“—Well, you heard her.”
After the sudden video message, Shinichi turned to them.
“Uh, even if you tell us that…”
“An exam that requires an entire class to participate is a bit…”
“Just the raybeasts are more than enough trouble by themselves.”
Never before has a message from the head supervisor been given during the big exam to announce an unscheduled special exam.
They may have been exposed to Shinichi’s antics and built up a resistance to surprises, but they still couldn’t help but hesitate.
They were already struggling just fighting with raybeasts, but now they have to fight against squadrons of guard robots and former soldiers.
On top of that, the teachers had apparently even prepared other surprises for them.
What they didn’t know was that Shinichi
Shinichi had been faking videos for the student council all this time.
So coming up with a fake video to fool some students was a piece of cake.
Frire and the inspectors had already actually mobilized for something else altogether.
One might presume that Shinichi made the previous message to fool their enemies, but his real objective laid elsewhere.
“What are you all being so nervous for?” Shinichi asked.
That objective was none other than these students in front of him.
From the way Shinichi talked, it sounded like the exam wasn’t anything special, but everyone’s expression was stiff.
“…Aren’t you guys misunderstanding something?”
“In the end, we’re nothing but C or D class students. Who’s looking at us? Who’s paying attention to us?”
There was no way someone would be bored enough to watch them here in this school.
When he said that, a different feeling other than tension seeped into the students’ heart, and they began grinding their teeth.
But no one could say anything back, no one could refute his words. After all, he was right. They were the weakest students of this school.
Few teachers treated them tenderly, and because of the difficulty of the classes and the training, none of the higher ranked students could afford to waste their precious time looking down on them.
“Don’t get over your head now. No one’s watching us, no one cares—”
Only a few people believed that the school caste existed in this school.
People who held such foolish ideas were destined for the bottom.
Comparing people only made sense when they were of the same kind.
“—So we can do whatever we want.”
Shinichi grinned as he showed off the face of a scheming fox.
This face possessed a different kind of invincibility to it compared to the previous face he wore when he was mocking them just a moment ago.
A ‘mischievous’ smile that was different from what they’ve seen until now.
“Since no one’s expecting anything from us, we’re the freest of all the students. Because no one cares, we can do whatever we want. Whether it’s by hook or by crook, as long as we get first place, it’ll be our victory.”
Nonchalantly, as though it was a given, as though it was perfectly natural, Shinichi told them to win.
“…First place? Us? Are you serious?’
“That’s obviously impossible given our situation!”
But it was precisely it was this kind of situation that they could aim for the top.
“We may be located near the middle of the fields, but we’re still the closest to the exit,” Shinichi said. “The other classes are located much deeper into the fields, while the special class is forbidden from breaking through by flying. And with three classes combined here, we have the advantage in numbers as well, so the top isn’t out of reach. Besides, don’t you think it’s more interesting this way?”
After a short pause, Shinichi looked at everyone.
His smile now was much fiercer than before. Moreover, he looked like he was really having fun.
He was just like a child that was talking proudly about a prank he came up with.
“Is this guy for real? Ha ha, hey, what are we gonna do?”
And in that same childish manner, he dared them to take on his challenge.
Before long, the class representative of 1 – D found himself laughing as he agreed.
“…Isn’t it fine? We have to take on this exam either way anyway, so we might as well aim for the top.”
“It’s the best chance we’ve got too compared to all the exams we’ve had before this.”
“It’s not like we’re being asked to do the impossible. Come on, guys, let’s do this!”
“What kind of face will the other class and examiners make when they see us take first place?”
“Damn, I really want to see that!”
As the fire within them was lit, they stopped thinking about unnecessary things, and they started to aim for the first place seriously.
And with that, the weakest group of the school became the group with the highest morale.
“It’s decided then. From here on out, all restrictions on protectors and equipment are lifted. Let’s cause enough destruction to make everyone in school keel over!!”
As they all put on their simple exoskeleton and readied their equipment, they cheered.
Shinichi was the only one without a protector within this group that numbered less than a hundred.
“Line yourselves up according to your specialty just as we did yesterday. It’s going to be a long battle, so decide how you’re going to rotate yourselves too!”
They didn’t spend all that time last night doing their
The moment Shinichi gave his orders, the students divided themselves into groups according to their specialties and class.
Students that excelled in Strength and Resistance formed the edge of the Triangle Formation as they made their way through the forest.
The vanguards were readied to receive an attack regardless of the direction it came from. As for the students that excelled in Resistance, they were positioned deeper into the formation after the students that excelled in Strength.
The students that excelled in the Mind were positioned at the very center of the formation, and they simultaneously invoked buff skills to strengthen the students at the edge.
Buffing themselves wouldn’t have much of an effect, but it was a different story when they buffed people that were already physically strong.
Although the vanguard with weak Mind still won’t be able to win over higher-ranked enemies just with that, they’ll at least be able to stop them.
This sort of division of roles was just like Garesto, only it was being executed the Earth way.
“5 or 6 raybeasts in front!”
“Don’t stop, keep going at this pace and blow them away!”
Their momentum now was so great that when they encountered raybeasts on that level, they could beat them in a single blow.
“Hey, can I ask a question?”
Tomoe figured she should ask her question while they had the leisure to, so she whispered by Shinichi’s ears as they ran alongside each other.
“What?” Shinichi asked.
“What’s Ryou doing? Also, does this exam have something to do with what happened the other night?” Tomoe said.
Ryou was still around when she woke up, but before she knew it, he’d disappeared. Moreover, because of what happened to her, she didn’t think that this exam that came out of the blue and needed them to run to the exit was just an exam.
“I had Shinguuji run an errand for me to deal with those other abuses Teacher Doneju mentioned,” Shinichi said.
That was Shinichi’s answer for the first exam, but he didn’t know how to answer her second question.
Shinichi and the teachers could choose to reveal the truth of their circumstances to the students.
But if the students were to find out the truth, there was no doubting that panic would ensue.
Of course, there were students that could keep their calm despite knowing the truth, but those students were surely the exception.
Hence, the safest choice to avoid that was to make this whole thing look like an exam and get the students to move and also have them fight.
That was the main objective of the ‘Special Exam’.
That’s why there shouldn’t be any reason to consider telling Tomoe the truth, but…
“As you’ve surmised, the people responsible for your plight the other night are coming.”
In the end, he decided to tell her the truth in a way that only she could understand.
“I knew it,” Tomoe muttered angrily as she grabbed the bamboo sword bag behind her.
There were many eyes around her, so she didn’t word it out, but her angry eyes were clearly saying that she would stab those people with Kamunagi.
“Oh, I see! As expected of you, my assistant. You’re always such a lifesaver!”
But then as if to pour cold water over her burning fury, a shameless elated voice resounded.
Confused by Shinichi’s sudden remark, Tomoe eyed him suspiciously, as did the others around them, when that trademark refreshed smile of his appeared.
“Thank you for requesting to join the skill group yourself! Hey, guys, she wants to be a part of the skill group!”
“Wow, if Safina-san is with us, it’ll be like having an extra hundred people with us!”
But before Tomoe could voice her confusion and protest, elated voices had already resounded.
Although Tomoe was on the verge of a demotion, she was still a B Class student. Moreover, she possessed a Mind rank of AA+, which could rival even special class students.
To these students whose highest rank was B-, an AA+ was exceptional.
“We’re the only ones with a high rank in Mind, after all,” a student said.
“Nothing could be more reassuring than to have you with us!’ another student said.
The skills group was made up of students with a high rank in Mind.
They had to support others with their skills, so even if it were just one person, having one high ranker with them would greatly reduce their consumption of energy.
“Uhh… Yeah! Just leave it to me!”
In the face of those expectant and envious eyes that were so close to her, Tomoe could only agree.
Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t shameless enough to feign ignorance.
Besides, if she were to be honest, it wasn’t a bad feeling to be relied on.
“Ha ha ha.”
But seeing that huge grin on a certain someone – the same person who gave her the information that set her aflame and yet forced her onto the skill group – rubbed her the wrong way.
“I swear… You’re going to hell,” Tomoe said as her face twitched.
That was the best tit-for-tat she could afford right now.
“I know, but that’s only if King Yama has the authority to judge me,” Shinichi said.