But it was too much like a dull firecracker to be actual gunfire, and in the next moment, enough smoke to cover almost the entire parade appeared.
“Huh!? What’s happening!?” Youko said.
“Calm down, Nee-chan, it’s probably just a part of the performance,” Yousuke said.
“Hey, don’t say something so boring!”
The older sister was genuinely surprised, while the younger brother just calmly pointed out that it was part of the performance.
However, this actually wasn’t part of the script, so the performers had no idea what to do next.
The float cars also stopped moving, so they couldn’t even hide their confusion, but the audience just took everything as part of the performance and didn’t suspect anything.
『Nyaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!!』
It was then that a cat’s laughter resounded with an elegant male voice brimming with mature sex appeal.
A lot of faces were confused by the turn of events, but a few realized what was happening, and so, with sparkling eyes, searched for a high place.
There, they found it.
On a float car resembling a pirate ship, atop its mast was a shadow, not that of a human figure but of a certain character.
As the audience raised a commotion in suspense, lights gathered at that spot, exposing a figure with a circular hook in his right hand and a seemingly soft broad saber in his left.
When the guests saw that it was a cat in a pirate costume, they cried out in cheers.
“Is that? …Could it be? Warunyaa!?”
“Y-Yay! Warunyaa appeared!”
“Yousuke! It’s Warunyaa! Warunyaa came!”
“Seriously!? That rumor was real!?”
Yes, that was none other than the villain of Nyazda world that couldn’t be hated.
A character that always schemed to cause trouble for everyone, only to mess up in the end and be sent flying by his archenemy to become a star.
However, he takes care of his subordinates and is a model citizen otherwise, and his schemes aren’t all that evil because he’s the character of a children’s show, and he also acts according to his aesthetics when committing evil, so he’s actually a popular character.
Screams resounded as he descended from the tall mast, but after spinning a few times in the air, Warunyaa landed perfectly on the deck like a gymnast.
Or at least it looked like that for a moment until he suddenly tottered and fell. He must’ve not been able to absorb all the impact.
That was just the kind of clumsiness one would expect from Warunyaa, and the audience were all smiles.
It was an embarrassing display, but Warunyaa just stood up as though nothing happened, then pointed his unthreatening saber from right in front the songstress as he declared in a loud voice.
『 This Warunyaa-sama will be taking your gift! 』
“…W-What? But this wasn’t in the—”
Contrary the audience, Monica had been in mute amazement during Warunyaa’s entire entrance scene. After all, none of this had been planned for, but before she could say the word, script, Warunyaa pulled her into his arms, then pointed his saber at everyone around.
『None of you move, nyaa! Or there’s no telling what’ll happen to the hostage, nyaa!』
As that stereotypical villain line was uttered, a voice just loud enough for Monica to hear called out to her.
“Sorry, but there’s an emergency with the machines, so we can’t proceed as planned. Please play along with this short skit.”
Warunyaa concisely explained in his unmodified voice.
A similar message was sent by the veteran staff, Kimura, to the performers, so they
Monica was a bit skeptical because the voice that called out to her belonged to a young boy, but perhaps because she came to terms with it anyway or simply because she prioritized making this event a success, she gave a small nod, then spoke through her earpiece microphone to cry for help.
“Someone! Save me!!”
Her voice was loud, but it was just at the right level that no one would associate it with a scream or for overacting, a carefully modulated cry just perfect for this stage.
In the world of Nyazda, wherever there was a cry for help, a certain character would always appear.
『Halt! Your evil deeds will not pass!』
With a voice oozing with loveliness and bravery, the smoke covering the path of the pirate ship cleared.
『So you came, Nyani-nya!』
There, appeared Nyani-nya, not in his normal version, but with a plumed three-cornered hat, a blue cloak. and a rapier.
The two cats have been rivals for a long time now, and whenever Warunyaa was up to mischief, Nyani-nya was sure to appear.
『Your villainy ends here!』 The cat knight said.
『Always getting in my way! You just won’t give up will you!? Hey, you, where did you hide the gift, nyaa!!』 The pirate cat said.
“Tch, who would tell you!” Monica said.
『Nyahaha! I don’t mind a strong-willed lady, but if you don’t tell me, I’ll have to do this, nyaa!』
“Huh? Ah, wait a moment, hey, ahaha, stop, ha ha ha!?!?”
The evil cat skillfully kept the songstress subdued while launching a tickle attack.
With the attack concentrated on her sides, Monica couldn’t endure it and broke out laughing.
『T-That’s immoral! Nyaa! Hurry up and let Monica go, nyaa!』
By the way, a tickle attack was how Warunyaa usually attacked.
He was known for it, so this was definitely, yes definitely, not merely because the person inside the costume thought it would be funny to tickle Monica.
『I’ll stop if you tell me, so hurry up and talk, nyaa!』
“Hi, hyaa, I-I understand! I-It’s in that treasure box over there!”
『Well said, nyaa.』
The evil cat kept his promise and released her before rushing for the pile of treasure chests atop the deck.
The songstress hugged herself and uttered, ‘unbelievable!’ while sending a reproachful look at the evil cat from behind, but Warunyaa ignored her.
Because that prop gave him the response he was looking for.
『With this, my business is complete, nyaa! Bye bye! 』
Holding the treasure chest tucked under his right arm, Warunyaa jumped off the deck without hesitation, but this time, he landed properly before running for the head of the parade.
But of course, such actions would naturally lead to a confrontation with Nyani-nya.
『Wait, that’s a gift to Aura-sama! Give it back, Warunyaa!』
『Heh, like I care, nyaa! 』
The cat knight lunged with his rapier, but the pirate cat deftly settled it with his saber.
Both weapons were made of soft materials, but they still produced the right sounds when they clashed.
“Hmm?” Tomoe said.
“Huh?” Ryou said.
The pirate cat grabbed at the cat knight’s beautiful thrust with his curved blade, then with a step, drew a vertical stroke, but the cat knight jumped back to dodge, then slashed down again, only for the pirate cat to block it by positioning his saber vertically, then he sent out a kick to take advantage of the cat knight’s opening.
But the cat knight still managed to catch that kick with one hand, and a struggle ensued.
The two cats struggled for a while, but before long, both decided to jump back before crossing swords once again.
All the while, the float cars started to move, so the cats had to advance as well to keep up.
“…Why does that cat seem familiar?” Tomoe said.
“You too? But where did I see those movements before?” Ryou said.
Ryou and Tomoe tilted their head in doubt as they watched the cat knight and the pirate cat cross swords evenly.
The metallic sound and sparks that accompanied the clashes of the sword and rapier looked just like the real thing, and in fact, it was the real thing, but just how many could realize that?
Alas, most of the audience were more intoxicated by the situation than the skill of the actors, and they just innocently enjoyed the fight like kids enjoying a hero show.
Just Ryou and Tomoe felt like they were going through deja vu.
“Is that cat playing around?” Tomoe said.
“It feels like they’re just doing keiko,” Ryou said.
It was true that the contest between the two cats looked equal, but neither Tomoe nor Ryou believed that to be the case.
Their intuition sharpened by the spiritual power passed down through their clan, and their experience from elsewhere was telling them that the evil cat was just making the battle look equal.
For some reason, the moment they realized that, cold sweat slid down them.
Had they not experienced something similar themselves?
“Woah, what is that? The people inside are pros! Fighters of that level are rare even inside the academy!”
Other than those two, only Yousuke and the school students in the audience had the eyes to see the skill of the cats.
In fact, they were more impressed by the skill of the cats than the sight of two cats crossing swords.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Yousuke! There’s no one inside! Saying something like that at a place like this goes against manners!”
“…Ah, yes, of course, Nee-san, sorry.”
But of course, there were also those too excited for that.
Yousuke knew that it was pointless arguing, so he just gave up and feigned agreement.
Youko was so immersed into the show that sparkles could be seen on her eyes.
“Hey, the older Senba is saying something ridiculous,” Ryou said.
“She’s always keeping it it in, so now that it’s out, she can’t control it anymore. She won’t go back to normal for awhile,” Tomoe said.
Ryou and Tomoe wryly smiled, and for a moment, they forgot about the deja vu.
And then as though they were waiting for that,
『Who are you people, nyaa!?』
Warunyaa’s angry yell was directed at the people in jet black that appeared out of nowhere and now surrounded them.