Black Witch Tsu-To-Yu!
“Touyo! Wake up!”
His ears met up with the nostalgic call of his mother’s voice that rang through the house from the kitchen as always.
Soreness corroding his body, he laid on his bed with a mild pain rising from his arms and… well, the rest of his body.
It was possibly the backlash of using so much magic at once, which Tsubaki explained fully yesterday before Touyo went to sleep.
His eyes slowly start to open and close from his long slumber. It was just a mild numbness. His arms ached a bit, but it was similar to how one would do too many pushups the day before without any rest.
It wasn’t very painful—just a slight annoyance.
He removed his light-blue colored blanket off from him, noticing his night clothes—a loose sleeveless black shirt and red short pants.
But it was only for a little while, when he raised his head without caring, that he noticed something rather strange.
They were covered by clothes, but he was sure that they were huge breasts—probably the softest of them all—right in front of him.
His young boyish mind was enjoying every second of the view above him without his permission. If he could, he would nestle between them and not bother going to school.
But it was only after his delusional wanting of these voluptuous breasts gradually disappeared that his eyes popped open wide—blasting the sleepiness right off of them—and gazed above the breasts.
“Yo! Sleepyhead~ Your mom’s calling for you!”
The pleasant, silky voice rang in his ears as she formed a beaming smile.
“W-What are you doing?!”
Touyo’s voice echoed in the room, immediately jumping off from his bed and, ultimately, fell to the floor. Feeling the pain of falling over on his rump, he turned to Tsubaki yawning slightly with her hand covering her mouth.
“What else? I was just waking you up.”
Tsubaki said without any hesitation, her eyes blinking from sleepiness that overwhelmed her.
“D-Did you had to be so close to my face?! Y-Y-Your breasts were…”
Touyo was about to say those words, but his face reddened up. His childish mind wasn’t able to process the words. Tsubaki only chuckled as she floated towards him.
“Never mind that,” Tsubaki warned. “If you don’t hurry, your mom might come up here.”
“R-Right! Tsubaki, you better hide!”
Following Tsubaki’s warning, Touyo hurried over to his closet and brought out his uniform to wear.
Yesterday, after the whole lesson was over and done with, Touyo noticed that it was almost time for his mother to come home from work.
‘What do I do?! How can I explain that I brought a girl here?!”
‘Hehehe, leave it to me!’ Tsubaki proclaimed.
She lifts her hand to the sky and immediately snapped her fingers. And just like that, Touyo lost sight of Tsubaki.
Perception Block—or just an invisibility spell—that disrupts everyone’s perception of her except for the one she chose to let see. In this case, it’s Touyo.
Once his mother came home, Touyo pretended as if nothing ever happened. He only just told her the same answer as usual after she asked how his day was.
It was only then that his mother picked up on his strange behavior—because Touyo has forgotten to make dinner, which got him quite an earful a moment later and had no choice but to order takeout for dinner.
Though it was a nice change for the two of them since it’s been a while that they ordered outside food, so his mother lets him off with just a warning.
Before long, it was time to sleep. But then Touyo asks—
“Hey, how are you gonna sleep?”
“Hehe, glad you asked! I was hoping that you would give me a necklace!”
“A… necklace?” He tilted his neck. What was she planning to do?
He looked around in his drawers, imagining that he placed his older accessories there. There was a time when Touyo wanted to look cool, but after a while, he decided to give it up as it would be too troublesome to bring to school.
He found, within the hidden tin box where he kept his accessories, a necklace with a red pendant shaped like a star. The necklace had the appearance of a ruby gem, but it was a phony which came off cheap for him. Tsubaki howled for joy after Touyo took out the necklace and—
—Jumped right into the necklace.
Touyo was shocked after his master of magic flew right into the pendant, slowly becoming transparent until she completely vanished.
For a moment, the room became shrouded in silence, enough to hear a pin drop.
Before long, Tsubaki quickly came out of the pendant. She came out the same way she came in, rubbing her forehead with her arm and exhaling from the heavy-lifting.
“Whoo~ It sure was troublesome, but I made it into my perfect room!”
“Y-You made a room inside the necklace?”
“Ah, I still need to do preparations. A girl has to have everything just right~” Tsubaki said, giving off a wink.
Touyo only started to doubt her while trying to look inside the pendant, but he couldn’t see anything.
Back to today, Touyo put together his uniform. The same black-colored uniform with golden buttons caused him internal agony for another school day as he headed out of the room.
After walking through the hallway and into the living room, he made a quick turn into the kitchen. There, a woman was already hard at work at the counter.
“Geez, you always wake up late. Don’t you know that you got class at 8:00 am?”
The woman turned back her head, her short crimson hair fluttered about. She wore a white-apron that covered her office work clothes comprised of a black blazer and skirt. Black stockings covered her shapely thighs along with high heels.
For everyone else, this woman looked too good in an office woman’s uniform. Her body proportions easily filled out the uniform which would be a pleasure to the eyes. But to Touyo, she’s like a demon that’s ready to work at any moment.
“Yeah, yeah, I know…”
Touyo said with a tired tone as he always does, but the adrenaline from yesterday did not leave just yet.
Just yesterday, he barely managed to survive against a giant worm’s attack and managed to kill it on his own—with his own magic attack.
It wasn’t something an ordinary 12-year-old boy can do. Most boys would most likely run away, or even faint at the sight of it. Touyo certainly wanted to do each of those things.
As his mother Razaru handed out the plates that had Touyo’s usual breakfast— a bowl of steamed rice, red miso soup, a grilled fish, and two small bowls of steamed vegetables—his mind wandered off about what else he would learn later tonight.
For some reason, Tsubaki said that she will teach him once he’s finished with school. When he asked why, she said that she has some business to take care of.
(Is she trying to fix up her so-called ‘room’ in the necklace? Just thinking about it is weird…)
Touyo, as he munched on his grilled fish early, had no choice but to accept this kind of reality.
“Hey, don’t just go for the fish. Eat your vegetables too.”
Razaru chided Touyo. He flinched after hearing her sharp tone. His mother was beautiful if you asked Touyo, but he would also include that she’s very scary when she looks at him with those fiery eyes.
“Eh, but I don’t like them…”
He said it, but he dropped the fish and munched onto the steamed vegetables obeying his mother said. The bitter taste of pickled seaweed caused him to make a contorted facial expression.
“It sucks now—but when you grow up, you’re going to thank me for having a good, healthy body.”
“But… you’re eating fish early, too.”
“That’s cuz’ I’m already healthy.”
Touyo made a glassy stare as Razaru ate pieces of her own grilled fish with a satisfied smile.
As soon as breakfast was done, Touyo ran out to the living room. He took his bag that was placed there yesterday and headed for the door.
“I’m goin’ out!”
“Have a safe trip.”
They shared their usual goodbyes before Touyo closed the door.
During the time he spent in his school, Touyo had a pretty boring day. But thanks to yesterday’s lesson, his mind was completely filled with exciting imaginations of what is to come.
As soon as the final bell rang, a sweet melody that was music to every middle schooler’s ears, Touyo quickly got up from his seat in the classroom and headed out the door.
Fast-walking along the brown floors, the yellow-colored walls that were plastered with various banners for warnings, clubs, and other types of school activities, Touyo passed through them all and headed right towards the entrance out of the middle school.
The middle school was shaped in a T-shape building if you look at it from the top-side view. The bottom was where the entrance was, and the left side was for recreational purposes while the right side was for educational classes.
Walking out of the building—various students moving ahead to the recreational side of the building for their clubs—Touyo once again saw the cherry-blossom petals falling over him.
Without even wanting to talk to anybody, Touyo ran to his home.
It was already 3:00 pm, but Touyo didn’t belong to any club. He had a difficult time joining any clubs where mostly everyone in his class would go in groups instead of going individually. During that time, everyone always spent time together in their clubs as Touyo was forced to join the only club available to him—the ‘Going home’ club.
There were very few students who also joined this special club, but he never talks to any of them as they headed off to their own homes. As he walked out of the gates, he made his way to his home with haste.
After a few minutes of light running, Touyo wondered if there were a quicker way to get home from school easily without all this walking. He would usually pass the time by listening to music on his way home, but right now he was too excited to even do that. He imagined that he could be learning how to teleport from school to his home in a flash.
Finally, he reached his home. His breath haggard from the extraneous exercise. He quickly got through the gate, headed for the door and opened it up.
Suddenly—POP!—something popped in front of his face. ‘Aaaaah!’ Touyo let out as he fell over on his rump by the entrance. After a moment of dizziness, Touyo found out that it was just a party popper that opened up really close to his face.
It was Tsubaki that was holding the opened popper with a wide grin on her face. She didn’t even hold back on scaring Touyo thanks to his excitement last night.
“W-What was that for?” Touyo groaned as he got up, feeling the slight aching on his rump.
“To celebrate! How could I not when I finally got myself a new student?”
Tsubaki floated away towards the center of the living room as Touyo followed, closing the door behind him.
“S-So we’re celebrating right now…?” Touyo said with a lowered tone.
“Hehe, don’t worry. We’re still going to learn some magic!”
Tsubaki winked to assure Touyo of his lessons. Touyo’s heart raced for the exciting time he will have. He went to the sofa and sat down onto it. Tsubaki continued to float away in the air, her index finger up in the air as well.
“There’s quite a lot of ground to cover, so I’ll make a concise schedule. You now learned fire magic, a basic elemental spell in Black magic, but you’re going to need more elements since just fire ain’t going to cut it. Water, earth, wind—if you can learn at least two of these, then you’re good.”
“T-To fight those ghouls… right?” Touyo answered, making Tsubaki smirk in response.
“W-What are these Ghouls anyway? How did one come here to my house?” Touyo made these questions up during school, and he couldn’t wait any longer.
“Ghouls are phantoms that are contrived by residue left in the atmosphere by thaumaturgy.”
These complicated words wrecked Touyo’s mind to the point of making his brain fizzle.
“Oh, hold on. I meant to say they’re monsters who eat mages’ magic.”
Her words burning Touyo’s mental structure, she simplified it which got him to understand.
“They eat magic?”
“That’s right,” Tsubaki floated down to the ground, landing with her delicate feet to the floor. “They’re born because the magic that we mages use leaves behind a bit of arcana in the air, so these Ghouls are created from that excess arcana.”
“S-Seriously…? Then it’s our fault that this Ghoul showed up?”
Tsubaki’s answer left Touyo with a question mark above his head. She started pacing around the room, her arms folded and her eyes closed, though they opened every few times to see where she was going.
“These Ghouls were already created a long time ago. There are already as many Ghouls as there are human beings. They just hide away within the arcana in the atmosphere, waiting for more chances to eat more magic. Though when they appear, it’s super easy to sense them coming so we put the Barrier beforehand so that they won’t damage the vicinity.”
“S-So… they’re made by magic, and they eat magic? Why do they want to have more magic?”
“To keep themselves fed. And, imagine that you’re hungry—would you settle for just vegetables and water, or have a full-course meal with meat, fish, steamed rice, and juice?”
“I-I would definitely go for the full-course meal.”
“Then you know why Ghouls want more magic. It’s a delicious cuisine for them. They’re hardly conscious beings that only think about their next meal. That’s why they won’t hold back. They can eat a mage whole to devour all the magic he has.”
“E-Eat the mage?!” Touyo practically threw himself at the couch, his heart raced from hearing that last detail.
“That’s right. If you’re not careful, Touyo, you might end up in a Ghoul’s stomach.”
Tsubaki winked as she said that, but it left Touyo chill running up his spine, his teeth constantly hitting each other.
“T-Then, if I don’t get better, I’ll get killed?!”
“Hehe, makes you wanna practice even more, doesn’t it?”
Tsubaki winked while giving a simple motivative speech, but for Touyo, either he works hard or he ends up dead—it was a simple decision of life and death.
“T-Then, please! Teach me more magic!”
“Hehe, you’re quite eager, aren’t you? Well, I can’t blame you. At first, Ghouls are scary, but once you get used to them, they’re hardly a threat.”
“Y-You say that because you can handle one easily…”
“True, I can pretty much destroy an army of Ghouls with just one spell.”
“A-An army, you say…”
Touyo sweated as he leaned back from the walking disaster known as Tsubaki. One single girl can decimate an entire army of those things he faced yesterday? It was unbelievable, but considering what he has gone through, it’s definitely possible.
“Now, getting back on topic. How about we start by learning wind magic? It’s simple, easy, and you can use it to blow up a girl’s skirt to see her panties~” Tsubaki put up a sleazy sneer on her face with her hand on her mouth.
“L-Like I’m going to use magic for that!”
He snapped back at the teasing remark by Tsubaki, his face scowling and tinged with red.
“Haha, alright, alright. Then, let’s get started. Do you still remember the process of creating magic?”
Getting back on track, Tsubaki asked which made Touyo stand up from his couch and nodded vigorously.
“Yeah. Just create an image in your head, and then channel your arcana in your hands.”
“That’s right. Once you got it the first time, it should be easy to do. Now then, this time, show me some wind magic! Make a small wind gust in the house. Don’t worry—I already got the Barrier in place.”
Assuring his house’s safety, Touyo didn’t even realize that she did such a thing. Perhaps he was so into learning about the Ghouls that he missed the feeling?
Either way, Touyo put aside his thoughts on the matter and focused on the task at hand. He corrected his posture—his back straight and his feet planted on the ground underneath his shoulders.
He closed his eyes and remembered the details of Tsubaki’s words. He needed to make a wind gust, and all his life wind blew on him all the time when he was outside. He should be able to quickly create gust without much issue, unlike the fire spell.
He lifted his hand, his fingers sprawled open as he directed his arcana from within his core.
He correctly made an imagery of the invisible wind blowing on his skin. He tried to recreate the image into his hand as he poured in his arcana, reenacting the feeling from before.
He kept pouring in more strength into his hand, shaking it profusely. His teeth started to grind on each other as he contorted his face into a desperate try.
He kept going and going, trying to feel some sort of wind blowing… but nothing happened.
“Haaah! Hah… hah…”
Touyo gasped as he tried to gain back his breath from overusing his muscles. His body turned weak as he fell onto his knees on the rugged floor.
“W-Why… why can’t I do it again?”
He asked himself, possibly asking the core within his heart for the lack of magic.
Tsubaki looked down at him, looking into his hand which had not created a single spark of magic. She rubbed her chin with her hand as she tried to ponder on this event.
“You should have been able to do this magic since you got fire magic down. Touyo, do you feel sick or something?”
“N-No, I feel fine… I was really excited about today so I couldn’t wait to come here.”
Touyo got himself to stand up while creasing his brows. He hoped that Tsubaki had an answer for his lack of magic.
“…Touyo, try using fire magic again.”
“Eh?” Touyo widened his eyes from the sudden demand. “W-Why?”
“Just try it. It might answer a few questions.”
Tsubaki shot him with a solemn look, leaving him no choice but to do as she says.
He began to worry if he can even use fire magic at this rate, but he shook his head as he began to think about the process of calling out the magic within his core.
With a loud shout, the palm of his hand created the crimson magic circle. The top of the circle combusted, forming a small flickering fire.
“Ah! I did it!” A word of disbelief let out, his face widened in surprise.
“Don’t be surprised when you use magic!” Tsubaki retorted as she closed in onto the fire on his palm, her luminescent purple orbs staring right into the flame.
“S-So what’s the problem?” Touyo became more concerned as she glared deeply into the fire.
“…I may be wrong, but it might be possible that your body is not used to making diverse magic.”
“D-Diverse… as in?”
His heart raced as he awaited her answer.
“Hah…” A sigh escaped her lips. “It means that you might not be able to use much magic as I thought.”
He took a step back—this new information was harder to believe than the events that took over yesterday.
“Y-You’re serious?! Are you saying that I’m…”
Something broke inside of him. Those blunt words became the mallet that broke his inner mirror to pieces.
Touyo was looking forward to this so much all day, and now he just heard the news that he’s not cut out for the one thing he was looking forward to. He dropped to his knees, a massive weight on him as he no longer had any energy to stand.
“Hey, come on!” Tsubaki didn’t think that it would hurt him this badly. “I said you’re not compatible with Black Magic—that doesn’t mean that you can’t use any other kinds!”
“…What do you mean?” Touyo looked up, his eyes nearing to tear up.
“Well, at the very least, it’s possible that you can’t use elemental basic spells. Wind, lightning, water, earth… it could be difficult for you to try out all these diverse elemental spells.”
“T-Then…” A small hope nestled in his heart. “That means that I can use other types of magic?”
“You can probably use general magic,” Tsubaki lifted her finger, acting like a pointer. “Touyo, use the same kind of force you do when you’re creating fire, and lift that TV controller from the table.”
She used that finger to point at the rectangular controller on the small table near them. Seeing it, Touyo tilted his head.
“Lift… you mean, like lift it with magic?”
“Exactly,” Tsubaki grinned. “Lift the controller using general magic. Use the arcana and transfer it to the controller, and lift it with your mind.”
“O-Oh…” Touyo nodded. “Got it. Then…”
Touyo turned to the table, his eyes glaring right at the controller. He furrowed his brows, putting on a determined expression as he told himself ‘This time, I will do it!’
He lifted his hand and manipulated the arcana within himself. He used the imagery of lifting the controller in the air like those fake magicians on TV that uses wire to lift their beautiful assistants.
This time, he put more force into his image. He gritted his teeth in the process as he put on a nasty scowl.
“Dude, don’t force too much,” Tsubaki couldn’t help making a wry smile at how hard Touyo was trying. She knew that he wanted to make up for his failure.
Then, it happened—the controller slowly lifting off the coffee table, hanged by a non-existent wire as it dangled left and right.
“I-I’m doing it!” Touyo smirked, his hand shaking as he focused his all on lifting it up.
“Ooh, nice~ Good job, Touyo. It looks like it’s working well for the first time.”
Tsubaki rubbed her chin, impressed at the magical control. The controller continued to dangle until Touyo finally let it go, falling right onto the table as it made a loud thud.
“Hah… it was harder than I thought…” Touyo became fatigued just by lifting a small controller than using his own hands. “Tsubaki, this is general magic, right? It’s just normal magic?”
“Normal magic… that sounds about right,” Tsubaki answered. “It’s also called ‘Life Magic’, or just convenient magic. It doesn’t have much of a name, per say, but it’s used for the general parts such as moving things around and getting around quickly.”
“Getting around quickly…” Touyo widened his eyes. “You mean like teleporting!?”
“Yeah!” Tsubaki grinned. “I can easily teleport, but the way I do it is way too advanced. If you tried using teleportation now, you could end up ripped to shreds.”
“I’ll… take your word for it,” A chill ran up his spine just by thinking about that bad ending.
“Now then, let’s keep going with the flow. We won’t go out and hunt Ghouls earlier than I thought, so we’ll take our time learning the basics of general magic and how to make your fire magic stronger.”
“Oh, got it!” Touyo got pumped. Dopamine exuded off of him just by hearing the word ‘ stronger’.
“Alright…” (Now then, the only thing left is…)
As Touyo was in his head imagining the kinds of magic he can learn, Tsubaki watched him from afar, delving further into her thoughts.
(An armor… but where can I find something like that…)
Touyo was able to train his general magic to… respectable levels. At the very least, he could lift the controller without expending too much thought. How he managed to do so is that Tsubaki forced Touyo to clean up her precious boots using a small scrub—only using his psychokinesis spell.
It was a chore to do, but it was thanks to the constant precise scrubbing that he had full control of using the spell. As it was getting close to night, Tsubaki called it off getting Touyo surprised.
“Tsubaki, what happened to the Ghoul? Wouldn’t it have shown up by now?” He asked, figuring that one would come up underneath him at any second.
“Don’t worry. They don’t show up as much as you think. The one from yesterday was something that I called forth using my magic while I was training you.”
“Y-You called it over?! Wait, you can do that?!”
Tsubaki chuckled. “So you don’t have to worry about any ghouls attacking your home! See, they only go to places that are condensed with people. The more people there are, the more hidden arcana gather up. When a mage shows up in those places, with his or her stronger arcana, then the Ghouls show up as well. Depending on the arcana level of the mage, it changes the variety of the Ghouls.”
“I-Is that how it works…?”
Touyo’s sweat ran down his temple. He became submerged into a world where magic makes everything more complicated.
The night passed, and morning came around. After eating his usual breakfast, he said goodbye to his mother before heading off to his school.
Walking on the sidewalk, the pleasant morning breeze blowing on his face, he sensed something like a quake in the air, making his shoulders jump. He turned around.
Tsubaki showed up, floating right behind him as she waved with her fingers individually like it was an affectionate call.
“T-Tsubaki!” Touyo furrowed his eyes, mostly because of the sudden shock. “Y-You can’t be here! People can see you!”
Tsubaki chuckled, putting her hands on her hips. “I can make myself invisible to everyone but you! You’re the only one who can hear me too, and as an added bonus, I made an illusion so that you appear to be walking to everyone else!”
Touyo widened his eyes. There were instances in anime where the main character looked crazy in front of other people whenever he was talking to some supernatural being in disguise, but it looks like Tsubaki thought of that ahead and planned it out.
“Y-You can do that…? Ah, I might as well stop asking that,” he decided to go with the flow since this would probably be the new norm for him. “So, why are you coming with me to school?”
“Oh, I was just bored,” Tsubaki said as she floated with her front facing the sky, her hands resting behind her head as if she was swinging in a hammock at a beach. “Might as well follow you and have a pleasant conversation.”
Touyo wasn’t so against this, but his face cringed after thinking about his conversations with what practically could be called an invisible ghost.
“B-But then I’ll look crazy to my classmates.”
“Like I said, my illusion will make it so that nobody hears our conversations, including your own voice.”
“Man… magic is really convenient…” Touyo awed at the fascinations of magic.
“Isn’t it?” Tsubaki flashed a grin, her vibrant face reminding Touyo of a fashion model.
Touyo and Tsubaki talked on the way there about what they were teaching Touyo at school, much to his disinterest. When they got there, the school was bustling from the arrival of the students coming in for their education. Some weren’t so keen on receiving their lessons— Touyo could tell by the way they tried to finish their last-minute homework before class starts.
Touyo went to his class when the bell rung and, for the first time, had fun as he had someone to talk to during the classes. On his own, Touyo wouldn’t talk to his classmates for several reasons—none of which Touyo felt inclined to say to Tsubaki when she asked.
After a while the bell rung, signaling the start for lunchtime. The students gladly left behind their work to focus on their first priority—filling their stomachs.
Some left for the cafeteria, while others stayed behind in their classrooms to begin their exciting topics of whatever happened last night.
However, Touyo wasn’t the kind to enjoy such topics with these real-lifers (to Touyo, these are the people who have joyous fulfilling lives as teenagers) and retreated to a more safer location to hide from these predators—the roof.
Opening the door after trekking over the long staircase upwards, the usual large empty space entered into his view. It was filled with bordered bushes and stone benches on the four corners of the middle flooring. An iron railing surrounded the roof so that nobody would fall, and more importantly, nobody was there.
Usually, the roof is a popular location for real-lifers to meet up, but recently the students went over to other places more suited for them. Since nobody wanted to go up the staircase every day to the roof, the roof became unpopular by the year.
It’s very rare for some student to come in and have lunch in the roof—unless they’re people who wish to be alone.
Which is exactly what Touyo is doing.
“Man, you’re really antisocial,” Tsubaki spoke in a half-surprised and half-expected tone.
“Leave me alone,” Touyo snapped back quickly. He sat on one of the stone benches with a grumpy look.
His meal was prepared by his mother beforehand, which was a boxed lunch with rice as the main course with egg rolls, sausages, and cut-up apple slices as side dishes. During so he had to share with Tsubaki when she took the pieces of his egg rolls into her mouth, creating an elated expression.
“Mmh, your Mom’s such a good cook!” Tsubaki complimented with a grin.
“Thanks,” Touyo replied. “Now can you stop picking out my food? I’m hungry here.”
“Hey, the least you could do is feed me some food for your lessons!” Tsubaki swung her fists and whined childishly, putting on a pout on her face which caused Touyo’s eyes to spin around.
Touyo went on to eat his rice now that Tsubaki ate all of his egg rolls. Tsubaki floated towards the railings of the roof to see more of the school’s layout.
“This is a nice place to be, Touyo,” Tsubaki complimented once more, her skin caressed by the rolling breeze. “You got surprisingly good taste.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
Touyo responded negatively, believing that she said it in some offensive way. He walked up to her side by the railing, his lunch box packed away since he was finished.
Still munching on her stolen egg rolls, Tsubaki’s eyes took notice of a being who was coming through the front entrance.
A thin girl, long blue hair fluttered which immediately caught Tsubaki’s eyes. She wore the female version of Touyo’s school uniform, only that it was messy. It was possible that she just put it on in a hurry. The only thing that’s off the norm was the huge picturesque bag she held in secret behind her school bag, constantly looking left and right before she runs off to the school.
“Hey, Touyo, who’s that girl?” Tsubaki pointed at the distressed girl. Touyo managed to spot her, his mind sparked by her unique appearance.
“Ah, that’s Yuki Sosuke,” Touyo recalled. “She’s an odd one…”
“For Touyo to say that, she must be extraordinarily odd,” Tsubaki sneered at her joke which made her receive Touyo’s death glare.
“Well, I’ll admit that we’re both loners,” Touyo calmed down as he made his comment on the girl. “She’s not a bad person, but people say that she’s a total anime nerd.”
“Is that so bad?” Tsubaki tilted her head.
“It’s not bad, I do that too. But apparently she watches a magical girl anime for kids, and she’s obsessed with it enough to cut class and buy its merchandise.”
Touyo points at the bag which Tsubaki followed, noticing the poster poking out of the bag that had an image of a girl with pink twin-tailed hair.
Then, her eyes widened when she noticed something frilly inside.
“Touyo!” Her sudden shout made Touyo flinch, his body jerked in an unnatural fashion.
“That girl! Talk to her and ask for her dress!”
Touyo took a step back, unable to process what she just said. Though that would be an appropriate reaction.
“W-Why the hell you want me to ask for her dress?!”
“Because,” Tsubaki’s face closed up to his own, getting him to blush in response from her sweet smell emanating from her. “That dress is essential for your training! Just ask her! She’s in your class, right?”
Touyo is only able to recognize her because she was part of his class. Otherwise, she would have been a complete stranger to him.
“Y-Yeah…” He reluctantly agreed. “But she hardly comes to school…”
“Then it’s perfect! Ask her now before she hides away! Now, now, now!”
Tsubaki urged Touyo to move his legs into overdrive as he made his way towards the door that led to the bottom levels.
A bit of a while later, Touyo was standing near the corner of a hallway. He peeked, his head poking out of hiding to notice the same blue-haired student coming out of what appears to be the teacher’s office. The girl bowed to the teacher seemingly having a complicated look on his face.
“It looks like she had an excuse,” Touyo surmised the reason why the student visited the office instead of avoiding it altogether.
“Now’s your chance! Go and talk to her!”
Tsubaki, floating right behind him in her illusionary invisible mode, pushed Touyo on his back which made him nearly fall forward out of hiding.
“H-Hey!” Touyo expressed his deep concerns. “What am I supposed to say?! I never talked to a girl before in school!”
Touyo, being a loner, has no experience talking to girls other than his mother in his entire life. It’s not like he had any bad experiences with them—it’s just that girls these days survive solely on social interactions, and Touyo cannot provide any.
“My god, you’re hopeless!” Tsubaki expressed her exasperation with furrowed eyes. “You talk to me, so you can talk to her! Now, move it!”
She showed a scowl that undermined his manhood. Her pressure caused his sweat to run down his temple. He swallowed air and turned towards the direction the girl went.
Remembering the moment when he faced the worm, he borrowed that courage from that memory and puffed up his chest by inhaling sharply. He walked forward with a gait, which made Tsubaki involuntarily giggle from how serious he was.
Reaching ever closer to her, Touyo’s heart thumped against his chest. He got close enough to touch her. His mind began to glaze over—his throat suddenly dried up. Was it this difficult talking to a girl? Tsubaki had a point that he talked to her just fine. Knowing this, Touyo bit his lip before opening his mouth.
Touyo originally planned to speak politely, but the volume of his voice betrayed that.
The girl showed a natural reaction and jumped in retaliation. She held her bag to her chest tightly, guarding it against potential thieves.
“U-Umm, yes?!” She stuttered, making the same high-pitched tone as Touyo to ask for his business. She became completely frightened by the unexpected call.
“Umm… Hi… umm, Yuki—I mean…Sosuke, right?”
It is common courtesy in Japan to call someone by their surnames. You can call someone by their given name, but doing so without at least getting their permission is beyond rude. Touyo, being the loner he is, almost insulted her by saying her first name before correcting himself into her surname.
Still a little frightened, Yuki managed to remember his face after taking a moment to process.
“Y-You’re Shikaya—from my class, right?”
Touyo nodded—he struggled to find the words.
“T-That bag…” Touyo pointed at the bag still being hidden behind her school bag. “The one with the anime stuff…”
The moment he talked about it, Yuki immediately retracted it behind her, showing her cautious side.
“W-What about it?” She answered, her voice tinged in wariness as her shoulders started to shudder.
“Umm… that is to say…” Touyo’s chest kept bursting, his words were too embarrassing to even speak out loud. “Umm… that dress you have… do you mind if I… borrow… it?”
He spoke slowly, and the last words were barely audible, but Yuki was able to understand it to an extent.
“…Borrow my dress?” She raised her right brow, repeating his question. She then lowered it to a doubtful gaze. “…Why?”
Touyo knew that at this moment, the moment Yuki’s tone turned doubtful and suspicious, that even the girl who has no friends like him is starting to consider him to be a creep. His reputation was non-existent to begin with, but he’d rather not let it get any lower than that.
However, since it was his master’s orders, he had no choice.
“Umm… my friend is a… really, really big fan of the… anime where that dress came from!” Touyo whipped out a fresh lie. “S-So… if you can… can I borrow it so that my friend will know what it’s like to… see it?”
Touyo hoped to whatever god is out there that Yuki will be persuaded by his ‘fan friend’. Yuki still had that doubtful gaze on him, but then, they softened as she let out a sigh.
“Well,” Yuki gave in. “I don’t want to deny a fan to see the dress at least. It’s pretty expensive and it’s one-of-a-kind limited edition.”
Yuki put her hand into the bag and pulled out the very dress she proudly exclaimed. It was a frilly one-piece black dress with bulbous shoulders. There was a big bow at the neckline. A white sash at the waist with frills at the end of the hem.
“But… please tell her that she should be extra, extra careful,” Yuki made a stern expression as she folded it carefully and handed the dress to Touyo. “It took me 3 hours standing in a line in the hot sun for me to get it, and it’s one of the kind—a limited edition dress that only 10 of them exists.”
Taking in the pain-staking story from her soul, Touyo widened his eyes and thanked his lucky stars that she bought it.
“T-Thank you very much, Sosuke!” Touyo carefully grabbed the dress. “I promise I’ll take very good care of it!”
Touyo smiled as he thanked Yuki’s understanding and kindness in his mind. Yuki, not being used to social interaction, and especially being thanked for anything, blushed at his gratitude.
She said while hiding her head down. Touyo couldn’t tell whether she didn’t want to see him as she said it, or if she’s too embarrassed to say it to his face.
Touyo said farewell, bowing to her again as he left. He headed back to where Tsubaki was floating.
“I got the dress…” Touyo said as he let out a big sigh of relief. “I’m just glad she’s so nice to me. So, what are we going to do?”
Touyo was careful to hold the dress as he didn’t want to upset Yuki. Tsubaki then made a snide sneer, her creeping smile revealing to be completely vile to Touyo.
“Why… you’re going to wear it as your armor.”
School time came to an end. Touyo had promised Yuki that he will bring the dress back to her the next day, so he walked home with the safety of the dress in mind. He returned to the confines of his home, where he had his own privacy and nobody else in the world could see him…
Or at least, he wished that nobody would see this.
“Tsubaki…why the hell…”
Touyo’s burning fury was bubbling over the peak.
“Why are you making me wear this?!”
He shouted, his anger no longer capable of holding back. His body was fully adorned with the frilly dress that strangely suited his 12-year-old body.
“Wow, *Phht!* That dress looks so good on you.”
Tsubaki managed to say in between fits of laughter that she tried to stifle, but it was to no avail. Touyo’s face reddened to the point of boiling—he had never experienced such shame before in his short life.
“So what’s the point, already?!”
Touyo had no more patience to give as he started to stomp the floor, but the way his dress fluttered up and down as he did only made it worse for Tsubaki to rein in her laughter.
“Haha! S-Sorry, sorry…” Tsubaki took a pause before responding. “Rather, I’m not sorry. You look so cute in it!”
“That’s the worst thing anyone can call me!”
Touyo rebutted, his face fuming red before Tsubaki finally let her laughter die down.
“Touyo,” Tsubaki stood in front of him with a stern expression. “This is going to be important because every mage should have their magic armor.”
“M-Magic armor… What does that mean? And why do I have to be in a stupid dress for that?”
Touyo’s questions made valid points as Tsubaki folded her arms, putting on her lecturer’s face.
“Touyo, do you see the dress I’m wearing?” Tsubaki asked while showing off her splendid black dress adorned on her curvaceous body which made Touyo nod. “This is made out of the arcana within my body. It uses your very own arcana to keep it charged, so it becomes toughened as if it was armor. Not even a normal blade can pierce the cloth. So, it’s comfortable to fight in, and it’s super tough enough to handle any kind of attacks.”
Tsubaki, to make more of an example, raised the hem of her dress to show an example of its texture. It got Touyo to spot her supple snow-like thigh which reddened his face instantly.
“That’s why you need a magic armor, and the only way to do that is to wear that black dress and chant the words needed to create your own personal armor for you to wear at any time.”
“Is that so…” Touyo put on a skeptical look. “I understand why I need it, but… why a black dress?”
“If you’re planning on becoming a Black Witch, then you gotta go with black,” Tsubaki made her ready-made answer.
“Okay, then why a dress?!” Touyo once again rephrased his question to the fundamental problem.
“Because you need to copy its thin cloth and texture so that you can make your armor the exact kind. See, when you’re wearing it now, you feel nice, comfortable, and loose, right?”
“I don’t want to know about it!”
Touyo plugged his ears with his hands. He didn’t want to admit how nice it feels to wear the loose dress. He was so free of constriction, but he was afraid that he might awaken a desire inside that should never awaken.
“That way,” Tsubaki pulled off his hands away from his ears for him to hear the rest. “When you make your magic armor out of your imagination, you will make it the same kind of texture you’re feeling now so that you won’t feel constricted when you’re fighting.”
“A-Alright, already!” Touyo gave up, insisting on her finishing it. “Just hurry up and teach me the words so I can take this off!”
“Alright,” Tsubaki smirked as she closed in towards his ears for her to whisper the words. Though it made Touyo blushed instantly when she did it—when she told the chant needed to make the armor spell, Touyo’s eyes widened.
“…Y-You’re serious? Why those words?!”
Touyo’s night became even worse as he imagined the kind of image he will create when saying those words.
“It’s something of a personal flavor I like to add. It may not make sense, but it provides a good feeling. Plus, it’s like a transformation call, right? Like on TV.”
“I rather not say that at all!”
“Either that or risk being run through by a Ghoul’s horns! Now, say it!”
Tsubaki pointed at him and ordered him to do it. Touyo figured that he couldn’t escape from this. His face blushing, he grinded his teeth as Tsubaki started to cheer for him to say it.