Jk haru is a sex worker.., p.1

JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer, page 1

 part  #2 of  JK Haru Series

 

JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer
 


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JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer


  Table of Contents

  I Wanted to Save You Like a Hero Someday

  Murder at Blue Cat Nocturne

  Jaysohlbrother’s Kitchen

  The Muck Always Sinks to the Bottom

  Mom

  I Wanted To Save You Like A Hero, Cont.

  Live It Up While You’re Young With Ramen! (Maruwa X JK Haru Collabo Short Story)

  Book Store Bonus Paper: First Christmas

  Book Store Bonus Paper: Rejected Version

  Bonus Textless Illustration

  About J-Novel Club

  Copyright

  I Wanted to Save You Like a Hero Someday

  {T minus 06:45 to the truck accident}

  The morning air seemed gritty with the previous night’s deadly battle. Clouds lay heavy over the sun’s eyes like the lingering scent of darkness. For me, the chill was pleasant. I gradually resumed the demeanor appropriate for my day profession of high-schooler—though the inside of my mouth still tasted faintly of blood.

  Blood has a coppery flavor.

  Or was it iron? I haven’t eaten either of them, so how should I know? Why is it metallic, anyway? Sounds bogus.The taste of blood in my mouth is also a lie. I wasn’t hurt. All I had done the night before was watch anime and listen to radio shows.I’m tired.

  Drinking a cheap cola I bought at the bulk-discount grocery store in my neighborhood, I got on the bus. At the same time, I scanned all the seats. It was only kids in the same school uniform as me and old people. No one sketchy-looking.

  If there had been a guy who seemed like a bus-jacker sitting in the front, I would identify the innocent-looking salaryman type in the back as his partner. But there wasn’t anyone like that. Of course there wasn’t. The bus pulled away from the curb.

  The thing was crammed full of high-school students, which meant tons of pointless noise. Chief among the sounds I didn’t want to hear were the conversations of couples. I canceled them out internally—’cause I was jealous.

  I also really hate conversations between junior and senior club members.I’m a way badder dude sipping my 1.5 liter bottle of off-brand cola than you guys slurping your weird astronaut drinks, anyhow.

  I stuck the bottle under my arm, leaned against a pole near the front of the bus, and opened my book. I think book covers are weak and rude to the heroine, so I don’t use them. Do you want to cover the face of the girl you like while you talk to her? Do you want to hug her through a book cover? Not me. And I do want to hug her, so I hope they make a body pillow soon.

  Usually I would read while listening to songs sung by the voice actress who played her in the anime, but while I was listening to the radio last night, I got pissed because they ignored my message, and when I threw my headphones, they broke.

  The world’s not fair. I wish I could hurry up and go to a different one where I could hear her voice in real life.

  “Oh, I might know the guy you’re talking about. It’s the South High soccer team, right? We’re friends, I’m pretty sure.”

  While I was absorbed in my paperback world, we’d reached the next bus stop and some girls got on. I quickly hid my face behind the cover of my book. There was no real reason except that meeting girls from school outside the classroom is stressful, so I decided to go stealth.

  As a result, they didn’t see me, but when they went by, there was this—how to describe it—stupidly good smell.

  What the hell. Is she some kinda freak?What do you have to put on your body for it to smell so much like candy?

  Haru Koyama.

  “See, we’re friends on LINE. That’s him, right?”

  “Yeah, that guy! Haru, how do you know him? That’s creepy.”

  “Just through my boyfriend. He’s on the soccer team, so, you know.”

  Even if she didn’t brag about her boyfriend at the top of her lungs, I knew she had one. I’m known at school as a being of lofty ideals, and I don’t take much interest in reality’s life forms, so I don’t talk to them. But Haru Koyama and her friends are so loud that I know her basic profile. Like, I know that this is her second boyfriend in high school. And I know that she commutes from so far away that she takes two different busses.

  My class is almost entirely ugly chicks, but Haru Koyama has a pretty normal face, and she’s got a lot of friends, so she sticks out so damned much that I just happen to have some info about her in the back of my head is all. It’s not like I’m interested in her.

  Good grief-ing in my head at how noisy the bus was, I returned to my other world. The illustration of the heroine had her dressed like a princess knight and flashing her panties, arms locked with the protagonist.

  There aren’t many girls who could pull off this look in the real world. Maybe one, if any, in my class.

  {T minus 06:32 to the truck accident}

  I entered the classroom of pigs. No terrorists. It was another peaceful day.How many more times are you gonna make me say a boring line like that? They call you a place of learning, but you’re a friggin’ zoo.

  “Whoa, don’t freak me out like that!”

  A white object flew through my line of sight and bounced off the wall. It was a ball. Most likely what they call a baseball.

  “Oh, Chiba. Sorry, didn’t mean to throw it by you.” The mob boy held his hands up. With no other choice, I picked up the ball to toss it back to him.What the hell, this is heavier than I thought. I’m gonna hurt my shoulder.

  “Thanks a bunch.” He went straight back to talking to the other mobs.

  Now then,I thought.Did he even apologize? Oh, he did say “sorry.” Did he thank me for picking it up? He did, yeah.

  So then...no reason to go berserk on his ass.You escaped this time, guy. There’s no telling what I’ll do when I get pissed.But, hmm. I felt sort of dissatisfied. Like I was being underestimated.

  Wait, though, could you really call that an apology, what he just said?Can’t you sound a tad bit more remorseful? You really freaked me out, and I picked your ball up off the floor!

  “Uh, did you want something?”

  When I stared at him, he turned around. Wow. Apparently I’m capable of making people sense my thoughts. I said, “Nothing,” with a nihilistic smile and made a point of leaving without another word. I had no intention of taking his life, so I would stop at a mental warning.

  Mental powers are handy. You can avoid pointless battles. Well, but it’s because I’m so unique that I get treated like I’m aloof.

  “Oh, you’re here.” A guy set his bag down before taking the next seat over and shamelessly grinning at me. His name’s Sekiguchi, and he’s one of the few guys in class I can talk to on an equal footing. In other words, of all the insufferable bastards at our school, he’s one of the worst.

  “Did you see it?” Sekiguchi asked.

  “Yeah,” was all I replied.

  “Heh-heh-heh...”

  We smiled the smile of comrades who had shared the same sublime experience. The previous night’sSoraDan(the late-night animeSky-Blue Dungeon: Second Tour)was godly. That one scene will be talked about in the history of Japanese media for decades to come. More like forever. I mean, because it was the greatest. You can’t not talk about it.

  “When Yufumin was like, ‘Wanna touch?’ and stuck her chest out—”

  “That scene where the Dragon Air Brigade charged at the cloud golem—”

  Our opinions clashed. Runaway value collision. Sekiguchi got red in the face and pushed his glasses up his nose so many times it looked like he was dribbling them. “You’re a pervert!”

  “Nah, nah. Plus I was kidding. I agree with you—about the part with the Dragon Air Brigade.”
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  Was it really that good? ’Cause I’m pretty sure the softness of Yufumin’s little boobs as they swayed was some god-level animation. But getting called a pervert by Sekiguchi made me mad, so I just agreed with him.

  “Yeah, the captain’s lines during that part were so full of passion! And the vice-captain all like, ‘I knew’!” He got pretty passionate himself. I just let him ramble on, nodding occasionally and thinking about Yufumin.

  If you clash even once, it’s hard to geek out together even about anime you like. I don’t hate Sekiguchi or anything, but he’s got that thing where he can’t really read the atmosphere. Geez.

  In the center of the classroom, Haru Koyama and her friends were cracking up and making a racket. The baseball mob from earlier kept putting the ball down the back of her shirt and getting smacked.

  I got serious about my conversation with Sekiguchi and tried to talk as loudly as possible.

  {T minus 04:07 to the truck accident}

  Yawwwwwn.

  I leaned against the back of my chair and stretched.God, this class is so boring.How does social studies help you when you actually go out into society? No, I’m sure it’s good for something, it’s just so tedious. Politics and shit.

  I figured,Well, why not look at Haru Koyama?

  She had her head propped up on her elbow and was writing something in her notebook. It’s just my guess, but I bet it had nothing to do with the class. Maybe a portrait of the teacher or something. I heard she’s good at dumb doodles like that. Not that I’ve seen them. But that’s how these people are, they get all giddy over something stupid like that.

  The classroom is a small world. But how many of these kids realize that? There are so many who mistake this place for the whole thing and act like they’re one of the ruling class or something. They have no idea how unimportant they are.

  Haru Koyama is one of those people.

  Or at least, that’s what everyone else must have thought. But I felt like there was a possibility she wasn’t.

  Why? Because I know that sometimes she gets this bored look on her face.

  I saw someone who had breathed the air of a different world, who had put both her life and sanity on the line.

  I was the same, so I knew.

  I was pretty sure that Haru Koyama wanted to talk about anime with us.

  Just then, the atmosphere of the classroom changed completely.

  A lukewarm presence descended. Like a shadow.

  Before whatever it was could get me, I kicked off the ground and flew to the ceiling. A crack ran through the blackboard behind me, and it broke into pieces at almost the same time.

  What had manifested itself in the slight space between the board and the wall was a jet-black creature reminiscent of a giant salamander, but about the size of a small car.

  No, it wasn’t right to call it a creature. This was a spam mail from another world. The worm, an autonomous enemy intel-collector colony whose goal was the eradication of humanity, was only mimicking a living thing.

  But wow, it was huge. Had the filter malfunctioned? What were the Firewall officials doing?

  The classroom and desks were in shambles. People who had been my classmates until a moment ago vanished in one gulp. Having kicked off the ceiling lights and landed behind the worm, I drew my Avastgun (ver. Halting Roar) from my belt and took aim. At the same time, I made sure the app was loading on my phone.

  It was an app with no name that my partner created. Based on the reaction of the Avastgun, it would search the Firewall database, identify the worm, and refine the vaccine program for me.

  But though my partner was a notorious brainy cracking expert babe wanted around the globe, the only information she could lift from the Worldwide United Defense Organization servers with this single app was the previous generation’s backup. If this was an entirely new kind of worm, we were screwed.

  The worm turned its big head to look at me. I recognized the glasses dangling from its mouth.

  No way...The smile of my dirty-minded best friend who was always beside me jabbering about anime crossed my mind.

  It felt like the world was being dyed the color of blood. But I managed to hang on to my reason by a thread.Don’t go berserk. You’ll destroy another whole district. You don’t need that kind of pain a third time in your life.

  But the bad news didn’t stop there. The DB check turned up nothing. In other words, this worm was a new variety—a joker.

  I clicked my tongue in my head and fired. Just kept pulling the trigger. All I could do was keep pumping bullets into the thing until the Avastgun and the app did enough random inspections to refine the vaccine. Fire, fire, fire until I killed the thing.

  The other students finally grasped what was going on and fled screaming.Your reaction time is garbage! Stick your tails between your legs and run while I keep it busy!

  The worm spat multiple spear-like tentacles at me. This was an attack pattern I’d never seen. Leaping between floor and desk, I evaded while shooting the thing for all I was worth, collecting data.

  All the app came up with was a log of errors. Was it a completely new type that bucked all our assumptions? No, it couldn’t be. We destroyed the data necessary to create major mutations three years ago.But there was one other possible evolution that we missed: αDam. Maybe it—

  “S-Save me...” A frail, pitiful voice called for help. The baseball mob bastard was crawling spinelessly around under his desk.

  Tch, the hell are you doing?

  I shoved my phone into my back pocket and took Blastgun (ver. Silent Frenzy) from my back. Both of my weapons were second-generation Beretta models, but I had rooted them so I could customize them to my liking. If I made too big of a scene here, the guys from Firewall would find me, but this was no time to worry about that.

  Shooting with both guns, I jumped off a desk, dodged the tentacles by spinning in midair, and then kicked Baseball Mob’s butt to get him going.

  “Run, mob boy!”

  “Th-Thanks, Chiba!”

  I fired shot after shot, shielding the boy as he slowly crawled out from under the desk. But I didn’t have the vaccine yet. The battery warning light started flashing.

  Hey, whoa. I pulled out all the stops, but I’m gonna be the one to cry uncle and get eaten by this janky bastard? You call that a punchline?

  Not today.I grabbed the spare battery I had hidden up in the broken ceiling light I kicked earlier and—

  A silver blade ran straight down the middle of the worm. The hulking black thing stopped moving and its body split neatly in half, the data inside spilling out.

  Standing atop the collapsed body was a girl wearing the uniform of my school. In her right hand she held a katana replica. The flame and five-pointed star motif on the handle was proof it was official Firewall issue.

  Her short skirt fluttered as she hopped down. Then she—Haru Koyama—drew the latest Avastgun model and shot the puddle of tar-like remains on the floor.

  No, they weren’t remains. A mosaic pattern rippled through them, and they disappeared along with the body’s operation response.

  So that was the actual body? In other words, this was the newest variety of Trojan. What I had been attacking, thinking it was the body, was only an external shell for the data body capable of physical attacks. Yeah, yeah, sorry for being so uninformed. I mean, what could I do? That stupid thing.

  The cleansed data for this world was there. In other words, Sekiguchi and the others who had been eaten were restored. If we left them alone, they would wake up eventually. I’m not the kind of jerk who would write the story so they stayed dead.

  I lowered my guns, but Haru Koyama thrust the point of her katana toward my eyes.

  “Now then. You’re some kind of white hat hacker? But the gear and app you’re using are totally illegal. Sorry, but it’s our job to crack down on your type, too.” Then she added in exasperation, “I never expected there to be a pesky high-school hacker in my own class.”

&n
bsp; I was likewise stunned to find a “pro” in the same class as me. And how tacky to disguise herself as a high-school student.

  “Come with me. We’ll talk at HQ.”

  “Doesn’t sound like you want to talk.”

  “That’ll depend on your attitude.”

  Then I decline your invitation.

  With all the data invasions from the other world, everyone seemed to think that regulating data completely was “the safest” thing to do, so of course state employees wouldn’t understand why rogue hackers like me were necessary.

  Well, I haven’t thought up why that is either, but anyhow.

  “Sorry, but I’m blowing this joint. Tell the teacher I left early.”

  “Huh? What kind of bullshit—?!”

  I opened an app and released one of my stock of small worms. I generated it in a sticker that I posted to our class’s chat group—a farewell.

  “What?” Haru Koyama must have had her phone in the pocket of her skirt. Poor thing. That worm’s favorite food is synthetic fiber. “Wait a—ugh! What the hell?!”

  With a “Sorry!” to Haru Koyama, whose bright red underwear was revealed for all to see, I jumped out the window.

  A jeep skidded to a stop below. At the wheel was my partner, the cracker babe “Invader Mira,” dressed as usual in her incomprehensible style—goth loli with goggles.

  “Wait! I’ll never forgive you, Seiji Chiba! Don’t you forget it!”

  Sheesh.Playing around as a high-schooler was fun, but I guess all good things come to an end—

  And that’s when the bell rang.

  Immediately the classroom erupted in noise. I put my head down on my desk and reviewed the story of my interrupted fantasy.

  Hmm, maybe her underwear should be white. She may not look it, but she is a virgin.

  {T minus 02:11 to the truck accident}

  “Sekiguchi and Chiba are in charge of shopping today. I’m coming with, so I’m counting on you guys.”

  Baseball Mob started talking to me so suddenly, I panicked and smiled. I guess he took it as a yes.Well, whatever.

 
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