Magical girls are former humans, but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding their origin.
In the final stages of the Human Yield which started 13 years ago, a very small minority of girls between the age of 10 and 16 gained the power to become magical girls. That amount has also been gradually increasing. Anything beyond that is unknown.
Magical girls do not believe that humans—who are below them on the food chain—are even remotely equal to them. It is said the reason they have no qualms with eating humans is because they have lost their memories of being human, but even if one assumes that is true, not much would change. The strong have no consideration for the weak.
“White Noisette is in your class.”
Takeya did not believe that such a higher-level being like a magical girl would lower herself to doing such irritating things with humans, but at present, Reki has her ring.
To be honest, I’m not sure whether Reki is an enemy or an ally. But I can’t think of a reason he would tell me a lie like that.
Is he working with White Noisette to corner the other students? No, if that was the case, White Noisette could massacre all the students whenever she felt like it by simply returning to her original form.
If I don’t believe him, all I’ll be able to do is twiddle my thumbs while Reika-san gets eaten.
Thus, Takeya prepared himself.
What he was about to do was not something that Reki had pushed on him. It was his own idea from the very beginning. It was a plan he would put into action with his own preparations, under his own responsibility.
Takyea looked around the old classroom from the teacher’s podium.
Since there are no seats or desks, the 30 students of Class 18 live their lives sitting bunched together on the old, creaking floor, the squeaking at times evocative of screaming. When it comes time to sleep, they just roll futons out on the floor and sleep there.
After cohabiting for so long, the girls gave up and started changing, unabashedly, in front of the boys. Aside from the younger ones like the 12 year old Koko, the boys are quite tempted to sneak peeks while the girls are changing, at Youko especially. Takeya has warned her about it over and over, but she never seems to listen.
Incidentally, Lilly never changes outside the private stalls in the toilet.
That’s how casual they were around each other.
If a student were to be suddenly overcome with unease and break down in tears, the rest of the students would console them together. If a student were to die, the class would make a grave and bury them together.
Living day to day, not knowing when you will be eaten. Going through that alone is too cruel. The classmates naturally banded together and lived a lifestyle of mutual cooperation.
These people share a deep, deep bond of friendship—no, in fact, they are family.
But we need to accept. We need to understand.
Lurking within that tight-knit class was a magical girl, licking her lips and pondering her next meal.
No matter how different from other magical girls White Noisette may be, her fundamental values are the same as the rest.
That was the conclusion that Takeya reached, having lost his parents, siblings, friends and acquaintances to magical girls. Even now White Noisette continues to kill his friends as “sacrifices”.
Takeya slammed the podium and the class’ attention turned to him.
“I think I’m going to confine everyone here from now on.”
Those words were brimming with anger.
How did White Noisette feel watching the class encourage each other? How did she feel watching the class suffer and cry together?
She must be enjoying herself. Takeya was unable to hide his anger at that thought.
He continued speaking to the students, who had had since started murmuring at the sound of the rather unpleasant word, “confinement.”
“I’ll just cut to the chase. White Noisette is here among us, right now. The student council president told me.”
The class fell silent. That is how large the student council president’s presence is to them.
“Now that we know this, we cannot continue as we have before. Everyone probably thought that this lifestyle of being raised as food wasn’t all bad, that there were plenty of good things, that being together for all this time, so near the abyss of death had turned us into a family.”
He continued speaking in a strong tone.
“But our lifestyle of holding hands and cuddling up to each other is over.”
Rage welled visibly in Takeya’s eyes, but he had no idea who he should aim that rage towards. He just directed it to the empty void at the end of the room.
“We need to suspect. Suspect that the person next to you could be a magical girl. By virtue of a single magical girl being here, what we have built up has been tarnished. Our bonds have been broken.”
Takeya clenched his fists.
“We are no longer family.”
Takeya uttered the horrible truth.
“We are enemies, each and every person must doubt the other.”
As one might expect, a commotion arose amongst the class, who up until now, had been effectively silent. They turned towards Takeya and…
“W-wait! Enemies…? Isn’t that a bit too much?”
“White Noisette is here? Is this a joke?”
“No way! Did the student council president actually say that stuff?”
“Even if he did, there must be some kind of mistake…”
That was the reaction Takeya had expected. There is no way they would believe something like that so quickly. He understood that, but decided to press on anyway.
“Now is our only chance. The president has White Noisette’s magical ring, so she can’t transform. If nobody leaves this class, she can’t return to her original form. We don’t know who she is, so we can’t let everyone leave. Everyone is a suspect, so I will confine everyone.”
Takeya opened his hand and shouted.
“We will starve White Noisette to death!”
The class naturally began getting displeased with Takeya, who had thus far been having quite a one-sided conversation.
Their displeasure was about to bubble up into an angry roar when something flew in into the room. It was Usakoro.
Oh, he finally came? I had been thinking he would definitely show up if I started going on about this stuff.
Under normal circumstances, Takeya would have hated Usakoro, but in this particular instance he had been eagerly anticipating his arrival.
Usakoro landed on the board’s chalk tray and started stamping his feet with a patter-patter sound.
“Takeya-kun! You’re not listening. Is it true? That you’re trying to lock up White Noisette?”
“Yeah, it’s true.”
“Stop! If you do that! Everyone will be killed!”
Usakoro was obviously flustered. He was going out of his mind.
“Ooooh… What should I do? I have no idea! No idea what to do at a time like this!”
“You should ask White Noisette.”
Usakoro didn’t move. Or rather, he couldn’t move. Since White Noisette is in this class, he can’t take orders from her in front of everyone. It would expose her.
Takeya had elicited this reaction from Usakoro and presented the students in the class with the truth. That is why he had been so looking forward to Usakoro’s arrival. Little by little, the students finally started to understand the reality of the situation as they watched Usakoro freeze up, understanding that White Noisette was among them.
“Wait a minute, Chairman”
The one who spoke up was the oldest in the class, and the leader of the girls, the 18 year-old Karasu Umi.
For the record, Takeya isn’t some kind of class representative or anything. Class 18 doesn’t even have any. A few people just call him Chairman because he’s always helping organize things.
“I understand why you’re confining us, but isn’t Usakoro right? Aren’t we just going to make White Noisette angry and get ourselves killed? Just because she can’t transform, doesn’t mean there’s nothing she can do.”
Umi may not have intended it, but it sounded like she was trying to corner Takeya since she always sounds so overbearing.
“Well, I can’t definitively state that it won’t happen.”
Takeya gave a short answer, as if it were already obvious.
“Can I talk as well?”
In a rare move, the usually meek Ari Miyuki cut Umi off and began speaking.
“Magical girls eat human souls, right? So… We can’t really starve her. Even if we lock her up, all she has to do is eat us. And even if she is in human form, she should still be able to eat us, no?”
“White Noisette doesn’t want to reveal herself. We can infer that from how she has lived among us so far. There’s no way she can secretly eat someone in front of this many people.”
“But if it gets to a point where she’s going to starve, she might stop caring.”
“That’s true. We may very well end up being eaten.”
Miyuki’s face went pale at Takeya’s frank statement.
“Or her allies might notice that something has gone wrong and slaughter everyone here.”
Takeya said something that would fan the flames of unease in Miyuki and the rest of the class, but nobody took issue, even to such remarks. His face alone told the class everything they needed to know. He was resolute.
“I would love it if there was a sure-fire way of stopping this without losing anyone, but will there be another chance after this? Will there be another chance besides preventing White Noisette’s transformation here?”
Takeya bit his lips.
“No. That I can state without a doubt. And that’s dangerous. If we fail, we will probably be slaughtered. We won’t get a second chance to change our fates. So…”
Takeya lowered his head.
The class fell silent.
There were no complaints. That said, there was no thunderous applause either. It would be unreasonable to expect everyone to be ready to fight immediately.
Takeya raised his head.
He took out a small cardboard box and slips of paper and showed them to the class.
“We will vote! I want you all to write down if we should confine ourselves here, yes or no, and put it in this box. Don’t worry, it’s anonymous. The majority will decide what we do.”
There were no objections.
“Lilly, will you help me hand out the ballots?”
Lilly stood up in silence and began distributing pieces of paper to everyone.
In reality, Takeya fully intended to confine everyone by force if necessary. However, this struggle will definitely be long-term.
Being stuck in this suffocating room, not knowing when they will be able to leave, not knowing when White Noisette will get sick of it all and massacre everyone. Such circumstances will be incredibly stressful for the class.
Someone would probably break and make a run for it, unable to handle being forced through this by someone else. Thus, the plan would be ruined.
Takeya prepared for the worst. If a lot of people were against the plan it would become impossible to carry out. Takeya would have no choice but to give up.
Takeya had returned to the teacher’s podium after finishing handing out the ballots when Mitsuishi Youko spoke up.
“I’m voting no. I… No, not just me. Everyone understands. It’s impossible to beat a magical girl. If we go through with this plan we’ll just die a painful death. You know that as well, deep down, no?”
Takeya did not answer.
“So I choose to maintain the status quo. I want to live a peaceful life day to day. I’ve always been like that, that’s why I joined the student council and am following White Noisette’s guidance. Hey, Zan, Renki, you guys became student council members for the same sort of reasons, right?”
The two people she named gave a slight bow.
“Besides, it’s a bit mean to say, but the reason you suddenly want to kill White Noisette is because Ijuiin Reika from Class 1 was chosen as the next sacrifice isn’t it? You’re just
panicking because you don’t want her to die, no? Aren’t you just getting the rest of the class involved in your love? Can you deny that?.”
“I can’t. If the next sacrifice wasn’t Reika, I might be doing nothing at the moment.”
“But that was just one of my impetuses. I always intended to fight White Noisette one day.”
That is true. Even if she was not chosen this time, one day Reika’s or Takeya’s time would come. He needed something to push him to action, but he was always knew he would end up fighting White Noisette.
The next to speak was Zan.
“I’m getting sick of telling you this over and over and having you never listen, but I’m going to tell you again. There are zero cases of a human defeating a magical girl. Not even back when there were actual, functional armies. Despite that, you think you can just stroll your way into killing one?”
“Zan, your opinion is basically the same as Youko’s?”
Takeya looked back at Lilly, who had finished handing out ballots and was sitting where she was before.
Lilly had been staring intently at Takeya ever since he got on the platform, listening to what he was saying. She was helping was because she already understood what he was about to say.
Half of the students in Sorakara Farm have, much like Zan and Youko, come to terms with the reality that they are unable to defeat a magical girl and live calm lives.
Lilly is like that as well. Takeya thought that this way of thinking was correct, he thought that being able to think like that was strength. But he was also aware…
“Zan, it’s impossible to just live peacefully until you die.”
…of the limits of that way of thinking.
“The only reason we can think like that in the first place is because White Noisette is raising us here, no?”
“What are you trying to say?”
“We are being forcibly confined here by White Noisette. Controlled and raised as food. She holds the power of life and death over us. It is intensely humiliating. But, cynical as it is, it could be said that we are stable, and that we go without being attacked by other magical girls thanks to being kept by White Noisette. Just like cattle are protected from their natural predators and sicknesses by humans, no?”
“What I mean is, if we turn a blind eye to the occasional sacrifice and accept this humiliation we can, in a way, live a peaceful daily life.”
“That… May be true.”
“But, do you think a temperamental magical girl, one like White Noisette, will keep this up forever?”
“From the beginning, we have been unable to understand why she would do this kind of thing. We know nothing about her. Why does she eat only one person a week? Why does she keep us separated from the adults? Could she gorge herself and eat a bunch of us on a whim? Why did she give the student council president her magical ring and hide amongst the class? Why do you place so much trust in a magical girl who thinks of us as nothing more than food, even though you know absolutely nothing about her?”
“It’s true. There is no way this will continue forever. She might put an end to it any day now. We will return to how it was before, we will return to the real world, to the world of sleepless nights and not knowing when we will be attacked. To the world of our close ones dying constantly. To a world where we are used to screams, familiar with blood, desensitized to the smell of burning flesh, and accustomed to utter hopelessness. Am I right?”
“Do you think we can happily live through that world? No way.”
Zan was lost for words.
Takeya had always understood this, but he never said it because there are people here who would be unable to cope if they did not turn their eyes away. For some people, these lies are their only salvation.
But Takeya had already decided to fight.
“Our happy daily life here is nothing but an illusion maintained by White Noisette’s magic.”
He was just stating the obvious. It is clear just by looking at the ridiculous fairly-tale white sky over this place.
Koko, the youngest in the class, started crying.
Usually someone would comfort her with kind words, but that isn’t possible anymore.
“There is no precedent for humans like us winning against a magical girl. We’ve lost every time. But we need to win. Apart from that, what hope do we have? Tell me that, Zan.”
Zan bit his lips and remained silent. The entire room fell silent.
Usakoro, hopping up and down incessantly, spoke out.
“Noir won’t betray you!”
His sweet, selfish words could no longer trick anyone.
“That’s enough, Usakoro. We’re already sick of this.”
Takeya clenched his fist.
“We are no longer cattle.”
He stared at his classmates and declared.
“We are humans!”
His eyes watered as he said it.
Takeya didn’t want to accept it. He didn’t want to accept a future with a forecast of suffering and death. Even though this life is nothing more than an illusion, there were a lot of good parts.
So why does he have to put an end to it? He wants to laugh and enjoy life with Lilly and the rest until he dies, but that is no longer possible.
He will probably die being tormented by regret and pain. For as long as he lives, he will bear the guilt for forcing everyone to fight. When anyone dies, it will be entirely his fault.
It is natural that they would blame him, and inevitable that they would hate him.
Takeya bore the weight of being responsible for everyone’s lives, a weight far too heavy for one alone to bear.
Please, someone… Take my place…
But nobody did. Nobody helped him. The only thing that happened was the immense pressure placed upon him welled up and pushed itself to the front of his thoughts.
He will fight. He will risk his life. He will risk not only his life, but the lives of the entire class.
“Now, let’s kill her!”
Takeya had no idea how much his words resonated with the rest of the class, but in the vote that followed, most of them voted “Yes”.