Toaru Majutsu no Index:Volume9 Chapter1
Chapter 1: Under the Blazing Sun from the Starting Signal. Commence_Hostilities.
The St. George’s Cathedral in London.
This building was somewhat too big to be called a church, and too small to be called a Cathedral. Inside this construct that was unimpressive in a certain sense, the leader of the British Puritans, the Archbishop Laura Stuart, was standing around leisurely.
Right now, it was 9am in Japan, and in England, which used the world standard clock, it was midnight now. Although this was the capital of a country, there was a sense of tranquility around Laura, which could even be described as serious. Under the gentle night and the cooling night breeze, the day came to a close.
She was alone inside the church, where the candle lights were blown out.
Laura set a chair in front of the altar and sat on it. She was wearing a simple nun’s robe that had a pure white base colour, with recognizable coloured threads like black, red, green, purple, gold and silver woven into pictures. Besides that, her clothes were covered in decorative cloth used for higher-order clergymen. This was formal attire worn when she was visiting other people.
Christian society was like any ordinary culture; clothing was a method used to declare the person’s identity and position. Although it sounded serious, it was like how tall a chef’s hat was or a student’s uniform, or anything that signified status.
For someone like Laura, who was different from normal nuns, she had to prepare different sets of nuns’ robes according to the season, time, location, occasion, position on the matter, and ambition. Sometimes she would purposely wear clothes that indicated a lower standing in order to raise the status of the guest; sometimes she would purposely wear clothes that indicate a higher standing to show her dissatisfaction…there were a lot of ways to do this that were really complicated and troublesome.
(In front of God, everyone’s an equal brother…is it? This statement is rather impressive.)
The Archbishop couldn’t help but scoff regarding things like stand and status. Laura feels that it was too cumbersome to do all these. Her graceful look didn’t just rely solely on her clothes.
The most noticeable thing about her was her golden hair that was 2.5 times the length of her body. She normally clipped her hair, but she didn’t do so this time. The fluffy hair that was released hung over her shoulders and went all the way down, with the remaining part lying on the floor.
Laura, who was sitting on the chair, placed an entire set of gold and silver combs on her legs. She selected one from the pile of combs, which had different teeth length, width and spacing, and carefully let her hair go past the comb like the strings of a harp. It was impossible to reach the end of her hair, that was even longer than her height, just by stretching her hands. So Laura gracefully pulled the hair nearer with her hands.
Suddenly, she accidentally dropped her comb. Her golden hair faithfully demonstrated this by flapping up and down, like waves near a beach.
After combing all her hair through once, she changed to another one, and after that was done, changed to another one. She continued to do this, as if the order of the combs used was very important.
Shining on her hair was the moonlight passing through the window and the LCD display on the altar.
The set up of the screen and the communication equipment, which were already there, had been done at the last minute by an organisation based in Academy City that had associates in London.
It was supposed to have been Stiyl’s job, but he was not in England now.
Kanzaki Kaori had said several times that ‘this is something similar to a mobile phone,’ and had tried to connect this brand new gadget. But after she sat down and analyzed the instruction manual, she stared back like an abandoned puppy.
“What are you doing?”
A displeased voice came from the screen. It was hard to tell whether that voice belongs to a man or a woman, a child or an adult, a Saint or a criminal. Laura did not turn to look at where the voice came from. Besides, the one appearing on the screen should be a ‘man’ floating upside down in fluid.
The General Director of Academy City, Aleister.
Laura, whose extremely long hair hung down from her shoulders, quietly said,
“Don’t you know? I’m combing my hair. A man shouldn’t be seeing a woman doing make-up.”
“Several centuries ago, among the English Noblewomen, there were methods to scorch their hair by either using the sun or the moon. The best-looking blonde hair was called the ‘Sun’s hair’, and it was the greatest virtue for one to accomplish this. Isn’t it stylish to do this without the need of dyes?”
Laura tried to stifle her laughter, but there was no response from the screen.
She twisted her neck and looked at the LCD screen.
“What’s wrong? To remain silent while I'm talking with you……”
There was no response from the screen.
Just when Laura was feeling puzzled, a voice came from the other side.
“No……actually, I’ve been trying to ask you something.”
“To be honest, your Japanese sounds really weird. Or are you treating me as an idiot by saying this? Which one is it?”
Laura stopped what she was doing.
The comb that was gliding through her hair trembled slightly.
“You……you……do you know what you’re talking about!? There’s no need to talk about etiquette with a man who doesn’t believe in God, just some simple words are enough for you!”
“I see……if you prefer to use such a special accent, it’s alright. What I’m trying to say is that if you’re really frustrated about this, I can send a Japanese teacher to teach you the language. I am the one who ruled over knowledge after all!”
“Uu! I’m not bothered by it! Why would I bother about a language used by a small country in the Far East?”
Laura, who was combing through her hair quickly, loudly declared.
There was no response from the screen, and there were no bystanders as the sound of Laura combing her hair quickly echoed throughout the hall.
After a while, Aleister seemed like he wanted to change the topic, and said,
“However, why do you want to comb your hair in front of the guest? Shouldn’t you have done it before having a conversation?”
Although she didn’t like this topic, Laura felt that at least they could break away from the original topic, as her tone and attitude seemed calmer than before.
“There’s no time. Actually, night is the time when women are in their bedrooms doing their make-up. Please don’t mind me doing this during our conversation.”
“Hmm, I guess that’s the result of the ‘Sun’s hair’ that you talked about, right? The myth about the moonlight should be a superstition, but the myth about the sun is actually due to the ultraviolet rays that caused the hair to lose colour pigments. This is probably an idea gained from books fading in colour due to overexposure to the sun. But I’ll give you some advice……you’ll get hair loss!”
“………This is rather rude when we’re still developing our diplomatic relations.”
Laura looked away. The hair that was lying on the floor like a rug was reflecting light from the LCD screen. The shiny hair that had been carefully combed with the gold and silver combs now reflected other colours like red and blue.
She again muttered, “So rude.”
“I have informed you earlier the reason why I wanted to contact you, so let me confirm it again. Also, I would like to thank you for agreeing to our unreasonable request.”
“If you’re talking about the time difference, there’s no need to worry about it. This is the time when we start our work anyway.”
“What I want to say is that it’s rude of us to interrupt you when you’re doing your work.”
Laura looked at her hair that was reflecting light, and said,
“It seems like the opening ceremony is under way. As the leader, shouldn’t you go up to the stage and say hello to them?”
“……Do you think I can let people see me like this?”
“Hoho, you’re right, this isn’t appropriate for the occasion.”
At that moment, Laura turned to look at the LCD screen on the altar.
There was a person floating upside-down inside a transparent cylindrical tank filled with red liquid. No matter how one saw it, it was unsuitable for this person, who was wearing a green labcoat, to appear in public like that.
Also, he would be able to remain in this state for a thousand years (maybe, since Laura wasn’t sure about the exact details). People would find that there was something wrong if he were to appear in public quite often. Of course, he would have to change his looks and name if he was to do this.
Laura Stuart’s actual age didn’t match her looks as well, but she was not the type that would look at others who were learning from their mistakes and laugh at them.
“Then I'll go on, if you don’t mind. I'll give a short summary, for I don’t have much time left.”
A sigh came from the LCD screen.
“……Is it regarding someone who invaded Academy City?”
Laura nodded her head.
“Right now, you’re unable to identify the invaders from the visitors. It’s impossible to carry out security checks smoothly because you people have to accommodate ordinary civilians.”
Laura was rather familiar with this. During a large-scale gathering like a worship or Christmas celebration, if they wanted to use tight, almost foolproof security to protect the people, the people’s actions would have to be limited, and it would affect the proceedings of the events severely. In order not to delay the proceedings of the events, they had to give a certain amount of ‘freedom’.
“The magicians seemed to have taken this opportunity to attack Academy City when there’s a hole they can thread into. According to our reports, there are two confirmed invaders. One is an important member of the Roman Catholic Church, and the other is a transporter that she hired.”
“A transporter? Let me confirm this, is she here to destroy and do battle?”
“Yes. The name of the transporter is Oriana Thomson, and the one who hired her is Lidvia Lorenzetti. They’re trying to buy a certain good.”
Laura grabbed a bundle of notes that was lying beside the LCD screen, and waved it in front of screen. The words were very small, but since the other party was from Academy City, which boasted the use of technology unknown to the outside world, he wouldn’t use words like ‘I can’t see clearly’ so easily.
“First, Oriana Thomson. As her name indicates, she’s born in England, but she’s probably now Italian. She’s known as the ‘Tracking sealer’, a top-notch courier in the magical world. This woman’s ability is that she’s able to run and hide, and that she’s able to get away from pursuers even if they find her.”
More accurately, Oriana was a woman who would do anything to get away from her pursuers. Also, nobody was able to keep track of her actions. Even when they were prepared, she would still be able to get away. Oriana Thomson was a magician with many spells at her disposal, and she would destroy bridges, create fires, set up many talismans to get her pursuers off her. Also, she was a beauty who would sometimes use that weakness of humans.
One could imagine from Oriana’s original British nationality how many times she had clashed with the British Puritans while she was in London. While ‘Necessarius’ had been pursuing Oriana, they had been stopped by many people, who had no links with magic, claiming to be her ‘best friend.’ She was not just a battle berserker, she knew how to use a ‘human wall’ formed by the crowd and slip inside.
“Next, Lidvia Lorenzetti, a radical among the Roman Catholics, also known as ‘Mardi Gras’. She’s known for evangelising to the people that the Church rejected, and got some converts to further carry out evangelism.”
She was different from Oriana, and was a Roman Catholic born in the Vatican. She was in a very high position, but never ‘tried to aim higher’. Instead, she found spreading the gospel to the world much more meaningful. She was a person ‘who would do anything to spread the Word’. As a reward, the pope himself specially gave her a platinum staff that was decorated with silk, but she immediately sold it without thinking to finance her travels.
Those that were ‘saved’ by Lidvia, and who wanted to ‘save even more people’, were geniuses who had never seen the light of day, and most of them were people like criminals and cult believers. Lidvia’s talent was in finding these talents that would normally be executed.
Not only did she have the ability to find hidden talent, she was also able to control and manage problematic people.
Even if it was the Roman Catholics, who would kill any sinner that they meet and burn any non-believer, they couldn’t formally attack anyone who was properly recognised as converted. The higher-ups who hated these problematic people viewed Lidvia as a thorn in their side. And to the Archbishop Laura, she was a formidable opponent.
If she was just brazenly raising magicians, the British Puritans could still stop them; but they would be seen as evil if she was teaching them about the Bible and the gospel as well.
“They’re rather prominent in your world, huh? I’ve never heard of them before. Who’s the guy they’re dealing with?”
“It’s unknown as of now. Right now, the biggest suspect is Bishop Nikolai Tolstoy of the Russian Church.”
Although Nikolai wasn’t as extreme as the Roman Catholics to abandon ‘the non-believers’, he was known as a cunning man who would reap the benefits in an argument between two parties.
“Then, the good that they’re delivering…can you tell me what it is?”
“If I don’t tell you the name and the item, you guys probably won’t be able to find it, right?”
Laura’s gaze left the screen as she said “Coming!” She raised ‘something’ that was placed on the ground.
“Is that a sword?”
“It’s just a duplicate that I borrowed from the British Museum. Like as how you see it, however, there are no magical effects.”
The sword that Laura was holding was made of marble. It was 1.5m long, and the width…of the cross-guard was 35cm on both sides, making it 70cm wide. It was about 10cm thick. As it was a duplicate, there was no blade. Instead, the edge of the sword was as sharp as a sharpened pencil.
“It’s called the ‘Stab Sword’. I can’t explain its effect, but it’s said to be able to slay a dragon in half and stitch it to the ground. It’s magical value and effect is enormous. If it’s successfully delivered, we’ll be in immediate trouble. Britain herself may end up being involved in a war.”
The ‘Stab Sword’ was a spiritual weapon that could take down the ‘pillar’ that was extremely important to a Christian sect. Once they destroyed the ‘pillar’, the surrounding enemies would take advantage when the sect was weakened and attack them in one go.
The ‘pillar’ referred to the ‘Saints’ in Christianity.
The ‘Stab Sword’ could utterly destroy the Saints, who had combat capabilities and powers equivalent to that of a nuclear bomb.
“Mm, it’s like that tactical weapon that your side developed.”
Aleister looked at the sword in question through the screen, and said,
“Would you mind explaining what the error is if this sword is used in Academy City? According to the situation, it seems that we have to evacuate ordinary civilians.”
“You don’t have to worry. This is a weapon that can only be used on the magic side. There won’t be any effects if it’s used on your side.”
“I see. If you can give us its structure and origin, we can come up with some strategies.”
“Oh, the citizens of the science world can plan against magic? Don’t tell me there’s a magician hidden among you guys?”
Both sides remained silent. The tension was like thin yet sharp threads that were tied all over the place, as if they would break when there was even the slightest movement, like breathing. But there was no sign of anxiety, and one might even think that they were enjoying it.
Like she just snapped those taut strings with a ‘Pow’ sound, Laura started to speak in a cheery tone.
“Let’s not do these useless limitations, time is really precious.”
She shook her head, and the hair that extended onto the floor like a rug started to shake slightly.
“The biggest problem is that the deal involving the ‘Stab Sword’ is in Academy City.”
“The enemy should also be clear about this. Letting British Puritan magicians into our territory…we can’t possibly make that exception.”
If they gave an exception to the British Puritans and allowed them in, other groups would request to ‘give them the permit’. Not all the people were well-intentioned. Among them, some might even sneak into Academy City and do all sorts of sabotage work.
The original circumstances were already quite troublesome. If they were to add more fire-starters to the mix, nobody could know how it would develop. Especially since it was Daihaseisai now, with so many civilians and the media around, Aleister wanted to prevent any chaos from taking place, let alone a tragedy.
A similar situation had happened when an alchemist took over ‘Misawa Cram School’. At that time, Academy City hired the British Puritans and the Roman Catholics to stop Aureolus Izzard from going out of control.
But the circumstances were different now.
It was Daihaseisai now, there were many civilians from ‘outside’ Academy City. If Aleister were to propose that ‘we’ll decide who’ll settle the problem that happens in our city’, and the other party proposed that ‘there are tourists from our country, so we’ll protect our citizens’, it would create lots and lots of chaos.
Of course, there was a difference in power among these organisations.
Academy City, as the leader of the science world, had a base difference in ability compared to many small forces of the magical world. So there would be differences in the influence, but they couldn’t suppress the other party just like that.
Once they rejected the proposal from the small groups of the magic world, larger groups would come up with excuses to go with their requests. Even if they could reject their suggestions, other large groups would speak up. As this continued, the problem would snowball, ending up with the magic side facing off against the science side.
Daihaseisai was already an event that the world was watching out for.
It probably wouldn’t even take a day for the problem to develop.
“Even so, if any resident of Academy City is to beat a magician, it’ll cause a problem as well.”
Both the science and magic sides had their own interests and responsibilities. If the security forces of Academy City weren't careful when they captured the magicians, it would create a risk of unauthorised access to the other side.
“Those guys really thought of everything. Even if we are to sense that something is amiss, we can’t just go and attack the enemy without expecting any reservations. With this, they can just focus on the deal.”
“But what if we give up now? Wouldn’t we have nothing on them?”
Laura stood up.
The overly long hair of hers wouldn’t leave the floor just like that.
The set of gold and silver combs on her lap fell onto the ground.
However, Laura never even bothered looking at them.
“Since you are hosting ordinary civilians, I assume there’s no problem if people from our side are to go in on a holiday, right?”
Hearing her serious tone, the man on the monitor screen chuckled,
“Let’s see…even if we disguise it as a holiday tour, if all the members are from the British Puritan Church, we’ll have a headache. Once anyone finds out that it’s a planned action by some organisation, we’ll have to accept the rumour that ‘the Church has already invaded Academy City’. But if we limit it to a single person…and that person happens to have friendly relations with some residents of Academy City, we might be able to confuse them.”
Aleister happily whistled, and quipped,
“……O, so now, we’ll just have to use that boy as a guide then.”
The opening ceremony was finally over.
“It’s too hot……”
Ordinary high school student Kamijou Touma stood on the football field. This seemed to be a facility affiliated to a sports school that was dedicated to social activities. Even the turf that was made of artificial resin was about to melt in this unrelenting summer. The students, who were dressed in various P.E. attires, dispersed in groups of twos and threes the moment they stepped past the exits.
There were 1.8 million participants in Daihaseisai. Although the stadium was of professional standard, it couldn’t possibly contain every single person.
“……Aren’t there too many principals in the city?”
Kamijou tiredly said. One would definitely be irritated after hearing so many consecutive ‘principal messages’ in this hot summer. Kamijou, who for some reason had lost his memories, accidentally and unknowingly experienced this for the second time.
Actually, the Board of Directors had already carefully chosen who the speakers were. If all the principals were to go on stage and deliver their messages, it would probably take an entire day.
Around Kamijou, there were students from primary, junior high, high school and college students. Everyone’s expression was the same as his. They were basically wearing short-sleeved shirts and shorts. Because they were of different schools, some of them were wearing shoe covers or track attire. Some students from special schools even put on aikido clothing, camouflage pants, or armoured suits (non-driven) that were made from special materials.
The common thing among the students was that they were wearing red or white sashes on their heads.
Basically, Daihaseisai was an inter-school competition where the number of wins and losses were computed as points. Each school divided its own students into a red team and a white team, and with the number of wins each coloured team got, the points earned would be added on to the school’s score. Red vs white, school vs school. They would use the final total score to decide the rankings of the school.
The victory condition that Kamijou and Mikoto were arguing about before the start of the opening ceremony used this system. In Academy City, once a school’s ranking was higher than another, it ‘won’. The relentless words that Mikoto had left behind were something like, “You…you just wait and see……! I’ll make you regret saying that the loser has to play a penalty game and obey the winner!”
“……What will she do to me……? Wait…wait a minute. Don’t tell me she’s going to play railgun catching with me (with me being the catcher) until the sun sets? I don’t want to play this sort of catching game with her……!!”
Kamijou couldn’t help but shout out alone. All the students near the exit of the sports hall give him a weird look. After he finally regained his composure, Kamijou quietly left the bus stop in front of the sports hall.
(But I’m too over-worried as well.)
Up till now, although Kamijou was shivering from fear due to anticipation of what was to come, he understood that he would be alright if he didn’t lose. Though the opponent was a prestigious school, she was still a junior high school student. Even if esper powers were allowed in the competition, this should be an extension of sports activities (probably). To be honest, Kamijou felt that those missies who were supposed to be so cosseted couldn’t possibly win against a youthful and sweaty group of high school students. Even if Kamijou was to lose in a direct match-up against Tokiwadai, there were other ways. Once Kamijou’s school beats other schools, and Tokiwadai lost to others, the difference could be whittled down.
A girl’s voice came from beside him.
Looking in the direction of where the voice came from, among the crowd that was wearing P.E. attire, stood a girl in white nun robes that were decorated with gold embroidery. Her name was Index. She was an English girl with long white hair, green pupils, and a slim body. She was also the one with perfect memory of the 103,000 magical texts in her mind. To be honest, she was a girl who was a lot more useful than those weak espers.
Index carried a calico cat in front of her, saying listlessly,
“You’re hungry now? It’s still morning, you know. Didn’t you eat breakfast two hours ago?”
“Uuuu. But I can smell such an attractive and indescribable smell all over the place. I can’t stand it.”
The calico cat in her arms shook its nose and made a happy sound, matching Index’s voice.
Although it was a large-scale sporting event, not all the students would be bounded by the events all the time. They just need to follow the rule of reaching the area in the specific time, and any time other than that was free time for them. Whether it was cheering for other schools, buying gifts with family members, or just standing at a convenience store to read magazines, anything was fine. Some would even set up stores to get some earnings, like the management or home economics schools that Tsuchimikado Maika was studying at.
The number of schools where all the students were participating in the competitions was unexpectedly low. As the academic years and the athletic events were different, there would normally be people with nothing to do. One should be cheering for his own school, but the victory banquet could be much more luxurious if their stores could earn some money. Just selling things to 1.8 million students and parents could earn them quite a large sum of money.
“Ah……erm……maybe Japanese cuisine is as tempting to eat as it sounds.”
The nun carrying the calico cat blurted out.
Index was the type of person that would do anything to get any food that was in front of her. Although it was just an aroma from afar, one's saliva would flow out if under this condition for a long time. Besides, he should reward her for not raiding those stores, Kamijou thought seriously.
“Ah, I see. You have nothing to do for the entire day, so I’ll find time to go out with you later.”
Index nodded her head, before she stopped and asked,
“Ah, the first match is about to start, I got to go. You can take a look at the travel guide. The locations that I marked out with a pen are the spectator stands of the events that I’m taking part in.”
“Wa–Wawawa! To–Touma is so cold to me today!”
Index seemed to be shouting something, but Kamijou didn’t have much time left. He wanted to let her go to a few shops, but it would be endless if he went out with Index, who was hungry right now. She wouldn’t be satisfied without going to every single store and eating everything.
Kamijou haggled with Maika, who just so happened to pass by, before buying a maid bento at half price (the fixed price was 1,200 yen, so expensive). Index kept on crying, saying that she wanted to ‘eat’ as she begged Kamijou while on her way to the arena. On a side note, although the name maid bento sounded very western, the ingredients were all from Japan. While Kamijou was grumbling about the ingredients and the price, Maika explained,
“Because Japan is the land of bentos, as other countries don’t use bentos as a culture. England uses ‘lunch’ to describe a midday meal, and in Western culture, people normally carry biscuits with them anyway. This is why we’re using local ingredients. Although you’re saying that it’s expensive, they’re selling those high class bentos that are ten times more expensive than udon in theatres to the audience. We are following the traditional methods by using top-grade ingredients and techniques to create these Daihaseisai bentos, you know.”
Although it sounded arrogant, she did have a point.
Holding the maid bento in his hand, Kamijou headed toward the competition arena, which was the school field at his high school. He was supposed to send Index into the spectator stands, but the entrances for the competitors were different from the spectators. After separating from the girl, he entered the competitors area. The field was currently undergoing preparation, as the staff was spraying water onto the field to prevent dust from flying about.
There were remote-controlled hot air balloons in the blue sky, hanging a special vertical thin screen showing these running words: ‘7th district. High school sector. First event, Wrench stick competition. 10 minutes and 23 seconds to the start of the match.’
(If our school loses to Tokiwadai in terms of ranking, who knows what Mikoto will come up with for the penalty game. We got to win right at the start!)
During Daihaseisai, which lasted for 7 days, how many points the schools got would largely depend on how they paced themselves. It all depended on the tactic that the school used, do they pull away from the beginning, or do they conserve their forces and catch up with the tired teams at the end. There were plenty of options.
Because of his memory loss, Kamijou felt that this was the first time he was in a Daihaseisai competition.
However, since he was not a student from a sports school, Kamijou was unable to observe the battles calmly and save his physical strength. Though he had a special ability, it was still a battle between students. The results of the match may affect morale as well. In other words, although it was possible to win the match, if the difference was too great, they wouldn’t be able to focus on turning the situation around when they had already given up.
Based on this reason alone, Kamijou favoured getting off right from the start and pulling away from the opponent.
(Come to think about it, our class was very noisy a while back when we were preparing for the match. Or should I say, the entire school was like this. Hm, those people should be rather energetic. There are quite a few people who hate to lose, and I’m more worried about them using underhanded means to win.)
Kamijou looked forward to this meaningless gathering with his classmates, as he walked into the competitors’ restroom inside the school to meet up with them.
Normally, Aogami Pierce, the one who liked fun the most, would then turn his head around,
“Wa—why so energetic……”
Kamijou inadvertently fell onto the ground.
When he regained consciousness, he was sprawled on the ground.
He looked around and observed that the other students were also like this. Everyone looked that they had gotten heatstroke.
“Wait…wait a minute, what’s wrong with everyone? Why is everyone so tired before the first match has even begun?”
Kamijou trembled somewhat angrily as he asked, as Aogami Pierce forcefully turned around and said,
“Why? Because everyone stayed up all night yesterday playing! And before the opening ceremony, the whole class was fighting over what kind of tactics need to be used. That remaining amount of energy is all used up!”
“Because of this!? Everyone!? Did the beginning and end of Daihaseisai switch over? However, Himegami, congratulations! Seeing you being able to mix into the class, I’m very relieved.”
Himegami Aisa was standing slightly far away from Kamijou. The white-skinned, black haired girl had the ability to attract and kill vampires. To prevent this power from working, she wore a Cross on her neck, which was now hidden under her short-sleeved P.E. shirt.
She had just transferred into Kamijou’s class in the beginning of the month.
Himegami gently shook her long, black hair, which was becoming increasing rare, saying,
“Isn’t a student’s competition something like this? Where there’s trainers and coaches.”
“Ugh, even you said ‘isn’t it like this!?’”
Seems like we’ll lose! Kamijou cupped his hands on his head.
As if he was trying to encourage Kamijou,
“Nya! Kami-yan, it can’t be helped that everyone is so tired. Nobody expected the opening ceremony to consist of 15 consecutive principal talks, together with more than 50 congratulatory telegrams that were sent over. I have to praise you for being able to stand even after all these……”
The person who said this was Tsuchimikado Motoharu—he looked like a student, but was actually a double agent for both the magic and science side—his short, blonde hair spiking outwards, with light-coloured sunglasses on his eyes and gold jewellery on his neck. One could only say that a short-sleeved P.E. shirt didn’t match the other decorations.
“Eve–Even the energetic Aogami and Tsuchimikado are like this…wait…wait a minute, if the opponent is as lifeless, we might have a chance……!!”
Kamijou grabbed onto his last glimmer of hope.
“It’s impossible nya, Kami-yan. The opponent seems to be a private elite sports school, you know.”
WAAAAA! Kamijou was completely sprawled on the floor. The thought of him losing to Misaka Mikoto and her giving a hellish punishment was now clear in his mind. Just when Kamijou felt his skin crawl, a female classmate, who was late, came into the room.
“Wait…wait a minute, what’s wrong with everyone? Why is everyone so tired?”
Hgn? Kamijou, who was lying on the floor, looked up.
The girl in front of him was wearing a short shirt and a pair of shorts, and also a hoody on the outside. The armband on her arm had the words ‘Daihaseisai Management Committee, High School Division.’ There should be similar words written on the back. She was rather tall in class and had a nice body. One could see those compassionate breasts of hers under her P.E. attire. Her long black hair was kept behind her ears, making her forehead look much larger.
In contrast to her beautiful looks, her nickname was the ‘iron wall girl.’
She blankly looked around, before her vision finally fixed onto Kamijou, who was on the ground.
“Ah!? No way, Kamijou! It’s because of your lethargy that everyone else in infected by it. You……what are you going to do with this?”
“Eh? No……it’s not my fault! I only just reached here, you know!”
“In other words, because you’re late, everyone lost their drive?”
“Do you have to blame me no matter what? Aren’t you late as well?”
“I’m late because I have management work to do, idiot!”
You were planning to make me look like an idiot no matter what? Kamijou was really going to cry out,
“Don’t bother me! I can’t make it! Now that Kamijou’s in an unfortunate reality, Kamijou really can’t stand up now!!”
“You really look bad like this. This isn’t a psychological problem; it’s mild anaemia because you didn’t eat breakfast. Just drink some isotonic drinks to replenish your water content and minerals and you’ll be fine. Kamijou Touma, stand up now!”
Whoosh! Several 500ml plastic bottles flew out from Fukiyose’s jacket pockets.
“Wa! Why are you spouting this nonsense that a health freak will go crazy about!? Also, is this an illusion? Why do I feel that you don’t lack minerals and water, but calcium?”
“What are you talking about? I’ve taken in enough anchovies!”
Fukiyose glared at Kamijou, saying,
“I hate those who use misfortune as an excuse to live life so sloppily. Once you look so lethargic, everyone else will lose their motivation as well. So you better buck up for everyone’s sake.”
Facing off against Fukiyose Seiri’s aggressive attack, Kamijou inadvertently backed up. The committee member continued to get near the retreating boy. Kamijou still wanted to back away, only to back into the flowerbed.
Seeing this, the students looked absolutely delighted.
“Too……too strong. Fukiyose, you’re too strong! You’re really the woman who can defend against that Kamijou!”
“If it was an ordinary person, that person might end up being soft-hearted and say ‘Ka–Kamijou-san, are you alright?’”
“This guy keeps saying that he’s unlucky, but he always gets the best seats!!”
“Oh, you’re the hope of humanity. Let’s analyse Fukiyose Seiri, and maybe we can control Kami-yan!!”
(In your eyes, what kind of scum am I!?)
Kamijou listlessly backed up.
At that moment,
Kamijou’s foot stepped on something squishy. It was the rubber gardening hose. They had to spray water onto the grounds before the competition started in order to prevent the dust from flying about (though they couldn’t prevent it completely).
Looking far away, a male teacher working in the school suspiciously looked at the water hose that had stopped spraying water.
At that instant,
The water that had been suppressed by Kamijou’s foot blasted out from the loose connection of the hose to the faucet, splashing water nearby.
The one closest to the faucet was……
“Fu…Fukiyose!? Kamijou, you bastard, how dare you do this to our final stronghold!!”
“Oh no, with Kamijou around, even that tigress is all wet now.”
“And unexpectedly, we get to see her colourful underwear. Don’t tell me this is the start of a love comedy……”
“This is the despair of humanity—if Fukiyose can’t survive, then who will?”
(In your eyes, what kind of scum am I!? Also, sorry, Fukiyose-san!)
Kamijou repeatedly did his angry and apologetic mannerisms.
On a side note, Fukiyose was all wet and her sports attire clung tightly to her. Her skin, and even her underwear could be seen clearly. Unexpectedly, she was wearing underwear that was completely different from her image; the yellow and orange chequered design looked really cute.
“……Do you have any dissatisfaction?”
(No, I don’t dare to!!)
Kamijou quickly lowered his head and apologised. Fukiyose gave a ‘humph,’ turned her head, pulled the zip of her jacket open and pulled out a small packet of milk before drinking it. She probably wanted the calcium to pacify her own anger.
The boys nearby covered the mouth of the faucet with their thumbs, and started playing with the columns of water that were shooting out like a laser cannon. In truth, they were tired now. But they seemed to be aware of Fukiyose being wet throughout and wanted to display the spirit of a gentleman, so they pretended that they didn’t notice her. They looked innocent, but their eyes weren’t smiling as they continued to play this water spraying game in despair.
Kamijou blankly looked at his classmates that completely lacked unity and thought,
(Nobody’s worrying about the Wrench Stick match!? We’re doomed! To many extents, this class really has a lot of problems.)
Just when Kamijou was shaking his head at the wall near the competitors’ corner entrance, he heard a man and a woman arguing. Seemed like some people were arguing behind the sports hall.
What was going on now……? Kamijou kept his body near the sports hall as he peeked in.
The person in the back of the dark sports hall was Kamijou’s homeroom teacher, Tsukuyomi Komoe. She was 135cm tall, a teacher who wouldn’t be mocked even if she was carrying a primary school student’s backpack. She was wearing a short white dress, accompanied with a light green sleeveless vest. Seemed like she was wearing this to cheer them on.
Facing her was a man that Kamijou had never met before. He should be a teacher from another school. In Daihaseisai, while staff members were wearing sports attire that could be bought outside, this guy was wearing business clothing on such a hot day.
Komoe-sensei was arguing with that teacher.
Or more accurately, it looked like the male teacher, who was mocking Komoe-sensei, was about to get eaten by her.
“I admit that our school facilities and teaching contents aren’t adequate! But that’s our fault and not the students’!”
Komoe-sensei was waving her arms as she shouted. The male teacher however didn’t mind, saying,
“Humph, isn’t the inadequacy of the facilities due to your students not being capable? If there were results, the Board of Directors would have given extra funding, right? Hoho. Trash schools like yours shouldn’t be able to request it, right? Ah, sensei, I heard that your class did badly for the end-of semester test, right? Managing so many failures must be tough.”
“The–There’s no success or failure for students! They just have their own personalities. Everyone is already working so hard! How……how can I abandon them for my own sake?”
“Is this an excuse to hide your own inability? Hahaha. Your dreams are too far-reaching. Do you need me to send you back to reality? Let the elites that I groomed beat your trash into a pulp. Hm, we’re having a ‘Wrench Stick’ competition here, right? As a member of the opposing school, let me give you an advice. Go do some warm-ups; you’ll need it to avoid injuries.”
“You embarrassed me the last time we had the school meet, so this time, in front of the global telecast, I’ll return this debt back to you. We’ll be slightly lax in our attacks, but I don’t know if your failures are too weak.”
Hahaha—the male teacher laughed as he left.
That teacher should be from the opposing school was what Kamijou thought. To be honest, for Kamijou, who was Level 0, even if he was called a failure or trash, it didn’t hurt him too much.
“……It’s not like this.”
At this moment, Komoe-sensei spoke.
She was alone now, and she was not talking to anyone in particular.
She lowered her head and said in a trembling voice,
“They aren’t some trash, are they……?”
Her already small and skinny shoulders shrank even more.
It was like she was saying that it was all because of her that her students were shamed by outsiders.
She raised her head, looked up at the sky, and remained silent, as if she was trying to endure something.
Kamijou remained silent.
He turned around.
All the students were standing there silently.
As if he was trying to confirm it, Kamijou Touma asked,
“Okay, you guys heard that? Just now, everyone was complaining about how they have no motivation, their energy is used up……”
Kamijou closed one eye.
“—Let me ask you guys again, are you sure that you don’t want to win?”
Misaka Mikoto was in the spectator stands reserved for students.
Compared to ordinary spectator stands, there was not even a roof to block the sun. There was only a blue plastic sheet on the ground, no chairs at all. Mikoto sighed as she thought: this was like a banquet for them to enjoy watching the flowers. It was so primitive, yet it gave a wild sense of freshness.
Considering that she was going to participate in a match, observing Kamijou’s match until the end would be somewhat dangerous. But she was really anxious, and before she knew it, she was already standing there.
There were no other students there wearing the standard Tokiwadai P.E. attire.
(Although he can’t possibly beat our school……)
Mikoto sighed stealthily. Tokiwadai Middle School comprised of two Level 5s, forty-seven Level 4s, and the rest were all Level 3s; a strong school comprising of elites. Although they were ranked a rather humiliating 2nd in last year’s Daihaseisai, last year’s champion was a top 5 school, Nagatenjouki Academy. In the end, the ones really fighting for the championship were these ‘top 5’ schools. If the situation changed, it would only be a reshuffling in positions among these top 5 schools.
This should be something that every resident of Academy City knows, so why did that guy so recklessly bet on it? Mikoto was skeptical. But that idiot probably didn’t have any special plan.
If it was him, maybe an unexpected winner would be born.
He would disregard any objective views between Level 0s and Level 5s. Yes, just like how he beat the strongest Level 5 in Academy City with his right hand.
At that time, he gritted his teeth and stood up for her so many times.
Mikoto’s mind temporarily went blank.
(Ahhh, this is so irritating, why am I so embarrassed all of a sudden!?)
Patapatapata!! She pulled out the board under her that she had been using as a seat, and hurriedly used it to fan her face that was flushed red. I’m lucky that my schoolmates aren’t here, Mikoto thought as she looked around.
A nun with silver hair and green eyes was lying on the ground.
Mikoto’s shoulders jerked. This was the girl who was with that idiot ever since school started. Seemed like she was called Index — was that a nickname? It was hard to imagine anyone having that kind of name. Why was she here? Mikoto had a few questions, but she immediately realised that the girl should be here to cheer for the opponent.
The girl was holding onto a pair of chopsticks in her right hand and there was an empty bento box placed nearby. Seemed like it was the student bento that Tsuchimikado Maika was selling.
The girl, who was prostrating herself on the ground, slowly said,
“Didn’t you just finish the bento?”
Mikoto instinctively shouted back. She immediately thought that the reason why she was so listless is not because she was hungry, but because she got heatstroke, so she gave her a plastic bottle containing isotonic drink that was conveniently placed on the plastic sheet.
The girl immediately stood up. The moment she said “Tha…thank you.” the bottle was empty, and her stomach was rumbling. After that, she became as listless as before.
“……Try…trying to use a drink to suppress my hunger may be a bit too much……”
“You’re just hungry, aren’t you……”
Mikoto placed her hand on her forehead and sighed.
A calico cat climbed out from the gap between the stomach of the girl, who was lying on the ground. It seemed to be saying, “Missy, on behalf of this girl, I’d like to say sorry for bothering you. Ah, I’m melting, my paws are burning. Hm?......What kind of strange feeling is this?” as it looked around uneasily.
Mikoto’s ability was dubbed the railgun, as she could control and manipulate electricity. Even if she didn’t move, there would be a weak electric field, so animals normally wouldn’t like to approach her.
She looked at the lethargic nun that was dressed in white robes, and said,
“Oi, did you meet that guy today? Did you find anything strange about him?”
“Hm? That guy? Are you referring to Touma? Touma doesn’t seem any different from usual.”
You’re with that guy all the time? Mikoto really wanted to snap at her, but decided to endure it. If that guy wasn’t any different from usual, then was he not too bothered about winning and losing?
(So this means that our school should still win in the end…eh? If I win, what will happen?)
Mikoto thought, before shaking her head forcefully. The girl lying on the ground was slightly surprised upon seeing Mikoto act like this.
“……Oi, you’re too much. Is this how you treat someone who gave you a drink?”
“Oi, short-hair with a big belly.”
“There isn't a girl who’d be happy upon hearing that!!”
Mikoto twitched her eyebrows as she said that. The nun, however, did not mind as she said,
“What’s short-hair doing here?”
“What? Do–doing? No, I didn’t……”
“Are you here to cheer for Touma?”
“Wha–what? Stu–stupid, what are you saying? Why should I cheer for that guy?”
The white nun did not press on any further as Mikoto continued to fan herself even harder.
At this moment, the school’s speakers broadcast the signal that the competitors were coming in.
The first match was the ‘Wrench Pole match’—this was a match where both sides were to set up 7m long poles. While defending their own pole, competitors had to push down the enemy’s pole. This was what the competition involves.
The one presenting and explaining the rules was a first-year from high school, as his voice loudly blared through the speakers.
Although there were broadcasting crews from many different companies, it was still basically a school Olympics. The television commentators would be working in different rooms, so there didn’t seem to be any major changes. However, just the fact that ‘they would be shown on television’ created a huge difference in the atmosphere and sense of being as compared to before.
Although in reality, while it was impossible to show all 1.8 million students, they would still be nervous.
Though the students were noisily chattering about, Mikoto inexplicably felt a sense of nervousness. In this moment, one could really feel that this was a formal activity being watched by the entire world.
The girl who was sprawling on the ground broke the tension in the air mercilessly. Mikoto saw that she was so pitiful, and pulled out some biscuit-shaped supplementary food (chocolate flavour) from her pocket. The lethargic girl could only raise her head and open her small mouth. Mikoto stuffed the food into Index’s mouth, so all Index could do was eat them obediently.
(Never mind, those guys likely won’t feel nervous……they might even skip this and pretend that they didn’t know this match is about to occur.)
Mikoto looked like she was prompted by the broadcast to look to the school compound. The opponent that Kamijou’s school was facing seemed to be some elite school that focused heavily on sports, as even their warm ups gave people a sense of professionalism. By moderating a suitable amount of nervousness into a motivated look, it seemed like they were focused on a real competition. They were gathered in their own classes, as each class was setting up their own poles. It would be disastrous if the opponent was serious, Mikoto thought, shaking her head as she looked at where Kamijou was. Just as the guide booklet showed, his school did not have any special characteristics, widely considered as a ‘really ordinary school.’
But standing there…were the real warriors.
Eh? Mikoto couldn’t help but wonder if she was seeing the wrong thing.
The entire group gave off an inexplicable sense of seriousness, nobody was playing around.
With Kamijou Touma as the centre, they were lined up horizontally in one line. Forget calling it a Wrench Pole match, the intense atmosphere was like the prelude to a battle in the Sengoku Era. The poles that had been set up seemed to resemble a large spear held by a regiment. The tension was a whole lot different from the one the broadcasting companies brought. It felt like there was no one besides them and their enemies.
DONG KAKAKA! They were surrounded by some weird sound effects.
The sound was caused by the aftershocks caused by the power of the three units of espers colliding with each other, causing the air to vibrate.
Seeing such an intense atmosphere, Mikoto shouted out.
(……What’s with that sense of realisation!? That guy, to think that he is able to display this kind of leadership capability at a time like this. Don–don’t tell me that they’re serious about winning!? What will that guy want if he wins?)
Actually, this was due to Komoe-sensei’s story being spread across the entire school, but of course, Mikoto didn’t know this.
In front of Mikoto, who was all pale green now, the announcement that the match was starting was made. Kamijou and company raised some dust into the air as they charged towards their opponents, who were scared upon seeing their display of momentum.
The people taking part in the Wrench Pole match were split into two groups.
One group set up its own pole, making it stable and protecting it.
The other group was to knock down the enemy’s pole.
Kamijou was in the latter group.
So once the signal to start was given, he led the charge into the enemy’s territory.
Kamijou shouted as he charged forward.
Any ordinary person would think…that this was a game included in this sporting event, but in Academy City, more than half of the students were people who had discovered their powers, called espers. There were abilities that may include fire, water, earth, wind, lightning, ice, and many more, even including some that allowed espers to fly. In a battle of around 100 espers fighting, the tense atmosphere was no trivial matter.
Right now, the distance between the two bases was around 80 metres.
The opponent, lined up in a straight line, continuously fired some flashes over. They looked like the camera flashes from the spectator stands, but they were not.
These were long ranged attacks that were fired by the espers.
Seemed like an esper could detonate flames to create explosive pressure. In order to keep the pressure shaped in the form of a bullet, the flame bombs were covered with an invisible forcefield created by an esper who could manipulate pressure. When the bomb bullet was created, the bullet would increase the refractivity of air, reflecting sunlight like sunlight shining through a transparent balloon.
It was only in Daihaseisai that one got to see many espers work together to form a single attack.
Kamijou theorised that they would remove the pressure-type shell, releasing the internal pressure and release it to the surroundings.
Facing the attack of these units, Kamijou’s allies, who were behind him and protecting him, fired sand guns at the enemy. This was a telekinesis-based attack, and it was not an exaggeration to call it a formless and colourless attack. It reacted with the dust floating in the air and manipulated the flow of the magnetic field lines to create sand-iron guns.
The explosive bullets and the telekinetic guns collided and exploded in the middle of the field.
Seeing the storm that just occurred, the spectators started to scream as if they were riding on a roller coaster.
(Those that are watching probably think that this is interesting!!)
Kamijou’s movements were somewhat slow because of the explosions, as he continued to run forward.
The opposing school seemed to be a specialist in sports, as one could see that they devoted a considerable amount of effort to develop their capabilities. Although their hit damage was a lot less as compared to people like Railgun and Accelerator…scary things were still scary.
Kamijou’s right hand had the Imagine Breaker ability. No matter whether it was magic, esper power or even miracles, the Imagine Breaker on his right hand was an extraordinary power that negated them all once it touched these other powers… However, it was limited only to his right hand. It was impossible to defend against attacks from all directions.
As Kamijou thought while he was running to the enemy’s base, someone was running beside him.
“I’ll go first, Kami-yan. Watch how this comedian crushes the irritating aura of those corrupted elites! WAHAHAHAHA!!”
The intercepting squad continued to fire several bullets, and Aogami Pierce continued to dodge them leisurely by spinning around like a ballet dancer.
There was still 20 metres before the two sides clashed. In this situation where one shouldn’t be caring about others, Kamijou was still surprised as he continued to run with Aogami Pierce, saying,
“Come to think about it, why are you so happy?”
“Ah!? Kami-yan, it’s all because of love. This faint sense of love that a hard-working girl is conveying to me through her sweat and tears, mixed with some sexual addiction, is being broadcast on national TV…no, it’s being broadcast in many countries! Even if I faced with this great love that’s so unscrupulous, even if I can’t accept it, I’ll blaze a path to the temples!”
Ah ha ah ha ah ha—!! Aogami Pierce’s actions became even faster with his rising emotions.
“So I ask…is that bald muscled guy among your admirers? That guy seems to of been looking at you since a while ago, calling you out lovingly, you know.”
“What are you talking about—GYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!?”
Hearing Kamijou’s cold remark, Aogami Pierce was stunned upon realising the true identity of the person that was showing him love. He got hit by several pressure bullets and flew backwards. Kamijou looked back, completely taken aback. Aogami Pierce was caught by an ally using an invisible forcefield.
On the spectator stands, ordinary civilians were roaring with cheers and applause.
(Ah, we’ll be flung far away if we’re hit. I don’t want to be acting in this scary filler! Come to think about it, what’s with that ‘This is how Daihaseisai should be like!’ atmosphere?)
Kamijou looked away from Aogami Pierce, who was behind him, and looked forward.
The enemy’s base was just ahead.
There was still 10 metres until they clashed.
Kamijou Touma sneakily clenched his right fist…
And charged into the enemy’s base.
In conclusion, Kamijou and company won the battle.
They understood right from the start that they would lose in a frontal battle. So when the two sides collided, they used all their powers on the ground, whipping up dust, blurring the enemy’s vision and using lightning fast guerrilla tactics. Before this, the staff had sprayed some water onto the field to prevent dust from flying about, but it was impossible to prevent dust from flying up when the ground was attacked so many times.
The one who had suggested this tactic, Fukiyose Seiri, held the front of her jacket in place as she grouped the students into ‘those who are to raise the dust,’ ‘those who are to knock down the wooden pole when the dust is up’ and ‘the telepathy group who can give the order to raise the dust and order those in the dust to retreat,’ as she held overall command.
During the battle, as the telepathic messages could not be received in the midst of the duststorm, not only was Kamijou hit by the bullets from his own teammates, he was beaten to a pulp by the opponent, but they still won.
The warriors who were covered with bruises and injuries completely forgot about their victory and injuries as they walked out of the arena from the entrance and into the school compound. Komoe-sensei, who was about to cry, was waiting for them with some first aid boxes.
“Why…why must everyone force themselves to work so hard!? There’s no point in having Daihaseisai if everyone’s not having fun! It’s not important whether we win or lose! Sen…sensei is very unhappy that everyone’s so injured……!!”
Facing Komoe-sensei’s cries, the students seemed to agree that they shouldn’t explain their reasons to her, and scattered away in groups. After walking out of the competitors’ rest area, Kamijou started to look for Index in the spectator stands.
Index should be in the spectators stand reserved for students.
Normally, this was an area forbidden to anyone other than students, but Kamijou didn’t dare put Index in the normal spectator stands. She was someone from outside Academy City with the knowledge of 103,000 magical texts in her head, and was thus much more valuable than any Academy City resident.
“Index? Eh, where did she go?”
Kamijou looked at the spectator stand where she should be, but couldn’t find her. Although it was called a spectator stand, it was actually just a blue plastic sheet laid on the school grounds, and there was nothing to block the sunlight…together with the people gathering nearby. The students nearby formed a human wall, so it was quite difficult to look around.
Kamijou got into the crowd, moving from one end to another, but in the end, he still couldn’t find her.
(Hm……it should have been easy to spot her when she’s wearing such a noticeable white nun robe.)
He stuffed his hands into his P.E. shorts, looking at the school compound that was slightly farther away.
(I gave Index a zero-yen phone before, and it should be the fastest way to contact her. Too bad my phone is in the classroom.)
Kamijou had never seen Index use a handphone before. Although he was worried, Kamijou felt that it was the best way given to the current situation.
During Daihaseisai, many schools prohibited people from entering the school premises. They couldn’t allow others to see the facilities that were related to power development. The only exception was for their own students, like Kamijou. In case anyone got injured, the school’s doctor was available in the healthcare room, and the shower room was opened.
So, Kamijou walked up the stairs.
There were two security guards wearing black uniforms at the shoe closet. The teachers, who normally taught history and mathematics in front of the blackboard, were carrying guns, and the sight was somewhat strange.
“Ah, I’m looking for someone who’s lost in the crowd, can I grab my handphone in the classroom?”
“Kamijou, your reason is too direct. If you can’t contact the person due to electromagnetic wave interference, tell us when you need to use the P.A system. So now, let’s wish you a good time in Daihaseisai.”
The mathematics teacher seemed to find it troublesome as she replied. However, she did mention the necessary points, as expected of a trained professional.
He got past the guards and walked towards the staircase. After putting on his slippers at the shoe cabinet, he walked up the stairs. It was really quiet when no one was in school—the moment he thought of this, the speakers started to blare a loud echo, and it was really noisy.
He walked up the stairs. After walking for a while, he reached his own class. As he pulled the door aside, Kamijou thought
(Himegami seemed to have blended well into our class, that’s good. Oh yeah, I have to contact Index the moment I get the phone. If Himegami is free, it’d be nice if she could come along with us as well—)
However, he immediately froze on the spot.
For some reason, Management Committee member Fukiyose Seiri had taken off her clothes.
Before he opened the door, he hadn’t noticed that the curtains of the windows were pulled down. In the dark classroom, Fukiyose Seiri, who was sitting on the table opposite Kamijou, was wearing only a pair of panties. Just a pair of panties, she was not even wearing her bra. She seemed to be changing her clothes that were wet due to the water that burst from the water hose. Even her panties seemed to be new, as the plastic bag near her feet contained her wet clothes and undergarments. The other set of clothes seemed to be placed in a sports bag.
Fukiyose Seiri looked at the intruder calmly.
She remained emotionless as she reached out toward a nearby chair.
Kamijou’s shoulders jerked.
“Wait…wait a minute, Fukiyose-san! I came here to get my handphone so that I can find someone. There’s no malicious intent here!! Also, please read the instructions on how to use a chair before using it! I’ll be dead if I get hit by that!!”
Kamijou got down and started begging in 0.2 seconds. Seeing the boy in front of her, Fukiyose felt bored as she sighed, and removes her hand from the chair. She took out some clothes from her sports bags beside her, and placed it over her naked body.
“Never mind. Please leave the classroom.”
“……You’re not angry?”
“It can’t be helped, since you’re looking for a missing person. You don’t have to kneel down and beg, but to not turn your head around, Kamijou Touma!?”
Seeing the committee member putting on her coat, and that she only had a pair of panties on, one had to worry over whether she pulled up the zipper. Kamijou, who was as shocked as her, didn’t notice that Fukiyose Seiri’s arms were trembling.
Yes Madam!! Like a retainer greeting a lord, Kamijou bent down and stepped backwards. Just when he was about to leave the classroom—
“……You’re not angry?”
Fukiyose grabbed the cardboard box on the table and flung it at Kamijou. Kamijou frantically ran out of the classroom and slammed the door shut with his backhand. He then sat in the corridor and took a deep breath.
(Ah—this is really frightening……)
Kamijou shook his head and looked down. At this moment, he saw a box on the corridor that was as big as a cigarette pack. Was this the box that Fukiyose threw? Kamijou took the box and examined it.
“‘Bleater’, an infrared therapy device. To be attached below a handphone. Whether it’s relieving stiff shoulders or stress relief, it’s effective!!”
That was what was written on the box.
Seeing the exterior of the box, the design of the item seemed to be a lamb that could change shape. It should be of the same type of good as the frog lucky charm attached to Mikoto’s bag.
“……So this is a decoration that’s attached to a handphone. Relieves shoulder stiffness and fatigue, the number of uses is really little. To think there are people in this world who are attracted to this weird thing…eh? Isn’t this something that the late night shopping channel would recommend?”
Because Index would be sleeping soundly in the room where the television was, Kamijou could only use the television function of his handphone to watch late night shows.
On the other hand, Fukiyose, who was in the classroom, didn’t seem to notice that Kamijou was sighing,
“Kamijou, did you put the handphone in the drawer?”
“Ah, isn’t my bag on the table? My handphone’s placed inside.”
“I’ll give it to you after I finish changing. Just wait there.”
“Thanks Fukiyose. I’ll exchange it with that weird purchase you threw over. I really couldn’t tell that you’re the type that uses mail-ordering.”
Hearing Kamijou say this, a frantic “WAH!?” sound could be heard in the classroom. Fukiyose seemed to realise now what she had just thrown out.
After a while, Fukiyose’s voice came from the classroom.
“This…there’s nothing wrong with that, right? Even if I carry a notebook as I watch the shopping channels, and read shopping magazines while rolling on the bed, what’s wrong with it!?”
“No…nothing. I’m not saying that this is bad, I’m just surprised.”
Although Fukiyose could really rebut, she seemed to be unable to answer when somebody else rebutted back. Kamijou was really trying hard to think of something to say that wouldn’t offend her, as Fukiyose continued to rant off inside the classroom like she was reading a tongue twister.
“So that’s what it’s like! I think you should calm down before picking up the phone, Seiri!”
Kamijou himself thought that this was advice that a classmate should give, but she continued on,
Hearing her tragic complaints, Kamijou decided not to rebut her.
He looked at the box of the lamb-shaped infrared decoration.
“Useful for shoulder aches, eh……”
“What’s so surprising about it? It isn’t so weird for me to get shoulder aches at this age, is it?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
Kamijou sat on the corridor and looked up at the ceiling.
“……The reason why your shoulders ache is probably because your breasts are too huge—OH C—!?”
At this moment, the sports bag broke the classroom door as it was flung out, together with his handphone, hitting Kamijou directly. To be expected of the cordial and attentive committee member, Fukiyose Seiri.
“Touma…eh, what’s wrong? Why do you look like you just cried?”
Facing the cute white nun who tilted her head slightly, Kamijou replied in a trembling voice. He thought, maybe it was better not to talk about the adventure he had while he was looking for her. In the end, because Index’s phone had run out of power (forget about charging, Index didn’t even know what a power source was), Kamijou had to look for her using her beautiful monastic robes.
He returned to the spectator stands reserved for students. Index got around the crowd to get back to Kamijou, and for some reason, she was carrying the calico cat and a plastic bottle that used to contain isotonic drinks. The calico cat, being hugged together with the PET bottle, didn’t seem to react as it gave a bored yawn, like it was saying, “Who said that cats are afraid of PET bottles? That’s a superstition!”
“……This isn’t important. I’m hungry, get me something to eat…Touma.”
“Eh, what about the bento? Why do you look like a vengeful spirit that’s thirsty for spiritual energy!?”
“The short-hair down there just now gave me a drink and some chocolate biscuits…but I’m not full……”
“You’re not full!? You ate a bento and several other things, and you’re still like this? Who’s that short-hair you’re talking about!! Ah, never mind, it doesn’t matter who she is, but did you thank the person properly? Index!?”
Index did not react to Kamijou’s shouting at all. It’s said that girls have another stomach for sweet stuff, but it seemed like this girl in front of him had the ability to separate every single type of food into different stomachs.
Since she was not satisfied with just eating a bento, they had to go to the stores, Kamijou wildly thought. He flipped open the thick tourist guidebook that was kept with Index, and found that there was still a bit of time before the next event, the ‘Roll the Ball Match.’
“Alright, let’s leave the spectator stands. If we go back to where the stores were just now, we’ll still be able to find lots of food that can easily form a mountain when they’re stacked up.”
Upon hearing this, Index quickly turned her head around,
“As tall as a mountain!!”
“No…not really. Although the amount of food can form a mountain when they’re stacked up, I don’t have enough money to buy them all! Don’t look at me with those glowing eyes! I’ll feel guilty!!”
Kamijou sighed as he dug into his pockets, trying to confirm how much money was in his wallet. There was still some money inside, but it was all he had for the entire Daihaseisai tournament, which lasted for 7 days. If he was to spend all of it on the first time, what awaited him would be tragedy.
Kamijou frustratedly thought of how to control Index, and decided to head toward the stores first. Index, who was beside him, started to daydream about the food haven that she hadn’t even seen. Including her eyes, hair, skin, well basically, her entire body was glowing. The psychological theory that any mental activities will bring about physical effects to the human body seemed to be true.
Kamijou and Index walked toward a major road.
Seeing the traffic light turn red, they stopped moving. Basically during Daihaseisai, ordinary vehicles weren’t allowed on the roads of Academy City, but business vehicles like buses, taxis and delivery lorries were allowed. Because of this, though there were so many people, they couldn’t just turn Academy City into a walking haven.
Once they crossed the road, the stores would be right in front of their eyes. They could faintly smell sauce and soy sauce getting burned from opposite the road. When the traffic light turned green, Index started to shine so brightly that the shining index was at its highest of the year.
Khlap Khlap Khlap Khlap
The guards, who were maintaining the safety of Academy City, raised the ‘No access’ boards in front of them.
“Ah, I’m sorry. But there’ll be many schools performing an ensemble parade here. We won’t make it if we don’t stop the crowd.”
The guard was the woman who had taken care of him during the opening ceremony two weeks ago. She was a really beautiful teacher who tied her pitch-black hair behind her. Right now, she was not wearing an ordinary green track attire, but a black standard uniform. The reason she was not wearing a safety helmet was probably so that she wouldn’t give a bad impression to the visitors. Kamijou thought, besides wearing a track attire or a standard uniform, wouldn’t wearing decent clothing be much better?
During Daihaseisai, Academy City residents paid the most attention to providing a good impression to the public. In other words, half the reason why they were organising this event was to give a good impression to the general public.
In order to prevent any outsider access to any secret areas that involved the development of esper powers, the guards in the research areas were very strict. Only an expert could rely on his skills to give a sense of seriousness ‘without ordinary people sensing it.’
The security guard nee-san also gave this sort of impression. Besides her putting on full gear and covering up all her skin, seeing a beauty’s face would likely give anyone a good impression.
Kamijou looked at the ‘No access’ signboard, then looked across the road, before asking,
“Excuse me, if I may ask, I want to get across the road; what’s the best way to do so?”
“Aiya, because this is a major parade, there’s no access along this road for 8 kilometres. You see here, it’s written in the tourist guidebook. Ugn—”
The security guard nee-san flipped open the guidebook, and said,
“There’s no overhead bridge nearby……so the nearest location is here? An underground street 3 kilometres from here. From exit U04 here to exit V01, you can get across here……”
3 kilometres……!? Kamijou was speechless.
Looking beside him, Index couldn’t withstand the hunger in her stomach, as she silently sat on the floor, giving a look that “I can’t walk for that far……”
Misaka Mikoto was running down the streets.
She was not in the playing field, but on the crowded streets. Not only was there no prohibition for them to get on the road, there was no clearing of the roads.
Even so, Mikoto was in a match right now. Looking around, there were also several people running about on the trails nearby. The spectators were allowed to walk anywhere—in fact, this was the only competition where the spectators were required to be involved.
The competitive area was the 7th, 8th and 9th Umbrella zones of Academy City. Of course, the competitors weren’t allowed to use any forms of transportation like buses or subway trains. They started out from the starting point, and had to look for a specified item before going back to the starting point. It really felt like a marathon made much more complicated. What was different was that there was no fixed route, as the competitors had to think of the shortest route. This kind of brain training was very important, and was different from thinking at the table. Running around like that would tire a person physically. Like the wide area of the competitive zone, this competition was famous for the high difficulty in finding something.
(Peh, this is where Kuroko would excel with her teleportation ability! Really, it’d be much easier if they would just gather everyone in Academy City over here!)
Mikoto’s ability was powerful, but it was not useful when it had nothing to do with combat. For the sake of ordinary people, the board of directors of Academy City had decreed that any powers that were ‘Level 5’ were forbidden. With her ability, it’d exceed no matter how she adjusted her power.
Mikoto passed the water stand, and continued to run without noticing the isotonic drinks. In a long distance marathon, too much water content would slow her down.
She again opened the slip of paper.
She reconfirmed the name of the designated item that was required.
(Looks like I have to do something troublesome… Ah!!)
As she ran through the crowd, she spotted the ‘item’ in front of her.
The conditions were,
“When a third-party person has a designated good, you have to get the person’s permission and get that person to follow you back to the starting area.”
Mikoto kicked her shoes, made of highly reactive material, onto the ground, as she dashed into the crowd.
Kamijou placed his hand on Index’s shoulder, who was sighing as she saw the ‘no access’ sign.
“Alright Index, we’ll only smell the food if we continue to stay here. Didn’t the guidebook say that there are other hawker stores? We’ll look for others.”
“Uuuuuuu, it’s just right in front of me; why can’t I get it!?”
Index gave a poetic cry. Although the guard who set up the ‘no access’ sign looked sorry, rules were rules.
“To…Touma, where’s the nearest ‘store’ now?”
“Hm? Let me see……it should be here, right?”
Kamijou flipped through the guidebook.
“Walk west for 3km. Hey, isn’t that the same place as the underground entrance we need to go through to get across?”
“Mm, however, if I go here, I won’t be able to get to my next match in time. The bus route……aiya, doesn’t seem like they’ll reach her during the parade. Can’t be helped, Index. You’ll have to endure till the end of the Roll the Ball match.
“Eh? Wait a minute! Why are you angry at me!? The location of the hawker stores and the bus routes have got nothing to do with me!?”
Index, who didn’t hear anything, opened up her cute mouth like a beast, and leapt forward. It was so fast that even the security guard nee-san was unable to react in time. Am I going to be eaten!? Kamijou covered his head with his hands.
His body started to move fast.
Index’s teeth missed their target.
Eh? The girl gave a puzzled look. It was supposed to be a guaranteed 100% strike every time she leapt and bit someone’s head.
However, there was a reason why she had missed.
Because Misaka Mikoto, who had ran in from the right, grabbed Kamijou’s collar and ran to the left.
“Great! I got my winning condition! WAHAHAHA!!”
“Wai…wait a mi… this is unbearable! At……at least explain why……”
In front of Index, who was stunned, the two vanished into the crowd. Seeing the nun sitting on the floor lifelessly, the security guard nee-san couldn’t help it but give some biscuit-like rations to her.
Kamijou, who had been stepped on like a rug, walked into the competition area with Misaka Mikoto, through the white tape of the finishing line.
The competitive area was in a completely different dimension compared to where they had the ‘Wrench Pole Match’. This place seemed to belong to some sports university, as the orange concrete floor had white lines on it, like it was a standard race track. The spectator stands were ladder-type, like a professional stadium, and there were so many more video cameras used for reporting and security guards.
The high school committee members stationed there covered Mikoto with a large sports towel after she finished running the marathon. The signals they gave to provide drinks and a mini oxygen task were executed beautifully. Not only were they practical, it was like they had also considered that they were on air. After this, there would be a recognition ceremony and a simple interview. Before the next few participants arrived, the first few had to wait at another area.
(So completely different…even the committee members seem like they were trained intensively.)
The female high school committee member who was taking care of Mikoto stared at Kamijou’s face. What now, Kamijou thought as he raised his guard. At that moment, the committee member whispered,
“……(Kamijou Touma, there’s nothing wrong with the ‘specified object’, but aren’t you getting hit on by girls quite often?)”
“……(This voice, wa! Fukiyose-san!?)”
Kamijou looked carefully, the person in front of him was Fukiyose Seiri. She was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt, shorts and a thin jacket. She stopped whatever she was doing, but because it was work time, she couldn’t just shout at him like usual. They whispered to each other,
“……(I’m really sorry for what happened just now, because of me, Kamijou Touma’s neglect, I accidentally saw you changing clothes…)”
“……(I’m trying really hard to forget about that, so don’t mention it again, Kamijou Touma!)”
“……(Uuu, I’m really sorry. Hm, come to think about it, Fukiyose, is that lamb-shaped infrared device really that good?)”
“……(—You want one?)”
“……(No…it’s not that, I’m just curious. I never said that I wanted it!)”
“……(Keep quiet. Everyone’s really serious! Anyway, don’t interfere with the running of the competition or meddle with the competitors!)”
Fukiyose didn’t listen to Kamijou. She picked up the record board that was placed on the ground together with the carton full of drinks and jotted down the records of the competition with a ball-point pen. On a side note, both of them didn’t notice Mikoto, who was right beside them, giving a sulking expression.
From the atmosphere of the discussion, Kamijou sensed that Fukiyose was unwilling to talk anymore, so he turned to Mikoto, who had forcefully dragged him along.
“Come to think of it, Mikoto. I’m sweating profusely, and my calves are aching. I remember that for this competition, the third-party has to agree; did I see it wrongly?”
“Ah—you saw that wrongly. But the notice never said that you can’t promise afterwards.”
“Alright, don’t sit down like a useless bum. Really, it’s ugly looking.”
Mikoto covered Kamijou’s head using the towel that was placed on her, and rubbed the sweat off his face forcefully.
Kamijou felt ashamed as it feels like an adult drying a child’s hair. But Mikoto was too forceful, and he couldn’t wave it off. He thought that it’d be a lot more childish if he was swinging his arms about, and so he endured it silently.
After that, Mikoto wanted to get him a drink and a straw, but she stopped after seeing the straw. Mikoto looked at Fukiyose, and shook the isotonic drink in her hand slightly. Fukiyose, who was about to write something on the record board, looked up, and shook her head. Seemed like a participant couldn’t request more than one bottle of drink.
Mikoto froze for a while, she shyly watched the sand flew into Kamijou’s mouth, who was coughing non-stop, and was a bit fearful. She trembled for several seconds,
“Oi! You’re really useless! I really don’t know how to deal with you! Take it!!”
Mikoto pressed the bottom of the drink onto Kamijou’s face, not expecting the drink to burst out of the straw. She was flushed red now as she turned her back to Kamijou and vanished to the stage. Because of the number of people participating, the rules for the class vs class and same year vs same year were rather lax, but the top three individual would be commended. Mikoto, who came in first place, would definitely be commended.
Fukiyose, who was standing aside, suddenly sucked her tongue contemptuously. As the competition was still going on, she was standing by, preparing for the next person.
The one being commended was only Mikoto. Kamijou’s existence was similar to that of a bun being eaten in a bun eating contest; there was no use for it after the competition, so he just walked to the exit.
(Being stepped on and kicked……to think that in this competition, an ordinary civilian gets it much worse than the participant? Isn’t this competition supposed to be about having a participant get involved with the public, and being unable to use their own abilities?)
Kamijou thought about this, but nobody could give him an answer. He sipped the drink that Mikoto had given him, thinking that Index was still at that ‘no access’ place.
Suddenly, a piece of paper was carried to him by the wind.
It seemed to be the instructions of the Scavenger Hunt. There were no other participants here other than Mikoto, who was so far ahead of the pack, so this sheet of instructions should be hers. Fukiyose had already recorded the results on the record board, so it should be useless. The cleaner will clean it up if I leave it here, Kamijou thought as he picked up this flammable trash.
What’s was written on the paper was,
“A high school student who participated in the first competitive event.”
(What, that’s what it’s all about? The ‘Wrench Pole’ match did occur directly after the opening ceremony. But besides me, there are hundreds of thousands of people who fulfill this criteria…so why am I…forced…to run this much?)
Kamijou, whose fatigue was rising rapidly, drooped his shoulders as he limped towards the exit. While walking out of the exit, he thought, eh? Why did Misaka know that I took part in the Wrench Pole match? And became puzzled.
The competitive arena was rather far with respect to where Index was.
So, Kamijou decided to take the bus back.
Of the current buses that were operative, 70% of them were automatic without anybody manning them. The bus, which was powered by electricity, glided forward without making a single sound.
In the development of unmanned technology, like commercial planes, trains and ships, it was said that the most difficult one to develop was the car. In all forms of transport, in the air, sea and on land, the required manipulation and decision making was most complex. So at this moment, these vehicles were only allowed to be used in Daihaseisai under restricted circumstances.
Kamijou got past the auto-door and into the bus. As ordinary vehicles were banned, the bus was rather packed. Although there was a driver seat, it was surrounded and isolated with strengthened glass, like a telephone booth. Just seeing how the unmanned bus worked, like turning and accelerating, would amaze anybody.
Without using gasoline, the extremely quiet bus stopped a few times, before it reached Kamijou’s destination.
There was still quite a distance to where he had separated from Index. Because part of the road could not be accessed due to the ensemble parade, the bus route was somewhat altered.
Kamijou quickly walked on the road, as the related broadcasts could be heard everywhere, even though it was mixed in with the noise of the crowd. Besides using the audio devices to broadcast, they were using the large screens on department stores and airships to air the live telecasts and other feeds through the temporary studios and different media.
“Regarding the results of the Men’s obstacle course just now, after some decisions—”
“The matches in one hour’s time will be as follows. There’s no access to the matches once it starts, everyone please take note--”
“In the Scavenger Hunt organised by four different schools, Tokiwadai Middle School got an overwhelming victory as expected. The first place has the honour of being 7 minutes faster than the other competitors—”
“General report, we’re looking for a missing child. Will Charles Goncourt-sama from St Tropez, France, please head toward a security robot camera nearby upon hearing this message, and show your face and the Daihaseisai access pass issued to you by Academy City. We’ll send your child to where you want to pick them up. Veuillez l'entendre. Nous vous annonçons un enfant manquant.—”
Hearing these high decibel broadcasts, Kamijou looked around.
(Anyhow, did Index just move about and get lost?)
It’d be alright if he could contact her through phone — too bad Index’s zero yen phone had run out of power. Although she had a photographic memory, and she could remember any place she went to, Kamijou was still worried. Walking in this hot day, he thought,
(I should have bought a gift for her when I passed the stores just now.)
But it was too late to go back. Kamijou’s next match was coming up. Anyway, he had to find Index, and then headed to the arena where his classmates were. Thinking about this, he hastened his steps.
He suddenly stopped.
He saw a familiar face in the crowd.
Hair dyed red, wearing earrings. Rings on each of his 10 fingers, smoking a cigarette, tattoo markings underneath his right eye. It was a priest that didn’t look like a priest.
A real magician from the ‘Necessarius’ department of the British Puritans.
(??? What’s with him, is he here to find Index?)
It was really hard to imagine Stiyl of the magical world getting interested with something like Daihaseisai. He should be here to look for his old colleague, Index, that he was normally unable to meet.
To Kamijou, he had no reason to object. It was even much better for someone who knew Index to be around, since that person could help him take care of Index during his matches. Kamijou inadvertently moved closer to him.
He seemed to be talking to someone.
“……So…this is how it is — the probability is rather high, isn’t it?”
He could hear voices.
Who’s he talking to? Kamijou wants to find out as he moves forward. Standing there was his classmate, Tsuchimikado Motoharu.
He was a double agent for both Academy City and the British Puritans.
Tsuchimikado looked extremely easy to approach, but he was speaking so softly that nobody around him could hear anything.
“Yeah. That’s … I heard that— That’s right, to these people, there’s no better chance … than now.”
Kamijou had a bad premonition about this.
Although they looked like they were joking about, and at first glance, it was like they were mixed into the crowd attending Daihaseisai…but something was missing. They didn’t look happy at all. This was not a smile that was formed with real positive feelings, but a fake smile formed by negative feelings. This kind of fake smile was unrelated to Daihaseisai.
In order to get away from this thought, Kamijou proceeded forward.
Stiyl Magnus quietly said,
“So, the task is up to us to get rid of the magicians in this city.”
In this world Kamijou Touma lived in, where science formed the world…
Became a world filled with magic all because of this statement.
Between the lines 1
A student of the famous power development school, Tokiwadai Middle School, a petite girl with two ponytails tied to the back. She was a Level 4, and had the ability of ‘instant teleportation’, so her abilities were considered outstanding in Tokiwadai. But she was unable to take part in this year’s Daihaseisai.
Because of an event that happened several days ago, her injuries weren’t healed, and she was still covered in bandages.
Although she was supposed to be resting, she had sneaked out of the hospital, and was now on the roads of Academy City. Although she was still wearing the standard Tokiwadai uniform, she was sitting in a wheelchair. The wheelchair operated differently from other wheelchairs, its special feature was that its wheels were slanted like an F1 car.
The one moving the wheelchair wasn’t Shirai Kuroko.
It was the person behind her, holding the handles of the wheelchair, Uiharu Kazari. They were both members of ‘Judgement’, an organisation made up of espers whose job was to maintain law and order in Academy City.
Uiharu was dressed in a short-sleeved T-shirt and black shorts, like a sportsgirl; however, this didn’t match the flower ring made of roses and Chinese hibiscus. The artificial flowers that were blooming made her look like she was wearing a huge vase on her head.
Uiharu smiled as she pushed the wheelchair.
“I feel uneasy just thinking about us working so hard in this hot day while Shirai-san is resting alone in an air-con room. I really wanted to call Shirai-san to help, hehehe.”
“……I’ll really thank you for this perfect friendship. When I’m healed up, how about I teleport your clothes away and make you naked? Please look forward to it.”
Shirai weakly replied. During Daihaseisai, she was feeling bored about having to lie down alone in a room, so she was actually grateful for Uiharu forcing her out, but she was not going to let her know that even till death.
Though it was not the first time that she was experiencing Daihaseisai, the atmosphere of these large scale events every year was different. Walking on the streets where she normally walked on, one would feel that the streets had completely changed with all the sports broadcasts and the pyrotechnics sounds.
Although Shirai felt that the surprised expressions of these people—those non-residents of Academy City—were rather irritating, but to her, who understood her own power, she understood that this couldn’t be helped.
Shirai sat on the wheelchair, looking around.
“Is there anything wrong with this year’s Daihaseisai?”
“Up till now, there’s no real problem. The worst case is about a corporate spy disguising as a fried cuttlefish seller whom tries to extract DNA maps from samples of saliva from the students. This is the first year I’m taking part in Daihaseisai as a member of Judgement, so I don’t feel anything serious there. I heard from sempai nee-san that the situation this year is much easier than previous years.”
“Hm, compared to the unsolved cases where an AI denies the theory that an unmanned helicopter was shot down, or the unsolved case of the arena where the cultural and spiritual activists exploded, this is a whole lot better.”
Hearing Shirai say this so easily, Uiharu’s face became stiff. Because these issues hadn’t escalated, she had no idea that they had occurred. To Shirai, as a member of Judgement taking part in Daihaseisai, she knew that it was common to get involved in these troubles.
At this moment, Shirai heard a broadcast from an arena.
It came from the big screen on a department store’s wall. It didn’t seem to be a live telecast, but a highlight reel of what happened just now.
The male reporter explained clearly,
“In the Scavenger Hunt organised by four different schools, Tokiwadai Middle School got an overwhelming victory as expected. The first place has the honour of being 7 minutes faster than the other competitors—”
The image on the display was a stadium located somewhere.
They had captured the competitors’ faces and were announcing the names. Ordinary people would think that the participant’s fame would increase the moment they were shown on global television…in fact, this was not the case. There were 1.8 million participants. Even if one got the first place, their names wouldn’t be engraved into history like the Olympics. It was not like major league scouts appearing in a minor league game. In this situation, it was impossible to remember all the people’s faces and names. Even if there was a commotion, they would be forgotten soon after. This was the rule of the general audience.
Because of this, Shirai Kuroko was uninterested in the image on the large screen.
“—In first place, we have Misaka Mikoto-senshu. She’s still in good condition even after she reached the finishing point, and one gets the feeling that she’s extremely up for this.”
Shirai quickly turned her head over to the large screen.
The shock was so violent that even Uiharu, who was pushing the wheelchair, inadvertently jerked.
“Ah ah Onee-sama
Woo hoo my beloved Onee-sama
Ah ah Onee-sama! (Note that this is how the author originally arranged the words. It was in ‘5-7-5’ Japanese haiku format)
In the end, you got the complete victory, showing the world your body that’s so dynamic! Too bad I can’t attend and record this; please forgive my uselessness!!”
Shirai’s eyes were glowing extremely brightly. But—
“Taking care of the companion who ran with her, this really gives a good impression. Is this a habit that students of the famous Tokiwadai Middle School have?”
What? Shirai was puzzled.
The next moment, she saw it.
Misaka Mikoto pulling a boy to the arena.
Misaka Mikoto using a towel to wipe the boy’s body carefully.
Misaka Mikoto giving the drink that she drank from to the boy.
(That mister dares to…!! He dares…dares to allow onee-sama to hold him by the hand, and even allows her to wipe off his sweat, Ah… AHhhhhh, and he even drank from the drink that onee-sama drank from AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!)
Shirai Kuroko was slightly trembling as she looked at the extremely fortunate boy in front of her.
This guy seemed familiar.
He was the guy that she met a few days ago.
Shirai Kuroko used all her strength to force herself to stand up from the wheelchair.
“I…I’M GONNA KILL YOU! DON’T THINK THAT YOU CAN COME BACK ALIVE!! Onee-sama too, to even blush in front of the audience like that! I’M REALLY UNHAPPY!”
“Wait…wait a minute, Shirai-san!! Please calm down!! You’re injured badly, how can you stand up!? This isn’t the time to be like a shonen manga hero getting pumped up!!!!”
While Shirai Kuroko, who was exceedingly angry, and Uiharu Kazari, who was about to cry out, were creating a ruckus, Daihaseisai was now getting even more exciting.
- 選手, often used to describe athletes.