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Volume 4 - The Sixth Question

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Please imagine the scene below before answering.

“You are walking alone in a forest, and you realize that you are lost. You continue walking through the pitch-black forest, and you come upon a small hut beside a lake. You feel relieved as you enter the hut, and you notice that there is a chair, a bed and a portrait. What characteristics can you see from the person in the portrait? Please list three characteristics that you think of.”

Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

1.A cheerful expression 2.Tender eyes 3.A happy-go-lucky attitude

Teacher’s comment:

This psychology test can show ‘the characteristics of the person you like’. The dark forest represents an uneasy mind, and after noticing the hut, the portrait represents ‘partner that provides mental support’. Looks like you like a person who is tender, cheerful and can make you smile, Himeji-san.

Shimizu Miharu’s answer:

1.Sharp eyes 2.A manly chest 3.Ponytail

Teacher’s comment:

The last characteristic seems wrong.

Shimada Minami’s answer:

1.Broken fingers 2.Knee bent in the wrong way 3.Dislocated wrist

Teacher’s comment:

All of the above are very wrong. [1][2]

“We, Class D, declare war on Class F now!”

As the self-study session of the following day ends, the guys from Class D came to our class and declared war.

“Eh? What's wrong?”

Hideyoshi, who was standing near me, muttered in surprise. After what happened yesterday, it's understandable for him to be surprised.

“What? Didn't I hear you guys say that the plan to provoke Shimizu failed?”

Yuuji was also puzzled. I supposed that it’s different from what Hideyoshi told him on the phone, so they couldn’t comprehend what was happening in front of them. By the way, Yuuji called me too, but it seemed that he couldn't get me. I thought I'd need to pay for the phone service soon...

“Muttsurini, do you know what are the circumstances now?”

“……I’ve no idea what happened yesterday, but Shimizu has been very agitated since this morning.”

“Shimizu? If so, did our provocation succeed?”

“No, it isn’t possible for this to happen…...Akihisa, when Shimada ran away yesterday, did you say anything to Shimizu?”

“No, nothing at all. I didn’t say anything special. In contrast, the Summoner Test War is more important! Although our opponent isn’t Class B, Class D is not an easy target based on our current condition, so we should prepare quickly!”

I dodged Hideyoshi’s questioning stare. Under this condition, Hideyoshi’s acting talent is hard to handle.

“……That's right. Let’s put aside the truth for the time being, since the most important issue now is the imminent Summoner Test War. We’ve put in our effort for so long, so if we lose to Class D now, all our efforts will be in vain.”

Regardless of the process, we managed to get Class D declare war upon us. But things aren't over yet. We have to fight Class D head-on with our meagre marks after this. Yuuji will say that the truth doesn’t matter now, and I think he’s got his priorities right inside his mind.

“Yuuji's right, the number of Class F students that's able to fight is too low, to gain victory with this weak force is not easy, it’s obvious that we don’t have the extra time to clear things up.”

“……Let’s focus on defense.”

Hideyoshi and Muttsurini were clear on the current priorities, and they started planning that instant, getting into the stage of preparation.

Okay, I must work hard on the Summoner Test Exams!

“By the way, Yuuji, have you thought of any strategies yet?”

“Of course I do, but before that, I need to confirm the strength of my team. Other than Himeji and Shimada, I need to find out how many people we have that are able to fight.”

Once he finished speaking, Yuuji stood up and went up the podium.

“Comrades, pay attention! Just like those guys said, our Class F’s Summoner Test War against Class D will commence soon! First things first, I need to know how strong we are! Please write down your own marks on a piece of paper and pass it to me!”

The whole class, which was agitated by Class D’s declaration of war, suddenly calmed down, and they – proceeded to write down their current marks.

The recent peeping incident depleted much of our marks, but none were left with zero marks. Students would be chosen for remedial tests based on the amount of their marks.

“By the way, I notice that I didn’t lose any mark at all.”

“Eh? Is that so?”

“Yeah.”

Thinking back, I don’t remember seeing Hideyoshi participating in that battle.

“Really? If so, there will be three people who can fully take part in the war, Himeji, Shimada and Hideyoshi, right?”

“Right. If they were to choose Integrated Subject, then we’ll fight first.”

While speaking, Hideyoshi took out a piece of paper and wrote his marks on it. Oh, I guess I need to write down my marks quickly and hand it in to Yuuji.

“Here, Yuuji.”

“Got it.”

After passing up the piece of paper with my marks to Yuuji, I returned to my seat.

Once all the students handed in their papers, Yuuji flipped the pages and called out names.

“The ten students with the lowest marks will take the remedial tests now. They’ll stay in the classroom, and there will be seven students who will be taking Mathematics tests and the other three will be taking World History, Chemistry and Health Education tests respectively. The battle formation will be decided once the marks are confirmed.”

While holding the papers under his arm, Yuuji returned to his seat.

Looking at Yuuji who was stacking the papers on his desk and thinking of how to balance the team’s force, I couldn’t stop myself and spoke to him.

“Eh, Yuuji…”

“What do you want?”

“Do the students picked for remedial tests have to be this precise? We should replenish our marks as fast as possible, so shouldn’t we all be taking the easiest remedial test at the same time?”

Let’s not talk about Chemistry and Health Education, although World History is easy to earn marks, the teacher who marks the papers is infamous for his slow marking speed, as for us now, it should be the most unsuitable subject.

“It’s because the main objective of this battle is to buy some time. Rather than using those strategies, we should consider using psychological warfare, and think of some plan to elongate the battle.”

“Oh, I get your idea.”

“We need to confuse the enemy, and if the Mathematics teacher was the only one to enter our class for point replenishment, what would the enemy think? It’s the same as telling everyone straightaway that we haven’t prepared our forces.”

“That's right……But, about us not replenishing our marks, doesn’t everyone know about it already? Even if we did this, I doubt that they’ll be alerted.”

I understood Yuuji’s point, but I doubt that this alone was enough to arouse the enemy’s suspicion, and getting control.

“Making them suspicious will be the key to this battle, just wait and see.”

Yuuji read through the papers with our marks while marking the battle positions on his notebook. Looks like this guy had already thought of the next battle plan.

I peeked at his notebook from beside, and found out that I wasn't in the group of point replenishing, but in the defensive group positioned at the corridor instead.

“Eh? I don’t need to replenish my marks?”

A lot of my marks were used up on that peeping incident; I thought that I would have to stay inside the classroom to take the tests.

“You've still got a few marks left that can be used, let those who lost all their marks replenish first.”

I see. I had only battled with Ironman that time, and won in the end, so I didn’t lose all my marks. Compared with those whose marks were reduced to zero, I’m still a capable fighter.

“Also, you are talented in a special way.”

“Saying that I’m special, actually I’m not that……”

As my marks aren’t that high from the beginning, what my summoned beast relies on to win during a battle isn’t on brute strength,but skill. Rather than letting me replenish my marks, it’d be better if I’m on the battlefield, and gain reinforcements at the same time by letting others students replenish their marks – was that what Yuuji's thinking? I’d never thought that Yuuji held me in such a high regard, it made me feel rather embarrassed,

“Your role is very important in this battle. Although it’ll be very difficult, you’ll have to hold on.”

“I understand. If that's the case, I’ll have to put in my best effort.”

The way Yuuji said it put a lot of pressure on me, but it feels good to have another’s faith in me.

It's 8.50am now, and the imminent war was scheduled to begin at nine, there were still 10 minutes left.

With moderate tension, I was already geared up waiting for the Summoner Test War to begin.


“Everyone, listen up! Don’t underestimate our enemy just because we beat them once! We are at a disadvantage, and our enemy is a class two levels higher than ours,. The tables might be turned on us if we're overconfident!

Yuuji stood on the podium and gave his last instruction before we attacked.

“Therefore, even if we gain the upper hand, we must never rush recklessly! All of you must defend your positions with all you've got.”

If we rush recklessly, in a very short time our defense will be – broken. After all, we found out that our points, excluding Himeji-san’s, Minami’s and Hideyoshi’s, when added up, wouldn’t exceed ten thousand. But if we counted that of the girls of Class D, who had already finished replenishing their points to around 1500 points each; the total points of Class D’s girls were near forty thousand. And that’s not counting the boys of their class. The gap between both classes was huge; we cannot hope to fight them head-on.

“The enemy is advancing with their advantageous main force of girls who excel at their Combined Subject, so we’ll contend with them with Shimada and Hideyoshi leading the force! After reaching the limit, only then is retreating back to the classroom an option! That’s it! I hope that everyone will put in their best effort and fight to win!”

Once Yuuji’s speech finished, the clock on the wall pointed at the exact time of the beginning of the war with a “tick”.

Nine o’clock in the morning, the war was commenced.

“ “ “Look at our—“ “ “

Our side’s main objective was to secure the corridors and the stairs, and once the war began, the vanguard rushed onto the battlefield. Our opponent hoped to finish us before we put our plans into action, so they’d probably use flash raid tactics. To put it another way, this was a battle of speed.

As I was getting ready to leave the classroom, I noticed Minami walking to the door from the corner of my eyes. It’s been a day, is she still pissed off with me?

Fine, I’ll just try to talk to her.

“Good morning, Minami.”

“……”

No reply.

“Class D declared war on us, that’s very good.”

“……”

She wouldn’t even look at me.

“We’ll just have to win this battle, then all will be fine.”

“……”

She treated me as if I was just plain air.

Damn it, I won’t just admit defeat! I can’t give up; I must try harder to find topics to chat with her!

It must be that I was like talking to myself just now; I’ll try to start a conversation with her with a question.

“I’d say, doesn’t this remind you of the last Summoner Test War?”

“……Yes, I was abandoned and left alone by you the last time too.”

‘Digging your own grave’: idiom, a metaphor, meaning causing one self’s downfall.

“Minami, are you…….still angry at me?”

I asked her nervously. So far, I’ve angered her many times, but she would get over it in a day. She had never been angry for more than a day, this was the first time.

This time, Minami lowered her head and finally answered my question.

“……What do you mean by that?”

“Eh? What do you mean?”

Damn, I thought I just said something that I shouldn’t.

“You must’ve thought that I’m ‘like a guy, so I’ll just forget about it in a day’ right? You big idiot!”

“Oh……”

“Didn’t I tell you not to talk with me? Stay away from me! Don’t care about me anymore!”

When she finished speaking, Minami took a step away from me instantly, and ran out the classroom.

I’m such a big failure……I really didn’t mean that at all, but it somehow made Minami ticked off……

Then, I sighed, and followed suit to leave the classroom. Never mind that, I must get to the corridor as soon as possible.

I ran along the corridor with light steps, running towards the corridor that connected the old and new school building.

“Class F, repent!”

“Takahashi-sensei, Tamano Miki of Class D requests permission for summoning!’

I’d just reached the long corridor when I heard the girls’ voices; I thought they brought Takahashi-sensei with them. Just as Yuuji predicted, Class D had planned to use Combined Subject against us all along.

Since our opponent has already engaged us in battle, if we don’t summon our beast, it’ll mean that we deserted the battle, and it’ll also be counted as being KO-ed in a battle. No matter how we are at a disadvantage, we still have to fight them.

“Come if you dare! Let me see how powerful Class F is!”

“Fukumura, are you okay?”

“Leave it to me! I’ll let her know what suffering is!”

“ “Summon!” “

The Class D girl and Class F boy summoned at the same time, as a familiar magical seal started to appear in front of them. Appearing in the middle of the magical seal, was a beast that shares the same look with the summoner.

Class D Tamano Miki VS Class F Fukumura Kohei Combined Subjects 1543 points VS 118 points

“Damn it! I can’t take it anymore!”

“Fukumura? Didn’t you just summon a few seconds ago?”

The difference between their power is 1300%, this is worse than expected.

“Take this!”

The summoned beast of Class D’s Tamano Miki brought down the huge blade in its hand.

“Oh……If so……”

At the same time, Fukumura-san’s summoned beast decided to discard its weapon, then took a different stance. Is he trying to fight the enemy bare-handed? That's just plain suicide!

“You, what are you……”

“You mustn’t underestimate Class F!”

Ignoring Tamano-san’s bewilderment, his eyes focused on the enemy’s sword edge, Fukumura-san’s summoned beast suddenly raised its hands.

Ah, that's –

As the spectators watched in suspense, both hands of Fukumura-san’s summoned beast made a loud clapping sound.

“Heh,hehehehe…….Catching a blade with bare hands, succeed……”

Fukumura-san declared proudly.

It’s true; this is a deadly bare-handed move to use against the opponent – catching a blade with bare hands. Unfortunately, his summoned beast’s head is already split in half.

“Didn’t you just screw up?”

“Id, idiot! That’s, that’s not true! This is exactly what I expected!”

Fukumura-san then declared loudly: “This move is called – Using both sides of the brain to catch the blade bare-handed.”

“Fukumura Kohei, KO-ed!”

Fukumura-san’s quibble was just plain nonsense anyway as he was declared killed.

Although we knew this all along, the differences between our strength still frightened us.

“You actually made Fukumura-san……This time I’ll fight instead! Summon!”

I glanced at Fukumura-san’s desolate figure being dragged into the remedial classroom from the corner of my eye, while the battle raged on.

Looking around the scene of the battle in front of my eyes, I noticed something.

“Eh? Their number seems very low……”

It’s very suspicious that Class D’s main force consisted of just nine girls. If we were to beat Class D, we needed to get past this corridor, but their force seemed so weak, something’s wrong no matter how you saw it. If Class D want to win this war by rushing, they should be putting more force into it.

“……Himeji-san isn’t here as expected……”

“She isn’t at the stairs too.”

“Seems like their aim is to buy some time, it can’t go wrong……”

When I heard the Class D’s girls say that, I noticed two of them left the group of nine.

Fewer opponents is better for us, but what was really happening?

“There are few enemies around! Surround them, and don’t let them move an inch!” Hideyoshi commanded loudly.

We had twenty students on our side, three-fold that the opponent had. Although our points were inferior to theirs when compared one-on-one, we could equalize our strength with theirs, there’s still a battle waiting for us. Hideyoshi and Minami were leading our small force, the other students were – taking up supporting positions.

“Shimizu got a report for us. She said: ‘I’ve received suspicious reports, just put up your guard. Before trying to find out our opponent’s plan, continue to battle with a team of six!’”

“Understood.”

A boy from Class D came to deliver the message, and another girl left the frontline shortly. The condition seemed to be more and more favorable, but I still had no idea what was actually happening.

“Oh, never mind. Just follow Yuuji’s instruction – Summon!”

I followed those around me and summoned by beast. The instruction that Yuuji gave me was: “ Summon your beast, fight for a while, then pretend like everything’s in the bag and leave the frontline instantly. Let them think that ‘you don’t have any points left’.” I had no idea what Yuuji was actually planning, but this must be a part of his main plan, I’ll just follow his instructions obediently.


Class D Tamano Miki VS Class F Akihisa Yoshii Combined Subjects 1019 points VS 311 points


I locked on to Tamano-san whose points is slightly depleted, controlling my summoned beast to advance and meet hers in battle.

“A- Aki-cha – No, Yoshii-kun! You, you actually……”

At that instant, I thought Minami called my name out affectionately, but this was not the time to think about it, I must finish this battle.

I dodged the opponent’s slash with a sidestep, at the same time rushing at the opponent. Good, like this, it’ll be my turn to attack –

“So obedient eh!”

But, I didn’t attack, and tapped the opponents head softly. Yuuji said to ‘act as if it is in the bag’, like this?

“……Eh?”

Tamano-san who was expecting me to attack and had taken a defensive stance, stood there dumbfounded.

Good, I think my actions fulfilled the instructions.

“Good, Hideyoshi. It seems that there won’t be any problem here, I’ll return first.”

“OK, I understand.”

I passed my authority to Hideyoshi, and then left the scene of the battle. Passing the task onto someone else like this isn’t considered deserting the war.

“But, anyway……the battle this time has too many parts that I don’t understand.”

I thought about it while running back to Class F.

Yuuji said that his aim is to buy some time, but the aim changed to adjusting my side’s force, letting Class D feel threatened, and finally making them form a truce with us.

I understand this part, what I don’t understand is what just happened?

Why did our opponent just send out a small team? What is the suspicious report that Class D mentioned? And what was the aim of my actions just now?

Oh……No idea, I couldn’t understand anything, I'll just clear things up with Yuuji.

Once I left the chaos, and stepped into Class F –

“Ah, Akihisa-kun, you’re back.”

“Yeah, I’m back.”

Himeji-san hurried to my front. The look of her rushing towards me made me really happy……But is a powerful fighter such as Himeji-san staying back at class a good idea?

“Himeji-san, did Yuuji give you any instructions?”

“He did…….About this; I’m not very clear about it, Sakamoto-kun only told me: ‘you must not leave Class F no matter what’.”

“Eh? He only said that?”

“Yes, only that.”

Oh hmm……I’m getting more confused, what is Yuuji really thinking?

“Akihisa, you are back.”

As I was discussing with Himeji-san about that matter, Yuuji walked towards us.

“How is the plan going?”

“Oh uh, hmm, I did as you told……But isn’t it about time you made clear your real intentions?”

Other than the ten students staying in the classroom for remedial tests, there are five hand-picked students to hold the last line. Other than that, there are a few students who are preparing their force.

“About that……Sakamoto-kun, I’d like you to explain to us too.”

“Himeji, you have any questions?”

“I can really stay here and do nothing?”

Himeji-san slightly inclined her head and let out a confused expression.

Himeji-san can be considered our Class F’s main force, and also her points are fully replenished long ago, hence, she should be the most needed fighter at the corridor and the stairs.

“That’s right, Yuuji. Why did you decide to position Himeji-san in the classroom? If we let Himeji-san join the fight, wouldn’t this war become easier for all of us?”

When I said that, Yuuji let out a ‘I knew you’d say that’ attitude, then said: “Yes, the enemy will also think this way.”

“Oh, the way you say it, seems like you are hiding something.”

Yuuji just wouldn’t answer nicely what others asked, he is really an annoying bastard.

“Our enemy will think this way: “Class F put a lot of their force at the corridor and the stairs, but why isn’t Himeji anywhere? Don’t they want to secure the corridor and the stairs?’ I think, that’s the way they’ll feel.”

“But, aren’t we aiming to hold the corridor and stairs?”

“Even if I want to, but is it really worth it to focus all of our force there? Our main objective isn’t to suppress, but to buy some time.”

“Oh, so that’s why you decided to increase our force until it match our enemy’s”

“To match our force with theirs, strengthening ourself isn’t the only way, letting them use their smallest force is also a way.”

Hearing Yuuji’s explanation, a scene that happened not long ago suddenly flashed through my thoughts.

Like he said, when those Class D guys noticed that Himeji-san wasn’t anywhere nearby, a few of them retreated……

“To put it another way, they feel threatened by Himeji-san’s absence, so they’ll put more of their force to guard their class representative right?”

“That's so.”

I see, so it’s this way.

True, by just weakening our opponent's force, our casualties will be at a minimum. If we can retain Himeji-san’s strength, it’ll benefit once our force breaks through the corridor and the stairs, it’ll also let Himeji-san whose body is frail rest more. This is a good idea.

“Class D’s representative Hiraga was beaten by Himeji once, so they are very worried.”

“I see, so this is your plan all along.”

If it’s in a normal situation, luring them wouldn’t be this easy, but these circumstances benefit our battle plan by a lot. Just like what Yuuji said, we made our enemy suffer once, and their class representative is a guy, this also benefits us.

If we want to win this battle, then we should not strike upfront, we must rely on a plan that would go unnoticed easily to defeat them. Under this condition, because Class D’s representative got most of his points depleted during the last peeping incident, and during this critical time they couldn’t find our Class F’s main force – Himeji-san’s figure anywhere. Like this, nine out of ten would think that Himeji-san was waiting for a chance to launch a sneak attack, taking down class representative Hiraga, so they’ll have to replenish their points, and then cut a portion of their main force to be their class representative's personal bodyguards.

“So that’s why those girls rushed back……”

“But this alone isn’t enough. In order not to let our enemies turn the tables on us, I had to use another wicked plot.”

“Another wicked plot?”

“It’s controlling their intelligence. Just because of this, I didn’t let Muttsurini replenish his points.”

The Health Education teacher Oshima-sensei was busy in the classroom giving a few students tests, but Muttsurini wasn’t included. I was guessing why that Muttsurini who by replenishing just his Health Educations points could replenish his total points wasn’t taking tests in the classroom, he couldn’t have been sent out for a mission, could he?

“Muttsurini is currently spreading that ‘Class F really wished for the battle with Class D’ to Class D. If they didn’t have any informant all along, they’d find it strange if they received this report suddenly, but their class has Shimizu. For Muttsurini, using a bug to spread this information couldn’t be any easier."

I just remembered, while battling at the corridor, a guy from Class D came to deliver an order. “Oh right, the students from Class D did mention about ‘receiving a suspicious report’ or something like that.”

The Class D guy said that it was a message from Shimizu-san, if so, Muttsurini must be pretty successful in using the bug to spread information.

“Counting in that negotiation with unclear intentions yesterday, Class D’s Shimizu and representative must be suspicious with many things, this time they’ll easily fall for our next trick.”

“I see. Just by spreading this message, it’ll make Class D more cautious towards us. ‘They won’t hope to fight a hopeless Summoning War, Class F must’ve got something up their sleeves.’ – You want them to think this way right?”

Hmm, like this, they’d be more and more careful of us who had nearly no chance of winning, and wouldn’t be taking any rash actions.

“Ah! Right! Yuuji and me hanging out at Class D’s corridor last time, it really was for……”

“Hmm, most of them are correct. That time I only wanted them to think that ‘Class F is not replenishing their points’, but now things have changed. In their eyes, they’d probably feel: ‘Sakamoto and Yoshii who obviously have classes at a different building hanging out here is really suspicious, are they pretending that way to let us take the initiative and declare war upon them?’ This way I planted the seed of suspicion. A coincidence happening more than twice won’t be regarded as a coincidence; this is the way human thinks. I think they aren’t harboring any intentions – so it’s normal for them to think this way.”

This guy Yuuji……I didn’t expect him to have already thought this far by that time. Just by connecting the dots, this guy’s thinking speed would speed up, that’s really scary. Is this what they meant by a prodigy’s reincarnation? It looked like he’d already considered everything carefully……

“They must be starting to regret declaring war on us, since winning this war won’t benefit them much, and losing will cause them to face the risk of having their classroom downgraded into the worst possible one. So if they are given an opportunity, they’ll surely agree to form a truce with us.”

“If they are given an opportunity……That means, we’ll still have to deal them a telling blow right?” Even if we are done regulating our forces, there's no good opportunity, so it would be hard to propose a truce……I guessed that Yuuji thought this way.

It’s not wrong, if there’s no good opportunity, it’s highly impossible for both sides to want to form a truce.

“Right, the last blow will be by taking out their head.”

“Their head……you mean the Class D’s representative Hiraga-san? But, if we can deal with their head, what do we need a truce for?”

“We can’t do anything to Hiraga. Class D is already alerted to us, Hiraga surely won’t come personally. And in this battle, their head isn’t just Hiraga alone.”

After hearing Yuuji’s explanation, Himeji-san clapped her hands once suddenly.

“I know, you’re talking about Shimizu-san right?”

“Correct. If we finish off Shimizu, the main force of Class D won’t dare to take any action. If we want to form a truce with them, making an example out of Shimizu will create a good opportunity.”

Thinking back, the one who was actually calling the shots and commanding the army wasn’t Hiragi-san, but Shimizu-san. So if we could take Shimizu-san out, it’d be easier for us to form a truce with Class D.

“That’s just it, so Akihisa, it’s you who’ll be going to the empty classroom beside this one alone, and face Shimizu in a solo battle.”

“Eh? I need to go?”

If we want to beat Shimizu-san, there should be another candidate more powerful and suitable.

“I didn’t replenish my points because I needed to be ready to give orders at any time. Muttsurini also shared the same fate with me. Moreover, we can’t let others find out Himeji’s whereabouts, and if something unexpected happens, she’ll need to join the defensive army. So, this mission can only be completed by you.”

Minami and Hideyoshi are currently on the frontlines, the other students have their own duties respectively. And also, I’m more skilled in handling my summoned beast than anybody, so that makes me the best candidate.

“And don’t forget, you’ll be the best to provoke Shimizu. I heard the whole story from Hideyoshi, but after that, didn’t you successfully provoke her?”

“Oh……That, that's…..How should I put it……I, I’m not clear about it myself……”

Let’s not talk about how the provocation went, but I’m the person that Shimizu-san wants to get rid of the most.

“Ah, so this is how the choice is made.”

Himeji-san who was listening to our conversation silently pointed to the stack of paper on Yuuji’s desk, as if she just understood something. She meant that only one person is deployed into the empty classroom, and that's the part that I play.

“As expected of you, Himeji; you are really sharp with your eyes.”

“……Sorry, and what does that mean?”

By the way, I’m the one who doesn’t understand anything they just said.

“To put it……For example, if I give Sugawa that position, and you’ll be his opponent. Seeing Sugawa stand here, what would you think?” [3][4]“Will I even be thinking anything……I will just feel that it’s rather meaningless.”

The empty classroom that Yuuji referred to doesn’t have a leader inside it that needed to be closely guarded, and taking the positions into account, it’s not a location that needs to be fought for. That way, even if we threw any random guy into that empty classroom, the enemy may be suspicious, but they wouldn’t be thinking too much about it.

“Right, most people would think this way. But, what if I put in another condition?”

“Condition?”

“Right. If at that time, you are fighting Sugawa for Himeji, like this, how would things look like?”

“That, that, for me…….”

Oh……Me and Sugawa-san fighting over Himeji-san, and there’s a Summoner Test War? If so, to me, getting Himeji-san is something very important, even if there isn’t a Summoner Test War, I’ll try my best to finish Sugawa-san off, and to think that Sugawa-san thinks the same way…….Under this condition, if Sugawa-san waited in an empty classroom alone –

“I’d think that he’s waiting for me there. For Himeji-san, we’ll have to settle things the hard way.”

“Right, things are like this.”

As if he’s saying ‘you answered nicely’, Yuuji nodded with approval.

“To put it another way, to another’s eye, Akihisa who is waiting in an empty classroom is just a small pawn, but to Shimizu, it’s different. She’ll think that you’re trying to battle with her, and you are waiting in an empty classroom for her. To let others think this way too, I let you join the frontline at the beginning, to let them know you’re here.”

So that's why Yuuji told me to go show myself at the frontline. Although I still have enough points to continue battling, I did not fully participate in the frontline fight just to make my attitude and actions clearer, as if I am telling Shimizu-san “I’m waiting for you”.

“Sakamoto-kun's telling him ‘you can retreat to the front of our classroom’ just now is to…….”

“If I didn’t do it this way, they wouldn’t know that Akihisa is here waiting for her. Because of that, while waiting for them here to finish replenishing their points so that we can negotiate a truce with them, we need to break through their defense at the corridor and stairs, and let Shimizu know that Akihisa is waiting for her in an empty classroom, we also couldn’t let the enemy know that we are the one at a disadvantage. On how to solve this problem exactly, it’s really hard for me to anticipate.”

Yuuji is right, if we can lure out Shimizu-san, maybe we can propose a truce with them before we are defeated. But……

“Will things go that smoothly?”

I’m still worried. Especially under these conditions, I really can’t anticipate whether Shimizu-san will appear to challenge me one-on-one.

“All I can say is, just wait and see.”

Yuuji is still full of confidence.

“Oh……Since Yuuji dared to say that, then there shouldn’t be any problem.”

“Good! Now that everything’s clear, Akihisa should get into the empty classroom as soon as possible; I’ve no idea when both defensive lines will be broken through.

“Understood, I’ll go there now.”

I nearly grasped my mission. Now I’ll just follow Yuuji’s words, and then enter the empty classroom and wait for Shimizu-san.


“Before Shimizu appears, we’ll just standby here.”

“I’m fine with that……hehe.”

“Himeji, what's up with you? It’s actually rude of you to smile at me that way.”

“Ah, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

“Then what did you mean to do?”

“No, I just feel that no matter how you put it, Sakamoto-kun really understands Akihisa-kun.”

“Ah? Wh-why are you suddenly saying something so disgusting?!”

“It’s irrelevant, you don’t have to be shy about it.”

“I’m not shy, I just feel that it’s really disgusting……”

“Because, if you don’t really understand Akihisa-kun, you can’t carry out that plan you've mentioned just now, can you?”

“You mean the one about luring Shimizu out?”

“Yes.”

“……Oh, let’s not talk about understanding him, all I have to do is think about Akihisa’s personality, and then I can guess what Akihisa said to Shimizu when Hideyoshi left yesterday. To Shimizu, that must be something that's really infuriating.”

“Me too……I don’t know why, but I can guess what Akihisa-kun said.”

“That guy is stupid, so it’s easy to grasp the way he thinks.”

“It’s because he’s honest, it must be so.”

“I don’t agree.”

“Hehe, Sakamoto-kun is very untruthful.”

“Tut, whatever you say…….But, you really don’t mind?”

“Uh? What do you mean?”

“No, this matter seems bad for you…….”

“About this……..I guess so…….It does make me unhappy, but—“

“But what?”

“……But, this is why I find Akihisa-kun attractive.”

“Uh? Pardon, I didn’t hear you very well just now.”

“Ah, nothing, I didn’t say anything.”

“Really? But, still……Thanks for the info.”

“I, I hate you, I think you heard it very clearly!”


While waiting in the empty classroom, I felt really bored as I had nothing else to do. I felt like playing my handheld gaming console or reading a book just to kill time, but if I do this, it won’t look like I’m getting ready to challenge others, and if a teacher find me here, my handheld gaming console will be confiscated. Since I have no choice, I’ll just daydream here.

Then, Minami’s figure suddenly appeared unexpectedly in my thoughts.

Was my attitude towards Minami unacceptable?

Is Minami really hurt because I was not considerate enough?

Am I hated down to the core by her?

Such questions came into my thoughts one by one. I thought about it a lot, but the more I think, the more chaotic my thoughts got. I knew that I’d face this problem beforehand; I should’ve trained myself to handle my thoughts.

I felt frustrated by my pathetic brain, but I was still trying hard to ponder the answer for these questions.

I couldn’t tidy up my messy thoughts, and I also could not find a trace to the answer. Because of that, I decided to continue thinking.

Just when I fell deep in thoughts, I heard something coming from the corridor, and it seemed to be getting closer and closer.

“……It’s about time she comes.”

I cleared my thoughts instantly, and changed what I was thinking. After all this was a crucial moment, the Summoner Test War was still going on. Was it going well for the bodyguards at the classroom? I closed my eye forcefully, and tried to swallow down the uneasiness, because I still had a mission to complete.

I could hear the ruckus caused by the defensive battle, and I felt that someone from the enemy that passed by noticed me.

I continued waiting.

“It’s great that you are waiting here alone, Miharu has something to say!”

After waiting for a while, I suddenly heard the voice of the person that I’m waiting for. Great, she’s finally here.

I let out a sigh of relief, and slowly opened my eyes to see the person who was standing in front of me.

“You have something to say to me? What is it about?”

I walked slowly to her as I said that.

Although I’d been waiting for her for a while, I had nothing worth telling her.

“It’s nothing much. In a nutshell – Miharu just wants to clear things up.”

While saying that, she stared at me with pure hatred. It seems like she really detests me.

“It’s fortunate that there’s a Summoner Test War going on, I can take this opportunity and settle things once and for all.”

Standing behind Shimizu-san was Fuse-sensei, it looked like she’s fully prepared for the occasion. If I escaped from this battle, it would be counted as deserting the battle and is the same as being KO-ed. So, I’d have to accept her challenge.

Since Shimizu-san had already engaged me in battle, other than agreeing, there’s nothing else that I could do. Or…… did she think that I wouldn’t reject her challenge, believing that I wanted to settle things with her once and for all too?

-- All I can say is, the way she thinks is really scary.

“I understand, we’ll fight this out, Shimizu-san.”

When I said that, Shimizu-san turned to Fuse-sensei and said: “Teacher, permission for summoning.”

“I know.”

Once we received Fuse-sensei’s permission, Shimizu-san and I summoned our beast with Chemistry as the battle subject.

“ “Summon!” “

We shouted at the same time, and some kind of magical seal appear at our feet. Following that, appearing in the midst is our alter ego the summoned beasts.

Both of us let our summoned beasts take a ready stance, staring at each other.

Shimizu-san is pretty experienced with Summoner Test War, but we aren’t fighting with brute force this time. Therefore, she won’t be an easy target, I’ll have to fight with caution.

Both of us were trying to find openings on our body, this continued for a while.

“……Right, before fighting, I’ve something that I want to confirm with you.”

In such a tight atmosphere, Shimizu-san who was keeping a close eye on the summoned beasts suddenly said something to me.

“About what?”

I replied, undoubtedly without letting my eyes off the summoned beasts too.

“It’s about what you said yesterday.”

“Uh…….”

“Did you say that just to instigate this battle? Miharu meant at the negotiation yesterday, the words you said before leaving."

She meant the report about “Class F wants to battle with Class D all along”. Shimizu-san must had seen through the real intention of the negotiation yesterday, I guess that's why she had such inquiries.

“That’s……”

I couldn’t answer her instantly, and stayed silent for a while.

Even if I told her the truth, would she believe me?

No matter how I answer, she treats all of my words as lies. From everyone’s point of view, it was us that used Minami…...But we really did use Minami, it’s true that we wanted to provoke Class D at the negotiation yesterday.

“Then?”

Shimizu-san asked again, but I still didn’t have the answer.

“If so……”

She treated my silence as if I was admitting it, Shimizu-san didn’t continue her inquiries, and kept her mouth closed instead.

“……”

“……”

The summoned beasts didn’t move an inch, staying that way silently.

We didn’t stare at each other. It’s because Shimizu-san lowered her head, not focusing on the summoned beasts any more.

A few seconds passed, and she stayed that way.

Suddenly, Shimizu-san muttered with a trembling voice.

“……She cried.”

That tone might be soft but it was filled with fury.

“……When onee-sama ran away yesterday……She cried……”

Hearing these words, I recalled the scene.

Shimizu-san is right; Minami’s tears were flowing when she rushed out of the classroom.

“She cried because of Miharu’s words……But, the reason she cried…….the real reason she cried was—“

Shimizu-san slowly raised her head, from the pair of eyes that was staring at me, I thought I saw a burning inferno of hatred.

“ – was you! Because of a guy like you! Hurt her and made her cry!”

That line was like a tip, Shimizu-san’s summoned beast rushed at mine.

She chose to attack directly, I hurried to dodge that attack.

“Oh!”

My body felt a burst of pain.

I wasn’t hit by her directly, what was the meaning of such strength? Was it because of our difference of points?

Class D Shimizu Miharu VS Class F Yoshii Akihisa

Chemistry 112 points VS 22 points

I squinted to confirm the difference between our points; the difference was approximately five-fold. Such a huge gap, putting me overwhelmingly at a disadvantage.

“Why is it that a pathetic guy like you can stay at onee-sama’s side! Why does a person like you who only knows how to play with other’s feelings dare to talk to onee-sama! “

The opponent slashed like a child throwing a tantrum. Getting attacked once again, the heavy strikes made my hands start to feel numb.

It’s true I made Minami cry.

It’s also true that we used Minami.

But—

“Just to use Minami, you guys lied to her inconsiderately, and purposefully became close to her as friends! Why is it so!”

--Ha!

I raised the wooden sword to block the opponent's slashing sword.

But, even so, I’m still…...

“……I did not……lie!”

I pushed her blade away forcefully.

“What, what did you say!”

It’s true that I did many cruel things.

I hurt her, and made her cry.

That’s why my words are so despicable that others find it hard to believe.

But, even so—

“My words, are not lies!”

With the blunt sounds of battle around us, my summoned beast blocked the opponents blade again.

“What?”

That’s right, that's not a lie.

Even if that part about being in a relationship was just acting, even if the kiss was just a misunderstanding, but my words to Shimizu-san weren’t lies, they were spoken truthfully from the bottom of my heart.

After all…...Under those conditions, I’m not smart to tell a lie with a straight face.

“Even if I’m an idiot, I still know how to differentiate on what kind of lies I’m allowed to say! And those words that I said to you yesterday are really from the bottom of my heart!”

After blocking her blade upfront, my wooden sword broke with a crack.

Fighting head-on with an enemy who is five times stronger than me, I’d lost a considerable amount of points.

Under this condition, I had got no chance of winning.

“But……I still won’t run away!”

Frankly speaking, this whole commotion was caused by me. I had to be responsible for those people that I had involved!

Looking at this from a different angle, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. If the mission of challenging Shimizu-san alone was given to Himeji-san or Yuuji, then I’m just the one to blame for all this commotion, and also an irresponsible piece of trash who only knows how to run away. Since I was given the chance to shoulder the responsibility, I must thank Yuuji—

“ “ “Summon!” “ “

“ “Eh?” “

The unexpected shout of summon was heard. Squinting, Yuuji led group of Class F students that had finished replenishing their points here, and he stood not far from me. He must’ve used Himeji’s power to get past the chaos in front of Class F and here.

No, that's just a trivial matter. The problem was, why were they stepping into the battle between me and Shimizu-san?

“It’s an ambush……You actually did something so despicable!”

Shimizu-san stared at me with fury. What ambush, can it be—

“Yuuji! No matter how important it is to win this battle, you can’t do this!”

We agreed that this would be a one-on-one battle, but him bringing so many students, did he plan this to be an ambush? Of course I understand that this battle is very important to Class F, but doing it this way is just too despicable!

“I’m sorry, this is not just about winning, this is a war. My duty is to protect the whole class.” Yuuji said these words coolly, then hinted at the students behind him with his eyes.

The summoned beasts that received their instructions—raised their weapons, then took a ready stance.

“Don’t, don’t do this—“

“Attack!”

I couldn’t stop them in time, the summoned beasts surrounding us stabbed with their swords and spears.

-- Aiming for my summoned beast.

“…...Eh?”

At the turn that things have taken, my mind went blank for a moment.

When I started to realize what was happening around me, my body started to feel something.

“It hurts alottttttttttttttt! Eh, what is it now? I’ve never felt such pain before! And my whole body hurts at the same time! The pain is killing me from my toes to the top of my head!”

“Shimizu, I’ve already taken care of the person who is responsible for all these troubles, so, are you willing to let this go?”

“Wahhhhhhhhhh! Did somebody just throw a blunt weapon at me? The pain of being stabbed and hit mixed together brings the pain to a whole new level!”

Shimizu-san gaped at me who was rolling on the floor in pain.

Then, she sighed deeply.

“……that's so, although doing this can’t quench Miharu’s anger……”

Sha shoof--- A sound filled with strength resonated in the classroom.

“Shi, Shimizu-san! Hasn’t the winner of the battle decided? Why are you still attacking me with such fury! It hurts hurts hurts hurts hurts! The pain of being stabbed through from my leg to my stomach then to the top of my head!”

“Wait until Miharu cuts him into eight parts, and if you agree to force this swine to stay in the remedial classroom until school ends, Miharu will agree to form a truce.”

“I promise. Akihisa will be sent to the remedial classroom immediately when he is KO-ed. Before school ends, he’ll have to replenish all of his points in that classroom; while he’s doing that, he’ll be Ironman’s food.”

How, how did it become such an evil trade! My whole body was hurt, and I still had to go through Ironman’s hellish tuition until the end of school?

“Hmmph! What does that hateful expression of yours mean? You should blame yourself for lying to onee-sama! You swine should take this chance and reflect on your wrongdoings!”

Stab stab stab stab stab—While Shimizu-san was speaking, she stabbed my summoned beast a few times.

“I, I I I do reflect on my mistakes! About hurting Minami, I’m really sorry! It hurts hurts hurts hurts hurts hurts hurts!”

The pain that Minami felt when I hurt her is now repaid to me, on my body.

Stop fussing, if it’s someone who can’t take this much pain, he would’ve already died from fear.

“……Hmmph, if what you said yesterday were lies, Miharu wouldn’t have forgiven you this easily.”

This time she raised her foot and stomped at the wounds her sword made.

Damn! This is a heartless devil!

“This time, Miharu will stop here and let you live!”

She didn’t even want to let me live! It hurts a lot! It just hurts a lot! It hurts until I can’t think of anything!

After that, once Shimizu had done kicking me, I finally got a chance to rest for a few minutes, I’d been through hell for real.

“Good, since the negotiation is successful, we should return to our class. Guys! Let’s return!”

“ “ “Oh—“ “ “

All of them walked out of the empty classroom together, leaving me, who was covered with cuts and bruises until I couldn’t stand up, here alone.

“Too, too pathetic……”

I endured the excruciating pain and managed to sit on the floor, and suddenly I felt a hand clasped on my shoulder, this alone scared me so much that I nearly let out a scream.

It’s not easy to stop myself from screaming, I turned my head slowly—  “Welcome to my world.”

The person that appeared in front of me was Ironman, smiling sinisterly with obviously evil intentions.

TriviaEdit

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