10 [10] A Leap of Faith

Chapter 10: A Leap of Faith

"And that's how I met Minami! Look at her, to think she is a gravure model!"


When lunch break finally started, I met up with Ruby. I had brought Shoko along with me since she was about to eat alone. Both of us had a sandwich in our hands that we ate as Ruby talked.

Apparently, she met this pink-haired girl, Minami Kotobuki, who had a fake Kansai accent, in her classroom. Looking at her, I can understand why she would be a model for those sexy photoshoots.

[Image Here]

With lustrous pink hair and eyes, her body was stupidly thick for her age. Her chest was large, too. My stare may have been a bit too obvious, as she blushed and looked away.

"She's beautiful, so it's understandable."

"Ah… t-thanks?"

My words made her blush more, she turned to face me but her eyes only looked over my shoulders. She quickly leaned over to Ruby to whisper in a hushed voice.

"Why are you siblings so direct?! And you should have told me your brother looks, uh, so… you know?"

Ruby flinched at that, giving me a shocked look. I just stared at her dryly, and she took the sign to move on from the subject.

"A-anyway, who is this? I'm surprised you made a friend on your first day."

"I wouldn't have, she's special. And I mean in a conditional way when I say it." I spoke, while my hands moved, introducing Ruby and Minami to Shoko in sign language.

[–That blonde girl is my sister, her name is Ruby Hoshino. That girl is her friend; her name is Minami Kotobuki. Today is the first day I met her, both of them are from the Performing Arts Program.]

Shoko made a gasping sound. [–Are they?! They're celebrities! I didn't know your sister was a celebrity- wait, are you one too?!"]

[–Haha, no. Neither is she, she wants to be an idol though. I guess you might see her perform in a few more months. The other girl is a celebrity though, she's one of those sexy models.]

Shoko's face went a little red hearing the last line and she just nodded, too shy to add anything. By then, the two girls had noticed the oddity of the situation, of course.

"Wait, is she…"

I nodded at Ruby's half-question. "Yes. She is Shoko Nishimiya, and she's congenitally deaf."

The two girls immediately walked over to her and apologized for things they had no control over. Shoko seemed a little startled, but when I explained what was going on, she took their goodwill with a smile.

It was about then that I heard a yell come from afar.

"Hey! Aqua! Ruby!"

I and Ruby turned to find Arima Kana on her way toward us, running with a broad smile on her face. She reached us and took in deep breaths while holding her knees.

"Hey, how was your first day? Do you like the classes?"

"Wow, is Loli-Senpai actually acting like a senpai?"


Ruby and Kana had another showdown and I took that time to introduce Kana to Shoko. When the former two girls stopped, I introduced Shoko to Kana too.

"Aww, why is she in our school then? She really should have attended a school for the special kids instead…" Kana said in a voice filled with pity, and although Shoko couldn't hear her, she got the gist of it, and her shoulders drooped a little.

I shook my head. "What's the point in excluding people like her from the general public? That'd just make their lives harder. It's better if she gets to know normal people and makes normal friends."

"Mhm… I guess that makes sense. Sorry, Shoko." Kana had the sense to quickly bow and apologize to the girl, making her smile at me.

Around then, Ruby gasped. It was directed towards neither of us, but a girl who was in the distance.

"Look! It's Shiranui Frill!"

Everyone turned to where she pointed, and I did too. Even I knew who Shiranui Frill was. She's the most demanded teenage actor and model in Japan currently.

"She's a multi-talented performer who can sing, dance, and act! She had a hit show last September!"

Shiranui Frill is what most people would imagine when the word "pretty girl" is brought up. It wasn't an exaggeration, if that Minami girl was hot, Shiranui was simply gorgeous. She had green eyes the like of nature, and black hair with a tint of green. There was a beauty mark under her lips that drew men and women alike.

[Image Here]

Still, Ruby's obsession was surprising. She was a strong mage, what's wrong with her? To be fangirl over a celebrity isn't how I raised her, what is this?

"Isn't she in the same class as you? I didn't know you were obsessed over her."

"She's my favorite."

"Huh, I see."

Shiranui Frill noticed us, though maybe not exactly us, but particularly Arima Kana, as she walked over and stood in front of the short girl.

"It's been a while, senpai. I watched your recent show, Sweet Today."

"Uh…" Kana was caught off guard, as she quickly cleared her throat and smiled. The smile was shaky. "Haha… you did? Sorry if you didn't like it, I was feeling a bit off, so my acting was a bit…"

"Huh?" Shiranui tilted her head to the side. "Weren't you just adjusting your level to not outshine the others? It was pretty obvious; I'd say you did a pretty good job."

"Ah." Kana blinked, her eyes regained a bit of their glint suddenly. "T-thank you. I tried not to ruin the balance of others."

For the next few minutes, Shiranui chatted with the girls, mostly introductions. She knew who Minami was, which surprised the girl, but when it came to Shoko, Ruby, and I, she naturally was clueless. We weren't famous people.

Kana took that chance to introduce us to her. "Oh, and this is my friend, Aqua, his sister Ruby, and his classmate, Shoko. She is deaf, by the way, so don't take it to heart if she doesn't respond to you."

"Friend" was a bit too much, but sure. It was enough for Shiranui to look at Shoko and surprisingly greet her in sign language.

[–Hi, nice to meet you.]

Shoko was startled a little seeing such a popular person talking to her, more so in sign language. [–Hi! Nice to meet you too.]

Then, it was the turn of Ruby. Their talk was funny because Ruby was hurt after not being recognized by her favorite actress of the new generation. When it came to me, however, things turned a little odd.

"Hey," I waved at the girl as she turned to me, and immediately her eyes trembled.

I'm sure she noticed it earlier already, she had walked to us noticing it. But now that she was face to face, she truly noticed the Qi that was dancing around me. Of course she did. She wasn't a normal human, her cat-like eyes gave it away. Perhaps she was a normal human in the original anime, but she was more than that here.

A Yokai, a Catgirl.

"Nice ears," I said, even as the others shot me a weird look. Of course, their normal sight, even Ruby's own, couldn't see the translucent fur ears that were dancing over her head.

Shiranui forced a smile. "Nice eyes, such an electric blue color. Sorry, I don't think I know you, don't recall seeing you perform in anything before. Hope we get along."

She implied that she hoped I wouldn't burst her bubble of secret, as she reached out a hand. With a smile, I accepted it.

"My sister's in your class, she's a fan. You should get along with her instead."

– Dddughhh…!

My hand firmly squeezed hers, and my aura did the same. It wasn't threatening, just a friendly test, that she returned by pushing against my Qi with her own. In this world, Yokais were naturally adept in Qi, so her try wasn't negligible. She was a fine young lady in terms of aura control.

A naughty part of me wanted to push her down to her knees, but I held back the urge. There was no point to that.

"Sure thing," she said as I smiled and let go of the oppressing aura. By then, Ruby too sensed and realized what was going on, but she was too shocked to say anything.

I hadn't let go of her hand yet, as I said, "Be careful, by the way. I'm not sure how much you know about this school, but there are some smelly people around. It would be troublesome if your beautiful fragrance was disturbed by that."

I was seemingly flirting with her, as I was basically feeling her hand at that point, but she understood that I was talking about the Devils. Though I really was flirting with her too, but that's beside the point.

"Thanks for worrying about me, though I don't think it'd be an issue." She nodded, and I finally let go of her hand.

There hung an awkward silence in the air, and thankfully the bell chose just that time to ring. All of us quickly evacuated to our classrooms, though not before Shiranui Frill gave me one last look.

* * *

[–What were you two talking about? She was smiling all along, but… You know, I can read people better than most, I learned to do so naturally since I can't understand them by their speech. And earlier she seemed nervous when you interacted with her, even though she was smiling.]

When we were back in the classroom, my deaf neighbor hastily made hand signs under her desk. This was one perk of not needing to talk, we could mess around like this in class.

I replied easily. [–She has a cute secret, and I just happened to realize that the moment I met her. She realized that I realized, so she got nervous and made sure I won't reveal anything. I agreed, I don't have any sort of animosity towards her after all.]

[–Ah, I see.]

After a few more hours, the first day at school ended. In the meantime, I managed to talk with a few people and grasped the situation with the older students a bit.

Indeed, the name Kuoh High School wasn't just for show. Shona Shitori was the student president here, a third year. Rias Gremory and Akeno Himejima existed as well, they were apparently very popular even outside the school thanks to their looks. I also received some warnings about being weary of a trio of perverts from the 2nd year General Program, who haunt girls—definitely Issei Hyuudo and his friends.

Thankfully, none of the devils approached me today. From what I recall, they like to observe things for a bit first, though I did half expect Rias to come for me today.

Regardless, it's fine with me that I was left alone.

There is something else I learned about by talking to the students, however. It's pretty interesting.

"Dude, really. I mean that's what I heard from my grandma anyway who went out late at night." one of my classmates exclaimed aloud when I asked him for details about what he was talking about.

Apparently, bizarre electricity phenomena have been happening near the local Kuoh Park. Some people have also gone missing there, one burnt dead body had been found, and the sky was struck with lightning even without any signs of rain. The kids made theories about whether this was government propaganda or really some magical incident.

…Is this what I think it is? I need to check it out.

When the bell fell, Shoko and I made our way to the school gate and waited for the others to join. I kept an eye out for any of the devils to make a move until the end.

Only it wasn't any devil who drew my attention. It's a short little girl, dressed like a guy.

"Huh? Who're you?"

I turned to the voice, finding a rather short girl, having a small build and fair skin. She had her jet black hair cut short of which the longest part ended at the nape of her neck and then went back up to the front locks that ended on the bridge of her nose.

Bold of her to ask who I am while abruptly walking behind me. I shot her a glare.

"Who are you, shorty?"

"W-what? Who is shorty?! I'm average! You are just tall like an electric poll, you bas-"

To my surprise, Shoko interrupted her in sign language.

[–Hey, calm down. That's my… friend.]

Shoko hesitated at the last part but weaved it in the end. I'm glad she trusted me that much to call me that, knowing her past. The shorter girl looked startled and snapped her head at me, squinting my face to search for any hidden intent.

"You, are you bothering her?" She asked. "I am her boyfriend, by the way. If you mess with her, be ready to deal with me."

"Boyfriend?" I looked at her crotch, and as she realized where my gaze was, her cheeks reddened. "Right…"

Shoko nudged my shirt and made me look at the signs she weaved. [–Haha, she is just trying to keep me safe, she's here to take me home, please don't be offended. She's my younger sister, her name is Yuzuru Nishimiya.]

Oh. Right, she had a sister I remember. I think this little girl always lied around about Shoko being her girlfriend, to keep her safe from creeps.

Humans were disgusting creatures. While most would ignore a girl like Shoko because they couldn't bother going through the hassle, a number of pathetic losers might try to take advantage of the fact that she can't yell for help. That she won't be able to file a report. That she was just a useless thing that they could use for their pathetic pleasures. So no, I didn't feel offended that this Yuzuru girl was working so hard to keep her older sister safe, it was rather commendable.

Not all siblings were this friendly. When one sibling is sick from birth, even less so. I have seen sisters kill each other for the stupidest things and brothers raging war on each other's kingdoms for another. So I can say what this little girl is doing is lovely.

"Ah, I see." I reached out a hand to the surprised little girl, who seemed to be confused why her sister was talking to me with sign language as if I'd understood them. My hand rested on her short hair as I ruffled it under her surprised gaze.

"W-what are you…!"

"It's all right, she's my friend. I understand it must be odd seeing someone befriending your sister, but I have no ill intention. I'll just say you are doing a good job keeping her safe."

She blushed at the compliment and tried to say something, most likely to tell me to back off, but Ruby came to my rescue right then.

"Hey, Onii-chan!"

Her call drew the attention of Yuzuru, as both of us turned to her. She was running at us, followed by a worried Tsubasa who kept telling her to slow down. I smiled at the little girl, bringing her attention back to me.

"I have a younger sister too, as you can see. Please, rest assured. As long as your sister is in school, she is safe and secure."

That hit the nail as Yuzuru looked down at the ground. She looked back up and gave me a nod. "All right. You're being corny, but thanks, I'll count on you. Don't try anything weird, or I'll kick you in the balls."

I laughed. "Fine."

On that note, I think it's about time I go on a little adventure. The potentially supernatural lightning phenomenon I heard about from my classmates gossiping, requires my attention. I really hope it is what I hope it is, it's been too long at Jade; I might fall short to the little devils in the school if I don't advance soon.

Time to take a leap of faith.




Master4thWall Note: Ayy, what is this, a Catgirl with a beauty mark near her lip?! 😩 Everything reminds me of her… ANYWAY, DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!

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