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although this time with a slightly embarrassed e-!ression.Part 1: Summer Break "Want to go to the sea?" The one who had asked those words all of a sudden was Shizuku.. but e&en so it seemed to ring a bell with her friend since !rimary school. you mean the beach?" Modern T !hone systems. as a standard. That being said.. "By the sea. Shizuku's family has a resort in *gasawara. on Miyuki's dis!lay she could only see them looking aside. that." "+h? Shizuku. they were not destructi&e to nature but rather unashamed &alid uses of .uestion. so if you include energetics they weren't truly zero emission but still0. though this had been re!roached by ignorant critics misunderstanding intellectual e-!ression as 'arrogantly willful destruction of nature. "Well you see. $s Miyuki used that system to talk with Shizuku and %onoka and engage in idle chatter...ecently.. . They shared a glance.. this con&ersation was altogether on a different le&el. Shizuku ga&e a brief affirmati&e 'yes'. your family owns a !ri&ate beach?" "(eah. what?" $t that. "$h.. Shizuku answered briefly again. albeit too late. both %onoka and Shizuku realized that they had left Miyuki behind. but had been abandoned due to the rough conditions. who had only known them for around four months." But for Miyuki. can take u! to "# calls simultaneously.. $s these &illas were zero emission /energy sources came from sunlight. That answer was a bit short. %onoka." These uninhabited islands where the resorts are were mostly once !o!ulated islands. %onoka was then the first to direct her eyes back to Miyuki.." $t Miyuki's .. ha&ing a &illa in the uninhabited island of *gasawara had become fashionable among the rich. could you mean?" "(es. ")ould you mean.

.land. *f course. That was !robably something Shizuku also understood. 1t was 2ust that e&en among those households considered wealthy. only a handful !ossessed &illas with their own !ri&ate beach. "So your father will be there as well this year... Miyuki wasn't blaming Shizuku/'s family0 for anything. but e&en in the case of un2ustified criticism she would !robably retain a manner of general common sense and feel a subconscious degree of guilt.. Miyuki felt curiosity at 2ust what could ha&e ha!!ened. but. most likely memories of a !re&ious &acation she had been on with Shizuku's father. what time?" "1t hasn't been decided yet." %onoka's somewhat a!!rehensi&e face softened in relief at Shizuku's words..." $t Shizuku's words calibrated to change the mood /this being again something the one who had not known them &ery long didn't catch0. "1 don't mind... but she didn't lose sight of !riorities. 4erha!s at the &ery &illa they were talking about..." Tatsuya heard of the matter during breakfast the ne-t morning. and he'll !robably 2ust be able to s!are a few short hours. %onoka mumbled something. 666 ". $t first Tatsuya had considered asking 'did you guys talk about that all the way until midnight?'..is what we were talking about." $t Miyuki's e-!ression saying '1 need to ask *nii3sama'.. 1t seems he really wants to meet Miyuki and Tatsuya3san. but of course what came out of his mouth was different altogether. We had been thinking whene&er it's con&enient for Tatsuya3san. ..." %er e-!ression seemed to be recalling something. 1t seems he has a !ile of work. "5on't worry.. Shizuku understood !erfectly well her answer. "My father said to '!lease in&ite your friends'. %e'll only be around for a short while.

while for most 4+ and arts high schools it's mid Se!tember.. but gi&ing him time to refresh . but." Which was why Miyuki was so fired u! about not missing this o!!ortunity. Then." $t that Miyuki hesitated slightly." )on&ersely. Sai2ou3kun. Tatsuya went o&er the schedule in his head. Tatsuya also didn't want to im!ose on his sister... This year as well..ui!!ed Battalion.. and oursel&es?" "Shizuku said she also wants to in&ite +rika. Taking a si! of coffee. "1 got it. 1'll contact Shizuku. and (oshida3kun. "So that's ne-t 8riday to Sunday. so they wondered if we could be the ones to in&ite them. 8or dates."The only ones attending will be Shizuku. *f course. %onoka. so things were e-tra tight." Summer break for magic high schools runs until the end of $ugust. resulting in a !re3established harmony. tutoring Miyuki. Mizuki..." She !robably didn't want to say anything which would bring incon&enience to her brother. To her it was a little disa!!ointing that she wouldn't be s!ending time alone with 2ust her brother.1'm free ne-t week 8riday to Sunday.. /1n addition to that last year had been studying 9 namely.. there was no 'break' in his summer break. 5e&elo!ments in&ol&ing the soon to be released ne-t month 'dedicated magic flight de&ice' were also in motion. /8or most science and literary high schools it's mid $ugust. 1'll contact 7eo and Mikihiko..0 This year the first half had been taken u! by the :ine Schools )om!etition. let's see. +&ery other day is !retty busy. ". three days and two nights.0 Tatsuya's summer break last year and the year before last had been mostly taken u! by training with the 1nde!endent Magic3+. Miyuki didn't intend to make Tatsuya do anything and was going to contact them herself. "But they're not as familiar with them as us.

%e had been forced to accom!any the ladies out sho!!ing. 1 don't want to call it that. %eck. $nd on the day of tra&el he had looked on in blank amazement.. "Wooow." This time /unlike during the :ine Schools )om!etition0 +rika's short !ants weren't out of !lace... . as she immediately nodded u!on recei&ing Miyuki's call.uestioned her with a slightly embarrassed face /Tatsuya had become .. "5oesn't +rika's family ha&e a cruiser as well?" $s Shizuku . so she 2ust smiled ambiguously. so she looked u! at the gleaming white hull e&en as she showed off her sleek sha!ely legs..uite thorough. but it can't really can't be called a 'cruiser'." :e-t to Miyuki's murmur and amazed e-!ression. her eyes shining. so it's the worst ride e&er. 666 1t seemed Shizuku really had been lea&ing o!en her !lans for Tatsuya..uite ade!t at reading her e-!ressions0. for training?" "(e!. Mizuki was at a loss as to what kind of face to make." ". Tatsuya later relegated this memory to a distant drawer in the de!ths of his mind and welded it shut.took !riority o&er any of her own desires..don't tell me... +rika and Mizuki by Miyuki. and whether the fact that e&eryone was free was a coincidence or not Tatsuya took with a grain of salt. "We do ha&e a shi!. a &ery attention grabbing e&ent in the swimsuit section of a large de!artment store... the s!ecified meeting !lace was not the air!ort but the %ayama marina... that sure is a nice boat.. %onoka was contacted by Shizuku.. +rika shook her head with a wry smile.... 7eo and Mikihiko by Tatsuya.. They normally turn the stabiliser off too." "(ou guys really are . hence there was no recollection of that !articular e&ent here.. 8or some reason.

0 7ooking u!.ather than succumbing to embarrassment. With a <reek hat !ulled low o&er his face and dressed in a 2acket with decorati&e buttons. the 'ca!tain' of the shi! was there.. so the !ower doesn't come from gas turbines. the !i!e he held in his left hand really was a classic !i!e. he was !olitely munching on a !i!e." $n une-!ected answer came. What caught Tatsuya was not the force of his hand but the !ower in the gaze he directed at .uette. %is gri! was une-!ectedly firm.uite able to contain his confusion at this franker than e-!ected !ersonality. "$ 8leming !ro!ulsion system is it.ueezed lightly so as to not &iolate eti. . was his intention.. 1s it !owered by !hotocatalytic hydrogen !lants and fuel cells?" +ngrossed as he was in the boyish/?0 interest of mechanics. the 'ca!tain' e-tended a handshake. 91f you looked closely enough. %e sim!ly lacked that stout look slightly. Tatsuya muttered to himself as he obser&ed the !ro!ulsion in detail. Still. $s Tatsuya thought so with a !uzzled face. "1t's good to meet you." %e wasn't . there aren't any air ducts.." "1t's good to meet you too.. but ?shio heartily grabbed Tatsuya's hand. but rather the fact that an answer came at all. you'd see it was em!ty. "(ou're Shiba Tatsuya3kun aren't you? 1 am >itayama ?shio. we are !leased to make your ac.uaintance.. $long with my sister. Shizuku's father. 1 am Shiba Tatsuya.*n the other hand." Taking Shizuku's father's !roffered hand. he returned the greeting flawlessly. By the way. /1t wasn't that the answer itself was une-!ected. but Tatsuya had far more social e-!erience than most high school students. Tatsuya s. but if cos!laying a ca!tain a bit more girth is desirable. "There're also hydrogen storage tanks onboard 2ust in case. 1 ha&e heard much about you. com!ared to >azama and (anagi his hands were more accustomed to desk work. *besity as a lifestyle disease had been eradicated =# years earlier thanks to drug treatment.

1t's now normal to use a business name rather than your real name in the management of a com!any to !rotect your !ri&acy. but this frank. immediately assessed the situation.. $s e&en Tatsuya had to consciously concentrate." %is murmur would normally be inaudible. Miyuki came o&er at a trot. but after being told his business name. it seems Shizuku's eyes weren't mistaken.. But e&en if it had been uttered in a normal &olume. the eyes of a leader. Those hard3bitten eyes a!!raised you without making you feel uncomfortable.him.. Tatsuya called his sister o&er. $!!earance truly seems su!erbly de!endable. he had been . took the lead. 9But.. ".not 2ust a smart3ass good only for his brains. and . it had taken years0 so he really should ha&e been o&er A# or so...uite sur!rised that he was such a bigshot. that &olume of &oice was more than . %e had married late /marrying a magician had in&ol&ed numerous issues and although those were o&ercome. Tatsuya would not ha&e considered it discourteous. she really does ha&e it together.. >itayama ?shio !ossessed the ma2esty to honestly a!!raise the &alue of the one in front of him..." $t this sudden doting !arent remark. that had not been mere !oliteness. or rather e-cessi&ely light air. %is own father does not use his name of 'Shiba Tatsurou' but rather the name 'Shiibara Tatsurou'@ in his ca!acity as head of de&elo!ment at 87T." in his mind.. While my daughter. When he had said that he had heard of him earlier.uiet enough for consideration. didn't seem to make him any more than B#. Tatsuya ostensibly ke!t his e-!ression neutral while sighing "so this is the great '>itayama ?shio' huh. %e had only heard from Shizuku that her father managed a business in !assing. "9MiyukiC" <i&ing notice with a glance.ues either. :ot 2ust a techie with su!erficial e-cellent techni. stro&e with similar luminaries. "(es.

. ":o no. it's undignified so !lease close your mouth. e&en this talented businessman floundered." 1f he had only been u! against his true daughter he might ha&e been able to make something u!.bowed gracefully to Shizuku's father. Being faced with a beauty of Miyuki's stature and bearing. "9*ohC (ou must be new friends of my daughter as well? Welcome. ?nfortunately 1 ha&e to go now. but also being faced with %onoka who he had lo&ed as another daughter since !rimary school. there was no way that would be tolerated. $t ?shio's ha!less a!!earance. a sudden barrage of words flew from two more ladies who came u!. he was ob&iously trying to distract the others from the to!ic at hand.. it couldn't be hel!ed that e&en ?shio's 2aw slackened a bit. "$h." %owe&er. %is unrest could be discerned from his dis2ointed words. milady. Thank you so much for in&iting us o&er. Watching him rush into a large car with indecent haste and lifting his ." "Thank you for your kind words. Such a lo&ely greeting from such a beautiful maiden is an unho!ed honour both for me and my shi!. "4leased to meet you.. 1 am Shiba Miyuki." $t his !lacing his hand on his chest and gi&ing a dee! bow.as if it were your own home.. /1ncidentally the reason %onoka had been so a!!rehensi&e at hearing that ?shio was coming might be due to him seeing her as his daughter. e&ery time they met he had !assed not inconsiderable amounts of !ocket money on to her. it's not like 1 was o!ening my mouth or anything.0 <esturing wildly at +rika and the others who were a!!roaching from a distance. father." 1t was !robably out of his de!th dealing with his daughter unlike his business !artners. but !lease feel free to rela.. 1 don't think you said any such thing when you met me?" "5ad. 4lease en2oy yoursel&es. Miyuki also with a !layful smile curtsied in the Western manner. 1 am >itayama ?shio.

and u!on asking 7eo and +rika. e&eryone had come along. but had settled for muttering 'these two really are a !erfect !air' under his breath. but e&en if eight !eo!le got out deck chairs and hung u! fishing rods. it felt there should be a more a!!ro!riate word.. Tatsuya got on the shi!. :ote D Shiibara Tatsurou: 椎原 辰郎 as o!!osed to 司波 龍郎 666 1t was around E## km to the island archi!elago where the &illa was located.. %e almost inad&ertently retort 'the !oint of the tri! is swimming." The one who e-!lained that was the helmsman. Tatsuya muttered '1 think he had at least wanted to sail with his daughter..uite understand what the fun of sailing rather than flying was /it's not unusual now to !ri&ately own T*7 !ro!eller aircraft.uickly as !ossible. there would still be !lenty of s!ace to s!are. not tra&eling'. since the entire deck was co&ered by a trans!arent dome streamlined for air resistance. There wasn't a !ool or theatre or any such e-tra&agant things /this was a 'cruiser' not a 'lu-ury liner' after all0.' in a &oice no one could hear.. Well. Tatsuya didn't . The deck was e&en larger than it a!!eared from outside.. Taking into account the tra&el time.. and no one should be seasick.. when cruising at low s!eeds the sides are o!ened. She didn't seem any older than her mid =#s at most. they had gathered at F am early in the morning.. "But. >urosawa. and in fact that would be chea!er than a 8leming !ro!elled cruiser0. the omni3housekee!er Ms. it would be im!ossible to actually hang out any lines.. .. he was sim!ly told something like 'this is the most charming way to tra&el'. rather than housekee!er. 8rom her a!!earance. 9%owe&er. as well as the one who had taken care of their belongings.<reek hat in regret as he s!ed off. 1n order to lea&e as .

the cabins beneath. $fter confirming all se&en !assengers were aboard >urosawa !roceeded straight to the wheelhouse. efforts to restore an artificial reef were unsuccessful. thanks to the stabilisers and motion absor!tion systems no one on3board suffered motion sickness.ualified to be thinking such things. . he had to admit he was in no !osition to criti. as she seemed more the ty!e to come accom!anied by the 'sna!' S8G. there had been no destruction and it had been the !eo!le who had cleared out the feral goats as well. he !robably wasn't . &illas were built and the red clay that had been dredged u! onto the coast used !ri&ate funds to create a !ier and sandy beach. 8irmly wra!!ed u! in a long slee&ed summer 2acket as he was. the shi! e&entually made it to the &illa at :akodo2ima island. 7ater. but coming back to reality and in the face of the fact that he too had come to !lay at that &ery same sandy !ier. at the time the islands had been inhabited. and soon the shi! had left the coast. $t length. and the trans!arent dome e-tending from the to! of the wheelhouse all the way to the back half which was the deck. 5id the destruction of nature occur because there were !eo!le.ue. This was what the 'intellectuals' had been decrying as 'destruction of nature'.Though that being said she didn't gi&e off a soft image. or did it occur only after they left? %e had been lost in such idle thoughts. still on the o!en sea under the blazing sun in mid summer. $fter that.uite . 666 The weather was calm throughout. Tatsuya had to wonder if she wasn't hot in that dress. %owe&er. they had already arri&ed at the beach. *r maybe that was 2ust him. The atolls around the island had been de&astated by feral goats in the latter half of the last century. howe&er much e-cess rays the dome could be said to cut out. and although there were some rough !atches. $s could be inferred from his monologue. The shi!'s design !laced the wheelhouse at the bow.

Staring at this sight made Tatsuya feel !eculiarly uncomfortable dee! inside. this was !robably the best !ro!ortioned one out of them all. Tatsuya. :e-t to her. 4erha!s because of her narrow shoulders and hi!s. 7ikewise in a se!arate swimsuit. But the beach was e&en more dazzling than that. shook his hands with a &ague smile. %onoka had a !areo wra!!ed around one shoulder gi&ing off an asymmetric style of mature air. the two combining to create a !er&erted mysterious charm. . and it was im!ossible to link her to her usual docile image. 9Too dazzling. but cur&es. wanna swim?H" "*nii3samaH. howe&er. While her !olka3dot !atterned se!arate swimsuit wasn't as re&ealing as a bikini. The sur!rise was Mizuki. %er femininity was increasing with each !assing day. wa&ing her hands was Miyuki in a floral !rint one3!iece. the slender cur&e of her waist resulted in a !articular attracti&eness. 1f not sim!ly considering size. the dee! cut at the chest area showed off her am!le assets. 1t was a sim!le design with no frills which brought out and enhanced her slender !ro!ortions. the water's cool and &ery niceH" $s +rika and Miyuki called out from the beach.The sand was white and the sun dazzling. were the swimsuit clad girls frolicking around on the beach. The first to catch one's eyes would !robably be +rika's flashy coloured one3!iece. What was dazzling. by the way. "Tatsuya3kuHn. flashy wa&es of water rose. *n the other hand. under the shade of a !arasol !ositioned into the beach. and the bold !attern ser&ed to em!hasize her &ibrant fairy3like charm. she continued to wear her grown3u! detached e-!ression. 7eo and Mikihiko were ha&ing a com!etition /swimming0. To the side. and he shifted his gaze. +&en so. Shizuku was in a girlish swimsuit laden with frills.

"8air enough. Iust cam!ing under the !arasol like this all day would be a waste. 1 guess 1 will. he casually remo&ed himself from the line of sight of those fi&e charming figures. <lancing at the bodies around him 9 Tatsuya com!limented himself for managing not to utter a sound. Whilst kee!ing his eyes firmly down. This would ha&e been !roblematic in a normal situation. he immersed himself in solitude.uestion.$s Tatsuya watched 7eo seemed to be right in his element.. Staring was ob&iously likewise out of the . that wasn't something he said aloud. and ne-t to her was +rika wearing that e&il grin of hers. 8i&e !eo!le were bent o&er looking at his face. we finally came all this way to the sea.. With no clear reason why. Then suddenly. *f course.8or some ine-!licable reason it made him recall a sense of intimacy. . her hands on her la!. it a!!eared that Shizuku's body wasn't as childlike as he had imagined. Behind Shizuku innocently waiting for his re!ly was Mizuki. the mood &isibly changed." With Miyuki on the left and %onoka on the right. 7ooking further into the distance. 8or a while. surrounding him in a similar !osture to Shizuku. $s the !arka hit the sand.. thinking?" Shizuku asked as she bent o&er him from the front at the waist. 7ea&ing things like this would be &ery bad. "Tatsuya3san. he gradually let his consciousness drift away. . Tatsuya se&erely felt so.. "*nii3sama. while Mikihiko was des!erately trying to catch his stride. there was no esca!e for his eyes where&er he looked. so won't you come swim?" "That's right." <etting to his feet and brushing sand off his trunks.. he took off his yacht !arka. he felt the !resence of !eo!le. 7ooking from this angle. ne&er mind in swimsuits. towards the horizon.

could !roduce such a body. Many were cuts. it's not something !leasant to look at. but it was already too late. Tatsuya a&erted his eyes from +rika and stretched out for his 2ust discarded !arka.enaissance scul!ture. Iust as many were !unctures.. There was one feature there that scul!tures lacked howe&er 9 criss3 crossing all o&er the skin were innumerable scars.*h cra!." +rika couldn't hide the tension in her &oice. *ddly enough there was no trace of fractures. but e&en accounting for that it was not a body raised in a usual way.uestion. 2ust what. But e&en whilst boyish. The thickness of the muscle wasn't anything sur!rising. But his hand couldn't reach it. :or could sim!ly training until your blood ran... Tatsuya thought.. The eyes of those maidens were glued to 'those' on his body.." "Sorry. those are. but Mizuki. "Tatsuya3kun. stabbed. That which he should ha&e dro!!ed in the sand a moment ago. and Shizuku all readily realised 2ust what +rika had been so ner&ously sur!rised about. the chest muscles and abdominals were hea&ily toned and firm... until blood flowed as if under torture. ." . 1t didn't e&en .. was now firmly held tight against Miyuki's chest as she knelt at his feet.uite a!!roach the &olume of an adult's body.eturning an irrele&ant answer to that uns!oken . 4recisely because +rika understood. and burned.. Mere normal training could ne&er do this. What those were soon became clear. :ot 2ust Tatsuya. "Tatsuya3kun. almost like a .... %onoka.. There were some minor burn marks in !laces. *nly actually being cut.. you.. or !erha!s the training itself was torture. she didn't scream out loud. ?nderneath the !arka hid a body forged of steel.

is !roof of the !ain *nii3sama went through to be stronger than anyone." But rather from looking dee! into his eyes at such close range. "So. 1 don't think *nii3sama's body is anything to be ashamed of. there was no need to worry about retracting it. $t that howe&er. it was %onoka." $t Miyuki's words. 1n close contact. Miyuki showed not a hint of embarrassment." Miyuki's face was faintly red. she was wearing a se!arate swimsuit. . $lthough s!eaking of weird. 1t would be e&en weirder if she wasn't this ner&ous. what was weirder was %onoka's actions. "*nii3sama. but rather in !raise.$lthough his sister. so Tatsuya's arm was touching her soft skin directly. "1 know. ?nlike Miyuki. but it came not from any shame at clinging to him half naked. 8ortunately /?0. Miyuki's chest was !ressed against Tatsuya's arm with only a thin swimsuit between them. it's fine. $lmost as if com!eting with Miyuki. Then. %onoka's face was three times as red as Miyuki's. an act which would be natural for lo&ers being acted u!on on someone of the o!!osite se. "1. so his left arm ended u! wandering aimlessly through the air. she hugged Tatsuya's arm tight with both hands. 4robably as a matter of course. "WahC" The one who had raised her &oice in sur!rise was Mizuki. Whether because of that. he felt the im!act of something soft !ressing on his right arm. he would not allow his hand to go near a lady's chest. %e was !retty sure he already knew who it was. Because the moment he rose. she began to talk ra!idly after that. 1 don't mind eitherC" 5es!ite fumbling at the start.and whilst in a swimsuit was far too bold. his left arm was en&elo!ed by Miyuki's right arm. +rika ga&e a low whistle. but nonetheless he turned his head to &erify the !resence wra!!ed around his right arm. 1t wasn't in ridicule. That e&ery one of these scars. $s e-!ected. Tatsuya's e-!ression softened slightly.

the scars engra&ed all o&er Tatsuya's body should be something hard to face.. no. The second !art howe&er he couldn't agree with at all. Tatsuya understood that !erfectly well. Tatsuya could only su!!ose that remo&ing his !arka in front of those girls des!ite knowing that was a stu!id moment of carelessness.8or a teenage girl... while rare. $nd as far as he was concerned he had long ago gi&en u! trying to classify Miyuki's words and actions with anything that could be considered as 'normal'. 1f there were only a few small ones there might not be any !roblems. . That aside +rika's reaction. shhC (ou can't say that Mizuki." Mizuki's words were likely not desultory. but rather sim!ly her honest thoughts. 1t was almost as if9 "1t's almost like.. e&en a woman rich in life e-!erience. But what was behind %onoka's actions was a mystery to him. Things had finally gotten interesting and all. was nonetheless understandable. !erha!s caused by the blazing tro!ical sun. but those scars would normally be associated with e&ents of terror. he thought bitterly. but he nonetheless wholeheartedly agreed with +rika's words 'you can't say that'.. being caught between your sister and your girlfriend isn't it?" "%ey.

.

%er reser&ation disa!!eared. Mizuki's &oice was the same as usual throughout. lifted it about the width of a finger. Tatsuya turned to alternati&ely look at the two girls still clinging to his arm.. "1 will !ro!erly show my atonement as well. 1 showed a strange attitude." $s she said so she hooked the thumb of her right hand under the shoulder stra! of her swimsuit and with a wink. who was futilely trying to deal with %onoka still wra!!ed firmly around his arm /he had long since sto!!ed caring about Miyuki0. 666 $ brilliant blue sky s!read out o&erhead before Tatsuya.. and Miyuki looking u! at him with that !erfect smile." With the two of them still firmly attached to his arms. . +rika !uffed out her cheeks." "+&en if you tell me not to. that's rightC" 1'&e 2ust thought of something good. as that smile lit u! her face once more.But in between the first and second half of that sentence. With %onoka still ra!idly chattering away without lifting her head. "7et's go swim. sorry Tatsuya3kun. 1 don't mind. !lease don't mind anything either. With that e&il grin +rika backed away slightly from Tatsuya. Mizuki stiffened. while Mizuki smiled &acantly lost in her own world." ":o. "?h. So +rika. her e-!ression said. +rika's &oice notably changed.. ah.. Tatsuya began to awkwardly !roceed towards the beach. the only sensation was the la!!ing of the wa&es. Shizuku nodded and sim!ly said 'well done' to the back of the girl on the right. 4assing those two and catching u! to Tatsuya's crowd.. 8loating on his back in the calm sea /only his almost submerged face rose o&er the surface of the water0. :e-t to +rika.

>ee!ing a distance so as not to disturb him but within eye shot seemed to be a com!romise Miyuki. with what could be called '2etstreams' flying e&erywhere /of course as if by magic. When he had said '1'll be off for a bit' and turned his back to those fi&e. had settled u!on.unning u! ne-t to the ca!sized boat. nor was it !articularly stable. $ scream suddenly cut through the calm summer air. 1t was a mo&ement techni. The location was a beach close to where Tatsuya was drifting. it was decided the enemy was Tatsuya0.ue he would normally ne&er use if others were around to see. Miyuki's face seemed to be filled with frustration. Miyuki and +rika in the water around the sides.Iust a while earlier a water fight had ensued. %onoka and Shizuku were on the boat. Though she was in a boat it wasn't !articularly big. Tatsuya in one ste! had continuously been 8lash )asting a surface tension am!lification magic . howe&er. and he wondered if it was alright for her to come so far out. yet without e&en looking by analysing the !ushions they were emitting he could gras! what they were likely to be doing. the idea was that unfortunate !ossibilities if !ut into words would transcend theory into reality. but as e-!ected she understood well his uncomfortableness. Most of it was not con&ersation but sim!ly senseless shrieking. but the two of them must ha&e been engaged in some serious long distance swimming as they were no longer in sight. and immediately rose onto the surface of the water and began s!rinting full throttle towards the boat. Whether the !ower of language or a flag as it's designated by &arious !eo!le. The ha!!y &oices of the girls carried o&er on the breeze to where he lay. That ominous !remonition turned out to be right on the money. :ow the ladies were !laying on a boat. and Mizuki should be sitting about under a !arasol on the beach. While being rocked by those gentle wa&es. 1f 7eo and Mikihiko had been around he might ha&e been able to hang on a little longer. fi&e girls on one guy was too much of a mental strain e&en for him. That doesn't sim!ly a!!ly to words uttered from the mouth. but thoughts formed in the mind as well. %onoka had said she wasn't a &ery good swimmer. . then the rest of the girls. but it sure was a heck of a lot faster than swimming. Tatsuya !ercei&ed the ca!sizing e&ent as information faster than the eye could see. Tatsuya remembered something.

Tatsuya decided to think about 2ust how they had managed that later. The other three 9 Shizuku. and before she could rise she was restrained by Shizuku.. %onoka3san. sniff. Tatsuya di&ed feet3first into the water. kicking away e&en as Tatsuya brought her u! to the surface of the water. and swimming !racticality after. Tatsuya hooked his hand around %onoka's waist. 5es!erately and unreasonably resisting being led to the boat. +rika had !ushed Shizuku back onto the boat... 2ust by being in the hot water of that summer sea would sa! her de!leted strength further.. Tatsuya suddenly realised why she had been so reluctant. is there something. %owe&er. %onoka was wildly flailing her limbs.. it was necessary to ha&e her rest inside the boat. $ fresh scream rent the !eaceful air. Tatsuya reluctantly shook his head.. The momentum !ro!elled half of her body inside. and wordlessly allowed the gra&ity from his lift to carry him back down beneath the wa&es. and in confusion Mizuki who didn't know what had ha!!ened was trying to comfort her. +&er since making it back onto the surface of the water she had calmed somewhat.. Seeing her u! close from the front.. 8ollowing Miyuki's gestures who had di&ed in earlier. Tatsuya shut his eyes tightly. Because of her weakened state.. as %onoka crouched down and co&ered her chest with both hands... +ither +rika or Shizuku had righted the o&erturned craft.. $bo&e him. 666 "%ic." "?h.?" ?!on reaching the beach she had broken down and began crying in earnest. and forcibly lifted %onoka's body into the &essel. but she was still in a relati&ely agitated state. hic. she ke!t !leading '!lease wait a bitC' and '1 beg youC'. and took %onoka towards the boat.. +rika and Miyuki . uhmm.. 1n an understandable state of !anic.to achie&e an effect like a 'water s!ider'.. are you alright. %er swimsuit was missing the to!. The swimsuit %onoka had been wearing had !robably been designed with fashion foremost in mind.

... but.." That line was somewhat cons!iratorial.. and although he held no accountability in that regard. "This is a good chance.. and des!ite the numerous contradictions.." +rika's words naturally had no effect.. "%onoka... it also seemed something sus!icious had gotten mi-ed into those comforting words.." %owe&er.. Tatsuya3kun was 2ust trying to hel!." $ . not e&en Tatsuya.uiet &oice only %onoka could hear.. Thinking so Tatsuya bowed low.. 1 told him.. .. he would ha&e wanted nothing more than to run away.. as Shizuku whis!ered something in %onoka's ear. %owe&er.. "%ic. 1'm sorry.your clothing after. Miyuki wasn't able to find words for either !arty." 5es!ite the small &olume. 1 truly am &ery sorry... %onoka muttered "Then." *f course. to waaait.stood around the two in ab2ect embarrassment.... sniff.... "%onoka. Shizuku had a few more ins!irational words with her. listen to e&erything 1 say. "This wasn't e-actly according to !lan. 1 uh. "%e ga&e you !lenty of time to fi..... the one who felt the most awkward was Tatsuya.2ust for today. confusion settled on Tatsuya's face." $s Tatsuya bowed again." "." Tatsuya himself had had no malicious intent.... he couldn't 2ust kee! an indifferent face... Shizuku's words seemed to ha&e a calming effect.." ")ome again?" $t those totally une-!ected words. this wasn't something he could 2ust hide from. "That.. are you really sorry?" "1 am being !erfectly sincere.. then %onoka finally looked u!... well. Truth be told.. that's why.... you know that Tatsuya3san isn't to blame..... "Tatsuya3san..... hic.

. .a!!eal it e-uded would ha&e instantly attracted the eyes of any teenage male. 8or 7eo howe&er who distinctly felt 'food before romance' before these four swimsuit clad forms. )old drinks and colourful fruits were arrayed all o&er the table.. 666 By the time 7eo returned from his looo3o3ong /both in distance and duration0 swim.. he was 2ust in time for tea on the balcony. Tatsuya and Mitsui?" "They're in. but from behind. ".. Mikihiko breathlessly answered as . but a light mini one3!iece." The answer came not from the table... %er shoulders were bare.?" Tatsuya and Miyuki e-changed glances. Taking a ste! back and looking maturely. Miyuki's crooked smile seemed to suggest 'it can't be hel!ed'. 7eo remarked 'oh?' as he looked around.1f that's what you want.uests like in the '>ing's game' that was !o!ular se&eral decades ago.. the boat.. two were beauties and two had already sur!assed the le&el of the word beauty.. 1s that ok.. not e&en >urosawa's 'adult a!!eal' was a match for him.. "1f you do. way o&er there. but Miyuki and +rika wore similar e-!ressions. "Where are.... 1'll forgi&e you. $s he nodded yes. and her slender limbs !eeked out from behind the a!ron that was larger than the dress itself. Tired all o&er and dri!!ing seawater. The sheer se. But that didn't mean he was insensiti&e.ecognising those four swimsuits. but today there were four more !owerful swimsuits alongside her. %onoka ha!!ily cried 'it's a !romiseC' with a broad smile." $lthough she had said 'whate&er she says'. :ot 2ust Tatsuya. he knew she wasn't a girl who would make malicious re..%onoka didn't fit the image of someone who would say something like that at all. The acting waiter >urosawa didn't wear a costume underneath her a!ron.

that e-!ression was almost a sulk. Mikihiko could feel the e-ceedingly !eaceful air they ga&e. +&en as +rika freaked out. Mikihiko could hear these ominous sounds coming from the girl sitting ne-t to him. so her e-!ression likewise couldn't be seen. Tatsuya's e-!ression was hidden under its shade and indiscernible." $t 7eo's . a cold air cut through the room from the o!!osite seat.." (ou morons. that sna! sna! sna!.. Seeing Mikihiko watching the scene with interest.That's . Wearing a straw hat.. Mikihiko took the sorbet s!oon from her.uite the nice atmos!here isn't it?" "(ou two. rather than being offended had his curiosity !i. she left unsaid. . and as she turned away.. ..ather than curt. +&en so as the small boat receded from the shore. ".ued further.. he also immediately looked o&er to sea. .. and immediately she was holding a raw mango sorbet.. +rika answered toothily.emo&ing her frozen gaze from the fruit she had been staring at. 7eo. >urosawa !assed him a s!oon. Miyuki laughed as she !assed a far too cold orange to Mikihiko.. hey... ". Tatsuya and %onoka were heading out to sea in a retro rowboat.. (eah.. Sna! sna! sna!. she offered it to the !erson across from her with another bright smile..What the heck's going on?" "Stuff ha!!ened. stuff.. *nce again.. won't you ha&e a chilled orange?" Talking affably. Mechanically. With !erfect timing.. Miyuki had another !iece of fruit in her hands.uestion. %onoka held a !arasol and had her back turned to them. sound could be heard. "Mikihiko3kun..he !ointed.. reminiscent of dee!est winter..

Miyuki3o2ousama. Shizuku's signature !okerface was a marked contrast. >urosawa was almost e-clusi&ely ser&ing him. 7eo was wolfing food down with gusto... %onoka ha!!ily chatted away with +rika and Shizuku. 4erha!s because of the trauma incurred during teatime.. there was an awkward air floating in between them. Miyuki directed her gaze back at the mountain of fruit before her. Miyuki slid away into the &illa.. Mizuki sat away from Miyuki and the others." 8ollowing >urosawa.. 1'm sorry. don't worry. with Miyuki !erha!s calming down after resting going back and forth between the table and the barbecue. but 1 feel a bit tired. But somehow 9 somehow com!ared to usual. )om!ared to Mizuki's cringing e-!ression. but !erha!s losing interest."Sai2ou3kun. won't you ha&e one too?" "$h." 7eo decided that answer would be for the best. )ould 1 rest somewhere for a while !lease?" "1t's fine. right this way. 666 ... with %onoka 2oining Miyuki's grou! sometimes. +ight !eo!le gathered harmoniously around the console. Before going off to incessantly !ester Tatsuya. >urosawa3san?" "*f course. 666 5inner was a barbecue. engaging in con&ersation with Mikihiko. "Shizuku. *f course the grou!ings weren't e-clusi&e. glumly looked away.... and Tatsuya getting into a foodfight with 7eo. thanks.

$nyway that being said. who was unable to concentrate on his game of chess while shooting side glances at the girls. +rika grabbed her by the shirt and !ulled her back down. they turned left onto the beach. Shizuku walked on in silence. $lmost immediately. you two take care. .Sure. "+hhhC? 1 didn't hear anything about thatC" "The loser ob&iously has to go through a !unishment game.. but something definitely was going to ha!!en 9 the one who broke that !osition and raised the curtain....." %er confusion lasted only for a second. 1t's im!ossible to be sure of what will ha!!en. "# more mo&es. ")heckmate. $s soon as the card game the fi&e girls had been !laying ended in Mizuki's defeat. 666 7ea&ing the &illa. !robably realising the situation and Mikihiko. and !retending not to notice the tensions between them she wa&ed Miyuki and Shizuku off. alreadyC?" )ried out at Tatsuya's ruthless sentence. are you guys going for a walk? 1'll come too." $s Mizuki rose to follow after Miyuki. Shizuku asked Miyuki "Will you come with me for a bit?" ".?m. and Miyuki followed in silence.. was someone une-!ected." "+hh... Miyuki was smiling again. The ones who sensed the tense atmos!here weren't 2ust the ladies.." "(ou can't Mizuki. (ou ha&e to go through the !unishment game.1t was the calm before the storm." Whether reading the air or not +rika subtly bound Mizuki. ". $fter finishing dinner 7eo grabbed the !udding and took off..

" "$bout what?" "Iust how does Miyuki feel about Tatsuya3san?" $t Shizuku's . Miyuki sim!ly smiled.. %er normally e-!ressionless face was tense." Miyuki's answer came without the slightest hesitation. %er e-!ression was serene... Shizuku turned around." Miyuki answered in a single word with absolute calm.uestion without any co&ering or roundabout a!!roach." "1t's fine. she couldn't bring herself to immediately cut to the chase.They !roceeded in that way and when the lights of the &illa could no longer be seen. "1 lo&e him. "1 lo&e and res!ect *nii3sama more than anyone. These feelings 1 ha&e for my brother are not romantic lo&e. *(This is the type of smile on ancient Greek statues) "Sorry for making you accom!any me all this way. that's not as a woman. but that e-!ression was an archaic smile* from which no emotions could be read. . $fter counting "# rounds of wa&es washing gently o&er the shore. Shizuku o!ened her mouth. ". as a man?" .. why would you ask such a .ather. 1s there something you wanted to talk about?" +&en at Miyuki's !rom!ting howe&er.1s that." Meeting Shizuku's gaze. "1 want to know. There could ne&er be such a lo&e between him and 1.. "1'm curious to know.uestion of me?" She ga&e a sly grin. ":o. But. without any e-!lanation or reason of intent. She kee!ing her cool was !robably 2ust another as!ect of her !ersonality. the one who seemed u!set was Shizuku.

although 1 guess that's going to be difficult.. she didn't flinch.." $t Miyuki's gentle gaze. But the feelings 1 ha&e towards *nii3sama are not so sim!le as that. 1'm not blaming you or anything....... Miyuki walked !ast her in that way. " ery well.. Shizuku's e-!ression seemed to be nearing tears.do you try to detach yourself like that? 1 mean...." "But..1'm sorry." "1.. "(ou'&e asked a !retty well worn ." Miyuki answered with her back still turned... Miyuki's smile was carefree.. *r at least that's what it says on the records..."1t's fine. Shizuku &isibly stiffened.." Miyuki took a ste! towards Shizuku." ":o. but. "$s 1 was saying... *nii3sama and 1 are true siblings...... Shizuku abashedly looked away. Which is why you're so conflicted right? (ou're doing your best not to hurt either of us.1t's difficult to e-!lain the relationshi! between us siblings to someone else." .uestion... ".. . until they were back to back." $s Miyuki ga&e a light laugh." ".. since you ha&e a friend who really is trying her hardest..Iust so you know. 1 ha&e no intention to interfere with %onoka whatsoe&er. ".. when it's so e&ident that you lo&e Tatsuya3san so much. There are too many s!eculations intertwined.." "Why what?" "Why... also think of you as my friend.Why." "1 know.... "." Shaking her head........ and 5:$ tests ha&e always confirmed that relation..$re you really siblings?" $s Shizuku turned around... 1 will feel really 2ealous though? So rest assured..

" $s Miyuki s!oke her smile was so fleeting. so 1 su!!ose '1 really did die' isn't that inaccurate either.omantic lo&e. e&en 1 know it transcends the realm of normal sibling bonds. Being able to cry. to s!eak with you right here and now." She instincti&ely understood Miyuki wasn't searching for an answer. 1 owe my life to him." "That's.. and the line '1 really did die' deli&ered with such con&iction that Shizuku couldn't hel! but feel a shi&er run down her s!ine. to laugh. "1t's because of *nii3sama that 1 can stand before you like this.uestion 'what does that mean?' remained uns!oken." "%uh?" 1n light of this confession. She belie&ed it wasn't suitable. Miyuki nodded understandingly.. there is nothing 1 want from *nii3sama."1 know what you want to say.....uestion 'as a man?'. means you want something from that !erson doesn't it?" +&en if she could ha&e con&ersely asked Miyuki 'isn't lo&e wanting that !erson to be yours?'. . "(ou know. "." $s Shizuku stammered. Shizuku didn't re!ly." The answer she ga&e instead referred to the second . and besides. not e&en she could su!!ress her &oice. and no answer to it came. and all 1 ha&e and all 1 am belong to him alone. in truth. "*r maybe it's better to say 1 should ha&e died? But at that time.." Shizuku fell silent in embarrassment.. is all thanks to him. and the con&iction in her &oice was no less than before. "But. Because 1 ha&e already recei&ed me myself from him. "These feelings 1 ha&e for *nii3sama.." The . 1 had died three years ago. "The feelings 1 ha&e for *nii3sama are not romantic lo&e. 1 truly could feel my life fading from my body..

the ca!sizing incident earlier had also been something 'orchestrated' by Shizuku in an attem!t to bring %onoka and Tatsuya together. '1'll take Miyuki outside. so you in&ite Tatsuya in the meanwhile'. she said she was 'going to !ick flowers'. 1n the end. Shizuku could do nothing but raise the white flag.. Truthfully s!eaking. and her !lan had been that Tatsuya would sa&e her then %onoka could use that as a !rete-t to a!!roach and thank him. While she looked herself o&er. :otes D Love* .. she ran through the words Shizuku had said. 1n case Tatsuya didn't make it in time. Shizuku had set the stage for %onoka's confession. %onoka a!!lied a light co&ering of !ale rouge.. Shizuku understood %onoka's feelings !erfectly well without needing to consult her.. Miyuki closed one eye and ga&e a mischie&ous smile." "1 think it's a somewhat war!ed way of looking at things myself.. ."1 don't desire anything more from him. as o!!osed to s!ecifically romantic lo&e 恋愛. you really are the real deal.." ". lo&e@ is the only word 1 could use to describe it. she also had a followu! !lan !re!ared." $t Miyuki's confession. %onoka went to check herself in a mirror. "Miyuki. :ow.. $!!rehensi&ely.. What had e&entuated was a com!lete accident. Similar com!arison may be !hilia /kindred lo&e0 and eros /!assionate lo&e0. 1 won't e&en ask him to acce!t my feelings.. The word she uses here is the catch3all word for lo&e 愛 する.1 got it. She had informed him earlier that %onoka was not a good swimmer." $s Shizuku 2ust shook her head. so e&en as Shizuku felt guilty she was also rather ha!!y.. She had immediately known what she meant. 666 Soon after Shizuku and Miyuki left. 1 guess. but as a result %onoka had been able to mono!olise Tatsuya for the day. When she left the room.

" . and %onoka !roceeded back in to the li&ing room. nothing would be resol&ed..Touching u! her hair and rechecking her attire. ?nder the endless starlit sky. *ther words which were e&en now being e-changed that same night were lost to the sound of surf and ne&er reached them. %owe&er. and Tatsuya sto!!ed and turned around. When she had asked him 'would you come outside with me for a bit?' he had immediately re!lied yes. +&en as he encouraged her with his eyes. which !uzzled her somewhat. %onoka stood looking at Tatsuya face to face. 1n a way.. $ccording to !lan she was to lure Tatsuya away while Miyuki wasn't here. it felt to %onoka as if he had already guessed her intentions and was a&oiding reaching the conclusion. the far too smooth start had shaken her slightly. She wasn't e&en aware that her feet were trembling slightly. Somehow. %onoka could only glance aside and start chattering.. $ growing sense of crisis welled u! within her that if she didn't act herself. So far e&erything was going as en&isioned. she couldn't !roceed. "1. Tatsuya was silent. "Tatsuya3san." $fter o!ening and closing her mouth countless times %onoka finally managed to let out a strained &oice... accom!anied only by the murmur of the wa&es. By now the lights of the &illa were out of &iew. 666 Walking ne-t to Tatsuya and stealing a glance at his face e&ery now and then. and as if to shelter %onoka from the wa&es Tatsuya had walked on the sea side throughout. *ut from the &illa they had turned right. %onoka muttered 'alrightC' as she !syched herself u!. %onoka was troubled as to when she should start talking.

$t times she would look u!, meeting his gaze as if trying to say something, then with a strained e-!ression stammer something out; this !rocess was re!eated numerous times. "(es, what is it?" Tatsuya encouraged her in a softer tone than usual, with softer words than usual. 4erha!s encouraged more by his &oice than his words, "1...... uhm, 1...... 1 like youC" These words that %onoka finally managed to s,ueeze out, after all her hesitation, may ha&e e&en managed to !enetrate through to the other side of the darkness. But %onoka didn't think about that at all. .ight now, to her, the two of them were the only ones in the whole world. "9So how does Tatsuya3san feel about me?" ?nable to look him in the eyes %onoka s,ueezed her eyes tightly shut, yet an answer didn't come. "......5id 1 cause you trouble?" <ingerly o!ening her eyes %onoka asked in a tearful &oice, but Tatsuya sim!ly shook his head with a smile. ":ot at all. 1 had a feeling you might say something like this. Though 1 only realised around afternoon today." $s they looked at each other, %onoka felt she could sense a dee! indescribable sadness in his eyes. 4re!aring herself for the sorrow that was sure to come, %onoka s,ueezed her hands tightly. But Tatsuya's res!onse, for better or for worse, was something une-!ected entirely. "......(ou know, %onoka, 1'm actually a human missing !art of his soul." "......eh?" "When 1 was a child, 1 was in&ol&ed in a magic accident of sorts...... some of my mental functions were erased." %onoka's face !aled &isibly. %er !allor was e&ident e&en in the dark

night. %er eyes were o!en wide, and only a 'no way......' leaked out as she co&ered her mouth with her hands. "$t that time, 1 guess, 1 lost all of what you could call feelings of lo&e. They weren't sealed, so they can't be released. They weren't broken, so they can't be fi-ed. That which is lost, cannot be reco&ered." Tatsuya s!oke casually as if it were someone else's affair. "1 can't feel lo&e. 1 can like someone, but 1 could ne&er fall in lo&e with them. 1n a way, only the knowledge remains. Searching my mind, 1 can tell a !art is missing." $s %onoka co&ered her mouth, she didn't utter anything like 'that's a lie' or '1 don't belie&e it'. She was literally shocked s!eechless. *nly Tatsuya's !rofession rang though her mind. "This may be an underhanded way of s!eaking, but, 1 do like you. %owe&er, that's only as a friend. :o matter how hard you try, 1 will ne&er be able to think of you as a s!ecial woman. That will definitely be something !ainful for you 9 something that will hurt you." Saying so, a !owerless smile drifted across his face. "Which is why 1 cannot answer your feelings." Tatsuya fell silent. %onoka likewise. *nly the sound of breaking wa&es filled the dark night. $s the tide gradually cre!t u! the shore, and at length, finally reached their feet, %onoka raised her head. "4lease don't be mad...... you know, 1 had thought, Tatsuya3san liked Miyuki. :ot as a sister, but as a woman." "......That'd be a misunderstanding." "(es, it seems so. Tatsuya3san is smart, so...... if you were lying, you'd definitely be able to come u! with something more credible. 1'&e ne&er heard of a magic ca!able of erasing !artial features of the mind, yet e&en so, 1 belie&e you. Still, that being said, it also means you'll ne&er be able to lo&e any other girl right?"

Somewhat !uzzled at this une-!ected turn of e&ents, Tatsuya answered 'well, yeah......' with a nod. "......1f so, then it's fine." "?"

.

.." $s +rika and Mizuki looked on in amazement.. ".. want to go?" $nd so on... Won't you hel! me with this sunscreen?" "Tatsuya3san. until 1 can like someone else that isC" %er declaration was bright.. Want a ride?" "$!!arently there's a nice di&e s!ot 2ust o&er there. true. 1 su!!ose" "Then there's no !roblem. huh. 1n that sweaty weather.." Tatsuya nodded with a wry smile.1 don't mind. it seems he really has it tough. "Shizuku is lending us her 2etski.." "%onoka3san. it seems a great weight has been lifted from you. while the others around felt the o!!ressi&ely heated atmos!here. 666 The sun aggressi&ely asserted itself the ne-t day as well... The tem!erature was in e-cess of J#K) from the morning. Tatsuya3san will ne&er ha&e a lo&er right? 1f so. "Miyuki. "*nii3sama... my back."8rom now on always... huh... %e wasn't so dull as to not understand why %onoka had !ur!osely added 'until she likes someone else'. "Well... ". ... you really were holding back yesterday. 1'll continue to like youC ?m. for me to like you. want some 2uice?" *r..... wouldn't turn into an illicit lo&e right?" "That's." 7eo's face was filled with com!assion." Shizuku's face was troubled. 8rom now on as well. u!on the sandy beach9 $ fierce scorching battle was being waged.

no. %onoka was actually a fairly com!etent swimmer 9 yesterday she had !anicked for a different reason 9 as he went with her &ia motorboat to the di&e s!ot /Miyuki also came along0. Being caught in this !ressure hotter than the *gasawara air mass /lo&e !ressure?0.. well.. for the sake of his honour it'd be best not to say. sighing at e&ery turn.. like a goose being fed for foie gras /'ahhn's accom!anied and all0. When 2et skiing.again. .. looked forward to being able to rela.. $nyway as their friends each had their own se!arate thoughts as they gazed their way..(oshida3kun. it's nothing." and Mikihiko was 9 no. he rode tandem with Miyuki in the !assenger seat /afterwards was %onoka0. More than yesterday. $fter a!!lying sunscreen /or rather rea!!lying0. he had food !ushed into his mouth one after the other... what's the matter?" "+h.".uests.. more than e&er.. Tatsuya3san who was being constantly buffeted around in this burning atmos!here. Tatsuya alternated between Miyuki and %onoka's re. Truth be told.

Part 2: The Honor Student's Supplementary Lesson
(currently not translated)

Part 3: Amelia in Wonderland
(Currently not translated)

Part 4: riendship and the du!ious Loli"on
Third %igh School, which is affiliated with the :ational Magic ?ni&ersity, is located outside >anazawa )ity in the 1shikawa 4refecture. Because of the wide scale shift of district lines under the current district system, it is !ro!erly called the Lformer 1shikawa 4refecture,M but !eo!le, including the mass media, normally refer to former !refectures and their ca!itals by their old names. 4robably because of habit. 1t could be that L1shikawa 4refectureM is also used instead of LThe 5omain of >agaM or LThe )ountry of :otoM because LitNs what weNre used toM. 1tNs not really im!ortant. 1n the reference room of Third %igh School, which is located outside >anazawa )ity in the 1shikawa 4refecture, >ichi2ou2i Shinkurou sto!!ed working so diligently on his manuscri!t and did a gigantic stretch. %e might be on the brink of ruining it by trying to im!ro&e it, so he took off the headset for the brain wa&e assistant interface and once again made a big arch with his back. %eNd been working longer than heNd thought; it would !robably be best to make that !osture again. The sound of bones cracking back into !lace continued; the feel of small aches and !ains made >ichi2ou2i scowl. Since he was taking a break from writing for now, he turned his face away. There was no window in the reference room since it might !otentially be used to ins!ect the highly confidential documents, but, !erha!s for use of recharging, on the side of a wall in the small !ri&ate room was a dis!lay that !retended to be a window that switched between different landsca!es. The Olandsca!eN he could see from this !ri&ate room was of a gro&e of trees dee! in the mountains wa&ering in a gentle wind; >ichi2ou2i was fond of this scene. What heNd been working on was for the Thesis )om!etition held at the end of *ctober, the manuscri!t he would use for his !resentation for LThe :ational %igh School Magic Theory Thesis )om!etition s!onsored by the Ia!anese Magic $ssociationM. >ichi2ou2i was a

1n the world of the study of magic.world renowned magic researcher as well a first year high school student. he had become o&erzealous about the writing of his manuscri!t 9 e&en he himself felt so. in this country es!ecially. the realm outside of magic theory. 1n the world of magic research. >ichi2ou2i also considered that a natural idea. 1f the study of magic is to !romote learning.ualed the L)ardinal )odeM were no more than once a year at the most. Magical theory in the end is something for the !ur!ose of using technical skills called magic. but e&en if taking the &iew!oint of worldwide. this was a widely su!!orted way of thinking. >ichi2ou2i himself felt so. $t least. %owe&er. 1t was the ri&alry he felt with that boy he met at the :ine Schools )om!etition. >ichi2ou2i !rided himself on being the only one in his age grou! whose brain was at this le&el not only within the country. The theoretical is accom!anied by the !ractical. %owe&er. the conce!t was common sense and a widely diffused !remise. $nd. %e was also aware of the reason. $side from the !ractical side of Magic. he was not being conceited. so heNd been chosen as a member of Third %igh SchoolNs re!resentati&es. 1n fact. his &anity had been crushed a &ariety of times in the last :ine Schools )om!etition. for the first time that had meaning. %is !ersonal !re!arations had begun before summer &acation. there were currently new scientific findings being announced day by day.ual to his own which disco&ered the L)ardinal )odeM. >ichi2ou2i ShinkurouNs achie&ement was that rare and &aluable. but scientific findings that e. >ichi2ou2i had ne&er felt that he was inferior to anyone around his own age in Magic Theory. ?ntil the :ine Schools )om!etition. then sooner or later it might ad&ance to include the study of logical conce!ts to e-!lain reality that were !urely mental constructs. the modern study of . but e&er since the :ine Schools )om!etition had ended. a theory that can not be !ut into !ractice is ridiculous. Shiba Tatsuya. he had almost no memories of e&er feeling ri&alry with anyone. in terms of owners of brains e.

%e was also aware that it was not 2ust his imagination. . >nowledge and techni. That left >ichi2ou2i immensely aggra&ated. %e who could ne&er win against LthemM in !ower was so useful to LthemM that he was an utter necessity. and another !erson could not out!erform him. 3331chi2ouNs state of mind seemed a little off333 That !hrase fell into >ichi2ou2iNs ears some days rarely.ue were the cornerstones of his self3 confidence.magic was not at that le&el. himself. $fter all. :ot 2ust knowledge. >ichi2ou2i !ledged to himself that he would redeem himself from his loss during the :ine Schools )om!etition at the Thesis )om!etition. the techni. Therefore. S!eaking of the aftermath of the :ine Schools )om!etition.ue demonstrated by that guy. /P5es!ite that. >ichi2ou2i. 1chi2ou Masaki was suffering from L7o&e SicknessM. thought so. but the !ower of the two unified to make him actually feel that the sum was greater than the !arts. %e considered &ictory o&er 8irst %igh School at the Thesis )om!etition to be the shortest route to regaining his self confidence. not 2ust techni. had car&ed a sense of defeat into >ichi2ou2iNs heart. he s!ent almost e&ery day confined in this reference room working hard com!osing his !resentation s!eech. 8irst %igh School 8irst (ear3 Shiba Tatsuya. >ichi2ou2i knew the reason Masaki was LoffM. directly after the :ine Schools )om!etition was o&er. Masaki was afflicted with an disease that had from old been called La sickness no doctor can cureM and Lnot soothed by hot s!rings thera!yM. 8or that reason. there isnNt really anything 1 can do0 >ichi2ou2i !robably could not be attacked for not being a Ltrue friendM. $nd. %e made no ob2ection to calling MasakiNs condition as off. in regards to the way theory is useful for !ractice. $fter all.ue.uently. which he needed to do. >ichi2ou2i acce!ted it. some days fre.

the reason for his torment was not anything like him being a neo!hyte. . a com!lete !rude. himself. the illness had become unnecessarily se&ere. :ot like a flesh and blood !erson. good looks and !edigree was the ty!e that did not ha&e to do anything to ha&e a !ack of girls after him. howe&er. in !art due to the !otential of actually getting her. if someone said she was the fantasy of a teenage boy transformed into a three dimensional image by su!er science. once or twice. he could 2ust about belie&e it. +&en without relying on a !hoto.uited lo&e. couldnNt kee! his heart from beating faster when he recalled that girlNs image. +&en he.uited lo&e. The girl was that lo&ely. The name of Shiba Miyuki had s!ecial meaning for >ichi2ou2i abo&e and beyond that of being the sub2ect of MasakiNs unre. Thanks to that /!robably0. he had gotten the feeling that she was some sort of dream or !roduct of some wild delusion. the matter ended without inciting ho!eless feelings of unre. 1n his case. The younger sister of the guy he held animosity for held his friendNs heart.LShiba MiyukiM That was the name of the one Masaki had fallen for. in MasakiNs case. 1t was inconcei&able that the ne-t head of that 1chi2ou clan could be tormented by lo&e troubles 9 but he was. Masaki with his brains.uited lo&e. or a se-ual de&iant or anything like that 9 there really was no reason for him not to confess his feelings and end his torment of unre. his brain could re&i&e her clear image. >ichi2ou2i thought. Since e&en he who had no feelings of affection toward her was in this state. Masaki who had fallen in lo&e with her !robably couldnNt hel! becoming more distracted than was usual for him. she was an unreachable goal ins!iring feelings of awe. She was Shiba TatsuyaNs younger sister.

itNs been awhile so letNs &isit my house. LMasakiM +&en without turning around. today 1 donNt really ha&e anything s!ecial to do. L5onNt say anything to im!ly that weNre not close. L*h. as the number of times that the eldest son of the 1chi2ou clan had to run around on family business were not few. right? 1f thatNs so. he had recognized him by &oice alone. Besides if its . Masaki made numerous detours hither and thither on his way home. if Masaki doesnNt mind. >ichi2ou2i returned directly to the school dormitory. Masaki lightly laughed it away.The inner workings >ichi2ou2iNs heart were more com!le. These were not all recreational /though a lot of times when he was 2ust !laying around0.M LSure. Iou2i.M >ichi2ou2iNs remark was an abbre&iation for LitNs not going to be out of your awayM. 1n contrast.than he knew.M L%ey? WouldnNt there be a !roblem 2ust dro!!ing in without warning?M To his friendNs sudden suggestion. when >ichi2ou2i turned around towards the &oice that had been aimed at his back 2ust as he was lea&ing school. 666 LIou2iM The Sun was almost com!letely !ast the western horizon with 2ust an edge was !assing through. the owner of the name he s!oke caught u! to him mid3turn. letNs go together. >ichi2ou2i !resented a common sense res!onse. L(ouNre already lea&ing. $lmost e&ery day. P$lright. Before he could turn around. %owe&er.

the Ten Master )lans were ostensibly !ri&ate citizens so affecting the !lanning was not within the 1chi2ou clanNs reach. 9The Ten Master )lans would also not use their influence in a matter like this. Since >ichoi2ou2i thought that the members of the 1chi2ou family would not be home yet. 1Nll dro! in.M Masaki in&ited >ichi2ou2i. was a national high school affiliated with the :ational Magic ?ni&ersity. The thirty minute route took Masaki and >ichi2ou2i twenty3fi&e minutes without hurrying. >ichi2ou2i dis!layed no real hesitation when he nodded his acce!tance of MasakiNs in&itation. )ommuting to school did not take thirty minutes. he did not ha&e any reason to dislike &isiting MasakiNs family. like the other magic high schools. 8rom the start. With the seasonNs long day already !ast. he was a little sur!rised to be hailed as he !assed through the gate into the garden. walking took thirty minutes. out of friendshi! without any guile. L%ey. There was no background detail like the school being useful to the 1chi2ou clan or the !rinci!al working for them. Third %igh School. 666 MasakiNs house was a mere thirty minute walk from school. :aturally. welcomeM . Since Masaki was going straight home and he did not need to worry about interfering with any business he had on the way. there? Shinkurou3kun. the fact that Third %igh School and the 1chi2ou mansion were within walking distance of each other was a sim!le coincidence. %owe&er. the twilight sky was di!!ed in !ur!le for a while. 1n the first !lace.Iou2i. >ichi2ou2i had reasons that he could not freely acce!t the 1chi2ou familyNs good will. 5eciding the !lacement of high schools was in the 2urisdiction of go&ernment offices.M L. who li&ed alone. that family of mine will always gi&e a warm welcome. no matter what was whis!ered in !laces.eally? <ot it.

was unaware of this. $kane was still a fourth year elementary student at that time and all she was to him was MasakiNs younger sister who would grow to a &i&acious beauty in the future. *n the other hand. >ichi2ou2i was not all that old. >ichi2ou2i had not had many chances to talk to that sister who was a third year elementary student. and Masaki also had a younger sister. but she had said L1 will become Shinkuro3kunNs bride somedayM. hello. 1chi2ou $kane. >ichi2ou2i. she would always !o! in to see him at least once whether she was there when he arri&ed or not. he did not hate $kane for any reason and since he felt indebted to the 1chi2ou family.M The one who greeted >ichi2ou2i with a smile was MasakiNs younger sister. Well. so he !arted . The first time he heard this statement. so whene&er he &isited the 1chi2ou residence. %e had not recei&ed such a clear Lconfession of lo&eM in about a year. but $kane had attached herself to him long ago. himself. >ichi2ou2i no longer felt bewildered about the situation. $kane who was a si-th year elementary student. When she first !roclaimed her intentions to him two years before. himself. 1t seemed like she was 2ust about to lea&e for !ractice. he was !uzzled. but $kane had teetered on the edges in her words. !ardon me. !ro!osals of marriage and the like did not seem all that real to him. he could not treat her coldly. e&en if the outer gate of the castle had been raised. %e did not know how serious she was.The cheerful &oice s!eaking to him had the high !itched so!rano of a child. by the third time. L$kane3chan. was a second year middle school student at the time. so she might ha&e gradually breached his defenses. since Masaki would not acce!t getting into any situation that made him look like he should recei&e the slur of lolicon /by that he meant Masaki wouldnNt acce!t anyone going after his sister while she was still a child0. howe&er. >ichi2ou2i. it was u! to Masaki to decide when to raise the inner gate. so >ichi2ou2i at that time was at a com!lete loss on how to handle it.

but the 1chi2ou clanNs interests were not that wides!read.yokans and restaurants. Since rather than taking what was bought when they went home. but women who wanted to look at the actual goods were numerous. it was still deli&ered. the Ten Master )lans and the additional eighteen families managed. but did not em!loy a lot of li&e3in maids and other ty!e of ser&ants. This was an era where e&eryday items and food as well could be su!!lied by online sho!!ing. That being said. The garden needed s!ecialized skills which were satisfied by !eriodically calling on a landsca!e gardener. The master of the house. es!ecially among the lady of the manor class.from $kane there. or when it hosted guests related to the society of magicians or on similar occasions were dealt with by hiring !eo!le from friendly local . who were fellow Ten Master )lans and surrounded themsel&es with a large number of ser&ants. *n the other hand. he would !robably meet her again later on. the assets they had been endowed with to an e-tent that was not &ery well known. >ichi2ou2i felt it wasnNt all that different from online sho!!ing. 1n order to su!!ort their !osition as leaders in the magician community and their !ersonal military !otential. 1n contrast to the families like the Saegusa and 1tsuwa. 1f no irregular situation occurred. since >ichi2ou2i !robably wouldnNt lea&e until after he dined with them for su!!er. >ichi2ou2i knew <ouki would !robably return in time for the e&ening meal. $n undersea mining com!any was the official 1chi2ou family business. MasakiNs mother was a housewife. She was !robably out sho!!ing. When the clan gathered. The 1chi2ou mansion is a grand residence roughly ten times the scale of an a&erage se!arated house residence. but that might be only be the male !oint of &iew. they o!erated under the !olicy of "if a . There were cases of some of them officially being at the Llocal bigwigM le&el while unofficially effecti&ely controlling an international cor!oration /one cor!oration owned another cor!oration which owned another cor!orationP0. the head of the 1chi2ou )lan 9 had not yet returned home. but she was absent as well. and sometimes in&ested. 1chi2ou <ouki 9 MasakiNs father.

*ne was !laced in front of >ichi2ou2i. there were no s!ecial guests e-!ected.M >ichi2ou2i answered the seated MasakiNs in. MasakiNs room is. %e could understand MasakiNs moti&e. $nd 1Nm !robably not going to see immediate .M >ichi2ou2i had heard a large amount of hearsay about MasakiNs acti&ities after the :ine Schools )om!etition. then a machine would do it" and e-tensi&ely used home automation. L1Nm not so bad. guaranteeing that e&en a si. L%ow about you. Today. Masaki. Since there was no need to be !olite to anyone in the un!o!ulated hallway.uiry. >ichi2ou2i stowed the bed away. Masaki !robably felt bitter o&er the defeat in Monolith )ode and wanted !ayback.tatami room would ha&e !lenty of s!ace. the other remained in his hand as he sat down on the o!!osite side from >ichi2ou2i. closet and other furnishings could be stored within the wall and accessed by a wall mural. who felt defeated by Shiba Tatsuya in )$5 a!!lication and tuning. es!ecially about MasakiNs e-tremely difficult training regimen. the bed. 7ike >ichi2ou2i. drew out the counter stool style table from the o!!osing wall using the mural. 1tNs all good. if you use traditional measurements. modestly concealing the confidence in his smiling face. and !ut his butt down on one of the chairs that came with the table.machine could do it. in accordance with the u!!er class modern architectural style. Masaki? The gossi! 1N&e been hearing says that youN&e been doing some reckless things. Masaki took two nice and cold glasses of blended tea from the small refrigerator within his room. )om!letely at home in his friendNs room. But. LIou2i. a si. the two male high school students went straight to MasakiNs room.tatami western style room which is not considered an es!ecially big room by con&entional wisdom. what state is the manuscri!t in?M LThank you for your concern.

he could see how much the monitor encroached on MasakiNs attention.esearch de!artment. >ichi2ou2i felt like smiling at this friendNs indomitable s!irit that was earnestly agonizing o&er this acti&ity. so its urban combat scenarios for magicians were so accurate that it could be used for !ractice simulations. :aturally. he consciously kee!ing his face loose and unsmiling. 1t looked like a still shot of a citysca!e where all time and mo&ement had frozen and Masaki switched the image to a birdNs eye &iew. 1n that way. 666 1mmediately after the electronic !ing rang.elie&ed on that !oint. Since clearly with his eyes so fi-ated on the monitor. . the algorithm had been u!graded by each di&ision of the defense forces. Both screens sus!ended the real time battle simulation game. although this game was for fun. this wasnNt necessary. but he wasnNt feeling the gloomy im!lacability he had worried about. .results. it could not be looked at as a mere di&ersion. Masaki let loose a groan from his core. %e was more &olatile than e-!ected. really okay?M >ichi2ou2i asked for confirmation o&er their monitors that were !laced back to back and Masaki ga&e a weak nod.M LThat might be true. Masaki did not ha&e any ability to !ay attention to anything else. The scenarios in this simulation game had been created by the Magic ?ni&ersityNs Military . >ichi2ou2i agreed in a light tone.M MasakiNs &oice was carefully casual as he res!onded to >ichi2ou2iNs . Besides. LIou2iP itNs timeM LBut this is the last one? 1s using u! time in the middle stage.uestion about his mental condition.

he shut his notebook style terminal and turned to face him again. he knew MasakiNs mind was no longer on the game. While agreeing to MasakiNs words. for better or worse 1 think you o&eruse *udou@. Masaki made a !ained smile and shook his head. Masaki?M >ichi2ou2iNs tone had not changed from con&ersational. deliberately descending the ro!e without magic and the restPM MasakiNs grumbling might ha&e been a monologue. >ichi2ou2i o!ened u! the game menu screenshot and chose sa&e and close. LMasaki. This can be interpreted as taking the shortest path to victory. i. but for now 1 want you to listen. $nd also. :e&ertheless. Masaki chose LyesM and e-tinguished his monitor. The tactic he used against Second %igh School in the :ewcomers Tournament of Monolith )ode. $ !ause in. $fter all.M *The Royal Road or the Path of Kings. L1 donNt like saying these things. ha&enNt we seen the tactic of deliberately not using magic because it would draw the o!!onentNs attention recently.M Masaki used Lthat guyM and >ichi2ou2i used LheM for the same !erson.e. but MasakiNs res!onse was to sna! his eyes o!en and grind his back teeth with great &igor.LPWaiting in ambush there is !robably a little too e&il.M . like >ichi2ou2i. between the two of them there was no need to &erify that they meant the same !erson. aking preparations to ensure success! might makes right and the shortest distance bet"een t"o points LThat touched a ner&e. L7ea&ing aside your !oint about the ambush. LThat guyPM L(es.uiry a!!eared on MasakiNs monitor. >ichi2ou2i soon res!onded to his remarks.M $t >ichi2ou2iNs !oint. The first to o!en his mouth was >ichi2ou2i. 8irst %igh School first year Shiba Tatsuya.

since *udou is the most !ractical and fastest !ath you can use to reach a destination. eh. 1n a certain sense. L1 think what Masaki must learn is not how to use cle&er tricks but how to deal with cle&er tricks.ela-.M LMostly. This time >ichi2ou2i did not seem to take it as a rebuke and a tinge of laughter entered his &oice. !erha!s he didnNt notice or was !retending not to notice or !ossibly there was another e-!lanation. Masaki res!onded in a tone that made a 2oke of it.M $s if they had it !lanned for it to ha!!en. since itNs mostly a com!liment. >ichi2ou2i used words to continue easing the tension. e&en if 1 tell you to use a lot of sur!rise mo&es and cle&er tricks. do you?M . L. Masaki. L1 donNt intend to be closed3minded about this matter. L<ood.M *nce again.M L(eah. and the smile had disa!!eared from his li!s. Masaki. L$fter all not only is it im!ossible for Masaki to use the same kind of tactics as he does. L*udou is not a bad thing. it was a dazzling e-!ression.M While a smile was on his face. sorry. it wouldnNt really suit your !ersonality.M 1mmediately after the laughter disa!!eared. >ichi2ou2i returned to the to!ic with serious e-!ression on his face.M LP(ou donNt 2ust mean in simulation games by that.M 1nstead of doing what Masaki said. >ichi2ou2i narrowed his eyes e&en further. thatNs !robably true. the two simultaneously started chuckling. Besides.>ichi2ou2i face was slightly stiff as he s!oke. Since that is definitely true. What else?M L1 know. L5id you mean that as !raise?M %owe&er. it is also !robably not necessary. MasakiNs face s!orted a !ained smile.

That he intuiti&ely understood what >ichi2ou2i wanted to say was e&ident by his ne-t words. 1t wasnNt 2ust you. ne-t yearNs :ine Schools )om!etition will !robably be the same kind of failure as this yearNs was. LBut isnNt &ictory and defeat determined by strength alone.M LBut. 1 am the clear winner in terms of s!eed.>ichi2ou2i nodded &isibly to the uncertain tone and gaze. howe&erPM . as if he did not want to hear his own words.M MasakiNs tone was flat.M +&en though he had antici!ated them.M There was a small silence until Masaki raised a . L$re you saying my way of doing things is wrong?M L1 did not say it was meaningless. >ichi2ou2iNs words were a bitter !ill for Masaki to swallow.uestion to be certain he understood the meaning beneath that remark. 1 belie&e you are more !owerful than Shiba Tatsuya. We also lost as a team to 8irst %igh School. >ichi2ou2i tem!orarily trimmed away any !lacating !hrases. youNll need outside hel!. LMasaki. Training will become your flesh and blood. L1 know that. That is certainly true. L1f thatNs all you train.M While >ichi2ou2iNs re!ly was indirect. LTrue. *ur o!!onentsN true !ower sur!assed our e-!ectations. 1Nm not 2ust talking about simulation games. 1n s!ite of the fact. Masaki. there was no room for misunderstanding. 1 am going to s!eak !lainly. too. +&en now. 1.M $s he s!oke. 1 lost.M But Masaki was not confused by the su!erficial encouragement. L1f all we do is train in a reckless manner. lost to the (oshida familyNs magician of $ncient Magic.

M LP1 donNt really understand what you mean. >ichi2ou2i did not realize how much 2oy he felt o&er being able to com!ensate for MasakiNs weak s!ots. he thought again. L1f we had ke!t to MasakiNs original style. it would ha&e been better if we had ke!t to our usual way of fighting. >ichi2ou2i cut off his words. $dditionally. L1 donNt think there was anything wrong in Iou2iNs strategy. and read the fact that Masaki still wasnNt getting it from his face. rather than being entra!!ed by our o!!onentsN !lan. 1 shouldnNt ha&e concentrated on controlling our o!!onentsN actions. it was not necessary to guard against attacks from blind s!ots. this is how 1 am useful to Masaki. this was what he really thought. my o!inion is we screwed u!.M 1t canNt be hel!ed.M With this statement of >ichi2ou2i.uestioned him with a look.*n the other hand.M LTo be brief. L1 think where we ultimately failed was in the field of strategy. long distance bombardment. Since the o!en field setting was without &egetation. my strategy was wrong. 1 certainly sunk us with the !lan. %owe&er. L:o. 7ooking back. butPM MasakiNs words werenNt meant to comfort >ichi2ou2i. L1t was not necessary for Masaki to get close to him in that match.M $s Masaki . 1 !robably shouldnNt ha&e Omeddled with the !lanN in that match. >ichi2ou2i continued e-!laining. 1 was !robably concentrating on him too much. we wouldnNt ha&e lost that ad&antage. while thinking Oit canNt be hel!edN. >ichi2ou2i shook his head at those words. a hint of caution was dis!layed in >ichi2ou2iNs &oice as if he was furious thinking rechecking his conclusions as he s!oke them. Masaki tilted his head with a doubtful look on his face.M Masaki did not say anything to console him and nodded as .

if you had been a little more wary of your o!!onentNs tricks. Masaki.>ichi2ou2i !laced the blame on himself. L$ little different. $nd also.M LS!ecifically?M Masaki was neither de!ressed or rebellious o&er >ichi2ou2iNs harsh criticism and asked for a !ositi&e !lan of action to fi. youNre trying to tell me not to become a darede&il. This face !robably indicated that he had been already aware of what he needed to do himself.M L?h3oh. but tricks donNt suit you. Masaki. huh. LThe cause of our defeat in that match was my mistakes in strategy. Masaki. and when to !lay for time and consult those who are acting as your staff officers. there is a !oint 1 also want Masaki to reflect on. de&elo!ing the sensiti&ity to know something is going on. L(ou were following the !lan. 1 think 1 said it before. 1 donNt think you ha&e to learn trickery yourself.M LThat really touched a ner&eP in short.his weaknesses. when to smash through to &ictory by sheer !ower. you couldN&e a&oided that last sound attack. But. 1 think it would be better if you learn what to do if youN&e fallen for one of your o!!onentNs !loys.M Masaki mulled o&er the !ro!osal he recei&ed from >ichi2ou2i with a sour look. Iou2i.M $s Masaki !ur!osely a!!eared taken aback. you chose to interce!t when he closed the ga! between the two of you for hand to hand combat. 8or the rest. to remember to hold the line?M They took !re&enti&e measures to kee! the mood of their after action re&iew from becoming too serious and to a certain e-tent they were successful. >ichi2ou2i did not doubt that . this had been the way the !air o!erated. >ichi2ou2i re!lied with a broad and e&il grin. this time itNs my turn. 8or a long time. but there would ha&e been a different result if you had lea!ed back for a moment. L1 think we need to work on situational 2udgmentD when to tem!orarily retreat to take a look at the situation. but.

What are you talking about?M Iust as >ichi2ou2i was sniggering. $kane answer her brotherNs . a!!roached the table facing >ichi2ou2i and Masaki. without thinking.ueried about the e-tra glass without a word. :ot with games like this one 9 1 will seek a strategic simulation game that is closer to realistic war conditions for us.the admonition of touching a ner&e indicated that Masaki was gi&ing his words his com!lete attention. L1snNt it okay since Shinkuro3kun is here? 1f the one :ii3san was holed u! with here was a girl then e&en 1 would ha&e restrained myself. L$kane.uestion with an im!ish look and discreetly sat down on the chair ne-t to >ichi2ou2i. $kane knocked and at once o!ened the door and entered the room. Masaki . $kane set down two glasses of 1ced )offee and one glass of 1ced )ocoa.M L?rkPM Within the low moan of MasakiNs &oice. instead of abusing our body. >ichi2ou2i had tactfully mo&ed the things that they had been storing on the stool. $!!arently scenes . Shinkurou3kun. letNs forge our minds. right?M Masaki admonished his sister. >ichi2ou2i burst out laughing. (ou donNt want anything to drink :ii3san?M MasakiNs !ained e-!ression changed to a sour one without him s!eaking and while >ichi2ou2i watched o&er the siblingsN warm /crude0 e-change. 9While $kane had !lace the glasses on the table.M LWhat.M $kane. real actual gloom could be heard. L$kaneP 1N&e always told you to wait until you get an answer before you o!en the door. without a trace of demureness. err. LTherefore. LSounds like youNre en2oying yourself.

LWhy does that !erson ha&e to be that guyNs sisterM. isnNt it good that sheNs s!irited?M >ichi2ou2i tried to come u! with something safe and comforting to say. L$s her elder brother. L$kane.M . $kane left the room after about fi&e minutes. L%ey. Masaki was too s!eechless to e&en make a fau.!as. L1tNs so unfairM . 4ossibly satisfied for now by 2oking with >ichi2ou2i.. L1 didnNt say it to :ii3san. 1 wish she would e-ercise that s!irit more discreetly. The two high school boys e-changed a tired laugh o&er being toyed with by an elementary school girl. why were you laughing? :ii3san do something ridiculous again?M While sitting on the stool. Masaki made an e-tremely earnest ob2ection 9 that is to say. sheNs troublesomeM L%ahahahaPM >ichi2ou2i re!lied with meaningless laughter to the a!ology s!oken by Masaki. Shinkurou3kun.ecei&ing this truly im!ertinent answer. 1 was addressing Shinkurou3kun.like this were a normal occurrence for this household. howe&er. :o matter how young a LwomanM is. *n the contrary. LPSorry. he attacked her with com!laints. his monologue of Lcom!ared to that guyNs sisterM. who was so crestfallen that his shoulders droo!ed. L1Nm 2ealousM. are those really the kind of words you should say to your own brotherPM To his little sister who was clearly ha&ing fun at his e-!ense. umm. $kane turned her gaze and the rest of her towards >ichi2ou2i. she still undoubtedly a LwomanM.M Masaki was not able to sto! whining. but.. but. L:o.

Mending his friendshi! with Masaki was more im!ortant than correcting the misunderstanding.ecei&ing a look mi-ed with re&ulsion and wariness from Masaki. those thoughts instantly struck >ichi2ou2i.. 1Nm not going to say anything crude. >ichi2ou2i once again failed to correct the mistake and he let the big mi-3u! remain out of his own will. Iou2i. unforgi&ableCM and the like gradually escalated. LIou2i. if Masaki took it that way he might not be able to continue his relationshi! with the 1chi2ou family due to the misunderstandingPunfortunately. himself. Maybe he was unable to say a word that might be inter!reted as a re2ection of $kane. youPM ?nfortunately. L1f you go for that ty!e. %e wasnNt e&en aware of it. for some reason not one word of LdenialM made its way out of his throat. it would get really bad. >ichi2ou2i had made a critical error in his !hrasing. !lease. L1 trust you. !lease.M L?h. >ichi2ou2i realized that if he couldnNt detour him from this !ath. %e did not ha&e any freedom to think about what kind of earth.. L$bsolutelyC 1 am not a loliconCM 8or no reason he knew of. Subconsciously.M %owe&er. Slowly. What he actually meant to say was L1 think $kane3chanNs !ersonality is fine the way it isM. umm. but. now.M %e said.uake . L$t least wait til she graduates from elementary school before courting her. L:ow. >ichi2ou2i at last realized his screw u!. Say youNre not a lolicon.M >ichi2ou2i intended to e-!lain that he was wrong. for my sake.L5arn it. 1 think $kane3chan is fine. butPM L+h?M .

But by the time his inhibitions returned.might come from the big fault line in his relationshi! with Masaki that the mi. ?ntil 1 erase the stain of defeat. >ichi2ou2i did not e&en ha&e the freedom to do anything like wish for an unknown time in the future in which he could think.uestions. 1 feel unworthy to !ursue her. That was the &oice of >ichi2ou2iNs common sense. itNs normal for regret to come after. >ichi2ou2i changed the sub2ect in des!eration. Masaki.uake. Masaki how about youC? %a&e you made a little !rogress with her?M 1tNs too late for regrets. 9+&en if you called it an earth.M LWhyC? 5idnNt you dance with her. nutsPM with intense regret. L+nough about me. >ichi2ou2iNs tongue and li!s could not hel! forming .M %e could hear the emotions Masaki was holding back in his &oice.u! created. Though. Masaki made answers like LnoneM and L1N&e gained nothingM. itNs ho!eless. from the start this was nothing more than a !ri&ate matter. L(ou canNt get in touch with her?M L1 didnNt ask for her contact information. LPWhat?M $ &oice shouted sto! in his heart.M The frozen e-!ressionless look on his face was more stone mask than !oker face. >ichi2ou2i thought L$w. >ichi2ou2i could do no more than endure MasakiNs cool stare. But. L1f by her you mean Othat herN then no !rogress. whyC?M LSheNs that guyNs sister. LBut. in a &oice that matched the face.M L1 donNt think she hated me either. She did not seem to dislike you. e&en >ichi2ou2i felt so much !ressure he found it difficult to breathe. 8inally unable to endure any more. The moment after the words he s!oke to change the sub2ect left his mouth.M >ichi2ou2i did not say that he thought the girl would not care about .

because ten of those days were the !eriod s!ent on the :ine Schools com!etition /the total days actually s!ent was two weeks0.M ".uri ne-t to him. $kane was gaily chatting to >ichi2ou2i. he cancelled dinner. Masaki. %e did not feel like laughing it off as foolish stubbornness. 7etNs wi!e out the stain of defeat together. he wouldnNt be Masaki if he did not get obstinate about this ty!e of thing. Quite the contrary. not hel! you. L1Nll hel! you. >ichi2ou2i sat ne-t to $kane and Midori sat at the head of the table to watch o&er all of them. . it would be meaningless since it did not kee! it from bothering Masaki. . %is ne-t words gushed out easily from within him without hesitation or calculation. e&en if that was the truth. MasakiNs father. %e thought it would be irres!onsible to say that without due consideration. %a&e you been busy?M :e&ertheless. :aturally. across from them. That being said. 8i&e !eo!le gathered around the dining table for the 1chi2ou family e&ening mealD Masaki. The mood of the e&ening meal was the usual one. $kane. it seemed like Midori &iewed it differently. >ichi2ou2i thought.M L$h. LShinkurou3kun. had a sudden dinner meeting with a client.that. it had not really been a long !eriod of time. 1t had been three weeks since >ichi2ou2i had last !artook an e&ening meal with the 1chi2ou family. Masaki sat across from >ichi2ou2i with . :o.uri and >ichi2ou2i. Masaki was flicking his gaze back and forth between his sisters being a busybody and Midori was watching o&er her childrenNs actions with a bright smile. 1Nm counting on you. <ouki.uri was silently working her cho!sticks.M . itNs been a while since youN&e come to our house. MasakiNs e&en younger sister. Midori. 1t would be better if he came o&er to !lay more often. his mother. LThatNs right. so he would be coming home late today.

the ne-t words came from $kaneNs mouth. 2ealous :ii3san? 1tNs ok3ay. $kane. Masaki.uri. >ichi2ou2i started to raise his &oice without thinking but he restrained himself. get out of the dorm and stay at our houseM .uriC? (ou donNt s!eak like that to your elder sisterCM LTut3tut. >ichi2ou2i did not commit the folly of ob2ecting. $kane. lo&eC? $kane. $kane &oice her agreement. LWho are you calling idiotC %um!h. L(es.$s e-!ected. >ichi2ou2i should li&e here. <reat idea.M L*h. %e took care not to let his en&y show and also made sure no one realized his smile was fake so that he could look at the ha!!y circle of the 1chi2ou family with what looked like a ha!!y face.M L. Since friendshi! is fleeting in the face of lo&e. 9Because she could see he was acting like an outsider.M L*h. %ey. Shinkurou3kun. .M 1n res!onse to MasakiNs negati&e statement. L1N&e got it.M >ichi2ou2i did not ha&e time to break in 9 the ne-t blow came from Midori. it isC This house has too many unused rooms. because 1 wonNt take Shinkurou3 kun away from :iisan. you can only afford to act like that now. Iou2i and 1 donNt ha&e that kind of relationshi!.M L1d3i3ot. all of you settle down. Why donNt we en2oy our food?M 4artici!ating in such an uninhibited con&ersation was not something >ichi2ou2i could do. L(ou !robably 2ust want to !lay. there are things you shouldnNt sayPCM LBoth of you are too loud. youNre already a high school student and you donNt ha&e a girlfriendCM L$kane.M L7a. youNre way too !recocious for an elementary studentCM L5onNt mock elementary studentsC? What about you :iisan.

MidoriNs saying such a thing only made >ichi2ou2i more uncomfortable. but he was not 2ust refusing for formNs sake 9 this was a genuine !olite refusal. wouldnNt it be better to say yes?M Since she was sincere. there was an unmistakable element of !oliteness. . LShinkurou3kun. these were his true feelings. it was because a !art of him found it enticing that he was confused o&er how to refuse. 1t wasnNt that he hated the idea of li&ing with the 1chi2ou family. rather.L:o. thereNs no way 1 could !ut myself in your debt so muchPM >ichi2ou2i wasnNt merely being !olite. :o.

.

Third %igh School was at the former site of the first laboratory of the >anazawa Magic . L>aa3sanP $kane. >aa3san canNt you sto! saying such things and making Iou2i uncomfortable.M Midori saw >ichi2ou2iNs attitude toward this matter as his usual stubbornness and did not !ersist in in&iting him further. himself. and chosen to continue li&ing in the dorms9thanks to MasakiNs assistance.eally? Pif you change your mind. L. $kane was a little unha!!y.M The latter half of his statement was in no way a lie. the first !art. but she sto!!ed with making a face. he remembered that close call. The dorm built at that site had facilities to conduct e-!eriments late at night and designed so that no one had to Lslee! in a huddle in the hallwayM to conduct research and %5 !anels with con&enient su!!lies for emergencies. L1Nm sorry. L1 canNt become more indebted to youM e-!ressed >ichi2ou2iNs true feelings.1f Masaki hadnNt thrown him a lifeline. Midori3sanM Since it had been im!ressed on him in &arious ways that he should not call her anything like *ba3san. she might ha&e realized that twisting >ichi2ou2iNs arm any further would ruin his mood. right?M . We would not think of it as any trouble at all. The sub2ect of staying with the 1chi2ou family had also come u! two years ago.ight. %e had refused it. you can mo&e in at anytime. it would be too !ainful. L1 canNt become more indebted to you. which is the research institute >ichi2ou2i was attached to and the !lace he also disco&ered the L)ardinal )odeM at. LMidori3sanM s!un easily out of >ichi2ou2iNs mouth without the additional honorific. >ichi2ou2i might ha&e been o&erwhelmed by Midori. and it is often con&enient to be in a dorm that is attached to a laboratory. This matter was discussed enough two years ago. . an additional reason. anyway. While >ichi2ou2i was relie&ed that Midori and $kane had eased off.esearch 1nstitute. But that was an add3on.

howe&er. %owe&er. acting in con2unction with the <reat $sian $llianceNs in&asion of *kinawa. +&en now. Both of >ichi2ou2iNs !arents had also been magic researchers. feeling !owerless. 9Three years !rior. there was a facility dedicated to e-!eriments to clarify the nature of !sions using below ground im!ressions. that was enough military !ower to . there were some emotions within his heart that he could no nothing about. The in&ading troo!s were only a small detachment of the o&erall in&asion force. forgetting that he had magic of his own as a wea!on. the :ew So&iet ?nion denied !artici!ating in the in&asion. without a doubt those troo!s belonged to that nation. >ichi2ou2i had already been mature enough to ha&e a realistic !remonition of disaster. both >ichi2ou2iNs father and mother worked at that facility.uatted in the shelter enduring the terror. 1t was said that the facility was the target of the :ew So&iet ?nionNs in&ading troo!s. he recei&ed word that unidentified troo!s were in&ading in a sur!rise attack. $kane and the others. >ichi2ou2i. the 1chi2ou2i family. and he had been e&acuated to a shelter near his school under the guidance of the staff of his middle school. $t that time on Sado. $lthough he !rayed for his !arentNs safety inside the shelter. $ mere single day of tragedy.uash the 1sland of Sado. %owe&er. at "#$M. >ichi2ou2i was still childish enough at the time to tremble. e&en so. who had s. >ichi2ou2i had been unable to contact his !arents. o&er half of the em!loyees got caught in the battle between the in&aders and defenders and lost their li&es. The ones who rescued >ichi2ou2i. who was li&ing on Sado at the time. The research facility bore the brunt of the in&ading armyNs sur!rise attack.he worried that he might ha&e caused his benefactors. *n that day. to feel de!ressed. But although he was de!endent on the kindness of Midori. were a heroic grou! of &olunteer soldiers . the :ew So&iet ?nion in&aded Sado. became a war or!han with the loss of his father and mother in that conflict.

%e should ne&er consider himself finished with !aying that fa&or. 8or he. ha&ing an e-cuse to &isit the family once a week made him unconsciously 2oyous. >ichi2ou2i.M L5onNt be ridiculous.M he had re!aid that fa&or 9 no. thank you. >ichi2ou2i went and collected his things from MasakiNs room and made bows in the 1chi2ou2i foyer. MasakiNs father. Soon after entering the research institute. 1 like Midori3sanNs home cooking. 1nstead. The debits and credits of this transaction made a one sided minus on >ichi2ou2i side but he was not the least bit dissatisfied. also !ulled some strings to allow him to intern at a magic theory research institute while he was still a mere first year middle school student. >ichi2ou2i would ne&er be able to forget that act of kindness. this was an ob2ecti&e fact. 1 am sorry. e&en as a sim!le lodger. <ouki.M L:o3no. >ichi2ou2i had decided in his heart to make re!aying the 1chi2ou clan for their su!!ort a mission he would s!end his whole life doing. ". LThank you. really. had a !lace to li&e and the means to !ay for his e-!enses thanks to the 1chi2ou clan. who would ha&e had to enter one of the infamous or!hanages for magicians.ue natural talents as a magic researcher blossomed and by his deed of disco&ering Lthe )ardinal )ode. 1t is gracious of you to say you liked it. who would come once a week. With >ichi2ou2i em!loyed as her home tutor. his uni. This was not 2ust a belief of >ichi2ou2i.s!earheaded by the 1chi2ou clan9 That time was not the only time they sa&ed had him from terrifying !eril.M L*h. The meal ended. $kaneNs good humor was restored. it was not all that great. was something too astounding for >ichi2ou2i to contem!late. With both his !arents dying simultaneously and ha&ing no other relati&es.M . himself. to become a member of the 1chi2ou family. for the delicious meal.

M L. /%ome $utomation .M . you need to get back soon.M L(es. 1tNs summer &acation. >ichi2ou2i thought it would ha&e been alright to lea&e washing dishes and the rest to a %$. $ctually. L*h. cleaning and laundry. if she canNt e&en do this muchM. the girls did a daily chore rotation of cooking. the sisters conducted their goodbye rituals in the dining room /dining hall suited the room better0.eally. L1Nll come again on Saturday. 1Nd ha&e been alone if 1Nd gone back to the dorm 9 it was fun. Shinkurou3kun. >ichi2ou2i had his hands full with the re!orts for both the Thesis )om!etition and the research instituteNs re!orts and didnNt ha&e much free time. thatNs true. 1 !romised $kane3chan 1Nd do that. come o&er to !lay again.M L5onNt worry about it. but under MidoriNs !olicy of L1Nd be too embarrassed to let a daughter of mine lea&e the house to become a bride.M Since they could not see >ichi2ou2i to the front door. Well. 5es!ite knowing that.M >ichi2ou2i laughed and shook his head at Masaki who was worn out by the thanking.M LP1tNs okay to not worry about what $kane said.M Masaki knew that e&en though it was summer &acation. the statement of Oit was funN had eased MasakiNs mind greatly. L1t was awful of me to force you to stay so late.uri waiting?M MasakiNs two younger sisters were in the midst of cleaning u! after the meal. Masaki had still in&ited >ichi2ou2i. $renNt Midori and .obot0. $kane had been tedious about reminding him about the matter of home tutoring until >ichi2ou2iNs words and the false gaiety of MidoriNs mood sent her into the kitchen. L>aa3san.1t definitely took a while for Midori to release him from the demurring battle. 1Nm relie&ed to hear you say that. L$t any rate.

Therefore.M L+&en if you say so. a snigger nearly leaked out against his better 2udgment.M MasakiNs li!s formed in to a LheyM syllable. 1 donNt see how strategic simulation games ha&e much to do with that.M LThatNs not true. 1 still belie&e the best way is to !artake in a multitude of mock combatPM LMasakiP the loss in Monolith )ode to 8irst %igh School was somewhat due to the single combat tactics within the framework of . LWhatNs u!. that !roblem.M While he introduced it like that. >ichi2ou2i knew that 2ust from watching him. Iou2i. L1 wonNt be 2ust coming to be $kane3chanNs home tutor.M :e&er the less. L)oncerning that con&ersation. as memories of the beginning and end of todayNs simulation game o&erwhelmed him. >ichi2ou2i didnNt do anything else to dri&e Masaki into a corner and they !roceeded in that fashion. 1N&e been thinking a little. the !roblem of situational 2udgment. MasakiNs face did not ha&e any trace of le&ity in it.M $s he watched his friendNs a!!arent ri&alry with his younger sister.uad combat and single combat are not all that different in the essentials.M LWhether to ad&ance. Masaki. 1 ha&e to ser&e as your o!!onent for simulation games. as itNs said..M L%mm. or to maintain the courseP the discussion was about instant decision making on a single combat le&el. 1tNs im!ortant to de&elo! whatNs called an eye for o!!ortunities. not all that im!ortant matter.. something im!ortant?M L:o. instant 2udgment is a refle-i&e and intuiti&e thing.LThere no way 1 could !ossibly do that. it was called to a halt from MasakiNs side. and s. L%ey. but. right? 1n order to culti&ate a tactical eye for single combat. to retreat.

So become the greatest general for me. for you 1 will become the greatest staff officer. 4olishing a s.the o&erall strategy.uad le&el tactical eye is absolutely indis!ensable.0 The ri&al. Masaki mysteriously s!orted a bright. To >ichi2ou2i. shiny s!arkling smile. isnNt getting the o!inion of a com!etent staff officer more im!ortant?M L$hhP itNs true about staff officers.uad tactics.. Because 1 ha&e Iou2i to be a com!etent staff officer for me. The muscles in his face were 2ust about to reach their limit. /Masaki.. all disa!!eared from within his head. Masaki had not been aware of the state he was in. >ichi2ou2i needed tremendous strength of will to stiffen his face and kee! his smile from falling off.M This sur!rise attack inflicted great damage on >ichi2ou2i.M Taking >ichi2ou2iNs hesitation as assent. LP8lattery wonNt work. LThen thereNs no !roblem. he would not mistake it for anything but something awkward he hadnNt considered.M Masaki's furious mutters as they !arted informed him that there was no way he was being flattered but >ichi2ou2i !i&oted and showed Masaki his back. MasakiNs statement was an e-cessi&ely sweet blow. he had always been continually conscious since the :ine Schools )om!etition. 7uckily. . 1f he had been aware of it then. 1 will always be only your staff officer. >ichi2ou2i 2ust felt ha!!y about being needed by Masaki whom he saw as his benefactor.M LBut for s. Masaki. Making decisions on the strategic ideas the staff officers offer is the duty of the general to whom they re!ort to. and the fact that MasakiNs romantic interest was that !ersonNs younger sister as well. but.

" While !lacing the ice !ick onto the dining table. 1n her hands. a cherished tradition across the nation. "Miyuki. $ugust J"st. .. it would ha&e ended u! as fluffy sha&ed ice instead0.. $s the ma2ority of science and literary high schools ha&e already begun the new school year. )offee !oured in a dark cascade o&er the chunks of clear ice Miyuki had used magic to create /by freezing from the bottom of the container u!wards. and Tatsuya had used an ice !ick to break into crushed ice /since if he had used his own magic. in such a way as to disru!t con&ection0." "Making crushed ice isn't really anything troublesome. it's an about a&erage length. Miyuki ga&e a graceful smile.. something often cried o&er during the last day of break33 this often as not being literal crying whilst looking o&er essay files com!rised solely of a bunch of titles. *nii3sama. Bothering you with such a tri&ial matter. it has to be said that not all students are such slackers/?0. black li. today is the last day of summer break. 7ike a certain !air of brother and sister enrolled in first year of the :ational Magic ?ni&ersity attached 8irst high school. The :ine Schools )om!etition which ran from $ugust Jrd to the "=th has already finished.. $ fragrant aroma filled the dining room. 1'm so sorry. %owe&er. $t that. it's done. but there is no !articular break e-tension for the re!resentati&es.. Tatsuya let out a chuckle at his sister's e-cessi&e manner of s!eaking." "Thank you &ery much. 8or the students of magic high schools. +&en in the ="st century long breaks had inherent !roblems /homework0 to go along with them. and arts and !hysical education high schools don't start until mid Se!tember.uid sloshed around within the heat resistance glass of the coffee ser&er.Part #: $emories o% Summer [August 31st (1) 1t is the year =#EA $5. the number of students who leisurely s!ent their last day of summer break rela-ing at home was not in the minority.

"5o you remember?" Sensiti&ely reading Tatsuya's look. :oticing her brother's gaze Miyuki broke into an embarrassed grin. Tatsuya felt the clear !olkadot summer dress was rather familiar. but as that was because Miyuki found doing so !leasurable. at Tatsuya's intense words. Beneath the a!ron. before airily turning her back. $t that casual use of a high le&el skill. with the thrown o!en windows and curtains gi&ing the air of an o!en terrace in a resort.uibbling o&er the scene would sim!ly be unseemly. Thank you &ery much. 1t suits you !erfectly. Miyuki began to blush. 1 wouldn't gi&e you anything that didn't match you.." $t Tatsuya's utterly earnest com!liment. uhm. and soon rose holding a tray with two !ortions of iced coffee. but ne-t to him.uestion before he could o!en his mouth. That being said Miyuki was bustling around ser&ing Tatsuya hand and foot. *nii3sama. Tatsuya and Miyuki en2oyed coffee time. Miyuki's face turned com!letely crimson." ." "1t's because 1 truly think so. 1 said it at the start right? Besides. Miyuki modestly took off her white frilly a!ron and sat down not o!!osite to Tatsuya from the round table. 1n the room on the first floor facing the garden33 it had originally been a guest room. "*f course. com!letely unsuitable for /in light of the general world &iew0 his sister. "+h. "Sheesh. Tatsuya narrowed his eyes.To !re&ent the scent from s!reading any further Miyuki cast a !ocket of cold air o&er the large round cu!. her flawless white arms showed under the wide shoulder stra!s of her translucent one !iece. you're always like that... but now with the bed remo&ed it had become a s!are room33 and lazing around the table. any third !erson ." $ccom!anied by a cool face.. Miyuki shyly asked him a . $s if finally satisfied.. such that she didn't e&en ha&e time to warm her own chair.

$t the word 'reward' instead of '!resent' Miyuki had sulked lightly for a while. Since his only free time is in the weekend. Tatsuya decided to buy Miyuki a reward for her &ictory in the Mirage Bat e&ent. 1n any case. Two days after the close of the :ine Schools )om!etition. Miyuki's outfit today was a dark blouse with see3through slee&es. she had a rather similar e-!ression when 1 first brought her that dress Tatsuya thought as he reli&ed the memories of that day. 8rom tomorrow the "Ath to the "Rth. *n the other hand Tatsuya wore a 2acket loosely o&er a T3shirt. he didn't seem hot at all. it was a summer fabric with e-cellent breathability and des!ite co&ering all the way to the ankles. but as this was ostensibly a !resent in all but name anyway she was now ha!!ily walking beside him in the best of s!irits. %owe&er. [August 1!th (1) $ugust "Bth. $ woman's lo&e for sho!!ing has not changed e&en now. While the !ants looked tight. Tatsuya thought there was little !oint in taking a break. an ankle length white skirt. +&en for sho!!ing it would seem unlikely to need to go on a Sunday. :e-t week from Tuesday to Thursday he has field e-ercises scheduled with the 1nde!endent Magic +. $s for what to do to fill in the time. but more than ha!!y to recei&e a gift from Tatsuya was something lost u!on him. The two of them are high school students.$s he caught a glim!se of Miyuki's face looking u! at him. Miyuki's fashion was conser&ati&e com!ared to what she wore inside the house. something . and in the middle of their summer break. 1t was a !ri&ate outing so he didn't mind all the e-!osed skin. and sandals. with elastic synthetic !ants on the bottom. both embarrassed yet ha!!y at the same time. the subtle fact that Miyuki was not !leased with a sim!le gift. Tatsuya and Miyuki were going to the sho!!ing tower in the city centre. with the e-ce!tion that u! to his neck and wrists were co&ered he wasn't that different from his sister. but as usual. but of course there was a reason. Tatsuya has to attend meetings at 8our 7ea&es Technology /87T0 regarding commercialization of the flight de&ice. *n her head was a wide3brimmed straw hat.ui!!ed Battalion.

Miyuki belongs to the first category. these were ready3to3wears designed for young teens.uins in their skim!y summer dresses. back and forth all o&er the !lace. 1n a short while. not e-actly the same thing. it's not e&en a &ery high !rice. Miyuki's e-!ression faltered. $s a member of Taurus . those who while ha&ing a fa&orite !roceed to go here and there. dis!lay &irtual tag. This was a sho! which had caught Miyuki's eye. What's more. and es!ecially among young ladies that lo&e is something which has not diminished as the last decade of the ="st century draws to a close. those who buy their fa&orite things last. 1n order to check the !rice it's necessary to use the information terminal e&eryone carries around and access the $. but it's fine for her to try new things now and again. Miyuki's current outfit was a relati&ely trendy design. What Miyuki had seen was the !rice tag attached to those summer dresses. Miyuki. 7ooking at the same thing as Tatsuya. a wide array of similar dresses were !rominently being dis!layed.ue Miyuki was currently !ulling him into. Thirdly. The !rice marked did not de&iate from his e-!ectations.which could e&en be construed as common sense. a!!. Well. which is how Tatsuya knew what Miyuki had been looking at. There should be no budget stuff in it. Tatsuya's words to Miyuki weren't bra&ado. 8or haute couture. +-!ensi&e as they were. !robably as a result of the summer dress Mayumi had showed off on the bus back from the :ine Schools )om!etition. (ou know my income. a!! and checked the tag. Tatsuya too had engaged the $. Tatsuya thought as he glanced at the manne. When Tatsuya had asked her yesterday 'what do you want' Miyuki had hesitated only slightly before re!lying 'a summer one !iece dress'. This was because within the fashion bouti. those who buy their fa&orite things first. Secondly. being an $. and !robably most commonly. 8irstly. 1t is thought that the sho!!ing habits of these girls can be di&ided into three !atterns." $lthough it's called a !rice tag it's considerably different from the century before. "(ou don't ha&e to hold back. Tatsuya !resumed they had arri&ed at their destination.

Sil&er, this amount of money wasn't much to him at all. The act of dangling their !urse before someone would usually elicit an unfa&orable res!onse from most !eo!le, but Miyuki sim!ly brushed it aside. She !robably thought that refraining now would sim!ly be rude to her brother. $bandoning her hesitation, Miyuki began to look o&er the dresses on the manne,uins and hangers. %a&ing the !hysical articles in a store instead of sim!le J5 &ideo dis!lays marks this sho! as the real deal. 7ow !rice retailers, and e&en mid range stores, ha&e J5 dis!lays as the norm. Most of the time e&en fitting is done &ia com!osite &ideo. Being unable to ascertain the feel of the fabric is co&ered by a returns !olicy. Being able to try on the sam!le !roducts, like here, is !retty rare for a sho! nowadays. $fter looking around all four corners of the sho!, Miyuki called out to a clerk and !ointed to three dresses. $fter telling her she wanted to try them on, the clerk nodded with a grin. The reason it wasn't a mere business smile was !robably because they wanted to use Miyuki as 4. for the sho!, Tatsuya thought idly. 1t wasn't uncommon for Miyuki to cause such ulterior moti&es. 1t was also unacce!table. 8or e-am!le e&en if they wanted to make 2ust an area limited ad, he wouldn't let Miyuki model. The true reason was sim!ly that Tatsuya did not want to e-!ose Miyuki to countless dirty looks. But as e-!ected /relati&ely0 of such a high class establishment, the clerk wasn't rude enough to bring the matter u! all of a sudden. .ather she left for the stock room smiling all the while, returning swiftly with sam!les for fitting. $lthough they're sam!les there are mechanisms which automatically clean and sterilize the articles each time, so there was no hesitation in taking them. %olding the sam!les, Miyuki was guided by the clerk to the dressing rooms. Meanwhile, Tatsuya sat down on a bench inside the sho!. 1f something came u! the clerk would come calling, and e&en if not should something ha!!en to Miyuki he would know immediately. To kill time, he o!ened a !ublication website. %owe&er, he ne&er got the chance to !ick u! the strings of te-t dis!layed on the mobile terminal. The reason was the moment he o!ened the site the clerk from earlier was standing obli,uely before him, as if trying to read his e-!ression.

"1s something the matter?" %e would ha&e been content to wait until the other !arty began talking, but as he had assumed the !ose of one waiting for his !artner /well more !recisely, his com!anion0, it would be difficult for the clerk whose hos!itality manners had been so firmly ingrained to do so. Thinking that, Tatsuya had therefore decided to lead her on. "1 ha&e a little matter 1'd like to talk with you about......" "Should we mo&e somewhere else?" This is !robably something confidential, Tatsuya had thought, although going that far did seem a bit much. ":o, this will 2ust take a bit of time." $t Tatsuya's slight nod of acce!tance, the subtle tension in the clerk's face came away. "1f you don't mind, about the dress your com!anion is !urchasing." "We ha&en't decided if we're going to buy it yet, but go on." $t Tatsuya's curt interru!tion of her dialogue, the clerk ga&e a hasty nod. ")ertainlyC This is all considering if you would like to !urchase the goods from our sho!." "*f course, if my sister likes it then we'll buy it." "Thank you &ery muchC" Tatsuya wasn't really intentionally trying to harass the clerk. $s a matter of course he had all manner of comebacks !re!ared and ready, but at the clerk's o&erreaction it was Tatsuya who felt troubled. %e may ha&e had some more things to say, but at this !oint it didn't matter. "So, what is it you were saying?" The one who interru!ted had been Tatsuya, but now he gently urged her on. "*h, right." The clerk didn't show a single hint of discomfort. The results from the training bouti,ue em!loyees recei&e is formidable indeed. *r maybe she was sim!ly com!letely at a loss when it came to dealing with him. "1f the articles instore are to your fancy, would it be !ossible for the

clothing in ,uestion to be worn from the outset?" 1n any case, the fact the clerk came for "consultation" was somewhat strange at first glance. 1n itself, the contents of the re,uest weren't unusual. $ ready3to3wear, and easy to maintain slee&eless one !iece summer dress. Wearing that straight from the sho!, es!ecially considering the sho! has the articles !hysically in the stockroom, is not uncommon. What was strange was that the clerk had s!ecifically asked about it. "(ou want us to wear the dress from here around, is that what you mean?" %owe&er, Tatsuya didn't ask the reason. The clerk's, or rather the bouti,ue's intention was !retty clear. They !robably wanted Miyuki walking around in the clothing from this sho! as a kind of mo&ing ad&ert. "(es. 1n return, we will recalculate the !rice for you." The clerk also seemed to ha&e realized Tatsuya had deduced their !ur!ose. Quickly bringing in the matter of a discount, this woman had a formidable mercantile streak belying her youth. Tatsuya had no interest in the discount itself. %owe&er, he was concerned in another as!ect of the clerk's re,uest. "1s that it? Shoots are :<." /@:ot <ood0 "*f course. We will not engage in any acti&ity which may infringe on the customer's !ri&acy." ")ould you show us clothing instore besides the ones on dis!lay?" "With !leasure." :ot bad, Tatsuya thought. $fter the negotiations with the clerk were settled, a different clerk came o&er. 1t seemed Miyuki wanted him. Without a hint of irritation, he stood u!. This was to be e-!ected after all, and e&en if not there was nothing to resent. "*nii3sama, what do you think......?" The fitting room door was o!en. With a three way mirror in the background allowing &iewing of all sides /to !re&ent &oyeurism, no cameras were allowed inside0, Miyuki shyly asked his o!inion. She was

shall 1 show you that one as well?" The !rocess of changing clothes was re!eated. "There was one more right? 5id it not interest you?" ":o. the se. Miyuki solicited his o!inion whilst a&oiding making eye contact.. !lease wait a bit.." She nodded and closed the door... Still.. "?m. 1t was a silhouette which focused on the waist while em!hasizing the bust line and hi!s.. That being said the considerably older clerk was blushing e&en more furiously. She must ha&e realized that while !utting it . 1 think you can go with something a bit more dashing.." "That's. Then.. Miyuki's outfit this time was a checkered camisole one !iece. "(eah. The skirt also rose tantalizingly abo&e the knee in e-cess of fi&e centimeters.a!!eal in this one here was to! notch.?" 5es!ite ha&ing less e-!osure than the second dress. "Sorry for the wait. 1 can't take my eyes off you. %ow is it..wearing a !ale grey toned 2um!er skirt." $t Tatsuya's straightforward o!inion Miyuki turned scarlet.. %ow about this?" Seeming far more embarrassed than shy this time.. 8rom the neck to the shoulders was totally bare.. though whether it was at Miyuki's stunning figure or Tatsuya's far too honest words was unknown.. The faint sound of rustling clothes could be heard.. such that e&en innocents would be caught and enra!tured. "1t suits you e-tremely well. "1s that so?... but it's a bit too drab. that's great.. Tatsuya thought. 1t's !robably because it's so different from the clothes she normally wears outside that she's unnecessarily self conscious he thought. The moments of silence were !robably her working on her hair and skirt.. The summer dress this time was !retty much e-actly halfway between the first and the second in terms of e-!osure le&el.. Then..." The knee3length sim!le design greatly com!limented Miyuki's beauty.

$s the one who saw her in her underclothes on a weekly basis during her )$5 ad2ustment Tatsuya should ha&e been !erfectly aware of his sister's growing body. "This is rather troubling. Miyuki had no modelling e-!erience.. Tatsuya would ne&er ha&e !ermitted that. and for her !art Miyuki was e-ceedingly embarrassed each time /almost as if making u! for her brother0. . she had no !rofessional modelling skill.on. *ccasionally Tatsuya would re. and a crowd began to form around the dressing room. *f course when the fitting room door was shut it was im!ossible to !eek inside. $lthough she had looks which would ha&e gi&en any international to! model a run for their money. this re!eated fitting alone took a considerable amount of time..uins.uest her to s!in around or strike a !ose. Still she re. +ach and e&ery time Tatsuya !raised his sister straightforwardly as if unaware of what shame was. so that was that. and the clerks in all likelihood tactfully did their work before he had to make a mo&e. it's not like they senselessly crowded around gawking. the youth were sim!ly glim!sed in the surroundings from a distance. seeming to &alue her brother's !raise far more highly than the well3being of either her heart or facial blood &essels.. but seeing it ob2ecti&ely like this really dro&e home the !oint that she was drawing closer to being an adult than he had e&er thought. 1t e-uded a totally different.. but it fitted her sur!risingly well. they were &isible from the store's e-hibition s!ace. +&en 1 might lose my reasoning with this. Still howe&er much they shuffled around and !retended to look at the manne. the color of Miyuki's face dee!ened e&en further." ". 1n short when all's said. unbalanced charm from the !re&ious camisole dress. 1t was a design which would be awkward if there was insufficient &olume around the chest and hi!s. $fter that Miyuki's fitting /or in other words. She couldn't manage ra!id clothes changing or anything like that. fashion show0 continued.. but when Miyuki came out to show off a costume to Tatsuya. 1nstead." $t Tatsuya's una!ologetic com!liment. and she closed the door of the fitting room in silence. Still. which !robably accounted for the e-tent of her embarrassment.uested to be able to try on e&en more outfits. !robably age s!ecific.

yet each time was different. *n that note. the males were in the minority outnumbered three to one and com!rised mainly of college students with their girlfriends or those dressed as young businessmen. $s their boyfriends stared at Miyuki with worshi!ful eyes /showing there wasn't a single unconditional lo&er among them0 they either stam!ed them on the foot or nudged them in the ribs or the like. they restored their emotional balance by using the ne-t con&enient guy as a doormat. *n the one hand they would en&iously look u!on Tatsuya who was shamelessly and unhesitatingly hea!ing Miyuki with !raise. The word youth did not sim!ly im!ly young men. automatically categorizing them without e&en being aware and es!ecially !utting the non hostile intents out of mind. Tatsuya was !robably the only high school student on the !remises. $lthough there weren't many with the insight to see that he was actually a high school student anyway. such that she wasn't able to differentiate the subtle nuances in his words. Mono!olizing Tatsuya's com!lete attention Miyuki's feeling of ha!!iness was almost into-icating. or rather the girls in the grou! one by one would look at Miyuki with a mi-ture of admiration and en&y before . $t the sound of the dressing room door closing sighs of relief could be heard. both Tatsuya and Miyuki were fully aware of all the attention they were getting. *ne of the girls. 1n short. then u!on the sound of it o!ening again as if charmed they'd hide then !eek out for a glim!se. $lthough there were guys in their number. the female customers being escorted by a guy33 or rather being waited u!on33 ke!t a better state of mind.uickly looking away. *f course. . honestly s!eaking the &ery nature of the sho! meant that there was a high entry threshold for guys. 1n fact. then unreasonably take their anger out on their ha!less lo&ers. :othing but words of a!!ro&al came out from Tatsuya's mouth. Well. numerically s!eaking the girls were su!erior.they 2ust couldn't seem to a&ert their eyes. %e was mentally sorting out the harmful and harmless gazes. while she naturally filtered out all the looks33 she would ne&er e&en be able to walk down the street normally otherwise33 so it ne&er got to the e-tent they had to sus!end sho!!ing.

.

" Then to these une-!ected 14 customers. "Then this dress and.. "*nii3sama. 4lease come back again anytime. he had always thought. knee3length camisole summer dress. She'll be wearing this back. along with dresses number two and se&enteen !lease.$s the number of tried on dresses !assed =#. 1 was thinking this one. 1t was a slee&eless.." 8or his !art.. 1nstead. $t Miyuki's lo&ely '!lease'.?" "1 reckon that's the best as well. she ga&e a heartachingly beautiful smile33 with utmost sincerity.. but u!on hearing him saying 'cute' again. the consciousness of the watching men seemed to freeze.. $t the same time the women ga&e a collecti&e sigh of en&y at Tatsuya's natural generosity. and around the chest and hem of the skirt !lenty of lace was in abundance too. she made u! her mind in an instant. 1t really is cute. a look suitable for recei&ing a gift from her brother33 and asked his !ermission.. Thank you for waiting. so could you !lease send my sister's current clothes back along with the other items?" ")ertainly. "Then. Tatsuya didn't really ha&e a say in the matter33 he would ne&er ha&e been able to say 'no'. Being able to buy these things his sister liked was the most meaningful use of his income anyway. [August 31st (") .. the iridescent i&ory !olka3dots lending a &ery age a!!ro!riate cuteness. 1t combined a generous amount of e-!osure with an air of elegance. The wide shoulder stra!s were frilled with lace. Miyuki ended u! holding a !olka3dot dress that had been ke!t in the fitting room. "Sure..." She had !icked this dress because it was the one that had been most !o!ular with her brother. )ould 1 get this !lease?" Miyuki didn't bother with hesitant language this late in the game.. the clerk ga&e a solemn nod. Whether he himself was aware of that thought was a moot !oint.

. 8ortunately. $s she was finally able to come out alone with Tatsuya." She had been taken down a !eg by Tatsuya... +&en if the !rice was &ery reasonable. "1t really was a long awaited o!!ortunity huh. there was still time to s!are before lunch.1t wasn't *nii3sama's fault. 1. She had a ha!!y grin on her face. the distance between them diminished e&en more than earlier. but Miyuki wasn't distressed at all. suddenly clouded as he muttered in a bitter &oice. Tatsuya wasn't e-actly the indoors ty!e either. she hastily raised the white flag. Tatsuya had come out today with family ser&ice /sister ser&ice0 in mind.. which had been smiling in satisfaction at Miyuki's good mood. and as she did so. *r..... but 1 was only able to take you out sho!!ing in the end.. as she s!oke to Tatsuya in a teasing tone.. 1t was finally our long awaited summer &acation. Miyuki didn't want to 2ust go home and let the occasion go to waste."Still. but... was it unnecessary trouble for you?" ":ot at allC" Miyuki line was sim!ly teasingly accusing her brother of 's!lurging'. .ather she shyly looked u! at her brother's face." Tatsuya's face. "1 would ha&e been more than ha!!y with 2ust this one... "That." Miyuki's whis!er was tender as she took his hands from the table and gently wra!!ed them in her own. *nii3sama? 1s this what they call 'adult's sho!!ing'?" "1t would ha&e been a shame to let your =" tryouts go to waste. Was &ery ha!!y. 1 ne&er thought we'd end u! buying three. To be honest there were other things like yukata and &arious other summer acti&ities 1 would ha&e liked to leisurely do with you. 1n addition.. . ". yet at this frontal attack. [August 1!th (") $lthough they had finished choosing clothes." Miyuki must also ha&e been reminiscing about that time.

Those with some bias may think they were an 'unbalanced cou!le'. the fact was as long as Miyuki was there it wouldn't matter if they were in the city or in the mountains. but Tatsuya was not that ty!e to say the least.Without any !articular words between the two. Miyuki's nestled a!!earance no matter how you looked at it ga&e the !erfect im!ression of a girl in lo&e. $s Miyuki's eyes animatedly brightened or filled with frustration. !utting their own en2oyment aside. this building had such goods for the entirety of it's "B floors. +&en the food stalls were snacks and sweet sho!s catering to young women. hats. it was a kind of e-!ected harmony. if one didn't !ick u! on Miyuki's utterance of '*nii3sama'. *r rather. he dis!layed no sign of unwillingness whatsoe&er. 1t was the one thing he truly wanted. e&en if they were close by they wouldn't be able to tell. . they decided to hang out like this until e&ening. Tatsuya's own eyes twinkled warmly. $s !re&iously mentioned. %owe&er as Tatsuya accom!anied Miyuki in her window sho!!ing.uired. &arious knick3knacks. They didn't carry 2ust clothes but also shoes. he would be the same. The building they were currently in s!ecialized in fashion for young women. 1t was a rather formidable atmos!here for men. With her arm ha!!ily entwined around Tatsuya's. $ man with thoughts like that. +&en if his com!anion was his sister. im!rinted by others or nurtured by himself. could !robably s!end a considerable amount of time in here. but another thing altogether for women and cou!les. accessories. after which they would be accused by their accom!anying lady as 'ogling another woman' and a!!ro!riately chastised. no one would sus!ect a thing. That line of thought was !robably restricted only to the male !o!ulace. this building was !retty much a women only store. 1t held nothing of interest in !articular33 the ma2ority of those with girlfriends or those they wanted to make girlfriends seemed only to be here to make their !artner ha!!y33 for men. 1n fact. without listening in to the con&ersation between them it would be nigh im!ossible to !ercei&e that they were siblings. Well. $s long as she was beside him. Whether inborn or ac. swimsuits and yukatas according to season.

and the men would most likely be accom!anied by women anyway. Still if you actually asked them. this was something anyone who knew his circumstances could understand full well. $ !unishment more !ainful than being kicked by a horse may also be forthcoming. The waiter regained his senses 2ust as Tatsuya was on the &erge of turning right around and walking back out. or at least booths with !artitions between tables. the bustle inside was frozen in an instant. or rather on a whim.whate&er the conditions didn't matter. they !robably decided that most of the customers would be women. well. but actually. The moment Miyuki entered the sho!. !recisely because this was a !lace which dealt with fashion there were !robably few o!!ortunities to see a true beauty of Miyuki's caliber. Whether !rofessionalism as a waiter or a lack of subtlety. he certainly did at least . That33 the harsh handling33 wouldn't really be due to the blunt . the two of them would rarely choose a !lace with such an unobstructed layout as this. they'd garner far too much unwelcome attention. %e had thought that a !lace which dealt with fashion on such a regular basis should ha&e at least some resistance to Miyuki's beauty.uite the !iece of wishful thinking. When eating out. They'd mainly go for !laces with !ri&ate rooms. it ended u! being . a waiter not a waitress33 was !aralyzed breathless. Tatsuya and Miyuki had entered that sho! by coincidence. +&en the clerk33 unusually for such a casual establishment as this. %a&ing an early lunch at a !asta house. Both Miyuki and Tatsuya de!ended hea&ily u!on one another. +&en Tatsuya had not e-!ected such a hy!ersensiti&e reaction.uestion in !articular. clearing his mind in the !rocess. most of it naturally on the !art of Miyuki. 5ue to the occasion today. 1t would also a!!ly to the rude intrusion. they'd !robably 2ust re!ly 'it's none of your business /not your concern0' in unison. 1f they didn't. the siblings glared coldly at the young man at the table ne-t to them. but !erha!s more on Tatsuya's side than the other. %e !robably sensed Tatsuya's dismay and intent to lea&e. followed by Tatsuya.

+&en if they were !icky.uet of roses. Tatsuya glanced at the waiter. 8or her !art. The gazes of the customers who had been staring at Miyuki were for a fraction of a second di&erted to Tatsuya. $s he !ulled out the chair for her to sit.ecei&ing them in rela-ed manner.uietly followed the waiter as he escorted them to an em!ty table. With the ri&alry discarded.uesting the waiter fetch some chairs for them. all this changed to 'the !erfect cou!le' as they fully acce!ted their defeat. in all likelihood they would meet a similar res!onse in any other establishment. thinking things such as 'what an unbalanced !air' and 'her taste in men is terrible'. She was a su!erb beauty. or future girlfriend's eyes was not 2ust her haunting beauty. Most of them were female. . %er age was around =#. she looked back at him coyly and ga&e a curtsy. hers was a beauty which would not fail to . but in their minds the sense of discomfort was re!laced by a sort of consent. but subconsciously an instincti&e !art of them understood that what had stolen their current girlfriend. $fter re. felt an an-ious !light similar to 2ealous sus!icion. Tatsuya turned to Miyuki. Miyuki would normally shy away from such attention but bore it. The two seat table did not ha&e fi-ed sofas /at least a!!arently0. 8ew of the 'boyfriends' were able to understand the look in their 'girlfriends' faces. $s long as Tatsuya was there. Tatsuya . but rather wooden chairs. %owe&er the cou!les.ue treatment. $ new !layer came u!on the stage immediately after Tatsuya had finished !lacing orders for the two of them. es!ecially within the men. but the dee! lo&e between her and the boy sitting o!!osite her. She was in the flower of her youth. So. the 2ealous looks changed to !raise. %is conduct was so full of dignity belying his age that the waiter didn't feel any discomfort from the brus. he brought o&er and offered them menus.succeed in kee!ing two customers. 1n haste. Seating himself in the chair o!!osite. Tatsuya dismissed him. such things were tri&ial matters. her regal color and luster like an o&er!owering bou. Whate&er the time or !lace. $lthough they had earlier been silently belittling Miyuki in their minds.

1t didn't stem from any &anity or self3esteem. her e-!ectations this time were off the mark. a !robably considerably older young man tagged along. or she was looking o&er a location. Maybe it was 2ust on a whim. was met with an e-ce!tion. 1t was sim!ly based on e-!erience re!eated dozens of times that it was almost a rule. her string of e-!eriences. but it was a far calmer reaction than she would ha&e thought.catch attention. %owe&er. a small murmur buzzed in the &icinity of the two as intrigued eyes and heads turned towards them with sur!rise as men and women alike recognized her beauty. she had built u! a strong !osition as an entertainer. she directed her charm and !re!ared to be stared at. 8or the fi&e years since her debut. The clerk who greeted her showed a sense of sur!rise and admiration. $s if second nature to her already. She carried it as if it were her career. 1n all likelihood she had !olished her image. She had an aura which would be fearless e&en if introduced as a lead actress. 8or a mere waiter to a!!ear before her and kee! his cool. 1t could only be guessed at why she would come into such a casual restaurant. as well as her consciousness of being seen. as if chamberlain to her em!ress. in her e-!erience took considerable courage. The one thing that could be said for certain was if she set foot in this !lace filled with 'ordinary' !eo!le. $s !er the golden rule 'no rule is without e-ce!tions'. She herself understood that !erfectly well. %er !om!ous carriage howe&er did not elicit disagreeable reactions from those watching. and one who was fully showing off. She was !ossibly an entertainer33 that being an actress. She herself had fully e-!ected that. Behind her. $!!earances aside. but the role of 'actress' was still the realm of li&ing women. 1n the year =#EA realistic J5)<s had !retty much com!letely re!laced the role of 'idols'. 1f one is . then as if losing interest immediately turned back to watch something inside the store. she would ha&e certainly drawn the eyes of e&eryone instore. she was an actress. %owe&er in the R#S full sho!.

you could say it was un!leasant. she sim!ly tried to a&oid looking in the direction where all the other customers were staring. She was in a dimension unreachable by mere effort. The !osition she !roudly had now. her !ride as a star could not allow to let this incident wherein the !ublic sim!ly looked /or rather 'flicked a glance'0 at the two of them go. 1n truth. it would be something akin to des!erate 2ealousy. without meditating o&er the !ro&idence of her being born with good looks. %owe&er. 1n words. Seating herself. That being the case. 33Though e&en as she thought. $ young cou!le was sitting there. The fact that this girl was e-traordinary. while not bad looking. she had known that the moment she caught a glim!se of her !rofile slightly. it was e&ident she was s!ecial. 1t was a sensation she had ne&er felt before. didn't seem like the ty!e which would magnetically attract the ladies. )< technology im!ro&es by the year. $s she was guided by the wait staff. She couldn't hel! dreading to think 2ust what kind of !erson was here who would attract more attention than herself. The fact she did so meant the girl was definitely not normal. studying beautification and greedily learning all she could about acting. Whether she was lo&ed by <od or had made a deal with the 5e&il.ather.insensiti&e. She didn't e-actly think of herself as someone chosen by the gods. But this girl was different. she !ut on a bra&e face. 1t was not 2ust her beauty. . To her this was not something interesting. 4erha!s she was forced to understand e&en from behind. but her e-traordinarily acute sensiti&ity and forceful acting beyond her years which had gained her stardom. the table the two of them were led to was immediately diagonally across to the table which was drawing e&eryone's eye. they cannot sur&i&e in that industry. whether by chance or design. was attained through li&ing towards a more !olished a!!earance. the focus of attention of e&eryone had to be the girl whose back was to her. %owe&er. %owe&er normal sensiti&ity. she made herself steal a glance with forced casualness. The boy who was facing her. ne&er mind acute sensiti&ity would ha&e sufficed to reach the same conclusion. and glamour was no longer the absolute ad&antage it once was. . She realized that there was something in this sho! which was attracting more attention.

She beckoned to the young man sitting o!!osite her. 8or her to enra!ture the attention of all without any effort. %e had brought her along to this folksy establishment because he wanted to show her off and see the en&y in e&eryone's faces. %e was aware that it was a rather !er&erse interest. but he decided that being a !rofessional !erforming artist was a !er&erse occu!ation from the beginning. %e also did feel that such congratulatory thoughts were !retty 2ust really considering all the effort he had gone through. an accessory. and whis!ered in his ear. but she was the best looking among them. and he thought that it was not 2ust him but also her who agreed and was a!!ro!riately grateful. This woman who he had brought with him today was the accessory that most attracted his interest for now. he could no longer !arade her around as much as when she was more anonymous but that sim!ly increased the sense of su!eriority he felt. another young lady. the chair of the !resident of !roduction was 2ust a means to . While facing that beckoning beauty. To him who did not know the hardshi!s of the age of war. 5iagonally behind him. he thought. *r rather.She felt that was unreasonable. 1t was to him something only natural. 1t fully occu!ied his mind. $n accessory is meaningless unless shown off. made her who had des!erately stro&e all her life feel like a fool. the entertainment winter his !redecessors had gone through. She wasn't one of the to! earners for the office. the beautiful woman was 2ust a commodity. $ dee! desire to !ro&e again that stardom was not de!endent on born a!!earances swelled within her. This woman before him was a star now. %e was the third generation !resident of a to! talent agency. the man's thoughts were on another woman. without a hint of guilt. who leaned o&er. To him. :ow that she had 2oined the ranks of the to! actresses after a fashion.uickly and easily satisfy his e!hemeral &anity. was in control of many !o!ular actresses and countless more budding /unhatched0 ones. 8rom the !ers!ecti&e of . was seated a girl whose beauty the likes of which he had ne&er seen. but back when she was 2ust a !retty face it was all because of his taking care of her from an early age that she had risen to her !osition.

That was the work of !roduction. To him. But he was accom!anied by an actress from the office today. The !re&iously cute gaze /in the dull childish way of thinking0 suddenly turned hostile. $t the first glance he immediately knew that the girl o&er there was not something money could buy. 1f the woman in front of him was a large diamond worth se&eral tens of million yen. To be sure she had earnestly worked hard to !olish herself. Both Tatsuya and Miyuki directed an un!leasant look at the young man standing ne-t to their table. %e had so far ignored it because they did not seem likely to cause Miyuki harm. Which was why ha&ing the actress along and being able to say the woman before him wanted to scout the girl for a new mo&ie was a godsend.most !eo!le the woman was the dominant one and the man 2ust an ad2unction. and recalculated accordingly. he would ha&e realized how bad the a!!earance of wanting to turn her into a money making machine would hurt his case. but that was !robably too much for the bullheaded man himself to realize. the source of the !roblem across from him /for Miyuki it was to the back diagonally0 stood u! from his table and walked o&er to them. By ha!!y circumstance 2udging from his attitude the one she was with was 2ust a boy. "Sorry to disturb you. then the girl was as the !riceless '<reat Star of $frica'. but it had turned rather troublesome. and he felt the eager urge to add her to his collection as soon as !ossible. then in the hands of a craftsman they were worked u!on. $s he thought so. as an e-am!le e&en if a craftsman !rocessed his gems well without a fine band of gold around it wasn't on the le&el it could be sold. but it was no wonder they were uncomfortable with being stared at from !oint blank range by a stranger. %e !retended to deliberate a while. 1n any other case. Tatsuya felt the change. with the resulting gem being called an actress. the woman was like a large diamond !olished and cut by a craftsman." . %e !urchased the roughs. such was the difference between them. then stood u! as if going along with the will of the selfish actress. <lances were one thing.

8inally. 2ust a character based truly classic chea! card. Behind the com!any name was the word '!roductions'. 5es!ite this a!!arently re2ecting attitude. There was no micro3!attern or anything !rinted. it was an old fashioned card made from !a!er. but the man would not be discouraged. got any interest in mo&ies?" Miyuki's eyes a&oided him. "1 ha&e a role that'd be 2ust right for youC" Miyuki's curt attitude should ha&e s!oken &olumes. and naturally turned away from him. but still came across as far too familiar. Such thick ner&e and mental toughness was fitting for a salesman like him. %e com!letely ignored the clear air of re2ection she was gi&ing off. what would be remembered would be the far more o&er!owering discomfort.%e had a rather blunt way of s!eaking. The surname and the name of his com!any were written with the same characters. Within her eyes was a frozen light. Miyuki's eyes were !regnant with a frosty light. won't you tell me your name?" $t that the young !resident brought his face so close that Miyuki cowered down. 4robably to do with !rofessional entertainment Tatsuya thought. That didn't mean her attitude had swayed one bit. %er hard look seemed to accuse the . but still. and before his name the title 4resident was attached. "(ou. then with a glance !assed it on with strain to Tatsuya. Miyuki reluctantly took it. the young man took out his cardcase and held out a business card to Miyuki with a fake smile. Tatsuya lost his intent to res!ond amiably to this man. *f course." 1nstead of a built3in chi!. "This is who 1 am. "%ey. Miyuki turned her gaze on the man she had been a&oiding u! to now. %e seemed to be hedging his words to some e-tent. and that unrelenting determination really was rather im!ressi&e.

. Was he going for her hand. before sto!!ing short. Shown that face. $s a young man who had inherited status." Tatsuya's words !robably didn't e&en reach the man's consciousness. 1n any case it was short3sighted beha&ior. such that the man's mind whited out from the !ain. three ste!s before colla!sing. But Tatsuya's emotionless gaze. like the !oints in )hinese medicinal acu!uncture. was suddenly firmly in the gras! of Tatsuya's hand before he knew it. Tatsuya's cold face as he looked o&er the youth was entirely de&oid of e-!ression. $s Tatsuya released his hand the man staggered back two. brooked no ho!e of resistance. or her face? 1t didn't really matter. the !ride within him could ha&e been fanned to flame. With an e&en falser smile than before. +&en if it was something small and e!hemeral like a s!arkler. "7et's lea&e it at this. 1f he had been laughed at. he seemed to ha&e gained the bad habit of being unable to control his feelings when it came to !eo!le in weaker !ositions than him. to seem to ha&e lost a mental battle with an amateur was !robably a blow to his !ride. as it reached for Miyuki. a !roduction !resident who considered beautiful women and girls as commodities. To him. $ shi&er ran down the man's s!ine that ecli!sed e&en the !ain. as there was no way Tatsuya would e&er allow such outrageous beha&ior. The !ain he was e-!eriencing was so intense it didn't e&en allow him to let out a sound. well almost. "Wha33C" The man's selfish !rotest changed to a scream in the middle. sim!ly telling him 'get out of my way'. the young man momentarily faltered but almost immediately righted himself. That was !robably due to his obstinacy as a man in !rofessional !erforming arts.man for his lack of courtesy. he actually reached out his hand to Miyuki. The young man's arm. %is fingers twisting the man's hand were also !ressing with se&ere strength and angle into !ressure !oints in the man's wrist.

the beauty haughtily and !roudly left the sho! with the echo of her heeled sandals resonating through the store.uanimity as any." ":o. $s he sat down. their footste!s worried. Two waiters a!!roached at a . the bad habit of insisting that 'in a . We a!ologize for the incon&enience. !robably because he felt the calmness beyond his years. after the mounting !sychological !ressure built u! and made the man lea&e the sho!.With his eyes locked on to Tatsuya's33 he couldn't look anywhere else33 the youth stood u! and hobbled away. the waiters had some words with the now red faced man. those which could be discerned from the loud ranting. Tatsuya returned to his seat. in such a low tone that only the listener could hear. The sho!kee!er's eyes thawed slightly towards Tatsuya's cool demeanor.uarrel both !arties are to blame' remained ingrained into society. "5on't mind the commotion. 4olitely. the man bowed dee!ly to both Tatsuya and Miyuki. but rather to the man. "1 am &ery sorry for that uncomfortable e!isode 2ust now. (ou were 2ust in&ol&ed." $lthough still 2ust "F. to ha&e e-!erienced such crushing !ain and hesitate to e&en think about retaliation before retreating was a testament to the man's courage. staff arri&ed. with a waiter !ressing on him from both the left and right. 1t was not inconcei&able a weaker man may e&en ha&e had incontinence. They didn't go to Tatsuya. $t the sound of a chair scra!ing the floor. The one at fault was the other !arty. we're the ones who caused a disturbance. but . $lthough nothing !hysical occurred after. %is frenzied retorts. Tatsuya had s!ent much time around adults." +&en at the close of the ="st century. %owe&er the woman accom!anying the man certainly didn't think so. Truth be told. 8inally. seemed to com!rise senseless things like "2ust who do you think 1 amC?" and "don't think you can talk to me like thatC" among the !arts where he raised his &oice. 1ntroducing himself as both the chef and owner of the establishment. She didn't so much as glance at the man. but Tatsuya didn't gi&e it a second thought. he would be able to res!ond with as much e. a man of around B# dressed in white chef clothes came to their table.uick !ace. 1f the other !arty was ci&il.

4lacing those items in the middle of the table. and held out the s!oon with a scoo! of ice cream in it to Tatsuya. the food was of an e-tremely satisfactory le&el. the sho!kee!er went back to the kitchen. The s!oons had an unnaturally long handle. it'll be on the house. Both the a!!etizer of sou! and the following mains !asta were as straight laced as the stubborn character of their chef. *f course. he returned the bow naturally." Tatsuya a!!ro&ed of this attitude which could clearly distinguish between black and white. not too soft cool melt in your mouth te-ture was 2ust as good as the offerings from any more u!scale sho!s." 5ue to the character of the !lace. $fter that was dessert. "The clerk was delayed and it ended u! causing such a !roblem for you two. en2oy this sweet moment. smiling giddily with her face dyed red. !resumably the senior. 8or the &ery com!atible two of you. What delighted Miyuki was not 2ust the taste howe&er. brought along the ice cake with two s!oons. This was es!ecially enra!turing for Miyuki." Before Tatsuya could ob2ect. and it was 2ust as authentic and un!retentious as the earlier courses. $mong the waiters the one slightly older. "*ne for the lo&ely boyfriend to the beautiful girlfriend. 1t was a thin size four /"= cm diameter0 ice cake. *ne for the beautiful girlfriend to the lo&ely boyfriend. well worked together with no !retensions. 5es!ite the casual a!!earance of the store. and both Tatsuya and Miyuki en2oyed them immensely. The rich smell of &anilla wafted from the mutely colored to!!ing. Still Miyuki ha!!ily acce!ted it. the waiter had s!oken to them in a soft &oice.this sho!kee!er seemed to be the ty!e who did not agree with that !oor custom of dancing around accountability. and wouldn't ha&e been &ery !ractical for eating yourself with. . those were !robably words s!ecifically scri!ted for such a situation as this. Without the need to !ut on any e-terior show. but !lease feel free to continue your meal if you would like to do so. "Thank you for that. The not too hard.

1nstead. Since when are real !eo!le subser&ient to you witches?" Those words were enough to clear Tatsuya's hesitation and restraint. %e didn't intend to start a fight. but did he really intend to try something with so many !eo!le around? Tatsuya had said this out of concern for the man's social standing. 7et's lea&e it at that. he was accom!anied by four in&ersely !ro!ortioned /that is to say !hysically o&erbearing but far inferior in looks0 men. not the outraged ranting of before.uite the bit of humiliation earlier.. he ke!t his words somewhat !eaceful.." "(ou're going to cause a scene right here?" %is words and attitude were fairly easy to gras!. now's the time..." But as he had no intention of !ur!osely !icking a fight. She had !robably left him and gone back. so Tatsuya instead of taking out his electronic wallet sim!ly re!eatedly !ressed a dis!osable money chi! into the waiter's hand before . but "Shut u!. There was no sign of the woman..uickly lea&ing the sho!. "1 belie&e 1 said so earlier." $lthough his &oice was le&el for the time being. Tatsuya's words were su!er effecti&e. This guy really is going full throttle s!outing out all these cliched lines Tatsuya thought to himself. but unfortunately life was not so kind as to end e&erything so cleanly.1f you want to !rostrate yourself and a!ologize. %e shifted his body. com!letely hiding Miyuki from &iew. but he wasn't about to throw in the towel this late into the game.33after concluding this shameless !lay disguised as dessert. 1f that was the case. $t least he didn't say something like 'it's no sur!rise your com!anion ran from you considering your tiny mind'. $ll traces of . but it almost seemed like he wouldn't mind welcoming one either. it was !ossible to catch 2ust a hint of crankiness in it. Before the siblings stood the young !resident of the !erforming arts com!any from the restaurant earlier. "(ou caused me . 7unch had finished on an une-!ectedly interesting /and !ossibly 2ust a bit embarrassing0 note. as !romised no s!ecific bill came. ". but he didn't hide the contem!t in his tone either.

"(ou'&e only 2ust met my sister today. there's no way a man of your ty!e could e&er ho!e to stand before her. (ou a siscon or something?" Subconsciously the man o!ened his mouth wide and laughed out loud." The man's words were rather barefaced. That was the sole reason Tatsuya had dis!ensed with all !eaceful intent. the young man smiled. and besides Tatsuya wasn't so delicate as to be !ro&oked by such words. The man's entourage &isibly tensed. +&en if you had caught a glim!se of her during the :ine Schools )om!etition. "1t'd be better for you to lea&e before you do something unfortunate in !ublic. We had met in the :ine Schools something hadn't we? 1 had thought 1'd found a huge gemstone. Tatsuya didn't bother to retort to that. e&en through &ideo. but it turned out to be 2ust a fake imitation. %is &oice trembled. *r should 1 say it again so you can understand better?" The one who had been insulted was not himself. but Miyuki. "1s that something you had to learn from your buddies o&er there?" The cowardly dog barks the loudest. 33his face almost turned blue. Tatsuya took a ste! forward. "That's a lie.that magicians were genetically modified and !roduced androids. that didn't mean he had to be tolerant of such dogs. Tatsuya knew through obser&ation and knowledge that some still stubbornly !ersisted. 4erha!s mistaking the change which had come o&er Tatsuya. "1 had thought 1 remembered seeing you somewhere. $lthough their numbers were much reduced. but rather came right back with a line of his own. 1t did not hold the chill of snow or ice. They didn't ha&e the same finesses or training ." $ wintry air began to !ermeate. >ee!ing his eyes on the man. which was why he didn't recall a sense of sur!rise at his words. Still. but cold hardness of a razor shar! steel blade "What the hell.e-!ression disa!!eared from his face." 4erha!s this man clea&ed to the hoa. and his eyes narrowed.

and yet another e-ce!tion is the case of self defense. but they did know that magicians used some sort of small de&ice to cast magic. Magicians didn't use magic in cities because they were restricted by the law from e-ercising magic. the gangsters felt they were being made fools of. They were correct. as a declaration that he didn't need magic. Sli!!ing a hand to their waists33 !robably a folding !ocket knife or something33 they studied Tatsuya's mo&ements with care. Tatsuya sto!!ed and raised both his arms to shoulder height. Tatsuya was !ro&oking them. 1t wasn't a holdu!. they had been sent out as the small fry. but at least not false either. The talk of there being good relations between !ro entertainment and the underworld were !robably not the whole truth. They took Tatsuya's gesture. 1t seemed the henchmen were not so nai&e as to belie&e in the myths the !resident was s!outing. he showed them that they were em!ty. . *n the le&el of street fighting anyway. as if saying '1 don't need magic to deal with the likes of you. 8rom the start they were low ranking members.' The effect was immediate. They knew neither the sha!e nor utility of )$5s. not because they recei&ed remote mechanical signals or the like. des!erate to !ro&e their worth. (ou'd ne&er guess from their attire. 5esire to a!!eal aside. but Tatsuya idly guessed that the four were !robably gangsters. "What the hell are you guys all scared forC They can't use magic in cities. 1t should be a !iece of cakeC" 1t seems the man had been com!letely taken in by the urban legends surrounding magicians. 5rawing their kni&es. they lunged at Tatsuya in unison. $fter two ste!s. they had a low boiling !oint anyway. directed at them.as !rofessional bodyguards. Being called by the young !resident. but they were e-!erienced in their own way. $t that gesture. By fluttering and wa&ing his hands. 1n any case magic was only !rohibited if there was no legitimate reason and in the e&ent of accidents or disasters the use of magic to hel! is encouraged.

the !resident took two ste!s back.<angs nowadays train their members in grou! combat as the norm. grou!s which are said to be !rofessionals in &iolence could hardly get away without at least learning to fight as a team. one blow. the sha!e of a )$5 could be made out around the !oliceman's wrist." . Without a word. %er trust in her brother's skills was absolute.. the !oliceman began an inarticulate deli&ery. his shee!ish attitude was a little worrying. 8or each ste! he took. so could you accom!any us to the station !lease?" Tatsuya couldn't say he was sur!rised at this attitude. Tatsuya resumed his ad&ance. "?h. knowing both Tatsuya and Miyuki were also mages. The moment he felt he had bum!ed into someone. while two more came to stand before Tatsuya. +ach fist struck a &ital area with unrelenting !recision. "?mm.he was greeted by the sight of uniformed !olice officers. he was seized by both arms and forced to kneel. Miyuki's &oice was not among them. lea&ing the gangsters crawling about on the floor. +&en if you say it was self defense. 8our !unches.. <lancing alternati&ely between the two. they had engaged in &iolence in !ublic. 1f so. The screams of young women rent the air.. 1n this age where both &igilantes and the general !ublic are well organised. Miyuki walked to stand 2ust behind him.. Two were o&er!owering the !resident.. :either was that trust betrayed. There were eight in total. four secured the gangsters rolling around on the ground. it could only be wondered if he felt a sense of solidarity with them. Two wa&es of kni&es attacked from the left and the right. *ne man. she sim!ly looked on at her brother's back. 1t wouldn't ha&e been strange if they had actually been detained. Still. 7ooking back in a hurry. Then he sto!!ed short. we want to hear your side of e&ents. without so much as a flicker of emotion. in addition. %e was e&idently a mage. 7ooking closely.

a fountain !en. *r rather.. Was he going for handcuffs? $t Miyuki's arched eyebrows. but another !ri&ate notebook. the reason we s!ent hardly any time at the station was because the guy was a huge Miyuki fan. Tatsuya wordlessly gestured for !rudence.emembering the days e&ents. for them to actually in&ite us out to tea was totally o&erwhelming.. 1t was hard to refuse.(ou're Shiba Miyuki san right? (ou were in this year's :ine Schools )om!etition. .." . Miyuki couldn't hel! giggling. so a mage who became an officer in Tokyo is most likely to ha&e graduated from there. (ou were a great hel!." "(ou're welcome. before leaking out a smile.The !artner of the co! who had first s!oken began to say something. [August 31st (3) "1 didn't think we'd see an *B in a !lace like that. Tatsuya and Miyuki e-changed a glance." "Still. The only magic high school in >anto is 8irst %igh. 1f you could. Miyuki was sucking on a straw.. "1t's not that sur!rising when you think about it. The officer's hand stretched out to the two of them.. and her glass was !retty much em!ty. 1n other words it's all thanks to you. to Miyuki... Tatsuya also struggled to rein in laughter." "WellC? That was hardly Miyuki's fault" $t that the two of them looked at each other. and once again." "That's true. 1n his hand was. stammering out a !reface. Being able to be hel!ful to *nii3sama is more im!ortant than anything.. *n his waist was a handgun sha!ed )$5... may 1 get your signature?" $nother !oliceman held out another rare classic for these days..... 1n any case. e-changed smiles. ".. before Miyuki ga&e a sly smile at the two officers. The officer !ut his hand behind his waist. 1'm an *B@ (#ld $oy) of 8irst %igh myself. not his !olice notebook.

1'll hel!. but actually the ice stirring in the glasses didn't e&en make a sound.uired." "$lright. looking at Miyuki would dare to immediately try to make her accom!any them or go out . ?!dating the 15 is a !art of security. Tatsuya rose from his seat. Both transactions and transfers are !retty much all recorded online.Tatsuya's cu! had likewise been reduced to 2ust ice. but rather they had walked that way from the station to the bank under the hot sun as well.uency." ":o. Miyuki and Tatsuya stood !erfectly in line shoulder to shoulder and waited to be called u!. They didn't do so because they were cold. so four times would be classed as a higher fre. Tatsuya u!dated his 15 e&ery three months. :ot many guys. $s a result of the e&olution of !ersonal checks and the electronic wallet. money cards are wides!read and cash is now rarely used. not the u!date. so !lease wait there a bit *nii3sama. Seeing his sister remo&ed her mouth from the straw and looking towards him. without waiting for a word of !rotest. the bank's about to o!en. 1t looked rough. ":ow then. The a&erage renewal rate was twice a year. 1t was not unusual for some more !aranoid users to u!date theirs on a weekly basis. *nly the 15 is re.uired for such online ser&ices. and by !roceeding straight instore in !erson rather than authenticating the data online increases the security. <oing to the bank is no longer for making de!osits. so let's head out. 1n the cool store. (ou can continue using it from the date of issue without a single u!date if you wish. and using the bank in such situations is also limited to s!ecial cases. With a rather !ee&ed e-!ression.uent habit of hitting on Miyuki. he !lucked the tray right out of her hands. The reason was because !eo!le had the fre. 1'll clean u! the cu!s. Miyuki swiftly hid her true emotions as she followed Tatsuya into the kitchen. The reason Tatsuya was going was to u!date his 15 re." $s he said so. There is no !eriodic determined time for which you ha&e to do so. :or do you go to make transfers. es!ecially of the same age.

The issuer is able to systematically !ut on hold transactions.. but from the des!erate yelling they directed at the bank staff one could surmise that they might 2ust !ossibly might be the real thing..left no room for doubt. The ski masks they hid their faces behind in the midst of summer ga&e a rather retro feel. being able to stick to her brother like this was !robably 2ust as much a factor as anything else. such as for sho!!ing or some!lace she wants to go or something she wants to watch. 8or that reason. 8our men had 2ust burst into the store brandishing shoddy remodeled handguns. 1 can handle this. threatening the bank clerks and customers. modern banks often do not store cash since their utility is so limited. "This is !retty rare.. e&en though there was nothing !articularly interesting about standing around in the bank lobby.. Therefore.with them.uestion." . the e-istence of the bank robber is becoming e&er more an endangered s!ecies. Miyuki seemed as cheerful as e&er. money cards were used to shift around large amounts of money. the only one incon&enienced is the !arty in . and asked him in a business as usual tone. 33that should ha&e been the case. but dealing with 2ust a single one would take a considerable amount of time. "1f you like." Tatsuya and Miyuki had 2ust come u!on a scene with that &ery same endangered s!ecies. "*nii3sama. what should we do?" With eyebrows raised Miyuki looked u! at Tatsuya. ?nlike with checks there is nothing in circulation. 33her brother com!le. They wore grimy 2um!ers. )ase in !oint. 1n !lace of cash.. they decided in ad&ance that whene&er walking through the city they would act as lo&ers. When Miyuki accom!anied Tatsuya outside. Their style was so traditional that an onlooker might e&en be confused as to whether this was a bizarre attraction of some kind or something. as they swung a Boston bag onto the counter. That aside.

from the un!leasant smile he wore it seemed this man in !articular had a . his current actions were sim!ly to a!!ease her. there's no need for us to interfere. Within that shield. Miyuki ha!!ily buried her head in Tatsuya's chest. $ glim!se could be seen of the man's eyes from the ga!s in the mask. 1t didn't e&en faze the first layer. Strictly s!eaking. Being suddenly stared at /she felt0. he hadn't said there was no need to interfere 2ust so he could flirt around with his sister. Seeing that. *ne of the robbers fired a bullet at the shield. 4utting the fear and tension of the fleeing customers in the lobby aside. another semi trans!arent shield descended from the ceiling to co&er the o!en window before the clerk. ":o.uire am!utation. it was !robable it would ha&e fractured seriously enough to e&en re. The Boston bag caught in that window was torn a!art. $ !re&iously trans!arent shield had e-tended from the counter to the ceiling to !re&ent all access. she hurriedly cast her face downwards.uid. 1f you need an e-!lanation for the sake of Tatsuya's honor. 1f the robber's arm had been there. 7ooking right at the man. %e lightly !atted her. 1t !re&ented collateral damage. Tatsuya !ut his hands on Miyuki's shoulders. Tatsuya a&erted his gaze. The !roof of that was e&ident before them. *ne of the robbers s!at then looked back into the lobby." 7aughing. Iust because bank robberies had become such rare crimes didn't mean banks didn't ha&e security systems in !lace to combat it. this 'could not care less' attitude was less than familiar. these two who e-uded such a rela-ed mood in the turbulent atmos!here stood out !retty damn well. $ bank robbery would ne&er succeed with 2ust remodeled handguns anyway.%er usual feeling of not wanting to cause bother to Tatsuya came to the fore. The clear outer shield a!!eared to be made of a material similar to high &iscosity li. Tatsuya was im!ressed by the design. 8or the other customers who made an-ious e-!ressions and stiffened at this scenario. What the man's eyes settled u!on was Miyuki. :eedless to say.

She huddled closer into Tatsuya's chest. he hid his own wry smile under his signature !okerface. $ security system that e&en took into account ricochets. who could feel Miyuki's body through her thin clothes. knew there was no tension in her. Subconsciously. %e could also !ercei&e the sadistic light that shone in his eyes. there was little chance of a robber looking at them with friendly eyes. 8rom the girders. 1t wasn't something he normally did. the ceiling had been re!laced by stereosco!ic images. !eo!le dro!!ed in onto the heads of the robbers. $nyway. 8or someone able to sense others !resences. but he was also !erfectly !roficient in drama if it came to it. Miyuki also realized the robber was looking at her with such eyes. The immediate focus of the robbers was the two of them. The conditioned wiry guards o&er!owered the robbers in the blink of an eye. 1f he could see her e-!ression. Tatsuya sensed his malice. +&en he thought that was !robably a bit much.uite well. but the robbers seemed to drink it u!. he had always been aware that . *f course. %e wouldn't be much of a bodyguard otherwise. Iudging from his smirk. They com!letely failed to notice the beams forming abo&e them in a rectangular !attern. Miyuki and Tatsuya's acting must ha&e stimulated them . should definitely e-tend beyond 2ust cutting off the counter from the lobby. $s he was waiting. Their attention had com!letely di&erted from the other customers in the lobby. The eyes of the four robbers con&erged on the two. %e ho!ed it wasn't too unnatural. But Tatsuya. 1t was the s!litting image of looking frightened in the face of the situation. something such as a stereosco!ic screen was no shield whatsoe&er. %is sister wasn't ner&ous in the least. as he then made an an-ious e-!ression and held Miyuki's hand tightly. he wouldn't ha&e been sur!rised if she was trying to stifle laughter. but it was easy to tell from their e-!osed eyes that they were grinning broadly. Tatsuya went so far as to tremble a little.short tem!er. 1t was im!ossible to see clearly under the masks. it was safe to say that Tatsuya and Miyuki had caught the man's attention. Before they knew it. Tatsuya wasn't !articularly sur!rised at the scene. the robber thought so too.

and she hid her face behind her long hair as she allowed herself to be guided by the shoulder. would by common sense be seen as crying in relief at the close of a tense situation. Tatsuya gently released Miyuki. T ():*ld boy . =.there were guards ready for de!loyment o&erhead. still huddled in his chest. That incident the two went through on that last day of summer &acation. burst out laughing. 1n the eyes of most !eo!le. the two of them finally dro!!ed the act and. $sking his name. +ntering. ?nsure of how to look. $fter being told Tatsuya had come to u!date his 15. the largest diamond e&er found. T 'reat Star o& A&rica: $>$ )ullinan diamond. This encounter with the bank robbers was the one unusual occurrence the two siblings e-!erienced that day. the bank manager came out to Tatsuya. Translator#s $otes and %e&erences ". Truthfully. that really was a relati&ely dangerous situation after all. Miyuki. he had sim!ly read the mood and was trying to hide her smile from the somber staff and guards. The bank staff of course didn't know he was like that. With Miyuki's head still cradled in his arms. There was no chance of being s!ied u!on during the !rocess. he a!ologized !rofusely and offered him e-em!tion from fees for one year as com!ensation for the distress. facing each other. was organized along with the others into their 'memories of a certain summer'. Tatsuya maintained his !okerface33 at that. They thought Tatsuya's arms were hiding her face as he embraced her because of that. the manager called a subordinate to carry out the necessary !roceedings. away from the eyes and ears of others. in the minds of the two. as it was all carried out by a machine in a !ri&ate room. the bank manager's e-!ression &isibly tensed33 before acce!ting the offer.

$lthough the reasons not to ha&e se. howe&er. 1n the end. the young ladies who congregated in the Student )ouncil room were not going to treat themsel&es as chea! merchandise. They donNt want to be talked about as cock teasers or bragged about in locker rooms. 2ust because se-ually e-!erienced women arenNt !enalized by society doesnNt mean Ldoing itM is nothing to a woman. Tatsuya had been fleeing . Be that as it may. Lcaressed the na!e of my neck with his breathM and like !hrases continually let loose before his eyes was enough to make a healthy young man ill at ease.of males and females who shared lunch in the Student )ouncil were going on about their first day back or their e-!eriences o&er the summer. subtly changed when MayumiNs !ronouncement was made.before marriage were usually something like Ldo not gi&e into a sweet talking manM. they had shamelessly talked like this in the !resence of a member of the o!!osite se-.Part &: Presidential 'le"tions ( The )ueen Cha*ter 1 L1tNs already the month that we ha&e to resignPM The atmos!here of the Student )ouncil room. 8or a while now. as before the Lfree se. Lstrongly !ressed me to the bedM. what they did during the summer !aled as a to!ic. initially swollen with talk of the summer &acations. or e&en that they forgot he was there. L1 wanted to be able to wear whiteM and others !roclaimed around him with com!lete naturalness. Lforcibly took off my 2acketM. This could be ha!!ening because he was no longer being treated as a male. e&en though they were girls who !ossessed a large number of contrace!ti&e o!tions.eraM the consciousness behind it differs greatly. 1n conclusion. ?ntil that time. To say nothing of the same man ha&ing to endure lines like L1 wanted a little better moodM. 4regnancy could no longer occur from accidents or crimes. from the beginning. )om!ared to their usual daring con&ersation which contained !hrases such as Lremaining chaste before marriageM and Lthe age of free se-M. the conclusion might be the same. the usual mi.

because the students who can become 4resident are limited. L:ow that you mention it. but we need to set u! the format from ne-t week on. it should be a one on one battle between %attori3kun and :aka2ou3san.uestion was different.M L(es. :e&ertheless. !ossibly because he was e-!ecting it. he has some memory of hearing that the first day he was called to this room. 1tNs been that way for the !ast fi&e years. was this com!letely !oised sen!ai who con&ersed on to!ics forbidden to !eo!le under eighteen. the Student )ouncil 4resident is decided without being elected. the Student )ouncil 4resident election is this month. the Student )ouncil 4resident has held the !ost of to! student to enter uni&ersity. under Lwe're all girls hereM without e&en a snicker? Tatsuya entertained doubt.M LWithin the family?M L8or the !ast fi&e years. That being said.M :ow that she mentioned it.from this kind of talk by concentrating his eyes and consciousness on a magic book /the 4ublic Moral room had a sur!risingly good collection0. much less under fifteen. L1f there is more than one candidate.M L1t is not limited to that method. the content of his ne-t . the election is at the end of the month. Whate&er twist the con&ersation took he could tune it out.uestion was !ut forth by Suzune.years before that it was different. LWhat is the format?M 'Were there any materials?' was the gist of the . and this time as well because e&en if an election is held. but Suzune correctly understood TatsuyaNs !oint.uestion.M This affirmati&e answer to TatsuyaNs . but ne&ertheless. this change of con&ersation !enetrated his consciousness. si. 1tNs 2ust that thereNs ne&er been a case of a student becoming Student )ouncil 4resident without becoming a member of the Student )ouncil first. an election is held. WhatNs !robably going to ha!!en . But. itNs fought out within the family after all. LTo summarize. We ha&e to announce the candidates and do all the other stuff that needs to be done.

M LThatNs right. but Tatsuya thought he could see what his sister was u! to. She seemed to be aiming at different as!ects. L1tNs im!ossible for me to become Student )ouncil 4residentC We donNt need a discussion.years !rior someone other than the to! student held the !ost of Student )ouncil 4resident?M LSo %anzou3kun will be the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident. right?M . but with %attori also a candidate. Tatsuya thought. L%attori was also one of last yearNs to! students.M "1 see. 1 donNt intend on becoming a candidate. MiyukiNs thinking seemed to be going on a different angle than TatsuyaNs. Whate&er their !ersonal o!inions. $s Miyuki was !ointing out and Tatsuya was aware of himself. if thatNs the case it is certainly 'within the family'. !olicy3wise $zusa was closest to them. there wasnNt much difference between the all3around scores. The one who didnNt gras! the conce!t was the one who was being mentioned as a candidate. that wouldnNt be the most !ro!er way to go about it. the 4ublic Moral chief and the student body !resident didnNt seem to !ay attention to what was going on around them." Tatsuya gras!ed the conce!t.M %owe&er.is.M Tatsuya certainly gras!ed that you couldnNt hold the !ost of Student )ouncil 4resident with teary eyes.M 1mmersed in their talk. So while they could certainly understand why she would want to throw away the !ost of !residentP /P She doesnNt seem to want to do itP0 1f there are no other candidates aside from $zusa. L5o you mean that si. LSo :aka2ou3sen!ai was last year's to! student. howe&er. it would be im!erati&e to !ersuade her. things will be talked out before the election and will be down to one candidate.

L8or theory. right?M $lthough she had been listening to Mayumi as if she wasnNt being discussed. Tatsuya thought." 4utting all this u!on the schoolNs bulletin board in a big dis!lay each semester as an incenti&e to study is really meaningless. %attori3kun took the To! !lace o&er :aka2ou3san by a narrow margin.uestion to $zusa. The all3around to! student was also %attori3kun followed by :aka2ou3san by a narrow margin. itNs 2ust the slender $3chan looks to be unsuited for s!orts com!etitions. followed by :aka2ou3san and %attori in third !lace. Mitsui3san and others.Mayumi nodded an acknowledgement to Miyuki and directed her . thereNs Shiba3san.uality to her at least?M $t MariNs blunt o!inion. 1n the !ractical. becoming familiar with this !erson had created a different im!ression. that was Tatsuya's assessment of Suzune. :aka2ou3sen!ai was higher than )hiyoda3 sen!ai?M Miyuki had already understood this !oint. LP 1 may ha&e introduced the to!icP but this is ne-t year. we ha&e !lenty of !ros!ecti&e athletesPM $s $zusa forced herself to re!ly with a !eculiarly weird &oice. >itayama3san. LSo in !ractical skills. :e-t yearP ne-t year. but while attending the :ine Schools )om!etition. aside from )hiyoda3san.M L:onetheless. but Suzune was the one who re!lied. :aka2ou is going to be an athlete in the coming year. Mayumi agreed with a forced smile. "1 might be called the rotten a!!le that s!oils the barrelP but from the start. $zusaNs body begun to shake in res!onse. .M LThP thatNs right. LTo the contrary. LThatNs because that girl >anon is too slo!!y.M LShe has a ma2estic . most serious students canNt cross swords with the Student )ouncil 4resident and the chiefP" at least. the order for the to! s!ots were 1sori3kun. when MariNs dro!!ed bombshell. :aka2ou? ThereNs no !oint in getting all scared about it right now.

7ooking behind him. it was certainly logical. such a thing.M LThis isnNt some kind of s!ecial membershi! meeting?" LWell. 1 2ust meant the right !erson for the right 2ob. LWell. gazing back at him. LP1s there something?M L1tNs not work. LThatNs correct. that isPM 1f that was the case. she nodded with the dignity of her office. gazing at her with his half closed eyes and hard to refute.M LSo this is a ceremony in honor of the first day of the new semester?M LThe inaugural ceremony takes !lace only once a year.MayumiNs face took on a trium!hant look. the Student )ouncil 4resident had it tough Tatsuya realized. shadowing him e-actly 9 Mari.weeks away. !lacing a burden. 1 donNt ha&e any memory of sending out a notice. nowM ?!on MariNs re!ly. 666 When he ste!!ed into the 4ublic Moral room after si.M L$hhPM . Tatsuya made a light bow and turned to retrie&e his !ersonal recorder from his locker with a brisk !ace 9 but he didnNt get three ste!s before he sto!!ed.M L:o.uired of Mari who was. But that doesnNt change the fact that there is a big e&ent for the 4ublic Moral )ommittee. he found standing at e-actly the same distance as before 9 to be clear. it was une-!ectedly crowded. L1 didnNt get any notice of a meeting?M Tatsuya in. there are a lot of great !ros!ects among this year's freshman girlsP the third years canNt 2ust !ush the burden u!on their underclassmen. standing at the entrance. for some reason.

the one to gi&e in was Mari. LThis is a welcome !arty?M LBy no means. Today. Because he understood that.M L1N&e glanced through the im!ortant news. so e&erybody who was free came to take a look at her. for that reason9 L1tNs about time to choose a chief. <i&en those facts. weNre not that cohesi&e an organization. 4erha!s she was thinking of the s!ecial !ri&ileges of the 4ublic Moral )ommittee with an Loh. wellM e-!ression.M She was glancing around while she was talking with a Lis there anything that needs to be taken care ofPM kind of feeling that Tatsuya !ercei&ed. one of the third years resigned at the end of last semester. the whole thing ga&e Tatsuya an an-ious mood.M Tatsuya raised his eyebrows in sus!icion at MariNs words. but .uite a few of us remain in !osition until graduation.$t TatsuyaNs cautious res!onse. Mari ado!ted an Loh. 1n the end. LTo tell the truth. the re!lacement is coming. $lthough you select a re!lacement. LP1tNs best to go to the heart of the matter directly with this kind of thing. wellM thought floating in her mind. it all seems a little strange. The members ha&e not gathered out of comradery but rather curiosity.M 1 got it. what was this crowd doing here? L1tNs 2ust that itNs unusual to ha&e a girl chosen as a member.M . +&ery graduating class selects their re!lacements.M LWhat 1Nm talking about is a com!letely inter3committee kind of thing. Tatsuya thought." L1 know. LThere is no term of office for the 4ublic Moral members. the 4ublic Moral )ommittee was an organization more suited for words like Ldi&isionM and LantagonismM rather than unity. %owe&er. (ou understand that by now.M She ga&e a subtle shrug of her shoulders as she s!oke. there is no need to resign. right?M )ertainly.M LWe tend to cling to this delicious !osition.

$!!arently there were many things on her mind and she didnNt want to trouble her kouhai.uest for clarification was only natural. Tatsuya had no &eto rights.M :e&ertheless. 1tNs only right that 1 greet the new member. :ot only to not be instructed . L7etNs get this o&er with a . :ot 2ust him. could 1 trouble you to look after things for a while?M LP(ou mean me?M TatsuyaNs re. for today.$t TatsuyaNs !oint. 1 donNt think you can lea&e all this work to a freshman. To entrust all the organizational details and the orientation of a new member to the guy at the absolute bottom rung of the ladder was .M %e didnNt think a face3to3face meeting with someone as well known as >anon was necessary.M Since this !oint was certainly true with regards to the 4ublic Moral )ommittee. The new member was e-actly who Tatsuya thought it would be. so >anon was limited to a choice of Tatsuya or Mari. L1 mean you. To indicate this right in front of Tatsuya was certainly a rude gesture. MariNs e-!ression was "##S !ercent earnest. you are the only one in the 4ublic Moral )ommittee who can do it. LPWell. L1 donNt know anything about the !erson who is 2oining us. By the way. but Tatsuya could com!rehend her dissatisfaction &ery well. 1 am sym!athetic to herP but e&en so. but Mari said this after introducing >anon to members scattered around the room and deli&ering the res!onsibility to Tatsuya as !romised.uick face3to3face meetingP >anon. TatsuyaNs defeat was decided. $s usual. L%uh9? Mari3san is not going to instruct me?M 8or >anon. Mari was ob&iously the better choice. in my case itNs !art of my 2ob.uestionable.M L:onetheless. this instruction was only gi&en after all the other members had left. work with Tatsuya3kun and gras! all you need to for !atrolling. an ill3humored e-!ression silently came o&er MariNs face. so she was choosing her words in order to gloss o&er things.

because the underhanded guys see my silhouette and . to not e&en be instructed by another second year like herself and to ha&e an underclassman act as a sen!ai was not going to be fun for >anon. Tatsuya addressed a serious lecture to >anon as they went. too. if thatNs the case. My and other committee members' !atrol routes do not kee! to a routine. >anonNs treatment was e-tremely !rotecti&e.M but he soon resigned himself to the situation. 1 !lace im!ortance on &isiting the !ractice rooms.M LThatNs because the classrooms are monitored. $s a result. a lot ha!!ened back thenPM %e felt that her awe was mis!laced but he was reluctant to be disagreeable. $nyway. but the ma2ority of the members seem to !atrol a set !ath. L:o one assigns !atrol routes. Shiba3kun is highly ada!ti&e. Tatsuya continued his lecture instead of disagreeing.M LWell. 8or romantic ty!e . right. would !lease neither one of them. Tatsuya was left with a feeling that he should be .M ?n!leasant as it was. The !oint of this is that Tatsuya3kun is number one in incident encounters among committee members. L1 canNt be your guide. We donNt need to go o&er e&ery area within the school. This is because if you look at old !atrol logs.by Mari. there are &ery few !roblem causing incidents in the classrooms. 1 see. Walking side by side. but dee! in his heart. he is number one in number of a!!rehensions.M ?nfortunately. s!eaking these &arious truths. L1n my case.uickly and easily understood.uestioning MariNs remarks with the Las a result.uietly sneak away. 9Suddenly being thrown into solo !atrol o!erations was the norm.M >anonNs com!limentary outburst and his e-!lanations had no logical connection. a 2ob is a 2ob. %owe&er. you began to !atrol the school alone. Mari wanted him to take the role of her coach. Tatsuya was rooting for >anon to make more of an argument. >anon . howe&er. The end of this fruitless task was in sight. L%mmP.M L*h. $nd e&en 1N&e heard &arious stories of your legendary new student week actions. LBut 2ust after you started school.

L(ou donNt go to the gym or the grounds? 5oesnNt more trouble ha!!en there than in the !ractice rooms?M L+-ce!t for s!ecial circumstances like the new student in&itation !eriod. it was the second building if you came from the entrance.M >anon broke her ties to the clubs when she 2oined the 4ublic Moral )ommittee. but any curiosity he had in erotica and how he should res!ond if a !erson confesses their lo&e had been sealed.&ulgarities.M L4lease donNt talk like 1Nm a !layboy. those areas as a general rule are under the 2urisdiction of the clubs. today was the >en2utsu clubNs !ractice day. /Tatsuya was seriously troubled o&er the necessity of accom!anying her.M Whether he was serious or 2oking was hard to tell from the tone of his .uest.omance?PM 1n general. you canNt. but since she herself had been a member of the track and field club /her s!ecialty had been hurdles0.M L.M +&en so. Tatsuya thought. right? Trotting o&er once trouble has arisen means it's too late to inter&ene. if thereNs a momentary outbreak of hostilities between indi&idual factions. he had some interest in reading fiction. By sheer coincidence. suggesting that kind of actionP this sounded like she was brimming with the desire to e-!and her territory by raising ha&oc.0 1n relation to the school grounds. LPThe older Shiba. 666 1n accordance with >anonNs strong re. e&en if you want to do it. L:o one will mind if we 2ust go and take a look around. there was no way she wasnNt aware of the clubs' self3go&erning !ri&ileges. ThatNs a different girl than the one you usually bring when you watch us. *f course. itNs a mood killer. it becomes the 4ublic Moral )ommittee's time to inter&ene. the dayNs !atrol took the all im!ortant tour of the gymnasium.

&oice 9 but Tatsuya thought he felt the 2est was at least !artly serious 9 the one who had come to talk to him was >irihara. des!ite SayakaNs su!!ort/?0. was still getting the stink eye from >irihara.M $lthough what he said was true. Since the s!ring incident.eally. The reason Sayaka of the >endo )lub was !artici!ating in the >en2utsu clubNs !ractice wasnNt so that they could use the club hour to date. Sayaka and >irihara were the first to use that e-cuse 9 that is. L$ rumor?M L*h. 9Therefore. this means these two are not !racticing together 2ust because they like each other. the current trend was born. the s!orts clubs who used magic and the s!orts who didnNt felt they had to increase o!!ortunities for mutual interaction between themsel&es. Shiba3kun doesnNt know?M . The >endo club and the >en2utsu club !ioneered the trend. Tatsuya. >irihara3kun. +nough gossi!. +s!ecially with the clubs that were basically the same. L. s!orts clubs whose only difference was the rule about whether magic could be used or not in com!etition had taken it u!on themsel&es to bridge the ga! by undertaking !ositi&e actions.M LPWell. itNs okay. if thatNs the way it is. olunteering information like this made it seem like he was using his 2ob to co&er u! immoral beha&ior. they were the first !artici!ants to take !art in a mutual e-change !rogram. 1snNt saying stuff like that rude to )hiyoda3san? Because )hiyoda3san is serious about 1sori3kun. so he e-!lained the situation. L)hief Watanabe ordered us to go together. but made a meaningful comment.M >irihara not only une-!ectedly readily belie&ed him.M The one whose outburst eased >anonNs discomfort and made Tatsuya breathe a dee! sigh of relief was Sayaka. then that rumor was true. it would ha&e been better to act as if he didnNt need to e-cuse his beha&ior. L+h. thus.

but in the face of this s!ectacle. since the beginning of the modern era. L*h. >irihara wa&ed his head and fist e-citedly. as her successor. who has no e-!erience.uite a !icture.0 *(% fierce guardian deity in $uddhism portrayed "ith an aura of fire) L1 ne&er said lesbianCM 5es!ite the fact that in terms of sim!le !ower. so Tatsuya didnNt feel that Othinks like a TakarazukaN was a !articularly dishonorable a!!raisal. she has to make a lot of effort. L%mm. and the fact that she also had great rage on her side. /To be accurate. Because Watanabe3sen!ai really likes )hiyoda.M +&en though Tatsuya didnNt say anything. >anon was rumored to be number one among the second years. 1n order to be able to a!!oint )hiyoda3san. arenNt you &ery bra&e. they didnNt sto! adding to the hea!. . Tatsuya breathed a dee! sigh. L:o !roblem. eh? Well if )hiyoda becomes chief sheNll certainly make . as if someone was !ainting $cala@. could be called a traditional theatrical entertainment.LThe rumor about )hiyoda becoming the ne-t 4ublic Moral )hief and )hief Watanabe making the rounds to get it a!!ro&ed.M $t the &iolently strong >anonNs !ronouncement. but it seemed that >anonNs sensibilities reached a different conclusion. youNre treating not 2ust me but Mari3san as lesbiansP >irihara3 kun. donNt you think that girl ha&ing to make the rounds to get it a!!ro&ed is such a tiresome thing for her to do?M Tatsuya realized the OrumorN Sayaka and >irihara were announcing tag3 team fashion was com!letely true. so they'&e got to make an e-ce!tion. 1tNs )hiyoda. 8rankly. but she thinks like one. it was an e-!losion of &iolently charged !sion !articles.M LWait a minuteCM Behind >anonNs back.M *( % famous all female acting troupe "here "omen play all the roles even the male ones in love scenes). an aura of fire rose u!. L1tNs 2ust like they said it was. The <irls *!era. too. he chose silence. that girl not only looks like a Takarazuka@.

L* > $ (? Will you !lease restrain yourself from acting like a !ot boiling o&er. L)hiyoda3sen!ai.M 1t was (akumoNs deceitful Tenketsu2utsu (Probably blind spot techni&ue). $s she listened to his monologue. 1 thought he was !utting me on about O!leasure !ointsN. LPThat was more effecti&e than e-!ected. the red3faced >anon was using both of her scalding eyes to glare at Tatsuya. what would ha!!en if 4ublic Moral members went around starting their own !ersonal brawl?M L$ahP but he. %e used a thrust with his inde. the testimony of a 4ublic Moral )ommittee member can be considered inde!endent e&idence.finger on one after he watched >anon get increasingly red faced.. too?M L:ow that you mention it. nonetheless Tatsuya and >anon didnNt take their eyes off of each other.M LP?nderstoodM The sulky faced >anon was too busy a&erting her eyes to be aware of SayakaNs mutter of LP doesn't what you 2ust did count as se-ual harassment. but. $s a general rule.. 7ocated on the back are some Ls!ots that cause !leasant feelingsM9he was 2ust taught them this morning. L%uhhCM With an out of !itch screech. the cause of her minor indignity.uo.. *kay. isn't the Student )ouncil election coming u! .M LThere is no 'but he'. after the occurrence of se-ual harassment.M L*i?M 1n the confusion brought on by the swift change in the status . the &iolent dance of !sion !articles subsided. itNs best to ha&e the 5isci!linary )ommittee conduct a trial. >irihara ke!t out of it.. Truthfully. LWh3What did you do?M 8rom her !osition sunken down on the floor. he modified his facial e-!ression.%is right hand made a swift light thrust.

(eah. >anon .uestion. that %attori is going to succeed the chief of )lub Management. L(e!. L$t the end of the month.M >irihara res!onded to SayakaNs .real soon?M $t last. %e could see what they were saying. Tatsuya thought. 1Nd call that real soon.M >anon acce!ted >iriharaNs answer with a !ro!er nod. Iust who is going to be the ne-t Student )ouncil 4residentP . This meant that of the strongest candidates for Student )ouncil 4resident. L:o!e. To kee! any club members from !utting fuel on the fire. %attori3kunP howe&er itNs !ro!er. scouting for club members. L1N&e heard itNs going to be a one3on3one match between %attori3kun and :aka2ou3san. Thanks to >atsutoNs glare.M L%mmm. %owe&er 9 Tatsuya thought. Sayaka had brought u! this to!ic for the second time today /at least for Tatsuya0. great big riots hadnNt ha!!ened. The )lub Management <rou! certainly had a more &iolent image than the Student )ouncil. the chaotic situation had subsided. but an ordinary !erson couldnNt do the same thing. both would not take !art in the election. +&en under normal circumstances. 1 heard it from him myself that he wasnNt going to take !art in the election.M 8or Tatsuya the dU2V &u con&ersation had been broken u! by the re&elation of a new fact. really?M 1t looked like >iriharaNs words were a sur!rise to >anon. L*h. right.uickly 2oined her fellow second yearsN con&ersation.M 4aying no attention to the difference between first and second course. taking s!ace for club acti&ities and the like caused many ine&itable dis!utes. )lub Management canNt be done by anybody without brute strength. Sayaka hos!itably introduced the !erfect water cooler gossi! to!ic. %attori isnNt doing it. 1n order to mo&e from the talk of the 4ublic Moral succession.

LTherefore. They crowded around a table in a coffee sho! that was on the way to the station.M Shizuku and Mizuki seemed to be members of the Su!!ort $zusa !arty. %onoka.M L1 belie&e itNs better to ha&e a gentle !erson as Student )ouncil 4resident. $nd in nearly no time the to!ic became the u!coming election.M )ountless nods of yes. 1t had been a while since Tatsuya could mingle with his usual circle. L$nyway. 7eo. +&en the Student )ouncil 4resident canNt steal the !erson who is the ne-t successor to the )lub Management <rou! 7eader. Mizuki. yes came from +rikaNs side. it seems like he himself has told others about it so there doesnNt seem to be a way to be mistaken about it.M 7eo ga&e a cold a!!raisal of $zusa. LBut her true abilities tower o&er others.M Tatsuya re!lied with an affirmati&e. LThatNs trueP 1 donNt belie&e e&en those !eo!le could stand against chief Iuumon2i. a little unreliable. +rika. right?M This was a re!eated in.uiry of +rika. after all. and Shizuku were done with club acti&ities. homeward bound. L$ah. :aka2ou3sen!ai is the only !ossible !erson who can become a candidate. Miyuki had 2ust finished with the Student )ouncil. Mikihiko was done with his inde!endent training in the !ractice room. L%mmmP to tell the truth.M . the !ossibility of %attori3sen!ai has com!letely disa!!eared.666 $fter the !atrol was o&er.

M Mizuki entered su!!ort for +rikaNs !osition in Miyuki and +rikaNs back and forth con&ersation. 1 think your true !ower and !o!ularity make you !erfect. thatNs right. we ha&e Tatsuya here. +rika. right? 1n the recent :ine Schools )om!etition.M L+&en MizukiPM 1t was a su!erficially chiding remark. but battled against second and third years in Mirage Bat and won. yeah. but this time Mikihiko blew +rikaNs outrageous idea out of the water with one of his own.M $t +rikaNs Me!histo!heles@3like /a young girl &ersion0 whis!er. *nce you become Student )ouncil 4resident. what nonsense are you s!outing?M MiyukiNs eyes widened in res!onse to +rikaNs sur!rising remark. you can a!!oint anyone as staff. it seemed that +rika was really taken with her own suggestion. you could head hunt Tatsuya3kun from the 4ublic Moral )ommitteeP .M L5onNt say such nonsense. 4resident Saegusa was getting rid of the first course only limit. that sounds interesting. ThatNs right. LBut. But. Miyuki &isibly trembled. right? *kay. L(eah.M $s childhood friends. . a high school studentNs Otrue !owerN cannot only be measured by magic !ower?M L1f itNs scholarshi!. but a wa&er could be felt in MiyukiNs &oice. 1n general. wouldnNt it be okay if Tatsuya became Student council !resident?M L*h. L(eah. if you were !resident. une-!ectedly. they didnNt com!ete with each other. Miyuki.Mizuki returned to the to!ic of the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident. she herself has said she doesnNt want to do it. *(The tempter demon from 'aust) L)on&ersely. become a candidateCM LWait. Miyuki not only took !art in the :ewcomers 1cicle Break. L1tNs not like thereNs any regulation !rohibiting first years from becoming Student )ouncil 4resident.

who were subtly com!eting o&er who was more enthusiastic. e&en among those who were not really in&ol&ed /es!ecially students in classes + to %0. Mikihiko. heard the &oice of the !re&iously arri&ed Mikihiko call out LMorning. 1tNs said that the work of those who work behind the scenes can not be com!rehended if youNre &iewing the front. "Who has influence?". 1 would cam!aign for you by distributing leaflets or anything else you wanted me to do.M *nce again. Tatsuya realized he had a slight headache.While 7eo gazed around blankly at these e&il !lots. but 1 could not collect enough ballots. LMorning. Tatsuya asserted. TatsuyaM. Because 1N&e recently been gi&en more $sa no <ongyou to do. 1 really wanted to take on things a little more slowly. youNre always early. LStill. Tatsuya3san. who was going to his assigned terminal. .M L%a ha.M L:o. youNre right. $s classmates e-changed morning greetings. LThatNs 1m!ossible. $t last it was time to officially announce the Student )ouncil 4resident election. Tatsuya denied the !ossibility of being elected. LBut. Shizuku had a different o!inion. 1 would absolutely &ote for himCM LMe too *nii3sama. Tatsuya. but %onoka raised her &oice in a fer&ent rebuttal.M L)ertainly. ShizukuP 1 was !art of the backstage crew for the &ictory and only com!eted in one e&ent.M Surrounded on both sides by Miyuki and %onoka. 1f *nii3sama e&er ran for office. if it was Miyuki there might be enough su!!ort for the idea to make it ha!!en. you took a ma2or role in the :ine Schools )om!etition. "Who will be a candidate?M.M %owe&er. and similar to!ics could be heard. Cha*ter " *ne week had !assed since the start of the new semester. if Tatsuya3san was e&er !laced on the ballot.

uestioned me.umorP?M L1 didnNt do itCM Tatsuya didnNt consider himself es!ecially good at reading !eo!le.uiry seemed to be coming from out of left field.M . %is friend was not only steadily regaining his !ower. 4re&iously. well. but Mikihiko !roclaimed innocence with e&ery e-cited gesture. %is first res!onse was to tell him to !roceed. 1 ha&e to ask you about something you might think is weird. Tatsuya res!onded this way because his astonishment was so great. !robably due to the influence of the Shinto3Buddhist amalgamation. That the !hrase Lbeen gi&en moreM !ro!erly meant L1 can !artici!ate againM. Tsuzura3sensei .butP tradition. <ongyou. Mari had tossed around a 2oke about him transferring into course one.M The word. who came from a long line of Shintoists. is it really true that youNre a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident?M LPWhat did you say?M There was no way Tatsuya was not listening to what Mikihiko said. L(esterday. but increasing his !ower as well. butPM LSomething weird?M This blunt but muttered in. after school in the !ractice room. but he was also en&ious. originally indicated Buddhist religious ser&ices. L:o. But. but Tatsuya thought Mikihiko might really become the first !erson to transfer from course two into course one. Tatsuya gras!ed from the crumbs of information he got when talking to both Mikihiko himself and +rika. O1s it really true that Shiba Tatsuya is a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident?N is what he said. but he withheld comment and slowed to kee! in ste! with him. but Tatsuya. %e was ha!!y for him. 1Nm asking because there this rumor that OTatsuya is a candidate for Student )ouncil 4residentN going around. used the word O<ongyouN. 1n short. L$sa no <ongyouM was early morning religious rites. e&en !eo!le like Mikihiko.M L. $fter all. L1 donNt think this is &ery weird. the two of them were fellow students. LBy the way Tatsuya.

all he could do was tilt his head at him. not only his way of thinking9but also his s!eech and conduct were a little too loose and inde!endent. LThis tall tale is being s!read by themP?M L*h.M %owe&er. L1 can do inde!endent research. Maybe because he had that kind of tem!erament. e&erybody seemed rece!ti&e to the idea. :onethelessP he himself said he wasnNt bothered by it. 8or disci!linary reasons. . Sur!risingly. he was known as an e-cellent young researcher.1nstructor Tsuzura's s!ecialty was magic geometry. and he was also well &ersed in magic engineering.M Tatsuya had a flabbergasted e-!ression as he nodded to the de2ected looking Mikihiko. L1 donNt think 1 could get any &otes if 1 was a candidate. Tatsuya had also been called o&er for a chat countless times. contrary to his e-!ectations. so it is a tall tale? 1 thought it strange since you said you had no interest in being a candidate the other day. who was half sitting. %ow did this rumor get s!read among the teachers?M L5onNt knowPM Mikihiko couldnNt !ossibly know what was going on in the staff room. he asked it as a way of grumbling. and as 1 said before 1 donNt intend to run. 1 heard bits and !ieces of the sen!ais gossi!ing about it. half leaning on MizukiNs desk. +&en Tatsuya did not ask in the e-!ectation of an answer. %is !rinci!al occu!ation was a uni&ersity !rofessor.M the troublesome fellow re2oiced. he was transferred to a high school associated with his uni&ersity. %owe&er. who sat in front of him. L5uring club acti&ities. L1tNs not 2ust the teachers. $s e-!ected. 1t was also !roclaimed that he would soon recei&e the office of associate !rofessor. 1n the academic world. %e didnNt e&en limit himself to his assigned year.M $fter 7eo. +rika. said that. testimony that !ointed in an un!leasant direction was e-tracted from a nearby listener. currently he was teaching the second years. also sang the same tune. he was one of the teachers who made a s!ecial effort to look after the second course students.

M %owe&er. u!on hearing the identity of whom she heard the rumor from. 1 think there remain some ob2ections o&er whether it was really okay to call something like that L!ositi&ityM. it was the feeling of knowing that he was going to interrogate %aruka. Tatsuya wanted take co&er under his desk. but after synthesizing MikihikoNs intelligence re!ort as well as 7eoNs and +rikaNs. They shared the same secrets with each other. L1tNs still in the middle of first !eriodCM 1n a manner unbecoming of a counselor.M :aturally. $ctually. yesterday. right?M . 1 o&erheard somebody talking about it yesterday. the sneaky way he got the :o %ead 5ragon intelligence /C?0 had left her feeling abused. a Lwith !ositi&ity. tooPM *h no. Tatsuya felt no mental distress at being hated by %aruka. 666 The one who would !rotest the most about referring to TatsuyaNs o!erational !lan as L!ositi&ityM would !robably be %aruka. not Mizuki as well.ight? Tatsuya didnNt want to nod his agreement with what she said. 1t was something about a first year who was a member of the 4ublic Moral )ommittee taking !art in the u!coming Student )ouncil election. thatNs got to be about Tatsuya3kun. who was &isiting the )ounseling room.uite. $!!arently. it was not like there was a contract that !laced restraints on how he could use the bought information. 91f you &iewed it the way Tatsuya did. because the cards Tatsuya held were the stronger of the two. . L1 ha&e a fleeting memory of something like that being said when 1 was in the )ounseling room. LThe assigned work for first !eriod is com!leted. but not . no other conclusion could !ossibly be made. %aruka scowled a grimace at Tatsuya. anything can be dealt withM kind of feeling was born. LMe.L*h. :ow that 1N&e considered it. now that you mention it.

what 1 wanted to consult you about today concerns a different OrumorN. when you say that.uested to run for Student )ouncil 4resident?M L*h yes. LThatNs because itNs true. for an instant and really for an instant only an Ooh. There . Well. 1 would like to consult you about it. but her . L4lease feel free to consult me about anything. LMy worry. 1Nm certainly worried about that. So thatNs it? %as your younger sister been re. 1 barely made it in with all the red marks on my !ractical e-ams.LPQuite the high achie&er. Well.M When Tatsuya made this con&ersational gambit. noN look showed on her face. %arukaNs eyes widened and she straightened her !osture automatically.M LThey certainly made a mess of recruiting candidates this time. %owe&er.M LPSomehow.M But no matter how short the instant was. any change of e-!ression that occurred under the steady gaze of his eyes would not be missed. 1 would like the details fully e-!lained to me. it was about time she learned that Othe worryN he had brought to the counselor was outside her official s!here.M 9Between the two of them.M She was e-tremely conscious of her !rofessional duties. is the Student )ouncil election at the end of the month. thereNs something worrying me. you wouldnNt ha!!en to know anything about that?M $s Tatsuya broached the sub2ect he stood face to face with %aruka and looked directly into her eyes. more im!ortantly. 1 canNt hear any sarcasm.uick switch made him feel slightly uneasy about his ability to !ass his classes. youNd call it.M L$ low achie&er. they shared what might be called an intimacy that didnNt re. arenNt you. L(ou talked to Shibata3san about this yesterday.M L. the rumor about me becoming a candidate thatNs started floating around the staff room.umor?M L(es.uire !olite niceties.

:e&ertheless. LP%ow on earth did this tall tale start circulating?M LWhatP so it is a tall tale. indeed that would be OunthinkableN.eally. %aruka realized. thatNs the way it isP Shiba3kunNs not the ty!e to take the center stage. There is no way 1 would do such an irres!onsible thing.M L1 will not deny it. but. and the two of them e-changed e&il grins. L:ow then. 1 donNt really know a lot about that?M L. her e-!ression settled into her normal amiable smile. L(es. wouldnNt Shiba3san make an amusing one?NPsomehow turned into . Well. 4laying dumb would gain her nothing.M Their eyes met.N O7ooks like :aka2ou3san wonNt run. the !art you do know is sufficient. a degree of commonality wasnNt reason enough to collude with each other. LP1Nm not really sure who said what. youNre more the '!ull strings behind the curtain' ty!e.N O1t seems so troublesome to ha&e to search for a !residential candidate. how on earth did this tall tale about me becoming a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident start circulating?M LSorry. butP is it alright to act as if it was one of those &erbal message ty!e games? O7ooks like %attori3kun wonNt run.was no way that Tatsuya could ha&e failed to notice it. +&entually. L1 thought it is unthinkable. 4erha!s this could be the influence of their shared master. could *no3sensei ha&e scattered this rumor that couldnNt ha&e ha!!ened around on her own initiati&e?M %arukaNs facial muscles rela-ed and contracted in a dizzying fashion. To begin with there wasnNt any reason to be silent about what she herself heard.N O%ey.M There was no trace of strain in her li!s. %er facial control skills seemed to ha&e made remarkable !rogress.M LPM Tatsuya looked e-tremely at ease as he waited for %arukaNs answer.

Shiba3kun?N O(eah. he hadnNt foreseen this. but since the staff knows the factsPM LPThe Blanche incident?M LThatNs right. There are many teachers who rate Shiba3kun . Tatsuya thought. With %arukaOs words ringing through his head.uite highly. Because they want the Student )ouncil 4resident of a magic high school to be e-tremely !owerful. LThere are more serious !eo!le among the students than among the teachers. the 4ublic Moral )ommitteeNs. The details of what ha!!ened in $!ril were ke!t from the students. so e&en if Tatsuya wanted to track the rumor !iece by !iece.N O+h.M $fter listening to %aruka. rumors are naturally irres!onsible and half3baked things. wouldnNt that be interesting?N in no time.uite highly for being central to getting that matter settled. Tatsuya considered how to handle the matter. there is no way to track down the !ieces. the staff shouldnNt be as easy to fool. . LThey donNt know the e-act details because Iuumon2i3kun ke!t a lid on those. That that matter would stand out so muchP Tatsuya thought he wasnNt self aware enough. su!erior !eo!le like Tsuzura9at least theyNre intellectually su!erior 9!eo!le serious enough to become !rofessor. %is fellow first years and the u!!erclassmen seem to ha&e fished it out from the water cooler talk. and that !oint causes them to regard you .N O*h. Tatsuya wasnNt . LP%ow could the teachers belie&e such a half3baked rumor?M Well. Tatsuya was so e-hausted that he felt like he could fall off his chair.uite ready to throw away the !ossibility that someone might be intentionally mani!ulating the rumor mill.M PThis is getting to be really bad. But.uite a lot of the teachers think it would be amusing to ha&e a first year !resident if he !ossessed that kind of su!reme !ower. the one who took !art in the newcomersN tournament?N O%mm.N OShiba3kun will run.M ?nfortunately.O7ooks like Shiba3san will run. . but they do know that you dro&e the terrorists off with your own !ower.

these days0 into the first yearNs classroom. Suzune looked at the scene with a disgusted look on her face. Behind her back.uire information. 1n addition to him. The fragmentary con&ersations he could o&erhear all used words like O2ust like 1 thoughtN. LTatsuya. Tatsuya made a fleeting glance at the digital clock running at the corner of his dis!lay. sto!!ed directly in front of the desk he was sitting at. 8urthermore none of them were a&ailable to him. clas!ed both hands together and blurted out those words. O4residentN and O+lectionN. that left only a minute to talk. $ class of =A !eo!le was not a lot of !eo!le. !lease. L1f we say itNs for official Student )ouncil business.uiries into the methods she used to ac. %e didnNt like it. and with what could only be called cuteness/C0.oyal +ntrance /though that is a rather grand descri!tion to a!!ly to an u!!erclassman. but he could tell that not one of those twenty wasnNt whis!ering the gossi! about him. you could call the results of meeting with %aruka . there were a limited number of methods that could be used to s. Thinking like that might comfort himself. he made certain that he had not made any in. 1t was well beyond being merely uncomfortable. there were only four !eo!le not chit3chatting before instruction started. 8i&e minutes remained of the break between first and second !eriod. but the weight of his burdens had not lessened. 1f they were thinking of returning to the third year classroom.uash a baseless rumor. May 1 ha&e a moment of your time?M Mayumi made her .9Before e-iting the counseling room.M . none of us recei&e red marks. Therefore he had to destroy the base that the rumors were s!ringing from. so twenty !eo!le were. 666 %owe&er.uite effecti&e. (ou could gras! who was doing what with one glance.

he stood in front of his desk and held out his own 15 card so the Student )ouncil !ermit could be entered. Still. Taking an e-aggerated breath. Second !eriod followed first !eriod and classroom instruction took !lace &ia com!uter terminal.M ?!on being offered an a!ology by Suzune. $s if he were e-changing !laces with Mayumi. answered the uns!oken .M LThank you.ueL. a mind reading techni. Tatsuya ga&e a reluctant smile and e-!lained the . she might change her hands into full on !rayer mode and imitate a L irgin MaryM statue. 1t was a bad omen. Mayumi broached the main to!ic. this concerns the u!coming electionPM 1t met his e-!ectations. if any one could !ull off a stunt like that. with her clas!ed hands. e-actly. Tatsuya had already decided on his re!ly. $bout twenty to thirty minutes !assed by without more trouble landing on Tatsuya. Both hands together. but we only ha&e one more day.Mayumi. lightly bowed towards Mayumi. LSorry for interru!ting your class.uestion she read in TatsuyaNs eyes. L1 think itNs too soon for Miyuki. 666 %e was escorted to the Student )ouncil room. Tatsuya stood u! from his seat and. LTo be frank.M LMiyuki3sanP %ow did you know?M To wide3eyed Mayumi who was ob&iously thinking L1t canNt be. under the gazes of his friends.M 4hew. the location of those hands was subtly lower. Tatsuya understood why they came and got him now when they knew he was !robably going to s!end his lunch hour there with them. 1 am relie&ed that you say so. tearful eyes. it was Mayumi. Tatsuya shook his head and said L:o. 1 donNt mind.

$t least. Mayumi alone he could !robably handle. when you consider the time constraints. he was afraid that they could !ersuade him if he didnNt disru!t their strategy at the outset. the !ublic announcement of the election will be made. a tendency to let magic to run wild could not be o&erlooked in a Student )ouncil 4resident.M LPWhen she was in middle school. but she still canNt com!letely control herself.uestion recei&ed an immediate negati&e re!ly. Tatsuya had to seize the u!!er hand to make &ictory ine&itable. There is no Lmight beM about it9it is a LfactM that you are9howe&er. you !robably wanted to consult me at a time when Miyuki wouldnNt be there. 1 might be o&er !rotecti&e.M Tatsuya wasnNt making these comments to make a show of his deducti&e skills. Tomorrow. but we donNt ha&e any candidates. about being Lo&er !rotecti&eM. right. therefore. %is !reem!ti&e strike had hit his target. LThere is nothing official that bars a first year from becoming Student )ouncil 4resident.M SuzuneNs .uiry. 2ust now. howe&er. all 1 see is le&el headednessPM LMiyuki is still a child.trick. wait until she can kee! her magic from running wild.M 1n answer to MayumiNs in. 1 understood that we would be discussing making Miyuki a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident. Mayumi and Suzune both had faces that looked full of words they wished to s!eak9mainly. L9But. words of rebuttal seemed to fall to the floor. with Suzune acting as her tag team !artner. $lso. weNre stum!ed. %owe&er. she didnNt undertake a similar duty to Student )ouncil 4resident?M L1 sto!!ed her. They could not refute that !oint. LWhen 1 look at her. L(ou didnNt wait for the noon break and deliberately came for me during class. it is too soon for Miyuki. Before his o!!onents9es!ecially Suzune9could regrou!.M . She is not yet able to act as head of this organization.

%igh school students arenNt adults after all. . you are being naW&e. *therwise. LPWouldnNt whate&er ha!!enedPin&ol&e only the students who wanted to become Student )ouncil 4resident?M %owe&er. if that ha!!ened. four years ago. entreating him with her hands.M Mayumi was once again before his eyes. we get o&erwhelmed by a flood of candidates. the turmoil would be e&en greater than that of the new student in&itation week. The L5emocratic 8ree +lectionM signs were taken down. and e&en after graduation are a!!raised as being elite. the number of seriously wounded !eo!le went into the double digits. LThe Student )ouncil of this school has tremendous !ri&ileges.M LP1snNt ha&ing a lot of different candidates running for office considered more res!ectable?M L+&en com!ared to an eru!tion of fights with magic? With e&eryone battling it out to see who will become Student )ouncil 4resident?M )ertainly.M Mayumi crushed TatsuyaNs theory in one blow. LTatsuya3kun. they could guard against the u!roar. according to our records.uished by SuzuneNs astonishingly &iolent tale.L1 thought the deadline to announce candidates was one week. L$ great talent for magic can destroy the bonds of self3restraint. $ctually. the Student )ouncil at the time ad&ocated a L5emocratic 8ree +lectionM. and the Student )ouncil 4resident strongly recommended the &ice !resident become the ne-t !resident to get the situation finally under control. Mayumi shook her head with a dark look on her face.M To TatsuyaNs im!lied O5onNt we ha&e a week to find a candidate?N. *n that occasion.M TatsuyaNs doubts were &an. LP1s this a school or a third world country?M $ groan leaked out of Tatsuya. if it was 2ust o&er who would become Student )ouncil 4resident. L:arrowing down the choices for the ne-t student body !resident is the Student )ouncilNs duty.

that was so clear that no e-!lanation was needed. L91f you like. TatsuyaNs ne-t comment was une-!ected by both Mayumi and Suzune. and think about the matter of :aka2ou3sen!aiNs refusal of candidacy? Both in terms of !ro!er order and actual ability. $s they say. Tatsuya thought. isnNt :aka2ou3sen!ai the most suitable !erson to become the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident?M $s Tatsuya made his !oint. Tatsuya wouldnNt ha&e to debate this issue. (es. . this was all so une-!ected that she was unsure what face to make for a while. this was so ob&ious to all of them that no one had to say anything. L(ouNll really do it? (ou couldnNt !ossibly failC (ou absolutely must do itC *f course. but Miyuki3san would surely be fine. Suzune and Tatsuya flashed wry smiles. too. but as the meaning of TatsuyaNs word slowly started to sink in.M 1t has come to this. had no words to refute that argument. <lancing at each other's faces. she unconsciously seized his hand in a tight gri!. MayumiNs face turned grim and she sunk into silence. the !erson rises to the !osition. LPThat is certainly true. 1 can still make a show of stringently clinging to the im!ression that 1 belie&e a first year shouldnNt become Student )ouncil 4resident.M 8or Mayumi. 1 can rely on you. 1f $zusa hadnNt so selfishly backed out. butPM Suzune. Tatsuya3kunCM TatsuyaNs seized hand seemed as if it was about to buzz. so enthusiastically did Mayumi shake it u! and down. 1 can go and try to !ersuade :aka2ou3sen!ai?M L+h?P Tatsuya3kun will try to !ersuade $3chan for us?M L(es. :onetheless. So then9 L%ow about we !ut Miyuki aside for the moment.L)anNt you see? Tatsuya3kun might only be able to see her as a mere child.

who wasnNt !igeonholed by rules9he !robably wouldnNt hesitate to soil his hands with a serious crime9dragging his sister along. $zusa was hurriedly making !re!arations to lea&e. the inter&al she s!ent !ondering Ohow can 1 flee without looking strangeN meant that he was able to arri&e before her eyes. they e&aluated him the same way they e&aluated designer goods. it seemed. The !ressure of their gazes was strong. thought Tatsuya. !erha!s because she had an instinct as keen as a small animal for sensing danger. so 2ust after the end of fifth !eriod. $zusa was aware of his a!!roach midway. She was !robably trying to engineer an esca!e before she was caught. !rimarily directed to him from the male students. but none of them looked like they were going to bother to confront him. sitting or standing. he ste!!ed into the classroom of )lass $ second year. $zusa did not come to the Student )ouncil room. 9The gazes of the female students were different. . she might find a way to a&oid me after school as well for some reason. There was a J# cm difference height wise between Tatsuya and $zusa. fifth !eriod finished at = !m in the afternoon.666 $t lunchtime that day. this was not an intimidating ad&antage in confrontations. $t this rate. there was no one with the ty!e of childish mentality that insisted on attacking an underclassman for daring to enter their domain. but her legs wouldnNt mo&e. but she was tri!!ed u! by the fact that a student as serious as herself would ne&er lea&e her terminal before instruction was o&er. With a hesitant but forced smile. this didnNt seem like much of a difference. She had fiercely gras!ed her schoolbag. but somehow he managed to take a !osition where he a!!eared to be looking down at her.0 %e s!ied on the state of affairs inside the classroom from the doorway. %e recei&ed some Owho does this guy think he isN stares. %owe&er. $zusa stood u!. /Magic %igh school finished at J !m in the afternoon. he marched into $zusaNs classroom. but as e-!ected. ?nlike Tatsuya. :ormally. Tatsuya shamelessly ignored both forms of stares and went directly to $zusaNs seat.

L1 would like to talk to you for a moment. his &oice had a dee! !enetrating . 1. remarks like Lsur!risingly forcefulM. if it is really only fi&e minutes. $s the gazes directed at her brother consciously or unconsciously took on an air of flirtation. who was still trying to find a way to flee. By strengthening his tone slightly.M There was nothing outstanding about any of the features of TatsuyaNs face and body. LWell. nor did he !ossess the ty!e of beautiful &oice that !eo!le lo&ed to listen to. all they would see was two !eo!le staring into each otherNs eyes while whis!ering. TatsuyaNs eyes bore into $zusaNs eyes and wouldnNt let them esca!e. MiyukiNs mood swiftly !lummeted. *n the other hand. today is a littlePM L1t wonNt take all that much time. . if any of $zusaNs classmates looked at the two of them /es!ecially the girl students0.ightly or wrongly.M With that he cut off all esca!e routes to $zusa. and Lthat might be niceM were !aired with glances that hit with regularity. $zusaNs eyes were held with inconcei&able force. $nd so from behind TatsuyaNs back9in short from Miyuki9the Laura of an angry womanM radiated and added to the incredible !ressure felt by $zusa.uality when he s!oke. Lso fierceM. L8i&e minutes would be enough. young girl might find his &oice radiating an o&erwhelming !ressure.M So a timid. . Tatsuya had added weight to his words.M $zusa trailing behind Tatsuya was the result of what could be called gi&ing into !ressure tactics as o!!osed to being caught by a trite sales !itch. but !erha!s thanks to the effect combat training had on his throat and lungs. The fragmentary con&ersations that could be o&erheard. $ young girl might find that his &oice radiated a OsomberN or OmatureN feeling.M LPWell. L:aka2ou3sen!ai.$n o&erly bright smile floating across his face.

she was the &ery image of a L!er!etrator being escorted by the !oliceM. she looked as if she would burst into tears.M $s he recei&ed $zusaNs aggressi&e answer. %owe&er.M LIust like 1 thought. Such an im!ortant 2ob. LPM LPM . if he was going to gi&e u! 2ust like that. 4lease be a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident.M Taking a corner seat in a cafU. $nd 2ust now.%er hands were bound by neither handcuffs nor ro!e. L:aka2ou3sen!ai. the !ossibility was high. the election will not be under the control of the Student )ouncil. so he canNt be a candidate in the Student )ouncil 4resident election.M $zusaNs attitude was more obstinate than !redicted. Tatsuya sat down and began to talk. no matter how you looked at it. :o. Tatsuya made a dee! sigh. but Tatsuya was not breathing a word about that. L%attori3sen!ai will become the )lub Management <rou! 7eader ne-t season. he would ne&er ha&e undertaken !ersuading her in the first !lace.M LWouldnNt that be all right? There are a lot of !eo!le more suited to be Student )ouncil 4resident than me. she really might break down crying. but somehow.uested. 1f he dro&e her into a corner. there was no LmightM. 1 could ne&er fulfill the duties of Student )ouncil !resident. 1f :aka2ou3sen!ai doesnNt become a candidate. 666 LTo be brief. LP1t's im!ossible for me to do it.M *riginally it was not Lthe !ersuasion of $zusaM but rather Lthe !ersuasion of MiyukiM who was standing behind him that was re. this sub2ectP did the Student )ouncil 4resident ask you to !ersuade me?M L(es.

$s !redicted. Tatsuya himself felt the word was melodramatic.M 4itifully. The Student )ouncil secretaryNs main duty was to manage the Student )ouncilNs records.M $nd so he struck a final blow. who showed no res!onse. $zusa stiffened with a look of LeekM written u!on her face. %owe&er. you could see her initially shocked face grow !aler. there were o&er ten seriously in2ured !eo!le. She cast a fleeting glance at Tatsuya.. their gazes aligned !erfectly. Tatsuya. LWe should also ha&e !ictorial records of that time? Serious wounds caused by magicP. not only her li!s but her entire body was trembling. if you looked at $zusa. L$t that time. :onetheless. The smile ga&e off the illusion that you were being tra!!ed by it. LWould it really be all right? 9+&en if the tragedy of four years ago was re!eated?M Tragedy somehow seems so melodramatic. thought Miyuki who was listening nearby. $nd so. $zusa &iolently a&erted her face.The silence didnNt last ten seconds before $zusa begun to show signs of discomfort by fidgeting. L1snNt history su!!osed to re!eat itselfPM LWhPwhat should 1 doPM ?nto $zusa who wore a cornered e-!ression. 1 think that :aka2ou3sen!ai is more familiar with the recorded details than 1 am. who had maintained her silence e&er since arri&ing at the cafU. Towards Tatsuya. and in order to !ro!erly manage those records she would not only ha&e to touch them but e-amine them too. $zusaNs li!s almost im!erce!tibly trembled with unrest. Miyuki.1f !ossible 1Nd rather not look at something like that. Tatsuya sighed once again. There would be a lot of records for an incident of such !ro!ortions. answered with a . Miyuki wore the hard to read $rchaic Smile on her face and watched $zusa intently. :e-t she cast a fleeting glance in MiyukiNs direction.

1 want it. Truly s!lendid teamwork. could you !ossibly mean the Sil&er Model flying magic s!ecialized )$5? They only announced the disco&ery of flying magic in Iuly. his face said L1 2ust rememberedM and Tatsuya brought out the ne-t LcarrotM. 1 want it.M $zusaNs throat mo&ed as she gul!ed.M $zusaNs &ision wobbled &iolently. L1 ha!!ened to ha&e come into !ossession of the 87T flying de&ice and monitor that go on sale ne-t weekPM ?!on hearing those words. 1 thought they would make a fine gift to celebrate your instatement as Student )ouncil 4resident. 1 want it. and the sister offers a hel!ing hand. LPBy that. it would take the absolutely newest Sil&er ModelC?M $s Tatsuya nodded.eallyC?M $zusa raised her &oice and made a gleeful cry. !erformance3wise theyNre no different than the for sale model.gentle smile. 1 want it. To !ut in !ractice effecti&ely. %er eyes were hazy as if she had a fe&er. 1ndeed. L*h. $zusa looked at him as if she wanted to eat him. $zusaNs eyes shined with s!arkles. The brother threatens. but they are not for sale goods that ha&e been marred by a serial number. L:e&ertheless. that reminds mePM The seriousness he had maintained until then dissol&ed9or a!!eared to anyway. . L1f :aka2ou3sen!ai becomes a candidate for Student )ouncil 4resident. %er !ale face took on a healthy glow and she leaned forward across the table. 1 want itPM LWell the monitor is a stock item.M L. %er eyes stated L1 want it. that state of affairs can be a&oided. 1tNs all right. Sen!ai will surely do well.

%er chair fell o&er with a loud sound, but $zusa !aid absolutely no attention to the stares she was recei&ing. 1t was more like there was no s!ace in her mind that could !ay attention.

L(es, :aka2ou3sen!ai has looked after Miyuki so much. 1f you are inaugurated as the new Student )ouncil 4resident, 1 was thinking of gi&ing them to you as a gift to honor the occasionPM L1Nll do itC 1 wonNt lose to anyoneC 1Nll absolutely win the !residential electionCM <laring at the illusion of an unseen o!!onent, $zusa made !owerful declarations. 1n the first !lace, due to the lack of candidates, she herself had been sub2ected to a round of OcarrotN and OstickN !ersuasion. 1n this kind of situation, a &ote of confidence was not needed and the fact that she had !re&iously refused the 2ob, all had been totally e2ected from $zusaNs consciousness. 1n front of $zusa who was tra!!ed in a maniac state, Tatsuya and Miyuki stealthily nodded to each other.

Cha*ter 3
1t is already the final week of Se!tember. The days when the lingering summer heat was intense were many but the days when a remarkably autumn3like wind could be felt were increasing. L$s 1 was saying, shouldnNt the ambiance of the school be more enthusiastic? What do you think?M L$bout what?M Tatsuya glanced back at Mayumi who tilted her head in in,uiry with a slight narrowing of his eyes. LThe !residential election.M 8inally, the Student Body <eneral Meeting would be held tomorrow, and with it, the Student )ouncil 4residential +lection. 8or Mayumi, today was the last day she would !ass in this room as Student )ouncil 4resident; in s!ite of this, she did not a!!ear to feel

+&en so. 1f you looked at it from the !ers!ecti&e of the general !ublic. 1t wasn't something to get e-cited about. $ &ote of confidence for the one and only candidate did not seem all that e-citing. it wasnNt much different from being !art of the Student )ouncil of a science high school or an arts high school. The reason for all this wasnNt because the office of Student )ouncil 4resident didnNt ha&e enough glamour to turn someoneNs eyes green with en&y. he knew there were other reasons not to get e-cited about it. the !ossibility of not getting a!!ro&ed was zero. isnNt it? 1t might not be something to get fired u! aboutPM %e didn't bother to look back. the le&el of O%onorN differed. *n that !oint. there would be no way to secure the !ro!er number of teachers. The !ower and influence the office bestowed was close to nothing. %owe&er.sentimental about it. +&en if the number was increased. right? $side from what he said. the com!etition for the office of ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident did not a!!ear to include either a fiery debate or a !o!ularity contest. +ach year. it was an honorary !osition that added !oints to someoneNs student record. 1tNs only natural. youNll understand. only nine !eo!le e-!erience what itNs like to be the magician . itNs a high school Student )ouncil 4residential election. 1t is because magic high schools9a high school associated with a national magic uni&ersity9number only nine in the entire country. 8urthermore. the !resident of a magic high schoolNs Student )ouncil was no more than the head of a high school organization. if you think about it a little. at most. LPWell. The number of national high schools is not limited to nine schools. but the high schools where you can recei&e higher education in magic number only nine. it was merely honorary.

But. but rather . it is !ro!er and a!!ro!riate to say it can turn oneNs eyes green with en&y9yes. What the heck kind of face would she make if some kind of o!!osition went around O!ro!agandizingN that the election should not take !lace? 4robably. it can be called an honor com!arable to recei&ing a third class medal. why was there only one single candidate? That was. the imagination clearly !roduces some scary scenarios. 5o you think that will be enough to fire e&eryone u!. before the &ote of confidence. The fact is. Tatsuya 2ust now. She certainly looked like she had the !ro!er fighting s!irit of a candidate. She wasnNt using a handheld terminal dis!lay. unfortunately. tomorrow?M With only one candidate. there are no e-ce!tions. this time there is only $3chanP but in general. While unofficial. to be able to !rocure this life honor.res!ected as the one who holds the office of Student )ouncil 4resident of a magic high school. So. /with a glance0 rested his eyes on the current Student )ouncil 4resident whose guiltless face was tilting u! at him in in. there werenNt only a few students that might !ossibly desire the office of Student )ouncil 4resident. making this kind of enticing smile. calling it a O&ote for meN s!eech wasnNt . $zusaNs earnest face was !eering at a document and a soft &oice was making mumbling sounds.uite a!!ro!riate. %is gaze drifted to a corner of the room.uiry. naturally. limited to those on the !ath to becoming an elite magician9it is no e-aggeration to call. you must be rated first or second class. she was making a !oint to read from actual !a!er documents. L%mm. +nough of that. a O&ote for meN s!eech is made to the audience. the !ower of human agencies being !ut in motion. 1t was well into the noon hour. That title. but Tatsuya wasnNt in the habit of making digs like that. being gi&en such a title. a life changing e&ent.uite correct.uite a lot. at the high school le&el. . to be one of the !eo!le who stand at the !innacle in the world of magicians. . *f course.

rewards gi&en in ad&ance !ut her under more !ressure. LThe s!ecial meeting in the s!ring cut down a degree of grandstanding.M Mari !ointed that out as she closed her bento bo-. right?M There was no way she could hear his thoughts. Suzune had been gazing at her deskto! terminal dis!lay for some time now /it seemed like she was ski!!ing lunch today0. $nd so. how rude. the LrewardM of the flying de&ice had already been gi&en when she acce!ted her nomination. donNt you think thatNs 2ust awful. $t this time. L1 certainly ha&e no intention of causing a mess like that. as he intended. the students at our school should know better than to attack a girl like her. too. but Suzune had gi&en &oice to the &ery issue he had been on the &erge of considering. L:o matter what you think. There wasnNt anything to worry about on this side of things. !robably scrolling o&er a te-t while reading. e&en after the s!eech was o&er. this tension would kee! her will firm. right now. L*h my. Miyuki said that with a smiling face and an air of making a 2oke.M $s e&eryone !re!ared their tea. $ girl like her wasnNt drawn by the !romise of rewards.By the way. +&en though she didnNt ha&e an o!!osing candidate. !ossibly reading it o&er and o&er. 4robably. but thatNs !robably an irrational worry.M $ smile that said clearly 'that was a 2oke' was !ainted on MayumiNs face and could be seen by Tatsuya when she threw out her remark.M Mayumi answered as she. There .M Mari entered into the !ause. Taking on a girl. L$ sur!rise attack? Well. the main !roblem is the Student Body <eneral Meeting. L1 am a bit worried by the !ossibility of &iolence breaking out. %er eyes were going u! and down. as a result of lingering tension. $zusa had become a !risoner of a strange sense of obligation. she was whi!!ing herself with L1N&e got to win. checking e&erything. cleaned u!. We donNt want another mess like that. 1N&e got to winM.

eally?M Mayumi rebuffed the remark wearing the com!osure of an older !erson. at least no one !owerful enough to do so would make a cowardly sneak attack. but it could not be said she did &ery smoothly.e3. 8rom Tatsuya's !ers!ecti&e. the o!!osition grou! was skillfully maneu&ering. LSuddenly? $ !ortion of the students are trying to rally a!!ro&al to demolish the !residentNs !lan. %e 2udged the intelligence re!orts with a greater degree of accuracy than Mari. TatsuyaNs re!ly went in a slightly strange direction she was not e-!ecting. Mayumi held this con&iction. L8or the o!!osition grou!.were no o!!onents who would dare challenge her in a battle of magic. The one who tackled her sus!icions head on was Mari. Tatsuya3kun. as her eyes showed e-citement. . $renNt you being a little melodramatic?M Mayumi took TatsuyaNs outburst as a 2oke and dismissed it with a laugh.M L.M L%a3ha. 1 thought we were discussing threats that could disturb the status . because indi&idual committee members did not normally do intelligence gathering. L1 seeP 1 donNt think taking !recautions would be e-cessi&e. firmly.uo?M L$ rumor of something like that has reached my ears as wellPM Mari re!lied in a way that seemed somewhat confused. *n the other hand. L?h?M LBecause the !resident is a girl. the only days left to strike are today and tomorrow.M %owe&er. Miyuki had a !etulant face that said why did my brother blurt out something like that. moreo&er a beautiful girl. 4residentP it would be better if you ne&er let yourself be alone today. and a!!eared to be e-amining him closely for other signs of infidelity. LWhat do you mean? Why did you say something like that so suddenly?M Miyuki wasnNt the only one who sus!ected him of infidelity.

she meant the 4ublic Moral )ommittee head. The general !ublic might think of them as Oclose siblingsN. who was on his way back to his classroom.M *nly a little time remained of the noon break. *h.But that did not go o&er well. in order to . but that was because they were not always ignoring these little actions. who had 2ust left the Student )ouncil room and was in a nearby corridor.M L(ouNre not thinking about it too much.uarters?M When she said Ohead. yes. L?nfortunately. that was merely a !retense. could Shiba also be . called out in order to sto! Tatsuya.uarters. :onetheless. no.uickly dis!ose of the matter. maybe 1 am?M When Suzune !ointed out it could be 2ust ner&es. 1f 1 had gotten a hold of something 1 would feel more secure. for some reason Mari wore a slightly bitter smile.ight now?M L1t wonNt take much time. 666 LTatsuya3kun.uestioned Tatsuya who wasnNt acting like he was 2oking with Mayumi.uartersN. )ould you come to head. 1f !ossible. LThereNs a matter 1 wish to ha&e a short discussion with you about. L5o you need something?M Tatsuya nodded to Mari to continue. Mari. Tatsuya and Miyuki simultaneously turned around. that was clear to anyone with eyes. L%a&e you gotten hold of some intelP?M With a knitted forehead Mari . L. he didnNt ha&e to ask of what. are you?M L%a3ha. Tatsuya lightly laughed in agreement.

so being a little late was certainly no !roblem. at their own con&enience. but in the second course. as he had found out through cross3 e-amination. )om!ared to half a year before. had a small test on !ractical skill that was called Oability measurementN. 1t was about the same as self study. she was like a different !erson.M 8ree was an abbre&iation for Ofree sub2ectN. language. the recei&er set. they did not use the shortcut that !assed by the Student )ouncil room. LMiyuki. had been mo&ed to a storehouse because the room had been filled with so much stuff. Science. struck by sur!rise. used an instrument to !rocess measurement. are you okay time wise?M L(es. 1t had been returned to its original s!ot so that they could monitor information fre. and the like or magic other than actual !ractice could be studied by terminals for indi&idual study. This was the first time in their memory that Mari had said to Miyuki anything like Oneed you to do somethingN or Osomething to discussN.M . out!aced the two of them and ad&anced on foot to the stairs.M %e nodded to Miyuki and directed an agreement to Mari. looked at each other. now.uisite score. it would be counted as a !assing grade. L91tNs okay. as long as it was sometime during the !eriod he made the re. Mari and the siblings sat down facing across from each other. 1n the first course.uarters.uencies. $s they went to their committeeNs head. an instructor used an instrument to !rocess measurement /naturally. Mari said OsorryN. since itNs you two siblings. ad&ice was also gi&en0. By the recei&er set that wasnNt there half a year before. thereNs no !roblem if 1Nm a little late. L1s it alright with *nii3sama?M Tatsuya on the other hand.!resent?M Tatsuya and Miyuki's faces. !erha!s you ha&e some idea of what this is about. students indi&idually. it certainly seemed like a different room after all the cleaning and organizing heNd done.0 L9*kay. Since fourth !eriod is free. /By the way.

M LThe matter of those who o!!ose the !lan to abolish the rule about Student )ouncil members ha&ing to be chosen from )ourse *ne students?M Mari didnNt notice due to her tension. . ?nthinkable. LMayumi9!robably because she is an o2ou3sama. Tatsuya thought L%uh?M $ subtle tension was radiating from her. but you canNt conduct a sabotage o!eration !eacefully. too. you may not think about this kind of thing. The truth is. think that there are too many !eo!le in the o!!osition !arty. but 1 belie&e 1 can remember that the !eo!le who made emotionally o!!osing outbursts wereP more than a few. 1 did not feel that kind of mood from the !eo!le o!!osed when the announcement was made. Mari did not seem to think so. Mari worrying about Mayumi was Outterly naturalN. from TatsuyaNs !ers!ecti&e. 1. wonNt somebody who runs around using &iolence always !o! out? That is what is called sufficient warning. Since youNre both first years. (ou couldnNt call the o!!ortunities for them to ha&e words nil. who was without hesitation or hatred and swiftly directed towards the gloomy faced Mari.M %mmm. Seen from the sidelines. LPWhat 1 want to discuss. They came face to face in the Student )ouncil room regularly.$t the em!hasis made by Mari with her !reface.M The one who thought that was Tatsuya. am gri!!ed by an-iety from what Tatsuya !ointed out earlier. it was abundantly clear that these twoNs !layful badgering was !roof of how well they got along. too. MiyukiNs here so it canNt be that kind of reason. there was no reason for an u!!erclassman like Mari to feel tense at this !oint in their relationshi!. $fter all. That girl !robably cannot understand the feeling that is said to make a cornered animal attack.M LMost likely. Mari didnNt a!!ear to be the bashful ty!e. itNs Mayumi. is unfamiliar with this kind of OmaliceN. %owe&er. but Tatsuya indicated his understanding. Tatsuya agreed that it was a suicidal weakness. $t the s!ring assembly. LThatNs rightP 1.

sheNs surrounded by a crowd of grou!ies. Psorry. 1 think 1 donNt ha&e to worry about her inside school grounds. She wonNt. but since that ability is not a !assi&e acti&ation !erce!tion ability. it seems that he goes o&er to the )lub Management <rou!Ns area to make &arious !re!arationsP ?nder the circumstances. but after heNs done with the Student )ouncil. 1 want you two toP if you could. in the Student )ouncil room. lea&e school with Mayumi today for me?M L9(ou mean see the !resident home?M L(ou donNt ha&e to go as far as her home9no. LP1tNs like that?M L+h? 1Nm not a member of the Ten Master )lans. The time 1Nm most worried about is when she lea&es school. that was but a sim!le guess. let her grou!ies a!!roach her outside of school. it would be easier than within school. L+h9 then. Mayumi generally lea&es school alone.LWhat you said 2ust thenP Mayumi seems to ha&e not taken it too seriously. Because Mayumi has the s!ecial skill OMulti Sco!eN. Since you !ossess the strongest anti3magic O<ram 5emolitionN. +&en if someone made it look accidental. Tatsuya3kun. 1N&e ne&er considered thatN when Tatsuya made his absent3minded assertion. thereNs 1chihara and %attori. 1'm chattering without getting to the !ointPM <ood. that girl can guard her !erimeter and nobody can take her by sur!rise. 1f it wasnNt this !oint in time.M L1snNt that because she is a direct descendant of the Ten Master )lans?M Mari made a face that said Ountil now. 1Nd like to rely on you. 1n the classrooms. Tatsuya didnNt ha&e to say it aloud. when she doesnNt feel the need for &igilance. isnNt it about time Mari tells us what she wants us to do.M L(ou might be right on the markP $nyway. 1Nd be talking to %attori.M LP%mm. for whate&er the reason. no . 1Nd be grateful if you would go that far. itNs like a toy tra!!ed in its !ackaging. Mari was returning to the main issue on her own. L$nd so. Tatsuya thought.M Well.

all the !re!arations for tomorrow should be com!lete?M 1n res!onse to MayumiNs closing !leasantries. LThe !resident has also com!leted her check. The words oddly stirred u! Miyuki9they were for the !ur!ose of inciting her to burst into the !ause and kee! mean3s!irited TatsuyaNs . . L4lease lea&e it to us. 1nstead.M By $zusa. Tatsuya was looking at Mari who had a smirking e&il grin. L(es.uestion as a formality. Miyuki answered MariNs .matter what sneak attack they contri&e.uestions like OWhy should 1. *(omeone "ho acts cold to people they like 666 L9Thanks for your hard work. Tatsuya thought Oso is this what is called a tsundere@?N 9 he wasnNt .M L%ow mean s!irited. his words were a!ologetic and contrite as he continued. ha&e to accom!any her away from school?N from being s!oken.uestion. faster than he could o!en his mouth. %owe&er %attori did not sim!ly make an answer to the . With this. 1f itNs my brother. right?M Tatsuya was gri!!ed by a single doubt.M %attori affirmed in a calm tone. he couldn't s!eak the words. &arious things would worsen. myself. 1n s!ite of understanding how !recarious things areP itNs not as if 1Nm !articularly worried about that girl. not !articularly. LWh3What? 1s there something you want to say?M L:o. 1f that girl got in2ured now. howe&er.M $s he watched Mari make e-cuses with all her might. Because. or !erha!s an incitement.uestion. howe&er.M MariNs last utterance had not been a . there will be no sli!3u!s.uite certain. it will be okay. it was a !ro&ocation. the documents are all in order. 1n actuality.

who had tilted her head . 1 wish to wait here for a little longer. L1tNs time for you to lea&e too. !lease lea&e. 4residentPM L1 said itNs okay. 1Nm sorry.M 1n a similar tone. LTatsuya3kun?M L(eah. 1Nm already finished here. the &olume was such that it reached all the way o&er to Miyuki0. thank you for your work. although both second years had gone home /to be correct.uestioningly /although 1 called it that. Seems like heNs somewhere a !hone signal canNt reach. who for some reason hadnNt e&en got u! from her seat.in3chan. go home already. L1f it is alright. 4resident.M . $zusa was the only one who had gone home0. this is actually !ainful for you?M L(es.M %owe&er. huhM look.M LSomewhere a !hone signal canNt reachPM L)ouldnNt it be the basement archi&es?M Suzune whis!ered into the ear of Mayumi. since 1 canNt contact him. Miyuki. %attori regretfully gathered his things hurriedly. %anzou3kun. made a ra!id L!ardon meM as a goodbye to $zusa. That was something Mayumi understood as well. 1f $3chan is ready too.M $fter this.M With great !ain. so donNt worry. L+-cuse me. Mayumi directed her comment at Miyuki. *h. he had the formal in&estiture o&er at the )lub Management <rou!. (ou ha&e an errand you canNt get out of today. LThat !ri&acy barrierP is sometimes thick. what was sent back as an answer was rather unusual from Miyuki. !ut the Student )ouncil behind him and went towards the !re!aration building.LP4resident. right?M LP(eah. since you certainly canNt contact himP alright. Mayumi assented with an Luh. .M L1Nm going to tidy u! a bit more and then lea&e.

L:o. (ouNre by yourself?" L$bandoned shi!P but thatNs okay. shouldnNt that be enough?M LWaitC St3sto!C 1tNs okay if snow doesnNt fallCM . Mayumi let loose a slightly sur!rised laugh.M Since he was also used to Mayumi. her im!udence didnNt throw TatsuyaNs !ace off.M *)(no" might fall) * +n this region at this season! this is the near e&uivalent of saying pigs might fly. the !resident a!!ears to desire snow. Miyuki. 4resident. L1 wonder if snow might fall@.M Mayumi has no inkling.M $s she watched Miyuki 2oyfully headed towards him with small. . Suzune bowed without a word. She e&en let loose a light laugh. Mayumi and Miyuki turned to their desks in silence. her ne-t words seemed to show actual genuine sur!rise. the only ones left today are Miyuki and 1. L1Nm used to it already butP you two are really close. L1tNs im!ossible for me. too. so work hard tomorrow. there was no trace of doubt in her re!ly.M MiyukiNs antici!ation was not in &ain. 1t was her usual light3hearted re!artee. huh. LShall we hel! you?M L%ow unusual. Miyuki arose and aimed her eye at the door. at what Mayumi felt was 2ust about the right length. Well then. *nii3sama?M L7etNs seeP if you !ile it u! to "# centimeters. butP my sister would ha&e no difficulty. you ha&enNt done anything like that. !eo!le whose student 15s were registered with the roomNs &erification system0 arri&al notice bee! rang.L1tNs okay.M %owe&er. Tatsuya entered the room. (es.M L$cknowledged. 1Nll let you off today. The Student )ouncil room was down to the two of them.M L*h. how much shall 1 make. $fter a short !eriod. LSorry 1 made you wait. the authorized !erson /in short.uick ste!s.

is that so?M LThen 4resident. L1tNs going to get dark before long. While she was thinking that this was also an unusual occurrence. 8or now /?0 she would take TatsuyaNs altruistic words at face &alue /maybe she LmisunderstoodM him0. this time Miyuki made an attem!t. L1tNs going to get dark before longM was no e-aggeration in any way. L?mP 1Nd better go home. Thank you for your concern. seemed e-tremely used to TatsuyaNs ways. too. weNll hel! you. Mayumi directed a look filled with defenselessness /trust0 with all her might. but if thereNs any remaining work. 9They were on e.M LP:ow that you mention it.$t first she thought it was a 2oke so she had left it alone. who wasnNt offering either a sweet smile or a broad grin as &erification.M The calendar had already !assed the fall e. LWhy donNt we all work together?M LSince itNs already so late.M Mayumi watched him with a !enetrating look. what if they doM. 1 know it will take some time to get the documents from OundergroundN.ual footing. L7etNs sto! kidding around. L<ood griefP 5onNt tell 2okes with a straight face. what were you searching for in the . S!urred by a worry called LitNs a "#. why donNt we go to the station together?M Thinking that Tatsuya would be readily shot down. too. but Tatsuya naturally ignored it. but their e-!ressions were far too serious. so the first thing to do is to go now. wellM. she saw a com!lete lack of effect and sim!ly shrugged her shoulders to say Loh. Mayumi frantically halted things.### to " that theyNll actually do it but. %owe&er.M L*h. MayumiNs face rela-ed. so they can finish it for us before they go home.M LWasnNt it only natural that it was a 2oke?M To Tatsuya. MayumiNs face s!ontaneously broke out in a smile. She.uino-.

when he named himself Oreser&e studentN. L%ey. %e had unconsciously forgotten that if he said anything that sounded a little self !itying. s!ecialized research sub2ect. Iust now. is thatP?M Without thinking.M LP$n e-tremely crack!ot. Tatsuya was well aware that Mayumi thought he held a war!ed o!inion of his own magic talents. %e might not attain high rank as international standards determined magicians rank. Othe reser&e studentsN were only fed u! about the social system !lacing limits on their o!!ortunities because they were reser&es that he well knew. M:aturally. youNll be the en&y of both the first course and second course students.M L1s. Tatsuya3kun.M :e&ertheless her face ra!idly swelled with disa!!ointment. nor to be melodramatic.uirements. the real . but if you considered !ublic /occu!ational0 re.uestion. the tenor of his thoughts were slightly different from the common Ofeelings of the reser&esN. he shocked Mayumi with his genuine moti&e. no. LP?h. Mayumi. 1 think you shouldnNt em!hasize yourself that you are a Oreser&e studentN so much. youNll be remembered for your achie&ementsP 1f you continue in that &ein. he had been asked /indirectly0 for the reason he was in&estigating this sub2ect and he only answered that . who somehow always had the u!!er hand with him.M L1 think it could be a tool to com!ensate lack of ability. talented !eo!le like him who held the technical skill to e-cel in a s!ecialized field were in great demand. would get angry. youNd still be in high demand by !olice and defense force from here and there. Because you are sim!ly being melodramatic. :one the less.M L1 do not intend to em!hasize that !oint. because the significant te-ts ha&enNt been transcribed into the database.archi&es?M L1 was searching for ancient te-ts related to Othe !hiloso!herNs stone.M 8or Tatsuya. how can a magician who can use O<ram 5emolitionN say such a thing? +&en if that was the only magic you could use. he did not lie in order to conceal his true intentions. he truly did it with neither the intention of satisfying masochistic tendencies.

OThe art of small talkN was one he was es!ecially unskilled at. walked the straight !ath from the school entrance to the station they usually took with +rika.M LWhat is it?M Because of those circumstances. %er bag was held in both hands in front of her body. Mayumi was an o2ou3sama. he was now on alert for attacks from the o!!osition grou!. 1t wasnNt like Tatsuya couldnNt understand that Mayumi was worrying about him. LP%ey.eactorN. well. 7eo. he answered thus. %owe&er.reason he was in&estigating matters related to Othe !hiloso!herNs stoneN was to com!ensate lack of ability to do certain things regarding his goal to build a O<ra&ity )ontrol3Ty!e Magic Thermonuclear 8usion . 8or that reason. The manner in which she walked in silence with her eyes concealing her feelings had a grace that caused one to wonder L8rom which high class family did this o2ou3sama hail from?M M1n actuality. Tatsuya was !ractically ready for anything. LP:e&er mind. the three of them hardly made any con&ersation as about X# !ercent of the distance to the station e&a!orated. Mayumi and the siblings. Tatsuya himself didn't ha&e any to!ic he cared to s!onsor for con&ersation. Tatsuya had no intention of em!hasizing to himself that he was 2ust a Oreser&e studentN. +&en Mayumi might feel she had to be !leasant out of ner&ousness. 1Nll try not to. 1n any case. 666 The three of them. and the rest of their friends. Tatsuya3kun. $dditionally. L1snNt it true that the two of you waited for me so we could lea&e together?M . when Mayumi une-!ectedly s!oke. that was understandable.M 1n the end. Miyuki was a little ner&ous.

M She said the word o2ou3sama without any traces of !ride in the tone of . so if something ha!!ens. at least.M Tatsuya mutely bowed his head and signaled her to continue. L1tNs okay. 1Nm not annoyed or anything like that.M The one who answered truthfully was not Tatsuya. 1 am often targeted by !eo!le with monetary or !olitical goals and stuff like that. but because 1 am an Oo2ou3 samaN. LMari said something. walk me to my house. Tatsuya did not show any s!ecial discomfort on his face. 4resident. he merely asked with a !uzzled look. 1 donNt lea&e with e&erybody else as a !recaution. nor did he s!eak with any trace of what could be called defiance. it was Miyuki. LTo get you to understand that you didnNt need to walk me all the way home.M LBy thatP you donNt mean only at times like this?M L(es. Mayumi continued on as if she had recei&ed a one syllable re!ly. 1 may be only calling myself this. L1 wonNt tell Mari that 1 wormed the truth out of you two. *h.M LP(ou know her well. didnNt she? Something like since the o!!osition grou! may attack. e&en though he was !re!ared.%owe&er.M Miyuki nodded out of embarrassment u!on ha&ing her intentions being com!letely and readily laid bare. Miyuki could &erbally inter&ene so Tatsuya wouldnNt ha&e to e-!lain why /?0 Ohe confessedN. why did you s!eak of it?M *n the other hand. he was sur!rised by her comment. donNt misunderstand me. LBut. nobody else will get caught u! in it. L5idnNt Mari say something like 1 generally take the !ath to and from school without !recautions? But. MayumiNs insight had led her to make a guess that shot through the dece!tion right to the truth.M Mayumi smiled slightly as she turned to Miyuki. When Tatsuya did not immediately res!ond with a re!ly.

thatNs how it is. LBecause the Saegusa family is a noble clan that. but Tatsuya couldnNt dam!en his curiosity. Mari was also aware of this !ri&ate !ersonal information. LPWell. 1 am always !re!ared so that 1 can in&oke my magic. 1 also ha&e a bodyguard.her &oice.M L?h. it was not in rest mode.uestion. since the formation of the ten master clans system. not e&en once. TatsuyaNs face showed he finally understood. Because 1N&e been trained to ne&er slack off on taking !recautions. why ha&e you e-!lained this to us?M %e knew it was a !ointless . but she could not find a trace of anybody who looked like a bodyguard.M +&en if she did say it herself. it was in standby mode. it is embarrassing to walk the road to school accom!anied by a bodyguard. now that that was e-!lained.M ?!on hearing this. only self3de!reciation colored her tone. something new !ricked his curiosity. really?M Miyuki franticly looked around. . it did not change the fact that it was embarrassing. L$s you might surmise. Mayumi made a !ained smile. so thatNs why she said something like O(ou donNt ha&e to see her to her houseNP Since once you got to the station.M She raised her left hand. LThatNs right.M %owe&er.M Mayumi subtly halted the search. has ne&er fallen from the ranks. L*h. the bodyguard would be waiting. 1f what she 2ust said was true /although it seemed there was no reason to lie0. LBut. LP%eNs waiting at the station. The slee&e sli!!ed down to re&eal her )$5.M Tatsuya s!oke with OthereNs nothing that can be done about itN im!licit in his words. LBesides.

TatsuyaNs ac.M LP1 think you are o&errating us. but you two siblings are surely the most memorable of all my wonderful high school kouhai. MayumiNs &ision blurred with LtearsM she laughed so much. LP$3chan and %anzou3kun are &ery good kids. whose ears were .uaintances. L$nd that has surely been thanks to you two. butPM $s Tatsuya refuted her claim e-!ressionlessly.L(e3esP maybe 1 2ust wanted to walk home with Tatsuya3kun and Miyuki3san?M %owe&er. you are a modest !erson." $nd then she switched her gaze to Tatsuya. Tatsuya felt a !remonition of Outter failurePN LMe. L(es. the first half year has been fulfilling in itself. 1 feel like 1Nm actually dealing with a ten year old?M With the e-ce!tion of Mayumi. 1n a com!letely different manner than her brother.M %er face lit u! with an e-traordinary bright smile. L1s this how you act your age? Sometimes. 7ast autumn. all estimated higher. she wi!ed her eyes with her fingers and directed a cheerful face to the siblings. the only thing he could do was sink into silence with an astonished look on his face. butP Tatsuya3kun. L1N&e only recently come to understand this. Mayumi let out a stream of Oinsu!!ressibleN high !itched giggles. who occasionally cast doubt about his actual age. looking on the bashful face of Mayumi as she answered. Mayumi laughed and giggled wholeheartedly. 1 became Student )ouncil 4resident. for me. but this !ast half year. too?M Miyuki didnNt feel the same !remonition as her brother. so Mayumi sent a /elder sister0 smile in the direction of her tilted head. has been a really fulfilling !eriod. Miyuki was also struck s!eechless.M Watching Tatsuya become so lost on how to res!ond that his face hardened into a noh mask.

%e was thinking about the bodyguard he was introduced to when he took Mayumi to the station. his body sank dee! into the sofa. com!ared to those. Tatsuya and Miyuki. he looked at the ceiling and !ut his thoughts in order. you couldnNt . $lthough. %e used his thumb and middle finger to strongly massage his tem!le. The man was an older gentleman well into his fifties.burning. it was on the large side. twice. his body was thin but . it was only on the le&el of a !ri&ate residence. was actually the house of the two siblings. for a !ri&ate residence.0 The Tatsuya who came out of that basement laboratory into the li&ing room abo&e it had an unusually tired a!!earance. since their father stayed at their ste!3motherNs !lace. Buried underneath. there might not be any hint of indecency. 1n that state. but rather of a butler. and more like a grandfather than a butler. today. to be truthful. 666 The Shiba house. there was a magic engineering research facility that was as high tech as a uni&ersity research lab. 1t was not as !alatial as the >itayama house or the Saegusa house /Tatsuya and Miyuki had not actually seen either of those0. his s!ine was as straight as a !in. but it was sim!ly a basement that has the same floor s!ace as the floor abo&e it remodeled into a laboratory. butP The im!ression the middle aged man ga&e off was not that of a bodyguard. /8or some reason or other. MayumiNs guard was une-!ectedly male. %owe&er. %is mind was boiling with idle thoughts about his memories of the e&ents that took !lace at dusk. Tatsuya had belie&ed that a guard for a girl around MayumiNs age would undoubtedly be female. he was !retty sur!rised.uite call it a mere !ri&ate residence. he rotated his head once. itNs a!!earance was somewhat secret hideout3ish.

but . LMy throat was a little dryPM The scolding of Ogo to bed earlyN was unsaid but still felt by Miyuki. his family name. sat down ne-t to Tatsuya. was also common. Iust now. what about you. $s she made her e-cuse timidly. to be e-act. so &eterans of military ser&ice were so common that if foolish !eo!le tried to maintain a ci&ilization without them. right?M Miyuki ser&ed as the !rogram director in todayNs cam!aign s!eech !ortion of the assembly. that he was definitely on Oacti&e dutyN was clearly understood from one glance. The !oint that was weighing on TatsuyaNs mind was the bodyguardNs name.uestion in his sister's eyes. +ach year. (ou ha&e to be a s!eaker at the meeting. this was the 2ob gi&en to the first yearsN re!resentati&e on the Student )ouncil. the !oint that was troubling had nothing to do with that. it would be a shamble. with a ha!!y smile. youNre not aslee! yet?M %e turned his eyes in the direction the &oice came from. Miyuki. L*nii3sama. who are also magicians using the mi-ture of their e-!eriences and technical skills to get a !lace with a res!ectable family as bodyguards. moreo&er it was a long ser&ice in &arious areas. the season was turning and the nights were getting colder.M $lways inclined to s!oil his sister rotten. Slowly.firm. LMiyuki. Miyuki was standing in the doorway of li&ing room wearing !ink !a2amas. es!ecially as the end of the ="st century. Miyuki came to TatsuyaNs side with a s!eed that was close to s!rinting. her face shining with sweat. To the . why are you still awake? TomorrowP no. The fact that he was used to wearing a uniform see!ed through his stance. he had e-!erience of military ser&ice. itNs !robably already today. she could feel Tatsuya rolling his eyes. %e did not carry himself in any s!ecial stance but there was a !olished !oliteness to him. her brother answered 'yes' with his eyes. Tatsuya agreed with an ironic sounding laugh. it canNt be hel!ed. This sort of body wasnNt unusual. 8ormer military !ersonnel. the !ast century had seen many wars. L1f thatNs so.

1t wasnNt the kind of thing a girl should wear late at night alone with a man.M . The other families donNt know (otsuba customs and were the same. the eighteen additional families. then 1 think they wonNt be able to get rid of them as O+-trasN. Tatsuya 2ust answered truthfully. nutsM. he himself silenced. MiyukiNs smile left her face in a flash.MiyukiNs !a2amas were made for summer. 1f theyNre not able to gi&e them assumed family names the way we do. The other nine families. but Tatsuya didnNt dare say anything. LWellPPabout Saegusa3sen!aiNs bodyguard. Tatsuya thought she !robably also felt the significance he !laced on the matter. LWhat were you thinking about?M 5id she know what Tatsuya was thinking or didnNt she? Miyuki brought her !layful face near his as she asked.M L1 donNt think any of the other family aside from the (otsuba clan has its members li&e under aliases. butP one of the ten master clans em!loying a guard for the sake of a child of the family who is not the heir. L$bout :akura3sanNs name?M Mayumi had introduced the older gentleman as :akura Saburou. due to his e-treme tiredness. 1t had short slee&es and the !ants were Y length. it has been nagging at me?M 8aster than Tatsuya could think Law. Tatsuya released a !ainful smile. could it beP the +-tra?M She could read him so well that she could see the single word he was thinking about. she wouldnNt ha&e been able to read him so well. he got the feeling that if he said anything. %e was aware that it was a bit unsuitable to discuss such a hea&y to!ic to someone wearing such an innocent face. %owe&er. butPM LWe donNt know that. L1 thought it unthinkable. the cloth was lightweight and the lines of her body could be dimly !ercei&ed through it. 1f Miyuki hadnNt been thinking about that !ossibility. more than being aware of it. LThe matter nagging at *nii3sama. that is =X families in all that (otsuba is unable to know the family traditions of. 9The words to s!eak. none the less. heNd be digging his own gra&e.

1t was that dee!ly rooted !re2udice would cause them to be regarded as OfailureN and Odefecti&e merchandiseN. Therefore. and that would be inserted into their consciousness as magicians. discriminating against someone for being an O+-traN is a gra&e illegal act. +-tra. they were e-tras. magicians or their descendants that ha&e been stri!!ed of their family OnumberN. *. :owadays. because their !arents hid it from them. The reasons for stri!!ing off their number could be from such causes asD the crime of treason. itself. like discrimination against course = students at magic high schools.-tremely polite form of %unt. 1n the community of magicians. Saegusa.ana means (even . if :akura was a descendant of a stri!!ed family named :anakura@. there might be many !eo!le unaware that their family name indicated that they were descended from an O+-traN. 1t has e&en worsened and is in the !rocess of becoming a se&ere !roblem. %owe&er. the crime of failure to !erform an im!ortant duty. L4erha!s because it is the !restigious Saegusa. but those who did not achie&e results worthy of Oa mark of their successN were branded as failures due to their lack. then for what !ur!ose did it ser&e the Saegusa family head to em!loy him as a bodyguard for his daughter. referred to by the abbre&iation. and Oincom!etenceN. is willing to em!loy an O+-traN in such an confidential !osition as a guard to the eldest daughter of the main family?M *. this in&isible glass ceiling of discrimination against O+-trasN still !ersists. they might be showing off that they donNt !ractice discrimination for the !restige it gi&es them.LButP the degree of difference from *ba3ue@.M L1 seeP that is certainly another way of thinking about itPM Suu2iochi9+-tra numbers. the name of L+-traM. magicians were gi&en numbers as a Oa mark of their successN. When Magicians became a symbol of military !ower. 1n TatsuyaNs generation. which is weighed down with all that !restige. is officially !rohibited from being used. this was what was weighing on TatsuyaNs mind. this has not been e-terminated and is still being !racticed.

rested on that fine edge. too. $rms and legs were returned to the bath. 9She was . lightly sighing as she e-amined her own body critically. 9%er height. there was ne&er tightness at the waist. Mayumi was comfortably submerged in the magnificent bath tub full of hot water. %er chest and breast areas . she had ne&er seen a girl so beautiful. in the realm of her unconscious mind. 9She was often told at bouti. 9But when she faced O%erN. she did sto! growing in her third year of middle school. Mayumi stretched her arms and legs out of the hot water. 9?ntil she met %er. $ sha3bum sound arose. but far from the !rying eyes of !assersby. no matter how well she thought of herself. so slim. she always referred to the girl by the !ronoun O%er or SheN. 9%er !ro!ortions werenNt that bad. there was nothing to be done but resign herself to her genetic heritage. 9%er waist.uite se-y. no matter what ty!e of clothes she wore. but her little sisters also had !etite bodies. so fine without looking unhealthy. 1n her own mind.666 $ little while beforeP The time is when only three hours remain before the date changes.uite long for someone as small in stature as she. in a magnificent bath house set nearby the main residence of the Saegusa family.ues and beauty salons that her limbs were . e&en if that was only her own o!inion. the !ro!er noun of OShiba MiyukiN transformed. her hand brushed her breast gently. e&en if that was only her own o!inion. so slender. :othing about it does not fit that image without e-aggeration. 9%er chest was also called large in !ro!ortion to height. 9+&en %er arms and legs. which can be described as a Oa grand mansionN. well after all. her confidence in herself wa&ered.

9Through lots of time and labor. 9%e was to the !oint that it made Mayumi doubt that they were actually related by blood.ather than calling it su!erior. $side from !ersonal a!!earance. 9%er elder brother. The water started foaming as her breath turned into bubbles.uestioned the &alidity of that system. sighed without realizing it. e&en Mayumi didnNt know. 9There was nothing !articularly wrong with him. there is an easily seen tendency for !eo!le who ha&e a strong dis!osition for magic to ha&e a highly symmetrical bone structure. his interior was far from ordinary. ordinary in his e-terior. and constructed the current rating system for magicians. once again. there are times when Mayumi doubts that She was a flesh and blood !erson. com!ared to non3magicians. 9Mayumi belie&ed that the boy who was %er elder brother was unfortunately unable to see any other girl as anything but a !oor co!y of %er. e&en though internal organs in general are arranged symmetrically. only Oso3soN. 1n the first !lace. Mayumi was well aware of this knowledge. the number of !erfectly symmetrical features was o&erwhelming. 9+&en by rounding u!. +&en so. he was only )3rank by international standards.were full of feminine cur&es. her a!!earance will not likewise be symmetrical. 9%owe&er. non3standard fit better. 98or that reason. the number of magicians with highly symmetrical bodies is higher. no matter how !erfectly symmetrical a !ersonNs body is. Mayumi. bundled it u!. 9%is e-istence . . he was at the most. 5id the air in the bubbles come from sighing or breathing. scholars around the world took their accumulated knowledge. 9Most of all. 9*r e&en see %er as a girl like herself. 9:e&ertheless. Mayumi submerged herself in the bathtub u! to her nose. 9.

.

he wouldnNt be able to cause this much confusion.91n s!ite of that. She e-haled twice. MayumiNs body shi&ered as if from cold. 9%is ability to use magic and his ability to fight with magic were too une&en. 9What. all the actual results that she and others had seen for themsel&es e-ceeded those of an $3rank magician. she had heard was actually done by his !ower alone.oom should be racking their brains. the status . While she knew the chill she felt wasnNt radiating from her skin. 9The smashing of the terrorist grou!. 91f only his intelligence and knowledge were su!erior. Mayumi submerged her body dee!ly in the bathtub. when she introduced him to :akura. his e-istence was im!ossible. 9The Staff . 9:o. and the !lan to create both a OMagicN and OMagic +ngineering 5e!artmentN as well. 1n s!ite of that. She lifted her face out of the bath. it could be argued that some alterations to the curriculum should be made? The hot water was warm enough.uo of the staff room was being hea&ily shaken. with a system that stood for decades was being fundamentally challenged. but it was a ty!e of test. 9$ first year high school student ca!able of using a high le&el anti3 magic which had almost no !ractitioners. thrice. he calmly resumed fighting. 9Today. . 9$fter being hit with magic that should cause critical wounds to his body. 9:e&ertheless. took a dee! breath. Mayumi lightly laughed. e&en if only his knowledge were considered. she didnNt tell him. Mayumi ga&e a wry smile as she shook her head from side to side.

9$ magician from some negligible family. %er brain on fire. for one moment9and really it was only for one brief moment9turmoil ran through his eyes. lea&es. would know the meaning. 9*nly !eo!le like Iuumon2i and herself. 9MShi3BaM Tatsuya. (otsu. $s a matter of fact. a !ronunciation of the kan2i that meant lea&es. Ba. a !ronunciation of the kan2i that meant chief. Ba. 9%e was aware of the meaning of L:a3>u3. 9$n ordinary magician. the school grounds had been co&ered by a buoyant atmos!here. 1n modern high schools.aM. 9)ould it be. he was not. Mayumi considered it. Ba. the Student Body <eneral Meeting. could he !ossibly be an L+-traM. :akura. Shi. a !ro!osal to make a ma2or alteration to the system of student go&ernment was su!!osed to be made.9$ test to see if he realized what the name L:a3>u3. a conflict between the !ro!onent grou! and the o!!osition grou! had been brewing under the surface of school life. this was a &ery big e&ent. it was only due to focusing her com!lete and total !owers of obser&ation on him that allowed her to not miss it. in this Student Body <eneral Meeting. a syllable that could also mean four.aM meant. Today. since before summer &acation. no classes would be held in the afternoon. where indi&idual classes almost ne&er congregated. could he also be. 9$t the time she s!oke the name. who were well &ersed in the LdarknessM of modern magic. (otsuba. :ot only that. he was not. Cha*ter ! Since morning. a !ronunciation of the kan2i that meant four. Shi. lea&es. the )am!aign S!eeches. and the election were being held instead. .

Since they worked in shifts and most of them o!erated solo. Since this was all that was a&ailable to !olice the AF# members of the student body accumulated in the meeting room. 1nstead of using feminine s!eech. they didnNt ha&e any guards to s!are for handling the e-terior. for the 4ublic Moral )ommittee.uite boyish. Tatsuya thought sheOs Lunusually intenseM. *utside the lecture hall. L1n general. Well. Tatsumi and MorisakiPM While listening to MariNs directions. all the members of the 4ublic Moral )ommittee assembled at committee head. at the side entrance. the o!!osition grou! had grown more obstinate. the automated sur&eillance cameras will be used.M $fter morning classes finished. in res!onse to that. e&en if they did ha&e enough !eo!le.M The entire force of the 4ublic Moral )ommittee was nine !eo!le. sheNs sounding . The Student Body <eneral Meeting was one of the few times all members would be out in force. . Still. LSawaki is on the u!!er !art of the !latform. L)hiyoda and 1 are at the main entrance.uarters. the !ro!onent grou! was o&erwhelming. We are here to hel! the student go&ernment. this made the mood of the school rife with unrest. Shiba is on the lower !art. or the influence of the actions of the Second )ourse team in the Monolith )ode e&ent at the newcomers tournament. dealing with &illainous intruders wasnNt !art of their 2ob. thatNs all. ha&ing all the committee members together was rare.Whether it was due to the current !resident Saegusa MayumiNs !o!ularity.M Mari barked out the membersN names and !osts in order to confirm them. in terms of numbers. 666 L+&eryone here? This is the final check for station de!loyment. 4eo!le who e-amined the current state of affairs felt that there was a &iolent undertone. the committee will be stationed inside of the lecture hall. %owe&er. this was a rare o!!ortunity to assemble. the difficulty of !ublicly o!!osing the !ro!osal.

thatNs the way it felt to Tatsuya. mis!laced 2ealousy. it seems 1N&e been gazing at the !resident a little too warmly. or as it was called. . you will incur more than 2ust the !residentNs wrath. $t least. L$ttacked. Mari re&erted to her usual way of s!eaking.M $s she heard Tatsuya's calm words of e-!lanation.emembering yesterdayNs e&ents. they seemed to be members of her fan club. 2ust gi&e me an e-!lanation?M LTo be brief.M L<ot itPM . Tatsuya3kun. three times.M L(ou would think it would be ob&ious that it was not that kind of situation since Miyuki was with us. $fter yesterdayNs walk with Mayumi.M MariNs face . but if you do something stu!id. :o student at 8irst %igh School would be reckless enough to harm Mayumi. donNt !ut the thought of doing something more tangible out of your head. he understood.uick.%is own station was the stage wing.uickly man your !ost. Lgot 2um!edM.M LP5onNt worry about the time. her e-!ression only showed L%uh?M L:o. how did it go yesterday?M %e didnNt need to ask her to e-!lain what she was asking about. her face changed to com!rehension. LMake it . /an emotional0 wa&e of fatigue rolled o&er him. What he meant was that it was reckless to try to harm Mayumi at 8irst %igh School. only acti&ate your )$5s.M . LWell. Shiba. as she heard his following words. L1n short. L1 was.uickly froze. and e&ery male u!!erclassman would make sure e&eryone knew itP L+&eryone. stay for a bit. he and Sawaki were the so3called last line of defenseP but Tatsuya didnNt really ha&e to worry about that.M When it was 2ust the two of them. 1n case the official on stage was attacked.M %owe&er.

With the belief that he had been taking things so seriously that he had been seeing shadows. 2ust as if he had been watching a mo&ie. or at !laces that were known to be !rotected by bullet!roof glass. P$fter all that. When he thought about it. it was only a matter of !ride. )ourse = students not being !art of the Student )ouncil wasn't a matter of honor.L1n that condition. for the sake of honor. OsecretaryN and the like carried no real meaning after graduation. 1 see a !roblems occurring if we try to gang u! on someone. it was com!arati&ely easy to e-change human life for these things. /%is &iew of the matter had been negati&ely influenced by Lthe outside worldMP0 8or the sake of ideals. there could be two &ice !residents or four secretaries. TatsuyaNs enthusiasm for his work a!!roached zero le&el. Sni!ers did not !lan to strike from !laces they could be s!otted. if we are caught in a crossfire. if the Student )ouncil 4resident willed it. 1n the 8irst %igh SchoolNs system. Suicide bombers carried out their !lans in order to take their enemies /and their allies0 with them. 1 !ro!ose to dissol&e the limitation concerning who can become a member of the Student )ouncil. and shared relie&ed smiles. for the sake of !rideP in the world Tatsuya was dee!ly immersed in. he took his !lace9standing at the side of the stage beside the stairs for the main e&ent. it was a !retty !etty form of !ride. LP8or the abo&e reason. %e felt he had been &iewing things in a way unrelated to reality. The two of them felt stu!id for worrying o&er nothing.M +&en fanatics didnNt want to die in &ain. $nd when it came down to it. for the sake of money. it was ob&ious that it was only a matter of a high school go&ernment election. he had taken things too seriously when they were discussing and e&aluating the danger and had forgotten the difference in the LStageM before his eyes. the titles of O&ice !residentN.M . +&en if the !restige of LStudent )ouncil 4residentM had any real meaning. we might be unable to interfereP Because if the !resident recei&es a single blow.

/There was nothing in the . you can !ressure the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident into a!!ointing the )ourse Two student of your own choice?M /Lyour own choiceM was usedP0 Tatsuya felt the e-!ression was e-tremely suggesti&e. she had not !artici!ated in the :ine Schools )om!etition.M L%owe&er. were intermittently failing to reach his ear. a hand was suddenly raised from the third yearsN row. $ccordingly. LPThis !ublic !ositionP sound argumentPM The words of the .uestions themsel&es that would make a s!eaker feel that they had to conceal their face from outsiders. he unconsciously filtered the s!eech to only allow words that might induce trouble to enter his consciousness. a !art of the so3called o!!osition !arty. Because modern !arabolic micro!hones ha&e the !otential to !ick u! e&eryday con&ersation from A# meters away. . she didnNt ha&e enough !ower to be chosen as a member of the team0 who stood at the . 1 cannot a!!oint new !eo!le to the Student )ouncil and so 1 ha&enNt thought about who could be a!!ointed.uestionerOs !odium. That small instrument and the big instrument that worked with it were going to gradually take away Tatsuya's sense of how the world should work.$s MayumiNs e-!lanation of the legislation finished. he didnNt know what she was thinking or if she was thinking but she answered them.uestions seriously.uestionerOs !odium. Tatsuya had no recollection of this 8irst )ourse female student /in short.uestioner. :aturally. are there any )ourse Two students suitable to be !art of the Student )ouncil?M Tatsuya scowled at the . Tatsuya thought that Mayumi answered the . he wasnNt wearing ear!lugs. it wasnOt going a little o&erboard to install a . LThe real issue is whether there is a need to change the system? 1n short. LToday. 1 will resign from the !ost of Student )ouncil 4resident.uestions with clear aims.0 1t was a !iece of undisguised good luck.

%attori was momentarily in charge of kee!ing things mo&ing and Miyuki was em!loyed as his assistant. 1 ha&e no intention of countermanding any of the ne-t Student )ouncil 4residentNs authority. LThe right of a!!ointing the ne-t Student )ouncilNs members is one of the !owers of the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident. the .M She ga&e a slight high !itched giggle as she made her minor 2est. Since 4resident Mayumi.uestions. 1t seemed that Tatsuya wasnNt the only one thinking L%ey. that indi&idual cannot become an officer of the Student . nowCM LQuiet. L1t is not a matter of whether or not there is a candidate. /By the way.M *n the other hand. $sano3san.M 5ee! in TatsuyaNs heart. was standing in order to handle .uestioner9whose name was $sano9Tatsuya thought. !lease. was becoming more intractable. The system re&eals the way an organization thinks.M L(ou mean the ne-t Student )ouncil 4resident who you wish to surround with )ourse Two students.uestion is OnoO.L1 am not thinking of becoming a hidden em!ress. The system does not allow )ourse Two students to become officers of the Student )ouncil. :o matter what. it says that it doesnNt matter how much !ower an indi&idual )ourse Two student has. The reason 1 am ad&ocating the !ro!osal at this time is because this is the only chance to do so. LThe truth of the matter is that the inability of )ourse Two students to become officers of the Student )ouncil is not a source of antagonism.M The icy &oice that called out the order was from Miyuki who was hel!ing to kee! the !rogram on track. a sense of wonder emerged. as the !erson who raised the issue.0 LPThe answer to that . the s!eaker could not take a break for food or drink during the Student Body <eneral $ssembly. you mean you ha&enNt !ut forth this change in our system at this time with that intention?M $ stir aroused in the lecture hall at the !oison laced words. Because 1 consider it to be the res!onsibility of the Student )ouncil 4resident to ensure that any enmity among their >ouhai is fully doused and will not eru!t into flames. officially. this noble face ne&er seems to be seen outside of an arena like this one.

The storm of booing instantly abated. that you want the . :e&ertheless. 1t wasnNt entirely coming from the rows of )ourse Two students. $sanoNs face crum!led. ha&e a )ourse Two student you want to !lace on the Student )ouncil.uestionerNs !odium. as the 4resident was wra!!ed in a!!lause. L1snNt it because you. those words une-!ectedly showed a ma2or result. The storm thrust large wa&es of discontent against the . they would not be able to kee! themsel&es unaware that the atmos!here that coated the lecture hall was against them. Tatsuya thought. 4resident.M She had !ut a lot of effort into making that !resentation.)ouncil. yesterdayCM This was !robably ho!elessness. 1n the midst of this. an outburst of des!air.M :o matter how thickheaded a !erson was. LThis is a subterfuge. The eyes of the entire student !o!ulation were going back and forth between Mayumi and Tatsuya. 1 su!!ose itNs unsur!rising that $sanoNs words ha&e started ha&ing a hysterical edge to them. L1 know itNs true. That is being mistaken for elitism. L4resident SaegusaC 1snNt your true intent to !ut that first year student on the Student )ouncil?M The finger of the hysterically wailing $sano !ointed at Tatsuya. When he saw MayumiNs face coloring faintly with red. Tatsuya thought LThat face is only going to make this mess biggerCM But under the .ualification annulledC 1snNt your true moti&e to gi&e someone !referential treatmentCM There was a feeling of des!eration to the &oices that cried LThatNs rightM s!oradically. but they were immediately drowned by a storm of booing. (ou e&en went as far as the station with him on your way home. This can be inter!reted as a declaration from the Student )ouncil that it belie&es )ourse Two students are not worthy of the !ri&ilege of becoming officers of the Student )ouncil. she was still at.

e&en Tatsuya felt it. .M LThat isPM :aturally. Therefore. was aware of this. This !ressure wasnNt magic. /!robably 2ust now0 Miyuki had stood. $sano faltered. 8rom the beginning. that that was the moti&e for the current !ro!osal was mere slander. Miyuki was radiating the freezing chill that robbed a body of its ability to mo&e freely as in the de!ths of the worst of winter. /MagicP wasnNt in&oked0 The &ery first thing Tatsuya did was check and see if Miyuki had lost control of her magic. There was no magic in those eyes. if you ha&e an ob2ection to this. her e-!ression was clearly !ossessed a . in accordance with my authority as an aide to the !erson in charge of kee!ing these !roceedings on track. +&en $sano. herself. +&en from the back of the stage. L1 2udge that the outburst 2ust now was an attem!t to cloud the issue by &icious !ersonal slander. they were only able to contain disdain. $ cold haughty glare was !iercing the u!!erclassmanNs face. no. it seemed as if that stare was able to freeze an ad&ersaryNs heart. 1 order you to lea&e. the li!s of the gossi!3mongering u!!erclassman were sewn shut by it. MiyukiNs eyes were coldly fi-ated on the !aralyzed $sano. Mayumi ha&ing s!ecial feelings for Tatsuya came from the realm of s!eculation. it was more like it was due to the fact that it was coming from the stage de!ths. LThat is all you want to say?M Without anyone noticing. then you must !ro&ide a foundation for your allegation that 4resident Saegusa holds s!ecial feelings for a !articular (ear *ne student.ueen3like dignity that was merely checking for a short answer.circumstances where he was unwillingly being ke!t under constant obser&ation. there was no way he could make that kind of condemnation. The im!asse was broken when cold words were tossed from the stage. Without in&oking any magic.

a!!lause broke out. $s she made her . gradually /or !ossibly anticlimactically0. $zusa a!!roached the !odium. those things could not really belong to a high school student. %ere and there. 1t wasnNt authority. %er face mi-ed with enthusiasm and tension. !eo!le &oted electronically and the annulment of the eligibility re. This was really a situation where the word L5ignityM can be used. Since there was only a single candidate.uirement for Student )ouncil officers was a!!ro&ed by a ma2ority. but a formal. social classP or e-!erience in society. so her ad&ersary was in a condition where she couldnNt mo&e e&en a finger.uestioning of this matter and return to your seat. L91 am making a correction. it was more like a declaration of the candidateNs con&ictions s!eech. the o!!osition grou!Ns hindrance had finished with a misfire. $fterwards. There is no need for you to lea&e. the .$nd it really !aralyzed the agitator who was in&ol&ing her older brother in slander. no. it sounded so glorious.uick bow. without bragging e&en a little. To be correct. L$t lastMP well in short. $sano3sen!ai. but the cute and feminine ty!e of song and dance girl who !erformed on stage had wides!read fan a!!eal among males. Tatsuya was still unaware of why. but without regard to her e-cellent grades in theory and !ractical skills. a &ote of confidence would be held /moreo&er the ballots would be actual !a!er ballots as o!!osed to electronic &oting0. %attori. whistles and cheers blended together. a carefree mood that wouldnNt e&en !ermit heckling !ermeated the lecture hall. 1n the end. Tatsuya and Miyuki were unable to understand since they !aid little attention to the entertainment industry. $sano was in no condition to gi&e e&en a single word in re!ly and awkwardly returned to her seat. !lease discontinue your . rank. but they soon sto!!ed as $zusa begun her s!eech.M The one who at last mo&ed to take control was the !erson in charge of !roceedings. he too had been o&erwhelmed by the !ressure Miyuki was still e-uding. Miyuki bowed elegantly and returned to her chair. $nd it was finally time for $zusaNs cam!aign s!eech.

4ossibly. she didnNt ha&e time to say anything when the big u!roar began.eturn to your seatsCM LSilence !leaseCM .M LThat )ourse Two studentH?M L$zusa3chan likes the young and untamed ty!eHM The comments were truly only low le&el 2eers. we all !robably ha&e eccentricities. )ertainly. he was able to see a strong high school student3ish inclination toward idealism. they subconsciously calculated that a counterattack against $zusa was more likely to be ignored. The storm broke out when she referred to the officers of the ne-t Student )ouncil.modest and friendly $zusa whose face and figure were also modest and friendly throughout the school had a re!utation as Lan easily befriended idolM. L4lease . she would strangely !e!!er her s!eech with cheers like L<o for itM and L(ou can do it. The 2eering o!!osition grou! and $zusaNs nearby fans became in&ol&ed in a scuffle. she !resented her L!oliticsM and L!oliciesM elo.uiet downC . $zusa said nothing about the insults directed at her.M well.uently. but generally she leaned to the conser&ati&e end. LWho said that 2ust nowCM L8or making fun of :aka2ou3san that wayCM L1f you ha&e something to say do it in front of usCM L<et the cowardsCM P?nder the circumstances. 1 intend to a!!oint highly ca!able !eo!le without regard to whether they are )ourse *ne or )ourse Two students. Sur!risingly /but !utting it this way might be unfair to $zusa0. 1n the middle of the gathering. 9*ccasionally.uabbling blossomed. similar but slightly different than MayumiNs. The fundamentals had been inherited from the current Student )ouncilNs &iews. s. But. 8rom the beginning. their calculations were incredibly off. they were only a &ulgar way for the re!ressed o!!osition grou! to s!ew out their unabated and still smoldering dissatisfaction. L91 will defer that decision until the day to make the a!!ointments.

were gradually becoming less endurable. 1t would be easy if you didnNt ha&e to care about in2uring anyone. But.LSettle down. but the enraged students werenNt able to hear them. the ne-t instant their eyes refle-i&ely closed. Tatsuya made eye contact with Sawaki and Tatsumi and decided to !re!are to make the !lunge. *n stage. iolent rage was infringing on the world. 5es!ite that. the clum! looked like s. while blinking their eyes they once again begun to raise them toward the stage. the strength of the &oice made an im!act on the minds of those engaged in the fracas. L)alm downCM She wasnNt screeching but there had been an illusion of loudness to the &oice. the decision was too late. The &oice was not loud but. The 2eers. Modern magic was changing the world by !ro2ecting a false &ision through an information body. the chaos caused by wildly running emotions could enact that chaos on the world.efle-i&ely. the moment an e-ceedingly &ulgar 2eer emitted from the mouth of one of the o!!osition grou!. e&eryoneCM Miyuki. They were making insinuations about Tatsuya and $zusaNs relationshi!. too. howe&erP while the difficulties of controlling the situation were making his head ache. %attori. The area where the scuffling was going on was gradually increasing. . $bsolutely no skills were being used.uabbling children. 1t wasnNt !ossible for magic to be in&oked without an intention to guide its form. . the students eyes turned. a blizzard of 4sion light was running wild. but 2ust !lunging in would only result in being caught in the game of oshikuraman2uuZ"J[. a girlNs shrill &oice took command of the disturbance. and Mayumi raised their &oices multi!le times.

The cam!aign s!eech !ortion solemnly disintegrated. Mayumi. +&en the 2eerers were &iewed like they were 2ust rude !eo!le emboldened by a concert3like atmos!here. The ballots results would be !osted the ne-t morning after Third (ears under the !ay of the Student )ouncil had finished their count. it was as if cold water had been thrown o&er e&eryone and order was com!letely restored to the gathering. Second (ears. the magic battle between fellow members of the Student )ouncil in that terrible situation was fortuitously a&oided at the last second. 666 $fterwards. What the two !eo!le said to each other or whether they con&ersed with their eyes alone without words could not be understood from off the stage. and the students lined u! to cast their ballots like tame shee!. Suzune. 1n this situation. and Third (ears locked /?0 on the two of them as if they were nailed there. from the time the boy released the girl from his hands until they left the stage the gazes of the entire student body. :onetheless. and $zusa simultaneously e-tended hands holding out )$5s u!on the Queen of that World of 1ce9Miyuki9to bring her under control. 9:e&ertheless. 8irst (ears. no one could tell when the lecture hall was going to be smashed by ice. %attori. the back of a male student standing u!on the stage obscured the girlNs !assion from the studentNs field of &ision. . 1nstantaneously. The boy's hands were !laced on both of the girlNs shoulders and the world that had been engulfed in the girlNs !ower and re!ainted looked as if it was being re!ressed.Such was the strength of the inter&ention !ower to negate common knowledge.

1 belie&e that they definitely donNt mean anything like that.Those results9 L)ongratulations $3chan. O%er Ma2esty. Tatsuya3kun. congratulations. O%er Ma2esty. Queen Shiba MiyukiN. &oice of Mari. the siblings with matching !ained faces read the &ote tabulation re!ort.M LToo bad.M LShibaD ==#. there was no way Miyuki couldnNt understand. there were AAB ballots. The tabulation of the ballots contentsP LPThese are the results. the QueenN and OThe Snow QueenN all being counted as &otes for me?M Miyuki cried this out in a tearful &oice.M L)ongratulations.M 7istening to the a!ologetic &oice of Suzune soothe her. $zusa was elected Student )ouncil 4resident. since the ballot doesnNt affect anything. :aka2ou3san.M 9+&en without hearing the &oices congratulating her first thing in the morning.M While listening to the sym!athetic &oice of Suzune and. LWhy are OThe QueenN. LBecause on other ballots OQueen MiyukiN. The ballots of the large number of !eo!le who miswrote the name shouldnNt be recognized in the countPM While crying out '1 want to !retend this doesnNt e-ist' without words. Miyuki calmly made an ob2ection. Tatsuya3kunD "F"PM LPWait a minute. OSnow Queen MiyukiN and the like were writtenP there was no other way to inter!ret them. :aka2ouD "XJ.M L:aka2ou. 1n total. unable to kee! from showing how amusing she found it. $fter . LPShiba3san. LWhat do they mean by that? 5o they think 1 ha&e some sort of !er&erted inclinations?M @/Such as Queen in SM LP:o. 1 think itNs better if you donNt !ay it any attention. The number of legitimate &otes was "XJ ballots.

M %is mouth neared the &icinity of his sisterNs ear L$fter all. it was utterly futile. LPMiyuki3san. $fter all. L7end me the ballotsC 1Nll find whoe&er wrote themCM LThatNs absurdP in the first !lace. 2ust as Miyuki was about to release her tears and snuggle against him. L:o matter how anyone else &iews you. how would you do that?M Somebody murmured this ob&ious flaw in her !lan. to me you are a cute !rincess. but in this case. her body actually slum!ed as Mari contradicted her in a confused manner. no one thinks that. L%ey. you are not a Queen. Since this is a secret ballot. but it had almost no effect.M Mayumi was trying with all her might to make her &oice sound soothing so that she could somehow calm MiyukiNs mood.seeing you look like that. am 1 that a!!alling? 1s my demeanor really that intolerable?M MiyukiNs tone had changed into a genuine wail.M . in&estigating who &oted for who is a serious &iolation of the rules. Miyuki. Tatsuya tem!orarily shel&ed his own disturbance. L1tNs okay. Miyuki turned her entire body towards Tatsuya. calm down. 1 donNt belie&e anyone would ha&e the ner&ePM $s if she had lost an inner battle.M $nd with a dee!ly gentle &oice. L5o not ask for the im!ossible. Tatsuya gently embraced his little sister who was sobbing her eyes out. LButP butPM :ot ha&ing a clue of what else to do. her eyes clouded all at once. L*nii3samaPM With a needy look in her eyes.M %e !atted her head without any trace of embarrassment and admonished her as if she were a small child.

unusually. $lthough she sto!!ed crying. :ot only did Miyuki cry in front of her sen!ai. e&eryone rela-ed their tense !osture. L*nii3samaPM The sound of crying gradually ended.Tatsuya made that &ow. and as !otential $rmageddon was soothed away. >atsuto made a silent toast and raised his teacu! to his mouth. Mayumi took out tea for >atsuto. the siblings. Tatsuya and Miyuki. Iuumon2i?" $lthough they were both guests. simultaneously it looked as if the anger and frustration were also ending.uarters . Mayumi and the rest were unworried. Suzune as usual didnNt come unless she had something to do. so she didnNt a!!ear. LSo. 666 8or the noon recess that day. the aura around them was so sweet that they were all suffering from heartburn. :e&ertheless. they were soon in an entirely different kind of awkward situation. so it was only natural that she was too embarrassed to come. did not show their faces in the Student )ouncil room. $zusa was being honored with a celebration by her fellow second years so her seat was em!ty.M When the meal came to an end. . Miyuki showed no sign of lea&ing TatsuyaNs arms. her head and cheek were shockingly !ressed against TatsuyaNs chest. as the seemly unembarrassed Tatsuya had already informed them so. Mari9maybe because she couldnNt hold back any more9beha&ed as if they were in her own head. she let herself be seen being embraced and comforted. L%ere it is. why are you here today. >atsuto came to the Student )ouncil room.ather. $nd today.

maybe because the to!ic on both of their minds. L4erha!s.M L$h.uestioned him. how do you think it went yesterdayPM 4erha!s she belie&ed that she couldnNt throw him off through body language alone. because today is for Saegusa her true retirement day. it was a !ractical a!!lication of L<ram 5emolitionM. Mari attem!ted to make a swift change of to!ic. +&en though su!erficially their res!onse was similar. LS!eaking of Shiba. Iuumon2i3kun. L1 was too low to be able to really see what was going on.M LShiba?M 'WeNre alike?' >atsuto asked with a glance.M L*h. you're welcome.and . so her assessment was that their taciturnity was the only similarity. >atsuto ga&e a Lno reasonM ty!e of answer. 4ossibly. $ structure of 4sions instantly dis!layed9without ha&ing to work it into an information body with +idos. you came to thank Mayumi for her ser&ice or something. %er out!ouring of !ower and his su!!ression ability were unbelie&able. L1t was okayP But there was no need for us to worry. the two of them coordinated an attack /a &erbal assault?0 which >atsuto solemnly rebuffed. This is the last time 1 can come to see her in Student )ouncil 4resident mode. The truth of what was going on couldnNt be discerned by those facing the stage.M %owe&er. $ large . both Mayumi and >atsuto lea!ed o&er MariNs choice and directed the con&ersation to the to!ic of their choice. Mari belie&ed that TatsuyaNs were intentional and >atsutoNs were s!ontaneous.M While smiling smugly. 1 thought Tatsuya3kun resembled someone. he res!onds to these things 2ust like Iuumon2i3kun. but did Shiba restrain his sister. thank you. 2ust like it seemed to me?M L(es. 4sions themsel&es were the !roduct of molded +-ternal Systematic Magic9in the form of an aura. Mari shrugged. LPSo thatNs it. only those like Mayumi who were on the stage were able to clearly see what ha!!ened.M L1 see.M 1t was 2ust the way >atsuto said it was.

amount of 4sions wra!!ed around her running wild in a chaotic manner. %e didnNt seem to be lying.uiring about bloodlines was . L+&en looking at his sisterNs !ower. for magicians. as 1 e-!ected. no matter how well an ancient magic techni. L1t doesnNt matter how good someone is at +-ternal Systematic Magic. 1t is not good to in. that o&erwhelming !ower was com!ressed and !oured back into MiyukiNs body. Tatsuya had taken the 4sions Miyuki had scattered around and. without any coo!eration from her. howe&er. L:o. in.M >atsuto indirectly refuted MariNs guess with a Lthat doesnNt e-!lain e&erythingM ty!e of answer.uence formation used by )$5s was an e-am!le of similar modeling. L$h.ues? 1 think that there is an O$rt of the SageN that is e-cellent for controlling 4sionsPM Mari !ut forth her guesswork as an answer. thatNs another matter for consideration. LP7etNs sto! already. Mari and >atsuto. Mari and >atsuto tilted their heads. it doesnNt matter if they are blood relations.ue is mastered. can someone really mani!ulate someone elseNs 4sions that easily? $t that time they were com!letely out of MiyukiNs own control. LWasnNt that one of his ancient magic techni. it takes time to !ut it in motion. howe&er.uire about bloodlines. Mari !resented the counter argument to >atsutoNs logic. butPM These were a list of MayumiNs concerns. !oured them back LinsideM. 1 think their genetic makeu! cannot be ignoredPM LBut he himself denied Othat he was a member of the ten master clansN right?M $nd this time. 4sions were not something e-uded from someoneNs body.M Mayumi suddenly !ro!osed a halt. This con&ersation. The acti&ation se.M $s they ran into that dead end. but the body was the medium used for +mission or $bsor!tion. The $rt of the Sage youNre talking about is an e-tremely time consuming system of magic. both felt MayumiNs sudden change in attitude was unnatural.

together became co3cons!irators in order to kee! TatsuyaNs background concealed. 9$nd this is how Tatsuya and Mayumi.uiry was forbidden. %er own belief was that if Tatsuya was an Le-traM. . *f course. Mayumi did not di&ulge to the two of them what she was secretly thinking. both without e&er cons!iring.certainly a minor crime. then that in. so they were unable to e-!ress their ob2ections.

A&ter+ord .

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