I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Exam Arc: Epilogue – Those Who Take Advantage of the Test – 04-41: In the Shadows of Earth and Garesto II (3/5)

The government deceived their own people for Garesto’s sake, but their actions caused people to misunderstand, and that misunderstanding led to them holding anti-establishment sentiments.

Frire’s expression was stiff, unsure if the governments action was good or bad, but Shinichi caressed her head to unravel that and spoke.

“Regardless, the interaction has proceeded so far like this, so stopping it so suddenly will undoubtedly incur greater losses. And it’s not really all that bad. Rather it’s precisely because of those sort of circumstances that the interaction between the two worlds has proceeded peacefully until now. Not to mention, that it was thanks to the policy taken by both worlds to actively seek interaction that both sides could benefit.”

“…Benefit?”

“Unexpected discoveries tend to accompany new perspectives brought about by different culture and technologies. And the combination of these different elements can bring about new developments as well. Did you know? The reason why all that mess you made in the forest will go back to normal after a few days is because Garesto’s technology was able to improve and develop the horticulture that Earth has cultivated until now.”

An artificial field of nature.

It’s not wrong to describe it as such, but behind that description are two worlds.

The fusion of Earth and Garesto’s knowledge has made possible what was once nothing more than a dream.

Yes, the acceleration of plant growth through the overwriting of the environment was already reality.

“Now that you mention it, Garesto never had a culture for raising vegetation. It has become so common nowadays that I’ve completely forgotten, but… I see. So this is one of the results of the interaction.”

Deeply impressed, Frire looked up at the branches swaying in the wind.

To Garesto, nature was both a resource and a symbol of a safe zone(dome) outside.

Hence, despite this already being her third year here, for the first time, Frire looked at the swaying branches intently, and that scenery that even looked like a symbol of the battlefield reflected on her eyes as something else altogether.

“I’ve never thought of them as anything else other than an obstruction, but… They sure are beautiful.”

The brilliance of the green under the light of the sun stole her eyes, while the magnificence of the branches stole her breath.

Even the interaction of the two world behind those branches started to impress her.

“Some would label such acts sacrilegious toward nature, but no matter how they’re born, they’re all the same inside.”

Although there were people who frowned upon such acts, such technology was a light of salvation to the areas struggling with desertification.

The fusion of the technology of both worlds was able to solve a problem plaguing both.

And while they did not catch the eye of the public, such cases have indeed been increasing since the disclosure of the inter-world interaction.

“…From now on, I’ll be careful when sending people flying.”

“What a vague response. I suppose you get points for honesty, though, since you didn’t say you won’t destroy them anymore.”

When Frire said that so seriously, Shinichi couldn’t help but wryly smile.

She was essentially saying that she wouldn’t hold back in a fight.

When he thought of that, the wry smile on his face grew deeper, but the hands combing her hair caressed her gently.

“That’s not all. By raising the foundation of our technology and with the introduction of the exoskeleton, the development of our space technologies that had stagnated before has once again started to make strides. Should we be able to get the resources in space, both Earth and Garesto will stand to benefit.”

Earth’s resources weren’t unlimited either.

And in fact, there were already several resources on Earth that were at risk of being depleted.

In the not so distant future, the end would come for limited lands like Earth and Garesto.

But with technologies that were nothing more than a pipe dream a few years ago, that future should now be much further away.

As though impressed that the interaction of the two worlds could affect even that field, Frire exhaled, then she peeked through the trees to eye the blue sky beyond and that which lay even further beyond.

When Shinichi saw her trying to take in the future that lay there, his cheeks loosened.

“…You’re right that it’s difficult for everything to go well, but that doesn’t mean that everything will be full of problems either. That’s why I believe what we should be doing now is to watch over the seeds as they bloom.”

The time to fear change has long passed, now, the seeds sown were beginning to bud; hence, they should just watch over everything until the seeds reveal what kind of flowers they are.

After all, not all flowers bloom, and not all flowers bear poison.

“Watch over them, huh. I suppose that’s much more constructive than lamenting the past, but… Either way, that’s a teacher’s(my) job.”

Frire frowned at his words a little, but in the end, she thought they weren’t bad.

After all, among the seeds he mentioned were the students of the academy.

“As more and more people leave their nest(this school) and spread through the world, I’m sure the two worlds will improve as neighbors… At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.”

The catchphrase of the school to raise the next generation of humans was a motive(an ambition) that held no lies.

When the people that know both worlds increase, so will the connection between the two worlds become stronger.

The students were not just mediators. So long as the two worlds were separated by a dimensional barrier that kept them both far and near, the two worlds will forever be nothing more than a distant neighbor to each other, and the inter-world interaction will never be able to progress.

That’s why there’s meaning in just increasing the number of people that understands and knows about the two world much more than the layman.

“Well, I’m sure there’ll be ups and downs until then.”

“T-That’s true, but when you say it, it sounds like trouble really will happen, so stop.”

As though to pour cold water over that dream, Shinichi said that.

Of course, he had a point, and Frire did acknowledge that, but she still sent him a disapproving glance.

Unfortunately, the boy just laughed.

“Ku ku, well, I’ll buy you time until then.”

When he said that, Frire’s face immediately stiffened up.

“…Buy time, huh. I did think that there was no way you of all people would be thinking of trying to correct the world or conquer it, but…”

The reason she could remain calm despite all the commotion Shinichi caused was because she never felt anything of the sort from Shinichi.

And yet for some reason, there was a tinge of anxiety in her gaze.

“I think you’re pushing yourself a little too much for that.”

He was neither overly idealistic nor overly cynical toward the world, and while his actions may appear to have moved the world, it in fact wasn’t moving at all.

Rather what he’d done was to forcefully stop the upheavals by threatening the world with his power.

Just as he said, he has indeed done nothing more than to buy time, but the price for it was by no means cheap.

“Really?”

But a surprised expression just appeared on the boy, causing her to become needlessly anxious.

Frire wouldn’t have minded as much if he simply didn’t understand, but she knew that he either paid himself no heed despite understanding, or despite understanding(・・・・・・・), he himself wasn’t aware(・・・・・・・).

Believing it to be either of the two, Frire became annoyed for reasons she could not understand.

“And speaking of which! I’m sure you knew the danger of revealing that form and power! Both worlds may be confused now, but it won’t be long before they start investigating. And yet you just had to go out of your way to threaten Amamiya to spread that video!”

“Huh, the student council president sure works quick.”

“Because of that the entire student council is scared out of their wits. Not to mention you actually drove Ronan’s group into a corner with those sadistic methods, then after spinning them everywhere, you made it look like you killed them! I actually felt sorry watching them go through that!”

Seeing Shinichi act so casually, Frire found herself pushing down her temples despite not having a migraine.

The way Omega team had been treated was revealed when they got the video records from their exoskeletons.

Despite knowing that Omega team’s death had been faked and that they had instead been teleported secretly to the detention facilities, the people who saw the video still sympathized with their fears and trembled.

When Amamiya asked where the mask was and a certain analyzed monochrome picture was presented, everyone became even more shocked.

Frire may have seen that coming, but even she, along with the entire student council, was petrified.

After all, that picture revealed that the existence that had caused all that destruction was unarmored.

But the shock did not end there.

『The person in question has demanded that this picture, the method of analysis used, and his actions be revealed secretly to the nations… This demand was made just a few hours after I found the picture by coincidence. 』

Unable to disobey, Amamiya revealed that important information.

Yes, the information that could leak Masquerade’s true identity if poorly handled was ordered to be disseminated by none other than Masquerade himself.

The information may have been leaked secretly, but it was still leaked to the whole world.

That spoke volumes of the mask’s confidence and silent threat.

‘It doesn’t matter if others find out.’

‘Even if I don’t use anything, I am strong.’

“They had always suspected that the mask might’ve hidden himself in Kutoria ever since the terrorists were apprehended at the end of April and the bombing incident. That possibility became even likelier when the mask responded so quickly toward this last incident. The student council was always intending on continuing their investigations on Masquerade, but then this happened! Anyone would be depressed…”

A person without any business investigating the mask was able to analyze his picture so well. They managed to find that picture by coincidence, but then the mask immediately responded.

They were sure that the mask was in Kutoria, but when the mask reached out his hand for them, the entire student council transformed into a group of depressed convicts on death row.

They couldn’t go against his orders, and even though they knew it was necessary to investigate him, they couldn’t figure out how.

For the moment they laid a hand on him, they knew that the only thing that awaited them was death.

“Want me to group message them, telling them I won’t do anything as long as they keep it in moderation?”

“Can you not! Seriously, just stop! Don’t drive them any further than this! And more importantly, why would you cross such a dangerous bridge!?”

It was already plenty dangerous just showing his power when the whole world was watching.

And yet to make things worse, he even went out of his way to threaten both worlds.

As if that weren’t enough, he even disseminated his own picture that’s undoubtedly connected to his own identity.

Every one of these things exposed him to danger, and not one had any advantage for him, but…

“What do you mean why? You knew that’s why you didn’t say anything right?”

All she got in response was Shinichi insisting that she already knew the answer.

6 comments / Add your comment below

    1. “That’s not all. By raising the foundation of our technology and with the introduction of the exoskeleton, the development of our space technologies that had stagnated before has once again started to make strides. Should we be able to get the resources in space, both Earth and Garesto will stand to benefit.”

      Earth’s resources weren’t unlimited either.

      My biggest concern since the beginning of this series finally addressed!

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