TLN: Whenever Tsugumi turns into a girl, I will be using Tsugumi [Sakura] next to the speech boxes to let you know that he is transformed. If this reads a bit strange, I’ll look into changing pronouns and stuff.
Also I was surprised when I saw what type of skills he got as that particular fighting style is very rare in web novels.
Chapter 4 – Unique Skill
—The next day, Tsugumi and Bell stood facing each other in the living room of his house. This was because Tsugumi insisted on practicing transforming first before fighting a demonic beast.
He had told Chidori in advance that he would be absent from school and asked her to inform his teacher. He felt bad for Suzune-sensei who was worried for him, but he couldn’t go to school given his current situation.
Of course, his plans after school with Yukitaka were also cancelled, but it was strange that Yukitaka accepted that so easily. On the contrary, he even offered to collect the book from the antique bookstore in Tsugumi’s place. This is what it meant to have a good friend.
—But how did Yukitaka know he hadn’t collected the book yet?
Well, he must have guessed that Tsugumi had forgotten to collect the book.
「So, what do you think?」(Bell)
「How do I say it, it’s amazing…even my voice has changed」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
With that said, Tsugumi gently touched his throat. The feeling of incongruity was amazing…he was wondering what was going on under his clothes, but judging by the feeling, everything had changed.
–That’s right, Tsugumi had transformed into a girl.
As for the her height, she was probably less than 170 centimeters. She was thin and had a slender figure overall.
…It was easy to change into this body with a simple thought. Along with surprise, he felt awe that this was clearly the work of a God, that no ordinary human could do.
Bell laughed with satisfaction when he looked at Tsugumi.
「The contract tool I gave you is a special one I made. There will be a small sense of incongruity, but it should go away in time」(Bell)
「Despite being such a small ring….the power of the God’s is really crazy」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
Contract tools were needed to transform into a magical girl. Tsugumi had received a ring with a round, green stone embedded in it. An obscure emblem was engraved on the stone. It was a design that tickled his male heart.
「So the outfit is a black skirt and a collared jacket. It’s basically similar to the outfit I always wear」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
It felt as if the men’s school uniform he always wore had turned into female style clothing. There was a danger because of how plain it looked.
However when he thought about it calmly, wearing a knee-length skirt was kind of embarrassing. It was so cold, do women really wear this type of thing?
「No, the clothes of a magical girl differ according to the imagination of the person. Other than your appearance, the only thing that hasn’t changed much is your poor imagination」(Bell)
「Then should I think about the glittery, shiny clothes magical girls usually wear?….I don’t think I can do it」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
From the so called gothic lolita clothes, to the idol-like clothes and even fancy dress like costumes. Tsugumi had thought that the clothing would be automatically chosen to best fit the user, but it seems that it’s the user who chooses instead.
「Fuun~ You’re too soft, tomorrow I’ll fix the contract tool and change your clothing. I’ll dress you up instead」(Bell)
「What do you have a complaint?」(Bell)
「No, un…..that’s okay」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
To be honest, he was afraid of the final product. He wouldn’t know how to react if was full of frills or something.
However, considering the design of the ring, he felt like the finished product would be of good quality. He decided to believe in Bell here.
Or rather, there was something more concerning than that.
「Can I look in the mirror for a moment? I’m wondering what my face looks like right now」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
Speaking of the transformation, it would be amazing if he had become an outrageously beautiful girl.
When Tsugumi said that, Bell sighed as if amazed.
「Humans always care about their faces—it’s just a piece of skin」(Bell)
「Don’t say that. Etto, where is it. Where where?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
As he looked in the mirror, he saw his reflection–
「This is, me—? I don’t seem to have changed too much?」(Tsugumi [Sakura]) (TLN: He uses Ore here, but the furigana above it is Watashi. Watashi is feminine for “I” and Ore is masculine for “I”)
Tsugumi said so and looked at Bell in dissatisfaction.
From the appearance of the girl in the reflection, straight black hair extended to her shoulder blades, her eyes were pale with a light hue. Her features were very similar to Tsugumi’s. It was as if he had a younger sister who had a similar face to him.
He considered himself someone with a level-head, so he didn’t feel too strange about becoming a woman, instead he felt disappointed.
「People will know me by my face….」(Tsugumi)
「At that time, you can pretend to be ignorant, besides no-one would normally think that a man could become a magical girl. Well, if someone says anything you can say you’re a long-lost sister」(Bell)
「Don’t say it like it’s easy. I don’t even know what the other magical girls look like and there’s lots of things I don’t know….」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
He wasn’t familiar with the magical girl industry, so he has no point of reference. However there is no problem if Bell, who is more familiar with Magical Girls than Tsugumi, says it’s ok.
But the long-lost sibling setting is really bad. It’s a known fact that Tsugumi and Chidori have no knowledge of their past, so someone with good intentions might try and put『Hagakure Sakura』and them together.
「But you can’t change your facial appearance anymore as there is no more capacity for further transformations」(Bell)
「…Then it can’t be helped. Is there no choice but to wear glasses and protect my identity like that?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
He couldn’t help but complain.
「By the way, what kind of state is『Magical Girl』? I don’t feel any different than usual?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
「Stupid. The function of strengthening a magical girl can only be done within the space between worlds. Don’t you even know that?」(Bell)
「Is that so? I’ve never heard about that?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
When Tsugumi answered like that, Bell frowned with an annoyed expression.
「…so that’s it. It’s kept secret to protect the magical girls? If a little girl can’t use her power as a magical girl, she could be easily dealt with」(Bell)
「But that would make everyday life dangerous wouldn’t it? When they sell their names, numerous people with bad intentions would be come out of the woodwork」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
「To prevent that from happening, magical girls can use two unique skills without transforming. Unless they deliberately lose, a normal person can’t beat them. The issue is organizational-level foreign agents, if you are surrounded by a group of people wielding firearms, you won’t be able to do anything」(Bell)
Foreign agents? Japan has been isolated for a long time, but a limited number of diplomatic officials are allowed to enter the country. Staying for more than a week is not permissible under law, but there’s no guarantee that abductions or other acts weren’t committed during that time.
Currently Japan is attracting attention from all around the world. The demon cores of the『Demonic Beasts』seem exactly like a miracle from God. Japan who monopolizes them, has become the target of jealousy from the other countries.
「I guess there’s no choice but to be careful then?…so what are these unique skills? Is it like a game? Where status is displayed as numeric values?」(Tsugami [Sakura])
When he asked Bell about that, he was looked at with disdain. Bell also flew above the line of sight of Tsugumi to look down on him.
「In the first place, the efficiency of the use of divine power, the permissible range and the type of technique vary depending on the person. It’s not just quantifiable information that is useful, this is why idiots are troublesome」(Bell)
Bell laughed through his nose, whilst shrugging his shoulders. Well in retrospect it was certainly a strange thing to say. It was rude to consider it a game when magical girls are fighting for their lives every day. Tsugumi decided to reflect on that.
「There is only this『Skill Sheet』Why don’t you take a look」(Bell)
With a mechanical sound, something resembling thin shining board appeared in Bell’s hands.
Tsugumi was initially afraid to receive the board, but when he did, he found that it wasn’t heavy at all and felt as if he was holding onto nothing but air.
It acted like a touch screen where you could scroll down the page, Tsugumi began to read the information on the board.
「What is it?」(Bell)
「To humans we would instinctively call this a status board」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
Tsugumi squeezed those words out in a small voice.
There was a pie chart displaying remaining divine power, as well as consumption. Skills were recorded as well as their relevant levels. There were even columns for the number of defeated monsters and frequency of battles. It was a status board by all means.
「I didn’t say there was no indication of status, I just said there was no numerical representation of your strength」(Bell)
「In the future it may be necessary for us to share opinions to ensure mutual understanding」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
Tsugumi said in a serious tone. If they weren’t on the same page, it would certainly cause problems later and it would be Tsugumi who would suffer the effects of it. No matter what, he wanted to avoid going in a bad direction.
「Etto, this skill sheet? According to it, my unique skills are—【Transfer】and【Thread】. Thread?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
He could understand transfer. It was the ability to teleport himself or other things to a place. At least, that was what was written in his skill introduction column. But what kind of effect does【Thread】have? In the skill introduction column, it only says「create and manipulate threads」
In addition to the unique skill column, there were also columns for passive skills and active skills, but they were currently filled in black. Perhaps he’ll only be able to confirm those once he’s within a barrier.
「I’m glad. That skill【Transfer】is a hit. As a result of my investigation, I discovered that there are only a few people working for the government who have that skill. From our point of view, it would help us move about unseen. Accept my praise」(Bell)
「Then what is this【Thread】skill…?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
「Dunno. I’ve heard that the first skill is always random, but the second skill comes from the person’s individual characteristics. If you don’t know, then I don’t know」(Bell)
Bell was the only thing Tsugumi could rely on right now, but he had no idea. He felt like grabbing his head, what should he do?
A skill that depends on Tsugumi’s characteristics….could he manipulate thread..? Honestly, he doesn’t remember at all.
「…..I’ve been thinking about this since a while ago, but who came up with『Unique Skills』and『Skill Sheet』? It’s easy to understand, but it somehow doesn’t feel real」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
He had thought since earlier that this system was similar to a『Game System』that young people were familiar with nowadays. From Bell’s words, he could infer that this system was available to all magical girls. Tsugumi had a hard time believing that the government would make such a playful thing.
「I don’t know the details, but it seems your Sun God Amaterasu created it as part of her hobby. The government were the ones to come up with the name though. I think it was made this way so that even people with empty heads like you could understand it. The reason why unique skills became random and dependent on inherent qualities were because people would attempt to come up with their own skill combinations, which would sometimes end up destroying them」(Bell)
「I, is that right?」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
He wanted to accept it, but it made him have a subtle feeling that he was dancing on the palm of the government.
Those who self-destructed when creating their skills must have misread their limits. There is a time during puberty when all kids think like that.
He felt that he was lucky to some extent to have become a magical girl after the current system was implemented.
Tsugumi dropped his shoulders and sighed.
「—I wonder if I’ll be able to survive in the future」(Tsugumi [Sakura])
It was a terribly depressing feeling.