Confused, the boy and the fox could only look at them oddly.
There were still some things he wanted to ask the teacher, but introductions were a priority, so he had to put them off for later.
“See you later, Icchi!” Myuhi said as she waved Shinichi goodbye.
As a student of the special class, she also had a class to attend, but for some reason, even though the chime had already rung, she didn’t at all appear to be hurried. Then like a light bulb suddenly flashing, he realized it. “Ah,” he thought. “This girl’s planning to skip!”
“You should also properly attend your class… Senpai.”
“Eh? Ah-haha… W-What do you mean?”
Bullseye, as he uttered that bit of truth.Her age pointed out indirectly, Myuhi’s speech turned into smattering as she tried to pull the wool over his eyes. But that shoddy acting of hers wasn’t going to work even on him.
“You really shouldn’t turn your eyes away during times like this.”
“S-Since when did you know!?”
With a baby face and a small stature, it’s not easy to tell her actual age. But for Shinichi who couldn’t tell ages apart from appearances alone, something like that was meaningless to begin with. So even though she’d gone out of her way to appear like someone of the same grade, Shinichi saw right through her.
“Since our first meeting… I guess,” vaguely said Shinichi like a magician revealing his trick.
As he couldn’t answer, Shinichi avoided her question with that ambiguous phrasing and that smug smile of his.
“Teacher Fudone, this kid just made a pass at me!”
“That’s how it looked like to you? I really don’t get you.”
As Frier shook her shoulders, she told Myuhi to hurry up and go to her class. Myuhi replied, “Yeah, yeah.” and Frire reprimanded her, saying, “Once is enough!” Then as if this was all just as usual, Myuhi left, seemingly happy as ever as her tail swayed left and right.
“Hmm? She looks oddly happy today… Well, whatever. Let’s go, Nakamura.”
Frire was surprised to see her continuing to sway her tail, but without racking her head too much, she urged Shinichi to enter the classroom. As she led, she stopped in front of the door.
“The class will go straight into the lesson after your introduction, so ready yourself. I know you haven’t prepared yet, but there’s no helping it. Teacher Salando isn’t one to be lenient.”
After that short explanation and warning from Frire, Shinichi just nodded. But despite him nodding without the slightest hint of being nervous, for some reason, Frire was still anxious.
“Do you really understand? You know you’ll probably get picked out a lot during this class.”
It’s a given I wouldn’t know the answer anyway, and even if I make a mistake, it’ll just be embarrassing at most.
In other words, it’s not like I’m going to die or anything, you know? I mean, Ma’am.”
For Shinichi, this was something obvious.
If it’s not something that would threaten his life, then it’s nothing worth fussing over.
“Oh, right… You were at the reserve, weren’t you?”
Frire came to all sorts of conclusion by herself.
This was convenient for him, so he didn’t bother correcting her. Besides, she wasn’t completely wrong either.
After Shinichi returned to this world, a lot of people thought he found himself in that certain place.
In that desolate place in Garesto where few people lived. The most dangerous place of all, the Nature Reserve.
That place was truly like the realm of the wild, where the law of the jungle ruled, and was even more perilous than the Savannah itself.
Because of that, everyone just assumed that it was because the Amaryllis protected him that he managed to survive.
Of course, that wasn’t exactly right. But regardless of the place, Shinichi did spend 2 years living in constant danger, so it also wasn’t exactly wrong.
It was because of his experiences that Shinichi’s values changed. To him, there is only one thing: Whether it threatens his life, or whether it doesn’t.
“…It’s Doneju. Requesting permission to enter.”
Although there were some things bothering her, Frire went ahead, and approached the door leading to the classroom. As she did, she took the portable terminal in her hands, and held it over the small monitor by the side of the door. At that, a short electronic sound beeped. Following which was a mechanical-like voice that said, ‘Identity Confirmed’, and then the door automatically opened.
“You need your identity verified?”
“You can’t open the door manually while classes are ongoing.”
“Is this a school or a prison?”
“…Don’t say that.”
After a curt reply, Frire entered the classroom with Shinichi in tow. Standing in front of the black board was a man with a sharp gaze and a hard face. Frire told Shinichi to stand beside him. From the color of his hair and his pupils, it seems this teacher is also from Garesto.
“You’re late, Teacher Doneju.”
“My apologies, Teacher Salando. The explanation took longer than expected.”
A painful, criticizing gaze pierced at her, and she had no choice but to hang her head in shame. But while she was being reprimanded by the male teacher, Shinichi was being shocked by something else altogether.
Who would’ve thought that this school would be so different from what he expected?
There was a blackboard in the room, but it wasn’t really a blackboard, and instead, a giant monitor. There were no erasers or chalks either. There was a chronological order of some sort, but it was written with some glowing characters.
Over the platform was the teacher’s desk as usual. Only, the desk also had with it a control panel and a monitor, showing exactly what was on the bigger screen.
Then over on the students’ side, where the tables were narrowly lined up next to each other, were more control panels, and some holographic images being projected on top of their desks that seemed to be some sort of document.
Because of that, there were no notebooks or textbooks either. And of course, no writing materials.
All they had with them was the same portable terminal that Frire just used to open the door.
Just where exactly was this? Shinichi wondered.
Somehow someway, he suddenly felt like he had travelled into the future, and his head started aching again.
Such a perfectly fitting thought made his head hurt even more.
This school did not resemble his school at all.
“––––I believe I’ve already mentioned it yesterday, but today you’ll be having a new classmate.”
After having reprimanded Frire, the male teacher spoke to the class. At that, Shinichi also looked at his classmates, and as it turns out, everyone was apparently an Earthling. Or at least, it looked that way. He was only basing it off their hair and eye color, so he was only about 80% sure. Sure is an odd percentage though for someone basing it off such criteria.
“His transfer here was a sudden decision, so we weren’t able to prepare him a uniform. So don’t mind it too much. Anyway, Nakamura, introduce yourself.”
As Shinichi stepped forward, all eyes gathered on him.
It might’ve been because he was the only one wearing a black uniform, but regardless, as someone who has had plenty experience being on the receiving end of killing intent, he wasn’t in the slightest bit nervous. Be that as it may though, something was definitely off. The students didn’t show the slightest hints of interest nor curiosity. No good will could be seen in their eyes, and neither of the opposite. Even the desire to ask the questions that one would normally have for someone transferring so late were nonexistent.
For some reason, everyone looked deathly tired.
Putting it optimistically, they don’t look like they’re up to this. Putting it pessimistically, they look like they’re dying.
At this moment, Shinichi dropped the idea of getting along with them on the surface.
Until he finds out why they’re like this, it could prove fatal for him to interact with them.
And just to clarify, the option of “Honestly getting along with them” doesn’t exist in the first place, so that’s not even an option.
“Make it brief, otherwise the class won’t progress.”
Just as he was instructed, he began his harmless and inoffensive introduction, in a voice that was equally lifeless as the rest of the class.
“Nakamura Shinichi. I’ll be in your care.”
A simple, insincere, glib of a greeting that was so monotonous even a child could tell it was nothing more than lip service. Completely hollow of substance, such that the teachers were actually troubled. Especially, Frire who was used to Myuhi’s manner of speech.
“…That’s obviously a bit too dull.
Isn’t there anything else you want to say?”
It was so brief, not even Salando who asked him to do so, expected it, causing that stiff face of his to crumble.
As if that was some sort of spectacle, the students finally noticed Shinichi, and they looked at him with inquisitive gazes.
As for Shinichi, he wanted to avoid standing out as much as possible, so he went with a simple introduction. Unfortunately, it seems he needs to make his introduction longer.
“Ah, umm… this one here is an… Amaryllis.
It might look like this, but it’s pride is really high, so please don’t just approach it.
Otherwise you might find yourselves burnt to ashes or frozen.”
In the end, he decided to introduce her who was sitting over his head. Although, this was actually more a warning than an introduction.
Either way though, the students didn’t really understand what he was saying as they didn’t know her race.
But then she quietly spread her three tails, each of which shone brilliantly at the end. Fire, purple lightning, and ice could be seen at the tips of her tails as an odd glint of laughter appeared in her eyes and her mouth curved into a smile.
She was a living creature, a tenth of their size, but inadvertently, they all ended up shivering.
The pressure she exuded was just that terrifying.
“Hey, don’t threaten them.”
When Shinichi chided her, she shrunk and cried, seemingly asking for forgiveness.
Shrill voices rose from some of the female students, but no one reacted.
Because although everyone felt it, there was no reason to say anything. Silence was the same thing as affirmation after all.
And when the realization that the fox was threatening them sunk, almost all of them drew cold sweat.
“Nakamura, you’re supposed to introduce yourself.”
“You should at least show your status.”
The two teachers said that, but if one were to look closely, cold sweat also drenched their backs.
To which, Shinichi only said, ‘ok’, without the slightest enthusiasm or guilt.
Then as if it was a great day out today, he revealed his status.
“My status is All D.”
Someone let out a voice.
Shinichi thought they didn’t understand him, so he explained.
“Like I said, my strength, mind, agility, resistance, and stamina are all D Rank.”
As he said that, he placed his hand on the panel over the teacher’s desk, and he showed his status.
As an image projected over the black board monitor, a great tumult immediately followed.
In this school, both status and grades have a rank attached to them.
And Shinichi’s status had the lowest value of them all.
In fact, his status was even slightly worse than those of a normal adult Earthling.
Not to mention, he didn’t even have any room for growth.
“This good enough? So, Teach- I mean, Sir, where should I sit myself?”
He hurriedly corrected himself to be more respectful, but the students were too shocked to care.
But that’s only natural, after all, they were just shown the lowest status they have ever seen that couldn’t possibly have fulfilled the school’s conditions.
But what they couldn’t come to terms with was that he was acting like everything was perfectly normal.
In this school, what he just did was the same as announcing himself as completely and utterly incompetent, and yet…
Because of that, the whole class was frozen.
Not an eek was made until Shinichi reached his seat.
“T-Teacher! What’s the meaning of this!?”
“How could he have possibly transferred here with a status of All D!? He’s even maxed out his stats! That’s just ridiculous!”
“Isn’t he just a failure!?”
Then when he sat down, as if him seating down was a sign of some sort, the whole class erupted, and questions suddenly came pouring in at the two teachers.
They can’t be faulted though. After all, someone with an All D status that’s maxed out shouldn’t have even been given the chance to take the entrance exam.
Even if he were given that chance, passing should’ve obviously been impossible.
All the students in this room are students who managed to pass the strict requirements of the school.
There’s no way they could just accept a transferee with All D.
“I understand your concerns.
And normally, I don’t have any obligations to explain anything to you, but in order to avoid causing some misunderstandings and causing some unwanted trouble, I’ll explain it.
So be quiet.”
Frire stepped forward and silenced the students.
Seeing her pair of sharp golden eyes, the tumultuous class immediately went quiet.
Seeing that, she went ahead and gave the explanation she prepared beforehand.
Not one thing in her explanation was a lie.
“The reason Nakamura was enrolled into this academy is because he is a returnee.”
At that simple word, even more questions came.
The only one who seemed unaffected was the person-in-question himself.
The term ‘Returnee’ refers to Earthlings or even Garestonians who were swept away into another dimension.
The people who were able to find their way back home are called ‘Returnees’.
As for the people who weren’t able to find their way back, they are referred to as ‘Non-Returnees’.
This is only for the sake of communication though as the chances of finding such people are too bleak.
Shinichi himself was a ‘Non-Returnee’ until just recently.
“Returnees are all, without exception, required to attend the school.
If they’re familiar with Garesto, then we provide supplementary lessons.
If they’re not, then we try to complete their knowledge of Garesto.”
Moreover, not all knowledge and technology have been opened to the public, so it’d be problematic if the returnees were to spread those things outside.
Although, it wouldn’t really matter if said knowledge and technology were incomplete.
“I understand that, but… Just because he’s a returnee…”
“I know what you want to say, but status isn’t everything.
For a person to survive in Garesto where Earth’s common sense doesn’t apply, you should know that such a person shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
When she said that, the students couldn’t say anything back.
They’ve never gone to Garesto, so they don’t know how hard life is there.
But while they may not know what life is like there, they do know that the higher one’s status is the easier it is to survive.
“I’m sure there’re a lot of things you want to say about Nakamura’s status,
but there’s really no other reason other than him being a ‘returnee’ for his transfer here.
Everyone here in this class is the pride of Garesto Academy. We’re expecting much from each and every one of you. Don’t let us down.”
She emphasized that as she looked at every student’s face, making sure that they wouldn’t do something like bullying Shinichi because of the difference in status or do anything vulgar.
“…I heard about the merit system, but this school sure is weird.
They get worked up way too much in class.”
Shinichi commented as he sat at the rearmost seat. He was acting as if everything here was someone else’s business.
Of course, his quiet mutterings were all in Falandia’s language, so even if they could somehow hear him, they wouldn’t be able to understand him.
The boy couldn’t understand their fervor at all. Why were they so angry?
Even though they were so dull just a while ago.
“…Seriously, we came to one troublesome place…”
Although he still didn’t understand the situation, Shinichi instinctually knew that.
As far as troublesome went, it was only during those kind of times, that it was really troublesome.
Which is why…
She made that face that seemed to say “Don’t say that…” as she wryly smiled.
This is only an afterthought or a what-if scenario, though Frire did warn his classmates.
But if Shinichi had entered the school with his classmates at the same time…
If his classmates weren’t exhausted by the time he came, then…
They might’ve just left the school altogether.
They had painstakingly worked to get into this school.
So for Shinichi, whose status was embarrassingly low, to transfer here, they could only see that as him picking a fight.
Such a meeting could only result in a one-sided crash, causing the students of 1-D to leave the school.
No one wants to be near an incomprehensible ‘Oddity’.
If he wouldn’t leave, then they would have no choice but to leave themselves.
The common sense that Garesto cultivated.
In today’s Earth that had been dyed in that common sense, Nakamura Shinichi was no different from a foreigner.
There’s no way they could get along. There’s no way they could spend time together.
After all, he still couldn’t understand even the most fundamental common sense here or in Garesto.
But then again, when it came to knowing just how bad the consequences are when cultures clash,
–––––no one knew better than he, himself.
Tl Note: Sorry for the delays. Was going to post last night, but the internet was down. Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed the chapter.