Clyde blinked once, then twice, wincing and gawking. The fight was epic as fuck—and his life mate kicked ass. He knew he’d have to stop it. It’d take zero effort to just brush Harumi and Yuki aside. Did they really think that they could hold him? He wasn’t arrogant, but these two clearly needed another demonstration of what he worked hard to gain. All of the training and level increasing—sure it wasn’t enough to take on the biggest fish of the pond but was nothing to sneeze.
“Yes! There you go Alice, show that bitch,” he said, raising a fist into the air. “Woo!” He cleared his throat when Harumi and Yuki looked at him with raised eyebrows. The female stare combined with a possibly lowered opinion—every man hated that look.
Winds burst, carrying shards of glass with it. Clyde protected the women with his Spirit shield. The annoying cooldown to use it again was what set him into motion.
“You two either get inside or out of the way of this,” Clyde said, “no argument.” Harumi put down her protesting finger. “I’m going to end this. And don’t assume that they can easily kill me—you know what I faced. What we faced. Alice can’t see reason right now—but I think she’s reacting to the past bullying.”
“That’s not really it,” Yuki said. “This is just how demons do things. Interfering in that will bring dishonor to your life mate and you.”
“So I should let them just kill each other?” Clyde said. “Yeah, sorry, but fuck that. I like living in this city and would rather they not freaking destroy it.”
“I can repair the damage with magic, but only after you can calm them down,” Yuki said.
“Alright, wish me luck,” Clyde said then proceeded with caution toward the battle arena of death.
Downtown Lot City…
Yusuke flinched when another strong gust of wind rattle buildings, shattered glass, pushed cars. The sky darkened, and some aura tinged the area with purple. Just what the hell was going on? Something about that power felt familiar. In fact, there were two powers, clashing as if trying to dominate. The people around him either stayed inside shops, homes, or took a street that somehow lacked obstructions. That magical happening. Yusuke believed it was some half-assed attempt by whatever being to protect humankind. They simply ignored magic and supernatural beings—probably didn’t see anything. How lucky. He wouldn’t mind being normal again if it meant not dying. He wanted no part of the supernatural community—and especially after what the reaperess did to him.
Smoke surrounded the young man as black ninja garb made of magic appeared in place of his normal clothing. He felt his strength double, his body lighten—he’d could run for a day without tiring. Leap from rooftop to rooftop with the greatest of ease. Hold his breath underwater for long periods of time. And of course, use Ninja arts. He didn’t ask for this power, but he’d have to deal with it. No ordinary school life for him. And if his sister Kitome found out that he somehow became a delinquent, he’d never hear the end of it. His mom was perhaps even more fiery. He and his dad often suffered unless they were in the mood to argue back. But arguing with a girl was just futile.
[Yusuke’s passive skill activated: Ninja sense!]
Yusuke could feel the location of the source of clashing magic. Near…the arcade? Did two witches get into a fight over a game? How childish. He’d have to subdue them with some of his newest techniques.
After some major and deadly supernatural fights—those he got dragged into—Yusuke had trained on his own. Well mostly on his own—the reaperess sometimes gave him advice when he returned from his training spot. At least she didn’t pop in on him while he showered. At least he thought she didn’t. The last thing he needed was to deal with that while trying to think.
[Yusuke activated Ninja art, ninja sprint.]
A useful non-battle skill to get to locations without dealing with buses or taxis. He blurred through the city with strides that took him several meters at a time. He didn’t abuse the skill as to not risk the MP drainage. All good abilities had limits. He could sense other magic users including the annoying sluts: Fireside magical girls—he hoped Clare worked the souls out of them, his sister, the Golden Shot magical girls and some other visiting groups, a witch or two, sorceresses, a druid, sorcerers, wizards, an elementalist, and the list went on. With the demon lord gone, they treated the city as a vacation spot, taking advantage of the nightlife. None of them were dumb enough to openly practice magic. That ran the risk of attracting the attention of a rival or something unsettling. Yusuke just wished they’d all just fuck off. Let people have their normal lives for once. Use their magic to take out the other demon lords hiding in other cities.
He stopped, a few miles from the destination. Something on the ground glittered.
[Yusuke had found Magic replenisher.]
It looked like some kind of transparent…sphere of magic? Suddenly, it shattered into sparkles then surrounded the young man. He felt refreshed—his MP from the sprint, returned.
“Weird,” he said, shrugging. His hopes of having everything go back to normal seemed to dwindle away each day—even though the demon lord was gone. Fuck. “Alright, time to stop stalling and get there. And maybe I’ll be lucky enough to not die.”
He sprinted forward.
One mile remained.
He sprinted and sprinted.
Half a mile remained.
At last, he approached the scene, not exactly from Hell, but close enough to it. And was shocked at the combatants. That girl he met—Ruri. She…looked a little strange, besides from the beaten-up appearance, not that Clyde’s girlfriend appeared to be in any better shape. The women were strong as shit—but he’d stop this or watch the city burn. Fuck, did he really want to get in between that? Ruri’s power level was over ninety. Alice’s power level was under a block, though matching the other woman blow for blow. What could he do?
Man up. Start being a ninja art user for once. Use his power—not run from it. The despair was gone, right? He wasn’t some damned wuss. The reaperess wasn’t here to fuck him over.
He took a deep breath then exhaled.
Abruptly, Yusuke saw Clyde, striding over the fight, eyes full of determination. He…didn’t hesitate. He…. he truly didn’t hesitate, not even for a second. The man couldn’t possibly be human. Or maybe he was just insane, overconfident, idiotic or all of the above. His power level wasn’t that high, yet there was an air about him, something off. Alien? Maybe it was best to get to know him before judging.
Yusuke waved to catch his attention. He forced himself not to flinch when Clyde looked at him with eyes that briefly glowed before winking out. He composed himself, allowed his inner delinquent to take over and hurried over to Clyde.
“Let me help,” he said to the leader. “I’ve got some a ninja art that could halt one of them. Let me try Ruri.”
“You know her?” Clyde said.
“Not really, I met her in an electronics store. Long story—but she…is she a monster girl?”
“A hellhound,” Clyde said. “Apparently can control her…urges. Alice blames her for what her pack members did—”
“Pack what… never mind, I know what the hell’s going on—explain it to me after this,” Yusuke said. “Just pull back your girlfriend.”
“Life mate,” Clyde corrected, but he smiled, indicating to Yusuke that he was messing around. He read the inner workings to that: lighten up and let’s do this. Yusuke relaxed his white-knuckled grip.
“Let’s do this, team lead,” Yusuke said, realizing that he acknowledged Clyde for the first time, meaning it. He never disliked the guy, though he sometimes felt jealous of him from time to time. Hot Harumi, hot Chika, and the other women seem to give the guy looks of love and lust. He had probably done all of them, fucking lucky asshole. Yusuke shook away the thoughts. Stop being ridiculous, Yusuke.
“I sure wish I was a ninja,” Clyde said as he seemingly prepared his magic.
“Trust me, no you don’t,” Yusuke said. “If you knew where they came from, you’d shit yourself, man.”
“Now you’ve got to tell me, but later.”
“What’s the relationship of Alice and Ruri anyway?” Yusuke asked. “I need to know before going through with this. If Ruri’s some kind of…you know, then I’ll have to…”
“They’re old friends,” Clyde said. “Like I said, Alice blames Ruri, got enraged, but they’re really fighting over old times, at least I think they are. Ruri bullied her when they were younger.”
“I see. Okay, I know exactly what we can do to fix them,” Yusuke said. “But…do you know any way to clean up this goddamn mess. It really sucks for the business owners.”
“Magical demoness at your service,” Clyde said, pointing at that super-hot woman named Yuki. Yusuke would give anything to fu—he composed himself again. That one was a mystery to him. “She’ll use her magic to repair everything, but only after the dynamic duo are calmed.”
Yusuke nodded then took off toward Ruri. Clyde didn’t seem to have to get close to do his binding. He did the light thing—a transformation that appeared to give him an intense aura and strong powers. Yusuke just couldn’t understand it. He believed Clyde called it Mystic… something.
He lightly bolted forward, wall-climbed the building behind Ruri and then waited. When the leader unleashed his weird blue magic, he moved—because he already knew it would succeed. The power it radiated seemed to be stronger than the last time he used it.
[Yusuke activated Ninja art, stun grenade]
He released magic that gave off no pulse. Ruri had no idea. When she was hit, her eyes widened. A good stun. At the same time, Alice was fighting against Clyde’s bind. He worked his calming “magic.” Talking her down, being firm. The girl seemed to melt into him. Was she like head over heels in love? No that couldn’t be it. Clyde was the leader—so he had a way of calming his team.
Yusuke pulled off his hood then dropped to Ruri. The anger in her seemed to vanish upon seeing him.
“Yo—you,” she said. “What are you doing here? And what’s with the getup? I didn’t take you for the cosplayer.”
“I could say the same,” Yusuke said, looking her up and down. A cloud of mist surrounded her briefly and she took on human form.
“Did you finish the book?”
“Almost done, but we both know I didn’t come all this way to deliver a book,” he said then pointed at Clyde. “He’s a friend of mine. We both know the arts and magical hubla bullshit.” He gestured at the city. “Both of you will end this shit now. There’s a fall festival tomorrow evening. You two will make up. And don’t think I can’t see it done, I’ve got ninja arts to take away your powers.” He didn’t mention the fact that the skill lasted less than three minutes, and the cooldown was long as shit. Kitome somehow taught him how to use it. Maybe compatibility among siblings for magic?
Ruri let out a breath.
“Fine, but you’re going to tell me why you’re some kind of ninja. Oh, and did you read Ninja Wars Futile Resistance? Ming wrote that one too.”
“Damn right I did,” Yusuke said, smiling. He gestured her to follow, which she did. The Yuki supermodel began working her magic. It was an incredible sight to see the mess jump back in time, reverting to its original fixed state, almost like the rewinding of a video.
He looked at Ruri. She averted her eyes.
“About…my other form.”
“Look, hellhound, big deal, so scary,” he said sarcastically. “I don’t care what you are. Let’s be friends, alright?” He held out a hand. She took it.
“Sure—and hurry up with the damn book, blueberry head.” She smiled an infectious smile.