After having their fill, Tomoe and Shinichi quietly excused themselves to avoid getting in the way of the mother-and-child pair, leaving behind only a thank you note.
It was actually so late into the night that the date had already changed, and though the souvenir stores and other stores in the inn were yet to open, the inn as a whole was bright.
In fact, the entrance hall welcoming the guests was still lit, and most of the guests have yet to sleep.
The rooms of the students had their lights turned off, but it was curious just how many of them were obediently sleeping.
In a corner of the inn where the lights were mostly closed was a passage that crossed the courtyard to connect the building where the kitchen was and the building where the guest rooms were.
A boy and a girl were walking side by side quietly in that place that was lit only with the least light needed and the moonlight.
“…W-What should I do?”
When Tomoe realized that they were walking by themselves in a dimly-lit courtyard, she became overly conscious of that fact and became less talkative.
And since Shinichi was generally passive when it came to conversations unless there was something that needed to be said, he too just kept quiet.
Surely, it had nothing to do whatsoever with how Tomoe was making all sorts of amusing faces in search of a topic. Most definitely… Perhaps…
“B-By the way, that finger snap of yours sure is convenient, isn’t it!” Tomoe said.
“…Did she really spend that much time thinking about it just to arrive to this topic?” Shinichi muttered to himself.
That was something they had been talking about just awhile ago. A topic she could have easily thought of without tension.
“What? You said you’d tell! No backing out now. It’s unfair how I have to memorize all sorts of chants and gestures, while all you have to do is snap your fingers!”
Shinichi found it amusing how long it took her just to arrive to that topic and found himself muttering to himself, but apparently, it was too quiet for her to hear.
Tomoe rushed him to answer to cover up how forced this conversation was, and Shinichi, who could see right through her, just enjoyed her awkward antics internally.
But of course, there was no denying that she indeed found it unfair how he could make magic happen so easily while she had to put so much effort into it.
“So in the end, what exactly is that finger snap of yours?”
Perhaps because he had already told her that he would tell her, Shinichi readily gave her the answer.
“It’s nothing, really.”
That, in fact, it really wasn’t anything.
“Hah?” Tomoe said.
“There’s no special meaning behind it, it’s just a finger snap,” Shinichi laughed like a mischievous child.
She had seen him use that finger snap so many times, so when he revealed that it was all just a show, Tomoe understandably became shocked.
“S-So what are you saying? That that was just you acting cool!?” Tomoe said.
“About 10% of it, yeah,” Shinichi said.
Tomeo wanted to scream when he admitted to her being 10% right, but it was such a low number that she couldn’t quite do so, leaving her in the end with a sullen face.
“I couldn’t snap my fingers at all before, but just a year ago, I finally started to get the hang of it. I found it amusing, so I started doing all sorts of stuff with it, and it became a habit…”
She found it even more troubling when he explained it in-depth.
The childish behavior that Shinichi occasionally showed was always amusing, but considering how he was someone who could easily perform amazing feats like those tricks with those finger snaps, he appeared really unbalanced.
“Or maybe that’s how he’s finding balance…” Tomoe muttered to herself before continuing. “Anyway, so what’s the rest of the reason?”
“40% of it is to lower my failure-rate through self-suggestion.”
“Lower your failure-rate? Not increase your success-rate?”
“I’m mostly successful. To make it easier for you to understand… Are you any good at the bits weapon?”
“When you’re in front of me, I can’t even lie and say I’m good at it. I could move like one or two at most. If it’s shikis, then I can move more.”
Perhaps because the method differed or perhaps because she was simply yet to master it, despite being capable of moving dozens of shikis like an extension of her limbs, Tomoe struggled to control more than two bits.
“Practice certainly plays a part, but humans are generally bad at making things happen without action. Making something move with just one’s thoughts is surprisingly difficult. Regardless of if it’s conscious or unconscious, most people have to see the object they’re moving, move their arms like a conductor’s baton, or use words,” Shinichi said.
“…Now that you mention it…” Tomoe nodded.
That was indeed what she imagined when she thought of moving the bits.
Even Yousuke, the best bits user other than Shinichi that she knew of, was said to be highly compatible with the weapon when he first entered the school, but even he had to rely on his hands and mouth.
He needed them to lessen the discrepancy between the image in his mind and reality, and to make it easier for his brain to realize what he wanted to do.
“It’s probably similar to our hand seals,” Tomoe said.
Though there might be other reasons and meanings behind their hand seals, there was no denying that it acted as a self-suggestion that one was about to use a jutsu, as well as a way to set their target.
In a sense, that’s not so different from what bits beginners do when starting out.
“It’s good that it’s like that for you, but there’s a long history behind your abilities and unless one has deep knowledge in the subject, it’s not really possible for others to know what you’re trying to do.”
It was surprisingly important for onlookers to be unable to tell what you’re doing.
Regardless of how helpful gestures were, they were massive telegraphs in combat, making them an unwanted behavior despite their benefits to consistency.
“Oh, I see. You wanted something that you could properly do that was hard to understand.”
It was hard to tell what he was about to do just by seeing him snap his fingers.
But he himself knew what he wanted to do, and at the same time, he is able to perform the
But of course, being able to accomplish that much with just a finger snap already made him abnormal.
At the same time, that also showed that despite his skill, he did not fully trust his powers.
“Something like that… By the way, the remaining 50% is because…”
Despite that he did not appear to doubt his abilities one bit as he ostentatiously showed her his hand and did a finger snap.
Tomoe looked around her wondering what he did, only to eventually find herself tilting her head.
“Huh? What did you do?”
“Just like that. By snapping my fingers, people who know about this habit of mine will think that I’ve done something.”
“You’re full of openings,” Shinichi’s other hand poked her on the cheek, then a smile that seemed to say, ‘got you,’ surfaced on him, causing Tomoe to turn beet red.
“Y-Your personality is seriouslyyy the worst!”