Chapter 10:

Karin's Friends; Magical Aka's Phone Call

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

“Spectacular, you join today!” Calice replied, shaking Karin’s hand.

“Is that it?” Karin said without thinking,

“There’s a few things we should review first regarding your responsibilities on the team, but I think it’d be best to talk about those in private.”

Xi’er began to walk out upon hearing Calice’s words, while Roxy gave a slight frown in turn.

“I promise it’s nothing so important that you need to stick around for,” Calice assured her.

“It’s okay, I’ll be fine on my own,” Karin said.

Roxy started to leave, calling back, “If he does anything to you Karin, just tell me, I’ll carry him around by his beautiful pink hair until he apologizes.”

Calice’s hands instinctively reached up to protect his hair upon hearing this, a look of horror upon his face.

Karin couldn’t pass this chance up.

“Roxy!” Karin screamed in a whispered voice straight into Calice’s ear. He jumped up like a started cat at this, worried what would await his perfectly quaffed hair.

Realizing his worry was for not, he gave a slight cough before speaking, pretending as if none of that had just happened.

“To be on this team means to put humanity’s future on the line. As each day follows the next, it becomes more and more apparent that the human race is on the fast track to its own oblivion through various means.”

Karin couldn’t help but notice he was monologuing again. However, this time she decided to give him a proper listen, since he wasn’t waxing poetically.

“The things we request of you are simple. One,” he said, holding up a single finger in emphasis, “a full dedication to the team, that means no other obligations can take precedence over our activities. If you’re employed at any establishment, you should hand in your two week notice now.”

“Already done,” Karin chuckled, “though how exactly am I going to survive without money?”

“Already prepared for the job I see? As for expenses, there’s no need for worry, Xi’er has already worked out the situation of housing, food, and entertainment. Speaking of, number two,” he said, extending another finger, “we will expect you to live here. We need to contact and deploy immediately in the case of emergencies around the world.”

“Haven’t we already dealt with the biggest threats to the world?” Aka asked.

“The Dark Lord and his forces have been defeated, yes, but pain and cruelty are still inflicted upon our fellow humans. If we wish to prevent such acts of evil we will need to stop it as it occurs, not show up after it’s already finished.”

Aka couldn’t help but think about all those crimes she’d read about, and how she could have prevented them if she had been more vigilant. She hadn’t been thinking things through, about how best to address the issues she did hear about, let alone all the ones had never even heard of.

“I’ll be sure to move any of your belongings here into your own room, so don’t worry about the need to pack. Third, and most importantly,” he said, his hand extended out toward Karin, “I need you to listen.”

Karin raised her fists up in rebuttal, only to relent and let Calice finish.

“You can disagree with our methods, discuss different modes of operation, but once we have decided on our strategy we need to dedicate our all to it together. This is an ideology I will follow too, even as the leader. If my teammates, including you, decide my instruction isn’t proper, then I will relent as well.”

Karin was stubborn, she knew that, she’d fought hard to make things go her way even if she didn’t know if it was for the best. It was the biggest reason Calice and her didn’t see eye to eye.

“Alright, I understand.”

“Good,” he replied with a clap of his hands, “now I’d like you to go to the doctor’s office.”


“The nurse’s office, you go out that door, down the hall, and it’ll be the room at the very end.”

“Why do we have a doctor’s office in our home?!” Karin asked, bewildered that Calice could say all of this so casually.

“We’re not cruel employers Karin, we provide free healthcare to all our employees.”

Karin honestly wasn’t even sure what to say to that, but before she could decide, Calice had already taken his leave.


“Hello Miss Radcliffe, I’ll be your doctor while you are employed by us,” Xi’er explained as they got up from their seat, “I know you may be a bit confused with regards to this current situation, but rest assured, I earned my medical license 2 months ago and am more than qualified to run these tests.”

“Uh…” Karin stuttered, unable to process a single thing going on since stepping into the office.

“Before our check-up can be initiated, I request that you strip yourself of all clothing,” Xi’er said, completely ignoring Karin’s brain acting on the fritz.

Though their request appeared to snap her out of it. “Wait! What?!”

“It’s common practice during check-ups. We don’t want the clothes to get in the way of the measurements.”

“Don’t they usually provide a nightgown or something though?”

Xi’er sighed, rolling back in their chair to get one from a cabinet underneath the desk behind them.

“For someone who always slept in the buff at sleepovers, you seem to have grown quite chaste as you developed.”

“That… that’s… different,” Karin stuttered, unable to refute anything.

Xi’er continued to stare at Karin, making her shift awkwardly.

“Can you…” Karin trailed off.

Xi’er turned around in their chair with a sigh.

Karin was quick to change, fearful they’d grow impatient and turn right back around before she finished.

“Okay, I’m good now.”

Xi’er pushed back without turning around, stopping their wheels right before Karin’s feet. They pushed themselves up from the chair and pulled out a thermometer they were quick to press up against her forehead.

Xi’er was the second shortest among the four women, only taller than Karin herself. Because of this fact, Karin’s eyes were face-to-face with the feature they had all of them beat in.

‘Could they be any bigger,’ Aka thought with a blush as her face turned up and away.

“Probably,” Xi’er said, already having pulled out their stethoscope to listen to Karin’s heart, “I did recently get into gene therapy.”

Karin’s body jolted back, as she screamed, “Don’tDoThat!”

“Do what, answer your question?” Xi’er asked, holding their stethoscope to the side.

“Read my mind!” Karin screamed.

“Karin, for the last time, I am not able to read minds. I’m able to tell what you think by reading your reactions to my own actions.”

“Well stop doing that!”

Xi’er sighed, “Noted. Though that will drop my speed and efficiency in addressing your questions.”

“I’m okay with that.”

Xi’er brought the stethoscope up again, placing it under Karin’s gown to listen to her unsteady heart. Karin wasn’t sure if the cold feel of the device or Xi’er proximity was making her more uncomfortable.

“Breathe in,” Xi’er instructed, “breathe out.”

Karin felt rather bad for thinking about her friend like that. It’s not like Xi’er was an awful person, it was just…

“Xi’er, how are you able to get such a read on what I’m thinking from my emotions?”

“I’m not sure I understand the question.”

“Well, sometimes it feels like you don’t have them, or something?”

“Ah, I see,” Xi’er said, stopping their readings for a second, “I understand the source of confusion now. I am able to understand others' emotions adequately, but I have trouble expressing my own.”

Karin thought about how important expressing her emotions was as a Magical Girl. It fueled her attacks and gave them massive firepower.

“Why don’t you have any difficulty using your powers as a Magical Girl?” Karin asked without thinking.

“I do, at least on living targets,” Xi’er clarified, “my communication troubles make it hard for me to project my magic onto others like you and the others would. For instance, I can’t heal others with my magic. Is this a satisfactory explanation of my shortcomings?”

It made things make a bit more sense to Karin at least. Though it raised another question in her mind.

“Is that communication issue why you haven’t found your color yet?”

If Xi’er heard her question, they didn't seem to show any signs of it, as they moved behind her to press their stethoscope into her back. As the cold chestpiece pressed into her back behind her heart, Karin felt a chill run up her spine. Her entire body shuddered, her knees gave out, her entire body retreating to the ground in collapsed mess, paralyzed in fear for but a moment. But a moment that seemed to drag on into forever for Karin.

“Apologies, I forgot about that place entirely,” Xi’er stated cooly, standing above her crouched body.

“It’s… it’s okay,” Karin replied, getting back to her feet.

“Can I see it?” Xi’er asked, “I recommend we ascertain its condition to see if anything has changed since then.”

“I… I guess so?” Karin said, turning her back to Xi’er.

Xi’er reached down, tugging at the bottom corner of Karin’s gown.

“You know what, I think it’s fine, it feels fine,” Karin rushed out, turning 180 degrees.

“Karin, it won’t disappear if you ignore it.”

“Let’s not, not today at least,” Karin said as her eyes darted down in shame.

“I understand. I’ll take your blood pressure now,”

Karin extended her arm for Xi’er to attach the cuff to. With a few pumps she jotted some notes on her clipboard before taking it off.

“Everything is normal regarding your vitals. Now, how are you feeling emotionally?”


“I’m also the team’s therapist, I earned my psychology license about 8 months ago,” they said, pointing to their degree on the wall.

Karin felt like she’d been slugged with revelation after revelation today.

“I think I’m good for today,” Karin said sheepishly.

“Are you certain?” Xi’er asked, “I understand your wariness. But it’s optimal for a Magical Girl to understand their emotions properly so as to fight effectively.”

Karin felt uncomfortable, but she wanted to be a team player now, so she felt like she had to talk about something.

“Do you ever feel disconnected from Báisè?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Like…” Karin struggled to put her feelings to words, “when you transform, do you feel like you’ve become someone else?”

“Is that something that occurs when you transform?” Xi’er asked in turn.

Karin felt a pang of disappointment in her heart. Was she the only one who felt this way about her magical self?

“Apologies, I was focused on your own feelings that I acted quite rude, I should have answered your question first before positing my own. No, I don’t feel any disconnect between Báisè and I, I consider us to be one and the same. What I believe you might be describing though is imposter syndrome. It’s a condition where one feels their own accomplishments are not the product of their hard work.”

“That makes sense, but couldn’t it also be because I wasn’t chosen to be a Magical Girl?”

“Karin,” Xi’er sighed, “we’ve been over this once before. I can’t ascertain whether that is the cause of any differences you feel compared to us or not. I can’t even be certain this is something Calice or Roxy feels since I haven’t thought to ask them this. Even if both of them reported feeling no difference between them and their magical selves, that would not be definitive proof either. It would be best to focus on possible causes we can actually address first.”

“What if we spend all that time trying to do that and it doesn’t work though? What then?!” Karin asked, feeling her anger rising.

“Then at least we’ll know. Karin. You must be aware that our goal to change the world for the better isn't necessarily something we can actually achieve, right? We have to give it a try though, if we give up because we think it’s hopeless, then we have already lost. Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” Karin said with a huff, frustrated at Xi’er and herself, but mostly the latter.

“I think you should unwind at the gym. You can find it on the right side of our home.”

“We have a gym?!”


As Karin walked into the gym, she couldn’t help but marvel at its size. There was a weight corner, a track ring, and a basketball court all in one location.

She heard the familiar thudding of a basketball against the floor, as a shot was fired at the basket, followed by a silent swish of the net before it returned back to the floor with several bounces.

“Hey Karin,” Roxy said with a smile.

“I see your skills haven’t rusted at all.”

“I hope yours haven’t either, let’s play a game,” Roxy said, throwing the ball right at Karin.

“Oh come on, you have more than a foot over me and I’ve never won a single game before.”

“And has that ever stopped you?” Roxy asked with a chuckle, walking toward her

“Yeah, well maybe I just grew-” Karin dashed forward with the ball around Roxy, already shooting toward the goal.

“Hey, you cheater!”

“As Báisè always said, I shouldn’t play fair!” Karin declared, proceeding to toss up a lay-up.

The ball bounced off the back corner and circled inside the rim before plummeting back to the ground.

“Looks like I took first blood in this match.”

“Yeah, you should probably quit while you’re ahead though,” Roxy said with a grin.

“I should, but I won’t,” Karin grinned right back.

Even with Karin’s tricks, it wasn’t like she was going to beat Roxy. She was losing 30-40 within the first 15 minutes, and she could tell she was only doing that well because Roxy was taking it easy on her.

“Thanks Roxy,” Karin said.

“Trying to get me off my game?”

“No, really. Thanks,” Karin repeated.

“Oh, you’re welcome? What brought this on?”

“You’ve always gone to bat for me, even though I haven’t been a great friend,” Karin said, her dribbling stopped as she hugged the ball to her chest.

“Hey now, don’t talk about yourself like that,” Roxy said.

“It’s true though. I feel like I’ve done nothing but hold you all back,” Karin said, the ball dropping from her grip, “and yet you still consider someone like me a friend. If I had been someone chosen by the suit, maybe I would’ve been able to help you during that final battle.”

“Karin,” Roxy soothed.

“Or maybe if I had just not gotten so obsessed with proving myself, I wouldn’t have been dead weight during that last fight. Defeated not even by the Dark Lord himself, but one of his Emperors. How’d I fall so low back then?”

“Karin!” Roxy screamed, “Stop with lowly thinking of yourself! I’m friends with you because I care about you! Flaws and all!”

“But I’ve been nothing but a hindrance, I’m not going to ever be a true Magical Girl like the rest of you.”

“Karin, I was the one who told you to put it on, rather than let the suit choose, right? Do you hate me for that?”

Aka thought back to when they’d first discovered this world. How Báisè had recruited Roxy, how they had stolen back a suit from Fear, how she laid on the ground, about to die until Roxy told her how to activate the suit.

“What, no?! You saved my life back then!”

“Exactly, so why do you seem to hate the fact that you’re alive right now?!”

“I…” Karin trailed off.

“Karin, you need to stop thinking so lowly of yourself! I don’t care how strong you are, the reason I can fight as hard as I do is because I’m fighting with people I care about! Are you going to say the thing I care about isn’t worth it?!”

“No, but I don’t think the others would agree.”

“Karin, they care about you as well. They might not show it as much as I do, but they do. Xi’er posted bail to get Tyler and those other teens out of jail because they knew how bad you felt about it.”

“They did?”

“That’s right. And Calice, the only girl he talks about as much as me is you. He cares for you, no matter how much you frustrate him and he frustrates you. Even if you think nobody else cares about you, remember that we do, and feel better.”

“I missed your wedding though, I haven’t been a good friend.”

Roxy laughed loudly, causing Karin to look up in confusion.

“Girl, is that what this is about? Calice and I haven’t even announced our marriage yet. You need to stop getting so hung up on hypotheticals, you aren’t Xi’er, they're just going to worry you ‘til you’re insane.”

“So it was just my misunderstanding?” Karin asked softly.

“Girl, you misunderstand a lot, but that’s okay. We’ll be here to help correct each other,” she said, giving Karin a hug.

Karin had cried so much this day, she was surprised tears could still fall, and yet they did.

“I think I have to make a call.”

“You go do that, we’ll wrap up our game after that.”


Karin dialed in the number given to her, ready to speak to the person who she had hurt, who had started her on this whole adventure back to her friends.

“Hello? Who is this?” A voice asked on the line

“Hi Carol, it’s Aka.”