“Oi, what did you say just now?”
An irritated voice swept through the area, but there was no one to receive it.
Shinichi only calmly walked toward the exit, completely oblivious to that irritated voice.
“…Hah!? Oi, you! The boy wearing a different uniform, I said wait!”
They were close enough that Shinichi should’ve been able to hear, but he called out again anyway, and this time Shinichi turned around with a blank expression on his face.
That was the normal face Shinichi decided upon to minimize contact with the people here.
When he turned around, the white-armored student from before met his gaze.
Shinichi truly hadn’t realized that someone had called out to “him”.
“W-What do you mean what? Weren’t you mumbling to yourself just now, calling me childish, and shaking your head while sighing? It’s like you think I’m an idiot or something!”
Who would’ve thought his mumbles from the second floor would be heard. Honestly, if this guy has so much free time to waste doing pointless things, he should use that to train instead, Shinichi thought.
“It’s not like I was particularly “making” fun of you or anything.”
What Shinichi was actually making fun of was none other than himself, for not having prepared enough before coming here. He was just trying to remind himself that that he muttered it out in Japanese.
But because he replied with such a flat tone, the student mistakenly thought of it as sarcasm instead.
“Then what was “Childish” supposed to mean then, huh!”
The student pointed his sword at Shinichi.
Unlike the sword he used before, this sword was a double-edged sword, a broad sword.
But Shinichi did not fret even one bit, so the white-armored student figured he was too dull to react, and he sneered at him.
What he didn’t know was that Shinichi was simply aware enough to know that the distance between them wouldn’t be enough for the blade to reach him.
The sword the white-armored student brought out wasn’t anything of the sort a blacksmith would forge. It neither had the weight nor luster of a normal sword.
It might be able to “cut” but it was definitely not something that could “kill”.
Just like the weapons the heroes on TV would use. It hadn’t a hit of threat to it.
Contrary to Shinichi’s reaction, however, the students at the stands screamed when they saw the white-armored student pull out his sword.
“…In any case, it doesn’t have anything to do with you, so don’t bother.
Besides, I’m not free enough to waste my time with some random guy I just met today whose name I don’t even know.”
It was odd how calm his voice was despite everything, almost as if he was oblivious to his situation.
And that very oddity bewildered the shocked and frightened students.
Unfortunately for Shinichi, his failure to recognize that meant that his plans of not standing out had already failed.
“…You don’t know me?”
“Sorry, but I just transferred today. I don’t even know what year you are.”
If there was anything Shinichi was concerned about that would be whether he should use keigo or not.
As for whether the student in front of him was famous or not, he couldn’t care less.
Knowing wouldn’t hurt, though.
“No, no, that’s impossible. Don’t you watch TV? I’m always in the news! The strongest returnee! The famed hero of Garesto! The––”
“Nope, not one bit.”
Shinichi abruptly cut his speech. He truly didn’t know who this student was, but he just wouldn’t let him off.
Why do I always get involved in dumb stuff like this? Shinichi sighed to himself.
Not long after, however, Shinichi regretted the way he responded to this person.
After all, there was only one way for an overly egocentric man to respond when treated like he’s no more than air.
“You dare say that…! To this Shinguuji Ryouma, the strongest of the academy! You little, if you–––“
“What? If I keep mocking you, you’re not going to forgive me? Sigh…”
A bad habit Shinichi just can’t rid himself of is this tendency of his to sigh.
Shinichi really doesn’t want to waste his time here, but exactly how should he stop a man that would rather resort to violence than talk?
The fox on top of his head amusingly watched on, but Shinichi was really troubled.
“Hey, you’re picking a fight, aren’t you?
Well, alright, I’m a guy too. Come on, bring your worst.” He spoke calmly, but his gaze was sharp, and his forehead, wrinkled.
“…Ahh, umm… For the moment, why don’t we calm down, Shinguuji?
I think we just got off the wrong start. I really didn’t mean anything bad.”
“You’re telling me that’s just you being your usual self!? Isn’t that even worst!?
And add “-san” when you speak to me! You’re obviously younger!!” His face twisted as he pointed that out, and Shinichi was none too quick to comply.
“Ahh, now that you mention it, you are taller, aren’t you?”
“It’s got nothing to do with my height!”
He’s taller, so he must be older!
That’s a piece of common sense that Shinichi lost during his days in Falandia.
But that’s only to be expected considering the people of Falandia rarely looked their age, if at all.
In any case, the clear difference in height couldn’t be denied. There were 10 centimeters all in all, and that white armor Ryou wore made that difference seem even bigger.
And just as Shinichi noticed that, it occurred to him, that that white armor actually has a particularly interesting mechanic.
“Ho~, this is pretty interesting.”
Suddenly, Shinichi walked toward Ryou, and he knocked on his armor. But what his fist touched first was not the metal of the armor, but a barrier.
“!? Don’t just touch my armor!”
He wasn’t very happy that Shinichi managed to shorten their distance just like that.
Not to mention that sudden movement of Shinichi’s made his face go pale.
“Sorry about that. Can I touch some more?”
“L-Like hell you can! What the hell are you!?”
Shinichi was as calm as spring rain when he asked but Ryou was furious.
“Can the students over there please behave themselves? What is all this commotion about!?”
Did that rouse them?
The two students who lost in that mock battle just a while ago walked down the stairs, toward Shinichi and the white-armored Shinguuji Ryou, under the lead of a female student.
At her entrance, all the onlookers relaxed.
“Heh, it’s nothing, Aristel. I was just telling a cheeky kouhai off.
Rather than that, what did you think of it? The marvelous display of me sweeping your lackeys like the trash they are!”
Ryou laughed as he smoothly shifted gears from the previous situation, and boldly declared that to the blue-haired golden-eyed girl who was leading the two students.
In return, however, the two students could only grit their teeth from behind, unable to refute the words of Ryou.
They did lose, after all. That was a fact. So, what right did they have to refute his words?
No, Mr. Shinguuji. I acknowledge your strength, but you have no respect for either your kouhai or your opponents.
I will never acknowledge someone like… Huh?”
The cold gaze of the blue-haired girl shot off toward Shinguuji, but as it did, something else entered her eyes. And when she saw what she saw, her eyes opened wide in surprise.
That pair of golden-eyes was drawn to none other than Shinichi.
And for some reason, when he met her gaze, he too became wide-eyed.
Just as she was panicking, the boy suddenly said something incomprehensible.
Her long, rich, blue hair was indeed curled into ringlets, but these were not just your everyday ringlets.
These ringlets are exactly like the gaudy sort you’d expect from a 2-D Ojousama.
Just one step short of being a drill, and with not just one or two rolls, but an entire forest of them. If it were not for that blue hair or hers, she would truly be the spitting image of an Ojousama, a being unknown even to Falandia. It’s too bad, really. Too bad…
Impressed, Shinichi curiously gazed at those beautiful, blue ringlet curls, but…
“…Hey, wouldn’t those get in the way of your armor and weapon? Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Excuse me!? Are you making a fool of me!?”
Whether it was because it seemed like he was underestimating her, or because he was only looking at her hair, she felt humiliated.
When she climbed down the stairs, their eyes were at almost the same level, and she could burn her stare into them as she pleased.
But regardless how angry she was, not a spark of anger could be seen in Shinichi’s eyes.
“It was just an honest question, actually.”
“Well, it’s none of your business! And besides, shouldn’t you look at yourself first before you judge others? Like those clothes of yours for example. Neither a special class’ nor a regular class’ uniform, you really think it’s ok to wear something like that!?”
It was exactly this very situation that Shinichi wanted to avoid that he answered calmly. But unfortunately, his efforts only served to pour oil to the flames.
Despite the privileges given to the special class, there is no student in the academy that wears a completely different uniform. Moreover, there isn’t a single special class student that she doesn’t know.
As for regular students, wearing a uniform like that would absolutely not be forgiven.
“Ah, if you mean this, I got permission. Apparently, there weren’t enough uniforms.”
But since this situation wasn’t his fault to begin with, he once again calmly replied.
A special uniform for a special school, so it’s only natural that the uniforms produced would only be enough to match the school population.
It takes a lot of effort just to make one because of all the preparations, so there’s no way there’d be any ready for someone like Shinichi who just suddenly transferred.
“Even if it was bought a size bigger, the fact that the uniform from my middle school days is still a perfect fit is… sigh…”
He had taken this uniform from the deepest part of his drawer.
He looked lost as he recalled that moment.
That moment when that realization dawned on him.
5cm. A growth of 5cm in 2 years would’ve been praise worthy, but when he put on his uniform, he was shocked.
He hadn’t grown at all.
Of course, he was still only old enough to be a first-year high school student, so it wasn’t all that strange, but he was still disappointed.
“Eh, umm… I’m sorry?”
When his face went grim, and a hint of melancholy was cast on his shadow, the female special class student couldn’t help but feel bad for hi. So, she apologized, though she did so in a question.
“Padyuel-sama, you don’t have to apologize!”
“Right! He’s obviously lying about the lack of uniforms!
And there’s no way there’d be a transfer student we’ve never heard of!”
The two students at the back, that same pair who lost in the mock battle just a while ago, now stood in front of Padyuel.
The color of their hair was different from each other, but their face and hairstyle resembled each other. They were most likely relatives.
They stood there with their backs straight and their gazes sharp.
That haughty stance seemed to say “Peasant, where are you looking at? Know your place!”
“…And another annoying bunch enters the fray. Oops–”
“Another? Oi, you talking about me?” Ryou exclaimed.
“Am I also included in that troubling bunch of yours?” Aristel said.
And out did Shinichi’s honest thoughts came.
He tried to stop it, of course, but it was too late. By the time his hands reached his mouth, he’d already said everything.
“Not just once, but twice you’ve looked down on me. This is a declaration of war, isn’t it! Very well, I accept!”
“You must’ve some amazing status, don’t you? Well, let’s take a look! ‘Analyze’!”
The two students in front of the ringlet curl student were angered by Shinichi’s words.
The female one of the two students yelled out a word as she traced her finger on the air right in front of her eyes, and then a pair of goggles appeared out of thin air.
That pair of goggles covered both of her eyes, upon which could be seen some characters and digits.
“Hey, Rizet! How could you use Analyze without asking permission!”
“Hehehe, sorry about that, Padyuel-sama.
But thanks to that, I found something interesting… Please look.”
When she touched the pair of goggles, the status of the boy was projected on the airspace.
What was shown was naturally none other than his All D status.
Upon seeing that, everyone in the room sneered at Shinichi.
“Oi, what the hell’s this? You actually had the guts to go at me with a trash status like this?”
“Padyuel-sama is not only a noble but also someone blessed with a high status.
She’s not someone who can waste her time looking at insects like you.
Know your place and apologize!”
“Kanru, you’re too soft. There’s no way someone like this can be a student.
I don’t know how he managed to sneak in, but we should quickly kick him out… Padyuel-sama?”
Only the ringlet curls mumbled to herself how impossible of a situation this was.
That “impossible” wasn’t meant to ridicule him, instead it was because she couldn’t believe that her conjecture would be wrong.
But while doubtful gazes gathered on the confused girl, the man who can’t read the atmosphere––
“Hey, hey… What is this? You were able to see my status just now, right? How do you use this?”
All of the sudden Shinichi was right next to them, touching the goggles of the girl with deep blue hair.
That pair of goggles was like a film of light, as if the energy had materialized itself.
Amused, Shinichi’s hands freely groped about the defenseless goggles.
“W-What are you doing!”
Taken aback at Shinichi’s sudden appearance, the female student jumped in fright.
“Are you deaf, All D!
Everyone here has a higher status than you!
Or do you not even understand something so simple!? Hurry up and–––“
Ryou was furious, but Shinichi suddenly interjected.
“By the way… Do you people need something from me?
Because I need to get going soon, or I’ll be late for class.”
Pretentious, insolent, proud, and self-conceited.
The man was the very embodiment of those words, and he uninterestedly picked a fight with them.
But what was truly unfortunate was that the person himself had no such intentions.
And although he isn’t aware of it, Padyuel, Shinguuji, Hausen, and Kanru, are all within the top 5 of the school’s hierarchy. Each and every single one them is an exceptional student, and a member of the special class.
Yet here is a man, an All D, surrounded by 4 of the school’s top 5, acting like everything’s normal. There is no word to describe this situation but odd.
Seeing that, the students watching from the side couldn’t help but be frightened, saying amongst themselves, “What is that guy doing?”
“…Fu fu, Icchi, I take my eyes off you a little, and all of the sudden you’re super famous!”
And then as if she had been waiting for this very moment, the last of the top 5 made her entrance.
A pink-haired girl with a pair of fox ears and a tail entered the fray from behind Shinichi.
“Eh, Ruona-san!? Since when were you––“
“Myuhi Ruona, what did you come here for!?
“Where the hell did you come from!?”
Apparently, she wasn’t particularly welcome, or was that just Shinichi?
Incidentally, Shinichi actually already knew that she was here, ever since she got up the field.
“Why are you all so mean?
I’m just looking for Shinichi since he was entrusted to me.
This kid’s really a transfer student, you know?”
She smiled at everyone as she said those words.
Her voice was childlike, but those eyes of hers weren’t the least bit pleased.
Because of that everyone inadvertently took a step back
Her sudden appearance changed everything.
“Oi, since when did you change your job from giving tours to taking cares of some brat?”
Shinichi picked her up from the scruff of her neck.
The person herself let out a cute cry, but everyone else was stunned.
“Ahaha, apparently, I didn’t explain enough. I’m not just a tour guide for the school, I’m also an attendant when needed!
And Icchi needs me since he just transferred and doesn’t know anything yet!”
“…I see, thanks, Hina.”
There was no guilt in their smiles as they looked at each other.
Apparently, they were both just keeping each other in check.
Thanks to her explanation, the gazes against Shinichi weakened.
“It’s his first day so, of course, he doesn’t know.” “He doesn’t know, so it can’t helped.”
The students were finally able to understand that it was simply because he was uninformed about the school’s practices that things turned out the way they did.
Not that it really matters though, as understanding the cause is just postponing the problem, after all.
“But you know…”
A smile appeared on his face.
Without the slightest hint of warmth, that was a cold smile that sent chills down Myuhi’s back.
“If that’s the case, then you should’ve come earlier!! I know you were hiding!!”
“Fuhe? Eh, ehhhhhhhhh!??”
Shinichi threw her back down the field. Screams filled the area as she fell down powerlessly and vanished.
“Sheesh, thanks to you, I ended up wasting so much time.
If I don’t hurry, I’ll be late for PE class.”
Without even glancing back at what he’d just done, Shinichi quickly left the area.
Everyone in the area stood frozen with their mouths wide-open as they watched the boy leave.
No one was worried about the girl who was thrown.
No member from the special class would get hurt from that height.
And it was precisely because of that Shinichi threw her down.
“…Just who is that guy?”
What everyone was shocked about was his courage.
Even if he hadn’t known that the woman he had just thrown was the same woman said to be the most mischievous of the academy’s top 5, that nerve of his to just nonchalantly throw her like that left everyone with pale faces.
Everyone except a certain
She muttered that name, seemingly deep in thought, as she watched his back fade into the distance.