I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Intermission – 04-45: The Dance of Purification (4/4)

“To be clear, I don’t really have a problem with it, and I don’t hate that manner of thinking either. At the very least, it’s the kind of stupid that makes me want to lend a hand. So you just keep on running like that.”

“You know, I really can’t tell whether you’re praising me or you’re mocking me. I don’t think I can take anymore of that.”

Although there was indeed a problem with the way he thought, Shinichi didn’t outright reject it.

As frustration and happiness mixed within Ryou to form a complicated concoction, Ryou sighed with a bitter face.

He realized that the troublesome thing about Shinichi was this tendency of his to praise and disparage at the same time.

Moreover, he wasn’t shy to point out the things he found amusing, or agreeable, or disagreeable.

But that didn’t mean that you could let your guard down around him either because he’ll be sure to give you a stern talking to when it comes to the truly unacceptable things.

Yet despite all that, Ryou just couldn’t see him in a negative light.

Because he knew – that Shinichi was seriously looking at him and thinking about him.

“…So it turns out you weren’t just an enemy of women, huh, Shinichi,” Tomoe said. “You’re a player through and through, and a conman too.”

When Tomoe saw her childhood friend confused and seemingly won over by Shinichi, she shrugged her shoulders, not even considering that she herself might also be within the scope of Shinichi’s victims.

Incidentally, the term that Tomoe used to refer to Shinichi could refer to a likeable person or someone good at pulling people into his own camp. [1]

But it could also refer to a person that tricks other people, and in that regard, she was right on the mark.

“Now then, I ended up giving you an assignment first, but I think it’s about time we got today’s training started. There’s not much time left, and this kind of stuff needs to be done everyday.”

Shinichi said with a loveable(suspicious) smile.

The sight of that smile sent a shiver so cold up their back that all the emotions they’ve been feeling until now were blown away.

It was presently just June 9. Only 6 days have passed since the incident, and only 4 days have passed since he became their master.

Despite that they have already been trained to the point that they would reflexively react in that manner.

“U-Umm… I’m actually a bit tired now, you know, in terms of spiritual power wise and stamina, so…”

“Y-You trying to get away all by yourself!?”

“It’s only a given that I be excused today! I’m really tried right now! And I don’t want to still be fatigued tomorrow! That would be such a waste!”

Ryou didn’t want to let her be the only one to get off scot free, but Tomoe had a point.

From the looks of things, he would have to fight this guy all by himself. Ryou’s shoulders dropped at that.

“In that case, read these. I’ll be giving you an oral test tomorrow, so be sure to memorize them.”

“Huh?”

As Shinichi said that, he took out 10 books out of nowhere and piled them up.

They were old books made by hand with the kind of binding that one would most likely see in a period drama.

“Huh? Where did you get these? And what the heck, you want me to memorize them!?”

“I stol— I mean, I borrowed them… from the Ootsu Clan. Sure they were under threat, but they were borrowed nonetheless. They were very happy to lend me everything(・・) when I asked. I’m lacking in knowledge myself, so I’m really grateful actually. Very grateful, in fact.”

When Shinichi said that with that same – unchanging – smile, Tomoe and Ryou’s jaws hung wide open and they found themselves unable to close them for awhile.

“…Hey. This guy just outright confessed to stealing these.”

“I hate those guys myself, but… Right now, I’m really sympathizing with them.”

Unable to even imagine what might have been done to them, Tomoe read through the titles of the book with a wry smile.

They ranged from those that summarized basic knowledge to those that described the secret arts and knowledge of the Ootsu family.

Having these stolen would be quite painful to a clan of exorcists.

After all, losing these would be the same thing as losing materials that they could use to train the next generation.

Even the head of the family might not be able to memorize all of them.

Losing these was basically tantamount to being deprived of the entire history that their clan has cultivated.

“These are all thicker than 5cm and you’re telling me to memorize them in one night?”

Odds were that she wouldn’t even be able to memorize a ‘part’ of these.

“There’s that too, but your assignment is also meant to be a research to see how the knowledge of one branch looks to another. Memorize the parts that differ, and I’ll ask you about them tomorrow.”

“You make it sound so simple…”

That was actually much harder than just memorizing them, but Shinichi likely wouldn’t take back what he said.

If anything, saying any more than this might just get her more work.

Sighing once, Tomoe took the book from the top and started reading. The book was titled, First Instruction Manual.

Although there were no problems with the lighting thanks to one of the basic skills that could conjure a ball of light, the sight of Ryou looking at her with a look that seemed to say, ‘serves you right’, annoyed her to no end.

She wanted to hit him with a rock, but after considering ‘what was to come’, she decided to let him off.

After all…

“Now then, next up is… you.”

He was about to be physically trained by Shinichi himself.

When Ryou noticed that Shinichi was now completely focused on him, he started shaking.

Shinichi was normally such an innocent and harmless boy – at least, appearance wise – but the face he makes whenever he’s about to train(torment) someone was really just terrifying, and with the gap, people just can’t help but cower.

“W-What will we be doing today?”

Despite that, they were the ones who asked him to teach them. That and their thirst for power kept their fear at bay.

But in response to Ryou’s question, Shinichi just extended his hand and muttered something that their translators didn’t translate.

“Rise erect, and take shape. Earth(Gagon).”

In the next moment, the earth shook, and suddenly, a rectangular pillar of rock, at least two meters high, appeared in Shinichi’s hands.

Nay, that was not just a pillar made out of rock. That was a handle meant for humans to hold, and from it extended a rectangular-shaped rock sharpened enough on one side to shine.

That was a great sword of rock forged by the earth. Such words appeared within Ryou’s mind.

Shinichi easily carried that great sword on his shoulder, while the corner of his lips twisted into a smile.

“───Of course, we’ll be doing butsukari-geiko [2].”

“I-I see…”

While thinking to himself that Shinichi probably didn’t mean that according to the correct definition of the term, a twitching smile surfaced on Ryou while he made his resolve.

Seeing that, Tomoe also laughed at him in a way that could be taken to mean, ‘serves you right!’ But no one noticed it.

 

[1] Tomoe uses just one word to describe Shinichi, that is the term hitotarashi, to serve as a juxtaposition of how she usually refers to him as an onnatarashi. I split the term into player and conman since I didn’t know a word in English that accomplishes both.

[2] During competition, sumo wrestlers strain to push each other out of the ring, using a technique known as butsukari-geiko. To learn the necessary leverage and hand placement, sumo wrestlers drill butsukari-geiko by pushing each other from one end of the dohyo to the other. (Source: sportsrec)

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