Chapter 3:

Magical Aka's Wrongful Rescue; Karin's Workout

Otomaho: Who Said an Adult Can No Longer Be a Magical Girl?!

An impossible choice?

Karin’s muscles burned out of spite, her nostrils flared up to release boiling hot steam, and her feet slammed into the road with enough force they threatened to ignite the soles of her shoes.

"As if!" Karin screamed at the world. It wouldn't matter if her life changed infinitely for the worse by her identity being revealed, she couldn't let this woman die on her watch.

Her soul ablaze, her passions high, her transformation came forth with a blinding, uncontrollable red light. The light expanded out in all directions from her epicenter, causing street lights to flicker, and people to shield their eyes as they came into contact with it.

“Shit!” Aka cursed quietly under her breath, not stopping for a moment. Her transformation had been completed, but she’d forgotten about that little transformation feature Xi’er added.

Aka’s clenched fists were now ablaze, and there was no way she’d be able to just simply grab the woman and pull her out of the way. Not unless she was fine with experiencing third degree burns.

Aka jumped in front of the woman leaning as far back and down as she could while her arms stretched out in front of her. Her hands open, they met the front bumper of the truck and clamped down in a vice grip. Her fingers melted holes straight through the plastic and steel, and Aka hoped that was the only damage she’d be limiting herself to considering all the tedium that went into this.

As the truck passed over her body, Aka fired a wave of compressed heat from her back, propelling her, and by extension the truck, a few feet into the air and over the woman.

“Sit!” Aka yelled, like an angry pet owner would yell at their dog that peed on the carpet. A red glow projected from her voice, causing whatever objects were within the truck trailer to remain firmly glued to the floor.

As they went to land, Aka used her heat powers again to slow the velocity of their descent to keep the force from the fall to a minimum, and then used her body as a cushion to absorb the rest of it as the two landed back on the ground.

‘All this effort,’ Aka thought, lying flat underneath the carriage of the truck, ‘all just to bring a truck to a stop.’

Xi’er had drilled into her head how dangerous a head-on collision can be for the driver. They were practically indestructible in their suits, and if they forced a speeding object to a stop with their own bodies, they could easily snap a neck. Even if they didn’t, the damage to a vehicle might be a financial burden the driver cannot endure, so it was their duty as Magical Girls to minimize harm as much as possible, even monetarily.

If it had been Magical Rose he could have just used his love magic to attract the woman to him like a magnet. But Aka’s anger magic was more focused on intimidation and shows of strength. She could have tried scaring the woman into action, but that would’ve been meaningless if she for some reason was incapable of moving.

Even if she had been capable of movement though, Aka wasn’t a big fan of using her magic on people.

Well, there was no use feeling sorry for herself about what she could and couldn’t do, so with a slight grunt Aka pulled herself out from under the truck, only to notice she had ripped the bumper she’d been holding onto straight off the truck.

“Uh, whoops,” she muttered, holding it up to the truck driver, “sorry about this.”

The truck driver, scared stiff as he clenched the wheel, was unable to even process what Magical Aka was doing, so she decided to do her best to reattach it and head over to the woman.

The people around were already gossiping or cheering about the display of heroism they’d just witnessed, and honestly Aka felt the same. Helping kids around was neat, but saving lives was definitely more her style.

“Are you okay? Do you need help moving about?” Aka asked the woman still kneeled at the crosswalk. She had to make sure the issue was fully resolved before leaving.

“Leave me alone,” the woman muttered.

“Is something wrong?” Aka asked.

“Nothing you can help me with,” the woman said sullenly.

“Come on, I’m a Magical Girl, whether it’s saving lives or stopping petty thieves, using my magic to make people’s lives better is part of my job!” Aka declared, posing her still burning fist in front of herself.

“Better?” the woman scoffed as she finally turned to face Aka, “the only thing you’ve done is make my life worse!”

The woman’s glare shot icicles straight into Aka’s bloodstream, causing her fiery spirit to wither, her burning fists to smolder.

“How dare you save me! Make yourself look like a good person! After what you did to him!”

A scene was starting to form, Karin could feel their eyes gazing upon them, judging them.

“Hey, what did Magical Aka ever do to you?!” One of them shouted.

“Yeah, she’s a hero, how dare you be rude to her!” Another screamed.

“She saved your life, you should be grateful!” Another joined in.

The people thought they were defending Aka, but it only made Karin feel worse. She’d hurt this woman somehow, and they were only causing her more pain.

Now wasn’t the time to feel sorry for herself though.

‘If a scene starts to form, it’s best to try and remove the source of what’s causing people to gather.’

Xi’er’s advice helped Aka out of her stupor. Her hands no longer ablaze, she scooped the woman up in her arms and took her away from the crowd.


As Aka ran, she couldn’t help but wonder if the woman’s reaction was due to Xi’er modifications to her transformation function.

Xi’er was definitely the most paranoid among them, seeming to come up with contingencies for every possible negative situation, and even their identities being learned while they transformed was among one of the things she had planned for.

When they had started out, they thought the only way to transform was to say the magical phrase to activate the suit’s powers, like a simple light switch. But they had later learned just by focusing one’s emotions, they could flip that switch on in a different way, like she had earlier today. There was little difference beyond not needing to say the phrase, which could make it longer or shorter depending on the strength of their emotions at that time. In situations of life and death the time to start the transformation was nearly instantaneous.

However, Xi’er had added a modification in the case of this instantaneous transformation speed, one that would release a special energy wave that caused the memory of those witnessing the transformation to become fuzzy if they tried to recall it, and wipe the memory of recording devices intercepted by it as well.

Of course, this sudden surge of energy wasn’t without its side effects. Yellow’s waves made people have bits of uncontrollable laughter. Rose’s caused them to… feel a certain way. And Aka’s caused others to become more volatile.

That was probably why the crowd seemed so quick to get angry at her. Though, considering that woman’s glare, it didn’t seem like it was just a spur of the moment action.

Aka skidded to a stop in an alleyway before setting the woman back down.

“Okay, so what’s your issue with me?”

“Where am I?! What are you planning to do to me?!” The woman screamed.

‘Oh, right,’ Aka thought. She had kind of just snatched this woman up without her consent.

“I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to help!” Aka cried.

The woman’s face contorted into a scowl, and Aka already regretted what she said.

“There it is again! Help! Your help hurt me more than anything or anybody ever has in the past!”

“What are you talking about?!” Karin asked incredulously, black spots forming in her eyes, her anger starting to well up inside her, boiling out as a flaming aura that engulfed her entire being.

The woman stumbled back, and Karin had to remind herself to hold her emotions in check. If she just accumulated them without any goal in mind she was going to leak them out and hurt others.

“I’m sorry! Who are you, what did I do to hurt you?” Aka asked.

The woman clenched her fists. “My boy, my baby boy Tyler! He’s locked up because of you!”

“Who’s Tyler?”

“Maybe this will ring a bell then, he’s the petty thief you locked up to help people!”

“Oh, I’m sorry about that,” Aka muttered as she kicked the ground, “but maybe he shouldn’t have been stealing things.”

“All he took was some school supplies because I haven’t been able to pay for them! You think he deserves to be in jail for that?!”

Karin felt weak at being unable to answer that. Tears welled up in the woman’s eyes.

“He doesn’t mean bad. He’s not the best in school, but he still tries his hardest. And now his future, it’s being taken away from him, and I can’t be there to protect him like a mother should.”

“I-I’m sure you did the best you could,” Karin stuttered out.

“Well my best wasn’t enough! My best couldn’t keep him safe!”

“How long does he have to stay there? It couldn’t be long.”

“That’s the messed up part, I don’t know,” the woman said, falling to her knees, her sadness overtaking her anger.

“Why’s that?”

“There hasn’t even been a trial yet. He’s being held in prison, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll be getting one anytime soon.”

“Can’t you post bail?”

“Do you have a spare $1500 lying around?”

Karin’s eyes shot straight to the floor, dragged down by the regret of having asked that question.

“I thought not,” the woman sighed, “a mother’s worst fear is being unable to protect her child. To have to sit back and just let awful thing after awful thing happen to them. As powerful as you are, can you truthfully say you’ve truly felt that weakness?”

“Yes,” Aka replied.

“Then maybe you do have some idea of what I’m going through, some idea of why I dislike you so much. How much it insults me to hear you want to help when you did this to him in the first place.”

“Let me set it right! Maybe I can convince them to lower the bail amount, or get them to dismiss the charges. I was the one who first apprehended him after all.”

The woman let out a soft chuckle, “It hurts me how much I want to believe you, but I can’t get my hopes up in the slightest, I’ve been hurt too many times by that. I doubt you’ll make good on those promises.”

Aka got down on her hands and knees, “Please, I beg of you, let me help!”

“Fine, if it’ll get you out of my sight, here’s the number of our attorney,” she said, pulling out a scrap of paper from her purse.

“Could I get your name and number too? So I can call you about the good news.”

“Sure, it’s Carol, and don’t get cold feet when you see how impossible that is.”


Carol left her with a number and a mission. To try and right the wrong she’d committed against her son. This good deed may have just been to fix a previous screw up, but that only made it all the more vital for her to succeed.

She called the attorney, not wanting to waste a moment.

“Hello, this is the Public Defender’s Office, all our lines are currently busy at this time, please hold.”

Hearing this, Karin decided to go on a jog back home without her powers while waiting for the line to pick up.

Karin jogged through the city, thinking about the fallout of today. A kid was in prison because of her actions, a mother distraught over it. All because she had wanted to be a hero.

It wasn’t even a real crime, or at least, not one worth going to jail over. When she’d stopped him on the street, she was just trying to tell him that stealing was wrong, and she was just going to return the stolen goods to the store. She thought the kid got the point after being confronted, he seemed genuinely sorry for what he did, and that should have been the end of it. But for some reason a cop showed up and decided to arrest him.

Why didn’t she say anything then? Why had she just accepted that was how it ended?

Karin couldn’t help but replay it in her mind again and again as she jogged her way home, thinking about what she should have done differently.


40 minutes.

Her jog home had taken over forty minutes, and she was still on hold.

Karin started to lift weights to release the tension, setting her phone on speaker mode at its loudest setting so she wouldn’t miss the call.

She started by getting her 50 pound dumbbells, and did alternating reps of 10 for 5 sets with them.

Her hands tingled, but no change with her phone.

She then went over to her bench press, and loaded 150 lbs onto her barbell, lifting it high about her chest in reps of 10 for 4 sets.

Her arms felt sore, but still no change with her phone.

She went to her leg extension machine, set it to 250 lbs for reps of 10 for 3 sets with them.

Her legs ached, but still no change with her phone.

Finally she went to her punching bag, and began beating it with all her might. While she had been careful with her weight systems, since those were birthday gifts from her dad, and there was no way she’d have the money to replace them if she broke them. She felt no such obligation to her cheap homemade punching bag.

She kept wailing at it with all her might, swinging haymaker after haymaker into it. More like she was trying to punch through the bag, rather than at it.

With one final blow, the bag swung forward hard, breaking the string it was attached to, and sending it into the floor. As her luck would have it though, the bag broke upon contact, spreading its sand all over the floor.

Karen groaned her loudest groan, the hold music still playing in the background, threatening to drive her insane.

She picked up the bag, careful to not let any more sand fall out. Taking it into the kitchen, she pulled out her sand bucket and sewing kit from underneath the sink.

Filling it back up, and taking a needle with thread to it, she was able to make it as good as new. Which really spoke to how low quality it was when she first made it.

Despite all her heavy blows to it, how much it tore, ripped, and spilled its guts all over her floor, she couldn’t help but mend it back up. To put it back together. To return it back to normal.

It was a mess, just like her, one that had endured unfair punishment again and again. She couldn’t help but think the reason she kept fixing it up was to convince herself to keep going. That there’s nothing that could happen to her to make her stop.

“Now I just need to hang it up.”

“Hello, this is the public defender’s office.”

Karin rose up from her project in elation, ready to finally try and set things straight.

“We’re sorry, at this time, our offices are now closed. Please call again tomorrow and we’ll be happy to help you.”

And with a click of the line, Karin’s elation dropped down as far as her body did. Lying upon her punching bag Karin began to scream into it like a pillow. She screamed, and screamed, and screamed some more, letting all the pain, stress, and anger she’d felt build up this day out into it.


Karin woke up to a general achiness as she regained consciousness. She wondered why she felt so much pain, only to be reminded as her eyes opened up upon her sleeping bag.

She had been on the kitchen floor all night, her upper body resting upon her punching bag as a substitute bed.

She hadn’t even eaten dinner yesterday, and her muscles felt like they were going to start eating themselves.

A groggy, hungry, exhausted Karin arose, getting out some eggs to start the day with a large breakfast for the long day she felt was stretched out before her.