After parting with the beret-wearing girl at the park, Shinichi walked through the town of Kutoria alone.
It might be because he doesn’t come here much, but the city felt really strange with its imperfect mix of Japanese and Western styles.
People walking their animal-type drones could be seen all over the place, as well as shops selling things permitted only in Kutoria.
But coffee shops and stores selling western clothes could also be seen alongside such stores, resulting in a strange townscape.
Rectangular cleaning robots that the bomb the other day imitated could be seen throughout the city cleaning the streets. Vehicle-sized four-legged security robots could also be seen patrolling the roads.
The sight of them running alongside normal cars was enough to make one forget what era it was and question if this truly was a city floating on Earth’s oceans.
“I have to get used to this.”
The people living here were neither surprised nor trouble by the presence of such odd things. To them this was normal.
In fact, Shinichi’s black school uniform was much stranger to them.
Almost all the people Shinichi passed by looked at him oddly.
“I get why they’re like that, but it’s still hard to swallow.”
He knew that he looked out of place, but as far he was concerned, this city dyed in the colors of two worlds was the stranger one.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Master. Is something the matter?”
‘She’ had left him to deal with a certain matter, and was glad to be finally reunited with him. She happily jumped up his shoulders, but was surprised to see his displeased expression.
“Nah, I was just thinking about how understanding something and coming to terms with something are two different things. But enough of that. How did it go?”
“I see… Everything went well.”
Youko was able to figure out what Shinichi meant from the faces of the people around them.
The reason she wasn’t around during lunch break was because Shinichi had entrusted her with a job.
Shinichi praised her efforts and patted her head, but her eyes quickly turned a dangerous gleam.
“—You smell like a woman.”
“…Are you a dog?”
Of course, he’d smell like a woman when the person in question was holding him so tightly, but Shinichi didn’t say that out loud.
He knew that Youko had sharper senses than humans, but he wished that she wouldn’t use it on something like this.
Meanwhile, Youko acted like she was crying.
“Master, don’t you think it’s cruel of you to meet a woman while I had to meet up with those people who sent those outrageous letters? What’s more, this smell… It was probably that girl with that gorgeous hair—”
“Ha ha, unfortunately, I promised not to say, so you better keep quiet too.”
Shinichi didn’t actually mind as long as she didn’t name her.
“Huh? Well, if you don’t want me to say her name, I don’t really mind, but… Wait a sec. Did you just ignore my pleas?”
Youko didn’t really understand the situation, so to her Shinichi’s words came across as ambiguous, but he was still her master, so she was going to keep quiet if that’s what he wanted, but at the same time, it felt like he was trying to brush her pleas aside.
“So, did you see their faces?”
“Yes, the people playing the role of the women and even the people waiting in the surroundings. I’ll show you later, so if you can just figure out their names…”
“That won’t be a problem. This world is really convenient, what with being able to search people with just their faces.”
Shinichi inadvertently laughed with a conniving face.
After all, he was planning on fishing them all up. Having the face and the name makes it even easier for them to take the initiative.
This time, however, he won’t be relying solely on mana hacking, and will be making use of the facial recognition system.
Still, mana hacking will be needed to drive that information, so it’s not really that different.
“We should be getting back to the campus. *Yawn, I couldn’t sleep during lunch break, so I’m really sleepy.”
The reason he left campus was to avoid bumping into them by accident since all of the locations they gave were within the school premises.
But since that matter has already been put aside, they could now go back and sleep.
“Huh? You’re going to sleep again? But weren’t you asleep almost the whole morning? And you didn’t spar this morning either.”
Youko understood the necessity to sleep, but she still found it absurd that Shinichi was going to keep on sleeping despite all the sleep he was getting.
His spars with that teacher has been put to a pause because she had more work to do now thanks to the coming exams, so with no need to wake up early, Shinichi was now able to sleep until the very last moment before he had to go to school.
What’s more was that this morning was dedicated to studying Garesto subjects, so he was able to sleep that whole time too.
If even that much sleep wasn’t enough, then clearly Shinichi had a problem.
“I can’t help it, my mana just won’t recover. This world doesn’t have any ether, so all I can do to recover my mana reserves is to eat or sleep.”
“But normally you could recover all of your mana with just a good night’s rest even without ether.”
“Don’t say that.”
Shinichi made a sullen face when she pointed that out, possibly because it was his own fault that his body was like this.
Magic Power or mana is a kind of life energy, and a person’s ranking regarding it is based on how much of it one could store.
Mana could be recovered through the calories gained from eating or through sleep. In Falandia, however, there is also something known as ether, which is the source of mana, that one could absorb.
In regards to how much each method could recover mana, the order from least to greatest would be sleep, eating, and then ether absorption, but with a D Rank in Magic Power, then any of the methods could immediately fill him up. Or at least, that’s supposed to be the case.
“Mana Compression is convenient, but I guess even D Ranks and their small vessels have a problem with it, huh? That’s why Lilisha and the others didn’t copy you even though they know how to do it.”
“I really thought I was amazing when I figured out how to compress my mana reserves, though. My mana reserves are just too pitiful, so it was really a huge help.”
“Well, it is a method suited only for you, Master, and it is indeed difficult to recover mana with it.”
Shinichi looked into the distance and sighed, while Youko wryly smiled.
To Shinichi, who had a small vessel for mana, being able to come up with that idea was akin to a divine revelation.
Because with it he was able to have the same mana reserves as those with an A Rank in Magic Power despite his D Rank.
What’s more was that because of his high rank in Skill, he could use his mana without the tiniest bit of waste, thus practically giving him an even higher rank in Magic Power.
The reason Shinichi could frequently use the Magic Raiment Battle Law Technique that continuously consumed mana and the Teleportation Magic that required so much mana was because of his Mana Compression Technique, which he decompressed only when needed.
He even thought that he might end up rewriting the common sense of magic power reserves with his technique.
But later on he would realize that there were three demerits in using it.
One demerit is that it takes longer to recover mana.
If the mana wasn’t compressed while recovering, then mana could be recovered at a normal pace, but otherwise, it took much longer.
And because of the lack of ether in this world, despite roughly a month already having passed since his transfer, he has only been able to recover another 20% of his maximum reserves.
To make things worse, he’s been frequently using his magic, so he’s actually consumed half of that already, leaving him with just 30% in total.
A simple math would show that he’d need almost four months to recover his reserves completely.
And even then only if he doesn’t use his magic at all, but the future is long.
The second demerit is that it was only because of his impossibly high Skill stat that he was able to fill his body with far more mana than it should have been able to handle. And that’s not something that could be done without risk. In fact, if one were to fail in compressing the mana, the only result could be a massive explosion from right inside one’s body. The only reason it came so easily to him was because of his high Skill stat.
The third demerit is that it makes it difficult to control the power when using compressed mana.
The strength of the spell is adjusted by the amount of mana poured and the command given, but compressed mana can be used in two ways: that is to either decompress first then use the spell or leave the mana compressed and use it as is but at the consequence of greater power.
In the first method, one continuously pours out small amounts of mana while continuously decompressing them. In the second method, there’s no need to decompress the mana, but the slightest miscalculation will result in the spell either being too strong or too weak.
So in the end, other than his mana regeneration rate, everything is dependent on Shinichi’s Skill stat.
The idea was so ridiculous that when the princess of the kingdom of mages heard it, she suffered from vertigo.
Shinichi was then scolded by everyone for overly relying on such brute-force methods despite his Skill stat being his only high stat.
Still, the reason why he continues on using it is because a D Rank in Magic Power was simply too ‘insufficient’ for fighting.
“If only there were ether in this world. If I absorb a lot, I’d immediately be able to recover my mana reserves.”
“If there were some in this world, then it would probably be fine since no one’s using it, but master, I do hope you haven’t forgotten that commotion when the ether from a certain country suddenly vanished for a week.”
“Isn’t it fine? I mean thanks to that I was able to crush the ceremony of the evil god cult and round them up in one go.”
Youko reminded him that as if to chide him, but even then he made a face as if even that was within his expectations.
Shinichi has always been one to go out of his way to gather various problems and try to solve them.
Even now the reason they were outside school was so that they could deal with the criminals behind the love letters and the test in one go.