And here’s a bonus chapter sponsored by Patreon, enjoy~
The story is once again set on the Earth’s “Ousei Academy.”
“Phew… I really studied hard today!”
“Well, studying is what students are supposed to do anyway.”
The classes were over for the day, and Kaede stretched in an exaggerated manner. Looking at her friend, Rin laughed in amusement.
“Uuh… yes, I know that… but for me, it’s always better to be moving around…”
“But the test is just around the corner. If you get a failing grade, you won’t be able to participate in club activities, will you?”
“Noo! I don’t want to hear about the test!”
Rin laughed again at Kaede, who was covering her ears and shaking her head.
“Geez… I’ll have to look after you more.”
“T-thank you very much for your help…”
Kaede, who had always relied on Rin to help her study when a test was approaching, bowed her head honestly.
“Yes, yes… By the way, is it okay if you don’t go to your club activity?”
“Ah, yes! I’ve got the day off. So I can play as much as I want!”
“Isn’t this when you should go home and study?”
“R-Rin-chan, you’re so mean!”
Kaede shivered at Rin’s teasing words.
Then Rin spotted Yukine, who was about to leave the classroom.
“Oh, are you going home too, Yukine?”
“Oh, Yukine-chan, if you’re going too, let’s go home together!”
Yukine was surprised for a moment but then shook her head.
“…I have a club activity today.”
“Oh, you’re in a club now, Yukine?”
The two of them widened their eyes as they realized that Yukine was participating in a club activity for the first time.
“Yukine-chan, weren’t you in the going home club before?”
“…Yes. But I recently found a club activity that looked interesting, so I joined it.”
“Really? What club is it?”
“Occult Research Club.”
“”Occult Research Club?””
Both Kaede and Rin were surprised by the unexpected club.
“I-I really thought it would be the light music club or something…”
“No, Kaede. That sounded like she’s a member of a band or something, but isn’t that a bit prejudiced?”
“…Well, I didn’t know there was an occult research club.”
Yukine tilted her head curiously at the two’s reaction.
“What? …Is it really that strange? The occult is interesting, you know?”
“What is it about it, by the way?”
“…It’s a place where you can study phenomena that don’t exist in real life?”
Then Yukine suddenly thought of something and approached the two girls.
“…Since you’re free, would you like to come to visit?”
“…Actually, we don’t have many members, and even though I joined the club, it’s about to be closed down. So we need new members.”
“N-no… I’m already a member of the track and field club…”
“Hmm… I think it’s interesting.”
Kaede rolled her eyes at Rin’s reaction.
“Well, I’ll give it a try!”
“…That reasoning is acceptable. Why don’t you just visit once and see for yourself? I got some interesting literature just today.”
“Really? I’m curious.”
“Hmm? Are you scared, Kaede…?”
“O-of course I am! The occult is about ghosts and devils, right?”
“See! How can you not be scared?”
Rin, feeling a bit mischievous at Kaede’s frightened appearance, told her with a smile.
“Well, that’s okay! Just listen to me today!”
“…Hmm. Then I will guide you,” said Yukine.
“Wait, wait, wait! I didn’t say I was coming──.”
“Hmm? For the test, I will be accompanying Kaede in her studies, so you can accompany me to the club, can’t you? You see, the test is coming up soon, right?”
Kaede groaned in pain when she was struck there.
“Now, let’s go!”
“…Yeah. This way.”
“Uuh! Rin-chan is really a demon!”
Kaede was half crying, but she followed behind Rin and Yukine.
Kaede and the others arrived at one of the empty classrooms in a place they don’t usually frequent.
“…This is the Occult Research Club’s clubroom.”
“Ugh… the atmosphere feels a bit gloomy…”
“You’re just worrying too much about that, you know?”
Despite the hesitation between the two, Yukine opened the door to the classroom.
“…Please come in.”
When they entered, there was a space with a different atmosphere, with straw dolls, insect specimens, and a large pot filled with a strange colored liquid. There were also books on the desk, some written in Japanese but also others written in various other languages.
Rin looked around the room with admiration, as the atmosphere of the club room was more organized than she had expected.
“Hee… it’s better than I expected.”
“Kaede, are you afraid…?”
Because of fear, Kaede grabbed the hem of Rin’s clothes and shivered, but Rin couldn’t help but laugh.
“By the way, what are you going to do today?” Rin asked Yukine.
In response to Rin’s question, Yukine took out a book from her bag and showed it to Rin.
“…I found it in my favorite secondhand bookstore. It’s a book about devil summoning.”
“Hee, that sounds very occult.”
Rin laughed brightly at Kaede, who was about to faint. Yukine opened the book and explained while looking through it.
“…I bought this, did some research at home, and bought some materials today, so I’m going actually to draw a magic circle.”
“Y-you’re going to draw it?”
“Hmm? Well, it seemed that there were no senpai or other members of the club around. Is it okay to do that without permission?”
“…It’s fine. There are only a few of us, to begin with, but each of us can research any field that interests us. My interest is in devils and stuff like that.”
Yukine moved her desk to the edge of the classroom and laid a large piece of paper on the empty floor. She then drew a magic circle on the paper with a red magic marker, referring to the book on devil summoning she had picked up from the secondhand bookstore.
“I thought you were going to use some kind of blood to draw the magic circle, but it’s just with the magic marker?” said Rin.
“…I think it’s… not a problem.”
“That’s very appropriate…”
“…Because it doesn’t really have to be followed exactly.”
“The world is tough, after all.”
In Yukine’s words, Rin shrugged her shoulders. Kaede was so shocked at the idea of using blood to draw magic circles that she stopped thinking.
In the meantime, Yukine finally finished drawing the magic circle.
“Let me see… well, I have no idea what’s drawn here, though.”
“I-i-i-it is really okay, isn’t it?”
“It’s okay. You just need to calm down…”
“…Anyway, once we have this magic circle, all we have to do is read the spell on it.”
“That’s pretty simple, huh?”
“…Devils need to be summoned by humans to come to this world. So the simpler the process, the easier it is for them to be summoned by humans.”
“Hee? Is that so?”
“…I think it is.”
“You’re just assuming that…”
Rin was involuntarily taken aback by Yukine’s confident assertion. However, Yukine didn’t seem to be particularly bothered by this, and stood in front of the magic circle and began to read the spell in the book.
Even Kaede, who had been scared before, looked at Yukine as she read the spell in a serious expression.
And then she opened her eyes and read the spell out loud.
No change occurred in the magic circle. Yukine closed the book quietly and nodded her head once.
“…Well, I guess I can’t summon it, can I?”
“…You’re so honest, aren’t you?”
Kaede and Rin were amazed and dumbfounded by the fact that Yukine was so straightforward.
“…This kind of thing is good because it’s unknown. It’s not so romantic when you can figure it out.”
“T-then, what’s the point of researching it…?”
“…Anyway, I failed this time. But it was fun, and I enjoyed the atmosphere, so it’s okay. I didn’t bring any other books to try, so that’s it for today’s experiment.”
“Huh. It ended so quickly. Is today’s club activity over then?”
“Well, since we’re here, why don’t the three of us hang out and then go home?”
Rin decided to make plans for the rest of the day, and the three of them decided to go out together, and Kaede was finally able to relax.
Kaede, who seemed to have noticed something, pointed in that direction shakily. Rin and Yukine also looked in the direction of the finger pointing.
To their surprise, the magic circle drawn with a red magic marker had begun to emit a mysterious light.
“W-what’s going on here?”
“…Amazing. This book is real…”
“That’s not the point!”
“I-it’s bad, Rin-chan, Yukine-chan! The light is getting more intense!”
Kaede started to panic more than before, but even Rin did not expect this situation and started to panic.
“Yu-Yukine! What kind of devil did you say you were summoning?”
“…I don’t know. But I drew a magic circle that can summon the most powerful devil in the book.”
“I knew it…”
Rin’s cheeks twitched at Yukine’s response.
If what Yukine says is true, then the devil that is about to be summoned is a powerful being. Even the mere idea of a devil being summoned is a serious matter, but when it’s a powerful devil, it’s a disaster.
However, ignoring the three of them, the light of the magic circle increased, and finally, the entire classroom was filled with light.
“It’s so bright…!”
“…I wonder what will appear.”
“You have to be more serious, Yukine!”
When the light finally subsided, Kaede and the others fearfully opened their eyes.
“…It’s strange. There’s nothing there!”
There was nothing, not even a devil-like figure, in the magic circle where the light had settled.
“Yukine. Can we see the devil properly?”
“…We should be.”
Yukine nodded at Rin’s words and approached the magic circle in question without hesitation. And she tried to touch the magic circle and lifted the paper on which the magic circle was drawn, but no changes occurred.
“…Yes. It glowed that much, but it seems to have failed. Too bad.”
“W-what do you mean by too bad…?”
“Well, I was surprised when the light came out of nowhere, but I guess I can understand the disappointment.”
It’s a shame that Yukine’s experiment failed, considering that they might be able to meet an unknown being, even if the word “devil” conjured up fear. For a few more moments, Yukine reread the book and checked the magic circle she had drawn, but she could not confirm the devil’s existence, so she finished cleaning up and left the club room this time.
“I was afraid of what would happen, but this was a unique experience.”
“I was really scared, though…”
“I’m sorry! I’ll buy you an ice cream or something now.”
“Ugh… Then I will forgive you.”
“Sorry… you had to wait.”
“No, I didn’t mind waiting. Let’s go.”
The three of them had already forgotten what had just happened and were discussing their plans to have fun. At that moment, Yukine felt a vague sense of discomfort that she couldn’t put into words and looked around.
“…No, it’s nothing.”
No one noticed that there was something wrong with──Yukine’s shadow and that her eyes were red. Thus, various incidents were occurring in three different places at the same time.