“Hmm… That’s right. You’re such a rude guy. I sat next to you and tried to talk to you, but you were fast asleep with a burger in one hand. That was so careless of you. What were you going to do if something had happened? You’re being targeted too, you know?”
He was sincere in the strangest of places, so she struggled how to deal with him, but she couldn’t clear the air just like that, so she continued to grumble. But really, it was mostly because she was worried.
But what she got in response was a voice that didn’t think there was anything to worry about at all.
“What are you talking about? Even if it’s you, something like that is still dangerous.”
“Not really. After all, I knew you were coming.”
When such words were coupled with sincere faith, Frire could only audibly freeze as she mistakenly put too much power into her hands and crushed her paper cup.
“I’m not just saying that, you know. This girl (Youko) here felt your presence too. That’s why she’s so relaxed..”
Shinichi thought she was mad, so he panicked and started explaining quickly.
But whatever excuses he found did little to change the fact that he believed he would be safe because she was coming.
‘I knew you were coming, so I could let my guard down.’
That was essentially what he said.
Hence, it was all that Frire could do to stammer out those two words.
She had never been as grateful in her life as she was now that they didn’t have to face each other.
After all, even she could tell that she was grinning from side to side.
He actually depend on her. This man actually trusted her to that extent, and for some reason, the thought of that made her expression slacken.
〈 I see. So this is aptitude. Recording. 〉
Their attendants just quietly watched over them with a smile, but the latter of the two wore a vicious face on her as though to say, ‘just as planned’.
But of course, it wasn’t as though Youko had done anything in particular.
As for the couple, Frire excused herself after telling Shinichi that it was fine already.
Really, she just wanted to run away, so she went to the counter on the first floor, placed a new order, waited until she received it, then with a
Unfortunately for her, the cashier was the same person as earlier, and when they saw the expression she wore, they couldn’t help but think to themselves, ‘the cold beauty from earlier melted!’
“────Sorry, I was a little hungry.”
Shinichi seemed to have noticed that she was acting strange too, as he just meekly nodded for how scary she looked from the side.
“Anyway, I did some thinking while waiting and…”
But of course, the reason behind her expression was her obsession in taking control of the topic before anything unnecessary was brought up.
But of course, the real reason lay elsewhere.
“…I realize that I don’t have any right to criticize you for sleeping when you trusted me so much. The reason you’ve been missing out on so much sleep is me and yet… When I saw you sleeping, I couldn’t help but feel as though you’ve broken your promise with me.”
He was so tired, and yet here she was being irritated over something so trivial.
She apologized for how immature that was of her, and she feebly shook her head.
“You’re the one who arranged the plans for tomorrow, and yet here I am acting like this. It’s pathetic, really. I couldn’t even do anything when the flight to Hokkaido was fully booked and my request for a charter was rejected.”
They had come up with the idea for a school trip on such short notice that their preparations to fly in Japan lagged that badly.
The flight to their next destination, Hokkaido, was fully booked, and it wasn’t possible to arrange a charter flight either.
They were to visit Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hokkaido not only because of of their tourist destinations, but also because of the accommodations and the permissions they were granted after the governing bodies sounded out their intentions.
Their respective accommodations had their own preparation to make too, so they had to visit each destination in order.
There was no moving the date of their travel to Garesto, and it was best to avoid keeping the students in the city for too long. After all, such a thing would lead to them becoming like those moths drawn to a flame.
Because of all that, the destinations and the schedule couldn’t be changed easily.
As a last resort, it was decided that they would first return to Tokyo by land after departing Osaka, spend the night there, then head northward by land again to reach Hokkaido.
They had originally planned to spend the day before leaving for Garesto in Kutoria, so that they might be able to rest and recover from the stress and fatigue of traveling in Japan, but it was only be removing that they could fix their schedule.
And it was Shinichi who took care of all the necessary arrangements to make sure that the new schedule could be realized.
That’s why Frire felt so down, but…
“Isn’t that more the fault of those people who pushed that job onto you? You’re not a failure at all. It’s just that I didn’t want people to find fault with your work, so I decided to pull some shady strings along with the power of money.”
The way he saw it, what was really frustrating were the academy’s bigwigs trying to push all the work onto her while coming up with all sorts of excuses to avoid responsibility. She did her best as a staff member on site, taking on everything she could manage, but there were still things that were simply impossible. But of course, even those were ‘somehow’ accomplished through some shady negotiations and sheer force.
As a result, a certain mask was now set to appear by the bedside of certain bigwigs. But of course, they were the ones who made that bed, so it was only apt that they be the ones to lie on it. Frire had no intention of stopping Shinichi either.
“Honestly, I’m more worried about the students who were so understanding with just that explanation.”
That’s why the real issue was actually the students when they were informed of the change in plans.
After all, the plan was disclosed to them on such short notice. Though such changes haven’t been uncommon in this trip, the students did not voice any complaints. They just accepted it as part of their training, what with Frire’s excuse that it was ‘common in the military’.
Despite the advancements made in vehicle technology, road infrastructure, and traffic management, the land journey from Osaka to Tokyo still took a significant 4 to 5 hours. While students from the Special Class and the exceptional of the Normal Class arrived earlier through the bullet train, the majority traveled by bus. Yet as soon as they arrived, they were made to eat and sleep early, as they had to leave early the following day. Furthermore, they were scheduled to continue traveling and sightseeing in various places while heading to Hokkaido, making for quite a busy day.
As a result of today’s journey, the students were thoroughly exhausted, and they refrained from staying out late or venturing out at night, opting instead to go to sleep to prepare for the following day. This gave the teachers some time to relax, but Shinichi found that concerning.