Chapter 18: Safe (Vol. 1 End)
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He had done it. Tahiko was able to overcome his foe and take out the demon in one swift blow. However, as evidenced by his body collapsing onto the floor. It was not without pushing himself too far. Chances were that he would never be able to use that draining move of his more than once without passing out.

“Are you all right!?” Fukuna rushed over to the pair as the body of the demon he had faced began to evaporate. An oddly child friendly way of death after the boy cut him in half.

“I’m fine.” Amasa replied as she sat up. The pair looked over at Tahiko’s unconscious body lying on the hard ground. “Is he okay?”

“You know he’s just passed out.” Though despite the laid-back response, she did check the boy’s pulse to ensure he didn’t hit his limits one too many times. The last time he did this happened to be right on top of her after nearly getting hit by a car. That was certainly one of the most awkward moments of her life, to have a boy just plow his face right onto her breasts in that manner. He was heavy too, so she couldn’t just push him off so easily back then. Thankfully Amasa had come running along to catch up to them.

“Not going to be easy dragging him back this time.” Amasa commented on his metal armor. To the boy, there was no limitation in mobility compared to not having it. So it was an easy decisions to choose to wear it in case of combat. Unfortunately, him not feeling the weight was different than it not weighing anything. So they’d definitely notice the change from the last time they had to do this. “It’s getting late, so at least we won’t have to worry about people seeing us.

“Guess we better get to it.” She responded, then the pair lifted the boy up and began the long trek back home. Amasa was silent through the initial portions of their walk. The girl simply just kept glancing back onto Tahiko’s face, as if wanting to say something.

That demon had something personal to do with the boy. So of course, it was him to blame for her getting into another troubling situation again. Though this time was more closer to life-and-death instead of being a nuisance of embarrassment. With that said, he also risked his life for her. Even after the way she had treated him during his time here. “You’re thinking of how to thank him, aren’t you?” Fukuna took note of her conflicted face to ask the question on her mind.

“What? No I’m not.” Flustered, Amasa could only deny and turn her face away from the girl. “How hard is it to say ‘thank you’ to someone who saved your life?”

“We all know you better than that.” The girl laughed. “Always letting your pride get in the way of being nice. You know, so people don’t make the so-called mistake of thinking you care about them.”

“Shut up.” She didn’t like this manner of teasing about her nature. “He’s an idiot for nearly getting us all killed.”

“See, there you go with the insulting.” It was quite predictable on how she was going to act. “Just admit it, you’re a grade A, total tsundere.”

“Just because I read manga doesn’t mean I act like any of those characters.” She retorted as they reached his house. “Now, just leave us alone.” At this point, help was no longer needed. Amasa didn’t want him to get inside until he woke back up.

“All right.” Fukuna took the cold message and began to make her leave.

“And thanks…” She paused though when the other girl spoke up again. “Um, thanks coming to save me.”

“Hmph.” A devious expression came onto her face. “Well, it’s only because Tahiko asked me to come by. I was only doing it for him.” She stuck out her tongue and pulled an eye lid down in a mocking manner. Pretty much defeating her earlier point as to why that girl didn’t normally thank others. After that, she left.

“Pff, I’m not the only one who’s a total tsundere…” She sat down besides the still unconscious boy. Though the girl wouldn’t have to wait long for him to wake back up as his eyes slowly opened back up. “I guess the good thing is you aren’t out as long anymore.” The first time took hours, while the second was roughly just one. This time around was likely 15 at most.

“Huh? Where’s Fukuna?” He noticed he was no longer by that abandoned warehouse anymore. Instead, the boy realized they were sitting in front of the house now.

“Of course she’s the first one you asked for.” She answered. “That girl’s gone home now. I’ve just been waiting for you to wake back up.”

“What about Soter, the demon who captured you?”

“He… Disappeared?” It was an odd thing for her to witness. For someone cut in two from the top to bottom. She would’ve figured the sight to be a bit more… Traumatizing. However, his body simply vaporized into dust.

“Yeah, that’s how I imagine it would go after my attack.” He was fine with it. That was how the boy normally saw the demons he killed turn into. At this point, he just assumed that was a feature of how demons lives were ended.

Amasa looked at him in awe of how lackadaisical he was about the battle. Sure, she knew he was a knight who fought on the front lines. Though it was still crazy to her that someone the same age as hers would not care about killing anything. “Now that’s taken care of, let head back inside to let your parents know you’re back.” Tahiko was ready to tell them the truth about what had happened to her.

“…” She paused as he headed onto the steps. The boy looked back at her, wondering as to why she was hesitant to come inside. “I wanted to say… Thank you. You know, for saving my life.”

“That? Oh, it’s no problem.”

“Eh?” She was taken aback by how casual he was about it. “That’s it? Does me saying thank you mean nothing to you?” Amasa was more than just taken aback, she was quite insulted he’d just brush something like that off so easily. No wonder this girl didn’t like having to say these kinds of things.

“I need no thanks for protecting lives.” He replied. “Many nobles have offered me gifts and awards for my efforts. But none of them have mattered more to me than seeing the smiles of those I’ve saved. So I’ll only smile if you smile.”

“Geez, you don’t need to be so cringe about it.” She felt the embarrassment coming up again, even though there was no one around to see them at all. “Whatever, let’s just go back inside.” Tahiko chuckled, it seemed that he wasn’t going to get on her good side for a long while to go.

“We’re home.” The boy announced as the pair entered. They were greeted by the girl’s parents, who of course were not worried at all for their daughter’s well being. “And about Amasa-”

“Sorry for running away again.” She cut him off. Tahiko glanced over her in shock seeing that she chose to lie to them. “And I’m sorry for making him worried about it.”

“Oh, it’s okay honey.” Her mom pinched her cheeks. A bit of an odd reaction coming from a woman who seemingly got a little too used to her daughter’s runaways.

“Wow, I didn’t think you’d get that concerned about it.” Her dad commented on the boy’s outfit, given he was adorn in armor along with being armed with his sword. “I see you care a lot about her.”

“I suppose you could say that.” Instead of arguing for the truth, he decided to go along with Amasa decision to not tell them about the demon. “What was that about?” After they had headed to the privacy of his room, the boy just had to ask the question.

“You can’t tell them about the demon.” She told him. “If they realize something actually bad happened to me, they’ll panic for sure.” She was also certain they might begin to take issue with him, as she was only targeted due to the knight’s existence. “And clearly you’re too dumb to think of it, but the worst part is I doubt he was alone.”

She had come to that conclusion based on the conversation shared between the demon and Tahiko. If that really was a general of the demon army he faced off against, then surely there were others who found themselves on Earth.

“I see.” He understood now the potential problem they were going to face. It turned out that planet Earth was not completely devoid of magic. And unfortunately, it seemed most of it was of the side to evil.

Well, there it is. First volume out of the way. Hope you've been enjoying it so far, and maybe send out some ideas you want to see? I don't know if I'll do a volume 2 right away or if perhaps it'd be best to follow up some of my other existing works that have been collecting dust. If you happened to be wanting to see new chapters of what I already have, do let me know. 

And again, thank you for reading. I'm grateful for your support. 

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