Volume 6 Chapter 13 Tenga Akira, The Day I Became a True Masked Drive
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Before dawn in a dim alley, Kamishiro Hajime, who was injured, pressed his bleeding shoulder and dragged his foot, taking step by step toward the well-lit main street.
The evil that pervades this world, Chijou.
Due to Chijou, Kamishiro’s family fell into ruin after they killed his parents.
That’s the setup for the character I’m playing, Kamishiro Hajime, but it hasn’t been clearly revealed to the characters in the story, not even to other cast members. Only the director and I know this.
”I will kill all Chijou…!”
Inside Kamishiro Hajime, there’s only deep-seated hatred and pent-up anger gnawing at his heart.
That’s why he never got involved with anyone, and he doesn’t plan to deeply connect with anyone in the future.
Just one more step, and I tripped, falling to the ground.
At that moment, a woman extended her hand to help me.
”Are you okay?”
She’s the owner of a nearby café, Minami Haruka-san. A 25-year-old widow whose husband was killed by Chijou.
I lost consciousness here. And then, the next scene.
When I woke up, the one in front of me was Minami Kana, who resembled the owner.
”Ah! Mama, Mama! Onii-chan is awake!!”
In response to Kana’s voice, Haruka-san emerged from inside.
”That’s a relief. You’ve awakened. Are you alright?”
Because of this incident, Kamishiro ends up being cared for by the Minami family to recover from his injury. Initially, he helps at the café as a token of appreciation for the treatment. However, after his recovery, due to lack of money, he becomes a lodger, but that’s a story for later.
”Please don’t push yourself too hard.”
Saying that, Haruka-san peers into Kamishiro’s face, smiling with a slightly worried expression. That face overlaps with my… no, with Tenga Akira’s childhood memory.
’Akira-kun, don’t push yourself too hard.’
Back in elementary school, the neighbor’s big sister, who often took care of me. Her name is Sakuraba Haruka… So, the person in front of me overlapped with her. What irony. On the other side of the screen, I press my chest against the T-shirt, as if trying to flatten it. Oh… No matter how far I go, I might never escape from this memory.
’Akira-kun, you’re amazing. You can play the guitar.’
Heh… Thinking back now, I was always trying too hard to get closer to Haruka-nee, who took care of me so much. The guitar was one of those attempts. When Haruka-nee praised my singing with the guitar, I thought if I could perform with the guitar like an adult, I might catch her attention. I find it shallow when I think about it now.
But that’s how serious I was.
I realized it was love around the time I became a middle school student. Along with the rapid changes in my body, which became bigger and my voice more masculine. The first time I eja***ated was also with Haruka-nee. At that time, I think I was thinking about her every day.
’Akira-kun, you’re about to surpass me in height soon.’
I was happy. I could finally catch up with Haruka-nee. I decided that when I grew bigger than her, I would confess. Even though I was still in middle school, I planned to get engaged when I entered high school, and then get married immediately after graduating… But my accumulated feelings were only self-centered.
’Akira-kun… I, um. I’m getting married soon.’
I remember that time very well.
Suddenly, everything turned dark, and the colorful world turned gray.
’Ah… I see. C-congratulations, Haruka-nee.’
At that time, I was in my second year of middle school, and that was the best I could manage to say.
’Thank you, Akira-kun.’
So I didn’t notice. The pained expression on Haruka-nee’s face.
”Onii-chan, what’s wrong?”
Kana peers at me. I’m not good with little kids, so I quickly avert my gaze, ignoring her.
I answer bluntly.
Kamishiro expressed his gratitude for the treatment and to lessen Haruka-san’s burden, he went shopping with Haruka-san’s daughter, Kana.
I reach out to Kana. It’s because I don’t want her to stray too far.
Kana grabs my hand and shows a typical carefree smile of a child.
For a brief moment, my face almost cracks into a smile, but I quickly avert my gaze to stay in character as Kamishiro.
”Aaah! It’s Chijou!!”
One of the extras shouts.
Chijou appears brazenly in the shopping mall in broad daylight.
Chijou start causing harm to the women enjoying shopping.
”Sniff… Sniff… I, smell! Smell, man!!”
Accompanied by ordinary Chijou, the boss character for this time, Kunka Kunker, appears.
”Give me, man! I, smell, man!!”
Kunker Kunker is irritated and storms out.
I pull Kana’s hand and hide in the shadows.
Apparently, they’re after me.
”Hey… Stay hidden here.”
I leave Kana behind and confront Chijou.
”Hey! Chijou!! I’m your enemy!!”
Chijou attacks, but I dodge their attacks and defeat them with minimal movements. Of course, I can’t perform intense actions like Shirogane. So, I make only small movements and let the talented actors within Chijou execute intricate actions while taking falls in their stride. Combined with the exceptional camerawork and editing techniques of Director Hongo and the team, the actual broadcast version turns out to be of considerable quality.
Indeed, what Kamishiro is doing is futile.
No matter how much he attacks, without the power of a Driver or the weapons used by SYUKUJYO, he can’t deal significant damage to Chijou. That’s the setup.
Kamishiro is gradually pushed back, and he ends up on his knees against a wall. A small figure blocks his view.
”Don’t bully Onii-chan!”
It’s Kana… Shaking her small body, she stands up against Chijou to protect Kamishiro.
”Why would you do something so terrible!”
”Terrible? The terrible one, the man who did terrible things to me!”
Kunka Kunker turns out to be a girl who simply likes the scent of men. But that’s not strange at all. I also liked the scent of Haruka-nee… Just being enveloped in that scent, like the spring sunlight filtering through the trees, calms my heart and brings tranquility.
’Akira-kun, it’s been a while.’
I reunited with Haruka-nee after becoming a university student.
I got engrossed in playing the guitar as a way to forget, and what started as an attempt to catch Haruka-nee’s attention became a refuge for me. With bangs covering half my face, I used words like “me” to deceive and escape, but I coincidentally reunited with Haruka-nee.
’Are you doing well?’
When she said that, Haruka-nee’s face was sunken, far from the gentle smile I knew. Feeling uncomfortable with her forced smile, I gathered information from various sources.
’Haruka, huh… Well, her husband beats her every day. Not just her face, but hidden parts of her body too.’
I slapped my own face.
I was more angry at myself for not being able to protect my beloved Haruka than at her husband who committed violence against her. At that time, I should have noticed that Haruka-nee’s face clouded when she said she was getting married!
”Don’t, hinder, me, you, die!!”
Kunka Kunker reaches out to harm Kana. I try to stand up and intervene, but my knees won’t support me. But then, a beetle flies in from nowhere and hits Kunka Kunker’s hand.
Kunka Kunker becomes visibly angry.
The sound of leather shoes hitting the hard floor of the shopping mall echoes.
”My mom said…”
My expression involuntarily softens at the familiar voice.
”No matter what the reason is, it’s never a good reason to hurt someone!”
With the beetle in hand, Kenzaki Souji or Shirogane transform into Masked Driver Heaven’s Sword.
Ah… he looks so cool. Not just Kenzaki, but even my junior, Shirogane Aqua, appears genuinely cool to me.
’Hey, aren’t you planning to sing on your own?’
MojaP, also known as Kobayashi Daigo, asked me when I playing the guitar. However, I shook my head in response. Whenever I tried to speak, a flashback of Haruka-nee held me back. Her praise for my singing. I composed several songs intending to sing them myself. But those songs will never see the light of day. Yet…
’Even though he’s a guy, there’s a ridiculous idiot trying to become an idol. How about composing? Just send me the audio for now. If you feel like it, send me the data whenever.’
My heart danced to the first time I heard Shirogane Aqua’s singing voice. Inspired by Shirogane Aqua’s songs, I quickly composed a piece and sent it to Kobayashi-san. That’s how I ended up spending time with the juniors. Shirogane is an odd one; he treats girls normally. Even though a relatively decent guy like Mayuzumi or Nekoyama might distance themselves a bit from girls, Shirogane treats everyone equally, regardless of age or gender. If it were Shirogane… could he have found a different answer from mine?
’Haruka-nee, you should break up with a guy like that.’
Summoning courage, I recommended divorce to Haruka-nee. Fortunately, I had earned money under MojaP’s guidance even before meeting the juniors. I thought that if it was just Haruka-nee, I could somehow protect her. However, with a face that seemed about to cry, Haruka-nee shook her head slowly.
’I’m sorry. But I… I love him.’
Haruka-nee’s expression was pained when she said that. Even though I realized immediately that this was a lie to protect me! Yet… being uncool and foolish, I couldn’t say anything more. To Haruka-nee, I must still appear as a child, unreliable and helpless. I hated my miserable and weak self.
”Damn! Don’t, get in, the way!”
Kunka Kunker incites Chijou underlings against Kenzaki. But he easily brushes them off. His appearance, not just cool, is also shrouded in sorrow.
’Shirogane… have you ever fallen in love with a woman?’
For some reason, on that night when the two of us went on a motorcycle tour, I asked Shirogane under the cloudy night sky while drinking canned coffee.
’What if that person belongs to someone else?’
Shirogane responded. If that person seems happy, even though it’s sad, it might be okay. Even if it’s hard now, the beautiful memories of liking that person will become something irreplaceable.
’Well then, what if that person isn’t smiling… what would you do?’
He answered immediately.
’Of course, I’ll make her smile. If someone I liked had a sad expression, I wouldn’t want to see it. So, even if the person I liked belonged to someone else, I would fight. I would fight to take her back, even if I have to fight.’
I ask again. Even if the other person didn’t want that?
’But… if there’s a sign, wouldn’t that mean she’s asking for help? She can’t straightforwardly say she’s suffering and want help, so she might be considering the person who would help her and their future. So, maybe she said it like that on purpose.’
Ah… I’m such a fool. When Haruka-nee said she loved that person… her face looked so pained, didn’t it? I knew that if she truly loved him, she wouldn’t make such a face! I… no, Tenga Akira! What am I doing!! I’ve only grown in stature, not in character!
’Shirogane, I have a request… my… no, Tenga Akira’s! Please, give me a push!’
Shirogane’s palms touch my back. His hands are gentle and large. The overcast sky that covered the starry sky is now being split apart by the gentle moonlight.
’Go, Tenga Akira! The coolest senior in the world! Show that you can’t be uncool!!’
Leave it to me! So, I start running. Toward Haruka-nee’s place.
I was reckless. Before I realized it, Haruka-nee’s husband was lying in front of me. My hands hurt like crazy. Probably because it was the first time I hit someone. No matter what, violence is unacceptable. But seeing that guy about to lay hands on Haruka-nee, my body moved on its own. I felt like I had to fight to protect. I didn’t want to hurt Haruka-nee’s heart or body any further.
It wasn’t all over, but Haruka-nee managed to distance herself from her husband. For some reason, her attitude changed drastically, and she apparently asked him for a divorce. Currently, Haruka-nee lives quietly with Rinon (Holy Aqua’s mercenary) in the countryside. Due to the aftermath of the violence from her husband, she feared being touched by me as well. I remember her hands trembling intensely when she tried to stop me.
”Men! Men! Men!”
Kenzaki in front of me was being pushed back by Kunka Kunker. I slowly stood up.
I want to bring a smile to all women in the world.
Can I, too, help fulfill my junior’s dream?
”Onii-chan, no… even though you’re so battered!”
Kana clung to my body. With her small body, Kana tried to protect me and Shirogane. Her brave act ignited something in my heart. I gently let go of Kana’s body.
”Still… sometimes I have to fight to protect something important. Even if it means doing something wrong, I’m ready to accept that guilt. So… so I also need the power to fight against Chijou! I don’t want to be unable to protect anything anymore!”
I shouted towards the sky. And with a buzzing fluttering sound, a bee-like robot appeared and hovered in front of me. I picked it up and held it towards the sky.
From this point on, it’s the job of a suit actor. I knew it would be better to have a professional, but I really wanted to stand next to Shirogane Aqua for this episode, so I appealed to the director.
”Masked Driver, Poison Chalice!”
As I transformed, a voice flowed from the belt.
”I won’t let anyone… take anything away anymore!”
Evading the approaching Chijou again with minimal movement, I attacked with the two small crescent-like swords in my hands. Combining the two crescent blades, I attacked Kunka Kunker from a distance like a bow and arrow.
”Kuh… I, have been, trying! I, didn’t do, anything, wrong! Even though, I like, smell of men! This situation, forces me, to remember!”
When Kunka Kunker was still human, she hid her liking for the scent of men. It wasn’t about committing crimes or harassment; she simply kept it hidden in her heart without causing trouble to anyone. But… her secret was exposed, and it became an opportunity for her to be bullied by men.
”Kunka Kunker… I’ll make it easier for you now. Lend me a hand. You, Driver over there.”
”Hmph! Can’t be helped. But don’t get the wrong idea. This is just for now!”
After seeing the battle between Chijou and Kenzaki earlier, Kamishiro concluded that Kenzaki was soft on women. So, he drew a line, believing that such softness was something he had discarded in the past. But in reality, he hasn’t completely discarded it, but that’s a story for another time.
Back to back, we knock the armor covering the Driver into the air.
Kamishiro and Kenzaki’s time, just the two of us, accelerates. We split up and head toward Kunka Kunker.
Though we’re both wearing helmets, I feel like I made eye contact with Shirogane inside this helmet.
Kenzaki enters the motion for his finishing move. Sensing that, Kunka Kunker inflates her distinctive nose and sucks in Kenzaki.
Kenzaki’s special move is canceled, and he is sucked toward Kunka Kunker.
However, as if anticipating that attack, Kenzaki flipped his body at the last moment, maneuvering behind Kunka Kunker and restraining her body.
”Kunka Kunker… I’ll bear your punishment too.”
I drew the bowstring. A straight and beautiful trajectory. Along with the voice of “Over the Time, Clock Out,” the arrow with a slow trajectory pierced Kunka Kunker gently. And…
Kenzaki released his transformation and gently embraced Kunka Kunker. I remained transformed, turning my back to them.
”I’m sorry… I liked the smell of men…”
Kunka Kunker strained her voice, as if squeezing it out. Kenzaki tightly embraced Kunka Kunker’s body.
”I also… like the smell of women. Look… when we hug like this and confirm each other’s scents, it’s reassuring to feel that someone is there. Animals also smell each other and engage in courtship behaviors. So, it’s not really something bad.”
A single tear rolled down from Kunka Kunker’s eyes as she nestled her chin on Kenzaki’s shoulder, holding him.
”A gentle scent… I, I… wanted to be enveloped in such a scent… thank you, I’m sorry.”
Kunka Kunker gradually scattered into particles of light and dissipated into the air. I lowered my head slightly and clenched my fist tightly. Then, I slowly released the transformation.
Leaving Kenzaki frozen in place, Kamishiro turned his back and walked in the opposite direction he was facing. The ending credits rolled here, and Episode 2 of Heaven’s Sword ended.
I turned off the TV and gazed at my own reflection on the dark screen.
’Haruka-nee, I’m going to be on TV tomorrow… so please watch. You might remember something painful, but my friends…’
I dialed Haruka-nee’s number the day before the broadcast, and my words got stuck.
Is this really okay?
The image of Nekoyama taking a courageous step forward and Shirogane’s words overlapped in my mind.
Is it okay for me to stay the same?
The world’s coolest senior, that senior can’t just be satisfied watching from behind while entrusting everything to the juniors. Two days ago during the recording, I watched Shirogane’s back from behind. He was tall, gentle, strong, and he looked at me with his entire body. Can it really be okay for such a cool senior junior to entrust himself to someone else?
’No, I will! This Tenga Akira will! Watch the moment the world changes! I promise you, Haruka-nee! I will make women all over the world smile. And I’ll definitely make Haruka-nee smile, absolutely! So, please watch that. And… absolutely, I’ll come to see you. Because Haruka-nee is my first love… that’s why, please wait for me. I’ll become the coolest Tenga Akira and make Haruka-nee smile for sure this time. Not Shirogane Aqua, but I promise I’ll make Haruka-nee smile!’
What I wanted to say didn’t come out smoothly; it was a messy and incredibly cheesy confession. But even so, on the other end of the call, Haruka-nee laughed with a tearful voice.
I ruffled my hair.
”Pay attention, world! I am Tenga Akira!! Even if the heavens, even if the world tries to suppress me, I won’t give up!! I will make a world where all women can smile!!”
It’s not just Shirogane Aqua; in Beryl Entertainment, there’s Tenga Akira, Nekoyama Toa, and Mayuzumi Shintaro! Some people might think it’s foolish, but those who have succeeded in something have always been called fools. So, with four fools, maybe we can achieve something. That’s what I believe.
I picked up the guitar and started practicing the opening theme song for Season 2 of Heaven’s Sword. I’m looking forward to singing this song in front of a large audience.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.