Accel World:Volume 3 Chapter 5
Not able to prioritize the matter that should be considered first, Haruyuki continued to stare for a while at the small shrimp on a slice of pizza held in his right hand.
After deciding, he took a bite of out of it, then raised his head and inquired.
"...Taku. That guy... Noumi is a Burst Linker right?"
"Suddenly facing it head on, huh?"
The right side of Takumu's mouth rose in a wry smile, as he too had bit into a slice of pizza at the same time.
8:30pm at night, they were in Haruyuki's room in his apartment. After Takumu finished his club activities, took a shower at his home, and came here; it was sort of late already.
As usual, Haruyuki's mother wouldn't be home till after midnight, but Takumu's mother allowing him to go to a friend's house for dinner, that would have been unthinkable while he was in elementary school. Haruyuki had not heard the details from Takumu about his transfer to Umesato middle school at the beginning of this year, but his parents seemed to be opposed to his decision.
The result, after many conditions Takumu himself put up, his parents finally allowed it, but of course Haruyuki did not know about the finer details. At the same time, he admired Takumu's struggle, with himself completely being neglected by his parent, which one is more blessed as a child? He pondered on these random thoughts.
"Aa, eating those kinds of things again!!"
It was during his 2nd bite of pizza, when that sudden voice broke through his thoughts.
Chiyuri came straight in from the open door, put her right hand on her waist, and yelled again.
"Geesh, Haru, I always told you to learn to make your own dinner!"
"Just taking it out of the box and warming it up right!"
"P-Put it on a dish too."
"That can't be called cooking!"
She pointed her finger at the tip of Haruyuki's nose, then lifted the paper bag in her left hand high and held it out.
"I thought it would be like this, so I asked Mama to make lasagna. There, lower your head!"
—You didn't make it yourself either!
He thought like that, but with the scent of cooked cheese drifting from the bag, Haruyuki could only prostrate himself and say "Yeah yeah".
The lasagna that sat in the rectangular heat resistant dish, was a masterpiece made with a lot of Chiyuri Mama's special bologna sauce, with a taste that the similar Italian cooking of frozen pizza could not compare to. They moved to the living room, with Haruyuki having 40% of the total, Takumu and Chiyuri having 30% each, it did not take them even 15 minutes to finish all of it.
"Thanks for the food. Chi-chan's mother, should open a shop."
To the words said by a fully satisfied Takumu, Haruyuki also confirmed while nodding.
"Really. She can make Japanese, Western, and Chinese food."
"Aa, no go, no go. Mama's cooking, when it's not for Papa, she only puts out 50% effort."
After Chiyuri said that with a serious face, Haruyuki involuntarily looked down at the empty lasagna dish.
"Fo-For real? It's this delicious and yet it's just half the effort?"
"Ah, this is about 95% effort. Mama said that if it was for my future husband candidate, Gyaa, what did you make me say, I will knock you out!!"
With that sudden shout, and actually kicking Haruyuki's shin under the table, Chiyuri carried the stacked dishes and forks towards the kitchen.
While in agony, he exchanged slight wry smiles with Takumu, then Haruyuki cleared his throat and forcefully returned to their conversation topic.
"...So, about Noumi. That's right, what was the bottom part of his name?"
"I think it was Seiji. Spelled like this."
Takumu created a holo paper on top of the table, and smoothly moved his finger tip. The name that was written on the virtual paper with virtual pen was «征二».
"Hmm... does he have an older brother?"
After Haruyuki's murmur, Takumu also nodded after erasing the paper.
"Yeah. I checked the graduation album, and there was a student called «Noumi Yuuichi» three years above us. But his home address is encrypted that it could only be read by the same graduation year students, so it is not yet confirmed if he is Noumi's onii-san or not."
"Three years above? As far as age goes, that barely fulfills the first condition..."
With the first condition of a Burst Linker aptitude being «Wear a Neuro Linker right after birth» fulfilled, then he must be a child that was born in the year when the first Neuro Linkers became available in the market. That is to say, the «First generation», is in the current 2nd year high school— that is looking from Haruyuki's point of view, three years above.
"However, if that Yuuichi-shi is a Burst Linker, then he would be in the school with Master for one year. But, I never heard Master mention having any of her senpai being Burst Linkers."
"Is that so... that's right."
After mumbling "Uun", Haruyuki said as to change the topic.
"Well, let's leave that Yuuichi-shi alone. For now the problem is the 1st year Noumi... Taku, that guy... «Accelerated» during the match with you right? If it wasn't for that, then you would not have lost like that..."
Hearing that, the edge Takumu's mouth had largely distorted smile.
"Not really, I am not that great. It would not be strange that I lost after the 2nd match. Without acceleration, I am like that."
"That's not true. You were a lot stronger than the captain during the semi-final match!"
After Takumu's self deprecating speech, Haruyuki became irritated and retorted, then lowered his tone of voice.
"Instead of talking about that, what happened? I for sure saw Noumi sing something like the acceleration command."
After a long silence, Takumu lightly nodded.
"...Aa. I also saw it..."
That high pitched shout, was from Chiyuri who returned to the living room after having finished washing dishes. She put the bottle of green tea and three glasses on the table roughly, then continued.
"No way, that guy is a Burst Linker too!? Then, but, Haru and Ta-kun also said that this year there wasn't one in the 1st year!"
"There wasn't. That's why we are troubled."
After replying while pouting, Haruyuki scratched his head.
"I also accelerated at the instant when I thought that guy accelerated, and checked the matching list. But Noumi was not there... Taku, that guy was connected to the Local Net right?"
"He did. In the first place, if he did not, then he could not be in the match."
"I thought so... But, that kind of reaction without acceleration... that guy, Taku's first hit towards the face, and second hit towards the body seemed to be avoided as if he knew ahead of time. Especially the second hit, how to say it, it was as if he moved his real body while accelerating... That kind of thing, could not be possible."
Takumu made a strange sound, and Haruyuki also responded with "Huh?".
"Wh-What is it?"
"No... Haru, perhaps you did not know?"
—That way of speaking and expression, created a strong sense of Deja Vu in him.
"Wait a minute... Stop that, it's as if there is more «Accelerated World common knowledge» that I did not know about. Like the «Unlimited Neutral Field» and «Judgement Blow», while asking my face is red with embarrassment you know."
"Yeah. Then, this is the third time."
While snickering, Takumu seem to think for a bit, then he took one glass and filled it half way from the bottle of green tea.
Then he lifted his right hand up, and stared at the yellowish green colored liquid—
Right after the shout of a command that pulled at Haruyuki's memory from somewhere, Takumu threw the tea in the glass straight up.
Haruyuki and Chiyuri shouted in surprise at the same time, then right after, they were doubly shocked as their eyes opened wide.
From high in the air, the green tea that came down drawing small curved paths, was caught without loss in the glass held in Takumu's right hand!
His right hand moved slightly while matching the uneven liquid, going from top to bottom then jumping back up. One second later, with a *Thump*, the glass bottom landed on the table, with almost the same amount of tea that was poured from the bottle sat in it and swayed. The droplets that fell onto the tabletop, was just four drops.
After hearing that whisper from Chiyuri, Haruyuki finally remembered where he heard a command similar to the one now.
There was no way he could forget it. Half a year ago, to save Haruyuki from being hit by a runaway car, Kuroyukihime used the forbidden command «Physical Full Burst». It could only be used by level 9 Burst Linkers, with a cost of 99% of the user's Burst Points, its effect was to «Accelerate the real flesh body movement by 100 times».
The command Takumu used now, was without a doubt a lower ranked version. «Physical Burst» without the «Full». That should exist at an earlier level, he suspected.
"That means... it's an acceleration command while the consciousness remains in the flesh body?"
With Haruyuki's quiet question, Takumu slowly nodded with a serious face.
"That's right. The rate is 5 times, duration is 3 seconds, cost is 5 points. The acceleration does not include the physical body movement, but for avoiding the fighting opponent's attack, and getting in counter attack it's easy."
"If it is baseball, you can hit all home runs. I see... Noumi actually «Moved while accelerating» to avoid Taku's hit on his body..."
After adding that, Haruyuki blew out a breath.
He now understood the reason why Kuroyukihime did not teach him this command. Different from the basic command «Burst Link» that is required for duels, «Physical Burst» is only a function of acceleration ability that is needed for a user who desired fame or wished to be noticed. Above that, if you used it once there was no stopping, and if used often, he could imagine a fearful situation where many points would be used up.
At the edge of his lips, with a self deprecating smile as that situation was fully mixed in, Takumu said.
"Noumi Seiji is, exactly the same as I was last year. Everything. Winning matches with the power of acceleration, with the reparation of risk in existing duels, and using some kind of method to avoid detection. That's why I, even if I lost to that guy, have no right to say anything"
What broke that speech, was—
Chiyuri who was, not sure since when, standing behind Takumu. She knocked on his head with her knuckles.
To Takumu who dropped his glasses and had his mouth open wide, Chiyuri snorted then yelled.
"Wrong. It's not the same. Ta-kun wanting to win matches is for me right. Ta-kun, after winning always waved to me first, right?"
"But, it's different with that guy. That Noumi kid, did not look at anyone after the match. He just looked at himself and smiled. That's why Ta-kun is totally different!"
From the face of Chiyuri who said that frankly, Haruyuki moved his eyes to Takumu, and also gave a big nod.
"That's right, Taku. You are no longer your old self. More than anything, if that guy is a Burst Linker, then he's already committed reality intrusion on us. In this situation, we can't allow him to break our rule of no illegal use of acceleration ability in our base... no matter what, we have to find out why he does not appear on the matching list, and then «Duel» him as a slap on his head."
"Yeah! It's okay, no matter how you are beaten up, I will heal you up with gusto!"
With his eyebrows deeply wrinkled, Takumu hung his head for a while.
However, eventually his lips moved with the words "Thank you" leaking out lightly.
When he lifted his head, he had returned to his usual calm expression. After one nod, Takumu said in a low voice.
"...Understood. I will somehow try to check during club activity. You can leave that guy to me for now, Haru."
- 征二 - the 2nd character 二 means two or second. People with names like that usually have an older brother with the kanji 一 (one or first) in the name.
- 氏 - general name calling term that could mean Mr. or related.