“…I doubt the people who’ve been had by you would ever dream that the terrifying plots they’ve been entwined in were in fact all because you found things too bothersome, Master.”
That was actually the reason behind his actions if one pursued it.
Youko felt pity for their foes, but Shinichi just laughed it off and neither refuted nor agreed with her.
Shinichi noticed something from the corner of his eyes, so he immediately went into hiding and kept quiet. Youko followed suit.
After some students ran past the walkway they were at just awhile ago, they showed themselves again.
“…If you’re going to be considerate here, then you might as well just be considerate all the time.”
“It’s because I can’t be considerate all the time that I’m being considerate here!”
She was right, but Shinichi’s personality made it difficult for him to try something that he knew was impossible for him.
“I thought you’d say that,” Youko chuckled as she watched the students run off.
The students that ran past were none other than Shinichi’s classmates.
As students of the bottommost class, 1-D, they had little authority to use the school’s training facilities.
In fact, their situation was so bad that they even had difficulty securing enough space within the campus for their personal training. As such, they had no choice but to run outside the campus for their laps.
Shinichi figured that they would probably find it unpleasant to see him walking so leisurely, so he hid.
That’s why Youko told him to just be considerate of them all the time if he was just going to be considerate of them here anyway.
“…Still, I think they’d do pretty well, if they just figure out what they’re missing,” Shinichi remarked.
“They can keep running here their whole lives and nothing will change,” Youko harshly replied.
Shinichi wryly smiled in response to that harsh opinion, but he didn’t deny it.
Meanwhile he focused his senses around them to feel the flow of mana (photon).
“Heh, they sure are diligent at keeping tabs at us even though all we did was leave the campus.”
Using the security cameras was a given, but on top of that, they were also using the cleaning robots, security robots, and even the fake birds flying in the sky. Their efforts were actually quite admirable.
The main purpose of these things were to prevent crimes and terrorism, so they weren’t uncomfortable to be around.
“But aren’t there more than usual?”
“There was a bomb incident just recently.”
When she pointed that out, Shinichi’s shoulders fell.
It wasn’t strange for security to be tightened. Students were caught up in that incident, after all.
It was only natural that they would keep an eye out for them even if all they did was to go out of the campus.
But of course that didn’t mean that their intentions were completely pure.
“Well, in the end, all I can really say to them is ‘good luck’. I did advise that teacher, but I doubt she’ll be putting it to good use,” Shinichi said.
“You went that far for her? Well, I was expecting that much, but still… Come to think of it, how strong is that teacher? I hear people praising her a lot, but I’ve never heard your thoughts on her, Master,” Youko said.
She quietly muttered to herself that it was just as she’d expected, but she still asked him how strong Frire was.
She’s heard from the people around that she’s a cut above the rest, but she wanted to know how she compared to them.
She had to keep watch at their room during their sparring just in case, so she couldn’t watch their spars.
“Hmm~, yeah. To put it briefly, she’s a genius without an opponent.”
“Oh? Well, isn’t that something.”
That was a high appraisal rarely heard from Shinichi; hence, why Youko smiled with interest.
“She’s a battle junkie and yet her decision is as calm as ever. Her sword is heavy, and her steps are quick. She’s definitely first-rate as far as swordsmen go, but for better or worse, she’s studied too much on her own. Her basic abilities are really high, so there were probably few people who could contest her. Because of that she has less experience than her fame and service would suggest.”
During their first and second battles, Shinichi was actually the one surprised when he was able to easily bait her with a faint and land a counter.
Regardless how much they prioritized raw ability over skill, it was still too strange; hence, it could only be reasoned that she defeated her opponents before any of them could pull a fast one on her. Because of that she hasn’t developed her tactics or insight in close quarters combat.
“Well, her style of ‘cutting down her opponent before they can even do anything’ is basically the ideal of swordsmen, but…”
“She learned that first, so she hasn’t properly experienced an actual ‘battle’? Hmm? Wait a moment. Then doesn’t that mean that… You did it again?”
“Don’t put it like that! Although, you’re not wrong… It’s like this right now.”
Shinichi made a sullen face and touched his foster.
What appeared on the display next was Frire’s status.
Name: Frire Doneju
Earth Age: 26 years old
Height: 170cm (5.6ft)
Weight: 50kg (110lb)
Strength: AAA+ (MAX)
Magic Power: C+
Resistance: AA+ (MAX)
Agility: AAA (MAX)
“Uwah, her Skill stat actually went up a whole rank in just half a month. At this point, all I can do is laugh.”
She said in a monotonous voice as she glared at Shinichi, as if implying, ‘just what were you doing?’
She remembered very well how Frire’s Skill stat was only at E+, and even then that was considered a high rank in the campus.
“Don’t say anymore. I wasn’t expecting this either.”
Although they were working together, he hasn’t told her about the existence of the Skill stat nor has he told her that it was the reason why he was so strong. Besides, her request was just for them to fight and not for her to become stronger.
“What are you doing making a stranger like that stronger? You don’t even know what kind of relationship you’ll have in the future. And her growth rate is ridiculous even at Falandia,” Youko admonished.
“She’d already developed various aspects of herself, so I figured she’d get stronger if we kept fighting, but I didn’t expect her to grow so quickly.”
She was just like a sponge that kept absorbing water. Her hunger for battle was also a craving to fight someone properly. By the time Shinichi realized the speed of her growth and her greed, it was already too late. He couldn’t cancel their deal, and neither was her rank promotion at the stage that it could still be regulated. If he were to let up, he would surely incur a grievous wound despite their battles only being a spar.
“At this rate, won’t her Skill stat promote to C Rank in less than half a month?”
When she pointed that out with a fed-up voice, Shinichi knitted his brows and said nothing. He was imagining what it would be like to fight her when she was that strong.
“…By that point, I’ll barely be able to fight her without Magic Raiment Battle Law… Dang, this turned into something really troublesome.”
“Must be difficult,” Youko said with a laugh as if it were someone else’s problem, causing Shinichi to become sullen.
“My complete recovery is still a long way too,” he said amidst sighs, but there was no gloominess to his expression.
There has been a shadow to his sighs ever since his return here, but now, they were clear.
“Despite what you say, you seem to be having fun, Master.”
That’s why, he only replied to Youko’s amused remark with an “I see.”
Regardless what the circumstances may be for the start of their relationship, someone he could interact with without having to hold back was precious.
That was surely related to his now stabilizing state of mind.
“Although I do feel bad for that white-haired teacher, that fox girl, and that girl with gorgeous hair.”
They would probably end up being toyed with by this man. Even without seeing it herself, she could easily imagine it.
“You… You’re thinking something rude about me, aren’t you?”
“Oh, perish the thought! How could you accuse me of such things, Master?”
Shinichi asked her with absolute conviction, but she only laughed his accusations away.
Shinichi knew he would only tire himself if he pursued the topic, so he let her off, but then…
“How could this loyal servant possibly think of such preposterous thoughts such as, the enemy of women, the indiscriminate flirt, the sexually harassing old man?”
“So you were thinking it!!”