy manner. I've seen plenty of cosplayers but these were full body costume suits. My voice slipped out at the sight.
"That's just incrdible..."
They may have been costume suits but the quality of their twintails weren't half-baked at all. I couldn't say that they were in any way inferior to ones on actual humans.
Here they were moving around in this constricting heat in tiny little steps so as not to bother those around them and making their appeal with their charm. And they were accomplishing it just by communicating through their actions, determined not to let their voices out. Not depending on their twintails alone, they also poured in their effort into all the other little details. It was a magnificent approach for them to take. There was no doubt that the people inside them loved twintails.
"Souji, are you gonna buy something?"
Aika's call brings me back to my senses. I unconsciously got in line and took the sign that read "Back of the line.". So the person the furthest back just now raised this sign above their head so other people coming to line up could see where to do so.
The people in the costumes exchange money and goods frightfully fast. My turn was up in no time at all.
"...you have wonderful twintails."
I say my piece with a bow as I receive my copy. Naturally that wasn't commendation for just their twintails but their wearers too.
"Whoops, there aren't supposed to be people in there..."
I mutter to myself in embarassment at my inexperience. As I do so, the costume returns cute a little bow in return as if to say "Thanks". With a feeling of satisfication inside of me, I got out of the crowd book in hand.
"Oh, this is pretty good too."
I moved over to a spot where I wouldn't be a bother to others and flipped through the light little book with Aika also peeking in from the side.
"Yeah. Their love shines right on through."
I feel a little abashed about it since it is a drawing of myself but strangely enough that's what I honestly felt. The american styled comic book just now was the same but what I felt there was a firm steadfastly feeling. This might just be their first time drawing manga. The rough lines and finishes make me think that's the case but the book communicates their love for the character to the point its overflowing. Those people really do love Tail Red and twintails along with her a lot.
When I put the book away make to go back to our own space, I overhear the guy standing next to me express his disappointment over his phone.
"The Iisuna Anko talk even over at the company booths really did get postponed. I'm so down about it~"
...Iisuna Anko... Acena!?
"I heard that they're passing out Meganedon goods to make for it so I guess I'll still go for it."
Aika pressed me to keep on moving but... That conversation just now has me bothered.
After I left Acena, Dark Grasper, to fight off Phoenix Guildy back in the other world she never showed herself since even once. That goes for Iisuna Anko and her tv broadcasts and the like that should have gone on when she came back. Twoearle definitely confirmed that Phoenix Guildy's signature had disappeared. There was no doubt that he'd been defeated. She should have returned back here to this world, right...?
As I think that, I tell chide myself for saying such strange things. This world, our world, is the world that Acena has to come back to. She may have allied with us then but she was originally our enemy who came to invade this world after all.
Still, I never got a reply back from her even till now. I can't help but worry.
After that me and Aika went strolling around the venue until it was time for us to head back to our own space. When we did, we heard the building's P.A. system sound off its chime. We were instructed to keep an eye out for any suspicious objects around us some time ago through it. Maybe it's something along those lines again.
["Elemarians have appeared at the cosplay spaces. Will all event participants please evacuate in a calm and orderly fashion as swiftly as possible."]
The announcement came in the usual tone and energy they usually do but the contents told of something outrageous.
"...I hate to admit but it looks like Twoearle totally called it."
"Why do you always get peeved whenever Twoearle does a good job...!?"
Me and Aika jump behind the shade of the exterior staircase where nobody would pass by and transform.
I break out of the cocoon of light and feel the power of twintails coursing through my whole body.
I got to see plenty of love on display for twintails here. I can't be losing out to them on that front!
"Come to think if it's been a while since we tranformed in this world."
Blue says so as she opens and closes her fingers to feel out her gear to be sure about it.
"Y-yeah, it has."
As always, I've been waking up early in the morning to transform and recharge myself by looking at Tail Red's twintails. I think she'd be angry if I told her that so I'll just keep that to myself.
"Come on then... Let's go!!"
I grab onto Blue as she flies off using the Ribbon elemera. Thanks to that, we were able to spot the apparent location of the elemarians who appeared from up high as we got closer to them. They were outside at the cosplay spaces jsut like announcement said. A mass of people in anime and game character cosplay were gathering around and a figure stood right in the middle of the ring they formed laid out like a safety zone. That had to be the elemarian.
"Jig's up Elemarian!!"
Undoing the Ribbons elemera in mid-air, Blue and I gallantly make our descent.
...and standing there on the ground was an insectoid Elemarian. Wearing a Tail Red costume from the neck down, staring downheartedly at the fallen Tail Red head lying on the floor.
Me and Blue lose our balance and we crash land like a missile that missed its mark.
"It's Tail Red!"
"Tail Red came!!"
We came down crashing instead of landing but the people go wild at our flashy little entrance anyway while the elemarian stood stock still in place. How adrift in sorrow that figure was. I can't see him doing battle like this...! It was like looking at a kid who broke his parents' treasured vase and could only stare blankly at the shards lying on the ground.
I see... even though we didn't hear from Twoearle about detecting the elemarian this was how it got out to the people. Before this Twoearle told us that to prevent false positives her Elemera Searcher wouldn't react unless they picked up the elemera in the elemarian cores acting up.
"So it looks like that guy snuck into the venue disguised as that and somehow exposed itself in some sort of happening."
At any rate, we got wind of this meaning that though Yellow might be a little late she should still be on her way. Meanwhile, Blue's concerns laid elsewhere. She shook my shoulder back and forth.
"...that's... the same mascot you were complimenting for their art before isn't it...?"
She's right. That was the same costume they wore. The same as the one I respected for what went into making those magnificent twintails they had and the deep love that I felt overflowing from out of their book when I looked through it.
And now it turns out the one inside the costume was actually an elemarian. Wow. That was a surprise... I can feel myself getting lightheaded. Is the sun's intense glare getting to me even with the Tailgear on?
It was then that the elemarian's vitality drained face finally turns towards us. It opens its mouth and subduedly murmurs aloud.
"...My cosplay was perfect..."
That was the voice of a worn out middle aged man. I feel like I now understand why he was so dead set on staying silent under that costume. Instead of getting surprised at our swift arrival it looked like the shock he was in won out by a much greater margin.
"Oh, how tragic my instincts are! Joy welled up within me so much from having sold all our doujinshi that I came to the cosplay space to show my mine off. But right when I was receiving kudos for it... I just wasn't able to triumph over the alluring call to molt!!"
"Now that I'm taking a look at the guy, his head does look like a cicada's. Those things molt too."
Blue calmly makes sense of the matter. He probably came to his own senses after carelessly taking off the head and just froze up at realizing what he had done.
"The operation is a failure...!!"
He finally sheds off the rest of the costume from his body.
"Operation? Just what the heck kind of reason does your operation have you selling doujinshi for!?"
"How would I know!? But I sold them anyway!!"
In spite of him being an enemy, I started to feel concern for him as he shot out that straight out screwball of an answer that you just couldn't say anything to except for an "I see".
"I have defiled everyone's efforts as well as Beetle Guildy-sama's honor! There is no returning back to the base alive for me! All I can do now is to take all your elemera to clean what little I can off my sullied name!!"
I get the gist of how he's feeling right now. There was still something I couldn't leave unsaid to him though.
"You, what's your name?"
"My name is Cicada Guildy! The warrior who seeks beauty within Cosplay!!"
"...you're seeking beauty? So then what about that costume over there then?"
I look down at the costume rolling about by Cicada Guildy's feet... and I point its twintails out to him.
"You certainly did seek out beauty, those were a pair of magnificent twintails. Even I have to acknowledge them for that. However, just for how much longer do you intend on letting them roll around on the ground like that!?"
Looks like he finally realized. The panicked Cicada Guildy picks up the head of the costume.
"Look at it! You just left it there so now the twintails are all messed up aren't they!? Instead of worrying about what comes next for you, you should be worrying about the twintails right in front of you."
They were left there on the ground for so long that the midsummer sun-heated surfaced had warped both the costume and its twintails into a painfully warped state. There was no way I could just let him off after having allowed that to happen.
"Ohhh... It is just as you say Tail Red...! So what if my true identity had been found out!? What a fool I have been to not have paid attention to my little baby after it fell to the ground right in front of me!!"
Seemingly having realized the gravity of the matter, Cicada Guildy cherishedly hugs the head and begins nuzzling his cheek against it as he sobs away.
No, don't... You really don't need to go that far... That's my face you're nuzzling against...
I then hear cheers and applause aimed my way. The audience gallery is all filled up now and the crowd's all fired up. Latecomer Yellow chooses this particular time to join us.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting!"
I'm glad that she came after our foe had already made his molting declaration. It might have sparked off a sense of rivalry had she been here at the time. If Yellow unleashed her Full Blast Mode here and now, we'd come to see a hellish scene on this stage. We need to keep her from going any further than her bouts of heavy breathing.
"So all three of you are here then, Twintails... Then we'll do the same! To me, my brethren!!"
The Ultiroids appear as usual at Cicada Guildy's signal. We take our stances at this.
These'Mokkes' were more in a more comical state than usual this time around. The Tail Red mascot costume I had been looking at just before now had an entire squad worth's just like it standing in formation. They made their way calmly towards us through the crowd and had us surrounded in the blink of an eye. I stand at the ready with Blue and Yellow, our backs to one another.
"They have ultiroids in Tail Red cosplay!"
"Hang on, just how many dozens of these things are there!?"
Oozing with pride, Cicada Guildy begins introducing them.
"I call them the Tail Red Costumed Troopers!!"
"Don't just mass produce these things like they were doujinshi being sent off to the presses!!"
I don't know why he went to all the trouble to let the ultiroids cosplay as Tail Red but our onlookers were going wild for the spectacle. Since we were right at the cosplay spaces specifically meant for exhibitions, the place started lighting up in intense flashes.
With the Tail Red troopers lined up in front of him like a shield, Cicada Guildy laughs, confident in his victory.
"Well? What do you think of this Twintails? You won't be able to lay a hand on opponents that look like you or your own comrade, now can you!?"
Right. So that's the reason behind making the ultiroids cosplay like this. The problem with that though...
"Huh? Not lay a hand on them? Who'd stop for that?"
Saying so ever so non-chalantly with a straight face, Blue socks Tail Red(The costume) right in the face.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG!?"
Cicada Guildy screams out while the audience stiffen in silence as if the savagery they were seeing was not something that could be believed.
They should have known this would happen. Have these guys really been learning from their past battles with us or not...!? It may not have been a costume but Fox Guildy did prepare a doll much closer to me in appearance before and Blue just tore it to pieces without a single shred of hesitation standing in her way. That was her debut battle too. That's how Blue is.
"These guys are still as stupidly weak as the same old usual ultiroids! Forget their looks and keep on handing them their beatings!!"
It'd terrifying that Blue can say that so routinely while sending Tail Red costumes flying. It was like having a baseball coach knocking fly balls over at the outfield with a fungo bat and telling them "Keep up the pace and catch em!" like it didn't take much to get done.
"I told you that I can't lay a hand on twintails! Even if they are just costumes!!"
I get that there's no way around that but looking to and from Cicada Guildy who listened to my appeal and Blue who was beating up twintails with the ease of pressing the enter key on the keyboard, I find myself ready to crumble down into a pile of misery.
"Damn you! Taste my vengeance for these costumes Twintails!!"
Cicada Guildy unleashed a beam of overlapping rings of light from his bulging eyes. I immediately swung out my Blazer Blade to cut it down the middle but it met no resistance. Moreover, the beam continued to shine their way through as the creeped their way up my arms until my whole body was wrapped in them.
"Red! Are you okay!?"
I was about to respond to Yellow's distress but my voice reels back in at what was wrong the moment it leapt out at my eyes.
"Wha-what the heck is thiiis!?"
I don't know ihow or when t happened but I somehow got changed into a set of gym clothes. I was now wearing a shirt that was a size or two larger than it needed to be and had a pair of bloomers on to go with it. It looked like the handiwork one would expect of the Bloomers affinity holder, Turtle Guildy.
I grope my body all over in my panic... I did have some hesitation about touching this body but compared to my time as Solar, Tail Red's zero undulation factor gave me no reason for restraint.
The strange silky yet soft metal-like sensation of the undersuit made its way to the palm of my hand as it usually would. The texture of the arm and hip armors did too.
"...wait, no. He didn't change my clothes! The tailgear is still right here!!"
Me and all the people around me might be seeing a different set of clothes but the tailgear most certainly still exists here.
"Elemera Orb - Book!!"
Yellow swiftly activates the Book elemera and the analysis screen pops up in front of her eyes.
"That attack... It formed an elaborate holographic image all over Red's body!"
I see. Not even commander class elemarians should be able to forcibly strip off the tailgear. It's not like I didn't get harmed from that. It should be fine to pay it no mind and attack. Our foe however, was going for something beyond what we could have expected.
"Please take a picture for me! It's going to be a family heirloom!!"
This was probably because I took up a fighting pose in gym clothes.
The crowd abandoned the distance they fixed themselves away at and threw out their manners as they flooded in towards me. The men made their attempts at getting close-ups of me while the women started clawing away clingily at my body.
"No do- No pictures...! Stooop~!"
Why is that whenever I'm in Tail Red's form I end up letting out these unwelcome little whimpers?
"I still have more for you! Up next, this!!"
Cicada Guildy's attack seems to turn everything outside the illusion see-through so the crowd got out of the same beam's way as it scores direct hit on me.
This time he changed me into a policewoman's outfit. I had a tight skirt on and under it were a pair panty stockings that I've never ever had on even once. This outfit didn't suit kids at all, but...
"I beg you! Arrest me right here and now!!"
The men came flooding back in, crawling and their faces to the ground. The future of japan rested on the shoulders of these youths and they were running off the righteous path!!
"And the apex! Is thiiiiiiiiiiiiisssss!!"
With this third cosplay I was made to look like I was in a wedding dress. Their fervor reaching their zenith, the flashes become more blinding than the sun itself.
"I'll kill you goddamned buuuuuuuuugggg! The fashion sense aside, what I can't forgive is the sight of a woman in a wedding dress! It's unbearable! Wedding dresses are... They're only supposed to be worn on the day of the wedding itseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllffff!!"
Pretty much saying to hell with the fitting and trying it on, miss maid's deeply resenting scream was mixed in with the crowd's shouts. When it comes to her own contentions, that woman will appear at any time and any place like the wind...
At any rate with all the civilians this close I won't be able to join the fight. Is all I can do now just hope that Blue and Yellow won't go berserk and try to endure this attack of his until I find a way out of it...!?
"WAHAHAHAHA! The most sublime material, the utmost sublime cosplay! Humans! Behold and know the wonders of cosplay! Do yourselves good by coming to love cosplay!!"
His wild enthusiasm cuts its way through the cosplay space as his amped up voice booms out from his megaphone.
"Hahahahahahahah! Much like a cicada's life, your creed is a transient one!"
"Nnuh! Who said that!?"
The crowd parts itself perfectly in twain down the middle. A white figure advances forwards unflinchingly between them and that figure was...
"I am the world traversing avenger, Kamen Twintail!!"
It was Twoearle. I mean, Kamen Twintail has finally shown herself out to public!!
"What the!? Who's that shady looking masked girl!?"
"Why!? Why doesn't Tail Red-tan have any good proper allies with her!?"
Yup. The reason the crowd parrted away like that had to have been their self-preservation instincts telling them not to get involved with her.
Kamen Twintail pays their reactions no mind, jabs a finger Cicada Guildy's way and begins her condemnation.
"You elemarians appeared in this world back in April! The applicationtime for this event would have been long over by then! What sort of underhanded method did you use to participate as a circle here!?"
......Twoearle should have come here at about the same time they did too, yet she managed to participate as a circle today as if it was only natural so that's just...
"More importantly, were you trying to spread the cosplay affinity with those Tail Red cosplays!? That plan is was an incredibly ill-conceived one!!"
"What are you saying!?"
Kamen Twintail begins her lecture at the elemarian like she always does.
"A girl as cute as Tail Red would look good in anything she wore! No matter how out of place the outfit may be, she would still win everyone over! She would break away those old, hardened prejudices and bring forth a new standard of beauty! It would not be a costume for just a time but a proper dress! An attire, a uniform!! That is not cosplay!!"
"O-oh my... Make costumes into uniforms!?"
"Yes! They would no longer be cosplay, they would be a change of clothes!!"
"Ch-change of clothes you say...!!?"
Cicada Guildy presses his hand to chest as if he were shot through it, he seemed to lapse dazily into intoxication.
"Mmh, my creed was smashed to pieces only just so, yet why does my busom beat with such excitement...! Tail Red's change of clothes! I merely ruminate upon the words but my body burns and boils over them!!"
The crowd finally puts their distance between them, not from becoming aware of any fevers though.
"Shit, the weird masked person and the elemarian said some really good stuff!"
"Tail Red's change of clothes! This is totally going to catch on!!"
"Right! Get the toymakers on the phone so we can put the merchandising requests through! Hurry! Like Obon break even counts for anything!!"
The crowd start yelling out their desires among themselves. There really isn't much of a difference between the things elemarians and humans do... Whether it be Cicada Guildy or these people I have to wonder if they happened to find out that they're overjoyed over a change of clothes for someone who's actually a man, wouldn't the damage not just smash apart their faith but also turn them into invalids?
"...and with that I'll leave the rest to you!"
Kamen Twintail waves at us as she hastily withdraws from the scene.
"What did you even come here foooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrr!!?"
"The civilians have taken their distance but it appears that the enemy has powered up from rejoicing as well. I suppose that the pluses and minuses zero out in this case..."
As Blue protests out loud, Yellow groans with a mmmm.
["You ask what I came for? I was the only one who didn't get to go shopping with Souji-sama. Hmmph!"]
Switching over to the comms, Twoearle says so peevishly. Blue and Yellow didn't know what to say to that. Now that she mentioned it, Twoearle's been waiting on standby up until her shift came.
The two of them quickly put themselves back to the matter at hand and turned their attention to me. Not only Yellow was looking apologetically at me but so was Blue.
"Red, it might be temporary but you're in a wedding dress right now so just stay there and sit tight."
"Indeed. I simply cannot abide by having a bride swing a sword around. Blue and I shall be the ones to fight!"
That's the consideration for girls. Out of all the change of clothes there are, wedding dresses are especially special ones. I can see people in the crowd ready to cry tears of blood, the maid included.
"Ci-Cicada Guildy-kun... S-sorry to keep you waiting... hohii..."
I turn around at hearing that tiny voice that sounded just like the buzzing of a mosquito coming from behind me. And sure enough what stood there was an elemarian, mosquito-like in appearance and small for their size. His form was a strange one where his abdomen had swollen up like he the mosquito's fill of blood.
"Ohh! Mosquito Guildy! You came right in time to back me up!!"
...cicada and mosquito elemarians... it sure is summer...
"I was hunting for treasure over at the company booths so you see I didn't notice the ruckus. I got my hands on a Red-tan body pillow though!"
With his shoulders shaking slightly and smiling the way a small animal would, Mosquito Guildy held a paper bag out. I don't want to think about it too deeply but just what is he going to do with a body pillow that has a picture of me printed on it?
"Alright! This makes 2 vs 2! Let's do this Tail Blue, Tail Yellow!!"
"Yeah. We have to show off the results of the hard training we did drawing up the painful illustrations of Tail Blue."
Blue's body shivers with a jolt at Mosquito Guildy's nonchalant follow-up to Cicada Guildy.
"What, was that...!? You trained doing what!? What do you mean by illustrations..."
They went out of their way to highjack the tv broadcasts to declare their ceasefire and their training regiment had come to light just right now.
"Exactly! Our training revolved around Tail Blue! We trained so that we could draw illustrations of you with all our hearts! We honed ourselves further during this entire ceasefire! All to defeat you!!"
"They were hard and harrowing days. We burned the sight of the Asura Tail Blue's movements into our eyes!!"
Cicada Guildy raises a shaking fist at the memories of those painful days.
"Only Blue alone!? Did you not do any anti-Yellow training in that time!?"
I don't know why Yellow seems to be jealous about that but this is getting to be a bad trend. They're not just sending out slimy, tentacled guys that Blue's weak against but now they're even doing training focused on countering Blue... our enemy is also growing stronger by the day!!
"Our illustrations... d-do you want to see them? Wanna see? I'm pretty proud of it you see... Hohihi..."
Those tiny bit of insistence he throws out start working on Blue's nerves. Mosquito Guildy pays it no mind as he pulled out and A4 sized sheet of paper and thrusts it out right in front of her.
"Oohh! It's an illustration of Tail Blue!"
"It's really good!"
The crowd expresses their frank compliments the illustration's way. That does seem to be an illustration of Blue.
"It's good but just how does that help you guys trai... huh?"
A question pops up in the back of my head. Blue... Aika. Elemarian. And illustrations. I feel like I'm on the verge of remembering something I shouldn't.
["Blue... No, Tsube Aika-san."]
Twoearle speaks over the comms in a low voice as if she was about start telling a ghost story. Blue immediately tries to stop her not wanting to hear it at all.
["Before we went to that other world, we spoke about this in the clubroom, didn't we? I didn't quite believe it myself. You may have been half joking but..."]
"Don't say it."
["You did say that if the elemarians were drawing illustrations of Tail Blue you'd spend the whole day naked in the classroom, right? Looks like you're actually going to have to do it now! GEHAHAHAHAHAH!!"]
As cruel as it may be, the two of them didn't make such a promise back in the clubroom before we took off for the other world and now it's turned into a reality.
["Well then, please continue the fight Tail Blue! Win or lose, destruction awaits you after it! What beauty there is in destruction!!"]
"I'm not going to be dying alone...!"
She means it. Her eyes are now saying that she's perfectly willing to take Twoearle with her as she leaps into the mouth of an erupting volcano.
"Hohii... t-the fruits of our training has moved Blue herself. Very well! As a bearer of the same cosplay affinity, I'm not letting myself lose out to Cicada Guildy-kun... hohihi."
Probably believing that his victory was assured, Mosquito Guildy takes out his weapon, a curved blade, and feebly grips hold of it.
Blue readies her lance in defiance and swiftly unleashes an Aura Pillar. Or so she tried.
"I see right through you! Your Exceute Wave's been broken~!!"
Mosquito Guildy smiles an effeminate smile as he avoids the attack by a hair's breadth. Missing its mark, the aura pillar makes it way to the crowd that was behind him but Blue remotely disperses it away in a panic.
"Yo-you're kidding me... He dodged it!?"
"That binding barrier you call the Aura Pillar... the swing you take when you shoot it out is pretty easy to deal with, don't you think?"
Mosquito Guildy begins expounding on aspects of the Aura Pillar that no one's touched on till now.
"Tail Blue, when you fight, you often make these unnatural movements to hide your torso away. Have you never noticed that?"
With a half-smile on his face, he explains thus in an insistent manner to get under her skin. Blue's mood is visibly taking a turn for the worse from it.
"At first, I thought you were doing this to cover your vital spot where your heart lies but... I was mistaken, wasn't I? You were subconsciously moving in ways that would keep your flat chest from standing out... Is that not the truth? If you just pay attention to those movements then even your finishing moves wouldn't so impossible to avoid now would they~... hohii"
He's aggravating her. No, it's probably just comes natural to him but... Mosquito's deliberate way of talking itself is lowering her boiling point... Rather, he just has bad compatibility with Blue's straight-shooter nature. Come to think of it, Twoearle said the exact same thing when she noticed how Aika's punches weren't as sharp as they usually were when she switched over to the summer uniform...
"Come on now, does it frustrate you? Hohii... Having how much you're bothered by your flat chest exposed like this, it has to be frustrating, right?"
Letting loose this low aggravating buzz, Mosquito continues to provoke her as he circles around her.
Blue's eyes dye themselves in red and her shoulders have started to quake. The crowd, having noticed that even the children are now at risk, all draw back away from her. The mosquito however, as tragic as it may be, did not possess those superior survival instincts even though he really should have wished for them.
"That kind of thing... got exposed to the whole world a loooooooooooooonggggttiiiiiimmmeeeagggggoooooo!!"
Blue grabs the slippery Mosquito Guildy by his bare neck and smashes his face against the surface all the way down to the bottom step. Fragments of broken concrete dance in the air to the tune of her thundering roars.
"Wai- How cruel! If it bothered you so... mgophu..."
Not relinquishing her hold over his neck, she stands him up again and showers that face of his with a flurry of fists with both her hands like hailfire out of a machinegun.
Cicada Guildy made to help him out of that but Blue sends him flying with a strike from her elbow. Right now, Blue's heart was not the gentle sea that covered the planet but the the bottom of the fathomless deep ocean where light did not reach.
While the people cover their ears at the punching din akin to having the sound of a mosquito's buzzing amplified a hundred million times over, Twoearle chimes in over the comms.
["Yellow! You said before that you wanted to listen to my CD didn't you!?"]
"Y-yes, I did say that but this is not the time to...!!"
["This is the perfect time to promote it! Please have a listen to it together with everyone else on the premises!!"]
I don't know when these huge speakers got set up here in the cosplay space but the melody of the prelude to an enka song chock full of emotion start blasting out of them.
Having had such anguish inflicted on upon them only just so, the people in the crowd wanted to avert their eyes from the tragedy unfolding before them so they perk their ears up to the music. What they heard was... the singing voice of the one who was escalating the tragedy right before them.
The Flat Life
Song: Anti Aika System No. 6 - Aika Harmonics
(Composited from secretly taken recordings of her voice)
The meagerness of my chest, was the meagerness of my happiness
The hardness of my chest, was the same as my fist.
My bitten lip, soft
My touched busom, simply hard
They'll grow, I believe they will, the seasons go by
My eyes meet, unchanging walls once more
Rough waves have them, so do ripples, and so do creeks
I gaze for them, over these breasts
For the retreating wave, that retreats back for me
The salmon flee, the tigers cry, the lion genuflects
Even so they will not rise, these feelings of mine
Gods to pray to, long have I beaten
Stars to wish on, have so fallen
Hhaaaan~, The Flat Life, I hate breasts
Hhaaaan~, The Flat Life, I want breasts
The sorrowful singing voice flows out for us to hear. Tail Blue's song washes the battlefield in misery. The bars in Aika's singing voice play out in line with her punches. What was unfortunate about it was that it was fitting melody for this silencing atrocity. The crowd themselves slowly closed their eyes to drown themselves in the hymn.
"I-it is very cool, please compose a song for me as well next time!"
Yellow's eyes were sparkling as if she were hearing a tokusatsu hero's insert song.
"You'd still want something from the one that came up with that on the nose composition!? It'll probably end up being a song called the "Cape of Stripping" or something like that..."
"STOPPIT. STOP. IT. STOP."
The special characteristic of insectoid elemarians with such high raw defensive power had become his undoing. Mosquito Guildy had lost enough of his will to fight for it to be considered a total technical knock out if they had been in a boxing match.
Punching with her right to blow him back to her left and then following that up with a leftie to blow him back up right before he can fall, Blue does not even grant him the mercy to buckle under.
Is this what an infinite hell is like?
Slowly, but very surely, his time runs out and the lifelight in him is extinguished.
"Ci-cicada Guildy-kun. My, my spoils of war. Take them, to the base... take them... home... hohiii..."
With the fruits of his training rejected as if they were squashed flat by an open palm, the warrior mosquito, at last exhausted of all his strength, blows up to pieces.
"Mosquito Guildy...! Kuuh! W-what were those days we wasted away training even for!?"
Cicada Guildy falls to his knees as his body trembled in place.
Even though they finally managed to find that split second opening, they were still helpless going up against a meathead that was all for using her fists when her finishing move wouldn't do...
"...if you've accepted your loss then change my clothes back to normal and withdraw! And after that, never come for us again!!"
I have no intention of striking down an opponent who's lost their will to fight at this point. As long as he still hasn't stolen any elemera I'd rather that this fight come to an end asap.
My hopes however, were for naught. My words seem to have the opposite effect since they roused him up instead as Cicada Guildy rises up with force.
"We Ultimaguil warriors! Do not retreat!!"
"You shall not lay your hands on Red!!"
It seems that all her full power punches took a lot out of her so Blue's all tired out. So in her stead, Yellow's going to be the one who faces off against Cicada Guildy. I'm just going to keep on standing here in this wedding dress holding this bouquet up to my chest.
"Tail Yellow... I have something to ask you seeing as you jump at the chance to strip... Clothes, just what are they!? They are not things to be taken off but rather things to be put on are they not!? I can't be wrong! It matters not whether you're man or woman, anyone would want for a little girl to wear even cuter clothes!!"
"You make light of the will of others. That is nothing to be proud of. Put them on when you wish to wear clothes and strip them off when you wish to take them off. That is what it means to be human... That is what clothes are! Don't you agree, dear master?"
"Well it's true that the people's right to freedom should be kept safe but I think that freedom does have to have guidelines to it..."
I intended to refute her with everything I could but it doesn't look like that got across to her.
"Yes... one must love freedom and peace! That is what it means to be a hero!"
She nodded spiritedly at that favorable interpretation she came up with so I didn't add anything further to that.
"Very well, then I... at least allow me to put on my best dress for the occassion!! Tail Blue may have pounded down on it but you... Can you bring yourself to do the same, Tail Yellow!?"
Cicada Guildy clads himself entirely in the shed Tail Red costume once again and charges in at Tail Yellow.
...could you not use my twintails as your burial attire?
"I most certainly can! There is no need to hesitate for a mere imitation! Also, I would very much like for my dear master to spank me! This is where the burning hot trust between comrades comes into its full form!!"
"Don't follow Blue's example! It's fine for you to hesitate! Isn't this kinda taking things in an entirely different direction!?"
I quickly scanned our surroundings. It's true that the crowd's opened up a lot more space between us after Blue just staged that bloody world title fight but even so that's not enough to mitigate any casualties given Yellow's firepower.
However, it looks like even Yellow is fully aware of that fact and, to my shock, fires off not one single shot but still went and purged off all of her armor!!
...and while her current outfit did expose a great deal of her, I didn't pick up any signs of even a single picture being taken. This was how society's vigilance against Yellow had taken shape here...
The one who puts on clothes.
The one who strips them off.
Putting their creeds on the line, they clash head on.
Wait no, looking more closely she's still had something on... the armor on Yellow's left arm was still there!
"Elemera Orb - Transexual!!"
She activated the gender reversing Transexual elemera orb thereby activating the equipment completed in the battle in the other world that let her use multiple elemera orbs simultaneously in conjuction with one another - Yellow was activating Elemeraddition.
"Elemeraddition! Leg! Rabbit!!"
The elemera orbs that she loaded up were of affinities that boosted her leg power. A mounter materialized itself on her right ankle and she slid the Voltic Shooter she held in her hand into it. Using the Rabbit elemera's boosted jumping power, she kicks off the ground with her left leg. Together with the electricity supplied by her Voltic Shooter and the force amplified by the Leg elemera's ability, Yellow unleashes a spinning kick with her right!!
"Voltic Jugdement - Crescent!!"
For Yellow who was an expert on kick techniques this was sure to be an ace. Her electric leg drew a magnificent crescent arc that burned off the Tail Red costume and struck Cicada Guildy dead center.
"Fuh, FHAHAHA... I did not lose Tail Yellow! Recall how the masses reacted to Tail Red's changing of clothes! People, they... rather than strip their clothes, they want to put them on insssteeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaddddd!!"
Having lost in their face-off, Cicada Guildy is launched high up into the air. Entrusting his hopes for his own affinity with the people, he explodes in the wide open sky.
A close combat fight... On top of that, she used an ace that allowed her to avert any casualties amidst the all the people packed around us. Being able to come up with another version of her finishing move on the fly is really just like Yellow.
The technique aside though, there was a problem that came out of it.
She could strip herself without shooting anything.
As the wedding dress gives way and I return back to being in my original gear, the crowd drowns us in a flood of cheers. I didn't get to do anything this time around.
While most of the crowd was repulsed by Blue's battle, there was one who watched it with the untainted eyes of a young boy. It was the foreign man whom Souji and Aika been there in the stead of the circle that inivited those to check it out with their cut of Tail Blue.
"Tail Blue really is so darn cool."
Even though the venue's closing time was approaching, he stood right there at the cosplay space in the memory of what transpired earlier.
Receiving a hard slap on the back with the honed, bulging muscles on his shoulders he saw that it was a skinheaded foreigner in sunglasses just like his.
"HEY Deck! That was awful of you to take off in the middle of your watch at the table."
"Sorry. But when I heard that announcement there just wasn't anyone left in the building."
The skinheaded man seemed to be the circle head who drew that cut of Blue. After a bit of jock flavored talking, the skinheaded man mutters aloud in profound emotion.
"Well? What did you think of Comiket? Was your secret trip here worth it?"
"It was the best. I met a lot of people who were into twintails and most of all I got to see Tail Blue's fighting up close. I'll be able to bring that to the set when filming starts!"
He was the action star that's going to be playing the role of Tail Blue in the currently in production hollywood Twintails movie. He was that Deck Nielsen.
Perhaps it was done to prepare for his role but his real hair had grown abnormally fast when it was compared against how short it had been at the movie's production announcement. It even looked long enough to be put up in twintails at this point. This was the acting soul he needed to have.
Just what manner of inspiration did this man take from his live show of Blue's atrocities?
"I was able to show off a new finishing move today as well. That is sure to raise Yellow's popularity!"
If you're so concerned about popularity then why do you always end up stripping...
"...I ended up going berserk in front of all those people... Just when I finally got to meet a precious Blue fan..."
If you really did care about how your fans might see you then you would have known not to knock a thousand out of the park with all those costumed bodies before you even went berserk...
Yellow and Blue's impressions from the battle are in symmetry today.
We took off into the air away from the booming cheers at the cosplay space and went looking for a spot where we could undo our transformations. But then suddenly, we felt an intense surge of power pull at us and we landed on a rooftop not too far away from the venue.
"What was that!?"
We braced ourselves for whatever it was coming our way and got ready to do battle immediately. Black winds whoosh by around us and Deja Vu washes over me from it.
I turn my attention to the roof's entrance. What waited for me there was, strangely enough, the girl whose safety I had been fretting over.
"It's been a while hasn't it, Tail Red."
The girl clad in black sweeps out her mantle out in the sea breeze and looks straight at me.
While I was relieved to see that she was in good health, I also realized something was off at the same time.
The cape she let fly in the wind was shredded halfway along its length and in tatters. It wasn't just that, her Jet Black armor, the Glass Gear, was cracked in places and pieces of it were falling off. It all told of the damage she took in battle.
Mega Neptune who was standing beside her holding her up was in the same state. Her shining body was sparking electricty all over in places where she was damaged. Did this come from their battle with Phoenix Guildy...!?
"If it's here then we won't need to worry about people seeing us."
"Are you here to fight us!?"
A visibly fed up Blue condemns her.
"You're coming at us after letting one of your flunkies wear us down, again!? Is that all you can come up with you one trick pony!?"
Dark Grasper was emanating an air of aggravation dipping into murderous intent, almost like back when we had our first battle with her.
"...undo your transformation Tail Red."
'Who are you. Show me your true identity,' that was also like the first time she confronted me about it.
"Your real face! Show it to me! You have that obligation to me!!"
However, the motive behind it today was clearly different from what it was then.
"Are you truly a man or are you not!? I'll have you show yourself to the whole world!!"
She was convinced of "Tail Red's true identity". And she's demanding my conviction for it.
Height: About 145~170cm(Varies by the individual)
Weight: About 50-70kg(Varies by the individual)
Affinity: Nothing in particular
An inexhaustible supply of mass produced combatants with a mixed mass of elemera servinfg as their cores. The faithfully obey the commands given to them by the elemarians. From aiding in battle to putting out hot thin books, they are all-purpose in what they can be told to do. Regretably though, they are ridiculously weak. When contrasting with Blue who has not one ounce of sympathy as their enemy, even their enemies would worry for them. Practically speaking though, the shouldn't have very much intelligence going for them... They're typically styled in all black but the ones employed by No Blul Club come in a red variation and there are still higher classes of them surrounded in mystery.