Toaru Majutsu no Index:SSVolume1 Chapter1
Chapter 1: Pot with Meat and the Appetite for Great Tactics. A_Required_Thing.
Various things were presented during lunch break.
"Bwah. My stomach is growling like an animal..."
Missing out on breakfast due to various circumstances, Kamijou somehow made it through the morning classes.
As soon as break started, he dashed from the classroom to the cafeteria to make a purchase.
From the hallway, you could hear, "Hey, no running in the hallway…!!" coming from a small teacher. "…if you're going to run, take off your indoor shoes and slide on your socks!!"
"Unfolded socks drift!!" a sports club member's voice mixed in.
What speed! The sports club's way was the Doppler effect.
Even with his average strength, Kamijou would always get a late start.
Always being delayed to lunch break would be fatal, but today was fine. With a bang, he pulled a thin student bag out and placed it on his desk, and from it he pulled out a killer bento box.
"Now, time to eat," he said while pulling off the lid, but the cell phone in his pocket suddenly vibrated by chance.
Checking, he saw that the latest number and email address came from Misaka Mikoto.
Seeing that, he scratched his head while staring at the LCD screen.
Data is corrupted, this mail cannot be opened appeared.
(What? How did she send mail over here in the first place?)
Kamijou, little by little, pressed the buttons to send a message saying that he couldn't read the mail, and to resend it.
He shoved the phone back in his pocket, as it was time for lunch.
"Mnmn. Today seems weird, somehow."
Getting closer while holding a small bag was Himegami Aisa.
She was a very Japanese-looking girl with long black hair, and would bring a bento every day.
"Again, you've brought something delicious."
"The side dish isn't divided. I'll trade you."
After saying that, Himegami dragged over a chair with a "zuzuzuzuzu" sound.
Kamijou himself pulled open the top of his bento.
"…There was food left over from yesterday, and I had packed a decent breakfast, but…it was eaten this morning by that girl…"
Kamijou felt faint as Himegami tilted her head to understand.
After lunch break started, the majority of the class disappeared into the hallway to buy food from the cafeteria. The remaining took out their lunches and encamped at some desks, without worrying about space.
Kamijou pulled out the cold barley tea that he had obtained on the way to school (and was lukewarm now) from inside his bag.
"Himegami, you have the drive to make nicely prepared bentos every day. I just pack leftovers and it's tiring to do."
"Once you make a habit of it, you won't have so much trouble."
The difference between their bentos was obvious. Himegami's had vegetable tempura as the staple food, and it wasn't mixed with rice; it looked very tasty.
While Kamijou had merely packed in leftovers, Himegami had planned from the beginning to make her bento. Even worse, because of his way of cooking it, the broth surprisingly had eroded and leaked into the rice's zone.
There was a small look of pity in her eyes while watching him grip the plastic chopsticks.
"This doesn't look like a bento. The broth has unexpectedly, skillfully soaked in."
"I am not! Today's meal is simmered in broth made from the perfect soft potato; soaking it into the rice was clever! Tch, if you wanna make that kind of face, then try this taro! You'll know Kamijou Touma's underlying strength of using Mirin to kick it up a notch!!"
Then Himegami and Kamijou's chopsticks crossed each other's as they swapped her Pumpkin Tempura.
(What a hassle, frying it in the morning, but it's good; just how early does this person get up?)
Maybe she was a surprisingly hard-worker, Kamijou thought as he put the Tempura in his mouth. It was frustratingly delicious. It should have been a long time since it was put into the Bento box, but it was still crisp. He pleaded with her to teach him the recipe.
On the other hand, Himegami vaguely recalled her learning to cook after her father's work-related transfer left her alone.
While staring at the Taro, she said while chewing, "Hm. Not bad—"
Her words were suddenly cut off with a "Nugh!" and a moan. Like that rounding out the back, she placed her hands on her throat.
Apparently her throat was blocked.
"A-are you okay!?" He reflexively said in a loud voice, but she didn't reply.
With tears in her eyes, she reached for the bottle of mineral water. Kamijou panicked when she grabbed his hand and pulled it to her back.
"Eh, what? I'd better pat you on the back?!" he cried, as Himegami was nodding with water in her mouth.
Touma moved her long hair to expose her back, while deciding to gently rub her back up and down, as she painfully shivered in her seat.
"Damn!! I should take you the infirmary—!"
"Oh, you want me to do it harder!?"
As she pointed at her back with his hand, she nodded little by little. Kamijou, who wanted to help her as soon as possible, lost himself in her instructions and patted her back, when suddenly, a snap was heard.
The irregular feeling of her bra unhooking could be felt on his fingers.
To that, she silently molded her hand into a fist, and mercilessly drove it into his stomach (Her breasts shaking upwards slightly).
*Zudom!!* It was as if his stomach was making that sound as his body flew backwards, rolling on the floor. Himegami held her chest area as she ran to the bathroom.
"Guagh. I–I just did it like she said to do it. What were those unpleasant eyes for…?" Kamijou was on the ground, shaking little by little from his core when a classmate with long brows, long black hair, and huge breasts named Fukiyose Seiri came in while holding a Side Bread Plastic bag in one hand. It seemed she had gone to her locker to get the food she had there.
In an amazed voice, she said, "What are you doing?"
He slowly got up and sat in a chair while looking at her lunch.
"Why are you always eating that sort of horrible bread?"
"It's not horrible! It's perfectly delicious!!"
She shouted shamelessly while holding a bundle of the bread with the wrapper that said "Carries 21 nutrients to increase the brain's capacity." It was like medicine for lunch.
Frowning, Fukiyose sat at Kamijou's desk while she bit into and guzzled down the bread, which still didn’t look appetizing.
"If you don't have any side dishes, you can have my taro."
"I'll tell you now: today I'm wearing a front hook."
Not understanding the reason for that outburst, he tilted his head in confusion. While she watched him in that state, she cleared her throat.
"Still, it's rare for you to make a bento."
"Earlier, Himegami said the same thing. Even I find it unusual."
Kamijou once again started poking at the bento with his chopsticks, while the rest of his classmates, who had gone to buy side dish bread at the last moment, began returning to the classroom in groups with it in one hand. It seemed the cafeteria would be set a little later. Now that the ban had been lifted, the season’s trend seemed to have been about going outside the school to buy things like Oden at convenience stores. That was how students passed their lunch break.
After eating, they rolled up a handout flier to play catch with, and others pulled out their cell phones to watch a variety show while eating. But there was one topic that everyone was discussing. .As if listening to them aimlessly, the same thing came out of Fukiyose mouth.
"…War, is it?"
She sighed as those dangerous words came out, and Kamijou unintentionally stopped his chopsticks.
Fukiyose, while hiding a frown on her face from his visage, said, "What, you don't know? Try checking the news a little more."
"I know. I really do."
Rather, he knew better than anyone. Still, he could never tell her that.
"Well, at least you know about that. Some fighting from sects of a religious group somewhere has caused a worldwide movement of protests."
The degree of that second-hand story Fukiyose had heard somewhere was a bit unreliable.
"Maybe I'll go."
Her tone held a sense of anxiety and fear in those words. Kamijou's face went dim. He stopped noticing his chopsticks and she let out a sigh before continuing.
"But if war started, the price of things—such as meat and vegetables—would rise. So would the usual oil."
Those sudden, out-of-place words confused Kamijou a little.
However, there were rumors about it circling around as well.
The sports club group, who were watching TV on their cellphones, said, "They've placed tighter restrictions on the exits, so the story is that there won't be any more school field trips."
"Really!? Ichihanaransai will still be affected!!"
Other things were said by girls next to them.
"But earlier in the staff room, I heard from the Anti-Skill teachers that because of the counter-plan, the midterm test got lost."
"Lucky~!! I wasn't confident in the body inspection, so this saved me!!"
"Excuse me? I've been training extra hard to outdo everyone at bending a spoon with one hand; what am I supposed to do now?"
And they all laughed.
This school...or rather, this entire city was filled with the current "War causes big problems" issues.
Academy City and the Roman Catholic Church disputes happen; even if they knew that, they were so cemented into their positions that they couldn’t even imagine it.
(So good,) Kamijou thought.
So that such an environment where one could imagine such a blood drenched battle, was at an end.
So that it didn’t happen, Kamijou Touma took action.
"Why've you been quiet for so long?"
"…Stop looking at other people's breasts when they're talking. Geez, what were you imagining?"
"I'm not imagining anything like that! Once in a while I have to shoulder serious things!!"
In a fit of irritation, he thrust his chopstick into the taro in the bento box.
"But, why would meat and vegetables be so expensive? Academy City clones meat and has artificial vegetables. Look, there are agricultural buildings everywhere. Even District 17, which is famed as the industrial area."
"Besides, isn't there a limit? There's no such thing as complete self-sufficiency—from working with partner organizations, you can just take it from somewhere else!"
Kamijou saw that Himegami had just returned to the classroom at a glance from the corner of his eye.
"Then, I wonder if it's better to get Nabe now. After the price rises, you can't help but think it is a good value."
"Well, there's a reason. The prices in the supermarket rise bit by bit during the winter. It's still early, but I better buy Nabe quickly."
And after those words, he could hear Aogami Pierce and Tsuchimikado Motoharu near the blackboard in a deep discussion.
"Like I said, the lap pillow doesn't really exist. That was only a product of fiction!"
"…No, it does, nya~."
They stopped their conversation and looked over to Kamijou. Aogami Pierce said, "So Kami-yan, do you want to go out for Nabe today?"
Tsuchimikado followed up, "Nya. If it's Sukiyaki, I know a cheap but delicious shop."
That conversation spread to the neighboring student.
"It's October and too soon for Nabe. Right?"
The circle of the conversation expanded from there at once.
His classmates got closer, one-by-one.
"What? You guys aren't going to the store somewhere today?"
"We won't allow you to have a monopoly of the delicious shops."
"I prefer Nabe to Yakiniku, personally."
"Wait, wait, everyone pull out your cash. We'll let the majority decide where we go."
"Huh," Kamijou's eye spotted it.
The subject of the conversation went from "I'll eat nabe" to "Go out to eat with everyone in class."
"Why did it suddenly go to nabe again?"
"The launch of this was the Daihaseisai some time ago."
"This feels like preparations for the Ichihanaransai, doesn't it?"
The group surrounding Kamijou exchanged a variety of suggestions, until he finally said "Never mind the reason! Just Nabe will be fine!!" to change the direction. But Kamijou, who was at the center of the conversation, was left alone.
"Oden!" "I want oden too!!"
"Who was using ventriloquism?"
"Sha—bu—sha—bu— (x 6)"
"5.1 channel surround sound!? Someone raise the sound!!"
Then the whole classroom became like a stadium with an explosion of loud noise.
In the end, Tsuchimikado screamed out "This Tsuchimikado-style hidden store can meet all of your needs nya~!"
Aogami Pierce countered with "Hop by my place where there's waitresses! There's one with huge tits and the smile of an angel with no boyfriend!"
An uproar of, "No, I want cheerleader uniform waitresses!"
"I've seen it, it's more like tennis-wear."
The debate was moving on to a point where it wasn't understandable.
Kamijou let out a nervous "Gyaa."
"Fukiyose-san, what should we do about this difficult thing!?"
Fukiyose took a short breath, hid her face with both hands, and then raised them both behind her head at once, sweeping her back hair behind her ears perfectly. After that, she fixed her hair clips.
She was serious.
Kamijou let out a small cry reflexively.
"—Fukiyose forehead deluxe!!?"
"Now!! I'll take care of the voting quickly and quietly!!"
Fukiyose went to the podium and cleanly cleared the blackboard.
The female teacher with the appearance of a twelve-year-old, Tsukuyomi Komoe, and the female gym teacher with enormous breasts and who wore a jersey all year long, Yomikawa Aiho, were walking along the corridor. Lunch break would be over soon.
"So they say that a neko-chan's brain is roughly the same as 1½-year-old human's. Academy City's curriculum begins at 5-years-old at the earliest: this conclusion was drawn from the neko-chan's being unable to use abilities… This was the basis of Isoshio-san's thesis from the Kirigaoka Female College, but—"
"Seems like a lie to me. How would you even know if a stupid animal's ability manifested itself? Well, the irregular ability development is the gimmick of that place. It wouldn't be strange if various ideas like that came flying out of the place."
Yomikawa halfheartedly swung around her bundled black hair, while she said, "Kirigaoka is where that runaway girl under your care is from, right? What's up with her?"
"Tee-hee. When Himegami-chan enrolled in the school dorms, it was a little lonely, but since Musujime-chan came, it's fine now. She must've had a bad experience over there, but Sensei will wait for her to tell me. Because it's different from doing housework, she can study better now."
"Oh really?" Yomikawa let out an admiring, honest tone.
"My freeloader heartlessly left rather quickly. He didn't even leave a note. I get the impression it had something to with the scrap of paper I found this morning from Nagatenjouki Academy. Seems like he got into the dorms over there."
"Eh! They are said to be the number one when it comes to ability development! Look at this year's Daihaseisai festival, they even beat Tokiwadai Middle School and became the champions."
"Maybe, but still. Somehow, it doesn't make sense; for other freeloaders to go where yours left from seems unnatural... well, there are various things over here, too."
Be it an argument or whatever else, each one respectively took charge as Komoe-sensei and Yomikawa's classes were next door to each other.
They may have been the same class grade, but the atmosphere—or so to speak, the "color" of the classes—was different. Yomikawa's way of ending lunch break was to gather up the next history book and the like about five minutes before the end, and use the remaining time to show each other homework assignments. Her being in charge of gym had nothing to do with history. It was said that the history teachers were crying in their minds from happiness.
Komoe-sensei's class on the other hand…
"It's settled!! Everyone's going out for Sukiyaki tonight!!!"
"Doooh!" Like after lost time in a goal in a soccer stadium had been decided, a cheer could be heard. That loud cheer toppled Komoe-sensei. Even the glass windows in the hallway were shaking from it.
Komoe-sensei struggled to get up.
"Waaaah! Yo-Yomikawa-sensei, I tried to take control of the class earlier, but I'm sorry—!!"
Komoe-sensei jumped into her classroom, all shook up with anger.
Looking at her back, Yomikawa sighed and felt dizzy.
"It's fine. It looks like it's just a stupid issue…"
Various things led tonight's dinner being Sukiyaki.
The party that consisted of the entire class, Index, Komoe-Sensei, and Sphinx walked to the nabe shop that Tsuchimikado knew. Since the start of the Daihaseisai, Index had already barged into the class five times and had become familiar with them, so there was no need to explain to others anymore.
Since it was past the time to go home, no buses or trains were running. So it was decided they would walk to the store in District 7.
There was a complicated corner inside the underground shopping complex, which had various experimental school cuisines and nutrition shops. Thinking that Tsuchimikado's stepsister's home economics school's shop must be there as well, Kamijou silently sighed.
As they entered the passage to the sukiyaki shop…
Kamijou unintentionally let out a moan.
Maybe it was because every store in that underground mall was built around a modern design, but the sukiyaki shop looked uncannily run-down. A wreck, to be more familiar. There was no sense of it trying to attract customers.
"You wouldn't expect this place to be surprisingly good, but the stubborn old boss won't paint it."
"On the contrary, because it looks so rundown, wouldn't it serve as good cover?"
Attempting to gain confidence by taking a deep breath, Kamijou was in the front row as they pulled open the door with a rattle.
They only found an unmotivated-looking student clerk near the cash register, but from the interior of Kamijou's group, whose total count was forty people, heard an exchange, with thick provincial accents.
"Whoa—!! We've got a big catch!! The sales from today alone will top the charts," an exposed voice said in a flurry.
Kamijou's shoulders dropped. "Well, they don't seem to be organized."
"In the first place, it's strange for forty people to come without calling ahead. I wanted to see that guy's smiling face instead of his boring empty one, nya," Tsuchimikado said. In the middle of it,
"By the way," Komoe-sensei interrupted. She was leaning on the wall while viewing a somewhat, seemingly oil-stained catalog. "Tsuchimikado-chan, this shop has thirty kinds of beers, and that's only the local brews. Also, their alcohol is top-notch. How did you come to know about such a place?"
"Guh!? N–No!! It's unthinkable, nya!! How could a high school senior even drink alcohol, nya!!"
Komoe-sensei's infinitely shady eyes pointed at him until the long awaited nabe finally arrived. Touma's classmates grabbed her whole body while saying "Now-now-now" and forcibly took her to the banquet hall for the group.
Sensei tried to say something, but they seemed to ignore her.
Naturally, having one table of nabe for forty people to peck at would be impossible to do, so it was decided to split off into different groups and tables.
"Let's eat!" "Let's eat some nabe!" Everyone's tension rose; some twisted the knobs on the gas-range on the tables for no reason, while others kept busy with a contest on who could cleanly divide the wooden chopsticks.
The calico cat's little nose began twitching in delight as it meowed while watching, as it was banned once again from sukiyaki that had negi in it.
Pitying it, Kamijou had lumped in an order of onigiri earlier with the nabe, and placed it in front of the calico cat. "Curses!! Everyone gets meat while I only get salmon," the calico cat seemingly pouted while raising its tail, as it grabbed both sides of the onigiri with its front paws and nibbled on it in jealousy.
While waiting for the order of nabe, the class began talking on the topic of the chaos on the "outside" of Academy City.
Himegami, in a whispering voice, was talking to Fukiyose while back-to-back.
"Come to think of it, apparently there is talk that children with higher abilities should submit papers ascertaining their identities."
"If you're talking about stronger esper abilities, it's a proper way to handle them, isn't it? Humph, as I thought, if it becomes very bad we might be the ones paying the dearest price!"
On the contrary, sitting next to Fukiyose, Touma pondered about it quietly. Nearby, Index tilted her head in confusion.
As seen by the relationship between Misaka Imouto and Misaka Mikoto, ability could be determined by DNA information. Truthfully, they wouldn't want to lose students with valuable skills. Especially Level 5 espers alone, who had been worth enough to make a professional laboratory.
In a related topic…
"Hey, is it true Tokiwadai Middle School's buses are bulletproof and explosion-proof? Rumors like that have suddenly popped up; I'm worried."
"Nya. Gossip like that being whispered on the School Garden reeks of lies. Information there is highly classified, so I doubt it'd be leaked without reason."
Sitting across from Kamijou was Aogami Pierce, who had left to use the telephone and came back during Tsuchimikado's speech, felt it was ridiculous but had a strange credibility.
For example, if the Ojou-samas of Tokiwadai Middle School were lost, it would without doubt be a major blow to the financial and political worlds. People's lives weren't all worth the same, Kamijou sighed.
"Haa! The number of parents making inquiries that say "If war breaks out, Academy City will be dangerous for their children" has multiplied."
"Eh, such conversations are being raised as well?"
Komoe-sensei spoke in a small, tired tone, while Kamijou was puzzled. She was sitting across the table from him and waiting for the nabe to come with a glass of cold water at her mouth.
"Well, getting their children may be important. But I can also understand…where is there another place safer than Academy City? Whether inside or outside the country, I don't think any other security measures are enough."
Doubting it, Kamijou made a bitter smile. He couldn't even count how many times he had been sent to the hospital in the last few months.
Sitting next to Touma was Index.
"Touma, I'm hungry."
"…The nabe will come soon. But you really go at your own pace."
"I want an Onigiri, too."
"Forget it! That's for the cat!"
Kamijou’s shout made the calico cat's fur stand on end. "Gimme a break! I can't eat meat and now you want to take the salmon away from me?" in a menacing purring voice.
"Here comes the Nabe"
Tsuchimikado cried out in a liar's voice.
Kamijou's group noticed several employees were bringing a large black pot with both hands. There was already a low simmering sound coming from the pot, just as Tsuchimikado said, a scent that couldn't come from one made from drifted through the air.
"Let's see" Kamijou said as he peered into the pot the employee brought.
He was suddenly captured by his classmates surrounding him, Index let out a small shriek, and Fukiyose sighed with a gloomy look on her face.
"Gwah!? What are you bastards doing!!?"
"Fool!! If you keep that up you'll overturn the nabe!"
"So suddenly! Look especially at that cute face and huge rack on that employee are ultra-dangerous!!"
"With your luck, we'll probably starve once you make a mistake!"
He would like to argue, but he was outnumbered. The Imagine Breaker that dwelled in his right hand would have no effect on his starving classmates.
Perhaps because of that specific event, misfortune failed to happen this time around, without warning.
Except for that store clerk, the cute one with the big boobies. She more or less caught Kamijou red-handed, and said "Is-is everything alright?"; which had his classmates think he was screwed, after all…
"…If his bad luck doesn't butt in now at least, I'll get really, really mad"
"Don't poker-face when you say stuff like that, it's scary!"
There was much waving and flailing of arms on Kamijou's part as he cried that out, but the class's attention was all on the nabe.
He pulled himself back together and picked the raw eggs for the sukiyaki, banging them on the corner of the table, cracking the shells open and dropping the contents inside a bowl.
A clatter of chopsticks could be heard as he beat the eggs, but then Fukiyose, who was sitting nearby suddenly voiced, with great discontent, "…Damn you, Kamijou. Whatever the hell is taking you so long to scramble those eggs?"
"Gaah I'm already irritated just by looking at you!! Let me have that for a bit, when it comes to eggs you have to do it fast! Look, you do it just like this!!"
"Hiii, a direct controller!?"
Kamijou, with his rice bowl taken away, nonchalantly distanced his chopsticks from Fukiyose. At that rate it was likely only vegetables would be heaping on the long-awaited sukiyaki.
Meanwhile, Aogami Pierce, as if he totally read what was happening, kept a safety zone with a fixed distance from Fukiyose, then nonchalantly called out to Kamijou.
"When we limit ourselves to the menu, the prices still haven't changed, no?"
"Y-yeah. But we're probably on the stocking-up phase. We're waiting and seeing whether or not this is temporary, but the truth is there definitely might be an immediate price hike."
"In other words, we have to eat these at once! Yahoo—!!"
"'Yahoo—' my ass, you meat-only-picking bitch! And Fukiyose-san is somehow a carnivorous bastard who's like a black bass destroying the nabe's contents—!!"
Undeterred, Kamijou reached in with his chopsticks, but in no time at all, to see broth-soaked shirataki when he thought it was meat with only tiny scraps of it remaining when he grabbed them, was painful. And to make matters worse, he unreasonably got a fist from Fukiyose for saying 'stop churning up the pot with chopsticks; you're destroying the tofu'.
Nevertheless, no matter what one said, everyone was having fun partaking from the pot. Or rather, why he himself didn't get much from the pot, Kamijou puzzled over, but then…
"Ha!? Oh yeah… Index's gastric problem is—!?"
Way faster than him realizing his concerns, the white-habited girl's eyes sparkled.
He felt an unexpected, unpleasant premonition.
For adolescent high school students, only nabe sets were insufficient, so until additional orders arrived at their tables, everyone was doing his or her own thing. The majority of the class was screaming *gyaa! gyaa!* noises inside the store, but Kamijou went out and was resting for a bit. One might say, as they were in the underground mall, there was not much of a feeling of being outside.
(An unreal word—no, it'd be better as an unreal word,) Kamijou suddenly reminded himself.
In the underground mall, oriented for college students, people a little older than Kamijou were walking back and forth. And everyone was pleasantly smiling. That was itself peace. It was everywhere in the townscape. And it seemed to diminish the credibility of the word 'war'.
Even so, scars certainly remained.
With the turmoil on September 30th, several buildings in a street block were mowed down, and the outer sections of Academy City took a land-transforming scale of a bombing. Those kinds of scars wouldn't go away in a day or two.
After this, 'that' would probably occur around the world.
There was no definite promise that world-shattering event would definitely not occur.
The Roman Catholic Church.
And the God's Right Seat.
(...Seems I have to do something.)
He didn't know what he could definitely do. In the first place, he had a feeling that he would be doing more than what a mere high school student could do.
However, Vento of the Front, who had arrived in this town the other day, said, "—I've attacked Academy City to eliminate Kamijou Touma."
Kamijou was not in the middle of a large flow.
The large flow was happening with Kamijou as the center.
(I dunno what's what, but if so, even I can probably do something; I'm not a spectator here. I dunno who decided this, but if I'm the axis of the story, is there no room left where I can change the flow of the events?)
Even with the long-awaited pot, the more he thought about it, the more he was feeling depressed. With his mood changing, Kamijou took out his mobile and opened it, unaware that he had mail.
It came from Misaka Mikoto.
(The usual from lunchtime eh,) he thought as he tried to open the mail, but even as he opened the inbox, the message [no new mail] was being displayed. Somehow, her address was treated as spam and was automatically segregated into a different folder, but even as he punched his way into it, that spam folder couldn't be found at all. That function wasn't used much, so he had no idea.
"?? …What was that?"
He tilted his head and figured he'd deal with it later, so he put his mobile back into his pocket.
A voice reached Kamijou's back.
Turning around, Tsuchimikado Motoharu was standing there.
He was holding a small fifteen centimeter metallic bottle in one hand. Its contents might have been whiskey. He had probably come there to secretly drink it and keep it from Komoe-sensei.
Tsuchimikado's appearance was totally normal. Without even a single plaster. However that lad had probably risked his life in battle; looking closely, his gait was suspiciously awkward.
As usual, the self-styled spy Tsuchimikado could see that from looking at an amateur like Kamijou the latter was suspecting [awkward]. As expected, his was no minor injury.
Tsuchimikado probably knew why Kamijou was secretly excluding himself from the class.
He smiled as he said, "…You're mistaken if you think the war that will occur from here on is all your fault. Thanks to you, everyone in the class is not dragged in. You were able to protect those around you. And so you experiencing feelings of alienation is too unreasonable."
"That's right. The war occurred because someone behind the scenes blundered. For an amateur like Kami-yan, to be angry that it's the fault of someone somewhere else is enough."
On hearing that, Kamijou instinctively smiled.
After all, both Kamijou and Tsuchimikado were really similar, burdening themselves with their own baggage.
Tsuchimikado said, "It's starting."
"The scale of the war is changing. This is totally beyond a mere brats' squabble. You better be on the lookout, Kami-yan. From the way it is now, it might be difficult to escape situations from here on."
"…I get your point."
Kamijou slightly glanced downwards.
Onto his own flexing right hand.
"Even I didn't think this would end up good. It's because that rather than 'something is insufficient', there are many with their own insufficiencies. What happened up to this point is miraculous. Perhaps, if they were rightly recognized, I wouldn't have advanced to this fate."
"The other side won't be waiting leisurely for our preparations."
"That might be the case. Even so, I know what I must do. No matter how small, I'll have no choice but to learn it in detail."
Having said that, Kamijou shifted his gaze up.
"It's no use complaining over the insufficiency. We'll be advancing little by little. It's a difficult problem even in the best of cases. But if we don't do it, we can never get close to our intended people."
Tsuchimikado tried to say something, but held it in.
He was a professional spy, different from Kamijou. A person who knew the darkness of the world far better than Kamijou. The hesitation had disappeared from Kamijou's tone, which caused Tsuchimikado to fumble for the right words.
"I've depended on others until now. And I've left it all to others for the world I don't know myself. I believe even I burdened you with troubles. These will be no more from now on. I have to walk on my own to the new world I haven't seen up to now!"
Kamijou had gotten the attention of Tsuchimikado Motoharu.
He silently clenched the Imagine Breaker, his right hand.
"Tsuchimikado, I've decided."
In a voice filled with a strong will, he clearly said it.
In a sense, to the senior of that business.
"That's right, from now on I'll study English!!!"
Aware that Tsuchimikado was reflexively and completely agape, Kamijou brought out his mobile from his pants.
"Now look, Tsuchimikado! I've downloaded a mobile app called Easy English Training! I'm onto Level 3 of daily conversations, but as I thought, it's tough. But I have to reasonably remember non-Japanese words, so the Roman Catholic Church and God's Right Seat are not always limited to always talking in our language!!"
Stepping too far back, Tsuchimikado's unintentional expression was like he was talking to someone for the first time.
"Why English for this situation?"
"Eh? If they're in Rome then Italian will do. However, there are two billion of them. For that, English will do."
Kamijou's puzzling answer came back.
For something like a definite way to survive, that was the last thing on Tsuchimikado's mind.
It seemed that Kamijou was somehow hell-bent on beating words into two billion opponents.
"Well, I was thinking that words won't go through, but if the soul is sent along, one would expect that they should understand, I think. There's no reason why everyone should be fluent in Japanese like Lidvia or Biagio. Or rather, everyone is talking to one another in Japanese, but we shouldn't be too dependent on that. Hence that's my reason."
A thick *BAM!!* sound resounded in the underground mall.
Because of the extreme stupidity, Tsuchimikado almost reflexively unleashed his fist.
Tsuchimikado exasperatedly shook his head, ignored the lad rolling nearby, and went back inside the sukiyaki restaurant as he lowered his shoulders.
Afterwards, it went without saying that Kamijou Touma was unable to get even a bit of the additional pile of meat.
- Negi is a type of green onion and onions can cause anemia in cats, along with liver damage.
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