Author’s Note: This and the next chapter were originally one chapter, but I somehow managed to separate them.
03-10: Garesto’s Defeat (Older Brother)
“Hey you!” Myuhi exclaimed in English. “Wanna be a magician?”
It was as if a switch of hers was suddenly flicked the moment the class on skills began.
But since Shinichi was used to that tendency of hers to suddenly change moods, he didn’t react.
“I might become one in 15 years…” Shinichi replied, while keeping the urge to say ‘I can already use magic’.
Unfortunately, that made no sense to the Garestonians.
Shinichi was currently 15 years-old, in another 15 years, he would be turning 30. 
“Hmm? Anyway, I don’t really understand, but earthlings seem to understand t easier when I call it magic.”
“…By magic I suppose you mean we’ll be shooting fire out of our hands, flying in the air, and healing wounds?”
“Bingo! But that’s not all, showing or seeing one’s status, or even displaying it on a monitor are also kinds of skills. In other words, skills are “programs” that direct the all-purpose photon energy.”
Garesto came up with them after a long history of research and experiments, allowing the power of photons to create flames, be used for levitation, or even heal wounds. Skills can allow one to scan another person’s status or show them over a display. That’s actually one of the reasons the fosters were created.
“I feel like calling it a skill focuses too much on the effects though.
It’s really the program that does the work.
This usually ends up being a problem in the exam, so you should remember it, ok?
“Alright, I’ll remember it… Wait! Program? You mean that jumbled mess with English characters and numbers?
There’s no way I could remember that!”
For someone like Shinichi who has no confidence in his English skills, memorizing something that uses English was a task too tall to even imagine, so he was greatly unsettled. But when he asked Hina that, all she could think of was ‘that’s what you’re worried about?’
The source code isn’t open to the public anyway, so it won’t show up on the test, right, Frank-Sensei?” Myuhi said as she looked to Frank for confirmation.
“Yes, it’s a closely guarded secret of Garesto’s after all.
And besides, we’re just teachers of the technology class, so we don’t really know anything past the basics. Of course, we don’t have the permission to teach anything beyond that either, doing so is a sure trip to jail,” Frank agreed.
Apparently, Garesto’s skill programs were very important to them.
“Now that you mention it, it would certainly be dangerous if they were analyzed.
There are also a lot of people who like to illegally tamper with stuff, and people might find a way to render certain skills useless.
If earth-made skills were to appear, the value of magic might go down, and I’m sure that would trouble some people.
There would be licensing issues too if there’s already a license system in place… Hmm? What’s the matter?” Shinichi said as he pointed out a lot of things that could go wrong with open-sourced skills.
What was troubling, however, was not what he said but that it was he who pointed those things out.
Myuhi and Frank couldn’t hide their shocked expressions as they gazed at him in wonderment.
When Shinichi saw their reactions, he too froze.
Regret was always served after, and Shinichi regretted running off with his mouth.
Fortunately, the things he said were only his conjectures.
“…A-ha ha ha. You sure are sharp.
You immediately figured out why we don’t reveal the source code of the skill programs.
A guard against earth trades, licensing issues on the developer’s side, and preventing illegal tampering of the skills or the creation of countermeasures. You got them all,” Frank said.
“R-Right…” Shinichi meekly replied.
A blunder. There was a sharpness to the gaze the fox-eared girl looked at Shinichi with though she remained smiling; even the teacher appeared suspicious of him.
“So, how do I use skills?” Shinichi asked, pretending his hardest not to recognize those dubious eyes of theirs as he urged them to the next lesson. Shinichi’s failure to be careful with his words from the start was fatal in a lot of ways.
“Ahh, right. Let’s try ’em out… Targets!” The fox-eared girl ordered the foster, and targets floated in the air again just like last time, they positioned themselves right there next to the rest of the targets still floating. Then as she equipped her terminal onto her right arm, she turned the palm of her hand toward a target.
“Voice-Activated Mode on! ‘Fireshot’!”
In the next instant, a small ball of fire appeared in the middle of her palms, and it shot out toward the target, spectacularly hitting the target dead center, setting it aflame.
“Umm… It’s burning…… You sure that’s ok?”
Won’t it turn into a big fire? Shinichi worried.
“You sure worry about strange things,” Frank remarked, while Myuhi said with more shock, “That’s what you’re worried about!?”
She was proudly demonstrating the use of skills, as earthlings had a penchant for being easily surprised when seeing a skill invoked for the first time, but Shinichi wasn’t even in the slightest bit surprised.
As a result, the ones to be surprised were her and Frank.
But for someone like Shinichi who had seen something like this countless times, there really wasn’t any reason to be surprised.
“You don’t have to worry, we don’t just have cleaners, we also have countermeasures in place to deal with the skills,” Frank said, pointing to a direction.
At the other end of the direction the teacher was pointing at, could be seen a nozzle jumping out from the ground to extinguish the burning target with water. Then just like awhile ago, the machines automatically dealt with the rummage left over by the burning target.
“And we have more unnecessary high tech stuff, how amazing…” Shinichi said, though of course he didn’t really think that.
He couldn’t really agree with automating everything.
As for why, that might be because it seemed to resemble nothingness too much, giving Shinichi an uncomfortable feeling.
“It’s necessary to minimize the damage of skills in the academy.
You can find these sort of things all over the place, and they’re pretty well made.
A special-class student won’t be able to easily destroy that wall over there even with an advanced skill,” Frank proudly said as if he hadn’t heard Shinichi’s earlier remark. Apparently, people from the technology-class really like talking about technology.
“In fact, that target just now normally can’t be broken by a beginner-ranked spell unless it’s by someone from the special-class.
It’s still banned to use attack-class skills inside the campus though, so I wouldn’t really recommend using them outside of regular class hours.”
“It’s a category for skills.
The spell used just now was an attack-class nature interference fire-type skill, Fire Shot.
It just burns the target it hits, but it’s the first attack-class skill taught to students.
Fire-type skills are the most common after all.”
Although Frank had previously mentioned “you’ll learn about them from now on”, he still taught Shinichi some things about skills just like a teacher.
Attack-class skills were largely divided into two categories: One, the nature interference type, which uses natural power such as fire or wind, and two, special attacks, which use the motion data of a weapon.
Other than that there were defense-class skills, which are used to protect against attacks or abnormal effects, and support-class skills, which are used to boost someone’s weapon or ability.
There were also skills used in day-to-day life outside of fighting.
Finally, under each category were different ranks, they are: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
“Can I also use those, Frank- Erm, Frank Sensei.”
“Of course, but as the rank goes up, so does the power and effect of the skill, which would in turn also affect the required photon energy and how difficult it is to control a certain skill.
Which is also why you shouldn’t use a skill beyond your Mind status and your grades. In your case, as a D-Rank…” Frank checked his terminal. “Right, there’s no problem. You can use all the beginner skills released during enrollment. As a D-Rank, however, your power will certainly be much lower than the other students.”
What Frank said just now was normally something to be sad about.
Yet Shinichi just took it matter-of-factly as if it didn’t concern him.
Unfortunately, he did not understand just how odd that seemed.
“…Well, let’s get to it then.
If you don’t have any other questions and there’s nothing wrong with your foster, then push the button that says ok, so we can begin,” Frank said.
“The Voice-Activated Mode is the easiest way to use skills.
It’s already been set that way by default, Icchi, so just call out the name of the skill!” Myuhi added.
“…Can I not say it?” Shinichi asked.
“You could do it manually, but that means looking for the name of the skill – which happens to be English – and selecting it from the terminal. You ok with that?” Myuhi replied.
—I have to look for the skill from all these?
Shinichi had no choice but to be downcast when she said that.
It might be assumed that Shinichi was simply unfamiliar with shouting the name of the skill, but that was nothing more than the opinion of someone living in a world where these kinds of magic were normal.
For someone like Shinichi, who was yet to familiarize himself with the world after coming back, calling out the name of the skill was too embarrassing.
Simply put, the very thought made him feel “Chuuni.”
“It can’t be helped…”
Equipping the foster just like Myuhi did, he turned his hand toward the target.
When he felt the photon energy respond to his will, he knitted his brows as he made a grim face.
“Seriously?” Shinichi muttered.
He hated himself for realizing something even more annoying.
But that wasn’t something he could think about now. What was important now was that he was in the middle of a test fire.
So Shinichi forced himself to call out the name of the skill to invoke it.
“Haa…” Shinichi sighed before finally saying, “Fire Shot…”
It wasn’t certain whether it was because of the lack of vigor in his voice or his D-Ranked Mind Stat, but the ball of fire that came shooting out of his hand was ten times smaller than Myuhi’s.
By habit, the tiny fire ball shot through the target dead center, but perhaps because of the difference in power, it only slightly charred the target.
“Bullseye! That’s 100 points! Amazing, Icchi!” Myuhi cheered.
But unlike Myuhi, who jumping in joy, Frank was making a difficult face.
There was obviously something very odd for a first timer to hit his targets dead center as consistently as Shinichi has been doing.
He was simply just too used to this.
And though a certain girl was jumping in joy, the atmosphere between the teacher and a certain student had clearly gone stiff.
That was the ever familiar bell that signaled the end of a class.
“That’s enough!” Frire said in a loud voice. “Take off your fosters and rest!”
Although Shinichi’s partner couldn’t really be called a partner, he lined up with the rest of the class in front of the teachers.
That was the one thing he was able to do perfectly. It was something that was ingrained into him from a young age after all.
“Class is over. How you spend your afternoons is up to you, but all physical training is prohibited. You have to rest your body, understood!?” Frire instructed.
“Yes!” The students responded in unison.
“Dismissed! You may also dismiss if you’re done, Frank Sensei.”
“I understand… That’s all there is to skills.
All that’s left now is for you to get used to them, so just read up on the manual stored in your terminal.”
Shinichi still had questions left unanswered, but after that last explanation, the class ended.
Honestly though, he would have preferred the manual be written on paper than an e-book.
“You should go change and eat now, or you’ll run out of seats. I’ll clean up the rest here myself,” Frank said as he pointed to the damaged targets still floating in the air.
Shinichi didn’t say any more, and after some courtesies, he exited the area.
Or more precisely, was made to exit the area, as the fox-eared girl pulled him away.
After seeing them off, Frank used his foster to retrieve the target still floating in the air.
If it was just slightly burned and hollowed, then it was still possible to repair it.
That was much faster than buying a new one.
Cannot be retrieved because of damage?”
At that, Frank neared one of the targets.
The targets were only hit by a small bullet, so none of them should have broke.
In fact, it was flying up there in the air at a height about the size of a normal human. What could possibly be wrong?
But as Frank neared it, he finally noticed it.
“It’s been shot through?”
There was a hole at the center of the target.
That was something impossible, and he didn’t even think of the reason behind it before he spat.
“That’s impossible! I don’t know about special-class students, but the worst student of a normal class couldn’t have possibly shot through it!”
There was no reason for it to ever happen. Not even by chance.
Frank looked at the rest of the targets still in the air with that same feeling welling up from within that was almost obsessive.
Everything, without exception, whether it was by the shooter or by the skill, everything had been shot through.
“Am I… dreaming?”
But that was only the beginning, for when he looked through the hole upon the targets, what he saw broke all common sense.
His muscles stiffened, the hair on his arms all stood up, and suddenly, the world felt cold.
On the other side of the hole on every target was another hole just like it on the wall.
What should have supposedly been a small, worthless dent had shaken the history of Garesto.
Or at the very least, Frank himself had never seen anything like this.
It was a mark left behind by the someone with his status should never have been able to leave.
For not even the teachers or the students of the special class are able to puncture a hole through that wall.
And yet, here was Frank, standing before a series of holes made by a bunch of attacks with barely any effort behind them.
“…………What in the world did he just do?”
 A reference to the wizard meme. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
Author’s Note: And so, he catches the attention of another teacher. Older brother part is next.
Tl Note: Next chapter to be posted by nadenadeshitai this week.
Now, I wonder if there’s a magic version of Stallman for the Garestonians.