Chapter 2:

The Hero Gets A Call

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

Hoshi Michiaki quietly watched the TV in the corner of the room as he sipped his coffee. Though it was silent, he could almost hear the action happening on the screen as it showed a fight between the most infamous supervillain Golden City had seen in recent years, Flare, and a few old and new vigilantes on the scene. Bookmark here

The thing was, Hoshi knew she was far from being the worst villain, and he knew he could count on the woman to keep casualties to a minimum. It was her blatant disregard for public property and her various heists since her debut over a year ago that was the problem. That, and, well… she could get pretty heated.Bookmark here

Hoshi winced as she was dropkicked into a brick wall. “That’s gotta hurt,” he commented softly. “Look like she’s a little rusty.” It was probably because of how Hoshi hadn’t actually heard anything about Flare for a couple months that he was genuinely surprised to see her show up now.Bookmark here

“I haven’t seen Flare in a while.” One of his coworkers and a good friend, Perry, pulled up a chair and sat across from him. “Usually they disappear for good after being inactive for so long, or they’re arrested.”Bookmark here

Hoshi hummed in agreement. It was exactly what he was thinking. “There has to be a reason why she’s back. I mean, the last time she appeared…” Hoshi raised his eyebrows. “She looked pretty bad.”Bookmark here

They both sipped their respective drinks. “She sure pulled the wool over our eyes, eh?” Perry said. “I wonder if that hero, Check, will finally have a go at her.”Bookmark here

“Golden City’s number one? I don’t know about that,” Hoshi said nervously. “I haven’t seen him in a while either, and I don’t know if he could handle someone like Flare.”Bookmark here

“A week isn’t that long, Hoshi,” Perry said. “By publishing standards, sure, but a hero like him, that everyone likes? He’s probably going around the neighbourhood right now, hearing about it. I wonder if he’s ready to help…” On the TV, Flare clapped her hands together and a concussive wave of heat slammed into one of the newer heroes. Said hero was blown back into a police cruiser before Flare slammed into the ground and a powerful wave of flame erupted from her in all directions. The fire didn’t reach the cameraman, but it was close enough that the telecaster lost focus. Bookmark here

When it steadied, Flare was gone, and the police were left with one unconscious and a couple of battered heroes. “Well, that’s that.” Perry chuckled. “Let’s hope these heroes don’t get detained as the vigilantes they are.” Bookmark here

Hoshi shivered. That word caused him to break into a sweat and click his shoes against the ground with a steady tick. Taking a deep breath, he reminded himself that his secret was safe. No one knew what he did in his free time, so there was no danger. Bookmark here

Hoshi gestured his mug to the current headline. “Looks like our teams and the general public agree with you.” The TV was currently replaying footage from the battle while the reporters on scene heaped praises on their efforts to take down Flare.Bookmark here

“Sometimes, I wonder why these masked crusaders take up the mantle. They don’t make money, and there’s no protection for them if they’re hurt on the job.”Bookmark here

Hoshi shrugged as nonchalantly as he could. “You’re telling me.”Bookmark here

Suddenly, his phone began to ring and he jolted in his chair. Wondering who it could be, Hoshi fumbled for his phone as Perry chuckled at his surprise. Pulling his phone out, Hoshi saw the caller ID and shook his head as he answered.Bookmark here

“Hey, Miyamura! What’s up?” Bookmark here

The screech that came from his phone was painful as he pulled it away from his ear. “Hoshiii! How many times have I told you to call me Reiko?”Bookmark here

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Hoshi said, “Too many. Sorry, Reiko, force of habit.”Bookmark here

Reiko clicked her tongue and she sighed. “I’ve known you for two years, Hoshi. Is this what our friendship is worth?”Bookmark here

The dangerous tone in Reiko’s voice quickly had Hoshi spouting apologies before he heard her giggling. Feeling his cheeks warm in frustration, he harrumphed. “Reiko! Quit it!” Bookmark here

“You’re so easy to tease, Hoshi. With how many times I do this to you, I’d think you should see it coming more often!”Bookmark here

“Ah! Uh, yeah, sure,” Hoshi mumbled. “Well, you certainly know how to make life interesting, Reiko.”Bookmark here

Reiko hummed in amusement. “Buckle up, because it’s about to get a little more interesting. I got you a gal for that job you guys were putting out!”Bookmark here

“It’s not like it was that hard to fulfil the requirements of, was it?” Hoshi wondered aloud. Thinking on it for a moment, he then asked, “Do you think she’s hardy enough for this kind of stuff?”Bookmark here

“I’ve known Reyna for longer than I’ve known you, tough guy,” Reiko chirped. “She’s got some thick skin. And don’t give me that picky attitude—You’ve already told me how much you guys need the help, especially after last week.”Bookmark here

“You’re not wrong there,” Hoshi muttered. “I don’t think anyone wants to be in constant mortal danger.”Bookmark here

“As I was saying,” Reiko continued, “Reyna is fully qualified and has the schooling to back it. I’d say she’s perfect for the job.”Bookmark here

“Just remember to tell her that we’ll be going out regularly, Reiko.” Hoshi downed the rest of his mug and stood up, glancing one last time at the TV. “It requires more than a little schooling to stomach what we might see. I don’t even want to know who the Golden Globe roped in to report on Flare’s reappearance today.”Bookmark here

“If it means anything,” Reiko said, “Reyna fully understands and is completely onboard, if a bit nervous. She’s actually on her way there.”Bookmark here

That made things a lot easier, actually. “Good,” Hoshi said. “At least she’s got the right attitude to join the Danger Crew—wait, she’s coming already?”Bookmark here

The sound of a ding could be heard on the other end, before Reiko said, “Oh, looks like she made it into the building. Good luck!”Bookmark here

Panicking, Hoshi cried, “Wait—Reiko! Reiko-“ The line cut, and Hoshi blinked. “Damn it, Reiko…”Bookmark here

Rushing out into the hall, Hoshi looked left and right before quickly making his way to his desk. If he was correct, and he knew he was, there was a few more seconds before the elevator would—Bookmark here

DING!Bookmark here

“Crap,” Hoshi cried. He quickly began organizing his desk and throwing things into his bag. “I didn’t even get to read the training manual…”Bookmark here

Footsteps, and a voice behind him boomed. “Michiaki!”Bookmark here

Jolting in his chair, he quickly swivelled to see his manager, Barry. “Yes, sir!” Bookmark here

Barry nodded with a smile. “I don’t know how you did it, Michiaki, but I’ve got you a new recruit! Show her the ropes, go out for a patrol. And let’s hope she lasts longer than Kazuma did. ”Bookmark here

“What happened to Kazuma?” A voice from behind Barry chimed in, surprising Hoshi with it’s melodic timbre. She stepped into view, and Hoshi met Reyna’s eyes.Bookmark here

Hoshi said the first thing that came to mind. “He’s still recovering after being crushed by a flying goldfish.” Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.