Sorry for the delay. Voice Over will be uploaded at a later date.
The Monster Noticed
The unexpected story about the ‘Seed of Evolution’ surprised me, but the moment I looked up towards Kannazuki-senpai, I noticed that her eyes were lifeless.
“Fufufu… Coming to know Seiichi-kun’s secret like this… it makes me green with envy.”
We had completely neglected Kannazuki-senpai and went on with our conversation…! That’s right. There was no way Kannazuki-senpai would know about the ‘Seed of Evolution’! I should have picked a better time to ask Beatrice-san about it! I tried to think of something to say to Kannazuki-senpai when I suddenly realised something.
“By the way, what happened to Shota and the rest?”
I looked around as I said so, but ignoring Shota, I couldn’t even find the other heroes in the dining hall. In that instant, Kannazuki-senpai’s expression underwent a complete change; the lifeless look on her countenance became a little grim as she told me.
“Seiichi-kun. In order to explain it, we’ll need to start from our current situation.”
“To put it bluntly, the hero’s party… has become an enemy of this academy.”
As the sudden revelation startled me, I released a yelp of surprise. Moreover, Beatrice-san affirmed that this was the case as well.
“…It’s hard to say this, but… what Kannazuki-san said was true.”
“It can’t be… How did it come to this?! Wait, then why is Kannazuki-senpai here?! Is it alright for you to be here?”
“Heh… my intuition whispered to me that I wouldn’t regret coming to the dining hall. Besides, though it might be faint… I could sniff out Seiichi-kun’s smell.”
“Okkee–, I don’t get it at all!”
It would seem that it was beyond my comprehension.
“For my part, though it wasn’t perfect, I managed to somehow conduct myself skilfully, so I attracted less hostility compared to the others. The teachers are keeping their eyes on things here as well, so there wouldn’t be a situation where I would be attacked all of a sudden. Besides, even if I were attacked, I believe that I have the ability to fight back to a certain extent. I may look like this, but I’m one of the best among the heroes. That’s why, you don’t need to be worried.”
“I-Is that so…”
For the time being, I understood that there was no fear of her being assaulted by someone. At the moment that thought put me at ease, I caught Kannazuki-senpai looking at me with a hazy look in her eyes.
“You can truly set your mind at ease. I would not give my chastity to anyone else aside from you.”
“I can’t put my mind at ease for a different reason now!”
“There’s no need for you to be worried as my purity is protected. I’d like you to discard all your hesitation and defile me, to leave unerasable scars on me.”
“This conversation is getting too graphic…!”
Kannazuki-senpai, you’re not the person I thought you were! Or rather, I don’t want to understand!
I had a low tolerance for that sort of thing, so I inadvertently covered my face with both hands. In the first place, why would she say something like that to someone like me?! When we were still on Earth, I think I had heard that there was someone she liked! While my brain was on the verge of being short-circuited, Al asked senpai, sullenly.
“Why? What are you planning to do with Seiichi?”
“I want to confine him.”
“Your desire is manifesting itself, isn’t it?!”
Not only was it an immediate reply, what she said was also extremely ruthless! What should I do?!
Immediately after that, Kannazuki-senpai responded, looking shocked.
“T-There’s no way… I, even if I’m like this, I care a lot for Seiichi-kun… Seiichi-kun is the only one for me. If Seiichi-kun so wishes, he can do anything… No, I’ll do anything.”
“I see. Then please behave in a prim and proper manner.”
“I am being prim and proper though?”
“It’s too late for that…!”
You know, her version was vastly different from the ‘prim and proper’ that I knew of, though. Was it alright? Without realizing it, the definition of ‘prim and proper’ has changed, hasn’t it? It HAS changed, hasn’t it?
“It’ll be good to just leave it at that…
“It’s not good!”
“There’s a good reason why I came to see Seiichi-kun like this today.”
When I tilted my head in wonder, Kannazuki-senpai pointed at my robe.
“Seiichi-kun, you didn’t keep your name a secret, but due to your current attire, I didn’t know how you look.”
“That’s… true. For the time being, I am wearing a hood to conceal myself… Ah, I will show it to you, senpai. If I take my hood off, there’s a possibility that you might not recognize me.”
“You don’t need to be worried about that. No matter what you’ve become, I can tell that it’s you right away.”
“You’re making me feel worried, for a different reason now!”
It was indeed true that she was someone who could sense my presence by my smell or through her intuition, so it wasn’t surprising at all!
“Seiichi-kun, the reason why I came to meet you is to tell you that I wish that you would not concern yourself with us.”
“I don’t want you get entangled with us.”
The moment Kannazuki-senpai said that, I shifted my gaze to Saria and the rest.
“Seiichi-kun, right now… you look as radiant as when you were on Earth, and when your parents were still alive.”
Certainly, I was bullied. But when my parents were alive, I was so content that I wasn’t bothered about it…
“I don’t want to ruin your happiness. To me, your happiness matters most to me.”
“That’s why I don’t want you to be involved with us… No, I don’t want you to be involved with the officials of the Kaiser Empire. For that reason, I’d like you to remain as you are now, to keep your appearance concealed. If it’s about your name, it is said that there are countries where people have similar-sounding names to ours, from the eastern countries in this world, so I don’t think they’ll suspect that you came from the same Earth as us. It’s the same for Shota and the rest of the heroes, too. Haven’t Shota and the rest not noticed it as well? If they were to speak to you, they might figure it out, but your hood aside your appearance has changed a lot, I believe.”
Kannazuki-senpai said with a solemn look on her face, but her expression then changed to a lonely one.
“As I’ve mentioned earlier, the hero’s party is in an extremely dangerous position in relation to this academy. The main cause is that… we began to receive severe discrimination from the people around here, due to our excellent performance and the potential we heroes have, but… heh, everyone reaps what they sow.”
“Well, but if you were to ask if I’d like to see how you look like… I do quite… No, I’d really like… a hero…”
Kannazuki-senpai? You are also one of the heroes, aren’t you? Not to mention, you were a student council president as well, weren’t you?! Your personal feelings are getting more apparent!
“Cough. Well, as we’re able to see each other like this once again, I’d hate to be apart from you for even a moment. I’d want to be with you every second, every minute, every hour, every day… forever, but… for the sake of your happiness, I’ll endure it.” (Rinkage: Changing it a bit to sound more yandere-ish)
Sorry, that made me feel a little relieved.
“Eh? But… if that’s the case then wouldn’t it be bad for us to be seen talking to each other like this?”
“There’s no need for you to be worry about that. I’ve chosen the seats in the area with less people around, just in case. Above all, Beatrice-sensei is around. They won’t be able to relate to it, but in a worst-case scenario, I’ll just say that I’ve come to ask teacher about something and they wouldn’t be able to pursue it anymore, right? Besides, aside from Seiichi-kun and me, the others are around here, too. It would be hard for them to consider that I’ve come to speak to you alone, so that reason alone is enough.”
It seemed that she had given it a thought…
However, even if Kannazuki-senpai told me not to get involved, I couldn’t readily agree to that.
“…Even if you had said that it was for my sake, I can’t accept it.”
“Even if it’s your request, I will not agree to it, not this time. Let’s say, even if you were to approach us, we’ll only pretend to be strangers. I’ve already relayed this to Shota and the rest as well. As for those guys who bullied you in the past, you’ll have no reason to approach them. This might sound harsh, but the people whom you would approach are only the very few friends of yours, right?”
I couldn’t refute this at all – That was because I really have only very few friends! It wasn’t that I didn’t have any at all, alright?! That was what I believed! Rather, why the heck did you relay that to Shota and the rest when you weren’t even sure if I would be in this school?!
At any rate, it was true that it would be impossible for me to approach any other heroes except Kannazuki-senpai and the rest. There would be no issues for the present me anymore, but it was still painful for me, in many ways, as I had been bullied for many years before coming to this world. Of course, even if I really were to meet them, I wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore and would probably be able to turn the table against them. That was why, if Kannazuki-senpai and the rest were to behave as though we were strangers, then it would be over …No wait, even if they were to put on an act as though we were strangers, then wouldn’t it be fine if I were to befriend them once again?
Even though I knew that Kannazuki-senpai did it out of good intention, there was no way I could forsake them.
“In any case, I’d like you to put your mind at ease. Once I have ended my role as a hero, I will return to your side once again as well.”
Kannazuki-senpai would probably not change her mind regardless of what I say at this point. I wasn’t her childhood friend for nothing. Once she had decided on something, she would definitely stick to it.
That was precisely why I decided that the right thing to do in such a situation was to change the flow of the conversation and to end this discussion in a way that was ambiguous.
“Ah, come to think of it, I understand how you could come to the dining hall, but how’s Shota and the rest of the guys going to get their lunch?”
It might have been a rather abrupt change of subject, but once Kannazuki-senpai had decided on something, her mind would be focused on it, so she wouldn’t be able to notice any peculiar diversion in the topic.
“The other heroes’ lunch? You don’t need to be worried about that. Their meals are prepared by the academy and will be brought over to the classrooms for them.”
What’s with this celebrity-like reception? This isn’t a treatment catered for students, is it? …Ah, right. They’re heroes.
“It sounds really exaggerated regardless, but… since you put it that way, it just shows how dangerous the situation is.”
Setting aside the fact that she was a young lady belonging to ‘Kannazuki’s Group’, she also had the ability to perceive people’s intentions and the ability to assess her surroundings.
That said, while I thought that it would be dangerous to be too assured about this, I decided to keep her words in mind.
While such thoughts were going through my mind, Kannazuki-senpai looked at me with a hazy look in her eyes.
“Now then, Seiichi… since we’ll not be able to keep in touch with each other for some time, hand over that palm-sized figure of your past self that you’ve conjured up earlier.”
“That’s not even a request, is it?” (Literal TL: Not even a please?! Meaning: That’s a demand and not a request, isn’t it?!)
“Prepare a life-sized one after that too.”
“You’ve added another demand on top of that?!”
Feeling greatly perplexed, I ended up giving such a retort out of reflex. At my reaction, Kannazuki-senpai stood up from her seat as she laughed.
“Well then, it’s time for me to take my leave. Lunch time’s almost over as well.”
“I’ve said it just now. Once the lunch break ends, the two of us will only be strangers to each other.”
“…Anyway, I’m really glad since you’re safe… no, since you seem blessed.”
Kannazuki-senpai laughed in a seemingly lonely manner.
“Well then, let’s meet again. Not as Kannazuki Karen, the ‘hero’, at that time, but as Kannazuki Karen, your ‘childhood friend’.”
Having said that, she turned on her heel. I stared at her back. At that moment, I suddenly noticed an inelegant-looking bracelet on her wrist.
Was such a bracelet… something she would wear? I had no recollection of her wearing such a bracelet in the past even when I tried recalling it. Moreover, that bracelet of hers reminded me of the ‘Collar of Slavery’ worn by Olga-chan. Struck with an unfamiliar sense of unease, I used the skill, ‘Appraisal’, on her bracelet in a haste.
‘Collar of Slavery’
Something snapped inside me.