Chapter 31:

The Hero Helps Another Villain

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

From a distance, Hoshi watched as police swarmed the warehouse complex that still had many incapacitated Moon Ravens on the ground. Hoshi figured many of them were more collateral than actual muscle for the criminal organization that the Moon Ravens were shaping out to be. As it stood, Hoshi had no real knowledge of how to deal with operations like this, and he had no idea what was up with the stuffed animals the Moon Ravens had been transporting, so he left it to the professionals. Meanwhile, he had evacuated with an extra body in tow, still seemingly unconscious until further notice.Bookmark here

Adamant breathed deeply and contentedly, even when she had been jostled and carried by Hoshi to a secluded spot. He had then laid her down and now he sat across from her, waiting for Adamant to wake up. He knew he couldn’t bring her to his house: Waking up in an unknown man’s house would undoubtedly be an alarming experience, and judging by Flare’s reaction to his treatment of Adamant, he knew he would likely be dead the moment Flare knew. No, Hoshi valued his life too much to do so. That, and he didn’t really think housing someone who could find out his identity was a very good idea.Bookmark here

Now that he had a moment of peace, the only thing that was on Hoshi’s mind was Flare’s odd behaviour. She was more focused than before, more willing to hurt people. Her anger was incredibly bright in its seemingly-righteous cause, but the way she executed it was childish and dangerous. As if she had never had anyone to tell her otherwise…Which was why he was worried. It seemed she now had a method to her madness, and her Power seemed to be evolving by the day. She was using it in unconventional ways, and it made Hoshi wonder if there was anything he was missing about his own Power…Bookmark here

Shaking his head, Hoshi returned to thinking about what to do about Flare. He would really have to watch out for her and make sure to tag along every time she appeared even remotely. That way, he could keep in her check, just like his hero namesake suggested. It was exactly why he liked his name. Because it meant he cared, and that he could handle any given situation. Bookmark here

This brought him to, what could quite possibly be, one of the most radical things he had done. That is—He would actively try and help a villain. It sounded like Adamant was in the same boat as Rina, but Hoshi needed to make sure. He wanted to know that Adamant and whoever she cared for was alright, and that she would be fine on her own.Bookmark here

“Nngh…”Bookmark here

At the sound of Adamant groaning, Hoshi immediately tensed, and his eyes flashed with his Power. When he couldn’t see anything crazy happening in the next five minutes apart from Adamant waking, he shook his Power from his eyes and eyed Adamant carefully. As she came to, her dazed eyes flicked around the new environment before settling on Check.Bookmark here

A moment later, Adamant’s eyes widened and she straightened up against the wall in panic. “H-Hey!” cried Adamant weakly, “Where am I? What did you do to me?!”Bookmark here

“Nothing, Adamant,” Hoshi responded quickly, his hands raised in peace. “Flare knocked you out. I brought you with me to this alley so that the police didn’t get you.”Bookmark here

When Adamant heard that, she frowned incredulously. It was clear she was still waking up as her movements were sluggish. It seemed she could barely keep herself from falling over. “Wha…what do you mean?”Bookmark here

“The Moon Ravens you were working for at the warehouses are all being rounded up right now,” Hoshi said. “If I hadn’t brought you with me me, you would be with the rest of them, being branded as a criminal.”Bookmark here

Hoshi waited as Adamant processed his words. Then, Adamant shook her head. “What…I tried to kill you,” she whispered in confusion. “I’m your enemy, a villain…why would you—“Bookmark here

“It sounded like you needed help.”Bookmark here

Adamant gaped at him, her eyes unbelieving. Hoshi couldn’t really explain it himself, but he just knew that he had the means to help Adamant with whatever it was that was haunting her. He could almost feel how distressed Adamant actually was, and how she wanted to cry in relief. As if to answer his monologue, Hoshi watched quite tears roll down Adamant’s face.Bookmark here

“I don’t need your help. I’ve got everything I need,” whispered Adamant hoarsely. She then made to wipe her face, when it seemed she realized what exactly it was she was doing. “Why…why am I crying?” Adamant asked.Bookmark here

“Maybe it’s because someone actually believes in you,” Hoshi said kindly. “It isn’t the first time today.”Bookmark here

Adamant stared at her wetted hand for a moment longer before her tearful gaze met Hoshi’s kind eyes. “Why would you…I mean, why do you believe in me?”Bookmark here

Hoshi smiled a small smile. “I believe in everyone,” he said. “Everyone has good in them. Everyone has a reason for why they do things. Some people can’t understand that. And some people like to help.” Hoshi pointed at himself with his thumb. “I’d like to think I’m one of those people that help, even if it means helping someone who was once my enemy.”Bookmark here

It seemed that was shocking enough to Adamant that she was struck speechless. A moment later, she seemed to collapse into herself and began to weep. “I, I can’t…” Adamant cried. “I don’t believe this…Why would you care about me? Why me?”Bookmark here

“Why not you?” Hoshi asked instead. “Why not anyone? I don’t have to help. But I do. And right now, I’m helping you.”Bookmark here

Adamant then did something he didn’t expect and grabbed him frantically. It was alarming because his Power didn’t activate, which meant it wasn’t dangerous, but what she said after grabbing him was what shocked him. “Then d-don’t help me!” Adamant cried. “Help my brother! Help him! It’s not his fault, it’s mine. M-mine! He didn’t do anything, and they took him. They took my only family left, and they’re, they said—!”Bookmark here

Hoshi didn’t know what to do, and awkwardly pulled Adamant into a hug. “H-hey, it’s okay…”Bookmark here

She trembled in his grip and weeped. “Please…I wasn’t strong enough…I’m sorry…I’m sorry for attacking you, I’m sorry for being so strange, I’m sorry for being so selfish. I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

For the first time in his life, Hoshi knew what genuine rage felt like, and it didn’t feel good at all. “Let me help you, Adamant,” Hoshi said. “I will help return your brother to you. But I will need your help.”Bookmark here

And as much as it pained him to admit it, Hoshi knew they still needed more help, and that help was none other than a certain supervillain by the name of Flare. Bookmark here

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