I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Exam Arc: Chapter I – Those Who Take Advantage of the Test – 04-15: The True Power Balance of the Two Worlds (3/3)

“Of course, we’re running simulations to prepare for the worst, and we’re also trying to find a solution. But strategic weapons are just too much of a mystery to us, and we really don’t have much resources to spare since we’re spread plenty thin as is just dealing with the raybeasts.”

The reason the situation was still like this despite having investigated Earth for 45 years prior was because at the time, the Garesto government feared the emergence of more extremists and the spread of the idea of WMDs, so they hid the matter. Even military authorities were kept in the dark.

It was only 8 years ago that the existence of the strategic-class weapons coincidentally became public knowledge.

Unfortunately, such efforts only served to give rise to another extremist faction.

“Shooting down long-range missiles can only go so far, after all. Especially, if they’re loaded with some nasty stuff.”

“We’re looking into strengthening the defensive walls, but there aren’t any photons to spare, and even if the people behind the walls do survive, if the environment past the walls is destroyed, then the damage will still be too much. We can’t draw a trump card that ‘we don’t have’, and just finding out about those basic information was already difficult.”

I’m sure they don’t want to accidentally reveal their hand to an opponent they are technologically superior to.

And even if Garesto wants a better counter to Earth’s weapons in case those weapons are aimed at them, they’ve yet to trust any nation enough to rely on them.

In the end, the only things that the army was able to lay their hands on were the most common stuff.

They could try sending spies, but the difference in culture and appearance was too much. It wasn’t something that could easily be done.

And in the first place, the intelligence department of Garesto’s military was meant to deal with terrorists within Garesto.

They didn’t know how to execute covert operations in Earth, and even Frire was clueless how the intelligence department that did know how to perform covert operations would move.

“Both worlds took their time laying the groundwork, but in the end, it looks like both were sloppy in all sorts of weird places.”

“Because of that there are people who have misgivings with the government too. Unfortunately, no one can really speak out against them when they say that they’re doing it because we don’t have enough resources.”

Although the Garestonians were unhappy with how the government intentionally ignored the finer details, they couldn’t really criticize them. That was one of the fundamental issues with Garesto.

Moreover, it would make the Earthlings nervous if Garesto were to try and prepare a thorough defense and countermeasure system.

As much as they’d like to prepare for the future, the times were sensitive.

As such, there was a need for a gray zone where no one knew what would happen.

“So that’s why that crimson thing came out… Tell me, how much do you think Earth has seen through those things that ‘you supposedly don’t have’?”

“The upper brass of the military probably know already. The commoners’ technology complex may have kept a lid on it at first, but it’s already been 8 years. Even if they’re not certain, they should have their suspicions by now.”

For better or for worse, the people of each world had a sense of superiority and inferiority that they unconsciously held.

A feeling of superiority toward the Earthlings who lagged a few steps behind them.

A feeling of inferiority toward the Garestonians when they realized the gap in technology.

This prejudice helped put a lock on the thoughts of the masses.

But it’s already been 8 years since the academy was opened, and many people have gone in and out of it.

Try as they might to restrict it, there was no stopping the leak of information.

And anyone insightful enough in the matters of the military would surely be able to form a conjecture from those.

“But fortunately or unfortunately, there’s a dimensional wall separating the two worlds. And neither world possesses a weapon that can surmount it. What’s more is that Earth is a world inhabited by many nations with differing thoughts. It can’t stand united. On the other hand, Garesto doesn’t have the resources to spare – material or human – to prepare an invasion. The dimension gate that’s necessary in order to travel between worlds is also being managed and defended by us, so I’d like to think that we won’t start shooting at each other, but…”

Despite her optimism, her expression was grim.

If a war were to break out, the dimension gate would be needed in order to dispatch a platoon.

Because of that that the area around the gate was being watched.

Any suspicious movements would be immediately detected, and in the worst case scenario, an invasion could be stopped by simply destroying the whole place.

Garesto had the technology to travel across dimensions, but even then, they could only send people one at a time.

But if so, then the reason why they started the cultural exchange in the first place becomes an issue.

“…Garesto reached out because they lacked resources. They can’t stop until that issue is solved.”

“Earth probably also doesn’t have any intentions of cutting contact since they’d lose the opportunity to gain advanced technology.”

Earth wanted Garesto’s technology, while Garesto wanted Earth’s resources.

The two worlds agreed, but the people didn’t, and now the animosity of the people against the otherworld was senselessly spurring on the two worlds to work harder.

To the people who wish to split the two worlds apart, just bringing about that situation was considered a victory.

Both Frire and Shinichi understood that, so they sighed.

“Sorry to say this, but… It looks like you came back during the most troublesome period of this age.”

“Don’t say that. If I’d ended up like Urashima Taro, I would have given up too.”

She didn’t know what the name Urashima Taro meant, but from the context, she figured that Shinichi was saying that he would have given up too if he came back after everything had ended.

“Hmm… Maybe that’s why my time shifted by 8 years. Nah, there’s no way it’s related…”

Shinichi suddenly became thoughtful and started mumbling something to himself, so Frire couldn’t help but be suspicious.

“What’s the matter?”

“…Nothing, or at least that’s what I’d like to say, but I suppose that’s not possible. There’s a reason why I had to talk to you about this.”

As he said that, he wryly smiled and said, “let’s go,” then walked off.

For a moment, Frire wondered what was going on, but when she looked at her foster, she finally realized what was happening.

As she followed after Shinichi, he said.

“Do you know why I talked to you about the situation between Earth and Garesto just now?’

“Uh, because there’s a high chance that that incident was perpetrated by the extremists?”

Mind Skills were still being researched even in Garesto.

And yet it was a skill like that that was used on the students and teachers of the academy, what’s more, the technology class.

At the very least, there should be a skill researcher from Garesto and someone from the academy working together.

“Moreover, it was at a time like this that they used a mind skill to make some students and teachers go berserk. One can only assume that they’re trying to distract people from that place. After all, most of the people of the academy are currently focused here because of the exam.”

If a commotion were to be stirred up here, they would definitely launch their attack there.

Even a temporary distraction will make it easier for people from outside to make their move.

“So that incident was both an experiment and a diversionary tactic.”

The people who perpetrated that incident probably wanted it to be discovered quickly, but they definitely weren’t expecting to have their skill be undone. Fortunately, an miscalculation(irregular) was here.

When Frire thought of what it would’ve been like had Shinichi not been here, she couldn’t help but be scared a little.

She needed to come up with a plan to deal with the main event that’s about to start.

“You sure are sharp when it comes to stuff like this. As expected of a former soldier.”

“T-That’s my line, you mysterious transfer student! You should use your head more and get along with people! I’ll keep our promise, but I’ll have you know that complaints about you are being thrown my way endlessly!”

In response to those words that didn’t sound like a compliment, Frire was more than happy to shoot back with her own.

She knew that her normal life was problematic, but she really didn’t want to hear it from someone so extreme he could only put distance between himself and other people.

“Ha ha, yeah, sorry. Anyway, good luck.”

It was admirable that he apologized, but at the same time, it clearly sounded like he had no intention of changing for the better, and that gave her another headache.

She had no right to talk about other people, but this student of hers that distanced himself from others even more than her really troubled her to no end. She didn’t know whether to scold him more or just give up on him.

“——-But, you know that’s not the only reason, right?”

“What?”

In the middle of all that worrying, Shinichi casually dropped a bomb with a smile.

Suddenly, the atmosphere around the boy seemed to have gotten tighter.

“I was thinking it was about time for you to know. But first, I can tell you for certain that what they’re trying to do won’t just end with a poor attempt.”

“…What do you mean?”

“I don’t have any basis for it, it’s just conjecture, but I can feel it, the same feeling as usual(・・・・). A third party could join the fray, perhaps there’s someone working with them from another faction, I don’t know the details, but…. You should brace yourself. Because what’s about to happen is so unexpected that it will surely shock you.”

The boy looked only straight ahead as he walked, but the way he said that was as though it was a matter that’s already been decided.

Despite saying he had no basis, he seemed certain.

“Is that your intuition?”

“Good, if so, but alas… If you want a reason, then it’s because ‘I’m here’. Unfortunately.”

“I really don’t get you. It’s true that you’re a peculiar case, and I’m sure the people in the know will aim for you, but…”

“Ha ha, there’s that too, but anyway, you should just think that wherever I am is going to be the crucible of all strifes.”

After that the boy just laughed as though explaining any further would be too difficult, but that only troubled her more.

The boy seemed to be spouting nonsense, but his expression said otherwise.

If anything, it seemed as if he was reluctantly telling her this only because he had to.

“Then how about I put it like this instead?”

Her confusion probably showed on her face since the boy suddenly smiled and decided to make it easier for her to understand.

As all emotions vanished from his face, and his countenance appeared colder, he spoke.

“The reason I came to this school is because I figured it would be easier to deal with the trouble coming my way here.”

“…What, did you say?”

“It might not be possible in a normal town, but if it’s here, I can even take some precautions. There might be some casualties, but if it’s here, the casualties can be kept in check. After all, this place was originally full of troubles, right? No one would find it suspicious even if more troubles were to visit it,” the boy laughed with a cold face.

She didn’t know if it was because of his attitude or his words, but before she knew it, she had grabbed the boy by his collar.

“You came here despite knowing that!?”

He wasn’t making sense, it all sounded rubbish to her, but the fact that he seriously thought that spurred her.

“Yes, that’s right, Frire Doneju. It’s really a huge help to have so many facilities and people prepared already.”

Despite being glared at by that pair of angry eyes, the boy still calmly replied.

He wasn’t looking down on her, he was just telling her everything matter-of-factly.

But it was still creepy how calm his eyes were.

“…Why are you telling me this now?”

Partly because he seemed to be intentionally acting the role of villain, Frire calmed herself down and asked him that question.

For a moment, that tight expression vanished from his face and a gentle smile appeared in its place.

“Maybe because you’re the kind of person who could get angry with eyes like those?”

“…I really don’t get you.”

“I came here knowing full well that the other students might be in danger. You don’t understand what I’m basing my words on, but you still got mad. Yeah, if it’s someone like you, I figured you would believe me.”

He seemed lonely when he said that he told her about it only because she would seriously consider his ridiculous words.

For some reason, it was only then that the boy looked like a lost child, and she let him go.

“Whoops… Oh, yeah, it’s going to be a lot harder from here on, so be sure to take care. Even if the incident this time ends safely, all the troubles are bound to gather to here(me).”

It would be best to be more careful than usual.

She didn’t understand what his basis for all of this was, but there has indeed been more incidents ever since he transferred. When she thought that, she became uneasy.

“…Don’t make a face like that. It won’t end up like you’re thinking.”

“What do you mean?”

But the powerful words that the boy spoke next wiped all that unease away, and when his eyes looked up, for the first time, something devilish could be felt from them.

“I promise you, Frire Doneju, so long as it’s within the reach of these two hands and two eyes of mine, I won’t let a single one of those kids die. Not one!”

“—”

She was speechless.

Was it because she was that uneasy? Or was it because the boy had just promised something so arrogantly without a shred of doubt?

The answer is neither.

What took her words away was not her uneasiness nor the boy’s arrogance, but those powerful yet inflexible words.

They captivated her.

And she couldn’t pull herself from those eyes so full of conviction and resolve. Never before had she seen such eyes.

She felt she had to say something, but no words would come out.

“…Y-You sure know how to boast.”

When she finally managed to mutter something, she wanted to swallow them right back in.

“If I can’t do that much, then I won’t even be able to hold myself with pride.”

“Hmm?”

The boy spoke with a relaxed smile as he walked away from Frire, then he quietly pointed at his surroundings.

“Leave these guys to me too. Their objective is probably me.”

“…You’ll give me a report, right?”

“Of course. I’ll call you later.”

After saying what needed to be said, the boy ran off at an adequate speed.

He seemed used to the dark, as he quickly made his way through the trees, and before long, became nothing more than a dot.

When Frire looked down at her foster, the light signifying the boy was being chased by several other lights.

It turns out that the reason he changed locations was because people have already started to surround him.

She didn’t have her guard up that much since they were all students, but the moment Shinichi left her, they suddenly closed in. Apparently, they really were aiming for him.

“…All the troubles are going to gather, huh.”

That’s not funny, but he didn’t sound like he was joking, so she could only knit her brows.

But even if he was telling the truth, then it was only right for him to come here.

Even if people weren’t trying to find trouble for him, it was originally a place meant just for that.

Because of that it was several times more capable of handling those troubles than any normal city.

But of course, that’s only true if you don’t consider the people living in it at all.

“…No, this isn’t the time for this.”

She scolded herself for thinking something so foolish.

It was dark and the boy had already gone too far, so she couldn’t see him anymore.

—Why don’t you consider yourself as one of those children?

And why couldn’t she point that out when he made that oath.

As an adult, as a teacher, as Frire, she should have been able to say it.

The reason was simple. In the face of that strength that could declare something like that without doubt, her desire overpowered her.

She wanted to cross swords with him right at that moment.

She’s never found her own disposition disagreeable, but she has told herself to get a better read for the mood.

“…So my heart can beat fast for something other than fighting, huh.”

She mocked herself, saying that there wasn’t anything she could do about it, but at the same time, she thought about something else too.

The boy at that time certainly seemed full of conviction and resolve, but it also seemed as though those were the only things keeping him up.

Frire didn’t know if it was a good thing for those things to have been spurred on.

She’d said that she wanted to know how he felt, but in the end, this was how things turned out.

In the end, she was still too lacking as an adult and as a teacher.

But even then…

“If I can’t do that much, then I won’t even be able to hold myself with pride.”

Those words that he casually said bothered her.

 

“Nakamura, are you… Living with pride right now?”

6 comments / Add your comment below

    1. I think I need to learn and understand how the Japanese look at pride. When I was young I taught it was weak to be prideful.

  1. “Nakamura, are you… Living with pride right now?”

    “Nope, from the looks of all you girls drooling over me, maybe more like living with Lust rather than Pride.”

    😛

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