Chapter 12:

Magical Girl Disagreement (Re-Do)

Magical Girl SNAFU - Two Facades

“You kept those?!” Saki sounded utterly livid.

“I-I had a feeling they’d be useful…” Sunao recoiled slightly as Saki raised her voice.

“They turn people into slaves! What use could you possibly have for that!”

“I-I might be able to fix it…” It was rare to see Nao being impulsive and Saki being the voice of reason, but when I heard Nao’s proclamation I immediately understood.

“Wait, Nao… are you saying you can isolate the part of the drug that gives powers from the part that impedes free thought?”

“If I can identify at least one of the two drugs used, I think so. The fact that the magical girls got their powers from the same formula means that it’s likely a mixture, not a compound. In other words, the part that bestows powers and the part that makes people slaves should be entirely separable in some way or another.”

The change in her demeanour was drastic, as it always was when she talked about chemistry.

‘Tokyo Academy For Gifted Girls.’ The name of our school wasn’t just for show. With the exception of myself, every person in attendance there was accepted because they already displayed an exceptional degree of skill or talent in a particular field.

While Saki may have been invited due to her exceptional physical ability, it was Sunao’s brilliant mind that won her a spot at the prestigious academy.

In 2028, she made waves in the scientific community after she successfully theorised, synthesised and wrote a paper on a brand new artificial protein for fertilisers that helped stave off an aggressive invasive weed species. She was celebrated as a true prodigy of biochemistry, and her achievements caught the eye of the academy.

In other words, something as simple as extracting a harmful agent from a drug should be completely trivial to someone with her vast knowledge.

That being said…

“It’s too dangerous! We have no idea the kind of forces we’re dealing with here, we have no idea if this drug even follows the principles of chemistry! You’re talking about taking an unknown drug that was stolen from slavers and testing it on people. On yourself! Have you gone completely mad?!”

Saki’s objection rang true. If we were talking about de-lacing drugs or purifying medication, I would trust Nao’s skills with my very life. But these powers have already proven to not follow conventional wisdom. If the powers themselves can seemingly break the laws of physics, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that the drug they originate from can violate the laws of chemistry.

There were simply too many unknowns to justify the risks.

“…I want to try it.” The rebuttal, however, did not come from Sunao.

“Mai, the risk is just too high…”

“Sora, you were planning to martyr yourself by going into hostile territory completely alone. I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch you kill yourself to protect me. Taking the drug could risk my life, I understand that. But if not taking it risks your life, then it’s no decision at all.”

My words caught in my throat. I had no response. Once my own hypocrisy was pointed out to me, I no longer had a leg to stand on to deny their choice outright. After a moment of deafening silence, I managed to speak again.

“…if this is the decision you two have made, I can’t stop you. I won’t stop you. It’s your will and I can’t trample over it. But I need you both to promise you’ll think this over properly before you go through with this. This isn’t even just a matter of ‘what if it goes wrong?’ Even if it goes perfectly, your life will be changed forever. Deciding to fight for justice and to help those in need is admirable, but this isn’t some shounen manga where righteousness always wins. Your lives will be in danger every moment of every day if you go through with this. I wasn’t given any choice about the target painted on my back. You have been. Before you make that choice, make sure you’re ready for the consequences.”

The words continued to stream from my mouth as the thought of my beloved friends putting their lives at risk urged me to take action. I wasn’t telling them to stop. I wasn’t even asking. I was just making sure they wouldn’t make a mistake they could never take back.

Silence permeated the room for longer than I could count. The atmosphere was suffocating, but I didn’t regret a word I had said.

My friends all wore complicated expressions. Mai’s resolve had yet to waver, but I knew her well enough to recognise that she was deep in thought. The previously adamant Sunao had shrunk back in her seat, recognising that she had no response to my words. Saki was visibly torn between relief that I had talked the girls down from acting rashly and fear about what their decision would be.

After a silence that could have been seconds or hours, Saki breathed a sigh and addressed us all.

“Well, it’s late into the evening and we’ve had a stressful day. These aren’t the sorts of conditions we should be making life altering decisions under. Let’s at least sleep on it for tonight. Let cooler heads prevail.”

Silently, the three of us agreed. I felt relief wash over my body that the oppressive atmosphere had been lifted, at least for the moment.

I wordlessly thanked my lucky stars that Saki’s natural leadership ability was so good at easing the burden of disagreements among friends. Despite my jabs at her airheadedness, when it comes down to making hard decisions there are few people whose rationality and judgement I could rely on more.

The four of us decided to turn in early for the night and continue the discussion the next day. As I clambered into my futon between Mai and Sunao, I found myself thinking: I truly did find myself some incredible friends.


You who hideth thy face with lies

How long can thy deceit remain?

When the time comes for thy facade’s demise

How will thee win their trust again?