Chapter 4: Showdown! The Class League Match
It's been several weeks since what happened that time, and Rin's mood hasn't improved, it has worsened.
Not only did she avoid me, she would deliberately turn her head away whenever we occasionally met in the canteen. Her firepower is all deployed in the 'I am really angry' department. Unfortunately, this anti-air firepower wasn't used on the Yamato-class battleships during World War 2...well, I don't know, but that's a pity.
"Ichika, the inter-class battle will be next week. The arena will undergo a settings adjustment, so today will be the last day for a practical battle."
After school, while seeing the sky gradually turning orange, I started to head towards the 3rd arena for my special training.
Like usual, the members were me, Houki and Cecilia. Thanks to the tense situation in my class simmering, the number of times I got surrounded by questions and stares has drastically decreased.
Even so, the fact that the raging topic is about me being in this school hasn't changed one bit. The stands on that day should be packed!
Let's cut at this part first. The 2nd years who sold the seats in the stands as 'reserved seats' were punished by Chifuyu-nee a few days ago. It seems the mastermind was confined in her dorm for 3 days. What in the world did they do?
"At least the IS control has gotten somewhat decent, so this time--"
"Because I've been training him as well! It would be strange had he not reached this standard."
"Since when is mid-range useful! First, Ichika's IS doesn't have any ranged weapons."
Houki's words were more forceful now, maybe because she got interrupted.
Truth be told, she's right. My Byakushiki IS doesn't have any ranged weapons, only the Yukihira Nigata.
Usually, every IS should have its own signature weapons, but only this 'prototype armament' wouldn't be enough, so there are also side arms. For example, Cecilia's initial IS weapons are the Blue Tears, while the gun and close-ranged sword are the side arms. Something like that.
And for this sort of side arms, the ISes have something like an 'equalizer'. Though the number of armaments a suit can equip differs due to the specs, an ordinary IS can have at least two...that should be the case.
The reason why I said 'that should be the case' is because my IS doesn't seem to be like that. The number of equalizers I have is zero. And since I can't change my initial weapon, the weapons I have only include a close-ranged sword.
"If we're talking about credit, what about Shinonono-san's kendo training? It's useless to train without the IS."
"Wha-what are you saying? Haven't you heard the saying 'the essence of kendo is the 'insight'? The 'insight' refers to everything that is in front of the eyes--"
"Ichika-san, we'll start learning from the 'no recoil spinning attack' we worked on yesterday!"
"Hey, you--listen to me, Ichika!"
"I told you, I'm listening!"
Speaking of which, why are you venting your anger on me?
After sensing that something's wrong, I touched the sensor of the A control zone door of the 3rd arena. Through fingerprint and pulse identification, I got clearance, and the door opened with a 'whoosh'. No matter how many times I hear it, the release of compressed air still feels loud to me.
"I've been waiting for a long time, Ichika."
To think that the one waiting for me here is actually Rin. She folded her arms, looking rather cocky and fearless as she smiles. She definitely looked angry yesterday, so how much has her mood changed...ah, I can feel Houki and Cecilia frowning behind me. Don't look at me, it's not my fault!
"Why are you here—"
"Unauthorized personnel are not allowed to enter this place!"
Houki got interrupted again. Give it up, it's that kind of a day.
With an 'ah?', Rin gave a taunting smile as she said with self-righteousness.
"I'm authorized, I'm related to Ichika! So there's no problem."
Well, sort of, but isn't that a bit weird, Houki—
"Oh? Then I should ask what sort of relationship do you have..."
"I guess the saying 'the wicked strikes first' refers to people like you!"
Woah, even Cecilia's mad. But Houki's twitching lips are even more terrifying. Even if I'm not the one at fault, this silent rage puts a lot of pressure on me. Those with weak hearts, please take note, there's a humanoid weapon nearby.
"...Are you thinking of something rude, Ichika?"
"No, nothing. I'm just giving a chopper knife alert."
"You, you bastard—!!"
Rin interrupts me and Houki.
"It's my turn to take the stage, I'm the main character now, all supporting characters can just move aside!"
"Okay okay. We won't be able to move on like this, so I'll explain later...Ichika, have you properly reflected?"
"Huh? About what?"
"About what, you say! You should feel regret about making me mad, or thinking how to 'make up with me', right?"
"Even if you say that...you're the one who has been hiding from me, right?"
"You...don't tell me you would really ignore a girl when the girl says 'don't bother me'?"
Isn't that obvious? If the girl doesn't want others to bother her, isn't it better to ignore her?
"Is there anything wrong?"
"Is there an...AHH, DAMN IT!!"
Rin shouted agitatedly as she scratched her head irritatedly. If you mess up your hair, it's not my fault!
"HURRY UP AND APOLOGIZE!"
Sorry, but I can't just agree to this one-sided request. It's not that I'm hesitating over that, but I just can't admit guilt in a case where I can't accept it.
"Why should I? I did remember the promise, right?"
"I don't believe it! Are you still talking about that? You were wrong about the meaning, the important thing is the meaning'!"
"Meaning (Imiga)?" That Okinawa dish made from pork? That's pig ears (Mimiga).
"You're thinking something rude again, right?"
Wah, found out again. As expected of the childhood friend that came after Houki, she has gotten used to observing me already!
"How infuriating. So you won't apologize no matter what?"
"That's why I said, I'll apologize when you give me a proper explanation!"
"It-It's because I didn't want to explain it clearly that I came all the way here!"
So what is it? I don't understand what she means at all.
But since I expressed it, I can't just back away like that. A man can't take back his own words like that so easily; a declaration without action is just sophistry or a lie. And sincerity is the result of continuing to take action. This is what a man has to prove.
"So be it! In the class rep battle next week, the loser will have to listen to what the winner commands, is that alright?"
"Okay, if I win, you'll have to explain it clearly."
Fight fire with fire, an eye for an eye, this is a deal that doesn't allow any backing out. As a guy, how can I step back after I've agreed? I won't be that shameless.
For some reason, Rin started to blush as she pointed at me. Why? Is it really embarrassing to say why you're angry?"
"What's the matter? You can back off if you want."
Good thing I said that cordially, but it seems to have the reverse effect on Rin.
"Who would back off? You better practice how you'll apologize to me?"
"Why? You idiot!"
"Who are you calling an idiot? You obstinate blockhead! Idiot! You're the idiot here!"
"Shut up, you ironing board!"
—Ah, damn it!
The sudden explosion and impact caused the entire room to shake. Looking closely, Rin's entire right arm morphed into the IS part.
It was like punching the wall fully without touching the wall at all—it's that kind of an attack.
"You, said...you actually said something you shouldn't have said!"
Purple sparks flew through the IS defensive jacket.
—This is bad, she's really angry now.
"I-I'm sorry about that. That was my fault, that was all my fault."
"'That was'? It should be 'that was also'! It's all your fault no matter what!"
A really ridiculous logic, but unfortunately, I don't have any space to retort back.
"I actually wanted to go easy, but it seems like you really want to die...okay, I'll grant that wish—I'll crush you with all I've got until you can't stand."
Rin finally gave me a sharp glance that I'd never seen before, and left the control zone.
*BAM*...the sound of the door closing sounded really terrifying. The momentum Rin let out just now was that sharp.
I glanced at the door. There was a 30cm diameter hole. No matter how I look at it, she has enough power to break through a special metal wall.
"...A power-type! And she's a close-ranged type like Ichika-san!"
Cecilia seriously inspected the damage done. Compared to that, I just sank into the deepest regret I've had in the past few words.
(And I just had to say what I was thinking...)
And that was the phrase that would infuriate Rin the most. That was completely my fault.
(This is bad...)
No matter whether I win or lose, it seems like I'll have to apologize to Rin no matter what.
On the day of the battle, the match between me and Rin is held at the 2nd arena, and that will be the first match.
As it's the rumored battle between freshmen, there's not an empty seat in the stands. Even the sidewalks are completely filled with students. As for the people who can't enter the place, they can only view the match through the broadcast screens.
(...But now's not the time to be concerned about that, right?)
In front of me is Rin, who's silently waiting for the match to begin, and her IS 'Shenlong'. Like with the Blue Tears, the floating parts should be the unique characteristic of the 'Shenlong'. The cannons on both shoulders look like they will attack on their own...it'll hurt if I get hit by them...
(But the name sure is something. Though the kanji is different...okay, I'll call it Kouryuu. It's kanji anyway. That'll be OK!)
"Then both of you, please get into position."
The broadcaster prompted us. Both me and Rin are in mid-air, 5m away from each other. Both Rin and I turn on our communicators and say to each other.
"Ichika, if you apologize now, I'll reduce the pain I'll inflict on you!"
"The pain will only be about a prick, right? I don't need my opponent to go easy on me. Show me what you've got!"
I'm not forcing it here. Like the battle against Cecilia, I'm always serious in battles; I won't deliberately go easy on others, and I don't like others going easy on me. This so-called decisive duel is like that, the battle is only meaningful if everyone goes all out.
"Let me say this first, the IS defenses aren't perfect. The suit can be damaged by an offensive power that can break through the defensive shields."
That's not a threat, but a fact. It's said that there seems to exist a 'final weapon' that can directly damage the IS pilot. However, it's against the rules, and more importantly, it's dangerous.
"It's possible to wreck the entire suit without killing the pilot."
This isn't any different from the situation now. And representative candidates should be able to do so, right? I should consider it a miracle that I could force Cecilia into a corner.
But a miracle won't occur twice in a row.
"Then both of you, begin."
*HUA*—with the sound of the buzzer, Rin and I start to take action.
The 'Yukihira Nigata' that was deployed instantly got blocked back by a physical shot. I use the 3 dimensional Cross grid and grab Rin from the front.
"Oh. You're quite good to be able to block my first shot like that. However—!"
The unique shaped 'scimitar' sword—even if I call it that, the shape's about the same—in Rin's hands is swaying about like cheerleaders' rods. As there are blades on both sides, they're more like weapons on a blade. Rin's attacking me from sideways, vertically and diagonally, and since it's spinning rapidly, it's hard to cut it in half.
(Not good. This will become a battle of attrition. Got to pull back first—)
"—That's too naive!"
*PA!*, Rin's shoulder guards open, and the moment the ball-like things fired, my body got 'blown' away by some invisible impact.
I immediately summoned back my consciousness that was gradually blacking out, but Rin didn't stop attacking.
"That was a jab."
She reveals a proud look on her face. After that, the real attack will come—!
I got hit by the invisible fist onto the ground. The pain pierced through the defensive shields as they struck at me, and the suit got damaged quite a bit. This is bad!
"What was that...?"
Houki, who's watching the live broadcast from the arena, muttered.
Replying her is Cecilia, who's also watching the screen.
"'Impact cannons'. These compress the nearby air into a cannon barrel, and the resulting shockwave will fire it out like a cannon—"
They're 3rd generation weapons like Blue Tears, Cecilia said. However, Houki isn't listening, as on the screen, Ichika's in a tough spot.
Every time Ichika got hurt, Houki's heart would skip a beat.
It's a tougher battle than the one against Cecilia. More than getting victory, Houki just wants Ichika to be safe.
"You sure can dodge really well, even though the specialty of the 'Dragon's Roar' is that both the barrel and bullet are invisible to the naked eye."
That's right, because of that, I couldn't even see the barrel of the cannons, let alone the shots. And it seems like the oblique angles of these cannons can continue to attack without limit. They can attack from above, below and even behind. The trajectory is linear. So from these, it can be said that Rin's abilities are supreme, no matter whether they're 'unlimited movements' or 'all-around axis reversals', she managed to learn all the basics to a rather skilled extent.
To be able to mix and mash these basics together, she's really a tough opponent.
(Maybe I should use the hi-grade radar to find space and the atmospheric distortions, but that would be too slow. I can only detect it after I'm hit. Got to strike first...)
I gripped the 'Yukihira Nigata' tightly in my right hand and recalled the training last week,
"—'Barrier Void attack'?"
When I asked her, Chifuyu-nee nodded her head.
After my match against Cecilia, Houki and I had questions on why I lost.
Even after looking through the record of the IS battle, we couldn't get any conclusion. Thus, Chifuyu-nee, who was exasperated by our lack of progress, finally explained why that happened.
"That was 'Yukihira's ability. No matter how much shield value the opponent has, it can cut through the shield and deal direct damage to the main body. In that case, what would happen, Shinonono?"
"Ye-yes. The IS will activate the 'absolute defense', which will drastically deplete the shields."
"That's the case. I became Number 1 in the world because of this ability of the 'Yukihira'."
Though Chifuyu-nee said it, it's really an impressive thing to do. The 'Mondo Grosso' is held once every 3 years, and the person who won the first tournament was this Chifuyu-nee. As her younger brother, my feelings of having the N° 1 ranked sister in the world are both complicated and mystifying. This is how I truly feel.
"So this means that I could have won if I landed the last hit?"
"'If you had landed' it. Speaking of which, why do you think you lost?"
"Huh? I don't know why, but it's because my shield reserves dropped to 0, right?"
"There's no why, that's to be expected. How much energy do you think you need to activate 'Yukihira'? Are you an idiot?"
I see. This means—
"That means...that the shield's converted into attack power?"
Houki asked. Chifuyu-nee again nodded her head.
"In other words, it's a flawed suit."
" A FLAWED SUIT!? YOU JUST SAID THAT THE SUIT'S FLAWED, DIDN'T YOU!?"
*BAM*...looks like I have to be careful about my attitude when talking to a teacher.
"I didn't really put it in the right way. The IS is already an incomplete product, so it's not defective or anything else. It just means that compared to the other suits, the Byakushiki's somewhat unique in terms of offense. Most of the suits have their own equalizers, right?"
"That, that can be considered a flaw?"
"Listen to what I have to say! As there should be some equalizers left, they're used to wield the 'Yukihira', so its power is the strongest among all the IS."
Now that she mentions it, I remember.
(Chifuyu-nee only had the 'Yukihira'...)
And this Chifuyu-nee was the strongest. Just this alone is enough to tell how inhuman she is. I've always thought that she is amazing, and now, after I became an IS pilot, I finally realized how far Chifuyu-nee exceeded my expectations.
"In the first place, can an amateur like you survive mid-ranged combat? Suppressing the recoil, calculating the trajectory and pulling the distance, stopping suddenly, making an absolute turn...and also the characteristics of the projectile, the atmospheric condition, the effects of the armaments of the opponent; this is a strategic battle...and there are others! Can you do it?"
I could only admit my mistake by apologizing. Chifuyu-nee nods her head and says,
"It's good that you know. You're more suited for training on one aspect to the extreme, since—you're my younger brother."
After that, I focused all my training on close ranged combat and basic movements like emergency acceleration and stopping. With the kendo training I had with Houki, I also grasped the characteristics of the 'blade' and the distance between two blades.
(What's left...is a heart that won't give up!)
Normally speaking, the difference in ability is too obvious. Besides, Rin's different from Cecilia in combat, she's calm and collected in battle. This sort of opponent is strong.
If I have to use 'something' to make up for the difference in ability, I guess that's the 'heart'. As long as my heart won't lose to anyone, the 'will' shall create a light in the darkness. I believe firmly in it, and now all that's left is to try it.
"I will fight seriously."
I sternly stared at Rin. She showed an ambiguous look, probably being surprised by my attitude."
"Wh-Wha...isn't that obvious...an-anyway, I'll show you the difference of ability!"
Rin spins the two 'scimitar' swords like cheerleaders' rods before grabbing them. As for me, I get into position so that I can accelerate in order to close the distance before she fires.
I learned the skill 'ignition boost' this week; if I time it right, I can match up against her despite her representative candidate level. The IS pilot protective features prevents the pilot from being knocked out because of sudden G-forces that comes with acceleration.
As this sudden attack can only be used once, I have to use the 'barrier void' function of the 'Yukihira Nigata'. If I can't damage her cannons by more than half and cause them to be damaged bit by bit, I'll definitely be in disadvantage.
*THOMP* *THOMP* *THOMP* *THOMP!*
Just as Rin's blades are about to hit me, the entire arena shakes with a sudden boom. The cause--isn't Rin's cannons; the attack range and power is different.
Also, smoke can be seen rising from the center of the stage. Seems like the noise from just now was the shockwave caused by 'that thing' which pierced through the arena and its defensive barrier.
"Wh-What's going on...?"
Through the private line, Rin asked me, who's all confused because I don't understand what's going on.
"Ichika, the match's suspended! Hurry up and return to the control zone!"
What's Rin talking about all of a sudden? Just as I'm wondering this, the hi-tech sensors of the IS gave an emergency notice.
--The heard source in the middle of the stage is an unknown IS. Sealing the arena now.
The arena and the barriers are made of the same material as the IS. As something which could penetrate it entered, this place is sealed.
In other words, we're in trouble.
"Hurry up, Ichika!"
"What do you want me to do?"
As I don't know how to communicate with an opponent, and I'm fighting while speaking for the first time through the chatter, I just asked Rin normally.
"I'll buy you some time, hurry up and run away!"
"Asking me to run away...how can I just leave a girl like that?"
"Idiot! You're weak! It can't be helped, right?"
Rin just said that without thinking. On a side note, since I don't know how to use the private line, Rin's using an ordinary line to talk to me.
"Of course I have no intention of fighting till the end. In this abnormal situation, the school teachers should be here to handle it--"
At the last second, I lunged at Rin. The infrared laser was just shot at where we were.
"Ho-Hold on a minute, you idiot! Let go of me!"
"H-Hey, stop getting agitated--you idiot! Stop hitting me!"
"Shu-Shut up! You're too noisy!"
Though I have the shields protecting me, the cannon-like fists that are hitting at my face aren't something to feel happy for.
"Be-Besides, where are you holding me--"
Forget about Rin, right now, after the mist cleared, another shot is fired over.
After barely dodging the enemy's attack, the enemy IS floats over.
"When did this..."
The greyish IS looks abnormal; it's arms are abnormally long, all the way till below the waist, and there's no neck, shoulder or head that can be seen.
Most uniquely, it has a 'full-body armor'.
Normally, the IS will only deploy armor over only a part of the body, because there's no need to have a full armor. The defenses are all done by the energy shields, so the armor appearance is meaningless. Of course, there are defensive IS that can carry physical defensive shields, but even with that, an IS without even 1cm of skin revealed is something unheard of.
Besides, the large size of the IS means that it's not a normal one. Including the arms, the frame of that thing is over 2m long, and probably the jet propulsion nozzles all over its body are used to maintain its position. Its head reveals sensors that aren't arranged properly. There are also 4 holes on both sides of the forearms that allow it to fire those lasers.
"What are you?"
Of course--this is to be expected, but the mysterious intruder didn't answer my question.
"Orimura-kun! Huang-san! Leave the arena! The teachers will use their IS to suppress it."
The one who spoke through the broadcast was Yamada-sensei. Is it just me? Her voice seems a lot more serious than usual.
"--No, we'll deal with it before the teachers arrive."
The IS broke through the barrier. In other words, if nobody's going to be its opponent, it may end up attacking the audience.
"No problem, right? Rin?"
"Who, who do you think you're talking to? Be-Before that, let go of me! I can't move like this!"
After I let go of her, Rin suddenly hugs herself as she moves away. Uu...does she really hate being touched by me? "I'm really sorry."
"Orimura-kun? No, you can't! If something happens to any stu--"
I could only hear up to there. As the enemy IS charges on, I focus in order to dodge it--success.
"Oh, seems like the enemy's raring to go!"
"Seems that way."
Rin and I stand besides each other, each wielding our own weapons.
"Ichika, I'll cover you with the shock cannons, so go right in. You only have that weapon, right?"
"That's right. Let's do this."
*CLANG!*, with that, we clashed our weapons. That's the signal; Rin and I charged forward with an improvised combination.
"HELLO, HELLO? ORIMURA-KUN, CAN YOU HEAR ME? HUANG-SAN!!"
There's no need to shout into the IS private chat, its just that Maya got so anxious that she forgot about that.
On a side note, the people around her must be thinking that she's just a weird person.
"Since he said that he wants to fight, why don't we just let him do so?"
"W-WHAT, ORIMURA-SENSEI! HOW CAN YOU CASUALLY SAY SUCH A THING!?"
"Calm down, and have some coffee. You're anxious because you lack sugar."
"...Erm, sensei, that's salt..."
Suddenly stopping the spoon that's pouring salt into the coffee, Chifuyu puts the white pieces back into the container.
"Why is there salt here?"
"Who, who knows...? But there's the oversized label 'salt' on it..."
"Ah, so you're worried about your brother? No wonder you made such a mistake--"
An irritating silence, a really irritating silence. Feeling that something bad may happen, Maya tries to change the topic.
"Yamada-sensei, please drink this coffee."
"Huh? I-Is-isn't that the one you poured salt in..."
Facing the coffee (with some salt) being forced onto her, Maya can only weep as she accepts.
"I-I'll take it then..."
"The coffee is hot, just gulp it down in one go."
THERE'S A DEVIL HERE!
"Sensei, please allow me permission to use my IS! I can deploy it right away!"
"I would really want to, but--look at this."
Chifuyu knocks on the flatscreen display and changes the intel screen. These values are the data on the 2nd arena.
"The barriers are set at level 4...? And the doors are all locked--is it that IS's doing?"
"That's the case. Because of that, we can't evacuate nor send support."
Though Chifuyu's saying this calmly, on a closer look, her hands are unable to unrestrain her anxiety as she knocks onto the screen.
"If, if that's the case, why don't we ask for support from the government under the excuse of an emergency situation!--"
"We've done that already. Right now, the elites who have trained for 3 years are forcefully entering the system. Once we get rid of the shields, we can let the squads attack."
Having said that, the increasing anxiety causes Chifuyu's eyebrows to twitch. Treating that action as a signal of danger, Cecilia restrains her emotions as she sits down on the bench.
"Sigh...so we can only wait..."
"What's the matter? We won't be sending you into the assault squad, so don't worry!"
"Wh-What are you saying?"
"Your IS armaments are suited for taking on many suits, it would be a hindrance when used to take on one enemy, while being along many other suits."
"Such thing! To say that I'm--"
"Have you done any combined training before? What was that mission? How do you use a wide range weapon? What's the setup of the enemy? Did you think of what the enemy level is? The suit's operation time--"
"I-I got it! That's enough!"
"Humph, its good that you get it."
Giving an 'I surrender' pose, Cecilia shakes her hands to prevent Chifuyu from going on rattling about what seems to be an hour long lecture.
"Sigh...I'm really unhappy about my own ineptness.."
Due to fatigue, the sigh is even longer than the previous one. Then Cecilia notices something.
"That's strange? Where's Shinonono-san..."
In contrast to Cecilia, who's looking around, only Chifuyu's looking sharply in a different direction. However, nobody has the time nor mood to realize this.
Though I got close enough to land a 1-hit kill, my attack got dodged easily.
This is already the 4th time I missed.
"Ichika, you idiot! Aim properly!"
I've been attacking the enemy suit at angles and speed that it's normally impossible to dodge. However, the propellers output throughout the suit are extremely abnormal, so much that it actually took it less than 1 second to get away from my reach! And no matter how Rin tries to attract its attention, it will prioritize reacting to my sudden movements and dodging it.
My shields reserves are less than 60, I have only 1 chance to use the Barrier Void attack.
The enemy will normally counterattack wildly after dodging. Those extremely long arms let out roars of wind as they spin around at us like a spinning top. It continues to fire lasers at us while spinning rapidly, making it impossible for us to react in time.
"Ahh, damn it! This guy's irritating!"
Rin impatiently fires her impact cannons--however, the enemy's arm swats that invisible impact. That's already the 7th time.
Anyway, with Rin supporting me, I've managed to evade the enemy's firing barrage. As far as I know, it's under the circumstances, in which the lasers are fired while spinning, that their reach is only half the usual.
"...Rin, how much shield reserves do you still have?"
This is energy that can't be used as an attack...or the HP (health points) in those games. Though she lost most of her shield reserves, at least she's better off than me. Speaking of which, my 'Yukihira Nigata' really eats a lot of energy.
"It's a bit tough...with the current firepower, I guess there's a single-digit chance of us breaking through that guy's shields and stop it, right?"
"At least it's not 0."
"You're really unbelievable. Of course the larger the probablity, the better! You always keep yapping away about how health should come first, just like an old geezer, an yet, you're the type who'll buy the lottery or play those slot machines, right!?"
On a side note, I've never taken in the lottery. I just can't gamble. During Middle School, I ended up treating Gotanda to who knows how many drinks. Humans only have their own savings, and the so-called pensions are just urban legends.
"If you can run, run."
"Wha...stop treating me like an idiot! I'm still a representative cadet! It's not funny to run away with my tail behind my back!"
So they do consider pride issues in selecting a representative cadet! Cecilia herself would say such things as well.
"Is that so? I'll cover your back then."
"Wha? Ah, mm...thanks--"
The laser barely sweeps past Rin, who's blushing for some reason. Damn it, we're in a battle now. Though we weren't too careless, we still try to focus as much as possible.
"...You know, Rin, that guy's movements are like something."
"Something? Are you thinking about a spinning top?"
"That's the appearance--what is it called? It's a robot that a car manufacturer created, right?"
So you don't know? Seems like it's called 'ASI...'[1D 1] something
"No, well... doesn't it resemble a machine?"
"The IS is a machine!"
"I don't mean that! I mean...is there really someone inside it?"
"Ah? It's impossible for an unmanned IS to mo--"
Speaking up till here, Rin suddenly became silent.
"--Speaking of which, the enemy doesn't seem to attack when we were talking, right? It seems like it's interested in listening..."
As if pondering, Rin recaps the battle up till now. Her rather strict expression is different from usual.
"No wait, there has to be somebody inside. An IS can't move without anyone in it. That is how it is."
I read about it in the textbooks before. An IS definitely can't move without anyone inside.
But is that really true? Even now with the latest technology, it's not impossible. No matter what, we just can't remain silent about that.
"If, and just if it's an unmanned suit, what do we do?"
"What? Can we win if it's unmanned?"
"Yup, if there's no one inside, we can continue to attack without holding back."
The power of the 'Yukihira Nigata', including the 'Reiraku Byakuya', should be dangerously high, therefore, I couldn't use my full power in training or in matches, but if it's unmanned, it's okay even if I don't consider the worst case scenario.
--And i have a plan.
"You can't hit it even if you go all out, right?"
"I'll make it count the next time."
"How conceited. Though it's impossible, let's just see if it's really an unmanned suit!"
Does she know that I have a plan? Rin smirks brazenly. That's an expression she would show a year ago, a 'if you're wrong, you're treating me crepes from the shop in front of the station!' look. This gal's really evil, stop threatening for money from someone who's working part time! Really.
"What will we do?"
Rin shows a 'I'll help out, but if we fail, you'll...let's leave out the rest' expression. We exchange looks with each other; the scenario is just like an ancient saying of 'heart to heart'.
"I'll give the signal, and you hit that guy with your shock cannons with all you got."
"Okay. But what if I miss?"
"That will be alright."
--I have my own ideas.
"Then get ready--"
While I get into attack position, the audio broadcast of the arena lets out a loud voice.
*Cree*--carrying a loud extended echo along with it was Houki's voice.
"Wh-What are you doing..."
Looking at the audio room, the umpire and commentors have collapsed onto the ground! They probably got hit when the door opened, right!? And it looks like they won't be able to recover in the short term. Uwahh...
"IF YOU'RE A MAN...IF YOU'RE A MAN, EVEN IF YOU CAN'T WIN, YOU HAVE TO DEFEAT THAT KIND OF OPPONENT!"
She shouted, and the *cree--* echoes rings from the speakers. I use my hi-zoom sensors to look at Houki through a 10x zoom, and can see her panting 'ha...ha...' as her shoulders tremble. She looks angry, yet anxious, a really unbelievable look.
--Damn it! The moment I noticed it, the enemy IS seems to have gotten interested in the voice that came from the audio room. Its sensors turn away from us as they look at Houki.
Ahh, damn it! Since it's too late to say it, then--looks like I can only do this!
I get ready to attack and turn on my ignition boost. Closer in, I can see the cannons of the enemy IS aiming at Houki.
"I-I got it!"
Lowering her arms and pushing her shoulders out, Rin gets ready to fire the largest impact cannon shot as I deploy my 'energy field wings' behind me.
"Hold, hold on a minute! What are you doing, you idiot?"
"Doesn't matter, hurry up and fire!"
"Ah, really...I don't care what happens to you!"
Feeling the high energy reaction behind me, I activated 'ignition boost'.
The 'ignition boost' works like this--the energy that's released from the wings behind will concentrate and compress all the power before releasing it, using inertia to release a sudden burst of speed.
This means that I can use external forces, and the 'ignition boost' speed will be proportional to the amount of force added.
*THOMP!* I feel a huge blast behind me. That's the blast from the impact cannons. While hearing the creaking sounds formed through the frame, I continued--to accelerate forward.
The 'Yukihira Nigata' in my right hand lets out a giant glow, and I can see the center release an even larger energy blade than the 'Yukihira Nigata'.
--'Reiraku Byakura' can be used. Output exchange exceeding 90%.
This information isn't heard, but understood. The first time I touched the IS, I had this feeling of having all the senses in the world, a consciousness that seems to have 10 times the focus...and most importantly, I feel the energy rising up withing me.
(I...will protect Chifuyu-nee, Houki, Rin--and everyone else!)
The one strike hacks the enemy's right hand.
Howver, my entire left hand got countered. Seeing the heat source, it seems like the enemy wants to counterattack with the lasers under close range.
I heard Houki and Rin shout--don't worry. Didn't I say that I have a plan?
"...Is the target locked on?"
The voice came over. Though I feel that she can be too talkative sometimes, at this moment, her voice has never been so reliable.
At that moment, the 4 Blue Tears spear through the enemy IS from the stands.
That's right. The attack just now broke through the barrier.
*BAM!* The attack causes a small explosion, and the enemy IS falls onto the ground. Unshielded, the enemy shouldn't be able to take even a single second of the Blue Tears combination attack.
Though humans can expect it, an unmanned suit can't surpass the attack functions out of what it knows. A great person seemed to once said that free-will is humans' greatest advantage, and that is the case here. Humans are cunning creatures who can operate differently and use tactics that robotics wouldn't think of.
"That was close."
"If it's Cecilia, it's possible."
I replied in a confident tone. Since she's an opponent I fought before, I know best how strong she is.
But are my words too unexpected? Her response seems rather barmy.
"Is, is that so...that, that's to be expected! Besides, I'm Cecilia Alcott, England's representative candidate!"
Right now, the conversation is held through a private channel. I don't know how to talk to someone I'm fighting for the first time, as for the opponents I talked to before, I can use the communicator records to reply.
It feels like using the rear right side of the head to talk on the phone.
"Hoo, either way, this is ov--"
--Enemy IS detection confirmed! Warning! Locked on
The left hand, the only remaining part of that IS, is aiming at me from the floor at maximum power.
While the laser strikes, I charge into it without hesitation.
In this white surrounding, I can feel the blade cutting through the armor--
Being woken up by all the pain in my body, I open my eyes.
Not knowing where I am, I look around. This seems to be the infirmary, and I'm lying on the bed.
In the small and cramped space that's separated by the curtain, it makes me feel tight yet comforting. I continue to look around as my consciousness registers both these conflicting feelings as I try to understand what's going on.
(Hm...what's going on...? What happened after I was attacked--)
The curtain got pulled aside. Taking action before she confirms what's going on...ahh, that's definitely Chifuyu-nee.
"Your body didn't get any fatal injuries, but there are bruises all over your body. I guess you'll feel like you're living in hell, so get used to it."
I'm still dazed. While hearing Chiifuyu-nee's words, I continue to wonder why my body is covered with wounds. My eyes naturally turn to look outside the window. The sky is gradually turning a deep red; it should be school dismissal time.
"You got hit by the largest blast of the impact cannons and yet you turned off the IS's absolute defense? To think that you could survive."
Hearing Chifuyu-nee's description, I still can't remember anything. Huh? I thought the absolute defense isn't something that can be shut down?
"Anyway, good to see you are safe. I would be unable to go on with my everyday life with ease if someone of my family dies."
Right now, Chifuyu-nee's expression is a lot more gentle than usual. As a family member who relies on me, she can only reveal such a look.
"Hm? What is it?"
"Nothing, well...sorry for making you worried."
Surprised by my words, Chifuyu-nee smiles.
"I'm not worried about you, as you wouldn't die that easily. Besides, you're my younger brother."
That's a strange type of trust you have. However, I know that this is Chifuyu-nee's way of hiding her awkwardness, so I'm not really bothered by it.
"Then, I got other things to settle. I'm going back to work. You can go back to your room once you finish resting."
Chifuyu-nee merely said this as she quickly walked out of the infirmary. She's really someone who's serious at work; that is the ideal adult to me.
Seems like somebody just brushed past Chifuyu-nee...or should I say, the one who deliberately coughed must be Houki. Can't be wrong here.
*Shua!* She pulled the curtain aside with both hands. The half-opened curtain is now opened completely by Houki...eh, there's no need to open it completely!
The childhood friend with a ponytail straightens herself as she snorts.
What should I say? She's not angry, but she's definitely not in a good mood.
"Th-That, well, as for the battle today..."
"Hm? Speaking of which, how was the match? It didn't count, right?"
"Ah, ahhh, that's to be expected, since a lot of things happened."
That's true, but when will the next match occur? I would be really grateful if it could be held after I recover.
"Wh-What were you thinking!?"
I suddenly got scolded. What is she angry about? Is she really angry? It looks like she's acting angry to hide some other emotions."
"I told you to win...but you could have left it to the teachers, right? Haven't you heard of 'overconfidence will lead to self-destruction'?"
"Ah, so I won?"
"Stop talking about winning!"
What's with her?
Houki's panting as her shoulders continue to tremble. Why are you so angry--ah!
"Were you worried about me?"
"Of, of course not! Who would be worried about you?"
You weren't...at least worry about me a bit! You're my childhood friend after all!
"An-anyway! You're grateful for the training you had, right!? We will continue with it, you got it!?"
"Ah--okay, okay, I got it."
"Good that you know...I'm heading back to the room."
Not waiting for me? What a cold childhood friend.
"That, during the battle...you were, were, were..."
Funny?...Or something like that?
I couldn't hear the front part clearly, but since she said that it's nothing, it should be nothing, right? I'll just treat it as nothing!
Houki briskly walked out of the room as if she was escaping. Whatever the case, please remember to close the door! Also, if possible, I really hope that she can pull the curtains up for me!
"Hooo...I really want to sleep..."
I got dragged into a deep slumber, probably out of fatigue. Without any resistance, I just sleep comfortably on the bed.
Hm? What is it? Seems like someone's breathing on me, and the persons seems close. Who is it? Speaking of which, how long did I sleep? What time is it?
I know the voice belonged to Rin, but I was shocked when I opened my eyes--Rin's face is 3cm away from my face.
"...What are you doing?"
"I got woken up by your voice. Why so frantic all of a sudden?"
"I-I'm not panicking! Stop uttering rubbish, idiot!"
Is this person really the kind who would end a sentence with 'idiot' as a verbal tic? It's somewhat too much to say that so many times! A peculiar role that fails won't have a good end!"
"Ah--that's right, I heard the match was null!"
Sitting beside me on the bed, will Rin peel an apple for me? Though I don't see an apple...
"What was the result!? We haven't got the rematch, confirmed, right?"
"It doesn't matter!"
"Anyway, it doesn't matter!"
Such a ridiculous reason. But since she said so, I'll just listen to her! But that matter is that matter, men have to be partial.
"That...well, I'm sorry, for a lot of things...sorry."
I honestly lowered my head in apology. No matter what happened, nor what happens, once I realize that I did something wrong, I have to apologize.
Seeing me like this, Rin reveals a shocked expression before recovering.
"I was too agitated at that time...it's not a problem now!"
Seems like she voluntarily forgave me. Even the most intimate friends have to abide the rules, as I don't want to lose the bonds I have with others.
"Ah, I remembered."
For some reason, the promise I had with Rin suddenly awoke within me. If I was right, we were in grade 6. The place was the classroom, and like now, it was at sunset.
"More accurately, it was 'if my cooking gets better, you'll eat my sweet and sour pork everyday, right'? Or something like that? How is it? Did your cooking improve?"
"Huh? Ah, erm..."
Rin seems to be at a loss of words as she looks around and nods her head. Is it my imagination? her face seems really red.
"Even though I just thought of it, that promise doesn't have any other meaning, right? I always thought that you would treat me to free--"
"Tha-That's right! You remembered correctly! If, if I let others eat what I cook, wouldn't my cooking improve? So...that, that's right!"
Rin suddenly rattled off like a machine gun. I feel like I got nearly overpowered by her momentum.
"I see. Sigh, I thought it would be some promise like 'drinking miso soup everyday~!' Good that it's not, seems like I thought too much.
"Huh, that, that's right! You thought too much! Ah ha, ahhahahaha!"
Laughing out in a ridiculous manner, Rin seems like she's trying to hide something. But if she's deliberately trying to hide it, there's no need to go after it!
Speaking of which, there's still something I'm concerned about,
"Are you going to reopen the shop? Your dad's cooking great, I still want more!"
"Ah...that, the shop...won't be opened again."
"Because my parents divorced..."
...What? I thought they were a lovely couple? What happened?
But it seems like this isn't a joke. Seeing Rin's face look so empty, I'm hesitating on what I should say.
"That was the reason why I returned to China."
Now that I remember, at that time, Rin's emotions were unstable. Back then, it seemed like she wanted to hide something as she often acted cheery. I always felt that it was weird.
"Basically, my mom got my custody. Right now, in whatever aspects, females are superior, and they get treated better, so..."
I thought that she would try to assure me, but her tone deepens.
"It's been a year since I last saw dad. I suppose he should still be energetic!"
I don't know what to say to Rin, the fact that Rin's parents divorced left a deep impact on me.
It's definitely a bad thing for a family to break up, but something must have happened to cause them to break up!
I recall that easy-going uncle and the energetic aunty.
Why--why did it end up like that?
But I can't ask Rin, because she's even more hurt than anybody else.
"Each family has their own skeleton in the closet."
I...don't know what sort of people my parents were. To me, who only has Chifuyu-nee as family, I really can't embrace the feelings in Rin's words.
Hm? What is it?"
"Where are we going out to next time?"
"Wha? Does this mean, a da--"
"I'll get Gotanda over. We haven't met together for a long time."
"I'm not going."
Rin puffs her cheeks as she said this. What! I just invited you! You really don't know the value of being a friend!
"If, if it's just both of you going, if I had to accompany you, it'--"
*BAM!*, the infirmary door got slammed open.
"Ichika-san, how's your body? I'm here to nurs--ah!?"
Striding in, Cecilia stopped the moment she saw Rin at the bed.
"Why are you...? Ichika's from class 1, there's no need to be visited by someone from class 2, right?"
"What are you saying? It's alright since I'm his childhood friend! You're just a real outsider!"
"I-I'm a classmate, so it's alright! And I'm now Ichika-san's special coach!"
She just emphasized on the 'special'. However, the moment Cecilia said that 'because I'm a representative candidate', she just dug her own grave.
"Then I'll be his special coach from tomorrow onwards, I'm a representative candidate as well."
"That, that won't do?"
"Why? Is there any reason? Ichika agrees, right?"
"No, no you can't! Right, Ichika-san!?"
Why do you ask me? To be honest, I'm fine with anyone, as long as I'm taught about IS...ah, Rin should be better, right? She's a mixed long/close ranged fighter, but she's of the same energy type as me.
"Rin is definitely more suitable."
"Humph, isn't that right?"
"Because we're both power types"
That's strange? Why did they just widen their eyes? There shouldn't be any other special reason, right?
"That's right! It's just that you're both power-types, right? However, don't worry! Even if I, Cecilia Alcott, am a mid-ranged type, I'll be an excellent special coach for Ichika-san!"
And just now she emphasized on the 'just'.
Is this what made Rin feel bad? On first glance, she seems angry. Or rather, she's glaring at me. Eh? Am I the problem here?"
"Okay, let's analyze the battle today! Just you and me."
"What are you saying! Ichika fought together with me, of course he has to analyze it with me! Are you an idiot!?"
"Id...? Humph, because of that, classless people can really be troublesome."
"At least they're better than pretentious people."
"What did you say!?"
Ah, these two people's personalities really don't match...or I should say, doesn't Cecilia want to be at least a bit friendlier to Houki or Rin--even if I say that, it's because she didn't that this happened!
(Ahh, really...I just want to go back to my room and sleep...or I should say, I want to take a shower...)
They completely ignore my troubles. Right between the two of them who're quarreling loudly, I sighed.
50m below the school grounds is a secret place that only people with level 4 authority can enter.
The IS that stopped functioning was immediately transported there. In those two hours, Chifuyu continued to rewatch videos of that battle.
The lights in the room are off,. and Chifuyu's face, which was lit by the screen lights, looks extremely cold.
A pop-up suddenly appears on the screen. The image that appears on the pop-up shows Maya, who's holding a flatscreen computer.
"You may enter."
After being allowed in, when the door opened, Maya moves in with much more vigor than usual.
"The IS analysis is complete."
"Ah, so how is it?"
"Yes, it's--an unmanned drone."
There are IS technology that the world is still developing, and either or both these technology--remote control, stand-alone movements were used to commanding this. This is a fact that all the people related to the Academy were ordered to keep quiet.
"We don't know how it was operated. The core was burned by Orimura-kun's last attack, and it's unlikely that we can repair it."
"...It's not registered."
"Is that so?"
Chifuyu then mutters 'as expected'. Seeing her declare this with a confident attitude, Maya reveals a surprised look.
"Have you thought of something?"
"No, nothing. Nothing--yet."
Saying this, Chifuyu turns to look at the image on the screen again.
That's not an expression of a teacher, but more like a warrior. That expression would make one think of the 'legendary pilot' who once stood at the top of the world; however, those sharp eyes of Chifuyu are merely staring at the image on the screen.
"You're too slow!"
This is the first thing I heard the moment I returned to the room. Is this childhood friend of mine the devil?
"What the heck were you doing? Really...I waited for you with a hungry stomach!"
"Waited for me--huh, what? You haven't had dinner yet?"
"I TOLD YOU I WAS WAITING FOR YOU!"
No, you could have gone first...even though I really want to say it, I didn't most likely because it would anger Houki! Hm, I am learning after all!
"Then let's go to the cafeteria then! It's about time they close down."
Houki stops me just as I'm going out. What's going on? There's already no time, is there really something important? On a side note, the cafeteria closes at 8, we can't even get anchovies after that time."
"To-Today, is, that...erm..."
"Hm? Do I smell food?"
And it seems like it was just cooked. Right now, my sense of smell is 20% stronger, 'cause I have an empty stomach.
"There seems to be something on the table...ohh? Isn't that fried rice? What's going on?"
There's a magical smell to it. It's the smell of being fried with sesame oil. This smell can induce my appetite.
"Why do you look so surprised?"
No, well, it's surprising...
But the fact that it's not Japanese cuisine makes me even more surprised. What's the wind blowing today!? Is she going to demand money from me? Don't worry, I don't have any money with me.
"Ar-Are you going to eat or not; which will it be?"
"Well, I'll eat, but...why are you angry?"
She sounded angry, but seems like she's not. Since she said this, she shouldn't be angry, right? To trust before suspecting, this is the basis of building a human relationship.
"Anyway, can I eat?"
"Wash your hands first. Also, rinse your mouth, too."
As expected of Houki, she's really someone who emphasizes on the customs. Though I can't just brush it off as common knowledge, since people of all ages with lack of common sense are increasing in numbers, it's nothing much to mention it as a common knowledge.
As this is something I will normally do even when not being told, it won't take too long, and I quickly finished it.
The moment I walked out of the bathroom, Houki's already at the table telling me to sit down. I quietly sit down and palm my hands together in thanks.
"Well then, itadakimasu."
"Hm, help yourself. Eat as much as you want."
I start to gulp it down.
"How is it? Is it good?"
Houki looks delighted, but I haven't given out a definitive answer.
Houki snatched the ceramic spoon away from me and takes a large bite out of it.
From the appearance...it's just ordinary fried rice, but I couldn't taste the flavor. Why is that so? Most likely, there's not enough flavorings--no, she probably did not add in any condiments at all. If so, I'm amazed that she could actually cook it to such a color. Is the slightly charred brown that increases the appetite a form of magic?
"This, this is just an accident...that's right! Usually, I would never forget to add it!"
"No, forgetting to put in seasonings isn't something that should happen often."
"You're too noisy! If you don't want it, I'll just eat it all!"
"I never said that! Here, give me the spoon."
I grabbed the spoon from the angry Houki and started to wolf down the fried rice. Even if it was bland and I couldn't enjoy it, I still carefully chewed it before swallowing.
Even if it's bland, I still have to be thankful to the person who cooked this personally. I can't be called a man if I leave leftovers!
"Thanks for the meal."
After polishing off the rice, I put down the spoon and brought the palms of my hands together in thanks.
Houki wordlessly stares at me as she reveals a hard to describe expression--one of the many emotions, but not really of it.
"Don-Don't be mistaken!"
"Today, that, was...just an accident, a really seldom moment in which I failed. Normally, I'm successful!"
Is that so? I don't really know, but at least I can trust her...however, this seems to be the first time I've seen Houki cook. But then again, the last time we met was in 4th grade, so it isn't that weird.
"But why Chinese cuisines? Aren't you more skilled in Japanese cuisine?"
"The, the way of the cuisines isn't divided by countries, I just want to prove that."
But since you failed, in the end you couldn't, right!? This is a dish that doesn't even have a nationality!
"Bu-But, no matter what, if you're unhappy with it, I can still cook it instead of you."
"YOU, YOU DON'T WANT TO EAT WHAT I COOK FOR YOU!?"
"No, I never said that...what's with you? You've been acting strange so far!"
"...I said that I wanted to cook for you every day..."
What happened to the roaring voice? Houki just curled back suddenly and moved her mouth softly. Of course, I can't hear what she's saying.
"I-It's all your fault! You made a promise with someone, how do you intend to settle it?"
"The promise...is it about Rin? I settled that already!"
"I said 'I settled that' already. I apologized to her, and she forgave me."
Why are you looking so suspicious, am I not trustworthy?
"That's not something that can be settled with an apology!"
"Didn't I say that it's settled already!?"
Why is this person so obstinate? How ridiculous!
"Besides, when can a lifetime vow be settled that easi--"
The angry machine gun-like voice of Houki got drained out by the casual opening of the door
"Are Shinonono-san and Orimura-kun in?"
This slow response comes from Yamada-sensei, as she forcefully opens the door. See! It's her.
"What's wrong, sensei?"
"Oh, you have to change rooms."
Change rooms? Yamada-sensei? This room is a two-persons room!
"...Sensei, please tell us what's going on."
The sharp gaze from Houki causes Yamada-sensei to shrink away like a small animal. Really, stop bullying her, she's a teacher!
"Well, the one changing rooms is Shinonono-san. The rooms are finally arranged, so you two don't have to live together from today onwards."
No need to live together--oh, Yamada-sensei's pretty capable.
Found out again! Why, just why?
"I'll help out as well. Hurry up and get ready!"
"Wa-Wai-Wait a minute, do I have to move out now?"
Houki just said something unbelievable, and Yamada-sensei blinks in surprise, probably not expecting that.
"That...that's true. There would be many problems if a boy and a girl live together in the same room. Besides, Shinonono-san, you haven't been able to relax, right?"
"No, that, I--"
Houki continues to stutter as she glances at me--ahh, I see! So that's the reason.
"No need to be bothered. Don't worry, I will obediently wake up and brush my teeth even without Houki around."
*PA!*...huh, that's strange? I seem to hear something weird, like someone going crazy or something...
"SENSEI, I'M MOVING OUT NOW!!"
"O-Okay! Then let's start!"
As Houki prompted her, Yamada-sensei's body trembles again
"Can I help out?"
Wah, she's really angry, just like a katana that will slice on touch. Seems like I'd better shut up first.
"...I was so worried about you, and yet you..."
She muttered as if anger's mixed into it, but that's just it. As expected of Houki, the packing is done in less than an hour.
Now that my co-habitant is suddenly gone, the room seems to feel like it's twice as large.
Speaking of which, it's really lonely to be alone.
If possible, I really want to take a bath. However, the sad thing is that they're still adjusting the guy/girls time schedule--I remember Yamada-sensei's face when she said that she will try to settle this during this month.
(But about that...because of IS, I reunited with Houki and Rin, and met Cecilia...that's unbelievable.)
People normally say that 'the fate between people is inexplicable', and truthfully, it's even more fantasical as compared to a novel, and light novels have more graphical than novels--I won't continue on, that's too overboard.
I took my shower, brushed my teeth and wore my sleeping clothes. On a side note, my indoor clothes are my sleeping clothes. Okay, let's sleep!
WAH! Whose fist is it now! I immediately lept out of my bed and dashed towards the door.
"Yes, may I know who--"
The one standing in front of the door with an unhappy face is Houki.
"What is it? Did you forget something?"
Houki didn't answer me. She continues to look unhappy, as if she's a time bomb with unknown danger rating and has 5 minutes left...well, I haven't watched those kinds of things.
"What happened? Enter the room first!"
"No need, I'll just stay here."
"...Houki, if there's nothing to say, I'm going to bed."
"OF, OF COURSE THERE'S SOMETHING!"
Houki just shouted out, scaring me. You'll get scolded if you shout that loud on the corridor--by the devil-like dorm supervisor.
"Ne-Next month, in the individual division tournament..."
That tournament should be held in June, and it seems different from the class representative tournament; it's a free-for-all individual tournament. Except for the fact that the applicants are sorted by the year of the student, there isn't really that many special conditions. However, the fact that a personal IS has an overwhelming advantage hasn't changed.
"If, if I win--"
Houki blushes as she continues. For some reason, she seems to be blushing as she looks at me.
"You-You'll go out with me!"[1D 2]
Houki emphatically points at me.
Of course, as of now, I am a bit puzzled, but this seems to be a declaration of war. Now, if I only I could know who this declaration is targeted at--
Translation Notes and References
- The ASIMO is a humanoid robot made by Honda Motors.
- The words Houki used can both be used to ask someone out for a date or to ask another to accompany the speaker on an errand.