After my rendezvous with Torii Sensei, I head to the student council room to pick up Mio before she takes up too much of their time.
A tall girl opens the door. Her dark-brown hair is pulled tight into a ponytail to one side of her head. Sharp and weary eyes glare down at me.
Taiyo Hitomi, the student council president, leans against the doorway with bags under her eyes and a frown on her face. Behind her, Mio's got her legs kicked up on the table chatting up the other members.
She glances up and down my new appearance, but doesn't display the same interest as everyone else.
"Ah, Saeko. Please get your cousin out of the student council room." Hitomi says curtly.
"I'm so sorry! I hope she wasn't too distracting…"
Her head tilts to one side, glancing up towards the ceiling. "Mio's set us back three days' worth of work."
"Y-You know, some could say that's a talent." I offer, trying to make light of the situation.
"I don't want to be rude, but we have a lot of work to do. Such as, and not limited to, planning Sports Day that's coming up next weekend and our third year's class trip to Okinawa."
It's getting to be around that time of the year. Tsukiji High holds Sports Day before summer really starts rolling in.
For us third years, our most anticipated trip is either held sometime during summer or the winter. Whichever season it is decided upon determines what sort of trip it is. Last year's seniors had theirs in December, so they took a trip to Sapporo and spent three days at a famous hot spring resort.
Since Hitomi mentioned Okinawa, that must mean our trip is planned for summer. Which means—
"We're going to Okinawa Island?!" I exclaim.
Hitomi flinches. "That's supposed to be a secret— though, it won't be for long since Mio had a hand in deciding that."
"Did she really?"
"Kahaha! You bet I did. I soooo can't wait to hit the beaches!" Mio yells from inside.
"We ain't got time to play around in 'ere. Ya got yer wish, now can ya get yer fuckin' ass outta the room already?" Hitomi snarls back, letting her true accent come to the surface laced with profanity.
My mouth hangs open seeing our usually expressionless student council president lose her shit with Mio. Sure enough, Mio doesn't resist and skips out of the room to join me.
"You're too stressed, Prez. We should hang out sometime, let me take a load off your shoulders." Mio winks.
"Well, you've got my number if you want to hit me up."
Hitomi and Mio do a short complex handshake as though they've done it a hundred times before.
Then slams the door on us.
"I can't tell if you guys are friends or enemies." I say flabbergasted. "I can't believe you made a decision for them. Don't tell me you charmed them?"
"Whaddya take me for? I don't charm people left and right to get what I want. Besides, it was more like they couldn't make a decision. I just called them out for being indecisive."
"Huh— ah. Speaking of indecisiveness, what are we doing about the queen succubus?"
Our plans were derailed over the weekend. We haven't made any progress towards stopping her objective. I fear the longer we wait, the closer she is.
Yet, for some reason, as the days go by I'm beginning to feel less worried about this danger.
"I agree with Hana that the bitch is hidden in the city. The fact that we haven't seen her yet probably means she's concealing her aura."
Huh. So Mio does think that, and she also knows greater succubi can hide their presence.
"Erm, is hiding your aura something we can do?" I ask, testing the depths of her knowledge.
Mio waves it off. "Nope. That's beyond our capabilities. Only greater succubi can do that."
Mio knows. Torii Sensei was right. Mio hiding the fact that I'm a greater succubus from me. What is she hoping for by keeping me in the dark?
"On the topic of the queen succubus, Yumi and Hana's got a lock on another one of their establishments." Mio suddenly reveals.
"Like a love hotel that Hana used to work?"
"Yep. We're gonna check it out tonight, you in?"
"Can't exactly back out. I'm a succubus now." I say confidently.
When we get to the clubroom, I'm immediately surrounded by the kendo members who are seeing me for the first time. They react the same way as my class did.
"Quit bothering your manager and get back to practice." Gouda scolds the team back to training.
The third years are the most focused on practice, since most of them will be contending in Hyogo. Our second and first years are taking it easy, putting in only a minimal effort. Usually Coach's presence would be enough to kick them into gear, but he doesn't seem to be around.
"Where's Coach?" I ask Gouda.
"He went home. Said he's got a major headache or something."
That's right. I did do that to him.
"Not that it matters, right? We owe most of our success to you anyway." Gouda says with a big grin.
"You're giving me too much credit! You guys are the ones who got yourselves to Hyogo."
"We're thinking about putting you on the team whether Coach likes it or not. What do you say? Wanna start practicing with us?"
My heart jumps with joy hearing that, but I know I can't accept it. Even though it's the captain of the team himself offering, my decision can only be to turn him down.
"It means a lot, but I'm declining— not because I don't want it! But right now, my job is to see you guys to victory at Hyogo." I tell him with every ounce of resolve I can muster.
"We won't disappoint you then. And also…" Gouda holds a fist up. I ball up mine to bump it. "I hope you remember what I said."
He winks and then goes back to join the team.
Mio sneaks up behind me and says, "You two are so gonna fuck again."
"I hate that you're always ruining the moment… More importantly, why is she here?!" I point to Yumi who had apparently been here since before we arrived.
No one except Mio and I notice her, which means she's currently invisible. If she weren't, there's no way the guys could control themselves.
"Ara, ara. I was getting lonely, so I thought I'd drop by to see my two favorite succubi!" Yumi hops to her feet and hugs me, burying my face into her chest.
I try not to struggle too much in her arms so as to avoid drawing suspicion to us. This is the second time being hugged by her. I don't know what it is, but her soft body and calming scent has me laying on a cloud.
"We're going to meet up with Hana to raid one of the queen's compounds. I called Yumi here first." Mio explains. She then grabs me and pulls me away from Yumi's embrace. "You got plenty of fish in your paws, cougar."
"Oh? But we used to share everything together, even our little toys. Ufufu~" Yumi pulls me back.
"Nu uh. Not this time. Saeko's mine."
Normally my heart would skip a beat from that, but—
The two of them are tugging at me like I'm a chew toy to a pair of mangy dogs. Eventually Mio wins out, and I'm stuck being cradled in her arms while she's got a pout on her face. The worst part of this is that some of the members are ogling us with lecherous eyes.
"Mio, can you let go already?"
"I feel like I made you angry somehow."
"Not angry." She says, ending the conversation right then and there.
And yet, contrary to her words, her arms clutch tighter around me.
Club practice ends by five in the afternoon. I send Hatsumi a text telling her I'll be helping the student council until late. I just need to remember to pick up milk for her on the way home.
Once we cast our invisibility spell, Mio extends a hand to me. It takes me a second to realize why.
"I have a surprise for you." I leap into the air on my own and start flying circles around them. "I can fly now!"
Mio tackles me midair and we both barrel through the courtyard. "Look at the little nugget. When did you learn to fly?"
Can't exactly say Torii Sensei taught me.
"Didn't want to be deadweight like last time, so I kinda practiced in secret." I answer somewhat honestly.
Mio glances sideways and says, "Mmm, is that so?"
Did she… believe me?
Yumi comes up behind me and pushes me towards the sky, then takes the lead as we fly into Tsukiji City. The harbourside town quickly comes into view, its neon lights are a beacon despite the summer rays we're still getting in the evening.
We land on the western side of town where the district is mostly casinos, cabaret clubs, and love hotels.
Even though I know how to fly now, landing is another lesson. Yumi drops just below me to help steady my landing. Mio doesn't so much as glance my way, and continues down the street looking for Hana.
"Hiiiyyyoooo!" Hana waves enthusiastically from an alleyway. She's dressed casual, with a skirt and pink hoodie to match her hair.
"So I's tracked one o' 'em thick succs you's 'scribed last time— mrph!"
Mio pinches Hana's lips together to silence her strange accent.
"Why are you talking like that?" I ask as we approach her.
"Uwweelll, I've been watching a lot of hard boiled detective films! I wanna do something like a detective porno next time. Waddya think of, 'The Genderbent Succubus and the Lost Dildo?"
"That whole situation sounds like a snide at what happened to me today..."
"Uwahaha! You're full inspiration, and some other stuff!"
"Tsk, tsk. Hana, what did I say about playing around before a mission?" Yumi says, admonishingly.
Hana gestures to the building behind her. "This right here's a hostess club. The queen's girls turned this place into another den. Bunch of salarymen and high rollers, seen some politicians going in and out, too."
I saw the name as we were flying in— Coliseum. An awkward name for a hostess club. This place isn't unfamiliar to me, either. My parents deal in reorganizing properties to breathe life back into commercial businesses. This place was one of them, and according to my mother it was a casino going under before its restructuring.
They did a lot of work in Tsukiji before finally moving overseas. If I remember correctly, one of the school faculty owns this place. I distinctly remember my parents talking about it, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
The establishment aside, the auras of almost two dozen succubi tickle at my own. There's also another, much denser aura… almost on par with Torii Sensei.
There's a greater succubus in there?
Mio and the others don't seem to know. Then the succubus must be hiding her aura.
Every fiber in my body is telling me we should leave. If I knew how to fight, we might be on a level playing field.
What's the move? If I tell them there's a greater succubus inside, Mio will definitely know I'm aware of my status. But if I don't… we're going to get slaughtered.
"So what's the plan? We busting in guns blazing?" Mio asks, slamming her fists together.
"Wait, maybe this isn't such a good idea. There are people inside that might get hurt."
Hana shrugs. "Nothing but a good ol 'enthrallment spell to send 'em home will fix that."
"We'll make sure no one gets hurt." Yumi says, patting my head.
"Saeko and I'll go in from the front. You two in through the back to cut off their escape." Mio instructs the other girls.
They nod and slip in through the back door. Mio pulls me back to the front of the club. It's dark inside, the dim lights barely illuminating anything. The windows are probably tinted to prevent any peepers.
"M-Mio, I'm still not sure about this!"
Her hand tightens around mine. "I get you're scared, but now's not that time to be a chicken. I'm right here with you, alright?"
Without giving me a chance to respond, she pulls us through the doors. Her other hand is already ignited and prepared to throw a fireball.
Gentle club music and the smell of alcohol fill our senses as we enter.
What greets us on the other side aren't aggressive succubi, but a dozen women in expensive dresses forming a pathway towards the interior of the club. All of them smile, flashing their pearly white fangs.
"Welcome to the Coliseum! We hope your stay is a pleasurable experience."
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