I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – School Field Trip Arc – Act 1: This Is What Happens When I Go on a Trip – 04-107: Defend the Concert! 6

Loud cheers welcomed the two songstresses as they concluded their final song. With a bow, they waved at the audience and bid goodbye, returning together to the backstage. When they were completely away from the audience, they smiled at each other, and without so much as a word, high-fived with their right and left respectively. Dressed in similar outfits and with identical faces, they were the splitting image of each other, but one wore a smirk of triumph while the other wore a smile of contentment.

“Excuse me, you two.”

Teressa approached them with a delicate expression.

“Hmm?”

“What is it?”

“Which one of you is the real one?” Teressa asked.

When they first appeared, they originally thought they could keep tabs on which was which, but as they sang, danced, and changed costumes, they’d lost track before they knew it. The two Monicas looked at each other, then one of them raised their hand.

“Yes, yes! This pretty little Monica-chan is the real Monica!”

With a charming wink and a voice dripping with sweetness, that Monica blurted out such words. She was beautiful, but the way she showed off herself was cringeworthy, and the air rapidly froze.

“────!?! You naughty brat! Quit messing around with my face and voice!”

“Ahaha! I couldn’t help myself!”

Naturally, the one who blushed the most was the real Monica. She grabbed the collar of fake Monica and shook her violently. Those around immediately realized who was who, but the embarrassment and anger of the person in question could not be quelled.

“As if I’d be satisfied with such weak excuse!”

“C-Calm down, Monica! Also, it’s confusing, so can the fake Monica remove the optical disguise already!”

Just moments ago, these two had been singing on stage, but now there expressions and vibes were completely different. Teressa chuckled awkwardly as she forcibly pulled the real Monica away.

“Optical disguise?” The impostor said. “Understood, Lieutenant.”

Monica tilted her head, while the imposter responded with a salute, then with a wink as a signal, he dispelled the lifelike holographic projection that had been overlaying him, leaving behind a boy of shorter stature that could be found anywhere.

“Huh? A child?”

“Who are you?”

“The guy was the one that transformed!?”

Unlike the surrounding crowd, who were perplexed by the unexpected turn of events, the manager was filled with a strange sense of tension, as if she were intent on protecting Monica.

“Teressa? Everyone?” Monica asked.

“…Are you the male bodyguard?” Teressa asked.

“Hmm? Ah, I forgot to disguise myself. Oh well, I feel like being a boy anyway,” Shinichi said.

“He’s the real deal. I could see his true appearance from the start, so I know. You can trust him,” Monica said.

The boy remained calm, while Monica’s composed interjection allowed the manager and her subordinates to calm down some. They came up with some random explanation for the rest of the staff to get them to go back to their job, while Monica quietly spoke among themselves with just their lips, conveying something along the lines of “blunder” and “embarrassment.”

“Well, it was a perfect performance on stage, so I’ll let it pass,” Monica said.

Moniac smiled and adjusted her costume. She touched a part of the oversized accessory three times, gradually removing the extravagant decoration. Event costumes in this day and age could be divided into three categories: actual clothing, lifelike holographic projections that are indistinguishable from real clothing, and a combination of the two. Monica preferred actual clothes or combinations, except for when doing quick change sequences on stage. Her final costume for this event was a combination of a basic outfit overlaid with holographic imagery. Once the holographic projections were removed, the attire revealed was simple and unadorned.

It didn’t cover that much skin, but Monica was used to it, and Shinichi too didn’t feel inclined to tease her, then they faced each other and started talking as though nothing could be more natural.

“The song is done, but now what?” Shinichi said.

“An encore, of course. They’ll ask for it soon.” Monica said.

“It happens all the time,” Monica shrugged. The live staff could also be seen preparing behind the scenes as though they already expected it. “What are you going to do Mr. Fake? Are you going to accompany me to the encore too?”

“I’ll sit this one out. There’s no need for me to be next to you then. And the last song should be just you.”

You can do that, right? Or so he seemed to say, but she felt something else from the air he exuded.

“Are you going?”

For a moment, Shinichi’s eyes opened wide, but then he wryly smiled and figured it must be because of her blood.

“I need to make one more move to make sure that no one will target you from tomorrow onwards.”

“Huh?”

“It’s the job you gave me, remember? I would escort you, ensure the success of the live, protect everyone, and eliminate the criminals. We never said it would be just for today.”

Monica was surprised, but Shinichi ignored her and insisted that their deal was meant to be forever. His face as he said that was full of mischief as though he’d gotten one over her. Monica blinked her eyes many times before palming her face and sighing.

“Haa… You sure acted cool earlier, didn’t you? What do you mean your work doesn’t match up to my kiss? More like a kiss that’s no different from a greeting doesn’t match up with your work.”

Monica suddenly realized that her compensation for his services wasn’t good enough, but then Shinichi spoke unhappily.

“Rather, it’s precisely because I received your kiss that I have to go this far.”

He had to protect her while exposing himself to her song that harmed him, yet there was no one here who believed that more than him.

“Oh? I thought you were just putting on airs, but it turns out you’re actually really arrogant, huh. But if you’re going that far, then maybe I should kiss you again. How far will you go for me then?”

Monica looked meaningfully at Shinichi as she put a finger on her lips and made a kissing sound. A bare-faced declaration that she would kiss him more if he wanted, but of course, she only proposed as such because she knew he wouldn’t bite. What she didn’t know was that Shinichi would’ve loved to tease her, but there was no time left.

“Unfortunately, more kisses won’t count. Please understand.”

“What a generous first-time-only service.”

Shinichi spoke in an unnaturally respectful tone, and Monica wryly smiled with a contradictory mix of relief and dissatisfaction.

“Otherwise, I’d keep asking for it.”

But with just a few words, Shinichi turned those contradictory emotions into something else, and Monica fell silent. It was all that she could do to pretend she didn’t hear that. Meanwhile, a certain someone, who had been petrified by their conversation, got her wits about her and interjected.

“R-Right! Monica! W-What was with that kiss on stage!? And why was it you who kissed him!?” Teresa asked.

“…What’s wrong with that, Teresa?” Monica said. “If anything, the other way around would be more problematic.”

Monica and Shinichi just looked at her as though she were the weird one, leading Teressa to think just that until she realized what she found so odd.

“T-That’s true, but you’ve always hated those sorts of antics regardless of whether the partner was a boy or a girl!”

“That’s right. It might look like a part of the performance, but it was really me thanking him. Extra compensation, if you will. After all, he took care of an accident that no one else noticed.”

Monica was inwardly annoyed by the inquiry, but she acted as though she wasn’t bothered. As expected, Shinichi meaningfully muttered an “Oh?” And it was all that Monica could do to keep herself from flushing red with embarrassment. Meanwhile, Teresa just found herself coming up with a headache. Monica had kissed him in front of everyone, so people were bound to request for it from now on be it on stage or in the commercials. Of course, there was no way Monica would agree, so it was up to Teressa, her manager, to figure out how to reject the requests.

“What a nice mask you have.”

“Yours isn’t doing so well, though.”

Shinichi and Monica knew about Teressa’s problems, but they just looked at each other. To the casual observer, one appeared to be a captivating songstress of great beauty, while the other had the countenance of an ordinary pedestrian. However, to them, it seemed that neither was fooled by the other’s thick mask of pretense. It was thick, but not thick enough to deceive either of them.

“I see you have a reputation for appearing as a normal boy at first, only for it to turn out to be a scam.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve never scammed anyone for their money!”

“I hear you’ve stolen plenty of other things, though.”

“Okay, so I might have swindled some people. It’s not a scam, though.”

“You naughty brat.”

“I can’t deny it.”

“Because you’re enjoying it?”

“Who knows?”

Shinichi acted the fool, while Monica laughed, leading Shinichi too to laugh in turn. It was such an out-of-place exchange given the situation, yet Monica couldn’t stop herself from laughing precisely because she was genuinely having fun. Perhaps, all this time, she’s been longing for someone who would treat her as an equal.

“Fu fu. Oh, it’s here. Sorry, are the preparations ready!?”

“Oh?”

Monica’s state of mind changed as soon as the encore came. And with a serious expression completely unlike what she had on earlier, she called the staff. She’d just spent the little break she had with Shinichi, but now, she had to prioritize her work. Shinichi’s cheeks loosened when he saw that she wasn’t the slightest bit dissatisfied by that.

“Yes, everything’s ready!”

The costume staff responded enthusiastically, and Monica found herself surrounded by several people who quickly dressed her up. Despite being outfitted by multiple hands, she remained calm and composed, displaying familiarity with the process. Then, in a mere ten seconds, a completely transformed Monica emerged. Clad in chic attire that suited her tall stature and good figure, she looked striking. The clothing seemed more suited for everyday wear than for the stage, and even her makeup had been toned down to a more natural look, all to portray the unadorned Monica.

“Monica-san, I think it would be better to remove this pendant.”

When a person pointed out that the crescent moon pendant hanging by her chest didn’t match, she shook her head and gently touched it.

“It’s fine. This little one is a charm. It’s only thanks to it that I’ve been able to be safe until now. Right?”

Monica turned to Shinichi as though to say, ‘how’d my explanation go?’, but Shinichi just shrugged his shoulders, leading Monica to laugh. The costume staff blinked their eyes at the unusual sight, but then again, he was her guard, so maybe it was just some guard business that they didn’t understand.

“You really don’t say anything other than what you have to, do you?”

Whether the pendant’s effects were genuine or merely a placebo, the reasons behind yesterday’s reckless actions, their consequences, how to address them, and even the identity of those targeting her. She might have gleamed some tidbits here and there, but Shinichi has been persistent in keeping his mouth shut. Really, his was an attitude akin to that of a shy or pretentious boy trying to act tough. Monica couldn’t help but feel a sense of endearment for that.

“…It won’t do you any good if I tell you everything,” Shinichi said.

“Fu fu, well, whatever,” Monica said.

Shinichi wasn’t one to miss the change in her expression. Though she acted fine, he could tell that she wasn’t pleased. That’s why he let his guard down.

“Oh, right. You’re going to do something really nasty after this, right? I’ll pray for you in our family’s style.”

Monica extended her two hands, so Shinichi gave her his left, but she suddenly took a step toward him and took his right.

“Ah.”

Were it anyone else other than her, he would have been able to dodge, but while he was able to copy her movements when he focused, he was really full of openings otherwise. That’s why he couldn’t react.

“Ah! I knew it!”

Monica glared at him, and Shinichi averted his eyes, but she brought her face point blank his to show a face that wasn’t at all smiling.

“I thought something was off since you’ve been strangely particular about keeping me on your right after covering for me. Now that I think about it, you’ve been swinging me around with your left from then on too. As it turns out, you really were hurt.”

She said in a low voice that made it sound like she was scolding him, but the way she held his hands was gentle. On the surface, there was nothing wrong with it, but as soon as she touched it, she could tell that it was covered in scars. She didn’t know if it was a good thing or not that he wasn’t bleeding, but she was definitely unhappy with him. After all, she never told him to go as far as to sacrifice himself for her.

“…I was planning on healing it later.”

Shinichi’s eyes swam as he came up with that lousy excuse.

“You do know that’s what kids always say when they’re not planning on doing something?”

Shinichi groaned, but Monica wasn’t done.

“Just the fact that you tried to hide it must mean it’s serious. You think it might affect me negatively, right?”

“…”

In other words, despite knowing of the consequences, he still chose to sacrifice his right hand. Monica glared at him as though to say that the jig was up. Unable to win against her, Shinichi gave up in his usual manner and with a smile said.

“Oh, to be a happy man.”

“What?”

“To think that a woman like you would care this much for me.”

He was saying that his eyes weren’t wrong, that he hadn’t made a mistake in choosing to protect her. That she was worth it. It was that sort of admission of defeat.

“…”

It was such an unexpected answer that Monica found herself petrified, but she didn’t get mad. She just thought it was really unfair of him. That was not because he was praising her. She just couldn’t find it in herself to reject him after he smiled so genuinely upon learning that she was worth it. She could not understand it, but there was a heat within her chest filled with such thoughts, and without her knowing it, she found herself praying and pleading as she held his right hand against her forehead. Both his warmth and that disagreeable sensation passed onto her, and she felt sorry for him, but above all, she thought that was a hand just like that of the person she loved and respected the most.

“…you.”

“Huh?”

“Thank you. Really. Thank you.

That’s why what came out of her lips was a sincere display of gratitude.

“Thanks to you my family is safe. Thanks to you, I can keep on singing.”

Those were not words woven by the Songstress, or by the older sister of the children, or the daughter of the Sister. Those were words woven by the woman known as Monica herself. They were her genuine feelings.

“I’m glad that the person I met yesterday was you!”

Then as though to express her feelings, she lovingly kissed his right hand. It was the kind so filled with warmth that a jolt of electricity ran up Shinichi’s whole body.

“…”

“Chu.”

Shinichi was speechless, shocked. A faint trace of red even appeared on his face. At last, it seemed that Monica was able to get back at him. Then she turned around, and as though she’d done nothing out of the ordinary, headed for the stage. Shinichi’s eyes followed her, and perhaps because she noticed, or perhaps because she was planning to do so from the start, she turned around and said.

“I’m going now. Be sure to take care of yourself, okay? If you come back with more wounds, you’ll get this.”

She playfully showed her fist and laughed, and in return, Shinichi too laughed and nodded.

“That looks painful. Alright. I’ll be sure to come back without so much as a single scratch on me. I’ll promise that much.”

Satisfied with his response, Monica returned to the crowd. Shinichi’s gaze fell on his right hand, and a wry smile surfaced on him.

“Well, I’m beat. It’s because I can receive something like this occasionally that I can’t stop.”

So even if his methods were clumsy and foolish, because he appreciated things such as this, he couldn’t stop, but he allowed himself to immerse in such happiness only for a moment before he swept them to a corner of his mind. Then he moved for the exit without the slightest hesitation in his gait. It didn’t matter even if the manager and the others had him surrounded. He moved straight all the same.

“Wait a moment!”
“Sorry, but they’re almost at their limit.”

The people surrounding him, the voices asking him to stop, none of it mattered. He just passed through them as though they were never there. The manager gave chase, but it was all in vain. Of course, the fact that Shinichi bothered to respond to them was actually a display of sincerity on his part, but there was no way for them to know that.

“Can you at least tell us!? Just who is it that’s trying to assassinate Monica!?”

“Your superiors will probably tell you tomorrow, though maybe not the whole story.”

Though they were still in the backstage, there was no one here except for them, and without stopping even once, Shinichi revealed the truth.

“The ringleaders are the Snake’s Poison and Fang.”

For a moment, silence filled the area, but then a small scream resounded. After all, they understood just what those words meant. The fact that they became afraid showed that they were all people in the know.

“That’s absurd. Why would the Snake of all organizations target a singer!?” Teresa said.
“Their new weapon is ill-matched with her song. Just the sound of her song is enough to destroy it,” Shinichi said.
“B-But if that’s true, then they won’t stop at just today!”
“That’s why I’m about to make it so that they won’t be able to bother her anymore.”
“How!?”
“…This form is merely borrowed from another person. I’ve become a bit of a celebrity in the underworld, so it’s easy to catch attention. I don’t want any trouble to befall this person. Understand?”

It might sound as though he’d suddenly started talking about something unrelated, but they could understand what he was trying to say. This was his condition. But of course, what they didn’t know was that this was really just an attempt on his part to cover up for his mistakes.

“…We won’t look into who owns that face. We won’t report it either,” Teressa said, and Shinichi stopped.
They were already outside the venue. It was night, and the light leaking from the stage softly illuminated their surroundings. They were the only ones here, no eyes from the sky either, though perhaps those companions of his were watching, but it didn’t matter.

“My method is exceedingly simple. I will give them a good reason not to mess with her—”

A fearless smile surfaced on Shinichi as he held his right hand over his face.

“—By becoming the greatest threat that they will fear.”

──────Masquerade.

With that one word, his right hand descended, and the night manifested. The little light that leaked from the venue seemed to dim, and the air and space trembled in fear. When that white mask gazed at them, a crescent-moon smile devilishly surfaced.

“────────”

Everyone was dead silent. Not a scream, not even a gulp. Time seemed to stop for the ladies that beheld the Mask’s descent. Perhaps, they did not understand, or rather, they did not want to understand. The shock of his appearance was so great that all thoughts and even breaths seemed to pause.

“W-W-W-W-Why would y-y-y-y-ou h-help Monica?”

It was an impressive display on Teressa’s behalf to grit her teeth and ask that question, and as though to reward her for that, the Mask smiled and answered her sincerely.

『Yesterday, I heard her song, and I became a fan.』

But of course, to everyone else, that was a joke.

『So just leave it to me.』

Regardless, he muttered those words and then vanished. It wasn’t until half a minute later that the people realized that he must’ve teleported.

“Ah.”
“Eeek.”
“Ue.”

As though they’ve lost whatever was supporting them, they fell to the ground. With the absolute existence dominating the place gone, they could finally afford to be afraid. It was an odd sense of relief to say the least.

“T-That was the real thing!”
“I can’t believe it. Just standing in front of him was so suffocating.”
“I think I’m going to puke.”
“I think I peed myself.”

They were all covered in sweat in shameful poses, but no one could find it in them to laugh. Well, except for one.

“Ha, ha ha ha!”

Teressa laughed like mad while lying on the ground in the shape of ‘大’. Her peers wondered if she’d really lost it, but she didn’t care and just started prattling on without pause.

“What do you mean you heard her song for the first time yesterday? That’s impossible! Ah, I didn’t want to know! I didn’t want to get involved with that guy! Why in the world do I have to face the world’s greatest threat while taking up some escort mission!? Yeah, you’re right. If it’s you, I’m sure you can end it all in one punch! And just like you tore open a hole in that sea, I bet you wanted to tear open a hole in our stomachs too! I don’t think I’ll be able to show up for the regular report tomorrow! From the way he was talking, I bet he did something to them too! What’s going to happen to us tomorrow!? Good grief, just when I was wondering if that girl’s habit of picking things up was fixed, she goes and picks up something unbelievable! Ahahaha!”

Teressa let out her complaints while lying down, and her peers wryly smiled in agreement. Her voice echoed in the forest, but such sounds were of course drowned out by Monica’s song and fans.


Red-black and silver had clashed for more than three digits already. Unable to land the decisive blow on the other, they attacked relentlessly. Gunfire and explosions seemed to spread out around them, yet despite the overwhelming numbers of the “Snake,” the aftermath of the clash between the two, as they freely roamed the battlefield, kept the Snake from moving as they pleased.
On the other hand, the few elites of Nameless were able to utilize their advantage to the fullest, steadily whittling away at the Snake without danger. Still, due to the original disparity in total numbers, the actual gains were minimal. Defeating fifty out of a hundred soldiers meant half the force, but defeating four out of ten thousand soldiers was a two-hundredth.
In tactics, “Nameless” might be dominant, but strategically, they were at a complete disadvantage. However, this did not necessarily align with the feelings of the parties involved. For the “Snake,” a force in abundance that prepared for this situation, the inability to overwhelm a mere four enemy squad was an indescribable humiliation. “Nameless” too understood the unfavourability of their situation, but their goal was not the defeat of their. They were simply meant to immobilize the “Snake”. That’s why they were calm. The fact that the Masquerade was their ally was also significant. But of course, both leaders knew that.

『I went for quantity over quality, but I guess it doesn’t really work when you’re aiming for different things!』

In the spacious private estate that had become the battlefield, both factions were at a standoff. Six and Myuhi faced each other, gazes locked. Traces of the opponent’s color could be seen etched on each other’s armor, but none amounted to decisive blows, merely superficial scratches. Myuhi chuckled disdainfully.

『Hmph, it’s too late for that. Besides, I’m sure everything is going as you’ve intended.』

『Hah, I don’t know what you’re talking about.』

『I can’t feel the slightest desire of victory from you. You don’t seem to want to kill that songstress either, so what exactly are you aiming for?』

But of course, Myuhi did not expect him to answer honestly either. Six went silent for a moment, but then he started laughing while clapping.

『Kuh、ha ha ha, you got me. As expected of that general’s trusted spear──────But it looks like this is as far as you go.』

『!?!』

Those last words that were coldly uttered was not meant for a conversation but a declaration. He was saying that he was going to end it with his next move. A chill went up Myuhi’s back, and in the next moment, an explosion like impact and sound spread, and Myuhi was slammed into the ground.

“Commander!? Damn it!!”

“Stay where you are!!”

A 20m crater was made in the wake of Myuhi’s descent. With her red armor, she sank there at the center. Thinking that this was a good opportunity, the other soldiers of the Snake swarmed for her, but her subordinates shot at them to keep them in check.

“Are you okay, Commander!?”

『…I figured it would be bad to get hit by that, but I guess that Mask is just too scary.』

Myuhi waved away her subordinates and looked down at herself. As she slowly stood up, she spat provocative words at the people descending. On her tonfa and her exoskeleton could be seen five slashing marks, and the number of people that descended were too five.

『…What a terrifying woman. To think that you managed to block against an attack of that timing. It looked almost as if you were expecting it.』

Six spoke as though he were praising her, but his voice was full of leisure. But then again, perhaps that couldn’t be helped. After all, four other men in silver stood next to him. Though the shape of their headgears differed, they were all equipped in the same Apostle Armor. In that instance, the five of them attacked her. That was an attack that she wouldn’t have even been able to sense without the blessing of the Mask, but with it, and her insight, allowing her to realize that she wouldn’t be able to dodge, she managed to block in such a way that she incurred the least damage.

“Ahaha, there’s five of them?”

“What a terrible sale.”

“Isn’t this kinda bad?”

Myuhi’s subordinates spoke flippantly, but the sweat pouring from them showed that they did not think well of this development. They were clearly outmatched, yet despite that they were willing to fight for their commander, so to keep them from doing anything rash, Myuhi stepped forward.

『A silver squad. It’s boring when you’re all the same color, you know? You need more variety. You’ll make me go blind with how shiny you boys are.』

Myuhi tottered, but she did not cower. Though not entirely covered in wounds, the scars etched into her armor were numerous and deep. Nonetheless, there was no opening for Six or the other four to take advantage of. Though they were strong, they could still be taken down one by one. That’s why they didn’t let their guard down.
Myuhi wanted to click her tongue. If they were to be forced to defend, they wouldn’t stand a chance. But even if they were to leap into action now and take the initiative, it would be pointless if they couldn’t finish the fight in one blow. Alas, she didn’t have the confidence to do so. Within her full-face helmet, a cold, unpleasant sweat trickled down her cheek.

『Sorry about that. What are you going to do? I’m pretty sure this is a check mate now.』

『Right──────In any case, I can take this to mean that I’ve fulfilled my role, right?』

But of course, that only lasted until then.

『What are you talking about—!?』

『Oh, that’s a better reaction than I expected. Does this warrant a bonus?』

Shivers ran down their spine. One moment the world was normal, then in the next, the night dominated the space. Before the overwhelming glare of the Mask, the Snake became a frog. This would be Six’s second time experiencing it, and for that reason, he merely clicked his tongue.

『Tch, that’s too sudden! There was no spatial anomaly or signs of teleportation, just how did you do it!?!』

But the right hand of the Mask had already descended, and everything came to an end. The violence of pitch black akin to the arm of a giant crossing over a mountain descended and covered everything in darkness. To everyone else, it just looked like a torrent of pitch black, but the power behind it was otherworldly, and it bore through the earth all the way to the very edge of the barrier that kept everything here hidden. Just like that, a bottomless crater was opened, and the soldiers hit by the shockwaves were sent flying hundreds of meters away. As though those shockwaves possessed a will of their own, they attacked the soldiers in the air too. It was just one attack, yet in the face of it, overwhelming numerical advantage and technology proved inconsequential.

“…”

It was curious who among them gulped, but one thing was for sure, the place had gone quiet enough for it to resound painfully loud. What made everything even more eerie was how the girls behind the Mask were completely unaffected by everything that had transpired just now. Even though everyone else had been blown away, crushed, or incapacitated. Though no one died, their equipment have all been destroyed, while the soldiers themselves dared not make even the quietest groan for fear of the Mask. In fact, they couldn’t even tremble. They just stared at him from where they were, too afraid to even keep him out of their sight.

“Gu… You’re… Merciless…”

What broke the silence was a tottering half-naked Six. His apostle armor was gone, at most some remnants clinging onto him. Just one swing of the Mask’s arm was enough to turn their new and powerful weapons into this state.

『That’s not something you should say after enduring it.』

The Mask’s gaze was pointed to the people in front of him. There were four people, some men, some women, on the ground. They weren’t dead, but they were unconscious, and their body bloodied. The difference between them was night and day.

“Did he use his subordinates as shields!?”

“I defended with all my might too, and yet I still ended up like this.”

Someone yelled out in criticism, but Six just readily accepted it. His equipment was gone, but he himself was unwounded. That was thanks to the sacrifice of the four people before him. However, while there were no visible wounds on him, he was tottering, and soon, he sat on the ground. Evidently, he too has been exhausted.

“You sure do some crazy things out of the blue, don’t you, Masquerade-san?”

Still, despite his smirk, there’s no visible sign of him feeling trapped. Bewildered by this attitude, the members of Nameless remained cautious. Did he still have a hidden card up his sleeve? But Six ignored them and just looked around at the gruesome and astonishing traces of destruction left by the Mask.

“Just one blow, no, just a swing of your arm was enough to do all this. I knew you were strong, but being shown in person is just too draining. There’s no way to win.”

Six shook his head as he said that casually, but neither the Mask nor the girls took him seriously.

“But you know, aren’t you more of a trash talker usually? Where’d all your usual antics go? Doesn’t this just mean that you’re no longer as composed as you make yourself appear to be?”

Six snorted as he pointed out the Mask’s unusually panicked attitude.

『…………』

『Masquerade?』

But the Mask didn’t say anything. Myuhi looked at him suspiciously, but he remained unresponsive. Six took that as a confirmation of his suspicions and laughed while clapping.

“Ku ha ha ha! You’re probably feeling terrible, right now, aren’t you? After all, you had to keep listening to that song that’s no different from poison to you! You’re at your limit already! Just standing is difficult for you, right?”

『Shut up. Even if that’s the case, without your apostle armor, you’re nothing even with just us!』Myuhi said.

“Well, that’s true. You’ve already proven yourselves, and my strength is gone too, so there’s no way for me to win anymore, but you know, isn’t it precisely a tactician’s job to make a victory out of a situation like this?”

Exhausted and slumped on the ground, the man seems ecstatic, and with a smile, he flaunts his victory. He knows he’s the one who’s won.

『─────ッッ!?』

In that moment, what dominated the scene wasn’t malice, aggression, or even kindness. It was, quite simply, a song. The battleground prepared by the “Snake” resonated with singing throughout its entirety. The singing came from the terminals of fallen soldiers, and they all played just one song. And all of it was Monica Chantalle. Not just the same song playing simultaneously, but multiple songs were being played on top of each other. It was a complete waste of the artistry behind the song, what with the instrumental parts too eliminated, but in doing so, the Snake had weaponized Monica’s song.

『Uu, gu.』
『Masquerade!?』

She reflexively supported the Mask’s swaying body as she glared at Six from inside her full-face helmet. However, Six’s attention was elsewhere.

“Commander!”

『I know! To think there’s still so many of them left!』

As the ladies looked up, it became evident that soldiers from the “Snake” were entering from “outside the barrier.” They gathered in the night sky as if to fill it completely. They must’ve numbered easily over two thousand, and there were also dozens of small aerial support craft and bombers hovering in the air. Unpleasant dissonant songs rang out from them as well, mingling with the groans and anguish behind the mask.

『Ah, gah!!』

『Keep yourself together! Can you hear me!?』

“No matter how good you ladies are, can you really fight against these many while covering for him? Hey! How long are you boys going to be standing around? No matter how scary Masquerade is, he’s just deadweight now! Hurry up and finish him off!”

Unable to keep up with the changing situation, those who were frozen by the initial assault now rose with excited and exhilarated shouts at the sight of their terrified targets. Both in the air and on the ground, gun barrels and cannons were aimed en masse, with countless photons locking on. It seemed that they were trying to overwhelm them with a simultaneous barrage of fire from the exaggeratedly large number of forces. It was firepower enough to destroy an entire city, yet now, it was targeted at just them.

“Commander! Take Masquerade and get away from here!”
“We’ll cut open a path even if we have to die! Please go!”
『Don’t be stupid! As if you can open a path just by risking your lives! Look!』

While shouting, she urged them to pay attention to the threats that lay before them. Numerous gun turrets emerged from the ground, and reinforcements from outside have not stopped pouring in even once. More than twenty military-grade guard robots have gathered on the ground too. There were soldiers abord them, as well as soldiers following on foot with exoskeletons. Even a conservative estimate would suggest that there was at least abattalion here.

As confident as the Ladies were in their ability to break through a “wall” formed by two or three hundred soldiers, the total number of the enemy forces gathered here was nonetheless daunting. Trying to break through such a thick encirclement with even one person who cannot fight back would require concentrating firepower on a single point, but it’s uncertain how much they would be able to penetrate. There’s no way the enemy soldiers would miss such an opportunity too.

『……At this distance, you’d get caught up in the blast too, though?』

Myuhi held tightly to the Mask in her arms as she asked that calmly. The distance between Six and them was just over 10 meters, a distance that could be covered in a single leap. If they were to receive such an attack, there would be no doubt that Six would be caught in the crossfire. Of course, it’s not as if the other side wasn’t aware of that. It was really just a question asked to buy time, and Six too must’ve been aware of that. Despite the situation, Six responded casually,without any sense of urgency.

“Oh? How gentle of you Crimson. To be concerned for an enemy, but you know, I’m a man known as the Undying Fang. Something like this is nothing to me.”

It was curious if that was a bluff or not, but regardless, not a trace of fear could be found in him. Was he really willing to risk his life just to kill the mask? In any case, it was clear that he wasn’t considering his own safety. If so, then even if she used Six as a shield or hostage, it would merely be in vain..

“That being said, you might do something else if we gave you more time, so while we might’ve only known each other for a short time, it was nice knowing you, Masquerade. We had to pay a huge price, but it’s worth it if it means killing you.”

Goodbye. As he said that, he gave the order to fire, and all the soldiers pulled on the trigger. Perhaps so as to not obstruct the effects of the song, all the guns were equipped with silencers, and the whole place lit up with gunfire but no sound.

“…Huh?”

That’s why someone made that sound.
It was a sound expressing the disbelief of the girls who prepared all manners of shield and defensive skills, only to behold not the death sentence of the Mask, but the extermination of the Snake.


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Comments

5 responses to “I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – School Field Trip Arc – Act 1: This Is What Happens When I Go on a Trip – 04-107: Defend the Concert! 6”

  1. Magnawell Baskus Lardo Kurtzvald Avatar

    Thanks for the Chapter

  2.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Good stuff. This is why I keep my patreon supports!

  3. WrongerMonk10 Avatar
    WrongerMonk10

    Thank you for the chapter!

  4. Kitsune Avatar
    Kitsune

    Thanks for the chapter.

  5.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Woah, that was great. Thanks for the chapter

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