Chapter 14: Shidou’s Persuasion
Aboard the Fraxinus, Kannazuki was beneath Itsuka Kotori’s foot while Theo stood beside her with a communicator in his hand. On the monitor of the command deck were multiple choice questions that the “experts” would vote for and relay to Itsuka Shidou for him to say.
“Itsuka Shidou,” Theo calmly spoke into the microphone, “Yatogami Tohka currently holds neither a favourable nor disliking opinion of you. As such, you need to tread carefully to slowly increase it. If you can raise her favourability enough, you can take her away from Justice and seal her powers. After that, we will be able to bring her aboard the Fraxinus and protect her.”
“You hear that, Shidou? You better listen to what we say or else!” Kotori shouted into the microphone.
“Umm, if Justice-san and Yatogami-san would allow me to show you around the school,” Itsuka Shidou said timidly said to Justice and Tohka.
“Of course,” Justice said as he and Tohka merely smiled toward him. He was sure Shidou was getting information fed to him based on his often-absentminded look, but that didn’t matter as it was also their task to remain close with him.
Shidou led them around the school and often tried to start a conversation with Tohka, but only received curt responses in exchange which left him at a loss of words to respond with. She would constantly cling to Justice and gaze adoringly at him making it difficult to insert himself between the two of them as the communicator in his ear had been telling him to do.
“Yatogami-san, would you like to go over and try some of the food from the school cafeteria. It’s really good food,” Tohka’s eyes lit up open hearing about good food and looked at Justice who simply rolled his eyes at her.
Justice was about to say, “Let’s go then,” when one of Shidou’s friends, Tonomachi Hiroto, appeared behind him. Hiroto wrapped his arm over Justice’s shoulder while holding his phone out in front of Justice and passionately said, “Justice-san, would you have a look at my girlfriend, isn’t she adorable?!”
“That depends, can she fight?” Justice said, mimicking his enthusiasm, while discreetly giving Tohka a helpless nod and telling her to go on. Food was one of the only things that would make Tohka abandon his side. He thought to himself that whomever is directing Shidou must also be a player, for those who know that Tohka is a glutton doesn’t extend to the crew of the Fraxinus.
Hiroto looked at Justice and tried to retreat and protect his phone with a pale expression, but with Justice’s skill in martial arts and enhanced speed, he naturally snatched the phone from Hiroto’s hand with ease.
Justice didn’t really understand how this virtual girlfriend worked and just pressed on a few buttons and poked her a few times to test the touch screen. He then handed the phone back to Hiroto, who was already on the ground in tears, after getting bored with the dating app.
“Ah, my little seed-chan, I’m sorry, I couldn’t protect you. I’ll do better. I promise. Please believe me.” Hiroto rapidly murmured like an occult hymn.
Justice began wandering in the direction of the cafeteria and quickly arrived there. When he did so, he couldn’t find Tohka and Shidou. He casually purchased something to eat while continuing to look for them.
Shidou led Tohka to a cafeteria that was not the one the school provided but one secretly set up by Ratatoskr. Everyone here was a member of the organization and were tasked with helping Shidou grow closer to Tohka as best as they can.
Tohka’s eyes lit up seeing a wide range of pastries and other freshly cooked meals and naïvely still thought that this was the school cafeteria, despite the fact that there were no other students in the vicinity.
“Itsuka Shidou, Justice is patrolling the school looking for you, but he is taking his time. You should have until the end of recess to make a move. Tohka is weak at heart so if you can sway her, you should be able to win her over. Just repeat after me,” Theo spoke to Shidou through the communicator.
“Yatogami-san, may I call you Tohka?” Shidou asked while Tohka looked through the pastries displayed.
Tohka nodded absentmindedly, not caring about being called by her given name as that is what Justice always called her by and she is used to by now. To her, everyone calling her Yatogami-san is more awkward.
“Tohka, you can also call me Shidou,” Shidou said awkwardly after realizing that forget about calling him by his given name without honorifics and not the polite family name, she hadn’t even acknowledged anyone’s presence in the school. To this hour, Shidou can’t recall her using anyone’s name.
“I want this one, this one, five of these, and three of these,” Tohka drooled on the display case as she demanded what pastries she wanted, not paying attention to Shidou at all.
Shidou became embarrassed as he listened to the quiet voice in his ear before he affirmed his will and stepped forward, attempting to grab onto Tohka’s hand. Normally she would have been caught off guard by this, but after a weekend of intensive sparring with Justice, her battle instincts were keener than ever.
Tohka casually avoided the hand and swatted Shidou away like a fly. The latter flew several meters before rolling across the ground and vomiting blood. The staff of the cafeteria acted as if they didn’t see anything and continued to serve Tohka food. Shidou was naturally standing up again soon as the healing flames restored is internal condition, although the pain had yet to fade.
“Shidou, Justice told me not to kill you, but if you try to touch me again a will chop off your arms,” Tohka said casually while still drooling over the pastries, leaving Shidou not know what to say.
“What’s going on?” Shidou whispers painfully into the communicator, “Why did her mood value drop all of a sudden?”
It was Kotori’s voice that responded, “Shidou, get away from her now! I don’t fully understand myself, but when she attacked you just now, her mood value didn’t drop, or even fluctuate, at all.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means she cares so little for you that you are like dirt in her eyes,” Theo calmly said, secretly questioning just how attached to Justice Tohka was for her to change in such a drastic way. “This mission is a failure due to unexpected variables, pull back for now and leave her be.”
“No! I can’t!” Shidou said righteously before facing Tohka again, “I know you are being forced to fight, Tohka. Anyone who would force you to do such a thing is not a good person. Especially Justice, He is a pig who murders so casually and would treat a girl in such a way! Please, Tohka, allow me to save you.”
Shidou had heard about Justice and how violent he was, he just hid such thoughts during school. He even saw a video of Justice using his bare hands to rip out the throat of the player in the mall that Ratatoskr dug up despite the JGSDF’s best attempt to erase it. Because of this. he spoke his true feelings to Tohka without hesitation.
Up in the Fraxinus, alarms immediately rang as Tohka’s mood plummeted like a meteorite. They quickly turned into a negative value as her powers inverted, the Sephira Crystal inside her becoming a Qlipha Crystal and her Angel transforming into a Demon King.
Her school clothe flaked away like old paint and revealed a dark violet lace dress with pitch black lining. The dress barely covered her breasts like loose lingerie yet revealed all of her stomach, shoulders, and the majority of her chest. The ribbon in her hair also turned to a deep violet to match the dress as he hair began to wave gently.
The crew of the Fraxinus were shouting for Shidou to get out of there upon seeing the situation turn even worse, but Shidou’s sense of justice and protagonist attribute proved to be indomitable.
“Tohka, from the first moment I met you, I knew I loved you,” Shidou quoted a line off the dating game Kotori and Reine made him play.
Surprisingly, Tohka didn’t draw her sword after this. She instead raised a finger and a near pitch-black ball of destructive energy formed in front of it.
“Justice said you can heal from most wounds. I may not be allowed to kill you, but I will teach you to never speak that way about my Justice!!” Tohka’s expression was furious as she shouted, the air itself vibrating.
Tohka appeared before Shidou, picking him up by the neck with one hand and shoved the ball of destruction into his stomach with the other, tearing it to shreds in the process and splattering blood everywhere.
This wasn’t like in the anime where she lost control and her power governed her, blocking her recent memories and turning her into a warrior of pure aggression. She had the Mana Control technique and all the spirit mana inside her was completely under her control, even if it reverted to a more primal form.
Shidou screamed out in agony as his stomach experienced the pain of going through a meat grinder and being shredded to tiny pieces. A part of his mind started to go blank, but the incessant pain forced him to stay conscious and experience a true nightmare.
Tohka quickly released Shidou and leapt back out of instinct. A form appeared before Shidou, protecting him. The form didn’t have a face or voice, it’s appearance was completely pixilated, and the voice distorted. The figure moved an arm before staring at Tohka perplexed. It soon gave up though and disappeared, leaving behind a half dead Shidou on the ground and Tohka still in her inverse form.
Tohka grabbed a few pastries and walked out of the cafeteria in search of Justice, ignoring the faint whimpers of Shidou.