RCF – Chapter 15: Asuka and an Ambush.

Translator: Haruto.

At long last, the entrance ceremony is here!

The shine of an elementary school backpack dazzles my eyes…

It belongs to Amane who looks absolutely adorable wearing it.

Quick! Hand me a camera!!!

Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click!

Phew. Great job, me.

“I’m so excited to go to school!”

“Really? You still woke up late this morning, though.”  

“Hm? I have no idea what you’re talking about…”

Uhhh! I can’t even get mad at her because of how adorable she is!

As we make our way to the school, the first thing we see is a huge gate.

It probably doesn’t look that big to an adult, but through the eyes of little kids like us, it’s enormous.

Six years, huh…

The atmosphere that is oh-so characteristic of any school welcomes me as I step through the gate and I feel my entire body tense up.

This school is where we’ll be educated, but it is also a place that we must protect and take good care of.

Because of how many people gather in this place, many negative emotions also pile up here.

For example, the stress you feel when taking a test, the annoyance that is being seated next to someone you can’t tolerate—I’m sure you also must have had your share of unpleasant experiences at school.

The stagnation and accumulation of that seemingly negligible negative energy give birth to calamities.

And we are tasked with purging the calamities that will be born from our class this year.

In total, there are four members of the Purging Mask in our grade.

It seems that the Purging Mask pulls some strings every year to allow its members to be in the same class. That way they can respond better to emergency situations.

The old perv looked quite proud of himself when he told me he had gotten me in the same class as Amane… It was extremely hard not to burst his bubble and tell him I already knew that was simply how the system worked.

More importantly, though, I heard that one of the other two purgers that will work with us this year is a shrine maiden.

The other one is a boy, I think.

With my heart pounding, I step into the class I was assigned to, Class 1-3, and the first thing that I see is a girl with bright red hair, who’s obviously a shrine maiden.

I can feel the blaze of her life energy as it overflows from her.

Also, I’m willing to bet the boy standing next to her is the other purger.  

When the eyes of the redheaded girl fall on Amane, she begins to walk toward us.

“You’re also a shrine maiden, right? Hmph. You sure look weak… Ouch!!”

“Please forgive Asuka’s rudeness… Ah, my name is Akamori Kaito. And this is Akatsuki Asuka. It’s nice to meet you.”

“That hurts! What do you think you’re doing, idiot Kaito?!”

“Hush! You’re at fault for trying to pick a fight with someone you just met, you idiot!”

“Ouch! Calling someone an idiot makes you an idiot!!”

“You also called me an idiot!!”

“Uuurk! You’re so annoying!”

The prickly girl you see here arguing away with her friend is Akatsuki Asuka, the tsundere heroine of the game.

She wields an axe covered in flames and specializes in multi-enemy combat. Her Hell Lotus ability, with its firepower and range, is a force to be reckoned with.

In the game, the higher you’d raise her affection level, the nicer she became.

Players adored her so she was always in the top two spots of the popularity rankings.

In case you’re wondering, Amane was No. 3…

“You two are quite close, huh.”

“We’re not!!” they yelled in unison in response to my lighthearted teasing.

“Y-You say that but you’re really in sync! It’s amazing,” said Amane.

“Yeah, it’s impressive.”

“You’re wrong!!” they both screamed again.


Oh whatever, it seems we’ll be able to hit it off and that’s all that matters.

We were allowed to leave early today so, as proof of our new friendship, we decided to go see the old perv together.

“Ohh! You’re finally here.”

“Master, what will we be doing today?”

“Huh? Huuuh?! Hold on! No way your master is…”

“Aah, I haven’t introduced myself, have I? My name is Shikiryuu Yousei.”

Asuka’s jaw dropped to the floor.

In contrast, it looks like Kaito doesn’t even know who the old perv is.

Asuka then tries to enlighten the poor boy on the greatness of the geezer.

My master looks at me with a smug smile on his face.

I wish I could tell Asuka the kind of perverted old fart this guy is.

“Hmm, I was planning on reviewing the basics with you today, but seeing how there are four of you, I think it’d be a good idea to see how you perform as a group.”

The old perv—I mean, my dear master has taken us to some mountain.

Okay, I call it a mountain but it’s actually not that high.

“You should be able to make it to the summit and back in two hours or so. I left a gold medal at the top. Whoever returns it to me will get to learn my special technique for life-energy control.”

Our eyes sparkle.

The control technique of the strongest purger is obviously on another level in terms of energy efficiency. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

“Hm? Wait, so only the one who brings back the medal…?”

Thanks to Asuka’s question, we finally realized what his words meant.

“My memory is a bit foggy but I do believe I only left one medal up there. Oh well, I suppose the fastest purger will win, eh?”

And just like that, my master disappeared.

Asuka broke into a sprint the moment he left our sight, and the next instant, the rest of us began to run after her.

Crap! She’s gotten a head start!

Damn you, old perv… You acted all dignified in front of my friends but I just wish they could have seen you yesterday getting on your knees and begging me to call you master!

I sprint alongside the others.  

And after running for a few minutes up the mountain…

We find a flock of rank-ten calamities. Thankfully, I manage to deal with them without relying on my divine arms.

Amane and Asuka also make quick work of their opponents, as expected of two shrine maidens.

Kaito is fighting tooth and nail against the calamities.

He’s mowing down his enemies with a spear, which must be his divine arms.

It’s evident Amane got stronger while I was trapped in that other mountain.

Without slowing down the pace, we proceed on our path toward the summit.

There’s absolutely no sense of teamwork between us, though. We’re all strong enough to handle rank-ten calamities without help and we haven’t forgotten the fact that we’re competing to obtain the gold medal.

Asuka even ran off by herself at some point.

She might have made it to the summit already.  

Right after that thought crosses my mind, though…

I see Asuka fly toward us.

“What?” we all say, perplexed.

Kaito and Amane, still somewhat close to me, are frozen in place too.

This mountain is infested with rank-ten or even rank-nine calamities, but there shouldn’t be any enemies strong enough to knock Asuka off her feet…

However, if I’m wrong, Amane is in danger, as she is the closest to the summit.

“Amane! Run!!!”

But it’s too late.

The calamity that hurled Asuka away is now standing in front of her.  

“What the hell is a rank-five doing here?!”

Kaito’s desperate scream echoes through the mountain.

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