Volume 9 Chapter 17 Kazami Rin, Only I Can Change the Future
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Chew chew, munch munch…
I was eating a sandwich alone in the backyard of an unpopular university as usual, when a woman in a sister’s outfit passed by in front of me. I picked up the cassette player that she left behind, put on the included headphones, and pressed the play button.
’Good morning, Rin-kun.’
While listening to the recorded tape, I took another bite of the sandwich.
Today’s sandwich is a tomato ham salad.
’How are you feeling today? By the way, I’m feeling blue today. It seems like our saint did something again, so I won’t be able to sleep tonight either because of the aftermath.’
Oh, maybe there are more ingredients in today’s sandwich than usual. Yay!
I reached out for a second sandwich.
’Anyway, first, I want you to look at this man’s photo.’
Photo? Huh? Where…? Yeah, I don’t see any envelopes with what looks like photos or anything like that.
The lady earlier must have forgotten to attach the photo…
’The man’s name is Fujisawa Makoto. He used to harass Tsukimachi Ayana when she was a child actress.’
Yeah, it’s common in the Holy Aqua Religion, so well, whatever…
If I worry about the small details, I won’t be able to make it here.
The saint also said that if you care about trivial things, you lose. As a woman, live for the moment rather than worrying about tomorrow.
’According to the information from our high-performance server, Fujisawa Makoto is planning to harass Tsukimachi Ayana again and even commit a terrible crime.’
In that case, I should just get the information directly from Saba-chan later.
She probably has the forgotten photos too.
’So, Rin-kun, your mission is to prevent this man’s plan and stop the incident from happening. There may be women who are happy to be r*ped, but she is not that type.’
Speaking of Tsukimachi Ayana-san, she is Aqua-sama’s classmate and co-star on a Monday 9 drama.
During the cultural festival, when I spilled my drink, Tsukimachi Ayana-san immediately wiped the table for me and said not to worry, smiling at me. I remember her well.
She was so kind to me, I thought she was such a good person. I absolutely can’t forgive anyone who would hurt her…
’As usual, if you or your comrades are captured, Holy Aqua Religion will panic and lose valuable personnel, and my stomach will become even more painful, so please make sure not to get caught.’
I crumpled up the wrapping paper of the sandwich I had finished eating.
Grandma always said to do it before you get r*ped, so it’s 100% the fault of the person who tried to do it first, so there’s no point in being upset about whatever happens, right?
To protect Aqua-sama’s smile, it is my duty to protect the peace of the people around Aqua-sama. I have always done it this way, and it won’t change today or tomorrow.
’By the way, this tape will automatically disappear after playback. I wish you good luck!’
After those words, smoke lightly came out of the tape. By the way, this is not a production. Holy Aqua Religion attaches great importance to appearances, so they pay attention to even the smallest details, as Powder Fan-san said.
But Claire-san was screaming that it’s not about that, it’s not about that.
Well then… I thought it was over, but it seems like she forgot to press the stop button for recording, and there was a little bit of voice at the end.
’Hey, Claire-chan, it’s dinner time~’
’Hey, mom, I said I’m recording right now!’
Huh? Huh? Was it Claire-san who was recording this…? I’ve received tapes several times before, but I just found out today.
Wow, she can produce such a cool voice like a man.
’Anyway, please be safe! Good luck!’
I heard a popping sound from the tape. I put the broken tape and player in my bag. To be honest, the materials are very valuable, so I want them to tell me by phone or email next time.
Later, I will call Holy Aqua Religion’s customer service. After finishing my university class, I headed to the new construction site of Holy Aqua Religion by train. This place, which was a tourist spot with a monument placed on the site of the old Edo Castle ruins, has heard that Holy Aqua Religion, which received the land, will build a castle here for Saint Emily.
I presented my ID and entered the blindfolded area of the construction site, then went underground from where the monument was placed. I heard that there is an air raid shelter that the military used here, and it is planned to be reused as a lab.
”Hi, good to see you.”
Sabato Koyomi-san was waiting for me. She is one of the twelve bishops of Holy Aqua Religion, developed the AI of high-performance servers, and is the head of the technology development department of Beryl Entertainment. Next to her, former Queen Mary of Stars was standing there with a smile.
”Long time no see, Ninja-chan.”
”Yes, it’s been a while, Mary-sama.”
When I said that, Mary-sama shook her index finger left and right.
”Sorry, but please call me M here, and this is Q.”
I tilted my head. I understand that Mary-sama is M, but why is Koyomi-san Q? But here in Holy Aqua Religion, as the Saint said, I shouldn’t worry about trivial things.
”Hahaha, you understand quickly, which helps. The reason why you came here today is nothing but for the mission. We have prepared some tools necessary for this mission. Q, please.”
Koyomi-san handed me some tools. A wire-out watch, sunglasses equipped with a heat source sensor, a ring with a camera, a ballpoint pen-shaped bomb, and an attache case to store those tools were also given to me. Is it okay to have this many?
Honestly, I have already received plenty of watches and ballpoint pens, so why do they give me new ones every mission?
If I use a ballpoint pen bomb in this peaceful country, the police will come immediately. I can’t even use it for everyday use because I can’t drop it during class… What should I do with this?
If I explode it underwater to dispose of it, the fish will be surprised.
”Hahaha, this time there is a present for you who will work harder from here.”
Hmm, I have a bad feeling about this.
With the guidance of M and Q, I went deeper into the underground bunker on the elevator. There was a car waiting for me.
”Please accept this car.”
A black stealth fighter-like car came out. I shouldn’t say things like, “It stands out in reverse,” here in Holy Aqua Religion.
”This car’s name is Aqua 0721, also known as Night Driver! It was originally developed as a special vehicle to protect my knight, Aqua-sama, but you see, Aqua-sama still can’t get a driver’s license, so it was going to be put in storage. Do you have a license, Ninja-chan?”
I nodded anxiously. I have a license, but I’m a paper driver, so I’m not confident in driving.
”Hahaha, it’s okay even if you’re not confident in driving. It has a fully automatic driving function equipped with an AI, High-Performance Server, or H.I.P.S. built-in, so you just have to ride it!”
Oh, that’s amazing. So I received the car key from Mary-sama… I mean, M.
”Hey! Michael——I mean, my master, Rin!”
”Yes, Saba-chan. Nice to meet you today.”
I sat in the driver’s seat and bowed my head. I can barely see in front of me, but at my height I can’t see in front of me at all.
To those looking in from the outside, it looks like no one is driving, right? This is a ghost driver, not a night driver.
”Well then, I’ll leave it to you. Holy Aqua Religion’s lethal weapon!”
I fasten my seatbelt properly for safety. Just in case something happens, I keep my foot ready to brake… Otherwise, I’m a little worried.
”Hyahaha! I will disinfect the filth that spreads throughout the world! My anger is maxed out from the beginning!! Follow this Death Road!! Vroom vroom!”
Despite her lines, Saba-chan is actually driving very safely. And she even turns on the hazard lights to thank the car that let us in. She’s like a machine, or maybe not… Hey, is she really an AI? Is there someone inside? Sometimes I get confused.
”Should I transform to blend in with regular vehicles?”
Huh? What does transform mean!? Well, for now, I’ll just press the YES button as I’m told. When the car’s steering wheel moves on its own, we briefly enter an empty underground passage and exit. I was surprised to see the reflection of the car’s body that escaped.
The matte black color of the car’s body turned yellow, and for some reason, there’s a taxi sign above my head. But this looks more like a States taxi… Nowadays, I hardly see yellow taxis anymore, so changing the color of the car’s body makes it stand out even more.
While waiting at a traffic light, there was a person running desperately towards us. C-c-could it be that our mission has been exposed? As I’m thinking about that, a woman opens the backseat door and throws her luggage inside without permission.
Huh!? Isn’t the back door locked? Saba-chan… It doesn’t work to stick out your tongue on the screen. I totally forgot about it… This car’s security is so lax, it’s just like how you can freely visit the Holy Aqua Religion without an ID. It feels like all the sloppy aspects of the Holy Aqua Religion are coming out.
”You saved me! Sorry, but please go quickly to this location!!”
The woman who got in turns towards me with a panicked expression and shows me a map and a wad of bills. Ah… Now that I look closely, this person is Kohina Yukari-san, who appears in Getsuku (Monday 9 PM Drama), the same as Tsukimachi Ayana-san and Aqua-sama, who are the targets of the escort.
”Oh, customer, you’re in luck! I was planning to go to the same place.”
”Oh, really? Thank you! Please get me there in 10 minutes!”
For some reason, Saba-chan started talking to Kohina Yukari-san on her own. Kohina Yukari-san doesn’t seem to realize that the person she’s talking to is the car’s AI, and I thought it would be better than me, who is not good at conversations, so I left the conversation to Saba-chan.
”I’ll speed up, so please fasten your seatbelt.”
Wheeeen… What’s this sound? When I look at the rearview mirror, a rear wing appears out of nowhere. This is a car for covert missions, right? Why does it want to stand out so much…
”Here we go!”
”Huh? Have I seen it somewhere… Aa——”
I almost screamed involuntarily. We, who were at the front of the line at the traffic light, quickly accelerated and escaped, continuing on the regular road. W-wait, this is reckless driving! If I get caught by the police, my license will be suspended!
’Don’t worry, I control all the traffic lights, and if anything happens, I have an officially issued fake driver’s license.’
I hear Saba-chan’s voice from the intercom attached to my ear. What’s an officially issued fake driver’s license? D-does that mean the place that issues licenses is involved in this too…?
’And even if your license gets suspended, I can manipulate the points as much as I want, so it’s fine!’
Don’t worry about the details. If you worry about them here, you’ll lose. I thought again how great the saint who gave me these words is.
”Hey!! You’re driving too fast!! Aaaaaa!”
Kohina Yukari-san in the backseat is still screaming. Please give up. Getting in this car was a mistake from the start.
Look, I’m not holding the steering wheel either. As the saint said, humans need to give up.
”Hey, hey, hey, steering wheel! Steering wheel!!”
Oh… right, Kohina Yukari-san doesn’t know that this is automated driving. For now, I’ll just hold the steering wheel in form. Oh… I feel like I’ve become better at driving.
”Yes, we have arrived at our destination. 7 minutes and 38 seconds, wow! It’s a new record! You’re lucky, customer!”
”Oh… thank you. You saved me.”
Exhausted Kohina Yukari-san staggers towards a nearby building. Even though Saba-chan drove like that, she managed to endure without vomiting. Truly a great actress.
Since it would be complicated to remain in the taxi, I transform again on a small path with few pedestrians and stop a little away from the target building. I wonder how much time has passed.
By the time it got late at night, a suspicious black van stopped in front of us. Yes, that’s the van famous for kidnapping little boys in naughty manga.
”Beep beep… checking the car’s license plate, it’s a rental car. According to the company’s database, it was rented by a man, apparently one of Fujiwara Makoto’s associates. Bingo.”
A tense feeling runs through. According to Saba-chan, Fujiwara Makoto made a suggestive post on a men-only bulletin board, implying the r*pe of Tsukimachi Ayana-san.
Fortunately, Saba-chan happened to find it, but women cannot see posts on men-only bulletin boards, so even if there are such posts, there is nothing they can do. And the police won’t take action unless an actual incident occurs.
However, several men who saw the posts on this bulletin board reported it, and I heard that a boy named Yamada had the courage to call Beryl’s head office to inform Aqua-sama. I hope it’s just groundless anxiety, and even if it is, I hope they stop right before. But if they stray from the path of righteousness, I won’t show mercy either. Because that’s my duty.
”Confirming the escort target.”
When I turn my gaze towards the building at Sabachan’s words, Tsukimachi Ayana-san comes out with Kohina Yukari-san. Perhaps because there was no taxi, they start walking in the opposite direction of where I’m parked.
The van parked in front also starts moving, following the two of them, so we also start moving to chase after them. During this time, I kept praying in my mind for there to be no incident.
”This is Night Driver, confirming the escort target and the target vehicle, will pursue. Should we also include Kohina Yukari, who is accompanying Tsukimachi Ayana, as an escort target?”
Ah, it’s Mary——M’s voice… It’s connected properly. By the way, earlier, I heard the sound of slurping ramen. Was it just my imagination?
”Understood. Everything is for Aqua-sama, A-qu-a.”
’Everything is for Aqua-sama! A-qu-a!!’
Hmm? Is that noise? No, this isn’t a mechanical sound. It feels like I’m in a very noisy place…
’Oh, Auntie, add another beer.’
They’re definitely drinking, aren’t they? And the voice that added beer earlier is definitely Q.
’Oh my… I can’t believe you did that. Ohohoho.’
The voice stopped there. I envy that, I’m also hungry, I’ll eat ramen later. While thinking about that, an anpan came out of my side pocket. Sorry Saba-chan, thank you for giving me an anpan, but I’m not in the mood for something sweet right now.
While we were having a pointless exchange, the van in front suddenly accelerated and drove onto the sidewalk in an empty area. Then, it blocked the path of the two, and several men and women came out from inside through the sliding door.
I see… it seems that not only men, but several women are also cooperating in this plan. Huh, is that so… my emotions slowly fade away from my expression.
”Ah… um, Rin-chan…? If we kill someone, even the Holy Aqua Religion won’t be able to do anything about it, you know? So, um… please, let’s not go too far. Ahaha, ahahaha…”
I silently open the door and slowly step outside.
Aqua-sama and the Saint are truly wonderful people.
They work hard to make this world a better place, so why are there people trying to interfere with trivial things?
I dislike people who interfere with those who are trying their best, especially those who try to hurt them.
I drop the kunai that I had hidden in my sleeve and throw it at Fujisawa Makoto, the leader of the group, grazing his cheek.
”Oww, that hurts! Who the hell are you? What are you doing?!”
Does it hurt…? You were planning to do something even more painful to them, weren’t you?
You understand what it feels like to be in pain, but do you not understand how it feels to be the one inflicting pain?
I see… in that case, I need to educate you about pain so that you never have such thoughts again.
Don’t worry, I actually want to become a teacher or a childcare worker. So please leave the educational guidance to me. I will directly implant pain into your hearts and bodies so that you never have such thoughts again.
”Hey, who do you think you are, getting in our way… ahh!”
Yes, it’s nap time.
I go behind the woman who attacked me and strangle her, causing her to lose consciousness.
Honestly, you can’t even take a nap by yourself, can you? Did you really graduate from preschool?
”Did you… hear any strange noises…?”
”S-she’s… not dead, right…?”
Oops… I go around the guy who tried to escape and grab his face.
”Ahh, it hurts, it hurts…”
The guy who tried to escape rolls on the ground while holding his face with both hands.
It was just a bit exaggerated, the sound of bones creaking from his face, that’s all.
”You b*stard… you’re getting cocky… Goha”
I raise my heel and crush the jaw of the woman who attacked me from behind.
She falls to the ground, moaning in agony.
Phew… I let out a light breath with a somewhat exasperated expression.
Everyone, your resistance to pain is way too low.
I guess you all have never experienced being hurt, so you don’t understand how it feels to be the one hurting. I understand now.
I look down at the guy who tripped and fell with a contemptuous gaze.
Pathetic. Is this really the same man as that cool Aqua-sama?
I grab the man’s hair and observe him closely.
Mayuzumi Shintaro-san, Nekoyama Toa-san, Tenga Akira-san, as well as Yamada-san who reported to us and the anonymous man who called Holy Aqua Religion for advice. There are many wonderful men in the world besides Aqua-sama, so why couldn’t him be like them?
I would like to have a thorough… conversation and investigate the cause of why he ended up like this, but I’m hungry today so I’ll give up. I throw the unconscious body of the man who passed out from fear into the grass.
”A… a… a…”
How pathetic. After I made all the remaining female followers faint, Fujisawa Makoto crawls on the ground, trying to escape from me.
After briefly checking on the person I was supposed to protect, Kohina Yukari-san is embracing Tsukimachi Ayana-san, who is trembling in fear.
I’m sorry. If I had quickly finished them off without showing any signs of expecting something from them, you wouldn’t have felt scared… As expected, I’m an incompetent ninja, just like the senior ninjas in the village say.
But the Saint always praises me, saying I’m amazing. She became friends with someone like me for the first time, she eats with me, plays with me. I don’t know anyone as kind as the Saint. And I will never forgive anyone who tries to cloud the Saint’s smile.
”I-I am a man, you know!”
I tilt my head.
I don’t understand why being a man requires special treatment.
Certainly, men are a rare presence due to their small numbers, but women can still give birth even without men.
Yet, men are favored because there are many women who desire men for various reasons, such as women with strong s*xual desires, women who want to serve men as accessories, people who cling to old customs, and pure women who simply want to love men.
”What… What are you saying? Do you even understand what you’re talking about?”
I tilt my head in the opposite direction.
I feel like it’s actually he who has a low understanding, but maybe it’s just my imagination?
Honestly, I find it bothersome to continue this conversation, so let’s just knock him out and leave the rest to the Holy Aqua Religion recovery team.
”I don’t know if you can start over… Your sins… won’t disappear. The people you have hurt… will never return to how they were before. However… the future ahead is still undecided. What you do with it… is your own problem. That goes for your companions… lying here as well. So… think more, face the sins you have committed. Changing yourself… reflecting on yourself, only you can do that.”
I say that and make him faint.
Perhaps I let my anger get to me a little. When I think about it, it’s not a line I should be saying after resolving things with violence. I check my surroundings and notice a few onlookers watching us. It wouldn’t be good if someone reported this.
’Don’t worry about reporting, this area is out of range because of jamming signals!’
Saba-chan quickly called for reinforcements, and members of the Holy Aqua Religion wearing black suits and sunglasses rushed over.
”Excuse us, everyone. We’re shooting a movie.”
”Could you please cooperate for a moment?”
”Well, this pen will start glowing now, so please look over there.”
”Don’t worry, when it flashes, you’ll forget everything you saw.”
By the way, that pen doesn’t actually have any special features like that. I heard it simply uses hypnosis to make memories hazy. So, some people might remember things again with a slight trigger, and it seems they regularly reapply the hypnosis to those people.
But I wonder if that’s safe… Well, I’ve done everything I can, and there’s no point in staying here any longer. Just as I was about to leave in a hurry, I was stopped by Kohina Yukari-san.
”Oh, you’re the taxi driver from earlier…? Thank you for helping me. I appreciate it.”
Kohina Yukari-san bows deeply to me.
She tried to protect Tsukimachi Ayana-san, who was frozen with fear from the past, without abandoning her. She may have a childish side and tease the two of them, but I think she’s truly a caring person. I felt that I could entrust Aqua-sama to her without worry.
”Um… thank you for saving me.”
Tsukimachi Ayana-san’s body was still trembling slightly.
I’m sorry. I should have stopped them before they took action without saying anything sweet. Actually, I think I should be the one apologizing.
”Saba-chan, please take care of these two.”
”Understood! Rin-chan, be careful!”
I don’t think they’re injured, but Tsukimachi-san got startled and fell, so I asked Saba-chan to take them to the hospital just in case. I continue walking alone on the night road.
I’m getting hungry… As I think about that, a bike passes by and stops a little ahead of me.
Aqua-sama… Why are you in a place like this? A-And, you remembered me this time… Actually, before the cultural festival, I met Aqua-sama. But at the time of our first meeting, I think he doesn’t remember me because it was only for a moment when I was looking down or hiding my face as much as possible with my hair or scarf. Aqua-sama, to that extent, gives his kindness to various people every day without asking for anything in return.
’Are you okay?’
I admired the city and college girls, so I escaped from the ninja village here in Tokyo after winning a showdown with my grandmother. For a ninja, leaving the village without permission is breaking the rules. In order to become a fugitive ninja, I needed to defeat the leader in a showdown. And so, the city life I dreamed of… But for me, who had lived in the ninja village until I turned 18, living in Tokyo was impossible from the beginning.
Well, that’s just an excuse. I think it’s because my communication skills were lacking. After living in Tokyo for 3 years, one day, I fell on the roadside. I remember the moment when the tears welled up and fell like big drops. While looking at the stain on the asphalt, when I thought about going back to the village, Aqua-sama reached out to me and asked if I was okay.
’I’m okay… but no. It’s tough… I wanted to go back…’
Looking back now, I wonder what I was saying to a stranger, especially a man. I was so cornered at the time.
’I see… But even though you were in pain and wanted to go back, you tried to stand up and face reality with both hands on the ground. So, be proud of yourself like that, praise yourself. If you can’t praise yourself, I’ll praise you. You’ve endured and worked hard on your own until now.’
I was taken aback by Aqua-sama’s words. I still remember being surprised to realize that I was trying to stand up.
’I think it’s okay to run away when it gets tough. But… beyond the pain, there must be something to gain. So… no matter which future you choose, it’s up to you to decide your future. So think carefully and make a choice without regrets for yourself.’
Saying that, Aqua-sama stroked my head, comforted me, praised me, and cheered me on. For Aqua-sama, it might have been the same as treating anyone else. But I was saved by those words. I thought I would try again.
”What are you doing here? It’s cold, isn’t it?”
Growl! My stomach growled. I became embarrassed and hid my face even more in my scarf.
”Hey, I’m going to eat ramen now. Do you want to come with me?”
”Is… that okay?”
Aqua-sama smiled and nodded silently. I relied on Aqua-sama’s words and decided to eat ramen together.
”Here, it’s cold, so wear this.”
Aqua-sama gently put his jacket on me and put me on the back of his bike. It’s warm… On that day, I thought I made the right decision after all.
”Hold on tight.”
The bike carrying me and Aqua-sama starts running. Aqua-sama’s back is so big and warm… I couldn’t help but think that I wanted this time to last forever.
”Alright, it’s still open!”
Aqua-sama stopped the bike at Ramen Takeko, which was also used for the filming of Heaven’s Sword. When the two of us tried to enter the shop, the door opened from the shop side.
I was surprised by the Saint who came out from inside. S-she’s still working here…
”Oh… Is the store already closed?”
”Oh, yeah… but… wait a minute”
The Saint went back into the shop and called out to the owner, Takeko-san, in a loud voice.
”Hey, Grandma, two of m friends are here. Can we add them?”
Two friends… The Saint counts me as a friend too. I’m happy… After a while, the Saint came out again and smiled. When she smiles, she really looks like a beautiful goddess. Look, even Aqua-sama has a blank look on his face.
”Since it seems like both of you are okay, go inside the store and sit wherever you like.”
The Saint tried to tidy up the outside curtain, but we helped her out as a thank you for opening the shop.
”Well done, ninja.”
While tidying up, the Saint said that and patted my head.
Hehe, as expected, the Saint sees through everything.
It’s not just that she helped with the tidying up, but I think she also praised me for trying my best today.
”Everyone, the ramen is ready. I put in extra chashu, so eat it before it gets cold.”
The three of us entered the store together.
I will definitely not forget the taste of the ramen I ate that day.
I made another wonderful new memory for myself.
I’m glad I had the courage to join the Holy Aqua Religion at that time. So I have to tell everyone that the Holy Aqua Religion is a good place! The next day, I mustered up the courage to talk to a female classmate and ask her if she knew about the Holy Aqua Religion. It’s a really nice place.
Rin-chan, that’s religious solicitation…
By the way, what Emily praised was simply the nuance of “thank you for bringing Aqua to my workplace.” This person doesn’t understand anything the most.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.