Most of the students passed the night, completely unaware about the events that transpired.
When the second morning of the exams came, the students welcomed it normally in the fields.
The class of 1 – D waited at their exam area, at the same place they were made to fight with the B Rank raybeast yesterday. They were a little nervous because of that, but they still lined up properly.
In front of these students stood their examiner with his arms folded and an amaryllis on his shoulder.
Although they were also worried about what kind of problem their examiner would throw at them today, what really took their attention was the new group of students lined up beside them.
“Good morning! Did you get plenty of sleep last night?” Shinichi asked.
“Y-Yeah…” A student replied.
Class 1 – D sounded distracted.
In the next moment, a crack ran through the rocky terrain, and a monotonous voice demanded that they fix their attitude.
“When you reply, you are to speak loud and clear.”
“I-I slept well, sir!”
“It was a perfectly good night, sir!”
“All of my fatigue has been washed away, sir!”
The class of 1 – D could feel it in their bones. If they didn’t fix their attitude here, their lives just might be in danger.
In truth, although they were able to sleep because they were exhausted, the unfamiliar environment prevented them from having a pleasant sleep.
“U-Umm, examiner, sir, can I ask a question!?”
“You’re too tense… Well, go on. Out with it.”
One of the students felt compelled to muster his courage and ask a question to change the topic.
Evidently, their examiner, Shinichi’s, medicine was too effective.
“Why are the 2nd year students of Class C and D here too?”
The student said with a somewhat restless voice as he pointed to the group of upperclassmen.
These upperclassmen may have been in the lower ranks of their year as well, but there was still an entire year’s worth of gap in knowledge and experience between them and 1 – D.
The class of 1 – D might one day reach their level, but for now, there was a vast gulf between them.
There was no way that they could take the same exam, not even by mistake.
“A problem came up with their exam, so their examiner had to leave. Since 1 – D’s schedule has plenty of leeway, they’ll be accompanying us today. Or at least, that’s what Teacher Frire says.”
But Shinichi nonchalantly confirmed that impossible reality, and most of the students of 1 – D just dropped their shoulders and accepted their fate.
“W-Wait! You’ve got tobe joking! Why do we have to take our exam with some first year kids!?”
“Yeah! What kind of ridiculous joke is it to make us take our test alongside some first years!?”
“In the first place, why is the lowest ranked student the examiner?”
But of course, that was only true for the class of 1 – D since they knew how Shinichi was on their first day.
The upper year students didn’t have any recollection of what happened last night, so naturally, they couldn’t just agree with this turn of events.
But memories weren’t carved only onto the brain.
“What? You got a problem with me?”
Shinichi smiled as he lashed out with his tongue at them.
This smile was just like that smile he wore when he knocked them black and blue.
“W-Why do I feel like it’s a bad idea to go against him?’
“Something’s telling me it’s over if we disobey him!”
“Why am I getting chills just seeing him smile!?”
Although they didn’t remember anything from last night, the fear of Shinichi has still been imprinted onto them at a deeper level.
And their bodies were telling them that refusing to comply here would be courting death.
“Honestly, you don’t really have to worry that much. The test I’ll be giving you is a simple test meant for first years. I’m sure it’ll be a piece of cake for you, right?”
“Y-Yeah! That’s right!”
“Y-Yeah, let’s take the exam together, Senpais!”
“You’ll have an easy time I’m sure!”
When the students of 1 – D encouraged them like that, they could only reluctantly agree while making a twitching face.
Evidently, the students of 1 – D didn’t actually think they would have an easy time.
Anyone could tell that the class of 1 – D just wanted to drag them to hell with them.
But unfortunately, despite knowing that, they couldn’t deny them and just reluctantly accepted their situation.
“…Hey, what did you do with these kids?”
“Ever heard the words ‘bullying’ and ‘uncool’?”
The boy and the girl standing next to Shinichi eyed him suspiciously.
The way he interacted with these three classes looked just like a person threatening someone.
Because of that the girl was half a step away from him, while the boy was more than three steps away from him.
They wouldn’t be wrong though, since he really was threatening them.
“Umm, Examiner Nakamura, why are those two here?”
It looked like the questions would just keep on coming, so the class representative of 1 – D called Shinichi’s attention.
“Understandably, having to manage three classes all on my own is difficult, so I got some assistants to help me. One is Shinguuji Ryou from class 2 – A, and the other is Tomoe Safina from class 2 – B.”
“I see… Wait, Safina?”
They didn’t have a problem with Shinguuji, but when Safina’s name came out, they couldn’t help but look at her suspiciously.
After all, Ryou was the top Japanese ranker, so he definitely had the grades to qualify as an assistant examiner.
As for Safina, word of her had gotten around, so everyone knew that she had been hospitalized and that her school ranking wasn’t any good.
That was especially true for the students of 2 – C. To them, Safina was a student well within reach, someone whose spot they could take over.
There was no way that the teacher who assigned her wouldn’t have known that, and yet she was still assigned as an assistant examiner.
“What? You got a problem with me being assistant examiner!? Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but Teacher Doneju asked me to help! So if you have a problem, bring it up with her,” Safina said as she glared at the students.
Her beautiful but bristled foreign aesthetic coupled with her pair of blue eyes penetrated the students and made them shrink back.
“Anyway, that’s how it is. You can be unhappy all you want, but I won’t be accepting any complaints. You’ve already agreed to take the exam, so you’ll be taking it regardless of the circumstances thrown at you.”
Shinichi stood in front of her and said that.
He seemed to be harmlessly smiling, but that was exactly what made him so terrifying.
It was as if he was about to ask them to do something that betrayed common sense despite wearing that harmless face.
“…So, what will be the contents of our exam be today?’
But the students couldn’t afford to pursue that anymore, as doing so would only waste the time they had.
If the exam was going to end up being so troublesome either way, then they might as well do it with ample time on hand.
Or at least, that’s what the student from 1 – D had in mind when he asked that question.
“2 – C and 2 – D will form groups of threes and gather crystals. You’re only permitted to gather crystals by defeating the raybeasts. Cooperating with other teams is forbidden. I won’t be putting any restrictions on your weapons, but you’re not allowed to equip your protectors. Your objective is to gather 25 crystals per team. The smallest size that will count is 3cm. You will have until this afternoon to have everything gathered, so that’s about four hours.”
“No complaints here.”
There were more rules in place and the difficulty was also much higher compared to 1 – D’s exam yesterday, but the second year students haven’t been in this school for more than a year just for show.
The conditions Shinichi gave were still acceptable given the D Rank area the exam would be held in.
Or at least that was the case until they heard what 1 – D’s exam was.
“What about us?” A student from 1 – D asked.
To steal those,” Shinichi replied.
“Your exam will be to use any means necessary to steal the crystals they gather. You’re much fewer and weaker than them, so you can use any method you want. If you want, all 30 of you can even gang up on a single team.”
“You can do that!?’
When the students heard that, first year and second year students alike found themselves screaming.