Chapter 2: Minowa Gin
Taisha Literature and History Department - Miko-sama: CENSORED
When I first saw Minowa Gin, I had the feeling that I would have trouble dealing with her.
She was loud, strong-willed, overpowering.
But as we felt each other out I thought she was a really nice girl.
That she would be ■■■■, and ■■■■ was......
Hero's Memoir 298/5/15
Depending on the situation, Minowa Gin’s morning might start early, since she had to take care of her newborn baby brother.
[Hey there, even if our ages are far apart, aren’t you still the great Gin-sama’s brother?]
While looking at the baby’s eyes, Gin spoke.
[Like I said, don’t cry. You can only cry when you realize that the New Year’s money mom keeps for you will never return.]
Happily, Gin tried to make a joke.
[Ahh, now he started grumbling... Seems like it’s not because of milk or nappy...]
Even when they aren’t dissatisfied with anything, babies can often just keep whining for a long time like a smolder. She knew that fact very well.
[First, I put you on my lap...]
After letting the kid take a hold of the ringing toy, she started humming. And just like that, the little brother cheered up. She was used to this.
[Ohh, you stopped crying. Good job, Mai Buraza.]
Once he stopped crying, she praised him. Then, the baby’s face lit up and he laughed happily.
[What a spoiled brother. I'm gonna make you my underling and work your butt off when you grow up, nihihi.]
While looking after her lovely brother, time flew by and before she knew it.
[Heu! Crap~ I'm late I'm late!!]
The girl hurried off to school.
According to the education policy of Shinju-kan, the school that Sumi’s group commutes to, students from grade 4th and above are allowed to buy and eat sweets themselves. Through that, kids from the age of 10 start to learn how to use money. The morale among the children at Shinju-kan is uniquely high. And with the school’s free spirit, students always feel welcomed there.
In any case, Sumi, Sonoko, and Gin were all 6th graders.
At the food court inside the huge shopping mall Ines, the three were eating sweets together. It was another victory celebration party for being able to drive away the invading enemy.
[How’s that? How’s that? This place’s gelato is dang good, right? I, the Ines maniac, recommended it, after all.]
With shining eyes, Gin enthusiastically spoke.
[It’s the best, the best, Mino-san. Crêpes are nice too but I never thought gelato would also be this good~]
With tears on her eyes, Sonoko stuffed her cheeks with gelato.
[—Ahaha, why are you crying over this, Nogi-san?]
[It’s just, that time when I went to a department store with mom, I got to eat a really delicious crêpe, and I thought no other sweets could taste better than that. So this really is a new discovery~ I’m crying with happiness~]
[Did you never come here to eat with your buddies?]
[I don’t have many friends~... Ah, but I came here with Wasshii last time! She invited me out, you know. Right~ Wasshii...]
Sumi was frowning, and having a staring contest with her gelato.
[Why is Washio-san being all serious with her gelato?]
[Don’t you like gelato, Wasshii?]
[It’s not that I don’t like it... This Uji red bean flavor gelato... is really delicious...]
Sumi answered with a meek look.
[Yay. I’m glad that you like it.]
[If that’s the case, then why are you frowning~?]
[I’d like to only have Japanese sweets for snacks. But now, my belief is... being slightly swayed by this flavor, it’s just so miserable...]
Sumi didn’t like things with names written in katakana.
[Somehow, what Wasshii is saying sounds so complicated.]
[Isn’t it fine as long as it’s tasty?]
[That’s right~ Hafuu, this is happiness... I was right to choose melon flavor~]
[Y-you’re right. Certainly, if I keep being so close minded, it might become fatal in combat. I’ll honestly enjoy this now.]
After being told by the other two, Sumi started stuffing her cheeks quietly.
[The bitterness of matcha interweaves with the sweetness of red bean... a perfect harmony... um, um...]
With a smile of a girl her age, she kept moving her mouth.
[Fufu, somehow, Washio-san is really funny!]
[Right~ I thought she’d be more of a scary person~]
"Excuse me, I’m not scary, I’m just serious" Sumi thought, but because the gelato was too delicious, she decided to just keep eating for the time being.
[Somehow, looking at the way Wasshii eats, Uji red bean flavor seems also really good...]
Sonoko turned to look at Sumi with hungry eyes.
[Then just ask her for a bite. Washio-san, please give her one.]
Gin nonchalantly said so.
[Uh, umm~, this is my first time doing something like this so I’m a bit nervous, but it’s also something I’ve longed for, so I’ll accept your kind offer and... thanks for the meal~]
After her solo talk, Sonoko opened her mouth saying “Ahh”.
On the other side, Sumi was freezing. To her, who was raised in a very strict family, the act of feeding someone going “Ahh” like that was against etiquette. But Nogi Sonoko had closed her eyes and went into waiting mode already. She couldn’t say anything that would worsen their team work. Sumi took a spoon of her gelato, and timidly put it into Sonoko’s mouth.
[...momu... umu, un, it’s good~]
Sonoko’s face lit up.
[Well then, you try mine too, Wasshii.]
After saying that, Sonoko took a spoon of her melon gelato and held it up in front of Sumi.
[Wasshii, say “ahh”, ahh~]
Sumi’s thoughts froze once again. This time, she was the one being told to go “Ahh” in public.
(Isn't this disgraceful?)
However, the glittering melon color in front of her eyes was so fascinating, and moreover, looking at Sonoko’s happy face, she couldn’t refuse.
And thus, Sumi was fed in front of the general public.
[You guys look so innocent. Are you two lovers?!]
Gin commented while laughing.
[Melon flavor... is also delicious.]
[Fufun, certainly, both Uji red bean and melon flavor have super-fantastic taste. But you know, the strongest flavor in this entire food court is what I’m eating, soy sauce gelato. This is definitely number one.]
After saying that, Gin shoved her soy sauce gelato into Sumi and Sonoko’s mouth.
[—How’s it? How’s it? Did it hit your spot, Nogi-san?]
[Uumm~ It’s a complicated flavor~]
[It does taste good but maybe this flavor is intended for adults.]
[Ehhh? Even you, Washio-san?]
Gin’s recommendation, the soy sauce gelato, didn’t get received as well as she had thought.
After their meal, the three went up to Ines' rooftop. A nice view of the town before the ocean stretched out in front of the girls' eyes. The inland sea, the big bridge, and the wall enclosing Shikoku were all its characteristics.
[Hey, you two weren't well-acquainted with the food court, but are you guys the type that just don't come to Ines much?]
[Yes. Up until now, I haven't really thought about coming here at all...]
[For me, to begin with, my family did not forbid me from buying sweets and going to Ines. But ever since I was chosen as a hero, everything is OK~]
[Hehh, that's so sad. Ines is this town's biggest amusement center. It's truly a waste to not know anything about it!]
[The biggest... more like, it's because there's no other amusement center around...]
[Washio-san, once you say that, everything is over, you know?]
[You should just call Wasshii "Wasshii"~...]
[I don’t think that’s something you can decide, Sonocchi.]
[Say, while I was being examined for drinking the enemy's water, how come you two got so close like that? Even though your seats are next to each other in class, you guys almost never talked before.]
[Since the beginning, I had always wanted to talk with her more~]
[The enemies are coming now, so it's better to deepen the relationship with your comrades.]
[Grr. What I mean to say is, what I mean to say is, let's me join in, too!!]
Gin placed her arms around the other two's shoulders solidly.
[We ate at the same table already, we're all buddies now.]
[B-buddies! That means "friends" right? Are you going to become my friend, Mino-san?]
[Of certain course, Nogi-san... no, Sonoko.]
[Uwa~ Being called by name, I'm so happy! I've made two friends one after another. What do they call this? Like having both New Year and O-Bon rolled into one~?]
Sonoko was smiling from ear to ear happily.
She was the daughter of the Nogi household which had tremendous authority and assets even within Taisha. Since she was cherished at home, up until being chosen as a Hero, she couldn't go out as she pleases, that girl had very few friends.
This time, Gin fixed her eyes on Sumi. Those eyes, just like her personality, were sparkling burningly.
[It's fine for me to call you "Sumi", right?]
[Yes. I'll also, ahem... call you "Gin".]
[Your care, I'm in! Sumi, Mai Furendo!]
Sumi didn’t hate the feeling of having Gin come pushing against her. When she first met Gin, she thought her personality was somewhat over-familiar, but now that Gin came pushing against her, she was unexpectedly happy about it. Furthermore, Sumi definitely couldn’t get close to someone just like she did. She respected Gin for having the boldness that she herself didn’t.
[We already talked about it but Gin, you drank the enemy's water right?... Is your body okay?]
[My condition is super-duper. I did quite a number of testes and they all said "negative".]
[I'm glad~ So we'll all sortie next time too~]
[I'm with you, Sonoko.]
Gin pointed at the big bridge from the rooftop.
[We're gonna fight there again. You better be careful not to be blown up, big bridge.]
[The big bridge is this town's symbol after all, we've got to protect it~]
Sumi cleared her throat with a cough.
[We're also going to train with each other from now on. It's going to be tough, but since it's all for this important duty...! Let's go at it with everything we have.]
[Nihi, you sure have concluded this nicely, Sumi.]
[10 o'clock tomorrow, at Taisha subdivision's training area right~?]
[It's so bothersome to have training on a day off, but if we let the enemies Desutoroi Shinju-sama then the world will be in ruins, gotta be fired up and give it our all, practically.]
[You're right... However, Gin.]
[Umm? What? Sumi?]
[Sometimes, how should I put this, your wording is really amazing...]
[I'm bad at acting refined, since I'm clumsy.]
[It doesn't have anything to do with being skillful though.]
[Ah, it's figured, huh?]
[Ahahaha~ It's like I'm watching a manzai~]
The three of them, stayed gazing at the slowly darken town.
[...She said "I swear" but now she is late again!?]
At Taisha'a training area, Sumi was being furious. It had been one week since the time they played on Ines' rooftop. Now that the joint training had began, Gin had been coming late once every three times.
[Sorry sorry, I'm late!]
Gin came rushing toward the training area. Today, she was late by 8 minutes. It wasn't much, but being late is still being late.
[Gin. So why are you late today?]
Sumi, who was very strict with rules, asked for the reason. She was so angry that it looked like on her head, horns had grown out.
[Umm... no, whatever I say now it was still my fault that I'm late... Sorry, I'll be more careful!]
Just like this, Gin always gave her the same answer every time. Without saying the reason, she just apologized.
[You have to be more aware of your position as a Hero. We must protect this country and...]
With her older mental age, Sumi started preaching. Sumi was always on standby 20 minutes before training, while Sonoko came 5 minutes early.
[... Zzz... Crêpes... you're also delicious~]
Even though sometimes, just like now, Sonoko also fell asleep in the middle of training.
After finishing training, Sumi stayed pondering intently.
[Why does Gin keep coming late from time to time? We have to investigate this, there's no point if we can't figure out the cause and sever off its roof. Thinking back, even before becoming a Hero, Gin has been late to school a lot. As I thought, there must be some sort of reasons. If she doesn't tell me then I am going to explore it! Sonocchi, would you cooperate with me?]
Sonoko was nodding off.
Sumi forcibly acknowledged the sight of Sonoko nodding in her sleep as the reply. Gradually, she had started to understand how to handle her.
Sumi and Sonoko were standing in front of Minowa household. It took only 15 minutes walking from the school to her house, not a far distance.
[If there's any problem, we'll have to lend her our strength...]
Their intention was to observe Gin's private life. For a good kid like her, this was a horrible behavior. Nevertheless, Sumi still did it. Since a long time ago, she had tended to rush to anything that she had set her heart on.
[I don't know when I agreed to this, but I will do my best~]
Sonoko didn't really think deeply about anything. She was just a kid that would work hard for their friends' sake.
Without delay, the two surveyed the surroundings of Minowa’s house. From an outsider’s perspective, it would just look like two grade school kids were wandering about playing. The Minowa’s house wasn’t a big stately mansion like the Washio’s and Nogi’s. Its appearance was just that of a refined Japanese house.
After surveying, Sonoko soon came to understand Gin's situation.
[Look~ Wasshii. That, that!]
Sonoko pointed at the courtyard. What appeared before Sumi's eyes, was the image of Gin rocking a baby. Sumi had heard that Gin had a little brother, but she had no idea that he was this young.
[...seems like Gin is looking after her brother.]
Even though, the Minowa household was pretty powerful within Taisha, the family itself wasn't wealthy enough to be able to hire servants. So it seemed like Gin also helped around the house. After awhile, Gin started to do other things.
[This time, she is cleaning inside the house~ I have never done something like that before~ She's amazing. Ah, looks like she's going to run an errand now~]
The Nogi household wasn't only powerful but also extremely rich, so it seemed like, to Sonoko, a classmate being able to do housework was something really new.
[She's really a hard worker... Let's try following her out on her errand.]
...Sonoko and Sumi saw a surprising scene.
In front of Gin, a kid who was riding his bicycle fell down. And naturally, Gin went to help him. After that, this time, an old lady said she had a back pain and sat in front of Gin.
[I-is this the so called~ trouble maker~?]
In order to help Gin, the two ran up to her.
On the way back, after sending the back-pained old lady home...
[So you two've been watching me since when I was at home? Uwaa, that's so embarrassing.]
[It's not something embarrassing, you're great~]
[So you're late because something like this happens every time huh?]
[Then you should have said so~]
[Well, then it would seem like it was my brother and the old lady's fault... Whether something happens or not, being late is still my own responsibility.]
[That's right, no matter what's the reason, it's still not fine to be late.]
[Tohoho... You're quite right, yes.]
[Mino-san gets dragged into trouble easily~]
[Since long ago... I've been in bad luck. I never hit a bingo before, you know... Tohoho~]
[From now on, good things will surely... Hm!?]
At the same time, the three noticed the sudden unusualness around them.
[This is... time is stopping right~? It's not that my sense suddenly sharpens or something right~?]
[No, it's not that. It's the enemy, Sonocchi.]
[They came! My day off is ruined!]
In just a moment, Shikoku's appearance transformed into that of Jukai.
(This time, I have got the experience of last time, it's going to be fine... We'll cooperate and effectively repel the enemy away.)
Sumi told herself.
The girls transformed into their Hero forms, and just like last time, positioned themselves at the center of the big bridge. Thereupon, an object showed up.
[What the... that form is, a scales?]
[The scales is... floating in the air~]
The huge, 20 meters tall enemy, while swaying eerily, came advancing on the bridge.
[Good grief, what kind of living thing is that? So just being born among the virus turns you into something like that, huh?]
Setting up her two axes, Gin prepared to attack.
[Act just as practiced. Understand, Gin?]
"Don't stick out", or so Sumi warned.
[Got it. It's just when I see the enemy, I feel an urge to assault them. Sumi, I'm in your care.]
Gin, who easily got fired up, was reliable but also dangerous at the same time.
[To begin with, I wonder where its face is~]
Speaking of Sonoko, she was carefully observing the enemy's form.
[Return to the other side!]
Anyway, Sumi with her bow and arrows, attacked the enemy from faraway.
(It would be best if my arrows can finish it.)
Aiming at the enemy, she fired several arrows at the same time. The sound of arrows tearing up the air burst out, precisely to the mark. Using the Divine Tree’s godly power, the firepower of Sumi’s tightly drawn bow was like that of missiles, if compared to modern weapons. However, those deadly arrows didn’t get through to the enemy this time. Just like a magnet, the arrows were all drawn toward the scale’s counterweight part. That counterweight part was considerably hard. Even when pierced by the arrows, it seemed like the enemy was still perfectly fine. That sight was a shock to Sumi.
[! One more time... I'll shoot it down!!]
Like a tornado, a swirl of arrows headed towards the enemy. Nevertheless, just like last time, the trajectories of Sumi's arrows aiming at the scales' head, were all unnaturally bent, and ended up hitting the counterweight part. The counterweight part perfectly drew in all the arrows.
(N-no way... I have to fulfill my duty, and yet I can't do anything.)
Sumi bit her lip.
Whilst suppressing Sumi's attack, the enemy kept advancing emotionlessly.
[Mino-san, the part connecting the enemy's 2 bodies looks thin, it might be fragile there~...!]
[Strike at the connecting joint huh? Roger!]
Synchronizing their breathing, Gin and Sonoko began attacking from both side of the enemy. And then, in order to swing its weights around, the scales begun slaloming. Its tornado-like defense sent Gin and Sonoko flying.
[Dang, I can't get near it...!]
Utilizing the rotation's centrifugal force, the enemy shot back all the arrows that it had drew in before towards Sumi.
[How can it return my arrows like that?!]
Sumi quickly twisted her body. Since its aim was bad, it was easy to avoid the arrows, however, many of them went flying towards the Jukai. Then at the impacted places, the trees were damaged.
[The Jukai is...! Because of my arrows...!]
She was told that if the Jukai was damaged, then when it returned to normal, that calamity would make something befalls the town. In other words, something very grave would happen if Jukai was damaged at an unmanageable level. I was slight this time, but in any case, they had to do their utmost to not damage the Jukai at all.
The enemy kept advancing further.
[You... uncanny thing!!]
Gin forcibly started attacking, but was flipped away again.
[Damn it, this is pretty bad.]
[What should we do? What should we do?]
Compatibility problem aside, her power wasn't of any use at all, Sumi started panicking slightly. At this rate, they would end up letting the enemy inside Shikoku. At that time, Nogi opened her mouth.
[I got it. Wasshii, Mino-san, a typhoon has an eye, right? So even if this rotation's surroundings are resistant, there might be nothing over its head.]
[I see. So all I have to do is jump in from above! Sonoka, Naisu Aidea!]
[But it is still extremely dangerous to jump in a tornado...]
[You don't know that until you try! Sumi, cover for me!]
[Gin, wait a minute...!]
Right as she said, Gin leaped up with all her mind.
Gin raised her voice, and like a meteor, threw herself into the tornado.
A big slashing sound resounded, and the enemy's movement stopped. Gin's axe was stabbed firmly on the scales' head. Cut up by the wind's blade, Gin's entire body was covered in blood. With a shrieking attack, she interrupted the enemy's action. Seeing Gin covered with injuries but still full of aspiration, Sumi felt so relief that she forgot about fighting for a moment.
Sonoko jumped inside the enemy and started attacking with her spear.
(Oh no, I messed up the timing.)
Coming late for a moment, Sumi got up close to the enemy.
[With this distance, it won't be able to suck up my arrows...!]
Sumi began to shoot the scales at point-blank. Even when shot at close range, Sumi's godly arrows still had plenty of power.
As if dancing, Gin manipulated her two axes and cut up the enemy. Then, so that the enemy couldn’t rotate anymore, the girls kept up their assault. After a while, whilst still receiving the girls’ attacks, the enemy started to change its course and returned to the bridge. Furthermore, a few minutes later, it started to retreat from the bridge. It seemed like the girls were able to drive it away.
After the fight ended, the girls all collapsed on the bridge. They couldn’t slow down the assault until the opponent decided to retreat, so their stamina had all ran out now.
[Gin... are your wounds, okay?]
[Just how many times have you asked that question? Whilst I'm in this form, they've been recovered somewhat already, and there's no deep wound either, I really am fine.]
[I see... I’m sorry. Because my arrows couldn’t get through, you had to dive into that, Gin.]
[That was a matter of compatibility, don't worry about it. In the first place, considering my weapon type, diving into the target is my job.]
[Diving is your job... huh. Perhaps, it would be better if we don't become close...]
Sumi abruptly said.
[Eh, wha-what's wrong, Wasshii?]
[S-suddenly, what was that...?]
[...because, when Gin jumped into the tornado, I was so worried... so worried... that my movements became dull...]
When they noticed, tears had came running down Sumi's face.
[Ah, aaa, Wasshii, d-don't cry.]
Now that the enemy had gone away, all of her feelings came bursting out. Endlessly, the tears overflowed from her eyes.
How her own arrows had damaged Jukai. How she was being useless for the duty. How she had put Gin in danger because of that. How Gin, who held a good will, was covered in blood.
For the serious Sumi, this mission had brought her too many shocks.
[If only my arrows had been able to get through properly... ugh.]
Sonoko grasped Sumi's hand.
[Seriously, don't you have any faith in me? My hero system is also especially made for close combat by all those tough guys, you know. It's fine.]
Gin started petting Sumi's head.
[...well, guess me coming late to training so often, makes you to feel uneasy in the real deal... I got it, I got it, Sumi. I'll leave home earlier. That way, even if troubles occur, I could still make it.]
[So let's get along more, Sumi. When you said we shouldn't become closer earlier, it stabbed me deeply. The enemy's attacks were more bearable than that.]
[Yeah, yeah. I thought so too, Wasshii.]
[...sorry, I'm sorry...]
Gin kept holding Sumi tightly until she stopped crying,.
The girls' duty continues on.
Since the number of enemies are undoubtedly, as many as the stars.
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