Shinichi called out to the steel giant from below.
“Do you have a moment, Werbra?” He said as he hid himself behind the legs of the giant.
Wernher’s face appeared on the screen. 『Has that nickname already become official or something? …What do you need?』
He wryly smiled when he heard that strange nickname, but made a bitter expression before asking Shinichi what he needed.
“I’ll leave this side to you. I’m going back to the fields again.”
『…Can I ask why? 』
“I was always planning on going back anyway, but… We’re missing one student.”
The displeasure behind those words made Wernher inadvertently falter.
But then he realized what the words meant and he found himself tilting his head.
『H-Huh? But wasn’t everyone present? The other kids are acting normally. I don’t think they’re lying. 』
“If they were really to tell the truth, her grades would suffer. No one’s noticed yet because she’s done a good job. Even I didn’t notice it. And that’s impressive.”
A ghastly smile surfaced on Shinichi’s face and Wernher found his own face twitching.
‘I don’t know who that student is, but man, talk about courting death,’ he thought as he drew cold sweat.
“But sooner or later, people will notice that she’s gone,” Shinichi said. “So I want you to tell them that I had something to do and took her with me. I’m counting on you.”
『Huh, ah, wait────』
‘How are you going to go back into the fields without anyone noticing?’
He was about to ask, but before he could, Shinichi cut their call.
When he tried searching for him, the response he got was already inside within the fields.
Despite that no student or teacher was able to notice him entering.
“I’d heard that people would lose sight of him from time to time. So, this is what they meant… Man, am I glad I wasn’t put in charge of him.”
While Wernher was feeling strangely relieved in his cockpit,
Shinichi had already finished searching the area near the entrance.
Not a single trace was left of the person he was looking for.
Tomoe Safina was no where to be seen.
“Invisibility techniques really are a pain, aren’t they? I didn’t even notice that she’d disappeared.”
He’d forgotten about her too until he found out that only the students of the three classes were present.
The students without any way to resist her technique probably won’t realize her absence for a while.
Even though she was the central figure of the rear support group that they’ve been fighting with all this time.
Considering that, the technique she used should be considerably powerful.
“That stubborn tomboy. Did you think you were freed from your obligations the moment we got to the goal? Just what and where would you run off to all by yourself in a situation like this! Answer me!”
Shinichi said irritated as he called her foster.
Since he was an examiner and she was his assistant, her number had already been registered in his foster.
Even if she refused his call, his call itself would still reach her.
From there, he could just go after the transmission waves to find out where she is.
───Or at least that was supposed to be the case.
However, against all expectations, his call couldn’t connect at all, no, it couldn’t reach her.
“Communication jamming? No, that’s not it…
This wasn’t just an issue of not being able to answer his call.
It didn’t matter where he called. The transmission waves weren’t being sent.
Regardless of if he controlled the mana or did the process manually, the call couldn’t transmit anywhere.
His foster itself wasn’t broken, but it wasn’t working properly.
While he was wondering what was going on, he abruptly looked up.
“…Frire, huh. That’s one flashy attack you’ve got there, Teach.”
The reason he looked up was because he felt
On his eyes that could see even the invisible photons was reflected a powerful brilliance.
But when he looked up to the sky, he also noticed something strange.
A large of number of people have been using exoskeletons and skills in this closed space these past few days, so photon particles could now be seen fluttering about in the sky, but…
“There’s something strange mixed in… Is that…?”
When Shinichi saw something unrelated mixed in with the photons, he knit his brows.
There were too many particles already, so the sensors couldn’t pick it up.
But by coincidence those things were shown to him, a person who was capable of seeing those things.
And because he was so used to seeing photons already, they stood out like a sore thumb.
“In that case… ‘Fire Shot'”
Just as abruptly, Shinichi transformed his weapon into a shooter mode and uttered the name of a skill.
As someone who has experienced many troublesome things, from wars to rebellions, he skipped through the necessary process and jumped straight to the answer.
Comms weren’t working, strange particles similar to photons were floating in the sky, and they were currently under attack by terrorists.
To him, that was more than enough to deduce the situation.
“So this ridiculous deductive ability works even in this world, huh. Sigh…”
That’s why he wasn’t even the slightest bit shocked when the fire bullet that should’ve shot out of his shooter didn’t.
If anything, the fact that that thing from Falandia worked here too had a bigger effect on him.
Apparently, so long as people were people, there weren’t big differences in the methods they thought of.
“They sealed the skills, huh… How conventional.”
He could see the photons moving inside the foster, trying to invoke the skill, but that was all.
The alien particles were interfering with the foster and preventing the invocation of the skill.
He didn’t understand how advanced that technology was, but it wasn’t hard to figure out what the terrorists were thinking.
To neutralize the enemy’s mode of combat.
That was a concept that was so universal it apparently transcended worlds, and there were many roads to it.
One could directly interfere with magic or skills to make them unusable.
One could attack from outside the target’s range, so that it wouldn’t matter even if they could use skills.
But whether the kind of tactics or schemes devised will work or not is another story altogether.
“Normally, they’d make sure their own soldiers weren’t affected.”
With a huge smile on his face, Shinichi took out three terminals.
If the enemy neutralized their own peoples’ skills too, well, that would truly be putting the cart before the horse.
As expected, the terminals were completely unaffected by the skill jamming and functioned just fine.
So Shinichi did what he usually did and intercepted the communications of the volunteer army to make things more convenient
He changed the contents of their messages and sent them where he wished.
That’s why he already knew that Beta Team had installed something.
Shinichi took one of the terminals and placed his ear on it.
There was actually no reason to do this, but he couldn’t help but treat these terminals like phones whenever he called someone with them with just sound.
It was one of the things that showed he was someone from 8 years ago.
“Can you hear me, Shinguuji? Heh, the situation sure has taken an amusing turn, huh.”
Because he was intercepting and altering all the terrorists’ message, he understood the whole situation better than anyone else, regardless of if it was the defending side or the attacking side.
That’s why he also knew
Their side had it the worse, so he decided to call to them.
If not for that, he couldn’t have made the call.
『In the first place, you guys— Hah?』
“You doing well?”
Shinichi spoke in a friendly – or rather, ridiculous – manner to prevent the other party from sensing those feelings.
Ryou was surprised by the sudden call, and quickly became annoyed by Shinichi’s attitude given their situation.
『Hey, I’m busy right now, call me late—』
“The skills have been sealed by the enemy.”
But that irritation was quickly shot down by the news brought by that monotonous voice.
“Blame the sealing of the skills to the examiners. Everyone else is affected too, so they can’t provide help immediately.”
After securing the infiltrator, Frire was going around helping the students as planned.
In this situation, where skills couldn’t be used, having a swordsman that could fly as fast she could was a huge help.
Skills being sealed also didn’t affect her much.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t close enough to help their class right now, and she also had to take care of the other classes.
“If the situation is still bad in 10 minutes, I’ll do something about it.”
『10 minutes? And you’ll—』
He didn’t wait for him to finish before cutting the call.
Shinichi too only had that much time.
The 10 minutes he told him was actually just the time he was planning on spending elsewhere. There was no other basis for it.
He put away the terminal he used for the call, and turned to the remaining two screens.
Projected on each was a simplified map of the entire fields.
On one screen was shown a light dot at a coast not too far from where he was, while the other screen showed light dots surrounding the whole fields.
“Bingo! Not that this really makes me happy, though.
As far as the situation of the war was concerned, Ryou’s location was the most ‘disadvantaged’.
But the most ‘dangerous’ was the place Tomoe was headed to.
Because she was headed to one of the mysterious light dots surrounding the fields.
The volunteer army did not recognize the students as an enemy, so there was room to take them by surprise, but the ‘enemy’ there was likely different.
That was an ‘enemy’ that Tomoe had noticed before anyone else, not to mention an ‘enemy’ that she chose to face alone.
Shinichi knew the situation of the entire fields, and decided that the place he should prioritize first was that.
But that also meant that he couldn’t attend to other places for a while.
“…If you can’t handle an opponent of that level with your current abilities in just 10 minutes, and you end up depressed because of that, then you might as well just leave this school altogether.”
He told himself expressionlessly before bolting off.
He ran like the wind.
Trees that humans wouldn’t dream of passing through and beast trails covered in thickets were woven through like they were nothing at a speed beyond even that of beasts.
But unlike that nimble gait that could traverse such difficult terrain, the expression on his face was solemn.
───No matter what happens, you must always be there for them.
Within his ears, resounded his father’s gentle
Mixed Team of Three Classes──Arrived 1st and Has Successfully Been Evacuated
Mixed Class Examiner Assistant──Missing
1 – D Examiner──On the Way to Rescue His Assistant
Time Until Possible Rescue for Class 2 – B──9 Minutes and 50 Seconds Remaining