“On top of that, I couldn’t even control the Divine Ki…”
What made it even worse was that he didn’t even realize that.
It’s true he was being emotional, but he still wasn’t planning on releasing his divine ki to such an extent.
Controlling divine ki wasn’t even that difficult. It was about on the same level as mana. And while controlling the mana of something like Magic Raiment Battle Law may be difficult for others, Shinichi could do it as natural as breathing air.
And yet it was precisely someone with such great control who lost control of his divine ki. Even unexpected things should have a limit.
“I really am hopeless… I thought I’d be fine given time, but, sigh… I thought I knew and understood mom’s situation too, and yet…”
The world and his family had both changed more than he expected, and he knows that the current Nakamura family is a warm place, but even then he finds it hard to accept that.
“The truth is that I’ve always known. It didn’t have anything to do with the time or the otherworld. I knew that if I came back I would mess up everyone’s life!”
He couldn’t stand that. He knew logically that he wasn’t at fault.
But he couldn’t forgive himself for becoming a burden to his family.
The series of events that occurred because he came back bore heavily on his mind.
Because he came back, his mom who had calmed down became a mess again.
Because he came back, he ended up intruding into his father’s new family.
He understood their situation and state of mind. His father also happily accepted him.
But he couldn’t forgive himself for the repercussions of his return.
He struggled against an evil god, played the world for a fool, and showed no fear in the face of a gun. Even if everything was blamed on him, he wouldn’t care, but just this – causing his family to suffer – he could not stand.
“…Can you believe it? The reason I fell down here in the first place is because I forgot how fragile this place is and started fighting like an idiot. Because of that I even forgot about the enemy I was fighting with, and even though we both fell, before I knew it, he was already gone. There’s a limit to being stupid… And being stupid while in the middle of the battle is just—!”
Shinichi smashed his fist into the rubble as if to vent his anger.
‘True,’ Youko didn’t say that word out loud, but there was something she had on mind.
Shinichi has had a lot of moments were he starts worrying about things like this, but he could usually forget it all during emergencies.
After all, there’s nothing more dangerous than to head into battle with a mind full of worries.
She’s also never seen him let an enemy escape except when he intentionally lets them go.
His policy has always been to thoroughly beat his enemy first, mind and body, then talk later.
“So, what are you going to do? Are you going to leave behind a letter that says ‘don’t look for me’ and then run off?”
“…Don’t be ridiculous. If I did that, my dad would lose his mind.”
When he imagined that situation, a bitter expression appeared on his face and he shook his head.
From time to time, his dad would make a brooding face.
The divorce. The gulf created between his family. The remarriage of his dad and the birth of his new younger brother.
Shinichi believed that his dad must’ve felt some guilt regarding all those shocking things.
If so, then what would happen if he were to disappear while his dad’s heart was full of such thoughts?
It’s not hard to imagine, though Shinichi would rather not.
“But we can’t stay at that house anymore, right?”
Although it’s only been two weeks, Youko could faintly tell that that was the reason why Shinichi couldn’t calm down.
The new Nakamura family was warm, gentle, and comfortable.
That’s why he was driven into a corner just by being there.
After all, that was a family that was born because he vanished and his old family suffered.
It was even more painful because it was no one’s fault.
“It’s the comfiest place in the world, and here I am finding it so painful to be in it… I really am the worst. They accepted me with open arms, and yet, here I am… Why am I always like this?”
“I know. You never have any luck.”
Shinichi blamed himself for not being able to accept them, and Youko gently agreed with him.
Even if it was a pain he couldn’t endure, it was much better for him to blame it on something.
He was at fault. It may sound wrong, but it’s only by thinking that that he can calm himself down.
Youko personally found Shinichi’s personality difficult, but she also knew that it was only because he was like that that they even met in the first place and were able to travel together; hence, her feelings regarding his personality were complicated.
“Still, that family was a great place. The little brother was kind of troublesome, but I was able to remember my mom and my dad after a long while.”
That was a real family. Something neither Youko nor Shinichi has experienced in a while.
It was enough to make her wish they could stay there forever.
“But that’s exactly why it’s scary, right? You fear what you might end up doing as you become more and more unstable. What’s more is that now it turns out you can’t even control your authority… It would indeed be for the best if you left.”
That’s why she at least gave that conclusion. It was much better for her to be the one to say it.
There was also a hope that things might change given time.
After all, they were all living in the same world and time now.
“Yeah… I’ll need a reason to leave, though.”
Originally, he was intending on staying with his family for a little longer before thinking about his future course.
He had also been planning on taking Rinko and his dad’s advise, but with how unstable he was now, that was no longer possible.
“Still, I’m impressed you were able to last two weeks like that. I’ve been nervous all this time, wondering when the wolf playing sheep would have his fangs exposed.”
She talked about how strange it was seeing her master so troubled.
He spoke politely and spent the days peacefully on the surface, but as far as Youko knew, Shinichi has never lived like that for more than 3 days.
He was always at the center of trouble and had a foul mouth.
“Shut it. I know I’m a vulgar man with a foul mouth and attitude now, but I’ll have you know that once upon a time I was a well-behaved and honest child… Probably.”
He could remember those around him well, but perhaps due to the shocking incidents he experienced, his memories about himself weren’t very clear. Or maybe he just never really had any interest in himself.
Be that as it may, while he was always stubborn and held a poisonous tongue, he should have been a docile and well-behaved child once.
Shinichi ignored Youko’s unbelieving gaze.
“Besides. It’s hard to talk like I normally do all of the sudden. I’m like this, and while my relationship with Rinko might not run deep, I can’t be disrespectful to her…”
It would be different if it were just Nobuhiko, but Rinko and Shinji were around.
It wouldn’t matter if they were completely unrelated, but that wasn’t the case.
Without being able to grasp just how close he should act with them, Shinichi is unable to go past a vague relationship.
Rinko was the one who saved his dad after he vanished, so maybe he should be thanking her as much as he can.
“And so your already feeble mind became even worse?”
The way Youko saw it, Shinichi was needlessly fussing over something.
Shinichi was aware that his attitude was putting even more pressure on his mind, but he didn’t want to be hated by Rinko and cause even more problems for his dad.
“…I have no excuse.”
“Well, let’s put that aside for now… How are we going to hide this mess you made? I see you’ve used quite a bit of your mana too, even though you’ve finally recovered 40% of it.”
Youko had no idea what actually happened here, but seeing how Shinichi’s mana levels have gone down again after supposedly recovering it to some extent, she could more or less imagine. Her master – a weakling by this world’s standards – just happened to do his ‘usual routine’.
A normal person stayed in a building until the last moment against an external threat and came out unharmed.
There was no way anyone was going to believe there was nothing fishy about that.
Shinichi’s eyes started swimming when she pointed that out.
“S-See? It’s strange, right? I wasn’t thinking at all.”
Youko wryly smiled and her head ached.
It would appear that Nakamura Shinichi’s mind truly did reach its limits.
“You’ve acted recklessly in the past, but even then you still wouldn’t forget to think about what’s to come. You even take yourself going out of control into consideration when planning, and yet now… My poor master, you must’ve had it hard.”
“Stop it. It makes me feel even worse when you put it into words like that.”
It was a common sight to see him drop his shoulders dejected, but the atmosphere about him this time was darker and heavier.
He demanded a lot from himself, but this time around he failed miserably.
“He probably won’t be feeling better for a while,” she muttered to herself with a sigh.
“Anyway, what should we do?” She asked.
“…We’ll have to get that director to move again. Fortunately, the lie I told last time isn’t unrelated.”
He told that man previously that it would be troublesome for him if Nakamura Shinichi were to stand out.
This incident should fall under that.
After all, if left alone, this whole incident could very well blow up.
And it would be difficult to hide the truth if he were to just threaten the people receiving the report.
It was a terrible plan as far as cover-ups went, but they didn’t have any other choice.
Of course, he will be cleaning up the traces of battle and the equipment left behind by that Crimson, but this so-called clean up is really just ‘destroying things’, so all it could accomplish is to change a third-party’s impression from ‘a battlefield between unknown parties’ to ‘a place where something unknown went on a rampage’.
In fact, by destroying the building even more, he might just end up making an even bigger deal out of this.
“Hopefully… Everything turns out alright…”
“You know the situation is bad when even you, Master, is saying that.”
“Ha ha, you got that right.”
He dropped his shoulders again for the umpteenth time. Already, his disappointment knew no bounds.
The next day, Shinichi went to the director to negotiate (threaten), only for the director to show to him just how suspicious he’s been acting the past two weeks, causing both governments to pay even more attention to him.
But at the same time, he found out about a really convenient path. A path called ‘Garesto Academy’—