Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? The Oni and the Ninja

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Two guys go off to chat about girls. Perfectly harmless, right?

The Oni and the Ninja


Author’s note: oni-kun’s point of view.


After leaving the conference room, I was led to Kusama’s private room. In size, I guess it was about 6 tatami or so. However, because clothes and all sorts of mysterious objects of uncertain usage are scattered over the place, I feel that the usable space is rather cramped. To put it bluntly, it’s a mess. Heck, I can’t even see the floor.

「Kusama, tidy the place up.」
「Sorry, sorry. It’s not like I’ve ever had anyone over before, you see.」

Kusama makes a little unabashed laugh, and my anger fades away.

「Anyway, let’s sit?」

Pushing aside a heap of rubbish, I take out a chair. Since there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else to sit other than the bed, I’ll gratefully sit here. Sure enough, Kusama sits down on the bed. There’s nowhere else to sit after all.

「Anyway, it’s been a long time.」
「Yeah. In the previous conference we had no chance to talk after all.」

During the previous conference, though we did meet face to face, we withdrew without exchanging even a few words. Yet, since my previous life this is the first time that I’ve had a conversation like this. It really can be said to have been a long time. Particularly in my case as a male reincarnator, this is the first time with someone I’m relatively friendly with. With both Shiro-san and Sophia-san, it’s not like I interacted with them in my previous incarnation for a start, and I’ve not had any kind of friendly conversations with them either, so for some reason I have this deep emotion welling up within me at this reunion.

「It seriously has been a long time, yeah. What have you been up to until now?」
「That will be a long story I guess.」

Many things have happened to me in this world. If I start to talk about that, it will take up a lot of time. I want to enjoy having a conversation with a friend in this reunion after such a long time, but it’s not like I can just talk forever. Besides, at any rate, talking about my past will make for a gloomy conversation. Since there’s this chance, I’d rather not make the mood gloomy.

「I mean, are you seriously going to participate in the war together with the demons?」
「I am serious about doing so.」
「Ehh. Don’t go there. War and stuff is madness, right.」

Seeing Kusama’s face showing his objection from the bottom of his heart, a bitter smile came out. It seems that Kusama hasn’t yet experienced harsh circumstances like I did. That attitude of avoiding war, makes me envious, or perhaps he’s blindingly pure compared to me.

「You won’t participate, Kusama?」
「No way, no way. Being in a war is like repeatedly asking to be killed right. If I was about to be forced into it I would flee instead. Ah, this is off-the-record okay.」

Considering that he is a member of the core of the Divine Word Religion which is an organisation that could be said to represent humanity, he sure seems to be pretty casual about refusing to participate in war. I guess it’s nice to be free. Despite all that, I bet that when the moment arises he would go with the flow and actually start participating in the war. That’s the kind of guy Kusama is. Taking a “if you can’t beat them join them” attitude, he then tries to steal the show, but gets the short end of the stick instead. That sort of guy.

「At any rate, during the conference, weren’t you rather too nervous?」
「Idiot! It’d be impossible for me not to be nervous in a place like that, right! Why did I have to be there? I was seriously sticking out like a sore thumb you know.」

I’m relieved to see that he still has his lower class attitude. He sure hasn’t changed. As he himself would say, Kusama would get nervous just from being embarrassed during class at school, so it might be unfair to expect such a person to not be nervous during that tense atmosphere during the conference.

「Rather, to be able to boldly make that statement in such a place, you’re amazing.」
「Haha. Maybe that was a case of being numb with fear though.」

Perhaps that could also be called a form of desperation. Despite how it looked though, in a different sense to Kusama, I made that statement while considerably nervous. The nervousness that if I made one wrong move then I might be erased.

「Say, Sasa-yan.」

Kusama called me the same way he used to before.

「Ah, sorry. I’d prefer to be called “Wrath”, please.」

It felt nice to be called the same way that Kusama used to call me before. However, I don’t want to call myself by my old name after all. If I had to say it, it might be a rather trivial hangup, but no matter what, I really don’t think I have the right to call myself by the name my parents gave me in the old world or this world.

「Sasa-yan, when did you become chuunibyou?」
「It’s not something like that though. There’s some rather complicated reasons but if possible I don’t want to be called by my real name.」
「Hrmm. Well, if you say so.」

It’s not like he actually understood, but Kusama still accepted it. However, chuunibyou huh? Sophia-san also called me that, depressingly.

「Ah, by the way Sasa, er no, Wrath? I really hope not, but don’t tell me you and Wakaba-san are dating or something, right?」
「Huh?」
「Don’t “huh” me! What the heck is with you standing beside the school’s lovely goddess Wakaba-san! If the others knew of this, wouldn’t you be killed!? Even if you’re not actually dating!」

Er, ahh. Certainly Shiro-san, or rather Wakaba-san in her previous life was popular. However, because of this feel about her that she was virtually impossible to approach, there wasn’t anyone who would confess or similar to her, and instead it was the case that she was worshipped from a distance. If anyone tried to get close to that Wakaba-san, they’d probably be faced with murderous intent by some of those worshippers.

「It’s okay. It’s not that kind of sweet relationship.」

Based on what I know of the current Shiro-san, even in a worst case scenario I won’t gain such feelings for her I’m sure.

「Right then. In that case keep a lookup so that no strange bugs approach Wakaba-san! I can rely on you, right!」
「Sure, Sure.」

I’ll just go with the flow in response here. I bet that even if I did nothing, I doubt Shiro-san would be able to get a boyfriend anyway. Shiro-san doesn’t seem to be interested in such things for a start.

「By the way, whether it’s Wakaba-san, or whether it’s Sasa er Wrath, why are your faces unchanged since before? As far as I know everyone who is reborn should have a different face though.」
「I don’t really understand it myself.」

It’s not like I wished for my face to be like this for a start.

「The point we have in common, would be both Shiro-san and I were originally monsters I guess. Maybe if you evolve from a monster to a human form you get your previous life’s face or something?」
「Speaking of which, the old geezer did seem to say that Wakaba-san was a monster called the Nightmare of the Labyrinth.」
「Old geezer?」
「The pope.」

How can this guy call the leader of a large organisation “old geezer” when he was so nervous sitting in that conference? I don’t really understand the difference between such things.

「I’ve only heard about it myself, but is it true that Wakaba-san committed something extreme?」
「It’s true. Enough that it’s rather scary.」

I feel bad for shattering Kusama’s delusions about Shiro-san, but it’s certainly the truth that Shiro-san is involved with all sorts of shady things. I’ve heard her say from her own mouth that she’s committed massacres for a start, and declare that she will commit more in future as well. I can’t even stop that, and I’ll be in a position to contribute towards that as well.

「To think Wakaba-san would. Well, I guess that’s okay.」

How’s that okay?

「Don’t you think that whatever Wakaba-san wants to do is probably okay?」
「Is that really how it is?」

Certainly, since her previous existence Wakaba-san has been wrapped in mystery though.

「I feel that she’s changed after being reborn though.」
「Well of course. More than ten years have passed, yeah? Of course she’d change.」
「In that sense, you haven’t changed much though, Kusama.」

Having dug his own grave, Kusama collapses on the bed. Instead, I actually feel relieved that Kusama’s attitude hasn’t really changed though.

「Talking of having changed, that darn Rihoko, hasn’t she changed too much?」
「Oh my? Who you might be referring to there, I wonder?」

To Kusama’s seemingly reminiscing words, the voice of a third party responds. Almost as if I can hear a creaking sound, Kusama slowly turns his head around, and with a similar feeling I look over my shoulder. Standing there, with an incredibly scary expression on her face, is Sophia-san.


 

Translation notes:

In Japan, rooms are often measured in terms of the number of tatami mats that would be required to cover the floor, often a whole number. For a home, 6 tatami would be about 2.73m by 3.64m (9ft by 12ft).

“Sasa-yan” – Wrath’s full name in his previous existence is 笹島京也 – Sasajima Kyouya. Sasa-yan (笹やん) uses the first kanji of Sasajima. It’s pretty common to make up nicknames like this.

“Strange bugs” – not in the literal meaning. Wrath is basically being asked to guard “Wakaba-san” against anyone attracted to her making an approach.

“Rihoko” – Sophia’s old nickname. “Ri” for “real”, “ho” for “horror” and “ko” being a common ending for girl’s names – ie “real horror girl”.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 261
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 266