We emerged from underneath the arena in a random hallway. It was empty and eerily quiet. I didn't bother breaking the silence as I began to walk back to the pod. I needed to check up on the others to make sure everything was alright.
We got back in no time. Only Tanaka-san and Raphine were waiting inside.
"Juyo-san, you're okay!" He shouted with delight upon seeing me. I looked around the empty room. Then I looked out at the stadium. My jaw may have dropped.
The entire arena was gone. In its place was just a giant space where the stadium had once been. The round hole seemed to stretch down as far as the eye could see.
Tanaka-san already knew what I was going to say. He walked over to the shattered window and pointed up. I hesitated a moment before walking over as well.
A giant shape was floating high up in the sky. It looked almost like it could be a UFO that little green men pilot from where we stood. Upon squinting my eyes and taking a closer look, it became clear that what I was looking at was the missing section of the arena.
It had suddenly floated up in the sky and slowly changed its shape from an open arena to a flying saucer.
"Everyone is in there..." Tanaka-san said before I could ask my next question.
Trash-chan ran up to the window as well, but she didn't have anything to say as she stared at the flying object.
"Where are Shin-san and Osana-chan?" I finally asked while looking at Tanaka-san.
"Shin-san went to meet up with Akira... Osana-chan didn't want Estouls to get taken away and jumped into the arena as it took off..."
I looked back at the flying section of the arena. This was way more than I should be able to handle.
"Let's go save them, Main-kun!"
As expected, Trash-chan was gung-ho and ready to go. Usually, I might want to argue with her, but everyone was being held up in the sky: my sister, the Naka family, Osana-chan, Junkers, Estouls, Raphine, and everyone else. I wasn't going to do nothing. The question was how we would get up there.
"Tai! What your dad left in the locker might help you!" Kura suggested as if she was reading my mind. It was a long shot, but it was all we had at this point.
I took another look at the key we had picked up. Kura had said it should be a locker in a local waterpark. There were two in the city that were the closest in proximity—'Waifu Splash' and 'The Waterpark That Was Built by a Guy Who Would Rather Be Writing Light Novels.'
We had gone to Waifu Splash several times when we were younger. The Light Novel Waterpark was only opened a year before we lost Amplifier. If I had to make a guess, my dad would pick the one he and I were most familiar with.
"We will head to the waterpark..." I tried to sound confident, but my voice trailed off at the end.
"What waterpark?" I was asked in unison. Only Kura had any idea of what was going on. I rubbed the back of my head. I might not have time to explain fully.
"My dad left me something in a locker; it might help." I held up the key as I explained. Tanaka-san just nodded.
"Jupiter-kun did that?" Amplifier asked.
"I see! Well, let's get going!" Trash-chan shouted.
"I'll stay here and find Naka-san; someone needs to fill him in," Tanaka-san said.
I nodded in agreement.
"I'll fly up there and make sure everyone is okay!" Kura said.
I hadn't thought of it, but that seemed like something she would be able to do. I nodded to agree.
We split up. Kura began her ascent to the arena section, Tanaka-san ran down the hallway one way, and Trash-chan and Amplifier followed me in the other direction.
We were out of the arena in no time. A large crowd greeted us in the shopping area staring at the section of the arena in the sky. Some were recording on their phones, some just pointed and talked frantically to each other, and others seemed like they didn't know what to think.
We pushed through the crowd to the open street. A taxi driver was one of the many that stared at the group.
"Excuse me, could you take us to Waifu Splash Waterpark?"
"What are you thinking? Now is not the time for that!" the driver spat back before continuing to stare at the floating section. I turned to look. It had continued to change shape slowly and was now resembling the shape of a cube. I don't know what the final form would be, but I didn't want to wait and see.
I looked around some more until my eyes settled on someone holding a bike. We didn't seem to have many other options right now.
"Excuse me, could I borrow your bike?"
"Huh, sure, whatever." The guy quickly parted with his bike. It was honestly too easy, but I guess the shock of what was going on made him not think everything through.
I grabbed the bike and looked at the two waifus that accompanied me. How were we going to do this?
As if answering my question before I could ask it, Trash-chan hopped on the bike and gestured for me to climb on behind her.
"What about me?" Amplifier exclaimed. Trash-chan just pulled down under her eye and stuck her tongue out at Amplifier. The sound waifu's hands balled into fists, but she took a deep breath before doing anything else.
"Get a head start without me, Tai-kun; I will catch up in no time."
I didn't put up an argument as I climbed on the bike. She could probably catch up quickly enough.
"Hang on, Main-kun," Trash-chan said as she lifted her feet of the ground and set them on the petals. She had a good sense of balance to not fall over with both of us on here. I grabbed onto the bike, and Trash-chan took off.
I think I might have yelled out as she began to move. It came as a shock as we suddenly began moving at an incredible speed from practically nothing before. I felt my fingers begin to slip off the bike and grabbed Trash-chan's shoulder to hang on better.
"Too fast... Trash-chan," I said, but I think the sound of the wind overpowered any sound I could make. I was not sure how fast we were moving, but she was not wasting any time.
Some sirens began to sound off behind us. I turned around to see a police car chasing after us.
"You on the bike, double riding is illegal!" An officer from the passenger seat yelled out into a megaphone. The officer looked at the driver, who was saying something, before turning back to us. "Also, you are speeding."
Of all the things to be worried about. I let go with one hand and pointed to the flying portion of the arena that quickly appeared smaller while Trash-chan furiously kicked the petals. It felt as though I would slip, so I promptly grabbed back onto Trash-chan's shoulder before I went flying off the bike.
"You two really should be wearing helmets too," was all the officer responded with.
"Don't worry, Main-kun, I'll get them off our trail," Trash-chan yelled loud enough for me to hear. I had a feeling I wouldn't like her plan.
Sure enough, I found myself screaming as Trash-chan quickly maneuvered her bike across the road into oncoming traffic.
She gracefully dodged several oncoming cars as they blared their horns at us. The police car continued following on the other side of the road and could not follow as Trash-chan quickly petaled down an alleyway. She guided the bike up a large plank of wood resting on a dumpster, and we became airborne.
We flew over a fence in the alley and landed on the road at the other end. Trash-chan quickly took off in the direction of the waterpark. We sped down more streets without too much issue until the Waifu Splash part came into view.
Trash-chan turned her bike to the side and slid to a stop in front of the entrance. I carefully stepped off and stumbled. I had not realized, but my legs were a bit shaky. Trash-chan caught me before I could fall over, and I regained my composure. We ran up to the gate.
The waterpark employees were shinobi waifus that worked here part-time, and several of them were standing out front staring at the section of the arena floating in the sky.
It had started to take the shape of a simple house with a square bottom and a triangular top. I shook my head and turned to one of the shinobi waifus. She had brown hair tied into a ponytail with a red ribbon.
"Could we go into the park?"
She looked at me, then at Trash-chan, and finally back to me.
"Why?" she finally asked.
"Um, apparently, there is something in a locker for me..." I told her.
The waifu looked to her shinobi companions. They shrugged.
"Sure, go on in..." the shinobi waifu held out her hand to indicate I could enter. Trash-chan and I walked through the gate.
The lockers were not far from the gate, and we found our target in no time. I slowly pushed the key into the lock and turned it. I gulped then opened the door with a quick swing. The door banged against the others with a loud clang. Inside the locker was a single composition notebook. I slowly pulled it out and sat down on a nearby bench. I set the book on my lap and wrapped my fingers around the front cover in preparation to pull it open.
"What does it say, Main-kun?" Trash-chan asked while leaning over my shoulder to look.
"Yes, I am a bit interested too," the shinobi waifu from the gate said while leaning over my other shoulder.
I jumped up and backed away from the shinobi.
"You followed us?" I shouted in surprise.
"I didn't even realize!" Trash-chan said in shock.
"Of course, I wouldn't be much of a shinobi otherwise. That aside, what does it say in that book?"
I cracked open the book and looked at what was written in it.
Hey son! How have you been? I've been doing alright...
My father's handwriting lined the pages of the notebook. It seemed like the first page was more of an introduction. Knowing my father, most of this was probably just fluff. I began to flip through and skim for what I needed quickly.
If you're reading this and there isn't a giant structure floating in the sky, congratulations, you still have time...
After I left that night, I started work at a satisfactory; we made products that were just okay...
I was invited to work at the waifu labs...
Then we got a new head of the labs named Kalen...
The experiments were a success of sorts, and we were introduced to a waifu named Trash-chan...
Stop skipping ahead and read this properly, son...
I have discovered an evil plan going on...
I managed to get Trash-chan out of the lab; she should find you soon and fill you in...
I have marked the date of Kalen's master plan on my calendar; as I stare at it, I realize that the days are numbered...
She will plan to launch a program that will rewrite all waifus as we know them...
If the arena has already taken to the sky, you don't have much time left...
So anyway, just fly up there and take the enemy out!
I shut the book and sighed. I now had some idea of what was going on, but I had no idea what we were supposed to do now. Fly up there; how did he expect us to do that?
"That doesn't seem good. Do you need any help?" The shinobi asked me.
"No, unless you have a way to fly," I said quietly.
She clapped her hands together and made a sweet smile. It kind of scared me.
"I might have an idea."
The shinobi led us through the park and then out past where guests typically go. She pushed open the door to a warehouse revealing a giant cannon. I looked at the cannon, then at the shinobi. With a shake of my head, I began to pull Trash-chan away.
"No, but thank you anyway."
"Wait!" The shinobi was suddenly in front of us. She tapped her index fingers together. "You see, this is a special attraction that was under development. It is a high-capacity water cannon that could launch guests across the park... We could never make the landings safe enough, but I guarantee it can fire you to that floating object with ease!"
"Yes, but how would we land?"
"I'm sure I would figure that part out, Main-kun!"
"I admire your optimism, Trash-chan."
"How else are we going to get up there in a hurry, Main-kun? Everyone we know that can fly is already up there!"
I sighed and rubbed my hand through my hair. We did have no time; if there was some evil plot, we should stop. There might be a better way, but I suppose this would do for now. I reluctantly nodded in agreement.
The next thing I knew, I was being strapped into a transparent sphere with Trash-chan and being loaded into the barrel of the cannon. The sphere appeared to be made of clear plastic and housed a clear bench for us to sit on. Some seatbelts with easy to open buckles were strapped around us, and the bench had a red lever in the center.
"When we fire you, wait ten seconds, then pull the lever. It will release the pod and allow you to fly through the air more freely!" The shinobi yelled down the barrel to us as we came to a gentle stop.
Water suddenly filled the cannon barrel. I held my breath instinctively but let it out when I remembered we were inside the sphere. I heard a rushing sound begin behind me. At the same time, the cannon began to roll forward. From outside the barrel, I saw the shinobi saluting us as it rolled by her. Then, all I saw was the clear sky as the barrel exited the building.
The rushing sound grew louder and louder until it was all around me. It took me a minute to realize, but we had just been shot out of the cannon. The water that surrounded us broke apart into droplets, and the flying structure came into view. It appeared as if we were in a crash collision with it, which I guess was the point.
The structure came upon us quickly. It had taken a new shape since I last saw it. Now, it looked like a giant castle floating in the air. Perhaps it was already on the way to its final form. Did that mean we did not have much time left?
I did not get much more time to think. Trash-chan quickly pulled the lever, and the sphere suddenly burst apart. The plastic-looking pieces and safety harnesses flew behind us as we continued to fly forward.
We continued to approach, and we would not have much more time to think. Trash-chan quickly grabbed me and pulled me on her back. I didn't resist but had no idea what she had in mind. Suddenly, garbage began to spin around us as it did before the Trash Wave.
Trash-chan released the wave directly at the castle as we came in for impact. The sheer force of her wave smashed the wall of the castle open, and we flew inside a long hallway. Trash-chan maneuvered her feet so that they were the first thing to touch the floor. She made contact and began to slide down the hall while continuing to stand upright. I held onto her for dear life as the friction between her feet and the floor made a loud, unpleasant sound.
We finally came to a stop just before running into a closed-door in the castle. I weakly fell to the ground and took a minute to catch my breath. Looking back at where we had just come from, all I could see were two long skid marks from where she slid on the floor.
The door we stopped in front of suddenly burst open. A waifu in black clothes and covered with all sorts of clocks stepped out. She had an unpleasant look on her face as she looked at Trash-chan and the skid marks.
"Trash-chan, of course, it had to be you," the new waifu muttered.
"Timekeeper, good to see you again! How did you know we were here?"
"Do you realize how much noise you made? The whole castle could practically hear you!" The waifu called Timekeeper lost her composure and yelled at Trash-chan.
"I take it you know this waifu, is she a friend or foe?" I asked while standing up. The waifu with the clocks was suddenly in front of me.
"Foe," she answered before pushing me back against a wall. I crashed into it while Trash-chan called out to me.
Timekeeper was suddenly behind Trash-chan and pulling her side ponytail.
"Now, should we continue where we left off?" she asked Trash-chan.