Chapter 1:

Chapter 1: In Private, Your Classmates Often Act Very Differently Than How They Act at School!

Love Bites

Kuua Ueda-san.

If you asked anyone by the name of Daisuke Oishi, that was the name of the most beautiful girl at Yoshikage High School.

But could anyone argue?! Her smooth and silky brown hair, fluttering around her gorgeous neck, framing the most delicate and gorgeous face that the world had seen? And those eyes, so beautiful and brown, like pools of chocolate, he felt unworthy to bask in their radiance! Ooooh… and her smile… with its brilliant glow of the angels, the Mona Lisa herself was nothing compared to the kind, dimpled grin of Kuua Ueda!

And she was not only gorgeous! No, not only was her hair shiny and soft, and her skin glossy and smooth, but she was the kindest soul to ever walk among the less fortunate! Daisuke had fallen the first day of school and hurt his head, and it was the angelic Ueda-san had come upon him, reaching out a hand in kindness and gifting him with a handkerchief. The warm feeling of her lips pressed against his forehead would remain until the day his body was reduced to ashes!

He had only spoken to her that one time. How much luck had he spent in his life, to be in the same class as her? To be granted the divine privilege of gazing upon her radiant countenance whenever he wished? Indeed, to stare at the curve of her nape and her delicate back, every last inch of her was sculpted by the finest artists imaginable, she could never be considered human!

While class provided him countless hours to gaze upon Ueda-san, it was lunch that Daisuke appreciated the most. He hadn’t made any friends in class yet (they would merely get in the way of his admiration of Ueda-san) but he didn’t feel like a loser when eating alone in the classroom. No one could feel anything but blessed, to be able to dine in the company of a goddess! Ueda-san pulled her desk up to eat with her friends, the curvy Ushigome-san and the plump Tonjiro-san, shining like a diamond among the common pebbles.

Daisuke took a sip of his miso, but that wasn’t the source of the warmth flowing through him. No, he barely paid mind to the food he ate, although everything was more delicious in the presence of Ueda-san. He made it himself, but it was like eating sand in comparison to the nourishing meal that Ueda-san provided him, he could subsist totally on the gorgeous energy radiating out of her.

“Ueda-san, what did you bring for lunch today?” Ushigome-san asked.

“Oh, this?” Ueda-san looked down at her lunch, taking the lid off. Daisuke strained his ears as best he could, trying to hear the girls’ conversation. Though one would not be wrong to consider it blasphemy to listen upon the words of divinity without her permission, Daisuke couldn’t help himself. Forgive me, Ueda-san! But I must know!

He imagined Ueda-san’s favorite food. He would prepare her as much of it as he could, until his father’s restaurant ran dry of supplies! It was the least she would deserve.

“Oooh! Hamburger!” Tonjiro-san gasped. Daisuke stretched up, peeking at the lunch box. He must have looked a fool, leaning almost entirely over his desk to listen in on the three of them, ears stretched out and eyes bulging. But the hamburger patties in her lunch did look exquisite…

“I prepared it myself!” Ueda-san gushed, her voice like honey to his ears. He froze, letting those wonderful words sink in. Ueda-san was good at cooking?!

Daisuke wanted to strike himself in shame. How DARE he doubt Ueda-san’s abilities in any area?! Ueda-san was perfection, after all, of course she was a good cook as well! Why, to taste but one bite of her food, it would be ambrosia of the highest order! He could feel his clothes flying off at the thought!

He peered far into the future. Sharing meals with Ueda-san. Cooking with Ueda-san. Running his family restaurant together with Ueda-san. But how could he? To be with a goddess? He could never do something so unthinkable! Ueda-san was not meant for mortals like him! She-


Daisuke’s blood went cold and he fell back in his seat. No, it couldn’t be…

The door slammed over violently, and the deep voice repeated its roar. “DAISUKE!”

Daisuke turned shakily to see the image of Rika Samejima standing in the doorway, glaring at him the soul-shivering fury only a girl who could hit baseballs at 100 kilometers/second could convey. If Kuua Ueda-san was an angel, then his childhood friend Rika Samejima was an ogre. Nearly six feet tall, she towered over the boys, the look in her dark eyes forcing open a path as she stomped towards Daisuke. Her black hair wild and sharp, the violence radiating off her sharp features was nothing compared to the glory of his goddess!

“R-Rika…” Daisuke looked desperately to Ueda-san for help, but she was just as surprised as she was, not even looking his way, those kind wide eyes of hers were aimed at the brutish Rika.

“You promised we were going to eat lunch together!” Rika hissed, pulling him from his chair. “I was waiting on the roof, where were you?!”

“I-I didn’t say I would-!”

“No arguments!” Rika bellowed, yanking him away. His lunch forgotten, Rika dragged him away by the collar. Daisuke looked desperately back at Ueda-san, her flawless features twisted in confusion. The further he got from her glory, the weaker he felt her warm generosity.

“Rika-!” Rika shoved Daisuke out onto the roof. “Rika, I don’t even have my lunch! What’s the big deal!?”

“The big deal?” Rika growled, jamming her finger into his chest. “The big deal is my baseball bat! Or did you forget?”

Daisuke gulped. Oh, that was right. She’d eaten over at his family’s restaurant the night before, and had forgotten her baseball bat there. She’d called after it, and he vaguely remembered his mom asking him to bring it to her that day. He could see it now, leaning against the shoe rack in the entry way. Completely forgotten.

“Your mom promised you’d bring my baseball bat to school today, before classes! So where is it, buster?! I was waiting at my shoe locker and you never showed up! I need it for tryout practice! That’s my lucky bat, and if I want to make it onto the girl’s team I need it!”

She stomped on the ground angrily. “You forgot it, didn’t you?!”

Daisuke mumbled, and nodded sheepishly. But it wasn’t his fault!

“Please Rika! I didn’t mean to!” Daisuke pleaded, afraid that Rika would start punching him if he admitted that he’d forgotten. “I had a great dream about carrying Ueda-san’s bag and I overslept! I barely had time to eat breakfast! It completely slipped my mind!”

Daisuke knelt in a dogeza, pleading for forgiveness. Ueda-san will protect me, my faith in Ueda-san will keep me safe!

“You and your stupid crush, I should have known!” Rika groaned, slapping her palm against her forehead in frustration. “You’re pathetic, Daisuke! Whenever you think about Ueda-san, you’re completely lost in thought over her! It was the same with Kuroda-san in middle school! Whenever a girl catches your attention, what little brains you have drain out your ears and you turn into a fawning idiot!”

Daisuke could not deny the truth in Rika’s words. But it was different for Ueda-san! Ueda-san was a sacred figure, divinity in mortal form! It was natural to relinquish all that he was for her sake!

“Rika, you don’t understand!” Daisuke said, digging into his pocket and withdrawing Ueda-san’s handkerchief, pristinely maintained since the day she had given it to him. He treated it no less gently than Ueda-san herself, a sacred relic bestowed upon him by his goddess. “When I was on the ground, my life seeping out of my head-“

“Yeah, yeah, Ueda-san was there and she gave it to you, and you were so touched by the gesture you fell in love immediately, I’ve heard this speech every day for the last week!” Rika snapped, crossing her arms in front of her slender chest. “How about you CONFESS to Ueda-san, instead of making a shrine to her, huh?”

Daisuke fell backwards, stricken by her blasphemous words! How could she say such a thing?! “Confess to Ueda-san? Are you mad, Rika?! Would a mere ant proclaim its love for a beautiful butterfly?! I’m not fit to be Ueda-san’s boyfriend in my dreams! I would never be so arrogant as to presume to be worthy to even confess to the link on her uniform! I am not even fit to stain her handkerchief with my filthy blood!” He turned to the railing, shouting out across campus. “Rika, you don’t understand! To even possess this handkerchief is a blessing far more than one such as I deserves! Would that I return it, but I just cannot! In all the world, there is no goddess more mighty than the glorious Ueda-san! To speak to her, even in gratitude, would be tantamount to blasphemy! If she wished for it, I would throw myself into the mud so she could use my back as a bridge, better that than even one speck stain her glorious shoes! Surely, even one as cruel and black-hearted as you can understand that a mere human could not confess his love to one as kind and pure and wonderful as Ueda-san!” Daisuke turned back to Rika, pleading with his eyes that she understand the depth of his feelings.

Rika looked at Daisuke like she was looking at week-old garbage.

“Disgusting,” Rika clicked her tongue, shaking her head. “Look, dude, I don’t care about your gross obsession, just bring my bat tomorrow. I’d go over and get it tonight, but I’ve got practice. Tomorrow, got it?”

Daisuke meekly nodded. Rika finally let him leave, but before he could get to the exit of the roof, the door opened… and the roof lit up with divine blessing as Ueda-san stepped out in front of him, a curious look on her face.

Then Ueda-san smiled at him.

She smiled at him.

All of Ueda-san’s smiles were beautiful, but there was none more lovely than the one she saved solely for him. He resisted the urge to bend down before her in penitence.

“Oishi-san! So you’re alright!” Ueda-san said, sighing with relief. “When you were so violently pulled out of the classroom, everyone was worried, so I volunteered to come find you!”

“U-U-Ueda-san…” Daisuke stuttered. He found it so hard to speak in her presence, the words simply wouldn’t come. She had remembered his name! Someone as meek and insignificant as him, and Ueda-san had not only bothered to learn his name, but she remembered it! Indeed, if Daisuke died at this very second he would have lived a meaningful existence.

“I’m sorry, Ueda-san!” Rika quickly rushed up to the two, bowing her head. “My name is Rika Samejima-san, and I’m Daisuke’s childhood friend. Please excuse the commotion, I just wanted to talk to him about something!”

Ueda-san blinked, those light brown eyes confused for a second before the warmth returned to them and she smiled sweetly. “I see. Samejima-san, Oishi-san, I must say, your friendship is quite envious! Please forgive me for misunderstanding.” Ueda-san bowed her head, and Daisuke’s heart ached for her. How kind and generous! To forgive someone even as rude and violent as Rika without a second thought, her benevolence could be matched by no human! Indeed, she was like an angel, forgiving the transgressions of meager humans like them, looking upon them with a kind and watchful eye! Such beauty! Such grace! His heart could barely handle it!

“Well then, I will be off! Please enjoy your lunch!” Ueda-san said, bowing again.

“Actually, Ueda-san, Daisuke has something he wants to say to you!” Daisuke turned to Rika, horrified at her presumptuous words. How could she speak so brazenly to a goddess?! The look in her eye, that tinge of malevolence, it was clear. She was getting revenge on him for forgetting her bat! How could she be so cruel?!

“Oh? Oishi-san? What is it?” Ueda-san asked, turning her sparkling eyes upon Daisuke, who had to fight the urge to wither away in her pure gaze. He wasn’t fit to speak with her, not with the impure thoughts in his mind!

“N-No, nothing, it’s just… please excuse me,” Daisuke mumbled, feeling like he was about to fall apart. Then, he felt Rika’s elbow jam into his side.

“Didn’t you say you had something for her, Daisuke? No need to be shy! You can tell her!” Rika laughed, urging him forward.

“Yes, it’s fine,” Ueda-san said, smiling kindly at him. “Don’t worry, Oishi-san! I don’t bite!”

Daisuke let out a forced laugh at her joke, and dug into his pocket, withdrawing the handkerchief that he’d been taking care of for so long.

“I-I don’t know if you remember but… I-I fell, and…”

“Oh! Yes, you cut your head on the stairs!” Ueda-san gasped. She remembered? She actually remembered? To think an ant like him would have even a micron of space in Ueda-san’s memory was beyond belief.

“Thank you for this!” Daisuke blurted out, presenting the handkerchief to her.

“You cleaned it and everything,” Ueda-san said, sounding surprised as she took the handkerchief, turning it over in her hands. “You didn’t have to do this! You took such good care of it! Thank you, Oishi-san! You’re so dependable!”

“Ehehe, it’s nothing!” Daisuke said, basking in her praise as she stared at him with that adoring look in her eyes.

“Yep, that’s my Daisuke!” Rika laughed. “He’s nothing if not dependable! He’s a guy you can count on!” Rika slapped him in the chest. “He’s not got a lot of brains, but muscles and loyalty he’s got plenty of! If you’re ever in trouble, he’ll come and save you!” Daisuke was no fighter or hero! How could she say that? He didn’t have the strength to save anyone!

Rika’s eyes were shining as she stared up at him, but it wasn’t out of adoration. Didn’t she understand that the way she was talking him up to Ueda-san, filling her head with these lies, that it was only going to make things harder on Ueda-san, not on him? How could she disgrace a goddess like this?!

“Eh? Really, Oishi-san?” Ueda-san’s admiring gaze upon him nearly made Rika’s boasts worth it. “You would really do that for me?”

There was only one answer he could give to those hopeful eyes she gazed upon him with.

“Of… of course, Ueda-san! If you’re ever in trouble, you can count on me! I’ll help you out no matter what!” Daisuke laughed, only fumbling over his words a little. He held his chin a little higher, growing in confidence thanks to Ueda-san’s favor.

“Thank you, Oishi-san! I will remember your generosity!” Ueda-san bowed to him again, turned, and headed down the stairs.

Daisuke returned to the realm of the morals, collapsing in a heap on the ground. Today was a day he would remember forever.

“There, now isn’t that better than perving on her from afar?” Rika clapped him on the shoulder, walking over him and heading down herself, biting into her yakisoba bread. “And don’t forget, I want my bat back tomorrow!”

Daisuke stared up at the sky, feeling the warmth of Ueda-san’s grace shining down on him.

Or maybe that was the sun.

…No, indeed this warmth could only be the caused by Ueda-san!

He was still in a daze that evening as he helped out waiting tables in his father’s restaurant, thoughts of Ueda-san filling his mind. Her smile, her sweet words, the scent of her chestnut hair… he had never so adored someone as lovely as her. He headed back into the kitchen, visions of Ueda-san with angel wings fluttering through his head.

“Big brother, you’re going to scare off the customers with a gross face like that.” Daisuke was snapped out of his dream of angels by the stern voice of his sister, Sakura, who glared at him disapprovingly with sharp eyes. With her dark brown hair pulled into two long tails Daisuke might have thought she was attempting to embody the tsundere, but he knew that his sister’s harsh tongue had no words of kindness for her brother. What she had for him instead was a garbage bag, thrust in his face.

“Take out the garbage!” She ordered.

“Listen to your sister, Daisuke,” his father called from the stove, Daisuke muttering his frustrations at his sister as he took the bag, storming outside. He hated taking out the garbage, such a pointless chore. But the memories of Ueda-san made it tolerable. Why, if only he could call her before him with just a thought! Throwing the bag in, he pictured Ueda-san in his mind, opened his eyes…

And there she was! What?!

Daisuke frantically rubbed his eyes, assuming it must have just been a lack of sleep. But no, he could never mistake Ueda-san, she was down the alley, still in uniform… and not only that…

Ueda-san wasn’t alone. She was surrounded by three boys, all of them towering over her. Their piercings glimmered in the light of the street lamps, their garishly dyed blonde hair and loud clothes obvious. Delinquents! Ueda-san… what was an angel like her doing with a crowd of delinquents? Surely, her generosity must have some limits!

The more he looked at the way those thugs were touching his goddess, the more intensely the rage in his heart began to burn. It was unforgivable! That such scum of the earth would presume to lay their filthy paws on her! Before he could shout to them, tell them to leave her alone, they ushered her into an abandoned, underground club that was one of the hangouts for gangs in this area, and Daisuke’s blood went cold.

A gang. A gang had captured his beloved Ueda-san. No doubt, they had asked her for help with something, perhaps pretending they were lost and needed her help, and like the kind and generous angel she was, her generosity could not have allowed her to leave them alone. And now, they had tricked her into that deserted building to do Ueda-san-knows what to her! Absolutely unforgivable! He needed to call someone!

But… but how long would that take? Ueda-san could go through unspeakable horrors in the time it would take for help to get there…

“Ueda-san! If you’re ever in trouble, you can count on me! I’ll help you out no matter what!” He had told her those words hours ago, not thinking anything of it. Just a harmless prank from his friend. But now… now Ueda-san was really in danger. Could I call myself a man, if I let such a radiant figure of purity be defiled like this?! Daisuke roared at himself. Certainly not! So, they were gangsters! So, they were all bigger than him! So what?! If his death could make it even a little easier for Ueda-san to get away, then it was a sacrifice he was willing to make!

He quickly looked for something, anything, to rescue his goddess, but the alley was empty. Then, he remembered. Rika’s bat! It was still back in the entryway, ready to be brought back to her! Surely she would not begrudge he use it to rescue Ueda-san from the clutches of those fiends!

Daisuke burst back into his house, running to the front door. Ignoring the startled cries of his parents and sister, all his thoughts were focused on Ueda-san. Ueda-san! Don’t worry, I’ll save you! Just hold on, Ueda-san! I’m coming to save you just as I promised! He grabbed the handle of the bat and burst out the front door, running into the night roaring like a madman. She dashed down the stairs, his clarity not returning until he got to the bottom. Leaning against the door, he clutched the bat tightly in his fingers, preparing to break through. He took a deep breath, his heart pounding in his chest. This was really it. He was going to rescue Ueda-san from those bastards, or he was going to die trying.

A muffled scream from inside was all he needed to summon the strength to burst through the door. Charging across the empty dance floor, the screams got louder and louder as he reached the door at the end, kicking it down and raising his bat up high. “UEDA-SAN! I’M COMING!” He bellowed, plowing through and preparing to strike.

What hit him first wasn’t the meaty fist of a gangster, but a sickening odor of rusty iron that nearly made him throw up.

And the world around him was covered in red. The walls, the floor, the ceiling, everywhere he looked he saw nothing but red. And the flash of light at the end of the room was the deepest red of all. But it wasn’t the same sticking liquid sprayed across the room, no. It was the glow of a crimson eyeball, shining in the dim light.

The horrific sight in front of Daisuke could not be comprehended for a second. All he knew was that this could not be Ueda-san. Not his Ueda-san. Whatever this foul creature was, it may have worn Ueda-san’s uniform, but it wasn’t her. It couldn’t be.

The first thing he saw were the claws. Ueda-san’s nails were always perfectly manicured and painted a light pink, but not a trace of her dainty hands remained in those warped talons. Her fingers had bulged out twice as long as they once were, and those pink nails had given way to gruesome spikes each as long as a pencil, serrated perfectly for carving flesh from anything they touched. But if one could divert their eyes from those claws as Daisuke did, and see the horror in her entirety, then surely it was the mouth of the hideous beast that stood out the most. Ueda-san’s soft puffy lips, so perfect for kissing, that sweet smile that promised warm and loving comfort, it had been destroyed. Torn apart, ripped, shredded. Her mouth split her face in half, a deep gash that carved its way up to her ears, cracks fissuring out of it as it opened up far wider than any mouth should. But it was necessary, he couldn’t help but notice. Row upon row of jagged, razor-sharp teeth burst out of the creature’s dreadful maw, cutting and scraping and grinding against each other as she forced down her meal. And what was it she was devouring? An arm, soaked with blood, stuck out from the teeth like a crimson tree among a field of white grass. Curled around that arm was a tongue, thick as a rope and several feet long, oozing black slime as it wrapped the chunk of meat in its tight coils, pulling it further and further into the creature’s gullet, fingers still twitching as if it was trying to pull itself to freedom. But no freedom was to be had. With a sickening wet slurp the arm vanished from sight, leaving only the scraping teeth and lashing tongue of the ravenous beast.

This… this could not be his Ueda-san. What was this foul thing?!

Rika’s bat slipped through Daisuke’s fingers in his shock, clattering on the ground. The creature turned his way, and there was no mistaking her! Daisuke could not believe it, but it was so. Ueda-san stalked towards him and he fell back, legs frozen in terror as the horrific sight loomed overhead, blood-red eyes looking hungrily down at him as that long tongue slid its way across her mangled and warped lips. As she leaned closer, her hot breath licked across his face, the scent of blood and rotten meat filling Daisuke’s nostrils and making him sick.

“So you saw… did you…?” The beast rumbled from her gullet in a voice that could not have been the sweet timbre of his angel, and yet undeniably was.