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Adolescent Adam - Volume 4 - Chapter 9

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Adolescent Adam 4: Chapter 9 - That Which is Visible Out the Window

’’Are your burns okay?’’
’’I'm fine. I'm used to getting hurt when Ange gets careless.’’
Rapha's entire body was wrapped in bandages, but he made sure to smile gently while greeting Micha.
They were in the area the angels defended, which was the closest place to what was known as the ’’sky’’ in the human world. They were in heaven. They walked to the brightest area in order to give a report together.
They stood side by side in front of their boss who wore pure white wings like a cocoon.
’’We are ready for our report.’’
The mission involving the activation of Metatron had been a failure. As the leader of that mission, Rapha reported on the current states of FeTUS, the human world, Fujita Mutsuki, and Ange.
Their non-humanoid boss had no face for an expression, but they could tell he was displeased.
The mission had been a failure and FeTUS, the greatest source of fear for the angels, still existed.
But after Rapha completed his report, someone else spoke up before their boss could.
’’And based on those results, I have a suggestion,’’ cut in Micha. ’’Ibekusa Machina, one of the FeTUS Witches, defeated a demon that - while low-level - we had assumed humans had no means of resisting. And even if some irregular factors were involved, Satowa Lucia displayed a power that even a Seraph like me had trouble opposing. For those reasons, the stalemate between angels, man, and demons is beginning to fall apart.’’
’’Mh...’’
’’We had been at the bottom of the three sides, but I believe we did an excellent job of proving we are a threat to FeTUS. If our purpose is to deter any mutual interference, doing great damage and keeping Metatron alive should be very useful.’’
She rattled off the argument she had come up with in advance.
’’Thus, I believe it would be best to leave Metatron...leave Ange on earth as Fujita Mutsuki-kun's bodyguard.’’
’’Hm. You have a point.’’
The leader of heaven opened his bent wings and revealed the glowing body within.
The light was wrapped in beautiful radiant wings, but it lacked the violent glow of life seen in Ange after transforming into Metatron. He seemed as fleeting as a firefly's light.
He had no physical body. This was a mental form with no life.
He had nothing that could be called a will of his own. He simply enforced the laws of heaven and would listen to his subordinate's suggestions to do so.
’’Very well. Continue as is.’’
’’Okay.’’
’’Understood.’’
After waiting for their answer, he vanished higher into the sky.
Once he was gone, Micha and Rapha breathed a sigh of relief.
’’It somehow worked out. Fujita Mutsuki-kun can be indecisive, but he is driven. We can rely on him.’’
’’Say that to him. He doesn't seem to like you very much.’’
’’Now Ange can rest for a while. This was a difficult series of events, but I'm glad everything is headed in a better direction now.’’

’’Sigh... You're willing to die with her if she has to blow herself up and you're willing to use the legendary power of Adam to save her. You're one hell of a siscon.’’
’’Heh heh. How could I not be with such a cute little sister? And...’’
Rapha gave his usual inscrutable smile, narrowed his eyes, and stared at Micha.
’’When an adult does something, it has more than one meaning, right?’’
’’...’’
Micha responded with a thin smile of her own.
Two sets of damp laughter rang through the unsullied pure white of the heavenly territory.
Suddenly, Rapha frowned.
’’By the way, does that Mutsuki boy really not like me?’’
’’You hadn't noticed?’’
’’Exposure to Metatron at such close range has proved useful.’’
Miss A, aka Alice, removed pins from Machina's body as the girl lay on a bed.
’’The angel's flames purified all of the lower demon's genetic alterations. None of the fluid it pumped into you remains.’’
’’I see.’’
A total of eighty golden pins were lined up along Machina's naked body. They were stabbed quite deep, but no blood came out and no hole remained when they were removed.
They were in the never-before-used Second Lab since the First Lab had been destroyed, but it was equipped well enough for the experiment they wished to run.
The small room contained a bed, a chair, and a woman's lower stomach soaked in formaldehyde.
That was enough for FeTUS's most important research.
’’A womb altered by a demon. Dr. Strangelove would probably want this.’’
Red flesh - a human organ - was dropped into the bottle of formaldehyde containing a new lower stomach. After it was contained in the center of the empty female body, the bottle was carefully closed.
Machina got up. Her stomach had been sewn shut with golden thread just below her navel and the surrounding area had been wiped clean of blood with the rag next to her. After removing the thread, no mark remained.
Miss Alice frowned as the girl calmly handled her own surgery.
’’Wasn't it painful to be attacked by a demon and...treated so roughly?’’
’’It is not a problem. I discovered a means of resisting demons, so we should say I was fortunate.’’
’’Not what I meant.’’ Alice spoke a little loudly and Machina looked up. ’’It was painful, wasn't it?’’
’’...’’
Machina was always emotionless, but when she saw Alice frowning sadly, she looked down a little.
’’...It is not a problem.’’
Even so, she did not complain.
’’I am Fujita-k-...Adam's tool. As long as that is certain, nothing is painful.’’
’’I see.’’
’’Ahh, ahh.’’
The school had lost its clock tower. The library building that had faced the tower had an arched roof thanks to its planetarium.
’’They're getting ahead of me.’’
Lucia crouched at the peak of the arch despite the wind and rain. He tugged at his shirt to peek at his own chest as he sighed quietly.
’’Do I have to be a girl?’’
He peeked at his flat boy's chest.
And he sighed again.
’’...Oh.’’
He closed his eyes and focused his mind.
As his skin grew brown, a change came over his revealed chest. The fat which was spread out evenly across his body gathered in his chest so it bulged out.
It became a girl's chest.
’’Uuh...’’
But it only lasted a few seconds. His skin grew white again before long.
’’Sigh... It doesn't last long without Mutsuki-kun's power.’’
His proportions also returned to those of a boy.
’’That old hag is always so cruel.’’
The next day, the typhoon had passed and the skies were clear and sunny for the closing ceremony.
The ceremony began at half past nine, so they had to be at school at half past eight just like normal.
’’Sigh...’’

At 8:26, Ange arrived in the classroom a little later than usual and collapsed into her own seat.
’’Morning, Mutsuki, Jiyuuni.’’
’’Good morning, Ange-chan. ...What's the matter?’’
Sakae and Saya immediately walked over and found the girl's exhaustion odd since they had just had a day off.
Mutsuki only smiled bitterly to avoid the subject. He could not exactly say the two of them had been ’’fooling around’’ for the entire day off except for the little sleep they had gotten.
’’You smell like Mutsuki-kun.’’
Lucia caught on almost immediately, though.
’’What the hell? It took months before he would do me, but you pulled it off in just one night? Take this. And this.’’
Noticing her weakness, he dug his elbow into her.
’’Shut up! I'll burn you to death!’’
’’Oh, how scary! Mutsuki-ku~n, this girl's scary~’’
’’Ah ha ha. She seems to be pretty sore today, so leave her alone.’’

Mutsuki let the demon embrace him in mock fear.
Both arms and legs, her back muscles, her belly muscles, the base of her legs, her groin muscles, and the front and back holes. Her muscles and more were apparently aching or throbbing, so Ange was in an especially bad mood today.
’’I'm not sure I get it. Oh, is this what they call 'that time of the mo-...gfh!’’
Sakae made an unnecessary comment and was quickly purged by a backhand blow from Saya.
’’Are you okay, Ange-chan? If your stomach hurts, I know a medicine that works pretty well.’’
’’Thanks, but leave me alone.’’
’’The second day? It must be pretty bad.’’
But Saya's unnecessary comment only irritated Ange further.
She was truly in a bad mood now, so she turned to look out the window. Concerned Saya and teasing Lucia both had to give up.
’’Ange-chan sure is unlucky if she's feeling bad on the most exciting day of the year.’’
Mutsuki suddenly realized that Saya, Sakae, and the rest of the class were cheerful.
’’Yeah. It is the closing ceremony, after all.’’

’’Yes, yes♪ And you know what that means starts tomorrow, right?’’
’’Summer breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!’’
’’Yes, yes, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!’’
Sakae shouted and Saya hopped up and down.
No one in the classroom seemed bothered by all the noise.
Summer break began the following day, so they all felt in the mood to shout.
’’Ohhhh! Let's party until we drop, Mutsuki! We need to get together to plan it out, but let's go to the mountains! Let's go camping in the mountains! Or the beach! Either one's fine! I don't care where, but let's go enjoy our summerrrrrr!’’
’’Y-yeah. Ow, ow.’’
Shouting seemed to have filled Sakae with even more excitement because he began slapping Mutsuki's back.
’’Camping? That sounds like fun. Count me in♪’’
Saya began slapping Sakae's back.
’’What? You're coming? I guess one of the tents will have to be extra-large.’’
’’Why?’’
’’Because you're several sizes larger than the average- ow, ow, ow, ow!! Don't pinch me like that!’’
Their exchange was par for the course and Lucia looked up while happily rubbing his face against Mutsuki's chest.
’’Camping is where you sleep outside, right? Then I'm going too♪ Eh heh heh. I get to sleep with Mutsuki-kun❤’’
’’Y-yeah.’’
Mutsuki had a feeling he meant more than just ’’sleep’’. And then...
’’...’’
’’Oh, good morning, Ibekusa-san.’’
’’...Good morning.’’
At half past eight, Machina arrived at the exact same time as always.
What would happen between her and Ange after the latter had nearly destroyed FeTUS headquarters just two days before? Mutsuki was a little nervous.
But neither of them said a thing. Machina walked silently past like always and took her seat in front of Ange.
When she noticed Mutsuki's gaze, she glanced out the window at the partially-restored clock tower. The students had been told the typhoon had destroyed just the top portion and it would soon be repaired. She glanced at her headquarters where repairs were beginning.
She had no intention of changing their position as ’’passive enemies’’.
Or rather, she did not want to make this worse if she did not have to.
And...
’’Hey, hey, Maki-nyan.’’

’’?’’
Saya embraced Machina from behind.
’’You come camping too, okay? Let's all go together.’’
Ever the optimist, Saya did not hesitate to invite the girl who seemed out of place in the class.
Machina seemed confused, but she figured it out when she saw Mutsuki's bitter smile.
’’Agreed.’’
’’Okay. I'll get you the details once we've worked them out.’’
’’Positive.’’
’’That's one more! This is looking fun♪’’
’’By the way, what is 'Maki-nyan'?’’
The girl seemed confused again, but Saya moved to the seat behind her.
’’Ange-chan, you're coming too, right?’’
’’What?’’
Saya did not even hesitate to invite the blatantly upset girl.
Ange had been listening and she hesitated a little, but...
’’Of course I'm not going on something so ridiculous. I'm not interested in making friends.’’
She glanced at Machina and glared at Lucia as she spoke.
’’Ehh? C'mooooon. You've gotta do these things while you're young!’’
’’I don't care.’’
’’We'll bring a bunch of fried chicken?’’
’’Do you think I'm a dog?’’
Ange looked away again.
Saya puffed out her cheeks and sought help, so Mutsuki gave her a bitter smile that said he would persuade her.
Either way, she was his bodyguard, so she would be going if he was.
And more importantly, Ange was showing no sign of opening up despite everything that had happened. That was just like her, but he still sighed.
’’Time for homeroom. Get to your seats.’’
Their homeroom teacher, Katsue-sensei, walked in, so Sakae and Saya returned to their seats and Lucia took his in the back.
Katsue-sensei, aka Schwarze, looked across them all and finally glared at Ange.
That girl had destroyed their headquarters and their teacher was not as forgiving as Machina.
But she made sure to do her job as teacher.
’’Today is the closing ceremony. We will move to the gym at 9:15, but I will be handing out your summer homework first. Take one and pass the rest back.’’
She calmly got to work.
She started passing out enough printouts to fill the class with depressed looks. But...
’’Oh, right. First, here's what you asked for, Fujita.’’
’’What? Oh, yeah. Thanks.’’
She waved an object toward Mutsuki.
’’What is it, what is it?’’
He took it and Lucia peered in from the seat behind him. Mutsuki held it out so the demon boy could see.
’’It's a student handbook. Mine was ruined in the rain the day before yesterday, so I ordered a new one yesterday.’’
On the way back from school and during Micha and Lucia's fight, his handbook had been soaked by the rain and its contents had grown illegible.
While everyone passed back the homework, Mutsuki quickly wrote his name, class, and attendance number in the new handbook.
That would normally be the end of it, but he had one more thing to do.
He pulled a card folder from his bag.
In it was his collection of photo booth pictures of himself with his friends. He liked to place those photo stickers of his good friends on the back of the handbook.
He started sticking them on. They ranged from nursery school to quite recently.
The very top was reserved for his favorite ones. That had only been one with Sakae until recently, but now he had another one there too.
’’...Huh?’’
He looked to that new sticker.
His fingers stopped on that photo with Ange.
They had only taken the photo two months before and he had only used one of the stickers for his previous handbook, but two of the stickers were missing.
He tilted his head, wondering if he had dropped one somewhere.
He had stored the card folder in an unlocked drawer at home, so someone could have easily walked into his room and taken it. But...
He looked to the girl sitting diagonally behind him.
’’...’’
Ange had been glancing over at him again and again, but she blushed when their eyes met.
She made the usual lopsided frown and looked out the window once more.

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