The mixed team of three classes went down the river to reach the entrance of the fields.
By using layers of barriers and shields to create a raft for themselves, they were able to minimize their stamina consumption and maintain morale.
But above all, the fact that Shinichi had created a raft this time led gazes of disbelief and admiration to burn into him from all around, but the person in question did not notice any of that.
Or perhaps, he simply couldn’t afford to because there was something more pressing that necessitated his attention.
“Don’t let your guard down. There were some who went up the river, after all, so it wouldn’t be strange if there were still more of them loitering around.”
In his left hand was a pile bunker, and in his right hand was a red gun.
As their examiner, he urged them to keep their guards up as they continued along their way.
But his gaze was directed at the opposite direction they were going in.
The worst thing that could happen to them right now was to be flanked.
If there were still guard robots standing around the goal, then they could just fight them, but if they were to also be attacked from behind, the situation would take a turn for the worse.
“You’re too tense. We’re not getting any response anywhere. It’s a bit strange, but maybe the other classes behind us are doing their best,” the core of the rear support, Tomoe, said.
She didn’t think that Shinichi was wrong to be on guard, but she did think that he was being too wary.
“Perhaps. Regardless, they’ve been entrusted to me, so I need to make sure they get to safety. There’s also a chance that a raybeast might suddenly appear, so it’s not meaningless to be wary.”
“That’s true, but still.. You know, I’ve been thinking this since you apologized, but could it be you’re the type that can’t cut corners once you’ve started to take something seriously? That’s really exhausting,” she said.
“Well, excuse me for being bad at cutting corners. But enough of that, you are properly managing your stamina, right?”
“O-Of course! There’s no way I’d screw up three times! Well, feeling-wise, I’d say I’ve used half my strength already.”
“If that’s your situation, then the vanguard is already at the end of their ropes.”
The students of this mixed class more or less had the same rank of Stamina.
That’s why the vanguards, who’ve been moving much more than anyone else, could only be more exhausted.
“…Technically, you’re the lowest ranked here, though.”
Tomoe looked suspiciously at Shinichi.
He had been moving even more than the vanguards, and yet he didn’t look the slightest bit tired.
When she saw him moving for the first time, she’d mistaken him to be someone from the upper classes. She figured that his weak status was just him relying on something to fake it.
“Don’t worry about it,” Shinichi said.
“But I am worrying about it!” Tomoe said.
Unfortunately, it did not sound like he was planning on talking about it at all.
She knitted her brows and groaned in displeasure, but it had no effect on him.
Tomoe had that publicly undisclosed spiritual power, so she didn’t consider Status to be everything. At least, not as much as the rest of the students.
“Umm, examiner? Sorry to intrude on your lovers’ quarrel, but…” A student said.
“W-Who is having a lovers’ quarrel!?!?” Tomoe said.
“Me and you, duh… So, did something happen?” Shinichi said.
The unexpected words caused her to flush beet red and bellow out, but Shinichi just ignored her and calmly replied.
The student was only half-joking when he’d said that, but Tomoe was so shocked that she became speechless.
“…Ser, ious, ly? I was having, a lovers’ quarrel, with this guy… FUEEEe!?!?”
Shinichi admitting their lovers’ quarrel poured oil into the flames and Tomoe screamed out in a strange voice. The student that caused this strange episode wore an indescribable expression on his face and felt bad, but he had to continue his report.
“Actually, there have been sightings of an unidentified giant object near the goal, but we don’t know whether to consider it an enemy or not.”
They’d found something, but was at a loss as to whether it was friendly or hostile.
Shinichi asked for a more detailed explanation, and it turns out that the student noticed the object on the radar and confirmed it visually, but the strange color and shape that could be clearly seen even from a distance stumped him.
“I’m not really sure what it is…”
“…I see. Like that, it’s basically a landmark.”
Shinichi wryly smiled upon seeing that red steel giant once more.
But from the way the student was wondering what kind of giant object it was, unfortunately for the creator, it didn’t even register as a guard robot to them.
Although it was partly because they lived a lifestyle far removed from that subculture Japan was so proud of, Shinichi could still feel the generation gap.
“I know it’s mostly because of the nostalgia, but… Damn, it’s so cool,” Shinichi said.
“Huh?” The student said.
“Nah. It’s nothing. That’s the guard robot created by one of the special class students for fun. Unfortunately, class 3 – B could not finish the exam because of an accident.”
“Ah, so that’s why the custom guard robot is there at the goal too.”
After understanding the situation, Shinichi told the students to set that robot as their destination’s landmark, and then searched the surroundings again, upon which, he caught wind of traces of a recent battle.
There were small parts of guard robots too.
Realizing what had happened, Shinichi’s cheeks loosened.
“As expected of Grandfizer. He’s not just for show.”
Shinichi looked at his childhood hero and inwardly thanked it.
As for the pilot, he conveniently forgot about him.
But because of that, he didn’t notice that the girl, who was flustered just a while ago, was now making a surprised face.
But it wasn’t just her. In fact, the rest of the class were making stupid faces too.
Because after they passed through the entrance and exited the fields, the inspectors came to welcome them and see which class it was.
At that, Shinichi folded his arms, and with a fearless smile, looked sharply at them.
“What? Got a problem?” He said.
For some reason, his voice resounded with an overbearing pressure, and the inspectors found themselves overwhelmed. One of them cleared his throat, and finally acknowledged their arrival.
“Teacher Doneju has informed us. We’ll acknowledge the arrival of the mixed team of class 2 – C, 2 – D, and 1 – D… I-I suppose congratulations are in order. Congrats. You’re first,” the inspector said.
“We did it! We did it!”
“W-We’re really first!!”
As fierce and excited cheers resounded, the mixed class immediately became lively.
Much time has passed since enrollment, and yet not once had they reached the top, until now that is.
High fives were exchanged and shoulders were joined.
Some among them even hugged each other while crying.
“They’re completely exhausted, and yet look at them.”
No one was more surprised by their reaction than Shinichi.
But when he took a step away from the crowd, he looked warmly at their happiness with a gaze.
A gaze that was partly affectionate and partly envious.
『Ahahaha, I figured you’d pull something, but who would’ve thought you’d actually lead three classes and secure first place for yourselves──』
As a strained laugh leaked through the comms, the steel giant walked over.
The man behind that steel giant already knew who was behind the mixed class’s success, but he wasn’t so thoughtless to rain on their parade.
Shinichi knew what he was implying, but he just shook his head.
“With this many people and how close they were to the goal in the first place, it was only natural they’d end up winning. You must’ve suffered a lot, though, having to clean up everything around the goal. I’m guessing you happened into them while you guys were on the way to take refuge with the inspectors?”
『Bingo! But! Guard robots of those level won’t do no matter how many they are! If you want, I can show you Grandfizer’s passionate display! I recorded everything from the cockpit! You can even get the entire 360-degree experience!』
“Sounds great. Looks like that robot of yours isn’t all looks.”
『Obviously, Grandfizer is invincible!』
As he said that while laughing, the closed fist of the steel giant landed into its palm.
Although their last meeting ended with Shinichi threatening him, when it came to this giant, they were just two little boys happy to see the hero they looked up to.
『By the way, how are the weapons? Were you able to use Schwarz Schlag? Vint Gever isn’t broken, right?』
A bunch of weird words suddenly came out.
“Huh? Uh, did the translation device break? I feel like a bunch of German just got thrown at me…”
『Hmm? Isn’t it a Japanese standard to name weapons in German?』
When he responded so matter-of-factly like that, understandably, even Shinichi was stumped.
“…That’s actually hard to deny.”
Because it was technically correct.
There was a
Most of the translator devices usually translated Garesto’s language, but when it came to names of different languages of the same world, it preferred to leave them as is.
A subtle misunderstanding caused by a preference for a particular medium and the use of excellent translators.
“Hmm, so does that mean that all of these were named in German? I never heard anything about that! And what about the Snake Belly Sword!?”
How much of the two names did he understand?
For someone who couldn’t understand any English, it was remarkable that he was able to realize that the names were German. Evidently, he too was someone who preferred a certain medium.
“Why is this the only one named after Norse mythology!?”
Without realizing it, Shinichi had thrown a tsukkomi jab at the steel giant.
It was because Germany was generally not considered part of North Europe.
Also, Jormungand is a colossal snake that appears in Norse mythology.
Shinichi treated the Snake Belly Sword like a rampaging giant snake, so he couldn’t exactly call the name strange, but he didn’t like it either.
“I’m not calling it that, okay? It’s too long and it’s hard to pronounce.”
『What!? But I went out of my way to think of something Japanese-like!?』
“You’re putting effort in the wrong place! Also, I don’t need this part of Japan!”
For the first time today, Shinichi actually sighed in exhaustion.
Normally, it was Shinichi’s role to stir up everyone around him, but because of Wernher’s own conduct, he ended up being the tsukkomi guy instead.
“E-Examiner Nakamura, can I have a bit of your time?”
“Huh? Ah, what is it… I mean, how may I help you?”
A middle-aged man that looked to be the representative of the inspectors called out to Shinichi, and Shinichi answered him in his usual manner, but corrected himself when he realized who was talking to him.
Fortunately, the translator device seemed to have smoothed things over for him, so the man continued normally, though it was evident that he felt reservations about calling him an examiner.
“It’s fine to be happy about reaching the goal, but we need to do a roll call soon and request an official report of arrival. The situation necessitates it, after all.”
To the students, this was an exam, but to the teachers, this was an emergency situation.
Because of that they saw the goal as an evacuation point, and the question of whether everyone was present or not was important information.
“Understood… Students, line up!”
Shinichi understood what was being implied, so he immediately called out to the students.
In response, the students immediately responded as though all that joy from before was a lie.
Without being given any further instructions, the students lined themselves according to class in less than 10 seconds and stood at attention.
The teachers were stunned.
“Class representatives, do a roll call, and give me a report!”
The class representatives gave a firm reply, and then started reading through their respective lists.
After each respective class went through their list, the class representatives returned to the head of their line and gave their report.
“2 – D, reporting, all students are present, sir!”
“2 – C, reporting, no missing students, sirl!
“1 – D, reporting, including the examiner, all students are present, sir!”
“Ah… Well, as you’ve heard. I’ll be leaving the three classes in your care.”
For some reason, Shinichi let out a surprised voice for a moment, but then passed the report of the students to the inspectors, who then nodded back.
“With this your exams are over. You did pretty good out there. So get plenty of rest, and when the rest of the classes come, welcome them with a smug on your face.”
Shinichi said with a mischievous face. After getting the students’ energetic response, he dismissed them with satisfaction and allowed them to rest.