Hagakure Sakura does not lament – Prologue

TLN: This is a novel I’m fairly enthusiastic about (based on synopsis and reviews only). It’s a dark, magical girl, gender bender novel. Also it’s currently in the process of being published in a light novel, so once it’s published I’ll buy it and add images to the chapters I’ve done.

Also it’s been regularly updated since 2019! It’s most recent update was 3 days ago!

The chapters are kind of long and it was hard to get the write sounding sentences, hopefully there are no glaring issues here.

Prologue

『Magical Girl』

What exactly do people associate with that name?

The princess of a magical world who casts spells towards a hand mirror?

An apprentice witch training within a town of ordinary humans?

Or brave girls who fight bad guys in the name of justice?

None of those are particularly wrong, but the circumstances are a little different for the girls of this world.

National Defense Mage Contract Candidates–also known as 『Magical Girls』they are the『Guardians of the Country』that choose to fight, in order to counter the infinitely spawning demonic beasts.

Some have status.

Some have ideals.

Some have hope.

Some prayed for peace and thus chose this path.

What awaits those who have become『Magical Girls』are days upon days of death. A meritocratic society in which only one’s own talent speaks.

In such a lonely battle–retreating is not allowed.

Naturally they must win. Losing means death.

—this is the story of a girl or a boy who is entangled with such a fate.

—this is the story of Hagakure Sakura.

◆ ◆ ◆

Middle of the night, 2am. There was a young girl on the street of a residential area in the middle of the night. The girl, wearing floral pajamas, was wandering down the street with her hands against the wall. It seemed as if she was sick, her breathing was rough and ragged.

『Time remaining until demonic beasts appear, 5 minutes. Please evacuate to the northwest』

A mechanical voice flowed from the girl’s phone.

「Quickly, I have to get away from here…」(???)

The girl muttered painfully. Biting her lips as if to reprimand herself, she put strength into her trembling legs.

—how long has it been since the alarm was first issued? If you don’t set off immediately, you’ll never make it in time.

Keho~ The girl coughed. Maybe because she has a cold, her temperature is high and she’s feeling dizzy. There was a good reason why the girl was outside in such a state.

That’s right–the demonic beasts are coming.

『–the prediction of the occurrence of an E-class demonic beast has been confirmed. There are 3 minutes until it appears. If you are in the area near the marker, please evacuate to the designated place immediately』

She certainly heard such an alarm in the middle of the night within her blurred consciousness. However she was not sure as her memories were hazy, likely from her deep sleep due to her high body temperature.

–E-class demonic beast. Judging from the map on her mobile phone, the government predicted that the demonic beast would appear within a radius of 200 meters from the young girl’s home.

At this distance, she would usually have been able to evacuate with her parents. However the girl’s parents were away for a funeral of one of their relatives and won’t return until tomorrow night. Therefore the girl could only escape alone in her bad condition.

In this age, it’s not unusual for demonic beasts to kill people. A certain number of people are killed each year–just like with car accidents.

However although death by demonic beast is not uncommon–it’s the nature of human beings to not want to be caught up in it.

…and yet, even as early as a few decades ago, the girl’s grandmother was saying how demonic beasts didn’t exist.

Demonic Beasts)

It was like a bad joke that suddenly began to erode into reality.

–it started three decades ago, around 2pm on the 7th of July.

People who looked up into the sky suddenly screamed.

The sky was cracked.

The crack, or at least it can only be said to be a crack, was so large that you couldn’t see the end of it just by looking up. It spread over the entire Japanese Archipelago.

Just as people were wondering how this mysterious phenomenon had happened, the cracks that had appeared soon melted into the blue sky and disappeared. In the news for that day, it seems that they were reporting that it was an out of season aurora.

–that’s right, the people of that day had no idea that that was the beginning of everything.

The day after the sky broke, in the streets between the urban buildings during the morning commuting rush—that thing appeared without warning.

The beast, which seemed like a large bear, but even more vicious, caused a total of ten casualties before being shot dead by riot police hours later…..if that was the only incident, it would have easily faded from people’s memories as being a rogue violent beast attacking people.

–but that didn’t happen.

From that day on, beast-like creatures kept appearing, each with different shapes and each in different locations throughout the Japanese Archipelago, at a pace of around several incidents a day.

The mysterious beasts were compelled to destroy and then after a certain amount of time, they would melt into the air and disappear like mist, of course the demon beasts were naturally referred to as unknown invaders. Anxiety and fear gradually spread, most people still couldn’t admit that the world was changing.

A day after the beginning of the incident, a psychic spoke out about the government that had yet to reach a resolution『This is due to yesterday’s aurora. Bad things are entering Japan through the crack』which was then spread rapidly via SNS.

At first most people mocked the psychic’s words, but gradually those voices got smaller…there was no room to care about such a thing anymore.

The foreign media initially reported the incidents like a bad monster movie, but over time their reports gradually turned into something much more somber.

「Modern Hell」

「The end of atheism」(TLN: Jisho won’t show me anything for 無神教 so I’m taking the google translate version)

「The country abandoned by God」

「Those demonic beasts are not demons」(TLN: 魔獣 -> Majuu is used for demonic beasts, whereas 悪魔 -> Akuma is used for demons. The report is saying that Majuu aren’t Akuma)

「–if you get involved with a country infested with those things, your country will be ruined as well!」

…..despite the mystery and existence of God fading, becoming nothing but a shadow of it’s former self, religion was still deeply rooted in the world. It was natural to connect an unknown fear to a known existence.

The biggest misfortune for Japan, was that the other countries weren’t involved with the incidents. This is because the demonic beasts only appeared in Japan for yet unknown reasons.

Many countries felt that if they helped out Japan and it went poorly, the beasts would jump to their country as well.

The foreign response was fast, the US, Russian, EU and the other Asian countries all closed their embassies within 3 months of the first incidents. Some countries even placed an immigration ban on the Japanese people.

3 months, in just that small amount of time, Japan was forced into isolation.

…..it may seem ruthless, but for other countries demonic beasts had become a symbol of horror. There may have been pressure on these large countries to cut off Japan, but there were some small island countries that were far removed from foreign politics, who cut themselves off saying that is was inevitable that they would try to save themselves.

Japan was forced into a state of seclusion forcibly, as such it began to fall into destruction. Frightened by the horror of the demonic beasts attacking them day or night, the people living in Japan became exhausted.

On the other hand, the wealthy upper-class fled abroad long ago and those with foreign nationalities who were in Japan, quickly fled back to their homelands. Only those who could not escape were left behind in Japan.

…..thirty years have passed since that nightmare. Miracles after miracles have occurred since then. Although the current situation in Japan has improved significantly, there was still a danger to life.

–because the demonic beasts haven’t disappeared yet.

「Ah」

Suddenly the girl’s legs got tangled and she collapsed on the spot. Her view was distorted by the impact of the fall.

Due to her high fever, she was not feeling well. If you add fear and impatience to the mix, it’s not unusual that she couldn’t walk properly. However she couldn’t avoid to stay in this position.

The girl squeezed out the last of her energy and attempted to stand up

–but as if to ridicule that determination, a loud noise rang out from her phone.

『Warning. Warning. Leave that area immediately. Repeat. Leave that area immediately. The predicted spawn location is 20 meters from your current position. Repeat. Leave–』

「Eh, it’s a lie….this should have been a safe place on the map!」

She checked the map on her phone in a hurry, but her expectations were dashed. The display showed her current location was in a red warning zone, painted with an emergency alert.

「Wh, why? Why is this map that’s displayed different than the first? I’ve never heard of such a problem before….!」

–must run, must run, must run!

When the girl tried to ignore the pain in her body and begin running, she felt a chill run down her spine, different than the chill brought about by the cold she was suffering with.

「A, ah, no way…」

Whilst leaking a strange noise, she could see the shadow of something odd approaching from an alley at the side of the road. She immediately knew what it was.

—she wants to run away but her legs won’t move, as if they’re frozen. The girl trembled as she slowly turned to the side.

It had a silhouette like a large man, however it had one decisive factor different than a normal man.

「Gururururu. Gaaaaaaa!!!」

Carrying the light of the full moon on it’s back–a demonic beast with the face of a wolf was exuding a murderous aura.

She tried to scream, but no sound came out.

A terribly intense feeling of horror dominated the girl’s thoughts. She wanted to run away from this place right now, but she couldn’t escape the beast’s eyes.

—Ah, no way, it’s a lie, it’s impossible.

She had seen many demonic beasts, but they were always portrayed unrealistically through TV or books. Even a hunter would be shocked to encounter a wild bear, so wouldn’t a young girl be shocked to encounter a demonic beast? It’s easy to understand without thinking about it.

「Uu, uuuu」

Tears spilled uncontrollably from both eyes, she could no longer endure it and started sobbing. The absolute fear of death, the girl couldn’t help but find the monster in front of her terrifying.

Looking at the girl, the demonic beast stretched it’s big mouth into a grin. It looked like it was having fun at finding a new toy to play with. It’s expression was telling of the future treatment the girl would be subjected to.

—it’s over now, her life will end here, being ripped to shreds by a werewolf.

When the girl was about to give up, she felt something touch her shoulder.

「Close your eyes」

The voice surprisingly reached the girl and she closed her eyes just as she was told, she felt like she had to do that so for some reason.

The sound of a sharp breeze, followed by the sound of a heavy object hitting the ground, then the sound of something wet impacting something else reached her ears and she involuntarily shivered, but still didn’t open her eyes.

Silently, the girl fell onto her knees. As she was shaking with her hands covering her face, she could hear the sounds of splashing, as if something was walking towards her through a large puddle. The footsteps slowly approached the girl.

A shiver ran down her spine. Just what was approaching her right now? If she raised her head and opened her eyes, she would know what it is, but the girl was terrified and couldn’t do it.

—what if there was another demonic beast in front of her?

If that was the case, then she had no confidence that she could keep her sanity, she thought she would be much happier to die if her eyes were closed.

As the girl quivered in fear, something touched her shoulder.

「Hiiiii!?」

She was so surprised her body jumped—scary, scary ,scary, If this is a nightmare she wants to wake up. Whilst wishing so, the girl gave up. However her expectations were betrayed.

「…are you ok? are you injured anywhere?」

—it was an extremely clear voice, but it felt somewhat nostalgic and the girl even felt a sense of relief.

The girl who was hyperventilating due to agitation, had her back gently stroked until her breathing returned to normal. The owner of the mysterious voice kept hugging her until she calmed down.

—who is this person?

The girl who had now calmed down, opened her eyes and raised her head. In front of her, there was a woman with a worried expression, seemingly a few years older than the girl. (TLN: The author uses Josei for the woman and Shoujo for the ill girl)

She had a slender figure, with cool eyes. There was an impression that she was boyish, but at the same time vaguely beautiful.

Seeing her, the girl quickly knew who she was—no, she knew the generic name for her『Existence』

「Magical, girl?」(Girl)

The woman nods to her question.

–after the demonic beasts appeared in this world, another existence appeared following them,『Magical Girls』

In order to counter the demonic beasts, girls of the same age as her made a miraculous contract. The girl in front of her was one of them.

–Ah, I was saved.

The moment she realized that, the strength drained from her body which now felt as heavy as lead.

Whilst gently supporting the fallen girl, the woman checked the girl’s condition and said「looks like she’s not injured」

「But next time if you get an alert and you’re not feeling well, call the emergency department. There’s no need to overdo it by yourself」(Woman)

「Ah….」(Girl)

When she said that, the girl suddenly remembered the existence of the ambulance service. Due to her fever, her mind was occupied with the thought of running away, she didn’t think of calling for help at all.

「You have a high fever, so I’ll send you to the hospital as you are. I hope you’ll get some rest」(Woman)

She said so and gently put her right hand on the girl’s forehead. The temperature of her cool hand was comfortable for the girl. As she began to feel slightly sleepy, she muttered as if she had suddenly thought of something.

「Onee-san, what’s your name?」(Girl)

—the girl was sure she would never forget what had happened today. That’s why, she wanted to know the name of her benefactor who saved her from the depths of fear.

In response, the woman smiled gently and softly whispered her name.

「—my name is Hagakure Sakura. You don’t have to remember it, it’s a trivial name anyway」(Sakura)

「Hagakure, Sakura」(Girl)

–that was all the girl could remember.

Before she had realized it, she was in a hospital bed receiving an IV drip. Her mother rushed in and hugged her with tears in her eyes. It seems that the woman–Hagakure Sakura, had taken the girl to the hospital.

According to the doctor, she was unconscious for about a week because her cold had worsened and had developed into pneumonia, likely since she moved around outside too much. She was also told that if she had arrived at the hospital even just a little later, her illness would have become extremely dangerous.

Apparently, when the woman carrying the unconscious girl on her back handed her to the doctor, she suddenly disappeared somewhere.

The girl squinted and laughed as she looked at the doctor who was concerned that the women didn’t give her name. She vaguely thought that it was kind of like something that person would do.

The girl remembered that night whilst calming her mother who was crying after finding out she was safe. She was terrified, but more than that, she wanted someone to hear about her strange experience.

「Hey, Okaa-san—a magical girl saved me!」(Girl)

◆ ◆ ◆

–a few months after the girl was attacked by a demonic beast.

When the young girl, who was finally well enough again to leave the hospital, walked on the platform of the station whilst chatting with her friends, she suddenly tripped on the stone pavement and bumped into a high school boy who was walking in front of her. The boy quickly supported the staggering girl.

「Ah, that is, sorry!」(Girl)

「No, you don’t have to worry about it. I’m at fault too」(Boy)

It was the girl’s fault for not looking ahead, so she thought he would get angry and quickly tried to apologize, but the boy replied like it was no big deal and walked away.

As she gently stroked her chest whilst staring at his departing back, her friend pulled the sleeves of her clothes whilst grinning.

「Oh, what’s this? Did you fall in love at first sight? He was cool that person. He looked kind」(Girl’s Friend)

「N, no that’s not it! but what is it?」(Girl)

The girl mumbled, holding her chin as if thinking.

「—he felt like someone else」(Girl)

Her friend, as if bored with her reply responded with a「Fuun?」then took the girl’s hand and started walking away, saying that they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.

So the girl did not pursue the sense of deja vu that she felt at that time, but instead returned to her calm daily life.

Looking back at the girl walking away in the distance, she did not know that the boy had muttered to himself「Above all else, it looks like you’re doing okay」

[Previous Chapter]– [Table of Contents] – [Next Chapter]

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