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It sucks. On my first day in class, I was swept up in a storm of praise. I should have been identified as a bad dropout, but….
The situation was a major setback to my early dropout plan. I held an emergency meeting to change the situation. However, there were only me and the copy. The place was in the woods behind the dormitory. The soundproofing is perfect with the barriers. I’ve asked Lisa to stay in her room.
“It’s impossible. Give it up.”
“You’re a copy of me and you’re giving up too soon!”
“You’re a quitter by nature, aren’t you?”
“You go to school every other day, too. Can’t you last five years?”
“No, no, no, it’s your fault to begin with, isn’t it? I won’t do it. You’re going to clean up your own mess.”
“If you had been present, this wouldn’t have happened! Yeah, after that, you’re all out.”
“Stop complaining, you idiot!”
“It’s stupid to call me stupid!”
Us cursing at each other. If you think about it, it’s just a moron who abuse himself. You can’t have a constructive discussion from the beginning if you ask yourself. Realize that first.
I don’t know if you’ve figured it out or not, but you will lose your nerve and say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”
“So, what are you actually going to do? If I came out now and said ‘I can’t do anything (tee-hee)’, people would just think I was joking, right?”
“That’s the thing…”
“Once your ability is recognized, you can’t just cut corners and be seen to be on purpose.”
The only thing that I can do is to show them that I’m at my limit. The rest of the time, the people around me will grow up and I’ll be the one to fall behind in relative terms.
“You can’t give me a lecture, but if I’m on the job, I can’t actually do anything.”
“I’m so glad to hear this, but I’ve been informed that the highest-ranked classes are allowed to bring in their own signature magic tools.”
The copy of Haruto is aghast that he seems to have forgotten it. “I’m the one who only remembers what’s convenient. It’s sad.”
It’s not always easy to manipulate the details, though, so we stared at the class schedule and argued over and over.
“I’m the main body on the first day of the week like today, and you’re the copy tomorrow.”
I skipped the middle day of the week when there were no classes and the fourth day of the week was a copy and the fifth was my choice. This world also has a seven-day week, with Monday being the first and Sunday being called the seventh day of the week. In the academy, the sixth and seventh weekends were off from classes themselves, but generally the week off was only on the seventh Sabbath.
“It’s going to be a very long day…” the copy spilled out.
“Worst case scenario, I’ll have to push through with ‘I’m tired of relationships and I’m depressed.’”
“Well. I’d like that. I don’t want to get you guys in trouble.”
“I’ll just wait and see how it goes until the first semester’s midterm exam. I’ll see how it goes until the first semester’s midterm exams.”
“I’ll do my best too.”
The task force meeting ended with the tension at the bottom, though. However, I feel like I’m forgetting something. The copy nodded its head at my words.
“What was it?”
I reminisced about my day like a ho-hum.
Us screaming at the same time. Yeah, yeah. The part about the needle that went after Rias. I almost forgot about it. I’m pretty sure that was his fault, after what he did to my plan.
“You can check on the package tomorrow.”
I ran out of time to warn the people concerned—
★ ★ ★ ★
Rias finished his voluntary practice after school. He showered and refreshed himself, then trudged off to the pick-up carriage. Today was indeed a good day. He finally came face to face with the man he had always admired. On top of that, it was a replay of a physical fight from five years ago.
The result was just a demonstration of difference in power, but he was still satisfied. It’s amazing how much he’s changed. Before–five years ago, he would have been unable to accept reality, just as he was five years ago, and would have simply been frustrated and pitiful, hating his opponent and scorching himself with the flames of jealousy.
However, before long, the hatred and jealousy turned to envy and the pursuit of strength.
–He wanted to catch up with that back one day.
However, there is a reminder.
(Granted, I didn’t get to ask her today either…)
A strict order from my mother. The timing of getting information about the unidentified black warrior operating in Lord Zenphis’ territory from Hart was off. I’m overbearing in class and Hart will be gone as soon as the class is over. I have to produce some results soon.
“I’m feeling heavy. I’m sorry that I’m about to get involved in a strange mess.”
With a turn of events, my footsteps became heavy and I finally reached the royal box carriage that was waiting for me. I walked in through the door that Gosha had opened.
“Thank you for your help. You’re late.”
Why is my sister here?
My sister, Marianne, was sitting in a little seat.
”It’s okay to do this once in a while. I’m not allowed in the palace at this time.”
“If you want to talk to me, why don’t you do it on campus?”
“Rather it must be here.”
The door was closed, and he sat down with Marianne at a distance. One of the coaches glanced in through the small window in front. They were the ones appointed by the Queen Mother. There was no way that they could have a private conversation right next to the watchman. The carriage rumbled forward.
When spoken to, Rias returned the conversation curtly and quickly dismissed the topic. He went off campus, and after a while, the conversation was cut short, and he was listening to the sound of the wheels in silence.
–the sound ceased.
Then, suddenly, a man in all black suddenly appeared on the seat in front of me.
“Who are you?”
“How did you get in here?”
Space transfer? I can’t think of anything else. The man held up one hand to control the two men as they braced themselves.
“I’m sorry to surprise you. I’m ‘Shiva’. I’m an enforcer of justice.”
Rias gasped at the voice that sounded like multiple overlapping voices. He didn’t know the name, but he was sure it was the black warrior who was working in the dark in Lord Zenphis’ territory. I didn’t expect the man himself to appear in front of me….
”Well, let’s make this quick.”
Gulping and clearing their throats together, the man told him as a matter-of-factly.
“Prince Rias, you’re being targeted,”
“Twice today alone I’ve seen these things flying at you.”
The man lifted his hand. He seemed to be pinching something with two fingers. I strained my eyes to get a closer look.
They say that they are like metal needles, as thin as a hair.
“Both of them seem to have taken advantage of the moment you were caught off guard in the middle of a practical class. We haven’t caught the guy. We don’t know why. Do you have any idea what it was?”
There are many people in the kingdom who feel uncomfortable about themselves as the next king. With the king and queen at odds with each other, there are forces out there that want to further widen the gap. There are too many to know. I thought that the man laughed. The needle has disappeared and is gone while I put my hand down.
“That’s all I’m going to say. Yeah, from now on, you’re going to have to be more careful on campus. I won’t always be there for you, you know.”
“You’re just going to let me live this time because you happened to be there?”
“Yes, but it’s no thank you. It’s just the way it happen. I have no right to help you, but I couldn’t leave an innocent person hurt in front of me. After all, I’m an enforcer of justice.”
A strange man who strike a strange pose with a wiggle.
“I’d like to thank you for that. I’d like to ask you some more questions as well. Who are you? What are you doing in the Royal Capital?”
“Don’t pry. And please refrain from telling anyone about me.”
“You don’t ask me to keep it to myself…”
He looked behind the man. Through the small window, some of them were listening to the conversation inside the box carriage.
“Yeah, we’ve kept the sound from leaking out. You can’t even hear the sounds outside, can you?”
Indeed, there was no sound of the carriage advancing after the man appeared.
“Well then, farewell.”
“Wait! Well actually, I’ve been asked to look into you.”
Why am I trying to be silly and honest? Do I owe you a favor for helping me? No, as long as I can’t be sure, it’s not. It’s just that I can’t stop shaking all the time. My instinct tells me that there is nothing I can do to defeat this man. Just like the Queen Mother, just like him.
It was an obvious question. I was afraid that if I answered honestly, it could become a spark that would burn down the royal city.
But, I couldn’t help but say.
“Oh, that woman. That’s fine then.”
“I have a history with that woman. You get my move? Then, it’s a natural reaction. But, well, I don’t know if she’d let her son, who is a student, do it.”
My tone was kind of shattered.
“She can’t do anything to me.”
A chill ran down my spine. It was because I was convinced that he wasn’t lying in his confident way of speaking to the strongest lightening princess in the kingdom.
“I’m not going to give you any information about me anyway. You can tell me what you met today. Oh, but you don’t want to tell her that you told me she was looking for me, do you? She’s scary, huh?”
Somehow, he felt a mental distance closer, and Rias’s trembling had stopped before he knew it!
“Then, this time, farewell!”
The man disappeared into the air in a strange pose of crossing his arms, though, and then he disappeared, as if melting into the air. With a squeak, the running door opened. Eventually, the door closed with a squeak.
“Did he leave…?”
“Maybe, you know…”
“Then, when he showed up, it’s not a spatial transfer…”
Perhaps the man had sneaked in with Rias disappearing as he rode in the carriage. It’s not like he disappeared completely…
The sound of the wheel came back. For a while, he listened in silence to the sound of the carriage going.
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