Akiyama Yuuta thought himself to be a pretty normal guy. He was in a high school, he used to be in the school baseball team, he hated his classes.
... Scratch that. Akiyama Yuuta was currently anything but normal. He was a high school aged boy who was stuck in some world after he died, trudging his way through a forest outside his school in the afterlife after having joined up a resistance army against the current student council president.
It all makes sense in context... was the best he could tell himself.
He found himself stopping at the bottom of a large, strong looking tree near the border of the forest. "This is the one," he said to himself. Walking around to the back of the tree he found exactly what he was looking for: A ladder, camouflaged into the wood and leaves, leading up to a small outpost at the top.
Yuuta climbed up the ladder. As he reached the top, however, he found nobody in the outpost. There was only a pair of binoculars, a radio, a few dirty magazines (probably for boys that got bored on duty) and a long, black, open case.
"That's odd..." he commented. "There's supposed to be someone on guard right n..."
Suddenly he saw a movement, nearly causing him to fall down the ladder. There was actually a girl crouched in the outpost, aiming a long, black, silenced Dragunov rifle there.
The girl wore a school uniform with no camouflage patterns, but the sheer stillness and silence of the girl made her impossible to detect. It was only when the girl turned her head to look at Yuuta that he even noticed her there.
"Hey..." Yuuta said to the girl. He'd seen her several times before but he couldn't really remember the girl's name. "I was told to take over," he explained, deciding to drop the name. "Your shift has ended now."
The girl just stared at Yuuta in eerie silence. Something that Yuuta found quite unnerving.
Trying to pick up conversation Yuuta pointed at the magazines. "You wouldn't be the one bringing those, would you?" he joked, chuckling nervously as he did so.
The nameless girl again said nothing. Was this girl made of stone or something?
Walking over to the girl, Yuuta still didn't give up trying to be friendly. "Say, why don't you use the binoculars?" he asked. "The binoculars magnify ten times, while your scope only magnifies four times, right?"
The silent girl still didn't say a word. Instead she simply turned back to staring out into the distance through her scope.
Picking up the binoculars, Akiyama decided to search in the same direction. Was the girl aiming at something in particular?
When he finally saw what the girl had been staring at, though, he realised why the girl had such a stern, serious attitude.
There were two lines of students standing on the school field in the distance. Akiyama Yuuta recognised several students in the first line of students. A couple of them were even friends of his. The other line were all holding rifles.
"Good God!" he exclaimed in surprise. "Is that... an execution?"
The very thought of it made him sick. Even though in this world death wasn't permanent, it was still wrong to have people just lined up to be shot. Yuuta knew from experience just how much getting shot at actually hurt.
What was worse was that Yuuta had a good guess of the story behind the executions. Most likely these were students that committed petty crimes. Things such as not following orders of the student council president, or criticising the student council, or something small like that.
He shifted his view upwards. Sure enough he saw her. Overlooking the executions was the student council president, Yamamoto Noriko, without any expression of remorse. That evil, sadistic girl...
"Darn it..." he cursed. "We have to do something!"
"There's nothing you can do," the girl explained. She didn't so much as look up at Yuuta when she did. "They're too far.
Yuuta turned to look at the girl in surprise. It was the first thing she'd said to him today. It hurt him to admit it, but he knew she was right.
"But... you should be able to save them, right? " he tried to reason, " You have a sniper rifle! You can shoot them from a distance and they can't shoot back! That's why you've been aiming with the rifle and not the binoculars, right?"
A much more painful silence came from the girl, as though under her expressionless mask she was pondering Yuuta's request.
"It would only waste ammunition," she replied.
Yuuta felt his heart sink. He was so stunned that he could only watch as the girl silently put her rifle away into the black case. Carrying the case on her shoulder, the girl disappeared down the ladder, without saying another word to Yuuta.
Yuuta was only woken from his shock when he heard the sound of distant gunfire. He hastily looked through the binoculars again, only to find that the friends he had wanted to save were already lying on the track field, red liquid oozing out of their bullet ridden bodies.
"Damn it..." he seethed. " I couldn't save them..."
Yuuta cursed the student council president for brutally shooting innocent people for such trivial things. He cursed silent girl with the rifle for not saving those people, even though she had the power to do so. He cursed God for making such a cruel situation like this go on. He cursed his death for bringing him here. More than anything, though, he cursed himself, for never having the strength to do anything.
"Just give up, Yuuta; you'll never beat Hideki-nii-san or Sakura-nee-san."
"Then I'll die trying."
"…ama-kun? Akiyama-kun, are you al-right?"
Yuuta jerked awake immediately, not knowing when he had even fallen asleep, or where he did so. Had he fallen asleep on sentry duty again? How shameful!
The girl who woke him up didn't seem to mind, though. She had forgiven Yuuta for every mistake he had made so far, and in fact seemed to forget them very quickly. Rather than scold him for falling asleep on sentry duty, Fujimoto Asako-san held out a can of Key Coffee. Such was the leader of the resistance group here.
"Here," she said. "This ought to wake you up a bit."
Smiling in appreciation, Yuuta accepted the can, cracking it open. Yes, Key Coffee is useful for waking you up, among other things.
Fujimoto-san opened up a can herself, drinking what Yuuta estimated to be half a can in one go. "Ah! Key Coffee really is the best!" she said, a wide, carefree grin on her face.
"Yes, it is," Yuuta responded with a grin in turn. "Just about everyone in the resistance group loves it."
And so the two of them just sat there, at the edge of the resistance outpost in the forest, staring up at the night sky. Every once in a while one of them would take a sip of Key coffee.
"So what's your story?" Fujimoto-san asked out of the blue.
This question caused Yuuta to pause for a moment. "My story?" he repeated. "What do you mean?"
"You know. Everyone in the resistance has some kind of weird back-story," Fujimoto explained. "What regrets did you have from your past life?"
Putting down his (now empty) can of Key Coffee, Yuuta pondered for a moment. He tried his best to ignore his 'past life', as it only served as an anchor in the sea of failure. Now that Fujimoto-san, the leader of the group, brought up the topic it was probably time to seriously consider what went wrong. What did Yuuta regret in his past life?
Yuuta choose not to go into a long emotional tale, and decided to give the summary with a smile. "I was never proud of myself," he said. "That's it, really."
Yuuta expected the curious and talkative Fujimoto-san to try out for more detail, but to his surprise, she merely nodded. "I see," she said. "That makes sense."
With a wry smile, Yuuta commented, "Anti-climactic compared to yours."
"Don't say that," Fujimoto said, smiling likewise. "We all have our reasons."
"Some have more valid reasons than others," Yuuta murmured amusedly. "I mean, have you heard the story of the guys from Hell's Twelve?"
Fujimoto-san's expression made it obvious that either she hadn't heard the story or she'd forgotten.
"You know," Yuuta tried to incite some sort of memory of the story in Fujimoto-san. "Those guys that always hang out with each other? That talk about food a lot? They had a weird back story about cooking the weirdest of foods."
Fujimoto furrowed her eyebrows as she tried to think. After a while her face lit up as she remembered, "Oh! You mean those guys that Noriko-chan convinced that curried rice had cat organs?"
Not long after mentioning the name of her old friend, however, Fujimoto's smile faded a bit. She often made the mistake of saying the name so casually, only to remember that it was the very tyrant they now fought. Normally, of course, Fujimoto-san would forget about it eventually, only to make the same mistake some time later. The more Fujimoto thought about it, though, the harder it became to forget.
Yuuta kept an apologetic smile on his face. Smiling was all he could do properly. Fujimoto-san was quite similar, in that respect, as she shook away the bad thoughts.
"Oh my," she said. "I almost forgot why I came here." Fujimoto-san stood up, beckoning Yuuta-san to follow. "We're going to have a meeting now; they managed to fix the laptop. Your shift's over anyway."
"Yuuta onii-chan, I really think this is a bad idea…"
"Come on, just help me! This is the only time I've got to do something that I can be proud of!"
"You shouldn't jump onto the railway like that! A train could be coming any moment now!"
"But this man is bleeding! If I don't help him, he'll die!"
"Yuuta onii-san! Hurry! Get back up here! A train's coming!"
"Hold on… almost there! Just a bit… more…"
"And I thought those notes on 'God to be' were wacky," Fujimoto-san said, eyes glued to the spinning 'SSS' crest. "But to go so far as to completely program a software like this…"
'Rebels Against God' was what the crest read. A highly organized band of guerrillas, terrorists, or freedom fighters. Who they really were depended on opinion and perspective. 'No God, no Buddha, no Angels.'
There was much more than that in the laptop, though. There were data logs of past operations, member lists, detailed explanations about the concepts about the afterlife world, about God and Angel, about normal students (or "NPCs" as the laptop called them). There was even a page for weapons schematics, and instructions on how to make guns in this world.
"Yeah…" Yuuta agreed. His eyes just as fixated on the screen as Fujimoto's were. "Do you think Yamamoto-san could have done all this on her own?"
Fujimoto-san scrolled through a list of weapons, her eyes shining in amazement of the quality of the program, and all its flash effects. "I don't think so," she murmured. "But she did seem to spend a lot of time on this laptop."
"I think this is probably where she got all her crazy information from," Yuuta said. "You know; she's been having guns since a few months ago, and we've never really figured out how or where she got them." Yuuta picked up one of the notes on 'God to be'. "And this might be where she gets her whole… 'take over the world,' and 'I'm God!' attitude from, along with the hypnotic powers."
Fujimoto-san nodded in agreement. It was quite plausible; she had been quite normal of a person until she started playing with the laptop. After that she became a little dangerous, and started being even freakier after she got the notes from the Vice President's office.
Certainly the girl wasn't an NPC, since in the computer NPCs were defined to be normal students, and Yamamoto Noriko was definitely nothing like a normal student. Something about it, though, made it hard for Akiyama Yuuta to swallow that she was human. What sort of a person would so easily just have so many students executed for little reason at all?
"Fujimoto-san?" Yuuta asked, "could you please search the word 'Angel' for a moment? I'm sure I saw it a while ago."
"Angel?" Fujimoto parroted. "Why?"
Understanding that Yuuta seemed to have had a moment of realization she complied, and searched the page 'Angel'. In response the laptop flashed with a definition of the word, with diagrams and pictures of a small, white-haired girl, who looked mostly normal. Under the summary, it read "The Student Council President. Distinct from humans, and from NPCs. Devoid of human emotions, limited social interaction; Enemy of the Afterlife Battlefront (SSS). She is the emissary of God, and wants use all to disappear."
Yuuta read the description again and again. Something just seemed to fit; that the last batch of humans had made a laptop full of information on weapons, guerrilla tactics, on definitions of friend, foe and NPC, and that now they were all gone. Did they lose? He wondered. If they did, I hope we won't follow in their footsteps!
The definition of 'Angel' was one that didn't quite fit Yamamoto, though; she seemed a little too inelegant to be considered 'Angel'. But her attitude did fit the description of 'God', or at least, 'God to be'. Perhaps an Angel changes from different incarnations?
Fujimoto-san seemed to understand this train of thought, asking, "You're not suggesting Noriko-chan is Angel are you?"
Yuuta nodded. It just seemed to fit the situation. "I think that's the best way to put it, since she's the existential threat we're up against. She's not an NPC, she isn't like a normal human, and calling her 'God' is like admitting defeat."
Fujimoto-san giggled in amusement at the thought of Noriko actually being 'God'. "Then let's agree to call her 'Angel'." Looking back at the laptop, she added, "and since we're the 'Rebels against God', then we may as well be considered the successors of the Afterlife Battlefront.
"The New Afterlife Battlefront," she proclaimed. "Shin-Shinda Sekai Sensen. The S-SSS."
"Key Coffee?" asked the smiling, friendly student council president as he offered Yuuta a can. "It tastes rather nice, if you ask me."
Yuuta was unresponsive. He just sat in the chair, staring out the window, silently. He had failed at everything he had tried to, and had died accomplishing nothing.
"Suit yourself," said the friendly orange-haired boy, putting the can down on the table in case Yuuta changes his mind. "Are you sure you don't want to talk about it?"
Yuuta glanced back, as though to ask, "about what?" to which the student council president replied, "About what happened. About why you're here. Everyone here is here for a reason. So what's yours?"
Yuuta still said nothing. He just slumped back down, and stared out the window again.
The council president chuckled at this response. "If you don't want to talk then that's fine. It's perfectly understandable. Most people don't tend to; especially since this isn't the afterlife they expected."
Taking another sip of Key Coffee, the president kept on talking in his relaxed, friendly manner. "This is a world of second chances. You can just keep retrying at whatever you feel you didn't do right the first time, and then move on."
Yuuta kept ignoring him. He didn't want second chances. He'd had more than enough chances, and each time he'd always fail in the end.
The orange haired president walked over beside Yuuta, and also looked out the window, following his line of sight. "Oh my," he said. "Fujimoto-san's walking around during class time again."
Yuuta focused his vision for a moment to see what it was the student council president was talking about. There seemed to be a girl out in the field, even though everyone else was in class.
"That girl really should attend her classes," the president said."But she doesn't really listen to me anymore. I suppose that's what happens to all of them. Even though it's my responsibility as president to maintain discipline, I suppose she deserves to break a few rules."
Again, Yuuta glanced up at the student council president with token interest. The President himself continued talking, "She's been around for a week now. She's changed quite a bit," he said. "She didn't always have such a bright smile on her face."
Yuuta squinted a little at the distant figure, to see that, indeed, she had a smile on her face. It was a carefree and cheerful smile. Yuuta really wished he could smile like that. As Yuuta squinted, he noticed the girl had a can in her hand that looked suspiciously similar to the can in the president's hand.
The Student Council President grinned as he watched the boy reach over and grab the can of Key Coffee he had previously refused.
"I actually knew someone just like her, in my earlier days," he said. "She had a similar story behind her, and a similar attitude. Always smiling and carefree on the outside." For a moment, the orange haired boy seemed to lose his focus on talking to Yuuta, his eyes gleaming a little in nostalgia as he thought back to his own friends in this world.
The Council President snapped back to reality. Yuuta had finally talked. It seemed the boy was interested in his story.
"She fell in love with a baseball player, and she let go of the past," the Student Council President explained. "And now she's in heaven. And he is too."
Yuuta nodded, and slumped back down, staring at the girl drinking her can of Key Coffee in the distance. She seemed not to notice anything around her, and didn't seem to care that she was the only person out on the field at the moment.
But the president said that everyone here was here for a reason... what was the girl's reason?
'Fell in love with a baseball player, huh…?' Yuuta thought to himself. He turned up to look at the student council president once again.
"Hey, I know I should probably go back to class, but..." Yuuta grinned for the first time he'd come to this world. "Can you help me sign up for baseball tryouts?"
The orange haired boy raised his eyebrow at that. "You've only been here for a few hours and you're already trying to impress the girls, huh?" he teased. Glancing over his shoulder he spoke to one of the girls in the student council. "Hey, you. Vice Pres? Gather the baseball team for me please. It's an emergency."
As Yuuta watched the girl run off to gather the team he felt his spirits finally lifted. For once in his life (or rather, his afterlife) he was actually doing something constructive!
Cracking open his Key Coffee, Yuuta took a sip. It was surprisingly good, he felt ashamed for refusing it earlier.
"You know what?" he said to himself. "Maybe this really is the second chance I need!"
Yuuta marched towards the meeting room, taking note of all his fellow resistance members. Quite a few of them were drinking Key Coffee. Others were cleaning their weapons. Quite a few weapons had been raided from the guards and patrols, and it was easy to infiltrate the guild as workers to get ammunition. Most of these guns, though, were used to infiltrate Angel's army, and to get information from the inside. After all, you were quite obviously a fake guard if you didn't carry the right gun.
Whoever planned Angel's army really had a thing for Russian armament, Yuuta noted. Using the laptop he had managed to identify that just about every gun used by Angel's teams were some sort of AK-variant. With recent standardization of equipment, it seemed that they now use AK-74M rifles, or AKS-74U submachine guns, depending on role.
The resistance, on the other hand, had a mix of all weapons they managed to grab and steal. H&K G-3 assault rifles, FN FAL battle rifles, SPAS 12 shotguns, L85A1 bullpup assault rifles, various heavy weapons and more pistols than Akiyama Yuuta had seen in popular video games when he was alive. It was a gun buff's dream come true.
Yuuta opened the door into the meeting room; one of the only bright locations in the what was now the S-SSS's hideout. Gathered in here were all the most crucial members of the resistance against the self proclaimed God-Empress Yamamoto Noriko. Yuuta took a look around the room at all his fellow resistance leaders.
There was Tanaka Izumi-san, a rather simple and straight-forward fighter, who generally led raid teams. "Yo," said the man with a grin and a bro-wave. A gesture that Yuuta responded in kind.
"Hey there big man," Yuuta smiled back. "Hope you've been doing well in the field."
"If I weren't I'd have long been caught by Angel and her goons," said Tanaka, laughing as he did so. It wasn't really a joking matter, though.
Next was Himeko was the intelligence officer, whom was part of Angel's puppet Student Council (it seemed she gets yelled at often). Not a lot of people in the room knew her so stood by herself, seeming a little out of place. She signed herself up, and was crucial for all the missions, though. Yuuta smiled at the nervous girl, and she awkwardly smiled back.
There was a group of half-a-dozen people whom Yuuta could never remember the names of, since they always stayed together; they were some of the first people to be tricked by Angel, something about cafeteria food, and the way it was cooked. Even now they were all eating the famous super-spicy mapo tofu that nobody ever ordered because of how spicy it was.
"Hot!" one of them screamed. He fanned his tongue with his hand as he did so. "So hot!"
"Oh, quit whining," said another, forcefully shoving another spoonful into the first's mouth. "Just focus on the aftertaste."
A third girl snickered. "You said the same thing when your burnt sushi."
"Shut up," the first girl snapped. "Just because you're Green-jelly-jealous that I actually found a good dish in the cafeteria menu."
"Don't call me that!" the other girl spat. "Charred Sushi!"
"Ken," said a fourth member of the group. "The girls are killing each other again."
"Just make sure you don't get caught in the crossfire this time, Yuta Seafood-san" responded 'Ken', the boss figure of the group. "Slowcook, eat your dinner."
The last member of the half-a-dozen quietly ate the mapo tofu in his plate, murmuring to himself, "I like it... it's just like my Mystery Meat..."
"No, it's nothing like Mystery Meat," said the first, "please. Let's not bring up bad memories..."
Yuuta shook his head. The group always ended up going on the most peculiar rants about their past. The notorious "Hell's Twelve" of the S-SSS. They were one of the first people to be tricked by Angel: Something about cafeteria food being made with cat organs and engine oil. They claimed that it brought up 'bad food experiences', but Yuuta didn't have the stomach to listen to the details. He left this group to their own devices.
There was the nameless, quiet girl who always carried a black case wherever she went. It was hard for Yuuta to notice her in the crowd, but she was there, cleaning a grey/black Dragunov SVD rifle. She had that rifle hidden in that black case long before anyone else in the S-SSS even knew where weapons came from, and now that Yuuta looked back, she carried that case with her before even Angel had guns. How long did this girl have that sniper rifle for?
And finally, there was the inspirational leader of the group. Sitting at the opposite end of a long table from Yuuta was the charismatic, Fujimoto-Asako who was the one to organise the resistance. "Akiyama-kun, you're here!" Fujimoto-san said with a welcoming smile. "Excellent. We're just about to start."
Akiyama nodded back at her. Everyone was gathered around, now.
"Al-right. This is going to be our first, and hopefully our last major operation," Fujimoto-san said. The projector screen lit up with the animated 'SSS' symbol. 'The Rebels against God.' The mood of the SSS leader had changed completely in that instant, from a clumsy, cheerful and forgetful girl to a competent and confident commander.
"According to our intelligence officer," Fujimoto gave a slight nod to Himeko as she spoke, "Angel seems to be getting increasingly frustrated and unhinged. In other words, she is beginning to lose her cool, and is most likely to make mistakes. I believe this would best time to strike as we may not get another chance where Angel is in a state of confusion, especially given that Angel's forces get more organized every day."
The intel officer, Himeko, put a few files on the table, clearing her throat and saying, "Angel's forces will soon be introducing a standardized uniform besides that of the white armband that they currently wear. This will make our infiltration missions many times more difficult as we do not have such uniforms, and these uniforms are not as easy to replicate as the armbands are."
Fujimoto-san nodded. Being the leader of the S-SSS, Fujimoto had already heard of this beforehand so she knew of the situation, but she allowed her companions a moment to digest this information before she translated what it meant. "If that happens, then the resistance will lose its greatest camouflage advantage. Before that happens, we must strike at Angel and her puppets."
Tanaka interrupted, "We've been striking at Angel for the past few weeks many times!" he said. "We've nearly succeeded in sniping her twice, and we've blown up her main head-quarters at the Council room."
Fujimoto nodded, and put a hand up to stop Tanaka from continuing. "Indeed, we've made assassination attempts on Angel, as well as multiple guerrilla raids on her forces. However, such tactics are not enough to win a war. Which is why we shall be commencing OperationWater Flea."
Everyone in the room except for Yuuta stood up in shock at the mention of Operation Water flea. (Oh, the nameless girl with the rifle didn't seem fazed either, but nothing ever fazed her.) "No way!" they were saying. "You don't mean…" "Are we really ready for that…?"
Yuuta stood a little confused for a moment. He took a glance at the unnamed girl, who also had not acted surprised. "Nee, anata," he called. "Hey, you." The girl glanced up from cleaning the lens of the gun. "Do you know what they're all talking about? This 'Operation Water Flea'?" Yuuta asked.
In response, the girl nodded and went back to cleaning her rifle.
It seems I'm the only person not informed of this 'Operation Water Flea'.
"Excuse me," Yuuta interrupted the uproar of his fellow group leaders. "Could somebody please explain to me what 'OperationWater Flea' is?"
Fujimoto-san smiled. "I'm glad you asked." She pressed a button on the laptop, and various images and diagrams of maps and all sorts of locations appeared. "OperationWater Flea is the complete re-incarnation of the 'Afterlife Battlefront' as a resistance against God, and Angel." She clicked another few buttons to continue the animation on the screen. "It is a highly complex mission that will involve everyone, where we will suddenly attack Angel and her forces simultaneously in every way possible."
Fujimoto took a look at Tanaka. "Tanaka-san, you're in charge of storming and occupying these rooms in the school buildings," she pointed at the diagram of the school.
Tanaka nodded. "You got it, Asa-chan."
Fujimoto-san then took a look at Himeko-san. "Himeko; I know we've put you in a lot of risk, and that this mission will be the greatest risk of all, but could you try lure Angel out into an ambush in the corridor from our infiltration teams?"
Himeko-san nodded as well, strengthening her will. "If this plan succeeds, any risk is worth it."
Fujimoto-san glanced at the large crowd of half-a-dozen friends. "All of you," she said, not bothering to name them individually, for they had little individuality, "You guys, take a squad of people each and try to harass any of Angel's units as they mobilize. Try to remain in cover, and reduce casualties." The whole group nodded, and began to plan amongst themselves (even as they argued about the mapo tofu).
Fujimoto-san glanced then at the unnamed girl with the rifle. "Nee-anata-chan" she called.
The girl looked up for a moment, still cleaning the barrel of the SVD, "The bell tower. "
Fujimoto-san nodded in satisfaction, as though the nameless girl had given her a full answer. Well the two girls are friends... Yuuta thought to himself. I suppose they understand each other better.
"Finally, Akiyama-kun." Yuuta stiffened to attention, wondering what his mission will be. "You come with me."
"What!?" he protested. "Don't I get to be in charge of anything?"
"No, not really."
The bluntness of the comment stung Yuuta for a moment. "But... why not?" he demanded. "Aren't I good enough to be assigned a special mission? Why do I get singled out?"
Fujimoto-san suddenly changed to what seemed like an expression of a girl rejected during her first confession. "Y... you mean..." she faked a sniff. "You mean I'm not special enough to you? You don't want to be with me?"
"What...?" Yuuta was dumbfounded by the sudden change turn of events.
"Way to go, Yuuta," Tanaka scolded. "You made our leader cry."
"Tanaka?" Yuuta glanced at his 'friend', throwing him under the bus in a moment like this.
Himeko turned away, shaking her head. "It seems he doesn't understand a woman's heart... so insensitive..."
Yuuta turned to the girl. "What? Come on, that wasn't what I meant!"
His attempts at making a defence were drowned out by a series of different insults. "Man, and I thought Seafood-san was a dumbass..." "What a jerk..." "Uncool, man, uncool..." "Force feed him that mystery meet!"
Even when he turned to the silent, unnamed girl he only got a blank stare.
Fujimoto-san ended up breaking into a laugh, though. "Alright, that's enough guys," she said in a playful tone. "We've teased Akiyama-kun enough."
"Yes leader..." they all grudgingly responded. Clearly they still wanted to tease him further.
"But in any case," Fujimoto-san returned to her serious tone. "I'd like you to accompany me since we don't know what would go wrong, and it's best to have a strategic reserve."
Yuuta pondered for a moment and knew that Fujimoto's logic made sense.
I guess I'll never get a moment to be proud of. "Fine then," he said. "But why was I the only person not informed of 'Operation Water Flea'?"
Fujimoto-san giggled quickly reverting back for a moment to her cheerful, carefree self. "Oh... it's quite silly really," she admitted. "I just wanted to be able to explain the plan to someone at the last minute, like they do in movies. It just makes everything seem so much cooler and more dramatic. Since all you had to do was follow me anyway I decided you didn't need to know the plan regardless."
Such a trivial reason, but Yuuta accepted it.
Once again, Fujimoto-san put on her serious face. "Any questions?" she asked. "No? Good." She raised her hand to the sky. "Operation… START!"
"Yuuta nii-san? Why do you always try so hard at everything?"
"You try so hard at everything. At games, at sports, at school… you even try eating fastest at dinner."
"Well, my little sister, it's because I want to be known for something."
"Known for something?"
"Yeah. I want to be good at something… the best at something. I want to be proud of myself for something. Just once in my life, I want to be seen as the best in the family for something."
"Just give up, Yuuta-kun; you'll never beat Hideki-nii-san or Sakura-nee-san."
"Then I'll die trying."
"Heh. Yeah, you're probably right."
Updated on 16 July 2015.
Length has nearly doubled, and a lot of details are put in. Previously unimportant characters are a bit more fleshed out too, just to give a bit of the same feeling as the original "Afterlife Battlefront" where there are so many characters that you have difficulty wrapping your mind around them, but are all interesting in their own way. I've also tried to make the YuutaxAsako unspoken mutual crush more obvious in this chapter.