“That makes five!”
A glowing photon sword, that was extended as far as it could, stabbed into the ground.
As the boy felt that sensation of piercing something neither a raybeast, a rock, nor the earth, he nodded in satisfaction.
Ryou had been tasked by his superior (during the exam only) to go around the fields and destroy some targets under the pretense that he was an assistant.
“Just 2 more… Geh, new information? Another three? And they’re pretty far too. Sigh… Still, how is that guy finding all these?”
He muttered to no one in particular, and no one answered him either.
He had been tasked to do all this by himself because his superior feared that there might be a trap somewhere.
Although he himself didn’t understand the reason behind the attack, there was no doubting that the enemy had prepared much for this day.
So it wouldn’t be strange if they’d prepared some kind of trap for him too.
As for why it had to be him, well… Shinichi, the other teachers, Myuhi, and Aristel all had to lead their respective classes.
Tomoe was too important to the mixed class to go, while Frire was busy dealing with something else.
Wernher was under the custody of the inspectors, and the only method he had to fight with was his
Hence, the only one who knew the situation and could act on his own was Ryou.
That’s why when Shinichi realized the existence of the unauthorized dimensional energy convergence, he told him to go and destroy them.
“…Just how long have they been planning? Wait, could these be the reason behind the issue in the test last year?” Ryou said as he dug the device out of the ground and stabbed at it with his sword.
There was an abnormal increase in the number of raybeasts during the exam last year during December.
If the enemy was testing these devices that time, then everything checked out.
“They had an insider in the school, so they were able to make it look like human error. It shouldn’t have been too difficult should for them either since they have something that can manipulate the human mind.”
Although he didn’t know who the criminal was, he and his childhood friend had been controlled by someone.
He and Tomoe have always had a resistance to mysterious phenomena because of their knowledge of spiritual matters, so they didn’t ask too much and readily accepted it when they were told that there was an enemy inside the academy and that something had been done to them. At least, much more so compared to Frire and the others.
“If I end up like that again and get attacked, I won’t even be able to resist.”
If the main culprits were to attack along with the abnormal increase of raybeasts, they surely won’t have an easy time.
Just the number of raybeasts they had to deal with last year already caused them so much trouble.
“I get it, but…”
Destroying the convergence devices was meant to prevent that, so he understood that it was important, but at the same time, it felt like a minor job had been pushed onto him.
He was proud enough of his abilities that he felt that it would’ve been more appropriate for him to be used in an attack instead. After all, he was also one of the people in the academy with the most experience fighting raybeasts. Unfortunately, his younger superior told him to prioritize destroying the convergence devices even if he happened into an enemy.
“…To the next one then, I suppose.”
Becoming irresponsible because he wasn’t happy with his job wouldn’t do. Besides, at least his job had a purpose. This was still much better than being made to help out with something absurd that didn’t make sense.
Ryou flew to the next designated point closest to him.
But there was already someone else there, and fortunately or unfortunately, it wasn’t an ‘enemy’.
“What are you doing at a place like this alone?”
Although they had both appeared on each other’s radar, neither side knew who the other party was, so the other side sent out two people just in case.
The people they sent was a pair of a boy and a girl, the only ones to wear an exoskeleton other than the teacher. They were people Ryou was familiar with.
“The Senba siblings, huh. So that should be the 2 – B class then. What are you still doing here?”
Although they were somewhat close to the school, at least based off the center of the second half of the fields, given that the Senba siblings were almost guaranteed to be promoted to the special class and the amount of time that had elapsed since the announcement, the progress of 2 – B was slow.
“Well, excuse me we’re taking so long! We did hurry down the mountains, though!”
Ryou was genuinely just asking a question, but Youko felt like he was poking fun at them.
The way she reflexively responded like that, for some reason, reminded Ryou of his childhood friend.
Birds of the same feather flocked together. Ryou felt like he was experiencing the meaning of that expression right now.
“Lightnings as strong as skills started hitting us along the way. It was really tough,” Yousuke said.
“Ahh, so you were having your exam at that ridiculous mountain,” Ryou said.
Yousuke interjected and Ryou nodded.
He recalled that that mountain that quickly cycled through different weathers was nearby.
“So, what are you doing here, Shinguuji? Since you’re not with 2 – A… Don’t tell me, you’re playing hooky?” Yousuke asked.
“You’re not acting on your own again, are you? You’re not an elementary student anymore, so you should stop moving on your own and start working with your group,” Youko said.
“I’m not playing hooky and I’m not acting on my own! Just what kind of person do you think I am anyway!?” Ryou said.
“A classmate that causes more work, I guess,” Yousuke said.
“A regular of the Public Morals Committee blacklist,” Youko said.
The Senba siblings were members of the Public Morals Committee, though strictly speaking one of them wasn’t, but they both held authority regardless.
They’ve had an unwanted but inseparable relationship with Ryou since they enrolled together, and they had no reservations when they spoke with each other.r
That was because Ryou was the problem child of the school until Shinichi came along.
They turned a blind eye to some of his actions because of his grades, but whenever he went too far, they had to warn him properly.
When they were around people, the Senba siblings would speak more respectfully to him because of the difference in their classes and grades, but the 2 – B class was too far to overhear their conversation right now.
“Naka— I mean, there’s been some trouble, so I’ve been turned into an examiner’s assistant. Right now I’m going around seeing if there are any malfunctioning equipment inside the fields.”
He was about to say the name of the new problem child of the school, but fortunately, he managed to recover.
Ryou was there when the Senba siblings and his superior met, so he was being considerate.
As for the rest of what he said, that was the excuse he was given in case he happened into someone.
“Seriously!? That’s amazing! As expected of the Japanese top ranker,” Yousuke said.
“A student as an examiner’s assistant… Tch, I guess you’ll be leaving your name in the school’s history again then.”
Yousuke was genuinely impressed by him, while Youko was frustrated, but Ryou himself could only remain quiet before their gazes.
Normally, he’d hear them out triumphantly, but since Shinichi was the examiner, it just felt strange.
“Ignorance really is bliss, huh,” Ryou said.
“It’s nothing,” Ryou said as he urged them to move on. “Anyway, the energy convergence device here is malfunctioning. So there’s a chance a large number of raybeasts or a raybeast with more energy than A Rank will attack you—
Suddenly, someone’s scream resounded and drew their attention.
“Too late, huh,” Ryou muttered.
Interestingly enough, the convergence device just happened to be right below them.
That’s why a giant raybeast with energy beyond A Rank suddenly appeared before the students resting in the shade of a giant rock.
Confusion, fear, panic… Amidst all those feelings, the students took out their ranged weapons and shot at the raybeast, but none of their attacks could get past the outer skin of the raybeast.
The raybeast pointed its sharp fangs at them and bellowed out a howl. Upon seeing that, Yousuke immediately drew his weapon.
His rapid shooting empowered by his exoskeleton landed landed on the raybeast’s head, causing it to stagger for a moment.
Youko and Ryou made use of that opportunity to jump in front.
The raybeast looked just like a dinosaur, but there was one thing different.
“A three-headed tyrannosaurus? Whose and what kind of images mixed together to make it turn out like this?”
Other than the head and the outer skin, it looked a lot closer to the older concept images than the most recent ones.
It stood on two legs, while its small arms sadly dangled about.
Apparently, because they attacked it, the raybeast decided to prioritize the three of them instead. At least, that’s how it looked like given how it glared at them while they flew.
“…Tyraberos?” Yousuke said.
“This isn’t the time to be giving it weird nicknames! Hurry up and kill it!” Ryou said.
As the three students let out a war cry, they took out their weapons and attacked.
Ryou used a photon great sword, while the Senba siblings used cone shaped lances.
They’ve never fought together, but they’ve shared the same education, so they were able to distribute roles quickly.
The one with the strongest abilities, Ryou, was positioned at the front, while the Senba siblings took the flanks.
As they invoked the same skill, intersecting lines were drawn on the raybeast, and the hard scales were penetrated, and the head crushed, but even then, the raybeast did not disperse.
With all the energy it possessed, it could continue existing even with this much damage.
“ORA! eat this!!”
But this school’s top student obviously knew that, so he continued attacking and stabbed the defenseless belly of the raybeast, then swung upward to tear it open.
After having its upper body and whatever remained of its head split in two, the raybeast finally couldn’t maintain its existence and dispersed.
They each took their share of the crystals that remained.
“Those two really are amazing!”
“Shinguuji is as strong as expected too!”
“One day, we too will be standing there…”
After having the opponent they couldn’t kill so easily taken out, the class of 2 – B became excited and shouted praises while looking longingly at the three students.
The Senba siblings found that a bit embarrassing, but they waved at them nonetheless.
“It’s really embarrassing when they put it so bluntly like that. I just can’t get used to it,” Yousuke said.
“Well get used to it! I’ll make it so that they’ll shower us with so much praise we’ll get sick from it!” Youko said.
“But you’re the one most embarrassed here,” Yousuke said.
“S-Shut up, Yousuke!” Youko said.
Beet red, the older sister sneakily poked at him with her elbow in a way that the rest of the class wouldn’t see, but despite the pain, the younger brother wore a satisfied look.
As Ryou watched the two siblings argue as they usually did, he tilted his head.
“…I wonder why. I’ve never minded it before, but for some reason, it feels like the younger Senba is similar to someone…”
Ryou was already used to the cheers of the crowd, so he just answered to them, while thinking pondering something else and failing.
As they started thinking about what to do from here on, a shadow covered them.
“Don’t get cocky, you brats!”
Suddenly, the same voice said the same thing from various directions, and a chill ran through them.