Chapter 4:

Encounter with Another Enemy

Help, This Magical Boy Outfit is Embarrassing Me

The next day after class, Meiko asked me to accompany her again to the bus station.
I wanted to say no, but I also wanted to overcome my fear of Isas and prove to myself that I was courageous. I couldn't spend my whole life in fear of a nobody that bullied me in middle school. So I agreed to go with her. That's what friends do, right?

I was nervous while walking. I was on my guard with every step and I was trying to keep my head straight. I couldn't stop thinking about the way I felt the other day and I wasn't talking as much as I usually did. Meiko clearly noticed that.
"Is something bothering you, Jun?"
"Ah, not really."
"You're lying. You look worried and daunted."
I smiled at her. She looked at me in all seriousness.
"Spit it out, man. Constipation problems again?"
"W-what? No! What are you talking about?"
"Then what's wrong?"
As much as I wanted to tell Meiko about Isas or the wand, it seemed like a crazy idea, even for my level of craziness. I looked at the big tree in front of me for a while before answering her.
"Oh, you know the recent Math test..."
"Yeah, you did horrible."
"My mom is gonna be so pissed."
"I'm sorry."
"You could have helped me though."
"Cheating is wrong."
"I know, I know. I'm just kidding. I have to study on my own. Or I'll just beg the teacher to round my test from a 56 to a 90."

We both laughed.

Even though I was a guy, (a magical boy, what's more) I wanted someone to guard me.
I noticed it clearly when I was talking to her: I desperately needed friends that had been through what I was going through. And I'm not talking about bullying. I have two best friends now and they're fine, but I want to meet other magical boys/girls.
"Maybe there are people like me out there," I thought. "People that understand the way I'm feeling. People that want allies and comrades too. People that want to create a team. But where can I search for them? Can I just ask the wand?"

As I was lost deeply in my thoughts, Meiko entered the bus and saluted me.
How weird. Was the road always this short? How much time did I spend thinking? We didn't talk as much this time. While I appreciated her not interrupting my train of thought, I wish I was more present and had listened to her instead.

Meiko was shy. She was even shyer than me, so I always had to start the conversation first. I would always ask her about the anime she was watching at the moment or about the songs she liked. But this time, we discussed nothing concerning that.
I feel guilty for not talking with Meiko. Maybe she had something important to say to me, but she didn't because she was too shy? I should have focused on her for a change and given her the chance to express her feelings. A simple "How are you?" would have been enough, but all I did was think of Isas and my magical allies - if there are any.

I took the long way home. I wanted to breathe some air before going home and doing my never-ending homework and studying.
I passed by the bakery, the library, the barbershop, and the hospital. I wasn't far from home. (I can see the hospital from the window of my house.)

All was going well until I heard a big explosion and stopped walking. It was loud. I covered my face hearing other people scream in fear. That must have been the biggest and loudest explosion I've ever heard in my life. Was it a terrorist attack? In my country? That would be very unusual.

There was smoke and dust everywhere. I coughed several times before the view in front of my eyes became clear. I lifted my head up and saw a dark silhouette on the roof of the hospital.
"Is this a demon's work?" I asked myself. "That means I have to transform and do something."

I went to a corner and I realized I couldn't transform without my wand.
"Oh, crap," I thought while running home as fast as I could. The police had arrived in place and a lot of people were praying for their loved ones to be safe.

When I entered my house, my parents were luckily not there.
I went upstairs and opened the door of my room. I went to the big pile of clothes and found the wand underneath it. The moment I touched it, my black hair and my brown eyes became mint green. And instead of my school uniform, I was wearing that ugly pervert costume. I threw the wooden wand under my bed.

I heard another explosion, which was louder than the first. I didn't have time to go down the stairs and exit from the door. Instead, I opened my window and jumped.

I landed safe and sound. "Wow, this was fun. I should do it more often", I thought.

I rushed to the hospital, where the two explosions came from. The demon was still on the roof.

He saw me with his big red eyes.
I tried to go the roof by jumping, but I couldn't jump that high.
"This sucks!" I said angrily while opening the front door of the hospital.
But the doctors wouldn't let me go upstairs.
"We have to evacuate the patients," a young doctor said.
"Please, I have to go to the roof!"
He fixed his mask. "What are you talking about? Please leave."
Then he turned to his colleagues. "Hurry up guys! We need to evacuate the whole ninth floor."

"Ain't nobody got time for that!" I said while pushing through the crowd.
Surely, I wanted the patients to be safe and sound, but it was obvious that if I didn't go up there to fight, the red-eyed demon would cause a third explosion.
I hurried through the stairs. A policeman tried to stop me but I jumped above him. I hit my head on the ceiling, but at least I dodged him. There was smoke everywhere and I couldn't see clearly. However, I had no other choice, but to continue running up the stairs.
As I progressed to higher and higher floors, I started to notice that there were a few patients left. When I got to the highest floor, I was free to run at full speed, with no one able to stop me.

The roof was a big open area. There was no door to push.
It was the perfect place for a fight.
I wasn't afraid at all.

In fact, ironically enough, I realized I was more afraid of normal humans than of demons.

When I got there, I waited for the demon to notice me, but he was just looking down.
The wait was so awkward, so I decided to talk first. Old habits die hard, I guess.
"Hey! Is this your doing?"
He didn't reply.
I tried asking louder.

That's when he turned around and licked his lips.
"Oh, there you are. I thought you were still on the street. I was waiting for you"
"Why were you waiting for me? Do you know me? What do you want from me?" I yelled.
'You know, I want that wand. I know you have it, and I...'

The demon stopped talking. He was staring at me.
"Wow, your legs are so hairy!" he exclaimed in surprise.
"Oh seriously? Come on, there's no need to make it that obvious!"
"Why do you keep it like that? Does it protect you from mosquito bites?"
"You've ever heard of a razor?"
"So you've never shaved before?"
I sighed.
"You should trim it at least."
"Shut up! T-That's simply none of your business!" I said, and I didn't even notice that I was blushing. His words made me hate my costume even more.

"So, as I was saying, I want your wand. I don't want to hurt you, so make it quick." he continued.
"What does the wand do?"
"That's none of your business. It belongs to me."
"But you hurt other vulnerable people so hell no! You evil and selfish creature destroyed part of this hospital and you want my wand, but I don't trust you. It takes no intuition to see that you are lying to me." I exclaimed dramatically.
Wow. I was talking like those magical girls in anime. I was protecting the oppressed and fighting for justice and stuff. And I was doing it so naturally. Cool.

"Then I'll take it by force!" the demon said.
"So this is my first fight? Bring it on!" I thought.
I wasn't nervous at all. At that moment I felt strong and confident. 

Like, really really confident.

The demon created a sword out of nowhere. He ran really fast, so all I could do was squat down while he swung the sword above my head. When I got back up, I did a swirl to confuse him and pushed him with all my strength.
The demon fell and when I went down to look what happened, he was nowhere to be found.
"Well, that was pretty easy," I said while laughing. "This has got to be the shortest fight ever!"

I wanted to jump from the roof (the same way I jumped out the window) but I was afraid I would have the same ending as the demon. It's not a very good idea to jump from the highest building in town.
So I ran down the stairs. The many many stairs. When I got out of the hospital, I saw some reporters and some firefighters. There were many other people too, but no one thanked me for saving them. I guess no one was looking at the roof.
"Didn't they see the demon that fell?" I thought confused. "Well, it's not like I want to be famous or anything so I guess it's better this way."

I needed to turn to my normal clothes again, but I left my wand home, so I had to go to my room wearing white shorts.
Still, people weren't that aware of me. I thought I would stand out, but they probably thought I was cosplaying in the middle of a national disaster.

I went home. The door was unlocked. That meant my parents were inside.
I opened the door little by little and went upstairs. I tried walking as silently as I could, but I still heard my mom ask: "Jun, is that you?"
"Yes mom!" I screamed while running up the stairs. I entered my room, clasped the wand under my bed, and voilà... I was wearing my school uniform again.

Suddenly, my mother came in.

"Jun, I was so worried about you. Where have you been?"
"I'm sorry, Mom."
"I heard about the explosions at the local news and came back home. I called you but you didn't pick up. I thought something bad happened to you!"
"Well, those shorts don't have any pockets!" I said. She looked at me puzzled.
"Anyway... don't worry like that! See? I'm fine" I continued while faking a smile.
"Don't ever scare me like this, son. Next time please try to come home as soon as you finish your classes!" she told me with a serious face.
I hugged her.

So this was my first encounter with a demon, and definitely not the last.