Chapter 48 – This is Actually a Date
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I was standing before the train station, where we agreed to meet. This time, I had no bigger issues before arriving, like embarrassment or anything. I guess it could be expected since she wasn’t that unfamiliar to me anymore.

What was weird, though, was that it seemed that I had arrived first. There were still 10 minutes left until the meeting time, but… she had always been already waiting there even if I arrived earlier. That’s why it appeared strange to me… had something happened? Or maybe she hiding somewhere already?

I couldn’t do anything but wait.

“…”

“Human.”

Suddenly, a voice coming from behind startled me. Needless to say, I recognized it immediately. I turned around half-consciously.

“Lumi… ya?”

Instantly I noticed that there was something odd about her. Just as I expected, she wore the black coat that sheathed her entire body and was apparently called the Battle Attire. Her head was coated by a hood that had a pair of fluffy cat ears sticking out. Also, nothing like a gas mask was covering her face. She finally learned that it was pointless.

“Yes?”

Her left eye was still hidden by the eyepatch, but the right one…

“Why is your eye red?”

For some reason, it was red today.

“There is a reason… I can’t tell you that.”

She put a color contact in, right?

“Oh. It looks…”

Honestly, I found her clothes sort of cute. They were quite conspicuous, which wasn’t a bad thing, but it was quite embarrassing. More importantly, though, I liked their originality.

“cute…” I had to avert my gaze to flatter her, but the voice that came out was quite mute.

“T-thanks…”

Yeah. She was cute. I didn’t have to tell her that to enjoy it… but she became even cuter when I told her about it. That’s exactly why I told her.

“W-well then, shall we depart?” she suggested.

“R-right. So, where are we going first?”

Since we were in front of the train station, we could go basically anywhere. We could take a train to the more crowded parts of the city, as well as stay here and visit some restaurant or store.

I realized how many things there were to do around when you had someone to keep you company.

“…” I heard her uttering some noises, but there was no response. It seemed that she didn’t know. Probably there were too many things to pick from.

Idly, I took a look around. I spotted a large movie poster on one of the tall buildings.

“What about a movie?”

“I agree”, her response was immediate.

“Okay.”

We really didn’t have any plans for today? Weren’t we going to get bored before evening if it went on? I would’ve suggested meeting later if I knew it was going to be like that. But I might have been wrong.

As such, we departed towards the cinema.

I quite enjoyed the movie we had watched, but she didn’t seem to be interested in it. Apparently, it was a recap movie for some long-running anime series she’d been watching, but I knew nothing about it, so maybe it was the reason. Surprisingly, it was she who chose it, so she was probably doing it for me to get me into that series. And I might as well check it out once I get back home.

Once we left the cinema, we headed for a family restaurant. It was the exact same one as the one we visited in summer—it was completely on accident.

“So, you didn’t like the movie?”

“They didn’t add anything new, it was just a condensed version of what I’ve already seen. It’s just another cash grab.”

“But it was you who picked it…”

“I… hoped that there will be a new scene. Also…” her voice became unsteady at some point.

“Also?”

“Y-you enjoyed it, right? So don’t complain.”

“Yeah, I haven’t seen the original after all”, therefore I had no way of knowing that it was just a trimmed version of the TV show. By the way, where did her act go?

That’s right, she had a kind of different feel to her today. Even though she wore the same strange black coat with cat ears as usual, her behavior was unusual. Like, she wasn’t pretending to be an alien that much anymore, she was trying… to be like a girlfriend, I guess?

“…”

“…”

Yeah, it was embarrassing. I didn’t mind her as much as other people in the restaurant, that was, unfortunately, quite busy today. The look in their eyes… was there anything interesting in us? They had to be thinking, “what a cute couple”. Maybe it was true, but… I would rather not be seen by anyone. I was quite similar to her if it came to liking quiet and empty places.

“What are we gonna be doing now?”

“I thought about… karaoke.”

Oh, karaoke? It’d certainly been a while. Last time I went there was… when was it, again? Last year maybe. I had quite a lot of fun there, even though I didn’t know the people I went with well, so it was surely a great idea to do it with her.

I couldn’t sing… but most people couldn’t. She neither, unless she had another hidden talent she hadn’t showed me yet. Either way, I wasn’t afraid of humiliating myself before her… at least as for singing.

“Can you sing, Lumiya?”

“M-maybe. Somewhat.”

Her response had no meaning. I had to wait and see. But I’d better not get my hopes too high.

“You don’t have to be embarrassed. I can’t really sing too.”

“S-singing is an ability unnecessary in world conquest…” her alien side seemed to be back with that odd statement.

“Are you going to conquer the world now…?”

By the way, it wasn’t completely true, at least when you didn’t mean world conquest literally. There were a lot of singers with popularity exceeding borders, and their opinions had impact on people all around the world. So, they had kind of conquered the world with their singing.

“No. Wh-why would I need this godforsaken world filled with treacherous and disgusting people? I would just destroy it along with all humanity. Destroy.”

What an odd ambition.

“Would you leave anyone alive?”

“F-for the plan to completely succeed, I would have to kill everyone. Including me and you. But… I’m not sure if I would be able to do that.”

“I see. Why would you have to die too?”

“B-because… unfortunately, it’s not possible for me to survive on this planet on my own. By the way, I would have to destroy the planet as well… so I wouldn’t have any place to live…”

“Oh…”

Fantasizing about destroying the entire humanity and Earth… was certainly weird. But I liked that about her.

“Wh-what are you even talking about, human?? I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about destruction today…” huh, she hadn’t told me that. Was it sort of a resolution of hers?

“Oh, sorry. Err… isn’t it about time we left?”

“Y-yes.”

Thus, we left the restaurant and headed for the karaoke place.

“Phew. That was a lot of fun…”

“Y-You have become rather insolent lately, human…”

Time passes by quickly when you’re having fun—that was certainly the case for us today. Before we knew it, it had already become evening… And I didn’t feel like going home yet.

We sat down on a bench that we found on an empty street near our neighborhood. It didn’t seem like anyone was going to be passing by anytime soon, so I could rest assured and not worry about being spotted. Anyway, I was sure that someone I knew had already seen us today. We visited so many popular places, after all.

“…”

It would be winter soon, so the temperature at evening was quite low. I didn’t feel like freezing, though, in fact it wasn’t bothering me at all. I was more worried about her, but taking a look at her odd black outfit was enough to reassure me. It looked quite thick, so she wasn’t cold. At least I thought so.

“Human…” suddenly, she called out to me in a small voice.

“Yes?”

“Are you… cold?” she asked me hesitantly. What a coincidence, I was just thinking about asking her the same.

“No. It’s alright”, my answer was completely honest. By the way, what would she do if I was cold? Would she lend me that coat of hers? Or would she magically take out something like she did before?

“I have… something to tell you. Would you mind listening for a while?”

“Huh? Okay”, I was quite confused.

“It may take some time, so… if you want to go home already, I can tell you another day.”

“No, I don’t mind”, I wondered, what did she want to tell me? If she didn’t do it now, I would end up thinking about it every day until she went back to it again. I didn’t see a reason not to do it now.

“Maybe… maybe we can go to my base… it’s warm there, after all”, suddenly, she came up with an unexpected proposal. I hadn’t been to her house since summer vacation, but…

“Huh? You mean right now?” I could believe it, so I voiced my surprise.

“N-Now. Is there something wrong with it?”

“N-No, but… aren’t your parents home…?” actually, none of our parents knew about out relationship. And I didn’t feel like telling them anytime soon. Maybe they would learn on their own soon… but it would be a day full of embarrassment.

“They… The guardians are out. And they won’t return today.”

Huh, were her parents out on a business trip or something? Well, it wasn’t my concern. What mattered to me was that they weren’t home, so they wouldn’t spot us.

“O-Okay.”

“It’s… quite long. And confidential. So, the base is the only place I can reveal it to you in.”

“Then, shall we go?” I stood up from the bench, prompting her to do the same as I realized how tired I actually was.

“…”

Upon entering the house, she said nothing. Well, I guess it wasn’t necessary. I noticed that all lights were out, which meant that really nobody was home.

She only took off her shoes and immediately headed upstairs. I already knew that her room was there. But…

“It’s quite dark in here…” I commented on that she didn’t turn any lights on. I could just barely see my steps.

“S-sorry. I’m used to darkness.”

“You really can see everything just like that…?”

“…”

We arrived before her door. Surprisingly, she didn’t have a second thought before opening it and letting me peer inside. She even turned the lights on, which at first dazzled my eyes that had apparently gotten used to the darkness in this short time.

The room looked pretty much the same as last time, except that her bed was messy. There weren’t any clothes scattered around, though, so it was relatively clean overall.

“Sorry for being so abrupt. Do you want anything to drink…?”

“No need.”

“I see. Do you want me… to change?”

“What’s with that question…?”

Last time I’d been to her house, she had a magical girl suit instead of her usual black coat. Maybe it was what she meant by that?

“Uh… you can change if you’re too warm in those clothes…” why should I be telling her that?

“No. That’s not a problem.”

“Okay… so, what did you want to tell me?”

She approached the desk and seemed to be fiddling with her right eye… I had no idea what she was doing, but once she turned around, I realized that her eye became blue again, so apparently, she was just taking the color contact off. Why had she put it on in the first place…?

Having instructed me to sit down on the chair, she took a seat on her messy bed. Before she started talking, she took the pair of gloves off and just tossed them on the floor. How come she wasn’t embarrassed to do it even though I was there?

Anyhow, looking at the floor, she sighed and spoke those words:

“I’ll tell you… about Himawari.”

She was Himawari, but she called herself Lumiya. Okay, I know, it’s confusing. What she meant by that was… most likely the human side of her. The one that wasn’t pretending to be an alien, the one that had her left eye unconcealed, the one that didn’t wear those odd black clothes or magical girl suits, etc.

“Himawari…”

The name of the girl sitting before me.

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