I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Exam Arc: Chapter I – Those Who Take Advantage of the Test – 04-24: Before the Storm…? (4/4)

The other students asked for seconds too and they gathered together again.

There was more than enough for everyone, so everyone was able to get more food without problem.

“It was delicious, Safina-senpai!” A student said.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to eat something decent out here,” another said.

“B-But of course it’s delicious!” Tomoe said.

Not used to being praised, Tomoe paused for a moment before becoming beet red and acting proud.

‘Cute,’ Shinichi’s gaze seemed to say.

“Ah, speaking of which, examiner, where did you get this giant pot from?” A student asked.

“Now that you mention it, where did the pot come from?” A student seconded.

Everyone was conscious about it now, so even those that weren’t curious about the origins of the pot started to wonder.

Of course, the pot couldn’t have possibly been found out here in the fields.

Although there were plenty of ingredients here, there were no cooking utensils that could be conveniently picked up.

Neither was there a giant pot that could feed 100 students.

“…Well, you heard them? So how about ‘fessing up where that pot came from, as well as that ridiculous method of yours,” Tomoe said.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Shinichi said.

Tomoe appeared to be in a state between laughter and astonishment, but Shinichi couldn’t figure out why she was like that.

So he just came clean and told the students how he built(・・・・) the pot.

“First, you need to combine various earth-attribute skills to extract the iron from the ground,” Shinichi said.

“…Huh?” A student said.

“Then you take all that iron together, heat it up, and then beat it into a pot. Ah, of course, I sterilized and scanned it to make sure that it’s safe to use for cooking,” Shinichi said.

“Wait, you really made that thing using skills!?” A student asked.

“Yeah, that’s like what I’ve been telling you,” Shinichi said.

Shinichi had gone out of his way to mention that the pot was clean, but the students still seemed to be shocked for some reason he couldn’t understand.

What Shinichi didn’t know was that the students had already lost track of the conversation the moment he talked about ‘extracting’ iron.

Earth-attribute skills procured their materials locally, so depending on how you use them, it was a given that this kind of stuff would be possible.

There were many kinds of skills, but they tended to be either combat skills or skills meant for day-to-day life.

The creation of objects wasn’t among the known categories that skills fell under, so the students here had never even thought of using skills to create something.

“Then I made the pot float and put it on a pedestal made from a boulder. After that I lit a fire underneath it, filled it with water, and waited for it to boil. After that, the rest was her job. Skills might not offer much freedom, but they sure are easy to use. They’re so convenient,” Shinichi said.

Something as magical as skills was being treated by Shinichi like a replacement for camping tools.

Even 1 – D that had time to acclimate to his antics were shocked.

Yesterday he used combat skills to procure food, and that was plenty enlightening already, but this time, he took things a step further, and actually used skills to produce iron and forge a pot. The students had to pick up their jaws from the ground.

To Shinichi, the best part about using these skills is that they didn’t consume his mana. Because of that it was worth it to rely on them even if it was harder than just relying on his magic.

“Seriously?”

“You can do that?”

“Isn’t that just a waste of effort and photon?”

“Isn’t this supposed to be some kind of rare energy?”

With cramped faces, the students were in a state between being impressed and being speechless.

They were impressed because he was able to come up with such unique applications to the skills, but on the other hand, it seemed such a waste to use such precious energy to forge a pot.

But in actuality, it was really rare for pure photons to run out of energy. The only cases it’s been known to happen is when a large amount of energy is extracted in a single moment or due to degradation over time. But regardless, it still made one want to point out how lavish Shinichi was being seeing him use that rare energy to forge a pot.

“You think? Personally, I think you guys should consider how to use your skills better. Don’t you guys have a lot of things you want to try out after acquiring such a magical power?”

Shinichi has always been concerned about the submissiveness(・・・) of the students’ skills.

Although skills were a lot more restricted in their usage and effects compared to magic, he still found it odd how they stuck so closely to the manual, using the skill only when and how the manual tells them to.

Especially since Shinichi was like a kid in a candy store when he first started using magic.

“Of course, we’re trying out all sorts of stuff! We test the skills out during class time and even during our personal training sessions, and we’re always thinking up of ways to put different skills together and how to apply them,” Ryou said.

“I wasn’t talking about something that serious. You know, don’t you want to reenact some scenes from manga or games? Don’t you ever feel like copying a move from an animé that’s otherwise impossible?” Shinichi said.

Regardless how Shinichi’s base experience points were based off another god(someone else), most of his ideas actually came from movies and mangas and the likes.

Regardless if it was merely the knowledge he’s accumulated over the many long years, regardless if it was merely his daydreams while he was in Falandia, there was a difference between people whose creativity has been roused by stories and those who haven’t.

That’s why he asked them that, but the whole place suddenly became quiet.

The sudden change in the atmosphere confused Shinichi.

Some of the students were confused, some gave a thousand-mile look, and some just bitterly smiled.

“…Did I say something weird?” Shinichi asked.

“There’s no way any of the students here would know anything about manga or games,” Ryou said.

“I’d heard from the teachers that you’re a returnee, but seriously, what era are you from?” Tomoe said.

Apparently, this was another topic concerning the common-sense of the current modern man.

They would probably understand Shinichi’s confusion if he just told them that he was from 8 years ago, but he chose to just chuckle away their questions instead.

It would just make things more complicated if they were led to believe that he was at Garesto 8 years ago.

“Unlike you, who entered this school because you’re a returnee, these guys had to go through the enrollment process. You don’t understand what that means at all, do you?” Ryou said.

“I think it’s that – on one hand you have someone who worked hard and got in properly and on the other hand you have someone who didn’t work hard at all and is completely out of place,” Shinichi said.

“…So you do realize it, and yet you still act that way? You’re seriously messed up,” Ryou said.

While the two assistants were wryly smiling, they decided to show Shinichi just how big the difference was between a returnee and a normal applicant.

“Hey, you there, when was the last time you read a manga or played some games or something of the likes?” Ryou asked.

“Hmm, who knows? I think maybe it was when I was in my 2nd or 3rd year of elementary school,” a student replied.

“Huh?” Shinichi said.

The answers of the random students were beyond Shinichi’s expectations.

The same question was asked to a few more students, but they all said similar things.

Although it still depended on the person, they were already old enough that it shouldn’t be strange for them to have some manga or game that they like.

If it were just one or two people, then perhaps they merely had some reason that they didn’t engage such entertainment, perhaps their family’s situation or simply a lack of interest, but when so many people gave the same answer, then clearly something else was amiss.

Moreover, most of these students last engaged such activities 6 or 7 years ago. By this point, Shinichi could only assume the worst.

“It’s exactly what you’re thinking. In order to get into this school, you have to start that early or you’ll have a hard time,” Tomoe said.

“You mean they don’t even have time to read manga?” Shinichi asked.

“If this were a school you could get into just by studying in your spare time, it would have turned into a flea market already,” Tomoe said.

Now that she mentioned it, there were certainly fewer students than the size of the campus suggested.

Although each class had 30 students, the higher ranked the classes became, the more stringent the requirements, and the fewer the candidates.

But there was no helping this issue since the status of the Earthlings was all over the place.

But if so, then how should people of the same rank be judged.

Naturally, that would fall on one’s comprehension of the publicized information pertaining to Garesto, basic academic ability and behavior, and practical skills… etc.

But in order to study all of that, a price called time needed to be paid – and what better to sacrifice than those trivial sources of entertainment?

“So that’s why your creativity and imagination hasn’t been developed at all. Though I guess it can’t be helped since you already had your hands full just studying about another world,” Shinichi said.

“I get what you want to say, but the only ones who’re able to have hobbies are the special class or the technology class. Most of the normal classes don’t have time to play around. They had to abandon all of that just to make it here,” Tomoe said.

After studying and training under the Garesto way of life for many long years, when they finally make it into the academy, they’re asked again to keep on improving.

In the face of all that, only the cream of the crop of humanity could afford to still have a hobby.

One example would be that Wernher.

Although in his case, there were some unique circumstances surrounding him, so he wasn’t that good of an example either.

“Anyway, no one has the time to play. Even we students from the special class have a lot of training outside of official class hours. And when we do take a breather occasionally, it’s mostly to rest our bodies,” Ryou said.

“…So it wasn’t just to maintain your status,” Shinichi said.

Apparently, the students had gambled a lot more than Shinichi thought just to be able to enter this academy.

Then after entering, in order to aim for the top, they become reckless.

The people around him now just happened to be the people whose efforts weren’t rewarded.

It matched with the reason why they were feeling timid, but Shinichi had failed to grasp the extent of it.

“Is this place really worth all that?” Shinichi asked.

“Well, just getting in will guarantee you social status. But even before that, if you’re good enough, then you can get preferential treatment and support. If things go well, you can get a good job after graduation too. Most of the kids deemed to have the potential to grow their status aim for this school,” Tomoe said.

“So they did adopt that sort of policy, no wonder it spread so much,” Shinichi frowned.

As the first to start the cultural exchange, Japan was enthusiastic.

At the cost of possibly being misunderstood, one way to express it is that a carrot had been hung out to attract the public.

At best of times, Japan already had issues with inequality and economic depression. Now on top of that, a change owing to the cultural exchange with another world just had to be introduced.

A new path that promised stability as long as one had the character and the effort to make it happen. It makes sense how parents anxious about the future must’ve chosen it.

Even if their children failed to pass, the Status and knowledge that are so highly sought for in present society couldn’t possibly go to waste.

Because of that the notion that ”the higher one’s Status is the better’ became more popular in Japan, and discrimination spread.

“What are you talking about?” Tomoe asked.

“Nothing. I was just wondering what you guys want to become after putting in so much effort just to get here,” Shinichi said.

He had originally just said that to fool her, but after saying it, he became curious for real.

If one were to consider society, then the kids that ended up in this academy probably lucked out.

But as for whether they’re the victors or not, that’s a different story altogether.

Especially since the kids gathered around Shinichi didn’t have praiseworthy circumstances.

“E-Even if you ask that so suddenly…”

“Anything is fine. The path you want to walk down on after graduating is fine, you can also talk about your current goal right now, anything is fine, really, since I know nothing about the specifics anyway,” Shinichi said.

The students all hesitated, but they all seemed to be waiting for someone to start.

This was another unchanging part of society, the embarrassment of talking about one’s goal(dream).

“Alright, everyone should talk. Anything is fine, just talk about one dream of yours. If someone refuses to talk, I’ll use my authority as an examiner to give him a demerit!”

That’s why Shinichi took out his trump card – that trademark fishy smile of his.

No one thought he was joking. Everyone’s expression stiffened up.

“Wait, that’s abuse! You’re abusing your authority!!” Tomoe said.

“Alright, let’s start with my two assistants! Start!” Shinichi said.

“Huh, eh, me!? U-Umm, anyway I’d like to stay in B Class! And then I want to graduate properly and do a job that will make me be remembered! …I haven’t thought of anything specific yet, though…” Tomoe said.

“Well, something like that. It doesn’t have to be related to the school either, just say something. Alright, next,” Shinichi said.

“H-Hey at least make a comment or two!” Tomoe said.

Although Tomoe herself wasn’t particularly impressed by what she said, being ignored and then used as an example made her turn beet red, but her complaints just fell on deaf ear as usual.

“…I want to enter Garesto’s army,” Ryou said.

“Can an Earthling enter?” Shinichi asked.

“…You, you’re really too ignorant. It’s part of the cultural exchange policy. A framework for Earthlings has already been prepared. Of course, getting in is hard. And there are differences in treatment and promotions, but I want to go to the front lines, so none of that matters,” Ryou said.

‘If anything, that just makes things better for me,’ his eyes burning with determination seemed to say. Those eyes seemed to be looking at someone.

The person he wants to defeat. The reason he wants to become strong could probably be found there.

“Alright, next up is you then,” Shinichi said.

“M-Me!? Umm, I’d like to enter the countermeasure department and become an investigator…” A girl said with much embarrassment before a round of cheers encouraged her.

Apparently, even her friends didn’t know about her dream and were shocked.

Shinichi worked his way from her to the students next to her.

“Becoming a part of Kutoria’s defense force sounds nice. Well, to be honest, I just want to live here more.”

“I want to be a diplomat between the worlds. I’m not good at combat, but my chances are much better after graduating from here,” a student said.

“I want to go up a class! No, I’ll definitely go!” another student said.

“I haven’t decided on any clear paths just yet, but I want to see how far I can go,” a student said.

The students talked about their dreams one after another, and Shinichi quietly watched over them all.

These people still had things they were carrying. They were still struggling.

Inequality might not sound so nice, but no matter the place, there were differences in the kind of suffering.

Not everyone here will reach their dream.

Although not all of them will fail, not all of them will succeed either.

That’s the problem with dreams.

‘That’s why, at least…’ Shinichi thought. ‘Let them fail while challenging their dreams. Don’t let something out of their control interfere.’

But of course, even that wish was probably too much.

“Ahh, after hearing you guys talk about your dreams, I think I’m finally starting to see you guys as humans.”

After hearing everyone’s dreams and saying that with satisfaction, everyone else’s face started to twitch.

Of course, Shinichi was only half-serious, but of course, that still meant that he was partly serious.

‘…What did you think we were all this time?’

The answer seemed too terrifying, so no one had the courage to ask the question, and they didn’t have the time to either, for before long, fear had descended again.

“Now then, it’s almost time. Let’s end our lunch break here.”

As a demonic smile appeared on Shinichi’s face, the students could see the gates of hell opening once more.

“Uhe!?”

“Eek!”

“I-It’s here!!”

The warm and peaceful lunch had come to an end.

By this point, just a smile from Shinichi was enough to send the students fleeing in fear.

“…E-Examiner, what’s the content for our exam?”

The representative of 1 – D, the class most used to his antics, asked.

But despite having some resistance to his antics, his voice still shook a little.

“Hmm, what should we do? Shall we go to the B Rank area? Maybe attack the upper-rank exams? Or maybe have you guys fight Shinguuji in his exoskeleton(full armor) 90 vs 1?”

“All of those sound crazy, but if it’s him, I can seriously see it happening,” Tomoe said.

Tomoe said with a sour look as she held down her forehead.

The fiendish smile of the examiner gave the students another peek of hell.

Like this the peaceful but noisy second day of exams came to an end.

A calm too intense to be called the calm before the storm.

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Naturally, that would fall on one’s comprehension of the publicized information pertaining to “Gimuru”

    Is Shinichi going to tame slimes too?

  2. Thanks for the chapters! Dark mode is now working properly too.
    Also, you seem to have mixed up Garesto with Gimuru

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