“Many governments suffered greatly because of that. The process that led to the decision to disclose the existence of the otherworld was never revealed, so most of the people suspected that something shady happened,” Teacher Saland said.
“M-My job was stolen again!?”
Wernher collapsed again, but Shinichi ignored him.
He was more interested in what Mr. Saland had to say, even though his intel lacked credibility.
“One likely theory is that the government did not review or interfere with the plan because it prioritized immediate profits. They denied it, of course, but it is the theory most commonly accepted.”
“Though people might find fault with conspiracies, embezzlement, collusion, and the like, they are actually quite fond of them.”
Especially you, right? Or so Shinichi felt like saying.
The conspiracies Teacher Saland spoke of tended to be utterly absurd, but Shinichi knew from experience that it was never a waste to consider the picture drawn from such stories.
“Another theory suggests that Garesto forcefully brought the disclosure to speed, so the various administrations couldn’t respond in time. There was a general distrust for the government’s unusual enthusiasm for the exchange, so rumors sprung up.”
That might be why Shinichi took note of them as merely rumors despite his admiration.
When it came to these things, what was truly important lay not in the contents of the stories themselves, but the reason why the people thought that way or the unclear details leading to a conclusion.
In the end, there would either be something there, or someone wants people to believe so.
But of course, that was not something that could be understood by mere speculation.
“There are other theories too, but my personal favorite is the rumor that the U.N. Secretary General kept the date of disclosure a secret until the very last moment.”
“T-The U.N. Secretary General? But teacher, why would a person like that even make an appearance?”
When an unexpected person appeared in the discussion, a suspicious expression surfaced on Shinichi.
Though that person might be the representative of the United Nations Secretariat, Shinichi didn’t believe that he actually possessed any power.
“The current U.N. Secretary General is a woman, the first female secretary general in fact, and was appointed after you drifted away. She has incredible influence nowadays, but rumor has it that the criticism of the various administrations back then were actually an orchestrated attack from her. As the rumor goes, that is what led to her current influence and connections with the present administrations.”
“It’s all rumors, huh.”
None of the things he spoke about were known, and they weren’t unlikely stories either, but while they couldn’t be denied outright, they were dubious enough that they couldn’t be readily accepted either.
However, Myuhi, who continued to cling onto Shinichi, and Wernher, who was on the floor, shook their heads.
“Eva Cruz Rinaldi certainly has the power to make one think that way. She was the one in charge of the negotiations with Garesto, which was still top secret at the time, and the moment their existence was declassified and disclosed to the public, she shot up in the ranks and became the Secretary General of the United Nations, and to this day, she continues to keep a tight hold over that authority.”
“…I’ve also heard about the dubious rumors surrounding her. She could move really well despite being an old woman, and she’s also famous for having no reservations about using her authority to get her way. But she’s also relatively Pro-Garesto and is one of the key players from Earth that has allowed the exchange to continue peacefully.”
Because of that, she had a lot of enemies internally and externally, and despite her achievements, opinion on her was divided.
That was information straight from the spies of a country and a terrorist organization, so Shinichi narrowed his eyes and noted the name to memory.
He also took note of the points that he did not caught wind of when he scrubbed the world’s information in the last incident.
“I see, that was really educational… U.N. Secretary General Rinaldi, huh. And here I thought that the United Nation and that position was just for decoration.”
“Everything is pretty much a decoration against you though, Icchi,” Myuhi said.
“Ahahaha… I wonder what you’re talking about.”
When Myuhi pointed that out with a smile, Shinichi could only give a strained laugh in response.
At the same time, he inwardly clicked his tongue at his own ineptitude while gazing at the scene from the observation deck.
He stumbled onto Mana Hacking by chance, but he didn’t have any other way to gather information.
He relied on Mana Hacking because it was useful, but it was already starting to show its weakness.
It was convenient to be able search and investigate off of intuition, but on the other hand, it was impossible to automatically search on information that he didn’t have any intuitive information on.
Shinichi’s lack of expectation for the UN also turned out to have unconsciously affect him, such that he did not even know the name or gender of the current U.N. Secretary General.
Mana Hacking was also completely unable to handle information that was not already on the Internet or in any electronic device.
As such, he needed another source of information to fill in those gaps. And that’s actually one of the reasons why Shinichi threatened the girl in his arms and offered her an armistice.
But of course, the biggest reason was the last reason he told her before.
“…I want to do something about it before they find out my power is just a gold coating.”
Myuhi said that everything was just a decoration compared to him, but in truth, Shinichi’s power was really just a gold coating.
Nothing came from him and nothing was built up by himself, so that was truly how he saw that power.
How ironic was it that a decorative power like that could turn others into mere decoration? Shinichi laughed inside.
Perhaps one can’t help but wonder what exactly it was that Shinichi was complaining about when he had so much power?
After all, power was power, and as long as it could be used to achieve something, then there should be nothing to complain about.
Shinichi understood that, but the sequence of events that led him to acquire his power would not allow him to accept such a thing.
He neither possessed the personality nor the shrewdness to draw a clear line with the power that destroyed a village, killed his friends, and allowed his first love to die.
It was also for that reason that he couldn’t choose not to use it either.
Using the power of the evil god to save people or reform the world might just be the biggest insult to the evil god, however.
In the first place, Shinichi wasn’t even that good with the gold coating──
“──Icchi, is something the matter?”
“Huh? Oh, it’s nothing.”
Though unable to make heads or tails of it, Myuhi seemed to have noticed him muttering to himself, and she ended up tilting her head. She did that so naturally that Shinichi couldn’t help but smile.
As her short, pink hair fluttered freely, she looked up at him with her large eyes, and then as though nothing could be more natural, Shinichi gently stroked her fox ears with his free hand.
There was no reason behind that, he just felt like it.
‘I must be tired,’ he thought, but even then, he didn’t stop.
“Funya!? Icchi, wait, wait a sec! Mn, ah, that place is… Mn!?”
A delicate touch that kept one on the edge, while maintaining a precise intensity.
A marvelous technique born from experience that proved almost poisonous to Myuhi.
As someone who has experienced those hands for herself many times, Youko wryly smiled from atop Shinichi’s head.
“Mn, don’t, ah… Hey, not, there, mnn… An.”
Her hands that were holding him tight started to cling onto him instead as she tried to endure something and bit her lips.
Shinichi’s touch was ticklish and yet irresistible addictive. If Myuhi were to let her guard down, she would surely collapse.
As the voice leaking out of her closed mouth lost all composure, the sounds she made became coquettish.
And the culprit behind that wore an elated villainous smile.
“…Teacher Saland, wouldn’t this count as an illicit sexual relationship?”
“It feels more like someone caressing a cat’s throat, no?”
Wernher didn’t know if those actions were meant for a person of the opposite sex or for a pet, but regardless, the teacher that should have stopped them took the matter too lightly and didn’t.
In the end, no one stopped them, and Shinichi enjoyed Myuhi to his heart’s content.
“Ah, no, don’t… I-Icchi, forgive me already.”
Unable to stand it anymore, Myuhi yelled out those words, but her voice was feeble and frail.
There was a blush on her cheeks, and her eyes were moist with tears.
When her petite and lovely appearance was combined with that look that roused one’s desire to protect, Shinichi’s──
“…If you put it that way, you’ll make me want to do it more.”
──Mischievous smile only grew deeper.
Despite that, Myuhi never let go of his arms. Her legs were so weak right now that she was sure that she would lose her footing if she were to do so.
Shinichi was doing that while knowing that, however, and there was a huge smile on him too. How evil.
“…You know, I feel like those lines just now were just begging for a response.”
When Wernher saw what was basically a scene of two people flirting, a strange sense of duty welled up from within him.
Though he loved Japan’s subculture, he wasn’t really fond of those words, and yet… The sight before him just demanded him to make them
“Oh, right, it’s already time for the bus to leave. I forgot to call you guys.”
But then Teacher Saland suddenly remembered that and spoke.
‘Someone got in my way again’, Wernher seemed to say as he collapsed once again, while Shinichi and Myuhi, whose arms were linked, were stunned.
At the same time, Shinichi also remembered Teacher Saland’s habit of forgetting everything else when talking about conspiracies.
“S-Say that first!!”
Shinichi and Myuhi walked to Teacher Saland in perfect sync and said those words in unison.
Teacher Saland knew he was at fault, so he made an apologetic face and kept quiet.
“Go… Explode… Sigh…”
Wernher gave voice to those stereotypical words, but they were in vain.