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 – 04-55: The Virtue to Shepherd, the Malice to Act(6/6)

“Hey! Are you listening!?”

The man yelled but kept his voice was quiet enough not to cause a commotion, yet because he disturbed her thoughts, she just looked at him as though she were looking at something filthy.

The man flinched, but he didn’t stop.

“We’ll get you the permission to go out as well. Our research team says that the only person on Earth who can understand this is you. At the very least, they want to hear your opinion.”

“…Oh? Looks like this curiosity of yours will at least be good for killing time.”

If it’s ‘them’ saying that, then it must be quite a challenge indeed.

Moreover, they were struggling so much that they didn’t even ask her to figure out exactly what it was. They were so impatient that they would settle for just an opinion.

She picked up the memory card and pushed it into the frame of her glasses. In the next moment, the information inside projected directly onto her retina from her glasses’ lens.

Other people couldn’t see anything, but in her field of vision appeared many screens on which were displayed a great number of information.

The technology revolution brought about by the science of another world has made automatic-self-erasing (physical) memory and even image projection technology like the one she was using a reality.

“Is this… A dimensional wavelength?”

The waveform she was shown through that technology made her tilt her head.

Alan Smithee couldn’t see what she was seeing, but he knew the contents of the memory card, so he could provide supplemental information.

But of course, it was doubtful if she would even listen.

“This mysterious wavelength was observed around the time the search and rescue plan for the missing drifters was executed. Until now it has been believed to have been due to the influence of searching all of Garesto, but as you can see, it turns out that the same wavelength has been observed by our intelligence department even before that, moreover──”

“The place and time is different yet the wave form pattern is exactly the same. If so, then it must be artificial. Mine is only possible inside, but I suppose something that could shake the boundary line would be possible with enough output. Regardless, this isn’t something meant to search. No, this was meant to open and invite something in. But just what would they invite from the dimensional world? …Ah, this definitely caused an outbreak.”

“…What?”

Natsumi muttered to herself, and her words did seem related, but she didn’t include him in the conversation at all.

The man couldn’t help but make a puzzled face. They couldn’t even understand that thing yet she was able to understand it just by looking at it.

But while he was surprised by her comprehending it, what really surprised him was the fact that she arrived at that answer: an outbreak.

He immediately used his terminal to cross-reference the date and location of the observed wavelength with the announcement of an outbreak, and indeed, he found several matches.

“Are you saying that someone intentionally caused an outbreak?”

It was such a powerful conclusion that Alan completely ignored the earlier part of Natsumi’s mutterings.

He tried to question her in detail, but the genius mad scientist already moved on to the next item.

“Next is… A fair of corpses?”

“W-Wait! More importantly— uh, I mean… That’s a mysterious assassination that happened recently.”

He wanted to talk more about what she’d mentioned earlier, but this was important too, so he figured he should prioritize asking her about it while she was still interested.

“I’m a scientist and an engineer, not a cop or a detective, but, yes… I understand.”

Despite saying in a roundabout way that this was outside her field, she still let out an interested voice at the end.

The next thing that filled her vision was a ton of corpses. In fact, there were so many corpses that describing the visual as a fair of corpses wasn’t wrong.

There were also autopsy results and information regarding the time of murder and the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the bodies.

“I see, so that’s why you gave up…”

One of the body was stabbed(・・・・) right through the heart despite wearing an exoskeleton.

What was curious was that the chest part of the exoskeleton was damaged, but there weren’t any superficial wounds on the human body as though only the heart inside had been pierced.

Moreover, some kind of attack caused the exoskeleton’s system to overload and shutdown, preventing the lifesaving functions from rescuing the pilot.

There were also no traces of the mysterious attack that killed the pilot and destroyed the exoskeleton.

In another case, a body had been cut vertically in half in a basement surrounded by solid walls on all sides.

Later investigations show that no one other than the victim himself visited the place. There were no machines(robots) and no other visitors, and there were no traces of weapons or photons being used either.

There was also a body with a single gunshot wound on the head, but not even a scratch, let alone the traces of a gunshot, could be found on the thick wall where the bullet should have went.

There were other improbable murders as well.

Anyhow, it was evident in each case that the victims had suffered some kind of attack, yet the circumstances should have made such an attack impossible. What’s more was that trace of any attack was left.

It was such a strange series of impossible murders that one couldn’t help but be tempted to think that the murderers – if the same – might have intentionally arranged for them to appear that way.

Incidentally, race did not seem to be a factor, as both Garestonian and Earthlings were victims.

“There were differences in the way they were killed, but we believe these assassinations to have either been carried out by the same organization or by the same weapon; however, we have no idea how they were killed. We did manage to catch some on video, but we still couldn’t figure anything out.”

The man raised his hands up and shrugged his shoulders as though in resignation, but Natsumi acted as though she didn’t see that and just caressed the frame of her glasses several times to manipulate her device and analyze the video at a frightening speed. After wrapping up her thoughts, she muttered.

“…No response from spirit particles. Did they perform Schrodinger’s Cat inside the released space? In quantum mechanics, the absence of improbability… No, if it’s a thought with mass, will given mass, then the process is a bit strange. If so, then it must be the erasure of possibility, no, the causation of the desired result, no, it should be something more simple… Did they hit only the life-form and pass through the rest? Perhaps, they rewrote the phenomenon instead? An attack(Hostility) that removed all other possibilities…”

“…What?”

She gave a similar response as earlier, but this time, the man found himself saying that.

He couldn’t even be puzzled because he didn’t understand a thing.

“Can you please say things in a way that a layman would be able to understand? In the first place, a lot of the terms you’re using don’t even sound scientific. They sound more like something straight out of a sci-fi novel.”

Alan asked sarcastically, completely clueless what she was talking about, but she just giggled.

“Aha, science? Don’t be silly. That’s just a convenient measure humans came up with, the world is made up of something far greater. That’s why there’s still(・・) value in studying it,” she said with a smile so deep and so crazy that the man couldn’t help but become fearful.

“I will, however, apologize for saying this would be a good way to kill time. Indeed, this isn’t something merely on that level. Even I could barely just put a finger on it… I wonder just whose handiwork this was. Ufufu,” she laughed.

She sounded amused, but as someone sitting right in front of her, the man broke out in goosebumps.

The smile on her was just too unlike any smile he’d seen.

Child-like in purity, passionate like a maiden in love, yet as ghastly as a murdering fiend.

The man that called himself Alan had to rely on his willpower and sense of duty to force his trembling body to stop and say those words.

“…W-We have no proof, but we have an idea which organization might be responsible for those.”

“Oh? …And which organization might that be? Could it be that rumored Nameless?”

“No, we’ve been investigating the common points between the victims, and what we found was a flickering shadow of a Snake.”

Snake. When that word was mentioned, the incomprehensible face on her vanished.

As estranged and as uninterested as she was with the affairs of the world, even she knew that name.

“…Which one(・・・・)?”

“No, both have been the same Snake for a long while now.”

“Well, well… That’s a rather sordid historical event.”

“As a matter of fact, this would be the ‘first’.”

“Indeed.”

Unlike earlier, this time the two of them were able to speak in a way that only those in the know could understand.

Though the degree to which differed for either party, they both had no choice but to be highly alert of this so-called Snake.

“…Now then, Ms. Shirota, if we can get back on topic, in the end, what exactly is that?”

But he shook his head and asked about the mysterious assassination method.

Evidently, from the way she talked, she must have been able to analyze it to some extent.

“I’ve more or less figured it out. But there is no way to recreate it or prove it with technology. And you’d need to be at least as smart as me if you want me to explain what happened.”

But the answer she gave wasn’t even half what he wanted to hear.

She was indeed able to solve the mystery as he’d expected, but if she couldn’t explain it, then there was no point.

Even if the intellectuals and scientists of the world were gathered here, they probably still wouldn’t be able to understand.

When she said that he needed to at least be as smart as her, he knew that the matter had reached that level.

“If you could make it so that even a layman could understand… No, even a conceptual or abstract expression to help us understand would be fine.”

But there was no way the man could come back like this, so he insisted she find a way to explain.

Natsumi wasn’t particularly forced by his insistence, but it sounded like an interesting exercise, so she quickly translated the overly sophisticated content in a way that the mundane would be able to understand.

The process was so sweet that for a moment she lost herself in its pleasure, but really, no more than a few seconds had passed.

“Fu fu, alright. A more descriptive name would be: the Staff of the True God,” she smiled. Apparently, she liked that expression, but the man found himself gulping at the arrogance and threat of such a name.

Despite that, this man that called himself Alan Smithee didn’t actually understand exactly what she meant.

At most, he understood that there was a super weapon that utilized a completely unknown technology.

Nay, it wasn’t merely on that level.

After all, she used the word: true.

───An attack so strong it seemed to come from a god.

───If so, then the humans of today would have no way to defend against it.

“Ufufu! This world really never bores me, does it? Such joy.”

Unlike the man frozen from shock, however, she just smiled a smile filled with joy(madness) like a child in front of a toy box, but with a dangerous possessiveness.


Author’s Note:

Natsumi Shirota.

A woman who knows and understands most things.

Nakamura Shinichi.

A man who knows even things that Shirota doesn’t but is surprisingly weak to praise. (Ha ha)

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