“I told you,” she says. “I made you like me. An ESPer.”

“What,” I reply. “Is an ESPer.”

She hesitates. I watch her as she paces bitting her lip. I sigh, throwing my hands up in the air.

“This is all some kind of practical joke, isn’t it. I stumbled across the filming of a movie and the crew has been following me around since, hasn’t it? I bet there are people in sentai costumes hiding nearby too, aren’t there!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” She shouts back at me. “This is reality! All of this is grounded in science!”

“Oh! Then why don’t you make with the scientific explanations, then!”


She recoils as I shout. I take a deep breath.

“Its science, huh? Fine! If its science, you should be able to explain it.”


“Or is this all me hallucinating? I really am dying right now and I’m seeing all of this as some kind of dying dream. I swear, this is the worst dying dream ever! Shouldn’t I be happy in my dreams?” I jab a finger at her. “No, I’ve got some crazy girl in a gothloli dress following me around and—“

An indigo arrow strikes the ground next to my foot. I don’t even bother flinching; instead, a sharp sound come from behind my teeth, like a hiss of irritation. The girl in front of me starts to speak.

First off,” She says, closing her eyes. All that’s giving me is the sign that this will be long winded. “The term and concept Esper has existed in the field of parapsychology – the study of the evidence of mental awareness or influence of external objects without interaction from known physical means – and in the mainstream of science fiction, for some time, since at least 1950. Properly used, the term refers to an individual born capable of using telepathy and similar paranormal mental abilities; it apparently derives from extra-sensory perception or ESP. Literally ESP-er. That’s me. And you. With me so far?”


As an Esper, I have powers that normal human beings are incapable of using. The most common ESP abilities are mind-to-mind influence, such as telepathy, mind-to-environment influence, such as psycho-kinesis, and others such as clairvoyance, super human strength, and control of elements such as fire. I, myself, am able to manipulate photons to create destructive energies. Laser beams, one might say.”

As she says this, an arrow forms in her outstretched hand. Looking closely, I can see that it is translucent, like a beam of light. It fades away as she closes her fist.

The developments of psychic powers in human beings is nothing new, but ESPers did not exist for so long. The abilities we have are the result of extensive amounts of research . Do you remember when there were reports of a large meteor entering Earth’s gravitational field? Perhaps ten or so years ago.”


I do remember a big deal being made about something like that. The meteor was the size of the state of Maine, if I remember correctly. Had it struck, the planet would have split apart like a peeled orange.

Needless to say, such a thing didn’t happen. Otherwise I wouldn’t be having this conversation with this girl.

But that broke up when it entered the atmosphere,” I said. “And all the pieces burned up.”

Most of the pieces,” She corrects me. “The largest chunk landed on the island of Bermuda. We call that meteor Genesis.”


Because it brought about the appearance of the ETO.”


That sounds vaguely familiar as well, but I can’t quite place—

Wait,” I snap my fingers. “Thats what you called that big beetle thing. ETO Kuwagata.”

Hnnh? So you were listening to me then? How close were you standing to hear that?”

Close enough to smell your perfume, my brain tells me. Rather stalker-like. You should be ashamed, Atsuko Daisuke.

You were rather loud,” I lied. “What…what is an ETO?”

Well,” she leans against the wall. “The ETO are…they’re extremely dangerous organism. And their bodies carry a toxin that can render most lifeforms on this planet dead in a manner of minutes. ETO are…well…Extra Terrestrial Organisms.”

Extra—“ I stop myself. “You mean to tell me…that you’re talking about Aliens.”


Aliens! Monsters from beyond the stars!!


You’re insane. And I’m insane for listening to this!”

I turn to stomp away, but her hand grabs my shoulder. She pulls me back to face her, a fierce expression on her face.

Tell me then,” she snaps. “What was it that killed you, Atsuko Daisuke? That wasn’t a creature from this planet, now was it!?”


Why does she…look exceptionally angry?

And…” she hesitates. “I didn’t want to see you die. Even had you survived your wounds, the toxin would have done you in. I…I didn’t want to see you die like that. Its…not pleasant.”

…How exactly does the Psycho Dust keep me from dying from ETO toxin?”

She starts to answer, but stops. A moment passes, then…

Espers…are immune to ETO toxin,” She whispers. “So, I saved you. However…”

However,” I finish her statement. “I’m fireproof. And…”

That lighter…

I have another question,” I continue, shaking the thought away. “You…look different. How come?”

Oh? You mean this,” she says, her hair lengthening and turning black as her eyes and clothes change. “Its…a side effect of my powers. I take in photons in that form and release them as energy. A human being who attempted to do such a thing would develop radiation sickness, wouldn’t then? But like that—“

Like that, its photosynthesis,” I conclude. She nods with a smile.

Good, you’re catching on! Clap clap for Daisuke!”

What a strange girl this Yaotome Arisu is.

I suppose,” I grumble. “I’m supposed to morph into some kind of psychic super hero as well?”

Oh, don’t sound so down. Its easy!” She puts both hands in the air. “Here, you do this pose, then put both hands on your hips and shout HENSHIN. Works every time, I promise.”

Very funny.”

I thought it was.”

She smiles gently as I pick up my tattered bags. She looks over them before holding out her left hand. The material of her clothes returns to that of the goth-loli up to her sleeve.

Hold that still, will you,” she says. “I can melt it back together.”


I hold the bag out. The tip of her finger glows purple as she runs it down the tear, making a visible seam along where the tear was. She smiles, returning the arm back to normal as I shake it lightly.

Very nice. You some kind of seamstress on the side?”

Hah, very funny.”

I thought it was,” I reply, as she follows. “I suppose you’re going to follow me the whole way home like some sort of lost dog?”

If you let me,” she says with a smirk. “Who knows how long until you run into something that’ll kill you again?”

….This way then.”

My feet move. Hers move to follow.

The situation that is happening right now is a very strange one for me. There is a very strange attractive young woman following me with my groceries in her hand. Anyone who looked at us would have mistaken us for brother and sister maybe, or perhaps a couple. But…

This…is awkward.”

Did you say something, Daisuke?’

Nothing. Not a thing.”

I…don’t think I’ll be trying for conversation. Yes, just keep walking. Don’t look at her. Just forget she’s even there.

Hm? Is that your house up ahead?”


It’s very nice.

Was that a compliment?

Thank you?”

Your welcome.”

Why does it feel like I’m forgetting something…?

My hand reaches out to the doorbell when we get close enough. Arisu leans against the railing near the door.

Hm. Such a big western house…your parents must have good jobs.”

Actually, its just me and my mom. And its so big because my mom has a gym inside.”

Oh,” she rubs her chin. “So she’s some kind of fitness trainer…”

You…haven’t seen the fliers around school, have you?”

No, can’t say I have,” Arisu replies with the shake of her head. “Should I have?”

Its probably better that you didn’t,” I reply with a sigh. “Don’t go out of your way looking for them, either. Really—“

What’s taking so long? Mom should have opened the door by now.

Wait, don’t tell me she left! After telling me to get something for her, that woman didn’t—


Out of the corner of my eye, I notice an eye peeking out from the crack of the door. Arisu must have seen the expression on my face, because she starts to ask what’s wrong with me when the door suddenly bursts open.

Welcome home—!!”

She then does something unexpected. Instead of focusing on me, she throws her arms around Arisu. “Dai~suke, who’s this girl? Don’t tell me! Trying to sneak girls into your room? Ohoho, how felicitous of you! How many have you slipped past my notice?”

Don’t go saying things that’ll cause misunderstandings,” I sigh, pulling her off the bewildered Arisu. She stares at me curiously.

Sneaking girls in your room, eh?” She smirks. “Shame on you, Atsuko Daisuke! I’m not like that, I’ll have you know.”

And you’re not helping the situation by saying strange things either,” I snap my fingers at her. My mother simply snickers to herself. “Listen, she isn’t a girlfriend or anything. This is—“

Yatome Arisu, pleasure to meet you.”

She cuts me off with a polite bow. “I’m a classmate of Daisuke’s. I met him near the store and thought I’d help him with his bags.”

Eeeh…” My mother elbows me. I grimace and give her a look, but she ignores me. “Hey Daisuke, she’s really pretty. You’ve got good taste, my boy.”

Like I said—“

Oh oh,” my mother is now circling her. “Yes yes, your taste is impeccable, son. Look at the way she’s shaped! Mm, yes, you’re absolutely perfect!!”


Arisu tries to take a step back from the woman in front of her, but she leans in and takes a long hard look at her face.

…And those eyes…Purple?”



No…I…I was born with purple eyes. Its a very rare shade.”

I can tell, yes yes. Did you know purple is my favorite color, Arisu-chan?”

Ah, well—anh!!”


Almost invisibly…

My mother takes a handful of Arisu’s chest.

Wh-what are you—!?”

Both Arisu and I shout this as my mother looks back at me with a grin.

Nicely shaped body, pretty face, big boobs…she’s a keeper, Daisuke!” The woman releases the girl as if she had just held her hand. The girl in front of me is slowly turning a bright red color as she covers herself. “I approve! You are allowed to date this lovely young woman.”

You…don’t go saying things like that and acting as you please!”

Acting as I please?”


And stop touching her there!”

Mm…” She looked like she had stopped to think about that, though she still had handfuls of poor Arisu. Mother took a breath as if she were about to speak, then stopped. She took another, and then stopped again. She opened her mouth once more

and blew Arisu’s ear.

Oho, she’s a sensitive one!”

Didn’t I say stop!” I shout as Arisu squirms. “You can’t do that to people! Its unethical!”

Hm. But to be honest, I’m kind of jealous. To think girls these days could beat out someone like me…”

She releases the girl with a smile. Arisu quickly runs to hide behind me, covering herself and gasping for air. My mother grabs the two bags and winks in our direction.

Don’t go making out on the doorstep, alright? I know how you youngsters are, but we do have neighbors, so be conservative. ‘Kay?”

You have a lot of nerve saying that after giving our neighbors that show!”

The door closes behind her. I turn to Arisu with an apologetic look. She simply stares at the ground, her face still bright red.

Does she…” Judging by the way she’s holding herself, my mother had quite the grip on her. “Does she always do that?”

That being—“


Unfortunately, she’s unpredictable,” I sigh with a shrug. “That woman is dangerous.”

The girl in front of me nods. I almost fear my mother left a psychological scar on her.

Um…” she looks at me with a flustered look. “I think I should go”

Yeah, that’s probably for the best,” I run my hand through my hair. “Uh…you need me to walk you back or anything?”

I’ll manage…”

You sure? I mean, it could be dangerous for a girl to—“

No,” she interrupts quickly. “I’ll…be fine. I’m not a normal girl, after all,” she turns on her heel. “S-See you tomorrow, Atsuko Daisuke.”

She takes hurried steps as I watch her go. I turn to go inside my house as well.

She’s…kind of cute when she’s embarrassed,” I mutter to myself as I turn the doorknob and go inside.


Something strange catches my eye as I enter the school on this particular morning.

I’m…pretty sure there’s no way thats right…”

I may just be delusional, or perhaps its a trick of the light. Maybe someone thought it’d be a practical joke to add another sign on the wall, but that doesn’t explain it all…

…When…did another classroom show up in the school? There was no 2-C on this hallway…”

The way this school is set up, its impossible for another door to be on this hallway.

There are five floors, counting the rooftop. The first floor has the lockers and shoe racks, as well as the library and faculty rooms. The cafeteria and school store is also down there, so there’s no classrooms. There’s a connecting annex for the gymnasium and the club rooms down there as well.

The second, third, and fourth all have classroom as well. However, unlike the third and fourth floor which are completely filled with class rooms, the second floor has two classrooms on one wing, class 2-A and 2-B. The other wing is the counseling room, another library, and a sort of courtyard type area with a few plants put in the floor.

So, to see a class 2-C…

…It has to be a trick. Must be. I bet someone installed a sign and just painted that door on the wall—“

A hand grabs me around the collar as I complete the thought. I’m spun around to face Yaotome Arisu, who seems out of breath.

I…need to talk to you,” she gasps. Looking around, she proceeds to pull me down the hall.

Towards 2-C.

H-hey! Wait a minute—“

No time. This is important!”

I’m trying to tell you, if its important, you should really take me somewhere else—“

Be quiet and come on!”

But that’s not even a real clas—“

She grabs the handle, opens the door, and drags me inside.

Again. She grabs the handle. She opens the door. She pulls me inside the room behind it.

All of this. She does all of this involving a door that isn’t real.

How the hell is this possible?

She releases me and turns around quickly. I, still in a dazed train of thought due to the fact I was pulled into a fake classroom, take in the fact that this fake classroom is devoid of desk. It has one chalkboard, but it seems to have never been used. On top of that, it feels like I’m being watched by a security camera or something, but there’s nothing of the sort in this room.

…Hey wait…

You can’t go snatching me along in the hallway and dragging me into abandoned classrooms,” I shout, realizing the implications of such a thing. “What if people saw up! They’d say things! Things!”

Let them say what they want!” She snaps back at me. “This is important!”

Well, important or not, I don’t think you can explain how you just pulled me in to an imaginary—“

ETO,” she interrupts. “An ETO has been spotted in the area. Approaching the school.”

My heart stops briefly. The image of the massive stag beetle in Akihabara filled my mind once again.

The claw pierced your heart…you nearly died…

Y-You’re kidding, right?”

I wouldn’t joke about something like this,” Arisu’s voice is grave. “Calculations indicate—“ she snaps her cellphone open and looks at the screen. “—It’ll arrive on the school campus in roughly half an hour.”

Well,” I swallow to wet my throat. “What do you want me to do about it?”

You’re the only other ESPer around.”

Wait, you want me to help you?”

Of course! Why else would I have come for you!?”

What the hell can I do!?”

You’re going to help me fight!”

I cross my arms in an X shape.

Listen! I’m fireproof! Thats it. How is that any help?”

She grits her teeth.

You never know! All I know is that you are the only one available to help. ETO are dangerous! What if they get to the school! Then what?”


What if they hurt Rei? Or Tsurugi? Or Miwa? Or anyone else?” She shouts at me. “Then what? How will you explain to yourself that you had nothing to do with it? How would you justify them dying when you simply refused to help!?”


I place my hands in my pocket. Why do I feel so hot? My body feels like its burning up.

…Fine, whatever. Lets go.”

Good. Its good to see you have a conscience,” she sighs. “Meet up with me between the next break in class.”

I’m still saying,” I grumble as she turns to leave. “That being fireproof is really useless.”

The door closes behind her. I sigh. But my head quickly turns over my shoulder.

…Just now…I swore someone was staring at me…”

Atsuko, you dog!”

Hello Tsurugi, how nice to see you again too.”

The afro seems to swell with rage as he points accusingly at me. “Where did you go yesterday? Man, I swear! You’ve got women crawling all over you lately! What on earth are you taking? Its pheromones, isn’t it? I bet it is! Or some kind of crazy pill, right!?”

What on earth are you talking about?”

Senpai,” Miwa explains. “Tsurugi seems to believe you ran off yesterday with Yaotome-san.”

You two are dating, aren’t you?”

I sigh in exhaustion. Its nearly time for me to meet Arisu, and this bozo has already cornered me. I’m so sorry, Miwa, but I’m simply going to have to ask you to distract him somehow.

H-hey! Don’t you push past me! You’re going to meet her now, aren’t you? You two have some kind of date planned out right now, don’t you?”

That’s,” I reply. “Simply none of your business, now is it?”

Don’t act like you’re hiding anything,” he says, pointing that accusing finger again. “A girl in our year saw the two of you last night going to your house! Don’t tell me…you didn’t already go to nirvana with her, did you!?”

This guy…!!

Never mind that, who saw?! Who’s passing this damn gossip around? Give me a name and I swear I’ll pound their goddamn face in—!!

That said,” Miwa says. “I heard you two were dating as well.”

Its a groundless rumor. Now, if you two will excuse me, I’m going to be late!”

Oh? I’ll have you know, Yaotome is right over there—“

Tsurugi points. Just at the other end of the hall, I see the tall, dark haired girl surrounded by a mob of girls. And there, trying to pull her out of the crowd, is a small patch of red.

Judging by the frantic look on Arisu’s face, they’ve got her with the same interrogation that these two have me cornered with.

Looks like your beloved is just as popular,” if this were wonderland, Tsurugi would be the Cheshire Cat.

I’m telling you—“

Wait,” he stops. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”

Yes!” I shout. “No interest! At all! Stop this rumor!”

Oh,” his smile fades. “I’m sorry man. Shit, I didn’t know you were like that.”


I mean…” he scratches his head. “I didn’t know. Are you the uke or the seme—“

You know, never mind. You’re an idiot.”

And so, I push him roughly aside. I’ll be sure to apologize later sometime, but for now—

I’m telling you—“

Everybody, get back now!”

Girls go flying as Rei pulls Arisu through the crowd. I find myself frozen in place as she drags the girl along, her legs slipping as the little red head pulls.

Satsumi Delivery service! Here’s your girl, Daisuke!”

I’m telling you, she’s—“

But the girl only winks and rushes back into the crowd behind her. I can hear the sound of her shouting at the top of her lungs, forcing people aside as Arisu watches.

We have to hurry,” she says quickly. “Its been 25 minutes already.”

Lead the way, then,” I say.

We run. Out the back entrance, she runs ahead as I follow behind.

We cross the track, dodging people as they shout questions at us. I should have known it was bad to get mixed up with this girl – with a school so big on gossip, a little bit of news like this is like gold to them.

You’re too much trouble,” I shout as we climb a fence to the forest just outside the school. “I was never this popular until I met you, I’ll have you know.”

Tragic,” she replies, already shifted to her red eyed Gothic Lolita appearance. “You must not have had much of an appearance.”

I didn’t mind,” I replied. “Life was boring, but it was better than being hounded.”

Well, your boredom is alleviated. Come with me.”

I mutter smart remarks under my breath as she walks ahead again, her cellphone out and her eyes glued to the screen.

You know…I did want more excitement in my life…” I muse to myself. “But this is ridiculous.”

Fascinating,” she says. Her free hand goes into a button-down pocket on the hem of her dress. She tosses something silver back in my direction. “Hold that.”

Wh—“ I catch it and look it over. An fancy silver Zippo lighter with a lion? “What am I supposed to do with—“

I bump into her back. She grabs my sleeve as I fall. “Hey,” I snap. “You should give warning when you’re about to—“

Ah? Is someone there?”

I freeze in my tracks. Arisu clicks her teeth, taking a step behind me and pushing me forward. I stumble and stagger to find a girl with thick glasses looking in my direction. Her right hand is behind her back.

Ah,” I stammer. “Hello? What are you—“

Ah! You’re Atsuko Daisuke!”


The girl in front of me adjust her glasses.

Don’t you remember? We’ve been in the same school since primary school.”

You’re…Date-san, right?”

Yumiko Date. I remember now.

She was always in the same school as me, as she said. A smart girl, little nerdy, very cute. Always worked in the library when she had the chance.


Date-san…what are you doing out here?”

I, ah…”

She holds out her right hand. A handful of pink flowers greet me.

I…I was collecting flowers for the library. You know, to decorate it. The flowers we had died and I remembered seeing them here, so—“

Right right, I got it.”

What are you doing out here, though,” she asks. Then, leaning to the left a bit, she adjusts those big glasses again. “And who is that behind you? I’ve never seen her before—“

That’s—watch out!!”

I dive, pushing her aside. Something snaps at the air where she once stood, landing on four legs hard. The two of us roll as Arisu moves forward. I look down at the girl in my arms. Her face is bright red as I stand up.

Cover the girl, Daisuke!” Arisu shouts. I nod my head as the monster between us howls.

The thing…the ETO resembles a large dog.

No, gargantuan is more accurate. It stands there, four muscular legs with hooked claws coming out of hooves where its paws should be. Long, thin red slits are on either side of its round head where eyes should be. Behind it, carving up everything they touch, are nine long tails with scorpion like stingers.

But its jaw is what gets me. It splits on the top and the bottom, opening like some kind of horrible sucker filled with hundreds of teeth. Underneath me, Yumiko faints. I stand up, my legs shaking.

I…hope I don’t crap my pants…”

It tilts its head back and howls. Arisu’s right hand comes up, palms glowing a fiery indigo color.

Several arrows of light shoot from her fist. The creature leaps. Several are swatted by its tail, the tail itself severing and falling to the ground as she dives. Clawed hooves land where she once stood, and more arrows catch the air.

It howls. She dives. I grab Yumiko, throwing her over my shoulder and running as it leaps at me. I flash one look at Arisu.

And then, I run. The monster gives chase, and behind it follows Arisu.

Slobber sprays my shoulder as the jaws snap the material of my uniform. It latches to the tree, claws digging into the wood and holding it in place. I hop forward as a tail strikes at me.

Son of a bitch, son of a bitch—!!”


Arrows fly past me, turning around and flying in the monster’s direction. I duck as they arc over me, striking the creature in the eyes. It falls back as I continue to run. The fence approaches rapidly.

Here we go…”

Setting the girl down, I catch my breath. Then, I promptly, run back. Arisu’s eyes meet with mine as I come close.

Daisuke,” she shouts. “That lighter…”

Light it?”

No, throw it!” She shouts. I don’t ask questions. The lighter is thrown at the monster as hard as my arm can muster. It howls, disconnecting from the tree, but several arrows are already surrounding it.

I’ll skewer you!” Arisu shouts, as the arrows fly in. Tearing skin, the dog-creature shoots a tail at her. I push her aside as the lighter clatters to the ground in front of the monster, but she quickly swipes her hand at the air.

Three arrows hover in place, before firing. Two catch the dog in the shoulders, but the third strikes the lighter. It explodes into a shower of sparks, but the monster is caught ablaze.


My body feels hot at the sight of it. Arisu stares at me for a moment, but the dog is airborne in a ball of fire.

Before I realize it, my hand pointing at the creature. The dog lands in front of me, smoldering.

That’s because the majority of the fire is in a large ball in front of me. Arisu smiles. I grit my teeth.

That lighter…

So,” I mutter. “I control fire, huh?”

Looks that way,” She replies. “Pyrokinesis. Very cool.”


The ball of fire reshapes, forming an arrow of its own. A blazing arrow of fire is pointed at the monster in front of me, but loses its shape and returns to a ball of flame.

I’m not as strong as you are, but…”

I redirect my focus on the roaring, howling, spitting creature in front of me,

…I’m not letting anyone die here if I can help it.”

The howling monster leaps at me.

My mouth moves to form a single word.



The ball of fire shoots like a bullet, catching the creature under the ribs. It flies, crashing through trees while the flames burn its body.

Amazingly, none of the flames catch the trees on fire. The ball of fire explodes, sending a rush of wind back at me and Arisu. Leaves and sticks blow past, not a single one alight. I cover my face as the fire dies down—

And that howl signifies that the job wasn’t ended. Arisu steps in front of me.

You did a good job,” she says. “I’ll handle the rest!”

With a swing of her hand, they appear.

Arrows fill the entire forest. There’s so many that I can barely move without bumping into once. I turn my head back in alarm.

Hey, this is a bit—“

Skewer him!”

They all fly forward at once. The zig-zag around the trees, through my legs, around my arms, all striking the monster. Flesh and bone is stripped, torn, broken, shredded to tiny pieces. The girl turns to face me as the final arrow flies past, folding her arms. A warm smile crosses her face.

Well,” she says. “Mission complete.”

Uh…” I blink. That expression on her face is very disarming, considering the gross amount of overkill she just performed. “Yeah, I suppose it is. No one got hurt, either.”

That’s right,” she smiles. “Thanks to you being here, of course.”


She nods. “If it had just been me, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the monster. You managed to protect that girl and keep her alive. Good work.”

Oh, I…well, its not like I did much.”

Why am I blushing?

The girl smiles, offering a hand to me. I stare at it in confusion, garnering a frown from Arisu.

Listen, I don’t get the opportunity to do this often.”


She puts her hand out further, more vigorously.

Atsuko Daisuke,” she says. “Would you do me the favor of being my assistant?”


Before I realize it, I’m taking her hand. She gives an even warmer smile.

That’s right. You, Atsuko Daisuke…are my very first assistant. Or, should I call you…“

Her smile becomes a smirk as she grips my hand.



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