Oddly, the ‘girl’ who was riding on his shoulders did not reply when he spoke to her.
She only stared sharply at him without speaking.
Shinichi tilted his head, puzzled, and she quietly spoke.
“—You sure spoke a lot despite this being your first meeting, huh, Master.
Even though you barely said anything to me when you picked me up,” she said in the Falandia tongue.
The voice that whispered by his ears sounded just like that of a fair maiden. It did not resemble that of an animal’s at all.
Shinichi could only bitterly smile at the evident displeasure behind that voice.
“Well, don’t you think she resembles someone, Ms. Amaryllis Fox?” Shinichi said in the Falandia tongue.
“P-Please don’t call me that, Master. It’s unpleasant.
It’s already troubling enough as it is being bunched with those guys just because we look the same.
And besides! I’m not about to let humans just call me however they want!”
She spoke quiet enough that only Shinichi could hear her.
Shinichi wryly smiled when he heard her claim that she only had one name.
The person who gave her that name was – after all – none other than he.
After coming back though, it wasn’t easy to call that name anymore.
But it was precisely because of that that she wanted him to call her name.
“As you wish, Youko.”
She was a partner who has followed him all the way to another world. The least he could do was acquiesce a request.
“M-Master… Umm… If it’s really that troublesome, you could just change it.”
“Nope. In the first place, that’s a name I gave on a whim. I’m not about to change it on a whim too.”
There wasn’t a need to beat around the bush so much when he simply liked the name.
Yet he still went and tried to hide that fact under the pretense of egoism.
Because of that she couldn’t help but smile.
But it only lasted for a moment before she shook her head and made a grim face.
Those sibling being in this school too was really just too unexpected.
“Good grief… It’s because you keep saying stuff like that despite your situation that….”
….you end up seducing girls left and right.
“Anyway, I’m happy that you’re concerned about me, but please take care of yourself more, Master.
Your heart and spirit have been restless since coming here.
Normally, we would have long left this land and distanced ourselves from everyone to help you calm down.”
Shinichi might have managed to pull the wool over Myuhi because of how tense she was, but for someone like Youko, who has been with Shinichi since his days in Falandia, that wasn’t enough. it was clear as day to her that he was still acting strange.
“Because of that I ended up getting close with someone… Even though I’d intended to create a place where no one knew anything about me until I calmed down…” Shinichi said in a self-depreciative manner as he chuckled and looked toward a distance for no particular reason.
He’d finally managed to return, but there still wasn’t a lot of good news.
Moreover, due to one unforeseen event after another, all he’s done was create waves in waters that had at long last calmed down.
“The only thing I had left was to return,
but in the end, I came back only to find that that place I once called home no longer exists.
What a stupid story, really.
But then again, maybe it’s not so bad since coming back at least made pops and the others happy.”
If Shinichi’s return could not even elicit that little result, then…
No, it was better not to think about it.
Shinichi shook his head and walked to the male dormitory.
“Because of that old habit of mine, I ended up running here.
But as usual, it’s just one annoying thing after another. Look.”
Shinichi raised his two hands to show them to her.
In his left hand was a foster, while his other hand seemed free.
Youko wasn’t sure what exactly she was supposed to be looking at, but then, all of the sudden, she found herself slack-jawed.
“……Are both of your hands covered in…”
At a glance, the thin film of energy covering both of his hands seemed to be the same, but there was a slight difference in the density and purity of the energies.
The energy covering his left hand was stable but it was thin, while the energy in the right hand was fluctuating but thick.
“Bingo. The energy of my left hand is photon, while the energy on my right hand is my mana.
It’s really stupid, honestly. I can’t believe I didn’t notice they were the same thing until I used my skill.”
“…I didn’t notice it until now either, but seeing them side-by-side, that is indeed the case…”
Youko never knew of anything other than Falandia.
Shinichi knew about mana because he came to Falandia.
For people like them, having mana nearby was a matter-of-fact.
So much so that they wouldn’t notice its existence unless someone attacked or probed them.
Because of that they didn’t realize how odd it was that a similar energy existed.
“How many does this make?
Words that have the same meaning but different pronunciation.
The expression and standards of status being the same.
A creature called amaryllis fox that looks just like you and has the same power and features.
And finally – though there were plenty of places where they were similar to each other even before we came here – the fact that photon and mana are the same.
It’s not something to laugh at, but what else is there but to laugh?”
Shinichi couldn’t even cry a coarse laugh.
And she too could only make a bitter face because of how her master felt.
After all, with this new discovery, they now had another thing they had to hide.
“Even if we treat this as nothing more than information pertaining to photon,
we definitely can’t tell others about the fact that people have mana.”
Regardless of whether it was Earth or Garesto, there was a high chance that things would go awry should they find out.
To Garesto, photon is a rare and precious source of energy.
One could only imagine the consequence when they find out that a similar energy could be found within humans.
“There were people like that back there too.
People who performed wicked rituals and used humans like batteries.
There were also fools who treated people with large amounts of mana like they were their possession.”
“A horrific thought, indeed.”
That happened to a world that knew of mana’s existence since its creation.
What more a world that didn’t know of its existence even now? The cons far outweighed the pros.
Of course, it could also be said that Shinichi was merely being too cautious, but either way, this wasn’t the sort of information he could just laugh off.
Because Shinichi did not trust this world.
“We can’t move carelessly, but it’s really hard to do anything when there’s so much we don’t know.”
Having regained his calm, Shinichi thought back to the things he’s done today and the reaction of those around him.
As it turns out, Shinichi has done nothing but do things that went against the common sense of the world.
As for how he arrived at that conclusion, that’s because he could only remember shocked faces, slack-jawed faces, or cramping faces.
This was precisely why he thought it would be best not to associate with other people.
Sure, it was extreme, but it was the best way to keep him from leaking information.
“Worst of all is my fighting style.”
“Ah, yes. Master’s fighting style is like that of a refined warrior’s, having no wasted movement and showing no mercy.
In contrast, this school’s fighting style could be said to be lukewarm, incomplete, or brutish,” Youko said as she nonchalantly praised Shinichi while showing disdain for Garesto.
Shinichi wasn’t sure how to respond to that.
It was worrying, but in the end, he decided to just let it pass.
“Umm, yeah………Anyway, the only thing they’ve really developed is their science.
That’s probably why they don’t have much need for weapon or skill experts.”
Because of their science they were able to create weapons that could produce the same results regardless of who used them.
The only thing they required was that the people using them have the sufficient status. They didn’t need skill.
At the very least, that’s what Shinichi thought.
“‘Raise your status and defeat your enemy with powerful weapons and skills.’
They’re not wrong, and it would probably work most of the time, unless…
…They were to meet a freak like me.”
“I-It can’t be helped!
It’s not like we had any way of knowing things would turn out like this from Falandia!!” Youko said in a panic.
She said that because she felt Shinichi was saying ‘if only I wasn’t around’; hence, she tried to rebuke him.
“We were really unlucky, though. Who would’ve thought we’d be surrounded so swiftly by the people of the prevention office?
If it weren’t for that, we would have probably been able to conduct ourselves better.”
Originally, the main purpose of the experiment that sought to answer whether it was really possible to go home or not was to find out – in the case of success – how his hometown had changed.
Shinichi wasn’t so optimistic so as to believe that his hometown wouldn’t have changed at all, despite that and due to various circumstances, after seeing how much his hometown had changed, he ended up running here to this school.
All he managed to do was create that inerasable wave known as ‘Shinichi Nakamura’, and even until now, he can’t help but make waves.
“There’s no doubting that my luck is really bad.
If status had an attribute called ‘luck’, mine would surely be D or E.”
“Uu… What’s sad is that I can’t even deny that.
Why is it that your fate is so bad whether it’s there or here?
This morning too, all we did was ride a boat, and yet we still ended up meeting with some fools!”
Trouble would come knocking whenever Shinichi moved; or perhaps it wasn’t trouble finding him, but him simply stumbling onto trouble.
Either way, there was no denying that his luck was indeed bad.
Even she couldn’t deny it. After all, she herself has experienced it after accompanying him all these years.
She could only feel resentment for his poor luck.
Shinichi rubbed her head as he passed through the male dorm’s gates.
“I wonder what trouble awaits us this time.”
Shinichi looked up at the building with full conviction that nothing more could possibly faze him.
He caught himself wryly smiling at that.