—At the end of the tunnel is… another world—
He inadvertently thought that and unexpectedly suffered because of it.
A nostalgic train ride, but the cityscape was another world.
Although the place he was living in was like that, it turns out it was actually still better off.
Buildings with a strange design. No. In fact, they were such strange structures that it was curious if they could still be called buildings.
Whether that should be taken as a result of the cultural exchange or a result of them being corroded probably depends on one’s sense of values.
To begin with, the train he was riding on didn’t have a pantograph, and was a so-called photon train.
Even that nostalgic ‘shaking’ was merely because they were using the old rails due to a lack of budget.
“…We’re here, huh.”
Even the announcer was an electronic voice, but it felt off because it had that characteristic sustain too.
But based on the reactions of the people around him, he was the only one who thought like that.
In any case, he’s finally reached his destination, so he got off the train and found himself in the station.
He was grateful that the name of the place and the station hadn’t changed.
—As for him thinking that that only made the changes stand out all the more, that was only because he was fundamentally twisted.
A self-derisive smile appeared on the face of the normal boy who wore a black school uniform, then all emotions vanished from his face as he disappeared into the crowd of people.
—This is a bit sudden, but let’s explain the different types of magic at Falandia.
The magic of that world could be separated into two large categories.
Magic that used mana corresponding to the appropriate element and moving according to the magic formula while giving a command and calling the name of the element.
This magic is known as ‘Elemental Magic’, and is the magic most commonly used.
Fire, water, wind, earth, lightning, ice, light, shadow, holy, darkness, illusion, gravity, etc…
One of its characteristics is that there are so many elements, there would be no end to it if one tried to list them all. This was true even if only the main elements were to be listed.
The other type of magic is known as Ceremonial Magic, and this one isn’t so commonly used.
By the word ‘Ceremonial’, one might imagine something large-scale, but really it’s just that preparations need to be made in terms of mana and special ceremonies.
This type of magic is chantless and causes specific phenomena to occur.
On one hand, you have magic that spread to the public due to its versatility and plethora of elements, and on the other hand, you have a magic that’s not so common, but is highly specialized due to its high value and difficulty.
Of these two types, it is the latter that allows one to ‘jump’ to any place with a marking via teleportation magic.
When he entered that, a place called New Town greeted him.
New buildings were lined up around a quiet residential district.
The place was so different that he stood out in his black uniform despite it still being common in Japan.
But that was only a given. After all, this was a town meant to receive Garestonians and help facilitate the cultural exchange or provide lodging for those with work.
It was for that reason that this town was developed. That’s why it’s only normal for it to be heavily dyed in Garesto’s color.
There are some restrictions regarding certain information, but the sort that slips by during day-to-day conversations was tacitly permitted.
In the first place, Garesto was a world that divided their roles. The information people knew greatly varied according to their position and work.
Any information the people living here might know has already been revealed to the public.
But despite that, this place was exceedingly normal for a ‘town’.
There was a place for people to live in and a place for children to play.
There were stores to buy things from, there were police stations, fire stations, hospitals, and government offices.
There were even restaurants meant to give Garestonians a culture shock.
The only thing that was really different to the boy was the design of the buildings and the materials used to build them, the level of technology of the various machines, and the races of the people living in town.
When it came to those things, he was completely clueless, though that should probably come as no surprise.
The boy looked at all those things with nary an expression on his face, then he quietly left town.
He was about to leave a marking with his fingers just as he usually did, but he stopped himself and quietly teleported somewhere hidden.
“Will you look at that~ I fished him up pretty well, didn’t I?”
“A spectacular catch indeed.”
They were at the roof above the highest floor of the male dormitory.
A boy and a beast leaned onto the railings and looked up at the night sky, but despite the dazzling stars up above, they paid it no mind.
A part of it was because they’d already gotten used to it over at Falandia, but another reason was because there was someone trailing them.
“Pretty good for an amateur.”
“Really? Personally, I think he was quite noisy.”
“To be fair, with your ears, all humans are basically lumps of noise.”
Shinichi wryly smiled at how high her standards were.
Even professional assassins would find it difficult not to be noticed by her ears.
“Is that so? …So, what are you going to do now that you’ve fished him up?”
“Obviously, I’m going to catch him and examine him. —Hey!!”
When he suddenly called out to the person hiding in the shadows, the person gulped.
“I can see you, you know? If you have business with me, you should hurry up and spill it.”
There was firmness in his voice as he asked that question to his pursuer whose identity he’s already figured out.
As the pursuer seemed to hestitate, Shinichi ‘threw’ that with a sigh.
A beverage can drew a parabola in the air as it flew toward the pursuer and the pursuer caught it.
It was in that way that Senba Yousuke was invited out of the shadows.
His expression was literally screaming ‘What to do? What to do!?’.
And that was not a face he should be showing to Shinichi at all.
The only one present in the scene who laughed for a moment was ‘her’, who was riding on Shinichi’s shoulder.
“Do you have business with me, Senba Yousuke senpai?”
Yousuke was greatly shaken when Shinichi emphasized the word ‘senpai’.
That face that was good looking enough to be called handsome twisted from the complicated emotions going through him as he stood there speechless.
“…No, thats… I…”
He tried to say something, but he couldn’t come up with anything coherent.
His eyes wandered around, and his mouth opened and closed several times, but his voice wouldn’t come out properly.
In the end, he bit his lips frustrated and looked at Shinichi like he was about to cry.
“Ku, ku ku ku.”
After a while, Shinichi finally reached his limit.
He had his hands over his mouth, but the voice leaking was clearly laughing.
Yousuke couldn’t keep up with the sudden turn of events and was confused.
At this point, Shinichi of course realized that it would be bad to keep teasing him.
“Ah~, sorry, sorry. I was just messing with you… What’s the matter, Yousuke?”
Shinichi was laughing when he spoke, but when he spoke that last sentence and called out his name, he did so with warmth and gentleness.
It was the same gentle voice that Yousuke remembered.
“U-Uu, ah… Onii-chaaaan!!!”
That was enough for him to break down and start crying.
He jumped into Shinichi’s arms and hugged him while crying ‘onii-chan’.
“Uwaa, onii-chan, onii-chan, onii-chan! *Sniff. I’m sowwy! I’m so sowwy! I shouwd hab been uwaah—!!”
“Sheesh… Make up your mind if you’re going to cry or talk. I can’t understand what you’re saying anymore.”
Shinichi patted his younger brother who was now older than him as he looked up at Shinichi with tears and a runny nose.
“…W-What’s going on?”
Her thoughts had paused for a moment, but after Yousuke had broken down crying, she finally woke up.
But she was so confused in front of the crying Yousuke that she actually spoke in the human tongue.
“Ahh, yeah. I get what you want to say, but… This younger brother of mine has always been like this.”
“It’s a bit hard for me to say myself, but… Let’s just say that he really likes to cling to his older brother.”
In the future, when she looks back to this moment, she would say that her master’s words has never been more confusing than this particular moment.
They met right after coming to this world, so she knew that they were Shinichi’s siblings, but the way Youko saw it, it was the worst reunion possible.
That’s why she found it hard to believe what Shinichi was saying, but there was nothing more persuasive than reality.
“There was about a 4 or 5 year difference between us, but I was really meddlesome, and both our parents were working, so we naturally spent more time together.”
He wore a complicated expression as he said that. Looking back on it, that really wasn’t a good thing.
He couldn’t do a good enough job to replace his parents, after all.
But it was because of that that they were able to spend time together, play together, and go out together.
And the honest twins also naturally came to love their older brother and started following him around.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that they became unstable after losing that older brother while they were only 9 years old.
All the more so when his disappearance created a fatal rift between their parents.