If the schedule went exactly as last year’s, then classes would be resuming after a day of rest.
But due to a special exam being conducted without any prior notice, the students were given three days off instead. Presently, it was the second day of those three restt days, and many studenst were enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
The few students who did know about the actual circumstances could tell that the school was using this time to deal with the aftermath of the incident.
But regardless, because of these circumstances, there was nothing strange about a pair of students in school uniform spending their time at a family restaurant.
What really stood out here was the black school uniform.
“…Somehow, I just can’t get used to this kind of treatment. Amu.”
Shinichi grumbled as he ordered a large serving of butter chicken rice for his early lunch.
Beside him was Youko, in her beast form, eating a 180g steak.
Pets were normally not allowed, but Amaryllis were legally an exception.
“Uh, what? Nevermind that, actually, I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at a bit-type weapon for my next challenge. But I just can’t make up my mind what type to make it into. Any ideas?”
Seated in front of them was a male student dressed in a white lab gown.
He was Wernher Braun, a fake scientist from Germany.
He and Shinichi found a kindred spirit in each other and ended up with a close but weird relationship.
They hadn’t planned on meeting up today, but they happened into each other while looking for a place to eat, and now, they were sharing a table.
Presently, they were having an enthusiastic discussion about a man’s romance, or to be more precise, weapons.
By the way, Wernher wasn’t eating anything, he was just drinking.
“By ‘bit’ you’re talking about the independent floating weapons, right? Those weapons really make you want to do everything with them. Not only can they shoot, they can also get around superficial barriers to destroy the enemy,” Shinichi said.
“With weapons like that, it’s no wonder that even a single unit can wreak havoc in the battlefield. They’re the best,” Wernher said.
The two boys spoke as they imagined that kind of weapon being used.
The hobby they shared allowed them to get past many obstacles.
Because of that they had a tendency to ignore their position as well as the confidentiality of certain matters.
“It would be great too if they could combine and become a giant sword or a shield.”
“Ah, yes! A weapon combining and transforming is definitely romance! It sucks that there aren’t many people who can understand that!”
“Well, it does make sense to just store different weapons since the weapon terminals can store so many without issue. Most are only using them with guns, shields, and swords, nowadays, right?”
“Yeah, it hasn’t been long since the independent floating weapons were developed. Unlike with drones, their control system is still immature, and they’re either remote controlled or completely controlled by the AI, so the ones that are using them have decided to limit their use to make their lives easier.”
“In the first place, humans weren’t born with the ability to feel and control something that’s not connected to them. Even if the wielder can understand the theory, actually using them is another story. They need a lot of time to learn them and get used to them.”
Although the weapons could be used, they were still under development.
Being able to freely handle the small floating weapons would greatly widen one’s coverage during battle.
One could attack them from the blind spots, and attack and defend without relying on one’s own hands.
The area that one could attack is increased, and at the same time, one could also pinpoint the targets.
Because of that there were a lot of students who try to use them, but in the end, only a few were able to use them effectively.
“Yous— I saw the younger Senba using them before, though.”
“Ahh, him. When it comes to handling bit-type weapons, he’s definitely the most talented in school. In fact, I think he has even better senses than Padyuel or Ruona. He can use the shield bits to protect himself, while providing accurate support fire at the same time. I saw his performance in a video before, and it was masterfully done. In fact, he’s such an amazing genius that the developers taken with bit-type weapons are always crowding him.”
“I-I see… What about the, uh, older one?”
“The older sister is an orthodox melee fighter, so she’s not very exciting to watch as a romantic weapon believer, but – perhaps due to her brother watching her back – she’s known for being exceptionally adept at assaults. It’s surprisingly difficult, you know, rushing at your enemy by boosting yourself with your exoskeleton. It looks easy just watching, but you really need to be careful with the timing and with your posture.”
After all, it was a completely different story from when a person was running and jumping all on his own.
The armor being worn was actually the one accelerating, so it needed to be properly controlled.
Failure to do so would just end up with the attacker ramming his body into the enemy.
Even just going straight was difficult for beginners.
“Although her exoskeleton is only meant for practice, the fact that she’s mastered it in such a short period is a testament to her talent. Since she’s still in the normal class, it’s still easy to reach out to her, so those guys scheming to develop exoskeletons are always crowding her.”
She was also able to further develop her specialty by using their various prototypes.
“…You sure are well informed.”
“But of course. Right now they might still be lacking in experience and their equipment are still lacking, but once those problems have been solved, the Senba siblings are a talented pair with the potential to be first-rate warriors. To Earth, they’re the twin stars of hope right after Shinguuji.”
That’s why he at least knew this much, he said, and Shinichi nodded in admiration.
“…Hoh, that’s pretty amazing…”
“…Why are you smirking like that?”
Shinichi seemed to be desperately trying to keep himself from smiling, but his cheeks still loosened.
For some reason, he was making a face that resembled that of a proud senior, but Wernher couldn’t understand why.
After all, Shinichi did not seem to get along well with those two.
That wasn’t exactly wrong, though, since Shinichi did have a poor relationship with one of the twins.
But that had nothing to do with his own emotions.
Since his siblings were being appraised highly, as their older brother, he was naturally proud of them.
“Kyu kyu kyu.”
Unlike Wernher, Youko could understand Shinichi’s emotions, so she laughed.
Shinichi poked her because of that, but she just happily swayed her body, causing Shinichi to make a glum face.
Contrast the two of them, however, Wernher looked like he was about to make a run for it.
“I-I’d heard the rumors, but… I guess you really do treat that amaryllis casually. Would be much appreciated if you didn’t do that in front of people, though. It’s kinda bad for the heart.”
Even the masses knew of the power of the Amaryllis to some extent, so students like them naturally had a deeper understanding of the threat they posed, and there were many among them who couldn’t help but be scared by the way Shinichi treated the amaryllis.
After all, her species was famous for destroying cities alone when angered.
That’s why various laws have been passed to prevent people from angering them.
“Don’t worry, as long as no one attacks me all of the sudden, she won’t bite.”
When Shinichi said that so naturally, and the servant nodded in the same manner, Wernher dryly smiled as he pitied the fools who’d dare pick a fight with him.
“Ahaha, literally the strongest body guard. Not sure you really need the protection, though.”
Of course, that was not because no one would attack Shinichi, but because even if he were attacked, he could protect himself.
But for some reason, the one who nodded proudly to those words was Youko.
“Ah, sorry, Werbra, looks like my previous engagement is here.”
As Shinichi said that, he turned his gaze to an approaching pair of a boy and girl in school uniform.
The male student was one of the popular students of the academy, so Wernher recognized him.
“So it’s not just Garesto’s top students. You’re acquainted with Earth’s top rankers too, huh. Really well connected. You planning on taking over the school or something?”
Wernher said in half-jest, but Shinichi made a glum face and immediately shot the idea down.
“Just so you know, it wasn’t on purpose. And why would I ever want to take over an academy like this? That’s such a pain.”
“Ahaha, in you’re case, you’re probably telling the truth, but that’s exactly what makes it so scary.”
He’d formed connections with such people without intending to, and even saw the school as a place that could be described with words such as, ‘like this’.
Moreover, it was not that ‘he could not’, but rather because he ‘found it a pain’ that he wouldn’t take over the school.
Shinichi could understand what he was implying with his reply, so his glum face became even glummer.
“Well, I’ll just be getting in the way if I stayed any longer, so I’ll be going back to the dorms. Besides, I can’t wait to read the report you wrote about my babies. If you included suggestions how to improve the foster too, I wouldn’t be able to stop salivating.”
Wernher said as he stood up with a face full of anticipation, but when he was about to leave, he suddenly remembered something.
“Oh, yeah. As you friend, you should know, but you better get rid of that habit of yours of putting your foster on your ear when talking to someone. People will treat you like an old man.”
In other words, that was not how the youth of today held their fosters.
Given their position, it was an earnest warning that such behavior could give out the year he was born in.
The portable terminals that have grown popular in the last 8 years could conveniently perform video calls.
Because of that there was a slight difference in how the people of today communicated.
No longer did they hold their phones over their ears when communicating by sound, and neither did they merely rely on the display on their phones to hold a video call.
Perhaps there were still a lot of people in normal society that held their terminals over their ears, but in this school, where most of the populace were in their teens, such behavior stuck out like a sore thumb.
“That’s another generation gap… I’ll be careful. Amu.”
Such advice might’ve already been a little too late, but Shinichi would by no means turn a deaf ear to it.
After all, Shinichi didn’t want to stand out even more than he did now.
With a shocked face, he sighed and emptied his plate.
Wernher chuckled at that, and then left the restaurant after settling the bill.