When Shinichi said those words in a jesting tone, Myuhi’s back instantly chilled, and her hair stood on end.
After all, the boy was right. Everything could end at his whim.
If he used his power without holding back, the world would incur catastrophic damage.
If he used his information gathering ability and revealed everything, the world would fall into chaos.
With his teleportation and recognition interference abilities, running away from him would be difficult too.
Swept by the flow, she’d spoken to him as she had until now, but this man before her has never actually been her equal.
Whether it was his individual combat ability or his influence, he was far above her.
Suddenly, the two donuts in his fingers seemed to represent the two worlds, and Myuhi found herself gulping, and her body tensed, but then…
“Sir, please don’t play with our store’s donuts.”
Despite speaking politely, there was a pressure about the man’s smile that left no room for arguments.
Shinichi froze and hastily threw the donuts into his mouth.
“M-Manager!? Hamuamu, goku! …I-I’m sorry. It’s as delicious as ever! Yes!”
The sight of him stretching his back out in attention made Myuhi rub her eyes.
For a moment, she wondered if she was seeing things.
“I see. Thank you for always eating at our store. Enjoy yourselves,” the store manager gently said, but his eyes seemed to say, ‘if you’re just going to play with our donuts, I’ll kick you out.’
He had a gentle face, but that just further accentuated the pressure he gave off.
Overwhelmed by that pressure, Shinichi’s audacious behavior vanished as he seemed to shrink.
That continued until the manager left, causing Myuhi’s jaws to drop.
“E-Ehhh… Is this for real? The manager of a donuts store is superior to the person that threatened the world?”
Just ‘that’ Shinichi treating the man so politely was already plenty surprising, and yet the man that had turned over the dark side of the world just recently actually had a weak attitude toward the manager of some donuts store.
This state of affairs felt intensely unreasonable to Myuhi.
And yet to the person in question, this was only a given.
“Because that really is the case, so it can’t be helped. Compared to a person that can only destroy, a person that can create is much more amazing.”
Shinichi said as he glanced at the back of the store, a glance that Myuhi followed.
Through the glass-paned cooking area, the manager could be seen already making new donuts.
Shinichi watched with a gentle gaze that seemed reverent yet at the same time envious, as though he yearned to be like the man but knew that such a wish would not be granted.
Myuhi was speechless. Of course, there was shock too.
It was as though the sight before him was so precious that he looked on with gentleness.
To the man that stood alone against the world, the person that could make donuts was great.
Although Myuhi knew more than the average Garestonian about Japanese culture, this was a perspective difficult for a Garestonian, whose culture revered warriors, to understand.
But beyond that, for some reason, the clear resignation in his eyes made her chest ache.
A different kind of unreasonable from earlier attacked Myuhi.
That’s why when she spoke next, the words sounded aggressive.
“—Is that why you protected them with that absurd method?”
In order to protect the people greater than his unremarkable self, he chose to commit something so absurd.
She didn’t give voice to those words, but they definitely reached Shinichi.
That’s probably why, although the expression on him was the same, there was now a wry smile too.
“You said it to Fudonecchi too, didn’t you? That you would use anything you can to spoil everything just because you don’t like it.”
Whether she truly knew that or not, Myuhi looked around inside and outside the store.
Inside were groups of girls pleasantly chatting, harmonious couples, and employees that moved restlessly.
Outside were office workers rushing along the way, and there were mothers too, pulling their children along.
These people that couldn’t even dream that something like that had occurred so close to them were living their lives as normal as ever.
“So you can waste yourself for the sake of these people’s ordinary life, huh.”
Myuhi said with a glare. There was a sharpness to her that made it seem as though to do so was evil.
For a moment, Shinichi’s eyes opened wide, then he cheerfully spoke those words that Myuhi could’ve never expected.
“You’re really kind, huh.”
There was a bit of a wry smile to it, but he returned Myuhi’s glare with a gentle gaze.
The gaze he used when praising others was always so earnest and direct that it troubled people.
That was another reason why she was so perplexed, but he didn’t stop there.
“You hate it right? That they don’t even know how and by who this peace is being protected. That they don’t even notice how dangerous the dark side of this daily life is. Just taking everything for granted and acting as though they’re so amazing.”
And by they, he was of course referring to normal people.
But even without defining who ‘they’ referred to, Myuhi understood.
After all, he had seen through her completely. She was aware that it was not a good sentiment to hold, but she was a fighter. And she was also once on the side of the persecuted.
So it was hard for her to understand people that weren’t like her and accept them innocently.
“You’re not happy that I protected
“…But even if you’re right, I don’t see which part of that makes me kind. In the end, I’m just hostile to these peace-loving fools, these non-combatants, no?”
“Really? But isn’t that just because you want the people risking their lives to be recognized? You wanted to be rewarded more, right?”
Is that not kindness?
To the warriors that are still fighting for peace?
Not knowing how to respond to that, Myuhi fell silent.
It was not because he’d seen through her that she was so troubled, but rather because she herself hadn’t actually seen it that way.
But she did know that there were people wasting away to protect the peace of the world.
And that they weren’t being given the due compensation and praise that they ought to receive.
Was it her persecution complex that allowed her to be fooled by words like those?
In the end, was that really the reason why she was so aggressive?
Unable to find an answer to those questions, Shinichi continued.
“A part of me wants to agree, but I thought it was better to hide it. There are indeed threats that ought to be revealed, but since the threat this time could be dealt with quietly, there’s no reason to needlessly fan anxiety and mess up the peace.”
If that were to happen, then all those people desperately fighting would have been fighting for naught.
To fight for peace yet stir the pot for recognition would be putting the cart before the horse.
As he said that, he tilted his cup to moisture his throat, then smiled meaningfully.
“Well, to the people trying to stir the pot, this would be preaching to the choir, or perhaps, preaching to the deaf would be more apt? I don’t know, finding a good idiom is hard.”
‘Painfully true’ was probably what he was looking for, but Myuhi couldn’t say that.
She could see the mischievousness in his face while complaining about how problematic idioms were, but she couldn’t refute him, so she chose to keep quiet instead.
No matter how great the cause, she knew that they were committing evil.
That’s why his words were really painful to her.
Perhaps it was an attempt to cover up her guilt or perhaps she was trying to get back at him for being mischievous again, but regardless, she said that in a pouting manner, a rare sight from her.
Almost immediately after, however, she became astonished at herself for how childish that remark was.
“You dummy, peace has always been like that regardless where.”
Shinichi agreed with her as though that sort of thinking was a given.
In fact, Myuhi was only talking about peace in Kutoria, but Shinichi was thinking of a much bigger scope.
“It doesn’t matter if there are weapons or Status, not even the relationship of the two worlds. As long as there’s a little bit of malice, peace is something that can easily break. In fact, even without malice, peace is something that can easily crumble at any time.”
For example, Shinichi started before giving several examples.
He pointed at a car driving outside of the store, then asked, “What if the driver had ill intent and stepped on the accelerator and drove it here?” Right there and then, the peace in the store would end.
Even in the absence of skill, preparing a cause for conflict is something that even a child could do.
You could enter the kitchen when no one’s watching and ignite the oil, and suddenly, you have a catastrophe.
Even if the fire is dealt with quickly, business would stop for a day, and the little peace here would be ruined.
Even now there’s a chance for burglary, and it wouldn’t be strange for remnants of the volunteer army to pop out too.
It is even possible that a different organization would take advantage of the gap after the last incident to start their own activities.
Shinichi started giving one ominous example after another as though he’d seen them himself.
A normal person would likely find them to be nothing more than the hilarious results of a person’s overindulgent imagination.
But Myuhi’s back froze. Because they were indeed things that could occur, and much more easily too than people think.
As a terrorist in charge of making such incidents happen, she was all too close to such stories, stories that could happen at anywhere and at anytime.
“Among other things—We could fall into a dimensional hole right at this very moment and be sent to another world. Who knows?”